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Staff Recommendations


  • On all fronts : the education of a journalist

    by Ward, Clarissa, 1980-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    October 19, 2020

    Call Number: 809.295092 W257

    War is hell for those who fight and definitely for civilian populations caught in the crosshairs. War correspondents, who are embedded with troops, have their own versions of hell, which Clarissa Ward writes about in her autobiography and chronicle of what it is like to be a broadcast journalist reporting from the world’s nastiest streets. If you think of any wars, conflicts, natural disasters that have occurred over the past 19 years, Clarissa Ward has been there to report on them: in parts of Africa, Afghanistan, Burma, China, Egypt, Gaza, Greenland, Iraq, Israel, Japan,... Read Full Review

  • Crossings : consisting of three manuscripts

    by Landragin, Alex

    October 14, 2020

    Crossings, Alex Landragin’s debut novel is as difficult to define as it is to describe. At its most elemental, Crossings is a collection of three novellas that collectively tell a story. There are elements of several different genres present: historical fiction, mystery, fantasy, and romance. And, perhaps most surprising, the novel can be read in two distinctly different ways: traditionally (beginning on page one and reading through the book sequentially), or it can be read it using the “Baroness sequence” as described in the novel’s preface, which leads readers to an... Read Full Review

  • The well-gardened mind : the restorative power of nature

    by Stuart-Smith, Sue

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    October 8, 2020

    Call Number: 615.8515 S932

    For many years Sue Stuart-Smith regarded gardening as a form of “outdoor housework.” It was the life of the mind that she sought, and states, “ … I would no more have plucked a weed than baked a scone or washed the curtains.” She knew that gardening was a part of her family’s history, which 

    she writes about. For her, it was not until some crises and interactions took place, that Stuart-Smith changed her attitude about gardening, which resulted in a profound refocus about her personal and professional life. There were gardening connections in her past, and... Read Full Review

  • Our riches

    by Adimi, Kaouther, 1986-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 29, 2020

    Kaouther Adimi has based this historical novel on Les Vraies Richesses (Our True Wealth), a famous Algerian bookstore, which was a publishing house and a lending library. In 1935 Edmond Charlot established the store in the city of Algiers, with the motto “by the young, for the young.” The store was destroyed several times because of wars, revolutions, and changing economies. Charlot was from a French colonial family, and was born in Algeria. Those Europeans born in Algeria between 1830 and 1962 were known as Pied-Noirs, about and for whom there continues to be controversy. ... Read Full Review

  • Before She Was Helen

    by Cooney, Caroline B.

    September 23, 2020

    Helen Stephens lives a quiet life in Sun City, a retirement community in South Carolina. She regularly plays cards in the clubhouse with other residents of the complex, including her neighbors Joyce and Johnny. While she is mostly retired, she continues teaching some Latin classes at a local high school. She has what she needs and most of what she wants. But a single careless act will set in motion a series of events that will upend, and ultimately threaten, Helen’s quiet life in Caroline B. Cooney’s new novel 

    As Helen begins another day, she sends her daily... Read Full Review

  • The last days of night

    by Moore, Graham, 1981-

    Reviewed by: Holly Z., Librarian

    September 14, 2020

    In 1888 on a busy street in Manhattan, New York City, a young man, who works for Western Union, attempts to connect two direct current wires by mistake. The workman’s arms jolted with orange sparks, a blue flame shot from his mouth and set his hair on fire. Then it melted his clothes and the skin off his bones….

    Witnessed by 200 people, as well as the young lawyer Paul Cravath, the terrifying event begins this historical novel about a compelling and often mysterious story about the so-called current wars.  Which is better, direct or alternating current?  A bitter... Read Full Review

  • It Came From the Sky

    by Sedoti, Chelsea

    September 8, 2020

    Call Number: YA

    Sixteen-year-old Gideon Hofstadt prefers an orderly life and an orderly future. In his schoolwork, he excels in the sciences, but struggles with the vagaries of the humanities. It is the same way he struggles with his relationships with his family, friends, and his maybe boyfriend, Owen. Gideon cares about Owen, but as the only other gay student in his school, Gideon fears that Owen really doesn’t care about him, as there aren’t any local alternatives for either of them. When he creates a seismograph and wants to test it, he allows, against his better judgement, his older brother... Read Full Review

  • The Operator

    by Berg, Gretchen

    August 31, 2020

    In a world where most people walk around with a telephone on their person that can allow them to contact someone anywhere in the country, or the world, easily and directly, it may be a bit of a shock to realize that as little as 50 years ago many people relied upon the assistance of an operator to connect their calls. Operators, primarily women, manually connected callers to the person with whom they wanted to speak. Another marked change, societal rather than technological between the age of operators and today, has to do with personal information. Again, it may seem odd to... Read Full Review

  • Zandra Rhodes : 50 fabulous years in fashion

    by Rhodes, Zandra, 1940-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 26, 2020

    Call Number: 746.52 R477-1 folio

    Who is that woman on the cover of the book? A holdover, punk rock fashion designer? The appearance, clothes and art are by design, but her name is not. For over 50 years, Dame Zandra Rhodes has been actively designing textiles, clothes and anything else that she has the creative impulse to work on. Friends, designers, artists, fashion designers and colleagues pay homage to her in this collection of essays. There are fond remembrances of this iconoclast, for whom originality is not a word, but a way of life.  As they tell it, she was always full of surprises, and she still is... Read Full Review

  • The Darwin Affair

    by Mason, Timothy

    August 18, 2020

    Call Number: M

    It probably goes without saying that when Charles Darwin published his revolutionary theories regarding evolution, and their supporting evidence, in The Origin of Species in 1859, there was controversy. Even today, 160 years later, Darwin’s theory of species evolving over time still engenders strong feelings of resistance to his ideas, especially within faith-based communities, in spite of the fact that his ideas gained the wide ranging support of the scientific community long ago. So, it probably isn’t surprising that when first introduced, Darwin’s ideas sparked outrage and... Read Full Review

  • The Ghosts of Sherwood

    by Vaughn, Carrie

    August 10, 2020

    Call Number: e-Book

    The earliest references to Robin Hood date back to the 14th century, and the earliest surviving copies of the story are from the 15th century. The details may change, but the core of the legend concerns a nobleman turned outlaw with a band of followers known as the Merry Men. He is a highly skilled archer and swordsman, who is loyal to the absent King Richard. He challenges the treatment of common people by Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham by robbing the rich and giving to the poor. He also has a legendary romance with Maid Marion. The story is one of the best-known... Read Full Review

  • A Star is Bored

    by Lane, Byron

    August 3, 2020

    Kathi Kannon is the daughter of a famous actress mother, and went on to gain her own fame as Princess Talara in the space spectacular, Nova Quest. She has gone on to work as a script doctor and written several novels, but several decades later she is a star in decline. She is famous, outrageous and always looking for the next thrill, and needs a personal assistant. Enter Charlie Besson, a young man from New Orleans who has transplanted himself to Los Angeles. He is searching for something, anything, that will bring purpose to his currently miserable existence. When he is... Read Full Review