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Staff Recommendations


  • Lookaway, lookaway

    by Barnhardt, Wilton.

    Reviewed by: LAPL Staff, Librarian

    December 2, 2013

    Wilton Barnhardt's Lookaway, Lookaway is a marvelous novel, following one family over the course of a decade as scandals unfold, financial fortunes rise and fall, and secrets (old and new) are revealed.

    The Johnstons are one of the most respected families in Charlotte. Duke's a former city councilman; his wife, Jerene, manages the family art collection for the city's museum. Jerene's brother, Gaston, writes a popular series of Civil War romances (though the critics wish he'd kept writing the more respectable, if less commercial, literary fiction with... Read Full Review

  • The burning air

    by Kelly, Erin, 1976-

    Reviewed by: Eileen Y., Librarian, InfoNow

    November 25, 2013

    The MacBrides, a well-educated upper class English family, have gathered together for a weekend at their country estate to mourn their matriarch’s untimely and sudden death from cancer. All the MacBride children are grown and have brought along their children, spouses, and assorted significant others for this weekend gathering. The eldest daughter, Sophie, is a thirty something woman recovering from a severe case of post-partum depression and a nearly broken marriage. It is a tense, and sad gathering and even more anxiety is thrown in when Sophie’s brother brings along a new... Read Full Review

  • Dreams and shadows

    by Cargill, C. Robert, 1975-

    November 12, 2013

    Shortly after his birth, Ewan Thatcher is stolen from his crib and replaced by a changeling.  He is taken to the Limestone Kingdom outside of Austin, Texas to be raised by fairies.  The changeling, who was never expected to live beyond the devastation he brought to the Thatcher family, is adopted by a group of nixie sisters living in Lady Bird Lake and named Knocks.  Ewan and Knocks are growing up together in the Limestone Kingdom and are friendly, even though Knocks has always felt inferior to Ewan.

    Colby Stephens is a typical kid growing up just outside of Austin.... Read Full Review

  • David and Goliath : underdogs, misfits, and the art of battling giants

    by Gladwell, Malcolm, 1963-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    November 4, 2013

    Call Number: 174 G543-1

    Gladwell, a columnist for The New Yorker, has produced another bestseller about success, focusing on the advantages of the disadvantaged.  It is counterintuitive to think that David can triumph over Goliath. The biblical story, in the first book of Samuel, is a classic case of asymmetrical warfare.  David would have no chance of defeating a giant in hand-to-hand combat. The slingshot is his only option to vanquish Goliath.

    Gladwell profiles representative figures who demonstrate how hardships can be turned into strengths.  David Boies, one of America's... Read Full Review

  • Oz reimagined : new tales from the Emerald City and beyond

    October 21, 2013

    Call Number: SS

    Oz. The mere mention of the name can conjure up images of flying monkeys, roads of yellow brick, witches (both good and wicked) and the Emerald City. For well over a century, children and adults alike have cherished L. Frank Baum’s original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its 34 sequels with 13 written by Baum and, after his death, the remaining 21 written by Ruth Plumly Thompson.  Even more people have been introduced to Oz through the... Read Full Review

  • Three graves full

    by Mason, Jamie.

    Reviewed by: LAPL Staff, Librarian

    October 15, 2013

    “There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.”

    That’s how Jamie Mason introduces us to the central character of Three Graves Full.  Jason Getty is not a man who grabs life by the horns and lives with gusto, but one who watches as life happens to him.  He has had precisely one moment of assertiveness in his life, a confrontation with a con man, and that’s how Jason wound up with a body in his backyard.  A year later, he's just beginning to get over his paranoia about being caught when landscapers turn up... Read Full Review

  • The coldest girl in Coldtown

    by Black, Holly.

    October 15, 2013

    Call Number: YA

    Tana Bach is a typical seventeen-year-old. She is looking forward to her senior year and is recovering from the most recent break-up with her exasperating on again/off again boyfriend Aidan.  She’s been invited to an end of the summer party, but she’s not sure she wants to go because she is sure Aidan will be there.  And, if she goes, she will have to go alone because Pauline, her best friend, is away at drama camp.  She determines Aidan shouldn’t keep her from seeing the rest of her friends and decides to attend. . .

    Very early the next morning, Tana... Read Full Review

  • London falling

    by Cornell, Paul.

    October 7, 2013

    What if there was another world of beings and power, coexisting with our own? We can’t see this world, but its inhabitants can see and affect us. What if suddenly, and very unexpectedly, you could see that world and began to see how these creatures interfered in the lives of those who are unaware? How would you react? Would you try to prevent a potential tragedy by attempting to thwart forces you don’t completely understand (possibly risking yourself in the process)? These are just some of the questions explored in London Falling by Paul Cornell.

    Under the... Read Full Review

  • Daily rituals : how artists work

    by Currey, Mason.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 30, 2013

    Call Number: 701 C976

    What are the working habits of creative people:  writers, visual artists, musicians, choreographers, filmmakers, composers, scientists, philosophers and others?  What motivates them and how do they approach the blank page--with delight or dread?  How many hours a day do they work and do they prefer day or night?  Do they find it necessary to drink alcohol, take drugs, drink buckets of tea or coffee? Do they work at home or have a studio/office?  If they have relationships/families do these help or hinder the individual?  And a... Read Full Review

  • Scarlet

    by Meyer, Marissa.

    September 23, 2013

    Call Number: YA SF

    Scarlet Benoit lives with her grandmother on the family farm.  She helps tend the crops, and makes deliveries to the local businesses in Rieux, France.  Three weeks ago, her grandmother disappeared without a trace.  The local authorities have closed the missing person's investigation claiming there is no evidence of foul play, but Scarlet knows better.  She knows her grandmother would never leave their farm without telling her and, even if she had, she would have contacted Scarlet by now.  Scarlet is determined to find her grandmother, but little does she... Read Full Review

  • Strokes of genius : Federer, Nadal, and the greatest match ever played

    by Wertheim, L. Jon.

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    September 14, 2013

    Call Number: 796.1 W499

     Tennis players rarely catch the attention of the American public anymore, even as modern racquet technology and training techniques have made the sport more exciting.  The sport has been dominated by Europeans for the last decade, and its old country club following has largely gravitated to golf. Despite the Williams sisters' mastery of the women's game, it takes a truly epic match between the top players for tennis to be water cooler fodder. Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim recounts such a match in this excellent book. For the first time since the Borg-... Read Full Review

  • On the noodle road : from Beijing to Rome, with love and pasta

    by Lin-Liu, Jen.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 3, 2013

    Call Number: 641.6311 L7355

    When humanity moved past being hunter-gatherers and began to cultivate and harvest crops, one of the basic products of these efforts was bread which became a primary food source.  Noodles and dumplings are several steps up on the culinary register, but are based on a similar food product, dough, basically made of flour and water, and enriched with other ingredients if available.  Add sauces, fillings made from grains, vegetables, bits of meat, poultry or fish, seasonings, and these foods have moved way beyond sustenance to pleasure and are often basic to... Read Full Review