Sunday, November 23, 2014

Monty Python's Spamalot (on CD)

Monty Python's Spamalot
[Compact Disc 782.14 Mon]

I got to go see the Broadway production of Spamalot when it was at the Lied Center a few years ago. This is the soundtrack to that production which is based on the film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is a parody of the legend of King Arthur. It's Monty Python, so you'd expect it to be funny, and it is. Even if you haven't seen the play, the lyrics will make you giggle. There is not a bad song on this album and even some of the titles are funny: 'I am not dead yet', 'The song that goes like this', and 'You won't succeed on Broadway'. If you like musicals or just want something humorous this CD is for you. I highly recommend it. You may also like Tom Lehrer's albums. These aren't from musicals but they are funny little songs. And now for something completely different, Michael Palin's travel DVDs - which I also highly recommend. -- recommended by Kristen A. - Gere Branch Library [ see Kristen's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Songs & More Songs by Tom Lehrer: His lyrics, His Music, His So-Called Voice, and His Piano, An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer, Michael Palin's travel DVDs.]

[Also available in Sheet Music formats.]

[ official Monty Python and the Holy Grail Web site ] | [ official IMDb page for the movie Web site ] | [ official Monty Python's Flying Circus Web site ] | [ official Spamalot Web site ]


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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, November 22, 2014

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
by The Oatmeal, a.k.a. Matthew Inman [741.5 Inm]

As a casual runner who sometimes obsesses about how much to run, the title of this humorous collection of essays and illustrations really caught my attention. Artist Matthew Inman, who goes by the moniker "The Oatmeal" in his online and print art, has penned a terrific volume filled with heartfelt observations about the obsessions some long-distance runners can fall into, counter-balanced by extremely humorous (and occasionally disgusting) art to supplement his observations. I enjoyed this a lot, but as with any other books by The Oatmeal, I find myself having to be somewhat cautious when recommending them. Inman's humor can easily diverge into the revolting and/or offensive. But, if you've got the stomach for off-color humor, you may find this volume exploring the author's tendency to run past the point of practicality to provide fascinating insight. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Scott's Reviewer Profile and more of his reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try other volumes of The Oatmeal's humor.]

[ official Running page on the official The Oatmeal web site ]


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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, November 18, 2014

Endeavour - Series One

Endeavour - Series One
[DVD Endeavour]

Endeavour follows the early years of policeman-in-training Endeavour Morse as he learns the ins and outs of police work with Investigator Fred Thursday in 1960s Oxford, England. As a fan of the Inspector Morse series with veteran actor John Thaw, I was curious to see how this series would hold up as a "prequel." The writers do a great job of showing how Morse acquires various personality traits and quirks. I especially enjoyed seeing Morse develop his appreciation for Jaguar automobiles, his trademark vehicle in the Inspector Morse series. Another nice touch is having the real-life daughter of actor John Thaw (the original Morse) as a character in this new series. The writing is solid and the acting superb. I highly recommend this series. -- recommended by Kim J. - Bennett Martin Public Library
[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Inspector Morse series on DVD, Inspector Lewis series on DVD, Foyle's War on DVD.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ Episode Guide at epguides.com ]

 
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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, November 17, 2014

Everything's Better With a Beard by Si Robertson

Everything's Better With a Beard
by Si Robertson [jP Robertson]

This is a humorous picture book about beards. The whole thing, told in rhyme, is about why beards are great and goes on to put beards on everything. The Sphinx, dogs, rubber ducks, flowers, trucks, they go on and on. It's a fun read for Movember, a movement to raise awareness for men's health issues every November that challenges men to grow a beard and or mustache over the course of the month. -- recommended by Kristen A. - Gere Branch Library [ see Kristen's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos and Joy Ang.]

[ official Duck Dynasty web site ]


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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, November 16, 2014

Home to Harmony by Philip Gulley

Home to Harmony
by Philip Gulley

This is the first book in the Harmony series. Quiet storytelling in the style of Garrison Keillor and Lake Wobegon, this series is narrated by Quaker Pastor Sam Gardner as he talks about the folks of Harmony, Indiana and the members of his small church. We have a small town, some quirky characters, poignant stories, humorous stories, stories that will strike a chord, touching stories, and stories that couldn't be more true. There are eight books in the series so far. Read in order. For fans of Keillor and Jan Karon. -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Charlotte's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Jan Karon or Garrison Keillor.]

[Also available in book-on-cd format.]

[ official Home to Harmony page on the official Philip Gulley web site ]


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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, November 14, 2014

Dear Luke, We Need to Talk: and Other Pop-Culture Correspondences

Dear Luke, We Need to Talk: and Other Pop-Culture Correspondences
by John Moe [817 Moe]

This is a sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-annoying collection of fake correspondences between pop-culture icons. From the handwritten notes of Darth Vader to his newly-discovered son Luke Skywalker, trying to explain his status as an absentee father, to bitingly satirical inteviews with various Disney animated personnel discussing the conundrum about Goofy and Pluto both being dogs, humorist John Moe skewers dozens of different pop culture standards. And the formats of correspondence that he mocks are equally entertaining -- letters, e-mails, journal entries, Don Draper's cocktail recipe notecards, poetry, extended Fight Club rules lists, the formats go on and on. I found myself smiling and giggling at about 65% of the content of this breezy collection. Unfortunately, the other 35% was either un-funny or somewhat insulting or insensitive. Or, unfortunately, boring and repetitive, which applies to a long, drawn-out series of Super Bowl Half-Time proposals, which became tiresome very quickly. None-the-less, the portions of this humor collection that "clicked" more than make up for the portions which fell flat, and I do recommend it to anyone with their finger on the pulse of pop-culture! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Scott's Reviewer Profile and more of his reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the Lazlo letters books by Don "Father Guido Sarducci" Novello, Idiot Letters by Paul Nosa, and the satirical news collections by the editor of The Onion.]

[ official Dear Luke... web page on the official Wits Radio web site - hosted by John Moe ]


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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, November 13, 2014

Crossfire Trail by Louis L'Amour

Crossfire Trail
by Louis L'Amour

A L'Amour western of an injustice that one man attempts to correct. Rafe was shanghaied and spent a year at sea. While a shipboard-prisoner, he meets four men, also shanghaied into the crew, who become his friends. The oldest one was beaten and eventually died but not before giving Rafe the deed to his ranch to give to his wife and daughter. Rafe and the others escape the ship and make their way to Wyoming where they learn the wife has died, and the daughter is now engaged to the man who holds the mortgage. Shady dealings about the father's death, and now it turns out there's oil on that land...Interesting characters, men of a moral code, bad guys, and a good, basic western. Also made into a tv-movie starring Tom Selleck and Mark Harmon, which the library owns on DVD. -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Charlotte's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[Also available in book-on-cd, DVD and Large Print formats.]

[ official Crossfire page on the official Louis L'Amour web site ]


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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, November 12, 2014

Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem and Other Things That Happened
by Allie Brosh [Biography Brosh]

Allie Brosh's blog-turned-book is packed with humorous illustrations and page turning reflections from her life from a childhood to current day. In addition, Brosh sandwiches in segments about what it is like to deal with depression and mental illness in the first person. (A great resource for friends and loved ones.) You will laugh until you cry. Dogs, geese, cake and various adventures are color coded for reading ease....but you definitely won't want to stop! -- recommended by Sarah J. - South Branch Library

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.]

[ official Hyperbole and a Half web site ]


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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, November 5, 2014

New Booklist: Here There Be Dragons


Fantasy fans, and lovers of classic literature -- you're invited to check out the latest new thematic booklist on the libraries' BookGuide readers services web pages --

Here There Be Dragons

This booklist features a hefty sampling of fiction (mostly "adult" titles), featuring dragons as characters or principle plot elements -- from antiquity to the modern era.

What is your favorite dragon-related story?


Friday, October 31, 2014

Anya's Ghost

Anya's Ghost
by Vera Brosgol [YA PB Brosgol]

This beautifully illustrated graphic novel is the story of a second generation Russian-American girl and her adventures with a local ghost. It handles fairly typical young adult issues such as body image problems and the wages of popularity fairly well, if a bit glancing. Brosgol chooses to keep the story light and pleasant rather than dig deep into these issues. Overall I found it enjoyable and quick. -- recommended by Ben F. - South Branch Library

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Friends with Boys, by Faith Erin Hicks, This One Summer, by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki.]

[ official Verabee web site ]


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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!

Be Careful What You Witch For

Be Careful What You Witch For
by Dawn Eastman [PB Eastman]

A Halloween cozy, full of witches, psychics and others of paranormal abilities, set in a small town in Western Michigan. Of course, there's a budding romance or two, and a couple of very special dogs. The interrelated characters of town provide plot twists that keep the book interesting to the end. It's a fun book, especially for Halloween. -- recommended by Carolyn D. - Polley Music Library

[ official Dawn Eastman web site ]


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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, October 30, 2014

Customer Review - Proof Positive

Proof Positive
by Archer Mayor [Mayor]

Proof Positive is the latest in the Joe Gunther series. This series is about a small elite unit of the VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation)that handles special cases. The characters are well developed and seem very real. They have good relationships with each other and are dedicated police officers. I have read the complete series and have enjoyed seeing the development and growth of the characters. This story is about the death of a Viet Nam war veteran that seems to be suspicious. Joe becomes involved because his new love interest (the State's medical examiner) is the cousin of the deceased and she asks him to look into it. The war turns out to be an important part of the story and reminds us of the effect war can have on veterans for their entire lives. The only part I didn't like was that the ending didn't resolve everything for me but left it open to my own imagination. Perhaps a future book will complete the story. -- review submitted by Pat K. - a customer of the Anderson and Bethany Branch libraries.

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

New Customer Reviews appear regularly in the pages of the BookGuide web site, particularly during the Summer Reading Program. You can visit the Customer Reviews page to see them all and/or submit your own, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually as we receive them.

The Blacklist

The Blacklist
[DVD Black]

Raymond "Red" Reddington played by James Spader is a criminal known as the "Concierge of Crime." After eluding authorities for decades he mysteriously turns himself into the FBI. He says he'll give them information about criminals on his "Blacklist" the catch - he'll only speak with Elizabeth Keen, a rookie profiler who just graduated from Quantico. My favorite new show. Most of the intrigue revolves around why he turned himself in and what his connection is with Agent Keen. -- recommended by Carrie K. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Carrie's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Criminal Minds - a show about FBI profilers - Bones, White Collar, Perception and other FBI TV crime dramas.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ NBC's official The Blacklist web site ]


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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, October 29, 2014

Omaha's Peony Park

Omaha's Peony Park: An American Legend
by Carl D. Jennings [917.822 Jen]

Another in the popular "local history" series of volumes from Arcadia publishing company. For anyone from the Lincoln and Omaha area who grew up in the 1950s through the 1980s, Omaha's Peony Park was a "must-see" destination. Though small, Peony Park was still an incredibly enjoyable amusement and water park, situated in the heart of the river city. In this thin volume, the author breaks down the eras of Peony Parks history into "The Early Years 1919-1959", "The 50s and 60s", "The 70s and 80s", and "The End and the Beginning". Each section is comprised primarily of black and white photo reproductions, with captions that range from very simplistic to full of details. Named Peony Park because it was originally established across the street from a famed Peony garden in Omaha, one of the park's greatest claims to fame was that it was a popular performance venue for musical groups. Particularly during the Big Band era, but carrying on through the era of rock and roll, the Royal Grove and the Royal Terrance Ballroom played host to dozens of popular musical acts. I particularly remeber playing miniature golf on the golf course within the Park. If you ever visited Peony Park, I recommend this book — it will bring back memories of those fun summer days. If you never got the chance, Omaha's Peony Park: An American Legend is a great snapshot of a bygone era in Nebraska history! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Scott's Reviewer Profile and more of his reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try any of the other books by Arcadia publishing.]

[ 2012 Article about Peony Park online ]


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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, October 28, 2014

Se7en (on DVD)

Se7en
[DVD Se7en]

Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt play detectives hunting a murderer who uses the seven deadly sins as inspiration for his killings. Each victim is found representing a different sin and the race is on to solve the case before he reaches all seven. Is a very gory movie so you'll need a strong stomach. -- recommended by Carrie K. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Carrie's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Zodiac, Silence of the Lambs, and other movies about serial killers.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Facebook page for this film ]


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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!

New Readalike List -- If You Like...Gone Girl

If you're a fan of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, you're not alone!

This hugely popular thriller, which came out in 2012, has recently been adapted into a feature film, starring Ben Affleck, which was released in October 2014.

We regularly get so many requests for books similar to Gone Girl, that in preparation for the film's release, we put together this list of stand-alone readalikes for this compelling novel:

If You Like...Gone Girl

Check out some of those titles!

If I Stay

If I Stay
by Gayle Forman [YA PB Forman]

I wanted a chance to read this YA novel before seeing the movie, and am happy to say it doesn't disappoint. In the beginning of the novel, we are introduced to Mia and her eccentric family, rock star boyfriend Adam, and the center of her universe - her own love of music and performing music on her cello. A freak accident on a snowy day leaves Mia in the ICU comatose. It is there she has time to reflect on her life to help answer the question becoming more demanding by the hour - should she stay with family and friends on Earth or let go. -- recommended by Sarah J. - South Branch Library

[Also available in downloadable audio, book-on-cd and downloadable E-book formats.]

[ official If I Stay page on the official Gayle Forman web site ]


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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, October 27, 2014

The World According to Bob

The World According to Bob
by James Bowen [Biography Bowen]

In this follow-up volume to A Street Cat Named Bob, we hear more of the experiences of recovering drug addict James Bowen, struggling to make a better life for himself on the streets of London, with the assistance of the crowd-pleasing cat, Bob. Unlike the first volume, which primarily focued on Bowen's early life and the first steps he took to kick the drug habit, this book takes a look at Bowen's more recent life, including the book project a friendly publishing agent suggests. Bowen has an easy, conversational style and you quickly grow to respect his efforts to improve his lot in life. But, more importantly, you also quickly grow to love Bob, the laconic orange cat who adopted James when they both needed someone to rescue them. This is a fell good book, which should appeal to cat-lovers and anyone with a sense of social justice. You can now follow Bob's adventures on Twitter and Facebook, too! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Scott's Reviewer Profile and more of his reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try A Street Cat Named Bob and Dewey 

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, October 26, 2014

The Bright Side of Disaster

The Bright Side of Disaster
by Katherine Center

When we first meet Jenny at the beginning of the book she is pregnant and trying to patch together the remaining threads of her and her fiance's (Dean) relationship. Jenny is dealt a handful of unacceptable actions, and the novel sweeps forward with a roller coaster of emotions starting with childbirth and following her navigation of the new world of single motherhood that has been thrust upon her. We watch as Jenny builds a support system as well as a relationship with her next door neighbor. Will Dean return to meet his daughter or should she take a chance on the guy-next-door or should she even be worrying about guys at all? This novel has large doses of chic lit but also broaches the bewildering struggles a single parent must face. Center will have you flying through this quick read in eager anticipation of the ending. -- recommended by Sarah J. - South Branch Library

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the Bridget Jones series or the Shopaholic series.]

[ official The Bright Side of Disaster page on the official Katherine Center web site ]


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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!

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (on DVD)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
[DVD Star]

As Kirk and crew return home to Earth they find that there is an alien probe approaching and is causing massive power failures across the globe. The signals emitting from the probe are determined by Spock to be vocalizations similar to those of a humpback whale. Because they must communicate with the probe, but humpback whales have gone extinct, their solution is to go back in time and kidnap/rescue a pair of whales. They travel back to the late 20th century and it's funny to watch the crew in that environment. They split up with different tasks, catch whales, build a tank in the space ship for the whales, and find some way to restore the ship's power. This is a great movie. While it does pick up shortly after the last movie ended, you could watch this as a stand alone. I'd recommend it if you like time travel movies, science fiction, or humorous movies with a good plot. -- recommended by Kristen A. - Gere Branch Library [ see Kristen's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the tv show Futurama, although it's not in the library's collection, or Back to the Future, which is available from the library.]

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


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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, October 25, 2014

I Work at a Public Library

I Work at a Public Library: A Selection of Crazy Stories From the Stacks
by Gina Sheridan [817 She]

Several of my library co-workers were already reading this humorous collection of "insider" stories from the world of public libraries, so I couldn't pass it up. Gina Sheridan, the author/editor of this work, has run a blog (linked below) for several years, in which she gathers the outrageous stories of librarians who have crazy or unusual transactiosn with their customers. This volume reproduces several of the most popular "incidents" from that blog, and breaks them all down, very humorously, into categories as designated by the Dewey Decimal system. If you're curious about the kinds of bizarre librarian-customer interactions that take place in public libraries across the United States, this gives you a little peek into that world. And, while I enjoyed this book very much, it barely scratches the surface — I would've liked to have seen even more stories that were presented. Sheridan (and her fellow contributors) also seem to soft-peddle some of the stories...those of us working in the library industry certainly have even more outrageous stories to tell. But...perhaps you don't want to have your hair curl! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Scott's Reviewer Profile and more of his reviews ]

[ the official I Work at a Public Library Tumblr site ] | [ official Gina Sheridan web site ]


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, October 24, 2014

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (on DVD)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
[DVD Cabinet]

A classic, 1920, German silent film with a twist ending I didn't anticipate. Francis tells the story of him and his friend, Alan, who are both in love with Jane. The two men visit a carnival and see the sideshow of Dr. Caligari who claims that his somnambulist, Cesare (played by Conrad Veidt - remember the German Major in Casablanca?) can answer questions about the future due to his being constantly asleep. Alan jokingly asks when he will die, and Cesare answers, "at dawn." And now we're worried because a serial killer is currently at work. Francis and Jane investigate Dr. Caligari and Cesare, learning that Caligari is actually the director of the local insane asylum. Jane is kidnapped, a wild chase ensues, and the story returns to the present where we get the surprise ending. And there's a reason for the weird, expressionist background. The film runs only 75 min but is excellent entertainment. I first saw this movie in the late 1970s or early 1980s when it was available on VHS (and yes, I still have the tape). After my first viewing and knowing the ending I rewatched it immediately (like we all did after first seeing The Sixth Sense). Ignore the remakes, this original is the only way to go. And you'll learn what a somnambulist is! -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Charlotte's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ Wikipedia page for this film ]


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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, October 23, 2014

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

The Return of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle

This collection of 13 short stories begins with Sherlock's return to Baker Street. Having been sometime since his disappearance/death at the Reinenbach Falls, his faithful friend Watson is so shocked to see him, he faints. Once recovered and told how he survived and returned, the pair are back to solving mysteries. I like the short story collections, but there are full length novels by Doyle including A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Valley of Fear. If you liked the new Sherlock tv series by the BBC which is set in modern times more than you liked the Robert Downy Jr. movies, I recommend reading the these. Even though the tv series is set in modern London, I think it's more similar to the books than the movies are. Really, I'd recommend this book to anyone this time of year. I think autumn/winter is the perfect time to read these because the nights are dark and chilly, perfect for reading mysteries. -- recommended by Kristen A. - Gere Branch Library [ see Kristen's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try any of the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock: Seasons 1-3 by the BBC starring Benedict Cumberbatch.]

[Also available in a variety of additional formats.]

[ official Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate web site ]


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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, October 22, 2014

Justice League Dark

Justice League Dark
by Peter Milligan (writer) and Mikel Janin (artist) [YA PB Milligan]

The comic-book industry, especially the two major mainstream publishers — DC and Marvel — is rife with "reboots", in which the creators reinvent the world in which long-standing characters exist. DC in particular, revamped their comics line around 2010. One of the new titles that grew out of their "The New 52" revamping is Justice League Dark. The Justice League itself, comprised of such colorful characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter, is well known, But, the Justice League Dark gathered a number of the anti-heroes or figures associated with the paranormal and mystic elements in the DC universe, and teamed them up to fight the kinds of supernatural menaces that "normal" superheroes were ill-equipped to deal with. Fan favorite paranormal heroes, such as John Constantine, Deadman, Zatanna and Madame Xanadu form the core of this new group, with other supernatural heroes (Frankenstein, Shade the Changing Man, Black Orchid, Swamp Thing, Timothy Hunter and many more) coming into individual issues of the comic book to provide the occasional assist. DC has gathered up issues of this ongoing comic book to release "graphic novels" that include 6 issues of the comic in each trade paperback. The art is fantastic, the writing is strong, and for anyone who's ever been a fan of any of the quirkier characters in the background of the DC comics universe, I highly encourage that you check out these Justice League Dark collections! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Scott's Reviewer Profile and more of his reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Volumes Two and Three in this graphic novel series.]

[ Justice League Dark page on Wikipedia ]


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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, October 21, 2014

The Dark Lady: Sherlock, Lupin and Me

The Dark Lady: Sherlock, Lupin and Me
by "Irene Adler" [j Adler]

Although we don't normally review youth materials on BookGuide, there are a lot of Sherlock Holmes afficionados who may appreciate this juvenile title. The Dark Lady is an English language translation of the first in a six-book series originally released in Italian. The book is ostensibly told from the point-of-view of Irene Adler as a young pre-teen, on vacation in the village of Saint Malo. In fact, "Irene Adler" is listed as the "author" of this work. Irene, as Sherlockians well know, will be "the woman" who bests him on a case ("A Scandal in Bohemia") in his later career. But in this story, she's very young. As are William "Sherlock" Holmes and Arsene Lupin (later a famed "gentleman thief" in a series of detective/crime novels by Maurice Leblanc), both of whom are also vacationing in Saint Malo. The three youth naturally encounter each other and form into a tight-knit band of friends. And, this being a juvenile crime novel, the threesome tumble across a dead body on the seashore. When the local constabulary seem incapable of solving the mystery of the dead man, the three juvenile detectives take on the case, which puts them in peril with the local criminal elements. The three main characters are bright, inquisitive and likeable, even though Sherlock has already started to develop some of the abrasive qualities he will exhibit as a "consulting detective" in his adult years. Irene herself is perhaps a bit too progressive for the time period in which this story is set, but she makes for a very plucky narrative voice. No matter how ridiculous the set-up for this series of books is, I enjoyed this and look forward to the other volumes being translated into English. Sherlock fans should enjoy this as well. One fair warning — the ending of this book comes rather abruptly, as if the author got tired of the story, and decided to wrap things up on short notice. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Scott's Reviewer Profile and more of his reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try any of the books on our Elementary booklist — a comprehensive listing of alternative Sherlock Holmes works.]

[ English-language publisher's official The Dark Lady web page ]


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!