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  • Shrill : notes from a loud woman

    by West, Lindy.

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

    September 19, 2016

    Call Number: 071.092 W518

    Lindy West is a champion of feminism and body positivity. She is a joke cracking, fearless media critic who walks into the deepest, dankest pits of online culture and shows more courage, compassion, and humanity to the people she interacts with there, than I do to the people who cut me off in traffic. In her book, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, West faces some of the ugliest aspects in our culture, examines them, makes you laugh and shake your fist, and reminds you to live in the world anyway.

    For example, when the comedian Daniel Tosh caused a... Read Full Review

  • The passions & politics of Ed Edelman an untold story of leadership

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 19, 2016

    Call Number: DVD 92 E21Pa

    LAPL Reads is committed to reviewing books, however this week we are recommending a DVDThe passions & politics of Ed Edelman an untold story of leadership. Former Los Angeles City Councilman (nine years) and former Los Angeles County Supervisor (twenty years), Edmund Edelman died last week.  This documentary is not being reviewed because of Mr. Edelman's death. It is being reviewed to bring attention to a civic leader and elected official who was dedicated to serving the public.

    ... Read Full Review

  • The long way to a small, angry planet

    by Chambers, Becky, author.

    September 12, 2016

    Call Number: SF

    Space Opera is the subgenre of Speculative Fiction that focuses on daring heroes and their adventures in outer space. Springing from the Science Fiction pulps in the 1930s, moving into novels, and novel series, by authors like E.E. “Doc” Smith, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and David Gerrold, Space Opera moved onto the big screen with Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers and then scattered into comics, comic books, television and graphic novels. For over 70 years, it has been a favorite with readers and viewers alike. Reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky... Read Full Review

  • Twain's end

    by Cullen, Lynn.

    Reviewed by: Robert Anderson, Librarian, Literature & Fiction Department

    August 29, 2016

    In 1908, a couple of years before his death, Samuel Clemens, known around the world as novelist and humorist Mark Twain, decided to leave New York City and have a new home (eventually called Stormfield) built for him near the little town of Redding, Connecticut.  He left most of the details of consulting with the architect and overseeing the construction to Isabel Lyon, who had been his secretary for six years.  Isabel was given a cottage on the property for herself and her mother, and a room at Stormfield--right next to the master bedroom. Not long after moving to Connecticut... Read Full Review

  • Stiletto : a novel

    by O'Malley, Daniel, author.

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

    August 22, 2016

    Stiletto is the second book in the Rook series by Daniel O’Malley, and you should read both of them because they are awesome. The series tells the story of the Checquy, a secret agency within the British government that deals with strange happenings and unusual people.

    When there's trouble who do you ask? Is one of the children in the neighborhood school spontaneously teleporting back to the hospital where he was born? Get the Checquy. Have fast growing crystals suddenly enveloped a house, entombing the family inside? Call the Checquy. Has some monstrous... Read Full Review

  • Rise of the rocket girls : the women who propelled us, from missiles to the Moon to Mars

    by Holt, Nathalia, 1980- author.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 15, 2016

    Call Number: 629.40973 H758

    When Natalia Holt, scientific researcher and writer, and her husband were searching for a name for their baby daughter, they googled the name Eleanor Frances. Among the names, she became intrigued with Eleanor Francis Helin, a scientist who had worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for over three decades, starting in the 1960s. Who was this woman and were there other women working at NASA during this time? Two births emerged:  baby daughter Eleanor, and a research project about the women behind the rocket science that sent Americans into space.

    Today... Read Full Review

  • The ballad of Black Tom

    by LaValle, Victor D., 1972- author.

    August 1, 2016

    In recent years, the writings of H.P. Lovecraft have become increasingly problematic. His personal views regarding race and class permeate his writing, resulting in works that are challenging at best and nearly impossible to enjoy for contemporary readers. While the subject of Lovecraft’s views on race have been the focus of many debates and disagreements, between fans and scholars, Victor Lavalle, an award winning author and instructor at Columbia University, started reading Lovecraft around the age of eleven. As he grew older, he began to recognize Lovecraft’s rampant racism, which left him... Read Full Review

  • A burglar's guide to the city

    by Manaugh, Geoff, author.

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

    July 25, 2016

    Call Number: 364 M267

    I cross the street at the crosswalk. I use the entrance and exit doors as marked, even when they take me a long way around. Sometimes, I wait forlornly on deserted street corners for the sign to indicate that it is finally all right to “WALK”. So, like Geoff Manaugh, author of A burglar's guide to the city, I was thrilled to learn that there were other ways to understand and move through urban spaces. This is not an instruction manual or safety guide. It doesn’t teach you to be a burglar. Instead the book explores the ways that burglars, thieves, and assorted miscreants see and... Read Full Review

  • The dig

    by Jones, Cynan, 1975- author.

    July 11, 2016

    Great books can create worlds in which the strange seems familiar, and the routine feels like new. When this is done well, as in Cynan Jones’ The Dig, we aren’t merely shocked or unsettled, we are inspired to view our own lives and relationships from other angles, to reconsider our triumphs and failures against a standard we may have never before imagined. Jones weaves together the stories of two rural Welshmen laboring during lambing season to evoke grief, hope, ambition, and revulsion in a way that feels both eerily familiar and utterly new. Daniel has lived and worked on a... Read Full Review

  • Shadow box

    by Plimpton, George.

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    July 3, 2016

    Call Number: 796.33 P728

    From “A Poem on the Annihilation of Ernie Terrell” by Muhammad Ali and Marianne Moore              " . . .He is claiming to be the real heavyweight champBut when the fight starts he will look like a trampHe has been talking too much about me and making me soreAfter I am through with him he will not be able to challenge Mrs. Moore." (Click... Read Full Review

  • The water knife

    by Bacigalupi, Paolo.

    June 27, 2016

    California has been in a state of drought for approximately six consecutive years. The drought has also affected other states: Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Texas. Therefore it is hard to imagine a more timely novel than The water knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. In this novel the fluctuations of water have wreaked havoc on the eastern seaboard: New York and Miami have disappeared under the waves as ocean levels rise. In the southwest, the lack of water is destroying cities just as thorougly, and water has become one of the most valuable commodities in the area. The... Read Full Review

  • Lab girl

    by Jahren, Hope, author.

    Reviewed by: Bob Timmermann, Senior Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Dept.

    June 20, 2016

    Call Number: 570.92 J25

    The title of Hope Jahren's book, Lab Girl, does not immediately tell you what this book is about. Instead you get an idea that it has something to do with science, and probably women, but there is so much more to this book.

    Jahren's memoir details her life as the child of a father who was a longtime, community college science professor in Minnesota. Her mother also wished to pursue a career in science, but, as for many women of her time, circumstances just didn’t make it possible to be a wife and a professional scientist. This led Jahren to pursue a... Read Full Review

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