by Beard, Jo Ann.Reviewed by: Julie Huffman, Librarian, History & Genealogy Department
April 9, 2012
Call Number: F
This is the story of an unnamed 14-year-old girl growing up in the farm-implement capital of the world: Zanesville, Illinois. It’s a wry observation of the folly and seriousness surrounding a middle-class life in 1970s America, which includes first flirtations and overworked mothers, the melodrama of cheerleaders and the drama of corporal punishment, telepathy with best friends and feral kitten abduction.
Many of the happenings in the book are, like adolescence, a combination of hilarity and pain, e.g., an alcoholic father who seems prone to suicide is obsessed with taming the... Read Full Review
by Handler, Daniel.
April 2, 2012
Call Number: YA
Who among us hasn’t, at least once, taken leave of our senses and fallen in love with a wholly unsuitable, entirely wrong-for-us person?
Why We Broke Up, the first young adult novel by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket, author of the Series of Unfortunate Events books), is a deceptively simple story about a pair of ill-suited lovers who meet cute, fall hard, and end badly. Min is an aspiring filmmaker. Ed is a popular basketball star. When they meet at a “Bitter 16 Party,” it kicks off a 38-day whirlwind romance that ends with Min about to deposit a letter and a... Read Full Review
by Christopher, Adam
March 26, 2012
Call Number: SF
What if there was another New York City, a copy of New York from the 1920s, that was trapped in a parallel dimension and known to its citizens, who have never heard of New York, as the The Empire State? There are boot-leggers, private detectives in overcoats, dames and femmes fatales, rain-drenched streets, and a seemingly never-ending night. There are also police blimps, super heroes, super villains and secrets. When Rad Bradley, a low-end detective, is hired to investigate a murder, he uncovers a series of secrets that will change the lives of everyone that lives in The Empire State.... Read Full Review
by Ward, Jesmyn.
March 19, 2012
2011 was a very good year for fiction, with new titles by heavyweights of contemporary American letters like Jeffrey Eugenides, Ann Patchett, and Stephen King, as well as debut authors with tons of buzz like... Read Full Review
by Meyer, Marissa
March 12, 2012
Call Number: YA
What if Cinderella was a cyborg? A girl that was part human and part machine, with a mechanical foot? And what if her story was not set in a once-upon-a-time European setting, but in a brutal, war-ravaged, plague-infested Earth on the brink of war with an estranged Lunar colony? These are the questions Marissa Meyer tackles in Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles.
Linh Cinder spends her days working as a mechanic in her stall at the market. She repairs malfunctioning, broken machines of all types and sizes to provide money for her stepmother and two stepsisters. Her skills have... Read Full Review
by Anderson, Kevin David
March 5, 2012
Call Number: SF
What if zombies overran a Star Trek convention? Would the attendees’ devotion to the franchise, and possible familiarity with the science fiction genre, give them an advantage over non-fans in surviving a zombie attack? This humorous and enjoyable question is answered in Kevin David Anderson's and Sam Stall’s Night of the Living Trekkies.
Jim Pike (yes, this pun should give you an idea of the tone of the book), was a life-long, devoted Star Trek fan, until a skirmish during his second tour of duty in Iraq had deadly repercussions for his team. That deadly encounter... Read Full Review
by Mann, George
February 27, 2012
Call Number: M
What if the usual trappings of the Steampunk sub-genre were extended beyond the Victorian era and beyond the United Kingdom? What would an alternate New York in the 1920s look like? This is the jumping-off point for George Mann’s Steampunk-tinged, noir and pulp influenced novel.
The year is 1926 in an alternate New York from our own. The streets are choked with coal-powered cars and there are bi-plane launches off the roofs of most buildings. America is caught in a Cold War with the British Empire which has kept Queen Victoria alive, through artificial means, until the age of... Read Full Review
by Beaton, Kate
February 20, 2012
Call Number: 740.914 B369
Over the past two decades, comics have become so much a part of mainstream culture as to be neither geeky nor cool, nerdy nor hip. However, it would seem that no one told Kate Beaton of this. These comic strips collected from her popular web comic Hark! A Vagrant embrace the perennially unhip topics of science, history, and classic literature, and make them not only accessible, but also screamingly hilarious.
Beaton’s enthusiasm for her esoteric subject matter is matched by her skewed wit and breadth of knowledge. Whether she is... Read Full Review
by Finley, Cheryl.
February 13, 2012
Call Number: 770.914 H316Fi
Charles "Teenie" Harris photographed everyone who came into his sight and was of interest to him, from people in an average neighborhood to the very well-known who came to visit Pittsburgh when it was Steel City USA, and the Hill District which was the African American community. His life and experiences cover the twentieth century--1908-1998. A charming, handsome and congenial man with ethics and an enduringly optimistic view of life, his photographs reflect what he valued: people, families, communities. Mayor David L. Lawrence gave Harris the name One-Shot because that was all... Read Full Review
by McLain, Paula.
February 6, 2012
Call Number: F
Before he was Ernest “Papa” Hemingway, the big game-hunting, hard-drinking, womanizing giant of American letters, he was an unknown writer striving for the almost mythical bigness he would later attain. And before she became The First Mrs. Hemingway, an often skimmed-over footnote in the writer’s biography, she was Hadley Richardson, a St. Louis woman who played the piano, swam like a fish, and always shot from the hip.
In this fictionalized memoir, Paula McLain extrapolates from letters, books, and other sources a complex inner life for Hadley, who met Hemingway in... Read Full Review
Reviewed by: Vi Ha, Young Adult Librarian, Teen'Scape
January 30, 2012
Call Number: 709.794 U555
Starting in 2011 and going through the middle of 2012, Southern California cultural institutions have joined together thematically to celebrate the birth of the Los Angeles art scene from 1945-1980. Pacific Standard Time, the name of this unprecedented undertaking that is funded by The Getty, celebrates the multiplicity of artists and works created during this fertile period; the diversity covered by more than 60 cultural institutions includes such topics as ceramics, racial identity, feminism, photography, local history, design and architecture. A sampling of the shows includes the... Read Full Review
by Eco, Umberto
January 23, 2012
Call Number: 853 E19E
At the age of forty-eight, Umberto Eco published his first novel, The Name of the Rose, the eponymous film followed, and a young novelist was born. There followed several other successful novels and the most recent, The Prague Cemetery. Long before this late-blooming career, Eco had a reputation as a medievalist, philosopher and scholar of semiology (“The... Read Full Review