A Little Romance

As a treat to our readers this Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked Mara Alpert, a librarian at the the Los Angeles Public Library, for some steamy reading recs. See what she has to say about one of her most passionate pastimes:

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“Ah February… the month we surround ourselves with red hearts, chocolate candy, thoughtful gifts, and the companionship of that special someone (if we’re lucky)… ROMANCE in all caps.  Now would be an excellent time to indulge in a little romantic reading.  I’m going to share some of my favorite romance novels (all of which can be checked out with your Los Angeles Public Library card) in the hopes that you will be inspired to add a little more romance to your life.

Book Jacket for: The unsung hero

Suzanne Brockmann – Perhaps you like your males alpha… well, Navy SEALs are among the alpha-est.  They can do anything – fix things, rescue people, crack jokes, and make love like nobody’s business.  If you want adventure, suspense, a few gun fights, and a lot of romance, try Suzanne Brockmann.  You’ll want to start at the beginning of the Troubleshooters Series with The Unsung Hero, in which Navy SEAL Tom Paoletti returns to his hometown to find the girl he left behind (now a doctor), and glimpses a terrorist who’s supposed to be dead.

Book Jacket for: Faking it 

Jennifer Crusie – You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  Okay, possibly your tears will be the result of laughing so hard, but she also knows how to tug those heartstrings.  Ms. Crusie loves neurotic dogs, eccentric families, and the odd illegal activity.  Her characters are not perfect, by any means.  They’re real people – with a kick.  My absolute favorite is Faking It, which tells the tale of Tilda Goodnight, who has been pretty much supporting her family (and trying to forget about the wildly illegal forged artwork in the basement) for years, and her growing relationship with the mysterious Davy Dempsey (whose past has a few larcenous twists as well).

Cover of With This Ring

Carla Kelly – Regency Romances generally take place in and around England in the early part of the 19th century, almost always among the aristocracy.  If you’re only going to read one modern Regency author, Carla Kelly is the one to pick.  Her characters are complex (even the minor ones), she has a great feel for both humor and pathos, and she KNOWS HER HISTORY.  She also doesn’t shy away from sensitive issues – many of her books deal with war and its aftermath, and it’s not pretty.  An excellent example would be With This Ring, which tells the story of Lydia Perkins, who defies convention to volunteer in a dilapidated church full of wounded and dying soldiers after the Battle of Toulouse, and Major Sam Reed, who finds her altogether admirable.

Book Jacket for: Trust no one

Jayne Ann Krentz / Jayne Castle / Amanda Quick – She writes under three different names, and she writes EVERYTHING… contemporary humorous romantic suspense (with a little paranormality thrown in), romantic science fiction (with a little paranormality thrown in), and historical romances touched with mystery, humor, and oh, just for fun, a little paranormality thrown in.  Okay, and she does also write more traditional romantic suspense – her most recent title, written under the name Jayne Ann Krentz, is Trust No One, in which Grace Elland finds events from her past rising up to play a terrifying part in her turbulent present, after she discovered the dead body of her employer.  Fortunately, an awkward blind date has connected her with the one man who can help.

Book Jacket for: Naked in death

Nora Roberts / J.D. Robb – Here is another author with so much to say that she needs two personas to say it (over 200 titles and counting).  As Nora Roberts, she writes contemporary romances spiced with mystery and suspense (every once in a while a little magic appears); as J.D. Robb, she has one of the best futuristic/police procedural/thriller romantic series around (well, the only one around), built around one of the most interesting married couples in any genre – police lieutenant Eve Dallas and her mega-rich, mega-hunky, ex-con husband Roarke.  I like Roberts’ books, but I LOVE Robb’s.  Start the long-running series with Naked in Death, and prepare yourself for a wildly romantic ride.

Enjoy!”
–Post by Mara Alpert

Top Image: From the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection. February 7, 1947. Andre ‘Bandi’ De Toth, enterprise studio director receives his Valentine present early from his wife, screen star Veronica Lake, the gift being a four place Navion airplane.

Young Literati Family Day

On Sunday, the youngest of the Young Literati took over Central Library for a magical morning of books, crafts, photo shoots, face painting, story time, food, and all around fun.

In the first-ever Young Literati Family Day, hosted by Honorary Chair Samantha Hanks (pictured left with her family), Young Literati Members celebrated their love for libraries with the tiniest readers–many of whom signed up for their first library card!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Families piled into the Children’s Library for an uproarious reading of “Dinosaurs Vs. Libraries” by comedian and actor Paul Scheer.

Kids of all ages enjoyed the festivities, which helped to raise awareness for the Los Angeles Public Library’s mission to provide over 100,000 children a week with critical learning and literacy resources.

Many thanks to the dedicated Members of the Young Literati for their lively support of the Library Foundation!

If you are not already a Member, learn more about this group of culturally and civically engaged Angelenos in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who raise awareness and support for the Los Angeles Public Library.

A Valentine for You!

The Library Store has your back this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re celebrating a lifetime together or an awkward night with someone you just met, we’ve got the cards and gifts for you. Stop on by Central Library and visit us! You can do better than just a box of chocolates from the drugstore…

Will you be mine?
The Library Store

P.S. The Pride & Prejudice Playset is a great gift for your little valentine.

The Library Store’s Annual Post-Holiday Sale!

IT’S HERE!!!

Starting today (Monday, January 5th), visit The Library Store‘s annual post holiday sale at Central Library to find tons of great items marked down as low as 50% off*! Everything from children’s gifts and books, to t-shirts and boxed notes, cards, calendars and more! Quantities are limited, so make sure to visit while supplies last. New items will also be added daily.

*No further discount on sale items.

 

12 Months of the Los Angeles Public Library

Every year thousands of Angelenos take part in the many educational and cultural programs, resources, and services at the Los Angeles Public Library. Before we look ahead to what will be an exciting new year at the Library, here’s a look back at some of the diverse activities supported by the Library Foundation in 2014. Thanks to all of our Members for joining us throughout the year and for making these invaluable experiences free and available to all.

January
ALOUD kicked-off a new year of eclectic programming unique to L.A. and the Library. In January, ALOUD paid tribute to Los Angeles’ unofficial poet laureate, Wanda Coleman, to honor what she did for poetry and who she was in Los Angeles: ­a larger-than-life figure who for decades reminded us how to be our own most authentic selves.

February
The Library Foundation’s coziest fundraiser of the year, The Stay Home and Read a Book Ball, took place, inviting Angelenos to support the Los Angeles Public Library without leaving their homes. Last year, folks stayed home in record numbers–raising the most funds ever in the long history of this favorite event! Save the date for the 2015 ball on March 1st.

March
Young Literati Members gathered with L.A.’s best and brightest for the Sixth Annual Young Literati Toast to raise funds for the Los Angeles Public Library’s “Summer Reading Clubs.”  The evening featured Young Literati Chair Amanda Fairey, emcee Busy Philipps, and music by Moby and Jenny Lewis, along with readings and comedic interludes from Nick Kroll, Lizzy Caplan, and Tig Notaro.

April
After flocks of authors and booklovers strolled the lawns of USC for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books last April, participating authors and Library Foundation Members continued celebrating the literary life of this city late into the night at the Third Annual “Book Drop Bash” with more than 400 people gathering at the downtown Central Library.

May
A new exhibit marking the 75th anniversary of Union Station opened at the Central Library. No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station was the first exhibition to examine the significance of the architectural design and cultural politics of the historic station, and included a series of related events like ALOUD panels and a changing display of model trains by various train clubs throughout Southern California.

June
The “Summer Reading Club” kicked off to foster literacy and learning while students were out of school last summer. Los Angeles Public Library’s longest running program motivated over 30,000 kids to crack the books and engage in innovative ways with storytelling.

July
The Library Foundation welcomed Ellen Lipson in her new role as President of The Council. Throughout the year, The Council hosted many special programs and fundraising events to benefit and raise awareness for the Los Angeles Public Library like a special evening and book signing with Norman Lear.

August
The Young Literati gathered in Santa Monica for a proper send-off to the season of long sunsets and frosty cocktails. The Summer Social offered Members the chance to raise their glasses to this past year of incredible support for the Los Angeles Public Library, and also get a sneak peek of what’s on the horizon for this dedicated group of engaged and informed Angelenos.

September
Supporters of the Library Foundation gathered at the historic California Club to celebrate the Foundation’s 22nd anniversary with a gala to benefit the great Los Angeles Public Library. This year’s benefit honored Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz with the Los Angeles Public Library Literary Award and bestselling author Judith Krantz with the Foundation’s Light of Learning Award for her devoted advocacy for the Los Angeles Public Library.

October
Throughout the month, Angelenos joined the Library Foundation and the Los Angeles Public Library for an epic quest to reinterpret Homer’s The Odyssey through a Southern California lens. With over 70 Odyssey-themed activities at the branch libraries for children, teens, and adults, including bike riding with the Cyclops and pop-up appearances by a commemorative Homer Simpson poster, the Odyssey Project culminated with a marathon reading of the epic poem at the Central Library.

November
ALOUD’s award-winning series journeyed to the west side as critically acclaimed Irish novelist Colm Tóibín was interviewed by New York Times bestselling L.A. local Rachel Kushner. The pair took the stage at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills for a conversation about Tóibín’s new novel, Nora Webster, while also discussing their shared passion for some of literature’s most memorable characters.

December
The Library Store got their motors running for the holiday season and sent The Library Store On Wheels to sites across the city to offer unique gifts from our carefully curated collection that gives back to the Los Angeles Public Library.

Happy New Year from the Library Foundation!

Look back at other great photos from the year here.

If you are not a Member already, please consider becoming a Library Foundation Member today to take part in these special events.

The Library Store: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

This season, find the gift that keeps on giving at The Library Store, where all purchases benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Stop by in-person, online, or follow us on Twitter to see when The Library Store On Wheels is headed your way!  

If you’re not quite sure what to buy, we’ve got a few suggestions:

Pass the Peas

Bring the whole family together with this tasty word game!  It’s a perfect gift to challenge your child’s spelling skills.

 

 

 

 

Biobu by Ekobo

Give these eco-conscious bowl sets to that little foodie. Designed by Boo Louis and made from sustainable bamboo.

 

 

 

 

Eric the Memo Elephant

Eric is cute as well as functional. He’s the perfect gift for the person who has everything, but might need a friendly reminder.

 

 

 

 

Scrabble Coasters

Know someone who is a word-game enthusiast? They probably already have Scrabble, but do they have the classic word game coasters?

 

 

 

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Any voracious reader will have this highly anticipated novel on their wish list. It’s bound to become an American classic.

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe Dice

Roll the dice on this gift. The master chef will love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get a Jump Start on Holiday Shopping

Jump start your holiday shopping by visiting The Library Store On Wheels at one of these upcoming stops:

Saturday 11/15 @ Artists & Fleas in Downtown LA 11am – 6pm

Sunday 11/16 @ Artists & Fleas in Downtown LA 11am – 6pm

Sunday 11/30 @ Patchwork: Santa Ana Edition 11am – 5pm

Sunday 12/7 @ German Christmas Market 10am – 4pm

Saturday 12/13 @ Renegade in Grand Park 10am – 5pm

Sunday 12/14 @ Renegade in Grand Park 10am – 5pm

Saturday 12/20 @ Artists & Fleas in Downtown LA 11am – 6pm

Sunday 12/21 @ Artists & Fleas in Downtown LA 11am – 6pm

See you there!

Lost & Found at the Movies: An Odyssey Sneak Peek

This Friday, October 10, all roads lead to Ithaca at our next installment of Lost & Found at the Movies. As part of the Library Foundation’s month-long L.A. Odyssey Project, Lost & Found series curator John Nein will take us on an epic examination of The Odyssey on film. From George Melies and the earliest days of cinema, to the “sword and sandals” era, to the Coen brothers and Mad Men, what is it about The Odyssey, antiquity, and man’s quest for home that so entices the imagination? Watch this sneak peek below of what’s to come when we look at Homer in Hollywood.


Make your free reservation for Lost & Found at the Movies:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Ithaca
Friday, October 10, 7:30 PM
Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library
Featuring professor Alex Purves (UCLA Department of Classics)
with series curator John Nein, Senior Programmer, Sundance Film Festival

Fall Stops for The Library Store On Wheels!

The Library Store On Wheels is headed your way this fall!

Saturday 9/20 @ Artists & Fleas in Downtown LA 11am – 6pm

Sunday 9/21 @ Artists & Fleas in Downtown LA 11am – 6pm

Saturday 9/27 @ Fall Into Literacy Book Festival in the City of Wilmington 10am – 3pm

Sunday 10/5 @ CicLAvia at the Broadway Theatre District Hub 9am – 4pm

Wednesday 10/22 @ Lit Crawl LA: NoHo Round 1 and 3 (Stay tuned for details!)

For more updates, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Machinations at the Library

Everyone loves the Los Angeles Public Library because it’s “free and open” to all, but what happens when artists are invited to creatively respond to the Library’s space and collection? Last Saturday night, ALOUD invited the Machine Project, one of L.A.’s most experimental and dynamic programming teams, to reimagine the Central Library. Doors opened at 8 PM after Library hours, and art enthusiasts spanned the block as if the historical library was holding its own downtown art walk. Crowds poured in to a bustling second floor—with music, dancing, drinks, and art installations flashing from every arm of the rotunda.

“Machine has presented public art at beaches, parking lots, museums, and sidewalks, but the architecture of the Library afforded us a whole new opportunity,” explains Mark Allen, the executive director of Machine Project. “I was greatly influenced by the crazy intersection of style forming and surrounding the rotunda space. From colonialist murals, 1990s meets Disneyworld, to abundant model train sets, the diversity of styles inspired a medley of performances working with the Library’s varying aesthetics. Everyone got to experience a night of wandering around the assorted architecture wondering what was going on, creating a sense of intrigue embodying the diverse aesthetic of the library itself.”

Here’s a look at some of the revampings that “freed” up our typical associations with card catalogs, stacks of books, and the hushed beauty of the marbled rotunda.

“Hallelujah Already”

Dancer Jmy James Kidd (pictured above) along with multi-instrumentalist and composer Tara Jane ONeil took center stage in the rotunda with a sound and dance improvisation inspired by a photograph of legendary choreographer Bella Lewitzky in the LAPL’s photo collection.

“Capsule Seance Projection”

Inspired by used books unearthed in a library book sale and featuring an omniscient head atop a stack of books, director Joel Fox created a site-specific video installation called “Capsule Seance Projection” in Children’s Literature.

“Shades of the Jeepneys Planet: Exploring the Known Unknown”

Jeepneys, named after colorful, iconic public transportation vehicles populating the Philippine islands, originating from discarded U.S. WWII army jeeps, capture the spirit of reinvention in their work to create other-worldly sounds, movements, and visuals, manifesting “electro Pinayism waves” that travel through space and time to heal and inspire love–here they landed in Teen ‘Scape where they pulsed over tables, bean bags, and computer stations.

“Untitled”

Artist and writer Jibade-Khalil Huffman crossed the concept of a card catalog with social media to make an interactive installation that invited guests to tweet questions throughout the night.

“No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station”

Last but not least, as part of this summer’s special exhibit “No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station,” train clubs set up spectacular model trains throughout the Getty Gallery that took audiences beyond your average train depot and into elaborate worlds of haunted houses and crop circles, weddings and funerals, and even a secret nightclub for the wild-at-heart. Learn more about upcoming model trains on display at Central Library.

All photos by Javier Guillen.