Friday, January 30, 2009

Miss Melville Regrets

Miss Melville Regrets
by Evelyn Smith

At the posh annual East-West Association Dinner, the very proper, very upper crust Miss Susan Melville excuses herself from her table to powder her nose. The corridor is empty so she may pursue her real reason for attending the dinner: she takes her .38 out of her handbag and fires at the speaker, a foreign ambassador, and a neat little hole appears in his forehead. The demure Miss Melville is a professional assassin. During the course of the book the reader learns the reasons for Miss Melville's career choice and whether or not she relishes her work. Miss Melville is certainly not a tradional heroine and much of the book is tongue in cheek; both qualities intensify the appeal. This effort inspired a series; Miss Melville Regrets is far superior to the other titles. -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library

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

Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

The Bank Job

The Bank Job
[DVD Bank]

Fascinating and entertaining suspense film about one of the biggest bank heists in England's history. I picked this up because I hadn't seen any Jason Statham action films, and I'd heard that he was the "next big action hero". Oddly enough, this is not an action film but a suspense drama, and Statham is one of the strongest performers in the film. A loose gang of small-time thieves is conned into attempting to rob the vault of a British bank, by manipulative forces in British Intelligence, in order to recover some damning photographs and negatives. This fast-paced film features numerous stand-out performances, beyond Statham, including David Suchet as an oily porn mobster. Based on a real incident. Note: Although I enjoyed this very much, it is rated "R" for nudity, violence and language -- of which there is quite a bit. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ Internet Movie Database page for this film ] [ official Bank Job web site ]

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

Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Book Club in a Bag selection

Another new title as been added to the Book Club in a Bag selections -- "I am a Man: Chief Standing Bear's Journey for Justice" by Joe Starita.

Share this title with your Book Club by reserving it today!

The Hero of Ages

The Hero of Ages
by Brandon Sanderson

This is third book in the Mistborn trilogy. It will appeal to readers of fantasy that love original worlds and mythologies. It is written by an author who was born in Lincoln, NE and recently was named as the successor to the Robert Jordan series. Fast-paced and full of clever insights into what it takes to lead and follow an apparently un-winnable campaign. -- recommended by Sean S. - Virtual Services Dept.

[ Mistborn trilogy page on the official Brandon Sanderson web site ]

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

Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Code of the Woosters

The Code of the Woosters
by P.G. Wodehouse

Uproarious adventures ensue when Aunt Dahlia Travers asks her nephew, Bertie Wooster, to pinch (steal) a silver cow creamer for her husband, Tom, who collects antique silver. A rival collector, Sir Watkyn Bassett, has acquired the piece, which Aunt Dahlia feels rightfully belongs to Tom. Of course, Bertie refuses, but he does accept an invitation to Totleigh Towers, Sir Watkyn's manor house, where he must contend with the following: Madeline Bassett, who mistakenly believes that Bertie is in love with her; Gussie Finknottle, Madeline's current fiance and one of Bertie's best friend; the thug Roderick Spode, who harbors a secret; and, of course, Sir Watkyn himself. (Bertie once came up before him for stealing a policeman's helmet.) Only Bertie's super intelligent valet, Jeeves, can sort out the tangled threads that the visit produces. -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?
Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Best DVDs for 2008!

Hello to all the visitors to the BookGuide blog as we continue to wrap up our library favorites from the past year! We already asked you what your favorite "reads" were in 2008, and one of the comments posted in response to that was the suggestion that we ask the same question about DVDs.

So here we go... We'd like to hear more from you. With that in mind, we encourage any and all visitors to leave a comment in response to the following question:

What were your favorite library DVD rentals in 2008?

Rather than movies you saw in the theater last year, this question addresses either movies or TV boxed sets that were either newly released on DVD in 2008, or older titles that you finally got around to watching last year. You can leave a simple comment post with just one or more DVD titles listed, or you can be more verbose and tell us what you liked about those titles in more detail. You can remain completely anonymous, or leave your name at the end of your comments, or even link to your own blog if you'd like.

Help us celebrate a year of library DVD viewing by letting us know what DVD(s) you enjoyed the most in 2008. We look forward to hearing what you thought!

The Desk Set

The Desk Set
[DVD Desk]

Fifty years later this film is still relevant with staff fearing they are about to lose their jobs to a "mechanical brain" (computer). Katherine Hepburn is a comedic genius to Spencer Tracy's straight man. This romantic comedy classic will have the whole family laughing. -- recommended by Jodene G. - Walt Branch Library


[ Internet Movie Database page for this film ]

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


Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Slash

Slash
by Slash with Anthony Bozza [Music 781.66 Sla]

This is a captivating autobiography of one of the most talented and well known lead guitarists in the music industry. Slash was a member and original founder of the rock band, Guns n' Roses. This is one of the better biographies that I have read with new information and an inside look of what really went on between the members of Guns n' Roses. Slash includes his life story from his early childhood years up to the current day. There are many great photos. The guitarist addresses the many, many rumors of Guns n' Roses as well as past speculations and reports on his outrageous, living on the edge personal life. He discusses his battle with drugs and alcohol, his chronic infidelity, his new projects as well as how he has finally become sober and settled into a traditional family life including a wife and two children. At the end of the biography, Slash answers once and for all the reason for his decision to leave one of the most famous rock bands in history at the height of their popularity. -- recommended by Jessica H. - Walt Branch Library

[ official Guns n' Roses web site ] [ Book's page on Wikipedia ]

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

Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Watership Down

Watership Down
by Richard Adams

This is a true modern classic of English language literature. On the surface, merely an adventure story featuring a group of anthropomorphized rabbits traveling cross-country to establish a new home for themselves in unknown territory, this story has a lot more depth than you might expect. The adventures of the rabbits, some uplifting and some terrifying, are interspersed with rabbit mythology tales, told from the lupine perspective. This book is filled with strong characters, fights between good and evil (and the grey areas in between), love, heroism, sacrifice and much, much more. Watership Down has been adapted into an animated movie (1978) which is fairly true to the book -- I'd caution against little kids watching, due to some fairly violent scenes. There's also a follow-up story collection Tales From Watership Down, but it's not as charming as the original novel. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[Also available as a 1978 animated movie in VHS and DVD formats.][ semi-official Watership Down web site ] [ Richard Adams at Wikipedia ]

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

Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The History of the Hobbit

The History of the Hobbit
by John D. Rateliff [823 TolYr]

Those who have enjoyed Christopher Tolkien's "History of Middle Earth" series will also enjoy this book. Rateliff employs a similar format to present the extant drafts and stage-by-stage revisions made by J.R.R. Tolkien as he developed "The Hobbit". Along the way, he also offers insights into the amazingly diverse sources Tolkien drew on in creating his own secondary world, and demonstrates that this work has substantial merit in its own right, apart from being a preliminary to "The Lord of the Rings." Particularly interesting are parts of vol. 2, describing how Tolkien began (post-LOTR) a complete rewrite of "The Hobbit" which was later abandoned. This book can be challenging to read because of its format, with much crucial information relegated to extensive endnotes (many of which also have their own footnotes), but the rewards of working through it all are great. -- recommended by Peter J. - Virtual Services Dept.

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

Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Customer Review - The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse
by P.D. James

Isolated cabin. Desolate scenery. Good people in hard situations. All this combines to make "The Lighthouse" by celebrated author PD James a mystery to pick up for those long cold nights in front of the fireplace. The story takes us to the isolated English island of Combe and a murder which Richard Jury -- poet and police commander -- must solve. Alas, the selection of possibile killers is interesting, but never really explored. What James is really good at is putting you in the scene and this book made me long to spend some time in Combe. It's a real page-turner if you don't examine the structure too closely. -- recommended by Barbara R. - customer of the Gere Branch Library

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Submit your own review of any material owned by the Lincoln City Libraries system at BookGuide's Customer Reviews page -- or browse the archive of past customer reviews.

Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders

Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders
by Larry Millett

Sherlock Holmes spends part of January of 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The weather is very cold, suitable for the city's Winter Carnival. Holmes and Watson have been invited to the city to solve a mystery, however, not to attend the festival. A young man, Jonathan Upton, has disappeared on the eve of his wedding. At the Ice Palace, Holmes finds a gold pin suspended in a block of ice. Then he notices the head of a man encased in another block of ice--Jonathan Upton. Holmes, of course, cannot resist the challenge of solving the murder. In addition to the stalwart Watson, he is helped by the colorful and savvy saloon owner Shadwell Rafferty. Millett has written other adventures featuring Holmes, Watson, and Rafferty. This is the best. -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official Lary Millett web site ] [ Larry Millett on Wikipedia ]

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

Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New CD Booklist: Jazz Albums for Romance Reading

A new booklist has been added to the archives of BookGuide -- Jazz Albums for Romance Reading. This is based on a short bookmark produced by the staff of the Polley Music Library, which recommends some classic and contemporary Jazz albums that serve as useful background music while reading romance fiction.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Reviewer Profile - Jessica H.

We've posted another new Reviewer Profile on the BookGuide site -- this time for Jessica H., from the Walt Branch Library. You can see her profile responses at: http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/profiles/jkh-profile.htm

You can also view previous Reviewer Profiles -- look for the bold link after individual reviewers' names -- at : http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/srec/staffrec-indexbyname.htm

New Reviewer Profile - Kay V.

We neglected to mention in November that we've posted another new Reviewer Profile on the BookGuide site -- this time for Kay V., from the Youth Services department at Bennett Martin Public Library. You can see her profile responses at: http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/profiles/kv-profile.htm
You can also view previous Reviewer Profiles -- look for the bold link after individual reviewers' names -- at : http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/srec/staffrec-indexbyname.htm

New Reviewer Profile - Rayma S.

We neglected to mention in October that we've posted another new Reviewer Profile on the BookGuide site -- this time for Rayma S., the Branch Supervisor at South Branch Library. You can see her profile responses at: http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/profiles/rs-profile.htm

You can also view previous Reviewer Profiles -- look for the bold link after individual reviewers' names -- at : http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/srec/staffrec-indexbyname.htm

New Booktalk Booklist: A Walk on the Wild Side

A Walk on the Wild Side
Bethany Branch, January 9, 2009
Erin S.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Read...Discuss...Repeat! for January - When You Are Engulfed in Flames

January 2009's Read...Discuss...Repeat! selection is When You Are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris' latest (2008) collection of biographical essays *. If you're a Sedaris fan, or or looking for a new author to sample who has a wickedly satiric (yet honest) view of the modern world, we encourage you to read this book and then stop back at BookGuide to comment on it.

Stop by this month's Read...Discuss...Repeat! page on BookGuide for background information about the book, a list of "readalikes", and links to web sites related to the book and author. Then (or now, if you've read the book), stop by and fill out our on-line comment form to share your thoughts and opinions about When You Are engulfed in Flames!

* - sorry -- we neglected to post about this selection last week!

Once

Once
[DVD Once]

This is the eclectic story of a street musician, sidelining as a vacuum repairman, who meets up with a young piano player. Together, they pursue an intense week long relationship, one that fuels the creative need within each of them to live out their dreams. Both characters pulse with an honesty and sharpness, allowing the viewer to feel the strength and passion inherent in all creative endeavors. Filled with astounding music, this is one movie that you will want to watch more than once. -- recommended by Patty L. - Walt Branch Library


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

Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dewey - The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
by Vicki Myron [636.8 Myr]

I had heard about Dewey, the library cat for the Spencer Public Library in Spencer Iowa, through a variety of national media sources over many years in the late 1990s, and had often thought of making the drive to Spencer to "check him out". Though Dewey's no longer with us, I'm very pleased that Vicki Myron, the librarian who became his surrogate "mom", put out this "biography" of this lovable and loving cat. But this book, which should appeal to animal/pet lovers, is more than just a pet bio. Myron also shares a look at what makes a small mid-America town succeed or fail, and offers some intense insight into her own life growing up and struggling with family and health issues in central Iowa. Myron writes in a very easy-to-read style, and the story of abandoned kitten Dewey and librarian Vicki is truly heartwarming. --recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library


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

Ten (or more) new reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog over the course of the entire month.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Best Reads for 2008

Hello to all the visitors to the BookGuide blog as we make our way into 2009!

We don't often get a lot of comments posted on BookGuide blog posts, although we know there are a lot of visitors stopping by the site. We'd like to hear more from you. With that in mind, we encourage any and all visitors to leave a comment in response to the following question:

What were your favorite reads in 2008?

This can include both books newly published in 2008, or older titles that you finally got around to reading last year. You can leave a simple comment post with just one or more book titles listed, or you can be more verbose and tell us what you liked about those titles in more detail. You can remain completely anonymous, or leave your name at the end of your comments, or even link to your own blog if you'd like.

Help us celebrate a year of reading by letting us know what book(s) you enjoyed the most in 2008. We look forward to hearing what you thought!