Staff Recommendations | Los Angeles Public Library

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Staff Recommendations


  • At Balthazar : a tale of the New York brasserie at the center of the world

    by Nadelson, Reggie,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    July 31, 2017

    Call Number: 647.95 B197Na

    Located in Manhattan’s Soho, Balthazar is a Parisian-style brasserie with its own unique features.  Very much like its Parisian counterpart, the eatery is both a neighborhood hangout and place to enjoy a fine meal. Created by a British transplant, Keith McNally, who at the time was an illegal immigrant, but in 2017 the owner, staff and restaurant are legal and thriving.  Balthazar has been in business for twenty years. The decor, service, and most importantly the menu, all have French roots. In the great tradition of European brasseries and bars, regulars feel a strong sense of... Read Full Review

  • Nevertheless : a memoir

    by Baldwin, Alec, 1958-

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    July 20, 2017

    Call Number: 812.092 B181

    Alec Baldwin, an actor renowned for his versatility and pugnaciousness, has written a candid memoir of considerable delicacy and thoughfulness. The product of a large boisterous, Irish Catholic household on Long Island, Baldwin stumbled into his career after dropping out of college and acting in soaps in the 1980s. His role in The Doctors and Knots Landing catapulted him to early stardom, but his life was spinning out of control. His father's death precipitated a dark period of drug and alcohol addiction. After getting clean and sober in the mid-1980s Baldwin... Read Full Review

  • The price of illusion : a memoir

    by Buck, Joan Juliet,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    July 11, 2017

    Call Number: 051.092 B922

    Over many years Joan Juliet Buck contributed excellent reviews and criticism on a variety of subjects (fashion, media, the arts, film and music) to Vogue Magazine. After an ill-fated assignment in 2011 she and her work evaporated from the printed media. It was an interview with the first lady of Syria printed a few weeks before Bashar al-Assad ordered violent attacks against masses of protesters. Buck is not a stupid woman, perhaps guileless in trusting those who had given her the interview assignment. She has detractors who have not spoken in her defense, and... Read Full Review

  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

    by Goss, Theodora,

    July 3, 2017

    Call Number: M

    Many classic horror novels, including Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and The Island of Dr. Moreau, have almost no female characters. If there is a woman included, often she is relegated to being a servant or, more often, a victim. She is rarely featured as a protagonist and NEVER a monster. Dr. Theodora Goss, of Boston University, wrote her doctoral dissertation on these missing female voices, and has addressed it directly in a most enjoyable way by writing The Strange Case of the Alchemist’... Read Full Review

  • The underground river : a novel

    by Conway, Martha,

    June 19, 2017

    The year is 1838. The tensions between the Northern and Southern states over the issue of slavery, which will ultimately culminate in the Civil War in 1861, are roiling. May Bedloe is a young, single woman working as a seamstress. She creates and repairs the costumes worn by her cousin, Comfort Virtue, an actress performing in theatres throughout the Northeastern United States. May and Comfort are travelling on the Moselle, a riverboat making its way along the Ohio River, the natural division between the North and the South. Comfort is performing in one of the riverboat shows. Over dinner... Read Full Review

  • A Conjuring of Light

    by Schwab, Victoria,

    June 5, 2017

    In A conjuring of light, the third and final book in the Shades of Magic fantasy series, Victoria Schwab takes readers back to her world of four different Londons, that are filled with magic, adventure, and a threat from Black London which may destroy all four worlds.

    At the end of A gathering of shadows (the second book in the trilogy), the situation was tense. Kell, the Antari from Red London who can travel between worlds, was in mortal danger. The threat to Kell was also a threat against the Arnesian Prince, Kell’s brother Rhy. There seemed to be no way to save... Read Full Review

  • Seeds on ice : Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault

    by Fowler, Cary,

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library

    May 30, 2017

    Call Number: 631.5211 F785

    In the modern industrialized world we rarely give much thought about the future availability of food. Domestic and international world disasters remind us about famines and starvation. Wars, terrorism and natural disasters cause displacement of people and destroy their access to farmland. In addition there are global concerns about GMOs. A doomsday vision was the incentive for the creation of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault aka The Doomsday Vault, which is located on one of the islands in the Norwegian archipelago. Millions of seeds are stored in cold vaults deeply buried in rock... Read Full Review

  • Bang : a novel

    by Lyga, Barry,

    Reviewed by: Llyr Heller, Librarian, Teen'Scape

    May 22, 2017

    Call Number: YA

    Barry Lyga once again has written a novel that pins one to the chair with anticipation, dread and release. He has captured an issue that is a true horror in our present day, prevalent throughout our country. When reading the daily news there are always far too many stories about accidental shootings involving children. All the statistics won’t make those hard-pressed to keep their firearms close to them change their mind, but sometimes a fictionalized account will change even the most cynical of citizens.

    Often these horrific stories involve young children accidentally shooting a gun... Read Full Review

  • High notes : selected writings of Gay Talese

    by Talese, Gay,

    Reviewed by: David B., Librarian, InfoNow

    May 15, 2017

    Call Number: 071.092 T143-2

    Gay Talese, the nattily attired New York-based reporter, writes non-fiction pieces in the style of  short stories, with omniscient third person narrators, vivid descriptions of the commonplace, and surprising, revelatory endings. High Notes collects many of the greatest works from his sixty-year career. His most famous act of reportage, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” (Esquire) dwells on the private side of the man known as The Chairman of the Board, without interviewing the subject directly. Talese later revealed more details of the assignment with the essay “On Writing... Read Full Review

  • Seven wonders

    by Christopher, Adam, 1978-

    May 8, 2017

    Call Number: SF

    What if you woke up one morning with a super power? Super strength? Super speed? X-ray vision? Invulnerability? The ability to fly? What if, over the course of several weeks, you developed all of these powers and more? Does having these powers change who you are? More importantly, does having super powers automatically make you a superhero? These are just some of the questions explored in Adam Christopher’s novel, Seven Wonders.

    Tony Prosdocimi is a regular guy. He works a dead-end job at Big Deal (think Wal-Mart) selling computers and computer equipment, and he lives in a... Read Full Review

  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

    by Bui, Thi.

    Reviewed by: Vi Ha, Young Adult Librarian, Teen'Scape

    May 1, 2017

    Call Number: 740.9999 B932

    Some books need to be written to allow people the ability to safely experience things that they would otherwise might not ever feel or experience. Reading books and experiencing the lives of well-developed characters help foster the mental calisthenics for the people you meet day-to-day. As an example, we have frequent conversations on immigration as a policy, but not as commonly do we have conversations about the emotional devastation and trauma that comes with choosing to leave for a new country. Thi Bui’s debut graphic novel memoir, The Best We Can Do,  in its... Read Full Review

  • This Savage Song

    by Schwab, Victoria,

    April 24, 2017

    Call Number: YA

    What makes a monster a “MONSTER”? In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab explores the varying shades of grey in a world where almost anyone could be a monster and how to protect yourself from one of them, and better yet how to avoid becoming one.

    The Phenomenon plunged the world into chaos and the survivors became prey for the Corsai, mindless shadows with teeth and nails that strike from the darkness, and the Malchai, physical creatures in many respects similar to vampires.

    Verity City is one of the largest remaining areas of civilization. It is a city divided: North-... Read Full Review