January Staff Picks: Hello, 2022!

by Christine on 2022-01-03 11:08:00

Happy New Year! As a point of pride, I’d like to start with the most important thing: When I was writing the title of this post, I wrote “2022” on my first try. I think that just underlines how ready I am to leave 2021 behind.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, our staff shared their reading resolutions for 2022 in last week’s blog. I’m particularly happy with the picks list we compiled for January because of the wide range of genres — historical fiction and nonfiction, philosophy, cookbooks, young adult contemporary, and historical and fantasy children’s books are all represented. Many of our staff expressed an interest in not just reading more, but also reading different types of books this year, making this list a fantastic place to start.

Our 2022 Winter Reading Program begins in two weeks (more info coming soon!), so if you’re not quite ready to dive into this list now, bookmark it for later. As always, you can click the link to each title to place a hold or find out where it is in the library. Enjoy!


All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler by Rebecca Donner (2021)

Milwaukee native Mildred Harnack moved to Berlin with her German husband in 1929, just before the Nazi Party began to rise to power. By 1940, the politically active couple recruited the largest underground resistance group in Berlin. Mildred Harnack is later identified by historians as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance. This is a true story woven together through archival research by Mildred's great-great-niece. It is an award winner for good reason.


Taste of Home: One Pot Favorites compiled by the editors of Taste of Home (2020)

I made an announcement to my husband that I wanted a Dutch oven pot for Christmas back in October. I picked up this cookbook to do some research and I ABSOLUTELY fell in love! The book has all sorts of one-pot recipes, not just for Dutch ovens, but for slow cookers, stock pots, sheet pans, and instant pots. The cookbook is easy use. The recipes are broken down by cooking instrument and then by beef, chicken, pork, seafood, etc. I make soup every Tuesday and this book has some great soup and stew recipes that even my 7-year-old enjoyed. My favorite part about the Taste of Home cookbooks, and this one especially, is that they are easy recipes to follow with easy to find ingredients and they have that Midwest heartiness we all love.


The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel (2021)

If you love historical fiction about World War II, you will enjoy this story of Eva, a young woman who during the war helps Jewish kids escape France by forging documents….inspired by a true story!


When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller (2020)

It is almost time for the 2022 Newbery Awards — have you read the 2021 winner?

When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her Halmoni's Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back.


The Art of Power by Thich Nhat Hanh (2007)

This is a book about mindfulness, love, and achieving understanding between individuals and cultures of the world.


Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen (2021)

This book is new, and I haven't finished reading it yet, but I picked it up because I spent years in Taipei and was excited to see a young adult novel set there. I researched it a bit, and it turns out it is set to be adapted into a movie by the same people who made all the To All the Boys I've Loved Before movies on Netflix! So, I recommend reading this book before it's a mainstream movie.


The People Remember by Ibi Zoboi, illustrated by Loveis Wise (2021)

Powerful writing and rich illustrations combine in The People Remember, a picture book from which anyone of any age can extract meaning. Told in verse, Ibi Zoboi traces African American history back to Africa, where people were stolen from their homes and brought to the United States as slaves. Despite being different from one another, the people came together to eventually innovate African American culture as we know it today. Zoboi connects each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa (which ended on January 1) to every stop in Black American history in a true work of art.