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Staff Recommendations


  • Stoker's manuscript

    by Prouty, Royce.

    December 23, 2013

    When is a risk too great? Even when the possible rewards are tempting? How do you decide? Who’s council do you seek? And what do you do, if after all the consideration and deliberation, you find that you’ve chosen poorly and the costs are higher than you could have possibly imagined? These are just some of the questions explored in Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty.

    Joseph Barkeley leads a comfortable life after a rocky childhood. He and his brother were orphaned in their native Romania after their father murdered their mother. They were rescued from an... Read Full Review

  • Hellraisers : the life and inebriated times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, and Oliver Reed

    by Sellers, Robert.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 16, 2013

    Call Number: 822.09 S467

    When this book was published in 2009, Peter O'Toole was, as noted in the title of the last chapter, "Last Man Standing," and now all four men are gone.  This is about how four handsome, enormously talented men who caroused away their assets with alcohol, drugs, gambling, scores of women, and behavior so outrageous, even compared with today's tell-and-show-all celebrity antics, that at relatively early ages they were shells of what they had been--robust manly men.  Quite frankly and openly they did not... Read Full Review

  • Quintessence

    by Walton, David, 1975-

    December 9, 2013

    What if Magellan was wrong and the world is FLAT? What if the earth really is a flat disc covered by a dome that houses the moon, stars and the sun? And those celestial objects are made of something known as “quintessence.” Quintessence is an alchemist’s dream! It allows for any of a number of transmutations to occur, and may even hold the power to bring the dead back to life. But it is also highly theoretical. Would the possible risks outweigh the potential rewards in pursuing the use of such a substance? How far would you go, and what would you risk, if you really could... Read Full Review

  • Lookaway, lookaway

    by Barnhardt, Wilton.

    Reviewed by: LAPL Staff, Librarian

    December 2, 2013

    Wilton Barnhardt's Lookaway, Lookaway is a marvelous novel, following one family over the course of a decade as scandals unfold, financial fortunes rise and fall, and secrets (old and new) are revealed.

    The Johnstons are one of the most respected families in Charlotte. Duke's a former city councilman; his wife, Jerene, manages the family art collection for the city's museum. Jerene's brother, Gaston, writes a popular series of Civil War romances (though the critics wish he'd kept writing the more respectable, if less commercial, literary fiction with... Read Full Review

  • The burning air

    by Kelly, Erin, 1976-

    Reviewed by: Eileen Ybarra, Librarian, Digital Content Team

    November 25, 2013

    The MacBrides, a well-educated upper class English family, have gathered together for a weekend at their country estate to mourn their matriarch’s untimely and sudden death from cancer. All the MacBride children are grown and have brought along their children, spouses, and assorted significant others for this weekend gathering. The eldest daughter, Sophie, is a thirty something woman recovering from a severe case of post-partum depression and a nearly broken marriage. It is a tense, and sad gathering and even more anxiety is thrown in when Sophie’s brother brings along a new... Read Full Review

  • Dreams and shadows

    by Cargill, C. Robert, 1975-

    November 12, 2013

    Shortly after his birth, Ewan Thatcher is stolen from his crib and replaced by a changeling.  He is taken to the Limestone Kingdom outside of Austin, Texas to be raised by fairies.  The changeling, who was never expected to live beyond the devastation he brought to the Thatcher family, is adopted by a group of nixie sisters living in Lady Bird Lake and named Knocks.  Ewan and Knocks are growing up together in the Limestone Kingdom and are friendly, even though Knocks has always felt inferior to Ewan.

    Colby Stephens is a typical kid growing up just outside of Austin.... Read Full Review

  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

    by Gladwell, Malcolm, 1963-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    November 4, 2013

    Call Number: 174 G543-1

    Gladwell, a columnist for The New Yorker, has produced another bestseller about success, focusing on the advantages of the disadvantaged.  It is counterintuitive to think that David can triumph over Goliath. The biblical story, in the first book of Samuel, is a classic case of asymmetrical warfare.  David would have no chance of defeating a giant in hand-to-hand combat. The slingshot is his only option to vanquish Goliath.

    Gladwell profiles representative figures who demonstrate how hardships can be turned into strengths.  David Boies, one of America's... Read Full Review

  • Oz reimagined : new tales from the Emerald City and beyond

    October 21, 2013

    Call Number: SS

    Oz. The mere mention of the name can conjure up images of flying monkeys, roads of yellow brick, witches (both good and wicked) and the Emerald City. For well over a century, children and adults alike have cherished L. Frank Baum’s original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its 34 sequels with 13 written by Baum and, after his death, the remaining 21 written by Ruth Plumly Thompson.  Even more people have been introduced to Oz through the... Read Full Review

  • Three graves full

    by Mason, Jamie.

    Reviewed by: LAPL Staff, Librarian

    October 15, 2013

    “There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.”

    That’s how Jamie Mason introduces us to the central character of Three Graves Full.  Jason Getty is not a man who grabs life by the horns and lives with gusto, but one who watches as life happens to him.  He has had precisely one moment of assertiveness in his life, a confrontation with a con man, and that’s how Jason wound up with a body in his backyard.  A year later, he's just beginning to get over his paranoia about being caught when landscapers turn up... Read Full Review

  • The coldest girl in Coldtown

    by Black, Holly.

    October 15, 2013

    Call Number: YA

    Tana Bach is a typical seventeen-year-old. She is looking forward to her senior year and is recovering from the most recent break-up with her exasperating on again/off again boyfriend Aidan.  She’s been invited to an end of the summer party, but she’s not sure she wants to go because she is sure Aidan will be there.  And, if she goes, she will have to go alone because Pauline, her best friend, is away at drama camp.  She determines Aidan shouldn’t keep her from seeing the rest of her friends and decides to attend. . .

    Very early the next morning, Tana... Read Full Review

  • London falling

    by Cornell, Paul.

    October 7, 2013

    What if there was another world of beings and power, coexisting with our own? We can’t see this world, but its inhabitants can see and affect us. What if suddenly, and very unexpectedly, you could see that world and began to see how these creatures interfered in the lives of those who are unaware? How would you react? Would you try to prevent a potential tragedy by attempting to thwart forces you don’t completely understand (possibly risking yourself in the process)? These are just some of the questions explored in London Falling by Paul Cornell.

    Under the... Read Full Review

  • Daily rituals : how artists work

    by Currey, Mason.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 30, 2013

    Call Number: 701 C976

    What are the working habits of creative people:  writers, visual artists, musicians, choreographers, filmmakers, composers, scientists, philosophers and others?  What motivates them and how do they approach the blank page--with delight or dread?  How many hours a day do they work and do they prefer day or night?  Do they find it necessary to drink alcohol, take drugs, drink buckets of tea or coffee? Do they work at home or have a studio/office?  If they have relationships/families do these help or hinder the individual?  And a... Read Full Review