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Staff Recommendations

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  • Proud : my fight for an unlikely American dream

    by Muhammad, Ibtihaj, 1985-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 11, 2018

    Call Number: 796.34092 M952

    The headline read, "the first U.S. athlete to compete in the Olympic Games wearing hijab."

    Fencing is both an individual and team sport. Fencers duel in a one-on-one bout, but are members of a team. Very much like boxing and numerous martial arts, fencing has its origins in combat and/or preparation for combat. There are three categories, with different weapons and rules for each of them:  foil, épée and saber.

    Until recently fencing was very much an elitist sport, with predominantly white athletes who were members of private clubs. It... Read Full Review

  • The real Lolita : the kidnapping of Sally Horner and the novel that scandalized the world

    by Weinman, Sarah,

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian, History and Genealogy Department

    December 3, 2018

    Call Number: 364.92 H816We

    Sarah Weinman examines the plight of 11-year old abductee, Florence “Sally” Horner, and how her predicament helped to shape Vladimir Nabokov’s infamous 1955 novel, Lolita. Weinman, a writer and journalist makes astute use of the Nabokov papers, recently made available for research by the Library of Congress, to deliver a well-researched and absorbing book that is equal parts literary analysis, history and true crime story.

    Weinman’s book shifts back and forth between Sally’s story and the development of Nabokov’s novel... Read Full Review

  • European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

    by Goss, Theodora,

    November 27, 2018

    Call Number: M

    When we last saw the members of The Athena Club (Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau and Justine Frankenstein) at the end of The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, they were gathered in the parlor and had just received two letters: one from Mary’s former governess, Mina Murray; the other from Lucinda Van Helsing. Both are asking for assistance and The Athena Club decides that they must help. And so begins the new... Read Full Review

  • The Night Crossing

    by Masello, Robert, 1952-

    November 19, 2018

    Dracula, Bram Stoker’s masterpiece, has been a cornerstone of literary horror since its publication in 1897. In the intervening 121 years, Stoker’s novel has inspired plays, motion pictures, television series, and other novels and short stories. But what was Stoker’s inspiration for the book? That is the intriguing question addressed in Robert Masello’s new novel The Night Crossing.

    In 1895, Bram Stoker was working for actor Henry Irving and managing the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End. He enjoyed his work, but continued to pursue writing. He dreamt of writing a... Read Full Review

  • Trail of Lightning

    by Roanhorse, Rebecca,

    November 13, 2018

    The world we know is gone, remade by climate change. The Diné, who we formerly referred to as the Navajo, saw the end of the world approaching and protected themselves. They constructed four 50-foot walls: one turquoise, one white shell, one pearlescent abalone, and one of jet to surround the Dinétah, and what was once their reservation. Now it is their world, and within those walls magic has returned, along with the Diné gods and monsters. And when there are monsters, you need a monster slayer. You need Maggie Hoskie.

    Maggie, a young orphan who was forced to watch as her grandmother... Read Full Review

  • There there

    by Orange, Tommy, 1982-

    November 5, 2018

    A postal worker, a young teenage boy, a documentary filmmaker, a scholar with a Masters degree in Native American literature, and a woman struggling with alcohol addiction are individuals who have three things in common: they are all Native Americans, they all live in Oakland, California, and they are all attending the Big Oakland Powwow. These five disparate individuals are only part of the cast of twelve characters, who also share those common attributes, in Tommy Orange’s stunning debut novel,There There.

    The author, who was born and raised in Oakland, California, uses... Read Full Review

  • Vengeful

    by Schwab, V. E., 1987-

    October 29, 2018

    Eli Cardale and Victor Vale are ExtraOrdinaries (or EOs): people who have survived a near-death experience, and as a result of the trauma developed a special power or ability. Eli’s ability is regenerative: nearly any wound inflicted on him heals almost instantly; and he does not age and may very well be immortal. Victor can control pain, both his own and that of others. At the end of the events chronicled in V.E. Schwab’s Vicious, Eli had been arrested for Victor’s murder, and Victor had just been resurrected. What happens next is chronicled in Schwab’s latest novel, ... Read Full Review

  • Don't stop the presses! : truth, justice, and the American newspaper

    by Morrison, Patt, 1957-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    October 24, 2018

    Call Number: 071.09 M881

    “Like any other reader, presidents tend to like newspapers when they think they side with them, and fume when they don’t. They may hate the press, but they know they need the press--and then they hate the fact that they do," states Patt Morrison in her new book. She knows what she is talking about, having an unassailable knowledge about newspapers and journalism, and as an experienced journalist for several decades.

    Some 20 years ago newspapers struggled economically to survive, and re-examined assignments for journalists and photojournalists, especially those who covered... Read Full Review

  • The Dinner List

    by Serle, Rebecca,

    October 15, 2018

    It’s a psychological exercise. It’s also a way to find out more about another person, or simply a jumping off point for a discussion among friends. But even if you’ve never created a list, almost everyone, at some point, has been asked to name the five people, living or dead, who they would invite to dinner if they could invite anyone. In her latest novel, Rebecca Serle follows Sabrina Nielsen, a young woman who shows up for her 30th birthday dinner and finds the people on her list seated at the table. It makes for an interesting evening and a marvelous read.

    Sabrina made the list... Read Full Review

  • The Black God's Drums

    by Clark, P. Djeli.

    October 7, 2018

    Call Number: SF

    Creeper has lived on the streets of New Orleans since her mother died when Creeper was eight years-old.  At thirteen, she does OK for herself, although life is always hard and there is never enough to eat. And then she hears a group of Confederates plotting about kidnapping a Haitian scientist and stealing his mysterious weapon called the Black God’s Drums. This information could be valuable--valuable enough to get Creeper what she really desires: a position on the airship Midnight Robber and a chance to leave New Orleans and start a new life. But this will only happen if Creeper can... Read Full Review

  • The Anchoress

    by Cadwallader, Robyn,

    October 1, 2018

    At age seventeen, Sarah asks to be sealed into a windowless cell for the rest of her life. Why would someone do such a thing, especially at such a young age?

    Sarah is an anchoress, a holy woman who spends her days in prayer and gives spiritual advice to the women of her 11th century English village. Sarah hopes to follow in the footsteps of the previous anchoress, who the villagers claim was so holy that she didn’t even need food or water to survive. As soon as the door is nailed shut, Sarah swallows her fear and throws herself into the life of an ascetic, denying herself any... Read Full Review

  • A Study in Honor

    by O'Dell, Claire,

    September 24, 2018

    Sherlock Holmes is the world’s best known, and possibly most popular, detective. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published the first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet,” in 1887. Over the next forty years, Doyle went on to write fifty-five additional short stories and four novels about Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. John Watson.

    Holmes and Watson have become icons for both Great Britain and the mystery genre, and their adventures did not end when Doyle stopped writing. The characters have provided a type of playground for other writers shortly after the publication of the... Read Full Review

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