Monday, December 28, 2009

Moon Tiger, by Penelope Lively

Moon Tiger Cover

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Moon Tiger
, Booker Award Winner for 1987, is the story of Claudia Hampton, a free-spirited woman reporter in Egypt during WWII. As she lies in her hospital bed dying, she imagines herself writing a history of the world. In fact, she is re-creating her own life.

As Claudia weaves in and out of consciousness, the reader is drawn into Claudia's past. Her own story is intertwined with those of her brother, her daughter, her sometimes lover (and daughter's father), and her great love, Tom, who perished in combat. That love affair plays a central role in the novel, and in the narrator's life.

This is a unique book, resembling a rich tapestry. Each new visitor at Claudia's bedside weaves yet another part of the cloth. By the book's end, we come to love Claudia, despite her egotism and stridency. An author who is able to accomplish this, and to draw a character in her full humanity, is special, indeed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baking Cakes In Kigali

Main character, Angel, bakes cakes for special occasions. As her customers settle in over a cup of tea to tell her about the upcoming party, the reader learns about current issues in Central Africa. A real education told in a compellingly readable style.
Baking Cakes in Kigali

Delacorte Press
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lorraine's Picks

Red Leaves by Thomas Cook
Another mystery that is many notches above the norm is RED LEAVES by Thomas H Cook. New says it best! " In this ominous tale of escalating threat and desperation, and of lives irrevocably unraveling, we see how easily one man can hide behind the veneer of a pleasant life, ignoring the reprehensible truths just a blink away."
One seldom comes across a mystery of such depth and clarity!
For everyone.
Posted by Lorraine at 9:13 PM 0 comments
Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Seasonal Stuff

Well, we've had some cold and some snow and so now is the time to hunker down with items of the season. The list below contains books and movies that are celebrating the holiday season. The library owns copies of them all (and more that are not listed!), so enjoy!

Bayard, Louis. Mr. Tinothy: A novel.
Burrough, Augusten. You Better Not Cry.
Card, Orson Scott. A War of Gifts.
Clark, Mary Higgins. Christmas Thief.
Davidson, Diane Mott. Sweet Revenge.
Dickens, Charles. Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol.
Dunnett, Kaitlyn. A Wee Christmas Homicide.
Henry, O. Gift of the Magi.
Kahn, Sharon. Out of the Frying Pan.
Morrell, David. The Spy who came for Christmas.
Perry, Anne. A Christmas beginning.
Rice, Luanne. Silver Bells.

Gwynelle. Practicing Kwanzaa Year Round. 394.2683 DIS
Issacs, Ronald H. Sacred Seasons. 296.43 ISA
Pacheo, Ferdie. Christmas Eve Cookbook. 641.568 PAC
Raphael, Chaim. Festival Days. 296.43 RAP
Restad, Penne. Christmas in America. 394.26 RES
Sarna, Johnathan. A Time to Every Purpose. 296.7 SAR

A Christmas Carol
Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights
Our Favorite Things
Santa Clause
White Christmas

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birds of America

Product Details
A. Knopf :
Pub date:
291 p. ;
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Birds of America is a collection of poignant stories about average people. It is classic Lorrie Moore, employing artistic use of language and witty dialogue. Humor deflects, somewhat, the sadness in each story, although each deals with loss or mortality.

What makes this collection one of the best I've ever read is the sheer humanity of the characters depicted. Each story has a character who is struggling with something monumental in his or her life. Each looks realistically at the situation and, in the end, makes a choice that is the best given all options. The characters recognize life's ironies as well as its unfairness. But none have time for self-pity.

If you are a fan of Lorrie Moore, or if you enjoyed her latest novel, A Gate at the Stairs, this collection is well worth reading. It is filled with pathos, yes, but the strength of the human spirit in the face of all odds, rings clearly.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Heat Wave

For anyone who has watched the tv series, Castle, this book will be very familiar. Castle is now a magazine writer named Rook, but Nikki Heat is still a NYPD homicide detective with her 2 squad members, Raley and Ochoa, known collectively as "Roach."
The book reads just like the television show is laid out. Start with a murder and add twists and turns until you reach the point of solving the crime.
The characters are well drawn, with enough mystery surrounding them - what exactly happened to Heat's mother? and tension - will Heat and Rook get together? - to keep the story moving.
A short book at only 196 pages it's the kind of fast read that is a perfect escape from the winter weather.
Reader's should be aware that the author "Richard Castle" is not a real author, he is a television character. The awards listed in his bio on the book jacket do not exist and "In a Hail of Bullets" is not a real book. But, don't let any of that stop you from reading the very real "Heat Wave."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

James Castle - Portrait of an Artist (DVD)

Born deaf in 1899, James Castle produced an astonishing body of drawings, collages, and constructions which eventually gained worldwide recognition. Jeffrey Wolf's acclaimed film reveals Castle's life and creative process as told by family members, art historians, curators, artists, collectors and members of the deaf community.

Call Number: DVD 709.2 JAM

Jane Austen Do overs

Poor Jane Austen. Not content with being probably one of the most popular writers of all time, she has to put up with people rewriting her books. Here's the disclaimer: If you think Austen is the greatest writer of all time, stop reading right now!

Quirk Classics has put out two rewrites of Austen's works. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters.

I loved them both. Humorous and true to the original stories, they make for an easy read. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was released first. Not as well integrated as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, the book is quite funny and somewhat surreal. The characters who are turned into "unmentionables" makes for a real twist on the original version.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is just as fun as the first book. The story is faithful to Austen's original but the love interests involve humans who are somehow not quite human.

I recommend them both. But only if you don't mind a little reworking of Jane.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea MonstersSense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
2009-09 - Quirk Books
9781594744426 Check Our Catalog

Arriving just in time for Halloween, this strange and terrifying tongue-in-cheek novel marks a new addition to the much-acclaimed literary-occult series featuring "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." …More

Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesPride and Prejudice and Zombies
By Grahame-Smith, Seth
Author Austen, Jane
2009-04 - Quirk Books
9781594743344 Check Our Catalog

BookPage Notable Title

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. …More

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hot New Teen Book


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Shiver By Stiefvater, Maggie

For Grace, one yellow-eyed wolf is a chilling presence in the woods behind her house. During winter, Sam lives in the frozen woods and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, he lives a few precious months as a human. Soon, Grace and Sam find themselves risking everything to remain together.

Recommended for those who like Twilight and romantic fantasy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Best of Malcolm Gladwell

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

Little Brown and Company

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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
By Gladwell, Malcolm

This anthology of Gladwell's "New Yorker" essays is like a greatest-hits compilation from one of the most gifted and influential journalists in America and author of the bestsellers "The Tipping Point, Blink," and "Outliers."

Peter Mayle is Back

The Vintage Caper

The Vintage Caper
By Mayle, Peter
2009-10 - Knopf Publishing Group
9780307269010 Check Our Catalog

Set in Hollywood, Paris, Bordeaux, and Marseille, Mayle's newest tale begins in Hollywood, at the expensive home--and impressive wine cellar--of lawyer Danny Roth. who has found himself the victim of a world-class wine heist. Sam Levitt, former corporate lawyer, wine connoisseur, and expert on cultivated crime, is called in by Roth's insurance company to unravel the ingenious crime. The solution involves travel to Bordeaux and Provence, a lovely French colleague and loads of fabulous food, wine and scenery. It's a tough job--even the most sophisticated of oenophiles will learn a thing or two in this vintage work from a beloved author.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Book CoverFree: The Future of a Radical Price
By Anderson, Chris
2009/07 - Hyperion Books

Chris Anderson's previous book The Long Tail was a profound influence on my thinking regarding the future of the internet economy, and this book takes a similarly simple idea and makes it resound. Essentially, Anderson argues that the cost of providing services on the internet has become so cheap that it essentially costs nothing, and argues that the business model of the future will involve giving something of value away in order to get people to pay for something of higher value. This has already been a controversial book...see Malcolm Gladwell's review in the New Yorker...but it is full of big ideas regarding an unclear future.