Escape to a fantastical world or a time long ago with these SPL staff fiction picks! We asked staff about some of their favorite novels and they did not disappoint. To end our SPL Staff Picks series, we’re covering fantasy, historical, and any additional fiction titles that staff could not put down once started! Check out any of these titles and others in the newly updated fiction section on the west side of the library.


  • “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling
    Chosen by: Mark Messenger, Information Services Assistant
    “What I consider the first ‘grown-up’ novel of the Harry Potter series. Friendship and loyalty are the themes that resonated with me the most in this outing — but I love them all.”
  • “Circe” by Madeline Miller
    Chosen by: Portia Montoy, Programs Coordinator
    “I loved reading about the lore and mythology of the Greek gods. Miller tells of Circe’s many journeys in a captivating and relatable way.”
  • “City of Stairs” by Robert Jackson Bennett
    Chosen by: Amy Adams, Head of Community Engagement
    “Here’s another fantasy writer building unique settings. He is also a master at drawing interesting, complex, flawed characters.”

Historical Fiction

  • “The Last Kingdom” by Bernard Cornwell
    Chosen by: Mark Messenger, Information Services Assistant
    “The first in a wonderful series by the awesome historical novelist Bernard Cornwell. Fast-paced action, daring deeds, lots of luck, and just plain rowdy fun.”
  • “The Right Sort of Man” by Allison Montclair
    Chosen by: Lori Berezovsky, Outreach Librarian
    “A smart and engaging mystery.”
  • “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry
    Chosen by: Mark Messenger, Information Services Assistant
    “This novel has some of the best characters and rawest, most humorous dialogue I’ve ever encountered. It is a genre-transcending epic that explores a wide spectrum of human frailty and emotion.”

Additional Fiction Picks

  • “Holy Cow” by David Duchovny
    Chosen by: Kirstien Kroeger, Tech Support Assistant
  • “The Power and the Glory” by Graham Greene
    Chosen by: Amy Adams, Head of Community Engagement
    “This falls into the limited list of books I’ve read multiple times. Greene takes a flawed, selfish character and turns him into a hero, exploring how circumstance and myth paint who we are.”
  • “This Is How It Always Is” by Laurie Frankel
    Chosen by: Heather Mettlen, Youth Services Programs Coordinator

For additional recommendations or to place holds, chat with library staff on our website or visit Information Services. Stay connected by following us on Facebook and Instagram. #splreads #humansofspl