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Staff Recommendations


  • Book cover of Chita : a memoir

    Chita : a memoir

    by Rivera, Chita

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    September 11, 2023

    Call Number: 812.092 R6194

    Years ago, there was an advertisement for fur, “What Becomes a Legend Most?” For Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero Anderson, best known as Chita Rivera, this razzle-dazzle memoir/autobiography is far more becoming than all the high-end luxury goodies that money can buy.  Hardworking, full of energy and talent, she cut a big wide swath in the entertainment world: predominantly live theater, but also movies and television. There are a few basic facts about her theatrical career and contritubtions that need to be acknowledged. In the following musicals Chita was the original... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of The circumference of the world

    The circumference of the world

    by Tidhar, Lavie

    September 5, 2023

    Call Number: SF

    A mathematician, a rare book dealer, and a gangster search for a rare science fiction paperback named Lode Stars. They each have their reasons (some bordering on obsession) and their searches will cause their paths to cross, alter their destinies, and, quite possibly, transform our understanding of reality.  

    In his latest novel, award winning writer Lavie Tidhar takes readers on a wild, mind-bending adventure that is an exercise in extremes. It is deeply personal and... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of Brave the wild river : the untold story of two women who mapped the botany of the grand canyon

    Brave the wild river : the untold story of two women who mapped the botany of the grand canyon

    by Sevigny, Melissa L., 1986-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    August 28, 2023

    Call Number: 979.11 G751Se

    The Colorado River was, and still is, one of the most dangerous rivers in the world: wild, unpredictable, and more challenging to navigate than skilled, seasoned river runners could imagine. In 1938 two botanists, Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter, joined a group of river runners in order to chart the plants of the Grand Canyon. Besides the Colorado River, there were additional challenges for the two botanists.

    Botany, as well as other scientific fields, was dominated by and exclusive to men. Some areas of botany were thought to be all right for the gentler sex: the gathering of plants... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of Properties of thirst : a novel

    Properties of thirst : a novel

    by Wiggins, Marianne

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    August 21, 2023

    This is a Bildungsroman that covers several generations of a family, some of whose origins are in the eastern part of the United States, but eventually take root in the western part, specifically California, on a sprawling ranch that has its existence perpetually challenged by the L.A. Water Corporation. The patriarch, Rocky Rhodes, has a twin sister, who, herself is a solidifying force in running the ranch. Rocky and his wife give birth to twins, who are not filled with that same sense of purpose, duty and commitment. The bombing of Pearl Harbor is a monumental turning point for... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of The Legend of Charlie Fish

    The Legend of Charlie Fish

    by Rountree, Josh

    August 14, 2023

    Floyd Betts is a bit of a loner. He lives a solitary existence in Galveston, Texas. He works construction on local building projects and rents a room at Abigail Elder’s boarding house. It’s a quiet life, and Floyd likes it. But all of that is about to change.

    When Floyd returns to Old Cypress, Texas, for his father’s funeral, he encounters Nellie and Hank. Nellie is 12 years old and Hank is 9. They were recently orphaned under mysterious circumstances as their family was preparing to leave Old Cypress. Nellie’s mother was accused of being a witch. It is very, very... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of I'll stop the world : a novel

    I'll stop the world : a novel

    by Thoman, Lauren

    August 7, 2023

    Time travel is a staple of fiction. For well over a century writers have imagined different ways to propel their protagonists backwards and forwards through time. Sometimes they are merely observers, allowing the author to speculate on past motivations or future developments. But just as often, the protagonist is sent to the past to correct something affecting the future. Often, HOW the time traveler got to the past is unimportant compared to WHY they were sent, and what they need to fix. In her debut novel Lauren Thoman tells a tim-travelling story of discovery in which a young... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Hell Bent

    Hell Bent

    by Bardugo, Leigh

    July 31, 2023

    At the end of Ninth House, Galaxy “Alex” Stern solved the mystery of who killed Tara Hutchins and why, uncovering a conspiracy that involved some of the highest offices of Yale University and several of their “secret societies.” At the end of the novel, Darlington, Alex’s advisor in Lethe, the “ninth house” which oversees the magical practices of Yale’s secret societies, was still missing – presumably sent to hell as part of the cover-up of Tara’s murder. It was quite the freshman year for Alex Stern at Yale!

    As Alex begins her sophomore year, she is... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of The London Séance Society

    The London Séance Society

    by Penner, Sarah

    July 24, 2023

    Lenna Wickes, and her younger sister Evie, are very different people. Lenna is interested in the world and how it works. She has an interest in science, even though she knows that a young lady in Victorian London is not supposed to be interested in such things. Evie, on the other hand, is interested in the spirit world. She is interested in spirits, séances, and the world a step removed from our own. The two sisters regularly taunt and challenge each other on their interests and perspectives of the world.

    And then, suddenly, Evie is gone. She is murdered and the... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Piecing Together Los Angeles: An Esther McCoy Reader

    Piecing Together Los Angeles: An Esther McCoy Reader

    by McCoy, Esther

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    July 18, 2023

    Call Number: 720.910941 M131

    For the most part, Los Angeles architecture has made its mark and numerous international and domestic architects will compete for an opportunity to design a residence, a public, or a commercial building. This was not always the case. There was someone who recognized the value, quality, originality and importance of the West and its architecture, at a time when it was not considered worth evaluating, predominantly by those in the East. In an interview Esther McCoy said, “ … Los Angeles has always been open to new ideas. Los Angeles is not rigid at all. It’s a plunger city.... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of Sex, death, and God in L.A.

    Sex, death, and God in L.A.


    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    July 12, 2023

    Call Number: 979.41 L881Sex 1994

    This essay collection about Los Angeles includes the works of Eve Babitz, Alexander Cockburn, Mike Davis, Lynell George, Thomas S. Hines, Jeremy Larner, Rubén Martínez, David Reid, Carolyn See and David Thomson.This is an updated version (1994) of the previous edition (1992). The preface to this edition by David Reid offers a substantial analysis of Los Angeles. The preface and the essays are not at all dated and provide insights that are still wise and relevant. David Reid's comments state, “The plan of this book is to consider the character and customs of Los Angeles in relation to... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of Final Cut

    Final Cut

    by McCown, Marjorie

    July 3, 2023

    Joey Jessup is very good at her job. And it is a job that she really enjoys. Joey is a key costumer and over her career she has worked on almost every type of film, with a number of A-list actors and directors, along with some of the most talented costume designers in the industry. Joey knows how to get the job done without drawing unnecessary attention to herself.

    Joey’s current job is on the next big-budget Hollywood superhero epic. This is a huge production, with a budget to match. And it is being directed by Marcus Pray, a director with an ego that makes the... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of The Wishing Game

    The Wishing Game

    by Shaffer, Meg

    June 26, 2023

    How many of us have books, or series of books, that provided an escape for us as children and, because of that, we continue to love them as adults? How many of us longed to receive an owl-delivered letter from Hogwarts; find a secret entrance at the back of the closet/wardrobe; tumble down a rabbit hole; be transported by a tornado; or receive a visit from the local, beloved wizard challenging us to take a trip through Middle-Earth? For Lucy Hart, a girl whose childhood was defined by neglect and apathy from her parents, it was the Clock Island series by Jack Masterson.

    ... Read Full Review