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  • 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 SeriousEats.com.  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

  • Miss D & me : life with the invincible Bette Davis

    by Sermak, Kathryn,

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian

    November 27, 2017

    Call Number: 812.092 D261Se

    This is a memoir written by Bette Davis’ former assistant, Kathryn Sermak, who spent nearly a decade working for Davis and developed an unlikely friendship with the screen legend. It took Sermak nearly thirty years to write this book and it stands as a tribute to Davis’ bravery and resilience.

    In 1979 Sermak was a recent college graduate living with her strict parents in San Bernardino. College had given her a taste of independence and she was doing her best to avoid graduate school. She fell into a job that utilized the foreign language skills she had mastered... Read Full Review

  • March 1917 : on the brink of war and revolution

    by Englund, Will,

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian

    October 30, 2017

    Call Number: 940.373 E58

    March 1917: On the Brink of War and Revolution by Will Englund examines international social and political conflicts leading up to the titular date. Englund, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at the Washington Post, surveys how a cast of historical figures traversed through the upheaval leading up to March 1917, placing emphasis on the United States’ entry into World War I, and on the Russian Revolution.

    Drawing upon a wealth of primary and secondary resources, Englund reveals how notable personalities including writer H.L. Mencken, Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin... Read Full Review

  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore

    by Sloan, Robin, 1979-

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

    October 11, 2017

    There are people who want you to believe that there is a hot, bright line dividing computers from books. “You have to chose one,” they tell you. You can’t love both the feel and smell of an old hardback and a quick boolean search. You have to chose. It’s media or e-media, and never the twain shall meet. But that’s a false dichotomy. That’s choosing between peanut butter and chocolate, when both are good. Let’s have both and mix them together and see what we come up with.

    Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore is a novel that embraces and celebrates both paper books and technology... Read Full Review

  • The catcher in the rye

    by Salinger, J. D. (Jerome David), 1919-2010.

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    September 28, 2017

    Call Number: Ed.c

    Catcher in the rye is one of the most repeatedly banned and controversial coming-of-age books, and as we celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, it is a book worth reading or rereading. The novel has been challenged and/or banned because of profane language and sex, most of which seem tame in comparison to today's books, films and television programs. However the feelings and thoughts of the book's protagonist, Holden Caulfield, have appeal for teens and adults who are questioning their identity and place in... Read Full Review

  • Judy and I : my life with Judy Garland

    by Luft, Sid,

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Beyelia, Librarian

    September 11, 2017

    Call Number: 812.092 G233Lu

    This autobiography from Judy Garland’s third husband, Michael Sidney “Sid” Luft was published nearly 12 years after his death. The book details Luft’s childhood, early years prior to meeting Garland, and his life with the legend leading up to her death in 1969. Luft never finished writing this book, having stopped around 1960 when he was excluded from his wife’s life by Judy and her new handlers. The remaining portions of the book were cobbled together by Randy L. Schmidt (with the permission of the Sid Luft Living Trust) using interviews, tape recordings and other resources that Luft left... Read Full Review

  • Front lines

    by Grant, Michael, 1954-

    Reviewed by: Llyr Heller, Librarian, Teen'Scape

    September 5, 2017

    Call Number: YA

    There are some young adult books that have terrific appeal as crossover fiction for adult readers. The new Front Lines series of books are just those kind of books.

    Young adult and children’s author Michael Grant has outdone himself with his new series, Front Lines. In his newest and most masterfully done work, he transports readers to a re-imagined scenario concerning World War II. At a time when young men are going off to fight Nazi Germany, a court decision pulls in both males and females to the draft. These novels, in alternating chapters, take us to the war in various ways,... Read Full Review

  • Get well soon : history's worst plagues and the heroes who fought them

    by Wright, Jennifer Ashley, 1986-

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

    August 30, 2017

    Call Number: 614.409 W951

    A book of the worst plagues in history could be a nightmare-inducing slog through dark times. Everything, from the suffering of victims to the ‘treatments’ they endured, piles on misery. It would take a deft hand to write about the bubonic plague, or smallpox, or leprosy  in a way that neither sinks into despair, nor loses sight of the humanity shared by readers, sufferers, doctors, and the desperate communities trying to outlast the catastrophe.

    Luckily, Jennifer Wright writes with just such a deft hand! She mixes a gruesome medical history with a humorous,... Read Full Review

  • Daring to drive : a Saudi woman's awakening

    by Sharif, Manal, 1979-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    August 23, 2017

    Call Number: 301.412953 S531

    Manal al-Sharif did not plan to be a rebellious leader of a social or political movement, or to be civilly disobedient, and certainly not to bring any type of public notice to herself, but that is just what happened. She said the cause chose her. Raised in a traditional Muslim home in Saudi Arabia, she tried to be an obedient daughter and student, but inwardly questioned rules and regulations that seemed unfair and irrational. As a smart young woman, she attended King Abdulaziz University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science which led to a job with... Read Full Review

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