Staff Reviews

The Library Book
by Susan Orlean
Published 2018
Review by Kaitlin

 

Available at Downtown Library

 

Spring 1986 alarms sounded at the Los Angeles Public Library and a heavy smoke billowed out of the great building.  Hundreds of thousands of books were lost and even more damaged.  To this day, the mystery of who started the legendary fire, remains unsolved.

The Library Book combines a mix of many different subjects to create an exquisitely woven, page-turning novel.  Starting with the fire itself, running through the history of the Los Angeles Public Library and its many librarians and finishing up with the future of the library in the years to come, The Library Book has a little bit for everyone, as do modern libraries today.

Deadly Class- Reagan Youth
by Rick Remender; Illustrator: Wesley Craig  &  Lee Loughridge
Published 2014
Review by Johana

Held at the Dwight Library.

 

The premise feels familiar, young teen orphan having a hard time growing up and fitting in at school, but then you mix in the fact that the school Marcus has been recruited to is a school for assassins.  Normally the cliques consist of jocks, preps, nerds, and so on but in this high school you attend classes with children of Yakuza members, KBG agents, white nationalists, South American Drug Lords, CIA/FBI agents, and so on. Though the writing’s is fun and fast-paced it’s really the illustrations that shine in this book. This novel takes place in the 80s and the illustrators do an amazing job getting you to feel the underbelly of that timeline from the grittiness and color palette choices.  This author uses memories from his own youth such as drug usage, isolation, violence, depression, poverty and just amps it up to an even darker level.  I look forward to continuing the series.

The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings 
by Amy Tan
Published 2004
Review by Johana

Available at the Downtown Library

 

 

Though I’m a huge fan of Amy Tan, I’m not the biggest fan of memoirs so I skeptically picked up this book and boy was I blown away.  Being able to see things through the mind of Tan and seeing what inspires, motivates, and challenges her was phenomenal.  If you’ve read her previous works this book provides insight into what went into the creation of them and if you haven’t read then it provides the reader with a view into the the mind of a writer.  How for Tan a word isn’t chosen solely based on it’s meaning but also the way it feels on the tongue when saying it, the sound of it, the nostalgia even.  

Tan delves into her relationship with her mother, her cultural identity, history of family mental diseases, along with other difficult times in her life but it doesn’t come off as critical of others.  In her sharing of this we see her also trying to analyze herself and her life.

 

 

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