Spring break is here, so it’s time for the Around Town annual reading list.
1. If your kid has escaped to Valley Forge this week, don’t miss the “Memoirs of Joseph Plumb Martin.” Plumb Martin enlisted in the Connecticut militia in 1775, then joined the Continental Army. He was at the battles of Brooklyn, White Plains, Fort Mifflin, Monmouth and the Siege of Yorktown. He also lived through Valley Forge. He published his memoirs in 1830 to draw attention to the plight of Revolutionary War veterans, whose benefits had been cut by the U.S. government. Sounds familiar? You can pick up a Dover or Signet edition for less than $7 because the copyright has expired.
2. Another worthy war history is Eugene Sledge’s “With the Old Breed.” Sledge kept notes while fighting with the Marine Corps in the Pacific during World War II. The book is spellbinding. Sledge has a clear, youthful voice.
3. For those who work at JPL or otherwise love science, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku is back. He’s the author of “Hyperspace.” His latest is “The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind,” which addresses “consciousness from a physicist’s perspective,” telepathy, telekinesis and artificial intelligence. Wow!
4. Just in time for summer school, the “For Dummies” series provides Common Core Standards For Parents For Dummies “explains this new set of standards, what it means for students, and how parents can get their children prepared for the school year.”
5. This year’s top regional cookbook is “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food” by Roy Choi, the founder of the Kogi BBQ food trucks and other places to eat. When Anthony Bourdain came to L.A., he made a beeline for Roy Choi, which is proof positive. Choi’s recipes are great.
6. If you use an old-school pocket diary, the Moleskine 2014-2015 Weekly Planner hit the shelves this week. Moleskine diaries look professional, but they come with tiny stickers that look like blow dryers to mark your hair appointments.
7, 8 and 9. In the tradition of in the “Shadow of Greatness” (7) about USNA ’02 and Bill Murphy’s “In a Time of War” (8) about West Point ’02 and LCHS grad 1st Lt. Todd Bryant, Tom Sileo has written “Brothers Forever: The Enduring Bond between a Marine and a Navy SEAL that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice” (9). Two Naval Academy roommates were killed three years apart, but they are buried together at Arlington. They are Travis Manion, a Marine, and Brendan Looney, a Navy SEAL. One was killed in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan. They were best friends and roommates at the Academy. They are now “brothers forever.”
10. Bob Inman’s “Finding Los Angeles By Foot: Stairstreet, bridge, pathway and lane,” was published last February. Not sure what a “stairstreet” is? Inman describes 175 miles of public stairways, pedestrian walkways and other hidden paths all over the city, including Glendale, Pasadena and the Arroyo Seco, with photos, maps and historical tidbits.
Happy reading! Enjoy your spring break!
ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @anitabrenner.Copyright © 2015, CT Now