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  • Amherst

    by Nicholson, William, author.

    Reviewed by: Robert Anderson, Librarian, Literature & Fiction Department

    July 6, 2015

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    British author William Nicholson is well know as a screenwriter, playwright and novelist.  Recently, Nicholson has been writing a series of novels about an extended British family between World War II and the present.  Amherst brings back some of the characters from this series (though no knowledge of earlier episodes is necessary) and uses them to examine an improbable real-life literary romance:  the 12-year love affair between Emily Dickinson's brother Austin and Mabel Loomis Todd, the much younger woman who edited the first volumes of Emily's poems after her death... Read Full Review

  • My brilliant friend

    by Ferrante, Elena.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    June 30, 2015

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    My brilliant friend is the first in the Neapolitan Novels series by Italian author Elena Ferrante. (My brilliant friend; T... Read Full Review

  • Men explain things to me

    by Solnit, Rebecca, author.

    Reviewed by: Eileen Y., Librarian, InfoNow

    June 22, 2015

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    Call Number: 301.412 S688

    Written through a feminist lens, this book is a series of short essays--most of them meditations on how men and women relate to each other.  What is most striking to me about this book, is the simplicity and cogency with which Rebecca Solnit presents how women are sometimes treated inequitably and discriminatorily in the public sphere. She speaks to the struggle for gender equality in a simple, non- preachy, eloquent manner, at times humorously as well. The title of the book is taken from the opening essay that originally was published in 2008.  Not long after the essay... Read Full Review

  • Fairest : Levana's story

    by Meyer, Marissa.

    June 16, 2015

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    Call Number: YA

    Villains! We love them, but we also love to hate them. Often works of speculative fiction, whether they are books, television series or films, hinge upon the effectiveness of the villain. And as our culture has become more entranced with the “bad guys/girls” in our favorite works, authors and filmmakers have brought them out of the darkness and into the light, at times placing them center stage for explorations of their origins and motivations. When this is done, there is the risk of disappointing fans if the back story doesn’t really match up, or seems to fit the scoundrel we... Read Full Review

  • The thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

    by Padua, Sydney.

    Reviewed by: Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Department

    June 8, 2015

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    Call Number: 740.9999 P125

    Charles Babbage is widely credited with inventing the first computer, depending on your definition of “computer” and “invent”. You see, he never actually finished his masterpiece, the Analytical Engine. Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, was a mathematician who wrote programs for this nascent computer, making her the first computer programmer. Together they were innovators and eccentrics with genuine affection for one another. What could be more fun than a book based on their lives and collaboration? How about a graphic novel based on their story? How about a graphic novel full of... Read Full Review

  • Call me Debbie : true confessions of a down-to-earth diva

    by Voigt, Deborah, author.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    June 1, 2015

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    Call Number: 789.14 V891

    There are so many stereotypes about opera and opera singers which Deborah Voigt debunks through her own autobiography. With a  wonderful sense of humor and playfulness, especially evident when writing about dire situations, she counterbalances anecdotes about her heavy drinking, eating, and live performance mishaps with sharp personal smackdowns.

    Deborah Voigt loved to sing and her father claims that she sang before she talked.  Brought up in a strictly religious Southern Baptist family, it was fine to sing in church, but anything else was not acceptable... Read Full Review

  • The big tiny : a built-it-myself memoir

    by Williams, Dee (Builder).

    Reviewed by: Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Department

    May 27, 2015

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    Call Number: 690.973 W722

    There are memoirs that you read because you are impressed with the author’s accomplishments. There are memoirs you read because you want to know what it’s like to live another, different life. And there are memoirs that you read because it becomes clear as you make your way through the writer's life, chapter by chapter, that this book was written by someone from whom you can learn something--a way of life or an outlook that is unusual, wonderful, and worth experiencing.  Big Tiny manages to be all three types of memoirs in one.  I picked it up because it was the story... Read Full Review

  • So that happened : a memoir

    by Cryer, Jon, 1965-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    May 18, 2015

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    Call Number: 812.092 C9565

    Jon Cryer’s So That Happened: A Memoir is the rare celebrity tell-all that is as insightful as it is entertaining. Cryer, star of Two and a Half Men, comes across as a levelheaded person in a crazy business. The author doesn’t spare us any salacious details, particularly about his time working with Charlie Sheen, but he balances his life story with moments of compassion and empathy. In essence, Cryer manages to merge a literary sensibility with a jocular tone.  Cryer grew up in a bohemian apartment house in New York, surrounded by artists of all stripes. He and his... Read Full Review

  • The cutting room : dark reflections of the silver screen

    May 11, 2015

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    Call Number: SS

    Horror stories infused with elements of the supernatural and, by design, created to fill the reader with a sense of dread and foreboding, have been around for as long as people have gathered around fires in the dark. The first published horror novels date back to the 18th century, with horror becoming a true phenomenon in the 19th with the publication of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818), the works of Edgar Allan Poe (1820s-1840s), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886), The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890) and... Read Full Review

  • The hunting gun

    by Inoue, Yasushi, 1907-1991, author.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    May 6, 2015

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    Call Number: Ed.a

    The premise of this novel is a very old one: a man and a woman, each of them married to other people, have an ongoing long affair. However, Yasushi Inoue, a prolific writer of over fifty novels, numerous short stories, poetry and travel writing, has created something different in this very short, enigmatic and bittersweet novel.

    The form of the novel is unique--with three letters set within the frame of another letter which is sent to a writer who has published a poem depicting a hunter trudging along with a powerful double-barreled shotgun.  The letter... Read Full Review

  • Karen Memory

    by Bear, Elizabeth, author.

    Reviewed by: Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Department

    April 27, 2015

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    Karen Memory is a Steampunk novel set in the mythical frontier city of Rapid City. Rapid City is a bit like San Francisco would have been during the gold rush if San Francisco had been built with Zeppelins by mad scientists in 1849. Karen is an orphan trying to make her way in the city and save up money to open a stable someday, like her father.

     

    But the way that Karen has found to make money isn’t... Read Full Review

  • The house of silk : a Sherlock Holmes novel

    by Horowitz, Anthony, 1955-

    April 13, 2015

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    Call Number: M

    While Batman is often described as the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes must be the world’s best known. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s consulting detective has been thrilling readers for almost 130 years with his masterful uses of reasoning, disguise and deduction to solve almost any crime. Doyle’s original Holmes adventures can be found in four novels and 56 short stories. These have been adapted to stage, radio, television and film, and the characters have been used by many authors for additional adventures as well. The house of silk is one of the new adventures. ... Read Full Review

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