Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What We're Watching: Tracy

Monsters vs. Aliens, directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon.

Monsters vs. Aliens
is out on DVD just in time for Halloween. See what happens when a monster team from a secret government facility is called upon to save the Earth from an alien attack! Fantastic animation, a solid storyline, and engaging characters will hold children's attention, while lots of clever references to classic monster movies will appeal to adults.

what we are reading:Judy

Unto The Daughters: The Legacy Of An Honor Killing In A Sicilian-American Family by Karen Tintori, 2007

Talk about skeletons in a family's closet, this one is a real doozy. "Unto The Daughters"is a murder mystery set in Detroit. A young daughter is forcibly engaged at 16 to an older man she does not love. To her family's disappointment she elopes and quickly becomes dishonored. Not long after she disappears and a family's secret begins. Many years later the author, Karen Tintori, goes on a quest to uncover the truth. A fascinating look into a family's darkest secret, plus the local setting adds to the interest.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What We're Reading: Barbara

Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish by Mark R. Levin

Rescuing Sprite is a wonderful book about the joy and heartbreak of owning a dog. Many people have heard of Mark Levin from his nationally syndicated radio show, but many may not know that in his personal life, he is a dog lover, and recently suffered the loss of one of his dogs, Sprite. Mark’s family had previously adopted another shelter dog, Pepsi, before adopting a second shelter dog, Sprite, who charmed them with his beauty and calm demeanor. However, when they adopted Sprite they had no idea that he was much older than they were told, and there was no clue that he would soon suffer from serious health problems. Anyone who has ever loved and lost a dog, especially a senior dog, will understand Mark’s and his family’s anguish as they watched the dog they loved as his health deteriorated and they finally had to have him put to sleep.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What We're Reading: Tracy

The Magician's Book: a Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia, by Laura Miller.

As children, many of us fell in love with certain books, rereading them over and over again, feeling that these books were, in a sense, our friends. Many of us also share the experience of returning to these beloved books later in life, only to discover a peculiar, discomfited feeling, as if the books themselves have somehow changed, in ways that we do not like, becoming things that we no longer recognize. Of course, it isn't the books that have changed, but we the readers.
In this thoughtful work, Laura Miller describes her history with C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, and how she moved from a child's adoration through a teenager's skepticism to discover new meanings in the books as an adult. Serving simultaneously as a biography of C.S. Lewis, a literary critique of the Narnia stories, and a personal memoir of one reader's experience, this is a work that will resonate with all who feel passionately about books.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What We're Listening To:Krys

The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

Listened to this first book of the "39 Clues" series on CD. The challenge that the two siblings accepted has taken them to many places searching for clues. They escape a fire and an attempt to murder them. One doesn't know who can be trusted. The man in black always seems to appear mysteriously. Some of the Cahill clan is trying to sabotage the two siblings. Can't wait to find out what they are looking for.

What We're Reading:Krys

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt
What a wonderful story of a boy who stands by his beliefs and though he can't change the minds of the adults, he is able to get through to some of them. Racial issues are covered as well. The author is a Michigander and this story is based on true facts that took place in 1912 in Maine. The author's note tells how to actually get to the location described in this book.

What We're Reading:Krys

Rodzina by Karen Cushman
This is a story of a twelve-year-old Polish girl from Chicago, named Rodzina who is orphaned and then is put on an Orphan Train going West. She tries to overcome her sadness at losing her parents. Instead she begins worrying about her future and wondering who will adopt her. The reader learns of the other children on the train as well as the guardians accompanying them. The author manages to capture the time period and the reality of the orphan trains.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Spend October with Edgar Allan Poe @ the library!

Edgar Allan Poe Month @ the Sterling Heights Public Library begins in 10 days! The special month of activities centered around one of America's greatest authors runs from Oct. 1-31. Movies, a book discussion, a lecture by the president of the Poe Studies Association and a performance by a band are planned. Click HERE to check out our Web site for more information!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What We're Reading: Tish

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen ; pictures by Dan Hanna.

The Pout-Pout Fish is a fun, rhyming picture book about a gloomy fish. With the help of a special friend, Mr. Fish turned his pout-pout face into a kiss-kiss face.

A Time Magazine's top 10 children's books of 2008, The Pout-Pout Fish is the 2009 Michigan Reads! selection.

What We're Watching: Alice

The Jane Austen Book Club - starring Kathy Baker, Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Amy Brenneman, Jimmy Smits and Hugh Dancy.

Six Californians, five women, one man (Dancy), start a club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to find their relationships begin to resemble 21st century versions of her novels. There's plenty of pride, prejudice, sense and sensibility in this critically acclaimed film which is sure to engage even reluctant Austen readers. As Kathy Baker's Bernadette exclaims , "Jane Austen is the perfect antidote to life!" Based on the book of the same name by Karen Joy Fowler.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What We're Reading: Cathy

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.
Connie is a graduate student at Harvard and needs to pick a dissertation project. While she's cleaning out her grandmother's house near Salem, she finds a key and a name inside an old family bible. This gives her not only a dissertation topic - if she can find an old spell book - but leads her on a search to find her family's history. Was Deliverance Dane involved in the Salem witch trials? Was she really a witch? Is Connie?

What We’re Reading: Mary

L’Amour Dure Trois Ans, by
Frederic Beigbeder

This French novel takes place during the mid - 1990’s. It’s a polemic on the state of “being in love,” and its allegedly short duration. The author’s initial premise, as the title states, is that love lasts three years. The author describes his own marriage, and its incumbent stages of deterioration. To paraphrase: The first year is great; the second year, people you meet on the street take your wife to be your sister; and the third year you can’t stop yourself from looking at “les demoiselles fraiches” who light up the street.
The author goes on to describe his festive debaucheries in celebration of his divorce; and then on to his slow slide into depression.
The tables turn somewhat when he meets the infatuation of his life at a funeral. (A fair amount of humor is blended into this whole discourse.) Then the author’s depression takes on a more concrete subject, as he becomes the victim of unrequited love.
The rest of this novel describes his back and forth situation as the sometimes accepted, sometimes rejected paramour, and eventually evolves into a relationship that continues for nearly three years. The last pages very touchingly, and poetically, describe the final countdown to the three year mark, and sum up the author’s feelings from this vantage point. Much food for thought here.

What We're Reading:Edward


Becoming an orphan is never easy. As the only child of the conservative icon, William F. Buckley, Christopher knows this only too well. He lost both his parents within a year. This book is his story of that terrible year. He tells many revealing stories about his parents and his relationship with them. But his rapprochement with them allows him to lovingly dispatch their foibles. It shows his great skill as a writer that he can reveal so much in just a small volume. His parents and his experiences with end of life care tell us much about this current national debate on health care. But through it all this writer of many humorous books brings a light touch to the sobering end of his parent's lives. He makes you both laugh and cry. A must read!

Monday, September 21, 2009

What We're Listening To: Rita

Country Club: John Doe and The Sadies.

The songs are classic country, written by Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Roger Miller and the like, and recorded in the classic Bakersfield Sound by John Doe, founder of the punk band X, with backing by the Sadies. The Bakersfield Sound, a reaction to the slicker Nashville Sound, was popularized in honky tonk bars in that California city, and lends itself well to both Doe’s voice and to the material. These are “feel bad” songs of the best kind, about heartbreak, infidelity, loneliness, homesickness, and unrequited love. John Doe and the Sadies breathe new life into these standards and will have you crying in your beer (or other beverage of choice) by the end of last song, if not before.

What We're Reading: Tracy

Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical, edited by Deborah Noyes.

"Meet mediums and mummies, spinsters and bearded ladies, three-headed rats and circus freaks and monsters of every sort! All you need do is be brave enough to step inside." So opens this mesmerizing collection of short stories and graphic tales devoted to the weird world of the sideshow. Included are works by renowned young adult authors including David Almond, Vivian Vande Velde, Annette Curtis Klause, and Matt Phelan. Readers of the Cirque du Freak series will likely enjoy these sideshow based stories as well.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What We're Reading: Edward

TRY FEAR by James Scott Bell
Ty Buchanan, once a high powered attorney in Los Angeles, is now living in a trailer at a Benedictine community on the outskirts of the city. He provides free legal advice to the members of the community. On Christmas eve he is asked to help the son of a parishioner. Carl is arrested for drunk driving while wearing just a thong and a Santa hat. Using a fine definition in the law, Ty gets Carl cleared of the charge. Later Carl is found dead, its looks like suicide. But then his brother Eric is charged with murder. With the help of his investigator, Sister Mary Veritas, Ty fights to prove Eric innocent. At the last minute a witness verifies Eric's alibi and Eric is freed. Meanwhile Sister Mary is being cyber-stalked. When she is shot while standing next to him, Ty wonders if she or he was the target. But things are not all what they seem to be. Did Eric really kill his brother? Will Sister Mary's stalker be identified? Great beach read. This is the third book in the series.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hope for Homeowners: Prevent foreclosure

The best bet for residents struggling to pay their house payment is to seek assistance and be proactive. A program planned at the Sterling Heights Public Library in June can help.
In conjunction with Advantage Realty, Inc and Bell Title Co., the library will be offering an information session on the new HOPE for Homeowners federal program, loan modification, rate modification and short sales Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Library Programming Center.
Homeowners should attend even if they think they might be having issues in the near future. The federal HOPE for Homeowners program will refinance mortgages for borrowers who are having difficulties making their payments, but can afford a new loan insured by HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Other modifications to the current mortgage can also be the answer. This program is intended to help families keep their homes and avoid foreclosure.
Registration is mandatory. Call (586) 446-2640 or visit The Sterling Heights Public Library is located at 40255 Dodge Park Road at Utica Road.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What We're Reading: Debbie

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

Truly was a huge baby, killing her mother in childbirth. Truly continued to grow (due to an endocrine disorder), and by adulthood is by far the largest and tallest person in town. She poignantly tells her tale in this novel; of enduring the hardships of being the 'town freak', of watching the problems of her perfect, petite, beautiful sister, and of her degrading relationship with Robert Morgan, the town doctor. "I'd gotten a double helping of what the universe was serving, and it hadn't killed me yet. Instead, it was teaching me to live." Very good book.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What We're Reading: Laurie

Creem: America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine by Robert Matheu and Brian J. Bowe

Interesting articles about some of your favorite rock bands by some of the best rock critics ever! Creem was considered by many to be the magazine for rock reviews because the writers were so honest, insightful and entertaining. Includes tons of amazing photos and classic Creem cover photos.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What We're Reading: Tracy

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, by Mo Willems.

Lovers of Mo Willems' Pigeon books have cause to rejoice. Another great Willems character has arrived: the Naked Mole Rat!

What is a Naked Mole Rat, you wonder? In his inestimable style, Willems explains: "1. They are a little bit rat. 2. They are a little bit mole. 3. They are all naked."

As the title suggests, one very particular mole rat does not like being naked, and begins assembling a comprehensive wardrobe, to the dismay of his peers. As always with a Willems book, the illustrations are just as funny as the text, and complement each other perfectly.

What We're Reading: Mary

Mind / Body Medicine: How to Use Your Mind for Better Health,
edited by Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.

There’s no doubt that stress affects health, but researchers are finding more and more ways to manage it. This book is a compilation of reports, essays and case studies by renowned doctors from all over the U.S. They look at the role stress plays in many illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, skin problems, asthma, arthritis and others. Then, they look at the ever growing number of ways to manage stress, including meditation, relaxation, exercise, psychotherapy and hypnosis to name a few. With so many approaches to stress management, everyone living in this “age of anxiety” is sure to find some relief.