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  • Shirley : a novel

    by Merrell, Susan Scarf.

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

    August 4, 2014

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    Next year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of novelist Shirley Jackson, and since she died at 48 (in her sleep, of heart failure),  December 2016 will be the centenary of her birth.  Best remembered for her short story "The Lottery" and her novels The Haunting of Hill House and... Read Full Review

  • Ruin and rising

    by Bardugo, Leigh.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    July 29, 2014

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    Call Number: YA

    Trilogies, or any multi-volume story-telling, can be tricky. No matter how good the initial offering, readers can lose “reading momentum” in the wait between volumes and/or dislike the developments in the middle books, and never read through to the conclusion. Or, the alternative can happen where readers will love and enjoy the material so much that their expectations will dwarf anything the writer can reasonably accomplish, leaving readers disappointed (at best) with the resolution. And then there are the exceptions those stories that grab you from the very beginning,... Read Full Review

  • Vicious

    by Schwab, Victoria.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    July 21, 2014

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    In comic books, and movies based on comic books, it is generally easy to identify the hero and the villain. In these types of media, and many others for that matter, the lines between right and wrong, dark and light, good and evil are obvious and evident. In life, however, the lines between these extremes are rarely clear. That lack of clarity is explored compellingly in V.E. Schwab’s Vicious.

    Eli and Victor are college roommates, friends and colleagues in Lockland University’s medical program. While they are polar opposites in their looks, demeanors... Read Full Review

  • The ocean at the end of the lane

    by Gaiman, Neil.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    July 14, 2014

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    Neil Gaiman is one of the world’s best known fantasy writers. His work can be found in comics/graphic novels (Sandman, Batman and Swamp Thing), television (Neverwhere, Babylon 5), motion pictures (Coraline, Mirror Mask) and radio--and, of course, in his novels and short stories. Gaiman’s books range from picture books (Chu’s Day, The Dangerous Alphabet, The Wolves in the Walls) to large adult “doorstop” novels (American Gods) and almost any and... Read Full Review

  • The kept girl/ by Kim Cooper.

    by Cooper, Kim, 1967-

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

    July 7, 2014

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    Call Number: M

    During the first few decades of the twentieth century, Los Angeles had more than its share of medical and/or religious celebrities who offered their worshipful followers a cure for ailments both physical and mental.  In her first novel, Kim Cooper, who has made a career out of sharing her knowledge of the more bizarre episodes in local history on her Esotouric bus tours, focuses on one such Southern California cult of the 1920s:  the Great Eleven.

    Run by a mother-daughter team, the Great Eleven used "Mother May"... Read Full Review

  • French cooking in ten minutes : or, Adapting to the rhythm of modern life (1930)

    by Pomiane, Edouard de, 1875-1964.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    July 1, 2014

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    Call Number: 641.5944 P786-1 1986

    Ten minutes to cook a French meal? Sacre bleu is what some purists might scream, and a few of them did just that in 1930s’ Paris.  Edouard de Pomiane’s little book, with its very practical advice about cooking and eating well with the least amount of fuss, was a big hit, as were his other books and radio programs.  He was not a trained cook or chef, but a scientist at the Louis Pasteur Institute in Paris, with cooking as a hobby and a second-act career.... Read Full Review

  • Stand up straight and sing!

    by Norman, Jessye.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    June 25, 2014

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    Call Number: 789.14 N842

    A true diva is a distinguished female opera singer who strives for the best in her own work and expects the same from everyone with whom she works in order to create a marvelous experience for an audience. Jessye Norman is the full embodiment of a diva on stage and off, always striving for the best in life and art. In the introduction James Levine, operatic and symphonic conductor, verifies that this is not a ghost written autobiography, but is definitely in the author’s own words because no one else could do it better than Jessye Norman.

    Jessye Norman grew up in a loving,... Read Full Review

  • Brutal youth

    by Breznican, Anthony.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    June 16, 2014

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    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. This quote from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities has been used to describe many and various situations and circumstances. One place for which this quote can be particularly apt is high school. For some people, the time they spent in grades 9-12 will come to be the happiest in their lives, their “glory days,” and will represent the lifelong pinnacle of their personal achievements. Others will experience the opposite: four years of seemingly endless antagonism and disrespect possibly... Read Full Review

  • Dorothy must die

    by Paige, D. M, author.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    June 9, 2014

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    Call Number: YA

    Oz. The mere mention of the name can conjure up images of roads of yellow brick cutting through landscapes of oversaturated colors (and, we imagine, scents), towards the Emerald City. For more than a century, children and adults alike have cherished L. Frank Baum’s original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its 34 sequels (13 written by Baum, and the remaining 21 written after his death by Ruth Plumly Thompson). But the original novels can be just the jumping-... Read Full Review

  • Kinslayer

    by Kristoff, Jay.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    June 2, 2014

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    At the end of Stormdancer (book one of The Lotus War series), chaos is reigning. Yoritomo-no-miya, Seii Taishogun of the Shima Isles, is dead, and he has no heir. The other clans look at the throne with hunger, making plans and hurtling the entire country towards civil war.

    As Kinslayer begins, Yukiko and Buruu, her thunder tiger (what we would call a gryphon), are now seen as heroes of the Kagé rebellion. As Yukiko struggles with the death of her father, her power to hear the thoughts of other living things has begun to grow erratic and dangerous. More... Read Full Review

  • Lamberto Lamberto Lamberto

    by Rodari, Gianni.

    Reviewed by: David Turshyan, Librarian, International Languages Department

    May 19, 2014

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    There is an ancient wise saying – almost a secret of the pharaohs – “The man whose name is spoken remains alive.”

    Twice upon a time there was an exceedingly elderly gentleman named Baron Lamberto, who lived in the villa on his private island of San Giulio in the middle of Lake Orta. Baron Lamberto had the greatest chamomile collection on our planet. He had chamomiles from the Alps and the Caucasus, the Sierras and the Andes, and even from the Himalayas. In addition, he had collections of umbrellas, seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, banks, mansions and... Read Full Review

  • On heaven and earth : Pope Francis on faith, family, and the church in the twenty-first century

    by Francis, Pope, 1936-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    May 12, 2014

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    Call Number: 261 F818

    In 2010, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) had a series of religious dialogues with a fellow Argentinian, Abraham Skorka, a Conservative Rabbi and biophysicist. The two religious leaders discussed the principle that the role of faith plays in dealing with contemporary issues such as economic inequality, euthanasia, treatment of the elderly, political corruption, abortion and materialism. More controversially, they shared their opposition to gay marriage, their respect for some communists, their agreement that the Catholic Church had a mixed record during the... Read Full Review

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