By Mattilda Bernstein SycamoreCity Lights Publishers, $15.95, 192 pages
The End of San Francisco by wild new person and activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is fascinating trip into the current world-changing zeitgeist in the city. It gives great insight into the alternative life of the city, especially the LBTG community that is in an uproar here. There is not a boring minute in this memoir, which is frenetic. It also captures the historical beatnik frenzy of being in the United States as a tourist seeking a home for one’s own unusual ways. Not everything is quite right with the community explored here, …
By Jeryl Brunner
Globe Pequot, $14.95, 288 pages
This guide to places and activities in Los Angeles is by journalist, celebrity interviewer, and magazine correspondent Jeryl Brunner. It includes references to parks, museums, restaurants, shops, landmarks, events, beaches, galleries, and hidden locations by various personages native to, or familiar with, the area. Divided into six main chapters, each with its own preface and color photo, the book also contains an introduction and an index. Information (street address, website, phone number) is provided at the end of each recommendation.
My City, My Los Angeles veers towards fluff and initially comes off as blog entries …
By Kim Ghattas
Times Books $27.00 368 pages
If you thought you understood the events of the four years Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, you were wrong. The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power is the ultimate inside look at one of America’s most polarizing figures, during an equally polarizing period in the country’s history. Part political biography, foreign policy narrative, and personal memoir, The Secretary combines all the best aspects of these genres into a wonderfully complex story of nations and the people who run them.
Growing up in Beirut, Kim Ghattas never imagined one day …
By Mellini Kantayya
Ako Dako Press $11.00 212 pages
Kantayya is, as the title suggests, an actor and a writer, but her face is not plastered all over the tabloids. She is a different kind of actor, a – as she herself admits – less successful one. This lends a unique angle to her quasi-memoir. This is not a story of her rise to the top but rather of her experiences in the middle. This is an aspect of the entertainment industry that is not often explored, and it is fascinating.
Her tales of being an “under five” (lines, that is) on a soap opera …
By Anne Cassidy
Walker Childrens $16.99 320 pages
The Murder Notebooks: Killing Rachel is about a boy named Josh and girl named Rose. Their mother and father have been missing for five years, and the police are drawing a blank in searching for them. Rose’s old best friend Rachel had reported in a letter to Rose that she had seen Rose’s parents alive. Rose also receives very odd notes from Rachel about going insane. Mysteriously, Rachel was murdered, and whenever Josh and Rose get close to the answer, more people die. The only climax was the mysterious part when Rachel died. We thought Rachel wouldn’t …
By Josh Farrar
Walker Childrens $16.99 304 pages
From the moment he sees Bijou, Alex is in love. They live in different parts of Brooklyn, but St. Christopher’s School for Boys and St. Catherine’s School for Girls are close, and the 7th and 8th grade students can mingle at St. Catherine’s dances. Alex reads up on Haiti, where Bijou is from, and takes French flash cards to the next dance, hoping to make an impression.
“Sometimes I do not understand people. I do not understand them at all. Why would she tell me to go back to my country? Isn’t America supposed to be the …
By Harald Hansen
Harald Hansen $5.99 420 pages
Jeremy Fade is a successful engineer turned unsuccessful software salesman after making a lateral move within his company in the hopes of making more money. The good part of that, for a character in a novel, is that author Harald Hansen has the opportunity to put Fade in interesting places, such as universities, where he can have interesting conversations with interesting people who say interesting things. For instance, this light-hearted observation about modern American culture: “Ah ha!” said Ahbed. “The new form of American puritanism. You want the sex in your culture, but simultaneously don’t want …
By Cecil Castellucci, Sara Varon
First Second $15.99 96 pages
Theodora is a perfect duck with a perfect life. She does everything just right. She does everything a good duck would do. Every night she wishes on the stars that everything would stay the same. But one day, Theodora finds a new duck, Chad, has moved in next door. He has strange sculptures around his yard and even stranger music playing. When all the other ducks fly south for winter, Theodora stays behind, only to discover Chad also stayed behind. Theodora is not happy, but one night when she goes out to wish on …
By Roy MacGregor
Tundra Books $8.95 176 pages
The Screech Owls and the Night they Stole the Stanley Cup, by Roy MacGregor, showcases the adventures and mystery faced by youth hockey players Travis, Nish, and the rest of their team. These boys go through a whirlwind of misadventures in the story. Nish and Travis are determined to save the one thing that makes National Hockey League players get on the ice: that is, the one and only Stanley Cup.
This story of brave adolescent hockey players sadly does have a dragged-out introduction, which MacGregor could have sped up in my opinion. A little later into …
By Brae Wyckoff
LR Publishing $12.99 242 pages
The Orb of Truth came as rather a pleasant surprise. To be strictly truthful, the whole adventure fantasy genre has been one avoided ever since the professor in a long-ago course in Chaucer warned his class that J.R.R. Tolkien should be avoided as he wrote ‘fake English mythology.’ It was decades later that a friend said, “But isn’t mythology supposed to be fake?” It’s a pretty good counter-argument, you must admit.
Fans of Tolkien or Terry Brooks, those readers who enjoy the quests of little forest-like creatures accompanied by dwarves and such fighting off completely evil shape-shifting …