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  • The world in the curl : an unconventional history of surfing

    by Westwick, Peter J, author.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    February 3, 2015

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    Call Number: 797.6 W538

    While surfing on a warm day near Santa Barbara, two senior surfers, each having surfed over thirty years, and who were also scholars and historians, thought it would be fun and informative to teach a class on the history of surfing to students at U.C. Santa Barbara, known for its easy access to good surfing sites. The class was "inundated" with students and most of them were non-surfers. This book evolved from the class and covers the modern history of surfing as it originated in Hawaii.  There are other parts of the world (Peru, West Africa, and Polynesia) where people surfed, but... Read Full Review

  • Influx

    by Suarez, Daniel, 1964-

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    January 26, 2015

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    Where is the future that we were all promised in the 1950s and 1960s? Jet packs! Flying cars! Cures for terminal diseases! Artificial Intelligence! Extended lifespans, increased abilities and prolonged youth through genetic engineering! Clean, renewable and cheap energy sources! For decades, the popular view of the future included all of these things, and more. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968, shows commercially run interplanetary travel and the self-defensive A.I. HAL 9000 (who has clearly never heard of Isaac Asimov’s "Three Laws of Robotics"). It’s... Read Full Review

  • Midnight riot

    by Aaronovitch, Ben, 1964-

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

    January 17, 2015

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    Call Number: M

    As a subgenre within fantasy, urban fantasy is set mostly in contemporary times, and specifically in cities. In our giant cities with their mysterious neighborhoods and streets we rarely have a chance to seek out that special place where there should be something that is a little bit magical.  After all, if you look hard enough in any large city, you will find that one great hole-in-the-wall restaurant, that beautiful undiscovered park, your next great friend, or a wild adventure. Urban fantasies offer you all that and, sometimes dragons and magic beyond your wildest dreams.

    ... Read Full Review

  • All I love and know : a novel

    by Frank, Judith, 1958-

    Reviewed by: Janice Batzdorff, Librarian,

    January 12, 2015

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    Lydia Rosen’s inane chatter about bourekas during the flight to Israel baffles Matt Greene. To his partner, Daniel Rosen, her preoccupation with the stuffed pastry makes total sense. His mother is “trying not to have to imagine how much of her other son’s body has been blown to bits." But the grim reality intrudes when Daniel, his parents, and Matt land at the Tel Aviv airport and are transported directly to the Institute of Forensic Medicine. There, amidst indescribable, horrific odors and the sound of crying and wailing, the family is asked to identify Joel’s body.  

    ... Read Full Review

  • The severed streets

    by Cornell, Paul.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    January 5, 2015

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    In London Falling, Detective Inspector James Quill, Undercover Detectives Tony Costain and Kevin Sefton, and Crime Analyst Lisa Ross acquired The Sight, allowing them to see the supernatural occult activities that permeate London, and can be seen and felt by only a select few. The Sight allowed them to solve the mysterious rise to power of drug lord Rob Toshack and a related series of serial killings. 

    As The Severed Streets opens,... Read Full Review

  • Peony

    by Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973.

    Reviewed by: Linda Israelson, Librarian, Children's Literature Department

    December 29, 2014

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    Call Number: Ed.b

    Pearl Buck, Nobel Prize winning author, is best known for The Good Earth, which has become a classic tale of Chinese peasant life prior to the 1949 Revolution in China. Pearl Buck was raised in China, 1892 – 1910, and developed a deep interest in the country, the people, their history, culture and language. She became a prolific writer of many novels, and this is one of her great love stories which revolves around the Jewish community in Kaifeng,... Read Full Review

  • Endsinger

    by Kristoff, Jay.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    December 11, 2014

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    At the end of Kinslayer (book two of The Lotus War series), the Kagé rebellion has struck against the Shima Imperium and the Lotus Guild, only to have their efforts thwarted by betrayal from within. While Yukiko and Buruu returned in time to assist in the assault, some of the Kagé blame Yukiko for leaving in the first place. They also blame her for her lack of control and for her faith in Kin, the Guildsman who defected to join the Kagé (whom many... Read Full Review

  • Memos : the Vogue years, 1962-1971

    by Vreeland, Diana.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 8, 2014

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    Call Number: 746.52 V979-1

    “I cannot imagine how anyone going through College would use me as someone to make a report on.” p.196

    Yes, Mrs. Vreeland, aka Dee-a-ahna, for those in college and beyond, you and your way of doing business are of interest and warrant some attention. Diana Vreeland, truly the empress of fashion, who did not go to college, but whose memos as editor-in-chief at Vogue Magazine, are fine examples for all... Read Full Review

  • A year in the life of Downton Abbey

    by Fellowes, Jessica, author.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 2, 2014

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    Call Number: 809.2954 D751Fe-2

    Downton Abbey enthusiasts will be more than a bit chuffed over the latest book on their favorite PBS television series. They probably will cheer with joy! Not that avid fans need any enticement, but the book is a stunning prelude to next year’s season. In addition there will be another season after that, which will start production next year.  This book is set in post-World War I England. Jessica Fellowes interweaves the story of the upstairs and downstairs characters and daily life at the... Read Full Review

  • The windup girl

    by Bacigalupi, Paolo.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    November 25, 2014

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    Call Number: SF

    Imagine our world in the 23rd century. What will it be like? Will something like Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the 23rd century, as seen in Star Trek, be the reality? Will mankind learn to embrace diversity and no longer judge others based on appearance? Will we create/discover solutions to our energy problems and find ways to feed the millions of people starving on our planet? Will humanity become less concerned with wealth and acquisition, more interested in bettering ourselves and our neighbors? Or will humanity remain essentially unchanged? Will we continue to be bigoted... Read Full Review

  • Hip hop family tree. Ed Piskor. 1, 1970s-1981

    by Piskor, Ed, author.

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

    November 18, 2014

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    Call Number: 740.9999 P677-1

    Hip Hop Family Tree, Volume 1 sinuously traces and chronicles the cultural revolution of hip hop in New York starting in the mid-1970s. This large format comic strip compiles vignettes that cover the inception of this major American musical form (since rock ‘n roll) and the equally important cultural scene with block parties in the Bronx, the relationship between artists and record stores, radio airplay, showmanship and ever larger speakers. In spite of the large cast of characters, there is a clear story arc that traces ingenuity, commercial interests and tenacity... Read Full Review

  • The Sultan of Byzantium

    by Altun, Selçuk, 1950-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    November 10, 2014

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    Halâs is a professor, book collector, poetry lover, inquisitive reader of history, with a well-ordered but lackluster life.  All of this changes when he is approached by several men from the mysterious Nomo organization who offer him a challenge that will verify if he is the heir apparent to the ancient Byzantine Empire. Initially dismissive, his interest grows as he seeks to unravel the answers to a set of questions. Each individual answer has a clue that leads to the next question, with the story taking on a whirlwind pace and tour through districts in Istanbul, cities and regions... Read Full Review

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