Logo

Richmond Heights Memorial Library

8001 Dale Avenue
Richmond Heights, MO 63117
Telephone (314) 645-6202
Fax (314) 781-3434
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 9a-9p
Friday: 9a-8p
Saturday: 9a-5p
Sunday: 1p-5p
HOME CHILDREN'S PAGE TEEN'S PAGE MY ACCOUNT CATALOG DATABASES
 
MORE STAFF REVIEWS
Catalog link
Click cover to go to catalog

added: 7/2014

The Museum of Extraordinary Things
by Alice Hoffman


This story is set in Coney Island at the beginning of the 20th century. Coralie's father owns a boardwalk freak show, and Coralie has been training for her starring role as the mermaid since she was a young child. When Coralie unexpectedly crosses paths with a handsome phographer both lives are forever changed.

Tori Lyons, Adult Services Librarian

Catalog link
Click cover to go to catalog

added: 7/2014

The Warmth of Other Suns : the epic story of America's great migration
by Isabel Wilkerson

This book follows the lives of 3 individuals as they escape a life of slavery in the South and head North and West for a life of freedom. The journey covers the period from the end of World War I through the 1970s. I enjoyed this book because you experience the slow transformation of our country through the lives of 3 individuals from the South to their death. I also enjoyed the many historical references made about the Jim Crow laws and the civil rights movement.

Christine Cundiff, Library Assistant

Catalog link
Click cover to go to catalog

added: 6/2014

Authority (Southern Reach Trilogy #2)
by Jeff VanderMeer


Authority answers a few questions raised in Annihilation--to a horrifying degree. Disgraced government agent John "Control" Rodriguez is assigned to the Southern Reach, the government operation responsible for (failed) expeditions into the alien landscape known only as Area X. Control's job is to interrogate the lone survivor of the last expedition, who has returned... changed. The answers the increasingly paranoid Control finds are not the answers anybody wants--least of all Control, as he realizes Area X has infiltrated the American landscape. A horrifying homage to Jack Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers to be continued in Acceptance, due out September 2014.

Ronya McCool, Library Assistant

Catalog link
Click cover to go to catalog

added: 6/2014

Wool Omnibus Edition (Silo Saga)
by Hugh Howey


Utterly engrossing from page one, the reader is plunged into a future post-apocalyptic world where human survivors live protected from a toxic environment in an underground silo. Their only view of outside is provided by streaming video on large screens. The people have been there for so many generations they don't remember why they cannot go outside, but it is taboo to ask or to even hope. This a story of political intrigue, loyalty, friendship, love, romance, and survival-- all mixed in twists and turns navigated by the complicated ethics of truth and hope.

Susan Fowler, Library Assistant


Click cover to go to catalog

 

My Mother Was Nuts
by Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall is funny and unabashed about herself and her work. She takes us from humble childhood beginnings in a cramped New York apartment and her mother's forced dance lessons all the way to present day and has us laughing several times along the way. You get an inside look into Penny's family and friends, Laverne and Shirley, and the movies she has directed. She has had an incredible career all the while maintaing her roots and treating everyone she knows with respect.

Susan Fowler, Library Assistant

Catalog link
Click cover to go to catalog

Annihilation
by Jeff Vandermeer

This first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy leaves the reader with more questions than answers. Follow the twelveth expedition into Area X as they seek to accomplish what former expeditions did not-- return home. Whatever cataclysm created Area X is lost knowledge, but it's about to change the expedition and not for the better. A spooky, clan read that defies specific categorization.

Ronya McCool, Library Assistant

Catalog link

Z for Zachariah
by Robert C. O'Brien

This edge-of-your-seat YA dystopean post-apocalyptic hails from 1974 and will please fans of books like Hunger Games and Divergent. Ann Burden is 16 and living on her own in a valley untouched by the nuclear war that killed her family and neighbors. Ann struggles with lonliness until one day she spots smoke over the hill and sees that a person dressed in a safe suit is headed her way. Now she is terrified that there could be worse things then being the last person on earth. This is an enthralling book; you will be hooked before page 3.

Susan Fowler, Library Assistant

Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron
by Jasper Fforde

This dystopian tale takes place at least 500 years in the future in a world called Chromatica where social class is determined by the dominant color one can perceive. All citizens are expected to follow the laws of Munsell which take the concepts of bureaucracy and government overreach to such bizarre lengths that a typo which results in outlawing the manufacturing of spoons is taken seriously creating a shortage of spoons, and one's ability to devise loopholes prepares them well for a life in public service. Swatches of color are used to heal people. Our protagonist finds himself in a part of his world known to be sketchy when his father, a swatchman, is called to serve the local citizens. This is the most creative and engaging dystopian book I have read in a long time. Fair warning, according to Fforde, the sequel is not expected until 2015.
Susan Fowler, Library Assistant
Allegiant (Divergent Series)
by Veronica Roth

This is the third title in the Divergent trilogy. If you enjoyed Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and/or The Testing, chances are good you will enjoy this series as well. This final installment is told from the perspective of Tris (the protagonist in the first two books) and Tobias. The story takes unpredictable plot twists making it hard to put down. Roth delivers a depth of emotional maturity and insight, especially in regards to interpersonal relationships, that is refreshing in the science fiction dystopian genre. The movie version of the first book is due for release in March 2014
Susan Fowler, Library Assistant
Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

“Oh! What a tangled web we weave…” Oh! What evil things couples are capable of doing to each other! Oh! How surprising it is to find oneself enjoying the amazing talents of such evildoers. It is a puzzle and a mystery, both awful and amusing. It holds surprises for the reader right to the end. It is a great read with a local setting. Two of the characters live in Ladue. That should surprise no one!
Jeanette Piquet, Library Director
Catalog link Still Alice
by Lisa Genova

This is an amazing and moving novel in which a women is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease at the age of fifty. The author, who holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard, tells the story from the point of view of Alice, the main character. Alice becomes much more to the reader than just her diagnosis.
Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Book cover An Available Man
by Hilma Wolitzer

How odd, and more and more not unusual, to find oneself on the cusp of 60 and beyond, unattached, feeling youthful and looking to begin a new life, looking for a new partner. The available man in this book is experiencing this phenomenon. It makes growing older look a bit more appealing. Enjoy.
Jeanette Piquet, Library Director
Book cover Lots of Candles Plenty of Cake
by Anna Quindlen

I enjoyed this memoir very much. As she approaches the age of sixty, Quindlen reflects on her life as a wife and mom, as well as a professional writer. I enjoyed her witty and insightful writing.
Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Book cover Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes & the Fate of Marcellus Shale
by Tom Wilber

This book discusses the discovery of an abundant source of natural gas located in the mountains of Pennsylvania and New York in the 1990's. It's known as the Marcellus Shale Range. The technology-- hydraulic fracturing-- was not available to extract the oil until the mid-2000's. Many local farmers and landowners sold their lands to the energy companies for development. Today there is a division between those who are happy with their royalties while others are experiencing enivonmental disasters on their properties. For example, their local water supply has been contaminated and is no longer safe to drink. Shale rock may be one of this country's resourses to meet our energy demands. How will the industry, the local and federal governments, and local residents work together?
Christine Cundiff, Library Assistant
Book cover It Ain't All About the Cookin'
by Paula Deen

I've been entertained by Paula as I've watched her cooking programs on the Food Network. In reading this autobiography, it was fun getting to know apaula in a new way. What a warm, fun lady!
Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Book cover The Art of Racing in the Rain
This novel was sheer delignt. Enzo, the narrator of the story reminded me of several dogs of whom I 've been fond. It was an amazing book.
Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Book cover The Deleted World: Poems
by Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robin Robertson

Sweden's "most important poet" and winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize captures brief moments in a mature lifetime. His poetry is atmospheric-- sometimes gritty-- and alternates with opposing themes. His work contrasts despair with hope, the wakeful life and the silent life, and youth versus age. This book left me wanting more poems than this slender volume could offer.
Ray Harrison, Information Services Librarian
Book cover What's the Economy For, Anyway?
by John De Graf & David K. Batker

This book reads like a history book of the United States economy. It starts with the creation of the GNP (Gross National Product) in 1934 by economist Simon Kuznets. It was later renamed the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Since its creation, and still today, the GNP/GDP dominates economic policy decisions in the United States. The authors discuss how this economic policy is destroying our economy and America's quality of life. They discuss new and better ways to measure our economy's growth that ultimately affects our quality of life. Very interesting and thought-provoking read!
Christine Cundiff, Library Assistant
Catalog link House of Silk
by Anthony Horowitz

If you have enjoyed Sherlock Holmes novels, I recommend you read House of Silk. It is the first Sherlock Holmes novel to be authorized by the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle in 125 years. The writing is wonderfully descriptive. There is part of the plot that is very disturbing, but Holmes & Watson work to gain justice. The twists and turns kept it very entertaining. I thought I had solved the case, but, alas, Holmes strung the clues together in a far more superior way. This book had me at "the game's afoot."
Gloria Ward, Library Assistant
Link to catalog State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett
Drug manufacturers go beyond sterile laboratories to research and devlope drugs as is the case in State of Wonder. The main character is sent to the Amazon Rainforest to find a missing colleague and learn why the field team can't seem to finalize the development of a "miracle" drug. What she discovers is that the Amazon is as simple as it is complex. I highly recommend this to any book club. You will be discussing many interesting ideas that the book leaves you wondering about.
Gloria Ward, Library Assistant
Link to catalog The Year We Left Home
by Jean Thompson
I loved this book and the family whose lives it followed during a thirty year period. I found myself really caring about with feelings that I knew the members of this Iowa farm family. The author has a very egaging writing style
Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Link to catalog The Quickening
by Michelle Hoover
This is the story of the tumultuous relationship between two early 20th century Iowa farm women, Mary & Enidina-- who would have been friends if not for each woman's perceptions of the other. Told by the women, The Quickening chronicles Mary's attempts at sabotaging both her relationship with Enidina, and Enidina's family. Michelle Hoover's talent for stark, matter-of-fact prose makes this a fast, engaging, and heartrending read with an emotional twist-- one of the best books I've read this year.
Ronya McCool, Library Assistant
Book img Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse
by Suraya Sadeed
What an amaing woman! Suraya Sadeed was born and raised in Afghanistan. However, her family fled the country and moved to the United States for their safety. Upon her husband's sudden death Suraya re-evaluates her life. She starts an organization, HTAC, Help the Afghan Children. She helps those families and children most in need-- traveling into the most remote and dangerous places in Afghanistan to deliver aid. Suraya also raises money to build clincs and schools. Her goal is to provide an education to as many girls as possible across Afghanistan and also to provide basic healthcare for Afghan women. Suraya continues her work today through her organization, HTAC.
Christine Cundiff, Library Assistant
Link to catalog The Social Animal
by David Brooks
David Brooks does commentary on Public TV's Newshour, and is a columnist for The New York Times. In my opinion he is brilliant. Though he has his own political views he always manages to give rational, well balanced, thought provoking opinions. Few have the ability to do this. This book made me laugh out loud, repeatedly. The writing is perfection and his storytelling is entertaining. In interviews he referred to this book as a novel. It is so much more. It is generally categorized as non-fiction. He talks about how our emotions color every decision we make. He made his point while entertaining me. Informed me while entertaining me! What more could I ask for? This may be my favorite book of the year.
Jeanette Piquet, Library Director
The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende
For young adult readers and anyone who enjoys fantasy. You know what they say—the book is always better than the movie. Michael Ende's novel about a boy who discovers he is the key to creating a story universe doesn't disappoint. It's a richly layered story with a timeless theme: society and story are nothing without each other.
Ronya McCool, Library Assistant
Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen
Quick! Read the book before you see the movie. It is a great story with wonderful characters. We all know the pictures we create in our heads from a good descriptive writer will always be better than the visual the movie provides us. But don't get me wrong…I cannot wait to see the movie as well.
Jeanette Piquet, Library Director
Catalog link Let's Take the Long Way Home
by Gail Caldwell
I enjoyed this beautifully written momoir describing the friendship between two women writers. They met over their dogs and walked the New England woods and became the best of friends.
Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Book cover Why We Hate The Oil Companies : Straight Talk From an Energy Insider
by John Hofmeister
I encourage everyone to read this book, but especially those with children or granchildren because it is their future the book discusses. The author, a former president of Shell Oil Company says thet the United States needs to utilize all energy sources to meet our energy demands. This means updating our current infrastructure of nuclear and coal plants, continue drilling as well as developing our newer sources of energy such as wind and solar. A comprehensive approach is best. The good news is that we have enough resources within our borders to continue our standard of living.
Christine Cundiff, Library Assistant
Book cover Blind Descent : the Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth
by James M. Tabor
Not going on vacation for a while? This is the book for you. James Tabor expertly chronicles the decades-long race between two supercaving teams—one American, one Ukranian—to find the deepest cave on earth. By turns thrilling, suspenseful, horrible, humorous and exuberant, it's the perfect summer read whether you're headed to the beach or sticking close to home.
Ronya McCool, Library Assistant
Book cover I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!
by Bob Newhart
In this memoir Bob Newhart tells stories from his television shows (The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart). Newhart entertains the reader with stories about a family trip he took in a Winnebago, his experience in stand-up comedy, and adventures he had playing golf. My favorite of his monologues, "The Driving Instructor," appears in this book.
Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Book cover Maiden Voyages: Writings of Women Travelers
by Mary Morris
A fascinating book consisting of diaries or journals of women travelers between the 1700's and early 1900's. These women describe the various countries and the social issues they encounter. It was not considered proper for women of their day to travel alone, but they bravely did so. They describe the consequences and freedom they experienced in great detail because they were educated writers, and they expressed their feelings very well.
Kathleen Madere, Library Assistant
Book cover The Last Time I Saw You
by Elizabeth Berg
This was a really fun book to read, a novel about men and women reconnecting with one another at their fortieth high school reunion. I especially enjoy the way Elizabeth Berg develops her characters in this work.
Gloria Ward, Library Assistant
Book cover Prime-time health: A Scientifically Proven Plan for Feeling Young and Living Longer
by William Sears, MD
This was a very interesting and educating read. Primarily written for people over 50, it explains how the body ages, how to prevent diseases, and how to age healthily. Each chapter discusses issues older people deal with and provides easy to follow recommendations. Exercise examples are given, even for your eyes. Also, nutritional information which helps increase your energy level and modify your weight. The last chapter is an eight week course guide. It might not be too bad getting old with Dr. Sears' help.
Gloria Ward, Library Assistant
Book cover Odd Thomas Series
by Dean Koontz
Books in this series were fascinating, and I found them hard to put down. They're about a young man who could see dead people who needed him to solve their murders. These books are funny, suspenseful, warm-hearted, and very clever. They were clean books, even with all the violence and only references to profanity in a humorous way. If you like series books—try this series!
Kathleen Madere, Library Assistant
Wishin' and Hopin'
by Wally Lamb
I enjoyed the humor and light-hearted fun in Wally Lamb's latest book. There are endearing characters without the intensity of Mr. Lamb's other novels.
—Cathy Day, Library Assistant
The Indifferent Stars Above
by Daniel James Brown
This book was one I couldn't put down! It's a true story about the brave Donner family (and others) who attempted crossing unknown lands to move from Illinois to California in the mid-1880's. The author is very thorough and describes their tragedies and horrors with such detail. He also explains what starvation, lice, lack of sanitation, psychological sickness, and exhaustion are like with research done since then. This book definitely makes you appreciate life's luxuries we have today.
—Kathleen Madere, Library Assistant
Go to catalog Italian Shoes
by Henning Mankell
Strong, peculiar, not entirely admirable characters populate this novel written by Sweden’s "single most-read author." Better known as the author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, Mankell fills you with the chilling beauty and brutality of both the island’s northern weather and the unexamined life inhabited by his main character. Families can be odd and unfathomable. People can be cruel and kind and loving. I still miss these characters and wonder what they are doing now.
—Jeanette Piquet, Library Director
Click to request The Mighty Queens of Freeville.
by Amy Dickinson
This lively memoir was written by a humorist who is also an advice columnist for "Ask Amy" in the Chicago Tribune. The author recounts with an entertaining style her travels throughtout the country— and her ultimate resettling in her hometown. I enjoyed the nice balance of hope and humor.
—Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Running From the Devil
by Jamie Freveletti
A female biochemist survives a plane crash in the jungle of Columbia, South America. Her fight to save herself and the other surviving passengers makes this a very compelling read. The obstacles are numerous: the jungle, the drug cartel, and guerrilla soldiers. During their trek for survival, the reader learns the botanical wonders of the jungle as the heroine helps the sick. This novel is an action-packed, fast read.
—Gloria Ward, Library Assistant
Click to request Your Call is (not that) Important to Us: Customer Service and What It Reveals About Our World and Ourselves.
by Emily Yellin
Using insider information, this book explores the history of customer service, why automation is here to stat, and— most importantly— how you can improve your options when a robo-voice tells you to press or say "One."
Great read for business owners and customer sevice workers as well. —Jackie, Library Assistant
Book cover The Women: a Novel
by T.C. Boyle
A story about Frank Lloyd Wright's personal and professional life. The way he lived it and his ideas were always controversial. The public loved his architectual work, despised the way he conducted himself in his personal life. The public's outrage often times forced Frank to go into hiding. His career suffered during those "hiding" periods. Frank's attempt to juggle the two worlds made for an interesting story.
—Christine Cundiff, Library Assistant
Click to request A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
Very informative, realistic book about the conditions women had to live under, and surprisingly as recently as the 1990's. This book will make you appreciate the freedom and opportunities women have in the U.S. I was also surprised to discover the author is a man. He has an excellent perspective of a woman's point of view and their harst treatment.
—Kathleen Madere, Library Assistant
Click to request Sweet Thursday
by John Steinbeck
The setting for this book is the once prosperous, but now down-in-the heel Cannery Row in Monterey, California. Cannery Row is now defunct because of overfishing, and the Row is full of quirky characters including the protagonist, Doc. Doc's having a center-age crisis; he wants to know "What have I contributed to the 'Great Ledger?'" He believes the question will be solved by writing a magna opus on how octopi experience emotion in a human-like way.
His actual discovery that the people in his community have high respect and deep affection for him, plus his own value to them, fills the hole in his psyche. There are layers of humor here: each character has a funny story to tell, and the author's humorous storytelling isdelightful.
—Ray Harrison, Information Services Librarian.
Click to request The Middle Place
by Kelly Corrigan
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir with humor and depth, telling of the joys and challenges of being both a daughter and a mom. On my reading enjoyment scale of one to ten, this book earns a ten!
—Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Click to request Whiskey Rebels
by David Liss
This historical fiction was very interesting and entertaining. The setting is America, right after the Revolution, as the country is struggling to find its own identity. In Philadelphia and in New York, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson are on opposite sides of the effort to establish the Bank of the United States. With rich characterization, the novel tells the story of ordinary citizens who "just want to survive." After reading this you will discover that political corruption is nothing new.
—Gloria Ward, Library Assistant
Click to request Same Kind of Different as Me
by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
This inspiring biography tells the story of the friendship between a homeless man and a married couple whose lives enriched each others.
—Cathy Day, Library Assistant
Click to request Angela's Ashes : A Memoir
by Frank McCourt
Wildly popular when first written in 1996, it is a work that will never go out of style. McCourt's voice and childhood point of view tell the truth of poverty and alcoholism with aplomb. Yet the book is full of love and joy conveyed with honesty, innocence, and an Irish lilt.
—Jeanette Piquet, Library Director
A Guide to the Birds of East Africa
by Nicholas Drayson
Quirky fun! I enjoyed getting a bit of the flavor of another culture, learning a bit of history, and getting to know some peculiar, honorable, odd characters by way of some wonderful story telling.
—Jeanette Piquet, Library Director
War Journal : My Five Years in Iraq
by Richard Engel
Richard Engel, a young American reporter, is in Iraq covering the war. He provides an excellent historical account of the two main groups in Iraq, the Sunnis and Shiites, and how they play a jajor role in the war. Richard also writes about the success and failures of the war over the last five years. I enjoyed the author's combination of facts as well as raw emotion. I couldn't put the book down!
—Christine, Library Assistant
Click to request The Girl With No Shadow by Joanne Harris.
This sequel to Chocolat is a much darker tale of manipulation and betrayal. Set during the time between Day of the Dead and Christmas, the setting mirrors the emptiness felt by someone with nothing left to lose. Two witches engage in a fierce power struggle as one tries to do right by her family--almost losing everything in the process--and the other feeds on the weakness of friend and foe alike.
Click to request First Patient by Michael Palmer
The many twists and turns of the plot made this suspense novel hard to put down. The President's doctor has disappeared. The replacement doctor is an old friend. After observing very odd behavior by the President, this old friend must decide if he will invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendent to transfer presidential power to the Vice-President.
Gloria, Library Assistant
Click to request The Age of American Unreason
by Susan Jacoby
For those despairing that Americans are dumbing down, awash in anti-intellectualism, and deceived into despising the thinking class instead of those with actual power, you’ll find a kindred soul in Susan Jacoby. The author of Freethinkers here turns her sharp pen onto not just how Americans have become increasingly anti-intellectual, but also why, by diligently revealing the connections between anti-intellectualism, social disintegration, misdirected class anger, and political gamesmanship, all with sharp wit and biting candor. She traces the history of anti-intellectualism in the United States, from the American Revolution to the present day, revealing much that has been obscured by political and social myth. Her position is decidedly left-of-center, pining for a time, perhaps only imagined, when we debated robustly, learned deeply, and read well. She takes on the moniker of “social conservationist”, as “social conservative” has taken a meaning wholly disassociated from her desire to revive our intellectual heritage. Her tone is occasionally hectoring, sometimes caustic, often humorous, and brilliant throughout. I would only wish that she applied as rigorous an approach to her analysis of current trends as she applies to the Revolutionary and mid-20th century periods.
—Scott Bonner, Adult Services Librarian
Click to request The Genetic Strand by Edward Ball
One-part detective story, one-part science lesson, author Edward Ball captivates the reader as he attempts to unravel the mysteries of DNA and his family tree. His personal quest begins upon the chance finding of locks of hair in a family herloom. From there on, the reader follows along Ball's trail to discovery, learning about such interesting topics as paternity testing, poisoning, ethnic heritage, and endogamy (cousin marriage).
—Bobby Jones, Library Shelver
Click to request City of Refuge by Tom Piazza
I found this novel to be both inspiring and gripping. Set before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina, the story follows two families living under vastly different circumstances. As the city of New Orleans falls apart and people are forced to evacuate, the reader gets a close and intimate look at what it may be like to lose everything and still force yourself to get up every morning. The language is beautiful and reads smoothly. For those readers still trying to understand what happened during Hurricane Katrina, this novel is for you.
—Jessica, Library Assistant
Richmond Heights Memorial Library
Jeanette Piquet, Director
8001 Dale Avenue
Richmond Heights, Missouri 63117
Voice: 314.645.6202 Fax: 314.781.3434
The Richmond Heights Memorial Library is a member of the St. Louis County Municipal Library Consortium (MLC)
Home | My Account | Children's Page | Teen's Page | Databases
This page updated July 24, 2014