Sheryn Morris


  • Book cover for Mi cocina : recipes and rapture from my kitchen in México

    Mi cocina : recipes and rapture from my kitchen in México

    by Martínez, Rick (Chef)

    September 26, 2022

    Call Number: 641.5972 M38545

    What a glorious cookbook and memoir. A little larger in size than the average book, which is perfect for the overall layout and presentation of photographs, maps and recipes. Every page is graced with marvelous color photographs, with text pages printed on lighter shades of colorful paper. Chapters are organized by regions with the accompanying recipes that are emblematic of the food and cooking traditions of each. The introductions to the chapters include information, not only about the food, but brief historical overviews of the areas and their unique contributions to culinary... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community

    A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community

    by Molina, Natalia

    September 19, 2022

    Call Number: 647.9509794 M722

    When is a restaurant more than a place to eat? How and why does this happen?  Why is this significant? In the “Introduction: Placemaking in a New Homeland,” Natalia Molina, researcher and scholar, says it is because people recognize,  “ …  their home is about a feeling rooted to a particular place: a neighborhood, a park, a newsstand, a restaurant. The subjects of this story, most of them working-class immigrants who did not arrive in the United States speaking English, endeavored to make places of their own. They went to work, worshipped in church, attended school, ate out,... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Cooking with the two fat ladies

    Cooking with the two fat ladies

    by Paterson, Jennifer.

    August 22, 2022

    Call Number: 641.5942 P296

    This is the second series of books that I rediscovered during the early months of COVID lock-down,The Two Fat Ladies. My mind is blank about how I gravitated to this one, maybe because of a book at home, or looking longingly at a collection of VHS tapes, and no longer having a recorder. Thank heavens for the internet where I found snippets and full episodes of the old TV programs with these two remarkable women. Apparently you can also find their programs on the TV Food Network. However, the Los Angeles Public Library owns the complete series on... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The unexpected Mrs. Pollifax.

    The unexpected Mrs. Pollifax.

    by Gilman, Dorothy, 1923-2012.

    August 9, 2022

    Call Number: M

    In 2020, during those early weeks of COVID lock-down, when we were not allowed into our Los Angeles Public Libraries, and the present and the future were beyond comprehension, it was good to have some personally owned books at home. There were two series that I turned to. One was the Mrs. Pollifax series. At the time, I owned only a hardcopy of Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled, which is the last book in the series, and that caused me to quickly order all the... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Watermelon & red birds : a cookbook for Juneteenth and black celebrations

    Watermelon & red birds : a cookbook for Juneteenth and black celebrations

    by Taylor, Nicole A.

    June 14, 2022

    Call Number: 641.5973 T2445-1

    This is the first cookbook devoted entirely to celebrating the significance of Juneteenth. “The title combines a native-born African fruit–watermelon–with the African American and Native American adage that red birds flying in sight are ancestors returning to spread beautiful luck.” Writer and scholar Nicole A. Taylor states, “This is my declaration of independence from the traditional boundaries of so-called Southern food and soul food. It’s my fulfillment of the dreams of those domestics, inventors, bakers, and bartenders who form the base of my family tree. It is my statement that we are... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir

    1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir

    by Ai, Weiwei

    May 24, 2022

    Call Number: 709.51 A288-9

    Ai Weiwei is one of China’s most famous, and infamous, internationally known artists. His artistic style ranges from representational to pushing boundaries all over the place. Not only in his visual work has he stretched and pushed, but in his thoughts, ideas and comments about his native country and its lack of expressive freedom; its authoritarian disregard for humanity and oppression of different types of people within its own borders, as well as supporting various types of repression throughout the world. This drive to express, and lack of concern for his own safety, landed Ai Weiwei in... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The cat who saved books : a novel

    The cat who saved books : a novel

    by Natsukawa, Sōsuke, 1978-

    May 18, 2022

    Call Number:

    Writer Sosuke Natsukawa has taken what might appear to be rather mundane characters and created a unique novel that has many twists and turns. A high school student (Rintaro Natsuki), who is lacking purpose or direction in life, and whose grandfather peacefully dies in his sleep leaving his independently owned bookstore to his grandson.A cat (Tiger the Tabby) who suddenly appears out of nowhere and begins talking to this aimless young man, prodding him to help save books that, “ … have been imprisoned.”A classmate (Sayo Yuzuki), and possible girlfriend, who expresses her no nonsense... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Four Treasures of the Sky

    Four Treasures of the Sky

    by Zhang, Jenny

    May 11, 2022

    Call Number:

    This debut novel is a stunner, historical fiction at its best (captivating, illuminating and provoking) in its depiction and portrayal of the horrors of racism, discrimination, abuse and greed. The inspiration for the novel was happenstance, as recalled by Jenny Zhang, “In 2014, my father returned from a work trip through the northwestern region of the United States with an interesting anecdote: He was driving through Pierce, Idaho, when he saw a marker referencing a “Chinese Hanging.” The marker described the story of how five Chinese men were hanged by vigilantes for the alleged murder... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The best of Ogden Nash

    The best of Ogden Nash

    by Nash, Ogden, 1902-1971.

    April 26, 2022

    Call Number: 811 N252-30

    In a previous review about a poetry book, I wrote:"Poetry is the most intense and concentrated form of writing, using words, metre, rhyme and format to express thoughts, feelings and ideas that can be fact or fiction. It gets at the marrow of truth and truth-telling using words to create an image, not a picture, of an idea. Poetry slams on the brakes and makes you reconsider what was written. It may very well make you look up words in a dictionary because you do not understand the meaning of the most ordinary words as used in a poem."I would like to add that it is possible for poetry to... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Fresh water for flowers

    Fresh water for flowers

    by Perrin, Valérie, 1961-

    April 19, 2022

    Call Number:

    Writer Valérie Perrin portrays her main character, Violette Toussaint, as someone who has found her true calling in life. She is the caretaker of a cemetery in a small town in France, where she makes the arrangements for funerals and religious services for the deceased and their family.   Among the many ironies, in this tender novel, is the life of Violette Toussaint. Until finding this job, her previous experiences in life have been harsh, tenuous, and definitely heart-and-spirit breaking. She was abandoned at birth and sent to live with foster families who neglected her... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The chancellor : the remarkable odyssey of Angela Merkel

    The chancellor : the remarkable odyssey of Angela Merkel

    by Marton, Kati

    March 23, 2022

    Call Number: 92 M5633Ma

    There are three major "firsts" in Angela Merkel’s lifetime of public service. She was the first female Chancellor of Germany. She was the first leader of Germany with a doctorate in quantum chemistry who had done extensive research in the field of quantum theoretical chemistry.  She was the first Chancellor, raised in East Germany, to be elected to govern a post-World War II unified Germany. As Chancellor she transformed Germany’s economy and its status as a world leader. Never forgetting her own past that was lived under a despotic government where she could only dream about a... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller

    Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller

    by Wassef, Nadia

    March 15, 2022

    Call Number: 085.462 W321

    “Against all odds, we had proven to our doubters and detractors that a modern bookstore could survive in Egypt … Though Diwan was not a huge financial success, it was a moral victory, an experiment in marketing, and a mastery of the will.” These are the words of Nadia Wassef, who, along with her sister, Hind, came up with the idea for a modern bookstore in Cairo.  Sharing dinner with friends, several were taken with the idea, and three more people (Ziad, Ali and Nihal) became part of this business adventure. The store called Diwan began in 2002. What began as one store in Cairo, expanded... Read Full Review