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Staff Recommendations


  • 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

  • Ada's algorithm : how Lord Byron's daughter Ada Lovelace launched the digital age

    by Essinger, James, 1957-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    March 3, 2015


    Call Number: 92 L8978Es

    Ada Lovelace was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the brilliant and disturbed poet who died at thirty-six after living a life of excessive debauchery.  Her mother came from a wealthy, fairly open-minded family, and for a woman at that time she received a somewhat decent education. The marriage lasted a little over a year, when Lady Byron took the young baby, and ran away from her controlling husband. Because Lord Byron had led a most profligate life, rife with an abuse of drugs and sex, it was one of... Read Full Review

  • Moriarty

    by Horowitz, Anthony, 1955- author.

    February 15, 2015


    Call Number: M

    In 1893, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, tiring of what is now considered one of the most enduring literary characters in history, killed off Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor James Moriarty, in a story called "The Final Problem." Doyle wanted to pursue the writing of historical novels and thought (and, one can presume, hoped) that "The Final Problem" was the end of the matter--but it wasn’t. The public wanted more stories of Holmes and Watson, and the outcry was immediate and sustained. Even Queen Victoria is rumored to... Read Full Review

  • All the truth is out : the week politics went tabloid

    by Bai, Matt.

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    February 9, 2015


    Call Number: 320.973 B1515

    Colorado Senator Gary Hart was considered to be the frontrunner for the 1988 Democratic Presidential nomination in 1987. Bai, the national political columnist for Yahoo News, recounts how an alleged adulterous affair forced the potential Democratic nominee to drop out of the race. Hart, reeling from the intense media circus he and his family were subjected to, withdrew into seclusion. He reemerged in November to run a quixotic, scaled down campaign which failed to generate many votes.  Bai places the blame for Gary Hart’s failed campaign squarely on the shoulders of the media.... Read Full Review

  • The world in the curl : an unconventional history of surfing

    by Westwick, Peter J, author.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    February 3, 2015


    Call Number: 797.6 W538

    While surfing on a warm day near Santa Barbara, two senior surfers, each having surfed over thirty years, and who were also scholars and historians, thought it would be fun and informative to teach a class on the history of surfing to students at U.C. Santa Barbara, known for its easy access to good surfing sites. The class was "inundated" with students and most of them were non-surfers. This book evolved from the class and covers the modern history of surfing as it originated in Hawaii.  There are other parts of the world (Peru, West Africa, and Polynesia) where people surfed, but... Read Full Review

  • Influx

    by Suarez, Daniel, 1964-

    January 26, 2015


    Where is the future that we were all promised in the 1950s and 1960s? Jet packs! Flying cars! Cures for terminal diseases! Artificial Intelligence! Extended lifespans, increased abilities and prolonged youth through genetic engineering! Clean, renewable and cheap energy sources! For decades, the popular view of the future included all of these things, and more. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968, shows commercially run interplanetary travel and the self-defensive A.I. HAL 9000 (who has clearly never heard of Isaac Asimov’s "Three Laws of Robotics"). It’s... Read Full Review

  • 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