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Staff Pick: Trapped Under the Sea by Neil Swidey

Trapped Under the Sea book coverJo R. of Research Services recommends Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles Into the Darkness by Neil Swidey:

Twenty-five years ago, Boston had the dirtiest harbor in America. After generations of dumping waste directly into the harbor, the sea floor was coated with a “black mayonnaise” layer of sewage. In the 1990s, the city undertook a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant with a 10-mile tunnel designed to carry waste out of the harbor and into the sea. When a series of bad decisions, engineering problems, and clashing corporations endangered the project, a team of five commercial divers was called upon to rescue the clean-up effort. Not all of them came back alive. This book is really their story. Even if you don’t normally read nonfiction, this action-filled account makes it hard to put down. And if you like your nonfiction fast-paced and suspenseful, Trapped Under the Sea is the perfect book for you.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on August 4, 2014 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Vivian Maier

Cynthia staff picks photoVivian Maier was an area nanny whose ubiquitous camera captured life in Chicago in the mid-century. Her rich, evocative work remained unnoticed until 2007 when thousands of negatives were purchased at a storage unit auction. Curiosity in the woman and appreciation for her work have since skyrocketed. Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows offers a glimpse at her talent, and the new DVD Finding Vivian Maier attempts to shed light on the artist.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 29, 2014 Categories: Books, Movies and TV, Nonfiction, Picks by Cynthia, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Denise staff picks photoIt’s not often that I read a novel that I know is going to make me cry and actually like it! Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You is the story of two unlikely people who meet and fall in love. Sounds simple, but there is absolutely nothing simple about it.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 22, 2014 Categories: Books, Picks by Denise, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Attack on Titan

Colleen staff picks photoThe anime and manga series Attack on Titan is an action-packed and unique story. Set in a world where huge man-eating giants called Titans terrorize the earth, this story follows a group of young people who are sick of living in fear.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 15, 2014 Categories: Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Movies and TV, Picks by Colleen, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Bron / Broen (The Bridge)

Cathleen staff picks photoA body is discovered lying across the border of Sweden and Denmark, and it’s only the first in a series of violent crimes designed to draw attention to social ills. A fascinating achievement of international television, Bron / Broen (The Bridge) straddles intersecting character arcs in a tension-filled series that examines the boundaries we cross.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 8, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Stella Bain by Anita Shreve

Joyce Staff Picks photoAwakening in a casualty tent in France, 1916, Stella Bain, an American woman suffering from shell shock and amnesia, must find out who she is and recover the life she had. Anita Shreve’s newest title tells a story of love, loss, strength, and forgiveness against the backdrop of war.

By MPPL on July 1, 2014 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, Picks by Joyce, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1798-1815 by Gordon S. Wood

Larry staff picks photoA readable, fascinating history of the early United States, Empire of Liberty describes political and social philosophies of the time and their effect on American society and events. Without directly saying so, the book makes it evident that the roots of current American thought can be traced back to that time, with often striking parallels.

By MPPL on June 24, 2014 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Big Eden

Diane D. staff picks photoI was a member of the audience for the premier of Big Eden at the world famous Castro Theatre in June 2000 and happily joined in the thunderous 10 minute standing ovation. Big Eden is a winsome gay romantic comedy which turns stereotypes upside down with humor and a heart-warming romance.

By MPPL on June 17, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: The Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Barb B.Worth’s The Midwife tells the fascinating story of her life as a midwife in 1950’s London. Set in the East End, where she worked with nuns from St. Raymond Nonnatus, Worth chronicles the rigorous drama and inspiring magic of birth. It’s a captivating memoir. After reading, watch the excellent television series it inspired.

By MPPL on June 10, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV, Nonfiction, Picks by Barb B., Staff Picks

Staff Pick: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Emily staff picks photoHighsmith, famous for mystery classics like Strangers on a Train, tells a story of two women in love. Trying to escape mundane 1950s lives, they’re trailed and blackmailed by a shadowy private investigator. Thought to have inspired Nabokov’s Lolita, The Price of Salt imbues a pulpy plot with unexpected hopefulness.

By MPPL on June 3, 2014 Categories: Books, Staff Picks