Thursday, January 30, 2014

Want to Learn More about Economics?

The Little Book Of Economics, Revised And Updated: How The Economy Works In The Real World: Ip, GregThe Little Book of Economics
By Greg Ip

This is an engaging and most informative book that explains how the economy works. Each chapter is arranged with a discussion of the topic, under two headings. The next section is into the weeds which defines the lingo, essential data and people involved. The final section is “the Bottom Line” which could be read alone without the rest of the chapter. In addition to current economic challenges, the author throws in some history of the cycles of depressions, recessions and the factors that lead up to each one. Chapter titles include Economic Bungee Jumping, Labor Pains, The Price of Economic Freedom, White Smoke Over Washington Mall, All the World is an ATM, and Good Debt, Bad Debt. The author states that he wrote this book to provide non-economists with a practical, plain language guide to the concepts they encounter in their daily lives whether as students, business people, or concerned citizens from growth, unemployment, and inflation to deficits, globalization and the Federal Reserve. This book is an interesting study of what truly makes the world go around.

To request this book click the title or cover above.

Review by Karen J. Harris, Librarian, Norcross Branch, Gwinnett County Public Library

Monday, January 27, 2014

Learn about Poetry

Understanding Poetry (The Modern Scholar: Way with Words, Vol. 4)A Way with Words IV: Understanding Poetry 
By Michael D. C. Drout

Professor Michael D. C. Drout of Wheaton College brings poetry to life in this engrossing series of lectures about the evolution of this literary art form. He begins by defining poetry in his words “as a verbal art form in which both form and content are important and in which sound and meaning are essential for the artwork” The journey continues as the listener learns about the importance of oral tradition, and “the roots of tree” or Anglo-Saxon Poetry. Next is the lecture entitled “Of Meters and Rhyming Craftily” which describes alliteration, iambic, trochaic and other pentameters and how they create the framework of a poem. The works of famous poets are explored along with brief biographical information. This historical panorama includes a look at Early Renaissance poetry, the Romantics, the Metaphysicals, the Later Romantics, the Victorians, American poets concluding with Modern and Post Modern Poetry. There are fourteen lectures on 7 CDs that will delight those with long commutes and an interest in literature.

To request this title click on the title or cover above.

Review by Karen J. Harris, Librarian, Norcross Branch, Gwinnett County Public Library

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter is coming...

Game of Thrones 

by George R. R. Martin

Fans of fantasy will find the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin highly addictive.  TV lovers will also recognize this series as the inspiration for the popular HBO series, Game of Thrones. The first novel in the series (Game of Thrones), introduces the cast of characters in this epic fantasy.  Set in an imaginary world where summer and winter can last a heartbeat or decades, the land of Westeros is divided into north and south and encompasses seven former kingdoms united under one ruler. When we enter the story, Robert Baratheon has overthrown the Mad King Aerys of House Targaryen and now rules with Queen Cersei from the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, the true heirs to the throne, Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen, are exiles in a far off land.  After the sudden death of his advisor, Jon Arryn, Robert and his entourage visit his old friend Lord Eddard Stark at the Stark family stronghold, Winterfell.  Soon Eddard heads to court with his daughters, Sansa and Arya, as the new right-hand of the King. Eddard suspects foul-play in the death of Jon Arryn, but does not guess the depth of the danger that lies ahead for himself and his family.  We quickly learn that many aspire to the Iron Throne, and all of them will kill for it...

To request this book click on the title or cover. Game of Thrones is also available as an audio book, eBook, or downloadable audio book.  

Reviews by Christina J. J. Gangwisch

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Take a look at our NEW catalog!

Jan. 15th marks the unveiling of a new, more customer friendly, Gwinnett County Public Library website and catalog.  Polaris, as the catalog is called, has many enhanced features including:

Did you mean?  In the old catalog if you typed in “John Gresham” as a search, you would receive no results and no suggestions.  In Polaris the name “John Gresham” results in the response “Did you mean John Grisham?”
Autofill Options.  Like Google, Polaris can predict what you are trying to type. Say you are looking for the novel A Time to Kill. After typing in the first few letters of the title, Polaris will offer the full title as an autofill option. 
Reading History.  One of customers’ most requested features, Polaris has the ability to retain a user's reading history. However, each customer will need to activate this feature in the My Reading History section of the catalog. It can't give you a past history, but it will retain it from the time the feature is activated. 
Faceted Searching.   Like Amazon, Polaris offers customers the option to narrow search results through facets on the left side of the screen.  If your catalog search on penguins produces a long list of results, you can narrow it down based on format, author, publication date, and other factors.

Other cool features about the new Polaris library catalog include book suggestions based on your reading history, searches sent directly to your email so you will always know when the newest James Patterson arrives, a text it feature that lets you text a call number to yourself, and a Large Type button that enlarges the text and pictures on the library catalog. 

Enjoy your new GCPL searching experience!

To access the library catalog click the GCPL Logo or go to

Monday, January 6, 2014

Please Pardon our Progress!

The Gwinnett County Public Library is getting a new catalog!

This upgrade will include many new features, such as the ability to save a list of the library books you've read, better search functionality, and even the option to find directions to the closest branch that has the book you want. 

Please click here to go to an information page with frequently asked questions and videos about these new features.

Because of this transition, our catalog will be unavailable from January 10 through January 14.

This means that many of the links we provide in the blog will be broken and the even the images of book covers will begin to disappear.

Starting January 15, the new catalog will be available and we invite you to go explore at

Unfortunately, it will take a little bit longer for us to go in and fix all of the broken links in this blog.

Plus, we'll be busy preparing for another big change. There are plans to move our reviews to the main site at very soon!

Watch this space for news about that.

Until then, we do plan to resume posting as soon as we are able.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Young Adult Fantasy

How would you feel if you knew with relative certainty that on your 16th birthday, you would go insane?

Aoife Grayson is fifteen and lives in the city of Lovecraft in this Steampunk Fantasy. She is a ward of the state, studying in the School of Engines, while her mother is locked up in an institution.  Aoife hasn't seen the res of her family in quite some time. Her life consists of school, avoiding heresy, and obeying the Proctors, but as her birthday draws near, Aoife's wish to uncover the truth about her family (and avoid madness) takes over her life.  She and her friend Cal leave the school to uncover the secrets of the Grayson family, tempting heresy and fraternizing with miscreants and ghouls along the way.

The world building in this book is excellent, as is the plot development. This is definitely one story that will keep surprising you.  It is a teen novel, but it is pretty heavy reading.  This world is rather complex and there is quite a bit of terminology to keep straight, making the book sometimes confusing. However, it is a fascinating and suspenseful read, and while there are not too many young teens who I think would be able to really enjoy this story, older teens and younger adult fantasy readers will devour it. The Iron Thorn is first in the three book Iron Codex series.

The catalog is currently not taking requests, but will be available the middle of January. 

Review by Anni