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Staff Recommendations

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    Redshirts

    by Scalzi, John

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    July 23, 2012

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    Call Number: SF

    What if your coworkers were regularly being killed off, and in spectacularly implausible ways, while your superiors were always left unfazed and untouched? Wouldn’t you try to figure out why and make sure whatever was happening to them didn’t happen to you? This is the premise John Scalzi boldly explores in Redshirts.Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Intrepid, the flagship of the Universal Union. But once he reports for his new posting, he can’t help but notice that things on the Intrepid are far from normal. His crewmates in the Xenobiology lab mysteriously... Read Full Review

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    Watergate: a novel

    by Mallon, Thomas

    Reviewed by: Bob Timmermann, Senior Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Dept.

    July 16, 2012

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    Call Number: F

    Although most of the events of the Watergate scandal are well-documented, there is still much that may never be known about what exactly happened. Who really ordered the break-in? What was on the missing 18 1/2 minutes of one White House tape? Who was the master organizer of the conspiracy?Sometimes the events of Watergate sound like they should be part of a good mystery novel, but Thomas Mallon takes a different approach here. Instead of looking at the grand conspiracy, Mallon weaves a story of fact and fiction that works incredibly well.While most of the major figures of the Watergate... Read Full Review

  • The night circus : a novel

    by Morgenstern, Erin.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    July 9, 2012

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    Call Number:

    “The circus arrives without warning."No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not."The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds and crimsons to be seen. No color at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. Black-and-white stripes on grey sky; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with an elaborate wrought-iron fence encasing them in a colorless world. Even what little ground is visible from... Read Full Review

  • The year of the gadfly : a novel

    by Miller, Jennifer, 1980-

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    June 25, 2012

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    Call Number: M

    In the wake of a mysterious tragedy, 14-year-old aspiring journalist Iris Dupont is pulled out of school and enrolled at Mariana Academy, an elite private school with a strict honor code and a tightly wound, high achieving student body. Iris quickly realizes that Mariana isn’t as perfect as it seems. Rumors abound of students expelled and faculty dismissed under unusual circumstances, but no one will go on the record about it - they're all too worried that a scandal will damage the school’s reputation and crush their Ivy League dreams.With her imaginary friend/life coach... Read Full Review

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    Far north

    by Theroux, Marcel

    Reviewed by: Julie Huffman, Librarian, History & Genealogy Department

    June 4, 2012

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    Call Number: F

    If Cormac McCarthy’s brutal western Blood Meridian were set in the dystopian future of The Road and then translated into homespun sentences by Larry McMurtry, you’d approach Far North by Marcel Theroux.Narrated by Makepeace, the constable of a barren, post-apocalyptic town in Siberia, this is a story about survival in a struggling world. A “broken age,” as Makepeace tells it, one in which human beings who are deprived of food and “unwatched” are rat cunning and will not just kill you, but will “come up with a hundred and one reasons why you deserve it... Read Full Review

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    The chaperone

    by Moriarty, Laura

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

    May 28, 2012

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    Call Number: F

    Wichita, Kansas, 1922. Warren Harding is President, Prohibition is the law of the land, and many prominent citizens belong to the Ku Klux Klan. Cora Carlisle, at 36, is envied by her friends for her marriage to handsome, successful attorney Alan, her twin sons who are going off to college soon, and her large, comfortable home on a quiet suburban street. So why does Cora jump at the chance to chaperone the 15-year-old daughter of Myra Brooks, a casual acquaintance, to a New York dance class run by the famous Ruth St. Denis?Cora tells Myra and others that she wants to see some Broadway shows,... Read Full Review

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    Hedy's folly : the life and breakthrough inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the most beautiful woman in the world

    by Rhodes, Richard

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    May 14, 2012

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    Call Number: 812.092 L216Rh

    Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous actress with a sultry demeanor which gave the impression of a self-igniting fire. She was also known for the line, “I am Tondelayo” from the 1942 version of the film White Cargo. The image of her speaking that line still makes some men more than a bit giddy. Not just another pretty actress, at one point she was called, “The most beautiful woman in the world.” Lamarr also had a brain and it was for the scientific and technical. During her Hollywood career it is possible to imagine people advising her not to worry her pretty head over... Read Full Review

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    All men of genius

    by Rosen, Lev AC

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    April 30, 2012

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    Call Number: F

    What if you were a young and gifted scientist/inventor who dreamed of attending the best college for sciences in the world, but you knew that your application would never be accepted? What would you do to make your dream a reality? These are the questions explored by Lev AC Rosen in All Men of Genius, a wonderful steampunk-infused comedy of manners.Violet Adams spends her days tinkering in her laboratory instead of learning those things expected of a proper young lady in Victorian England. What Violet desires more than anything else is to attend Illyria College, a school dedicated to the... Read Full Review

  • The gods of Gotham

    by Faye, Lyndsay.

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    April 16, 2012

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    Call Number: M

    The year is 1845, and crime, poverty, and political corruption are rampant in New York City. The potato famine has driven thousands of Irish immigrants into the city’s slums, and anti-Catholic sentiment is high. The streets are filled with brothels, opium dens, and hundreds of orphaned, abandoned, and runaway children.It’s in the face of these conditions that the city’s first police department is formed. Timothy Wilde has no desire to become a “copper star,” but he also has no other choice. A fire destroys the bar where he works, burns his savings, and disfigures... Read Full Review

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    In Zanesville : a novel

    by Beard, Jo Ann.

    Reviewed by: Julie Huffman, Librarian, History & Genealogy Department

    April 9, 2012

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    Call Number: F

    This is the story of an unnamed 14-year-old girl growing up in the farm-implement capital of the world: Zanesville, Illinois. It’s a wry observation of the folly and seriousness surrounding a middle-class life in 1970s America, which includes first flirtations and overworked mothers, the melodrama of cheerleaders and the drama of corporal punishment, telepathy with best friends and feral kitten abduction.Many of the happenings in the book are, like adolescence, a combination of hilarity and pain, e.g., an alcoholic father who seems prone to suicide is obsessed with taming the neighbor... Read Full Review

  • Why we broke up

    by Handler, Daniel.

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    April 2, 2012

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    Call Number: YA

    Who among us hasn’t, at least once, taken leave of our senses and fallen in love with a wholly unsuitable, entirely wrong-for-us person?Why We Broke Up, the first young adult novel by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket, author of the Series of Unfortunate Events books), is a deceptively simple story about a pair of ill-suited lovers who meet cute, fall hard, and end badly. Min is an aspiring filmmaker. Ed is a popular basketball star. When they meet at a “Bitter 16 Party,” it kicks off a 38-day whirlwind romance that ends with Min about to deposit a letter and a cardboard... Read Full Review

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    Empire state

    by Christopher, Adam

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    March 26, 2012

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    Call Number: SF

    What if there was another New York City, a copy of New York from the 1920s, that was trapped in a parallel dimension and known to its citizens, who have never heard of New York, as the The Empire State? There are boot-leggers, private detectives in overcoats, dames and femmes fatales, rain-drenched streets, and a seemingly never-ending night. There are also police blimps, super heroes, super villains and secrets. When Rad Bradley, a low-end detective, is hired to investigate a murder, he uncovers a series of secrets that will change the lives of everyone that lives in The Empire State.In this... Read Full Review

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