Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ghost to the Rescue by Carolyn Hart (on CD)

Ghost to the Rescue
by Carolyn Hart [Compact Disc Hart]

This is the latest in the Bailey Ruth Raeburn mystery series, featuring a spunky departed spirit from Adelaide, Oklahoma who returns to Earth from Heaven to assist someone in danger. In this case, the redheaded Bailey Ruth is sent back to provide creative inspiration for a young writer, Deirdre Davenport, attending a writing conference sponsored by the local community college. When a scuzzy, opportunistic but influential teacher is found killed, Deirdre is an obvious suspect — he had been trying to coerce her into a relationship in return for a teaching position, and she was one of the last to see him alive. Bailey Ruth quickly shifts from “muse” to “sleuth”, popping in an out of thin air in a variety of guises to help the local police investigate the killing, in the hopes of saving her young charge from jail.

As always, I enjoyed the audiobook version of this a great deal — narrator Ann Marie Lee perfectly captures the personality of Bailey Ruth, and does a remarkably good job creating original voices for the many other characters in the story. This being the sixth Bailey Ruth novel, our spunky spook has established a bit of an ongoing relationship with the local police chief, who is willing to accept some unearthly help in his crime-solving. Overall, though, I will have to admit that this was one of my least favorite in the series — in some ways it feels like each new entry is covering much of the same ground. I’d kind of like to see Bailey Ruth visit somewhere other than her hometown of Adelaide in future adventures! None-the-less, a pleasant “cozy” and particularly enjoyable as a book-on-cd!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the other volumes in the Bailey Ruth Raeburn series by Carolyn Hart]
 
[ official Bailey Ruth series page on the official Carolyn Hart web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14
by Emmy Laybourne [YA Laybourne]

When their school bus is caught in a monster hailstorm, the bus driver crashes through the front doors of a superstore, to protect the kids. Then the driver leaves to go get help. Now there are 14 kids, ranging from high-schoolers to little kids who have barricaded themselves in the store, waiting to be saved. Outside the store, people are trying to survive the freakish weather, and a chemical weapons spill. Those exposed to the chemicals have different reactions to the chemicals, including paranoia, and extreme, animalistic rage. The kids inside the store seal themselves off from the outside world, which is tearing itself apart.

I read this book a couple years ago, but the year I read it, it was one of my top-five favorite books that year. It is still one of my favorite post-apocalyptic books.

[Note: **This book does include a near-rape scene**.] [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Sky on Fire and Savage Drift, the next two volumes in this series, by Emmy Laybourne]
 
[ official Emmy Laybourne web site ]

Recommended by Marie P.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Halloween Tree (on DVD)

The Halloween Tree
[DVD j Halloween]

I’ve been a huge fan of Ray Bradbury’s novella, The Halloween Tree, for several years — its one of my favorite books from Bradbury’s lengthy writing career. In that tale, aimed at youth readers, Bradbury’s creepy main character Moundshroud takes a group of rambunctious youth a trip back in time, to explore the origins of many Halloween traditions — Mummies, Witches, Skeletons, Monsters, death and afterlife rituals — and their adventure becomes a fight for the life of one of their friends. This made-for-television short animated movie manages to capture a lot of the spirit and tone of Bradbury’s story. To a large degree, this can be attributed to the fact that Bradbury himself is the voiceover narrator of the story, and legendary Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy provides the voice of Moundshroud. The art is fairly simplistic — this came from the Hanna-Barbera studio that produced The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest and Scooby Doo. And the story is simplified from the novel. But, I still recommend this for viewing, particularly around the time of Halloween. But nothing can replace the original novel!

[Also available in traditional print format.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

Suddenly Royal
by Nichole Chase [PB Chase]

Samantha Rousseau is minding her own business, working on her Master’s Degree in Wildlife Biology. When The Duchess of Lilaria and her nephew visit campus, the only care that Sam gives about it is that the flock of people around the Duchess is blocking the doors to the library. However later that day, one of the Duchess’s assistants visits Sam at work and sets up a meeting for Sam and the Duchess. Thinking that the Duchess is going to make a donation to the school’s Ornithology (study of birds, and Sam’s passion) program, Sam meets the Duchess but receives some different news.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book and was not expecting to like it as much as I did. I really enjoyed Samantha as the main character. She was spunky, quick-witted, and down to earth. There were several times that her sarcastic comments made me laugh out loud. After reading several books in a row where the main character annoyed me, Sam was a very refreshing character to read.

[ official Nichole Chase web site ]

Recommended by Marie P.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Full Circle with Michael Palin on DVD

Full Circle with Michael Palin
[DVD 911.823 Pal]


Chronicling Palin’s journey around the Pacific Ocean, from Alaska down to Asia to Australia up through South America and back to Alaska. This 10 episode tv mini-series, like Palin’s other travelogues is fantastic. You really feel like you are traveling with him and the camera crew to places that aren’t the tourist stops. This journey takes 245 days and 50,000 miles through 17 countries. I’ve watched this and Palin’s other travelogues multiple times and they don’t get old. I think this would appeal to a wide audience; anyone who likes documentaries, travel, and or Michael Palin would enjoy this set.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Pole to Pole and Around the World in 80 days, also with Michael Palin.] [Also available in traditional print format.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this series ] | [ official Palin’s Travels web site ]

Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library


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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Somebody by Connie Dover on CD

Somebody
by Connie Dover [Compact Disc 781.62 ScoD]

This nice CD ranks in the middle of other Scottish and Irish music I’ve listened to. The booklet provides information about each song, some are traditional, some are adapted from their original and some Connie Dover wrote herself. All of them are performed by the same singer. If you like Enya’s music, you’ll most likely enjoy this too. I also recommend Phil Coulter’s music and The Corries.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Scottish Tranquility, by Phil Coulter]

[ official Connie Dover web site ]

Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Joy of Foraging by Gary Lincoff

The Joy of Foraging
by Gary Lincoff [581.63 Lin]

I generally do not go out looking for plants to eat in the great outdoors, but after reading this book, I think I could possibly give it a try! The author has taken excellent photos of various fruits, vegetables and nuts in everyday settings to show how easy it is to find food in the most common places. The instructions are very clear: know your plants and do not make the mistake of eating something that is potentially poisonous. What I like about this book is that it gives you a guideline for finding the right plants at the right time of year. I checked out the book to increase my knowledge of edible plants, but ended up with a desire to go out and find some of these remarkable foods. I highly recommend this book.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Edible Landscape, by Emily Tepe, Eat Your Yard!, by Nan Chase, or Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Food Plants, by the National Geographic Society.] [ official Gary Lincoff web site ]

Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Schoolhouse Rock! on DVD

Schoolhouse Rock!
[DVD j 372.2 Sch]

For anyone who grew up as a kid in the 1970s, the little jingles of ABC’s Schoolhouse Rock are an unforgettable part of watching Saturday morning television. This two-disc set all 46 original animated tunes that taught us the basics of math, English language usage, politics, history, etc. “I’m Just a Bill!”, “My Hero, Zero”, “Conjunction Junction”, “Interjections!” and “Three is a Magic Number” will remind you about all the little shorts that were interspersed between Saturday morning cartoons. In addition to reproducing all the original shorts, this DVD set has some missing songs/animations, trivia games, documentary features and tons of additional information about how we were all educated along with our entertainment. I highly recommend this as a trip down memory lane for those of us in our 40s or older, but its amazing how well the original jingles have held up — they are still a great teaching tool for today’s young kids!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Schoolhouse Rock: The Official Guide by Tom Yohe, as well as several CDs of music from all these educational ditties!] [Also available in traditional print format.]
 
[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Schoolhouse Rock web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Then Sings my Soul by Robert J. Morgan

Then Sings My Soul
by Robert J. Morgan [Music 782.28 Mor]


I have been a lifelong fan of the great hymns and enjoy singing them as well as playing them. Wanting to know a little more background on some of my favorite songs led me to check out this book. The stories behind some of these great works are incredible! Many of the famous hymn writers endured hardships and personal loss which inspired them to put their faith into words and music. Anyone with an interest in the stories behind the songs will want to look at this book.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions, by Kenneth Osbeck.]

[ official Then Sings My Soul page on the official Robert J. Morgan web site ]

Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Unforgettable With Love by Natalie Cole (on CD)

Unforgettable With Love
by Natalie Cole [Compact Disc 781.63 Col]

This 1991 album was the return to recording for Natalie Cole, after several years battling drug addiction. She couldn’t have picked a better project to revive her career, tapping into the deep well of hits by her father, legendary singer Nat King Cole, to create a unique tribute to her dad. Natalie’s full, rich voice is perfect for reinterpreting such Nat King Cole hits as “Mona Lisa”, “Straighten Up and Fly Right” and “Don’t Get Around Much Any More”, as well as a number of his lesser-known but still wonderful songs like “Avalon” and “Non Dimenticar”. However, for me, there’s just one song on this album that makes the entire album worthwhile — using some creative audio editing, Natalie is actually able to sing a duet with her dad on the title track, “Unforgettable”. This duet is one of my all-time favorite pieces of music. A music video was also done of that duet, cutting together imagery of both Coles, and I recommend viewing that on YouTube. Following her passing in 2015, as I sampled her various albums, I kept coming back to this one as a personal favorite, and I still highly recommend it!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try almost another other album by Natalie Cole, particularly Still Unforgettable, and Holly & Ivy, Natalie’s Christmas album.] [ official Natalie Cole web site ]
 
Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Dumb and Dumber To (on DVD)


Based on a couple of teaser scenes that had gotten a lot of play when the movie came out in 2014 and when the DVD was released last year, and knowing that Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey are pretty decent actors, I decided to give this official sequel to Dumb and Dumber — which I have NOT ever seen — a try. I was pleasantly surprised that “I like it a lot.” It’s a great have-some-popcorn-and-relax-your-mind movie. It even has some sweet and touching moments in among the low-brow antics. Suffice to say that when all is said and done, Harry and Lloyd have each other’s backs despite their elaborate prankstering and high stupidity quotient. Kathleen Turner has a key role and Rob Riggle, playing twin brothers, gets to literally scene-steal as one of the two. Rated PG-13.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try these — Jim Carrey: Yes Man, The Truman Show, Bruce Almighty; Jeff Daniels: The Martian, The Crossing; Rob Riggle: Let’s Be Cops.] [Also available in traditional print format.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Dumb and Dumber web site ]

Recommended by Becky W.C.
Walt Branch Library

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The Best of Bowie (on CD)

The Best of Bowie
by David Bowie [Compact Disc 781.66 Bow]

The passing of legendary musician David Bowie had me digging out this 2002 collection, The Best of Bowie, to remember the iconic songs for which he’ll be remembered. This 20-track single-disc collection covers all of his “big hits”, but barely scratches the surface of his incredible, multi-faceted career. Continually reinventing his performing persona, Bowie had the ability to slide from glam rock, to R&B, to punk, to plaintive ballads, to infectious dance club beats, to in-your-face rock & roll, and mastered all those styles. He was highly experimental, and this collection’s only weakness is that it emphasizes the “hits” without including some of his more exotic material. None-the-less, if you’re looking for a broad snapshot of his lengthy career, you can’t go wrong with trying out this particular album.

I’m a happy camper, because my four favorite Bowie selections all made this album: The sad, mournful “Space Oddity” — check out Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s music-video cover of this, filmed aboard the International Space Station in 2013; “Suffragette City”; “Under Pressure” (teamed up with Queen); and “Dancing in the Streets” (an upbeat duet with The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger). This 2002 album was released alongside a 2002 DVD of the same title, which gives viewers the added benefit of seeing the incredible changes in Bowie’s physical appearance over the course of his career.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Bowie on Bowie: Interviews and Encounters, by Sean Egan, The Dick Cavett Show: Rock Star Icons, hosted by Nebraskan Dick Cavett, and Labyrinth, the cult fantasy film on DVD, directed by Jim Henson, in which Bowie acted/sang as The Goblin King!] [ official David Bowie web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Holiday Wishes by Idina Menzel (on CD)

Holiday Wishes
by Idina Menzel [Compact Disc 394 Men]

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy some holiday classics, especially when sung by someone as talented as Idina Menzel! I happened upon this collection of holiday songs just after Christmas. I had told my daughter that I had been hearing a song on the radio that was sung in part by Idina Menzel with Michael Buble. My daughter just happens to be a huge fan of Idina Menzel, but not for her incredible performance in Disney’s “Frozen;” she loves to listen to her sing in “Wicked.” I checked out the CD for my daughter, but enjoyed listening to it myself. It is difficult to find holiday CDs with songs performed in a style that stands out from all of the others, but this collection does just that. If you are looking for a CD that is a joy to listen to and makes you want to sing along, then give this a try!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Frozen, the soundtrack, or Christmas by Michael Buble] [ official Idina Menzel web site ]

Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Wolf Hall on DVD

Wolf Hall
[DVD Wolf]


 am the kind of person who enjoys reading Historical Fiction, especially English or French history. A friend had recommended this series to me and I took the opportunity to watch this over the holidays. The films depict the life of Thomas Cromwell, a lowly blacksmith’s son who rises to become a man of power and influence in the court of Henry VIII. The story is one of intrigue and scandal in a time of great change in England. Thomas Cromwell is at the heart of it all. The sets, costumes and cinematography in this production are simply superb. I am looking forward to seeing more from this series.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Poldark, or Henry V.] [Also available in traditional print format.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this mini-series ] | [ BBC’s official Wolf Hall web site ]
 
Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Besh Big Easy by John Besh

Besh Big Easy
by John Besh [641.504 Bes]


I’ve been a fan of Cajun and Creole styles of cooking — those most often associated with New Orleans and Louisiana in general — for many, many years. I’ve also enjoyed seeing John Besh when he’s shown up on a variety of different cooking shows on The Food Network — he makes cooking seem very simple and straightforward. This cookbook is gorgeously illustrated, with photos of every single recipe’s end result, as well as numerous images that symbolize the color and flavor of New Orleans. Also providing for some extra “flavor” in this volume, Bush includes a lot of little “asides” scattered throughout the recipes, reminiscing about historical notes associated with individual recipes, or remembering significant residents of “Nawlins” who shared their recipes or influenced his cooking in some way. A delightful read, and mouth-watering photos. If you like spicy southern cooking, don’t miss this one!.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try My New Orleans: The Cookbook, also by Besh. Or the cookbooks of Emeril Lagasse and Justin Wilson] [ official Chef John Besh web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Nobody's Princess by Esther M. Friesner

Nobody’s Princess
by Esther M. Friesner [j Friesner]


Helen of Sparta is tired of her life as a princess. Tired of sewing, tired of the fancy dresses, and of the social obligations, she decides that she wants to begin battle training with her two older brothers. Seeing her spunk and determination, the battle instructor agrees to train her if she will keep it a secret. It needs to stay a secret, because princesses who are the heir to the throne of Sparta should not be training, when their are other things they should be learning, such as the names of all their allies. Helen is done with rules though, and she wants more adventure in her life. Somewhat liberated from her boring life, Helen makes new friends and enemies.

Though book was pretty saturated with Greek Mythology, which has never held much of my personal interest, it was a fun and fresh look into the girl who would become Helen of Troy.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Nobody’s Prize, the sequel to Nobody’s Princess, also by Friesner; any other series by Friesner.]

[ Esther Friesner page on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database ]

Recommended by Marie P.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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United 93 (on DVD)

United 93
[DVD United]

This is a film that was put out in 2006, about the events that occurred in America on September 11, 2001. The main focus was on the passengers and hijackers aboard United flight 93–the flight where passengers fought back to take over their flight; though there was a good amount of attention paid to the reactions of the Air Traffic Control, as well as the military’s responses. The story goes along in “real-time”, so it feels like it’s actually happening as you’re watching it. In a way, it was difficult to watch, as I kept replaying the actual events in my mind as they progressed throughout the movie. And yet, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I highly recommend this film to anyone who can remember those events–but I also wonder if it should maybe be considered something to be played for our students in schools these days, as a part of their history lessons? It was, in my opinion, informative without relying too heavily on the emotional impact everyone would have been experiencing.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try World Trade Center or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ]

Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Long Promised Road by Kent Crowley


I have been a lifelong fan of the Beach Boys and especially of guitarist Carl Wilson. This is the first book that I have seen about the Beach Boys that focuses mainly on Carl in his position as leader of the group after Brian chose to retire from performing on tour. Much research went into the making of this book, including personal interviews with family and friends who worked closely with Carl over the years. I was especially impressed with the information that was presented about Carl’s decision to request Conscientious Objector status and how the group handled the issue and negative press. My only complaint about the book is that it did not really seem to be a biography of Carl Wilson so much as just another book about the Beach Boys and the problems within the band. Even so, it was a very interesting book to read.

[ Publisher’s page for Long Promised Road ]

Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

At the Water’s Edge
by Sara Gruen [Compact Disc Gruen]


I listened to this on CD, in my car. I really enjoyed it a lot! I had read Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants” a few years ago and found that pretty good… But I think this is far and away better than “Elephants”! I think it helped having it read to me, complete with Scottish accents–so beautiful! I know things are different now, in Drumnadrochit, than they were during WWII… but I still think it would be beautiful and exciting and enriching to go visit.

I remember, when my husband read “The Great Gatsby”, he expressed great disdain for the over-privileged, over-indulged, self-serving wealthy brats in that story–that’s how I felt about the main characters in “Water’s Edge”. Except that Maddie does a complete 180 and sees how ugly that lifestyle actually was! And, as so often happens in stories (as in real life), she discovered that those around her that are ‘poor’ are actually far richer than the wealthy folks she’s been surrounded by all her life.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Water for Elephants, also by Gruen, and After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson.] [ official Sara Gruen web site ]

Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Carrie by Steven King (on CD)

Carrie
by Steven King [Compact Disc King] 

Carrie is one of the first books of Stephen King’s I ever read. I saw the movie shortly after I read the book, and then I promptly forgot about it. This fall, I decided to try listening to the audiobook, since Halloween was, at that time, approaching. When I saw it was read by Sissy Spacek, I knew I’d love it! In fact, I’m going to look into audiobooks a bit further to see if I can find any others Sissy Spacek has narrated–I could listen to her all day! Her voice, while at times sounding a tiny bit nasally, has this soft, soothing lilt to it, and she enunciates very clearly.

This story is set in Maine, as are many of Stephen King’s stories. It centers around a senior in high school, Carrie White, who has spent a lifetime being bullied by her peers as well as being tormented and punished for every little thing by her religiously fanatic mother. Carrie is a “late bloomer”, developing into womanhood far later than typical… and this brings on memories of telekinetic behavior as a child, as well as a discovery of a strengthening within herself of those powers. When push comes to shove, Carrie shoves right back, and then some!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Firestarter by King, or Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin.]

[ official Stephen King web site ]

Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Chasing Ice (on DVD)

Chasing Ice [DVD 551.312 Cha] 

James Balog, a photographer and glaciologist set up cameras at multiple angles of multiple glaciers around the world to track their seasonal and long term changes. The result is a multi-year record of how glaciers are changing in modern times. It felt to me like a documentary of how he and his crew go out to set up and maintain the cameras, rather than a documentary on climate change, even though that is a running theme in the show. The group Balog started is called the Extreme Ice Survey and if you like the documentary you can check out their website www.extremeicesurvey.org for more information, pictures and videos. The images online and on the DVD are some that most people don’t get a chance to see in person, so I think it is well worth viewing.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Chasing Shackleton [DVD 910.45].] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Chasing Ice web site ]

Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

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Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits


From the strangely genius mind of David Wong, comes Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. Set in the not-too-distant future of self-driving cars, holograms and an omnipresent social network known as the Blink, Zoey Ashe finds herself the target of an army of super-powered, hyper-violent alpha males. Armed with a snarky attitude, her talents as a barista, a community-college degree and her very smelly cat, Zoey finds herself joining forces with a mysterious, semi-trustworthy group known as the Fancy Suits to thwart the schemes of a wannabe super-villain. “Blade Runner” meets “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in a fast-paced and very enjoyable read.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try John Dies at the End and This Book is Full of Spiders, both also by Wong.]

[ official David Wong web site ]

Recommended by Corey G.
Gere Branch Library

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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, December 27, 2015

Hogfather (on DVD)

Hogfather [DVD Hogfather] 

Based on the Pratchett novel of the same name this movie is all about the season of Hogswatch and the Hogfather. In the Discworld universe Hogswatch is similar to Christmas and the Hogfather is basically Santa. This year however a terrible thing has happened. The Hogfather is missing. But because Hogswatch must go on someone else must take his place. Death (who is an actual character, not just an event) steps in to deliver presents to the children, while his granddaughter (yes Death has a granddaughter) goes looking for Hogfather. It’s an unusual Christmas story with a twist at the end. It may not be an enjoyable film for everyone but if you are looking for a holiday movie you haven’t seen year after year, this is for you.

[Also available in traditional print format.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ]

Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

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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!

Pivot Point by Marie West

Pivot Point
by Marie West [YA West] 

As a Searcher, Addison Coleman is guaranteed to always make the right decision. When she is faced with a choice, she can look into her future and see both outcomes. She has been able to save herself from bad decisions, and sticky situations.

When Addie’s parents tell her they are getting a divorce, she is faced with a choice: go live with her dad, who is leaving the Compound to live with normal people, or “Norms,” or stay with her mom, and the life she has always known.

After searching six weeks into the future, Addie sees that she is happy in both outcomes, but every potential path has positives and negatives. After Addie’s dad is asked to consult on a murder that has taken place in the compound, she is drawn into the dangerous mix as well. So what decision is Addie going to make?.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Split Second, also by West.]

[ official Kasie West web site ]
Recommended by Marie P.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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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, December 26, 2015

Make 'Em Laugh by Debbie Reynolds (on CD)

Make ‘Em Laugh: Short-Term Memories of Longtime Friends
by Debbie Reynolds [Compact Disc Biography Reynolds] 

I was looking for a short, funny, autobiography as a book-on-cd, and this latest collection of remembrances by legendary entertainer Debbie Reynolds fit the bill perfectly. In a series of interconnected chapters, Reynolds reminisces about some of the many people whom she’s crossed paths with over the course of a lengthy entertainment career. Debbie has two autobiographies to her credit already, so in this volume she picks some stories that didn’t make it into either Debbie: My Life (1988) and Unsinkable (2013). Explore her friendship with — or, in the case of Milton Berle, bare tolerance of — the classic comedians. Read about her experiences as a young starlet making her way through the treacherous waters of “casting couches”. Learn about the various personal assistants Debbie has had over the years, and how much of an impact they’ve had on her life. Laugh at Debbie’s recollections of funny encounters with daughter Carrie (Star Wars) Fisher, and how Debbie’s granddaughter has carried on the family acting tradition, even to the point of landing a role in the new Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.

I would have loved to have had Debbie narrate this short volume herself, but she doesn’t. Instead, actress Judith Ivey provides very capable narrating skills. In fact, Judith makes an obvious attempt to sound somewhat like Debbie, so it’s easy to feel lulled into a sense that it is Debbie sharing her stories directly. There’s not a lot of depth here, but if you’re looking for some light-hearted, feel-good entertainment industry stories, I recommend this one!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Debbie: My Life and Unsinkable, also by Reynolds.]

[ Publisher’s official Make ‘Em Laugh web site ] | [ official Debbie Reynolds web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read or 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!