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Staff Recommendations


  • The thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

    by Padua, Sydney.

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

    June 8, 2015


    Call Number: 740.9999 P125

    Charles Babbage is widely credited with inventing the first computer, depending on your definition of “computer” and “invent”. You see, he never actually finished his masterpiece, the Analytical Engine. Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, was a mathematician who wrote programs for this nascent computer, making her the first computer programmer. Together they were innovators and eccentrics with genuine affection for one another. What could be more fun than a book based on their lives and collaboration? How about a graphic novel based on their story? How about a graphic novel full of... Read Full Review

  • Call me Debbie : true confessions of a down-to-earth diva

    by Voigt, Deborah, author.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    June 1, 2015


    Call Number: 789.14 V891

    There are so many stereotypes about opera and opera singers which Deborah Voigt debunks through her own autobiography. With a  wonderful sense of humor and playfulness, especially evident when writing about dire situations, she counterbalances anecdotes about her heavy drinking, eating, and live performance mishaps with sharp personal smackdowns.

    Deborah Voigt loved to sing and her father claims that she sang before she talked.  Brought up in a strictly religious Southern Baptist family, it was fine to sing in church, but anything else was not acceptable... Read Full Review

  • The big tiny : a built-it-myself memoir

    by Williams, Dee (Builder).

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

    May 27, 2015


    Call Number: 690.973 W722

    There are memoirs that you read because you are impressed with the author’s accomplishments. There are memoirs you read because you want to know what it’s like to live another, different life. And there are memoirs that you read because it becomes clear as you make your way through the writer's life, chapter by chapter, that this book was written by someone from whom you can learn something--a way of life or an outlook that is unusual, wonderful, and worth experiencing.  Big Tiny manages to be all three types of memoirs in one.  I picked it up because it was the story... Read Full Review

  • So that happened : a memoir

    by Cryer, Jon, 1965-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    May 18, 2015


    Call Number: 812.092 C9565

    Jon Cryer’s So That Happened: A Memoir is the rare celebrity tell-all that is as insightful as it is entertaining. Cryer, star of Two and a Half Men, comes across as a levelheaded person in a crazy business. The author doesn’t spare us any salacious details, particularly about his time working with Charlie Sheen, but he balances his life story with moments of compassion and empathy. In essence, Cryer manages to merge a literary sensibility with a jocular tone.  Cryer grew up in a bohemian apartment house in New York, surrounded by artists of all stripes. He and his... Read Full Review

  • The cutting room : dark reflections of the silver screen

    May 11, 2015


    Call Number: SS

    Horror stories infused with elements of the supernatural and, by design, created to fill the reader with a sense of dread and foreboding, have been around for as long as people have gathered around fires in the dark. The first published horror novels date back to the 18th century, with horror becoming a true phenomenon in the 19th with the publication of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818), the works of Edgar Allan Poe (1820s-1840s), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886), The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890) and... Read Full Review

  • The hunting gun

    by Inoue, Yasushi, 1907-1991, author.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    May 6, 2015


    Call Number: Ed.a

    The premise of this novel is a very old one: a man and a woman, each of them married to other people, have an ongoing long affair. However, Yasushi Inoue, a prolific writer of over fifty novels, numerous short stories, poetry and travel writing, has created something different in this very short, enigmatic and bittersweet novel.

    The form of the novel is unique--with three letters set within the frame of another letter which is sent to a writer who has published a poem depicting a hunter trudging along with a powerful double-barreled shotgun.  The letter... Read Full Review

  • Karen Memory

    by Bear, Elizabeth, author.

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

    April 27, 2015


    Karen Memory is a Steampunk novel set in the mythical frontier city of Rapid City. Rapid City is a bit like San Francisco would have been during the gold rush if San Francisco had been built with Zeppelins by mad scientists in 1849. Karen is an orphan trying to make her way in the city and save up money to open a stable someday, like her father.


    But the way that Karen has found to make money isn’t... Read Full Review

  • The house of silk : a Sherlock Holmes novel

    by Horowitz, Anthony, 1955-

    April 13, 2015


    Call Number: M

    While Batman is often described as the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes must be the world’s best known. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s consulting detective has been thrilling readers for almost 130 years with his masterful uses of reasoning, disguise and deduction to solve almost any crime. Doyle’s original Holmes adventures can be found in four novels and 56 short stories. These have been adapted to stage, radio, television and film, and the characters have been used by many authors for additional adventures as well. The house of silk is one of the new adventures. ... Read Full Review

  • In certain circles

    by Harrower, Elizabeth, 1928- author.

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

    March 31, 2015


    The revelation of a "rediscovered" Harper Lee novel is worldwide news. A similar case involving another octogenarian author, from Australia, has generated  much less media buzz but is nevertheless a significant literary event.  During the 1960s, Elizabeth Harrower was considered one of the most talented younger Australian novelists. Her four novels were praised in Britain and in Australia, which included acclaim and friendship from two stellar Australian novelists, Christina Stead and Patrick White.  A couple of years ago, an Australian publisher decided to reissue the four... Read Full Review

  • A darker shade of magic

    by Schwab, Victoria, author.

    March 20, 2015


    What if there were multiple Londons? Four vastly different but parallel cities existing simultaneously in the same location? A Grey London, dark and dirty, ruled by a mad king and almost completely devoid of magic. A Red London, bright and beautiful, where a benevolent monarchy rules over a flourishing, magic-infused empire. A White London, where the throne is attained through treachery and dominance, and the populace struggles to control a form of magic that is as rebellious and untrustworthy as they are. And a Black London, source of the most powerful--and... Read Full Review

  • It's what I do : a photographer's life of love and war

    by Addario, Lynsey.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    March 16, 2015


    Call Number: 770.9 A222

    Lynsey Addario’s autobiography and photographs are clear, direct, candid, and not for the faint of heart, so this is a cautionary warning. Her calling is war photography and with a world rocking off its hinges with conflicts, revolts, and wars, mostly undeclared, she has been steadily employed.

    Her obsession with photography began when her father casually handed over a Nikon FG to the thirteen-year-old Lynsey. At university she majored in international relations, but never imagined that photography could be a profession. A student year abroad in Italy provided... Read Full Review

  • Among others

    by Walton, Jo.

    March 9, 2015


    Morwenna Phelps has had an interesting--and challenging--childhood. She and her twin sister, Morganna, grew up in Wales searching for, and playing with, the fairies who live in the local industrial ruins. Their mother, Liz, is a witch and also quite mad. When Liz attempts to take control of the fairies, the twins attempt to stop her. Morganna is killed, and Morwenna is gravely injured. She is then sent to live with the father who abandoned them as babies, and he promptly packs her off to a girls’ boarding school in... Read Full Review