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Express Yourself: Featured Adult Titles

Updated: May 12, 2022

84, Charing Cross Road
Hanff, Helene
Call Number: 085.442 H238

A play and a movie were based on this small book of letters between New York writer Helene Hanff and British bookseller Frank Doel. Helen Hanff's love of very specific books set her on an adventure to find the books she wanted to own. The time is post-World War II, and the only way to buy books was at local stores or by writing to booksellers. A tribute to the love of books and reading.

Afro Surf
Mami Wata
Call Number: 797.6 W324

Ballerina Body
Copeland, Misty
Call Number: 793.32 C782

The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Great Vegetables
Forkner, Lorene Edwards
Call Number: 635 F721

Bittman Bread: No-Knead Whole-Grain Baking for Every Day
Bittman, Mark
Call Number: 641.71 B624-1

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race
Isaacson, Walter
Call Number: 575.1 I739

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 was awarded jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna "for the development of a method for genome editing."


Container and Fragrant Gardens: How To Enliven Spaces With Containers and Make the Most of Scented
Loewer, H. Peter
Call Number: 716.44 L827

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life: A Practical Guide
Tharp, Twyla
Call Number: 155.3 T367

Evening in Paradise: More Stories
Berlin, Lucia

Berlin's short stories speak to everyone, with credible characters and plots.  Her prose and characterizations are crystalline, witty and hilarious, even when writing about some of our less worthy human activities.

Ex Libris
Kakutani, Michiko
Call Number: 028.3 K13

Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion to the PBS Series
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.
Call Number: 929.01 G2585-1

First Time Knitting: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide
Hammett, Carri
Call Number: 746.21 H2245

The Fran Lebowitz Reader
Lebowitz, Fran
Call Number: 817 L449-2

Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol
O'Meara, Mallory
Call Number: 663.109 O55

Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden
Perényi, Eleanor
Call Number: 635.048 P437 2002

A Handful of Earth, a Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia Butler
George, Lynell
Call Number: 813 B986Ge

A book that is as unusual in format and style as is its subject, Octavia Butler. This work is based on the research done by Lynell George, who had access to Butler's archive of more than 300 boxes, housed at The Huntington Library. Butler saved so much, and there are clues to the history of her life, how she created, and what it was like to be a woman of color during her time. The timing of this book's publishing is a match for the incredible work being done at the Los Angeles Public Library's Octavia Lab.

Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good
Turner, Tina
Call Number: 157.521 T953

Tina Turner is known as the Queen of Rock 'n Roll, but for this reader she is also the ultimate Queen of Survival 'n Success. Having overcome poverty, spousal abuse, racism and multiple personal tragedies, she turned her professional and personal life around. In this book, she offers guidance and hope for everyone who feels they want and deserve something better out of life.


How To Cook Everything: The Basics: All You Need To Make Great Food
Bittman, Mark
Call Number: 641.5 B624-1 2012

Add pasta to simmering water, instead of boiling water, and you can end up with a messy glob of starch instead of al dente or toothsome. Not to worry, let Mark Bittman show you the way through concisely written instructions and the most incredible photographs. If you want to learn the basics, or even if you think you know it all, this book is a winner!

How To Make Jewellery: Easy Techniques and Over 25 Great Projects
Helt, Mary
Call Number: 739.14 H484-1

How To Play the Piano
Rhodes, James
Call Number: 786.3 R476

How To Write Your Personal or Family History: If You Don’t Do It, Who Will?
Wiebe, Katie Funk
Call Number: 929.01 W642

In Memory's Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin
Call Number: 940.5472437 I355

Leave Me Alone With the Recipes: The Life, Art, and Cookbook of Cipe Pineles
Call Number: 641.594 L4395

Lessons From the Edge: A Memoir
Yovanovitch, Maria L.
Call Number: 92 Y83

Life on a String: The Yale Puppeteers and the Turnabout Puppet Theatre
Rice, Christina
Call Number: 793.18 R495

The Turnabout Theatre was a unique theatrical experience, and its creators, ensemble of actors, writers and other artists were equally unique and talented. There is a wealth of history in this book about a Los Angeles theatrical gem. The Turnabout Theatre archive is kept at the Los Angeles Public Library's Central Library, and is the resource for the book and an exhibit that was planned for April 2020. For now, you can see the exhibit virtually, and it is absolutely fabulous! For aficionados of Los Angeles, for theatre lovers, and everyone else, the book is a great holiday gift and can be purchased at the Library Foundation's Library Store.

Long Ago in France: The Years in Dijon
Fisher, M. F. K.
Call Number: 641.01 F535-5

Los Angeles Central Library: A History of Its Art and Architecture
Gee, Stephen
Call Number: 027.47949 L881Ge

Writer Stephen Gee and photographer Arnold Schwartzman are perfect partners in creating this carefully researched and exquisitely photographed history of Los Angeles Public Library's Central Library. They cover the history of why it took more than 80 years, from conception to acutalization, for a building to finally appear. The result is a compelling and engaging history of the political and social leaders, artists and architects who created a building that is home to the largest public library collection west of the Mississippi.

Maria Callas: An Intimate Biography
Edwards, Anne, 1927-
Call Number: 789.14 C156Ed 2003

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Call Number: 814 L521

Best known for science fiction and fantasy novels, Ursula Le Guin was a master essay writer. Direct, acerbic, witty and funny are attributes of her writing.

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Shelf Love
Murad, Noor
Call Number: 641.5956 M972

Peggy Lee: A Century of Song
Oney, Tish
Call Number: 789.14 L479On

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide
Quintero, Isabel
Call Number: 770.9174 I91Qu

Isabel Quintero's graphic novel biography of Graciela Iturbide will appeal to all ages. Quintero interviewed the 76-year-old photographer whose pioneering work in photographing indigenous cultures is as remarkable as her own life. Other books by Iturbide can be found here.

Piecing Together Los Angeles: An Esther McCoy Reader
McCoy, Esther
Call Number: 720.910941 M131

Esther McCoy was one of modern architecture's most important critics and writers. She was the first architectural critic to take Los Angeles architecture seriously. This is a new anthology which includes a variety of her work.

Read My Pins: Stories From a Diplomat’s Jewel Box
Albright, Madeleine Korbel
Call Number: 739.14 A342

(Re)born in the USA: An Englishman’s Love Letter to His Chosen Home
Bennett, Roger
Call Number: 796.0092 B472

Stand Up Straight and Sing!
Norman, Jessye
Call Number: 789.14 N842

A true diva is a distinguished female opera singer who strives for the best in her own work and expects the same from everyone with whom she works in order to create a marvelous experience for an audience. Jessye Norman is the full embodiment of a diva on stage and off, always striving for the best in life and art. 

On May 15, 2014, Jessye Norman was a guest at Aloud, and you can hear the podcast.

Start With a Small Guitar: Poems
Thompson, Lynne
Call Number: 811 T4733-1

The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe
Morgan, Ann (Ann Beatrice)
Call Number: 028.9 M847

Travel the world by reading its novels, poetry, folktales, and other written works. That is what British journalist Ann Morgan did after the 2012 Olympics came to London. In one year she read a book from each of the 196 independent countries of the world, and blogged her reading adventures in A Year of Reading the World. The blog continues today with more reading adventures.  This book has a fantastic bibliography arranged alphabetically by country.  

The Writer’s Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives
Call Number: 810.9 W9566-5

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
Goldberg, Natalie
Call Number: 808 G6178 2016