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July / Aug 2013 Collection Spotlight

Here are some great titles for your reading & listening pleasure, selected by the staff of Collection Development Services. Highlights include first installments in new supernatural trilogies, new installments in mystery series featuring female investigators, a Spanish translation of a John Osteen guide to religious life, audiobooks of classic titles, and books and audiobooks evaluating traditional intelligence measurements, the recent golden age of television drama, and the best tree house ever (and how to build it).

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

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The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever by Alan Sepinwall

Influential television critic Alan Sepinwall analyzes 12 shows that started a revolution in television drama and ushered in a new golden age of television. From The Sopranos and The Wire to Lost, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad, the stories behind the making these shows and their cultural impact is enlightening as well as entertaining.

Downloadable Audiobook

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The Best Tree House Ever: How to Build a Backyard Tree House the Whole World Will Talk About  by Maurice Barkley

This title is a rather bold boast, but commercial artist Maurice Barkley has constructed seven fine tree houses over the last ten years that have become tourist destinations on par with the Swiss Family Tree House in Disneyland. In The Best Tree House Ever, Barkley shares his building tips, floor plans and how-tos in a building guide anyone with some basic carpentry skills can use to build a tree house that will at least be the talk of the neighborhood.

Nonfiction

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Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined: The Truth about Talent, Practice, Creativity, and the Many Paths to Greatness by Scott Barry Kaufman

Suffering from an auditory processing disorder that impeded his ability to understand speech, Kaufman was told at a young age that he'd never graduate from high school and was set on the special education track until finally convincing his parents that he could succeed in a normal classroom when he reached middle school. Eventually earning a Ph.d at Yale and M.Phil at Cambridge University, Kaufman demonstrates here that IQ testing fails to show many aspects of creative intelligence and unnecessarily steers many children to special education courses that are poorly designed to help them overcome their disabilities.

Nonfiction

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Topsy: The Startling Story of the Crooked-Tailed Elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American Wizard, Thomas Edison  by Michael Daly

At the turn of the century, the circus in America was at its apex with the circuses of P.T. Barnum and Adam Forepaugh (or 4-Paw) competing in a War of the Elephants. In 1903, on Coney Island, an elephant named Topsy was electrocuted, and over the past century, this bizarre, ghoulish execution (allegedly for killing 3 of her handlers) has reverberated through popular culture with the whiff of urban legend. But it really happened, and many historical forces conspired to bring Topsy, Thomas Edison, and those 6600 volts of alternating current together that day, as revealed in this fascinating, entertaining read.

Nonfiction

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SYLO by D. J. MacHale

Joining the football team after a summer spent working on a lobster boat with his best friend, 14-year-old Tucker Pierce is quarantined on his once-peaceful island home off the coast of Maine when a secret branch of the U.S. military claims that residents have been infected by a deadly virus. By the author of the best-selling Pendragon series, this action-survival thriller is the start of an apocalyptic trilogy for teens.

Teen Fiction

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Reviver by Seth Patrick

Jonah works in a department of forensics created specifically for Revivers, and he's the best in the business. For every high-profile corpse pushing daisies, it's Jonah's job to find justice for them. But while (temporarily) reviving the victim of a brutal murder so he can speak one last time and hopefully finger the people who killed him, Jonah encounters a terrifying presence. Something is on the other side watching. Waiting. This supernatural thriller is the debut of a planned trilogy.

Fiction

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Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo

Who would want to kill an Amish deacon and two of his children? What at first seems like a tragic but routine car accident suddenly takes on a more sinister cast as evidence emerges that nothing about the crash was accidental. Desperate to find out who killed her best friend's husband and why, Kate, police chief of Painters Mill, Ohio, begins to suspect she is not looking for a reckless drunk, but instead is on the trail of a cold blooded killer.

Fiction

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Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark

Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight teams up with Detective Bailey Keller to investigate the death of a Hollywood director that has far-reaching ramifications throughout Tinseltown in this third gripping legal thriller by former prosecutor Clark.

Fiction

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Here is a book as joyous and painful, and as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. Angelou captures the longing of lonely children, the brutal insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right.

Audiobook

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Cold Sassy Tree  by Olive Ann Burns

Gossip engrosses the tiny 1906 town of Cold Sassy, Georgia. But when Grandpa E. Rucker Blakeslee announces his plans to marry the youthful Miss Love Simpson not one month after his wife's passing, fourteen-year-old Will Tweedy sniffs out a scandal and a new adventure begins.

Audiobook

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Paradise Lost  by John Milton

The classic poem in which God and Satan clash in attempts to gain control of humankind's destiny. Traveling throughout heaven, hell, and earth, Satan and his gang of rebel angels scheme against God. Caught in the middle of this debacle are Adam and Eve whose ultimate defeat is steadfast love.

Audiobook

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Sé un Hombre de Fe Inquebrantable by John Osteen

This Spanish translation of Becoming a Man of Unwavering Faith combines content culled from transcripts of John Osteen's sermons with a foreword and commentary written by his son, Joel.

Spanish Language Nonfiction