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Staff Recommendations


  • Frantumaglia : a writer's journey

    by Ferrante, Elena,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    January 15, 2017

    Call Number: 853 F373F

    Elena Ferrante is the internationally acclaimed Italian author of The Neapolitan Quartet and other novels. She writes under a pseudonym and has maintained her privacy for over twenty years. In this autobiographical work, Frantumaglia (in Neapolitan dialect meaning bits and pieces) she allows her readers to get very close to who she is as a person and as a writer. The work is divided into three sections: Papers: 1991 - 2003; Tesserae: 2003 - 2007; Letters: 2011 - 2016.

    What shines through is her attentiveness:  to her work and her vision; concerns... Read Full Review

  • Time siege

    by Chu, Wesley,

    January 10, 2017

    Call Number: SF

    In Time Salvager, Wesley Chu introduced readers to a brutal, dystopian world where Earth is primarily a toxic wasteland, and most of humanity has fled to live on the moons of the gas giants. Mega-corporations exert influence on everything and everyone, with the exception of ChronoCom, the non-profit entity that manages time travel and enforces the time laws. Time travel is used to plunder the past for resources to keep the present functioning. It is into this world that chronman James Griffin-Mars brings Elise Kim. Elise is a 21st century scientist, and now a temporal anomaly, who... Read Full Review

  • The winner's kiss.

    by Rutkoski, Marie.

    January 3, 2017

    Call Number: YA

    In The Winner’s Curse, the first book in The Winners Trilogy, author Marie Rutkoski introduces readers to Kestrel, daughter and only child of General Trajan of the Valorian army, and Arin, the Herrani slave Kestral impulsively purchased at auction. Theirs is a rocky relationship from the start, but one that challenges them to examine truths they each hold firmly. Between them, a dance begins, deliberate and accidental, controlled and controlling, with undercurrents of undeniable passion. Each alternates in leading the dance, sometimes in spite of their positions as slave and... Read Full Review

  • American heiress : the wild saga of the kidnapping, crimes and trial of Patty Hearst

    by Toobin, Jeffrey,

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

    December 27, 2016

    Call Number: 322.42092 H436To

    American Heiress is an in-depth account of the 1974 abduction of media heiress Patricia Hearst focusing on the social, cultural and legal implications surrounding the crime as well as the bizarre and outrageous series of events that occurred in its aftermath.

    Still riding high from the acclaim that the television adaptation of The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson generated, writer and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin turned his attention to yet another high profile legal drama that captured the zeitgeist of its era: the kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the... Read Full Review

  • The city of mirrors : a novel

    by Cronin, Justin,

    December 19, 2016

    Call Number: CD

    In The Passage, book one of The Passage Trilogy, Justin Cronin showed us how the world would end. A group of scientists begin working with a rare virus from South America and dream of solving all illnesses and possibly death. Their work is taken over by the military, who secure the test-subjects, and all but one are death-row inmates. The exception is an abandoned six-year-old girl known as Amy NLN (NLN=no last name). They become known as the virals, who have almost all of the classic characteristics of a vampire. They drain their prey of blood and others they infect with a disease.... Read Full Review

  • Rita Moreno : a memoir

    by Moreno, Rita.

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

    December 12, 2016

    Call Number: 812.092 M843

    Moreno’s candid autobiography details the evolution of Rosita Alverio, a starstruck girl from Puerto Rico, into Rita Moreno, the award-winning actress and star of classic films such as West Side Story, Singin’ in the Rain and Carnal Knowledge. Throughout the book Moreno contrasts the soaring triumphs of a career (where she earned every major performing accolade) with painful personal tragedies that nearly ended her remarkable life.

    Rita Moreno stands as the archetype of success within the entertainment industry. She has been a working actress for over sixty... Read Full Review

  • The creeping shadow

    by Stroud, Jonathan.

    Reviewed by: Llyr Heller, Librarian, Teen'Scape

    December 6, 2016

    Call Number: x

    Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series is terrific with arresting content, covers and titles. Even though written primarily for children (Remember The Harry Potter series was written for kids too.), teens and adults will thrill to each installment. Thus far the series is comprised of The Screaming Staircase, The Whispering Skull, The Hollow Boy and this recent installment, The Creeping Shadow. These are masterful tales of adventure and horror that are perfect for a quiet night in, but leave all the lights on.

    The series is set in England where the country... Read Full Review

  • West of Eden : an American place

    by Stein, Jean,

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

    November 28, 2016

    Call Number: 979.41 L881Stei

    In West of Eden: an American place, Jean Stein examines five unique stories that have shaped the landscape of Los Angeles history. In her long awaited follow up to Edie, An American Girl, Stein again uses oral history to flesh out the stories of the Dohenys, the Warner family (of Warner Bros. fame), real estate heiress Jane Garland, actress Jennifer Jones, and, finally, Stein’s own illustrious clan.

    While some of the... Read Full Review

  • Homegoing

    by Gyasi, Yaa,

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

    November 21, 2016

    Two half sisters in 18th-century Africa have never met, yet their lives, and the lives of their descendants, are deeply enmeshed.  Esi is abducted and taken as a slave to America; Effia "marries" a white slaver who conducts his trade in Cape Coast, Ghana. As time marches towards the present, we are immersed in the experiences of their children and their children's children, alternating between Africa and America. Each descendant's story is worthy of a book in itself, giving this novel the feel of interlinked novellas. The American descendants suffer through slavery, the... Read Full Review

  • Lily and the Octopus

    by Rowley, Steven, 1971-

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

    November 6, 2016

    One day, while arguing about cute guys with his dog Lily, Ted Flask notices that Lily has an octopus sitting on her head “like a birthday hat." This is not a nice octopus. This is a mean octopus, full of snark and spite. It is, in fact, a malignant octopus. It is hungry and hurting Lilly.

    What follows this revelation is a pop culture infused examination of love and friendship, not just between a man and his best friend but also the true, pure, and perfect love that exists only between a dog and her special red ball. Ted rushes to save Lily, to defeat the octopus, to comfort... Read Full Review

  • Hex

    by Olde Heuvelt, Thomas,

    October 31, 2016

    Horror, true horror, is difficult to find these days. The genre has been overshadowed by images meant to shock rather than scare. With Hex, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, an established and successful author in Holland, unleashes a classic ghost story, with enough modern twists to keep all readers from having a good night's sleep. In 1664, Katherine van Wyler was accused of being a witch and then killed. Her unfair treatment immediately culminated in her cursing her home town and its residents in the following ways:  If you are born there, you can never leave. If you settle there,... Read Full Review

  • The dollhouse : a novel

    by Davis, Fiona, 1966-

    Reviewed by: Llyr Heller, Librarian, Teen'Scape

    October 18, 2016

    The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis gives readers the stories of two young women coming of age in New York. Alternating between 1952 and 2016, they live in the same building, the once famous Barbizon Hotel for women, and its surrounding neighborhood. This novel joins historical fiction with mystery in a deft and intriguing manner.

    While also creating a life for herself in 2016, Rose Lewin tries to find out what happened to a mysterious woman who lives in her building. Set in 1952, the story is about Darby McLaughlin, Rose’s mysterious neighbor, who always wears a veil. In the past... Read Full Review