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Staff Recommendations


  • Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal

    by Foret, Rosalee de la

    September 10, 2019

    Call Number: 615.32 F718

    We tend to think of chamomile as a gentle herb, with effects that are mostly psychological. A cup of chamomile tea is nice before bedtime, but is there anything to this pretty little herb beyond the relaxing ritual of a steaming mug?

    Yes! I felt chamomile’s powerful effects firsthand when I began taking medicinal doses for stress and tension headaches (parenting two young kids is rewarding, but it’s no walk in the park). Chamomile, it turns out, is a potent nervine and antispasmodic herb, and a chamomile infusion has become my go-to remedy for stress.

    I have Alchemy... Read Full Review

  • Magic for Liars: A Novel

    by Gailey, Sarah

    September 3, 2019

    When Sylvia Capley, the Health instructor at Osthorne Academy for Young Mages, is found in the school library bisected from head to toe, cleanly down the middle, the National Mage Investigative Service (NMIS) concludes that her death was an accident, a spell gone wrong. The Headmaster of the school doesn’t agree with their conclusions and reaches out to Ivy Gamble, a bay area Private Investigator who specializes in small time cases, insurance fraud and cheating spouses. But as the twin sister of Osthorne’s Theoretical Magic teacher, she is an outsider who is aware of the magical community... Read Full Review

  • Happiness is Baking: Cakes, Pies, Tarts, Muffins, Brownies, Cookies: Favorite Desserts From the Queen of Cake

    by Heatter, Maida

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 26, 2019

    Call Number: 641.71 H442-2

    This is the most recent cookbook from the Queen of Cake, Maida Heatter, which is a collection of her favorite recipes.  In the introduction she writes about how determined a baker can be to get a recipe, and how much satisfaction there is in baking and giving desserts to others. This cookbook is different from her other works only in its new format that has a very bright colorful layout and illustrations by Alice Oehr. Everything else is the same as in her other cookbooks:  table of contents, complete index, meticulous easy-to-follow directions and an opening chapter, "Before you... Read Full Review

  • Red, White & Royal Blue

    by McQuiston, Casey

    August 19, 2019

    Alex Claremont-Diaz is the 21-year-old First Son Of The United States (FSOTUS). He has lived in the White House with his older sister, June (FDOTUS) for the last three years, during his mother’s first term in office. He is a media darling, being continually followed, photographed and dissected by the press. He, June, and Nora, the granddaughter of the Vice President, are referred to as “The White House Trio,” three ambitious and beautiful, young people of which the press and the American public cannot get their fill.

    Alex is scheduled to attend the latest Royal Wedding in London,... Read Full Review

  • What moves at the margin : selected nonfiction

    by Morrison, Toni.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 12, 2019

    Call Number: 818 M882

    Toni Morrison possessed and shared with us knowledge about ourselves, through the power of words.The work of the grande dame of Black American Literature has always commanded our attention.  Great fiction writers create stories expressed through characters, plot and language that speak truth to all of us. Their work takes our breath away by making us look at life we never thought about, and even denied existed. Toni Morrison was a great writer who wrote about the lives of Black Americans.

    The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution legally abolished... Read Full Review

  • The Survival of Margaret Thomas

    by Howison, Del

    August 5, 2019

    The Western has been an established genre of fiction for well over a hundred years. In the early to mid20th century, Western fiction grew in popularity, largely driven by similarly themed motion pictures and television programs. In the 1970s, however, the genre began to fall out of favor with the general population. Even so, there has always been an audience interested in new stories or masterful reworkings of existing tales. Indeed, there are continual rumblings of a comeback for the Western genre. All that may be necessary for this to happen is a strong story, with all of the genre... Read Full Review

  • Shoot for the moon : the space race and the extraordinary voyage of Apollo 11

    by Donovan, Jim, 1954-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    July 29, 2019

    Call Number: 629.454 A644Do

    James Donovan’s Shoot For The Moon is the first book about America’s triumphant moon landing in 1969 that puts the feat in its proper context. Donovan balances a technical analysis of space flight with gripping biographical details about the major players involved in the three NASA programs of the 1960s: Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy gave a speech before Congress exhorting America to send a man to the moon by end of the decade. The date was less than three weeks after Alan B. Shepard became the first American to go into space. Shoot For The... Read Full Review

  • Wild LA: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Los Angeles

    by Higgins, Lila M.

    Reviewed by: Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Department

    July 22, 2019

    Call Number: 570.9794 H636

    Sometimes LA seems like an endless stretch of strip malls and freeways. But LA is more than that! LA is part of the California Floristic Province, a biodiversity hotspot. In its wide range of habitats, from deserts to beaches, there are many wonderful, fascinating plants, animals, and fungi figuring out how to live side by side with us.  

    The way flora and fauna survive this concrete jungle is a story, in and of itself. Or rather, it’s thousands of different stories. The way everything, from parakeets to western sycamore, lives in LA can be difficult to... Read Full Review

  • Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You

    by Moore, Scotto

    July 15, 2019

    It’s happened to all of us. You hear a song and it instantly raises your spirits. Or, you hear a different song and it instantly makes you feel melancholy. Some music makes you want to move, while other music makes you want to relax and be still. Something reminds you of a song and then it is repeatedly playing in your head all day long. Music elicits reactions, whether wanted or unwanted. But what if music were used, intentionally, for questionable purposes? This is the intriguing question explored by Scotto Moore in Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You.

    A long-time music... Read Full Review

  • Fay Wray and Robert Riskin : a Hollywood memoir

    by Riskin, Victoria,

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

    July 8, 2019

    Call Number: 812.09 R595

    Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir is a meticulous and heartfelt account of the lives of the titular couple that was written by their daughter, Victoria Riskin. The book is a traditional biography, however the author’s relationship to the subjects gives the book resonance and depth that few show business bios can approach.

    The book is structured so each chapter alternates its focus between Riskin and Wray before it leads up to their meeting and marriage in the 1940s. It then follows Wray’s efforts to support her family following Riskin’s death in 1955. Along the... Read Full Review

  • Middlegame

    by McGuire, Seanan

    July 1, 2019

    Roger Middleton is a rather typical seven-year-old boy. He lives with his adopted parents in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He seems to be exceptionally gifted when it comes to grammar, spelling, anything to do with languages, really. But he struggles with even the most basic levels of mathematics.

    Dodger Cheswich is not a typical seven-year-old girl. She lives with her parents in Palo Alto, California and she is a mathematical genius. She appears to be able to comprehend and master increasingly complex levels of equations far beyond her limited number of years. But she doesn’t deal well... Read Full Review

  • Snow White Learns Witchcraft: Stories and Poems

    by Goss, Theodora

    June 24, 2019

    "Fairy tales are another kind of Bible, for those who know how to read them.” 'Red as Blood and White as Bone' in Snow White Learns Witchcraft by Theodora Goss

    Theodora Goss is an award winning-author, a professor of literature and writing at both Boston University and the Stonecoast MFA program. Her debut novel, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (2017) and its sequel, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (2018) are wonderful and long-overdue adventures with a group of “girl monsters or monstrous young women,” who are the... Read Full Review