Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What We're Reading: Edward

Hell's Corner

by David Baldacci

Lafayette Park just North of the White House really is Hell's Corner. The park itself is under the jurisdiction of the Park Police, the Secret Service has authority over the sidewalk, and the District Police control Pennsylvania Avenue. Oliver Stone is walking through the park one evening when a bomb explodes. The British Prime Minister just happens to be walking near the park. Was the bomb an assassination attempt? Stone is summoned to a secret meeting with the President. The President offers Stone an assignment and possible restoration of his true identity. The bombing results in a massive police turf war and the involvement of the British Intelligence Service. Stone has trouble getting information from every agency. Stone's friends in the camel Club offer to help. Was the bombing a trial for a larger attack? Is there a Middle-Eastern connection? Stone manages a revenge that will surprise you!

Monday, March 28, 2011

What We're Reading: Cathy

One of Our Thursday's is Missing by Jasper Fforde

The written Thursday Next is asked by Jursifiction (the police of the BookWorld) to investigate the break up of a novel that has spread debris over a large area of Fiction Island. The ISBNs have erased from the novel to prevent its identification. While she's investigating, Thursday rescues a mechanical butler named Sprockett, who becomes her assistant in investigations as well as a supplier of odd cocktails. She ends up following clues all over the various genres of Fiction Island and finds out that the Real Thursday Next, who's supposed to help negotiate a peace settlement between Racy Novel and Women's Fiction, is missing. So written Thursday impersonates the real Thursday while hunting for her and even makes a journey into the Real World to find information. Nobody in either world knows where the real Thursday is. Following Thursday through the craziness of BookWorld is great fun but I don't recommend it as an introduction to the series. Start with one of the earlier books like The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, or The Well of Lost Plots.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What We're Reading: Jan

The Elephant to Hollywood.
An Autobiography by Michael Caine.

This isn’t Michael Caine’s first autobiography. He wrote What’s It All About in 1992 when he felt he was a washed-up movie star and his days in film were over. He wasn’t being asked to play the “lover" parts in movies like his famous Alfie role but rather father figures. Encouraged to come back to Hollywood in more mature roles, his career took a wonderful turn. He became known to a whole new age of filmgoers with his roles in The Cider House Rules, Miss Congeniality, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Batman Begins and The Prestige playing the wise and respected elder. This book still follows Caine from his birth in the Elephant and Castle slums of London (hence the title) to small theatre jobs to the British Army. He rose to stardom in the sixties and enjoyed swinging London during that time as well as the glamour of old Hollywood. The book reveals his astonishment at being able to have acted with iconic stars like Elizabeth Taylor as well as new movie sensations like Heath Ledger and Scarlett Johansson. He also reflects on the changes in British theatre and film that allowed working–class actors like himself to work in the field they loved – a field that had been exclusive to upper and middle classes in years before him. Caine also expresses much love for family and friends. In all it is a rich life to read about.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What We're Reading: Edward

The Bells

by Richard Harvell

Lo Svizzero is a world famous 18th century operatic singer. He wrote this the story of his life for his son. He was born to a deaf-mute mother, who played the bells in a church high in the Swiss Alps. He was named Moses, by the monks who found him on the banks of a stream. They took him to their abbey, St. Gall. Moses was raised there and displayed a unique musical talent. To preserve his angelic voice, he is forced to become a musico. His talent allows Moses to meet a girl who enchants him. They grow to love each other but are separated by their stations in life. Moses escapes to Vienna and hopes to find his love. They reunite and escape with the help of the monks who found him all those years ago. Moses uses his talent to become an apprentice to an opera singer. His unique talent allows him to scale the heights of the great operas. A wonderful musical and human story!

Monday, March 7, 2011

What We're Watching: Laurie

Temple Grandin directed by Mick Jackson. Starring Claire Danes, Catherine O'Hara, David Strathairn and Julia Ormond.

Temple Grandin (Danes) was diagnosed with autism at age four. Needless to say, life was not easy for Temple or her mother. Temple did not speak until age four and the recommendation to Mrs. Grandin was to institutionalize her daughter. Being a graduate of Harvard, Mrs. Grandin refused to lose hope and believed that Temple had the potential to live a full, happy life. Mrs. Grandin sent her daughter to a private high school and then to college. Mrs. Grandin explained to all of the admissions faculty that Temple was "...different but not less", that she had a great mind and was capable and deserving of higher education. With the love and encouragement of her mother, Aunt Ann (O'Hara) and a few teachers along the way, Temple graduated with a Ph.D. in animal husbandry and is currently a professor at Colorado State University. Fantastic story of courage, love and perserverance. DVD FIC Temple