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,
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.Reviewed by: Robert Anderson, Librarian, Literature & Fiction Department
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,
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-
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-
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,
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-
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
by Plimpton, George.Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow
July 3, 2016
Call Number: 796.33 P728
From “A Poem on the Annihilation of Ernie Terrell” by Muhammad Ali and Marianne Moore " . . .He is claiming to be the real heavyweight champBut when the fight starts he will look like a trampHe has been talking too much about me and making me soreAfter I am through with him he will not be able to challenge Mrs. Moore." (Click... Read Full Review
by Bacigalupi, Paolo.
June 27, 2016
California has been in a state of drought for approximately six consecutive years. The drought has also affected other states: Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Texas. Therefore it is hard to imagine a more timely novel than The water knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. In this novel the fluctuations of water have wreaked havoc on the eastern seaboard: New York and Miami have disappeared under the waves as ocean levels rise. In the southwest, the lack of water is destroying cities just as thorougly, and water has become one of the most valuable commodities in the area. The... Read Full Review
by Jahren, Hope,Reviewed by: Bob Timmermann, Senior Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Dept.
June 20, 2016
Call Number: 570.92 J25
The title of Hope Jahren's book, Lab Girl, does not immediately tell you what this book is about. Instead you get an idea that it has something to do with science, and probably women, but there is so much more to this book.
Jahren's memoir details her life as the child of a father who was a longtime, community college science professor in Minnesota. Her mother also wished to pursue a career in science, but, as for many women of her time, circumstances just didn’t make it possible to be a wife and a professional scientist. This led Jahren to pursue a... Read Full Review
by Moore, Graham, 1981-
June 13, 2016
Call Number: M
In 1893 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in the story, "The Final Problem." Doyle wanted to pursue writing historical novels and thought this story would be the end of Sherlock Holmes. But it wasn’t. The public wanted more stories of Holmes and his intrepid assistant, Dr. Watson, and the outcry was immediate and sustained. Even Queen Victoria is rumored to have pressured Doyle. He held out for eight years, and finally relented with the release of The Hound of the Baskervilles. While published in 1901, the novel was set prior to Holmes' death. But the public still was... Read Full Review