Monday, June 30, 2008

Kathy recommends "Lars and the Real Girl"

Lars Lindstrom, uncomfortable with the world at large, lives in the family garage while his brother and sister-in-law live in the main house. When Lars brings home, or more aptly has delivered, the perfect woman for him, she turns out to be a lovely plastic "sex" doll named Bianca. Gradually the whole town comes to accept Lars' new friend as they strive to help this gentle, sweet man find peace. Although touted as a comedy, this film focuses on the emotionally charged capriciousness of human nature.

Age range - Adult

Monday, June 16, 2008

Beth recommends "Private Arrangements"

To the rest of Victorian society, the marriage of Lord and Lady Tremaine seems ideal and oh so civilized despite the fact - or perhaps because they have lived on separate continents for ten years. Now Gigi wants a divorce, freeing her to remarry, but Camden will grant it only if she agrees to his condition. What happened to have created such hostility and driven them apart? In this delightful and romantic story we encounter two exceptional, intelligent, caring adults, one of whom made a foolish but serious mistake early on in their relationship and derailed it. Can they reclaim the love they once shared so passionately? You will truly care about what happens to the two main characters in this story, as well as some of the supporting cast.
Age range - adult

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Erica recommends "The Spellman Files"

Lisa Lutz's first novel in a planned series is a hysterical romp with Izzy Spellman, middle child of the Spellman family and employee of Spellman Investigations, the family PI firm. Caught between her too-perfect lawyer brother and her blackmailing, sugar-addicted teenage sister, Izzy is just trying to live a normal life. Of course, working for Mom and Dad (who also spy on her), and repeatedly tracking down her Uncle Ray during his benders makes that normal life rather difficult. When the best boyfriend she's had in years can't deal with her crazy life, Izzy realizes she's got to get out of the family business. But will she be able to?

This Alex Award winner will be a great read for teens and adults.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Collette recommends "Lush Life"

Lush Life by Richard Price.

Highly reviewed, I was curious about this novel. It is the story of a random act of violence and the aftermath/repercussions to all involved: the victims, the witnesses, the police investigating the crime.

The story and its details branch out and reveal the most curious and intimate thoughts of the characters. The proliferation of TV crime and cop shows have made us (falsely) believe that we know 'what's up.'...we don't.

Lush Life provides a fresh and very real peep into the lives of others. The backdrop of the lower East Side in NYC is a character in itself. I found the book very compelling although a bit confusing in the constant switching between characters and plot-lines.

Lisa recommends "Snacktime!"

It is hard to find good children's music that doesn't drive parents crazy. The Barenaked Ladies (BNL), who typically are a bit zany and off-the-wall, just came out with their first children's cd called Snacktime! As an adult, I found myself singing along to many of the lyrics, which hold great kid appeal. My personal favorites were The Ninjas, Eraser, and Bad Day. I can't wait to see if BNL comes out with another children's cd, because this one was fantastic!

Fun music for the entire family. If your child gets scared easily, skip track #17.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Jamie recommends "Mr. Darcy's Diary"

Amanda Grange revisits Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice in this interesting book that summarizes the events of the original book in Mr. Darcys own words. Austen focuses on Elizabeths perspective in Pride and Prejudice and the reader is really left to wonder when Darcy fell in love with her. Grange clues us in on Darcys feelings and illustrates how he struggles with his feelings for Elizabeth. She leads us through his horrendous first proposal all the way through the end of Austens novel and gives us a hint into the future. Overall, this book was great for Austen lovers. Those who have never read Pride and Prejudice will most definitely want to give that a read, or at least check out a film version of the book, before picking up Mr. Darcys Diary. There are many books that pick up where Pride and Prejudice leaves off, but this one has a unique voice because it unfolds during the course of the original novel. It is definitely a quick summer read for fans of Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy. Recommended for teens and up.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kara recommends "Don't Call Me Ishmael"

This very funny and endearing book is about ninth-grader Ishmael Leseur and how he takes on the school bully, girls, the debate team and his self-confidence with his pals Bill, Razza, Ignatius, and James (who has no sense of fear)! This book is a great read for anyone age 13 and up.