Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kathy recommends "Gods Behaving Badly"

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips is just what the doctor ordered for the blah winter months. Highly irreverent, funny and surprisingly clever, it's the story of the major Greek gods living in a run-down flat in present day London. Artemis, the goddess of hunting, walks dogs for a living, while Aphrodite's choice of employment involves phone sex. When Aphrodite becomes angry with her nephew/lover (and Artemis' twin) Apollo, she forces her son Eros (who has espoused Christianity) into casting a love spell on Apollo. The unfortunate recipient of Apollo's attentions is a mortal named Alice, who is secretly in love with Neal. Alice does not welcome Apollo's advances, so he has his father Zeus kill her with a bolt of lightening. What ensues is Neal's attempts to bring Alice back from the underworld, while Artemis must save the world from catastrophe when Apollo, whose only job is to keep the sun shining, does the exact opposite. A very fun read for a cold winter day!

Recommended for adults.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Lisa recommends "Heroes" Season 1

With the writer's strike on this winter, I was catching up on all of those tv series that I wanted to see but didn't. In my search, I became addicted to Heroes. Six people from across the country (and one from Japan) notice that they have various superpowers. Learning to use these powers and learning their purpose is the focus as they come in contact with each other to stop a serial killer and to save New York. If you need another highly addictive tv show, Heroes is it!

Note: Not for the faint of heart as there are some graphic scenes of violence, drug use, and some sexual themes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Matt recommends Joni Mitchell's Shine

Joni Mitchell has released her first album of new songs in almost a decade, Shine, and the result is well worth the wait. Its tone is generally somber, with one of the last great hippies looking around and, amid the chaos, violence and injustice of the present day, wondering what in the world went wrong. Disillusioned and somewhat bitter, Mitchell paints haunting lyrical portraits of a world full of babbling cell phone zombies, where our cities are electric scabs and our once-clean lakes lesions. The albums not all doom and gloom, though; a piano and saxophone-driven instrumental opening track is tender and optimistic, and there is room for hope in the title song, which suggests that something shines within each of us that transcends the dark. Shine may not be Joni Mitchell's very best work, but it is an album of great beauty and power. For me, listening to it inspired a rewarding trip through her extensive back catalog, from 1970's incomparable Ladies of the Canyon to 2002's lush retrospective Travelogue. If you feel similarly inspired, you'll have no trouble at all finding nearly all of her many albums across CMPL's three locations.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lisa recommends "Paint Transformations"

Winter is the perfect time to tackle a new project. Paint transformations gives you plenty of new ideas that can update your house in a quick weekend. From high gloss stripes to faux tile, the instructions are easy to understand. This past weekend I added faux tile as a backsplash with about 2 hours work for about $10.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Phil recommends "The Book Thief"

In "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak, Death (a surprisingly likeable character) narrates the story of Liesel, a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany during World War II. Liesel's foster father teaches her to read and she soon discovers her love of words and books. In a time where money is scarce and books are being burned by Nazi's, Liesel begins stealing books to satisfy her craving for literature. When Liesel's foster family offers to hide a Jew in their basement, a friendship blossoms. Humor and likeable characters make this a pleasure to read. This book is appropriate for young adults and adults.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bethany recommends "Zazoo"

Zazoo by Richard Mosher is a gentle and layered love story; one I have been meaning to read for a few years. Zazoo lives with in an old mill house next to a canal with Grand-Pierre, her adopted grandfather. Zazoo struggles with being different from the others in her French village and taking care of her failing Grand-Pierre. One day a young man comes and asks Zazoo to keep a secret for him. This sets off a chain of events in Zazoo's world some wonderful and some too painful to face.

This books is full of imagery and quiet moments while dealing delicately with harsh events of the World War II and Vietnam War. The book has appeal to teens and young adults but is also excellent to read for an adult.

Recommended for Young Adult