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Staff Recommendations


  • Midnight riot

    by Aaronovitch, Ben, 1964-

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

    January 17, 2015

    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

    by Frank, Judith, 1958-

    Reviewed by: Janice Batzdorff, Librarian

    January 12, 2015

    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.

    January 5, 2015

    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

    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.

    December 11, 2014

    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

    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,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 2, 2014

    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.

    November 25, 2014

    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,

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

    November 18, 2014

    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

    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

  • Clariel

    by Nix, Garth.

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

    November 2, 2014

    Call Number: YA

    In this action-packed epic fantasy, Clariel, displaying the typical disgruntled behavior of a young person, bristles at her family’s move to the city of Belisaere. Back in the Great Forest that surrounded bucolic Estwael, Clariel has carved a solitary life perfect for her needs; she has learned hunting, studied plant lore from her Aunt and planned to become a Borderer, someone who patrolled the forests of the kingdom. Her mother Jaciel, a goldsmith of great renown and talent, moved the family to Belisaere to accept the invitation to join the High Guild of Goldsmiths in the... Read Full Review

  • His own man

    by Ribeiro, Edgard Telles.

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

    October 27, 2014

    Brazil is currently in the news because of its presidential election, featuring three major candidates representing various points on the political spectrum.  But, as novelist Edgard Telles Ribeiro reminds us in this mesmerizing tale of unbridled ambition and of idealism and friendship betrayed, Brazilian politics looked very different half a century ago.  In 1964, a military coup deposed the left-leaning government and received immediate recognition and support from the United States.  At the height of the Cold War, the U.S. was nervous about other countries in the Americas... Read Full Review