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Staff Picks

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Detroit: an American Autopsy


Charlie LeDuff grew up in Detroit. He moved away to New York to fulfill his dream of becoming a jounalist, and worked for the Times. Charlie decides to return home to Detroit in 2008 and begins documenting what might be the final decline of the city he loves so much.

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Graceling takes place in a fantasy world comprised of seven kingdoms where certain people are born with extreme skills, called “graces.” Gracelings- recognizable by their two different colors of eyes- are revered for their powers by kings who wish to take advantage ...

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All You Could Ask For


In Mike Greenberg's "All You Could Ask For", we meet three successful women. Samantha is young and athletic and strong and recently married to a man who might be the next governor of California. Katherine is a wealthy Wall Street executive about to embark on a new life ...

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The Arrival


In the wordless graphic novel The Arrival, Shaun Tan tells the story of an immigrant man embarking on a trip to a strange land to try and make a better life for his family.  The man, who lives in what appears to be a poverty-stricken tenement, gives a tearful kiss goodbye ...

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Senna is an exhilarating documentary exploring the life of Ayrton Senna, considered to be one of, if not, the best Formula One drivers of all time. Starting with his introduction to racing in go-karts while still a teenager to his rise as a world champion in F1 cars, ...

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Between the Bylines


In his several decades as a columnist for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Long Beach Press Telegram, Doug Krikorian has mingled with celebrities, athletes, and shadowy figures, and no doubt has innumerable stories to tell. In his new book Between the Byline

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time



The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon, tells the story of Christopher Boone. Christopher is 15 years old and autistic. He knows all of the prime numbers up to 7,057, and he loves the color red but hates the colors yellow and brown. Christopher ...

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Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club


Winner of the 2013 PEN/Faulkner award for fiction, Benjamin Alire Saenz's haunting collection of seven short stories entitled "Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club" is as powerful as it is entertaining. Saenz tells tales of longing and love, loss and sorrow, ...

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The Book Thief


The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl who steals a grave-digging manual from the site of her brother’s burial. This small act of thievery changes Liesel’s life, as she yearns to be able to read and understand this last memento of her brother.

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The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap


Wendy Welch and her husband, Jack, decided to give up the corporate rat race and live out their dream of owning a used bookstore. In "The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap", Wendy describes how she and her husband found the perfect property in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

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Look at the Library: Award-winning books


It’s the return of the Literary Awards Edition of ‘Look at the Library’.

Newport Beach Public Library's quarterly television program on NBTV, Look at the Library, brings you information on upcoming events, library services, and library materials. NBTV is on the ...

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The New Time Travelers


The New Time Travelers: A Journey to the Frontiers of Physics is a catalog of notable men and women in the field of physics who have spent their careers looking into the possibility of time travel. It begins the same way all books like this do: Albert Einstein. Einstein's ...

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Who's the Boss Now?


In his new fascinating memoir, I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had , actor Tony Danza gives us a glimpse as to just how difficult the teaching profession can be.  After reluctantly finalizing a deal with the A & E Network, Tony becomes a 10th grade ...

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Z is for Moose


Not your usual alphabet book! Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham stars an enthusiastic moose and the harried zebra referee who tries to keep the contents of the alphabet book in order and on task. It all starts properly enough with “A is for Apple” but rapidly disintegrates ...

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"Blacksad," written by Juan Diaz Canales and illustrated Juanjo Guarnido, is one of the most beautifully drawn graphic novels you'll ever read. The book is a collection of crime thrillers surrounding the eponymous Blacksad, an anthropomorphized cat and private detective.

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What You See in the Dark


Manuel Munoz's "What You See in the Dark" is set in the late 1950s in Bakersfield, California: close enough to Los Angeles to fuel star filled dreams among the local residents, especially Teresa, a young woman working in a shoe store while longing to become a famous singer.

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Odd Apocalypse


The fifth installment in Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series, Odd Apocalypse sees Odd visiting a California estate long past its heyday and finding evil at work there. The story has elements of murder mystery, horror, fantasy, and science fiction wrapped up in can’t-put-it-down ...

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Lights on a Ground of Darkness


By 2004 U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, Lights on a ground of darkness: an evocation of a place and time, is a lovingly crafted homage to the author's German immigrant family. Kooser, who has published ten books of poetry and is a Presidential Professor of English at ...

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He earned his Trident


In American Sniper, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle gives an amazing, in-depth, first-person account of his time in the middle east during the second Gulf War, and his challenges to prioritize God, family, and country in his life. In this autobiography, Kyle weaves tales of his ...

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Long Lankin


Lindsey Barraclough has weaved a geniunely spooky tale out of an old English ballad about a disgruntled laborer who kills the lady of the manor and her infant son. "Long Lankin" takes place in the English countryside in the late 1950s. Cora and Mimi are unceremoniously ...

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Heft by Liz Moore


Arthur Opp, a retired professor of 18 years, has not left his Brooklyn home for nearly a decade. Weighing over 500 pounds, he is a wealthy, cultivated and agoraphobic man who has a very limited social life that includes a friendship with a young maid who cleans his ...

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Some Assembly Required



In Some Assembly Required, Anne Lamott tells the story of her son becoming a father at the age of 19, and her own experience as a first-time grandmother. Fans of Lamott will recognize her trademark humor, humility and honesty as she chronicles the ups and downs of ...

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Fish Story


A huge comet is hours away from crashing into the Earth and, without a doubt, will destroy the planet. Okay, the odds are like 99.999987%, but that makes it pretty much inevitable, right? Well, maybe… With Earth’s destruction close at hand, three guys congregate ...

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Elsewhere, California


Dana Johnson's debut novel, "Elsewhere, California", manages to perfectly capture a moment in time. The story follows Avery, a young girl whose parents flee gang ridden Los Angeles for the suburbs, and move their family out to West Covina. Unfortunately, they can't completely ...

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Made in Dagenham


Directed by Nigel Cole, who also directed Calendar Girls in 2003, the film Made in Dagenham is a true British story that follows the occurrence of female factory workers who strike in Dagenham, England in 1968. Rita O'Grady (actress Sally Hawkins) finds herself as ...

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The Wide Wide World of Sportswriting


If one has ever browsed through a Sports Illustrated magazine over the past 50 years, one name would probably be the constant: Frank Deford. In his new biography, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter, National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame ...

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns)


I know what you might be thinking…just what the literary world needs, another “celebrity” memoir/essay on life. However, Mindy Kaling, author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, truly takes the cake as one of the best writers of these types of books I’ve ...

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Longmire Mystery on Audio


A well-narrated mystery story awaits in the audiobook edition of The Dark Horse, Book 5 in the Walt Longmire mystery series by Craig Johnson. This book series is enjoying increased popularity right now due to the excellent Longmire television series on A&E. Adding ...

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God's Hotel: a Doctor, a Hospital and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine by Victoria Sweet


Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco was the last almshouse in the United States when Victoria Sweet began practicing there part- time  Like the  Hotel –Dieu (God’s House) of the Middle Ages, it opened in 1867 to care for the first generation of San Franciscans, ...

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Master of the Senate


Master of the Senate is the third volume of Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson (the fourth volume, The Passage of Power, was released recently.)  This magisterial work covers the remarkable twelve-year period from Johnson’s election to the Senate in 1948 ...

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Day by Day Armageddon


As strange and ironic as it may seem, over the last 10 years the sub-genre of zombie horror has become as bloated, swollen, and lifeless as the creatures it depicts.  With Day by Day Armageddon, author J. L. Bourne has revitalized the horrific concept of a world overrun ...

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Michal Friedman completely captures five-year-old Jack's voice in Emma Donoghue's audiobook edition of Room. Jack has spent his entire life in an 11-foot square room with his mother. He's never stepped outside of this cell until his mom devises a plan to escape from ...

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In Fated by Alyson Noel, Daire Santos is a sixteen year old girl who travels the world with her mother, Jennika, who is a makeup artist on movie sets. During an excursion to Morocco, Daire is plagued with visions of glowing figures and crows and lashes out at a teenage ...

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L.A. '56: A Devil in the City of Angels


Joel Engel brilliantly brings to life the shocking true story of a serial rapist stalking L.A. during the summer of 1956 in his latest book "L.A. '56: A Devil in the City of Angels". Detective Danny Galindo, who rose to fame in the LAPD during the 1947 Black Dahlia murder ...

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Fallout 3


Developed by Bethesda, Fallout 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) tells the continuing saga of survival after the Earth was left scorched in 2077 after tensions between China and the United States over dwindling resources resulted in a nuclear apocalypse. While millions of ...

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The Book of Human Insects


Osamu Tezuka, widely considered to be the grandfather of manga, is the mind behind such child-friendly favorites Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion. He is also known for penning darker thrillers, many of them involving women and subject matter that is far unsuitable ...

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Searching for Democracy


It's an election year - the perfect time to brush up your knowledge of the U.S. Constitution! The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution is our Community Read selection for this year. Noted Constitutional Scholar Professor Richard Beeman has written a compact, ...

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Press Here


If you're looking for an utterly delightful picture book to read with your child, you can't go wrong with Press Here by Herve Tullet. The colored dot illustrations are deceptively simple - the interactive nature of the book captivates a child's imagination and keeps ...

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As seen on Look at the Library: Literary award winners



Look at the Library is NBPL's quarterly television program on NBTV. Library staff brings you information on upcoming events, library services, and library materials. NBTV is on the Newport Channels 3&30/852 as well as on streaming video.

For those of us at ...

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The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb


"The Autobiographyof Mrs. Tom Thumb" by Melanie Benjamin is a charming fictionalized account of the real life lady married to General Tom Thumb. One of P. T. Barnum's prized curiosities, both around three feet tall, Tom and his wife, Lavinia, become world famous, touring ...

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Ready Player One


From the screenwriter of nerdfest flick Fanboys comes this delightful novel powered by nostalgia for the 1980s, Ready Player One. Wade Watts is just an average kid growing up in America during the year 2044. Well, actually, his life is slightly different from ours: After ...

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Blankets is an autobiographical graphic novel by Craig Thompson who tells the story of his life under a strict Christian household. Initially, the comic explores Thompson's relationship with his brother and the instances in which he, as the older brother, failed to protect ...

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Set in 1917, Petrograd is a graphic novel about the "mad monk" Grigori Rasputin, a Russian Orthodox Christian and supposed mystic who managed to plant himself at the seat of the Tsarina during World War I. Philip Gelatt's graphic novel is less of a biography and more ...

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The List


"The List" by Martin Fletcher is a deeply moving and heartbreaking look at how much the concept of "home" really means to us. Georg and Edith are living in England after World War Two, expecting a baby, and trying to process the bad news coming out of Germany about the ...


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