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  • The Lovings : an intimate portrait

    by Villet, Grey, photographer.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    February 12, 2018

    Call Number: 770.9964 V748

    In real life as well as novels, plays and movies there are love stories where two people often have to face obstacles, tragedies and are fortunate to reach a relatively happy ending:  Heloise and Abelard, Elizabeth and Robert Browning, Romeo and Juliet, and others. Modern times are not without problematic love stories, usually not for the two people involved, but for others: family, friends, neighbors and governments. So it was for Richard Loving, who was white, and Mildred Jeter, who was black, and lived in Virginia in the 1950s. They had grown up as neighbors, in a... Read Full Review

  • Courage is contagious : and other reasons to be grateful for Michelle Obama

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    February 6, 2018

    Call Number: 808.35 C8585

    This collection of seventeen essays is not intended to be a biography of Michelle Obama, many of which can be found here in LAPL’s catalog, rather this is an appreciation of who she is as a person, who also happened to be First Lady of the United States. The essays are from students and from working professionals in different fields: fashion, literature, arts and entertainment, social and political activists.

    There is a commonality to their perceptions and expectations about... Read Full Review

  • Miriam Hopkins : life and films of a Hollywood rebel

    by Ellenberger, Allan R., 1956-

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian

    January 29, 2018

    Call Number: 812.092 H795El

    Allan Ellenberger's biography of Miriam Hopkins is a nuanced and in-depth look at one of the most dazzling and provocative personalities from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The book follows Hopkins’ rise to stardom; her participation in some of Hollywood’s most revolutionary films; the fascinating events and people that marked her personal life as well as her inexplicable disappearance from the public eye. Most astonishing, Ellenberger’s book is probably the first biography ever written on Hopkins.

    Hopkins was a Georgia-born southern belle, raised by a domineering mother, with whom she... Read Full Review

  • Darkest hour : how Churchill brought England back from the brink

    by McCarten, Anthony, 1961-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    January 22, 2018

    Call Number: 940.532 M123

    Darkest hour is a thrilling companion piece to the movie of the same name. In early May 1940, Winston Churchill was an unlikely figure to be asked to become Prime Minister by King George VI. Derided as a turncoat by his fellow Conservatives for his former membership in the Liberal Party, and pegged as an imperialist by his Labour Party foes, Churchill was a compromise choice to head up a fragile coalition government during wartime. Churchill’s previous failure as a military leader during the First World War was overlooked because he had by far the most wartime experience of any... Read Full Review

  • Call Me By Your Name

    by Aciman, Andre,

    January 16, 2018

    Call Number: Ed.a

    The critically acclaimed film, Call Me by Your Name, has generated a resurgence of interest in André Aciman’s novel upon which the movie is based. What a gift for readers!

    Originally published in 2007, this intellectual coming of age and coming out idyll takes place at an Italian seaside villa where a college professor and his family host a young academic each summer. The visiting scholar assists the professor an hour or so each day, and is free to use the rest of the time to write, to accept dinner invitations from other seaside residents, and to enjoy the lush surroundings... Read Full Review

  • Leviathan wakes

    by Corey, James S. A.

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

    January 10, 2018

    Call Number: SF

    Leviathan wakes is a science fiction epic novel that includes a monstrous alien threat, a search for a missing heiress by a down-on-his luck detective, zombies, and a scrappy spaceship crew from all over: Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt. The spaceship crew is cursed with a photogenic and noble commanding officer, who has good intentions. If that doesn’t seem like a curse, you’ve never seen how much harder it is to make a living while stuck in the middle of a galactic controversy with a captain who says the worst possible thing every time a camera is pointed at him, even though... Read Full Review

  • Berserker

    by Laybourne, Emmy,

    Reviewed by: Llyr Heller, Librarian, Teen'Scape

    January 2, 2018

    Call Number: YA

    Berserker is the first novel in a new series that follows the Hemstad family from Norway to the United States after a horrible event catapults their lives on a new course. It’s 1883, and the family, made up of two brothers and two sisters, live and work with their father on the family farm. Their lives are hard and difficult. In addition sixteen-year-old Hanne and her family are a bit different from others. Hanne and her two brothers are Nytteson, meaning they have different gifts bestowed upon them by the Norse gods. Hanne is also a Berserker, or a perfect killing machine, which... Read Full Review

  • Bravetart : iconic American desserts

    by Parks, Stella,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 20, 2017

    Call Number: 641.8 P2524

    It is that time of year when many of us want to serve up homemade sweets for family and friends, but the clock is ticking, and what are you going to do?  Is it too late? No, it is not and you can trust CIA-trained, award-winning pastry chef, Stella Parks, who is Senior Editor at SeriousEats.com.  She loves desserts and is here to help all of us make good tasting ones from scratch, and have fun doing it:  "And that's my deal--I love American dessert, in all its cozy splendor, every messy, unpretentious bite."  She wants... Read Full Review

  • LACMA so far : portrait of a museum in the making

    by Muchnic, Suzanne,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 4, 2017

    Call Number: 708.1 L8817Mu

    The county and city of Los Angeles have rapidly grown into a major domestic and global region, internationaly diverse and fearlessly innovative in social, political and economic areas. All of this did not happen without bumps and mishaps, which are interesting and add to the colorful past and recent history of an area that has legends and myths surrounding it. LACMA, aka The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, represents all of that in microcosm. The idea for the present art museum began in 1913, and was to be part of the The Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art, in Exposition Park... Read Full Review

  • Miss D & me : life with the invincible Bette Davis

    by Sermak, Kathryn,

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian

    November 27, 2017

    Call Number: 812.092 D261Se

    This is a memoir written by Bette Davis’ former assistant, Kathryn Sermak, who spent nearly a decade working for Davis and developed an unlikely friendship with the screen legend. It took Sermak nearly thirty years to write this book and it stands as a tribute to Davis’ bravery and resilience.

    In 1979 Sermak was a recent college graduate living with her strict parents in San Bernardino. College had given her a taste of independence and she was doing her best to avoid graduate school. She fell into a job that utilized the foreign language skills she had mastered... Read Full Review

  • March 1917 : on the brink of war and revolution

    by Englund, Will,

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian

    October 30, 2017

    Call Number: 940.373 E58

    March 1917: On the Brink of War and Revolution by Will Englund examines international social and political conflicts leading up to the titular date. Englund, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at the Washington Post, surveys how a cast of historical figures traversed through the upheaval leading up to March 1917, placing emphasis on the United States’ entry into World War I, and on the Russian Revolution.

    Drawing upon a wealth of primary and secondary resources, Englund reveals how notable personalities including writer H.L. Mencken, Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin... Read Full Review

  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore

    by Sloan, Robin, 1979-

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

    October 11, 2017

    There are people who want you to believe that there is a hot, bright line dividing computers from books. “You have to chose one,” they tell you. You can’t love both the feel and smell of an old hardback and a quick boolean search. You have to chose. It’s media or e-media, and never the twain shall meet. But that’s a false dichotomy. That’s choosing between peanut butter and chocolate, when both are good. Let’s have both and mix them together and see what we come up with.

    Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore is a novel that embraces and celebrates both paper books and technology... Read Full Review

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