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Fall Traditions: Reads


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an ostrich and Big Bird
Tina Lerno, Librarian

Ostriches versus Turkeys. That age-old problem. (Is it? Well, for this blog post, the answer is yes). Which big bird do we Angelenos love more? And I'm not talking just in the looks department; both make for good eating.

Ostriches were brought to North America from Africa in the 1880s....

Indians accept proclamation

November is Native American Heritage Month. The land that now constitutes California once housed the most diverse population of indigenous people in the Western hemisphere, with 150 different Native American tribes inhabiting the area. While the population of these native people decreased...

3 childrens book covers
Tina Princenthal, Senior Librarian

A nightmare more terrifying than you can imagine…the party supply store on the eve of Halloween! The hordes of customers, the cries and screams of fitting-room meltdowns, flimsy costumes at horrifyingly high prices! Halloween can have a scary way of sneaking up on parents (and everyone else),...

Gravestones at New Calvary Cemetery

Southern Californians have panache. From the clothes they wear to the dishes they cook to the homes they make, they create their own style—often a mixture of tradition and innovation—and show it proudly. This flair for living does not stop once they stop living. As you can see from the photo...

3 spooky book covers
Daniel Tures, Adult Librarian

Tis the season for spooky old books, and one of my very favorites is a hidden gem—Ruth Edna Kelley’s The Book of Hallowe’en (1919). Kelley was a young librarian at the public library in Lynn, Massachusetts when she researched and wrote it, and for many years it was the only serious history of...

5 spooky movie covers
Christa Deitrick, Librarian

There’s not much going on this month in terms of new movies based on books. There’s Joker and The Addams Family, but those are based on comic book/cartoon characters, not book-length works of fiction. So we thought it might be fun to take a look in the rearview mirror at some of the scariest...

pumpkin spice bottles on a spice blend background
Tina Lerno, Librarian

It's that time of year—fall, aka autumn, aka pumpkin spice season!

While September 23 is the official first day of autumn, its unofficial start, however, is when a certain coffee company rolls out their pumpkin spice lattes. This year the madness ensued at the end of August when the LA...

rice crispy turkey leg and apple
Lauren Kratz, Children's Librarian

Do you want to build your children’s confidence, basic life skills, and encourage them to be a little less picky when trying new foods? Have your children join you in the kitchen! The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching and this would be an ideal time for the young people in your life to...

close up view of Forest Lawn Cemetery
Glen Creason, Librarian III

Halloween has become a huge, month-long celebration in these modern times and not just for candy and death as I recall it meant when I was a brat. Adults dress-up as much as kids now, and parties feature less bobbing for apples and more imbibing micro-brews that make participants forget this day...

ghost lady walking through the library
Tina Lerno, Librarian

When you work at Central Library, at some point in your career, you will be taken on a stairwell safety tour which guides you through a maze of long lonely corridors snaking under and around the staff side of our beloved building. When it was my turn, I had to ask, is this place haunted? And...

three young adult authors
Emily Meehan, Young Adult Librarian

Thanks to recent critically-acclaimed movies like Get Out, Hereditary, A Quiet Place, and It Comes at Night, many seem to think we are experiencing a “modern horror renaissance”, and I would agree. This term can accurately be applied to current Young Adult literature as well—and we're not...

Judy Aldrich, 8, receives pumpkin treat from Donna Lewis
Tina Lerno, Librarian

I'll be the first to admit it, Halloween is my favorite holiday! I love everything about it from the spooky atmosphere and dressing up in a costume, to—I confess—all the candy! As an adult and a parent, it's also been a joy to create costumes for my family and take my little ghosties trick or...

vintage Halloween postcard
Julia G, Librarian

Jack-o’-lanterns, trick-or-treaters, clever costumes and spooky decorations—Halloween is one of the most beloved holidays in the United States. But where exactly did Halloween come from? What customs and folklore evolved into the festive holiday we celebrate today?

Samhain: The End of...

page from the book, Something Smells
Lauren Kratz, Children's Librarian

The most popular question I receive during the month of October is, “Where are your Halloween books?” The library has a vast collection of Halloween and holiday books, but sometimes there are families that prefer not to participate in the holiday or have children that get too scared from...

collection of Manga book covers
Yoko Hata, Young Adult Librarian

Halloween is just around the corner, are you getting excited? Halloween is a very popular holiday in Japan these days with people observing all the traditions of wearing costumes and handing out candy for the children’s trick or treating night. Both children and adults love to dress up and have...

Lupita Leyva, Senior Librarian

Una de las más populares películas familiares actualmente es Coco de Disney Pixar. Esta producción está basada la tradición mexicana del Día de los Muertos, la cual se ha vuelto extremadamente popular entre las comunidades del sur de California. El Día de los Muertos es un producto del...

Lupita Leyva, Senior Librarian

One of the most popular family movies currently is Disney Pixar’s Coco. The movie is based on the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which has become extremely popular among the communities of Southern California. Día de los Muertos is a product of the cultural and...

children oohing at turkey coming out of the oven
Tina Lerno, Librarian

Thanksgiving in Los Angeles 100 years ago was an interesting affair. World War I was over, but troops were still stationed overseas, and most institutions continued to support the effort either by rationing food, or sending supplies “Over There.”

Los Angeles Times Historical Archive (1886-...

scary movies for Halloween graphic. pumpkins and scary figures in background
Keith Chaffee, Librarian

It's Halloween and what better time for a marathon of horror movies?

Horror movies are as old as cinema, and our streaming video services cover almost a century of horror, from silents The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Nosferatu (1922), to The Transfiguration, which premiered at the...

5 datos interesantes sobre el Día de Acción de Gracias
Ana Campos, Senior Librarian

En celebración del Día de Acción de Gracias, les presentamos 5 datos interesantes sobre este día festivo:

1. Aunque existe mucha discusión sobre si éste fue el primer Día de Acción de Gracias, la mayoría de los expertos dicen que se celebró en 1621 entre los peregrinos y los indios de la...

Maquillaje para el Día de los Muertos
Madeline Peña, Senior Librarian

Uno de los elementos que más admiro sobre el Día de los Muertos es el elaborado maquillaje de calavera que muchas personas lucen. Nunca me he atrevido a pintarme la cara de esta manera por miedo a verme como un Joker, en lugar de lucir como una estilizada Catrina. Por esta razón, pedí ayuda a...

Day of the Dead
Lupita Leyva, Senior Librarian

El Día de los Muertos

Read this article in English

A lo largo de la historia, comunidades a través del mundo han celebrado a sus seres queridos fallecidos. En muchos países occidentales, estas celebraciones suelen ser a finales de octubre o los primeros días de noviembre. Las...