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Staff Recommendations


  • The traitor Baru Cormorant

    by Dickinson, Seth.

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

    November 23, 2015


    The traitor Baru Cormorant is a political-military thriller set in a fantasy world crushed under the boot heels of the Empire of Masks. The Empire has conquered most of the world, and is busily remaking the world in it’s image. This means a range of different things. Sometimes it means vaccinations and functioning sewer systems for the masses, but it also entails eugenics, and setting up special schools to indoctrinate children from conquered lands.

    Baru Cormorant is one such child who grows up in a charitable school run by the Empire. Always looking over her... Read Full Review

  • Sorcerer to the crown

    by Cho, Zen, author.

    November 16, 2015


    It is a difficult time for The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers. While they are one of the most respected organizations in pursuit of the study and practice of magic in the world, certainly the foremost in all of England, recent events have thrown the society into chaos. While there are many Unnatural Philosophers, or Thaumaturges, in England only a magic-user with a familiar (a native of Fairyland who has chosen to exile itself and bond with a human) may call himself a Sorcerer. And the number of Sorcerers within England has been declining at an alarming rate for years.... Read Full Review

  • Flash fiction international : very short stories from around the world

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    November 9, 2015


    Call Number: SS

    The short story is different from a novel in length and in plot content.  Flash fiction is a variation with very, very, very short stories.  They are popular throughout the world and offer writers a creative chance to experiment, to compress and still express some type of story which can leave a reader room for speculation and even some puzzle solving.  As with regular short stories, because they are short, these works can be read quickly, however they often require more than one repeat reading, and will elicit questions, speculation and probably more rereading.  This... Read Full Review

  • Free spirit : a climber's life

    by Messner, Reinhold, 1944-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    November 1, 2015


    Call Number: 796.012 M585-4 2014

    Reinhold Messner is the king of the world's mountains. Now half-retired to his Sigmundskron Castle near Bolzano in the South Tyrol, he is most famous for having made the first successful summit of Mount Everest, minus additional oxygen supply. He is the author of numerous books about mountain climbing, biographies about other famous mountaineers, and a book about his quest for the yeti or abominable snowman. Messner has been a businessman, an elected MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for the Italian Green Party, and established the Messner Mountain Museum. He is irascible... Read Full Review

  • Welcome to night vale

    by Fink, Joseph.

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

    October 26, 2015


    How can I explain the wonder and terror that is Welcome to Night Vale? Welcome to Night Vale started as a podcast. In the podcast Cecil Palmer, the host of a local radio show, reports the news of his small, desert town. Community events like PTA meetings are covered, colorful local characters like Old Woman Josie or John Peters, the farmer, call in and share their colorful, local perspectives on everything from street cleaning to local elections. It’s a little like Prairie Home Companion’s News from Lake Wobegon. Mostly, sort of . . . 

    ... Read Full Review

  • The Goblin emperor

    by Addison, Katherine.

    October 19, 2015


    The concept of nice guys finishing last is seen as weakness, perhaps indicating that someone does not have the drive to succeed, and only the ruthless and conniving can win. In novels, it is rare to find a character with noble intentions, and not have them overcome gallant feats, because there is no entertainment value in simply watching someone live their daily life and do what is right.  In real life there are small challenges, with accordingly small victories or setbacks. Most entertainment, whether in film, television or books, emphasizes that this is not exciting. Sarah Monette’s... Read Full Review

  • Futuristic violence and fancy suits

    by Wong, David, 1975 January 10-

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

    October 13, 2015


    Futuristic violence and fancy suits is a fast-paced action adventure story set in a future boomtown, which is a place with few laws and even less taste. A poor barista named Zoey Ashe has unexpectedly inherited a fortune from a father she never knew. Rather than turning her into Cinderella at the ball, this inheritance puts her smack dab in the path of the dangerous people who killed her father. They are after something mysterious and won’t stop until they find it. In fact, they’ve already put a price on Zoey’s head. Now millions of people are watching online as various bounty... Read Full Review

  • The end of all things

    by Scalzi, John, 1969-

    October 5, 2015


    Call Number: SF

    At the end of The Last Colony and Zoe’s Tale, the third and fourth books respectively, of John Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” series, the Colonial Union (CU), the human political/military force that had been farming the Earth for more... Read Full Review

  • Shakespeare saved my life : ten years in solitary with the Bard

    by Bates, Laura.

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

    September 28, 2015


    Call Number: 822.331 B329

    BID #5161545

    Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard is a book that warms my cold librarian’s heart. Laura Bates is an English Professor who volunteers to teach English to prisoners in maximum security, and in solitary confinement. She teaches them Shakespeare. After all, she’s already teaching her college freshmen Shakespeare. Of course, college freshmen are allowed to use pencils, so there are some differences between the two groups of students.

    What is amazing about Dr. Bates’ book is how the students from Wabash... Read Full Review

  • Our souls at night

    by Haruf, Kent.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 21, 2015


    Addie Moore and Louis Waters are senior citizens, and neighbors on adjacent streets in the small town of Holt, Colorado, set against the flat and fruitful farm plains of central Colorado. Both have lost their spouses, and one evening Addie visits Louis to ask an unexpected question, "I wonder if you would consider coming to my house sometimes to sleep with me. ... And talk." Louis is surprised more than shocked, but Addie is very clear, "I am talking about getting through the night." As she talks and explains, Louis worries about what people will say, but Addie has thought... Read Full Review

  • The scribe : a novel

    by Guinn, Matthew.

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

    September 14, 2015


    Call Number: M

    Matthew Guinn received an Edgar Award nomination for Best First Novel for The Resurrectionist( 2013).   His second novel is a dark story of murder and race relations with black magic overtones, set in Atlanta in 1881.The central character, Thomas Canby, is a former member of the Atlanta police force, now living in bitter exile as sheriff of a tiny town in the hills of northern Georgia after being unjustly accused of taking a bribe four years... Read Full Review

  • Robert Moses : the master builder of New York City

    by Christin, Pierre.

    Reviewed by: Vi Ha, Young Adult Librarian, Teen'Scape

    September 9, 2015


    Call Number: 92 M9116Ch

    As a public librarian, and as with my brethren who are in other types of public service, there is a balance we navigate between envisioning and understanding the big picture:  the real reason for our work, and the actual effect it has upon the public. Sometimes, our work succeeds and invigorates us beyond our wildest dreams (such as when I teach a teen how to create a spreadsheet). Other times we question the often mundane task at hand (as when I analyze circulation statistics of our well-loved library materials).

    In the graphic biography, Robert... Read Full Review