Staff Recommendations | Los Angeles Public Library

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Staff Recommendations


  • The last Neanderthal : a novel

    by Cameron, Claire, 1973-

    February 11, 2019

    The year is 40,000 BC, give or take a few millennia, and only a handful of Neanderthal families are left on earth. Girl, who has just come of age, is determined to find a mate and start a family at the annual fish run. But with the Neanderthals’ numbers so diminished, everything from hunting bison to breaking a taboo is potentially deadly, and Girl soon finds herself the sole caretaker of her strange adopted brother, Runt, who looks and behaves like no human she’s ever seen.

    Skip forward to modern day France. Rosamund Gale, a paleoarchaeologist, has discovered a... Read Full Review

  • Holy Lands: A Novel

    by Sthers, Amanda, 1978- author, translator.

    February 4, 2019

    Harry Rosenmerck, a successful Jewish Cardiologist, just walked away. He walked away from his family, his career, his life, and everything he knew and loved to start a pig farm in Israel. This sounds like the set-up for a potentially insensitive joke, but it isn’t. Harry is deadly serious, as he explains to Rabbi Moshe Cattan. But Rabbi Cattan isn’t the only person demanding explanations. Monique Rosenmerck, Harry’s recently divorced ex-wife, wants to know why he left and why he won’t install a telephone so they can talk. His son David, a successful playwright, also wants to know why Harry... Read Full Review

  • On a sunbeam

    by Walden, Tillie, 1996-

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

    January 28, 2019

    Call Number: 740.9999 W162-2

    On a Sunbeam is a tender and surreal graphic novel about growing up, first love, lost love, friendship, finding your family, and about enormous, flying, space fish. On a Sunbeam manages to be both a science fiction romp about a crew of misfits, and a boarding school drama about first love. Both parts of the story involve flying space fish, and the space fish are gorgeous. Everything about the book is gorgeous: the color palette, the line art, the Gothic architecture, and the riotous starscapes.

    Mia, the main character, is a young woman in... Read Full Review

  • An elderly lady is up to no good : stories

    by Tursten, Helene, 1954-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    January 23, 2019

    An appropriate subtitle for this book might be: don’t mess with Maude, all she wants is peace and quiet. Mystery writer Helene Tursten, best known for the Detective Inspector Huss series,  was asked to write a short story for Christmas, and so she did: “An Elderly Lady Seeks Peace at Christmastime”.

    88-year-old Maude is a combination of Charles Bronson’s character in the movie,... Read Full Review

  • The white darkness

    by Grann, David,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    January 16, 2019

    Call Number: 998.5 G759

    Antarctica, which contains the South Pole, is a large land mass (5,400,000 square miles) located in the Southern Hemisphere. It is, " ...  on average, the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents," and has a limited amount of animal and vegetative life. It is a place that has evoked rich hypothetical and mythological ideas about its origins.  For those who want to journey on foot between certain geographical spots, there are seemingly limitless areas of white glacial plains, peaks and creavasses.

    Henry... Read Full Review

  • The Only Woman in the Room

    by Benedict, Marie,

    January 7, 2019

    Hedy Lamarr was one of the most beautiful people to ever grace the silver screen - but that beauty was a double edged sword. While it opened doors and made her a movie star, it was often the only thing people saw. Lamarr’s beauty was so striking that people often assumed that there was no more to the young woman they saw, but they were wrong. Lamarr was sophisticated, intelligent and gifted with a keen and creative understanding of science. In fact, she co-created a weapon that could have saved countless lives in WWII, if only the military brass of the day had been capable of seeing the... Read Full Review

  • Dracul

    by Stoker, Dacre,

    December 27, 2018

    “For many of us, Dracula is a formative novel. A book we pick up as children or young adults and revisit as the years pass, a constant on the bookshelf, an old friend. In fact, it might be so familiar that the question of the story itself, how it came to be, hasn’t occurred to us. Yet, like Jonathan Harker’s journey in the classic novel, the events that led to publication are ripe with mystery.” Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker state in the Author’s Note to their new novel, Dracul.

    What was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for writing Dracula? As the excerpt from... Read Full Review

  • The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

    by Turton, Stuart,

    December 17, 2018

    Who remembers Quantum Leap? It was a television show that ran from 1989-1993 and followed Dr. Sam Beckett and his experiment in time travel, which caused him to become conscious, at the beginning of each episode, in a different body, not knowing who or where he was, or when it happened. Before the end of each episode, Sam had to correct some event in the period in which he found himself by acting as the person he inhabited. Once that was done, he would shift in time again to another person, another place, another era.

    Now, imagine if the creator of Quantum Leap,... Read Full Review

  • Proud : my fight for an unlikely American dream

    by Muhammad, Ibtihaj, 1985-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    December 11, 2018

    Call Number: 796.34092 M952

    The headline read, "the first U.S. athlete to compete in the Olympic Games wearing hijab."

    Fencing is both an individual and team sport. Fencers duel in a one-on-one bout, but are members of a team. Very much like boxing and numerous martial arts, fencing has its origins in combat and/or preparation for combat. There are three categories, with different weapons and rules for each of them:  foil, épée and saber.

    Until recently fencing was very much an elitist sport, with predominantly white athletes who were members of private clubs. It... Read Full Review

  • The real Lolita : the kidnapping of Sally Horner and the novel that scandalized the world

    by Weinman, Sarah,

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian, History and Genealogy Department

    December 3, 2018

    Call Number: 364.92 H816We

    Sarah Weinman examines the plight of 11-year old abductee, Florence “Sally” Horner, and how her predicament helped to shape Vladimir Nabokov’s infamous 1955 novel, Lolita. Weinman, a writer and journalist makes astute use of the Nabokov papers, recently made available for research by the Library of Congress, to deliver a well-researched and absorbing book that is equal parts literary analysis, history and true crime story.

    Weinman’s book shifts back and forth between Sally’s story and the development of Nabokov’s novel... Read Full Review

  • European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

    by Goss, Theodora,

    November 27, 2018

    Call Number: M

    When we last saw the members of The Athena Club (Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau and Justine Frankenstein) at the end of The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, they were gathered in the parlor and had just received two letters: one from Mary’s former governess, Mina Murray; the other from Lucinda Van Helsing. Both are asking for assistance and The Athena Club decides that they must help. And so begins the new... Read Full Review

  • The Night Crossing

    by Masello, Robert, 1952-

    November 19, 2018

    Dracula, Bram Stoker’s masterpiece, has been a cornerstone of literary horror since its publication in 1897. In the intervening 121 years, Stoker’s novel has inspired plays, motion pictures, television series, and other novels and short stories. But what was Stoker’s inspiration for the book? That is the intriguing question addressed in Robert Masello’s new novel The Night Crossing.

    In 1895, Bram Stoker was working for actor Henry Irving and managing the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End. He enjoyed his work, but continued to pursue writing. He dreamt of writing a... Read Full Review