Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What We're Reading: Debbie

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
A gentle orchardist, known as Talmadge, tends his rows of apples and apricots in the turn of the twentieth century Pacific Northwest. His quiet, solitary life is interrupted when two pregnant, starving, teenage girls enter his orchard, and his life. He ends up risking everything, even his own freedom and life, to give them a chance at life that they had never been given. I loved reading this book. The writing is beautiful, and the story, though one relating unspeakable cruelty and misfortune, is one that really got into my heart. The many moral questions in the plot would make this a great selection for discussion in book clubs, and the beauty of the setting and the depth of the characters would make a great movie too. This novel is one of my all-time favorites.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What We're Reading: Cathy

The Burning House compiled by Foster Huntington
What would you save if your house was burning down? This question, posed first at a dinner party and then on the author's website is an interesting peek into other people's lives. Each person chosen for the book has a list of what they would take and a photo of the items. The range of things varies from "nothing" to "my baby." The number of laptops, smart phones, and hard drives is surprising until you realize that people really do "put their lives on their computers" these days. I was interested to see how many would save their childhood teddy bear (or equivalent). A lot of them included pets: cats, dogs, birds, rabbits. Other people went into survivalist mode and took food and guns. It makes you think about what you would take, what you have that is irreplaceable, what you couldn't live without.

Monday, July 9, 2012

What We're Reading: Jan

When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead
by Jerry Weintraub

Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub recently released his documentary “41” about the life of his dear friend, President George H.W. Bush.  Just how did a Brooklyn-born and Bronx-raised “street kid” become friends with presidents, become a concert promoter for Elvis with no experience and produce movie hits like “Ocean’s Eleven” with George Clooney?  The answer is precisely the storyline of Weintraub’s autobiography.  In a candid, conversational tone he describes his father’s influence to work hard and dream big. He believes in never taking “no” for an answer.  From starting his own talent agency in the 1950’s to getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Weintraub has taken chances, taken advice and taken advantage of breaks that have come his way.  Now 74, there is still magic for him when he can produce a show or event and say “Jerry Weintraub Presents”. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

What We're Reading: Abby
Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor

Natalie Taylor was young, married to the love of her life and four months pregnant when her husband was killed in a freak skateboarding accident. Her life went from extremely happy and full to uncomprehensibly sad and very, very tragic. This memoir is based on journal entries she made during that first year or so after her husband's untimely death. The journal can be harsh at times but when you realize what Natalie is dealing with you appreciate her honesty and humor. She details how aggravating her in-laws can be without having the buffer of her husband. She has times when she can't hold it together but tries very hard to manage knowing that everyone around her is expecting her to collapse. When her son Kai is born she has to navigate through all of the difficult first months with a newborn alone while still grieving for the husband who was lost so young. Though she has a very tight group of close friends and family ultimately it is up to her to navigate through this difficult time and find the strength to endure. Natalie is from Michigan. She grew up and went to school in Birmingham and now teaches literature at Berkley High School.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Archive 17: a novel of suspense

by Sam Eastland

     Stalin again needs the investigative skills of Pekkla, the Emerald Eye. Pekkla is sent back to the Gulag where he was imprisoned. He is to solve the murder of one of the four remaining Tsarist soldiers. They were part of a protection detail for the gold treasure of the Tsar. Pekkla slowly realizes that Stalin sent him not just to solve the murder but to find the gold. Stalin needs the gold to support the war effort. Pekkla tries to gain the trust of the remaining soldiers. When he gains their trust he realizes that there really is gold to be found. Will Pekkla be able to survive the murderous soldiers, the Gulag guards, the local tribe, and Stalin?

Sequel to The Eye of the Red Tsar

Great Read!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen

by Thomas Caplan

     Ty Hunter was an Army intelligence officer (special-ops) until he was wounded and given a medal. After surgery for his injuries, Ty became a media darling and was offered a movie role. Several successful movies in a row make him a star. Ty wants to take off for a much needed rest, but he gets a phone call to come and see the President. Ty was promoting a movie in France when he was invited aboard the yacht of Ian Santel. The President wants him to return to the yacht to find out if Santel was involved in the theft of three Russian nuclear warheads. Santel's protege Philip Frost and Ty seem to be competing for the attention of Santel's niece. Their competition turns deadly as Ty tries to stop the delivery of the nuclear weapons. Interesting mix of paparazzi, patriots and the perverse.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

The Mountain of Gold

by J. D. Davies

Captain Matthew Quinton has a new ship. While on convoy duty in the Mediterranean, he captures a pirate ship. Its captain is an Irishman masquerading as a  Muslim. The pirate weaves a tale about a mountain of gold in the interior of Africa. Quinton returns to England with the Irishman. King Charles needs gold to consolidate his reign. So Quinton and the Irishman are sent to the Gambia to get the gold for the King. The cover for this expedition is a possible war with the Dutch. Quinton is beset with problems while sailing up the Gambia to the mountain of gold. Will Quinton lose another ship?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What We're Watching: Cathy

The Way
Martin Sheen plays a father, Tom, who must travel to Spain to bring back the body of his son, Daniel, (played by Emilio Estevez) who has died at the beginning of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. He decides to do the pilgrimage in his son's place and cremates his son so that he can take him on the journey. At the beginning of the walk, Tom refuses to have anything to do with his fellow pilgrims, not sharing his grief or hardly even the time of day. Three of those pilgrims: Joost from Amsterdam, Sarah from Canada, and Jack from Ireland don't seem to want to leave him alone.  Eventually he comes to see that he does need other people to help him through. It's a wonderful, quiet adventure with comedy and sadness thrown in too.

Friday, June 1, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

The Temple Mount Code (Thomas Lourds, Book 3)

by Charles Brokaw

     Harvard Professor Thomas Lourds is again in the thick of an archeological mystery that involves the fate of the world. While visiting a fellow archeologist working in China, Lourds translates writing on a bit of tortoise shell. This leads to an important find in the Himalayas. While there Lourds gets an urgent message from a colleague in Israel. When Lourds arrives in Israel, he learns that his colleague is dead. But Lourds knows that a message has been left for him to find. He is soon on the trail of Mohammad's Koran and a scroll said to foretell the future. Lourds travels to Vienna and Tehran in search of clues to the book and scroll.Will he be able to find the book and stop the end of the world?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What We're Reading: Cathy

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
This is the continuation of Thomas Cromwell's story which began in Wolf Hall. Ex-Queen Katherine finally dies but this doesn't bring the legitimacy to her queenship that Anne Boleyn thought it would. Instead, on the day of Katherine's funeral, Anne miscarries a boy. Her last chance at keeping Henry VIII is gone.  And Henry has decided he wants to marry Jane Seymour. The book covers only about 6 months (1535-6), in which we see Cromwell amassing the evidence needed to annul Henry's current marriage and convict the queen of adultery and treason. He gains new allies in this endeavor: the old noble families who want to restore the Catholic Church to England. Cromwell is leary of them but they are useful in their support of Henry's marriage to Jane. The foundations for the final part of the story have been laid.

The author says in her note at the end: "I am not claiming authority for my version; I am making the reader a propsal, an offer." I think this is a wonderful way of looking at historical fiction.

Friday, May 25, 2012

What We're Reading: Cathy

London Under: the Secret History Beneath the Streets by Peter Ackroyd
Did you ever wonder what is under your feet as you walk around a city? Well it turns out there's an awful lot down there. Peter Ackroyd gives us a short account of what's under London - the historical items such as Roman tile floors, Saxon ruins, coins, monasteries, graveyards, medieval tools, etc. He tells us about the wells and streams that used to flow through the area now covered by London's streets. Unseen and unheard by today's Londoners for the most part but definitely still there: London must pump 15,400,000 gallons of water a day from below to preserve the city. You can get a map and see where they used to be by following his descriptions (this book really should have had a map in it). He tells us the story of the sewers. And, of course, he tells about the building of The Underground. It opened in 1863 and has served not only as a convenient transport system but also as a bomb shelter in WWII. The deepest tunnels are over 200 feet below the surface. Lots of interesting stuff!

Friday, May 18, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

The Hope Vendetta: a novel

by Scott Mariani

Ben Hope was tired of all the killing he saw as an SAS operative. He tried working as a private contractor to right the wrongs in the world but ended up losing even more of himself. Ben decides to return to Oxford University and continue his study of theology and become a minister. But his favorite professor's daughter goes missing. Ben gets a former colleague to search for the girl. But when Ben's colleague is killed, Ben sets out to exact revenge on the party behind the kidnapping and murder.Ben ends up in the United States on the trail of a minister, who believes that the end of days is near. When Ben is almost killed, he realizes that there are forces at work that hope to bring about the final conflict for political reasons. Will Ben be able to stop these forces before they bring about the biblical end of the world?

Soon to be a major motion picture.

But read the book first and be sure to get more of Ben's story in the "Mozart Conspiracy".

Monday, May 14, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Weep, Shuder, Die: a guide to loving opera

By Robert Levine

Most people think that opera lovers are aging codgers. But Time magazine online states that the age of the average opera attendee is 48. In 2009 over a million tickets were sold for the Metropolitan Opera's HD Live Broadcast. In his book, Levine describes fifty of the most produced operas. First he divides the operas by country and composer. The Levine gives the plot of the operas act by act. Memorable music and performances are also mentioned. Opeera is even keeping up with the newest technology with the release of Bizet's Carmen on a 3D DVD. Levine's book would be great to read before attending one of the operas he describes. Excellent, si vous apprenez a aimer l'opera!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Mozart's Last Aria: a novel

by Matt Rees

On her death bed Mozart's sister, Nannerl, gives her nephew, Wolfgang, a diary filled with the results of her investigation into her brother's death. Nannerl travelled to Vienna, when she learned of her brother's death. While in Vienna she meets with Mozart's wife, Constanze, his patrons and friends. Nannerl is able to fit into her brother's clothing.Dressed as Wolfgang, she participates in concerts celebrating his life. She hopes that this deception will reveal how and why Wolfgang died. Nannerl even meets with the Emperor and is almost killed. Was her brother poisoned? Was his death the result of his Masonic ties? Did he believe in too much equality? Rees makes Mozart's Vienna come to life. Could he be right about the reason for Mozart's death? One of the best books of the year!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Revenger: a novel of Tudor intrigue

by Rory Clements

John Shakespeare, William's brother, is trying to live quietly as a school master. His wife, a Catholic, is almost caught meeting with a banned priest. John and his family are being closely watched by pursuivants. Five years ago John worked as an intelligencer for Lord Burghley. Now Burghley's son, Sir Robert Cecil, puts John to work on two tasks. He is to find a survivor of Sir Walter Raleigh's lost colony. Raleigh is in the Tower of London and hopes to regain the favor of Queen Elizabeth. This would diminish the power of the current favorite, the Earl of Essex. John is also to spy from inside the Essex household for Cecil. John slowly learns of a plot on the life of Queen Elizabeth. Will he be able to stop the plot without losing his life?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Ashes of the Earth: a mystery of the post-apocalyptic America

by Eliot Pattison

Twenty-five years after the world experiences a series of atomic and biological attacks, people are beginning to gather in communities for their survival. One of these communities, near the Great Lakes, is Carthage. Hadrian Boone was one of the founders of the community. But now he is on the outs with the current leadership. When the leading scientist of the community is killed, the violent underside of the community is revealed. Boone is given the task of finding out what is happening to Carthage. Neighboring communities want to change Carthage. Boone had hoped that the devastation of the Earth would change mankind. But evil and violence still seem to be a part of the human condition. Will it ever change? Start of a new series for Pattison.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

The Road to Rome: a forgotten legion chronicle

by Ben Kane

In this the third book in the Forgotten Legion series, twins Fabiola and Romulus are fated to find each other in Rome after many years apart. Fabiola is now an intimate favorite of both Brutus and Mark Anthony. She lives to seek vengeance on Julius Caesar for the past treatment of her family. Romulus was a slave serving in the lost Roman Legion in the East. Caesar spares Romulus the death penalty for this crime. Thus earning his loyalty. Tarquinius, a fellow legionnaire, tell Romulus of his vision of an auspicious death. As the Ides of March approaches, Fabiola and Romulus will meet again. Who will survive their meeting on the Ides of March?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

What We're Watching: Jan

The Descendants.

Directed by Alexander Payne. Starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller.

This film is a powerful picture of a family in crisis . Matt King (Clooney) is a real estate lawyer in Hawaii whose wife is in a coma after a boating accident. He has been a “backup parent” to his two defiant daughters (Woodley and Miller) who like to remind him how absent he’s been. Moreover, Matt’s family is native to the Islands and his domestic troubles are complicated by descendant disagreements about the sale of real estate. Juggling all of these responsibilities and personalities in his life forces Matt to face realities about his family that he has missed. The film is set in the beauty and tranquility of the Hawaiian Islands - a contrast to the human turmoil caused by actions like betrayal and greed. The film is directed in such a way that both drama and humor contribute to the storytelling. All of the performances make the viewer care about the characters. However, George Clooney's acting makes us forget about his bachelor image as he struggles to father his precious daughters and cope with his lost spouse. It is a performance to be seen.

Friday, March 30, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

The Ark: a novel

by Boyd Morrison

The dying words of an elderly colleague, sends Dilara Kenner on a search for her father. He was searching for Noah's Ark when he disappeared two years ago. Dilara takes a helicopter ride to a floating oil rig to enlist the help of Tyler Locke. But her helicopter explodes before she is able to reach the oil rig. But Tyler is able to rescue her from the sea. The helicopter explosion was not an accident. Sebastian Ulric is behind her father's disappearance. He will stop at nothing to beat Dilara and Tyler to the Ark.Sebastian wants to get to the Ark first to get a sample of an ancient Prion disease. He plans to use the disease to wipe most of the human race off the face of the Earth. Tyler uses his best MacGyver moves in the race to save humanity.

Great Thriller!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

The Lion

by Nelson DeMille

In this sequel to Lion's Game, John Corey is again trying to capture the terrorist known as the Lion. The Lion is back and killing people across the country. Why are people across the country being eliminated by the Lion? Corey determines that they were all involved in the 1986 Air Force raid on Tripoli. Members of the Lion's family were killed during that raid. Now the Lion is out for revenge. Corey races across the country trying to prevent further murders. But Corey and his team also become targets of the Lion. Will the Lion escape again?
Great thriller!

Monday, March 12, 2012

What We're Reading: Laurie

The Limit by Kristen Landon.

Matthew Dunston is a 13 year old boy who is a math and computer whiz. He lives with his parents and two younger sisters and does very well in school. The Dunston's live in a society where everyone's personal debt is controlled by the government. Each family gets a certain spending limit, and if that limit is surpassed, the government takes the oldest child to a Federal Debt Rehabilitation Agency workhouse to work off the debt.
Matt is happy and carefree until his parents go over their debt limit. Suddenly, government agents whisk Matt away to a workhouse. Matt is highly intelligent and lands a spot on the "Top Floor" at the workhouse. He enjoys his work, classes and free time until he discovers that his sister has been sent to the workhouse as well. This discovery, along with suspicions of wrong doing, set Matt and his friends on a path to discover what is really happening at the FDRA. JFIC Landon

What We're Reading: Edward

SIlver Lotus: a novel

by Thomas Steinbeck

Until recently Thomas Steinbeck was known for his screenplays. Silver Lotus, his second novel, evokes the time of clipper ships in the China trade. Captain Hammond is a New Englander, who sails his own ship in the trade. He is successful in the China trade due to his honest fair deals. He trades with the Yee family in Shanghai. Maste Yee's daughter, Lady Yee, is a remarkable young lady. She knows English and Frenchand can outfox the wiliest trader. Lady Yee sets her eye on Captain Hammond. The Captain is equally taken with Lady Yee. They marry and sail and trade the ports of the Pacific rim. The Monterey coast of California attracts them when they find out that Lady Yee is pregnant. They have just as many adventures on land as they did at sea. Silver Lotus is a wonderful story of deep unspoken love. If you like the feel of this novel, try Steinbeck's earlier book, In the shadow of the Cypress.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Egypt: the book of chaos

by Nick Drake

Chaos threatens Egypt in this the last book of Drake's trilogy, after Nefertiti and Tutankhamun. After the death of Tutankhamun, Nefertiti is faced with dangers from outside and inside Egpyt. She summons Rahotep, the disgraced chief detective of the Theban police. She sends Rahotep and her special envoy, Nakht, to the King of the Hittites. Nefertiti hopes to end their constant warfare by marrying one of the Hittite Princes. This would bring peace to Egypt and allow the Hittite Empire to expand to the East. But both Hittite Princes and Egyptian generals are against this peace proposal. Will Rahotep be able to keep the Hittite Prince alive until they get to Egypt? Will he be able to save Nefertiti and his family?

Monday, March 5, 2012

What We're Watching: Laurie

Justified: Season 1. Starring Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitts, Walt Goggins, Natalie Zea and Erica Tazel.

A thrilling, gritty, action packed story adapted for television by Elmore Leonard. Raylan Givens (Olyphant) is a U.S. Marshal who just shot a man old west style in Miami. Givens claims the shooting was "justified" but his boss decides to take the heat off of Givens by reassigning him to the rural coal mining town in Eastern Kentucky where he grew up and hoped to never return. Raylan is tough, smart, witty and has complicated relationships which seem to put him in tough situations. The fun part of the show is watching to see how Raylan finds his way out of them. DVD-TV Justified.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What We're Watching: Jan


Directed by Jonathan Levine. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston.

“I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I recycle.” is the disbelieving reaction of 27-year-old Adam (Gordon-Levitt) to his spinal cancer diagnosis. It’s the beginning of of a journey that tests Adam and also the many relationships in his life. He has a cheating girlfriend(Howard) who feels cancer has a "negative energy", a mother (Huston) who requires more mothering than he does and an unfeeling oncologist who is like a robot delivering his 50/50 chance of survival. Thank goodness for his best friend Kyle, played by the Seth Rogen that we know: loud and crude (like using Adam’s illness and the cancer sympathy card to pick up girls in the bar) but also in Adam’s corner, helping him shave his head and reading 'how to help cancer patient' books. Also positive in Adam’s life is Katherine (Kendrick), an inexperienced therapist who has been trained in comforting the sick but is even tentative about a reassuring touch to her patient. She and Adam end up coping with the disease at the same time. Based on the actual cancer experience of Rogen's friend Will Reiser, the movie feels like a real experience of a young man in his 20s. The language and references are sometimes raw but the sincerity of the performances is heartfelt. Wit and comedy make the sobering aspects of the situation bearable and a learning experience for the viewer.

What We're Listening To: Abby

Let them Talk Audio CD by Hugh Laurie.

Famous for his role as Dr. House, British actor Hugh Laurie is now showing us another side to his talents. Laurie not only sings but plays piano or guitar on every song as well. This is a collection of New Orleans blues standards that will take you right to the French Quarter. Assisting him in this endeavor are some of New Orleans best musicians from Irma Thomas, Dr. John and the horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint. This is foot stomping, soulful blues/jazz music that you will want to listen to over and over!

What We're Reading: Edward

Troubled Bones: a medieval noir

by Jen Westerson

Crispin Guest found himself between his Lord and his King. For this he was stripped of his knighthood and banished from the English Court. Crispin survives by being "The Tracker", the finder of lost items. In Troubled Bones, the fourth in the series, Crispin is summoned by the Archbishop of Canterbury to protect the bones of St. Thomas Becket. While guarding the relics, Crispin hears a blood curdling scream. In another part of the cathedral, he finds a slain Prioress and a befuddled nun. When he returns to the relics, he is knocked unconscious. Crispin awakens to find all but one of the bones missing. While he is investigating the theft and the murder, a monk is killed. The two murder victims were related to the murderers of St. Thomas. Is there a curse on the families of the murderers? While in Canterbury, Crispin runs into his old friend, Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer is a pilgrim travelling with the group that included the dead Prioress. Is Chaucer part of the plot to steal the relics? Are the murders and the theft part of the same plot? Crispin must solve both mysteries before anyone else is killed!

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Series: Legend Has It

If you like the mysterious, the unexplained, and the paranormal, you'll love the new series Legend Has It. This accessible, freshly illustrated investigative series for children covers topics like the Loch Ness Monster and the Bermuda Triangle, all written by Thomas Kingsley Troupe.

The Legend of Bigfoot j001.944 Troupe
The Legend of the Bermuda Triangle j001.94 Trouple
The Legend of the Loch Ness Monster j001.944 Troupe
The Legend of the Vampire j133.423 Troupe
The Legend of the Werewolf j133.423 Troupe
The Legend of the Zombie j001.944 Troupe

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What We're Reading: Cathy

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston

This was a fun novel told in the form of a scrapbook. The author uses pictures, postcards, ads, tickets, etc. along with Frankie's comments to tell her story of going off to college, finding a job, traveling to Paris, and meeting Mr. Right (and a few Mr. Wrongs) during the 1920's. The authentic illustrations (which the author got from various archives and eBay) set the tone wonderfully. It made me feel like I was reading my great aunt's memory book. The icing on the cake is that the author's mother was Sylvia Beach's godchild, so there is an actual connection to the Left Bank set.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Series: Greek Myths

Here's a new series of Greek Myths in picture book format, making these classics accessible to the smallest readers.

The Battle of the Olympians and the Titans. j292.13 Meister
Jason and the Argonauts. j292.13 Gunderson
Medusa's Stony Stare. j292.216 Gunderson
Odysseus and the Cyclops. j292.13 Meister
Pandora's Vase. j292.13 Meister
The Wooden Horse of Troy. j292.13 Meister

Monday, February 13, 2012

What We're Reading: Laurie

Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer Holm.

It is 1935 and jobs are hard to come by. Turtle's mother takes a job as a housekeeper for a wealthy woman who will not tolerate children so Turtle must go to Key West, Florida, to live with her aunt. Key West is very foreign to Turtle. She has never experienced this kind of heat or scenery before. Turtle finds herself the only girl in a house full of unruly boys who resist letting her become one of the gang.
Will Turtle ever see her mama again? Will she be able to charm the boys into letting her be part of the group?
Read this witty, charming novel that blends the author's family history with a rocky period from America's past. JFIC Holm

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Series: The Other Side of the Story

Have you ever wondered what the Big Bad Wolf, Goldilocks, or the Giant would have to say about their stories, if they had an opportunity to defend themselves? The new series The Other Side of the Story finally gives these classic fairy tale characters their chance. Titles include:

Believe Me, Goldilocks Rocks! j398.21 Goldilocks
Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten! j398.2 Red
Seriously, Cinderella Is SO Annoying! j398.2 Cinderella
Trust Me, Jack's Beanstalk Stinks! j398.21 Jack

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What We're Watching: Jan

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Directed by Rupert Wyatt. Starring James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto and John Lithgow.

Now on DVD, Rise is a current day prequel to the Planet of the Apes franchise begun in the 1960s and 70s. It's science fiction basis is complemented by modern day moral dilemmas like gene and animal experimentation. It is also a tale of family love and emotion. The story revolves around Caesar, an orphan chimp who has inherited his mother's genetically engineered intelligence. Caesar is adopted by scientist Will (Franco) who is hopeful the genetics testing developed by he and his team will result in a drug to help his ailing father (Lithgow) with dementia. Caesar learns to love Will's family and develops caring and empathy. Unfortunately, Caesar aggressively defends Will's father against a neighbor and is sent to a brutal primate shelter. He develops rage and convinces the other apes to go on a rampage against humans that is larger -than-life and frightening onscreen. It is an interesting up-to-date story of primate in a human world-both good and bad. Caesar, portrayed by Andy Serkis and enhanced by amazing computer graphics, shows the viewer every emotion with his expressive face and movements.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What We're Watching: Laurie

United States Of Tara. Starring Toni Collette, John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt, Keir Gilchrist and Brie Larson.

Toni Collette
gives an amazing performance as Tara Gregson, a woman who struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Tara spends her time working as an artist, trying to keep her dysfunctional family together, and searching to find answers as to what traumatic experience in her life caused her to splinter into alter personalities.
While the content can be very dark, depressing and confusing, the actors bring bits of light and love into this show. The writers did extensive research on this disorder and the actors treated the content with extreme care and compassion. Dark humor is used to portray the human struggle of understanding and coping with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Phenomenal performances and an incredible storyline. DVD TV-United

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Caveat Emptor: a novel of the Roman Empire

By Ruth Downie

Physician Gaius Petreius Ruso is back in Roman Britiannia. His is looking for a job with the Roman Army or as a private physician. His investigative skills land him a job that he does not want. The tax collector from a nearby town has gone missing with the tax money. Then the tax collector and his assistant are both found dead in different places. Ruso is asked by the Roman Governor to find the missing money. Ruso's nemesis, Metellus, is also looking for the money and keeping an eye on Ruso. Ruso and his wife, Tilla, take in the tax collector's pregnant wife. They help her through the birth of her child and the funeral for her husband. Will Ruso find the missing tax money or will the Roman Governor have to call out the army to punish the town?

Great addition to the series!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Very Bad Men

by Harry Dolan

Ann Arbor magazine editor David Loogan arrives at work and finds a manuscript. It begins with "I killed Henry Korman". David soon learns that Korman has indeed been murdered. Seventeen years ago, Korman was one of three men involved in a robbery from a bank in the UP. There is an attempt on the life of one of the other robbers. David finds himself working with and against his love interest, Detective Elizabeth Waishkey. David also learns of a connection to a candidate for the U.S. Senate. The candidate's father was a police officer at the scene of the robbery. The third robber is still in prison in the UP. He is killed while out of prison for his father's funeral. Why are these men being targeted? Who is behind the murders? David brings his Swiss Army knife to this gunfight. But he still manages to figure it all out before the police. Another great read by Dolan.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Series: Grimm Graphic Novels

We've recently added a new Grimm Graphic Novel series, a set of fresh new retellings of classic fairy tales done in a contemporary comic book style. Titles include:

The Elves and the Shoemaker j398 Powell
The Bremen Town Musicians j398.2 Simonson
The Golden Goose j398.2 Tulien
Tom Thumb j398.2 Sonneborn

Friday, January 6, 2012

What We're Reading: Edward

Mozart Conspiracy: a novel

by Scott Mariani

Ben Hope left the British SAS and now works as a private emergency response team. Ben gets a call from the sister of his late friend, Oliver. Oliver died under mysterious circumstances while he was working on a biography of Mozart. Oliver's sister, Leigh is an opera star and an old flame of Ben's. When Ben arrives at Leigh's English country home, they are almost killed by a group of masked gunmen. Were the assassins after a letter written by Mozart just before he died? The letter, owned by Leigh's father, detailed the existence of the Order of Ra. The Order works behind the scenes to control the world. Leigh receives a video taken by Oliver that shows that the deadly cabal is still in existence today. The Order of Ra will kill to maintain their secrecy. Will Ben and Leigh be able to survive the group's assassins and reveal the secrets of the Order of Ra?

Ben's adventures may be the start of a great series.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Series: Fairy Tale Superstars

If you like fairy tales, you'll enjoy learning the truth behind their classic characters in the new series, Fairy Tale Superstars. Each book examines the facts and folklore behind a different fairy tale character. Titles include:

The Truth About Dragons j398.2454 Troupe
The Truth About Elves j398.45 Troupe
The Truth About Fairies j398.21 Johnson
The Truth About Trolls j398.45 Troupe

What We're Watching: Laurie

The Apartment directed by Billy Wilder. Starring Jack Lemon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray and Ray Walston.

C.C. "Bud" Baxter (Lemon) is a lonely clerk who is employed by a huge corporation in NYC. Baxter lives alone and soon comes to realize that the quickest way up the company ladder is to loan out his Upper West Side apartment to his philandering bosses for their extramarital affairs. Baxter is rapidly promoted and enjoying his success until he falls for the company's lovely elevator operator Fran Kubelik (MacLaine). Baxter hopes to begin romancing Kubelik until he makes the unfortunate discovery that she has been romantically involved with his big boss Mr. Sheldrake (MacMurry). Will Baxter be able to win over the woman he has loved from afar? Will his newfound success last?