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Featured Book Lists
New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Motive
by Jonathan Kellerman

Publishers Weekly The crafty plot of Edgar-winner Kellerman's 30th novel featuring L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware (after 2014's Killer) will even keep genre veterans guessing. Delaware has been trying, without success, to help his homicide lieutenant friend, Milo Sturgis, with an unusual case. Straightlaced bookkeeper Katherine Hennepin was stabbed 36 times in her apartment by someone who left dinner on her kitchen table set for two. The evidence points to her violent ex-boyfriend, Darius Kleffer, a chef likely to be adept with the type of butcher knife used for the murder. But Kleffer's alibi leaves Sturgis with an open case, even as he picks up another baffler: the parking lot murder of businesswoman Ursula Corey, shot to death soon after a meeting with the attorney handling her divorce. Her former husband, the obvious suspect, turns out also to have an alibi. When the police get to Ursula's home, they find yet another untouched meal for two. The twists are both shocking and logical, and the byplay between the leads entertaining. (Feb.) © 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 Imagine
by Jonah Lehrer

Book list Creativity a flash in the pan or 99-percent perspiration? A-list journalist Lehrer (How We Decide, 2009) tackles the question in broad strokes, covering topics as diverse as office layouts, urban planning, drug use, and brain chemistry. It turns out that the question isn't easy to answer, for it seems that a method used by one creative person doesn't translate for another. Lehrer describes the creative activities of such luminaries as David Byrne and the CEO of Pixar, then dissects why each approach works for that individual or group. Some examples are a bit of a stretch. The section on Shakespeare, for instance, is eye-rollingly speculative. But, just as Lehrer points out that explicit instruction is anathema to creative play and discovery, he seems to say in each section, Isn't this neat? and leave the bulk of the work to the reader's imagination. In that sense, Imagine is a great introduction for anyone curious about the nature and dynamics of creativity.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Library Journal In his new book on creativity, Lehrer (How We Decide) presents captivating case studies of innovative minds, companies, and cities while tying in the latest in scientific research. He recounts the sometimes surprising origins of hugely successful inventions, brands, and ideas (e.g., the Swiffer mop, Barbie doll, Pixar animation) and reveals unexpected commonalities in the creative experiences (e.g., the color blue, distractedness, living abroad). The book combines individual case studies with broader psychology to provide new insights into creativity, much like Sheena Iyengar's The Art of Choosing. Many of Lehrer's insights are based on emerging scientific practices and are thus fresh and especially applicable to modern life. He emphasizes innovative companies and experimental approaches to education and includes historical factoids that reveal the backstories of everyday items. VERDICT Lehrer's findings can be used to inform the design of innovative programs or to structure a productive work environment at home or at the office. This book will appeal to educators, business administrators, and readers interested in applied psychology. [See Prepub Alert, 10/15/11.]-Ryan Nayler, Univ. of Toronto Lib., Ont. (c) Copyright 2012. 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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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog A Year Down Yonder
by Richard Peck

Publishers Weekly In this hilarious and poignant sequel to A Long Way to Chicago, Peck once again shows that country life is anything but boring. Chicago-bred Mary Alice (who has previously weathered annual week-long visits with Grandma Dowdel) has been sentenced to a year-long stay in rural Illinois with her irrepressible, rough and gruff grandmother, while Joey heads west with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and her parents struggle to get back on their feet during the 1937 recession. Each season brings new adventures to 15-year-old Mary Alice as she becomes Grandma's partner in crime, helping to carry out madcap schemes to benefit friends and avenge enemies. Around Halloween, for example, the woman, armed with wire, a railroad spike and a bucket of glue, outsmarts a gang of pranksters bent on upturning her privy. Later on, she proves just as apt at squeezing change out of the pockets of skinflints, putting prim and proper DAR ladies in their place and arranging an unlikely match between a schoolmarm and a WPA artist of nude models. Between antic capers, Peck reveals a marshmallow heart inside Grandma's rock-hard exterior and adroitly exposes the mutual, unspoken affection she shares with her granddaughter. Like Mary Alice, audience members will breathe a sigh of regret when the eventful year "down yonder" draws to a close. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Gr. 6^-10. With the same combination of wit, gentleness, and outrageous farce as Peck's Newbery Honor book, Long Way from Chicago (1998), this sequel tells the story of Joey's younger sister, Mary Alice, 15, who spends the year of 1937 back with Grandma Dowdel in a small town in Illinois. It's still the Depression; Dad has lost his job, and Mary Alice has been sent from Chicago to live with Grandma and enroll in the "hick-town's" 25-student high school. As in the first book, much of the fun comes from the larger-than-life characters, whether it's the snobbish DAR ladies or the visiting WPA artist, who paints a nude picture of the postmistress (nude, not naked; he studied in Paris). The wry one-liners and tall tales are usually Grandma's ("When I was a girl, we had to walk in our sleep to keep from freezing to death"), or Mary Alice's commentary as she looks back ("Everybody in this town knew everything about you. They knew things that hadn't even happened yet" ). That adult perspective is occasionally intrusive and Mary Alice sometimes seems younger than 15, though her awkward romance with a classmate is timeless. The heart of the book is Grandma--huge and overbearing, totally outside polite society. Just as powerful is what's hidden: Mary Alice discovers kindness and grace as well as snakes in the attic. Most moving is Mary Alice's own growth. During a tornado she leaves her shelter to make sure that Grandma is safe at home. In fact, as Mary Alice looks back, it's clear that Grandma has remained her role model, never more generous than when she helped her granddaughter leave. --Hazel Rochman

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

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Peck charms readers once again with this entertaining sequel to A Long Way from Chicago (Dial, 1998). This time, 15-year-old Mary Alice visits Grandma Dowdel alone for a one-year stay, while her parents struggle through the recession of 1937 looking for jobs and better housing. With her older brother, Joey, working out west in a government program, Mary Alice takes a turn at recounting memorable and pivotal moments of her year with Grandma. Beneath the woman's fierce independence and nonconformity, Mary Alice discovers compassion, humor, and intuition. She watches her grandmother exact the perfect revenge on a classmate who bullies her on the first day of school, and she witnesses her "shameless" tactics to solicit donations from Veteran's Day "burgoo" eaters whose contributions are given to Mrs. Abernathy's blind, paralyzed, war-veteran son. From her energetic, eccentric, but devoted Grandma, she learns not only how to cook but also how to deal honestly and fairly with people. At story's end, Mary Alice returns several years later to wed the soldier, Royce McNabb, who was her classmate during the year spent with Grandma. Again, Peck has created a delightful, insightful tale that resounds with a storyteller's wit, humor, and vivid description. Mary Alice's memories capture the atmosphere, attitudes, and lifestyle of the times while shedding light on human strengths and weak- nesses.-Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC (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.

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Dreamland Social Club
by Altebrando, Tara

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-When Jane and her brother inherit their late mother's childhood home in Coney Island, the siblings and their dad leave London and move into it. There they experience a shockingly different culture filled with roller coasters, dwarves, bearded girls, and mermaids. Struggling to find her place in their new, unconventional high school, Jane stumbles upon a secret social club that her mother founded years earlier. As this discovery raises even more questions, she searches for answers from Leo, a strangely familiar tattooed boy. They explore the mysteries surrounding her family's carnie past with a set of hidden keys belonging to the amusement park. This book does a wonderful job of pairing eccentric details concerning Coney Island's past with a whimsical undertone. Any teen who has felt like an outsider in a new environment will devour this book.-Stephanie Malosh, Donoghue Elementary School, Chicago, IL (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.

Publishers Weekly When Jane and her brother inherit the house in Coney Island where their late mother grew up, they move in with their father, planning to stay one year to prepare the house for sale. Sixteen-year-old Jane has lived everywhere from London to Tokyo, but amid Coney Island's rundown attractions and checkered history, she hopes to find clues about the mother she desperately misses. Palpable without being melodramatic, Jane's longing is well-wrought, as is the supporting cast of teenage dwarves, giants, and other Brooklyn natives, including a love interest for Jane. The mysteries Altebrando (What Happens Here) weaves into her story (what is the Dreamland Social Club? what iconic Coney sites do the keys Jane finds unlock? why is the carousel horse chained to a radiator in their living room so important?) will keep readers engaged, though not much really happens. Rather, this is a languid, introspective novel about a search for identity and meaning; against the backdrop of impending gentrification and development, both Jane and Coney Island itself are caught between the pull of the past and the uncertainty of the future. Ages 14-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Jane, a self-admitte. Looky Lo. afraid to take risks, is the type of girl with a closet full of gray skirts. Her high-school career has been defined by constant moves throughout Europe as her widower father searches for work. Yet, when her grandfather dies, the family inherits a new house in her mother's childhood home, near Coney Island in Brooklyn. Jane must acclimate to a high-school atmosphere in which the cliques resemble sideshow acts. As Jane and her brother, Marcus, delve into their departed mother's past, she recaptures bits of memories of life before her mother died and clues about her mother'. carn. past amid the glitz of Coney Island in its heyday. This novel offers typical teenage issues and the angst over making friends and catching the right boy's eye, but it is also a study in diversity, acceptance, and what it means to b. norma. as introverted Jane learns that everyone has his or her own freakishness to overcome.--Anderson, Eri. Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

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Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog The Stone Diaries
by Carol Shields

Publishers Weekly Canadian writer Shields's novels and short stories ( Swann ; The Republic of Love , etc.) are intensely imagined, humanely generous, beautifully sustained and impeccably detailed. Despite rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, she has yet to achieve an audience here; one hopes this latest effort, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, will be her breakthrough. It is at once a playful sendup of the art of biography and a serious exploration of the essential mystery of human lives; the gist of this many-faceted story is that all biographies are only versions of the facts. Shields follows her heroine, Daisy Goodwill Hoad Flett, from her birth--and her mother's death--on the kitchen floor of a stonemason's cottage in a small quarry town in Manitoba through childhood in Winnipeg, adolescence and young womanhood in Bloomington, Ind. (another quarry town), two marriages, motherhood, widowhood, a brief, exhilarating career in Ottawa--and eventually to old age and death in Florida. Stone is the unifying image here: it affects the geography of Daisy's life, and ultimately her vision of herself. Wittily, ironically, touchingly, Shields gives us Daisy's version of her life and contrasting interpretations of events from her friends, children and extended family. (She even provides ostensible photographs of Daisy's family and friends.) Shields's prose is succint, clear and graceful, and she is wizardly with description, summarizing appearance, disposition and inner lives with elegant imagery. Secondary characters are equally compelling, especially Daisy's obese, phlegmatic mother; her meek, obsessive father, who transforms himself into an overbearing executive; her adoptive mother, her stubborn father-in-law. Readers who discover Shields with this book can also pick up a simultaneously published paperback version of an early first novel, Happenstance . Author tour. (Mar.)

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

Library Journal Author of the ``most satisfying'' The Republic of Love ( LJ 1/92), Canadian novelist Shields here details the hard life of Daisy Stone Goodwill from her 1905 birth in Manitoba through old age.

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

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Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The Devil in Music
by Kate Ross

Library Journal Ross's historical mysteries featuring English dandy Julian Kestrel (e.g., Whom the Gods Love, LJ 4/1/95) have earned a loyal following. This fourth entry in the series moves Kestrel from his usual London haunts to Milan and moves Ross from trade paperback to hardcover status. While traveling the Continent with his friend, Dr. MacGregor, Kestrel reads of the recent uncovering of a four-year-old murder involving the aristocratic Malvezzi family and decides to try out his investigating skills once again. The victim was Lodovico Malvezzi, a Milanese marquis and famed music lover. Given his imperious manner, suspects are all to easy to find, especially among his family. Added to the mystery of his death are the disappearances of a talented musical protégé of the marquis and a surly servant, various intrigues related to Italian politics, and rebellions. Kestrel is undaunted by these challenges but finds Malvezzi's beautiful young widow a dangerous distraction. While the plotting is not as tight as in previous novels, the final chapters are replete with enough revelations and twists to please Ross's fans and leave them looking forward to the next novel.?Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., Davidson, N.C.

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

Publishers Weekly In her fourth novel featuring the sharp-witted English dandy Julian Kestrel, Ross (Whom the Gods Love) adeptly fashions a mystery from lethal family secrets, political strife, passion for great music and an opulent early 19th-century setting. While in Geneva on a continental holiday, Kestrel learns that the death of Marchese Lodovico Malvezzi in Italy some four years earlier was actually a homicide. The chief suspect is Orfeo, a talented young English singer whom Lodovico had been secretly grooming for a brilliant opera career and who disappeared the night of the murder. Kestrel, accompanied by his valet, Dipper (an ex-pickpocket), and his irascible friend Dr. Duncan MacGregor, travels to Milan, in the heart of Austrian-controlled northern Italy. He offers his services to Marchesa Beatrice Malvezzi, the beautiful and quite possibly dangerous young widow, who introduces him to Milanese society. Especially adroit are Ross's scenes at La Scala, where the operas performed on stage are mere backdrops to the social intrigues occurring in the private boxes of the aristocracy. Suspects abound, and Kestrel's principal adversaries are worthy foes. Gaston de la Marque, his rival for the Marchesa's attentions, is a clever and piquant Frenchman whose verbal duels with Kestrel are knife-edged. Commissario Grimani of the Milanese police is also a formidable obstacle, more concerned with a quick solution to impress his Austrian superiors than with finding the real murderer. The large cast, intricate plot and historical setting are all of operatic proportions, yet Ross never loses control of her story. The result is an elegant and finely tuned performance. Author tour. (Sept.)

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

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