The Library will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024, in observance of Memorial Day.

Michael C. Baradi

  • Book cover for The family Chao : a novel

    The Family Chao

    by Chang, Lan Samantha

    February 6, 2023

    Call Number:

    Somewhere towards the end of Lan Samantha Chang’s third novel, The Family Chao, I kept thinking about the first story in Maxine Hong Kingston’s seminal work The Woman Warrior, where a woman takes her own life by jumping into the family well, just hours after giving birth in a pigsty.  She was Kingston’s aunt back in China, during the Warlord Era in the 1920s, when the country splintered into regions controlled by local leaders, after the fall... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Studio 54

    Studio 54

    by Schrager, Ian, 1946-

    January 24, 2023

    Call Number: 793.15 S377 folio

    These days when we think about the 1970s, we’re assaulted with memories of the energy crisis, the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon’s resignation as President of the United States after the Watergate scandal, and, of course, disco. Many of us equate disco with the 1970s, a genre of dance music that emerged from nightlife scenes and subcultures in the United States.  Disco was a kind of reaction to the dominance of rock music in the 1960s, when dance music was stigmatized.  And thus, band names like Earth Wind & Fire, the Bee Gees, ABBA, KC and the Sunshine Band - just to name a few -... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond

    Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond

    November 23, 2022

    Call Number: 811.08 W639

    In her introduction to Wide Awake, editor Suzanne Lummis informs us how she and her publisher came up with the title for this poetry anthology.  They wanted a title that “stands against the notion that the metropolis is densely packed with dreamers who came to participate in The Dream Factory but will be disappointed (de-deluded), and wind up drifting down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”  Lummis is pointing at the reputation of Los Angeles as a city that breathes for dreamers who are drawn to the glitter, fame, and the notion of success in Hollywood that only few can... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Married love and other stories

    Married love and other stories

    by Hadley, Tessa.

    March 7, 2022

    Call Number:

    In Married Love and Other Stories, Tessa Hadley digs deep into the unconscious of family life.  Her dense prose offers a tour into the emotional contours of sibling relationships, parenthood, and the kind of intergenerational melodrama to be found in weighty novels. She has a keen sense about the psychology of children and teenagers, who are brimming with awareness and curiosity about the world they inhabit, but are highly vulnerable to the hegemonic power of parenthood.  Hadley understands how that power constricts and limits the freedom of young people to do things, and... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Unnatural habitats & other stories

    Unnatural habitats & other stories

    by Mitchell, Angela, 1971-

    January 31, 2022

    Call Number:

    There is a scene in Unnatural​ Habitats & Other Stories​ where a bobcat lounges on a bed between a man and a woman.  It’s the couple’s first night together.  The man loves animals and keeps them in his house, including birds and snakes, but the bobcat is special.  Soon, awkwardness enters the scene, the moment the woman wakes up after her nap and feels the bobcat’s belly moving up and down beside her, instead of her date. She has awakened the bobcat now, looking at her like an unwanted third-party on the man’s bed, a rival.  The woman feels strange about the... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The son of good fortune : a novel

    The son of good fortune : a novel

    by Tenorio, Lysley A., 1972-

    January 3, 2022

    Call Number: Ed.a

    In Lysley Tenorio’s debut novel, a mother and son duo wrestle for social and economic mobility.  They have very limited resources, a direct consequence for being undocumented immigrants.  As the novel opens, the male protagonist, Excel, is fresh out of high school, itching to escape a life of invisibility imposed upon him since birth by his mother, Maxima.  They breathe a life of extreme caution and secrecy, lest Immigration officials discover they’re undocumented, and deport them back to the Philippines.  For a while Excel is able to leave home, thanks to a girlfriend... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for How to drive : real world instruction and advice from Hollywood's top driver

    How to drive : real world instruction and advice from Hollywood's top driver

    by Collins, Ben, 1975-

    July 1, 2018

    Call Number: 629.2136 C7125

    Millions of cars operate on thousands of miles of public roads that are maintained in the city of Los Angeles. Unfortunately books about driving are not as appealing to publishers as are diet and exercise books. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) updates and distributes a small handbook for drivers. However there is a dearth of new and updated books about driving, which might soon be populated by books on self-driving cars. Enter Ben Collins, professional racing car driver for Top Gear, NASCAR, and the James Bond movies. This is how Collins waxes poetic in the... Read Full Review