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Staff Recommendations


  • Book cover for Hawk Mountain

    Hawk Mountain

    by Habib, Conner

    October 12, 2022

    In the late afternoon, Todd sits on the beach watching 6-year-old Anthony, his son, play in the surf. A man approaches Todd, and, after a minute, he recognizes him. It is Jack, who bullied Todd relentlessly during their senior year in high school. In spite of their shared history, Jack seems pleased at seeing Todd. He claims that their meeting is a coincidence and goes on to tell Todd that he has just left his wife, is determined to create a new life for himself, and asks if he can spend the night at Todd’s home.

    Jack’s stay with Todd and Anthony extends beyond... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Bad Mexicans : race, empire, and revolution in the borderlands

    Bad Mexicans : race, empire, and revolution in the borderlands

    by Hernández, Kelly Lytle

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    October 5, 2022

    Call Number: 972.2 H557

    The term “bad Mexicans” (malos Mexicanos) was not coined by Anglos from the United States, instead it originated with President Porfirio Díaz, the authoritarian President of Mexico who ruled for almost three decades beginning in 1876. It was a derogatory name for any person or group who opposed him.  At the expense of his own citizens and to the advantage of American investors, he encouraged and facilitated the investments to take place, which resulted in those American investors having control over major Mexican industries. Because of this situation, there developed a... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Mi cocina : recipes and rapture from my kitchen in México

    Mi cocina : recipes and rapture from my kitchen in México

    by Martínez, Rick (Chef)

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    September 26, 2022

    Call Number: 641.5972 M38545

    What a glorious cookbook and memoir. A little larger in size than the average book, which is perfect for the overall layout and presentation of photographs, maps and recipes. Every page is graced with marvelous color photographs, with text pages printed on lighter shades of colorful paper. Chapters are organized by regions with the accompanying recipes that are emblematic of the food and cooking traditions of each. The introductions to the chapters include information, not only about the food, but brief historical overviews of the areas and their unique contributions to... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community

    A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community

    by Molina, Natalia

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    September 19, 2022

    Call Number: 647.9509794 M722

    When is a restaurant more than a place to eat? How and why does this happen?  Why is this significant? In the “Introduction: Placemaking in a New Homeland,” Natalia Molina, researcher and scholar, says it is because people recognize,  “ …  their home is about a feeling rooted to a particular place: a neighborhood, a park, a newsstand, a restaurant. The subjects of this story, most of them working-class immigrants who did not arrive in the United States speaking English, endeavored to make places of their own. They went to work, worshipped in church, attended school... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The Extraordinaries

    The Extraordinaries

    by Klune, TJ

    September 13, 2022

    Nick Bell is far from an ordinary teen. He experiences attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is required to take daily medication. Two years ago, his mother was killed in a bank robbery, leaving him and his father to reconstruct their lives together. He met his best friend, Seth Gray, when they were six years old. They’ve been inseparable ever since. Nick is a superstar in the world of Extraordinaries fan fiction. He is one of the most popular writers of stories relating to the few individuals that have super-powers known as Extraordinaries and his 250K word, and 60... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

    A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

    by Chambers, Becky

    September 7, 2022

    Call Number: SF

    In 2021, Becky Chambers introduced readers to the moon of Panga, where, centuries ago, the civilization’s robots gained consciousness and, en masse, walked off into the surrounding wilderness and were never heard from again. Until the day a robot named Splendid Speckled Mosscap walked up to Sibling Dex, a tea monk, and asked “What do people need?”

    In A Prayer for the Crown Shy, Chambers returns to Panga and follows Sibling Dex and Mosscap as they travel through the different areas and settlements of Panga on their way to the City. Like our world, each... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The Kaiju Preservation Society

    The Kaiju Preservation Society

    by Scalzi, John

    August 29, 2022

    Call Number: SF

    In early March of 2020, Jamie Gray is unceremoniously demoted from marketing executive to “deliverator” at füdmüd, an internet startup company in New York City. As the COVID pandemic worsens, Jamie struggles to get by until a chance delivery happens to be to Tom Stevens. Tom tells Jamie that he works for an “animal rights organization” and currently is in need of a last minute replacement for an upcoming field assignment. The position will require Jamie to “lift things” and is equally as glamorous as food delivery, but in a much more interesting locale and with much better pay... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Cooking with the two fat ladies

    Cooking with the two fat ladies

    by Paterson, Jennifer.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    August 22, 2022

    Call Number: 641.5942 P296

    This is the second series of books that I rediscovered during the early months of COVID lock-down,The Two Fat Ladies. My mind is blank about how I gravitated to this one, maybe because of a book at home, or looking longingly at a collection of VHS tapes, and no longer having a recorder. Thank heavens for the internet where I found snippets and full episodes of the old TV programs with these two remarkable women. Apparently you can also find their programs on the TV Food Network. However, the Los Angeles Public Library owns the complete series on... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The Children on the Hill

    The Children on the Hill

    by McMahon, Jennifer

    August 15, 2022

    Monster. The word brings to mind ugly, misshapen creatures wreaking havoc wherever they go. Perhaps the most famous monster is Frankenstein’s monster from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It’s been over 200 years since the teenaged Shelley created one of the most enduring tales of all time. And over the last two centuries, many have pondered who is the true monster in Shelley’s story? Is it Victor Frankenstein’s creation, the person he created from the parts of others, spurned by everyone, including his own creator, forced to live an existence alone and in constant fear? Or... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The unexpected Mrs. Pollifax.

    The unexpected Mrs. Pollifax.

    by Gilman, Dorothy, 1923-2012.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    August 9, 2022

    Call Number: M

    In 2020, during those early weeks of COVID lock-down, when we were not allowed into our Los Angeles Public Libraries, and the present and the future were beyond comprehension, it was good to have some personally owned books at home. There were two series that I turned to. One was the Mrs. Pollifax series. At the time, I owned only a hardcopy of Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled, which is the last book in the series, and that caused me to quickly... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Siren Queen

    Siren Queen

    by Vo, Nghi

    August 1, 2022

    On a whim, a young Chinese-American girl pays with an inch of her hair so that she and he sister can see Romeo and Juliet at the new nickelodeon in their neighborhood. From that moment on, she has a single desire: to be a motion picture star. Not simply an actress, but a star. Quite a goal for a young Asian-American girl in 1930s Los Angeles. Luli Wei is not her real name. It actually belongs to her sister, stolen in a moment of panic while meeting with the head of Wolfe Studios. But no one in the movie business uses their real names. To provide your employer with your... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Remarkably Bright Creatures

    Remarkably Bright Creatures

    by Van Pelt, Shelby

    July 25, 2022

    After her husband’s death, Tova Sullivan took a job cleaning the Sowell Bay Aquarium. She works evenings after the aquarium has closed to the public, mopping the floors, clearing the trash cans, and cleaning the glass walls of the exhibition tanks until they shine. As she works her way around the circular building, she chats with the various occupants of the aquarium. She knows them all very well and while she believes it is pointless to carry on one sided conversations with them, it makes her feel less lonely while she is working.

    Marcellus is the giant Pacific... Read Full Review