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Staff Recommendations


  • Daily rituals : how artists work

    by Currey, Mason.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 30, 2013

    Call Number: 701 C976

    What are the working habits of creative people:  writers, visual artists, musicians, choreographers, filmmakers, composers, scientists, philosophers and others?  What motivates them and how do they approach the blank page--with delight or dread?  How many hours a day do they work and do they prefer day or night?  Do they find it necessary to drink alcohol, take drugs, drink buckets of tea or coffee? Do they work at home or have a studio/office?  If they have relationships/families do these help or hinder the individual?  And a... Read Full Review

  • Scarlet

    by Meyer, Marissa.

    September 23, 2013

    Call Number: YA SF

    Scarlet Benoit lives with her grandmother on the family farm.  She helps tend the crops, and makes deliveries to the local businesses in Rieux, France.  Three weeks ago, her grandmother disappeared without a trace.  The local authorities have closed the missing person's investigation claiming there is no evidence of foul play, but Scarlet knows better.  She knows her grandmother would never leave their farm without telling her and, even if she had, she would have contacted Scarlet by now.  Scarlet is determined to find her grandmother, but little does she... Read Full Review

  • Strokes of genius : Federer, Nadal, and the greatest match ever played

    by Wertheim, L. Jon.

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    September 14, 2013

    Call Number: 796.1 W499

     Tennis players rarely catch the attention of the American public anymore, even as modern racquet technology and training techniques have made the sport more exciting.  The sport has been dominated by Europeans for the last decade, and its old country club following has largely gravitated to golf. Despite the Williams sisters' mastery of the women's game, it takes a truly epic match between the top players for tennis to be water cooler fodder. Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim recounts such a match in this excellent book. For the first time since the Borg-... Read Full Review

  • On the noodle road : from Beijing to Rome, with love and pasta

    by Lin-Liu, Jen.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 3, 2013

    Call Number: 641.6311 L7355

    When humanity moved past being hunter-gatherers and began to cultivate and harvest crops, one of the basic products of these efforts was bread which became a primary food source.  Noodles and dumplings are several steps up on the culinary register, but are based on a similar food product, dough, basically made of flour and water, and enriched with other ingredients if available.  Add sauces, fillings made from grains, vegetables, bits of meat, poultry or fish, seasonings, and these foods have moved way beyond sustenance to pleasure and are often basic to... Read Full Review

  • Fuzzy nation

    by Scalzi, John, 1969-

    August 26, 2013

    Call Number: SF

    What if, on an otherwise ordinary day, something happened on your job that could make you rich beyond your wildest dreams?  And what if, a few days after this event, you encountered an alien life form that may be sentient?  But if it is sentient, you would not be able to successfully collect your recently acquired wealth.    Would you put your efforts behind the discovery of these creatures and the protection of their planet?  Or would you try to hide them and protect your own interests?  These are the questions explored by John Scalzi in Fuzzy Nation... Read Full Review

  • Queen Victoria's book of spells : an anthology of Gaslamp fantasy

    August 19, 2013

    Call Number: SS

    Steampunk, the sub-genre of science fiction set primarily in the 19th century and featuring fantastic, often steam-powered, technologies with a Victorian flare, has been steadily growing in popularity over the last two decades. But what if you are more of a fantasy reader than a sci-fi reader? Well, prolific editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have just the collection for you: Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells. Within this book, Datlow and Windling have gathered a marvelous collection of all new Victorian tinged fantasy stories (a new fantasy sub-genre referred to as... Read Full Review

  • Instant : the story of Polaroid

    by Bonanos, Christopher, 1969-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    August 12, 2013

    Call Number: 338.78 P762Bo

    Instant photography is so much a part of our lives that it is difficult to imagaine a time when it was a novelty.  In the late 1940s the Polaroid Land Camera was commercially available and it printed a photograph in one minute.  Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid, was the Steve Jobs of his day, according to author Christopher Bonanos. He dropped out of Harvard and developed polarized filters for automobiles, sunglasses and 3-D spectacles. His Cambridge-based technology firm invented the first instant camera by the end of World War II. Instant color film was invented by... Read Full Review

  • The wild duck chase : inside the strange and wonderful world of the Federal Duck Stamp contest

    by Smith, Martin J., 1956-

    Reviewed by: LAPL Staff, Librarian

    August 5, 2013

    Call Number: 383.173 S655

    I've always been fond of books that give you a peek into an obscure subculture, and Martin J. Smith's The Wild Duck Chase is a good one.  The world into which Smith takes us is that of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, the only art contest run by the federal government.  Unless you are a duck hunter, you're most likely to have heard of the duck stamp from the movie Fargo, which ends with Marge's husband telling her that... Read Full Review

  • Clowning through life, by Eddie Foy and Alvin F. Harlow.

    by Foy, Eddie, 1856-1928.

    Reviewed by: David Kelly, Senior Librarian, Literature & Fiction Department

    July 29, 2013

    Call Number: 812.092 F796

    If Eddie Foy is remembered at all today it is for the film, The Seven Little Foys which was about Foy's late-in-life vaudeville act with his seven children and starred Bob Hope as Foy. However, the Seven Little Foys act was just a part of Foy's long career, which he chronicles in this wonderful autobiography, which he wrote with Alvin Harlow.

    In the book Foy gives us a great look into life in the second half of the 19th century and the pre-vaudeville days of saloons, medicine shows, camp shows and traveling minstrel companies.   Early in life he witnessed... Read Full Review

  • Flagrant conduct : the story of Lawrence v. Texas : how a bedroom arrest decriminalized gay Americans

    by Carpenter, Dale, 1966-

    Reviewed by: LAPL Staff, Librarian

    July 23, 2013

    Call Number: 301.415709764 C295

    The state of gay rights in the United States is changing so rapidly that we forget sometimes how quickly change has come. It was only in 2003, for instance, that the Supreme Court struck down state bans on sodomy in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. Dale Carpenter's book Flagrant Conduct looks at how that case came to the Supreme Court, and how it was won. It's not only a fine piece of journalism, but entertaining reading as well.

    John Lawrence and Tyson Garner were arrested by Houston police in 1998 when they were discovered having sex in the bedroom of Lawrence's... Read Full Review

  • Creamy and crunchy : an informal history of peanut butter, the all-American food

    by Krampner, Jon, 1952-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    July 2, 2013

    Call Number: 641.65659 K89

    Is peanut butter an all-American food? That is one question John Krampner answers in this wonderful history of a food product Americans take for granted. Those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have frequently been associated with, what was once, the less-than sophisticated American palate. Times and tastes have changed,  but for most of us the love affair with this readily available comfort food has not. The plant and the spread have their origins elsewhere and came here on a boat just like other newcomers. Here is what Krampner says, "But for all the importance of peanuts to... Read Full Review

  • The Cassandra project

    by McDevitt, Jack.

    June 24, 2013

    Call Number: SF

    What if Neil Armstrong was not the first human to walk on the moon? What if there had been a secret moon landing that had never been publicized or acknowledged? And all involved who knew the truth had been sworn to secrecy, with some actually taking that truth to the grave? How could this have happened? And, more importantly, why? These are some of the intriguing questions explored in The Cassandra Project, by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick.

    When a reporter asks Jerry Culpepper, NASA’s Director of Public Affairs, about a story in The National Bedrock (a... Read Full Review