In the remote central Asian city of Kashgar in the 1920's a group of English women missionaries come under house arrest after an act of mercy. In 21st century London, Frieda returns from her travels, meets a homeless refugee from Yemen and discovers she has inherited the contents of an apartment of a deceased stranger. These alternating stories keep will keep you reading until the end.
Uprisings, riots, war and terrorism are a daily features on news media but Steven Pinker, taking an historical perspective, makes the argument that the world is getting less violent. Literacy, the rise of government, commerce, travel and education all have played a part in helping us to control impulsive behavior, consider opposing viewpoints, expose jingoism and chauvinism and make the world a better place. The Better Angels of our Nature makes fascinating reading, but be warned, -- it is many books in one and you’ll need time to stop, think and ponder Pinker’s insights.
American born Cherry Truong arrives in Vietnam eager to learn more about her family’s history and determined to bring back her disgraced older brother. The extended Truong family relocated to Paris after the fall of Vietnam while Cherry’s parents chose to settle in Southern California with her maternal grandmother’s family, the Vos. Though the families have kept in touch over the years, this separation has led to discontent, jealousy, resentment and misunderstanding. In her search Cherry comes across two series of letters that reveal new insights into her family’s departure and resettlement.
Next time you go to search our library collections you may notice things look a bit different. Yesterday, we launched a New Library Catalog search system that will hopefully make searching much easier and expose new materials you may have missed before.
Not ready to make the switch? Don't worry, our previous library catalog is still available as the "Classic Catalog" - look for the link at the bottom of the screen in the new system. "My Account" is also unchanged and can be accessed from either version of the catalog - just first select the "Login" link in the new catalog and enter your library card and PIN number.
Give the new system a try and please let us know what you think!
Donald Sobol, the author of the Encyclopedia Brown series died on July 11th. He was 87 years old.
Encyclopedia Brown has been a staple for 2nd and 3rd grade readers for decades. Each book features several short mysteries which remain unsolved until you check the back of the book for the answer. I've always considered these books great for reluctant readers and for budding mystery fans.
His last book, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme is scheduled to be published and next year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of his first Encyclopedia Brown book.
Thanks for the mysteries!
During the ‘”Gilded Age”, the historical period from mid nineteenth to early twentieth century, many daughters of wealthy American families travelled to Europe, seeking a husband with a title. Their money often saved their noble in-law from financial ruin. Such stories have been the subject of novels, movies and television programs including the recent Downton Abbey.
Daisy Goodwin’s novel The American Heiress tells the story of Cora Cash wife of Ivo, Duke of Wareham and her introduction to the social scene of English nobility, with its ingrained and unstated manners and traditions. Daisy Goodwin’s model for Cora Cash was Consuelo Vanderbilt who became the Duchess of Marlborough.
You can read more about Consuelo in her autobiography, The Glitter and the Gold and in Consuelo: Portrait of an American Heiress by James Brough. Consuelo and other luminaries of her time also feature in J.P. Morrissey’s mystery novel A Weekend at Blenheim.
You can read more about the history of Highclere Castle, the setting for Downtown Abbey in Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey : the Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by the Countess of Carnarvon.