Saturday, June 29, 2013

We Love Books With Happy Endings

Poor Helen.  After quitting college to marry a rich man from a well-connected Pasadena family, finding the perfect home in the Arroyo and getting her son enrolled in the best private school, she discovers that her husband is a philanderer.  Not only that, when he is killed by a runaway Rose Parade float, she discovers that she is penniless.  With the rug pulled out from under her, Helen needs to start over—and she does with great gusto in the laugh-out-loud novel Helen of Pasadena.  Not only does Helen rise again, but she finds romance with the perfect man—a professor from the Huntington Library. 

Author Lian Dolan delivers this wonderful romantic comedy wrapped up in a bow for readers looking for a great summer book by a local author.  Ms. Dolan and her sisters worked together on a radio program called The Satellite Sisters before she moved to Pasadena and started writing.

Double your pleasure after reading Helen of Pasadena.  The Monrovia Library also owns Dolan’s second novel Elizabeth the First Wife.  Elizabeth is satisfied with her life.  She teaches Shakespeare at Pasadena City College, isn’t jealous of her accomplished family and is okay being divorced from an actor husband.  Everything is thrown up in the air when she takes a summer job working at Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival.  Like Helen, Elizabeth is a smart and warm woman and the books about them have just the right touch of romance.

 Can’t get enough Lian Dolan. Read her website or listen to her weekly podcast at 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

MADAME SECRETARY: Books about Secretaries of State

It took 208 years for an American woman to take office as the Secretary of State.  From 1789, when John Jay was Secretary, to 1997, when Madeleine Albright was named to the post, all Secretaries were men.  The 3 women who eventually became Secretary of State were each fascinating in their own right and represented the United States’ foreign affairs during some very tumultuous times. They are Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (2009-2013).  Read the Monrovia Public Library’s books  by and about these dignified and interesting women.

Madame Secretary: A Memoir  
Read My Pins:  Stories From a Diplomat’s Jewel Box

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington
The Secretary: A Journey With Hillary Clinton From Beirut to the Heart of American Power  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Not Just for History Buffs - These Are True Page Turners

When the summer months are here we want books, even history books, to read like exciting bestselling novels.  Nathaniel Philbrick, winner of the National Book Award, frequently writes about the part of the world he knows best—New England.  The Monrovia Public Library has three of his most popular books that vividly capture the heartbeat and heartbreak of history and introduce us to colorful, little known personalities.

His newest is Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution, which looks into the minds of both the Americans and the British and focuses on how a battle became a flashpoint for the Revolution.

In Mayflower: A Story of Community, Courage and War Philbrick tells the true story of who the Pilgrims were and why and how they came to America. He also explodes the Pilgrim myth that the newcomers treated Native Americans in a welcoming way.
 In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex is the compelling tale of a whaling ship that left Nantucket only to be sunk in the middle of the ocean by a whale. As the crew drifts in lifeboats, it fights for survival.  When this gripping story was first reported with great detail and drama in 1820, it later inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rosa Parks Was NOT Just a Timid Seamstress

Did you know that Rosa Parks is the only woman and only the second African-American who laid in state in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.?  Honored for her tremendous contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, she is remembered for her 1955 act of defiance when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger and in doing so advanced the cause of American justice. The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis is a new biography that rewrites, correctly, the story of a woman who was not a timid seamstress with tired feet, but an activist who knew exactly what she was doing.  The “real” Rosa Parks shine through in this very readable biography. 


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Personal Branding in Resumes Tha Land Interviews

Don't worry if you didn't attend the first Brown Bag Workshop. You're welcome to this one. Bring your resume so you can polish it up by adding your personal branding statement.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Khaled Hosseini Strikes Gold Again

One of the most anticipated books of 2013 will soon be on the shelves of the Monrovia Library.  Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, which together have sold more than 38 million copies, has written a new novel called And the Mountains Echoed.  Set in Afghanistan, this is the story of a brother and sister, how their father gives away the sister to a wealthy family and how that decision reverberates through the generations.  Hosseini’s ever present themes of sacrifice, familial bonds and the longing for home make this a very special story and give readers a greater understanding of Afghanistan, where Hosseini’s books are always set.

Click to enlarge picture.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Heartbreak of Memory Loss: Four People Tell Their Tales

These are can't miss books currently on the new book shelf at the library.
Click on the images below to see the covers and read the summaries.