Saturday, February 28, 2009

American Wife

American Wife
by Curtis Sittenfeld

American Wife is a novel loosely based on the life of Laura Bush. I had never read any of Sittenfeld's books before because they seemed like typical chick lit fare, but American Wife is a complex character study of a woman thrust into the public eye. We follow Alice through a tragedy and her subsequent marriage to Charlie, who to everybody's suprise is elected president. I enjoyed this book because it wasn't "fluff", it's written in a serious tone that I found to be quite enthralling. -- recommended by Deanne J. - Walt Branch Library

[Also available in downloadable audio, book-on-cd formats.][ official American Wife and Curtis Sittenfeld 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.

Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series

Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series

Wow! Talk about intensity. The Spaceship Titanic crashing toward earth, the horrific last day of Pompeii, the saddness of the enslaved Ood -- the Doctor's adventures don't get any easier, only more frightening, culminating in the kidnapping of the entire Planet Earth. This series is a must see as the Doctor and companions of past and present all come together to save not only Earth, but the universe. -- recommended by Janet K. - Walt Branch Library

[Numerous books are also available in the library collection that feature Doctor Who; also: additional Doctor Who books ] [ official Doctor Who BBC web site ] [ Outpost Gallifrey - Top Doctor Who Fan Site ]

See books based on shows like this in our TV Tie-Ins booklist

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.

Night of the Twisters

Night of the Twisters
by Ivy Ruckman

Listed as both an adult and juvenile book, this is a fictionalized account of the tornadoes that ravaged Grand Island and other central Nebraska towns in June, 1980. Follow the characters on the Day Of that evening's storm, the Day After, and One Year Later. Fascinating, especially for those who remember the storm. -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library


[Also available in VHS videotape format.][ Wikipedia entry on the 1980 tornadoes that inspired this story ]

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, February 25, 2009

Nebraska Moments [2007]

Nebraska Moments
by Donald R. Hickey [978.2 Hic 2007]

Nebraska Moments is already a staff recommendation. However, this is a new edition, from 2007, that adds more interesting moments. -- recommended by Meredith M. - curator of the Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors

[ official 2007 Nebraska Moments edition 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, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Weldon Kees!

Today, Feb. 24, is the anniversary of the Nebraska native, Weldon Kees' birth; he was born in 1914 in Beatrice. Garrison Keillor began his "Writers' Almanac" this morning with mention of Kees.

You can find out more information about Kees in our Nebraska Author Weldon Kees booklist, and on the web site of the Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)
by The Reduced Shakespeare Company

Humorous, bawdy, farcical and highly entertaining, this three-man show attempts to produce all of Shakespeare's plays (and some of the sonnets) in a single, considerably abridged 90-minute performance. The performers are engaging, the writing is witty, and the over-the-top physicality of the show is quite entertaining. I think that viewers who are already familiar with Shakespeare's major works will get more out of this than the unitiated, but even those who say "William who?" will get a kick of this comedy trio. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official Complete William Shakespeare production page on the official Reduced Shakespeare Co. 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.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Massage Book

The Massage Book
by Geoge Downing [615.822 qDow]

This is a classic in the world of massage books. It has sold over one million copies since its first publication in 1972. There is good reason for the high sales numbers. The directions are simple and well illustrated. The author covers just about any part of massage that you would want to know about and at the back of the book there are detailed anatomy pictures. If you are just starting to learn about the art of massage, this is the book that I would recommend. -- 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.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Booktalk Booklist: The History of the Victorian Age...


"The History of the Victorian Age Will Never be Written: We Know Too Much About It" -- Strachey
Bethany Branch, January 16, 2009 and Gere Branch, February 2, 2009
Marcy G.

Obviously, Lytton Stachey [1880-1932] was wrong! Much has been written about the Victorian Age, both fiction and non-fiction. Here are just a few:

* -- Not owned by Lincoln City Libraries; ask about borrowing it through Interlibrary Loan!

For further Victorian Era mysteries, see our Murder By Gaslight booklist
For further Jack the Ripper materials, see our The Ripper booklist

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

This movie appeals to all ages. It tells the story of Mr. Magorium, played by Dustin Hoffman, and Molly Mahony (Natalie Portman). Mr. Magorium is the owner of a magical toy store who one day hires an accountant ("a counting mutant") to assess the store's worth. He plans to leave the store to Mahony, the current manager. However, when the store learns of his departure, it decides to throw a temper tantrum. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is full of hilarious running jokes, some of which I didn't notice until I watched it a second time. It is a delightful story that I would never grow tired of watching. -- recommended by Stephanie G. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ Internet Movie Database page for this film ] [ official Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium 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.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Wedding Bargain

The Wedding Bargain
by Victoria Alexander

The Wedding Bargain is a Regency romance. It is also extremely clever. Maximillian Wells, the Earl of Trent, agrees to undergo a test to win the hand of Pandora Effington, who gets to devise the test -- which she patterns after the Twelve Labors of Hercules. It won't be giving anything away to disclose that Max and Pandora fall in love as he conquers each task. Indeed, they are a very charming couple. Many of his successes involve some amusing puns, and their family and friends help or hinder the awarding of points. What sets this book apart from other Regencies is its wit. Another plus: Victoria Alexander is a Nebraska author. -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official The Wedding Bargain web site ] [ official Victoria Alexander 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.

Love in the Afternoon

Love in the Afternoon

Audrey Hepburn and Gary cooper star in this classic romantic comedy between a young, star struck girl and a middle aged international playboy. This movie was directed by Billy Wilder, and based on the book Ariane by Claude Anet. When the filming of this production was finished, the censor board reviewed it and required the director to change the ending of the movie because it was to risqué. The original ending of the production had followed the ending in the book. One of my favorite actors, Maurice Chevalier, plays the protective father of Ariane, and is also a private detective who knows only too well about the playboy Frank Flannegan. Sit back and watch what happens when Ariane and Frank meet in the passionate city of Paris and begin an amusing romance that will change each of their lives forever. -- recommended by Patty L. - 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.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor

Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
by Matthew Stover

Matt Stover proves once again why he is not only a great writer, but a great writer of science fiction and one of the best when it comes to writers contributing to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The book is something of an unofficial sequel to Shatterpoint as it makes use of a few characters from Shatterpoint and continues it's themes of darkness, morality and heroism. In addition to being an awesome story that remains true to all the characters involved, it moves along at a good pace and it provides one of the best, most succinct explanations for why the old Jedi Order failed. I highly recommend this book for any fan of Star Wars. -- recommended by Corey G. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official Star Wars web site ] [ official Matt Stover blog ]

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, February 11, 2009

Help!

Help!
by The Beatles

I can still remember the first time I saw this film on TV some 40 years ago; it made an incredible impact on me at the time because I had never seen anything like it before. The film is still as hilarious and fresh to me now as it was to me back then. It also helps if you are a fan of the Beatles music! I still think of this film as one of Richard Lester's classics. -- recommended by Kim J. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[Also available in compact disc format.][ Internet Movie Database page for this film ] [ official The Beatles web site ]

Have you seen or heard 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, February 10, 2009

American Lightning

American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, Movie-Making and the Crime of the Century
by Howard Blum [364.152 Blu]

Terrorism strikes Los Angeles in 1910 and Billy Burns (America's "Sherlock Holmes"), Clarence Darrow, and D.W. Griffith are all drawn into the mix. Should appeal to readers who enjoyed the 2006 One Book One Lincoln title, The Devil in the White City. -- recommended by Sandy W. - Gere Branch Library

[ official American Lightning web site ] [ official Howard Blum 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.

What's your favorite Romance Novel?

With Valentine's Day, February is the month for romance fiction. We'd love to hear from you with your answer to the following question:

What is your all-time favorite Romance novel?

This could be a classic, like Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, or a contemporary, such as one of today's hottest writers. Perhaps you prefer Regency Romances (if so, check out our new booklist -- Regency Romances), or maybe you're into Paranormals, or Romantic Suspense. Whatever your romance fiction preferences, we'd love to hear about your favorites in the comments below!
And while we're at it -- check out BookGuide's page dedicated to Romance Fiction Resources Online!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Booktalk Booklist: Karrie's Year of Reading

Karrie's Year of Reading!
Bethany Branch, February 6, 2009
Karrie S.

Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster [Biography Lancaster]

When Jen submits a proposal to lose weight and write a memoir about it, she is reserved about the idea. But when the book deal goes through, she has to prove that she's serious.


Two sisters spend World War II writing letters to the boys they love, who are fighting across the sea. Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

Bennie Ford is stuck in the Chicago airport. As his hopes of getting to his daughter's wedding get smaller and smaller he unleashes a 180-page complaint letter to the airline.

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

June Nealon loses her husband and young daughter to murderer Shay Bourne when she is pregnant with Claire. Now, Claire needs a heart transplant, and Shay is the one who wants to give it to her. Will June accept?


Day after day Steve Dublancia slaves away as a waiter at an upscale New York restaurant. He finds relief by blogging about his experiences and then turning them into a book.

Digging to America by Anne Tyler

Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport when they both receive their new Korean daughters.

Thin is the New Happy by Valerie Frankel [Biography Frankel]

The true story of one woman's quest to exorcise her bad-body image demons, to discover the truths behind what put them there, and to learn how to truly love herself.

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

After Mariah White goes through a difficult divorce, her daughter Faith begins talking to God. Mariah must fight to keep her daughter safe from the media and custody from her ex-husband.


Sixty ideas for people who aspire to learn and do more. Each chapter lists a "how-to", "pay-offs" and "beyond the badge" section.

Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian

Every summer Willow and Charlotte spend their summer vacation at their grandmother's country home. After an accident with a gun leaves Charlotte's dad paralyzed, the family is never the same again.


After surviving the Columbine shooting, Caelum and Maureen Quirk move out east to start a new life. However, Maureen's post-traumatic stress challenges their marriage.

I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays by Sloane Crosley [817 Cro]

Short stories about a single twenty-something's obligation to attend the wedding/baby showers of all her friends.


On a cold wintry night a doctor's wife gives birth to twins. One is a beautiful healthy baby boy. The other is a little girl with Down Syndrome. Fearing the repercussions of this disorder, he has the nurse take the baby away and tell his wife she died. He spends his entire life regretting that decision.

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell [641.3 Pow]

Stuck in a dead-end job, and having trouble conceiving, Julie Powell decides she will embark on a year's journey to make every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Not Quite What I Was Planning by Rachel Fershleiser [808.88 Fer]

The six-word memoir.

Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch

Sarah Walters does everything she can to remove herself from Charleston and the debutante lifestyle in which she is raised. But in the end she finds that where you come from always impacts where you end up.

Hick by Andrea Portes

This novel by a Lincoln native is a sad portrayal of one girl's life. When she decides to run away from her abusive family, she meets a whole new batch of people who don't care about her.


When Barbara finds out she is dying of cancer she decides to spend her last days writing letters and journals to her four daughters so they will know how to go on without her.

Also available on the BookGuide web site on our Booktalk Booklists page.

Click

Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why it Matters
by Bill Tancer [Compact Disc 004.678 Tan]

Bill Tancer, who leads global research at Hitwise, an online market research company, tracks the Internet usage by millions of people. From these usage patterns he identifies our attitudes about everything we research on the web. Every Google query we make leaves web tracks and allows web researchers to draw conclusions about what we purchase, what we worry about and what we want out of life. It was fascinating to listen to Tancer describe how he and his team deduce patterns based on people's web tracks. Listening to this book made me think that "Big Brother" is watching us, except that, in this case, "Big Brother" is not the government but anonymous researchers who might sell the information for profit. -- recommended by Donna G. - Eiseley and Walt Branch Libraries

[Also available in book format.][ Tancer Q&A at publisher's web site ] [ official Click and Bill Tancer web site ]

Have you listened to or 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, February 5, 2009

Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle
by Jim Butcher

This graphic novel, originally released as a limited-run comic book series, is an entertaining prequel to the first official Dresden Files novel, Storm Front. Chicago wizard Harry Dresden is called in by his police contact to assist in the investigation of a bizarre animal attack at the Lincoln Park Zoo. With a little gumshoe skills and a little magical manipulation, Harry uncovers a plot by an ancient entity attempting to break through to our plane of existence. This graphic novel features highly detailed and realistic looking artwork, although Harry's "everyman" physicality in the books sometimes comes across as a bit too muscular and heroic in a graphic format. This story does feature a very strong plot, and nicely realized supporting characters. Should appeal to all readers who are already Dresden Files fans, and resembles the tone of the novels enough to serve as an excellent intro to the series for newcomers. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library


[ official Jim Butcher 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.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wishful Drinking

Wishful Drinking
by Carrie Fisher [Biography Fisher]

Daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher had one heck of a Hollywood childhood! She shares the trials and tribulations of growing up in the spotlight in a candid, hysterically funny, and yet touching way. -- recommended by Kimberly S. - Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries


[Also available in book-on-cd format.][ official Carrie Fisher 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, February 3, 2009

Indigo: A Film of Faith and Family

Indigo: A Film of Faith and Family
[DVD j Indigo]

This film, co-written and starring Neal Donald Walsh, author of the popular Conversations with God book series, tells the story of a family forced to deal with the many problems that have eroded their unity. Spurred on by a series of unexpected events, the granddaughter of the family uses her enlightened knowledge as an Indigo child, to show her bitter family the beauty and wonder that life can be filled with. The movie brings out to the public, the belief that children, born on earth at this time, have an energy within them that allows them to connect to the spiritual world in astounding ways. -- recommended by Patty L. - Walt Branch Library

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.

Muffins: A to Z

Muffins: A to Z
by Marie Simmons [641.815 Sim]

I saw this earlier this winter on one of the book displays in the library, and colorful cover of this small-sized cookbook grabbed my attention. Filled with 41 muffin recipes (at least one starting with each letter of the alphabet), Muffins: A to Z is a compact, easy-to-follow baking guide for exploring the world of muffins. Reading through all of the recipes, you'll discover a certain commonality about muffin ingredients. However, there's enough variety in the special add-ons -- nuts, fruits, herbs, flavorings -- that there are at least 15-20 different "types" of muffins in this book. None of the recipes are complicated or difficult to prepare. I managed to try three of the recipes before returning the book to the library, and I heartily recommend both the Toasted Almond and Apricot Muffins, and the Fabulous Banana Muffins. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library


[ Marie Simmons official A-to-Z Books 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.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond
by Elizabeth Speare

In 1687, Kit Tyler, who was raised in colorful Barbados, must adjust to Puritan life in the Connecticut Colony. Her silken gowns and embroidered gloves offend some in the colony, as does her friendship with an outcast Quaker, Hannah Tupper, who is accused of witchcraft. Kit herself does not escape the same charge. Although this book was written 50 years ago, its story is timeless and deserves a look from today's reader. -- recommended by Rianna 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.

Read...Discuss...Repeat! - February - Agnes and the Hitman

February 2009's Read...Discuss...Repeat! selection is Agnes and the Hitman, the second light-hearted action-romance-comedy from Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. If you enjoy the types of books like the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum novels, or the Bubbles books of Sarah Strohmeyer, then we encourage you to read this book and then stop back at the BookGuide link above (or here at this Blog entry) to comment on it.

You can also stop by this month's Read...Discuss...Repeat! page on BookGuide for background information about the book, a list of "readalike" suggestions, 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 Agnes and the Hitman!