by Bullough, Tom, author.
October 17, 2016
On the day in 1941 that his nineteen-year-old wife gives birth to a son, middle-aged Welsh farmer Idris Hamer discovers a large, flat stone with unusual lettering on it while plowing one of his fields. Over the next 70 years, the stone will reappear periodically in the lives of the Hamers, serving as a sort of guardian talisman or tormenting demon in this bleak yet compelling family chronicle. Idris and his wife, Etty, live in Radnorshire, a rural area bordering England where the residents consider themselves neither Welsh nor English, but something altogether different. ... Read Full Review
by Bowen, Lila, author.
October 11, 2016
At the end of Wake of Vultures, Nettie Lonesome, the half Native American, half African American, cross-dressing Texas Ranger, who is also The Shadow, took a leap of faith hoping to find some answers. She had just dispatched the Cannibal Owl, and narrowly escaped with her life, then Nettie suddenly walked to the edge of a cliff and jumped. Did she find what she was looking for? Perhaps. She also added to the long list of questions for which... Read Full Review
by Wolfe, Tom.Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow
October 3, 2016
Call Number: 401 W855
Satirist Tom Wolfe is back with another contrarian broadside against sacred cows. In The Kingdom of Speech, Wolfe takes on two scientific icons, Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky. In this slim, provocative volume, Wolfe risks the scorn of the scientific establishment by criticizing the self-importance of these legendary figures.
Wolfe contrasts the patrician Darwin, whose theories were always backed up by other English gentleman scientists, such as Charles Lyell, with the “flycatcher,” Alfred Russell Wallace, a working class naturalist who had... Read Full Review
by West, Lindy.
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
September 19, 2016
Call Number: DVD 92 E21Pa
LAPL Reads is committed to reviewing books, however this week we are recommending a DVD, The 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
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
by Cullen, Lynn.
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
by O'Malley, Daniel, author.
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
by Holt, Nathalia, 1980- author.
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
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
by Manaugh, Geoff, author.
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
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