Best Books of 2019: Staff Picks

CCJPL Best Books of 2019 

The Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library is full of staff members who like to read! The Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library is part of a system of libraries called the Crowley Ridge Regional Library. has nearly 190,000 books in the collection made up of eight library branches! Here are some of the best books of 2019 according to our staff members. 

It’s a suspenseful, dynamic book that is written backwards!  I love Nic (the main character)! She is smart, sassy, and relatable.  It’s got romance, a mystery, a small town, relationship issues and everything needed to keep you on your toes!     
Mandy Bashaw, Graphic Designer

This is the sequel to Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain, a great techno-thriller written FIFTY years ago, and the author does a great job in keeping with Crichton's style. The technology in this story is advanced, but just enough so that the science is possible, which makes it all the more terrifying.     
Lori Block, Adult Services

This book is primarily set in and around the Chelsea Hotel in New York City during McCarthyism during the 1940’s and centers around two women who are struggling to make a name for themselves in the theatre scene. This haunting story both gives hope and takes it away from the reader. I loved learning about this time in our history through the eyes of these two women.     
Brandi Hodges, Public Relations Manager

I enjoyed seeing her relationship with her family, learning more about her background and how she and Barack met. I really valued hearing her stories and about how she was able to achieve so much, even if she didn’t always feel like she was succeeding. There’s a quote from the book that I found particularly impactful: “Failure is a feeling before it is a fact.” I have found that line to be personally motivating and encouraging.
Tonya Ryals, Assistant Director


The benefit of a nonfiction selection with all the enjoyment of a great fiction selection. Orlean is a world class researcher and storyteller. 
Sloane Simmons, Assistant Youth Services Manager

This is an interesting read because it makes the reader think about everyday things and how math has helped improve the quality of life for the human species. The author breaks down everything in basic language and teaches the reader how everyday objects are thanks to man's greatest discovery — the beauty of the universe through physics. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a lover of sciences or for people who want to educate themselves on the basics of calculus and physics. Calculus is one of those subjects that are so complicated that most people not only don’t understand it, they don’t even know what it is that they don’t understand. But that’s unfortunate, because calculus is one of humanity’s most impressive achievements, an accomplishment that unlocks the secrets of the universe and delivers our most profound and useful technology, from radio and television to GPS navigation and MRI imaging. Calculus is the main protagonist in the story of science, and is a subject every educated person should understand at least conceptually.
Joshua Carter, Assistant Circulation Supervisor

I’m a sucker for a fairytale re-telling, especially one as dark and chilling as this!  To top it off, the art nouveau style of the illustrations is absolutely breathtaking.  This book is not for the faint of heart, but if you like beauty with your spookiness, dive in!
Jessica Mansker, Teen Services Librarian

This is the perfect book for fans of the spooky and creepy. Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of their suburbia life. They resigned from their teaching jobs and moved to rural Vermont where they began building the home of their dreams. However their new property has a dark and violent past. A witch name Hattie Breckenridge was viciously attacked and hung from a tree on the land where they are attempting to build a new home. Helen becomes consumed by Hattie's story and the tragic tale of her descendants, three generations of "Breckenridge women," each of whom died amid suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something elusive and dangerous in the present day.
Kristy Gates, Collection Development Librarian

The Cuckoo's Calling (The Cormoran Strike Series) by Robert Galbraith  -  David Eckert, Director

The Girl He Used To Know  by Tracey Garvis Graves  -  Kenia Chicas, Assistant Circulation Supervisor

When Through Deep Waters by Rachelle Dekker  -   Nathan Whitmire, Manager of Technical Services and Special Collections

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah   -  Debra James, Adult Services

Binging with Babish: 100 Recipes Recreated from your Favorite Movies and TV Shows by Andrew Rea   -   Amber Heard, Adult Services

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70's and '80's Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix with Will Errickson   -   Sara Stuart, Adult Services Manager

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers   -   Malerie McDermott, Youth Services