October Book Review

Crazy for the Storm This hair raising, yet inspiring memoir, chronicles a tragic accident after Norman Ollestad’s chartered airplane slams into the San Gabriel Mountains which leaves Norman Jr., age 11, to face certain death, scaling down a vertical icy mountain, surviving against the odds. Norman’s detailed account of the crash and the emotional toll …

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September Book Review

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook The publication of Kitchen Confidential in 2000 propelled Anthony Bourdain to global stardom as an author and TV personality. Medium Raw, published ten years later, is a sequel. In his passionate and highly opinionated style, Bourdain holds forth on the …

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May Book Review

The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power Like some latter-day Edward Gibbon chronicling not the Roman Empire but the life of Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has devoted decades of his life to his multi-volume biography. This is book four of the series. Caro takes us behind the scenes to witness Johnson’s failure …

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April Book Review

A Thousand Acres Here is a book which I bought from the Friends’ Best Used Book Sale. Knowing nothing about it, I simply trusted the gold Winner of the Pulitzer Prize label on the cover and enjoyed every word. This is good literature folks, not ‘brain candy,’ and reminds me a little of the style …

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Summer 2013 Review

Pain, Parties, Work:  Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 This engaging book is only a partial biography of the tragic poet, and you don’t have to be a Plath fan to enjoy it.  In talking about Plath’s one month in New York as a guest editor at Mademoiselle Magazine, along with 19 other college …

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March Book Review

Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired “Upstairs Downstairs” and “Downton Abbey” As the third season of Downton Abbey winds down, the Library now has a new edition of the book that started it all. Margaret Powell tells the story of her life in service in wealthy British homes in a simple straightforward …

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February Book Review

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle Are you are a fan of Masterpiece Theatre’s Downton Abbey? Then you are in for a real treat with this fascinating glimpse into the life of the people, times and historic home that inspired writer Julian Fellowes for the PBS television show.

January Book Review

Nemesis: A Novel, by Philip Roth When Philip Roth announced his retirement from writing, I decided to read his final novel, Nemesis. It’s set in the steamy summer of 1944, in the New Jersey city that Roth calls “Equatorial Newark,” where a virulent polio epidemic erupts, striking down children.

The Dream is Over

This author is our canyon neighbor. I learned of his book when he was a guest on my talk radio show,* regaling listeners with tales of his world travels including adventures with John and Yoko Lennon. Dan, a professional mime, teacher and star in the film 2001 Space Odyssey, traveled through India and Europe resulting …

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