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Staff Recommendations


  • The underground river : a novel

    by Conway, Martha,

    June 19, 2017

    The year is 1838. The tensions between the Northern and Southern states over the issue of slavery, which will ultimately culminate in the Civil War in 1861, are roiling. May Bedloe is a young, single woman working as a seamstress. She creates and repairs the costumes worn by her cousin, Comfort Virtue, an actress performing in theatres throughout the Northeastern United States. May and Comfort are travelling on the Moselle, a riverboat making its way along the Ohio River, the natural division between the North and the South. Comfort is performing in one of the riverboat shows. Over dinner... Read Full Review

  • A Conjuring of Light

    by Schwab, Victoria,

    June 5, 2017

    In A conjuring of light, the third and final book in the Shades of Magic fantasy series, Victoria Schwab takes readers back to her world of four different Londons, that are filled with magic, adventure, and a threat from Black London which may destroy all four worlds.

    At the end of A gathering of shadows (the second book in the trilogy), the situation was tense. Kell, the Antari from Red London who can travel between worlds, was in mortal danger. The threat to Kell was also a threat against the Arnesian Prince, Kell’s brother Rhy. There seemed to be no way to save... Read Full Review

  • Seeds on ice : Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault

    by Fowler, Cary,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    May 30, 2017

    Call Number: 631.5211 F785

    In the modern industrialized world we rarely give much thought about the future availability of food. Domestic and international world disasters remind us about famines and starvation. Wars, terrorism and natural disasters cause displacement of people and destroy their access to farmland. In addition there are global concerns about GMOs. A doomsday vision was the incentive for the creation of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault aka The Doomsday Vault, which is located on one of the islands in the Norwegian archipelago. Millions of seeds are stored in cold vaults deeply buried in rock... Read Full Review

  • Bang : a novel

    by Lyga, Barry,

    Reviewed by: Llyr Heller, Librarian, Teen'Scape

    May 22, 2017

    Call Number: YA

    Barry Lyga once again has written a novel that pins one to the chair with anticipation, dread and release. He has captured an issue that is a true horror in our present day, prevalent throughout our country. When reading the daily news there are always far too many stories about accidental shootings involving children. All the statistics won’t make those hard-pressed to keep their firearms close to them change their mind, but sometimes a fictionalized account will change even the most cynical of citizens.

    Often these horrific stories involve young children accidentally shooting a gun... Read Full Review

  • High notes : selected writings of Gay Talese

    by Talese, Gay,

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    May 15, 2017

    Call Number: 071.092 T143-2

    Gay Talese, the nattily attired New York-based reporter, writes non-fiction pieces in the style of  short stories, with omniscient third person narrators, vivid descriptions of the commonplace, and surprising, revelatory endings. High Notes collects many of the greatest works from his sixty-year career. His most famous act of reportage, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” (Esquire) dwells on the private side of the man known as The Chairman of the Board, without interviewing the subject directly. Talese later revealed more details of the assignment with the essay “On Writing... Read Full Review

  • Seven wonders

    by Christopher, Adam, 1978-

    May 8, 2017

    Call Number: SF

    What if you woke up one morning with a super power? Super strength? Super speed? X-ray vision? Invulnerability? The ability to fly? What if, over the course of several weeks, you developed all of these powers and more? Does having these powers change who you are? More importantly, does having super powers automatically make you a superhero? These are just some of the questions explored in Adam Christopher’s novel, Seven Wonders.

    Tony Prosdocimi is a regular guy. He works a dead-end job at Big Deal (think Wal-Mart) selling computers and computer equipment, and he lives in a... Read Full Review

  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

    by Bui, Thi.

    Reviewed by: Vi Ha, Young Adult Librarian, Teen'Scape

    May 1, 2017

    Call Number: 740.9999 B932

    Some books need to be written to allow people the ability to safely experience things that they would otherwise might not ever feel or experience. Reading books and experiencing the lives of well-developed characters help foster the mental calisthenics for the people you meet day-to-day. As an example, we have frequent conversations on immigration as a policy, but not as commonly do we have conversations about the emotional devastation and trauma that comes with choosing to leave for a new country. Thi Bui’s debut graphic novel memoir, The Best We Can Do,  in its... Read Full Review

  • This Savage Song

    by Schwab, Victoria,

    April 24, 2017

    Call Number: YA

    What makes a monster a “MONSTER”? In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab explores the varying shades of grey in a world where almost anyone could be a monster and how to protect yourself from one of them, and better yet how to avoid becoming one.

    The Phenomenon plunged the world into chaos and the survivors became prey for the Corsai, mindless shadows with teeth and nails that strike from the darkness, and the Malchai, physical creatures in many respects similar to vampires.

    Verity City is one of the largest remaining areas of civilization. It is a city divided: North-... Read Full Review

  • The Woman Next Door

    by Omotoso, Yewande,

    April 17, 2017

    Imagine two women living in the upscale community of Katterijn in Cape Town, South Africa. Marion is the widowed mother of four and a former architect forced to leave her business when she started a family. Hortensia is originally from Barbados, and in the 1960s founded a very successful fabric design firm. Her husband is dying and they have no children. Hortensia is black and refers to Marion as “Marion the Vulture.” Marion is white and calls Hortensia “Hortensia the Horrible.” Both are now in their 80s and they have lived next door to each other for decades, nurturing a shared enmity... Read Full Review

  • The just city

    by Walton, Jo,

    Reviewed by: Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Department

    April 10, 2017

    I love the creation of worlds that is part of various types of science fiction. I love the way reading science fiction makes you pick up clues about extraordinary places and people, and how to use those clues to re-examine your own life. For example, there’s this moment in A Wrinkle in Time when travelers from Earth realize that children on an alien planet are bouncing balls, the way they do on Earth. But in the novel they are bouncing their balls in time with one another, “playing” with obsessive, rigid uniformity. When one child falls out of rhythm his mother reacts... Read Full Review

  • Infomocracy

    by Older, Malka, 1977-

    April 3, 2017

    Imagine a world where the entire globe has agreed to a system of governance. World populations are broken down into groups of approximately 100,000 people, referred to as “centenals,” that are overseen by a specific type of government chosen by the residents. Some are democratic, some are not. If you live in a centenal, you agree to abide by the system of government in place. If you do not agree, you move to a centenal governed in the way you prefer. Or, you convince enough of your neighbors to change the type of government through an election held once a decade. The number of these “micro... Read Full Review

  • Scrappy little nobody

    by Kendrick, Anna,

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

    March 25, 2017

    Call Number: 812.092 K333

    Scrappy Little Nobody is the writing debut of actress Anna Kendrick. Using a series of autobiographical stories Kendrick weaves an engaging and hilarious narrative of lessons learned and wisdom into a funny, honest book about a misfit navigating through life.

    Kendrick has been a working actress since she was a child and is best known for the 2012 film, Pitch Perfect. She scored a Tony nomination before she entered her teens, and earned her first Oscar nomination by the age of 25. In spite of these accomplishments, the book makes it obvious that Kendrick has always... Read Full Review