Staff Recommendations | Los Angeles Public Library

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Staff Recommendations


  • Mister Tender's girl

    by Wilson, Carter (Novelist),

    March 12, 2018

    In May, 2014, two twelve-year-old girls, from Waukesha, Wisconsin, lured a classmate into the woods, held her down and stabbed her 19 times with a kitchen knife. Left for dead, the victim was able to drag herself out of the woods and get close to a nearby road, where she was discovered and medical assistance was called. After being apprehended, both of the girls, who committed the stabbing, claimed to have done so to gain the favor of Slender Man, a fictional character about whom they had read online. Now, nearly four years later, Carter Wilson has used what has become known as “the... Read Full Review

  • Bullets into bells : poets & citizens respond to gun violence

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    March 7, 2018

    Call Number: 811.08 B9365

    Through poetry and prose, parents, poets, politicians, social and political activists, and survivors of indiscriminate individual and mass shootings, express their thoughts and feelings about gun violence in the United States. The writing is presented in a call and response format:  first a poem and then a prose commentary.  In the introduction, novelist Colum McCann states why poetry is a good place to begin, "The poems assert the possibility of language rather than bullets to open our veins.” He emphasizes why discussion is invaluable by quoting the Algerian poet and... Read Full Review

  • Mis(h)adra

    by Ata, Iasmin Omar, author, illustrator.

    Reviewed by: Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Department

    February 28, 2018

    Call Number: 740.9999 A862

    Iasmin Omar Ata uses a striking palette and manga art style to tell the story of an Arab-American college student, Isaac, dealing with epilepsy in Mis(h)adra. Because this is a graphic novel, Ata has a chance to develop a new language of symbols and images to convey the physical experience of a chronic illness. Ata can show not just pain, but the frustrating and exhausting battle with illness, with doctors, and with medications in an evocative and visceral way.

    As Isaac attempts to bargain and placate his relentless illness, strings of beads wind around him, strangling his... Read Full Review

  • The Lovings : an intimate portrait

    by Villet, Grey, photographer.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    February 12, 2018

    Call Number: 770.9964 V748

    In real life as well as novels, plays and movies there are love stories where two people often have to face obstacles, tragedies and are fortunate to reach a relatively happy ending:  Heloise and Abelard, Elizabeth and Robert Browning, Romeo and Juliet, and others. Modern times are not without problematic love stories, usually not for the two people involved, but for others: family, friends, neighbors and governments. So it was for Richard Loving, who was white, and Mildred Jeter, who was black, and lived in Virginia in the 1950s. They had grown up as neighbors, in a... Read Full Review

  • Courage is contagious : and other reasons to be grateful for Michelle Obama

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    February 6, 2018

    Call Number: 808.35 C8585

    This collection of seventeen essays is not intended to be a biography of Michelle Obama, many of which can be found here in LAPL’s catalog, rather this is an appreciation of who she is as a person, who also happened to be First Lady of the United States. The essays are from students and from working professionals in different fields: fashion, literature, arts and entertainment, social and political activists.

    There is a commonality to their perceptions and expectations about... Read Full Review

  • Miriam Hopkins : life and films of a Hollywood rebel

    by Ellenberger, Allan R., 1956-

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian

    January 29, 2018

    Call Number: 812.092 H795El

    Allan Ellenberger's biography of Miriam Hopkins is a nuanced and in-depth look at one of the most dazzling and provocative personalities from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The book follows Hopkins’ rise to stardom; her participation in some of Hollywood’s most revolutionary films; the fascinating events and people that marked her personal life as well as her inexplicable disappearance from the public eye. Most astonishing, Ellenberger’s book is probably the first biography ever written on Hopkins.

    Hopkins was a Georgia-born southern belle, raised by a domineering mother, with whom she... Read Full Review

  • Darkest hour : how Churchill brought England back from the brink

    by McCarten, Anthony, 1961-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    January 22, 2018

    Call Number: 940.532 M123

    Darkest hour is a thrilling companion piece to the movie of the same name. In early May 1940, Winston Churchill was an unlikely figure to be asked to become Prime Minister by King George VI. Derided as a turncoat by his fellow Conservatives for his former membership in the Liberal Party, and pegged as an imperialist by his Labour Party foes, Churchill was a compromise choice to head up a fragile coalition government during wartime. Churchill’s previous failure as a military leader during the First World War was overlooked because he had by far the most wartime experience of any... Read Full Review

  • Call Me By Your Name

    by Aciman, Andre,

    January 16, 2018

    Call Number: Ed.a

    The critically acclaimed film, Call Me by Your Name, has generated a resurgence of interest in André Aciman’s novel upon which the movie is based. What a gift for readers!

    Originally published in 2007, this intellectual coming of age and coming out idyll takes place at an Italian seaside villa where a college professor and his family host a young academic each summer. The visiting scholar assists the professor an hour or so each day, and is free to use the rest of the time to write, to accept dinner invitations from other seaside residents, and to enjoy the lush surroundings... Read Full Review

  • Leviathan wakes

    by Corey, James S. A.

    Reviewed by: Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Department

    January 10, 2018

    Call Number: SF

    Leviathan wakes is a science fiction epic novel that includes a monstrous alien threat, a search for a missing heiress by a down-on-his luck detective, zombies, and a scrappy spaceship crew from all over: Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt. The spaceship crew is cursed with a photogenic and noble commanding officer, who has good intentions. If that doesn’t seem like a curse, you’ve never seen how much harder it is to make a living while stuck in the middle of a galactic controversy with a captain who says the worst possible thing every time a camera is pointed at him, even though... Read Full Review

  • Berserker

    by Laybourne, Emmy,

    Reviewed by: Llyr Heller, Librarian, Teen'Scape

    January 2, 2018

    Call Number: YA

    Berserker is the first novel in a new series that follows the Hemstad family from Norway to the United States after a horrible event catapults their lives on a new course. It’s 1883, and the family, made up of two brothers and two sisters, live and work with their father on the family farm. Their lives are hard and difficult. In addition sixteen-year-old Hanne and her family are a bit different from others. Hanne and her two brothers are Nytteson, meaning they have different gifts bestowed upon them by the Norse gods. Hanne is also a Berserker, or a perfect killing machine, which... Read Full Review

  • Bravetart : iconic American desserts

    by Parks, Stella,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 20, 2017

    Call Number: 641.8 P2524

    It is that time of year when many of us want to serve up homemade sweets for family and friends, but the clock is ticking, and what are you going to do?  Is it too late? No, it is not and you can trust CIA-trained, award-winning pastry chef, Stella Parks, who is Senior Editor at  She loves desserts and is here to help all of us make good tasting ones from scratch, and have fun doing it:  "And that's my deal--I love American dessert, in all its cozy splendor, every messy, unpretentious bite."  She wants... Read Full Review

  • LACMA so far : portrait of a museum in the making

    by Muchnic, Suzanne,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 4, 2017

    Call Number: 708.1 L8817Mu

    The county and city of Los Angeles have rapidly grown into a major domestic and global region, internationaly diverse and fearlessly innovative in social, political and economic areas. All of this did not happen without bumps and mishaps, which are interesting and add to the colorful past and recent history of an area that has legends and myths surrounding it. LACMA, aka The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, represents all of that in microcosm. The idea for the present art museum began in 1913, and was to be part of the The Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art, in Exposition Park... Read Full Review