Richmond Public Library Staff Picks

News, reviews, and ideas you can use from librarians and library staff at RPL

RPL Blog

A different kind of haunting

Two of the best books I’ve read this year will haunt me for a long time: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann “History, is a merciless judge.” This riveting work of narrative nonfiction by the author of The Lost City of Z reads like a masterful detective novel, and if you are unfamiliar […]

The tale of the haunted book blog

Get ready to be skeered right out of your pants, dear readers. The faint of heart should look away as we present to you our best fearsome October recommendations, complete with terrifying gifs! First off, duh: if you need the daylights (or deadlights?) scared out of you, read It by Stephen King. No lie, I actually had […]


What’s it like to work as a bartender? Are you still teaching yoga? Will your travels to Ireland find a place in your next novel? Why’d you drop the research science gig and start writing fiction? When you judge the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, do you have to read every single book […]

Meanwhile…comics, heroes, & origin stories

I was compelled by otherworldly forces to come up with a list of read-alikes inspired by a recent favorite: Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim. The narrative shifts between a couple of Midwestern best friends growing up together immersed in comic books, and a group of adult superhero/secret agents fighting for social justice–sort of. The novel […]

Reading to meet new and interesting trees

It occurred to me recently that I should be keeping track of the trees I encounter, often before leaving the first page, while reading a novel. A strong visual and a sense of place is quickly established by well positioned flora, such as the exuberant bougainvillea, which is native to South America, but widely planted […]

Literary Travels: Minneapolis and points north

Virginia is hot as blazes in July so why not take a literal, or at least literary, journey to a cooler place? You don’t have to leave to get the benefits of travel; pick up a book about someplace chill and let your mind take you there. Lake Superior is darn cold, you betcha y’all, […]

A Book Worth Finishing

Not long ago Goodread put out an infographic about finishing books. In their survey they discovered that somewhere around 38% of people who read will finish a book no matter what. Even if the book turns into being a steaming pile of garbage, those tenacious readers would trudge on, never leaving a page unturned. But what […]

Road Trip Audio to Download…Free!

Late summer road trip in your future?  Check out this week’s downloads from SyncAudiobooks for Teens. Three weeks of great titles left for this summer, with two titles each week.  All you need is Overdrive for your iOS, Android, Kindle or Windows phone, or download to your Mac or PC.  Get the app here. This […]

Life imitating Art/Art Imitating Life, or, news stories we’d like to see fictionalized

Security Robot Commits Suicide Is the natural consequence of sophisticated AI going to be sad robots? NPR got me all misty thinking about Steve, the loneliest robot: “The roughly 5-foot tall robot was apparently nicknamed Steve by people in the Washington Harbour office complex. Steve whistled, beeped and rolled over the plaza, alert to pick […]

Motel of the Mysteries

What books from your childhood still have a hold on you as an adult? Do you think of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie every time something in your life snowballs out of control? Did the Berenstain vs. Berenstein revelation blow your mind? Do you automatically put on a Grover voice when you think […]

Revisited, reinvented, reimagined

Ah, the agony and ecstasy of being a librarian–surrounded by all the books I could ever hope to read and no time to read them. My TBR (to be read) pile grows ever larger, placed into peculiar thematically linked sub-piles. My latest batch of reads was from a sub-pile rich in literature re-imagined. Some were […]