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  • Book cover for We had a little real estate problem : the unheralded story of Native Americans in comedy

    We had a little real estate problem : the unheralded story of Native Americans in comedy

    by Nesteroff, Kliph

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    November 29, 2022

    Call Number: 817.09 N468-1

    Kliph Nesteroff, known as a comedy historian, covers aspects of the entertainment industry that are not well known, specifically the contributions made by Native Americans to comedy and humor. All of which debunks the stereotypes of Native Americans, who were, and still are, often depicted as sinister, poker-faced, sometimes grim and sullen, and definitely humorless. A part of this historical overview about Native Americans in entertainment precedes the movie industry, going back to the late 1800s, “ … when Native Americans were forced to tour in wild west shows as an alternative... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond

    Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond

    November 23, 2022

    Call Number: 811.08 W639

    In her introduction to Wide Awake, editor Suzanne Lummis informs us how she and her publisher came up with the title for this poetry anthology.  They wanted a title that “stands against the notion that the metropolis is densely packed with dreamers who came to participate in The Dream Factory but will be disappointed (de-deluded), and wind up drifting down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”  Lummis is pointing at the reputation of Los Angeles as a city that breathes for dreamers who are drawn to the glitter, fame, and the notion of success in Hollywood that only... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The Picture Bride

    The Picture Bride

    by Yi, Kŭm-i

    November 16, 2022

    The year is 1917 and a seventeen-year-old girl named Willow, who lives with her widowed mother and two younger brothers in a small, rural village in southeastern Korea, is asked by a traveling matchmaker if she wants to get married. The older woman shows Willow a photo of a young man and tells her he lives in Powa, a place the Americans call Hawai’i. She goes on to say that in Powa, you can “sweep up money with a dustpan”, that “clothes and shoes grow on trees, you only have to put them on”, and that “every season is late springtime.” More important to Willow than any of this, is... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Darling Girl: A Novel of Peter Pan

    Darling Girl: A Novel of Peter Pan

    by Michalski, Liz

    November 8, 2022

    We all know the story of Peter Pan, the boy who refuses to grow up. J.M. Barrie wrote and published a play and two books about Peter and his adventures in the early 20th century, recounting how Peter visited the Darling children: Wendy, John, and Michael, and spirited them away to Neverland by teaching them how to fly. But what if there is more to the story than we were told? What if Peter Pan is real? What if the ideas for the story didn’t originate with Barrie, but he merely wrote down what Wendy told him after returning from her adventure? And what if Barrie’s version,... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Only a Monster

    Only a Monster

    by Len, Vanessa

    October 31, 2022

    Call Number: YA

    Joan believes herself to be a typical teenager. She spends her summers in London visiting her maternal grandmother, while her father visits his family in Malaysia. During this visit, she has been volunteering at Holland House, a historic home and museum in Kensington. Holland House is where she met Nick, the quiet and shy volunteer whom she really likes. It’s going to be a marvelous summer.

    And then, over the course of a single day, Joan’s world is turned upside down. An unexpected occurrence mysteriously robs Joan of an entire afternoon and her grandmother is... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Acts of Violet

    Acts of Violet

    by Montimore, Margarita

    October 24, 2022

    In early 2020, Margarita Montimore published her debut novel, Oona Out of Order. It followed a woman who awakes every January 1st at a different point in her life. She lives in that year, and in that body, until December 31st, only to awaken the following morning beginning a different year at a different age. The novel is inventive, thoughtful, and a page turner! Now Montimore is back with her new novel, Acts of Violet, and it may be better than her debut.

    During the 1990s, Violet Volk becomes one of the best known, and controversial, stage... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The Monster of Elendhaven

    The Monster of Elendhaven

    by Giesbrecht, Jennifer

    October 17, 2022

    A young man washes up in a harbor with no knowledge of who he is or where he came from. He doesn’t even have a name. He is tall, with dark hair and pale skin. He also possesses a strong sense of survival, driving him to do whatever is necessary to make his way on the dark and dangerous streets of Elendhaven.

    Florian Leickenbloom is the antithesis of this mysterious young man. He knows his name and that he is the last surviving member of one of Elendhaven’s founding families. He is small and slight of stature with blonde hair. Florian lost his entire family, along with a majority of... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Hawk Mountain

    Hawk Mountain

    by Habib, Conner

    October 12, 2022

    In the late afternoon, Todd sits on the beach watching 6-year-old Anthony, his son, play in the surf. A man approaches Todd, and, after a minute, he recognizes him. It is Jack, who bullied Todd relentlessly during their senior year in high school. In spite of their shared history, Jack seems pleased at seeing Todd. He claims that their meeting is a coincidence and goes on to tell Todd that he has just left his wife, is determined to create a new life for himself, and asks if he can spend the night at Todd’s home.

    Jack’s stay with Todd and Anthony extends beyond... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Bad Mexicans : race, empire, and revolution in the borderlands

    Bad Mexicans : race, empire, and revolution in the borderlands

    by Hernández, Kelly Lytle

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    October 5, 2022

    Call Number: 972.2 H557

    The term “bad Mexicans” (malos Mexicanos) was not coined by Anglos from the United States, instead it originated with President Porfirio Díaz, the authoritarian President of Mexico who ruled for almost three decades beginning in 1876. It was a derogatory name for any person or group who opposed him.  At the expense of his own citizens and to the advantage of American investors, he encouraged and facilitated the investments to take place, which resulted in those American investors having control over major Mexican industries. Because of this situation, there developed a... Read Full Review

  • 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)

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    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... 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

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    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... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The Extraordinaries

    The Extraordinaries

    by Klune, TJ

    September 13, 2022

    Nick Bell is far from an ordinary teen. He experiences attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is required to take daily medication. Two years ago, his mother was killed in a bank robbery, leaving him and his father to reconstruct their lives together. He met his best friend, Seth Gray, when they were six years old. They’ve been inseparable ever since. Nick is a superstar in the world of Extraordinaries fan fiction. He is one of the most popular writers of stories relating to the few individuals that have super-powers known as Extraordinaries and his 250K word, and 60... Read Full Review

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