Friday, January 29, 2010

Hush, Hush


Hush, Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick

A sacred oath, a fallen angel, a forbidden love. This story takes many twists and turns and was very difficult to put down. It debuted at #10 on the New York Times Bestseller List. The heroine in the story, High School student Nora Grey, feels a strong physical attraction and an even stronger emotional connection to the new transfer student, Patch, who seems to know more about Nora than her closest friend. Patch makes it obvious that he is interested in Nora, but Nora sees him as trouble. She does her best to steer clear, however, Patch seems to show up wherever she goes. After a series of unexplainable encounters and what appeared to be an attempt on her life, Nora is unsure of who to trust. She begins to wonder if she is quickly losing her mind, but feels she can't confide in anyone. After getting a glimpse of a large, disturbing, black scar in the shape of an upside down V on Patch's back, Nora begins seeking answers. What she finds is more frightening than Patch himself. At first, you may want to write this book of as part of the Stephanie Meyer Twilight Saga series, but the story takes a completely different direction. Elements of fantasy, thriller, action and romance, you may be left feeling spooked during parts of the story. -- recommended by Jessica H. - Walt Branch Library

[ Publisher's Hush, Hush web page ] | [ official Becca Fitzpatrick 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.

Terminator Salvation


Terminator Salvation

This 2009 entry into the Terminator film franchise (following Terminator [1984], Terminator 2: Judgment Day [1991] and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines [2003]) was a powerful, action-packed entry into the storyline of humans fighting for survival in a dystopic future ruled by intelligent machines. While the producers attempted to set this film up so that you didn't need to know the plots of the previous films in the series, I think viewers unfamiliar with the story of John Connor and his mother, Sarah, might have still felt a little lost. In Terminator Salvation, Christian Bale stars as John Connor, one of the leaders of the human rebellion in the early 21st century. Bale gives a hard-edged, angry, brooding performance throughout the film. However, I was more impressed by Sam Worthington, who plays a man who regretably killed two people and was executed for his crime, only to be reborn as one of the mechanical terminators designed in human form -- which believes it actually is human. Worthington's is the more emotional of the performances, with true character growth. The supporting case is all very strong. The action is hot and heavy in this fast-paced film, but it is important to watch for the little moments of humanity in the midst of all the explosions and special effects. An excellent new film in the series. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library
[Also available: several tie-in novels associated with this movie.]

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

Have you seen this movie? 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, January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger, 1919-2010


Reclusive American writer J.D. (Jerome David) Salinger -- author of the controversial yet classic novel, Catcher in the Rye, died January 78, 2010, at his home in Cornish, NH.

Although Salinger's literary output consisted of only three novels and a number of short stories, he is still considered one of the most prominent and influential American authors of the 20th century. For details, see the following links:

New York Times obit for Salinger

Wikipedia page for J.D. Salinger (detailed biography with complete list of credits)

Salinger's works in the Lincoln City Libraries online catalog

Photographing America 1929-1947

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans : photographing America 1929-1947
edited and with an introduction by curator Agn├Ęs Sire ; essay by Jean-Francois Chevrier] [770.922 Sir]

Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans shared a mutual administration society. Cartier-Bresson said, "If it had not been for the challenge of the work of Walker Evans, I don't think that I would have remained a photographer." Evans, in a review of Cartier-Bresson's book The Decisive Eye wrote, "Cartier-Bresson was and is a true man of the eye. More, he was one of the few innovators in photography." In 1946 Cartier-Bresson sailed to New York to prepare his show at the Museum of Modern Art. While he was in America, Cartier-Bresson and two companions made a 77-day road trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific photographing daily life. This book is filled plates of Cartier-Bresson's work as it compares to Evans' work made during the Great Depression. I found it fascinating to view the images and see how Cartier-Bresson used Evans' work to as a starting point to develop his own interpretation of similar scenes. Evans used lines to draw the viewer into the image and wonder about person's story. While Cartier-Bresson found the discordant element in the image and made the viewer stop and ponder the mystery. [If you like this one, you may also enjoy books about Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Wright Morris.] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[ Wikipedia page for Henri Cartier-Bresson ] | [ Wikipedia page for Walker Evans ]

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, January 27, 2010

One Book One Nebraska - 2010 - Wright Morris


Following the ongoing success of the first several years of One Book One Nebraska, featuring Willa Cather's My Antonia, Omaha mystery novelist Alex Kava's One False Move, Mari Sandoz' classic history text Crazy Horse, Nebraska State Poet William Kloefkorn's autobiography Restoring the Burnt Child, and Bess Streeter Aldrich's A Lantern in Her Hand, the Nebraska Library Commission, the Nebraska Center for the Book, the Nebraska Library Association, the Nebraska Regional Library Systems and other organizations are sponsoring yet another year of One Book One Nebraska in 2010!

The 2010 selected title is Wright Morris' novel, The Home Place. You can find more information about the 2005-2010 events at the official One Book One Nebraska Web site.

Alone

Alone
by Loren Estleman

Valentino is a UCLA film archivist who's job it is to recover long-lost movies for the university. Of course his quest leads to mysteries and people associated with the Hollywood of old, thus providing an interesting connection between the old and the new. This story places him in a modern day murder involving the now deceased Greta Garbo. Valentino balances his sleuthing with supervising the renovation of The Oracle, a dilapidated movie theater. He has to keep the workers painting and plastering while dealing with a corrupt building inspector. I learned a lot about the early days of the talking movies and about Greta Garbo. Did you know that her first film was a promotional piece for a department store in Sweden called How Not to Dress? I didn't. Lovers of the silver screen will enjoy the trivia about legendary and little known screen stars. [If you like this one, you may also enjoy The Baker Street Letters and books by Dianne Emley.] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department
[ official Valentino mystery series page on the official Loren Estleman 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, January 26, 2010

Mercy Thompson: Homecoming

Mercy Thompson: Homecoming
written by Patricia Briggs and David Lawrence ; painted artwork by Francis Tsai and Amelia Woo

For fans of the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series by Patricia Briggs, this is an essential addition. Originally published as a series of comic book issues, this storyline has now been gathered into a beautiful graphic novel format. The painted art, by Francis Tsai and Amelia Woo captures the characters fairly well, but it is the story, by Briggs and David Lawrence, that worked best for me. This is almost an "origin story" for the Mercy Thompson character. It tells of her earliest experiences after first moving into to the Tri-Cities area of Washington State, and therefore pre-dates the first book in the series. Looking for Mercy's first encounters with all of the regular characters in the series, like Adam, Stefan and Zee? This is it! A fun read, full of action. My only complaint is that they switched artists partway through the project, which is a bit jarring, although each of the artists did a good job on their own. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official Homecoming page on the official Patricia Briggs 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, January 24, 2010

The Spire [on CD]

The Spire
by James Patterson [Compact Disc Patterson]

Patterson has written a gripping psychological thriller that blends murder and embezzlement. Patterson's style of writing terse descriptive passages translates well to audio. The story begins at Caldwell College in Wayne, Ohio with a 16 year-old murder that still haunts Mark Darrow. One night a coed, Angela Hall, was strangled. Mark found her body at the base of the school's bell tower known as The Spire. Mark's best friend, Steve Tillman, was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life. Mark gets on with his life. He graduates from Yale Law School and becomes a successful attorney in Boston. The story fast-forwards to the present time. Caldwell College has into serious financial and image problems because the president embezzles $900,000 from the endowment fund. Lionel Farr, the college provost and Mark's friend and mentor, asks Mark to leave his law practice to become the president of Caldwell College and restore the donors' faith. As Mark looks into the embezzlement he begins to wonder if the former president stole the money or if he was framed. Mark also visits his friend Steve in prison. Mark is struck by Steve's insistence that he is innocent and Mark investigates the old murder. The more that Mark pokes around in the old murder, the more he becomes convinced that Steve is innocent. -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[Also available in print, downloadable audio, and Large Print formats.]

[ official James Patterson web site ]

Have you read or listened to 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.

Land of the Lost [2009]

Land of the Lost [2009]

Perhaps I wasn't the intended audience for this one...but then I'm not sure what the intended audience actually was. Land of the Lost (2009) was considered one of the biggest failures of the cinematic year. I grew up on the wholesome cheesiness of the original Sid and Marty Kroft series (1974-1977), in which a family (Rick Marshall and his kids, Will and Holly) gets sucked into a time vortex while rafting and end up in prehistoric times, befriending apemen, fleeing from T-Rex, and trying to avoid the slow-moving Sleestaks. For this 2009 film, Will Ferrell plays erratic scientist Rick Marshall, with untested theories of how to travel to parallel dimensions. Circumstances combine to throw him, a scientist grad student named Holly, and a sleazy hustler named Will into an alternate history filled not only with dinosaurs and apemen, but also with kitschy things from past eras in Earth history. In typical Will Ferrell comedy style, there's lots of gross humor, but very little of the simple charm that made the TV series popular for generations of viewers. The production values are great -- the sets and effects work look great on this DVD, and the reintroduction of the comical Sleestak bad guys is fun. But the low-brow humor, and the sleaze factor sap what little entertainment value there might have been out of this film. I think I laughed only about 4 times during the entire movie, although the scene in which Marshall recreates the iconic theme song from the original series was fairly funny. All in all, this film is a big disappointment, and can only be recommended for die-hard Will Ferrell enthusiasts. Fans of the original TV show should avoid this movie at all costs and, instead, try to track down DVDs of the classic show. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Land of the Lost web site ]

Have you seen this movie? 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, January 23, 2010

The Island of the Sequined Love Nun

The Island of the Sequined Love Nun
by Christopher Moore

The characters: Tucker Case, an airplane pilot, who grew up in Ellsinore, California. His father was owner of the Denmark Silverware Corporation, then he died and Tuck's mother married his uncle. Tuck works for Mary Jean Make-Up and flies a pink jet. Mary Jean Dobbins, an entrepreneur who packs a .38 caliber gold-plated Lady Smith automatic in her purse. The High Priestess of the Shark People lives on an island in the Pacific. She wears silk stockings and eats Cheetoes. Beth Curtis, the priestess's alter ego. Beth is married to Dr. Sebastian Curtis, a missionary. Ever since World War II, the islanders have worshiped airplanes (a religion known as a cargo cult). Beth often dresses like a figure painted on a B-26 bomber in 1944. She wears red pumps and a scarf around her waist--and very little else. She and Sebastian hire Tuck. A native islander who rescues Tuck after a typhoon; he's saving Tuck for later: "Yum." A fruit bat named Roberto. This effort by Moore maintains his wild and wacky status. -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official Lust Lizard page on the official Christopher Moore 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, January 21, 2010

KFOR Book Chat Titles for January 21st 2010

This morning's KFOR Book Chat titles have now been posted to BookGuide on the libraries' web site.

If one of this morning's nine books struck your fancy and you'd like to request it, or you missed this morning's episode of Problems & Solutions and wonder what titles were discussed, stop by the KFOR Book Chat page and take a look!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Robert B. Parker, 1932-2010

Best-selling and incredibly popular American mystery author Robert B. Parker -- creator of iconic Boston P.I. Spenser and more recent series featuring Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone (among others), died January 18, 2010, at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Parker's death comes as a shock -- he was in relatively good health, and was found at his desk by his wife following her morning jog.

Parker was extremely prolific, producing over 50 novels, 37 of which featured the singularly-named Spenser, which also served as the inspiration for 1980s TV series Spenser For Hire (starring the late Robert Urich). Parker's first novel -- also his first Spenser -- was The Godwulf Manuscript, in 1973.

Parker had also developed three other regular series: Jesse Stone -- 9 books featuring a disgraced California cop who sets up shop as a small-town Police captain on the East Coast (starting in 1997) -- turned into a series of TV-movies starring Tom Selleck in the title role; Sunny Randall, 6 books featuring a female Boston P.I. (starting in 1999); and a western series featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, which had reached 3 volumes from 2005 to 2009. Parker was also a huge fan of Raymond Chandler, and wrote two follow-up volumes to Chandler's works, one (Poodle Springs) completing an unfinished Chandler manuscript, and the 2nd (Perchance to Dream) completely original.

Parker is considered groundbreaking for developing the "thinking man's private eye", and opened doors for many of today's popular hard-boiled authors.

Boston Herald obit for Robert B. Parker

Washington Post obit for Robert B. Parker

Wikipedia page for Robert Parker (with complete list of credits)

FantasticFiction page for Robert Parker (with complete list of credits)

Reviewer Profile - Pat Leach

We've posted another new Reviewer Profile on the BookGuide site -- this time for Pat Leach, Director of the Lincoln City Libraries. You can see her reader profile responses at: Pat Leach Reviewer Profile and her reviews both on her profile page and the Firefly Blog.

You can also view previous Reviewer Profiles -- look for the bold link after individual reviewers' names in BookGuide's Staff Recommendations Reviewer Index.

New Reviewer Profile - Rianne S.

We've posted another new Reviewer Profile on the BookGuide site -- this time for Rianne S., from the Bennett Martin Public Library. You can see her profile responses at: http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/profiles/riannes-profile.htm

You can also view previous Reviewer Profiles -- look for the bold link after individual reviewers' names -- at : http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/srec/staffrec-indexbyname.htm

Customer Review - Still Alice

Still Alice
by Lisa Genova

Still Alice is a fictional account of a woman's life with early onset Alzheimer's disease. A respected Harvard professor of cognitive psychology, Alice learns of her disease after keeping track of her daily life on to-do lists doesn't keep her from forgetting things. This is really a scary and sad read if you know someone with this disease or not. Make sure you have tissues! -- reviewed by Kris J. - a customer of the Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Heartshot

Heartshot
by Steven Havill

Bill Gastner is undersheriff of Posadas County. He is widowed and his children are grown. Gastner eats too much, smokes too much, distrusts computers and is suspicious of the newly elected sheriff -- a former used car salesman. A series of tragedies beset this sparsely populated county in southern New Mexico. A one-car crash kills five teen-agers. A kilo of cocaine was found in their car. An undercover officer is brought in to pose as Gastner's grandson and to mingle with the local teen-agers in hopes of finding out who brought the cocaine in from Mexico. The officer is shot and another teen-ager commits suicide. Havill uses Gastner, and his realistic view of his shortcomings, to lighten up what would otherwise be a grim book. Steven Havill started his career writing westerns. Heartshot is his first mystery. Fortunately, it isn't his last. [If you like this one, you may also enjoy books by Craig Johnson, Amiee and David Thurlo and James Doss.] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[ Wikipedia page for Steven F. Havill ]

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, January 13, 2010

Rough Guide to the Internet

Rough Guide to the Internet [2009 edition]
by Peter Buckley [004.678 Buc 2009]

I've long been a fan of the Rough Guide series, and Rough Guide to the Internet is no exception. Buckley and Clark open with a section about the hardware and software necessary to connect to the internet, and then explore browsers/browsing, how to use Google, how to sign up for and read RSS feeds, how to use various types of e-mail accounts, how to engage in chat. Curious about common acronyms on the 'net, or looking for a list of emoticons (those little sideways smiley or frowny faces) -- look no further. Additional chapters deal with shopping and ebay, computer security, software downloads, file sharing, and how to set up your own presence (website, blog, etc.) on the internet. The sections I enjoyed the most, however, were the 50+ page collection of "Things to Do Online" (in over 30 different activity categories!) and a 20 page section that's a nutshell history of the Internet. There's also a 20 page glossary of terms to help new net surfers acclimate to the common terminology online. [If you like this one, you'll probably like the other volumes in the Rough Guide, especially those dealing with technology.] -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ www.roughguides.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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

American on Purpose

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
by Craig Ferguson

Most people who watch TV probably know Craig Ferguson primarily as the host of The Late Late Show on CBS. He was also a cast member of The Drew Carey Show sitcom. In addition, he's a screenwriter, stand-up comic, and erstwhile punk rock drummer, among other things. Although I don't agree with every comedic choice he makes on his show, I think he's a very good host/monologuist and I enjoy his smart-aleck-y personality and his intelligence. In this memoir of his life up to now, he takes us through his physical and emotional ups and downs, including alcoholism and ill-fated relationships. In telling his anecdotes, he shows a lot of admiration for his parents (now deceased) and those who've befriended him, takes responsibility for his negative behaviors, and illustrates the variety of reasons why he has chosen to add American citizenship to his native Scots heritage. Plus, he mentions Nebraska! I would have given a higher numeric rating to this book but for the prevalence of the f-word -- someone who writes this well should know that over-use of 'expressive' words and phrases de-emphasizes their impact! -- recommended by Becky W.C. - Walt Branch Library

[ Publisher's official American on Purpose web page ] | [ Wikipedia page for Craig Ferguson ]

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.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Through the Grinder

Through the Grinder
by Cleo Coyle

If you like coffee and cozies this series may just be your cup of java. The books are infused with interesting coffee facts and tasty recipes. Clare Cosi manages The Village Blend coffeehouse in Greenwich Village for her ex-mother-in-law, Madame. Madame lured Clare back to New York with the offer of part ownership in the business. The only thing that Madame did not mention that the other partner is Matteo Allegro, Clare's ex-husband. Clare and Matt have forged a smooth, but at times prickly working relationship. They remain amicable because Matt spends most of his time in third world countries buying coffee beans for the coffeehouse. Through the Grinder is the second book in this series. When this book opens Clare is disturbed to learn that one of her regular customers committed suicide by jumping in front of a subway. NYPD detective, and regular customer, Mike Quinn doesn't think that it is suicide. But the higher-ups do, so the case is closed. Soon another Village Blend customer commits suicide by jumping off a roof. A second "suicide" is too coincidental. Quinn investigates the women's lives and learns that they have something else in common besides being Blend customers -- they both dated Bruce Bowman -- Clare's new boyfriend. Clare can't believe that Bruce is a murderer. She thinks that Quinn may be focusing only on Bruce so Clare decides to clear Bruce's name. The plot is tightly woven and the characters are well developed. Coyle gives you glimpse into the killer's mind as each murder is planned and executed to make each death appear to be a suicide. -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[ official Coffeehouse Mystery Series 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, January 7, 2010

Best Reads of 2009?!?

Hello to all the visitors to the BookGuide blog as we make our way into 2010!

We don't often get a lot of comments posted on BookGuide blog posts, although we know there are a lot of visitors stopping by the site. We'd like to hear more from you. With that in mind, we encourage any and all visitors to leave a comment in response to the following question:

What were your favorite reads in 2009?

This can include both books newly published in 2009, or older titles that you finally got around to reading last year. You can leave a simple comment post with just one or more book titles listed, or you can be more verbose and tell us what you liked about those titles in more detail. You can remain completely anonymous, or leave your name at the end of your comments, or even link to your own blog if you'd like.

Help us celebrate a year of reading by letting us know what book(s) you enjoyed the most in 2009. We look forward to hearing what you thought!

Star Trek: Countdown

Star Trek: Countdown
by Roberto Orci [741.5 Orc]

For fans of the new 2009 Star Trek movie that reboots that franchise, this graphic novel should be required reading. This is a compilation of a four-issue comic book series that explains a lot of what happened before the events of the 2009 film, focusing on the life of Nero, the Romulan who is driven to genocide in the film, and Spock, the legendary Star Trek character whose time-travelling creates the alternate timeline that now exists in the Star Trek universe. The storytelling, by the writers of the movie, is emotionally engaging, and the artists do a remarkable job o capturing the likenesses of the actors from the film. In addition, characters from Star Trek's Next Generation era feature fairly prominently...something that woud have been impossible on the big screen, but is a treat for long-time Trek fans. Non-Trekkies won't get it, but this is a valuable addition to the Star Trek mythos for those in the fandom. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official Star Trek web site ] | [ Wikipedia page for Roberto Orci ]

See more Star Trek titles like this on our Star Trek booklist

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.

People Magazine's Top 10 Books of 2009


A new Reader List was posted to BookGuide this week -- the contents are here in this blog post, and you can see more Reader Lists by visiting that section of the BookGuide site.

People Magazine's Top 10 Books of 2009

a reader list submitted in January 2010 by BookMan

Open Open
by Andre Agassi
[Biography Agassi]





The Help The Help
by Kathryn Stockett






Somewhere Towards the End Somewhere Towards the End
by Diana Athill






Under the Dome Under the Dome
by Stephen King






The Girls From Ames The Girls From Ames
by Jeffrey Zaslow
[305.4 Zas]






Wolf Hall Wolf Hall
by Hilary Mantel






Cutting for Stone Cutting for Stone
by Abraham Verghese






Catching Fire Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins [j Collins]






Too Much Happiness Too Much Happiness: Stories
by Alice Munro






Zeitoun Zeitoun
by Dave Eggers
[Biography Zeitoun]

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Twisted

Twisted
by Andrea Kane

Romantic suspense writer Andrea Kane has created a tough, independent protagonist with serious martial arts skills in Sloane Burbank. She is a former FBI agent who now is security consultant. Sloane left the FBI after she suffered a serious hand injury while apprehending a suspect. Hope Truman hires Sloane to find her daughter Penny who disappeared a year ago. Hope contacts Sloane because Penny and Sloane were grade school friends. Sloane agrees to review all of the reports from Penny's investigation in hopes of finding a clue that the FBI and the police missed. Sloane has to work with her former lover, Derek Parker, because he was the agent of record in FBI's investigation of Penny's disappearance. As they investigate, Sloane and Derek learn that seven women have disappeared over the past 18 months and all of them were connected to Sloane in some way in the past. All signs point to Sloane becoming the next victim. This book is filled with fast moving action scenes and steamy romantic encounters. -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[ official Twisted page on the official Andrea Kane 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.

Wall-E

Wall-E

Another excellent film by Pixar Studios. This one won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Humans are now living on a spaceship after leaving Earth centuries earlier. The original plan was to live in outer space temporarily until robots cleaned Earth for recolonization. But after seven hundred years, only one cleaning robot remains: WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class). You're mainly following Wall-E as he goes about his endless days of collecting trash and compacting it. Occasionally he finds interesting trinkets that he saves, but otherwise he spends his evenings watching old musicals on videos. Until the arrival of EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator). She's a robot sent to periodically search Earth for vegetation. The interaction and courtship between these two is touching and humorous. Then she finds the plant Wall-E has just discovered and this activates her prime directive, making her oblivious to Wall-E. When a long-range probe arrives to retrieve Eve, Wall-E is inconsolable and we spend the rest of the film as he follows and works to save her. A wonderful film. Very little dialogue, mostly the beeps and trills of robots communicating to each other but you quickly learn to decipher the tone and language. Go ahead and set the dvd to display subtitles as I found this added to the poignancy. Who knew we'd care so much about robots? [If you like this, you may also enjoy the DVD Cars, also by Pixar.] -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Wall-E web site ]

Have you seen this movie? 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, January 5, 2010

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
by Christopher Moore

In Pine Cove in September, three things happened: the cooling pipe at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant sprang a tiny leak; Mavis Stand advertised in the Songwriter for a blues singer at her Head of the Stag Salooon; and Bess Leander, wife and mother of two, hung herself. A creature from the bottom of the sea tracks the leaking radiation from the power plant and awakens from his slumbers. He torpedoes toward shore (witnessed by Catfish, the new blues singer), then the beast sees her at the Texaco station: purring and teasing, so he makes his move--on a fuel truck! But his lovemaking sets off the fuel and destroys the truck and the station. Singed, the Monster heads for a nearby creek, thinking, "A simple "No" would have sufficed." Pine Cove's loopy constable Theo Crowe must investigate the murder and the fire. His wife, Molly, takes blue meds: she calls them the Smurfs of Sanity. Then she sees the Monster turning himself into a mobile home and expectorating a wad of newspaper after slurping up the newspaper boy. She spritzes her television screen with Windex. When the droplets hit the screen they look like an Impressionist painting. Eventually, a cult forms around the sea beast. Christopher Moore's humor is not for everyone, but for those who do like it, this will be rewarding. -- recommended by Rianne S. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official Lust Lizard page on the official Christopher Moore 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.

Hungry

Hungry
by Crystal Renn [Biography Renn]

At the age of 14, Crystal Renn, a regular teen attending school in Mississippi, was spotted by a modeling scout. She was told she could be a supermodel, but first, she would have to lose a little weight. Crystal lost 70 pounds in order to gain glamour, fame and a modeling contract with a competitive New York modeling agency. Crystal also gained a severe case of anorexia and exercise bulimia. As a straight sized model, Crystal was proud of her thin body and the fact that her hips measurements were smaller than the sample clothing she would be modeling. However, to Crystal's frustration, her new modeling career in new York city would did not take off and despite her 'heroin chic' frame, her photos did not inspire the fashion world. It may have been due to the vacant look in her eyes, her emaciated body or the fact that her hair was falling out. Crystal was starving herself and what few calories she did eat, she made herself exercised back off that same day. To Crystal's horror, as she became a year older, her body began to change and no matter how little she at and how much she exercised, her body refused to stay at a size zero. The more weight she gained the more she became manic about controlling what she ate (mostly plain lettuce), exercising to the point where she could barely walk and experimenting with diet drugs. She belonged to two gyms so that people would not raise eyebrows when she exercised for eight hours a day almost everyday. As her weight increased, Crystal's modeling agency was closely monitoring her size. The agency would call her in for test photos, then wince at the images and tell her 'the hips need to come down'. This was Crystal's wake up call. She decided to get healthy, nourish and heal her body. Crystal quit her current modeling agency and was immediately signed on with Ford Modeling Agency as a plus sized model. Once she became healthy and her weight settled at a size 12, her career took off. Crystal is the only plus-size model to appear on a Harper's Bazaar cover, and in four international Vogue editions. She has broken the stereotype of plus sized modeling, enjoyed lucrative contracts with many high-profile plus-size clothing manufacturers and has also appeared on the runway for top couture fashion designers. Crystal Renn paved the way for Plus sized models. In her biography, Crystal describes her new found happiness and contentment and success as a plus sized model which is apparent when comparing her straight sized modeling photos with her more recent photos in the biography. At times, Crystal's self-image waivers more than once between a very poor self-image to almost egotistical which may give some insight into why she was prone to such a severe eating disorder. The book also discusses America?s obsession with weight, how the modeling industry is slowly changing its view on ultra skinny, unhealthy models as well as how some areas of the fashion industry are still refusing to see anything other than a size zero as beautiful. This would be a great book for anyone who is interested in the behind the scenes working of the cutthroat fashion and modeling industry or has ever struggled with a weight problem and body image. By the end of this biography, you will be pulling for Crystal Renn to find herself, fulfill her dream and her place as a successful model in the fashion industry. [If you like this, you may also enjoy Alek: From the Streets of Sudan to the Runways of Milan and New York By Alek Wek or Secrets of the Model Dorm by Amanda Kerlin] -- recommended by Jessica H. - Walt Branch Library

[ Wikipedia page for Crystal Renn ]

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