Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nancy Silverton Signs The Mozza Cookbook at Chevalier's

Meet Nancy Silverton -- co-owner of Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, and Mozza 2 Go -- and her co-authors, Matt Molina, Executive Chef of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, and writer Carolynn Carreno, for a signing of their new book The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes from Los Angeles's Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria at Chevalier's Books on Sunday October 16th at 10am.

Silverton trained at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in London, England and at the Ecole Le Notre in Plaiser, France. She was the co-founder and head baker at La Brea Bakery as well as the head pastry chef at Campanile Restaurant, both in Los Angeles. She opened these two businesses with her ex-husband Mark Peel.

Nancy Silverton's new cookbook serves up delicious, popular dishes from her eateries -- as exciting and satisfying as anything that might be served in Italy. The detailed, easy-to-follow recipes; the author's lively, encouraging voice; and her intimate, comprehensive knowledge of the traditions behind this delectably decadent cuisine make this the ultimate must-have Italian cookbook.

Pre-order your book today!
phone: 323-465-1334
email: chevaliers@earthlink.net

Monday, September 19, 2011

Guest Book Review by Caroline Eagly Cummings

Moon Over Manifest
by Clare Vanderpool

Review by Caroline Eagly Cummings

Have you ever wondered about your family's past? Well so does Abilene Tucker in the historical fiction book Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned by her father. Ever since Abilene got a bad cut on her knee her father Gideon has never been the same. For the summer he sends her to live with his friend in Manifest, Kansas, the town he grew up in. While she is there she stumbles across hidden mementos in the floorboard of the house she is living in. One of them is about a person called the Rattler. So Abilene and her new friends Lettie and Ruthanne go on an adventure, and on the way Abilene finds out about the secret history of Manifest.

I think an important theme in this book is secrets because once Abilene finds out the secret of why her father abandoned her she understands him better. Also, there are a lot of secrets in this book that Abilene finds out. I don't know for sure why the author wrote this book but maybe she was thinking that if you learn about your parents as a kid, you might understand them better as an adult. The book affected me because it made me kind of wish I could solve a mystery too, like Abilene.

I made two connections from the book. When people in the book started dying from influenza, it reminded me of a book called Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson. In Fever 1793 thousands of people die in Philadelphia because of the Yellow Fever Epidemic. Also in the book there is a part about war, which reminds me of the wars going on today.

If you like historical fiction with a touch of mystery and sadness, this is the book for you. If you like this book you would also like Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White, and Fever 1793. On a scale of one to ten I would rate this book a 9 1/2. This book is definitely a very good book.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mini Book Review: "Feynman"

written by Jim Ottaviani
art by Leland Myrick
coloring by Hilary Sycamore

When I was pregnant I remember reading Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman (along with other books about physicists or mathematicians) with the hope that the baby would eventually become a physicist or mathematician. Oddly, it didn't work, but I've had a fondness for Feynman ever since, for his humor, his wild and crazy nature, his charisma, his genius.

So imagine - a book length comic book (or, if you prefer, graphic non fiction book) about one of the most fascinating physicists ever. Perfect for budding scientists ages 14 or 15 and up (due to strip club interludes and iffy hotels which might give some parents pause) because it provides a window into the childhood of a brilliant scientist and gives an historical overview of the 20th century physics community in which Feynman was one of the shining lights. It also offers provocative questions about physics, though you don't need to understand theoretical physics to enjoy the book.

An important subplot of the book is the relationship between Feynman and his younger sister Joan. Without his support, back in the day, her ambitions to be an astrophysicist probably would have been quashed.

The comic strip format is not particularly innovative considering its outrageous subject, but the writing is good, the format works well in telling the story of Feynman's personal life and

I suspect Feynman would have been pleased to be the star of a book length comic book.

--Liz N.

Cassandra Black signs "Twinkle"

Cassandra Black will be signing copies of Twinkle on Sunday September 25th from 11am - 1pm.

Ignite Your Imagination! The story of the only firefly in Insectropolis who cannot light up. Twinkle Ray, daughter of Ultra and Violet Ray, lives in the garden of Lila Periwinkle along with the ants, crickets, bees, spiders and butterflies in this fantastical insect city where the insect and bug children attend Insectamentary School.

It is here that Twinkle is teased and tormented by a group of high voltage firefly girls who find it electrifying to short circuit her self esteem. Twinkle faces the biggest challenge of her life when these same girls who have tortured her, now need her help.

Jonathan Auxier to sign "Peter Nimble & His Fantastic Eyes"

Jonathan Auxier will be signing copies of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes on Saturday September 24th from 1 — 3 pm.

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher—a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes.

When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick—a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat—and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dodger Legend Wally Moon Coming to Chevalier's

Larchmont fans of the Dodgers are undoubtedly familiar with the name of Peter O'Malley, the beloved former owner of the storied team who is a resident of the Larchmont area and a frequent shopper here at Chevalier's. So naturally we are especially pleased to be bringing in former Dodger legend, Wally Moon on September 14th to talk baseball.

Students of the game and those with an abiding love for baseball's "Golden Era" may well remember Wally Moon. Winner of the National League's Rookie of the Year award as a St. Louis Cardinal, Moon also led the Los Angeles Dodgers to three World Series Championships.

Avid baseball fans as well as those with a taste for classic Americana may delight in Moon's tales of his hardscrabble childhood in rural Arkansas, coming of age as a two-sport star at Texas A&M, struggling in the minor leagues and finally living the essence of the American Dream playing for two historic teams.

Wally will be signing copies of Moon Shots at Chevalier's on Wednesday, September 14th, from 5 - 7 pm.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mini Review: "The Headhunters"

Mini Book Review

Headhunters: A Novel
by Jo Nesbo

Jo Nesbo, as all you Scandinavian mystery fans know, is the author of the Detective Harry Hole series. When I read The Redbreast, I must admit feeling queasy about a detective named Harry Hole, and the novel struck me as very cynical, very misogynistic.

I just read Headhunters, not part of the Harry Hole series, so I didn't have to read about a Harry Hole on every page. Although this novel is also cynical and misogynistic, I have to admit I couldn't put it down.

Roger Brown, the narrator, is a headhunter/art thief (!) who is obsessed about his height (short, naturally) and making money to support his tall (naturally), beautiful wife and her art gallery.

I won't give away the plot, but it's rollicking mean fun.
-Liz Newstat

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review of Curious George Gets a Medal

Meet our first two young book reviewers, Audrey Cummings, age 4, and her sister Caroline Cummings, age 10.

(Caroline's review of "Belle Prater's Boy" appeared in an earlier post.)

Now we're happy to post a review of Curious George Gets A Medal by her sister, Audrey, our youngest blogger ever.

Curious George Gets a Medal
by H.A. Rey

In Curious George Gets a Medal, a postman delivered George a letter. George wrote a letter himself and put ink in a pen and made a puddle. Then, he took a shovel to take out the water but he couldn't. So he went to a shed at the farmer's house and got out the pump. Then a cow let him ride on his back.
George went to a museum and he thought the nuts on the tree were real. But they weren't. Then all the people there found him and put him in a cage. The Man in the Yellow Hat came and got him ready for the flight. Then he went into a rocket shp! And he landed and everyone cheered for him and the professor of the museum gave him a gold medal. On the medal it said: "To George, You were the first one to fly in the smallest rocket ship."

I liked this story very much because Curious George always does stuff silly. The thing that is good about it is that he's so funny. He's naughty and he is funny. You can buy this book if you want a good laugh!

Audrey Elena Cummings, Age 4
Student at UCLA Lab School, Pre-K

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Art of Fielding" Review

The Art of Fielding

by Chad Harbach

"The Art of Fielding" grabbed me on the first page with "This was the second Sunday in August, just before Schwartz's sophomore year at Westish College, that little school in the crook of the baseball glove that is Wisconsin." Definitely a baseball book.

I don't usually finish novels I don't love or really like, or really need to read for some reason because there are so many brilliant novels, and so little time. While reading "The Art of Fielding" I kept asking myself, why don't I just put this down? And I'm still asking myself.

It's a sentimental book, which baseball books often are, possibly because baseball addiction, whether playing or watching, begins at an early age, provoking adult memories of languid summer afternoons with Dad, nostalgia about glorious players, fifteen inning games, double headers on dog days. Peanuts and hot dogs are the madeleines of baseball aficionados.

But if you love baseball writing (and I do) you might want to read "The Art of Fielding" in spite of its 500 pages, which could (I think should) have been edited to 300.

Whenever the novel bogged down with its contrived characters and names and not very believable love affairs, there would be a real feeling for college baseball, and some very beautiful writing. But when Harbach veered from baseball and the relationships between the team members the story sagged.

"The Art of Fielding" is also the title of a fictional book by the fictional retired shortstop Aparicio Rodriguez, and the bible of Henry Skrimshander, a young shortstop out of South Dakota who, because of his fielding skills, is miraculously offered a scholarship to Westish College on Lake Michigan, home of the Westish Harpooners (Melville is name dropped quite a lot). This is because he's discovered by the captain of the team, Jewish catcher and kingmaker, Mike Schwartz, who is one of the more interesting characters in the book, though you might want to check out "The Catcher was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg," by Nicholas Dawidoff about the real life Jewish catcher, a far more fascinating character than Schwartz.

Yes, the characters' names are not subtle. For example, Quentin Quisp and Guert Affenlight. Fortunately Quentin is a minor player in the book, but Guert, the 60 year old President of Westish College whose love affair with Owen Dunne, a 21 year old scholar, disinterested ball player, and roommate of Henry, is central to the novel.

Owen and Henry meet cute. Owen introduces himself to Henry in their dorm room, "I'll be your gay mulatto roommate." Then he asks Henry if he's familiar with President Affenlight's "seminal -- ha! --work", "The Sperm Squeezers". It's this kind of contrived nonsense that feels like a bad sitcom.

Pella, wayward daughter of Affenlight, and the only female of the five main characters, seemed to be invented by an editor who felt the novel needed more heterosexual romance. Nothing about her rang true.

Yet I finished the book and it was compelling in its way. So check it out for yourself.

And if you really love baseball writing there's always Roger Angell, Roger Kahn, Bernard Malamud, Nicholas Dawidoff, W.P. Kinsella, Mark Winegardner ("Veracruz Blues"), Pat Jordan ("A False Spring", a truly great baseball book), Updike on Ted Williams ("Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu"), etc. etc.

-Liz Newstat