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    The love of my youth : a novel

    by Gordon, Mary

    Reviewed by: Jane Dobija, Senior Librarian, Sunland - Tujunga

    September 6, 2011

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    Call Number: F

    Mary Gordon has been trailing the women of her generation with novels since 1978, when Final Payments appeared with a protagonist who felt miserable in her sex's traditional role of selfless caretaker. Thirty years later, Gordon's women are still negotiating an equitable place in society, but the character she uses to illustrate this dilemma in her latest novel, The Love of My Youth, has ridden out her own version of the storms of Final Payments, and she's come out of it all, if not unscathed, then at... Read Full Review

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    Vietnamerica : a family's journey

    by Tran, G. B.

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    September 5, 2011

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    Call Number: 301.4509597 T772

    "You should ask them about it sometime. There's a lot about your parents you don't know. And they won't be alive forever to answer your questions."On April 25, 1975, GB Tran's family fled Vietnam, just days before Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese Army. A year later, he was born in South Carolina, and grew up a junk food-eating, video game-playing American kid with little interest in his family's history. However, when his last two surviving grandparents die within a few months of each other, Tran goes to Vietnam with his parents, and meets entire... Read Full Review

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    My thoughts be bloody : the bitter rivalry between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth that led to an American Tragedy

    by Titone, Nora.

    Reviewed by: John Frank, Senior Librarian, Will & Ariel Durant

    September 2, 2011

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    Call Number: 812.092 B725Ti

    The uniquely American melodramatic saga of the theatrical Booth family has been told before, but historian Nora Titone focuses on the rivalry between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth as the catalyst for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.Raised on an isolated farm in the wilds of Maryland, John Wilkes grew up with a steady diet of the blood and thunder melodramas of the time, while his older brother Edwin saw more of the world, toiling as dresser and keeper to his father, the celebrated, troubled actor Junius Brutus Booth. Both of Booth's sons would follow in his footsteps. Edwin, by virtue... Read Full Review

  • You know when the men are gone

    by Fallon, Siobhan.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 29, 2011

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    Call Number:

    Century upon century, during wars, women have waited for the men to return home, and the men, between battles, have yearned to come home to their wives and families. You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon is about the military men and women, their spouses and families who are involved in our present wars. She opens this book with a quote from one of the older war epics, The Odyssey, as Penelope sees Odysseus, ". . .yes, clearly--like her husband but sometimes blood and rags were all she saw." Fallon has first-hand knowledge of what it is to wait because... Read Full Review

  • Must you go? : my life with Harold Pinter

    by Fraser, Antonia

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 22, 2011

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    Call Number: 822 P659Fr

    Sometimes true love does not take hold at a convenient time, does not make sense to outsiders or create good sense in those whom it grabs and spins around in a whirl of emotion, and so it was with Lady Antonia Fraser, historian and novelist, and Harold Pinter, playwright, director and actor. When they met briefly at a dinner party, January 8, 1975, Fraser said, ". . .now I'm off." Pinter asked, "Must you go?" The answer was no and thus the title and remembrance, in diary format, of their love story which disrupted two marriages and families, but endured for thirty-... Read Full Review

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    Skippy dies

    by Murray, Paul

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    August 15, 2011

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    Call Number: F

    In Skippy Dies, Murray visits the humiliation, pain, and disillusionment of adolescence so vividly, don't be surprised if you experience a traumatic junior high flashback while reading it. The book wastes no time delivering on its title - in the opening lines, 14-year-old Daniel "Skippy" Juster, a student at a Catholic prep school in Dublin, keels over in the midst of a doughnut-eating contest, scrawls "Tell Lori" on the floor in jelly filling, and dies.What happens next is no ordinary boarding school coming of age story, but a hilarious and surprisingly... Read Full Review

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    The false friend : a novel

    by Goldberg, Myla.

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    August 8, 2011

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    Call Number: F

    Eleven-year-olds Celia Durst and Djuna Pearson are best friends, queen bees, and mean girls, as likely to turn on each other as the wannabes and hangers-on who vie for their favor. Until one day after school, when Djuna gets into a stranger's brown sedan and disappears forever.Twenty years later, Celia is suddenly overcome by a long-repressed memory that packs a wallop. There was no brown sedan, there was no stranger. Celia remembers that the story she told their friends, parents, and the police wasn't the truth, that something very different happened to Djuna that day in the woods.... Read Full Review

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    The girl who fell from the sky : a novel

    by Durrow, Heidi W.

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    August 1, 2011

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    Call Number: F

    Born to a Danish mother and an African American G.I. father, and raised in Europe, Rachel has never thought of herself as black or white. But when a family tragedy sends her to Portland to live with her grandmother in a predominantly African American community, 11-year-old Rachel suddenly finds herself defined by her race. Though her grandmother is loving and provides Rachel with more stability than she's ever had in her life, she doesn't understand why her black grandchild would sing the Danish words to Christmas carols under her breath at church or crave pastries made with marzipan.... Read Full Review

  • Bossypants

    by Fey, Tina, 1970-

    Reviewed by: Christa Deitrick, Librarian, Literature & Fiction Department

    July 22, 2011

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    Call Number: 812.092 F433

    Although I went in fully prepared to find this book at least mildly irritating (à la The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman, or pretty much anything by Chelsea Handler, whose titles are always better than her books), Bossypants turned out to be an entertaining read that's perfect for a weekend chuckle or to unwind with before bedtime.Tina Fey starts off by describing her early years as a half-Greek doof growing up in Pennsylvania (the back cover photo is priceless). After a theatre-geeky romp through college, Fey moved to Chicago, studying and performing improv with the venerable Second City... Read Full Review

  • Hellhound on his trail : the stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the international hunt for his assassin

    by Sides, Hampton.

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    July 20, 2011

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    Call Number: 323.4092 K53Si

    In April 1967, James Earl Ray escaped from the Missouri State Penitentiary by smuggling himself out of the prison bakery in a breadbox. He drifted to Mexico, then to Los Angeles, where he attended bartending school and volunteered for the presidential campaign of Alabama Governor and staunch segregationist George Wallace. During this time, Ray's racist beliefs became an obsession, and he became fixated on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - so fixated that in 1968, Ray left California, and began to stalk King through the American South.At the same time, King was planning a bold new movement,... Read Full Review

  • The irresistible Henry House : a novel

    by Grunwald, Lisa.

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    July 18, 2011

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    Call Number:

    The premise of Grunwald's charming novel was inspired by a home economics curriculum studied by many young women at American colleges during the first half of the 20th century. To help students gain hands-on experience in homemaking and child-rearing, local orphanages would supply colleges with a "practice baby" to be looked after by student "mothers."Baby Henry comes to the Wilton College home economics practice house in 1946, and finds himself with seven loving mothers. But instead of being returned to the orphanage at the end of the school year, Henry stays on, and... Read Full Review

  • The Devil and Sherlock Holmes

    by Grann, David.

    Reviewed by: Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape

    July 11, 2011

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    Call Number: 364.1 G759

    A fascinating collection of investigative journalism about real-life mysteries, baffling crimes, and eclectic curiosities by the bestselling author of The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon.Many of the collection's best essays deal with criminal cases. The book's title comes from the piece "Mysterious Circumstances," where Grann investigates the suspicious death of one of the world's leading Sherlock Holmes scholars, while in "True... Read Full Review

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