Don't forget to check out our staff picks for kids!
June 4, 2012
Leonardo's Lost Princess: One Man's Quest to Authenticate an Unknown Portrait by Leonardo da Vinci
by Silverman, Peter
741.945 Leonardo SIL
This is a fascinating account of an incredible art find and the controversy surrounding it. The discovery of a new portrait by Leonardo da Vinci is far from an everyday occurrence. Leonardo, the ultimate Renaissance man, is known for just four portraits of women, including the iconic Mona Lisa. Peter Silverman relates the story of his purchase of a chalk on vellum portrait of a young girl, listed as a 19th century German painting in an auction catalog. In a chatty, relaxed narrative, he recounts how he came to believe that this work of art was created by the genius Leonardo. Along the way, we learn how experts authenticate works of art, and that the conclusions are often not unanimous. New scientific technologies, finger print analysis, Renaissance fashion experts, and a Polish library all play an important role in this amazing tale. By the end, we learn the girl’s identity and story, and the evidence that convinced prominent experts that Leonardo did indeed paint La Bella Principessa.
— Recommended by Joanna Wos, Central Library
May 28, 2012
The Ever-Running Man
by Muller, Marcia
In this fast-paced entry in her Sharon McCone mystery series, Marcia Muller has her private eye protagonist risking her marriage to track down a serial bomber who has been targeting branch offices of her husband’s company. It seems that each of the three partners, including her husband, has a colorful past that could invite payback from someone. As more secrets are discovered and blind alleys are pursued, more bombs explode and more strains press on her marriage. Her husband was not entirely forthcoming to her about some shady incidents in his past. There are frequent references to events that occurred in previous books of the series, but rather than distracting from the story, they generate an interest in reading the earlier books. The characters are well defined and the story well developed.
— Recommended by Rebekah Koves, Wayne Branch
May 21, 2012
Rose in the Sand
by Lindahl, Julie Catterson
B Lindahl, J. C. LIN
Once in a while, you find a book that is completely different from what you usually read. Rose in the Sand is such a book. Containing gentle anecdotes and large and small lessons learned, it is peaceful and soothing. It is a journal of a year spent by the author, her husband, their two small children and Lucy, the dog, in the family summer cabin on an island in a Swedish lake. Arranged by the eight seasons of the year of the native peoples of Sweden, the author examines her family’s increasing harmony with the steady pulse of nature and tracks her personal growth toward a deeper appreciation of Sweden - the land, its people and its traditions.
I don’t usually buy books after reading a library copy. I will buy this one.
— Recommended by Gregg Jackson, Southport Branch
May 14, 2012
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
by Weatherford, Jack
Can you think of the changes in our understanding of history if a new text was found that added knowledge about a little known, or understood, culture? That is what has happened to our understanding of the ancient Mongolian people and especially Genghis Khan. The text of The Secret History of the Mongols was only translated into English in a readable format in 1982. Using this text and many other historical sources the author builds the case that the Mongols spread civilization by instituting religious freedom, public schools, new technology, freedom in art, government by ability rather than pedigree, and a trading system that rivaled anything known up to that date. In essence, the Mongols took the learning of Asia and the Middle East and spread it across Eastern Europe, setting the stage for the blossoming of knowledge in Western Europe. I found this new view of history fascinating. Not sure I agree with all the author's conclusions, but it was enlightening to see how these ancient cultures flowed together to create the world we know today.
— Recommended by Lygia Bischoff, Pike Branch
May 7, 2012
Some Girls Bite
by Neill, Chloe
Looking for a new paranormal read to fill the time while you wait for your favorite authors’ newest book? Look no further than Some Girls Bite, by Chloe Neill. Neill’s heroine, 27-year-old Merit, is thrown into the Chicago vampire scene against her will, but quickly realizes she has no other choice than to make the most of a bad situation. Merit must learn just exactly how to be a vampire; pledge loyalty to her new Master and savior, Ethan; and figure out just who is setting up her new vampire brethren, Cadogan House, to take the wrap for a potential war lurking on the horizon. And of course there’s also the little problem of Ethan being the most incredible-looking but stubborn-headed man that Merit has ever laid eyes on. Readers will love following Merit on her journey to becoming who she is destined to be, while still holding on to pieces of herself that made her who she was before her life turned upside down.
— Recommended by Aimee Bittle, Garfield Park Library