Monday, August 31, 2009

What We're Reading: Tracy

All Kinds of Families, by Mary Ann Hoberman.

"A knife and a fork and a spoon are a family
The stars and the sun and the moon are a family
The socks in the drawer
And the rocks on the shore
And the blocks on the floor
They can all become families."

So begins this warm and whimsical new picture book, which offers up pages and pages of interesting "families" to be seen all around us. The unique illustrations, reminiscient of both modern Japanese cartooning and Disney's classic Small World attraction, feature scores of adorable anthropomorphic objects.
After perusing this book, you won't look at your refrigerator the same way again:

"Eggs in a carton can seem like a family
So can a loaf with its slices of bread
Celery stalks or a big bunch of carrots
They sleep in the fridge with a drawer for a bed."

What We're Reading: Edward

In this short book, much like the ONE MINUTE MANAGER,Phil coaches Helen on retaking control of her life and her business. According to Crenshaw there is no such thing as multitasking. There is really switch-tasking and background tasking. It takes time for the brain to switch from one task to another. This is inefficient and actually damages productivity and relationships both at work and at home. Using the exercises at the back of the book, you can plan for the best use of your work and home time to be more productive and satisfied.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What We're Reading: Tracy

Pandemonium and Parade: Japanese Monsters and the Culture of Yokai, by Michael Dylan Foster.

Japanese folklore is particularly rich in fascinating monsters, specters, and other supernatural creatures. Known collectively as yokai, they have a pervasive presence in Japanese art and literature. Foster's academic study of the yokai and their place in Japanese culture is a timely release, as yokai now turn up frequently in world-wide pop culture, including comics and video games. (The animated Hellboy film, Sword of Storms, features scores of yokai in its storylines.) Read with the lights on.

What We're Reading: Edward

If the exploits of James Bond and Jason Bourne seen unreal to you, try reading about Jack Reacher. Jack was a military policeman who got feed up with the system. Now he lives off the grid traveling the country. As he travels his policeman instincts alert him when he sees things that are not quite right. Jack has a true sense of right over wrong. Jack gets himself involved in situations that help the underdog achieve victory. Read the series from the beginning to get a real feel for Jack.

1997 Killing Floor

1998 Die trying

1999 Tripwire

2000 Running Blind

2001 Echo Burning

2002 Without Fail

2003 Persuader

2004 Enemy

2005 One Shot

2006 Hard Way

2007 Bad Luck and Trouble

2008 Nothing to Lose

2009 Gone Tomorrow

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What We're Watching: Alice

Julie and Julia (2009) Columbia Pictures with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.

Julia Child and Julie Powell find their lives intertwined. Though separated by time and space, both women are at loose ends...until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.

Meryl Streep is an absolute wonder as Julia Child. Her portrayal is uncanny. Amy Adams does a great job as the "going nowhere temp worker" Julie, who embarks on an insane project to cook the 524 recipes in Julia Child's cookbook in 365 days, and decides to blog about it.

The blog eventually turns into her book, Julie and Julia, on which this movie is based.

Both book and movie are great fun and deserve a FIVE STAR rating.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What We're Watching: Kathryn

The Wrestler
Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood
This film, about a wrestler who must retire due to heath problems, but can’t get used to life outside the ring, was surprisingly touching to me. It was hard to watch because it was steeped in sadness, but touching as you see the main character, Randy “The Ram” Robinson try to make amends with his estranged daughter, get a full time job at a grocery store and try to make new life for himself. This movie is what it is due to the superb performance by Mickey Rourke. He completely deserved the Academy Award nomination, Golden Globe win and buzz about his comeback. His pain and desperation were palpable.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What We're Listening To: Tish

The Underneath [sound recording] by Kathi Appelt ; read by Gabra Zackman.
This is Kathi Appelt's first novel about an old hound that has been chained up at his hateful owner's run-down shack, and two kittens born underneath the house, who endure separation, danger, and many other tribulations in their quest to be reunited and free.
Gabra Zackman's interpretation of this Newbery Honor Book is so soothing that it captures the imagination of her listeners. Suitable for ages 10 and up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Family Movie Night

The library will be holding a free Family Movie night tomorrow, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. Come see Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler in the Library Programming Center. Refreshments will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Library.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What We're Reading: Tracy

Merit Badge Series: Astronomy, by the Boy Scouts of America.

The library just received the latest versions of all the Boy Scout Merit Badge pamphlets. Featuring new, full color photography throughout the completely updated texts, these pamphlets are great introductions to their topics for any reader. We have 114 different titles, shelved in the Youth Services non-fiction area at j369.43 BOY. Stop by and check them out!

What We're Reading: Cathy

Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett is the story of two sisters, daughters of a London silk merchant. Jane becomes the infamous mistress of King Edward IV while her sister, Isabel, becomes the secret mistress of his brother, Richard III. This novel focuses on merchant London rather than the royal palaces or the wars and so you get a better idea of how the doings of the nobility affected the lives of those "below" them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What We're Reading: Edward

Charlie Marsh is a jailed con man. His cellmate is his psychotic childhood friend. When his friend tries to kill a guard, Charlie is nearly killed saving the guard's life. Charlie's near death experience gets him out of prison. His tell all biography turns Charlie into Guru Gabriel Sun. He gets rich with his best seller biography and his "Light Within" workshops. At one of his workshops he meets the wife of a Congressman and becomes involved with her. When the Congressman shows up for one of the "Light Within" workshops, he is killed. Both the wife and Charlie are accused of murder. Charlie flees the country to Batanga, a country without an extradition treaty. Meanwhile the wife is acquitted of murder. When Charlie's life is endangered by Batanga's dictator, Charlie comes back to the States to face his murder charge. While on trial several attempts are made on his life. Will Charlie be convicted or acquitted? Will he live long enough to hear the verdict?
This is the third book in a series featuring Oregon attorney Amanda Jaffe.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What We're Watching: Tracy

The Mackinac Bridge Story, featuring J. C. Stilwell, produced by The Original Mackinac Bridge Museum.

The Mackinac Bridge never fails to impress visitors seeing it for the first time. Even those of us who live in Michigan and visit it every summer are usually awestruck anew. J. C. Stilwell, one of the original
iron workers on the bridge construction crew and founder of the Mackinac Bridge Museum, has created a wonderful tribute to the Mighty Mac with this video.

What We're Reading: Tracy

Cabinets of Curiosities, by Patrick Mauries.

This gorgeously illustrated volume traces the evolution of cabinets of curiosities, from their origin in the natural history collections of 15th century noblemen to their re-imagining by modern artists. Lovers of natural history, museums, or collecting will find much to savor in this beautiful book.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What We're Watching: Kathryn

Frost/Nixon (2008, R) Starring Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon, and Sam Rockwell

This Academy Award-nominated movie was highly enjoyable, with enough great acting and suspense to keep viewers riveted to the very end. Frank Langella got an Oscar and a Golden Globe nomination for portraying a spot-on Nixon, but Michael Sheen also shone as British talk show host David Frost, who put his career on the line post-Watergate to get one last interview and, perhaps, an apology out of the former president.
Based on the Tony award-winning play, this movie is probably one of director Ron Howard's best.

Twilight for Teens

Teens! Head to the library this Thursday, Aug. 13 at 2:30 p.m. to watch the movie Twilight. The free movie will be shown in the Library Programming Center and snacks will be served.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What We're Reading: Tracy

Enchanted Hunters: the Power of Stories in Childhood, by Maria Tatar.

Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Studies at Harvard University and one of today's preeminent scholars of fairy tales. In this, her latest work, Tatar examines the roles stories play in children's lives, paying particular attention to classic fairy tales and imaginative themes. As with her previous books, Tatar's scholarly attention to children's stories grants them a long-sought academic legitimacy.


Have you ever started what you thought would be a simple project, only to have it spiral out of control to take up much more time and resources? This is exactly what happens to Stone Barrington in LOITERING WITH INTENT. His law firm sends Stone to Key West to get a contract signed. But the person who needs to sign the contract is elusive. Who would not want to sign on the dotted line and get $20 million? When Stone finally explains the situation to Evan, he still refuses to sign. He says that his uncle was killed for the money. Stone begins to believe Evan, when several attempts are made on Evan's life. The plot thickens when Evan's grandfather is freed from drugged induced captivity in a nursing home. Then Evan's father is murdered. The stakes are now up to over $800 million to the surviving family member. Stone get to the bottom of this mess with the help of several of his friends either current or former New York Police Officers. A great beach read with the Key West setting! Read the whole series of Stone Barrington novels if you like this outing.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What We're Reading: Cathy

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This is the story of David Martin, an author who gradually realizes that he's made a pact with the devil in agreeing to write a book for "The Boss" - a mysterious publisher that no one has heard of. As he struggles to find out what's going on and to free himself, people around him die. It's a rather grim picture of Barcelona in the time between the world wars.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What We're Watching:Judy

If you like nostalgia and "life in the good old days" this is the DVD series for you. Follow the exploits of the King Family of Prince Edward Island in the small town of Avonlea, Canada. this Charming family fare is found in a seven volume set based on the television series "Road to Avonlea". Watch the familly grow through good times and bad with the backdrop of period costumes and settings. The cast members create an outstanding, award winning, heart warming feature series.


Rome at the end of the Republic was undergoing many changes. Kane tells his story of this time through the eyes of three men. Brennus is an Allobreges warrior, his tribe was destroyed by Roman Legions, and he was sold to a gladiator school. Tarquinius is the last Etruscan haruspex (soothsayer), he seeks to fulfill his destiny. Romulus is a household slave born of rape by a patrician. All three meet on a ship that carries their legion to Asia. Crassus hope to use their legion and others to conquer the Parthians. Each of these men has suffered under the Roman yoke. Now their fortunes are joined as they march to the East and into history. Be sure to read this novel quickly, for the sequel is coming out soon.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What We're Reading: Tracy

Collector's Guide to Housekeeping Toys, 1870-1970, by Margaret Wright.

While not a comprehensive reference source, this charming paperback provides a fun introduction to its topic, all in full-color with great, crisp photography. Toys covered include American-made stoves, cookware, miniature cupboards, grocery shops, tea sets, and lots more. The author admirably conveys her delight in these objects as both simple toys and important sociological artifacts, writing in the introduction: "toys...are historical documents...American history can be taught with twenty toys on a table, beginning with an 1880 cast-iron stove and ending with a plastic tea set, components of the Industrial Revolution and modern technology." Her love for these toys is infectious: you'll find yourself wanting to "play house" after you finish reading this wonderful little book.