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A Discovery of Witches is the first in a trilogy by Deborah Harkness.  The trilogy is now complete with July’s publishing of The Book of Life, and the series is so consistently great that really, we think you should read all three. These books are a fantastic combination of fantasy, historical fiction, romance, suspense and adventure. Our staff member thought they were like a more accessible (and fantasy instead of science fiction) Neal Stephenson.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism” –Taken from Goodreads.com

The Library has these in regular and large type, as well as audiobooks.  Please note, the large type works are on order and should be in soon.

Stay connected: Facebook, Twitterblog and Summer.

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2013 was a phenomenal year for books, and there are a lot of “best of 2013” lists.  If you don’t know what to read this summer, why don’t you check out one of last year’s best?

Andrew Carnegie Medal Shortlist & Similar Works

Best of the Best Books List: 2013 Critics’ Top Picks from TheDailyBeast.com

The Best New Books of 2013 from Barnes and Noble

NPR’s Book Concierge

You can also look at our Staff Pick of the Week Blog Posts (collected here on Facebook) or Bookmarks when you visit the library!

Don’t forget that everything you read counts towards our Summer Reading program!

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This week’s staff pick is “Furniture Makeovers” by Barb Blair.  It’s the perfect time of year to re-varnish, finish, paint, or otherwise alter your furniture since you can probably do it outdoors where it won’t smell up your house.

“Furniture Makeovers shows how to transform tired furniture into stunning showpieces. You’ll never look at a hand-me-down dresser the same way again! The book offers 26 easy-to-follow techniques that can be applied to all different types of pieces, from bookshelves to desks: painting, applying gold leaf, wallpapering, distressing, dip dyeing, and more. In addition to the core techniques, author and Knack Studios founder Barb Blair shares 30 beautiful before-and-after makeovers from her studio and outlines how to achieve each look. With helpful step-by-step photographs, a visual glossary explaining all the tools and materials needed, and a lovely contemporary aesthetic, Furniture Makeovers is a treasure trove of ideas and instruction for the home decorator.”–Taken from Goodreads.com


Furniture Makeovers

Barbara Blair

Published: Apr 09, 2013 by Chronicle Books
Find in the Library


 

Stay connected: Facebook, Twitterblog and Summer.

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This week’s staff pick is the award winning “The Universe Versus Alex Woods” by Gavin Extence.  It’s a literally laugh out loud and cry book, and appropriate for teenagers to 100+.   It’s got a little bit of science (perfect for this summer’s reading program themes), Vonnegut, and a whole lot of crazy adventure making this a great read for just about everyone.

A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn’t had the easiest childhood. But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count.

 

So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing …

Introducing a bright young voice destined to charm the world, The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a celebration of curious incidents, astronomy and astrology, the works of Kurt Vonnegut and the unexpected connections that form our world. “–Summary taken from Goodreads.com


The Universe Versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence

Published: Jun 25, 2013 by Redhook
Find in the Library


 

Stay connected: Facebook, Twitterblog and Summer.

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Two of our staffers read this book, and they loved it.  It has secret societies, an unsolvable puzzle (supposedly), and characters you’ll absolutely adore.  Once you get involved in Clay’s story, you won’t want to put it down.  We definitely recommend this winner of the Alex Award, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle.   A perfect summer read, or something to help distract you from the fact that no, it’s not vacation time yet for you, check it out from the Library today!  We have it in regular and large type.

“The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.”– Taken from Amazon.com

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