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Featured Book Lists
New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Edge Of Eternity
by Ken Follett

Book list Those eagerly awaiting volume three of Follett's ambitious Century Trilogy will not be disappointed. Despite the long wait Winter of the World was published in 2012 both the history propelling the multiple plots and the third generation of the interrelated cast of characters are so familiar, readers should have no trouble picking up the threads of the story line left dangling at the end of the previous installment. Spanning the globe and the latter third of twentieth century, this saga continues to follow the lives and loves of the members of five global families, as they struggle against a backdrop of tumultuous international events. As the years roll by, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Wall, the assassination of JFK, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the crumbling of communism are intimately viewed through the eyes and emotions of a representative array of witnesses to history. Follett does an outstanding job of interweaving and personalizing complicated narratives set on a multicultural stage. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Follett needs no hard sell. The previous two installments of the ambitious Century Trilogy were best-sellers; expect no less from this superb concluding chapter.--Flanagan, Margaret Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Library Journal The final volume in Follett's latest trilogy (after Fall of Giants and Winter of the World) is worth the wait. The formula is the same as in previous books: the continuing history of five families, now conflated into four-British, American, German, Russian-traced against the background of dramatic public events. The second book ended in 1948 with the Rosenberg spy trial, and now Follett starts in 1961, when Rebecca Hoffman learns an unpleasant truth about her East German husband. George Jakes, the biracial son of a white senator from the previous volume, is hired by the White House as window dressing-the Kennedys mustn't look like bigots-but soon becomes a trusted aide to Bobby Kennedy. Thus he witnesses what goes on in the -Kennedy White House and in the civil rights campaign. German families are separated for decades by the Berlin Wall. Two grandchildren-German and English-form a successful rock band, our entree to the everything-goes 1960s. Follett covers all the bases in this sprawling, energetic novel. Bad things abound, but, the tone is upbeat. The book ends with the televising of Obama's 2008 election speech. Watching with his family, George has tears in his eyes for the fallen martyrs who made the event possible. VERDICT Once again, Follett has written pitch-perfect popular fiction that readers will devour. [See Prepub Alert, 3/24/14.]-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2014. 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.

Publishers Weekly In the ambitious, commanding capstone to his multigenerational Century Trilogy (after Winter of the World), Follett expertly chronicles the pivotal events of the closing decades of the 20th century through the eyes of a vast array of deftly-drawn characters, all suffering the slings and arrows of a world marred by war and global unrest. Among them is Rebecca Hoffman, a good-natured school teacher in Communist Berlin, who discovers in 1961 that her secretive husband, Hans, is a clandestine Stasi agent and has been spying on her for years. When she eventually confronts him, he angrily vows to destroy her family. Elsewhere, mixed-race, civil-rights-minded George Jakes forsakes a lucrative law career to work for Bobby Kennedy and the Justice Department, then battles racial inequality as a congressman. Dmitri "Dimka" Dvorkin, an aide to Nikita Khrushchev, finds himself embroiled in heated U.S.-Soviet nuclear political power plays and his sister, Tanya, thrusts herself into the fray of governmental global turmoil. Cameron Dewar, a senator's grandson, also becomes politically active with espionage on his mind while Rebecca's brother, the musician Walli, must choose between a rising-star career in rock-and-roll and his pregnant lover, Karolin. Sweeping through the Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan administrations, Follett's smooth page-turner concludes in 2008 with an epilogue set on the night of President Obama's electoral victory. This mesmerizing final installment is an exhaustive but rewarding reading experience dense in thematic heft, yet flowing with spicy, expertly paced melodrama, character-rich exploits, familial histrionics, and international intrigue. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Independent Booksellers List
Click to search this book in our catalog The Presidents Club
by Nancy Gibbs

Publishers Weekly In this anecdote-rich book, Gibbs and Duffy, the deputy managing editor and executive editor of Time, respectively, maintain that the relationships among former presidents have been characterized by "cooperation, competition, and consolation." Perhaps the most interesting tie they discuss is their first: Faced with the great need for food relief in Europe in 1945, Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover (who had provided food relief to Europe in WWI) overcame their mutual distrust to rally non-isolationist Republicans around the Marshall Plan. Another striking example of bipartisan cooperation, was that between George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to raise millions for the victims of the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the Haitian earthquake. But the authors' most remarkable stories are of competition, such as candidate Richard Nixon pursuing his own diplomatic track with North Vietnam, undermining LBJ's efforts to secure a peace deal to end the Vietnam War. As for consolation, and plain practical help, Gibbs and Duffy (co-authors of The Preacher and the Presidents, about the Rev. Billy Graham) provide numerous examples, such as Kennedy relying on Eisenhower (whom he once called "that old asshole") for advice following the Bay of Pigs fiasco. While this work could have used some pruning, it is canny, vivid, and informative on an important and little-explored subject. 16 pages of b&w photos. Agent: Bob Barnett(May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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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

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Stupid Fast
by Herback, Geoff

Publishers Weekly Adult author Herbach (The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg) delivers an alternately fascinating and awkward novel that sometimes seems to exist in denial of its own characters. Felton Reinstein's late puberty during his sophomore year turned him into an incredible runner, which has landed him on both the track and football teams. Socially isolated, he is resigned to a lonely summer with his unpredictable widowed mother and piano-prodigy younger brother. But things become complicated as Felton meets beautiful new girl Aleah, he is drawn into the football team's summer workouts, and his home life disintegrates. Herbach's story would be typical but for a narrative style that clearly paints Felton as developmentally disabled ("I sweated in my tight jeans because it was summer. I smelled the pee-smell of my own athlete's body"). This offers potential, but it's wasted by the denial practiced by practically everyone he deals with, including his mother (who, admittedly, has problems of her own). Instead of coming across as an actual element of his character, Felton's narrative voice reads as merely "quirky," and it creates issues that aren't adequately addressed. Ages 12-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Everything changes for Felton Reinstein during his fifteenth year. A growth spurt and the discovery of latent athletic talent tilt how the world views the teen, who thinks of himself as a little slow on the uptake. Hitherto unpopular and the object of jokes, suddenly Felton, who narrates the story in a hyper, slightly astounded voice, is going out for football, taken under the wing of one of his school's more popular jocks. Meanwhile, a paper route leads him to meet (and become sweet on) a musical prodigy, whose father is a visiting professor at the local college. If all this weren't enough, things at home are falling apart: Felton's mom has a breakdown as she tries to face Felton's maturation and younger brother's persistent probe of their father's suicide many years earlier. Suffice it to say, nothing is quite what Felton thinks. In this struggling and often clueless teen, Herbach has created an endearing character coming to terms with his past and present in a small, well-defined Wisconsin town.--Cruze, Kare. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-In his sophomore year, Fenton Reinstein's voice drops, he begins to grow hair all over his body, and he becomes "stupid fast." Previously indifferent to sports, he instantly becomes a star sprinter and is touted as the next savior of the football team before he has ever played a down. All is not entirely well, however. Fenton's only real friend, Gus, has gone to Venezuela with his family for the summer, and he has to take over Gus's paper route, a job he hates. More ominously, the teen's always-quirky mother, Jerri, has retreated into her own world and has left Fenton and his sweet, needy younger brother, Andrew, to basically fend for themselves. Fenton is also haunted by the early-childhood trauma of discovering his father's body after the man committed suicide. When African-American teen piano virtuoso Aleah Jennings and her father move into Gus's house for the summer, things begin to look up for Fenton. After an awkward beginning, the two establish a relationship that has its ups and downs, but helps to sustain Fenton as his mother's mental illness rages out of control. He and his sibling finally find the courage to contact their father's mother, who turns out not to be the shrewish ogre their mother described, but a loving, responsible adult who sees the boys through their crisis. The novel has some loose ends and needless plot contrivances, but in the end Fenton's sarcasm, anxiety, self-doubt, thoughtfulness, and compassion carry the day and perfectly capture the voice of his generation.-Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT (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 Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation
by Dan Fagin

Book list What was in the water in Toms River? A seemingly high number of childhood cancer cases in the New Jersey town prompted the question, but there turned out to be no easy answer. As Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010) investigated the tragic impact that unethical scientific pursuits had on a family, Toms River unravels the careless environmental practices that damaged a community. The book goes beyond the Toms River phenomenon itself to examine the many factors that came together in that one spot, from the birth of the synthetic chemical industry to the evolution of epidemiology to the physicians who invented occupational medicine. Former Newsday environmental journalist Fagin's work may not be quite as riveting in its particulars as Skloot's book, but it features jaw-dropping accounts of senseless waste-disposal practices set against the inspiring saga of the families who stood up to the enormous Toms River chemical plant. The fate of the town, we learn, revolves around the science that cost its residents so much.--Thoreson, Bridget Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Library Journal Toms River, NJ, is a small town near the Jersey shore that grew up around chemical industries and the wartime technology boom of World War II. Fagan (journalism, New York Univ.) explores the history of Toms River, and the effects on the town of its proximity to the local chemical plant. While he details the history of the town from its founding in the 1800s to now, his account is often muddled by tangential histories, such as a detailed description of the discovery of the vat dyeing process. In particular, Fagin focuses on the extremely high occurrence of childhood cancer in Toms River, which has been linked to the area's air and water pollution. While each piece of the history may be interesting and informative, as a whole, the book does not flow. VERDICT Readers may be bogged down by the minutia of this book, but its detailed text will appeal to in-depth researchers, especially those with a personal connection to the region or familiar with the chemistry detailed herein.-Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen, Oregon Inst. of Technology, Portland (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.

Publishers Weekly Most people know Toms River, N.J., as one of the areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy. But Fagin, an associate professor of journalism and the director of the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University, reveals an earlier, less conspicuous disaster in the region. In a well-documented expose of toxic industrial plants, corporate greed, and government neglect, Fagin (Toxic Deception, coauthor) plays detective to reveal the excessive human cost of chemical manufacturing hubs in the Jersey pinelands. Fagin focuses his research on cancer hot spots and how they affect the development of local children, but he also delves deeper into the region's tragic history by tracing the arrival of chemical plants in the early 1950s and chronicling the massive contamination of waterways, soil, and air that followed shortly thereafter. Determined to reclaim their health and lives, the residents waged a long legal campaign, which resulted in a pioneering government study, the revelation of an extensive cancer zone, and a settlement of over $35 million. A crisp, hard-nosed probe into corporate arrogance and the power of public resistance makes this environmental caper essential reading. Map. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog She Walks These Hills
by Sharym McCrumb

Library Journal : A tale of an escaped convict from Edgar Award winner McCrumb.

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

Publishers Weekly : In 1779, Katie Wyler, 18, was captured by the Shawnee in North Carolina. The story of her escape and arduous journey home through hundreds of miles of Appalachian wilderness is the topic of ethno-historian Jeremy Cobb's thesis-and the thread which runs through the third of McCrumb's ballad novels (after The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter). As Cobb begins to retrace Katie's return journey, 63-year-old convicted murderer Hiram (Harm) Sorley escapes from a nearby prison. Suffering from Korsakoff's syndrome, he has no recent memory: old Harm is permanently stuck in the past. Hamelin, Tenn., police dispatcher Martha Ayers uses the opportunity to convince the sheriff to assign her as a deputy. One of her first duties is to calm a young mother who, angry at her inattentive husband, is threatening her baby with a butcher knife. Ayers and the sheriff must also warn Harm's ex-wife Rita that he has escaped. Acting as a kind of narrative conscience is a local deejay, a ``carpetbagger from Connecticut,'' who sees Harm as a folk hero from another era. Deftly building suspense, McCrumb weaves these colorful elements into her satisfying conclusion as she continues to reward her readers' high expectations. Mystery Guild selection; author tour.

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

School Library Journal : YA--Mystery and folklore are skillfully blended in this contemporary Appalachian tale. Driving the plot are ``Harm'' (Hiram) Sorley, an aging prisoner suffering from recent memory loss, who receives a spiritual message to escape from prison and return home to North Carolina; history grad student Jeremy Cobb, who wants to hike the trail used by Katie Wyler in the late 1700s when she escaped from Indians who held her captive; and members of the sheriff's department who search for both of these men. Strong females also figure prominently in this title, not the least of whom is Katie Wyler, dead over 200 years, whose spectral image helps several characters. Assisting Sheriff Arrowwood is his newest deputy, Martha Ayers, who's determined to prove she can rise above the lot of dispatcher. When all these folks converge beside a burning trailer home, more than one mystery is solved. McCrumb's rich use of dialect, accompanied by both physical description of and folklore about the mountains, combine to produce an evocative, haunting story. This novel defies stereotypical mystery elements, offering instead a complete melange of character study, plot, and setting.

Pam Spencer, Chapel Square Media Center, Fairfax County, VA Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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