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10 library staff picks to read on a rainy day

Most of us have curled up with a good book, listening to rain tapping on the window.

Getting lost in an author’s world for a little while is pretty close to pure pleasure. Here is a list of books recommended by the Farmville library staff for your pleasure — rain or shine. All books are available from the library.

ANNIHILATION BY JEFF VANDERMEER

Enter “Area X” with the biologist and three other women as they explore a place of uncapped nature. Sent in by the “Southern Reach” agency, these women quickly learn that nothing is as it seems. The beauty and horror will take you in as you watch the truly strange unfold. What starts as a mission to understand quickly becomes the confused and unknowable, all while revolving around the deeply human story of the biologist and fears of these four explorers. (Brandon)

THE COMPLETE TALES OF EDGAR ALLAN POE

Edgar Allan Poe is widely considered to be among the most important and influential American writers of the 19th century. In this single volume, you will find poems such as “The Raven,” along with horror stories such as “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Masque of the Red Death.” You will also find the first example of the modern detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and some of the earliest writing in the genre of science fiction. (William)

FABLES BY BILL WILLINGHAM

If you’re looking for your next escapism read, here are three reasons you should look no further than the “Fables” comic series available through Hoopla. “Fables” was published monthly by DC’s Vertigo Comics from 2002-2015. So, reason 1 — You have a backlog of 150 issues to keep you occupied. Reason 2 — These aren’t the fairy tale characters you knew as a kid. For centuries, their biggest problem has been hiding in plain sight in our world, not poisoned apples or witches in the woods. (But of course that’s all about to change.) Reason 3 — The first volume drops readers smack in the middle of a murder investigation with a chain-smoking Big Bad Wolf-turned-sheriff (he huffs and he puffs) working to uncover the truth. Oh, and one of the Three Little Pigs is crashing on his couch. Also, Prince Charming is back in town, and his ex-wives are not happy about it. This series is definitely recommended if you enjoy comics, fantasy or reimagined fairy tales. (Megan)

THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE BY V.E. SCHWAB

What would you do for absolute freedom, to not be confined by the expectations of those around you? Would that freedom be worth it if no one could remember you? That’s the deal Addie LaRue makes. She is cursed to spend eternity with those around her forgetting her existence the moment she is out of sight. Addie can no longer leave her mark on the world and is truly free from anyone’s need of her at the expense of never making a meaningful connection. Until one day she meets someone who can remember her. (Morgan)

MARTIAN MANHUNTER: IDENTITY BY STEVE ORLANDO & RILEY ROSSMO

Meet John Jones (J’onn J’onzz) as he tries to work through his past life on Mars and his borrowed life on Earth. Once a corrupt manhunter, John now finds himself on Earth doing the same job as a detective trying to make up for all the wrongs he’s committed using a body and identity that isn’t his. But his past on Mars is catching up with him as a series of murders point to the extraterrestrial. Follow the origin of the Martian Manhunter as he finds how to forgive himself and what his role on a new world will be. (Brandon)

PHOTO ARK: ONE MAN’S QUEST TO DOCUMENT THE WORLD’S ANIMALS BY JOEL SARTORE

Photographer Joel Sartore has turned his passion into a wonderful book that can be experienced by the whole family. The 400+ images range from sweet to magnificent. They were taken of live animals in studio — superb portraits of species we rarely see up close. It all started with a photo of a naked mole rat, then turned into a life’s project that includes a dragon-headed katydid, a peppermint shrimp, a Pygmy hippopotamus and an East African crowned crane. If you’re not already an animal lover, this book will inspire you to become one. (Rick)

PIRANESI BY SUSANNA CLARKE

“Piranesi” is atmospheric and charming. The narrator, whose name may or may not be Piranesi, is an engaging guide through a labyrinth filled with drowned halls and marble giants. There is mystery and wonder here. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to read it again. (Max)

STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA BY VARIOUS AUTHORS

If you happen to be a fan of Star Wars or graphic novels, then you will love “Doctor Aphra.” Doctor Aphra is a “morally questionable” criminal archaeologist who once worked for Darth Vader. Her behavior and lack of respect for others puts her in many perilous situations. Aphra is joined by a range of new characters in the Star Wars universe, including two murder droids, Triple Zero and Beetee, a Wookie named Black Krrsantan who is searching for revenge, and several scorned lovers. There are only seven volumes in the original run of “Doctor Aphra,” but each one is action-packed and full of surprises. (Morgan)

STILL LIFE BY LOUISE PENNY

The first chapter of “Still Life” opens to reveal the death of one of the town’s residents and Chief Inspector Gamache investigating the scene — on a path in the snow. Is this a murder or an accidental killing? Was it perpetrated by someone with a grudge or a hunting accident gone terribly wrong? We are introduced to the investigation team by the author as it reviews evidence and questions the town’s people. Chief Inspector Gamache’s team normally functions with forensic laboratories, internet and computers. Here at Three Pines it must resort to the old fashion method of collecting evidence and building an understanding of the circumstances surrounding this town and the woman who lived here.

Chief Inspector Gamache’s style of directing his team displays understanding and compassion not usually reflected in your “typical television officer in charge.” Do not expect “CSI forensics” to replace thoughtful reflection of timelines and review of physical evidence. I consider him to be a master of the jigsaw puzzle. Gamache is not someone quick to judgement. (Virginia)

VOLUME CONTROL: HEARING IN A DEAFENING WORLD BY DAVID OWEN

Veterans, loggers, farmers, shooters and many others in Central Virginia suffer from hearing issues. Owen explores everything from how ears work to new inexpensive technology being developed for when they don’t. Have ringing in your ears? Read the chapter entitled Cicadas in My Head. Hearing loss happens to just about everyone. This fascinating book will answer your questions and surprise you with thought-provoking insights into how hearing loss affects us in so many ways. Who would have thought a book about hearing would be so darned interesting? (Rick)