Skip to content

twitter  facebook  instagram pinterest  flickr 
career online high school free or discounted museum passes we can help you with your homework find an online class

Dec 2016 / Jan 2017 Collection Spotlight

Here are some great titles for your reading and listening pleasure as selected by the staff of Collection Development Services. Highlights include children’s books about a baby owl leaving the nest for the first time; an inspiring story about a dog whose owner passed away and the lesson of loss; and, about New Caledonia’s intelligent crows. Audiobooks for adults include two memoirs about Bruce Springsteen and his singing career along with Carol Burnett’s look back at her legendary television show. Fiction for teens include a novel in verse about a girl struggling to help another who is mentally ill and homeless during the holiday season and a psychological drama about two kidnapped girls, one making it home, and then risking everything to protect the other. For adults, there’s Marcia Clark’s newest legal thriller and the official movie novelization for Rogue One. Nonfiction readers will learn how stress and pressure can help people flourish; a memoir of an Evangelical woman who experiences her own spiritual disobedience in order to understand the forgiveness of God; and, an Academy Award winning sound editor turned astrophysicist studying the gravitational systems across the universe. Our Spanish nonfiction selections provide an investigative look at additives in junk food and recipes for portable mason jar salads.

Find more reading suggestions at Books & Media.

 Owl Sees Owl book jacket

Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin

A series of single words and soothing, beautiful illustrations show Baby Owl leaving the nest for a first flight and then soaring home again as the same words are reversed. The simple and precise words say more than entire paragraphs could. This is a wonderful book for all and an exemplary choice for supporting children’s early literacy skills. Also available in: eBook.

Picture Book

 The Poet's Dog book jacket

The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan

Teddy the dog is alone after his owner has passed away. During a blizzard, he finds two wandering children and leads them to a cabin to safely wait out the storm. Teddy can speak to those who would listen and, as the story unfolds, we learn that everyone – human or animal – must work through love, loss, and be open to loving again. A short, magical, and inspiring story – keep a tissue nearby. Also available in: eBook and Audiobook.

Children's Fiction

 Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World's Brightest Birds book jacket

Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World's Brightest Birds by Pamela S. Turner

These social animals use tools. They make specific tools for specific purposes. They pass this knowledge on to their young. They solve puzzles and some like to collect things. Humans? Nope – the crows of New Caledonia! Follow the scientists and meet Little Feather, Lefty, Betty, and other avian geniuses. Also available in: eBook.

Children's Nonfiction

 Born to Run book jacket

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work. Also available in: eBook and Audiobook.

Adult Audiobook on CD

 In Such Good Company book jacket

In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett

Delving into little-known stories of the guests, sketches and antics that made the show legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. Carol lays it all out for us, from the show's original conception to its evolution into one of the most beloved primetime programs of its generation. Also available in: eBook and Audiobook.

Adult Audiobook on CD

 Saving Red book jacket

Saving Red by Sonya Sones

A novel in verse follows the experiences of Molly, who is forced to confront painful realities in her own life while struggling to help a spirited but mentally ill homeless girl during the holiday season. A story filled with hope about heavy issues is a quick accessible read. Star Review. Also available in: eBook and Audiobook.

Teen Fiction

 Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee book jacket

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee by Mary G. Thompson

After she and her cousin Dee were kidnapped six years ago, Amy finds her way home, but her guilt over secrecy, and being the one who returned safely, causes her to risk everything to protect the ones she loves. A psychological drama that draws you in with good characterization and a hopeful future. Star Review. Also available in: eBook.

Teen Fiction

 Moral Defense book jacket

Moral Defense by Marcia Clark

Samantha Brinkman is hired as the legal advocate for Cassie Sonnenberg after a brutal stabbing leaves the teenage girl's father and brother dead, and her mother barely clinging to life, in a case that has Samantha identifying with her young client. This legal thriller is an outstanding sequel to Blood Defense. Star Review

Adult Fiction

 Rogue One book jacket

Rogue One by Alexander Freed

An official novelization of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is set prior to the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and follows a band of rebels on a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans. A Star Wars Disney Canon Novel featuring new scenes and expanded material. Also available in: eBook and Audiobook.

Adult Fiction

 The Stress Test: How Pressure Can Make You Stronger and Sharper book jacket

The Stress Test: How Pressure Can Make You Stronger and Sharper by Ian Robertson, Ph.D.

Why is it that some people react to seemingly trivial emotional upsets--like failing an unimportant exam or tackling a difficult project at work--with distress, while others power through life-changing tragedies showing barely any emotional upset whatsoever? Why do some people sink into all-consuming depression when life has dealt them a poor hand, while in others it merely increases their resilience? The difference between too much pressure and too little can result in either debilitating stress or lack of motivation in extreme situations. However, the right level of challenge and stress can help people flourish and achieve more than they ever thought possible. Clinical psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist Ian Robertson reveals how we can shape our brain's response to pressure and how stress actually can be a good thing. Robertston's book is a study of how a'nd why we react to pressure as we do, and how we can change our response to stress to our benefit. Also available in: eBook.

Adult Nonfiction

 Sin Bravely: A Memoir of Spiritual Disobedience book jacket

Sin Bravely: A Memoir of Spiritual Disobedience by Maggie Rowe

As a young girl, Maggie Rowe took the idea of salvation very seriously. Growing up in a moderately religious household, her fear of eternal damnation turned into a childhood terror that drove her to become an outrageously dedicated Born-again Christian regularly slinging Bible verses in cutthroat scripture memorization competitions and assaulting strangers at shopping malls with the “good news” that they were going to Hell. At nineteen, crippled by her fear, she checked herself into an Evangelical psychiatric facility and was diagnosed with “morbid scrupulosity,” a pathological sense of morality. And that is where her journey really began. Surrounded by a ragtag cast of characters, including a warm and upbeat chronic depressive who becomes the author’s closest ally, Maggie launches a campaign to, in the words of Martin Luther, “Sin bravely in order to know the forgiveness of God.” Told in a voice both funny and heartfelt, Sin Bravely is a tour de force, voice-driven debut that examines how one woman finally found the middle ground between Heaven and Hell. Also available in: eBook.

Adult Nonfiction

 Waves Passing in the Night: Walter Murch in the Land of the Astrophysicists book jacket

Waves Passing in the Night: Walter Murch in the Land of the Astrophysicists by Lawrence Wechsler

Walter Murch is a legendary, three-time Academy Award winner and arguably the most admired sound editor in the world for his work on “Apocalypse Now,” “The Godfather trilogy,” and many others. Outside the studio, his passion is astrophysics and in particular a theory regarding the patterns by which planets and moons array themselves in gravitational systems across the universe. Though widely discredited by most professional scientists, Murch has nonetheless made advances even some of them find intriguing, including a connection between the Titius-Bode law as it's known and earlier notions--going back past Kepler to Pythagoras--of musical harmony in the heavens. Unfazed by rejection, Murch marches on in the best tradition of outsider science. Lawrence Weschler brings Murch's quest alive in its seemingly quixotic, yet still plausible splendor, probing the basis for how we know what we know, and who gets to say.

Adult Nonfiction

 Adictos a la comida basura book jacket

Adictos a la comida basura by Michael Moss

This investigative report covers how the U.S. food industry has tricked consumers by adding “additives” to processed foods which create addiction to junk food. Este informe investigador cubre cómo la industria alimentaria de los Estados Unidos ha engañado a los consumidores agregando "aditivos" a los alimentos procesados que crean adicción a la comida chatarra. Also available in: eBook.

Spanish Nonfiction

 Tu ensalada para llevar book jacket

Tu ensalada para llevar by Bérengère Abraham

Quick, healthy and portable meals in the form of mason jar salads are presented in this recipe book. Comidas rápidas, sanas y portátiles en forma de ensaladas de tarro de albañil son presentadas en este libro de recetas.

Spanish Nonfiction