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Staff Picks for January / February 2013

Here are some great titles for your reading and viewing pleasure, selected by the staff of Collection Development Services. Highlights include inspiring new memoirs, Spanish language biographies of infamous Latino figures, promising fiction debuts, nonfiction titles with fantastic visuals ranging from America's restaurants to the Serengeti, and three recent Golden Globe-winning TV movies.

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

book jacket

Grace, Gold, and Glory by Gabrielle Douglas

Relive the excitement of the 2012 London Olympics as Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas shares her inspiring story of faith, perseverance, and determination. Ebook

Memoir

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My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.

Memoir

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100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life: From Your Backyard to the Ends of the Earth by Keith Bellows

Create life-changing vacations for your family! Discover the unique experiences of 100 places around the world, as described by actual insiders from those places, who are great storytellers full of culutral treasures.

Nonfiction

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Serengeti Spy: Views from a Hidden Camera on the Plains of East Africa by Anup Shah

In these spectacular photographs taken in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Anup Shah reveals African wildlife as never before, through the use of remote hidden cameras planted across the plains. Organized by season from January through December, readers will find themselves literally face-to-face with hyenas and cheetahs as they feed on a kill; elephants communing at a watering hole; playful lion cubs; wildebeests hauling themselves out of a river; a leopard growling a warning; and inquisitive monkeys gazing at their reflections in the camera lens.

Nonfiction

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Menu Design in America: A Visual and Culinary History of Graphic Styles and Design, 1850-1985

Nearly 800 full color images of menus dating from the mid-nineteenth century provide a fascinating glimpse of the development of the restaurant business, of graphic design, and our country's relationship with food. Many examples are from restaurants in Southern California.

Nonfiction

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Wheat Belly Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Help You Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis

Amongst the avalanche of diet and exercise books released to coincide with the new year and its resolutions, the "Wheat Belly Cookbook" is one of the County Library's most popular. Guided by Davis' theory that genetically modified wheat causes a whole range of health problems, including the unsightly "wheat belly", this diet book promises to provide the afflicted with 150 recipes to expunge wheat from their diets to improve their health and beat disease.

Nonfiction

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Pablo Escobar, El Patron del Mal by Alonso Salazar J.

Spanish Language true crime books are always popular at the County Library, and this new biography of the notorious Colombian druglord, featuring previously unrevealed testimonies from relatives, neighbors, friends and enemies, attempts to provide a more complete portrait of the man behind the figure labeled by the DEA as one of the greatest criminals in history.

Spanish Language Nonfiction

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El Lado Oscuro de Enrique Peña Nieto

An eye-opening account of the controversies surrounding the new Mexican president's personal and political life.

Spanish Language Nonfiction

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Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason

For fans of the Coen brothers' films or for those who just love their thrillers with a dash of sharp humor, this quirky crime novel debut is an engaging and offbeat story about a man driven to murder, who then buries the body in his backyard only to discover that there are two other shallow graves on his property.

Fiction

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Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus

A U.S. release of an international best-seller finds detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein racing against time after connecting the dramatic murder of a woman to the recent release of her son, who served a 10-year sentence related to the disappearances of two teens. Nele Neuhaus is one of the most widely read German mystery writers with more than three million copies of her books in print.

Fiction

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Above All Things by Tanis Rideout

A tale inspired by the life and mysterious fate of George Mallory, who in 1924 departs on his third expedition to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and his young wife left behind in Cambridge. Told through alternating narratives, this beautifully rendered first novel of love torn apart by obsession and the need for redemption may appeal to book groups.

Fiction

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The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

After an accident leaves a woman brain dead, her husband resolves to take her off life support, but changes his mind when the doctors discover that she is pregnant, resulting in a controversial legal battle. This is a gripping, thoughtful, heart-wrenching, and well-written debut that will appeal to book groups.

Fiction

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Mildred Pierce

This five-part drama is an intimate portrait of a uniquely independent woman who finds herself newly divorced during the Great Depression, as she struggles to carve out a new life for herself and her family. 2011 Golden Globe Award winner

DVD

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Temple Grandin

An engaging portrait of an autistic young woman who became, through timely mentoring and sheer force of will, one of America's most remarkable success stories. 2012 Golden Globe Award winner

DVD

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Game Change

A searing, behind-the-scenes look at John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, from the decision to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate to the ticket's ultimate defeat in the general election just sixty days later. 2013 Golden Globe Award winner

DVD