May 2011 Archives

After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

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For Celia West, being the daughter of the world's greatest superheroes should have been a dream come true, but without any superpowers of her own, her greatest claim to fame is that she's been kidnapped more than any other person in the world. Her family life while growing up was dysfunctional at best and as a teen, Celia eventually rebelled against her parents by running away and joining up briefly as a henchman with her parent's greatest nemesis, Destructor. Now that she's an adult, all she wants is to live a quiet life away from her parents and the superhero community, while pursuing a career in forensic accounting. When Celia is asked by the D.A. to assist in a tax evasion case against Destructor, she's reluctantly drawn back into the world of superheroes and super-villains. As the case proceeds, her carefully ordered life is turned upside down again by kidnappings, evil plots, romance and public humiliation, as her past association with Destructor is revealed. But as Celia unravels the threads of the current mystery, she uncovers the secret origin of all of the heroes and ultimately discovers her own kind of heroism. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Clark @ Washington Park


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Your friends are talking about the latest best seller. Your teachers are lecturing about the most important classics. You don't have enough time to read everything. And half of those books you have no interest in reading anyway. Here Lange summarizes each book in one page with four drawings and a bit of text. How is that possible? Unfortunately, you have to read it to find out, but it's painless I promise...and hilarious too.



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If stories involving intellectual chickens, talking houseplants, foul-smelling snowmen and sombrero-wearing maggots are your thing, Jim Knipfel has a book for you. His newest offering, These Children Who Come at You with Knives, is a set of off-kilter short stories with plots and characters usually found in the dreams--or, rather, the nightmares--of dark-hearted teenage boys.

Knipfel, a native of Green Bay, is known primarily for his memoirs Slackjaw and Quitting the Nairobi Trio, books which can provide useful insight into the creative mind behind these stories. The stories Knipfel tells here typically involve lonely or down-on-their-luck people visited upon by seemingly magical creatures promising easy ways out of personal or financial ruts. Others involve social misfits enduring humiliating treatment at the hands of the selfish and powerful. All are told in a kind of "fractured fairy tale" style that is both hilarious and discomfiting, often leaving the reader both squirming and snickering at the end of each story. If your reading tastes veer towards the offbeat and sarcastic, you will find much to enjoy in These Children Who Come at You with Knives, and while you're at it, check out some of Jim Knipfel's other stuff too.

Submitted by Brett @ Washington Park


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Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear

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In Hull Zero Three an unnamed narrator awakens from a gestation pod on a starship that hurtles through space on a derailed mission. His enigmatic little-girl rescuer hustles him through increasingly cold chambers, chasing the ship's heat, while ransacking corpses for useable clothes, food and water. When sanctuary is found at last he almost succumbs to its allure before he discovers that he is not the first of his genome to pass this way--he is the latest of hundreds. Looking for his real purpose for awakening before his time, Teacher (as he now knows he is) encounters others of different genomes & experimental organics who also come to believe that something has gone very wrong with their ship. What? And how can they fix the problem? Each apparent solution hides a bigger problem and only audacious and daring action can outwit the Ship's Defenses to save the mission AND an inhabited planetary system. I felt the book was well-written, perhaps a little too obscure in some places, but certainly of interest to fans of "hard science" fiction.

Submitted by Leah @ Wisconsin Talking Book & Braille Library


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Going Bovine by Libba Bray

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Cameron Smith is a slacker with no real interests, hobbies or likes. His boring life is turned upside down when he is diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, essentially a death sentence. While in the hospital, he is visited by a glam-punk angel named Dulcie who tells him his only chance for a cure is to find the mysterious Dr. X, who is lost somewhere in time and space. Accompanied by a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome (who is really the Norse god Baldur), Cameron embarks on a cross-country road trip in a desperate attempt to save his life.

A dark comedy, this book offers plenty of laughs. Bray lampoons modern youth culture, the U.S. Educational system, and America's consumer culture. The author skillfully weaves together elements from different mythologies as well as modern culture to form a cohesive book that is both touching and entertaining. Going Bovine was the winner of the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award, which is given annually by the Young Adult Library Services Association, of the American Library Association.



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Submitted by Jennifer P. @ MPL Central

Rage of the Fallen by Joseph Delaney

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Welcome to the Last Apprentice series! Rage of the Fallen is actually book 8 in the tale of Tom Ward's apprenticeship to John Gregory, the local spook. Set in medieval times, a spook is a hunter & defender of their assigned county against the scary, ghostly things that plague local residents. An eerie position, most folks are afraid of and dislike spooks but desperately need them when ghosts, boggarts or witches show up in the county. Tom Ward's ongoing apprenticeship has him encountering all types of frightening creatures as well as discovering who he is.

In book 8, John Gregory, Tom and his friend Alice are in Ireland in hopes of finding some temporary safety while a larger war goes on back home. Unfortunately, they discover a new sort of evil creature making town's people go mad. As spooks, John Gregory & Tom must stop this creature. Although what they find may lead back to an old adversary with a grudge. All the while Tom fearing for his & Alice's life as they try to outmaneuver their greater enemy, the Fiend. A small cracked jar in Tom's pocket is the only thing keeping him away for the moment. Their last hope is to collaborate with the Witch Assassin Grimalkin to attempt to bind their common enemy, the Fiend; however they haven't heard from Grimalkin in weeks.

The apprenticeship of Tom Ward includes a bestiary of all types of creatures, everyday adventures and a bigger ongoing story of Tom, his past and his future. For John Gregory, a spook of an earlier generation, the world looks very black and white, wrong and right, good and evil. For Tom, whose own history puts him in question, everything is not so clear. Caught between his destiny and his choices, he stays true to himself and loyal to his friends, even to his detriment.

Submitted by Casey @ Atkinson


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China Road by Rob Gifford

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National Public Radio's China correspondent Rob Gifford journeyed for six weeks on China's Route 312. (This would be the early equivalent of Route 66 through a less developed United States). He begins his sojourn in the costal city Shanghai at the mouth of the Yangtze River and moves nearly 3000 miles inland to the boarder of Kazakhstan. Along the way the country is transformed into a desert and the road signs become bilingual, including both Chinese and the Arabic script of the Uighur Muslims. Gifford is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and his great gift as a journalist is his ability to seek out, converse and ingratiate himself with an incredible cast of characters, even managing to interview the Daoist hermit monk Shi of Hua Shan at his mountain hut. The reader gets a good feeling for the "schizophrenic" pace of China's development, from the skyscrapers of Shanghai to the oxen still tilling the rural land as they have since ancient times. China Road is the ultimate travelogue winding its way through China's diverse cultures.

Submitted by Dan @ Washington Park


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Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

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After watching a few episodes of HBO's new series Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin's books, I wanted more then just the weekly episode. Now after reading book one in the series I am anxious to read even more. Game of Thrones is a dense and intriguingly complex read. Set in a medieval backdrop, it is filled with characters, plots and subplots involving a handful of kingdoms fighting for, with and against each other. The main families are the Targaryens, the Starks and the Lannisters. Each represents a land or kingdom with an interwoven history of alliances and battles as they struggle for control of the "iron throne."

Frequently alluded to, this constant battling for power is the "game of thrones" these noble born families play. The characters are compelling and deep and I was drawn to them and their individual stories. Chapters are written from each character's perspective and rotate between them. When the end of the book comes, there is no perfect resolution or complete closure but more like a pause or intermission. Needless to say, I will be reading book two, Clash of Kings, very soon, as well as continuing to watch the HBO series. The TV series has remained very faithful to the books from as much as I have seen. However, the books offer additional details, background and insight then is possible on film. I can see the series following the lives of these families and the transition of power from one generation to the next. If you enjoy fantasy genre and series, this should definitely be on your "to read" list.

Submitted by Casey @ Atkinson

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Game of Thrones is the first book in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, and it is about to premiere as an HBO miniseries on April 17, 2011.

A thrilling fantasy epic, it follows three main families - the Starks, the Lannisters, and the Targaryens - in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the East beyond.

The King's Hand, a political position directly under the King, is found dead and Ned Stark is chosen as his replacement. Suspicious that the previous Hand was murdered by someone close within the King's court, he must tread carefully to find out the truth even as it splits up his family and endangers their lives. Could the murderer be one of the Lannisters, a family that yearns for power? Perhaps it was one of the brothers or even more troublesome, the Queen herself. And the real question, the one that plagues on Ned's mind and question his family's safety - What could the former Hand possibly have known that someone would kill for?

Meanwhile, the Targaryens are waiting across the sea. The former rulers of the Seven Kingdoms, there is only Viserys Targaryen and his thirteen year-old sister Daenerys left. Viserys is determined to get his family's throne back; he exchanges the marriage of his sister to a warlord king of a nomadic horse tribe, hoping to raise an army. What he doesn't count on is his sister falling in love with her husband and coming into her own with a fierce determination to take control of her own life.

Amidst all of this is the constant reminder that winter is coming, an utter darkness that will span four decades and there is a mysterious threat beyond the northern The Wall. The people of the Seven Kingdoms must prepare for the danger that will threaten their lives and the stability of the kingdom.

Martin is a master storyteller, keeping you on the edge of your seat and flipping through pages nonstop. The only thing disappointing about the book is that eventually, it comes to an end.

Submitted by Monica @ MPL Central


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Griftopia by Matt Taibbi

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With gas prices reaching all-time highs and an economy that is recovering all too slowly from its 2008 tailspin, the question of how we got into this mess still does not have an entirely satisfying answer. One trenchant analysis of this situation comes from intrepid Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi, well known for his in-depth Wall Street dissections and caustic (yet coffee-spittingly funny) attacks on political and economic elites. His latest book, Griftopia, looks at the current downturn and fearlessly points the finger at those whose reckless and self-absorbed behavior resulted in the loss of jobs and billions of dollars in investment and retirement funds for millions of working-and middle-class Americans.

Taibbi links the meltdown at least in part to the actions (and inactions) of longtime former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, a Reagan appointee and devotee of libertarian author Ayn Rand. It is Greenspan's policies that permitted the kind of high-stakes wheeling and dealing pervasive on Wall Street, using complex and unregulated financial instruments that filled the coffers of large investment banks but bankrupted pension funds, individual 401ks, and communities. As a result, retirees are forced into poverty and towns and cities find themselves having to sell off valuable long-term assets in order to cover short-term budgetary deficits.

Politicians both Republican and Democratic receive due dressing-downs from Taibbi, who is known for his over-the-top and often profanity-laced tirades. Not for the faint-hearted, Griftopia will have you both pounding your fist in anger and doubled over in laughter, often within the same sentence.

Submitted by Brett @ Washington Park


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Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

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A beautiful and multi-layered retelling of the Russian folktale of Koschei the Deathless, set during the Communist Revolution and WWII; with mythological figures reflecting the politics and struggles of that period. Clever and precocious Marya Morevna captures the heart of Koschei, the Tsar of Life, and is seduced away into his world of magic, as well as his war against his brother, the Tsar of Death. As she explores what it means to be Koschei's bride, Marya encounters such varied creatures as collectivised house gnomes, Party Chairman Baba Yaga, living buildings, shape shifting birds, imps made of rifles, firebirds and a dragon who hoards the paperwork of death orders. But the real world and the magical one begin to collide as Marya's heart becomes torn between the wondrous Koschei and Ivan, an innocent soldier, during the siege of Leningrad. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Clark @ Washington Park


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The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris

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How much do we know about our parents? Which life experiences shaped their lives? Have they told you about them or kept silent? Have you asked? Some of the memories may jar your understanding of them, bring you closer to them, and aid you in understanding more about the society we live in.

Michele Norris, co-host of National Public Radio's All Things Considered, uncovered family secrets which greatly enriched her understanding of her own racial legacy. The campaign leading to President Obama's election started many conversations about race. In 2009, Norris worked on a multipart NPR series on race in America. As part of the process, while participating in her family's conversations, secrets were uncovered. Most notably, she learned that her father had been shot by a white policeman in Alabama and that her maternal grandmother worked as a traveling Aunt Jemima. This began a journey for information that resulted in her writing The Grace of Silence.

Norris grew up in South Minneapolis, raised by her two strong, hard-working parents to be the confident, accomplished woman we know today. Instilled in her was the constant expectation to "rise" and to "set your sights on excellence and opportunity." As an award-winning journalist and commentator, she did just that. Her memoir is a great read which may get you to say to the people who raised you "Tell me more about yourself." Who knows where the conversation may go?

Submitted by Linda V. @ Center St


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The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

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1968; people with disabilities were routinely shut off from society and left to languish without attention, forgotten. Lynnie, a disabled white woman with limited speech abilities and Homan, a deaf-mute African American man are institutionalized at the Pennsylvania State School of the Incurable and Feebleminded.

One stormy night, they escape, but Lynnie is pregnant and it's time for the baby to be born. They find safety in the farmhouse of a retired school teacher, Martha Zimmer who allows them to hide in her attic. The authorities search and eventually catch up with them at the Zimmer's. Lynnie must return, but Homan gets away and the baby is left behind with Martha.

Now their stories separate, though they are desperate to reconnect. Lynnie continues to love Homan and believes he will return for her eventually. Martha looks after the baby and lives in fear that the secret will be found out and the baby taken away. Homan travels the country searching for Lynnie, but has no idea where to look; he doesn't even know her name. Will they ever reunite? Will Lynnie see her baby again? The Story of Beautiful Girl is unforgettable and will appeal to anyone interested in the deplorable treatment in the not-so-distant past of those with disabilities.

Submitted by Jacki @ Central


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Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

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Fans of Sarah Vowell's unique takes on American history will not be disappointed with her latest offering, Unfamiliar Fishes. Here she brings her familiar sharp sense of humor and infectious enthusiasm to the subject of our nation's 50th state, Hawaii. Vowell explores the island state's journey from independent kingdom to American possession, examining the cultural clashes and geographical challenges along the way.

Hawaii is largely regarded as little more than a vacation paradise, home to sunny beaches, Pearl Harbor, and President Obama. Before Western incursion it had a self-contained culture with its own religion, organization, and royal lineage. Colonization began with missionaries from New England looking to "Christianize" and "civilize" the inhabitants, and then later as an outpost for Pacific sailors looking for shore leave and (ahem) a good time.

Vowell provides a breezy overview of this history with little romanticism and ample sarcasm but without the strident anti-Western polemics one often finds in historical revisions like this. The tone of the book is at times melancholy, but she balances this with her pop-culture informed wit and sweet descriptions of adventures with her sister Amy and nephew Owen, whom her readers will recognize from previous books. Unfamiliar Fishes is a great addition to the growing Sarah Vowell collection and an informative yet light read.

Submitted by Brett @ Washington Park


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Dreaming in Chinese by Deborah Fallows

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Fallows spent three years living in China with her husband and the result is this fascinating book. Because she has a Ph.D. in linguistics, her approach to understanding a country is naturally orientated to first learning the language. She observes, "Language teachers and linguists generally agree that Chinese is one of the world's most difficult languages for English speakers to learn..." She also found out first hand how hard Chinese was to use as she traveled around the county trying to communicate. Chinese is a tonal language. There are about 400 syllables in Mandarin as opposed to 4000 in English. So hearing tones and using them in speech is essential for communication. One example she gives is the clever story of the Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den which consist of 92 repetitions of the syllable shi using different tones to tell a grammatically correct story in Chinese.

« Shī Shì shí shī shǐ »
Shíshì shīshì Shī Shì, shì shī, shì shí shí shī.
Shì shíshí shì shì shì shī.
Shí shí, shì shí shī shì shì.
Shì shí, shì Shī Shì shì shì.
Shì shì shì shí shī, shì shǐ shì, shǐ shì shí shī shìshì.
Shì shí shì shí shī shī, shì shíshì.
Shíshì shī, Shì shǐ shì shì shíshì.
Shíshì shì, Shì shǐ shì shí shì shí shī.
Shí shí, shǐ shí shì shí shī, shí shí shí shī shī.
Shì shì shì shì.

《施氏食獅史》
石室诗士施氏,嗜狮,誓食十狮。
氏时时适市视狮。
十时,适十狮适市。
是时,适施氏适市。
氏视是十狮,恃矢势,使是十狮逝世。
氏拾是十狮尸,适石室。
石室湿,氏使侍拭石室。
石室拭,氏始试食是十狮尸。
食时,始识是十狮,实十石狮尸。
试释是事。

« Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den »
In a stone den was a poet called Shi, who was a lion addict, and had resolved to eat ten.
He often went to the market to look for lions.
At ten o'clock, ten lions had just arrived at the market.
At that time, Shi had just arrived at the market.
He saw those ten lions, and using his trusty arrows, caused the ten lions to die.
He brought the corpses of the ten lions to the stone den.
The stone den was damp. He asked his servants to wipe it.
After the stone den was wiped, he tried to eat those ten lions.
When he ate, he realized that these ten lions were in fact ten stone lion corpses.
Try to explain this matter. (Poem source in full: Wikipedia.)

The author covers many other interesting complexities of Chinese too numerous to list here, but the reader comes away with the impression that all non-native speakers must make an extraordinary effort to master this language. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Dan @ Washington Park Library


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Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton

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Alternate histories & imagined lives of historical persons seem the norm on our bookshelves these days. Impatient with Desire relates the story of the Donner Party emigration as they endure the legendary mountain snows of the winter of 1846-1847. Told through diary entries, letters to family back East, Bible entries, and other "documents," Tamsen Donner reveals the hopes that began the journey for 87 travelers and the tragedy that ended it with only 43. Although several rescue attempts were made, survivors had to walk out on their own with no baggage sleds or animals. Consequently, only persons with some stamina left could be rescued; the rest were left behind in their winter camp with minimal supplies. On every side the Donner Party had to make frightening decisions. Almost as compellingly written is the author's note & bibliography in which Burton tells us that her life had inexplicably become involved with Tamsen's while she researched the book. Although the story could have dwelled on the horrific, Burton instead brings out the individual heroism of each pilgrim.

Submitted by Leah @ Wisconsin Talking Book & Braille Library


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Triumph of the City by Edward L. Glaeser

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Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, is, as the subtitle indicates, a great way to feel good about being a city-dweller. The author, a Harvard professor of urban economics, leaves out all the technical language of his field and takes readers on a worldwide tour of cities that work and cities that don't, including a comparison of New York and Detroit--explaining why one has flourished after losing its manufacturing industry, and the other has not.

Glaeser also takes care to explain some of the less than obvious highlights of cities--how asphalt is good for the environment, how new high-rises can save historic buildings, and how urban poverty is a sign that the city is the best place for everyone to be. Triumph of the City explores cities from Singapore to Chicago, touches on topics from school reform to street-cleaning, and explains why suburbs are the popular choice, but cities are the wave of the future.

Submitted by Mary Lou @ Washington Park


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And Thereby Hangs a Tale by Jeffrey Archer

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Since I enjoyed reading Archer's 2006 mystery, False Impression, I picked up this book of his short stories. The collection is a breezy read of tales, all with a twist. They are international in scope with various settings (Milwaukee is mentioned in Where There's A Will).

Archer is a good raconteur. You'll imagine you've made his acquaintance while traveling and he is sharing these stories after dinner with a group of newfound companions. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Linda V. @ Center St


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Keith Richards, Life

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The only thing more astonishing than the fact that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards lived long enough to write his autobiography, Life, is that he remembers so much of what happened to him. Weighing in at a whopping 546 pages, Richards recounts with incredible detail major events and artistic triumphs (the writing and recording of classic hits and albums such as "Satisfaction" and Exile On Main St) to the lowest points (heroin addiction, romantic breakups, and battles with his longtime cohort Mick Jagger).

Most fascinating are the stories behind the creation of those classic Stones records, especially the recording of the Exile album in the south of France in the early 1970s. Richards recounts the free-for-all intensity of that period with amazing clarity, vividly describing the crazy characters, fellow musicians and other hangers-on at his Mediterranean chateau/recording studio.

Also interesting are his descriptions of his relationships with his fellow band mates, Mick Jagger in particular. Much press has been made of some of the negative things Keith has said about Jagger in the book, but Richards also touchingly praises his "Glimmer Twin" brother numerous times throughout, displaying a deep dedication that must exist in a relationship that has lasted as long as theirs has. Richards' frank, sprawling memoir is filled with same grit, wit, and heart of any classic Stones song.

Submitted by Brett @ Washington Park


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Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale

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In an alternate London, gas lamps light the streets, and the descendants of fallen angels, called Prodigals, with their yellow eyes, black nails, and latent magical abilities inherited from their demonic ancestors, are second class citizens, living uneasily among humans. They are watched closely by the Inquisition, an order devoted to upholding the law, and more often than not punishing Prodigals for minor infractions.

Belimai Sykes is a Prodigal, who, after a run in with the Inquisition six years ago, still bears its scars both mental and physical. Not only does his body bear the evidence of time spent at their hands, lines of holy verse carved into his skin by their prayer machines, but when he left the Inquisition House at last, it was as a drug addict and a broken man. Captain William Harper is a member of the Inquisition, a stoic, atypical member of the order who hires Belimai to investigate the disappearance of his sister. By the time of the second story, the two have formed an unlikely friendship.

Have you ever put off reading the rest of a book simply because once you do, there won't be any more? Wicked Gentlemen is one of those books. It's composed of two stories, each told from the perspective of a different character, and an epilogue. A gothic steampunk fantasy, with wonderfully detailed world building and engaging characters that leaves you wanting more, it is also an example of a novel with a gay protagonist, but the "romance" is hardly at the center of this story. I so enjoyed this book that I was sad to put it down, but there has been talk of a sequel, and we may be seeing more of Belimai and Harper in the future. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Ashley @ Center St


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Rose Elliot's New Complete Vegetarian

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I'll be honest: I am not a fan of most vegetables. However, it's been very clear to me that vegetables are great for my nutrition needs and I really should be eating more of them. In my quest to discover new (or any) ways of eating vegetables, I stumbled upon this great vegetarian cookbook. I may not be a vegetarian, but that doesn't mean I can't take advantage of these great recipes.

What I love the most about this book are the little cooking tips and the guides. I didn't know, before this book, the different ways of preparing vegetables. Now I also know how to prepare different nuts and the best recipes to pair them with. Did you know there are at least 18 different types of beans? I certainly did not, nor did I know how to prepare them before cooking them. The difference between barley and polenta? No idea. In my experience, a lot of cooking books will give me recipes, but don't take the time to explain these types of things. This book is great for someone who is starting out cooking in a healthier way, or someone who is already an experienced veggie-lover. The recipes seem straight-forward and not at all intimidating. It's organized well and has great design. I love the section on soups and stews and I'm also thrilled to try out the bread and dessert sections, because I am a baker at heart.

I would highly suggest this cookbook to anyone, and for the first time I'm looking forward to making food with vegetables in them. I've already bookmarked over 20 recipes and am raring to go. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Monica @ MPL Central


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A Lonely Death by Charles Todd

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Scotland Yard Detective Ian Rutledge is a fascinating character. Created by a mother and son writing team, the Inspector Rutledge series is a twist on the flawed detective genre. Set in post WWI England Todd delves the psyche of the war exhausted population. Rutledge, himself, is no exception. He has returned from the battlefield with the ghost of a dead soldier in his head. Hamish MacLeod was executed on the battlefield by Rutledge for refusing a direct order. Hamish has now become Rutledge's constant companion and the embodiment of his tortured soul.

In a small Sussex village war veterans are being brutally murdered. Each has been garroted, with small ID discs left in their mouths. Is this the work of a fellow emotionally scarred veteran? Or is the motive to be found further in the past? The mystery is intricately wrought. But the solution to the crime seems secondary to the wrenching stories of the veterans and their difficulty in returning to their old lives; lives that no longer exist. The details and emotions that Todd evokes paints a picture of imperfect men trying to justify their pasts and understand their futures. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Jan @ Capitol


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Spiral by Paul McEuen

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Liam Connor, a brilliant scientist and winner of the Nobel prize, has a secret. During WWII, he witnessed the ravages of the most deadly bioweapon ever created. Has he unraveled its mysteries? Might he even have a sample of the doomsday fungus? Some very powerful people have their suspicions, and are willing to go to any lengths to find out. When they find Liam, his family and another prominent scientist must follow the clues Liam left them to stop the destruction of the human race.

Murder, political intrigue, and spine-tingling suspense make this a finely-wrought mystery, peopled with passionate and intriguing characters. It's by far one of the best thrillers so far this year. In addition, the author himself is a prominent scientist at Cornell; he provides an authentic look into the possible future (and past) of biotechnology. Both adults and teens will enjoy this book, as long as they are comfortable with some violent scenes. A must-read for lovers of thrillers, modern speculative and science fiction, and even WWII and warfare history. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Audrey @ Central


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Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

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Ben Carson was raised in poverty and grew up in a single family home. He struggled in school, but with loving encouragement from his mother he was able to work up from the bottom of his class as the "class dummy" to the top. Ben greatly benefited from spending countless hours at the library learning about everything that he had an interest in.

Now as an adult, Dr. Carson is the leading neurosurgeon at John Hopkins Hospital. He has performed miracle surgeries with his gifted hands. In this book, which is also available as a DVD, Ben Carson shares his story to inspire others by proving that you can defy the odds. Gifted Hands is an inspirational classic that can continue to be shared with others for many years! Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Hermoine @ Center Street


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