Announcing the MPL Staff Recommendations program!

Beginning this April, the McAllen Public Library staff will share personal recommendations to help you find new and interesting items you can borrow from the library.  The recommendations will be collected each month and posted here on the MPL Blog as an online list of suggestions for reading, watching, and listening.  Or you are welcome to come by the Main Library and browse many of the recommended items on display near the Circulation desk.

Visit the Staff Recommendations display at the Main Library, near the Circulation desk.

We hope that this new program will be fun and beneficial for our staff and for our community, and will provide an exciting new way for you to discover a rich variety of books, movies, CD’s, and other items in the MPL circulating collections.  

Below is the list of Staff Recommendations for the month of April.  Please enjoy!

April MPL Staff Recommendations


  • Captain Horatio Hornblower, by C.S. Forester.  “An exciting piece of historical fiction with a somewhat complex protagonist.” ~Robert
  • The Lost Sisterhood, by Anne Fortier. “A historical fiction page-turner!  Like a feminist version of The Da Vinci Code.  I couldn’t put it down when I read it.” ~Julia
  • Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. “I fell in love with this beautifully written dystopian science fiction novel that questions what it really means to be human.” ~Sara
  • 11/22/63, by Stephen King. “If you think Stephen King only writes horror, you are in for a wonderful surprise; imagine what it would be like if you could go back in time and attempt to keep JFK from being assassinated!” ~Jacqui
  • The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  “The quality of the characters, the story, and the writing left me breathless.” ~Elizabeth
  • The Help, by Katheryn Stockett. “This book is about race and feminism taken place in the early 60’s in Jackson, Mississippi; its vivid, funny and overall a great book to read.” ~Naomi    
  • Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan. “A New England family drama that spans generations, centering on a summer house in Maine.  Something that anyone from any family, anywhere in the country, can relate to.” ~Julia

Spanish Fiction

Young Adult Fiction

  • Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake. “Great story for fans of the horror genre and the supernatural.” ~April
  • The Goddess Test, by Aimee Carter. “Before taking on her role as potential bride of Hades, Kate must undertake a series of tests that will determine whether or not she has what it takes to become a Goddess — but is becoming a Goddess even something she wants?” ~Priscilla
  • The Transall Saga, by Gary Paulsen.  “The further you get into this story’s world, the more intrigued you will get; this sci-fi adventure is a book you won’t be able to put down.”  ~Jacqui

Juvenile Fiction

  • Alistair Grim’s Odditorium, by Gregory Funaro. “The first Juvenile Fiction book in the Odditorium series written by an emerging new author in children’s fiction. The story has elements of a mystery, fantasy, Sci-Fi and magic with a splash of steampunk. It’s targeted towards 8 to 13 year olds, but this 40-something year old enjoyed it too!” ~Rolando


  • The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiel Hammett. “Exceptionally well written and one of the first novels of the hard boiled genre of detective fiction.” ~Robert
  • Dog On It, by Spencer Quinn. “Your typical, hardboiled detective(s) story, but written from the viewpoint of the dog (2nd partner).” ~John
  • Eyes of the Innocent, by Brad Parks. “I thought it was a good light read and I liked the newspaper background.” ~Sean

Science Fiction

  • Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey. “The first in an epic trilogy, this is alternate history and worldmaking at its best.” ~Elizabeth
  • The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. “Sanderson is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.  He creates likeable, but imperfect characters.  I really appreciate that the magic systems in his books have limitations and consequences.  This makes his worlds much more believable.” ~Dauna



  • Enrique’s Journey, by Sonia Nazario.  [305.23 Naz]  “It is a compelling true story of the hardships a child goes through because they come from a place where there is no hope.” ~April
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo. [305.569 Boo]  “The author is a journalist, who based this book on true events of the underclass people in Annawadi and shares the unbelievable story of beauty within poverty.”  ~Naomi
  • Parents Make the Difference, by Susan Voorhees.  [372.4 Voo]  “Parents are children’s first teachers and this nifty book offers information and tips to help parents encourage emergent literacy in their children.”  ~Kate
  • The Cook’s Herb Garden, by Jeff Cox.  [635.7 Cox c1]  “A catalog of 150 different culinary herbs and their varieties.”  ~Gabriel


  • Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen. “An excellent story about being the new kid in town and standing up for what is right.” ~Rolando


  • Aliens; director James Cameron.  [BLU 791.43 Ali] “This is the progenitor of all modern military/sci-fi sagas.” ~Eric
  • Annie Hall; director Woody Allen. [BLU 791.4372 Ann]  “Woody Allen’s Best Picture Oscar winner has always been a favorite of mine, It’s full of humor and a great insight into love and loss that we can all relate too.”  ~Bobby
  • City Lights; writer-director-star Charlie Chaplin. [BLU 791.4372 Cit]  “This digitally restored transfer of Charlie Chaplin’s most cherished film is excellent example of his use of comedy and drama. Plus Criterion has filled this Blu-Ray with tons of excellent must watch extras, worthy of of a great film like this.”  ~Bobby
  • Avatar: director James Cameron. [DVD 791.43 Ava]  “This is the current pinnacle in military-sci-fi cinema excellence.”  ~Eric
  • The Fall; director Tarsem Singh. [DVD 791.43 Fal]  “Shot in 20 countries over four years by a director who personally funded the entire film, it’s a beautiful, once in a lifetime fantasy adventure movie –think Princess Bride for the art-house crowd.”  ~Dylan
  • Begin Again; director John Carney. [DVD 791.4372 Beg]  “Begin Again is a charming movie full of heart and sweet music.”  ~Sara
  • You Can’t Take It With You; director Frank Capra.  [DVD 791.4372 You c1]  “It’s a great reminder to enjoy what life brings us, even if it is a misdelivered typewriter.”  ~Beverly

Music CDs

  • Talking Heads ’77, by the Talking Heads.  [CD 781.66 Tal]  “Music to get you through your day.”  ~Beverly

Stay tuned for next month’s recommendations!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s