Monday, July 25, 2016


What do you need to make this summer a more relaxing experience? Here is a cool basket of books, all found on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library, to help you enjoy the hot days of summer.

Hear the whirring of mosquitos when you are sitting outside on a patio chair? Try Naturally Bug Free: 75 Non-toxic Recipes for Repelling Mosquitos, Ticks, Fleas, Ants, Moths and Other Pesky Insects. Author Stephanie Tourlas offers ideas for using herbs and essential oils to make insect repellents that are safe for humans and pets and are cheaper than store products. Readers will also find the book’s ingredient dictionary useful. 

And who wants to cook in summer? Eat What You Love: Quick and Easy by Marlene Koch and It’s All Easy: Weekday Recipes for the Super Busy Home Cook by celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow put the accent on healthy meals that can be prepared with little time and fuss. Nice photos accompany the imaginative recipes so you can preview what you'll make!

Are you going to paddle around the pool this summer or maybe brush up on the techniques that will result in getting a good work out? Scott Bay’s Swimming Steps to Success is a simple guide that shows how to get comfortable in the water and perform strokes with the proper form. 

It can be hard to relax with so much to do in the heat of summer. To get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, what is more relaxing than a comfy chair and a good book? Dorothea Benton Frank is a bestselling author who writes witty romance novels set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Her newest novel is All Summer Long, about a longtime married couple from New York who are contemplating a move to the South, an idea that draws the two apart. 

Happy reading!

Monday, July 18, 2016


In summertime, a reader’s fancy frequently turns to novels that are page-turners which can be read on the beach, in an airplane, on the backyard chaise lounge, or maybe just on the living room couch. Here are some of the newest fiction titles at the Monrovia Public Library to add to your summer reading lists.

The Girls by Emma Cline has received kudos from reviewers. This debut novel is about teenage Evie who thinks she is escaping a mundane life by befriending a group of girls, but becomes part of a cult similar to the Manson family. Readers can guess where the book is headed—murder and mayhem—but the book is extremely compelling. Evie’s unquestioning obedience to the cult’s leader is just one of the topics that readers will mull in their minds long after the book is closed.

You will not be able to avoid thinking about Alex Haley’s Roots when you pick up Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. Two 18th century half-sisters from Ghana are separated and about to live startlingly different lives, one as the wife of an Englishman and the other as a slave. Their stories span 250 years and generations of descendants who live the African and African-American experience. This is a book for those who love multi-character sagas.

What happens to a group of college friends when they reunite years later as neighbors in the hot spot of Brooklyn? Emma Straub answers this question with the witty and biting Modern Lovers, told from different perspectives about young folks who have become trendy middle-agers with children of their own. Relationships take front and center in this rich portrait of modern life.

Friday, July 8, 2016


Summertime and reading make for a great combination. What’s on the Monrovia Public Library shelves that might pique your interest? Let’s take a look at some of the latest, most riveting non-fiction books! There's something here for every reader!

Television watchers know journalist Anderson Cooper for his work on CNN, but may not know that his mother Gloria Vanderbilt was once one of America’s best known celebrities, an heiress to a famous family fortune. Long before O J Simpson, the divorce proceedings of her parents was called the trial of the century. In the touching The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love and Loss, the two correspond with each other about their past and present in a series of candid conversations. 

 If American history is your topic then look for Nathaniel Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution. Philbrick, known for his meticulous research and captivating storytelling skills, contrasts two iconic personalities, both generals during the tumultuous times prior to independence. This sweeping narrative reads like good fiction.

The Supreme Court is never far from the headlines when delivering its latest decisions. Then Comes Marriage: The United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA is written by Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who argued the cause of gay marriage before the court and won. The book not only presents the legal aspects of the landmark case, but also gives an intimate view into the lives of Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer, who wanted to recognize their relationship as a married couple. 

So much has been written about the intelligence of primates, but The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman reveals that our avian friends are not bird brains. Instead they are smart, tool-using creatures. The author wisely mixes science with fascinating tidbits to make this a marvelously readable book.