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Featured Book Lists
New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Wright Brothers
by David McCullough

Library Journal McCullough (John Adams; 1776) effectively blends impeccable writing with historical rigor and strong character definition in his biography of Wright brothers Wilbur, the abstract thinker and introvert; and Orville, the extrovert and hands-on doer. They had limited formal education, with the author instead attributing his subjects' success to industry, imagination, and persistence, as seen in their early enterprises as newspaper publishers, printers, and bicycle salesmen in Dayton, OH. Credit is also accorded to their widowed father, Bishop Milton Wright, as well as their sister Katharine for their support of "Ullam" (Wilbur) and "Bubs" (Orville). Highlights of McCullough's narrative include his discussions of the Wrights' innovative conception of wing-warping as a means of flight control; the brothers' first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, on December 17, 1903; the issuance of the Wright flying machine patent #821,393 on May 22, 1906; the Ohioans' ongoing search for markets abroad; and the elder Wright's perfect flying demonstrations at Le Mans, France, even as Orville was nearly killed in a similar performance before army brass at Fort Myer, VA. The author closes with the incorporation of the Wright Company, patent infringement suits filed against competitor Glenn Curtiss, and the deaths of Wilbur (1912), Milton (1917), Katharine (1929), and Orville (1948). VERDICT A signal contribution to Wright historiography. Highly recommended for academicians interested in the history of flight, transportation, or turn-of-the-century America; general readers; and all libraries.-John Carver Edwards, formerly with Univ. of Georgia Libs. 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.

Independent Booksellers List
Click to search this book in our catalog Help, Thanks, Wow
by Anne Lamott

Library Journal The very popular Lamott (Bird by Bird) claims here that prayer boils down to the three exclamations of the title-it seems like a reductive claim, but Lamott, an unusually hip, demotic, urbane kind of Christian, is a naturally expansive and chatty writer. These blog-like reflections exhibit the author's usual fluency and charm. -VERDICT A worthy successor to her prior works, this brief book will delight Lamott's regular readers, and likely draw new readers to her writing and to the ideas behind prayer. (c) Copyright 2013. 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.

Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Dear Mr. Henshaw
by Beverly Cleary

Publishers Weekly : This amusing, often touching series of letters from Leigh Botts to a children's book author he admires again demonstrates Cleary's right-on perception of a kid's world. Ages 8-12.

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms


ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Threads and Flames
by Friesner, Esther

School Library Journal Gr 6-9-Raisa, a 13-year-old Jewish girl, leaves a Polish shtetl to journey to America to join her sister, Henda, who has mistakenly been told that Raisa is dead. The crossing to America, the frightening chaos of arrival, poor working conditions, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 form the novel's framework. Raisa makes some close friends on the ship and she takes responsibility for Brina, a child whose mother dies during the crossing. Raisa's overwhelming loneliness as she tries to adjust and find her sister permeates the story. The frustration she feels and the seemingly insurmountable challenge of succeeding spills dramatically from the pages despite some contrived twists and turns. When Raisa seeks some rest by entering a synagogue, she meets Gavrel Kamensy, an aspiring rabbinal student just a few years her senior. He brings her home and she and Brina become boarders with his family. The Kamensys' warmth and accepting nature allow Raisa the chance to look for work and begin her English studies. She feels lucky to get a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, but the drudgery and unfair working conditions repeatedly foreshadow the horrendous event to follow. Gruesome details of workers jumping from the window in order to escape the pervasive flames are horrific. Scores die, many are physically injured, and still others, like Gavrel, suffer mentally. Anguish and frustration of looking for survivors and identifying the dead seem hopeless, but Raisa remains brave and focused. This would be a fine companion to Margaret Peterson Haddix's Uprising (S & S, 2007) and Mary Jane Auch's Ashes of Roses (Holt, 2002).-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. 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.

Book list What would become of the little birds if their mama did not push them out of the nest? Glukel reassures Raisa, who makes the daunting decision to leave her Polish shtetl for America and try to join her sister, Henda. Leaving the nest means setting out on a grueling overseas voyage, facing fear of rejection at Ellis Island, and embarking on a desperate search for shelter and work. Adding to the challenge, Raisa takes over the care of a small child whose mother died on the ship and Henda seems nowhere to be found. Friesner's sparkling prose makes the immigrant experience in New York's Lower East Side come alive: from working at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company and attending night school to becoming part of a close-knit community with hope for the future. The devastating Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire tragedy resonates heartbreakingly, and although the happy ending is contrived, readers will turn the pages with rapt attention to follow the characters' intrepid, risk-all adventures in building new lives.--O'Malley, Anne Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Martin Dressler
by Steven Millhauser

Publishers Weekly Literature's romance with the building-as-metaphor earns new energy through Millhauser's latest novel (after Little Kingdoms, 1993), which quietly chronicles the life of an entrepreneur whose career peaks when he builds a fabulous hotel in turn-of-the-century Manhattan. Beginning with his first jobs-in his father's cigar shop and as a bellhop-young Martin's rise is fueled by a happy blend of pragmatism and imagination. Both inform the design of the cafes and hotels he builds as an adult, though the latter seems to gain sway in the construction of his magnum opus, the Grand Cosmo. Within the rusticated walls of that grand hotel, one floor's elevators open onto "a densely wooded countryside" dotted with cottages; another floor simulates a rugged mountainside, featuring "caves" furnished with beds, plumbing and "refrigerated air." For recreation, guests can wander in the artificial moonlight of the Pleasure Park or visit the Temple of Poesy, where young women in Green tunics will recite poetry, 24 hours a day. Such amenities speak of Dressler's view of the hotel as "a world within the world, rivaling the world." In deliberate contrast stands Millhauser's cooler evocation of his protagonist's private life. The magnate's genial sister-in-law works for him, while the troubles of his neurasthenic wife-"his sister's sister, his tense, languous, floating, ungraspable bride"-reflect his increasingly manic, untethered imaginings. Millhauser's characteristic fascination with the material artifacts of the vanished past-and the startling deftness with which he can describe the street, the carnival, the hotel that never existed-marks him as a cultural historian as well as an idiosyncratic fabulist. Taking its place alongside other fine tales of architectural symbology, from Poe to Borges to Ayn Rand, this enticing novel becomes at once the tale of a life, a marriage and a creative imagination in crisis. (Apr.)

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

Library Journal This story of a 19th-century New York entrepreneur by the author of Edwin Mullhouse (LJ 8/15/72) both introduces the scenery and feeling of the times and provides a psychological portrait of an American dreamer named Martin Dressler. Dressler starts out in his family's cigar store but gets into the hotel industry at an early age and moves up rapidly, thanks to his energy and vision. His ambition leads him to take on increasingly extravagant projects, from lunch rooms to larger and larger hotels to the Grand Cosmo, his vision of a world unto itself, which does not succeed. His relationship with two sisters, one beautiful but passive (who becomes his wife), the other energetic and businesslike, effectively develop the internal transitions of his character. While the wife is a pallid creation, Dressler himself is a beautifully realized character. Millhauser keeps the plot going smoothly with touching prose that occasionally approaches the mystical. Recommended for public libraries.?Ann Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Md.

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

Book list This fin-de-siecle allegory concerns the previous century and the mercurial play of a typically American entrepreneurial spirit. One fascination of Millhauser's historical novel is to offer, indirectly, a criticism of contemporary overconsumption and "decadent eclecticism" in a current age of information idolatry and millennial qualms. The novel's title character serves his imaginative vision, from boyhood on, by founding a series of New York City cafes and immense, mall-like hotel palazzi. His ideal: to establish "a world within the world, rivaling the world" that ultimately "rendered the city unnecessary." Martin Dressler fails because in his greed for magnificent innerness, expressed externally, Dressler shirks an honest exploration of his own inner reaches; his short-term success in business comes at a cost to his personal happiness. Writing in the American realist tradition, Millhauser brings unusual descriptive delicacy to this chronicle of Martin's "falling upwards" and the forces behind the fall. Yet, like some of his historic predecessors, Millhauser writes with greatest confidence about affairs of the world, not hidden lives; women are, perhaps, his weakest suit. His thoughtful reappraisal of social progress as a troubled dynamo lingers. So does his assessment of the role of idealists in a world whose scope may outdo theirs. --Molly McQuade

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

Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Bubbles Unbound
by Sarah Strohmeyer

Book list Having studied at the feet of the Master Evanovich, first-novelist Strohmeyer unleashes Lehigh, Pennsylvania's, Bubbles Yablonsky: big hair, big tits, and a big attitude despite a social-climbing ex and a job at the beauty parlor. Bubbles loves to do hair, but she's also working freelance for the local paper, hoping to move herself and her teenage daughter ahead in the world. A 10-year-old murder and a local teacher's attempted suicide spark Bubbles into action, and as if that weren't enough, there's a photographer, a Mel Gibson look-alike named--wait for it--Stiletto. The outlandishly intricate plot has more layers than Bubbles' makeup, but she kindly includes step-by-step instructions for soothing foot care and her daughter's Kool-Aid hair dye. It all comes out in the end, and Bubbles keeps Stiletto, er, hanging. A confection held together with gossip and hairspray. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

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

Publishers Weekly Meet Bubbles Yablonsky, beautician-reporter-sleuth and blazing star of Strohmeyer's entertaining, establishment-bashing debut as a mystery writer. Like the mills that gird the book's seen-better-days steel town of Lehigh, Pa., the city is itself a seething cauldron. Battle lines are sharply drawn between the haves and have-nots. Bubbles is hell-bent on getting even with the overlords, especially her former husband, a heel who has gone over to the other side. Opportunity knocks when Bubbles incriminates a wealthy socialite in a brutal murder and then uncovers a murky past, where corpses are littered around the accused's steel-magnate husband. The going is never easy, as Bubbles faces more perils than Pauline: falling off a bridge in the arms of a potential suicide; dodging drive-by gunmen and car bombers; being handcuffed and fitted for cement boots; and always searching for a better way to display her cleavage. Armed with her certificate from Two Guys Community College, abetted by a quirky array of social castoffs and fueled by Doritos, Velveeta and Diet Pepsi, Bubbles overcomes every obstacle on her way to shaking the foundations of the corporate world and, in the process, leaving more than a few wrinkles in her ex's tailored Brooks Brothers suits. Hop in the Camaro and buckle up: Bubbles is behind the wheel, and a wild ride awaits. Agent, Heather Schroder at ICM. (Mar. 19) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Bubbles Yablonsky, a 34-year-old hairdresser/divorcee, may dress and look like a blonde Barbie-doll bimbo, but she aspires to a more brain-intensive job as an investigative journalist. She grabs her main chance when she and a hunky but elusive photographer named Stiletto discover a dead bodyDalong with the apparent perpetrator, who is drunk and just happens to be the antidrug-crusading wife of a local steel magnate. Suffice to say, Bubbles's revelatory story causes endless repercussions. A sexy, irrepressible heroine, riotous supporting characters, continual action, ubiquitous humor, and even a makeup tip or two make this a highly recommended series debut. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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