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Staff Recommendations


  • Mexican American baseball on the Westside of Los Angeles

    by Santillan, Richard,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    October 15, 2019

    Call Number: 796.231 S235-5

    This book is part of a series of books that document Mexican American baseball. They are photographic essays which include meticulously researched information.  The focus is baseball, but the books are more than a history of the sport as organized and played by Mexican Americans. The text and photographs present a cultural history of prejudice and exclusion of Mexican American players from all-white leagues. The books also document the participation of women in... Read Full Review

  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

    by Richardson, Kim Michele

    October 7, 2019

    In The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, Kim Michele Richardson tells two stories that have, until now, been overlooked in most fiction and history: the story of the blue people of Kentucky and the Pack Horse Librarians of the 1930s, both of whom are incredible examples of the resilience to triumph over difficult circumstances.

    Cussy Mary Carter lives near Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. She is a young, unmarried woman living with her father, who works in the coal mine along with most of the men in town. She was named after Cussy, France, the place from which her great... Read Full Review

  • Feels Like Home: Reflections on Central Library

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    October 1, 2019

    Call Number: 027.47949 L881Fe

    One year ago, on September 13, 2018, the Los Angeles Public Library celebrated Central@25.  This event commemorated the 25th anniversary of the reopening of Central Library. The day of appreciation, celebration and honors was the idea of Christina Rice, Senior Librarian, LAPL Photo Collection. Preliminary planning began approximately six months before the event. There were many staff suggestions to make the day grand and wonderful, but Ms. Rice suggested a book. At the time, I thought it was an impossible dream that a book of any... Read Full Review

  • The Ruby Slippers of Oz: Thirty Years Later

    by Thomas, Rhys

    September 23, 2019

    Call Number: 791.1 W835Th-1

    “Keep tight inside of them. Their magic must be very powerful, or she wouldn't want them so badly," said Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, talking about the ruby slippers.

    In L. Frank Baum’s children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the magic shoes worn by the Wicked Witch of the East – and transferred to Dorothy after the Witch of the East’s untimely demise – were silver. In 1938, when MGM began pre-production of the motion picture based on Baum’s novel, it was decided that silver simply would not do for the lavish Technicolor film. With the slash... Read Full Review

  • The Lost History of Dreams: A Novel

    by Waldherr, Kris

    September 16, 2019

    When famous, and some would claim infamous, poet Hugh de Bonne dies unexpectedly, his last remaining family relations are called upon to enact his final request. De Bonne wishes to be buried on the moors near Shropshire, in a chapel of stained glass he had built 16 years earlier as the final resting place for his wife, Ada. He wants his body placed in the chapel next to that of his wife and for a daguerreotype to be made of their remains accompanied by his niece by marriage, Isabelle Lowell.

    Robert Highstead, de Bonne’s cousin, is a former Oxford historian and now works as a... Read Full Review

  • Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal

    by Foret, Rosalee de la

    September 10, 2019

    Call Number: 615.32 F718

    We tend to think of chamomile as a gentle herb, with effects that are mostly psychological. A cup of chamomile tea is nice before bedtime, but is there anything to this pretty little herb beyond the relaxing ritual of a steaming mug?

    Yes! I felt chamomile’s powerful effects firsthand when I began taking medicinal doses for stress and tension headaches (parenting two young kids is rewarding, but it’s no walk in the park). Chamomile, it turns out, is a potent nervine and antispasmodic herb, and a chamomile infusion has become my go-to remedy for stress.

    I have Alchemy... Read Full Review

  • Magic for Liars: A Novel

    by Gailey, Sarah

    September 3, 2019

    When Sylvia Capley, the Health instructor at Osthorne Academy for Young Mages, is found in the school library bisected from head to toe, cleanly down the middle, the National Mage Investigative Service (NMIS) concludes that her death was an accident, a spell gone wrong. The Headmaster of the school doesn’t agree with their conclusions and reaches out to Ivy Gamble, a bay area Private Investigator who specializes in small time cases, insurance fraud and cheating spouses. But as the twin sister of Osthorne’s Theoretical Magic teacher, she is an outsider who is aware of the magical community... Read Full Review

  • Happiness is Baking: Cakes, Pies, Tarts, Muffins, Brownies, Cookies: Favorite Desserts From the Queen of Cake

    by Heatter, Maida

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 26, 2019

    Call Number: 641.71 H442-2

    This is the most recent cookbook from the Queen of Cake, Maida Heatter, which is a collection of her favorite recipes.  In the introduction she writes about how determined a baker can be to get a recipe, and how much satisfaction there is in baking and giving desserts to others. This cookbook is different from her other works only in its new format that has a very bright colorful layout and illustrations by Alice Oehr. Everything else is the same as in her other cookbooks:  table of contents, complete index, meticulous easy-to-follow directions and an opening chapter, "Before you... Read Full Review

  • Red, White & Royal Blue

    by McQuiston, Casey

    August 19, 2019

    Alex Claremont-Diaz is the 21-year-old First Son Of The United States (FSOTUS). He has lived in the White House with his older sister, June (FDOTUS) for the last three years, during his mother’s first term in office. He is a media darling, being continually followed, photographed and dissected by the press. He, June, and Nora, the granddaughter of the Vice President, are referred to as “The White House Trio,” three ambitious and beautiful, young people of which the press and the American public cannot get their fill.

    Alex is scheduled to attend the latest Royal Wedding in London,... Read Full Review

  • What moves at the margin : selected nonfiction

    by Morrison, Toni.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 12, 2019

    Call Number: 818 M882

    Toni Morrison possessed and shared with us knowledge about ourselves, through the power of words.The work of the grande dame of Black American Literature has always commanded our attention.  Great fiction writers create stories expressed through characters, plot and language that speak truth to all of us. Their work takes our breath away by making us look at life we never thought about, and even denied existed. Toni Morrison was a great writer who wrote about the lives of Black Americans.

    The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution legally abolished... Read Full Review

  • The Survival of Margaret Thomas

    by Howison, Del

    August 5, 2019

    The Western has been an established genre of fiction for well over a hundred years. In the early to mid20th century, Western fiction grew in popularity, largely driven by similarly themed motion pictures and television programs. In the 1970s, however, the genre began to fall out of favor with the general population. Even so, there has always been an audience interested in new stories or masterful reworkings of existing tales. Indeed, there are continual rumblings of a comeback for the Western genre. All that may be necessary for this to happen is a strong story, with all of the genre... Read Full Review

  • Shoot for the moon : the space race and the extraordinary voyage of Apollo 11

    by Donovan, Jim, 1954-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    July 29, 2019

    Call Number: 629.454 A644Do

    James Donovan’s Shoot For The Moon is the first book about America’s triumphant moon landing in 1969 that puts the feat in its proper context. Donovan balances a technical analysis of space flight with gripping biographical details about the major players involved in the three NASA programs of the 1960s: Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy gave a speech before Congress exhorting America to send a man to the moon by end of the decade. The date was less than three weeks after Alan B. Shepard became the first American to go into space. Shoot For The... Read Full Review