Spot-Lit for January 2021

These titles – from established, new, and emerging authors – are some of the most anticipated new releases of the month, based on advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2021 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction | 2021 Debuts

Best of List Bonanza

As this strange, at times chaotic, and unprecedented year comes to an end, take heart (or not) in one constant that cannot be altered: The best of (insert year here) book list. 2020 has produced a bumper crop of these lists, maybe because many of us have had more time at home to read this year.  

Whatever the reason, wading through them all can be daunting. If you want to dip your toe in the ‘best reads of 2020’ waters, here is a selection of the major lists that have come out so far. And never forget, almost all of these titles are available from the Everett Public Library

First and foremost, and admittedly we could be a little biased here, you need to check out our very own Spot-Lit posts on A Reading Life. Every month, Spot-Lit highlights some of the most anticipated new fiction releases based on advance reviews and book world enthusiasm. You can access all of the 2020 recommendations, complete with links to the catalog, from the Notable New Fiction 2020 list. 

Newspapers and news outlets are the mainstay of the Best of Lists, and this year is no exception: 

New York Times 100 Most Notable Books 

Washington Post Best Fiction and Best Nonfiction 

Los Angeles Times 10 Best Books of 2020 

USA Today Best Books of 2020 

NPR Staff Picks of 2020 

Magazines and media figures have also been busy compiling: 

Oprah Magazine Best Books of 2020 

Time Magazine 100 Must-Read Books of 2020 

Vanity Fair 15 Best Books of 2020 

Bill Gates 5 Good Books for a Lousy Year 

New Yorker The Best Books We Read in 2020 

And, of course, the literary & book world outlets have plenty of lists to peruse: 

Publishers Weekly Best Books 2020 

Library Journal Best Books 2020 

Literary Hub Our 65 Favorite Books of the Year 

Book Riot Best Books of 2020 

Pacific Northwest Booksellers 2021 Book Awards Shortlist (all published in 2020) 

Finally, it can be fun to view Best of Lists from other countries to gain a different perspective: 

The Guardian Best Books of 2020 

Canadian Broadcast Company Best Canadian Fiction of 2020 

BBC The Best Books of the Year 2020

So can anything good be said of this wretched outgoing year? Perhaps not. But at least it produced some great books for us to read as we move onward and upward. 

Testing Testing 1,2,3

While we love to emphasize all of the fun and enjoyable things we have here at the library, sometimes you just gotta get serious. It would be great if we could all just read a great book, watch the latest TV series, or play a cool video game all day, every day. Sadly the adult world always comes knocking.  

And nothing is more adult than taking a crucial test, or learning a new skill in order to advance a real world career. While you might not think of the library as the first place to look when it comes to test prep and skill learning, we actually have a lot of great resources to help you: even in this mostly online world. Read on to learn about four of them, and make sure to check out our Job, Career & Test Prep page for even more. 

Learning Express 

This excellent and comprehensive database has lots of targeted practice guides that can help you do well on specific exams in several fields. The High School Equivalency Center covers the GED (in both English and Spanish), HiSet and TASC exams. The College Admissions Test Center has test prep for the ACT, SAT, PSAT, AP, TOEFL and many more. The Career Preparation Center has tons of test prep in many career areas including Cosmetology, the CDL license, Military, Nursing, and Teaching to name but a few. Be sure to check out the Welcome page for even more resources.  

GCF Learn Free 

This resource is all about improving your computer and technology skills through tutorials both specific and general. Specific tutorials to make you proficient in programs such as Microsoft Office, including Excel and Word, web browsers, email and computers in general are included. In addition there are tutorials on core math, reading and work skills to get you up to speed. 

Khan Academy 

The Khan Academy does provide great resources for studying for specific tests but really shines in providing full blown courses and in depth skill building on a wide range of topics. These are all very detailed but allow you to study and complete them at your own pace. Just click on the Courses button on the top left to see the huge diversity of topics and subject areas, from basic to in depth. 

Driving Tests 

While it would be nice if public transportation could get us everywhere we needed to go, being able to drive is actually a crucial skill when it comes to getting and keeping a job in Washington State. Finding good study materials for the driving test, however, can be difficult. This database fills in the gap with extensive study material and test prep for getting your driver’s license. It also has study material for a CDL license and all is available in both English and Spanish. 

Spot-Lit for December 2020

These titles – from established, new, and emerging authors – are some of the most anticipated new releases of the month, based on advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2020 | All On-Order Fiction | 2020 Debuts

Spot-Lit for November 2020

These titles – from established, new, and emerging authors – are some of the most anticipated new releases of the month, based on advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2020 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction | 2020 Debuts

This Thing Called Life

One of the very few good things about these challenging times is the explosion of virtual events that are now available. What you loose in the ability to be ‘in person’ you gain in the sheer number and variety of programs to attend virtually. But how to choose? Let the library be your guide.

Here at Everett Public, we have teamed up with CrowdCast to host many excellent programs. We are especially excited about the program we are hosting on Thursday, Oct. 15th at 6 PM:

This Thing Called Life: Prince’s Odyssey On + Off the Record

Prince remains one of the most mysterious rock icons of all time. In This Thing Called Life: Prince’s Odyssey, On and Off the Record, journalist Neal Karlen explores his unique, decades-long relationship with Prince. Karlen will be joined in conversation with Gregr, the morning host on Seattle’s 107.7 The End alternative music radio station. The audience will be given an unusually intimate peek into superstar Prince’s life, going back to his earliest days. 

Sign up to attend today and enjoy the program on Thursday. If you miss the deadline, never fear. You can view this event, and all our past events as well, from the Everett Public Library CrowdCast page.

If after the program, you feel inspired to learn more about the Purple One, why not browse through our many other books about his life and times? And of course, we have plenty of his music and films as well.

Spot-Lit for October 2020

These titles – from established, new, and emerging authors – are some of the most anticipated new releases of the month, based on advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2020 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction | 2020 Debuts

Spot-Lit for September 2020

These titles – from established, new, and emerging authors – are some of the most anticipated new releases of the month, based on advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2020 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction | 2020 Debuts

Under the Sea

While it is great that the library can now provide curbside service, not being able to actually visit the library, while only temporary, is definitely disappointing. At the main library, this longing to get back in the building is expressed by one of the frequent questions we get from folks: How are the fish doing?

First and foremost, let it be known that the fish and their habitat, located at the entrance of the children’s room, are being well cared for. Don’t take our word for it though, take the Fish Tank Tour with Scuba Scott and learn all about their care and maintenance:

While the fish definitely miss their live audience, you can enjoy them virtually by viewing these Fish Tank Friday updates of their antics, complete with musical accompaniment.

If you want to dive in a little deeper (ha ha) and learn more, why not place a few items about aquarium fishes and their care on hold and pick them up at the library?

While seeing the fish in person is the ideal situation for everyone involved, enjoy a few videos and check out a few books to ease the temporary separation anxiety. And don’t forget to check the library Facebook page frequently for Fish Tank Friday updates.

Spot-Lit for August 2020

Spot-Lit didn’t run for a few months due to the coronavirus, the library closure, and disruption in the publishing world, but we’re glad to be back.

These titles – from established, new, and emerging authors – are some of the most anticipated new releases of the month, based on advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2020 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction | 2020 Debuts