Lake Forest Park

Latest Staff Picks

From its modest birth to the fire that nearly destroyed it and its eccentric leadership and loyal patrons, Susan Orlean's loving portrait of the L.A.. Central Library is a history threaded with a true crime tale and the appreciation of a long-time user. No longer just a repository of books, the modern library partners with social service organizations to assist its varied patrons with access to technology, employment opportunities, healthcare, housing, and many other essential resources.

Picked by Emily

It's approaching that time of year where we all like to get cozy under our electric blankets with a hot apple cider in hand. If you're lucky, you might be surrounded by the ones you love the most during the magical season. It's also the perfect time to dream up hypotheticals like 'how much sustenance would mom provide if I had to resort to eating her during a blizzard in 1846?' or 'how does one overcome paradoxical undressing while suffering from hypothermia', which means you should obsoletely get this book.

Picked by Sarah C.

New York Times illustrator Nora Krug uses comics, collage, narrative and found documents to explore her ambivalent feelings of nostalgia and guilt for her German family's wartime past. A fascinating historical detective story!

Picked by Stephen

I am a horror reader with a wary interest in true crime. Hauntings and hellspawn are my bread and butter, but real life atrocities keep me up at night. This is a tactful victim-focused true crime book that doesn't linger on the lascivious details. Weinman's thesis is that the 1948 kidnapping case of 11-year-old Sally Horner serves as direct inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel 'Lolita', a notion that Nabokov himself protested. For this reader, Weinman builds a strong case and exposes the dirty bones of what some consider Nabokov's masterpiece. 

Picked by Dean

I've come to expect a certain element of speechlessness every time I finish a Shusterman novel. A few audible gasps, some moments of gripping the pages so tightly in effort not to fall over in terror, etc. – the usual. However, I was not prepared for the thriller/urgent call to environmental action that is Dry. It's terrifyingly relevant to consider the ramifications of living in a world that's out of drinkable water. And the father-son Shusterman duo push this near-future dystopian narrative along around multi-dimensional and complex characters to wrestle with the question of how far desperation can take humans away from their humanity. It's been days since I read it, but I'm still haunted by this book.

Picked by Claire

I'm a sucker for coming-of-age novels, more so when the setting is a crumbling English castle. Cassandra is a witty, observant girl on the cusp of adulthood. Her family is in a perilous financial situation: her father probably isn't writing another groundbreaking novel, her stepmom has retreated to London, and her sister pins their salvation on their new, wealthy American neighbors. A lesser-known work by the author of 101 Dalmations, suitable for adult ad teen readers alike!

Picked by Danielle

Don't let Baldwin's disheveled and confused look on the cover of this book fool you - he remains, to this day, to be one of the few authors able to address America's original sin (racism) in such a succinct and challenging way. Although written in 1963, these short essays are applicable to our current situation. Whether you've thought about issues of racial justice for a long time or a short time, (or "a minute" as the kids say) this book is a must have.

Picked by Josiah

Meet Amber. She's immobilized in a hospital bed, unable to move or speak but capable of hearing all that goes on around her. How she got here is the one thing she doesn't know. What don't we know about Amber? Everything.

And you'll have to read to the very end to find out if she's lying.

Picked by Deborah

Middle-aged math professor Boe thinks the adventurous days of her youth are long gone. But when her best student goes missing, she must venture out across a terrifying dreamscape, pursued by malicious gods, to retrieve her. A beautifully written, economical little masterpiece about resiliency, second chances, and the power of women's stories.

Picked by Sarah