by McLain, Paula.
February 6, 2012
Call Number: F
Before he was Ernest “Papa” Hemingway, the big game-hunting, hard-drinking, womanizing giant of American letters, he was an unknown writer striving for the almost mythical bigness he would later attain. And before she became The First Mrs. Hemingway, an often skimmed-over footnote in the writer’s biography, she was Hadley Richardson, a St. Louis woman who played the piano, swam like a fish, and always shot from the hip.
In this fictionalized memoir, Paula McLain extrapolates from letters, books, and other sources a complex inner life for Hadley, who met Hemingway in... Read Full Review
Reviewed by: Vi Ha, Young Adult Librarian, Teen'Scape
January 30, 2012
Call Number: 709.794 U555
Starting in 2011 and going through the middle of 2012, Southern California cultural institutions have joined together thematically to celebrate the birth of the Los Angeles art scene from 1945-1980. Pacific Standard Time, the name of this unprecedented undertaking that is funded by The Getty, celebrates the multiplicity of artists and works created during this fertile period; the diversity covered by more than 60 cultural institutions includes such topics as ceramics, racial identity, feminism, photography, local history, design and architecture. A sampling of the shows includes the... Read Full Review
by Eco, Umberto
January 23, 2012
Call Number: 853 E19E
At the age of forty-eight, Umberto Eco published his first novel, The Name of the Rose, the eponymous film followed, and a young novelist was born. There followed several other successful novels and the most recent, The Prague Cemetery. Long before this late-blooming career, Eco had a reputation as a medievalist, philosopher and scholar of semiology (“The... Read Full Review
by Homans, Jennifer.
January 16, 2012
Call Number: 793.3209 H763
During this end-of-the-year holiday season, numerous presentations of The Nutcracker ballet are being performed with ballet dancers dressed as sugar plums, candy canes, waltzing flowers, and other holiday treats. Jennifer Homans’ Apollo’s Angels: a History of Ballet is especially wonderful to read right now. It will be of interest to everyone, not only balletomanes who may think they know everything about this dance form, but for those who know nothing about it, and in particular for those who have preconceived notions about men in tights performing daring leaps into the air... Read Full Review
by Wilson, Kevin
January 9, 2012
Call Number: F
Siblings Annie and Buster have spent most of their adult lives trying to escape the notorious legacy of their parents, the performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang. Growing up, they were frequent participants in the Fangs’ madcap art “happenings,” where they appeared as Child A and Child B. As a family, the Fangs infiltrated parks, airplanes, shopping malls, and beauty pageants like a pack of art world grifters.
Having grown up being treated like theatrical props, both Fang children fled the family home the second they were old enough. Now Annie is a Hollywood... Read Full Review
by Valente, Catherynne M.
January 2, 2012
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making may very well delight, successfully melding all sorts of creatures and conventions culled from fairy tales and folklore. Author Catherynne M. Valente, best known for adult fiction, has blown the lid off her usual style with this book, which was initially written in installments online and went on to win a Nebula Award in 2010. It strongly brings to mind the brilliantly dotty, all-ages appeal... Read Full Review
by Zarr, Sara.
December 26, 2011
Call Number: YA
Recently named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2011, How To Save a Life is a young adult novel that invites - and deserves - a wide readership. Whether you’re a teen or an adult, you’ll find a lot to like in this insightful, big-hearted novel about a grieving family struggling to move forward and a pregnant teenager who makes a desperate gamble.
Since 17-year-old Jill’s father died the previous year, she... Read Full Review
by Ghaemi, S. Nassir.Reviewed by: Bob Timmermann, Senior Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Dept.
December 19, 2011
Call Number: 616.895 G411
When you look at the problems that face world leaders, especially in times of crisis, you might think, "You have to be crazy to want to do that job." To psychiatrist Nassir Ghaemi, being "crazy", or, more precisely, having some form of mental illness may be just what is needed for some leaders to be able to accomplish great things during times of great need.
Ghaemi examines, in varying detail, the lives of world leaders whom he believes had some form of mental illness in their lives: Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, William T. Sherman, Martin... Read Full Review
by Matar, Hisham, 1970-
December 12, 2011
In this heartbreaking and haunting coming-of-age tale, an adolescent boy suffers the loss of both parents. Through a series of reflections and encounters that are seamlessly woven into a plot filled with the intrigue of a John Le Carre novel, family secrets are revealed that bit by bit clarify childhood misperceptions and longings for familial intimacy. Anatomy is aptly used in the title, since this is his dissection and examination of events surrounding the mysterious disappearance of his diplomat father, all of which does nothing to lessen or assuage the sense of loss.
Nuri’s... Read Full Review
by Palma, Felix J.
December 5, 2011
Call Number: F
What if someone published a novel that changed the way an entire culture thought about a concept? How would that new way of thinking affect people and the way they live their lives? And how might the long-term ramifications of those changes manifest themselves? This intriguing idea is explored in Felix Palma'a novel The Map of Time.
This tale is set in the late 1800's during the scientific revolution that swept Victorian London--and the rest of the world--with the promise that science could, and would, open new doorways for humanity and solve all of our problems.... Read Full Review
by Watson, S. J.
November 28, 2011
Call Number: F
In this gripping psychological thriller, British author S.J. Watson explores the relationship between memory, identity and trust. The results are terrific - and terrifying.
When Christine Lucas wakes up each morning, she doesn't know where she is and doesn't recognize the man beside her - her husband, Ben. Christine is 47, but her memory mysteriously stalled out somewhere in her mid-twenties. The faithful Ben fills in the gaps, reminding her every day about their happy life together even though Christine will forget it all when she goes to sleep. Christine is secretly meeting... Read Full Review
by Cline, Ernest.
November 21, 2011
Ernest Cline sets some sort of land speed record in establishing the premise of his debut novel, Ready Player One. In less than ten pages, the reader will learn that:
1. It’s 2044, and the planet has been more or less done in by its own excesses, humanity reduced to poverty, pestilence, and war.
2. The sole bright spot in this world is OASIS, a fully interactive multiverse, where people work, go to school, meet with friends, go on vacation, and generally spend as much time as possible, because, well... see #1.
3. OASIS was created by James Halliday, an eccentric... Read Full Review