Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A State of Mind


A State of Mind
by Daniel Gordon [DVD 796.44 Gor]

This fascinating documentary is some of the first film footage from within North Korea in 50 years. This film introduces us to two girls (ages 11 & 13) who after school each day practice gymnastics for 6 hours, outside, on the cement. Their goal is to be in the "mass games" showcasing thousands of gymnastics performing in synchronized movements in a display of unity and love for "The General" and their country. By getting to know these two girls and following them in their daily lives we get to know what life is like in North Korea and how the Korean War played a huge role in how North Koreans live and think. This is a must see! -- recommended by Jodene G. - Walt Branch Library

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official A State of Mind web site ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

New Booktalk Booklist - Crafts and Hobbies in Fiction


On January 22nd and February 22nd, 2010 at the Gere and Bethany Branches, Sandy W. presented a booktalk on the theme of Crafts and Hobbies in Fiction to the regular Books Talk groups that meet weekly at those libraries.

Click the link above to connect to the libraries BookGuide site to see a booklist of this booktalk, with detailed descriptions of the nearly-35 books she discussed, and with hotlinks into the libraries' online catalog for all those titles, which are available through the Lincoln City Libraries system.

Iron Lake


Iron Lake
by William Kent Krueger

When the Just Desserts mystery group selected this author for one of its monthly book discussions, I was quite pleased -- I'd been meaning to try Krueger for some time, since he'd regularly come to Lincoln for signings at the former Lee Booksellers any time he had a new book out, and friends had recommended his thrillers very highly. I was not disappointed! I enjoyed Iron Lake, the first book in Krueger's Cork O'Connor series, tremendously. O'Connor is a damaged character -- a forcibly retired Sheriff in the small, northern Minnesota town of Aurora, dealing with broken relationships and an uncertain career path. A panicked request from a friend to look into her teenaged son's disappearance while delivery papers during a blizzard launches Cork into a dangerous situation that ultimately involves multiple murders, an Indian casino, an anti-government militia, a motorcycle-riding minister, and the up-and-coming politician who's been seeing Cork's wife on the side. The characters, while not necessarily all likeable, are well-drawn, and Krueger does a great job of creating his snow-packed Minnesota setting. When the characters get trapped in the snow, you start shivering. The mystery is solid, if somewhat predictable, but the atmosphere more than makes up for any predictability. I highly recommended this one...it has led to 9 volumes in the series (as of 2010). -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official William Kent Krueger web site ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Customer Review - The Honeymoon


The Honeymoon
by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

This book makes a great summer beach read. It has suspense, romance, and lots of twists & turns! Once I started reading the book I had a hard time putting it down. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. James Patterson has outdone himself with this one!!! -- recommended by Mistie P. - patron of the Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you enjoy this review? Would you like to submit a recommendation of your own?

Library customers can submit reviews of Lincoln City Libraries materials two ways -- you can submit a review of an item directly in the libraries' online catalog, which can be seen by people searching for that particular item. Or you can submit a reading suggestion for general recommendation, to appear on BookGuide on our Customer Reviews page.

The Big Bang Theory: Season One


The Big Bang Theory: Season One
[DVD Big]

What is now one of CBS' biggest sitcom hits started off a little quietly in the fall of 2007, but quickly connected with audiences. And there's a Nebraska connection! Kaley Cuoco (8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter) is Penny, a midwestern girl – from Omaha – who moves to L.A. to seek acting fame but ends up waitressing at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant. When she moves into an apartment building, she finds herself living across the hall from a pair of brilliant but socially-inept scientists, Leonard Hofstadter (played by Roseanne's Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (played by the brilliant but relatively unknown Jim Parsons). Leonard develops an immediate crush on Penny, and she is soon enfolded into the nerds' cluster of friends, including fellow scientists Raj Koothrapalli and Howard Weinstein. For once, the geeks are the stars and anti-heroes of the show, obsessing about their scientific pursuits on the job and their Star Trek and Lord of the Rings marathons or trips to the local comic-book store while off work. This 17-episode first season does an excellent job of introducing the characters, of whom the prissily-dictatorial Sheldon Cooper easily steals the show. [Note: The only reason I'm giving it a score of 9 instead of 10 is that it got even better in the 2nd season!] -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ episode guide on epguides.com ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sworn to Silence


Sworn to Silence
by Linda Castillo [Compact Disc Castillo]

Sworn to Silence offers us a glimpse of Amish life. Painters Mill is small town in northeast Ohio were the Amish and "English" live. The peace and quiet of the community is shattered when a serial killer returns after a sixteen-year absence. Painters Mill police chief, Kate Burkholder, always thought that she knew why the murders stopped. Now that they have started again she struggles to manage the case and hide her secret. It's impossible for her to believe that the murderer has returned but this killer's "MO" is identical -- down to the Roman numerals carved in the victims' abdomens, a detail never released to the press. Kate grew up Amish in Painters Mill. She left the order to live among the "English" and work as a police detective. Kate came home to Painters Mill to help her mother through her final illness. She stayed in Painters Mill because she was offered the job of police chief. Now her job and her secret are jeopardy because the local politicians have set up a multi-jurisdictional task force to solve the case. This book on CD is not for listeners with weak stomachs. There are graphic descriptions of the murders as well as heart-wrenching scenes of parents who have just learned that their daughters are dead. Their cries of despair echoed from my car speakers. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Thomas Perry or Chelsea Cain.] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[Also available in downloadable and print formats.]

[ official Amish Crime Thriller page on the official Linda Castillo web site ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Customer Review - Darkest Passion


Darkest Passion
by Gena Showalter

Not my favorite of the series. It was a little slow to start but overall I enjoyed it. -- recommended by Elizabeth M. - patron of the Eiseley Branch Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you enjoy this review? Would you like to submit a recommendation of your own?

Library customers can submit reviews of Lincoln City Libraries materials two ways -- you can submit a review of an item directly in the libraries' online catalog, which can be seen by people searching for that particular item. Or you can submit a reading suggestion for general recommendation, to appear on BookGuide on our Customer Reviews page.

The September Issue


The September Issue: Anna Wintour and the Making of Vogue
a film by R.J. Cutler [DVD 746.92 Sep]

If you are of the belief that Vogue Magazine is the fashion bible, this is a must see Documentary. Every year, the September issue sets the tone for the following seasons' clothing styles and designs. Cameras follow Editor-and-Chief of Vogue Magazine, Anna Wintour, as well as other key Vogue team members as they design and prepare for not only the years' largest issue of 2009, but for their largest issue in Vogue Magazine history. You may recall Anna Wintour, who was immortalized as the nightmare boss in the 2003 novel The Devil Wears Prada, written by Lauren Weisberger. This DVD allows entrance into Vogue's offices, fashion photo shoots and even a rare glimpse into Ms. Wintour's office, home and private life. The cameras also take the viewer to photo shoots in Paris and Italy as well as to several fashion shows and Haute Couture Houses such as Karl Lagerfeld. There are also interviews with several famous designers. This a two disk set with special bonus material and deleted scenes. [If you're looking for something light and fun with New York's high fashion scene, Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes is a good choice. Ms. Sykes is a Vogue staff member and is often a feature writer for Vogue articles. I would also recommend Front Row: The Cool Life and Hot Times of Vogues Editor-and-Chief by Jerry Oppenheimer.] -- recommended by Jessica H. - Walt Branch Library

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official The September Issue web site ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Fire Came By


The Fire Came By: The Riddle of the Great Siberian Explosion
by John Baxter and Thomas Atkins [001.94 Bax]

In 1908 a large meteorite hit the Tunguska region in central Siberia. The seismic shock was registered in Paris, London, Washington, D. C. and, of course, Moscow. At the time, the explosion and impact were not scientifically understood. With the passage of time, more was understood about astrophysics, including black holes and antimatter and the Tunguska event has been better investigated. This book relies on the aforementioned modern science to explore the "fire that came by." -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library
[ Wikipedia article on the Tungunska Event ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Customer Review -- Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson

There's a reason the wait is so long to get this book! It's an exciting read with amazing characters and the sequels are just as exciting! -- recommended by Jessica H. - patron of the BookGuide web site

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you enjoy this review? Would you like to submit a recommendation of your own?

Library customers can submit reviews of Lincoln City Libraries materials two ways -- you can submit a review of an item directly in the libraries' online catalog, which can be seen by people searching for that particular item. Or you can submit a reading suggestion for general recommendation, to appear on BookGuide on our Customer Reviews page.

Ghost Towns of the Southwest


Ghost Towns of the Southwest: Your Guide to the Historic Mining Camps and Ghost Towns of Arizona and New Mexico
by Jim Hinckley [917.91 Hin]

I admit it; I am a sucker for ghost towns. There is something about the remnants of these old places that intrigue me. I love prowling them with my camera and I love reading about them. The author, Jim Hinckley describes these towns that are shells of their former selves in lyrical prose. He portrays communities such as Oatman as "towns that cling to life with dust swirling along once busy thoroughfares". He also gives historical tidbits. For example, Oatman is linked to Hollywood. Several movies were filmed here, most notably How the West Was Won in 1962. And Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their first night as husband and wife in the Oatman Hotel in 1939. Hinckley also gives careful attention to ghost towns such White Hills, which are only wind-blown memories. The only tangible remains are weather beaten wood claim markers. Many of these dusty time capsules started their lives as mining camps and grew into towns as the mines prospered. When the gold, silver and copper veins were exhausted the residents drifted away in search of better opportunities. Some communities, such as Bisbee redefined themselves and are now thriving. Bisbee is a photographic gem nestled in the colorful canyons of the Mule Mountains. Other towns such as Elizabethtown, New Mexico are simply picturesque ruins. Hinckley teamed up with travel photographer, Kerrick James to produce a book that is rich in visual as well written detail. There are easy to follow maps and explicit driving directions if you interested in visiting these relics. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Dust to Dust: Ghost Towns of Eastern Nebraska by Lowell Greunke, Black Hills Ghost Towns by Watson Parker, Colorado Ghost Towns -- Past and Present by Robert Leaman Brown, and Ghost Towns of Kansas by Daniel Fitzgerald.] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[ official Jim Hinckley blog ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Customer Review -- Twilight


Twilight
by Stephenie Meyer

This was an easy read that kept my attention easily. I found it very difficult to put the book down and was able to read it in 2 days (I don't read that fast usually). The story line wasn't a sappy love story. It was a love story with some excitement and action. A great novel that I will read again! -- recommended by Elizabeth M. - patron of the Eiseley Branch Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you enjoy this review? Would you like to submit a recommendation of your own?

Library customers can submit reviews of Lincoln City Libraries materials two ways -- you can submit a review of an item directly in the libraries' online catalog, which can be seen by people searching for that particular item. Or you can submit a reading suggestion for general recommendation to appear on BookGuide on our Customer Reviews page.

Sin in the Second City


Sin the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys and the Battle for America's Soul
by Karen Abbot [306.74 Abb]

This book is about a fabulous (and notorious) bordello on South Dearborn Street in Chicago called the Everleigh Club. The Club was owned and run by two sisters, Minna and Ada. Their last name is not certain--the sisters made up many stories about their lives. Sometimes they refer to their surname as Lester, sometimes as Everleigh; other last names crop up as well. The cortesans (known as butterflies--from Minna's stunning and valuable collection of diamonds in a butterfly shape) were educated in Balzac and other literature and they were ordered to stay away from drugs and sternly forbidden not to roll their tricks--they made more money than their sisters in other houses, so the butterflies complied. In fact, Minna and Ada had a long waiting list of girls wanting to enter the Club. The house was elegant with (from page 69 of the book) a "towering water fountain, parquet floor arranged in intricate mosaic patters, and ceiling that dripped crystal chandeliers. They came to see little oddities...gilded fishbowls, eighteen-karat-gold spittoons that cost $650 each, the the Everleigh's signature trinket--a fountain that at regular intervals, fired a jet of perfume into the thickly incensed air." (A brief note to put the cost of the spitoons in perspective: the Club's heigh day was from about 1899-1908.) The Club also featured a solid gold piano (Ada's obsession) and their clients dined on pheasant, squab, roasted turkey, duck or goose with sides of au gratin cauliflower or spinach cups with creamed peas, not to mention champagne. The sisters have a Nebraska connection: before opening up shop in Chicago, they ran a bordello in Omaha. A running thread throughout the book is the reform movement that arose in Chicago in response to white slavery charges and the immorality of prostitution in general. Some of the organizations went on to become national in nature, since the traffic in women was not, of course, limited to Chicago. -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[Also available in downloadable audio format.]

[ official Sin in the Second City and Karen Abbot web site ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Psych: The Complete Third Season


[DVD Psych]

This is a witty series that gets better every year. Shawn Spencer claims to be a psychic and he uses his "abilities" to solve crimes. Shawn's buddy Gus tries to provide the voice of reason but Shawn rarely listens. Among the cases Shawn and Gus take on in this season are: a vanishing body at their high school reunion, a murdered sea lion and an old summer camp that is terrorized by axe murderer which is a funny but scary takeoff on the Friday the 13th movies. Shawn and Gus run a private detective agency and they also act as consultants to the Santa Barbara Police Department. Some of the funnier moments involve Lassiter, a way too serious police detective. I am looking forward to season four! -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department


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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Doomsday Key (on CD)


The Doomsday Key
by James Rollins [Compact Disc Rollins]

I like books that weave history into a modern day plot. In this novel Rollins draws on the Domesday Book commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086 as his inspiration. This book was known as the great land survey. It provided extensive records of the landholders, their tenants, the amount of land they owned, how many people occupied the land (villagers, free men, slaves etc.), the amount of woodland, meadow, animals, fish and plows, all the buildings (churches, castles, mills, etc.) and the value of the land and its assets before the Norman Conquest, after the conquest and at the time of Domesday (the day of reckoning) for taxation purposes. The story does not hinge on the prosperous parts of England but on some of the areas that were declared, "wasted" in the Domesday Book. William's army ravaged these places when they moved through England. Here, Rollins takes artistic license and he creates a "wasted" village with unusual markings and a decimated population. The strange cause of the death of the villagers is as shocking as the odd markings. The centuries roll to modern times when three people are murdered on three continents. Jason Gorman, son of an influential United State Senator, sends an email about genetically modified corn to his father just before he is murdered in a Red Cross camp in Africa. His body is branded with a Druidic cross. A Vatican archeologist who is researching the roots of Celtic Christianity hides a leather pouch with a grizzly clue just before an assassin kills him in St. Peter's Basilica. A Druidic cross is burned into his flesh. A geneticist is tortured and murdered in his lab at Princeton University. He is seared with a Druidic cross. Each of these men was also connected to Viatus International, a company working on the genetic modification of seeds. Sigma Force, a clandestine Department of Defense agency, is assigned to look investigate these deaths. The Sigma Force leader, Painter Crowe divides his team and sends Grayson Pierce and Joe Kowalski to Rome to investigate the murder of the Vatican archeologist. They pursue the Doomsday Key -- an ancient cure to a potent fungus that can be used for biological warfare as well as to control the world food supply. Crowe and Monk Kokkalis head to Norway where Ivar Karlsen, the head of Viatus International has called a World Food Summit. This CD was good company when I drove through the sandhills on a quiet highway. The flippant humor sprinkled throughout story amused me. The historical aspect was fascinating. I enjoyed the notes that Rollins provided at the end. This section is called "The Author's Note to Readers: Truth or Fiction." It gave details about several elements portrayed in the book. The prophecies by Saint Malachy are eerily on target. The history surrounding the Domesday Book is intriguing. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Steve Berry, the works of Dan Brown, and the works of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[Also available in print format.]

[ official Doomsday Key page on the official James Rollins web site ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Death by Hollywood


Death by Hollywood
by Steven Bochco

I've enjoyed Bochco's television series for years -- groundbreaking hits like Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Doogie Howser M.D., Hooperman, and Murder One (though I never got into NYPD Blue). Before he became one of the 1980s and 1990s' most influential producers, I'd enjoyed his writing for 1970s cop shows, too -- his Columbo plots were some of the most intricate that series every produced. Do, with that kind of writing pedigree, I looked forward to reading this, his first novel. I'll have to admit, I was kind of disappointed. As a mystery/thriller, this novel sort of fits into the "Columbo" mold -- we (the reader) know who did everything, and the fun of the plot is to see if the "sleuth" characters can figure it out. Unfortunately, this process isn't really all that enjoyable, because the characters are distinctly unlikeable. Bochco pokes a lot of fun at the foibles and idiocies of the entertainment industry, and on that level, I'd recommend this one as an indictment of that world. However, as a mystery novel this one is merely lukewarm. I'd also caution those that find offensive language to be one of your barometers of readability -- this one is rife with four-letter words...and unnecessarily so, in my opinion. If you'd still like to pursue this one, here's the plot in a nutshell: Two-time loser screenwriter with writer's block witnesses a murder through a telescope, but instead of calling it in, he decides to position of inside knowledge to write a screenplay about what he saw, insinuating himself into the lives of the guilty parties and the cops investigating the crime. Several double- and triple-crosses later, his agent (who narrates the story) tumbles to an even bigger secret when the script sees the light of day. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Stephen J. Cannell, another TV producer who's moved into writing novels.] -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Twist of Orchids


A Twist of Orchids
by Michelle Wan

This series is set in the lush Dordogne départment of southern-western France. Julian, an English botanist, freelance landscaper and orchid enthusiast is searching for the rare Cypripedium Incognitum, an orchid that he saw only once in a damaged photo. Mara, his live-in lover, notes that "come spring, he is filled with a kind of anticipatory anixiety" until May arrives and the Cypripedium Incognitum blooms and he can search for it again. Julian's near fanatical search for the Cypripedium Incognitum is the backdrop for these books. In this novel, Julian's enthusiam is tempered by his search Kazim Ismet, the son of Turkish friends. Kazim has disappeared and his worried parents asked Julian to look for him. Orchids, while not the root of evil, certainly play a role in the evil perpetrated in this book. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle, books in the English Garden Mystery Series by Anthony Eglin, and The Garden Mystery series by Ann Riple .] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[ publisher's official A Twist of Orchids web page ] | [ official Michelle Wan web site ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Tour of the White House With Mrs. John F. Kennedy


A Tour of the White House With Mrs. John F. Kennedy
by Perry Sidney Wolff [975.3 qWol]

In 1962, Jacqueline Kennedy hosted a television program about her renovations to the White House. She established a Fine Arts Committee to achieve her goal of refurbishing the mansion with as many authentic pieces as possible. In addition, the post of White House Curator was established, and the White House Historical Association was formed to prepare an official guidebook and publish other historical material. The program, which was broadcast on all three networks was watched by three out of four television viewers. The author, Perry Wolff, was also the CBS producer of the television program. Although the tour book place over 40 years ago, anyone who cares about the history of the White House will still find this book fascinating. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the subject heading "White House (Washington, D.C.)".] -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library


[ watch the original 1962 documentary on Hulu.com ]


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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Angels Flight


Angels Flight
by Michael Connelly [Compact Disc Connelly]

Deputy Chief Irving calls Harry Bosch and his team out in the middle of the night. He doesn't give Harry any details. Irving tells Harry to bring team to Angels Flight, a cable railway that runs up and down Bunkers Hill. Harry is startled by the order for two reasons. One, his team was called out on a case out of rotation. (They're supposed to have this weekend off.) Two, the crime scene is out of their response area. The tram is another precinct's responsibility. They arrive at the cable car to find two bodies surrounded by detectives from the elite Robbery Homicide division and Internal Affairs. Once Harry finds out that one of the victims was Howard Elias, he understands why the Robbery Homicides detectives won't investigate the crime. Elias was a Los Angles attorney who made a good living suing the L.A.P.D for racially motivated brutality. Internal Affairs is there because they think that an officer carrying an old grudge may have killed Elias. The Rodney King trial hangs over this investigation like a specter. Racial tensions run high between the Afro-American community and the police department. The Afro-American leaders are crying cover up because they think a police officer killed Elias. Harry Bosch lives by his own distinctive code. His moral compass always points toward finding out the truth at all costs. As a result, he has a lot of run-ins with the L.A.P.D. brass and the Internal Affairs Division. The reader, Dick Hill, gives Harry a firm voice as he tries to find out what really happened. Angels Flight is the sixth book in this well written series. [If you like this, you may also wish to try non-series titles by Michael Connelly, and the works of both Robert Crais and Lee Child.] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[Also available in hardback, paperback, and unabridged audiotape formats.]

[ official Angels Flight page on the official Michael Connelly web site ]


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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Princes in the Tower


The Princes in the Tower
by Alison Weir [942.045 Wei]

Who killed the princes in the tower? The boy king Edward V (only 12 or 13 when he died)and his brother, Richard, the Duke of York, who was only 10, died in 1483 and to this day the murderer remains unknown. The charismatic Edward IV was their father. Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, was Edward IV's ambitious brother, and upon the death of the two boys, he became the monarch, as Richard III. Did he kill his nephews to gain the throne? Other candidates for the murderer include the Duke of Buckingham and Sir James Tyrell. Weir examines each possible murderer in his turn. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes, by Bertram Fields.] -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library


[ Wikipedia article on The Princes in the Tower ] | [ official Alison Weir web site ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Readalikes list -- The Flavia de Luce mysteries


If you're a fan of the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley, you're not alone!

This popular new series, which began in 2009 with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, features a most original new sleuth -- 11-year-old Flavia de Luce, who is fascinated with chemistry, and in particular poisons. The books feature a 1950s British setting, and an unusual narrative voice.

We've had so many requests for similar titles that Lisa V., from the Eiseley Branch, put together this list of series readalikes for the Flavia books:

If You Like...the Flavia de Luce series

Check out some of those titles! And don't forget, you can subscribe to receive the electronic booklist newsletter Lisa V's Book Crave, one of the newsletters available via the libraries new Books, Movies & More service online!

Hearts at Stake


Hearts at Stake
by Alyxandra Harvey

A young adult, paranormal romance, the First book in the Drake Chronicles has the story going back and forth between two fifteen year old girls who have been best friends since birth. Solange, born into the very ancient and powerful vampire Drake family, is prophesied to become a vampire queen at age 16. Lucy, whose legal name to her horror is "Lucky", was born into a new-age, no-violence, alternative, hippie family. One unique aspect of this novel is that the chapters of the novel volley back and forth between Solange's point of view and Lucy?s point of view. The author allows the Drake family to be your guide into a secret vampire society chronicling the growing teenage romances; Lucy and Nicholas (Solange's older vampire brother) and teenage vampire princess (Solange) who feels a strong attraction to the teenage vampire hunter torn between protecting Solange and killing her for a bounty. The romantic attraction and tension between Lucy and Nicholas as well as great fight scenes, humor and suspense definitely makes this book a page turner. Another unique aspect about this story is that Lucy's new age parents are very close and trusting with the Drake family, having always known about their vampire history. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Immortals series by Alyson Noel and The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.] -- recommended by Jessica H. - Walt Branch Library


[ official Drake Chronicles and Alyxandra Harvey web site ]

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

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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Green History of the World


A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations
by Clive Ponting [304.28 Pon]

Ponting posits that time and again throughout history, from ancient Rome to ancient Egypt to Easter Island, man has exploited earth's resources to the breaking point and their societies collapsed. He then extends his theory to the modern world, where behavior is global and possible destruction would be on a massive scale. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore.] -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library


[ official Green History of the World web site ] | [ Wikipedia page for Clive Ponting ]

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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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Surrogates


Surrogates

This is the 2009 movie starring Bruce Willis, based on the 2006 graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele (previously reviewed). In the near future, human beings have become reliant on the use of robotic surrogates, which allow them to experience life through surrogate bodies without endangering themselves. When a device surfaces that can kill a human surrogate user by destroying their surrogate body, a pair of law enforcement agents try to track the human terrorist using the weapon, only to uncover a conspiracy that may involve both an anti-surrogate religious leader and the discredited inventor of the original surrogates. Willis gives a good performance is a somewhat subdued role, and there are some remarkably good performances by other actors as the slightly "plastic" surrogate characters. On the other hand, the changes made to the story in the original graphic novel are kind of disappointing. If you're intrigued by this production, I encourage you to read the original. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[Also available in original graphic novel format.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Surrogates web site ]

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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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Crimes by Moonlight


Crimes by Moonlight
by the Mystery Writers of America [813.08 Mys]

I love anthologies. They are a great way to find new authors or try out new genres. This compilation of short stories is written by members of the Mystery Writers of America all trying their hand at the paranormal genre. It includes ghosts, vampires, and -- well -- the simply odd. Charlaine Harris is great as always, but I also found new (to me) authors Margaret Maron, S.W. Hubbard, and Lou Kemp to be very enjoyable. Give it a try! -- recommended by Jodene G. - Walt Branch Library


[ official Mystery Writers of America web site ]

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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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Marley & Me


Marley & Me
by John Grogan [636.752 Gro]

John Grogan and his wife, Jenny, get a labrador retriever to determine if they are ready to start a family. Later they learn why the owner discounted the price. Most labs are calm dogs; Marley breaks the mold. He is hyperactive and afraid of thunder storms--and when Marley becomes afraid, he also becomes destructive, chewing even cement. He eats a delicate gold necklace that John has given Jenny. Marley is kicked out of obedience school, the only dog in his class earning such a distinction. But he also senses Jenny's distress when she suffers a miscarriage, and puts his head in her lap to comfort her. Marley is truly a unique pet (and the book is much better than the movie). -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[Also available in abridged book-on-cd, unabridged book-on-cd, movie adaptation, and Illustrated Edition formats.]

[ official Marley & Me page on the official John Grogan web site ]

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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 individually over the course of the entire month.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Starstruck: Photographs From a Fan


Starstruck: Photographs From a Fan
by Gary Lee Boas [779.12 Boa]

Although many of these photos are blurry and have not necessarily captured many celebrities' most glamorous moments, the vast range and number of them is amazing. Boas literally spent years of his life waiting for and collecting these 'fossils in amber' and thus his own story becomes as interesting as those of the great and lesser stars he has captured in candid moments. From politicians to porn stars to the elusive Greta Garbo and the pre-nose-job Michael Jackson, this is a fascinating glimpse into the cult of personality. -- recommended by Becky W.C. - Walt Branch Library


[ official Gary Lee Boas web site ]

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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 individually over the course of the entire month.