Friday, October 29, 2010


A dark look at a possible future for mankind is presented in this engrossing novel by Justin Cronin. The entire world has been infected by a lab created virus. Originally developed to create super soldiers out of condemned criminals the experiment made them into monsters with the capability to infect and spread their disease throughout the population. These "virals" have reduced the world's population to a few small scattered enclaves of healthy humans who struggle to live off the land but with resources are running out have to seek other solutions. This must be done while avoiding the the virals who are very similar to vampires in that they are sensitive to light, infect humans by biting them on the neck and are capable of a degree of mind control. Ultimately the survival of mankind rests on the shoulders a six-year-old girl who will have to face the enemy in a battle of wills to determine the fate of the humans.

An unusual take on vampires is a perfect read for Halloween weekend--spooky enough to make you want to keep the lights on and suspenseful enough to keep you reading. Since the current weather forecast is for rain, this one is also a good reason to stay inside curled up with a good story.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

LA as Subject Archives Bazaar Follow-Up

(Photo courtesy USC Libraries/ Marius Constantin)

The (new and improved!) LA as Subject website has posted a slideshow and feature article from last Sunday's Archives Bazaar, held at the beautiful Doheny Library on the USC campus.

Roughly 80 exhibitors, including the Glendale Public Library's Special Collections, filled the library's two first-floor reading rooms, while panel discussions and film screenings took place throughout the day a floor above.

It was our second year in a row taking part in the Bazaar, and once again we had a great time sharing our collection with researchers, students, and local history buffs (with their own Glendale stories to share in return). Plus, we visited with plenty of wonderful museum, archive, and library folk with great Los Angeles-themed collections of their own.

We're already looking forward to the 6th Annual Bazaar next year--see you there!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

LA as Subject's 5th Annual Archives Bazaar, Saturday, October 23rd

The Glendale Public Library will be participating in the 5th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, presented by LA as Subject and hosted by the USC Libraries on Saturday, October 23rd.

The free event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Doheny Memorial Library on USC’s University Park Campus.

LA as Subject is an alliance of libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions dedicated to preserving and celebrating Los Angeles's rich history and culture.

The complete Archives Bazaar program, with parking information, a list of participating institutions, and a schedule of panels, film screenings, and author events is available here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One Book/One Glendale 2010: Los Angeles Noir

The Glendale Public Library is proud to present its 2010 Citywide Reading Event: Los Angeles Noir.

The book, edited by Denise Hamilton, takes Noir into the 21st century with an anthology of short stories, written by well-known local authors, and set in different Los Angeles neighborhoods. Each story reaches into the hardboiled roots of Noir, but with a modern twist and a diverse locale.

Visit the Library's One Book page for complete information on the book, the authors, and the events taking place throughout the month, and
become a fan of One Book/One Glendale on Facebook to receive updates and reminders.

The One Book/One Glendale...for younger readers title for 2010 is the graphic novel Amulet: The Stone Keeper, by Kazu Kibuishi. Visit the Glendale Public Library's Children's Room Special Programs page for complete information on events taking place in October and November.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Written in 1985 by relative of an assassinated Chilean president, Isabel Allende's The House of The Spirits continues to weather challenges against it because of the inclusion of certain language and sex. Fortunately this work of magical realism endures and we get to peek into the lives of the very unusual Trueba family as their story unfolds against the backdrop of a politically turbulent, yet unnamed country.

The original review:
Starred Review */ A strong, absorbing Chilean family chronicle, plushly upholstered--with mystical undercurrents (psychic phenomena) and a measure of leftward political commitment. (The author is a cousin of ex-Pres. Salvador Allende, an ill-fated socialist.) The Truebas are estate-owners of independent wealth, of whom only one--the eventual patriarch, Esteban--fully plays his class role. Headstrong and conservative, Esteban is a piggish youth, mistreating his peons and casually raping his girl servants . . . until he falls under the spell of young Clara DelValle: mute for nine years after witnessing the gruesome autopsy of her equally delicate sister, Clara is capable of telekinesis and soothsaying; she's a pure creature of the upper realms who has somehow dropped into crude daily life. So, with opposites attracting, the marriage of Esteban and Clara is inevitable--as is the succession of Clara-influenced children and grandchildren. Daughter Blanca ignores Class barriers to fall in love with--and bear a child by--the foreman's son, who will later become a famous left wing troubadour (on the model of Victor Jara). Twin boys Jaime and Nicholas head off in different directions--one growing up to become a committed physician, the other a mystic/entrepreneur. And Alba, the last clairvoyant female of the lineage, will end the novel in a concentration camp of the Pinochet regime. Allende handles the theosophical elements here matter-of-factly: the paranormal powers of the Trueba women have to be taken more or less on faith. (Veteran readers of Latin American fiction have come to expect mysticism as part of the territory.) And the political sweep sometimes seems excessively insistent or obtrusive: even old Esteban recants from his reactionary ways at the end, when they seem to destroy his family. ("Thus the months went by, and it became clear to everyone, even Senator Trueba, that the military had seized power to keep it for themselves and not hand the country over to the politicians of the right who made the coup possible.") But there's a comfortable, appealing professionalism to Allende's narration, slowly turning the years through the Truebas' passions and secrets and fidelities. She doesn't rush; the characters are clear and sharp; there's style here but nothing self-conscious or pretentious. So, even if this saga isn't really much deeper than the Belva Plain variety, it's uncommonly satisfying--with sturdy, old-fashioned storytelling and a fine array of exotic, historical shadings. (Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 1985)

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