Staff Picks

Don't forget to check out our staff picks for kids!

June 11, 2012

Kilt Dead

Kilt Dead
by Dunnett, Kaitlyn
MYS DUN

Liss MacCrimmon is a dancer with a Scottish-American touring company until a leg injury abruptly ends her career. Struggling to adjust to life without dancing, she returns to her childhood home town, Moosetookalook Maine. Her aunt has a shop there which sells all things Scottish, and Liss has taken on the task of running it while Aunt Margaret travels. With a business degree, she is sure that she can improve sales while building a new life for herself. Unfortunately, nosey neighbor Mrs. Norris is found murdered in the store, and Liss becomes the prime suspect when it’s discovered that she’s the retired teacher’s beneficiary. Since the police aren’t even looking for anyone else, she’s forced to do her own investigating with the help of Dan Ruskin, an old high school friend. Kilt Dead is the first in a series of “cozy” mysteries with titles such as Scone Cold Dead and The Corpse Wore Tartan. Think Agatha Christie or Jessica Fletcher with a Scottish flavor and a big yellow cat named Lumpkin.

— Recommended by Georgia Silvers, Warren Library

 

June 4, 2012

Leonardo's Lost Princess: One Man's Quest to Authenticate an Unknown Portrait by Leonardo da Vinci

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

The Ever-Running Man
by Muller, Marcia
MYS MUL

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

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

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
by Weatherford, Jack
950.2 WEA

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