All posts tagged "books"

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A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

cover title: a lady cyclist's guide to Kashgar

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.

Here Suzanne Joinson tells how she came to write  her first novel, A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar.


The Better Angels of Our Nature : Why Violence has Declined

book cover The Better Angels of Our NatureUprisings, 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.



The Reeducation of Cherry Truong

Cover of The Reeducation of Cherry TruongAmerican 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.


Here  author Aimee Phan answers questions about her family and her book  The Reeducation of Cherry Truong.

Introducing Our New Library Catalog

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. 


New Features Include:

  • search results in new catalogOne Search Box and Better Search Ranking: Like Google, just type what you want and go!  You don't need to think about whether you want to search for a title, author or subject any more.  If you ever searched for one-word titles like "Twilight" in our old catalog, you may remember how far down you had to scroll to find the actual book by Stephenie Meyer.  Now, it should be right near the top. 
  • Easy Limits to Narrow Your Search: Like Amazon, our new catalog has quick limiters down the left hand side of the search results screen so you can filter your search by language, library location, format (books, dvds, ebooks, etc...), and more.  All without ever going to another page!
  • Reviews and Recommendations: We've had lots of requests for this.  You can now add your own reviews of items from our collection in the "Community Reviews" section and rate items with 1-5 stars.  Look under the "You Might Also Like" section for author and title recommendations, series information, and hundreds more reviews from (just a click away).
  • Articles Search: Until now, you've never been able to search for articles at the same time you search for books - you had to go to our Databases page and first choose a resource.  You can now toggle between "Catalog" and "Articles" search results at the top of the screen in our new catalog.  The system only requires you to login when you try to view the full text of an article. 
    logo and toggle for articlesAn important point to be aware of : because of our merger with San Jose State University, both SJSU and SJPL articles can be searched in our new catalog.  You can't search both at the same time, so look for the "View: University Library | Public Library" settings right beneath the logo and make sure it is set to search the set of articles you can access.  As before, only SJSU students and faculty have home access to the full text of articles in the University collection; otherwise, visit King Library in person to see University articles. 
  • tabs for catalog, digital collections, and articles searchingDigital Images Search: Did you know the library has been scanning images from our historical collections and putting them online at  Well, now you can search these images in our new catalog without going to a seperate web site.  Just look at the top of the screen and select "Digital Collections", right between "Catalog" and "Articles".

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, Author of Encyclopedia Brown Series Passes Away

Cover of Encyclopedia Brown, Boy DetectiveDonald 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!


Cover of Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the CaseCover of Encyclopedia Brown Mysteries Volume 1Cover of Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them AllCover of Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Dead Eagles

The American Heiress

Book cover: american heiressDuring 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.picture of Consuelo Vanderbilt


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.


Book Cover of Lady Almaina and the real Downton Abbey 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.