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Morris & McCoy on Books, Summer 2012

Updated: September 27, 2012

New and notable books recommended by two LAPL librarians.

by Chen, Guanzhong.
A novel that has been banned in modern China. This is a dystopian story set in the near future, in China, where there is a booming economy and seemingly public contentment. However, when a past month vanishes from the history of events, few people seem to care or notice, except one successful writer. A key premise of this book challenges the concept of prosperity and material comfort versus freedom of thought and expression in a totalitarian state.

by Greenfield, Robert.
Call Number: 788.99 E73Gr
Ahmet Ertegun was a least likely guy to become involved in the world of rock, R&B, and jazz. Born to an affluent Turkish family of diplomats, Ertegun and his brother Nesuhi were passionate about jazz. Ertegun started Atlantic Records and parlayed it into one of the most successful record companies. Elegant and earthy, this man worked and played hard.

by Decker, Todd R.
Call Number: 789.14 A852De
This biography of Astaire pays tribute to his talent as a dancing musician. A readable analysis of

by Kastin, David.
Call Number: 781.995 K19
She was an unofficial, unpaid promoter of jazz musicians, in particular Thelonius Monk.

by Wickenden, Dorothy.
Call Number: 370.92 W893Wi
What happens when two Smith graduates decide to set off in 1916 for, what was then, the wild west of Colorado? Well, adventure, and a good deal more of it than either they or their families could imagine. Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood wrote to their families back in

by Smith, R. J., 1959-
Call Number: 789.14 B8777Sm
As much as Aretha Franklin is The Queen, James Brown is known as The One. That "one" refers to more than his being the one and only, it refers to a certain type of beat/rhythm/philosophy. His roots were in South Carolina, the culture of black slaves and white racism. This new biography delves into the life of a very complex man and musician.

by McCoy, Esther.
Call Number: 720.910941 M131
Esther McCoy was one of modern architecture's most important critics and writers. She was the first architectural critic to take Los Angeles architecture seriously. This is a new anthology which includes a variety of her work.

by Sin, Ky?ng-suk.
A mother's disappearance in a Seoul subway station elicits reflection on the part of her children, husband and the mother herself. The children and father suddenly realize how they have taken her for granted and reminisce about the sacrifices made by the mother.

by Bernier, Rosamond.
Call Number: 709.2 B528
Coming from a background of privilege and advantage did not stop Rosamond Bernier from working hard and being successful at what she loved doing. She had a passion for art and loved to talk about it, and that's what she did with her sparkling, well-informed lectures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She knew, socialized and wrote about major twentieth century artists.

by Strayed, Cheryl, 1968-
Call Number: 813 S913S
Following the death of her mother, Strayed spent her early 20s dabbling with heroin and infidelity, breaking up her marriage, and generally blowing up her life. The mess she was in led her to the Pacific Crest Trail where, in 1996, she hiked 1,100 miles from Mojave to the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon. Along the way, she dealt with bears, rattlesnakes, and a backpack so heavy she named it "Monster." It's a punishing hike that nearly destroys Strayed's will (along with her feet), but helps her find a way out of her grief and back to the woman she wants to be. A beautiful and tear-your-heart-out sad memoir that deserves every bit of the buzz it's getting.

by Miller, Jennifer, 1980-
Call Number: M
An elite private school plagued by scandal. A secret society hell-bent on stirring up trouble. And a 14-year-old high school freshman and aspiring journalist determined to get to the bottom of it all. The Year of the Gadfly has the gravity and heft of Donna Tartt's chilling The Secret History without the gloom. It's charming, funny, and for heaven's sake, the main character has Edward R. Murrow for an imaginary friend/life coach.