Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas at Historic Houses by Patricia Hart McMillan

Christmas at Historic Houses
by Patricia Hart McMillan and Katherine Kaye McMillan [745.594 McM]

This is a gorgeous table book for browsing through to enjoy, and perhaps copy, the Christmas decorating schemes of over 60 American and English historic estates and simple homes – from the palatial Biltmore to the simplistic Nelson-Galt Office in Colonial Williamsburg. Homes include Mount Vernon (Virginia), Molly Brown House (Colorado), Waddesdon Manor (England), Maymont Mansion (Virginia), Hearthside Homestead (Rhode Island), and Monticello (Virginia). We learn the importance of preservation and restoration, and about the Christmas celebration customs of other countries and previous time periods. Entire (short) chapters on decorating with Christmas stockings, trees, and wreaths. Then you'll encounter the beautiful color photos of the estates, mansions, and homes, and their decorated gardens and interiors. No need to read or thumb through this book in order. Just jump around and enjoy the various styles and colors. And for those wishing to order from the gift shops, a listing at the back of the book includes website, address, and phone numbers of the historic buildings. -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Charlotte's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]
 

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Death Star

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Death Star
by Curt Bright and the String Beans [Compact Disc j782.42 Str]

The cinematic Star Wars universe is enjoying a rebirth, with new films in production right now (the first scheduled for release in December 2015), a new animated series (Star Wars Rebels) on TV, and excitement building over the direction the new films will go. This seems like a perfect time to look back with fondness and a bit of tongue-in-cheek at the original trilogy that started it all. Curt Bright, singer/musician with the popular Lincoln children's music group The String Beans, has created a musical parody/tribute to Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi. In the fannish tradition of Filking -- setting new lyrics to popular existing music -- Bright created a staged musical that retells the events of the original trilogy through songs -- hilarious, goofy and perfectly rewritten songs. Some of the examples include "Sand People" (to Randy Newman's "Short People"), "Don't Stop Rebelling" (to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'"), "Leia" (to Eric Clapton's "Layla"), "Lake of Fire" (to Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire"), "Vader Cut Off My Hand" (to the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand"), "Stormtroopers" (to the "Ghostbusters" theme by Ray Parker Jr.), and "Always Look on the Dark Side of Life" (to Eric Idle's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life") -- these just scratch the surface!

The stage show was performed in various formats at various venues (including area sci-fi conventions), before culminating in a live show produced at YAAL (Youth Actors Academy of Lincoln), twice. Bright and his adult String Beans associates recorded this soundtrack album, which first became available for fans at the YAAL shows. Although it is not the YAAL actors performing on the CD, if you've been lucky enough to have seen the staged YAAL musical, this soundtrack album will still bring back fond memories. If you never saw A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Death Star performed live, well then, first, you've missed a true treasure of sci-fi pop culture, but second, you'll still enjoy this album for its hilarious take on Star Wars tropes. And the best news? The show may be coming back to a Lincoln stage again in the near future! [Note: Although this is cataloged in the library collection as a juvenile item, it may actually appeal to adults even more -- some of the reworked fannish song lyrics may go over the heads of the youngest listeners.] -- 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 classic movie/tv musical parodies from Mad Magazine, reprinted in various Mad Magazine archival collections. Mind you, this is a recommendation of the movie musical parodies, not just the straight-forward movie parodies.]

[ Extended Review (also by this reviewer) and photos from past local productions of this staged musical ] | [ official The String Beans web site - where you can order this CD ]


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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 13, 2014

Hannibal - Seasons 1 and 2 (on DVD)

Hannibal - Seasons 1 and 2
[DVD Hannibal]

At first I didn't think I'd like this series, too gory, possibly creating nightmares. After watching a few episodes I realized its more psychological, although there are some graphically violent visual scenes, I can look at it in a different way. Its interesting the way the characters relate to one another and try to figure each other out. After watching this, I always watch something funny. -- recommended by Kathy H. - Walt Branch Library

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Walking Dead, complete first and second seasons DVDs; Sherlock, seasons one and two DVDs; Grimm seasons one and two DVDs; I Know What You Did Last Summer DVD (we own the YA book by Lois Duncan, not the DVD); Scream DVDs (we do not own).]

Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ Hannibal 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!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The World of Pooh by A.A. Milne

The World of Pooh: The Complete Winnie the Pooh and House at Pooh Corner
by A.A. Milne [j Milne]

These are the original stories of the Hundred Acre Wood written by A.A. Milne 90 years ago now in 1924. This is really a collection of both books, in the series. I hadn't read them as a child; I just knew the Disney versions, as I'm sure is the same for many people. The books had some familiar stories like the invention of the game Pooh Sticks, the night Tigger arrived in the woods, and the great flood. I really enjoyed reading it. It'd make a good gift for a child, or you could check it out from the library and read it together. Either way I think this is a classic to not miss out on. -- 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 World of Christopher Robin By A.A. Milne.]

[The Winnie the Pooh books are available from the libraries in a wide variety of formats and editions.]

[ official A.A. Milne entry at Wikipedia ]


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

The Twelve Clues of Christmas
by Rhys Bowen

This is the 6th book in the Royal Spyness mystery series, and takes place in Dec 1933/Jan 1934. Lady Georgiana Rannoch is 34th in line for the British throne but has no income of her own and no place to call her own. Her family home now belongs to her married brother, and her sister-in-law heartily dislikes her. Not eager to spend the holidays w/her brother's family and his in-laws, she answers an advertisement for a job to assist a hostess with a large Christmas party. The best thing is that the home is in the same quaint village that her mother will be staying in with Noel Coward as they co-write a play. Deaths begin to occur in the area, one per day, that everyone chalks up to accidents. But Georgiana doesn't believe it even when it's learned there's been a prison break from Dartmoor prison and the escapees are believed to be in the area. This is very much a character-driven story as we get involved in the Christmas party and Georgiana's life, with the murders occurring almost as an aside. The common thread to these killings was inventive and caught me by surprise, even though all the clues were there to see. A very enjoyable cozy mystery/historical fiction with likeable main characters. -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Charlotte's Reviewer Profile and more of her reviews ]

[Also available in Large Print format.]

[ official Rhys Bowen Facebook Fan Page ] | [ official Rhys Bowen 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, December 10, 2014

Mystery, Alaska (on DVD)

Mystery, Alaska
[DVD Mystery]

Mystery is a small town in Alaska, where the residents skate everywhere they go. The local draw is the Saturday Game where the best of the best play a game of pond hockey every week. After being featured in Sports Illustrated the town of Mystery hosts an exhibition game against the New York Rangers. -- 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 Miracle, Breakaway and other hockey movies.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry 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!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Remembered by Tamera Alexander

Remembered
by Tamera Alexander

I liked this historical Christian fiction book. A young lady from France comes to America in search of her father who left her Mom and her when she was very young. She enlists the aid of a man to take her to many towns by horse drawn carriage to find him. This may even become a mild romance between the lady and her driver. -- recommended by Kathy H. - Walt Branch Library

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Janette Oke, who has a series Love Comes Softly and it is really good too.]

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

[ official Tamera Alexander 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, December 6, 2014

The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries

The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries
edited by Otto Penzler [813.08 Pen]

The category of Christmas mysteries within the broader mystery publishing business has been a popular one for decades. So much so that one of the booklists on the libraries' BookGuide site that gets the largest number of comments is our Mistletoe Mysteries list - updated each year. This oversized trade paperback anthology came out in 2013, and I kicked myself for not picking up a copy before it disappeared from local bookstores after the holidays. So, I was thrilled to see it appear again this year, AND to see that the libraries have also added it to our collections. In The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries, editor Otto Penzler gathers a set of 60 of his favorite holiday-themed mysteries, covering over 100 years in publishing. Time periods range from old-style Victorian (Sherlock Holmes) to modern and contemporary. Writing styles range from typical cozies or puzzle stories, to noir, hard-boiled and pulp tales, with stops along the way for comical farces and super natural mysteries (think Dicken's "A Christmas Carol"). Many of these stories are popular and get reprinted regularly in holiday collections, but quite a few are rare, previously hard-to-find tales by authors you might not be familiar with. If you, like me, enjoy reading seasonal mysteries as the year winds down, then I highly recommend that you add this marvelous collection to your end-of-year reading list! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Scott's Reviewer Profile and more of his reviews ]

[ official The Mysterious Bookshop web site - the bookstore run by Otto Penzler ]


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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

GoodReads Readers Choice Awards for 2014



Users of the popular GoodReads social networking and book cataloging site have voted for the 2014 GoodReads Readers Choice Awards, and the winners in 20 categories were announced today.

Here, with catalog links to the Lincoln City Libraries’ online catalog, are those 20 winners, by category:

FICTION – Rainbow Rowell – Landline
MYSTERY & THRILLER – Stephen King – Mr. Mercedes
HISTORICAL FICTION – Anthony Doerr – All the Light We Cannot See
ROMANCE – Diana Gabaldon – Written in My Own Heart’s Blood
SCIENCE FICTION – Andy Weir – The Martian
FANTASY – Deborah Harkness – The Book of Life
HORROR – Anne Rice – Prince Lestat
NON-FICTION – Marina Keegan – The Opposite of Loneliness
MEMOIR & AUTOBIOGRAPHY – Esther Earl – This Star Won’t Go Out
HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY – Helen Rappaport – The Romanov Sisters
HUMOR – Amy Poehler – Yes Please
BUSINESS BOOKS – Sophia Amoruso - #girlboss
FOOD & COOKBOOKS – Ina Garten – Make It Ahead
POETRY – Lang Leav – Lullabies (not in library collection)
DEBUT GOODREADS AUTHOR – Pierce Brown – Red Rising
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMICS – Zack Whedon, Georges Jeanty and Fabio Moon – Serenity: Leaves on the Wind (not in library collection)
YOUNG ADULT FICTION – E. Lockhart – We Were Liars
YOUNG ADULT FANTASY – Cassandra Clare – City of Heavenly Fire
MIDDLE GRADE & CHILDREN’S – Rick Riordan – The Blood of Olympus
PICTURE BOOKS – Mo Willems – The Pigeon Needs a Bath

Which of these have you read and enjoyed?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dexter Down Under by Jeff Lindsay and Dalibor Talajic

Dexter Down Under
by Jeff Lindsay, art by Dalibor Talajic

Never having actually read any of the Dexter novels by Jeff Lindsay (nor having watched the Dexter television series, starring Michael C. Hall), I was surprised to be finding myself reading this graphic novel (a collection of a multi-issue comic book from 2012) featuring Dexter Morgan on loan to the Australian police to help solve a serial-killer case that has them stumped. I knew enough about the Dexter character -- he's a forensic pathologist who is also a serial killer himself, although he only kills other serial killers -- that I wasn't at all lost being dropped in the middle of his storyline continuity. In this Australian case, he and an attractive young female Aussie cop, investigate the disappearance and deaths of Asian immigrants to Australia, eventually stumbling on a sick "Most Dangerous Game" type of scenario. I found this graphic novel format to be fast-paced and entertaining, with excellent art. However, I sense, from what little I know of both the books and TV series, that the gruesome qualities and dark psychological suspense of both those formats, was a bit watered down for the comic-book storyline. That caveat not-withstanding, I enjoyed this read, and recommend it as an introduction to the character of Dexter. Longtime fans of the Dexter series may have differing opinions. -- 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 some of the other "graphic novel" adaptations of other popular series, such as the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton, and the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.]

[ Wikipedia page for the Dexter comic books ] | [ official Dexter book series 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 29, 2014

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box
by Josh Malerman

Something is out there. When you look at whatever it is you go mad, attack others and kill yourself. Imagine negotiating this new reality living in a house with the windows covered and never stepping outside without a blindfold. Now imagine this world raising two small children and making the decision to leave your refuge for the chance of finding a community that will offer the children a better chance at survival. -- recommended by Tammy T. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Road by Cormac McCarthy.]

[ publisher's official Bird Box web page ] | [ official DVD" target="_blank">Josh Malerman Facebook 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!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Sound and the Furry by Spencer Quinn (on CD)

The Sound and the Furry
by Spencer Quinn [Compact Disc Quinn]

The libraries' Just Desserts mystery discussion group read and discussed the very first Chet and Bernie mystery, Dog On It, back in January 2011, and I really enjoyed the characters in that novel, particularly the main narrator, Chet the Dog. The series got added to my to-be-read list, and it took me a while to get back to it, and I ultimately decided to pick up the second volume as an audiobook. I have absolutely fallen in love with the audio versions of these stories, and I burned through the second to this, the sixth, volume as books-on-cd in rapid fire. Narrator James Frangione is absolutely perfect in performing.these stories, capturing the personality of narrator Chet with remarkable accuracy -- I really do feel like I'm in the mind of a dog as he tells the story. I don't think I'll return to actually reading this series, since I enjoy the audio versions so much. I highly recommend the entire series to any mystery fans looking for a unique narrative style, but I reserve my highest praise for the book-on-cd versions of these stories. In this sixth volume, The Sound and the Furry, Chat and Bernie journey out of their dry, arid southwestern climates to tackle a case down on the Louisiana bayou. Colorful characters abound. A solid mystery story supports the great dialog and descriptions of setting. And, as usual, Chet is on the case and just waiting for his chance to grab the perp by the pants leg! -- 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 all the other Spencer Quinn titles.]

[Also available in traditional print format.]

[ official chetthedog.com blog ]


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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 27, 2014

Beyond the Heavens (on DVD)

Beyond the Heavens
[DVD Beyond]

This movie was interesting. It was about a young teen who was debating with himself about science and religion. He talked with his science teacher and after school he heard stories told by a strange little man, who was reading C. S. Lewis to a group of young people. Some folk in town feared the old man would hurt the children. It was a good movie. -- recommended by Kathy H. - Walt Branch Library

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe on DVD.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Beyond the Heavens 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 26, 2014

King's Court and Celtic Fair by The Empire Brass (on CD)

King's Court and Celtic Fair
by The Empire Brass [Compact Disc 781.62 ScoE]

I wasn't really sure what kind of music this was or the meaning of the title when I checked it out. After listening to it, I found the title is very accurate. It's kind of Celtic, but very upbeat and has a different variety of instruments than I'm used to hearing in the genre. It sounds like what you'd hear at a fair or in a king's court. You may try playing it on shuffle with the Monty Python's Spamalot CD; I think that would be a good mix. I'd recommend it to those who just want to listen to something different. -- 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 Monty Python's Spamalot on CD.]

[ official The Empire Brass 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 25, 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season One (on DVD)

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season One
[DVD Agents]

Starting in 2008, with the feature film Iron Man, Marvel Comics launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- an internally consistent series of theatrical films, short online films and television productions, all of which are set in the same "universe". Though other movie studios own the rights to produce Spider-Man and X-Men films, all other productions featuring characters from the Marvel comic books fall under this MCU umbrella. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the first full-scale television series set in that universe -- focusing on the secret government agents that try to track super-powered individuals and artifacts or technology of an unearthly nature. Agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg, has appeared in minor-to-major roles in most of the MCU feature films, and serves as the leader of the team of specialized agents in this series. In this first season, we meet all the new agents, watch as they struggle to form a cohesive team, and follow several through-st ories. The events from the feature film Captain America: The Winter Soldier impact Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2/3 the way through the season, creating a totally different dynamic among the characters and in the storytelling as this season winds down. The stunts and effects work in this series are terrific, as is the cast. As a Marvel Comics fan, I really wish there'd been a few more appearances of super-powered people, but this was a nice introduction to the concept of this series. This DVD set features several excellent "extras" - including an in-depth look at how all the films/tv-series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe fit together. I look forward to seeing how this series progresses. Some of these episodes deserve a "10" while others only a "6", so I'm giving the whole boxed set an "8" overall. -- 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 films in the Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and Hulk movie series.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. web site ]


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Monday, November 24, 2014

The Returned by Jason Mott

The Returned
by Jason Mott

It begins with a simple story of Harold and Lucille - a couple in their seventies content in their relationship. One day, a man from the government arrives at their door with a simple question - Do you know this child? Out steps their 8-year-old son Jacob - who had drowned in 1966. It was a phenomenon happening across the world. Jacob was found halfway across the world. And so it was, the dead popping up 'Returned' all across the world - leaving the government to deal with scared, astonished, and even angered citizens who asked the unanswerable questions of How? Why? How long? How is it possible? We follow the story of the reunited little family and how their own town drastically changes. We even get stories of how different townspeople welcome - and reject- those who come back. There is confusion in their hearts on how they should feel, where the people truly "belong". And so, a great divide begins across the globe and sections right through the Hargrove's tow n of Arcadia. Is this the "second chance" that Harold & Lucille? How about Pastor Peters? Is this the beginning of the world. Is it the end? -- recommended by Sarah J. - South Branch Library

[Amazon offers three e-book only prequels to the book. I didn't know about these and still felt the story had a natural opening. The titles of the prequels are: The First, The Choice, and The Sparrow. The synopsis of the TV series Resurrection (based loosely on the book) caused my interest in this book but does not fall very closely in line with it at all.]

[Also available in downloadable E-book and Large Print formats.]

[ official Jason Mott 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 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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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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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 ]


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, 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 ]


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, 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 ]


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, 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 ]


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, 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 ]


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, 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?