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  • The tale of the dueling neurosurgeons : the history of the human brain as revealed by true stories of trauma, madness, and recovery

    by Kean, Sam, author.

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

    September 14, 2014

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    Call Number: 612.82 K24

    The study of the human brain is a history of people who somehow walk away from terrible accidents and illnesses, but don’t manage to walk away unmarked. There are the  difficulties of Phineas Gage (who survived a railway spike through the head), or conjoined twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan (Their brains are joined and they go through life sensing each other’s pain, tasting each other’s food where one sister hates ketchup... Read Full Review

  • Chasing the rose : an adventure in the Venetian countryside

    by Di Robilant, Andrea, 1957-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 9, 2014

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    Call Number: 716.21 D599

     “. . . in the springtime a beautiful white and pink rose blossoms randomly in the sunnier parts of the wood.  The gardeners do not know its provenance and call it the Rosa moceniga; but it is probably a variety of the Rosa multiflora that Lucia brought from Paris, and now grows wild in the gardens of Alvisopoli.” So ends the biography, ... Read Full Review

  • Lexicon

    by Barry, Max, 1973-

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    August 31, 2014

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    “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”    

    From The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

    Words have power that can inflict irreparable harm or heal an old wound. They can be used to instruct, obfuscate and persuade. In Lexicon, Max Berry weaves a world... Read Full Review

  • 1914 : a novel

    by Echenoz, Jean.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 19, 2014

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    2014 is the beginning of the First World War Centenary. Many fine novels, short stories and poems have been written about the Great War and Jean Echenoz’s 1914: a novel joins the list.  The novel has a relatively simple plot with five young men leaving their French village to join the war and one young woman left behind. The novel opens with a cinematic description of the lovely countryside as seen, from an elevated area, by young Anthime who has taken a bicycle ride on a sunny, calm August day. Without warning a strong wind whips up out of... Read Full Review

  • The world of yesterday

    by Zweig, Stefan, 1881-1942.

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    August 11, 2014

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    Call Number: 832 Z79Z 2013

    Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was the most popular writer in continental Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. A novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright and journalist, Zweig wrote his memoir shortly before he took his own life in Brazil, exiled from his Austrian homeland.  In recent years, Zweig's works are back in print in the United States with new translations, and his personality inspired Ralph Fiennes character in... Read Full Review

  • Shirley : a novel

    by Merrell, Susan Scarf.

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

    August 4, 2014

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    Next year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of novelist Shirley Jackson, and since she died at 48 (in her sleep, of heart failure),  December 2016 will be the centenary of her birth.  Best remembered for her short story "The Lottery" and her novels The Haunting of Hill House and... Read Full Review

  • Ruin and rising

    by Bardugo, Leigh.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    July 29, 2014

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    Call Number: YA

    Trilogies, or any multi-volume story-telling, can be tricky. No matter how good the initial offering, readers can lose “reading momentum” in the wait between volumes and/or dislike the developments in the middle books, and never read through to the conclusion. Or, the alternative can happen where readers will love and enjoy the material so much that their expectations will dwarf anything the writer can reasonably accomplish, leaving readers disappointed (at best) with the resolution. And then there are the exceptions those stories that grab you from the very beginning,... Read Full Review

  • Vicious

    by Schwab, Victoria.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    July 21, 2014

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    In comic books, and movies based on comic books, it is generally easy to identify the hero and the villain. In these types of media, and many others for that matter, the lines between right and wrong, dark and light, good and evil are obvious and evident. In life, however, the lines between these extremes are rarely clear. That lack of clarity is explored compellingly in V.E. Schwab’s Vicious.

    Eli and Victor are college roommates, friends and colleagues in Lockland University’s medical program. While they are polar opposites in their looks, demeanors... Read Full Review

  • The ocean at the end of the lane

    by Gaiman, Neil.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    July 14, 2014

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    Neil Gaiman is one of the world’s best known fantasy writers. His work can be found in comics/graphic novels (Sandman, Batman and Swamp Thing), television (Neverwhere, Babylon 5), motion pictures (Coraline, Mirror Mask) and radio--and, of course, in his novels and short stories. Gaiman’s books range from picture books (Chu’s Day, The Dangerous Alphabet, The Wolves in the Walls) to large adult “doorstop” novels (American Gods) and almost any and... Read Full Review

  • The kept girl/ by Kim Cooper.

    by Cooper, Kim, 1967-

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

    July 7, 2014

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    Call Number: M

    During the first few decades of the twentieth century, Los Angeles had more than its share of medical and/or religious celebrities who offered their worshipful followers a cure for ailments both physical and mental.  In her first novel, Kim Cooper, who has made a career out of sharing her knowledge of the more bizarre episodes in local history on her Esotouric bus tours, focuses on one such Southern California cult of the 1920s:  the Great Eleven.

    Run by a mother-daughter team, the Great Eleven used "Mother May"... Read Full Review

  • French cooking in ten minutes : or, Adapting to the rhythm of modern life (1930)

    by Pomiane, Edouard de, 1875-1964.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    July 1, 2014

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    Call Number: 641.5944 P786-1 1986

    Ten minutes to cook a French meal? Sacre bleu is what some purists might scream, and a few of them did just that in 1930s’ Paris.  Edouard de Pomiane’s little book, with its very practical advice about cooking and eating well with the least amount of fuss, was a big hit, as were his other books and radio programs.  He was not a trained cook or chef, but a scientist at the Louis Pasteur Institute in Paris, with cooking as a hobby and a second-act career.... Read Full Review

  • Stand up straight and sing!

    by Norman, Jessye.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    June 25, 2014

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    Call Number: 789.14 N842

    A true diva is a distinguished female opera singer who strives for the best in her own work and expects the same from everyone with whom she works in order to create a marvelous experience for an audience. Jessye Norman is the full embodiment of a diva on stage and off, always striving for the best in life and art. In the introduction James Levine, operatic and symphonic conductor, verifies that this is not a ghost written autobiography, but is definitely in the author’s own words because no one else could do it better than Jessye Norman.

    Jessye Norman grew up in a loving,... Read Full Review

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