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Staff Recommendations


  • Incidental inventions

    by Ferrante, Elena,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    March 2, 2020

    Call Number: 858 F373

    Over the past few years Elena Ferrante has become very well known for her Neapolitan Novel Series, and for the recent television dramatization of the books, which LAPL owns:  part one.  Season two begins March 16 on HBO.  She has written other novels which can be found... Read Full Review

  • The American story : conversations with master historians

    by Rubenstein, David M.,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    February 24, 2020

    Call Number: 907 R895

    These conversations with master historians were the result of a “spur of the moment” idea that came to philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, who is a major supporter of The Library of Congress and The National Book Festival, as well as supporting other projects which preserve our national heritage. This would be, “ A series of interviews with accomplished American historians about their books, in front of an audience principally comprising members of... Read Full Review

  • The Secret Life of Sam Holloway

    by Thomas, Rhys

    February 18, 2020

    Sam Holloway is a good guy, who is kind and thoughtful, with a stable, but not terribly exciting, job with an electronic parts distributor. He meets up with a couple of friends several nights a week at a local pub, where they talk about comics, movies, videogames and what it might be like to meet a nice woman. Yes, Sam is a bit of a geek, but he is also a nice guy, and everyone seems to know that. What no one knows though, is that on nights when Sam isn’t at the pub with his friends, he dons a homemade superhero costume (You can order pretty much anything off of the Internet!), and patrols... Read Full Review

  • Anthony Bourdain remembered.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    February 10, 2020

    Call Number: 641.092 B768An

    Anthony Bourdain was a charmer, armed with wit and brilliance, and a mischievous smile, and probably broke many female hearts with his passion for everything in life.  On television, his walk was a joy to watch, with long arms and legs striding along, venturing forth to get somewhere, to see, to experience, and enticing and encouraging us to come along. With his decision to cut out early (Anthony Bourdain died in early June, 2018, an apparent suicide), he has broken all of our hearts, for those of us who watched his television programs and read his books, and delighted... Read Full Review

  • Mighty justice : my life in civil rights

    by Roundtree, Dovey Johnson, 1914-2018,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    February 3, 2020

    Call Number: 347.092 R859

    Dovey Johnson Roundtree was an African American civil rights leader and activist, an attorney and an ordained minister. Her life and contributions are not that well known.  Born in 1914, she came of age in a time when African Americans could take nothing for granted about their personal safety, and had no expectations at all about fair and equitable treatment in their personal or professional lives. Roundtree's life is a reminder of how things were, and what it took for her to endure and persist to bring about change. This is Roundtree's autobiography, a life that was rich with... Read Full Review

  • Made things

    by Tchaikovsky, Adrian, 1972-

    January 27, 2020

    Coppelia is not quite a thief and not quite a con-artist. What she is, or could be if she were living a different life, is an artist. A builder who could create function and beauty from raw materials, but only in a different life. A life where her parents hadn’t been taken to a workhouse, leaving Coppelia to be sent to an orphanage. A life where she hadn’t fled that orphanage with only the clothes on her back, left to scrape out a living on the streets of the Barrio in Fountains Parish. But living on the street has made Coppelia both a thief and a con-artist, and it has also given her one... Read Full Review

  • Dreamers and schemers : how an improbable bid for the 1932 Olympics transformed Los Angeles from dusty outpost to global metropolis

    by Siegel, Barry, 1949-

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian, History and Genealogy Department

    January 21, 2020

    Call Number: 796.321 O53 1932 Si

    This book follows the machinations of Los Angeles real estate mogul William May Garland as he attempts to bring the 1932 Olympic Games to Los Angeles. Barry Siegel, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and UC Irvine Professor, rewards the reader with an enjoyable account of a winsome individual with a dogged determination to bring an international spotlight to a city that was still struggling for recognition.

    William Garland, like most early Angelenos, was a transplant, in this case from Maine. He arrived in Los Angeles around 1890 and became involved with the real estate business... Read Full Review

  • Riot Baby

    by Onyebuchi, Tochi

    January 13, 2020

    Ella has what she refers to as her Thing. It allows her to see things that have not yet happened. As a young girl growing up in Compton, California, this is more of a curse than a blessing. Ella is rarely happy by the future she sees. And, as she grows older, her Thing will allow her to do more than simply see into the future.

    Kev is born in the early hours of the riots that erupted in South Central Los Angeles in the spring of 1992. He and Ella are moved to the East Coast and Harlem by their mother after the riots. Life is hard for people of color in Harlem and Kev is no exception.... Read Full Review

  • Steel Crow Saga

    by Krueger, Paul

    December 30, 2019

    A prince, a soldier, a detective, and a thief. Four very different people, with very different histories and experiences. There are two things that they all share: they have survived the war that just ended, and during that war they have all suffered significant losses. Over the course of a few days, the prince, the soldier, the detective and the thief will learn, in very real, tangible ways that they are more alike than unalike, and it is a lesson that very well may change their world.

    Sergeant Tala, of the army of the Republic of Sanbu, is a warrior. She has fought in the war her... Read Full Review

  • Carrie Fisher : a life on the edge

    by Weller, Sheila,

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    December 23, 2019

    Call Number: 812.092 F533We

    The actress and writer Carrie Fisher spent her entire life in the public eye. The daughter of two entertainment industry icons, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, she grew up in Beverly Hills when it was the epicenter of Hollywood glamour. Her parents’ relationships were frequently tabloid fodder, and she was one of the more popular kids at Beverly Hills High. She later found fame in a galaxy, far, far away as Princess Leia in Star Wars and became an unlikely sex symbol with her “take no prisoners” attitude. Fisher appeared in two critically acclaimed New York-based films in the... Read Full Review

  • The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl

    by Goss, Theodora

    December 16, 2019

    Call Number: M

    In The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss introduced readers to The Athena Club whose members are Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau and Justine Frankenstein. They are the daughters of some of speculative fiction’s maddest scientists. In that novel, The Athena Club assisted with solving a series of murders in Whitechapel. The second novel,... Read Full Review

  • How to raise a reader

    by Paul, Pamela,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 9, 2019

    Call Number: 372.4 P324

    Pamela Paul and Maria Russo provide helpful advice and guidance about how parents can raise children to be readers, and how to keep those children reading. They lay out methods, guidelines, book lists and positive motivational techniques for parents to follow. In the introduction they present two different reading situations that children and parents face: 

                                                           ... Read Full Review