Staff Choices

Posted by joecollier_resigned on 08/21/13
cover image
If you love science fiction and/or fantasy, and also the Victorian era, then it’s a bit surprising that you haven’t already discovered the wonderful world of steampunk. But perhaps you’ve heard of it? Steampunk—getting more popular every day—is a genre that, while established almost 30 years ago, has in the past several years grown almost exponentially in popularity. Movies like Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, or books like The Golden Compass are good examples of this retro-techno mashed-up genre where Victorian technology meets space travel.
 
For those readers already familiar or those new to the genre and just curious, Steampunk : An Illustrated History Of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film And Other Victorian Visions by Brian J. Robb is an excellent place to either brush up or get a start in exploring this wonderfully inventive style. A grand, illustrated history of the counterculture movement in a book fittingly designed to reflect the genre aesthetic in package and artwork. This comprehensive work covers the genre’s history from the fastest dirigible and steam-powered ray guns to fashionistas Lady Gaga and Alexander McQueen, with loads of amazing and informative pictures and illustrations. Fire up the gaslight and read well past your bedtime!
 
Posted by Ultra Violet on 08/21/13
cover image
A Fatal Likeness is the second mystery with detective, Charles Maddox. It is a follow-up, though not sequel to, The Solitary House. In A Fatal Likeness, Maddox is called in to investigate a blackmail plot targeting the son of Percy Bysshe Shelley. 
 
Taking very liberal creative license with the lives of the poet and Mary Shelley, Shepherd weaves a convincing mystery while maintaining the linguistic feel of the time period. This is a fun mystery, but one may want to read The Solitary House first for some background on the character of Maddox. And avid fans of Shelley may want to read this novel with a hearty grain of salt. Still, an enjoyable read for historical mystery readers, like me.
Posted by bweiner on 08/20/13
cover image
We all need something to laugh about, and actress/author Lauren Graham gives us countless humorous moments in Someday, Someday, Maybe, a heartfelt story of self realization about Franny Banks, an actress looking for her big break in show business. Lauren Graham, of Gilmore Girls fame, uses her insiders knowledge of the performing arts to craft a warm, entertaining and inspiring story.
 
Franny Banks is someone we can relate to, a down to earth girl trying to make it in a world of sharks and piranhas. Franny moves to New York City and gives herself three years to succeed in "the business". With only six months left, she must pull out all the stops to get her big break.
 
Lauren graham narrates this audio book with her trademark crisp, snappy style of delivery that she used on the Gilmore Girls. Funny, poignant and smart, we follow Franny on her journey of discovery and share a lot of fun and laughter along the way.
Posted by dnapravn on 08/20/13
cover image
If you are a fan of the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett, you may want to check out Susan Crandall's Whistling Past the Graveyard.
 
Set in 1963 Mississippi, nine-year-old Starla has not seen her mother, who abandoned her to become a famous singer, since she was three. Her father works on an offshore oil rig and is not around much, so Starla lives with her cantankerous grandmother who never misses an opportunity to let Starla know what a trial she is. When Starla is grounded yet again, she runs away headed to Nashville and her mother. She is eventually picked up by a black woman named Eula who is traveling alone with a white baby.
 
What follows is a life-changing road trip during which Starla is exposed to the prejudice of the 1960s South. During their sometimes dangerous adventure together Eula, Starla, and Baby James face the harsh realities of life as well as learn the true meaning of love and family.
Posted by rkong on 08/16/13
cover image
Every parent knows how difficult it can be to look after and raise another human being, but imagine if you had to figure out parenthood while serving as one of the head honchos of the Galactic Empire! In Vader's Little Princess, artist and author Jeffrey Brown paints a hilarious and touching picture of what domestic life would be like for daddy Skywalker, including stresses stemming from Leia's choices in clothing and boyfriends. 
 
Adults and kids who are Star Wars fans will enjoy this book! Read it together and be sure to check out Brown's Darth Vader and Son, which depicts Vader's life raising young Luke. 
 
Need more convincing? Watch this book trailer for Vader's Little Princess!
 
Posted by Pam I am on 08/15/13
cover image
The best way to review Sophie Kinsella's newest book, Wedding Night, is to start with an analogy.  Sophie Kinsella is to "chick literature" as Jennifer Anniston is to "Romantic Comedy Films".   And, this latest book is the equivalent of a romantic comedy film where you can imagine the main character as Jennifer Aniston starring alongside Reese Witherspoon and Bradley Cooper.  If you are looking to curl up with a light-hearted, fast-paced, and funny book then this is a book I recommend.
 
This new book features two sisters, Lottie and Fliss.  Lottie has a history of making "unfortunate choices" following bad breakups and after she breaks up with her longtime boyfriend she reconnects with an old flame, Ben.  Within days Lottie and Ben have decided to get married right away and honeymoon in Greece.  Fliss doesn't want to see Lottie make this mistake and decides to travel to Greece to stop Lottie and Ben from consumating their marriage.  As with any Sophie Kinsella book,  the characters are flawed, but endearing.  They are silly and inept but you will laugh along with this book.  So curl up with some popcorn and indulge yourself in this romantic comedy chick-lit book!
 
Chick Lit
Posted by crossin on 08/05/13
cover image
Looking for some great movies to watch during the dog days of summer?  Why not heed the advice of a renowned film critic?  Every year, from 1967 to 2012, Roger Ebert picked his favorite movie.  Here are his picks--come in and check one out.
Posted by bpardue on 08/02/13
cover image
Patricia Barber, a local jazz fixture, has released an album that sounds like a low-key affair, but there's an intensity and darkness to many of her lyrics, often dealing with the pain of loss and failed relationships.  Musically, things are generally spare and spacious, but that just builds the drama and sets up powerful moments like John Kregor's intense guitar solo on the title song (which seemingly comes out of the blue) or the slow buildup of "Scream."  This is a powerful album that rewards close listening.
Jazz
Posted by Uncle Will on 08/01/13
cover image
Many think that Spencer Tracy, who starred in "Boy's Town," was the first to coin the phrase: "...There's no such thing as a bad boy..."
Then there's some that credit Tarzan with saying: "...There's no such thing as a bad monkey..."
According to a Bahamian voodoo witch known as the Dragon Queen in Carl Hiaasen's new novel Bad Monkey, who is convinced that the Capuchin monkey she craves to acquire is really a human boy -- there's no such thing as either.
 
One of the most delightful things about Carl Hiaasen's books is that you almost don't have to read further than the cast of kooky characters on the book jacket to be thoroughly entertained. In this latest book, Andrew Yancy is a suspended Miami police detective whose suspension was for molesting his former girlfriend's surgeon husband, in public, with a vacuum cleaner. Yes, there was "Film at 11." Yancy has been forced to accept the position of "Chief of the Monroe County Roach Patrol" -- which is better known as the county's restaurant health inspector. His ex-girlfriend, now the ex-wife of a prominent surgeon, has recaptured the magic she once had over 10 years ago with one of her former AP English high school students. This is the very same student that she was arrested, among other things, for contributing to his delinquency.
 
Yancy just wants to be a cop again. He also wants his backyard view returned; an illegally tall housing unit has been constructed right next door to his home by an over-zealous housing developer. To complicate matters, Yancy is asked to store evidence in his deep-freezer. This evidence is a human arm. It's found floating, hooked to a deep-sea fishing rod that's reeled in by an unsuspecting tourist. This arm might or might not have been detached in a boating accident or by malicious behavior. Yancy's police chief refuses to acknowledge either hypothesis. He just wants the arm to disappear.  He has higher political visions that do not include a grisly murder or freak accident in his county.
 
As bodies start to pile up, Yancy and his kinky new girlfriend, a Miami coroner, travel to the Bahamas where clues are likely to be found in the case of the missing arm. Once in the Bahamas, we find a poor islander, Neville, who has been foreclosed by another overly zealous condo developer (this one being a serial killer). Neville is the not-so-proud owner of the monkey, Tom, who starred in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie with Johnny Depp. Tom comes from a long-line of famous show-biz monkeys. Unfortunately, Tom does not perform well in front of an audience. The belief is that Tom has never grown out of his adolescence stage. He likes to bite and fling feces when in public. The Dragon Queen seems to overlook Tom's bounty of bad behaviors in her quest to possess this "baby boy."   
 
Will Neville ever reclaim his modest beach home and his pet monkey who is now addicted to pipe smoking? 
Will Yancy solve this case and retain his gold shield -- along with his desire to eat again in a public restaurant?
Will true love, between the convicted child-molester/former-teacher and her once sexy-star-student (who has since gone to seed), overcome all boundaries, restrictions, and federal warrants?
Will Yancy ever again be able to sit in his backyard and watch the sun set slowly on the sea?
Will Tom and Johnny Depp, together again, ever get to skip rocks off the water?

To get the answers to these questions and more, one will have to read this book.

I'll never tell.
It's a case of monkey-see/monkey-no-speak!
Posted by cstoll on 07/22/13
cover image
One of my current favorite authors, Marian Keyes does not disappoint with her newest book The Mystery of Mercy Close, a Walsh Sister Novel. This time we are brought into sister Helen's world of private investigation, along with a dose of the normal every day drama that seems to come with this lovable Irish family.
 
If you're not familiar with Keyes's books, my suggestion would be to start with Anybody Out There?  One of the more deeper stories in her sister series, it focuses a tragic event in sister Anna’s life.  If you prefer something more light hearted then pick up Last Chance Saloon or Sushi for Beginners – think Sex in the City meets Shopaholic…definitely chick lit, these stories are a guaranteed fun read with some touches of reality mixed in.  You’ll be captivated from the start as I was with the Walsh family and this author.

Get a Reading List

Complete a simple form to share your taste and preferences and receive personalized reading suggestions.

eBooks and eAudiobooks

Browse our collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks and learn how to use them with your eReader, tablet, or computer.

Book Recommendations