Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pole to Pole with Michael Palin (on DVD)

Pole to Pole
by Michael Palin [DVD 910.4 Pol] 

Traveling from the North to South Pole, avoiding air travel when possible, Palin goes through 16 countries in 141 days: North Pole to Greenland, Norway, Finland, the USSR, Turkey, Egypt, Cape Town, then a flight to South America, traveling down to Punta Arenas and then to Antarctica where he reaches the South Pole. This is not the first or last trip of this caliber that Palin has been on, but that does not diminish its originality or excitement. Like his other adventures including Full Circle, Himalaya, Sahara and New Europe, I whole heartedly recommend it to a traveler or adventurer.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Around the World in 80 Days or Full Circle, also starring Michael Palin.] [Also available in traditional print format.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this mini-series ] | [ Pole to Pole on the official Palin’s Travels web site ]

Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

Have you watched this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Peril at End House by Agatha Christie (on CD)

Peril at End House
by Agatha Christie [Compact Disc Christie] 

While Poirot is on vacation he says he is there no way that a case could distract him. He finds it difficult to resist however; whilst chatting to a young woman at the hotel she narrowly escapes being shot at during their conversation. Like others in this series, there are twists up to the very end. The narrator, Hugh Fraser, does a good job with the different voices for the characters. He actually plays the part of Captain Hastings in some of the TV adaptations, who is the character who narrates the story. Although not my favorite story in the series so far, it's still really good.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Death in the Clouds or Murder in Mesopotamia, also by Agatha Christie] [ official Peril at End House page on the official Agatha Christie web site ]

Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Star Trek 365 and Star Trek the Next Generation 365 by Paula Block

Star Trek 365
by Paula Block and Terry Erdmann [791.457 StaYb] 

In this year (2016) when the original Star Trek series will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, I’ve been enjoying revisiting some of my favorite Star Trek non-fiction behind-the-scenes books. Star Trek 365 is one of the best. Paula M. Block’s look back at the history of the production of the original series is chock full of rare photos and illustrations, many never seen in publication previously. Much like a Day-by-Day calendar, where you look at a different photo, comic or witty observation each and every day, Star Trek 365 (and the similar volume Star Trek the Next Generation 365 for the follow-up series) has 365 short chapters, filled with obscure yet fascinating trivia and production minutiae. These books have an unusual format — they are short in height but very thick in content. The depth of research that went into assembling these treasure troves of Star Trek history is impressive.

These two books are definite must reads for anyone who truly considers themselves a Trekkie or a Trekker, but they should also prove to fascinating reads for general TV science fiction fans.

[ Star Trek 365 page at Memory Alpha ] | [ Paula M. Block page at Memory Alpha ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband’s Secret
by Liane Moriarty

The more I listen to audiobooks, the more I find that I especially enjoy listening to a reader with an accent. I don’t know why that is–what is it that we, especially mid-westerners who lack any type of accent at all, find so attractive about the dialect of people from another part of the world? It’s fascinating to me; and if that makes me shallow, so be it!

Anyway, beyond the lovely voice and accent of the reader, I found this book to be very entertaining and captivating. It focuses on three different women who, from the start, would seem to have little or nothing in common. As the story goes on, however, you find that their lives are incredibly intertwined. Although this book isn’t cataloged as a mystery, it certainly would qualify as one in my opinion. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I definitely felt a bit of the “whodunnit” suspense going on throughout the story!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, or Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple]
 
[ official The Husband’s Secret page on the official Liane Moriarty web site ]

Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Wild (on DVD)

Wild
[DVD Wild]

Cheryl Strayed’s blistering autobiography Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail was one of my absolute favorite reads three years ago, and when I heard that it was being turned into a biographical film to star Reese Witherspoon as Strayed, I was filled with both hope and trepidation. The book was such a personal story, and opened up so much of Strayed’s troubled life, in its exploration of how a 1000+ mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail allowed her to purge some demons and come to terms with loss, that I wasn’t sure a film would be able to honestly capture that emotion.
Admittedly, I am a fan of Reese Witherspoon, and she does turn in a marvelous, nuanced performance in Wild. However, the book is far more powerful, in part because the filmmakers had to telescope the book’s events and cut out several key moments from Strayed’s experiences. The cinematography is terrific, the supporting cast was fine. And the storytelling gimmick of jumping backwards and forwards in time is (for the most part) effective. However, the film just felt somehow…disconnected…from the emotional events that seemed so powerful in the book. If you haven’t read the book, I do recommend this film. However, I recommend reading the book (or listening to the audiobook, as I did) even more!

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Wild web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Toni Tennille: A Memoir by Toni Tennille

Toni Tennille: A Memoir
by Toni Tennille and Caroline Tennille St. Clair

Toni Tennille has been one of my favorite female vocalists since she burst onto the music scene with her Grammy-winning recording of “Love Will Keep Us Together” with husband Daryl Dragon back in 1975. Daryl Dragon was better known as “Captain of the Keyboards” in his position as keyboardist for the Beach Boys on tour and the name “Captain” stuck. Daryl soon brought along his girlfriend Toni to join the band as an additional keyboardist, giving her the distinction of being the only female to be a part of the Beach Boys touring band back in the 1970s. Since that time, Toni has distinguished herself with having a prime-time music show on ABC, her own talk show, and a successful run with an off-Broadway production of Victor/Victoria. She recorded her own series of music CDs of Big Band songs and has performed with orchestras all over the country. With what appeared to be a perfect marriage and successful music career, the world was astounded when Toni suddenly filed for divorce as she and Daryl neared their 40th wedding anniversary. This book explains in great detail what led to that decision and how Toni survived so many years in a loveless marriage. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to any fan of the Captain and Tennille.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try any of the Beach Boys book reviews, also by this reviewer.] [ official Toni Tennille web site ]

Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?
  New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Entropy Effect by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Entropy Effect
by Vonda N. McIntyre
 This is a really short novel that is available in print and on Hoopla’s digital streaming service as an audiobook. I listened to audio version on Hoopla and like the other Star Trek audiobooks there are some added in sound effects and music. In this story the Enterprise is called to transport a dangerous criminal to a rehab center. The prisoner is a physicist who has worked with time travel and has been accused of murder. There are crewmen guarding his cell, but somehow he rushes on to the bridge and murders Captain Kirk. Spock figures out what’s going on and decides something has to be done because the physicist has meddled with time travel to the point he created a deadly time warp, drastically shorting in the time remaining in the universe. Bones joins him in the mission and hopes to save Kirk too. If you liked the Star Trek movie where they went back in time to save the whales (IV: The Voyage Home), you’ll like this one too. I’d also appeal to readers who like time travel fiction.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the movies Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, or The Back to the Future Trilogy] [ official Entropy Effect page at Memory Alpha ] | [ official Vonda N. McIntyre web site ] 
Read more like this on the Star Trek: The Reading List booklist on BookGuide
 
Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?
  New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Monday, June 20, 2016

After You by Jojo Moyes

After You
by Jojo Moyes

For anyone who read (or watched) Me Before You this sequel provides much- needed answers to questions left hanging at the end of the story. What happened to Louisa? To Will’s family? How does a person move on when their happy ending isn’t what they thought it would be? In keeping with the style of ‘Me Before You’, ‘After You’ is by turns funny, unsettling, and heart-wrenching. Louisa cannot return to the quiet life she led before Will. Her journey to a ‘new normal’ is not smooth, but will feel familiar to those who have experienced loss & the grief that comes after.

If you loved the first book, but were left wanting more- then pick up After You.

[ official After You page on the official Jojo Moyes web site ]

Recommended by Shelly R.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
  New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Captains by William Shatner (on DVD)

The Captains
by William Shatner [DVD 791.457 StaYc]

In 2011, Star Trek actor William “Captain Kirk” Shatner released this special documentary, in which he sat down for extended conversations with the five actors who have succeeded him in the “Captain’s chair” in subsequent Trek series — Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek the Next Generation), Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek Deep Space Nine), Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek Voyager), Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer on Enterprise) and Chris Pine (James T. Kirk in the reboot movies starting in 2009).

In typical Shatner schmoose-fest style, the conversations these actors have frequently come back to Shatner and his own acting experiences, but it is still fascinating to watch these iconic combinations of performers as they interact. This production is perfect for true Trekkies and even for casual viewers of the various iterations Trek has had over its 50-year history, but would also be good viewing for anyone who considers themselves a student of television production, or who is curious about the impact of cultural phenomena on working actors — in other words, how did all these actors cope with the “fan” cults around Star Trek.

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official The Captains web site ]
 
Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
  New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dark of the Moon by John Sandford

Dark of the Moon
by John Sandford


I read one of John Sandford’s “Prey” books recently, and I loved it! A friend told me his Virgil Flowers series is also good. So I found the first in that series, which is this book. I think this series is GREAT!!! I loved the mystery, and I honestly did not see “whodunnit” until just when Flowers discovered it. Speaking of “that f***ing Flowers,” I would love to meet this guy in real life! Long hair, writer AND detective, wearer of jeans and concert/band t-shirts–sounds fabulous!!! The other characters were well enough developed to suit the story, as well. I truly enjoy Sandford’s writing style!

I’m just getting into mysteries, and both this series and the “Prey” series of Sandford’s can be considered on my ‘to read’ list!!!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Field of Prey, by John Sandford] [ official Dark of the Moon page on the official John Sandford web site ]

Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
  New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem
by Cixin Liu


This novel won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction novel, as voted on by science fiction fans at the World Science Fiction Convention. It is an English-language translation of one of China’s most beloved science fiction authors. It is also the first volume of a trilogy.

Told in alternating contemporary and flash-back sequences, from the perspective of several characters, The Three-Body Problem explores the ramifications of a “First Contact” scenario, in which the human being who is making long-distance contact with a potentially hostile alien race four light-years away, is a Chinese scientist who has lost her family in China’s Cultural Revolution, and who feels that humanity would benefit from an alien society coming to — most likely — subjugate us. This was a fascinating read, with a large cast of characters to follow — I was glad to have a list of the main cast at the front of the book to look back at as all the Chinese language names became a bit overwhelming.

In the end, while I appreciated the chance to read science fiction coming from another culture, I only gave it a five rating because large portions of the plot involved scientists regurgitating information to the reader — it felt a bit too much like being in a lecture hall. But, if you’re a fan of hard SF, and want to read something written with a different political and social bias that the vast majority of science fiction published for English-language readers, I do recommend it!

[ The Three-Body Problem page on Wikipedia ] | [ Cixin Liu page on Wikipedia ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
  New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo
by Cece Bell [j Bell] 


Cece has adjusted to life with a large hearing aid strapped to her chest, and she enjoys her all deaf school. When her family decides to move, and she leaves all her friends and must begin going to a school where she is the only deaf person, she is nervous that the other kids won’t like her and will make fun of her. When Cece gets a stronger hearing aide, she suddenly can hear her teacher wherever she is in the building: teachers lounge, hallway, even the bathroom. This seems like a super power and is the source of inspiration for her superhero alter-ego El Deafo. Cece learns how to accept her deafness, and how to navigate the world and the people in it.

I thought this book was somewhat inspirational. Cece struggles and even gives up at times, but in the end, she learns to be happy with who she is. This book is somewhat of a memoir, as the author tells about her life growing up hearing impaired.

[This book is a current Golden Sower nominee!] [ El Deafo page on Wikipedia ] | [ official Cece Bell blog ]

Recommended by Marie P.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
  New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Keep Moving and Other Tips and Truths About Aging by Dick Van Dyke on Compact Disc

Keep Moving and Other Tips and Truths About Aging
by Dick Van Dyke [Compact Disc Biography Van Dyke] 

Having enjoyed Dick Van Dyke’s very entertaining autobiography — My Lucky Life In and Out of Showbiz — a couple of years ago, I was excited to see that he had a new book out in 2015, and that he had recorded the audiobook adaptation of it himself. I was surprised, once I started to listen to this one that it wasn’t purely an entertainment biography, but was, instead, Van Dyke’s guide to how to live life as a senior. Van Dyke had just turned 89 at the time he was writing this volume, and looking back on almost 90 years of life, he has developed a number of personal philosophies and behavior choices that keep him happy and healthy and he’s happy to share with his fans. Don’t get me wrong — he does share quite a lot of stories about his life in showbiz, but frequently with an eye towards illustrating his points about lifestyle choices that lead to happiness and personal contentment.

Personally, I find his one most essential rule of behavior to be the most interesting — as the title of the book indicates, that’s “Keep Moving”. Van Dyke quotes a lot of statistics throughout the book, but one telling stat was that one of the most essential activities for maintaining a healthy and active mind in your senior years is to dance…and Dick dances every single day! A fun and enlightening volume, particularly entertaining as read by Van Dyke in audiobook format!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try My Lucky Life In and Out of Showbiz, by Dick Van Dyke (also on audio by Van Dyke).]

[ official Keep Moving web page from Weinstein Publishing ] | [ Wikipedia page for Dick Van Dyke ]
 
Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbø

The Redeemer
by Jo Nesbø

The libraries’ Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group finally got around to reading and discussing a Jo Nesbø novel for our April 2016 meeting. We ended up using this, the sixth volume in Nesbø’s Harry Hole series, featuring a brilliant Oslo murder investigator who’s also a struggling alcoholic, and who regularly faces career challenges and difficulties with his personal life. This particular volume in the series features an assassin who has come to Oslo to kill someone, but the wrong man is killed, and when a quirk of the weather traps the killer in Norway instead of allowing them to escape, they realized their mistake and stick around to fix the problem.

The characters are all well-drawn, particularly Harry himself, and the ruthless, determined killer. I didn’t really get a specific feel for Oslo and the other settings, other than as cold, drab, emotionally-draining locales. The plot kept pulling me along, as well as the curiosity to find out how Harry would deal with the larger issues associated with the case — he turns out to be the kind of honorable detective who doesn’t necessarily follow all of the rules — occasionally doing the “wrong thing” for the “right reason”. I ended up really liking Harry, even if the plot of the novel didn’t truly hold my interest.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the rest of the Harry Hole series, by Jo Nesbø]

[ official The Redeemer page on the official English-language Jo Nesbø web site ]
 
Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Godzilla (2014) on DVD

Godzilla (2014) 
[DVD Godzilla]

There’s a general rule of thumb among Godzilla fans that movie-makers should just let the Japanese movie studios make all the Godzilla films. This was especially true after the 1998 “reimagining” of the Godzilla mythology, starring Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno, directed by Roland Emmerich, which was pretty universally hated. It was therefore with some trepidation that I decided to watch the 2014 American-made Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards and featuring a large, mostly-American cast (including Bryan Cranston, fresh off his stint on Breaking Bad).

This version of Godzilla remains true to many of the standard Godzilla tropes, and the look of the creature is certainly an improvement over the the more lizard-like creature featured in the 1998 film. The special effects are tremendous in this film, as is the set design and especially the sound editing — Godzilla’s patented roar is back! The acting is fine — you don’t really expect top-notch acting performances in a giant monster movie — particularly Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Ken Watanabe. But ultimately, the enjoyment of a Godzilla film comes down to how well Godzilla itself is done, and this version of the creature was done very well. That being said, my biggest complaint about this film is the limited amount of time Godzilla itself spends on screen. For a “giant monster” movie, I was hoping more of the action would actually feature the “giant monsters”, and not the humans who are reacting to them. Still, an improvement over the 1998 film, and a fun movie to watch. After seeing this, I’m happy to know that the producers of this particular version of Godzilla plan to do a trilogy of films (the others to appear in 2018 and 2020), the third of which will recreate Godzilla vs. King Kong.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try any of the classic Japanese Toho Studios Godzilla films — most available online!]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Facebook page for this Godzilla movie ]
\
Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie on Compact Disc

Death in the Clouds
by Agatha Christie [Compact Disc Christie] 

Once again Mr. Poirot is in the right place at the right time. Whilst on board an aircraft a murder is committed. However, the detective is prone to air sickness and spends most of the flight sleeping. The victim had been in the business of lending money; her assistant had been given instructions to burn all her papers if she were to pass away. By doing so, figuring out possible suspects and motives becomes more difficult. But nothing is impossible with Poirot’s order and method. As with the rest of the series I’ve read so far, it’s enjoyable. I’d put it somewhere in the middle; neither the best nor worst. Perhaps not the best if you’re traveling by air anytime soon. It was a bit funny with a modern perspective; attempting to smoke cigarettes on a plane — oh dear!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Murder in Mesopotamia and Murder on the Orient Express, also by Christie]

[ official Death in the Clouds page on the official Agatha Christie web site ]

Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Dark Crystal on DVD

by Jim Henson and Frank Oz [DVD j Dark]

In 1982, Jim Henson and Frank Oz, fresh off the success of the comedic The Muppet Show (1976-1981) wanted to push the boundaries of storytelling with their puppetry, and the result was The Dark Crystal. Oz had also recently performed as Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, and the various fantastic creatures of The Dark Crystal bear far more resemblance to Yoda’s almost lifelike qualities than the obvious felt-and-strings appearance of Kermit and Miss Piggy. The Dark Crystal features a classic “epic quest” saga, in an exotic fantasy setting. Jen and Kira, a pair of young gelflings, find themselves in the middle of an epic battle between the forces of good (the aged Mystics) and evil (the hideous Skeksis), as the Dark Crystal, a source of Balance and Truth in their land, has shattered and they must seek to heal it or their world will suffer ruin. The look and feel of this film is tremendous, as are the designs of all the fabulous creatures that populate it. This film should appeal to both kids and adults (who may remember seeing the film when they, themselves, were kids). The music by Trevor Jones is one of my favorite film soundtracks. This DVD also features a marvelous “Making Of” documentary, which is well worth watching. If you’ve never experienced The Dark Crystal before, don’t pass it up now!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and featuring the same type of puppetry and fantasy setting. Or, the classic The Muppet Show, to admire the work of Henson and Oz and company in a more recognizable format.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

How I Fell In Love With a Librarian and Lived to Tell About It by Rhett Ellis


Robert Smith is the 37-year-old unmarried pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in fictional Clegmore, Alabama. He’s an avid library user for his sermons, especially the nonfiction section, so he’s eager to meet the new librarian, Myra Findley. Miss Findley is 24 years old and a recent library school graduate who’s eager to update the library. Robert is immediately smitten.

But there’s something a little, um, shall we say, off, about Miss Findley. As Robert and Myra sort out her issues and their relationship, someone is leaking info about Myra to City Council member Langston Long who is threatening to blackmail our new librarian so he can cut library funding.
A short read at 101 pages, this book is ideal for those who like light Christian fiction, uncomplicated mysteries, and happy endings.

[ Amazon.com’s Rhett Ellis author page ]

Recommended by Charlotte K.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

But Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds on Compact Disc

But Enough About Me
by Burt Reynolds [Compact Disc Biography Reynolds] 

While I’ve never been what you would call a “huge” Burt Reynolds fan, I’ve definitely seen my share of his movies–being a child of the 70’s. I can remember watching “Smokey & the Bandit”, along with just about every other living human I knew…there was something free, uninhibited about Burt’s laugh during that movie–I always remembered it and felt like he must really know how to have fun! Years later, when he was in “Boogie Nights”, I was impressed that he had such a serious side (despite the often funny, hokey parts of the film). He proved himself to me as a solid actor.
So when I saw that Burt had written a memoir, I knew I had to read it at some point. I saw the opportunity to check out the audiobook (read by Burt himself) and I seized it! It must first be pointed out that Burt Reynolds is now 80 years old, and you can hear it in his voice. But I loved this book all the more because it was read by him!

I am constantly amazed and impressed by the vast amount of people Burt has worked with and made friends with over the years. Of course, I knew about Dinah Shore, Angee Dickinson, Sally Field, Loni Anderson, and Jon Voigt, etc. But there are so many other famous people that he knows or knew, well. Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Ossie Davis, Dom DeLouise and many more. After describing his childhood and his relationship with his parents, Reynolds spends the rest of the book going over his many friendships, as they evolved and as he evolved as an actor. He mentions movies he’s grateful he was a part of, as well as films he passed on or was passed over for. He dishes on a few celebrities that he does not respect or just never got along with (think Joan Crawford, Raquel Welch, Marlon Brando). I suppose the whole book reads like a “Who’s Who” of Hollywood, but because many of the people mentioned are from a time when I was growing up, it appeals greatly to me.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try If You Ask Me (and Of Course You Won’t), by Betty White, and Wishful Drinking, by Carrie Fisher]

[ publisher’s official But Enough About Me web site ] | [ Wikipedia page for Burt Reynolds ]

Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Damned Busters by Matthew Hughes

Damned Busters
by Matthew Hughes


When Cheney Arnstruther refuses to sell his soul to the Devil, the cosmic order collapses. To set things right again, he teams up with both Heaven and Hell to fight crime as The Actionary! But he’s not the only one in town with incredible powers. A great read for theologists and super-hero fans alike.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Hell to Pay and Costume Not Included, also by Matthew Hughes] 

[ official Matthew Hughes web site ]


Recommended by Russell T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?  
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

GLOW on DVD

by Brett Whitcomb [DVD 796.812 Glo]

This is a documentary that tracks down the former Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. During the 1980s GLOW was a television show that featured lady wrestlers. This documentary tells the story of how the show started and where the stars are now. Interviews of the wrestlers today reveal how after applying to be on a TV show, they discovered at the casting that it was a wrestling entertainment show they had applied to. It also arranges a reunion meet up for the group. It was interesting that none of them actually were wrestlers, nor intended to be, but became so anyway. It’s a fun documentary and it’s not just for wrestling fans, if you are interested in television history, you should try this.

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official website for this documentary ]

Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

Have you watched this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Unbound by Jim C. Hines

Unbound
by Jim C. Hines

This is the third of Hines’ “Magic Ex Libris” quartet of novels — the fourth one is already out as well but I’m a little behind on my fantasy reading! As a result of the events of the second book, Michigan librarian/magic-user Isaac Vainio has had his physical connections to magic use stripped away from him, and he has been been ejected from the organization of magic users he belonged to. Simultaneously, a young protege he was supposed to protect has been taken by dark forces, and the two squabbling groups of “good guys” are finding themselves being defeated on multiple fronts by the ancient evil magician. Isaac’s quest in this novel is to try to find and rescue his missing protege, recover his stolen magical abilities, and stop the spread of evil in the world — all with limited resources and almost no allies to speak of. On top of that, but in this contemporary fantasy series, set in our modern world, the existence of real magic and the people who make use of it has now been revealed to the general public, making things even more complicated.
Though a lot happens in the course of this book, it still felt a little like a “bridge” volume in the series — an entry that carries the reader from the major events of volume two and connects with the connecting final volume. If you’re following Isaac’s journey, you won’t want to miss this, but Unbound is definitely not a place to jump into this series. None-the-less, I look forward to the final volume, Revisionary, which is high on my to-be-read pile right now!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Libriomancer, Codex Born, and the concluding volume Revisionary, all by Jim C. Hines]

[ official “Magic ex Libris” page on the official Jim C. Hines web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?
New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

Fool Me Once
by Harlan Coben

Maya was a Blackhawk pilot in the Middle East but is now retired from the military giving piloting lessons to the public. During her deployment, her sister had been killed, and her husband was murdered just two weeks ago. Even worse, she was a witness to his death.

Still reeling from her losses, she’s ultra-protective of her toddler daughter and places a nanny cam in the house — and witnesses her dead husband cuddling the girl. Stunned, Maya now attempts to unravel what the heck is going on.

This is standard Coben. His excellent writing pulls you into the story as we learn about all of the characters. But I gotta say, I didn’t like the female protagonist nor the ending. Don’t let this distract you from the excellent read and tangled mystery. I had several theories going as to what was going on, and he still managed to surprise me.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Three Graves Full, by Jamie Mason] 

[ official Fool Me Once page on the official Harlan Coben web site ]

Recommended by Charlotte K.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Star Trek Concordance by Bjo Trimble


The Star Trek Concordance
by Bjo Trimble [791.457 StaYt]

For any true die-hard Star Trek fan (i.e. “trekkie” or “trekker”), Bjo Trimble’s Star Trek Concordance is an essential part of your fannish library. First published as a fan edition, available only through fannish networks, Trimble was able to find a professional publisher, Ballantine, who put this book out in 1976 as an oversized trade paperback, complete with a unique design element – a spinning disc on the front cover with cut-out windows, which allowed you to spin to an episode title, or a stardate, or a writer or director, and see the corresponding entries within the book. The book itself gave detailed plot descriptions for every “original series” Star Trek episode (as well as the animated Star Trek series), complete with primary credits (writer, director, main guest cast). There were detailed alphabetical indexes to all things Trek — you could look up the entries for Andorians, or Tellarites, or the planets and characters featured in the 79 original episodes, and see how they connected with the rest of the original series canon.

This was all in the pre-internet days, before the existence of such wonderful sites as Memory Alpha, which serves the same purposes now. In 1995, Trimble put out an all-new edition of the book, still focused exclusively on the “original series”, but now updated to include the first 7 Star Trek feature films featuring the original cast, as well as some (but not all) episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space 9 that featured original series characters appearing in “new generation” stories. Both the 1976 and 1995 Concordances include quite a lot of fan art — something you don’t see in many of the other professionally published Trek non-fiction books. Having grown up using these two books as my ultimate resource for Classic Trek questions, I still love sitting down and browsing both volumes — I do use Memory Alpha, so I don’t ignore the online resources available to modern Trek fans, but I still use “do you have a copy of Bjo Trimble’s Star Trek Concordance” as my acid test on how devoted a Trek fan truly is!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try On the Good Ship Enterprise, Bjo Trimble’s personal memoir about her history with Star Trek, including her legendary write-in campaigns that saved the series from cancellation — twice!]

[ History of the Star Trek Concordance at Fanlore.org ] | [ Memory Alpha page for Bjo Trimble (with links to more info) ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

The Music of Star Trek (a Hoopla streaming file)

The Music of Star Trek
performed by The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra [on the Hoopla online service]

This album consists of the end titles to most of the Star Trek films and the television show themes performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. I thought it was a very well done performance. The original series is my favorite so I am most familiar with those tunes, but it was really nice to hear the Next Generation theme again because my dad and sister used to watch that series when we were younger. So it was overall enjoyable and I recommend it to Star Trek fans of any series or film (although the two newer movies are not included). It could also be enjoyed if you like orchestra music and want something non-classical. If you want to try this one you can check it out on Hoopla, which is a digital streaming service our library subscribes to. There is not much in the way of set up you simply go to www.hoopladigital.com (or follow a link from our online catalog) to create an account, and then stream the music through your browser. It’s nice that you don’t have to wait for these either. On OverDrive you do have to wait sometimes if an item is out to someone else, but not on Hoopla.

[If you like this item, you might like these too – You may also like the soundtracks to the two newer Trek films, also available on Hoopla. If you want an actual CD you could try Frontiers: Classic Science Fiction Themes. It has music from seven different sci-fi movies and TV shows including Star Trek, Logan’s Run, Total Recall and Alien, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.]
 
Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

Have you listened to this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!