Bookmark This! #11

Summer’s officially here!  Start this season of sun, warmth, picnics, and beach outings with some recommended reading about Cleopatra, a captain in another universe, time management, the cancellation of bedtime, and a soldier’s adventure.


Theresa Morrison is the Chief Financial Officer for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.  Her first book was hand made by her mother who is a seamstress, and it was called her “quiet book.”  It taught her how to tie her shoes, count to ten, button her shirt and many other things.  In her spare time, Theresa takes long hikes, cooks, attends plays, and mentors children and young adults.

Theresa recommends Cleopatra: A Life by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff.

“I really appreciate storylines with shrewd intrigue and strategy, and this book has both; it was fascinating and well-written.  I enjoyed reading about the details of Cleopatra’s personality and character which showcased exactly how very shrewd she was and why one would consider her the most influential woman of her time.  I’m all about ‘girl power’ and really respect that she was she a linguist who spoke nine languages, excelled in studies of classical Greek literature, art history, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and medicine (as well as female health and education).  Everything about her captivated me – from writing books about poisons and cosmetics to her rich political knowledge to her lavish tastes.  I think of Cleopatra as the first diva, and she set the bar high.”


Mara Alpert has been a librarian in the Children’s Literature Department since 1999 and spends her time answering interesting questions, helping to organize an amazing collection of books and other media, writing puppet shows, presenting story times of various sorts, and talking about books on the radio.  When she is not doing all of that, she’s reading.

Mara recommends Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold.

“I’ve been a fan of Bujold’s fabulously entertaining space opera saga starring the fascinating Miles Vorkosigan for years, and have always had a soft spot for his handsome, goofy, smarter-than-he-acts cousin Ivan (often referred to as ‘That Idiot Ivan’ by his loving relations).  Ivan finally gets his chance to shine and find true love from the unlikeliest of sources in this laugh-out-loud romp, in which he rescues a princess (of sorts) with what he foolishly believes will be a brief marriage.  Then, the in-laws – deposed crime lords (of a sort) – arrive on Barryar searching for treasure beyond imagining.”


Benjamin Miranda is a Member of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and considers the Los Angeles Public Library his second home, which he mentioned has helped him a lot.  He is a student of the Adult Literacy program, wherein “every session is a great experience being tutored person-to-person or online.”

Benjamin recommends What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do by Laura Stack.

“I would like to share with you this book: What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do by Laura Stack.  The title grabbed my attention because these days, I need to prioritize my tasks and ‘do-not-do’ lists.  I am working with a team to create a project called ‘Organized Planning: Planning to Succeed’ – a model which focuses on repeating a process that ultimately becomes a part of life.  The book describes a ‘synergistic strategy’ and ‘spider web effect’ in order to overcome this struggle with prioritizing.  I want to ‘do less and achieve more.’  I recommend this book because its teachings and strategies can be applied to any aspect of my personal and professional life.”


Diane Olivo-Posner is the Senior Librarian of Children’s Services for the Los Angeles Public Library.  Previously, she worked as the Early Literacy Specialist, Outreach and Bilingual Librarian for the Children’s Literature Department.  Surviving the Blue Line, snowboarding, hiking and sharing great books are her top priorities!

Diane recommends Bedtime is Canceled by CeCe Meng.

“Two mischievous children write a note that finds its way into a reporter’s desk.  Next thing you know, a newspaper headline reports that bedtime is canceled.  Social media and TV spread the word, and kids throughout the area enjoy a wild rumpus all night long.  Neyret’s digitally created illustrations have an appropriately comic and cartoonish tone. Great bedtime read-aloud.”


Natalie Arps-Bumbera is an intern with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. She once spent an entire day immersed in a great book at the library, until a librarian found her and sent her back to her 3rd grade classroom, where her teachers had been frantically searching for her.

Natalie recommends Baudolino by Umberto Eco.

“Umberto Eco’s Baudolino tells the tale of a soldier with a vivid imagination and flair for language and lies as he sneaks a court official out of Constantinople during the Crusades.  To distract his charge from the dangers they face, Baudolino relates the account of his meeting with Frederick the Great, his quest for the mythical Prester John, and his exploits in lands populated by unicorns, eunuchs, and satyrs.  Baudolino is so fantastic in nature, fast-paced, and witty that not only will you gain academic and literary ‘street cred’ by exploring concepts in semiotics and engaging in a philosophical discourse about the subjectivity of truth, you will have a blast doing so. Baudolino does what great books do best: leave you with a sense that the truth or fallacy of a tale matters far less than the hope it brings you, or the compassion with which it was told.”


Looking for more summer reading?  The Los Angeles Public Library has more than six million books in print, audio and digital formats that are available through the Central Library, 72 branches and

If you would like to provide a reading recommendation for an upcoming issue of Bookmark This! contact Erin Sapinoso at [email protected].

Happy reading, and stay tuned for the next issue!

–        Posted by Erin Sapinoso

Share on