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Featured Book Lists
New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Stranger
by Harlan Coben

Library Journal Adam Price's biggest concern is whether his son will be part of the high school's traveling lacrosse team. During a team draft meeting, a stranger approaches Adam, giving him devastating news about his wife, Corinne. When Adam confronts Corinne, she asks him to give her some time and disappears, leaving him a cryptic text message. This begins Adam's nightmare as he tries to find out the truth, protect his sons, and find his wife. He must also come to realize what Corinne had told him: it isn't what he thinks, and many things are not what they seem. Coben (Missing You) deftly weaves many seemingly disconnected characters into one cohesive tale of suspense, with an expertly realized New Jersey setting. Verdict Coben's latest stand-alone is a great story for people who like to examine the ephemeral nature of those strings that bind our dreams to our reality. And while it is a slight departure from his usual type of thriller, this book will be enjoyed as well by Coben's many fans. [See Prepub Alert, 9/22/14.]-Elizabeth Masterson, Mecklenburg Cty. Jail Lib., Charlotte, NC (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Independent Booksellers List
Click to search this book in our catalog Let's Pretend This Never Happened
by Jenny Lawson

Publishers Weekly In punchy chapters that cover a fairly uneventful life in the southern Republican regions, blogger Lawson achieves an exaggerated sarcasm that occasionally attains a belly laugh from the reader ("I grew up a poor black girl in New York. Except replace 'black' with 'white' and 'New York' with 'rural Texas' "), but mostly descends into rants about bodily functions and dead animals spiced with profanity. The daughter of a taxidermist whose avid foraging and hunting filled their "violently rural" Wall, Tex., house with motley creatures like raccoons and turkeys and later triggered some anxiety disorder, Lawson did not transcend her childhood horrors so much as return to them, marrying at age 22 a fellow student at a local San Angelo college, Victor, and settling down in the town with a job in "HR" while Victor worked "in computers." In random anecdotal segments Lawson treats the vicissitudes of her 15-year marriage, the birth of daughter Hailey after many miscarriages, some funny insider secrets from the HR office, and an attempt to learn to trust women by spending a weekend in California wine country with a group of bloggers. With little substantive writing on these subjects, however, Lawson's puerile sniggering and potty mouth gets old fast. Agent: Neeti Madan, Sterling Lord. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list In this mordant memoir, Lawson, who calls herself The Bloggess, displays the wit that's made her a hit on the Web. She makes hilarious hay out of her rural Texas upbringing, during which her taxidermist father thought nothing of bringing feral creatures into the house (on her future husband Victor's first visit to meet the family, dear old Dad tossed a baby bobcat into the unsuspecting lad's lap). Plagued by anxiety attacks, Lawson is loath to go out in public, and when she does, she inevitably makes a scene. At a Halloween party, she regales guests with a tale of being attacked by a serial killer (turns out it was just her corpulent cat). Lawson, whose award-winning website, TheBloggess.com, averages more than half-a-million page-views per month, delivers some mild moments among the mayhem. At a women's retreat replete with bonding and wine, she happily discovers that girls really aren't so bad. Lawson is funny, but her over-the-top tales eventually take their toll, prompting jaded readers to wonder how much of this stuff she's making up.--Block, Allison Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Criss Cross
by Lynne Rae Perkins

Publishers Weekly Through narrative that has the flavor of stream-of-consciousness writing but is more controlled and poetic, Perkins (All Alone in the Universe) captures the wistful romantic yearnings of three friends on the brink of adolescence. There's Debbie, who makes a wish that "something different would happen. Something good. To me." There's Hector, who hears a guitarist and quite suddenly feels inspired to learn how to play the instrument. Then there's mechanical-minded Lenny who feels himself drawn to Debbie. The characters spend spring and summer wandering about their neighborhood, "criss crossing" paths, expanding their perspectives on the world while sensing that life will lead them to some exciting new experiences. (During a walk, Hector feels "as if the world was opening, like the roof of the Civic Arena when the sky was clear. Life was rearranging itself; bulging in places, fraying in spots.") Debbie forms a crush on a boy from California visiting his grandmother. Hector falls for a girl in his guitar class. Lenny hints at his feelings for Debbie by asking her on a date. All three loves remain unrequited, but by the end of the novel, Debbie, Hector and Lenny have grown a little wiser and still remain hopeful that good things lie ahead if they remain patient. Part love story, part coming-of-age tale, this book artfully expresses universal emotions of adolescence. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Publishers Weekly Through narrative that has the flavor of stream-of-consciousness writing but is more controlled and poetic, Perkins (All Alone in the Universe) captures the wistful romantic yearnings of three friends on the brink of adolescence. There's Debbie, who makes a wish that "something different would happen. Something good. To me." There's Hector, who hears a guitarist and quite suddenly feels inspired to learn how to play the instrument. Then there's mechanical-minded Lenny who feels himself drawn to Debbie. The characters spend spring and summer wandering about their neighborhood, "criss crossing" paths, expanding their perspectives on the world while sensing that life will lead them to some exciting new experiences. (During a walk, Hector feels "as if the world was opening, like the roof of the Civic Arena when the sky was clear. Life was rearranging itself; bulging in places, fraying in spots.") Debbie forms a crush on a boy from California visiting his grandmother. Hector falls for a girl in his guitar class. Lenny hints at his feelings for Debbie by asking her on a date. All three loves remain unrequited, but by the end of the novel, Debbie, Hector and Lenny have grown a little wiser and still remain hopeful that good things lie ahead if they remain patient. Part love story, part coming-of-age tale, this book artfully expresses universal emotions of adolescence. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Anna Dressed in Blood
by Blake, Kendare

Publishers Weekly Effectively blending horror and romance, Blake (Sleepwalk Society) delivers an exciting and witty gothic ghost story. Seventeen-year-old loner Cas follows in his late father's footsteps, hunting down vengeful ghosts and dispatching them before they can hurt more people. He and his mother (a witch) move from town to town, and his latest target is the titular Anna, a 16-year-old girl killed on the way to a dance in Thunder Bay, Ont., in 1958. When the ghost eviscerates a local in front of Cas, he realizes it will be a much harder struggle than previously anticipated, joining forces with psychic Thomas and popular girl Carmel to discover Anna's history and attempt to free her from her curse without destroying her. Blake occasionally gets too cute-naming a character "Will Rosenberg" in a story in which characters are aware of Buffy is pushing things, as is the notion that today's small-town teens are all Rules of Attraction. But the pop culture references are generally sharp (Ghostbusters references make for an effective running gag) and on point, and the result is an enjoyable horror tale. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Theseus Cassio Lowood (Cas for short) is the son of a white witch and a ghost killer. He inherited his father's knife and talent for dispatching vengeful spirits when his father was gruesomely murdered by a particularly powerful ghost. Now he and his mother travel around helping restless spirits that need help moving on. Cas is blindsided when he meets Anna Korlov, the ghost of a murdered teen who kills anyone who sets foot in her completely haunted house except Cas. Blake's vivid imagery, especially in the many scary scenes, is cinematic and compelling, as is the predictable but touching relationship between Anna and Cas. Once Cas solves Anna's dilemma, he moves on to the issue of avenging his father's death. It's one too many threads and feels tacked on to the otherwise complete and engrossing ghost story. Several interesting secondary characters, including a surprisingly un-Queen Bee popular girl, should become more developed in future books, signaled by the abrupt ending. Blake's smooth combination of gore and romance should have little problem attracting the Twilight crowd.--Carton, Debbi. Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 10 Up-Theseus Cassio Lowood is a legacy ghost killer. He inherited his gift and his weapon, an athame, from his father, who was killed and devoured by a ghost when Cas was seven. The teen and his mother, a white witch, are constantly on the move following leads to unquiet spirits wreaking havoc on the innocent. After the killing with which the book opens, Cas and his mom head to Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the trail of a particularly violent ghoul nicknamed "Anna Dressed in Blood." Here, he finds friendship as well as his ghost. Just when readers think they've reached the denouement, Blake propels the plot in new and unexpected directions. The novel is a love story, a high-school buddy story, a story of revenge and tragedy, and a bildungsroman. The language is typical-teenage-coarse, and it is totally in keeping with the realities of adolescent speech. The violence is fittingly disgusting and not for the weak of stomach. The relationships among the characters, including Cas and his mother, are multidimensional and satisfying.-Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog God: A Biography
by Jack Miles

Library Journal Despite its provocative title, this is a serious attempt to come to an understanding of the portrayal of God in the Tanakh, i.e., the books of the Hebrew Scriptures in the order of the Hebrew Bible, as opposed to the order in the Old Testament. Miles, a former Jesuit with a Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages who is currently a member of the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times, offers "knowledge of God as a literary character." While some may not care for how God is portrayed?at one point he is "whiny"?the book will appeal to believers and nonbelievers alike as an excellent introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures that does not read like a Scripture commentary. Recommended for all collections.?Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, N.J.

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly In a masterful, audacious inquiry, Miles attempts to tease out God's nature, character, motives and designs through a close textual analysis of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. He deduces that the God of Judeo-Christian tradition is an amalgam of several ancient, divine personalities. Worshiped as the source of mercy, wisdom, strength and love, God is also at times an abrupt, unpredictable, wrathful being: a destroyer as well as a creator. There is also Abraham's personal god, almost a ``busy friend of the family''; God the lawgiver, who attaches supreme importance to justice; God as arbiter, conqueror and father; and the silent, omniscient God of the Book of Daniel, who knows in detail the entire remaining course of history. The Creator, in Miles's reading, is intimately linked to human destiny, because humanity, made in His image, is an indispensable tool in His quest for self-understanding. Miles, a former Jesuit and currently a Los Angeles Times columnist, has written a profound exploration of Western monotheism and the wellsprings of faith. 35,000 first printing; BOMC alternate; QPB selection; author tour. (Apr.)

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Choice Ludwig Feuerbach argued that every theological statement is also an anthropological statement, thus introducing "theology from below." Miles has attempted the reverse. Starting with the premise that the Hebrew Bible is a book about God, Miles attempts to write God's biography. Miles explains: "We see him first as the creator .... We see him last as the 'Ancient of Days' .... Well short of the midway point in the text, the narrative breaks off." What stands in between basically are speeches by God (the prophets), about or to God (e.g., Psalms), and even a silence (especially in Esther, which never mentions God). Miles thus has produced a well-written, provocative study. A critically trained scholar, he nevertheless adopts a "deliberate naivet'e," in which he attempts to read the text straight through. Although that effort produces striking results, it also stumbles over the kinds of contradictions in the text that gave rise to critical methods of study. And although it is true that great biographies portray people with conflicted personalities it is also true that unmitigated contradiction leaves the reader confused, which assumed naivet'e cannot cover, only ignore. Upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty; professional; general. C. L. Redditt; Georgetown College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Letter From Home
by Carolyn Hart

Library Journal A letter from her Oklahoma hometown spirits famous journalist Gretchen Gilman back to 1944, when someone murdered Faye Tatum. People believed Faye's husband, jealous of her flirtations, did it and then disappeared. Gilman believed otherwise and set out for proof. A solid standalone work from the author of the "Death on Demand" series. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Hart has created a fabulous two-in-one: an excellent mystery and the poignant memoirs of her heroine, Gretchen Grace Gilman. A letter received by the now elderly newshound extraordinaire returns her physically, mentally and emotionally to her past and to her hometown in northeastern Oklahoma. As the pages of the letter unfold, so does the story of Gretchen's summer of 1944. With every able-bodied male involved in the war effort, Gazette editor Walt Dennis agrees to give 13-year-old Gretchen a shot as a newspaper reporter. But the sleepy town is soon rocked by the murder of Faye Tatum, an artist and the mom of Gretchen's friend and neighbor Barb. To make matters worse, the prime suspect is Barb's dad, Clyde, home on leave but nowhere to be found after the murder. Political ambitions spur the county attorney and the sheriff to track down Clyde and arrest him, while less hasty Chief Fraser is more interested in first sorting through all the facts. The obviously well-researched history draws the reader into this atypical whodunit. Characters are Steinbeck vivid, as is the sense of time and place. Hart masterfully portrays an American small town during WWII. (Oct. 7) FYI: Hart is the author of April Fool Dead (2002) and other titles in her Death on Demand mystery series, as well as Resort to Murder (2001) and other titles in her Henrie O series. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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