Monday, October 24, 2016


Does your kitty scratch sofa legs? Does your dog hide under the bed when the garbage truck thunders up the street? Does your bird pluck off its feathers? Pet owners, otherwise known as human companions, frequently ponder why their animal friends misbehave as they do. 

The Monrovia Public Library has some books by an expert that may offer answers to your pet questions. Nicholas Dodman, DVM or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world’s best known animal behaviorists. English by birth and educated in Scotland, he moved to the United States to become a faculty member at Tufts University School of Veterinary Science where he oversees the Animal Behavior Clinic. Dr. Dodman’s books are not just informative, but highly entertaining to read.

Pets on the Couch: Neurotic Dogs, Compulsive Cats, Anxious Birds is about the new science of animal psychiatry. Revealing the close proximity of animal and human mental well-being, the good doctor mixes personal stories and case histories to share how behavioral issues can be solved. While this work focuses on psychology, biology and pharmacology are also front and center in this must-read book for pet lovers. Readers have commented positively on how this book has proactively helped solve problems for which it did not seem there were solutions. 

Less a how-to book and more a look at some individual cases of difficult animal behavior, If They Could Only Speak: Understanding the Power Bond Between Dogs and Their Owners addresses not just behavior issues, but the role of humans in the lives of pets.

Check out these books and more today at the Monrovia Public Library!

Monday, October 17, 2016


Are you a Southern California native, or maybe a newcomer exploring our cultural history? Is retro your thing? Does the word vintage make your heart sing? Do you remember Disneyland when there were E-tickets for popular rides, when apartment houses were designed like Hawaiian villages, and when ranch houses with backyard barbecues summed up the American dream?

And, do you need a good laugh? Charles Phoenix is your zany author of choice. This showman of kitsch, who dresses in thrift store duds, was raised in Ontario the son of a used car salesman and found his niche when he started presenting hilarious slide shows and writing books about our recent past. His colorful tomes, fun to page through before returning to the beginning for a good read, can be found at the Monrovia Library.

In Southern California in the ‘50’s : Sun, Fun and Fantasy Phoenix highlights the nostalgia for the good life—dining in theme restaurants, driving convertibles, visiting tourist attractions and swimming in sparkling pools. He uses vintage photos, classic menus, and starburst graphics to show California as an optimistic promised land. 

Long before digital photography there was Kodachrome, the Kodak film of choice for color photos. Charles Phoenix shows off spectacular prints in Southern Californialand : Mid-Century in Kodachrome. Exuberant photos of favorite local venues, from shopping centers to resorts, in the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's capture the past. Americana the Beautiful also displays fabulous '50's photos, but this time of the whole nation. 

Enjoy these vibrant coffee table books that will make you smile all the way down memory lane.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Mountain lion sightings in Monrovia and other foothill towns are not unknown. Local newspapers, news stations and even a recent National Geographic article carry stories of these indigenous cats who wander nearby mountains and occasionally traipse into suburban areas. And, of course our community is no stranger to coyotes who run down the streets, bears that wander through our yards and deer who dine on roses. 

A new book, When Mountain Lions are Neighbors: People and Wildlife Working it Out in California by Beth Pratt Bergstrom, explores the relationship shared by human and native animal species and how they can co-exist without bringing harm to each other. Find the book at the Monrovia Library.

The author personalizes the stories of wildlife by focusing on some well-known animals. A mountain lion dubbed P-22 treks from his home in the Santa Monica Mountains via 2 freeways and ends up in Griffith Park. A fox family lives in the Silicon Valley and fascinates its tech neighbors. The book also emphasizes solutions to current problems, like how a future wildlife corridor crossing the 101 Freeway could save animals who need to safely move from different territories without being hit by cars. 

This is a thought-provoking and enjoyable book that readers will think about the next time they see an animal crossing their yard.