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Staff Recommendations


  • 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

  • The severed streets

    by Cornell, Paul.

    January 5, 2015


    In London Falling, Detective Inspector James Quill, Undercover Detectives Tony Costain and Kevin Sefton, and Crime Analyst Lisa Ross acquired The Sight, allowing them to see the supernatural occult activities that permeate London, and can be seen and felt by only a select few. The Sight allowed them to solve the mysterious rise to power of drug lord Rob Toshack and a related series of serial killings. 

    As The Severed Streets opens,... Read Full Review

  • Peony

    by Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973.

    Reviewed by: Linda Israelson, Librarian, Children's Literature Department

    December 29, 2014


    Call Number: Ed.b

    Pearl Buck, Nobel Prize winning author, is best known for The Good Earth, which has become a classic tale of Chinese peasant life prior to the 1949 Revolution in China. Pearl Buck was raised in China, 1892 – 1910, and developed a deep interest in the country, the people, their history, culture and language. She became a prolific writer of many novels, and this is one of her great love stories which revolves around the Jewish community in Kaifeng,... Read Full Review

  • Endsinger

    by Kristoff, Jay.

    December 11, 2014


    At the end of Kinslayer (book two of The Lotus War series), the Kagé rebellion has struck against the Shima Imperium and the Lotus Guild, only to have their efforts thwarted by betrayal from within. While Yukiko and Buruu returned in time to assist in the assault, some of the Kagé blame Yukiko for leaving in the first place. They also blame her for her lack of control and for her faith in Kin, the Guildsman who defected to join the Kagé (whom many... Read Full Review

  • Memos : the Vogue years, 1962-1971

    by Vreeland, Diana.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 8, 2014


    Call Number: 746.52 V979-1

    “I cannot imagine how anyone going through College would use me as someone to make a report on.” p.196

    Yes, Mrs. Vreeland, aka Dee-a-ahna, for those in college and beyond, you and your way of doing business are of interest and warrant some attention. Diana Vreeland, truly the empress of fashion, who did not go to college, but whose memos as editor-in-chief at Vogue Magazine, are fine examples for all... Read Full Review

  • A year in the life of Downton Abbey

    by Fellowes, Jessica, author.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 2, 2014


    Call Number: 809.2954 D751Fe-2

    Downton Abbey enthusiasts will be more than a bit chuffed over the latest book on their favorite PBS television series. They probably will cheer with joy! Not that avid fans need any enticement, but the book is a stunning prelude to next year’s season. In addition there will be another season after that, which will start production next year.  This book is set in post-World War I England. Jessica Fellowes interweaves the story of the upstairs and downstairs characters and daily life at the... Read Full Review