Staff Picks

Published on Friday, March 25, 2011

American Gods, coverEvery few years I reread Gaiman's epic fantasy novel about what happens when the "old gods"--Odin, Anubis, Kali, and their ilk--get frustrated with their lack of worshippers in the modern world. 

The old gods wage war on the new "American" gods that have replaced them, such as technology, celebrity and the media, all hilariously personified. 

Published on Thursday, February 24, 2011

book cover, Battle Cry of FreedomWith the upcoming sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, James McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning book is a must read for all Civil War aficionados and budding historians.

McPherson does an excellent job of plainly explaining the events of war and leaves the reader with a better  understanding of the events that led to this bloody conflict.

If you read only one book on the history of the Civil War-–this is your book.

Published on Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gulliver Foyle scours the galaxy for the crew of the ship that left him for dead in outer space, first so he can find out why and second so he can kill them. 

Mix that with people who can teleport just by thinking about it, and a world redesigned to accommodate that lifestyle, some echoes through time and a prophetic poem by William Blake, and you've got a wonderful sci-fi ride. 

Absolutely great!

Check library holdings.

Published on Friday, November 26, 2010

book cover, EmbersI read a certain book several years ago that continues to haunt me. It is called Embers by the Hungarian author Sandor Marai.

It haunts me because it is really all about one brief moment when a decision is made, most likely based on love, that changes three peoples' lives forever. It is particularly rich because of the intersecting themes--friendship, romantic love, loyalty and the passage of time. It is a deep and moving book that anyone could relate to on some level.

Published on Friday, August 13, 2010

book cover, MakersCory Doctorow's novel is a hysterical post-cyberpunk satire of the tumultuous relationship between technology, the world economy, postmodernism and corporate America. 

In a future that could be five minutes from now, a Silicon Valley journalist, two hacker engineers working in a Florida junkyard, and a mildly insane business tycoon change the world economy, build up massive fortunes, then lose it all within a decade; and all this comes before they create a new series of rides made from the hollowed-out remains of malls and Walmarts across the country, and launch a new cottage industry--in litigation against supermassive corporations. 

Published on Friday, June 25, 2010

book cover, No Great MischiefAlstair MacLeod's novel contrasts Alexander MacDonald’s semi-charmed life with the lives of his less fortunate older brothers who are forced to fend for themselves when their parents perish on the ice in an accident near their home in Nova Scotia. 

MacDonald escapes a desperate life of working in the Canadian uranium mines like his kin, and is now a successful dentist.  He reflects on his life, home and family history while on a trip to Toronto to look after the needs of his aging alcoholic brother.

Published on Friday, May 28, 2010

book cover, Marcelo in the Real WorldFrancisco X. Stork's beautifully written, poignant novel is the irresistible story of a 17-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Experiencing life from Marcelo’s perspective, the reader is transported into a unique way of thinking, offering a rich and textured view of a figure with “disability.”

Check library holdings.

Published on Thursday, April 29, 2010

book cover, American BrutusMichael Kauffman's exhaustively researched and well-written examination of John Wilkes Booth, the conspiracy he hatched and the terrible crime he committed.

Check library holdings.

Published on Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In this work of historical fiction by Judith Merkle Riley, Genevieve is a crippled, educated young woman taken in by Madam Montvoison (a real-life figure) who sets her up as a fortune teller.

Experience the intrigue surrounding King Louis XIV’s court in 17th-century Paris. Riley incorporates authentic historical details, humor and romance.

Check library holdings.

Published on Friday, March 12, 2010

book cover, Merle's DoorThis is a beautifully written account of the relationship between author Ted Kerasote, an award-winning nature writer, and Merle, the big golden lab mix who adopted him on a camping trip and returned with him to back-country Wyoming. 

Pages