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  • The magician's land : a novel

    by Grossman, Lev.

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

    October 20, 2014

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    In the third book of the Magician’s series, Quentin Clearwater must find a way to survive being cast out of Fillory, the magical land he once ruled. Stuck in our world he revisits the haunts of his childhood. He returns to his parents’ house and to his school. He gets to experience that disquieting adult moment of meeting parents and teachers again and seeing them, maybe for the first time, as human beings in their own right.  He gets a job and even though it is a job teaching at a hidden magic school, it still counts as a real job and evidence of his growing... Read Full Review

  • Mexican American baseball in Los Angeles

    by Balderrama, Francisco E.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    October 12, 2014

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    Call Number: 796.231 B176

    In 2004 at California State University, Los Angeles, an exhibit was organized by Terry Cannon, Executive Director of the Baseball Reliquary and Cesar Caballero, Associate Library Dean at California State Library, Los Angeles.  The purpose was to educate students on the history of Latino baseball in Los Angeles, and its importance to the greater community.  Students, faculty, and the community responded with great enthusiasm.  Former players came forward with oral histories and ... Read Full Review

  • Lock in

    by Scalzi, John, 1969-

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    October 6, 2014

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    Call Number: SF

    Imagine, in the very near future, our world being hit with a medical pandemic unlike anything we’ve experienced in recent history. This influenza-like disease would spread through the world’s population disguised as a common flu. While the overall death toll from the disease would be over 400 million, most would come through unscathed. About four percent of sufferers would be affected with a second stage of meningitis-like inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Those affected by this stage of the disease would experience one of these possible outcomes: 1) death; 2)... Read Full Review

  • Seconds : a graphic novel

    by O'Malley, Bryan Lee, author, illustrator.

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

    September 29, 2014

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    Call Number: 740.9999 O54-1

    Seconds is a stand-alone graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley, who is best known for his series, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Scott PilgrimScott Pilgrim's precious little life, ... Read Full Review

  • My Mexico : a culinary odyssey with recipes

    by Kennedy, Diana.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 24, 2014

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    Call Number: 641.5972 K35-4 2013

    Yes, I do read cookbooks, but not always sequentially the way fiction and other non-fiction books are read.  Sometimes when reading them I skip around looking for an author’s take on a particular type of recipe or ingredient. Well-written cookbooks provide a history and insight into the world, and this particular one can be read by anyone besides those who like to cook.  Diana Kennedy is the doyenne and world renowned authority for the foods and recipes of Mexico. A highly unlikely expert with no formal training as a cook, British by birth... Read Full Review

  • The tale of the dueling neurosurgeons : the history of the human brain as revealed by true stories of trauma, madness, and recovery

    by Kean, Sam, author.

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

    September 14, 2014

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    Call Number: 612.82 K24

    The study of the human brain is a history of people who somehow walk away from terrible accidents and illnesses, but don’t manage to walk away unmarked. There are the  difficulties of Phineas Gage (who survived a railway spike through the head), or conjoined twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan (Their brains are joined and they go through life sensing each other’s pain, tasting each other’s food where one sister hates ketchup... Read Full Review

  • Chasing the rose : an adventure in the Venetian countryside

    by Di Robilant, Andrea, 1957-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 9, 2014

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    Call Number: 716.21 D599

     “. . . in the springtime a beautiful white and pink rose blossoms randomly in the sunnier parts of the wood.  The gardeners do not know its provenance and call it the Rosa moceniga; but it is probably a variety of the Rosa multiflora that Lucia brought from Paris, and now grows wild in the gardens of Alvisopoli.” So ends the biography, ... Read Full Review

  • Lexicon

    by Barry, Max, 1973-

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    August 31, 2014

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    “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”    

    From The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

    Words have power that can inflict irreparable harm or heal an old wound. They can be used to instruct, obfuscate and persuade. In Lexicon, Max Berry weaves a world... Read Full Review

  • 1914 : a novel

    by Echenoz, Jean.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 19, 2014

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    2014 is the beginning of the First World War Centenary. Many fine novels, short stories and poems have been written about the Great War and Jean Echenoz’s 1914: a novel joins the list.  The novel has a relatively simple plot with five young men leaving their French village to join the war and one young woman left behind. The novel opens with a cinematic description of the lovely countryside as seen, from an elevated area, by young Anthime who has taken a bicycle ride on a sunny, calm August day. Without warning a strong wind whips up out of... Read Full Review

  • The world of yesterday

    by Zweig, Stefan, 1881-1942.

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    August 11, 2014

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    Call Number: 832 Z79Z 2013

    Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was the most popular writer in continental Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. A novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright and journalist, Zweig wrote his memoir shortly before he took his own life in Brazil, exiled from his Austrian homeland.  In recent years, Zweig's works are back in print in the United States with new translations, and his personality inspired Ralph Fiennes character in... Read Full Review

  • Shirley : a novel

    by Merrell, Susan Scarf.

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

    August 4, 2014

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    Next year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of novelist Shirley Jackson, and since she died at 48 (in her sleep, of heart failure),  December 2016 will be the centenary of her birth.  Best remembered for her short story "The Lottery" and her novels The Haunting of Hill House and... Read Full Review

  • Ruin and rising

    by Bardugo, Leigh.

    Reviewed by: Daryl M., Librarian, Central Library

    July 29, 2014

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    Call Number: YA

    Trilogies, or any multi-volume story-telling, can be tricky. No matter how good the initial offering, readers can lose “reading momentum” in the wait between volumes and/or dislike the developments in the middle books, and never read through to the conclusion. Or, the alternative can happen where readers will love and enjoy the material so much that their expectations will dwarf anything the writer can reasonably accomplish, leaving readers disappointed (at best) with the resolution. And then there are the exceptions those stories that grab you from the very beginning,... Read Full Review

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