Library Staff Were Reading 2004 Edition...


[AC = Audiocassette, CD = Compact Disc, LP = Large Print]


Acquainted with the Night: An Intimate Journey Through the World After Dark / Christopher Dewdney
This is a fascinating work about all sorts of night related phenomena, from children's bedtime stories to nightlife and nightclubs, to stargazing and nocturnal animals. (Barbara Van Havermaat from SHL)

Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking / Anthony Bourdain
Food Network’s “in-your-face” chef teaches classic cooking techniques with arrogance, humor, and the occasional bit of profanity. Reading this is like learning to cook in a restaurant kitchen - without the heat. (Rita Simmons from SHL)

Bang Your Head: The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal / David Konow
Even if I only knew one or two of a band's songs, I enjoyed reading these stories of 70's and 80's heavy metal groups. (Kristen from SLC)

Barefoot Contessa Parties / Ina Garten
I actually bought this book because I had borrowed it so often from the library! The recipes are straight-forward, arranged by menus, and the results are delicious. Includes lots of great tips. (Catherine from MCL)

The Big House: a Century in the Life of an American Summer Home / George Howe Colt [LP]
The story of several generations of family told through their time spent at the family's summer home in New England. (Barb Gunter from ROG)

Candyfreak: a Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America / Steve Almond [AC, CD]
Surprisingly entertaining, Steve relates to the child in everyone with his descriptions of how candy is made, and where our old favorites have gone. (Barb Gunter from ROG)

Cary Grant: A Biography / Marc Eliot [LP]
This work has been called the "definitive biography" of one of Hollywood's most popular stars, covering familiar ground yet adding newly discovered details about Grant's life. (Suzanne from HPW)

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from America's Unfinished War / Tony Horwitz [AC]
At times amusing, at times very serious and thought-provoking, the author looks at racism in modern America while "hitting the road" with Civil War re-enactors. (Librarian from RSV)

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America / Erik Larson [AC, CD, LP]
Scary and suspenseful, yet educational! Chicago's Columbia World's Fair, 1893, is the setting. Details on architecture and landscaping, history and murders all added up to an interesting read for me. (Debbie Vercellone from SHL)

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim / David Sedaris [AC, CD, LP]
Perhaps Sedaris’s best collection yet - funny, touching anecdotes about his family and his life here and abroad. A bit more intimate than his previous works, but no less hilarious. (Rita Simmons from SHL)

Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman / Alice Steinbach [LP]
The reflections of a wonderfully engaging woman who travels around the world studying unusual and creative pursuits and finds that, very often, it the process of learning that teaches us the most. (Rita Simmons from SHL)

Enslaved by Ducks / Bob Tarte
A hilarious tale of life with a menagerie of birds, bunnies and cats in the Michigan countryside. Aptly subtitled "how one man went from Head of Household to Bottom of the pecking order!" (Margaret DuMouchel from MCL)

From Emeril's Kitchens: Favorite Recipes from Emeril's Restaurants / Emeril Lagasse
Fresh ingredients & a lot of kitchen know-how are necessary to fully enjoy Emeril's latest offering. But pick an entree for a special candlelight rendezvous, whip up the suggested sides and garnish with a bottle of wine. Bam! (Dale Parus from HPW)

God's Bestseller: William Tyndale, Thomas More, and the Writing of the English Bible--a Story of Martyrdom and Betrayal / Brian Moynahan.
A wonderfully well-written book about William Tyndale and others involved in the Reformation. Passion, awe and the willingness to die for the belief that God’s word was for everyman is brought to life in this very interesting read. (Jackie Saturley from RSV)

Home by Design: Transforming Your House Into Home / Sarah Susanka
Dreaming of your ideal home? This latest book illustrates the design elements that impact how we experience our surroundings. The photographs alone are an inspiration! (Gretchen from SLC)

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl / Harriet Jacobs
First slave narrative written by a woman. This is Harriet Jacob's account of life as a slave in South Carolina and her eventual escape to the north. (Mary Jo Beranek from MPL)

It's a Wonderful Christmas: the Best of the Holidays 1940-1965 / Susan Waggoner
A must read for baby boomers! Remember bubble lights, glow-in-the-dark icicles, "The Chipmunk Song," Saucy Walker dolls, and Chex Mix? You'll find all these things and much more in this walk down (Christmas) memory lane. (Suzanne from HPW)

The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World / A.J. Jacobs [AC]
Who would want to read about someone reading the encyclopedia? It's more then just the facts - a journey of trial, accomplishment and fulfillment. (Bill Holleran from RSV)

Loud and Clear / Anna Quindlen [AC, CD, LP]
Whether you agree with her or not, Quindlen's thought-provoking essays always challenge readers to reflect on the way and the world in which we live. (Gretchen from SLC)

Making time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth, a Life Beyond "Cheaper by the Dozen" / Jane Lancaster
The Gilbreth family story was my favorite book as a child. But I was unaware of the incredibly rich life the mother had. She was an international celebrity in the engineering world, author and business woman and, incidentally, the mother of twelve! (Nadine from MCL)

On the Rez / Ian Frazier
This is a fascinating look at the current Oglala Sioux residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The author spends time on the reservation visiting friends, such as Le War Lance, and documenting their daily lives on and off "the rez." (Librarian from RSV)

Plan of Attack / Bob Woodward
More objective than most books on the Iraq war, but nevertheless a real eye-opener on how foreign policy is shaped in the Bush administration. (Dale Parus from HPW)

Rotisserie Chickens to the Rescue / Carla Fitzgerald Williams
Since the pre-cooked chickens are so readily available, this book gives many options to making a fast and delicious meal. (Librarian from FRA)

Sand in my Bra: and Other Misadventures: Funny Women Write from the Road / Jennifer Leo
Hysterically laugh out loud funny! (Barb Gunter from ROG)

Screening Party / Dennis Hensley
An extremely funny (sometimes bawdy) book in which the author and five friends critique well-known movies. If you like Mystery Science Theater 3000, give this a try! (Kristen from SLC)

The Secret Life of Dust / Hannah Holmes
The actual contents of dust will astonish you. You will never look at cleaning or vacuuming the same way again. (Librarian from FRA)

Shadow Divers: the True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II / Robert Kurson [AC, CD, LP]
Two deep wreck divers discover an unidentified German U-boat off the Atlantic Coast in 1991. The suspense of repeated dives, the terrible dangers of deep water diving and the fascinating interviews with WWII veterans make this book a terrific page turner. (Cynthia Bieniek from SCS)

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Amagansett / Mark Mills
In 1947, a mysterious drowning creates conflict between a Basque Fisherman and a powerful Long Island family. This debut offers skillfully intertwined plots and paints a brilliant social battlefield. Very powerful! (Ruth Richards from SCS)

The Amateur Marriage / Anne Tyler [AC, CD, LP]
My favorite author sets this in a Polish-American Baltimore neighborhood during WWII (I kept thinking Hamtramck!) and follows a mismatched couple through a lifetime of love and troubles. Quick read, good story. (Debbie Vercellone from SHL)

Any Human Heart / William Boyd
A great novel from an established author (his early work is equally impressive). If you're interested in the narration of the early 20th century - don't miss this one. (Bill Holleran from RSV)

Atonement / Ian McEwan [AC, CD, LP]
This novel, set in England primarily around the time of World War II., begins a bit slowly because of the rich detail. Stick with it because the surprise ending is worth it. (Librarian from RSV)

Blindness / Jose Saramago [LP]
An epidemic of white blindness strikes a city; the people and the structure of society is altered, inhumane acts of violence and amazing generosity take place as this story unfolds. (Mary Jo Beranek from MPL)

The Bookman's Promise / John Dunning [AC, CD, LP]
Third in the series featuring Cliff Janeway, ex-cop and bookstore owner. If you enjoy mysteries, then read about murder and intrigue in the world of antiquarian books. (Annette from MPL)

Dark Voyage / Alan Furst [AC, CD, LP]
In 1941 the multinational crew of the Dutch freighter Noordendam can't go home anymore. Espionage with a dash of romance and a surprise ending make this a must read book for history buffs and spy thriller fans. (Cynthia Bieniek from SCS)

Doomsday Book / Connie Willis
(Celeste from CMM)

Eat Cake / Jeanne Ray [AC, CD, LP]
This story of a multi-generational family living together and dealing with their trials and tribulations really hit home and made me both cry and laugh out loud. (Alice from SHL)

The Fairy Godmother / Mercedes Lackey
What would happen if your Prince Charming never showed up? And can Prince Charming's erstwhile brothers ever mend their ways? This delightful romantic fantasy solves both dilemmas. (Barbara Van Havermaat from SHL)

Harry Potter and (fill in the blank) / J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter is not just for kids anymore, with plot lines that can keep an adult's attention, too. Good way to spend daddy-daughter time by reading together - even if she's older and it's not the same book. (Dale Parus from HPW)

Hasty Death / Marion Chesney [LP]
The case of Lady Rose Summer, Edwardian "typist," and a disappearing then repeatedly reappearing corpse on a country estate adds a new twist to this mystery. Nineteenth century class structure plays an interesting role in the cast of characters. (Cynthia Bieniek from SCS)

Liberating Paris / Linda Bloodworth Thomason [LP]
Wonderful characters - six high school friends approaching middle age in a small town in Arkansas - sad, funny, touching. (Suzanne from HPW)

Lonesome Dove / Larry McMurtry [AC]
McMurtry's descriptions of the Wild West’s people and places are so perfectly detailed, quirky and convincing that when bad things start to happen, you'll want to hide and hope that the sheriff is near! Lengthy, but worth the time. (Catherine Federspiel from MCL)

My Sister's Keeper / Jodi Picoult [AC, CD, LP]
An interesting, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, heart-warming, mesmerizing story of a family dealing with cancer, and two sisters caught in an impossible dilemma. (Alice from SHL)

Open and Shut / David Rosenfelt [LP]
Tip-toeing through dangerous landmines, Andy Carpenter must unravel a decades-old secret. Romance, intrigue, legal thriller, hilarious, and the beginning of a series. A must for Lawrence Saunders fans. (Ruth Richards from SCS)

Paladin of Souls / Lois McMaster Bujold
A great fantasy novel from one of the most respected SF/fantasy authors. This tells the story of a woman who comes into her strength in her middle-aged years. (Kristen from SLC)

Rain Fall / Barry Eisler
John Rain, a Japanese-American must find a computer disc containing incriminating evidence of politicians and falls in love with the daughter of the man he killed. Fantastically different and a riveting thriller! (Ruth Richards from SCS)

The Red Tent / Anita Diamant [AC, CD, LP]
This book retells the story of Dinah, which is found in the Biblical book of Genesis, Chapter 34. It is about the strength of women, their roles in a male dominated religious society, and their relationships. (Annette from MPL)

A Redbird Christmas / Fannie Flagg [AC, CD, LP]
A nice little story with quirky, small-town characters that puts Alabama on the top of my list of places I want to visit! (Debbie Vercellone from SHL)

The Romanov Prophecy / Steve Berry
This story involving modern Russia’s politics and corruption, a black Atlanta lawyer and the murder of Czar Nicholas and his family keeps the action and suspense high, and very entertaining throughout the book. (Jackie Saturley from RSV)

The Rule of Four / Ian Caldwell [AC, CD, LP]
As Princeton roommates become involved with deciphering a mysterious ancient script, they find their lives are in danger, but if they succeed in solving the puzzle, a vast treasure awaits. (Barbara Van Havermaat from SHL)
Paul's college roommates help him solve the riddle of the 500 year old book the Hypnerotomachia. The college atmosphere reminded me of Pamela Dean's Tam Lin. (Catherine from SHL)

Shoulder the Sky / Anne Perry [AC, CD]
A brilliant contrast between the hellish conditions at the Front and the quiet back at home. It reminded me of Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth. Perry's best work to date. (Librarian from FRA)

Skinny Dip / Carl Hiaasen [AC, CD, LP]
South Florida always seems to be a little off the normal path and this funny, entertaining story of murder (attempted by the husband) and revenge (by the not quite dead wife) kept me interested. (Jackie Saturley from RSV)

The Time Traveler's Wife / Audrey Niffenegger [AC, CD, LP]
One of the best books I've read in a while. Unusual storyline combined with humor and Chicago landmarks make for a terrific read. (Cathy Russ from MCL AND Celeste from CMM)

Truth & Beauty: a Friendship / Ann Patchett [AC, CD, LP]
(Celeste from CMM)

Well of Lost Plots / Jasper Fforde [AC, CD, LP]
Thursday Next must foil the plot to launch UltraWord - a device that would make books readable only 3 times. Great literary allusions, puns, and silliness. (Catherine from SHL)

Yellow Raft in Blue Water / Michael Dorris [LP]
This is a story of three generations of Native American woman and the consequences of embracing cultural belief systems that have little basis in reality. (Mary Jo Beranek from MPL)

You Remind Me of Me / Dan Chaon
A first novel that really hits the mark. A plot twister that you can't put down. (Bill Holleran from RSV)

[AC = Audiocassette, CD = Compact Disc, LP = Large Print]  

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