Monday, August 3, 2015

Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio Garcia Sanchez

Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure
by Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio Garcia Sanchez [j741.5 Spi]

This amusing and informative youth book passed over the desk in front of me recently and caught my eye, with its visually compelling cover. New York City is one of those metropolises I’ve never visited, but which I would love to see at some point in my life. And one of those New York City experiences I want to have is riding the subway from one part of town to another. In this graphic novel, author Spiegelman and artist Sanchez combine their efforts to tell the story of a grade school class on a field trip from their school, via subway, to visit the Empire State Building. Told from the perspective of new class member Pablo, who’s frustrated at his family having moved for the umpteenth time, and Alicia, the young local girl who tries to befriend Pablo as the field trip begins, this is a short story about cooperation and trust, but it is also a travelogue and history lesson about how and when the New York City subway system was designed and built, and how to navigate its idiosyncracies today. For adults, this is a quick and easy read and a simple introduction to a topic you might be curious about. For kids, this is a painless way to learn something about a fascinating topic, told without being bland or boring. Well done book by the folks at Toon Books. I recommend this one highly!

[ official Lost in NYC web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lords of the Sith by Paul Kemp

Lords of the Sith
by Paul Kemp

One of the best of the “new continuity” Star Wars novels finds the Emperor and Darth Vader on their own against a rebel insurgency. Kemp writes a fast-paced novel that borrows from both the Star Wars movies and the Clone Wars TV series. A rather rushed ending is the only major flaw in what is otherwise one of the better Star Wars novels out there.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Tarkin by James Luceno, A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller, Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne, Darth Plagueis by James Luceno, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno.]

[ official Star Wars books on Wookiepedia web site ] | [ official Paul Kemp web site ]

 
Recommended by Corey G.
Gere Branch Library

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Star Trek Into Darkness (on DVD)


One of the new series of Star Trek movies, Star Trek Into Darkness, is about a manhunt for Khan, who has declared war on the Federation. Actors Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto play characters from the original series, Captain Kirk and Science Officer Spock respectively. The character Khan is also from the original series; part of the story is in an episode of the TV show and the later part is the plot for the second movie, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. I like the old and new movie series and even though Wrath of Khan and Into Darkness are about Khan’s story, I think each is worth watching, because they are both good space adventure movies.

[If you like this, you may also wish to try 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, or 2009’s Star Trek, the first of the reboot movies.]

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


Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2
by Joe Hill

This is a chilling story of a madman, Charlie Manx, who may or may not be imagined, but the disappearance of children at his hands is definitely real. In all his years of abducting children, only one has managed to get away…Victoria McQueen, or Vic; and she may end up risking her life as an adult, trying to save her son from the very man she escaped from all those years ago.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.]

[ publisher’s NOS4A2 web page] | [ official Joe Hill web site ]


Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Sanibel Flats by Randy Wayne White

Sanibel Flats
by Randy Wayne White

Though several people had been recommending the “Doc Ford” series by Randy Wayne White to me over the past couple of years, I hadn’t sampled any volumes until the libraries’ Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group chose this series as one of our monthly discussion topics. Sanibel Flats is the first book in the series, introducing the main character of Marion “Doc” Ford, a rough-and-tumble man who has retired from a mysterious job in the intelligence community to follow his passion for marine biology. Settling into a home on the waters of Sanibel Flats, Florida, Doc is simple trying to leave his old life — and the memories of an old love — behind him, but circumstances don’t allow him to forget. When an old friend from high school stops by, begging for his help, Doc gets pulled into an adventure involving bad cops, a corrupt land development corporation, and ultimately the battle for control between two South American guerilla groups. Doc is a fascinating and likeable character, and the supporting cast established in this first series novel, particularly the brilliant but loopy Tomlinson, should provide for many years of reading pleasure. At this time, there are already 22 volumes in White’s “Doc Ford” series, with more on the horizon.

[ official Doc Ford series page on the official Randy Wayne White web site ]

 
Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona
by Noelle Stevenson [YA Stevenson]

Nimona is the collected web comic by Noelle Stevenson which features the title character Nimona who works as the sidekick for the evil Lord Ballister Blackheart. Nimona can shapeshift into any creature or person and she constantly wants to make a mess of things for the kingdom. It is Nimona who is egging on Blackheart to get his revenge against his nemesis Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics, while Blackheart wants to follow the “rules” of villainy. I was very much expecting this to be a simple comic making fun of fantasy tropes, however it is so much more as after a few chapters a real story develops and the characters come to life. It is in this book that the question is posed as to what exactly makes a villain or hero, and if someone is capable of being both. Nimona’s hilariously childlike behavior coupled with her desire to wreak havoc makes her such a funny character and she forms the punchline for many of the jokes. In addition to the excellent narrative and comedic writing, Stevenson’s artwork is amazing with her stylized drawings and bright color palate. It is also in Stevenson’s artwork that she shows the diversity of her world and it was such a great thing to see featured. I very much recommend this book to young adults who enjoy fantasy or adults who would love a comedic graphic novel.

[ official Noelle Stevenson and Nimona web site ]

Recommended by Wyatt P.
Gere Branch Library

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I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short (downloadable audiobook)

I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend
by Martin Short [Biography Short / Downloadable Audio / Compact Disc Biography Short]

Martin Short has always been one of my favorite comic actors. He throws himself into bizarre characters that really add life and texture to even the most bland productions. Many of his popular “bits” have really taken on a life of their own, particularly the Pat Sajak-obsessed Ed Grimley (from whom the title of Martin’s book originates), and the fawning and repulsive Jiminy Glick. In this very enjoyable autobiography, Short recounts his experiences growing up in Canada, pretending to be an entertainer and talk-show/variety-show host at a very young age. Short provides numerous amusing and insightful observations about the entertainment industry in both Canada and the U.S., and the many fascinating actors and comedians he’s worked with. I particularly enjoyed his tales of working on both Saturday Night Live and SCTV. For such a gifted comic actor and writer, making me laugh at the humor in his life was child’s play. However, the chapters in which he recounts his wife’s battles with ovarian cancer, to which she succumbed in 2010, are ultimately the most moving part of this showbiz memoir. I checked this out from the libraries as a downloadable audiobook, and in retrospect I must say that this is really the only way to enjoy this biography. While well written, and probably enjoyable as a printed book, the audiobook format allows for Short, who narrates, to launch into dozens of character voices, sing songs and emote. This was a truly moving and laugh-filled reading/listening experience. I can’t recommend this highly enough — one of my favorite reads in the past few years!

[ publisher’s I Must Say web page ] | [ Martin Short page on Wikipedia ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

South of Broad by Pat Conroy

South of Broad
by Pat Conroy

I’ve always enjoyed Pat Conroy’s work. He’s Catholic, as am I, he (like I) LOVES good food, and he’s got a bit of a smart-mouth attitude (which I have to admit to having, too). Typically, his main characters rely on humor when the going gets tough, as a defense mechanism, which is something I tend to do as well.
South of Broad is a more recently published Conroy novel (2009). However, the story is split between two times in the main character’s life–the late 60’s, when he’s a senior in high school, and the mid-80’s, when he is a grown man. It’s a story of personal challenges for Leo King and for his core group of friends. They go through a lot together–more than any one person should ever have to deal with. Yet, through it all, their friendships grow and flourish.

After having read a number of other Conroy novels, I’ve realized I’ve come to find his prose a bit predictable and slightly tiresome… however, one thing that really stands out, for me–that keeps me coming back to him–is his LOVE for the South, and for Charleston in particular. I’ve never visited the South (other than a brief, 2-day trip to Miami, which I hardly think counts); but I feel as though I know a little what it’s like, simply from his loving descriptions.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Great Santini by Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, or Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg.]

[ official South of Broad web site ] | [ official Pat Conroy web site ]

Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (on DVD)


This is the fifth Star Trek movie. It stars the original cast of Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley, as the other movies in the series do. In this one Spock’s half-brother Sybok takes over Enterprise to travel to the center of the universe to find the Supreme Being. Kirk and crew didn’t even know that Spock had a brother, but despite the shock, they need to regain control of the ship. I didn’t like this movie as well as the others. It was kind of like season three of the original series, in that it was still Star Trek and it was still good, but it didn’t feel quite the same as the earlier movies / seasons. I’d recommend it to people looking for a science fiction movie; I just feel there are better Star Trek movies.

[If you like this, you may also enjoy the other “classic series” cast movies, Star Trek I, II, III, IV, VI.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official www.startrek.com web site ]


Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes (on CD)


The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies. When I first saw, a couple of months ago, that actor Cary Elwes (Wesley in the film) had written a behind-the-scenes volume about the making of the movie, following the film’s 25th anniversary, I looked forward to reading it. Time got away from me, but when I noticed the audiobook-on-cd version on display, I couldn’t pass it up. In the end, I’m glad I listened to the audio version, because it was absolutely charming. In addition to Elwes narrating his own text, many of the other cast and crew members narrate their own contributions to the book, in the form of letters and remembrances. Hearing Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Chris Sarandon and Christopher Guest share tidbits about the experience of working on their film was absolutely terrific. Elwes is the emotional anchor though, talking about how much of a life-changing role Wesley was, and the tremendous impact the film has had on his career, and the wonderful experiences he continues to have, interacting with fans of the film, who now cross three generations in the same family, in many cases. I can’t recommend this audiobook highly enough; my only caveat is that I wish there had been even more “making of” details included…in this end this is a fairly slim volume. I absolutely loved Elwes’ impressions of Rob Reiner and Andre the Giant as he recalls conversations with both those men. If you loved The Princess Bride, you’ll love this book/audiobook as well!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The original feature film The Princess Bride, and the novel by William Goldman that started the whole thing in the first place!]

[ publisher’s As You Wish web site ] | [ official Cary Elwes Twitter feed ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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How Rude: The Teen Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out by Alex J. Packer


As the mother of a teen-ager and a pre-teen, I thought that I would check this book out to see if I could learn some insights to help my daughters learn better etiquette. The introduction mentioned that this book “will show you how to become a master of the game — and art — of proper social behavior.” The author presents the material in a humorous, contemporary manner that is sure to appeal to today’s tech-savvy teens. This guide does more than explain why it is good to have good manners; it shows you how to cope with everyday events in the real world. I loved the author’s sense of humor as he shows teens possible reactions to various situations. Much of the book is presented in advice column format: “Dear Alex, What should I do if someone is bullying me?” I also enjoyed the pop quizzes covering material already presented. I think that this is a great book for anyone wanting to learn how to behave in any social situation.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin.]

[ official Alex J. Packer web site ]
Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Love Letters by A.R. Gurney

Love Letters and Two Other Plays
by A.R. Gurney [812 Gur]

A.R. Gurney’s 1988 play, Love Letters, has become a modern classic of the contemporary theater. Featuring only two actors, who don’t actually interact directly at any point in the events of the play, the entire production is a series of letters sent between the two characters, Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner, and read aloud by each of the actors. Beginning with simple notes when they were children, and following their tumultuous friendship through several decades, this series of correspondence covers topics both banal and exceptionally emotional. When produced on stage, this play can be done with no set pieces — the actors sitting side by side but never looking at each other. Or at opposite ends of a stage, also never glancing in the other’s direction — their entire attention focused on the letters in front of them that they are reading. This is a powerful work, plumbing some raw depths of vulnerability, touching on mental and emotional instability. If you have have a chance to see it performed, I encourage you to do so. I also invite you to read the original work here in the libraries’ collection, in script format!

[ Love Letters on Wikipedia ] | [ official A.R. Gurney web site ]
 
Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway

Lacy Eye
by Jessica Treadway

When I picked up Lacy Eye, I had no idea the suspense that the psychological thriller had packed between its pages. The book opens to the life of the Hannah, a survivor of a brutal home invasion and attack that not only disfigured her and placed and coma but caused the death of her husband Joe and injuries to the family dog. Hannah came out of the coma without significant memories of that night. Now, three years later, the convicted murderer – her daughter Dawn’s former boyfriend, has been awarded a retrial. With only her two daughters (Dawn and elder daughter Iris) to support her, Hanna struggles to remember anything “useful” from that night, not knowing she could land herself in the same danger once again. Who should she keep close and confide in, and who should she keep at a distance to keep herself alive?

[ official Jessica Treadway web site ]
 
Recommended by Sarah J.
South Branch Library

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Monday, July 27, 2015

The Art of Juan Ortiz: Star Trek

The Art of Juan Ortiz: Star Trek
by Juan Ortiz [SOS 791.457 StaYo]

This is a book of movie posters that were created by Juan Ortiz for each episode of Star Trek the original series. I have watched all three seasons, so it was really fun to look through them all. Even though the art is new, Ortiz created each poster in a retro style, to keep with the time period the show was filmed. This book would obviously appeal to Star Trek fans, but it’s also good art work that can be appreciated in its own right. Maybe after checking it out, it’d spark your curiosity to watch the original series; it got me in the mood to re-watch them.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Star Trek the Original Series, seasons one to three, on DVD.]

[ official The Art of Juan Ortiz: Star Trek web site ] | [ official Juan Ortiz web site ]

 
Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

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Brief Encounter: Conversations, Magic Moments and Assorted Hijinks by Dick Cavett (on CD)

Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments and Assorted Hijinks
by Dick Cavett [Compact Disc Biography Cavett]


This is the latest collection of New York Times essays by Dick Cavett, one of Lincoln, Nebraska’s more famous sons. As with Talk Show before, Cavett spends some of his time here reminiscing about the guests he’s had on his 1970s-1980s talk show, The Dick Cavett Show, and his own experiences as a comedy writer for such other talk show luminaries as Johnny Carson and Jack Paar. Cavett, an uncompromising Liberal, also uses several of his columns to wax philosophical on causes near and dear to his heart, including sexuality and gun control. But, it is the essays in which he talks about the people who’ve meant a great deal to him over the past 70+ years that really “made” this collection for me. His memories of interacting with Groucho Marx near the end of his life, or of visiting Stan Laurel in Laurel’s small Santa Monica apartment, or recollecting the brilliance of Jonathan Winters after that comic actor’s passing — these are all touching and inspiring, and remind us of what an incredible life this funny and brilliant kid from the Capital City has had, and the fascinating personalities he’s had the chance to meet. I enjoyed this title as an audiobook-on-cd, which Cavett himself narrates. I highly recommend it in audiobook format!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Talk Show also by Cavett.]
[ official Dick Cavett index on the New York Times web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Hate List
by Jennifer Brown [YA PB Brown]

I read this book for a Young Adult Literature class I took. A boy and girl in high school find solace together as they deal with being social outcasts–they come together in a romantic relationship, and together, they create a tally sheet of all the people who are mean to them… they create the Hate List. Valerie, the girl, has no idea that Nick, her boyfriend, actually intended to do something with the list. One day, he opened fire on several people on the list, in the school cafeteria. As Val realizes he’s targeting people on the list, she dives in front of one of the targets, saving her life and taking her bullet. At that point, Nick turns the gun on himself and commits suicide.

After a tough summer of grieving and rehabilitation, the school tries to put itself back together. Val is just as much of an outcast as before, but more now because of her involvement with Nick and the Hate List (which, of course, was discovered by the authorities). As Val struggles to make amends for her contribution to this tragedy, she finds herself connecting with the very people she thought she hated.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.]

[ official Jennifer Brown author web site ]

Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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The Man Who Knew Too Much (on DVD)

[DVD Man]

Alfred Hitchcock originally made this film in 1934 with a British cast featuring Peter Lorre. In 1956 Hitchcock remade the movie with an American cast (James Stewart and Doris Day). This film won an Oscar for best music for the song “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)”. This tune later became Doris Day’s signature song. When asked to compare the two movies, Hitchcock felt that the remake was more polished. In an interview, he said “the first version is the work of a talented amateur and the second was made by a professional.”

Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day play a married couple, Ben and Jo McKenna, who are vacationing in Morocco with their son when they become embroiled in an international assassination plot. Their son, Hank, is kidnapped and taken to London to keep the McKennas from talking to the authorities. Their only clue is words whispered to Ben by a dying man. He tells Ben that a foreign statesman is going to be assassinated in London and to tell the British authorities to try Ambrose Chapel. A mysterious man calls Ben and tells him not to talk to the police or Hank will be harmed. The McKennas elude the authorities and go to London to find their son.

Stewart and Day give strong performances as frantic parents. And Hitchcock shows why he is a master at building suspense.

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ]

Recommended by Donna G.
Virtual Services Department

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Middle School: The Inside Story by Cynthia Tobias

Middle School: The Inside Story
by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna [305.234 Tob]


As the mother of a daughter who will be starting middle school in August, I am looking for ways to help my daughter make the transition from grade school to middle school with as few surprises as possible. This book is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to know how today’s adolescents are dealing with all the changes in their lives. One of the more practical applications of this book is a “Get Ready Checklist” for the parents of the middle school student. I was also impressed with the chapter on Learning Styles and Learning Disorders and how this applies to the middle school setting. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a middle-school aged child.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try John Rosemond’s Fail-Safe Formula for Helping Your Child Succeed in School by John Rosemond.]

[ official Cynthias Tobias author web site ]

Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Daughter of the Forest
by Juliet Marillier

Set in ancient Ireland, this re-telling of the Celtic Swan Myth follows Sorcha, a young heroine on a quest to save her six beloved brothers from a spell placed on them by their sorceress step-mother that has turned them into swans. The only way for Sorcha to break the spell is to knit her brothers six shirts out of a plant called starwort, that burns the skin upon contact, and never utter so much as one syllable until the task is completed. Left alone, with no one to defend her, Sorcha struggles to stay alive as much as to complete her task. When an unknown man finds her alone in the woods and takes her across the sea to Britannia, her ordeal is further complicated. She senses the first stirrings of love within her, but she cannot speak of it, let alone tell him her story or plead her case when the village priest relates her healer’s skills to those of witchcraft. Driven by love for her brothers and a silent courage, she takes heart and holds onto hope that she will be reunited with her family.

Readers who enjoy well-defined, personable characters, adventure, romance, strong female characters, and lush/descriptive writing styles will be sure to enjoy Daughter of the Forest, the first of the Sevenwaters Series by Juliet Marillier. In its essence, it is a novel about standing up to face evil against all hope, and the belief that good will always prevail.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn, Deerskin by Robin McKinley, Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop, Wolfskin, Foxmask by Juliet Marillier, and The Bridei Chronicles by Juliet Marillier.]

[ official Juliet Marillier web site ]

Recommended by Marie M.
Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries

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Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt

Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life From an Addiction to Film
by Patton Oswalt [Biography Oswalt]


Silver Screen Fiend is a charming, funny, engaging and well-paced personal account by Patton Oswalt about one of the formative times in his life and his career. A recommended read for fans of Patton Oswalt or anyone looking for a charming story that just about anyone can relate to.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, also by Patton Oswalt.]

[ official Patton Oswalt web site ]

Recommended by Corey G.
Gere Branch Library

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Brazil with Michael Palin (on DVD)

Brazil with Michael Palin
[DVD Brazil]

Monty Python’s Michael Palin takes us on his travels through Brazil. I love Palin’s travel documentaries, and this newest one didn’t disappoint. He spends time with the local people and learns about their customs, foods and way of life, rather than spending his time in the tourist areas. The way he narrates his journey make you feel like you were along for the trip. He travels about Brazil from the big cities to the rural regions and into the Amazon tribal areas. It’s entertaining and informational; I highly recommend it.

[Also available in traditional print format., and if you like this, try any of the Michael Palin travel series.]

[ 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! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes by Chris Hadfield

You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes
by Chris Hadfield [779.629 Had]


Astronaut Chris Hadfield shared numerous images of the Earth during his time as Commander aboard the International Space Station, and in this book he reproduces hundreds of those photos in a geographic chronology. The ISS makes a complete orbit of our planet every 92 minutes, offering astronauts short windows of opportunity to capture stunning images of specific areas of the globe. Hadfield’s images are just that — stunning. From patchwork quilts of vibrant farmland, and mysterious irrigation circles in arid lands, to fascinating natural patterns resulting from shifting plate tectonics and the distressing results of climate change, each page of this book is a marvel of visual splendor. Hadfield uses text sparingly, to explain that images would otherwise be complete mysteries. His playful sense of humor also shines forth in his commentary. This is a perfect “small” coffee-table book, and should appeal to anyone interested in aerial photography and space photography, as well as people fascinated by the obscure niches of our planet.

[If you like this item, you might like these too – Check out Chris Hadfield‘s presence on the internet, including his many visual posts from during his period in space. He’s the astronaut who filmed a music video, in outer space, of himself sing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in zero gravity!]

Recommended by Scott C.
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! 

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova

Inside the O’Briens
by Lisa Genova

Lisa Genova is skilled at researching a disease and telling a story of what it is like to have that disease from the viewpoint of the afflicted person and those around him/her. She has done it most famously with Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. This time she tells the story of a Boston, Irish family who find out that their patriarch has Huntington’s Disease. The disease is inherited so each of the grown children in the family must decide whether or not they want to find out if they have inherited the disease. The story is an engrossing one, but tends to get repetitive and melodramatic.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Left Neglected and Love Anthony, also by Lisa Genova]

[ official Lisa Genova author web site ]
 
Recommended by Tammy T.
Collection Management Department

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

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Delivery Man (on DVD)

Delivery Man
[DVD Delivery]

What if a sperm bank unintentionally used one prolific donor’s sperm exclusively for an entire year? There would be a man out there who is the biological father of hundreds of children, all roughly the same age. Meet David Wozniak, the ne’er-do-well in a family of hard-working butchers. Twenty years after the fact, a number of these offspring sue to find out his identity, known only to them as “Starbuck”. They also forward profiles of themselves via the sperm bank’s legal representative if he is interested in making contact with them. David can’t resist starting to look them up one by one, interacting with them anonymously. Then he finds out his on-again/off-again girlfriend is pregnant. So, in a matter of days, he embraces both his newly discovered and impending fatherhood with gusto. But what to do about revealing his identity to his numerous adult offspring? This film is a sweet surprise of humor, sentimentality, and heart. Vince Vaughn puts in his usual great ! performance as David, a man discovering a new set of possibilities for his dicey, seemingly dead-end life. Chris Pratt, subsequently the star of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” is spot-on as David’s best friend and attorney (sort of!) who happens to also be a stay-at-home father of four. The supporting cast is all very good as well. And it was nice that there was barely a swear word uttered in the entire movie. A charming, emotional story.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Life As We Know It, The Pacifier, No Reservations, The Internship, Donor Unknown (documentary).]

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

Recommended by Becky W.C.
Walt 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! 

The Sound of Music Companion by Laurence Maslo

The Sound of Music Companion
by Laurence Maslon [Music 782.14 qRodZm]
 


This edition of this book came out in 2007, to coincide with a British stage revival of The Sound of Music, being produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber — who writes the introduction to this volume. The book has subsequently been re-edited and re-released in a 2015 “50th Anniversary” edition as well.

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the feature film version of The Sound of Music, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterful musical, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. This musical, adapted from the stage musical, which itself was a highly fictionalized version of the life of real life Austrian musical family The Trapp Family Singers, has enjoyed constant and unending popular success in all its many iterations over the years. This book seeks to provide an overview of the history of The Sound of Music‘s development into both stage and film productions. Filled with rare and wonderful photos, lyrics from all the famous songs, and reproductions of rare handwritten documents from the producers, writers, lyricists and directors of many different versions of the show, this should be a must-read for anyone with a love for the movie. Having enjoyed seeing TSoM on the big screen during this year’s 50th anniversary tour, I found this tome fascinating and it really enhanced my viewing of the movie.

[If you like this item, you might like these too – There are several other books that chronicle the history of this movie (and stage show), often in more detail, and I also recommend the biographies of the various actors, actresses and musical industry personnel who were associated with The Sound of Music in its many incarnations.]

[ Sound of Music film page on Wikipedia ]
Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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

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