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Staff Recommendations


  • Book cover for The memory theater

    The memory theater

    by Tidbeck, Karin, 1977-

    Reviewed by: Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Koreatown Media Lab

    July 18, 2022

    In The Memory Theater a girl and a boy, Dora and Thistle, escape from a palace during a perpetual, eternal summer evening party, where nobles murder and devour children as a regular part of the evening entertainment, somewhere between dessert and rounds of croquet on the lawn. Unfortunately for Dora and Thistle, one of the nobles, the monstrous and fabulously dressed Lady Augusta, follows them as they flee across worlds. 

    The line between fairy tales and the horror genre is incredibly porous. But few stories that I have read straddle that line as... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The Book Woman's Daughter

    The Book Woman's Daughter

    by Richardson, Kim Michele

    July 11, 2022

    In 2019, Kim Michele Richardson told the story of Cussy Mary Carter and her work as a Pack Horse Librarian in The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Now, in 2022,  Richardson returns to tell the next chapter in Cussy Mary’s story, which actually belongs to her daughter, in The Book Woman’s Daughter.

    It has been almost 17 years since the events recounted in The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Run towards the danger : confrontations with a body of memory

    Run towards the danger : confrontations with a body of memory

    by Polley, Sarah

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    July 5, 2022

    Call Number: 812.092 P773

    The six essays in this book by the acclaimed Canadian actress (The Sweet Hereafter) and filmmaker (Stories We Tell), Sarah Polley, provide a recounting of her emotional and physical scars in steady, meticulous prose. The first essay, “Alice Collapsing,” chronicles her childhood bout with severe stage fright during a... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Never Been Kissed

    Never Been Kissed

    by Janovsky, Timothy

    June 27, 2022

    As Wren Roland celebrates his 22nd birthday with his best friends and roommates, Mateo and Avery, he begins to lament the fact that he has never been kissed. He’s been close, but has yet to experience what his degree in film studies has convinced him will be a life-altering and incredibly romantic experience. As the evening progresses, and the drinks flow, Wren finds himself more than a bit drunk in front of his computer. He clicks on the email folder labeled “tentacle porn” (It seems like the perfect hiding place! Who would ever look in there?) where he has four email drafts to... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for One last stop

    One last stop

    by McQuiston, Casey

    June 21, 2022

    A young woman on her way to her first day of classes at Brooklyn College spills coffee on herself just prior to boarding the subway. Another young woman on the train comes to her rescue with a scarf and a kind word. The next time the student boards the train, her rescuer is there. They declare each other “coffee-girl” and “subway girl” and begin chatting. Is it a “meet cute” of the type employed in almost every/any romance novel? Absolutely! But, in the hands of Casey McQuiston, author of 2019’s fantastic Red, White, and Royal Blue, it is the beginning of so much more!... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Watermelon & red birds : a cookbook for Juneteenth and black celebrations

    Watermelon & Red Birds: A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations

    by Taylor, Nicole A.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    June 14, 2022

    Call Number: 641.5973 T2445-1

    This is the first cookbook devoted entirely to celebrating the significance of Juneteenth. “The title combines a native-born African fruit–watermelon–with the African American and Native American adage that red birds flying in sight are ancestors returning to spread beautiful luck.” Writer and scholar Nicole A. Taylor states, “This is my declaration of independence from the traditional boundaries of so-called Southern food and soul food. It’s my fulfillment of the dreams of those domestics, inventors, bakers, and bartenders who form the base of my family tree. It is my statement... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for One-Shot Harry

    One-Shot Harry

    by Phillips, Gary

    June 6, 2022

    Call Number: M

    The year is 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr. is about to hold his Freedom Rally at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles; William H. Parker is Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department; John F. Kennedy is President of the United States; Pat Brown is the Governor of California; Gas is $0.29 a gallon and ground beef is less than $0.50 a pound. It is in this world, which is as different as it is similar to ours, that Gary Phillips sets his new novel One-Shot Harry.

    Harry Ingram is a freelance news photographer in Los Angeles. He also works side-jobs serving legal papers. Harry... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The Quarter Storm

    The Quarter Storm

    by Henry, Veronica G.

    June 1, 2022

    Vodou priestess Mambo Reina Dumond learned the practices and customs of Vodou as a child from her father, while her family was living in Haiti. She is inhabited by the spirit of Erzulie, which makes her a gifted practitioner of water magic. Reina operates a small business behind her home in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans for both tourists and locals alike.

    Shortly after an unusual session with a first time client, Reina is informed that a crime has been committed in the apartment above one of the more high-profile Vodou shops in the French Quarter. The... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir

    1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir

    by Ai, Weiwei

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    May 24, 2022

    Call Number: 709.51 A288-9

    Ai Weiwei is one of China’s most famous, and infamous, internationally known artists. His artistic style ranges from representational to pushing boundaries all over the place. Not only in his visual work has he stretched and pushed, but in his thoughts, ideas and comments about his native country and its lack of expressive freedom; its authoritarian disregard for humanity and oppression of different types of people within its own borders, as well as supporting various types of repression throughout the world. This drive to express, and lack of concern for his own safety, landed... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The cat who saved books : a novel

    The Cat Who Saved Books: A Novel

    by Natsukawa, Sōsuke, 1978-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    May 18, 2022

    Writer Sosuke Natsukawa has taken what might appear to be rather mundane characters and created a unique novel that has many twists and turns. 

    A high school student (Rintaro Natsuki), who is lacking purpose or direction in life, and whose grandfather peacefully dies in his sleep leaving his independently owned bookstore to his grandson.

    A cat (Tiger the Tabby) who suddenly appears out of nowhere and begins talking to this aimless young man, prodding him to help save books that, “ … have been imprisoned.”

    A classmate (Sayo... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Four Treasures of the Sky

    Four Treasures of the Sky

    by Zhang, Jenny

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    May 11, 2022

    This debut novel is a stunner, historical fiction at its best (captivating, illuminating and provoking) in its depiction and portrayal of the horrors of racism, discrimination, abuse and greed. The inspiration for the novel was happenstance, as recalled by Jenny Zhang, “In 2014, my father returned from a work trip through the northwestern region of the United States with an interesting anecdote: He was driving through Pierce, Idaho, when he saw a marker referencing a “Chinese Hanging.” The marker described the story of how five Chinese men were hanged by vigilantes for the... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for The Fervor: A Novel

    The Fervor: A Novel

    by Katsu, Alma

    May 2, 2022

    Meiko is the Japanese wife of Jamie Briggs, a white US Air Force pilot fighting in World War II. Meiko, and her daughter Aiko, are “residents” of the Minidoka internment camp in Idaho. A few days ago, an unscheduled truck came to the camp. The residents are told to stay away from the truck and guards are posted around it. It leaves shortly after whatever was inside is unloaded under the cover of darkness. Shortly after the truck leaves, residents of the camp begin to become ill.

    Fran Gurstwold is a journalist for a small newspaper in Lincoln, Nebraska. While... Read Full Review