Staff Picks

Published on Monday, April 29, 2013

Cover for the Matchbox DiaryWhen a little girl visits her great-grandfather's house for the first time, he invites her to choose something from the room and he will tell her its story. When she finds a cigar box filled with matchboxes, her great-grandfather explains that before he was able to read or write, he collected his memories in these matchboxes. Each matchbox contains an object attached to a memory; a journey from Italy to the United States, and the challenges and joys that he and his family experienced.

Staff recommendations

Published on Monday, April 29, 2013

Beethoven's Hair bookcoverBeethoven's Hair by Russell Martin is a fascinating true account about a lock of Beethoven's hair snipped off on his deathbed and preserved in a glass and wood frame for almost two hundred years.  The readers find themselves traveling from the present, when a surgeon is opening the frame for the first time in years, back to the day the hair is reverently cut from the dead man's head.

National Geographic Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America

Published on Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cover of book Pocket Guide to the Birds of North AmericaThis little book will surprise even experienced birders with its word and picture portraits of what makes 160 of our most common birds anything but ordinary.  It packs an amazing amount of readable -- and intriguing -- information into a very small space.  The pictures not only show typical behaviors but succeed as attention grabbers in themselves.  The text is unique among bird guides with its telling vignettes that surprise, amuse, and most of all, make you feel you want to know more.   

Published on Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beautiful creaturesBeautiful Creatures, at its core, is a "forbidden love" story, with a healthy portion of "it's a race against time" thrown in.

I'm not one to delve into the details of a book, giving away spoilers and secrets to try to convince people if the book is good or not. The real questions - the ones you want to know - are:

Staff Recommendation

Published on Thursday, April 25, 2013

http://catalog.dclibrary.org/vufind/bookcover.php?isn=0525953612&size=largeIn her first historical novel, best selling author Jennifer Chiaverini writes about Elizabeth (Lizzie) Hobbs Keckley, an African-American modiste who lived in Washington, D.C. for many years. A former slave, Mrs. Keckley sewed gowns for the women of Washington. Her numerous clients included First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, Varina Davis, wife of Senator Jefferson Davis, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, and other leading society ladies of the day. It is her life and her friendship with Mrs.

Published on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why Jazz ?What was the first jazz record? Are jazz solos really improvised? How did jazz lay the groundwork for rock and country music? In Why Jazz? author and NPR jazz critic Kevin Whitehead provides lively, insightful answers to these and many other questions, offering an entertaining guide for both novice listeners and long-time fans.

Staff recommendations

Published on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Before I Go to Sleep bookcoverBefore I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson grabs the reader's interest immediately but then, progresses very slowly. It doesn't matter though, because the author is establishing the plot, day by day, bit by bit, building up momentum until finally, crashing into an explosive ending.

Published on Monday, April 22, 2013

Speaking Wiri WiriDan Vera is a D.C.-based poet who has made many contributions to the literary landscape of Washington, not least of which is the fabulous DC Writers' Homes website, which maps the houses where writers lived and worked right here in DC.

Published on Monday, April 22, 2013

bookcoverWriting an application essay isn't usually on anyone's top 10 list of exciting things. If you fall into this group then you need to read this book.

The College Application Essay by Sarah Myers McGinty is divided into eight short and helpful chapters that will guide you safely through the process. The book provides an inside look into how colleges read essays and how the personal essay can make it or break it for applicants that are on the fence.

Published on Saturday, April 20, 2013

book jacket for Renters RightsIf you are a renter, you should read Renter's Rights: The Basics 7th Edition by NOLO, a trusted publisher in legal books for the layperson.

Renters' Rights: The Basics covers important issues that all tenants need to understand in negotiating with their landlords.  After reading this book, you will understand issues such as legal reasons for turning down your lease application, and what constitutes illegal discrimination in housing.

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