Top 5(ish) of 2009
Looking for something new to read, watch, or listen to? Owatonna Public Library staff have gathered their Top 5 (or more) picks of 2009 into handy browsing lists for you. These are books, movies, audiobooks, TV series, or music that staff especially enjoyed and/or found notable in the past year. Many, but not all, of these items were first published in 2009. Almost all of these items are available from OPL (gasp! -- one of our intrepid staff members read a book on her Kindle that is not available locally!).
OPL Staff Picks
Mary Kay Feltes, Director of Libraries/Technology
- Stitches: A Memoir by David Small (graphic novel)
Memoir in graphic novel form. Truth more horrific than fiction.
- Murder on a Midsummer Night: A Phryne Fischer Mystery by Kerry Greenwood (mystery)
The newest in the series about the Hon. Phryne Fisher, private investigator in late 1920s Australia. Sure, there’s a plot, but you also get details about beautiful clothes, great food, and modern attitudes.
- Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, or How Be Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid by J. Maarten Troost (nonfiction/audiobook)
Just the thing for listening during a short car trip to LaX. FUNNY!
- When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins (nonfiction)
Yep, everything’s changed. 77 cents to the dollar.
- The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food: Before the National Highway System, Before Chain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, When the Nation's Food was Seasonal, Regional, and Traditional : from the lost WPA files edited and illustrated by Mark Kurlansky (nonfiction)
I choose the South.
- The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters (nonfiction)
Embrace the season’s bounty! (And eat the best chocolate.)
Renée Lowery, Assistant Director/Librarian
- Columbine by David Cullen (nonfiction)
The author is both a good reporter and an excellent storyteller. Difficult but compelling. As they say about airplane crashes, there isn't one thing that causes it but rather a series of events and failures.
- What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell (nonfiction)
I think Gladwell was a librarian in another life; he likes to learn a little bit about a wide variety of subjects.
- Flight of the Conchords, the Complete First Season (fiction/DVD)
Funniest thing I've seen in a long time, and great music.
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman (juvenile fiction)
Better than the movie and nearly as good a heroine as Alice.
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (picture book)
The movie brought us back to the book. My son got tired of it before I did.
Bonnie Krueger, Reference Librarian
- Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich (mystery)
- First Family by David Baldacci (fiction)
- Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn (fiction)
- Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terror and Build Nations - One School at A Time by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin (nonfiction)
- Mounting Fears by Stuart Woods (fiction)
Mary Gontarek, Media Services Librarian
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman (fiction/audiobook)
- Happy-Go-Lucky (fiction/DVD)
- The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, the Complete First Season (fiction/DVD)
- Live in London by Leonard Cohen (music CD)
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (fiction)
Darla Lager, Children's Librarian
Books (juvenile fiction):
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- Syren by Angie Sage (Book 5 of Septimus Heap series)
- The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- The Proposal
- Bolt - Disney
- Up - Disney/Pixar
Movies (seen at theater):
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- The Blind Side
- The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! by Mo Willems
- Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist
- The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort
Dave Lubahn, Circulation Assistant
- All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House by David Giffels (nonfiction)
- Duma Key by Stephen King (fiction)
- The Shack by William P. Young (fiction)
- The Private Patient by P.D. James (mystery)
- Death of a Witch by M.C. Beaton (mystery)
Kay Schmidt, Circulation Assistant
- Shanghai Girls by Lisa See (fiction)
Different culture and a piece of history.
- An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon (fiction)
Latest in the "Outlander" series - a HUGE favorite with me.
- Ladies of the Lake by Haywood Smith (fiction)
I was in the mood for light, quick and - geriatric.
- Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or The Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-centered Smart-ass Phase by Jen Lancaster (nonfiction)
Satirical and funny.
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman (fiction)
Harry Potter for "realists"?
Brandon Robinson, Desk Assistant & OPL Bookmobile driver
- Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (science fiction)
- Fur and Gold by Bat for Lashes (music CD)
- Spirit Gate: Book One of Crossroads by Kate Elliott (science fiction)
- Gerald McBoing Boing by Dr. Seuss (picture book)
- Save Your Scissors by City and Colour (music CD single)
- The Walking Dead series by Robert Kirkman (graphic novel)
- Fables series by Bill Willingham (graphic novel)
Lisa Boutelle, Desk Assistant
- Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella (fiction)
- Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (juvenile fiction)
- So B. It by Sarah Weeks (juvenile fiction)
- Clementine by Sara Pennypacker (juvenile fiction)
- Up (fiction/DVD)
Joan Rasmussen, Desk Assistant
- Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford (juvenile fiction)
- The Sisters Grim series by Michael Buckley (juvenile audiobook)
- A Million Dots by Andrew Clements (juvenile nonfiction)
- My Daddy and Me by Tina Macnaughton (board book)
- The Proposal (fiction/DVD)
Cathy Walerius, Desk Assistant
- The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (fiction)
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett (fiction)
- Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen (nonfiction)
- The Rise and Fall of the U.S. Mortgage and Credit Markets: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Market Meltdown by James R. Barth (nonfiction/Kindle edition)
- And Then the Roof Caved In: How Wall Street's Greed and Stupidity Brought Capitalism to Its Knees by David Faber (nonfiction)