Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lisa Recommends "32 Candles"

If you grew up watching ALL of the Molly Ringwald movies from the 1980s, this book is for you! Davidia Jones grew up in a small town in Mississippi with an abusive mother. All through high school she feels invisible and actually quits talking to everyone. She often watches the Molly Ringwald movies as an escape from her current situation. When she is 17, she leaves small town life behind for good and heads for California. Her new life begins as a nightclub singer named Davie Jones. After a rocky start, she finds a life for herself, always dreaming of her one true love from high school that didn’t know she was alive at the time. She meets up again with her hometown crush, all grown up and still gorgeous. Although he doesn’t remember her, a steamy relationship begins. Once her love finds out who she really is and more facts about her past, Davie is alone once again. Find out if Davie ever gets the “Molly Ringwald” ending that she is longing for. This book is appropriate for adults.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kathy recommends "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand"

Helen Simonson’s debut novel, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, is quintessentially British in the finest sense of the word. Maj. Ernest Pettigrew, retired widower is brought together with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper in the village of Edgecombe St. Mary in Sussex, when she thoughtfully offers assistance as he navigates his grief following the death of his brother, Bertie. Their friendship blossoms, much to the consternation of his fellow villagers, culminating in the title referenced “last stand”. Underlying prejudices, wry humor, a touching late life romance, and all the trauma that extended family can produce make for an enjoyable story well worth the leisure time it takes to read.

Recommended for adults.

Lisa recommends "Clementine, Friend of the Week"

If you are looking for a short spunky heroine after finishing the Junie B. Jones series and Ramona books, then take a look at Clementine. In Clementine’s newest episode, she is worried about how to make the kids in her class write nice things about her in her Friend of the Week book. Clementine’s attempts at being nice will make you laugh, from giving marker tattoos at recess to decorating bikes with Halloween decorations. While she gets into trouble, she is very lovable and you can’t help rooting for her. For more fun, check out the rest of the Clementine series (series does not need to be read in order).

For ages 7-10 (also a great read aloud!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jamie recommends "Save Me, San Francisco"

Train’s latest CD is great listen, especially in the hot summertime. This CD has been in heavy rotation on my iPod since it was released last year. Almost every track is a winner. Most everyone has heard the insanely popular and catchy “Hey Soul Sister” on the radio, but there are other great gems on this CD including the title track, “Save Me San Francisco.” My other favorites include “I Got You,” “You Already Know” and “Parachutes.” The CD kicks off very upbeat and happy and then slows down towards the end for a really complete listening experience. If you’re looking for a fun, summer CD you can’t go wrong the latest offering from Train.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kathy recommends" This must be the place" by Kate Racculia

Once in a great while a shining star of a book comes along -- a book that speaks to your heart and makes you wish you could know these characters, live in their homes and share their lives. This must be the place by Kate Racculia is just such a book. You will meet shy, gentle, unassuming Arthur Rook, who has recently become a widower under bizarre circumstances. Losing the love of his life, Arthur discovers clues from his wife Amy’s past in a pink shoebox hidden in the back of her closet. They lead him to the Darby-Jones boarding house in Ruby Falls, New York in search of answers to the questions his discovery has sparked. There he finds Amy’s childhood best friend, Desdemona Jones, and her enigmatic daughter Oneida (yes, like the flatware). Ms. Racculia mixes together the elements of an epic journey, coming-of-age, mystery, and romance story and comes up with a very entertaining tale.

For anyone who’s looking for a good read that is definitely “outside the box”, This must be the place is a lovely place to look.

Recommended for adults.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Beth recommends "The Cove"

Back in the 1960’s Ric O’Barry trained the dolphins used in the popular TV series “Flipper.” But the day he held a depressed and sick captive dolphin in his arms as she voluntarily took her last breath, he made a 180-degree turn to become a marine life activist; wherever there is a dolphin in trouble, Rick is called. The dolphins off the coast of Taiji, Japan are very much in trouble, as this exceptional documentary reveals. So much attention is given to speculating about life on other planets – and here on our own Earth is a magnificent, sentient, intelligent creature about whom we could learn so much, from whom we could learn much – if we could stop the killing. The film raises many issues about human’s treatment of animals, animals in captivity – it is sure to provide material for thought and discussion the next time you take your family to a zoo or aquarium.

Appropriate for: adult, young adult

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jamie recommends "Pushing Daisies"

If you’re tired of summer reruns and reality fare, why not try something new and refreshing? Pushing Daisies is a quirky little show that follows the life of pie maker Ned. Ned has a unique gift. When he touches something that has died he can bring it back to life, but there are consequences. If the reanimates someone for more than one minute something else must die in its place. Ned uses his gift to make a little extra money with private investigator Emerson Cod. Ned reanimates murder victims, gets information about what killed them and Emerson solves the crime. Things get complicated when Ned comes across the dead love of his childhood, whom he reanimates, but can’t bear to kill again and so Ned must keep his childhood sweetheart’s second lease on life a secret. Tie in a pair of reclusive aunts and a waitress in love with Ned and this charming show is sure to delight. Though it deals with a rather morbid subject the scenes are never gory. The show is a treat from art deco sets and costumes to the music and narration by Alan Dale of Harry Potter audio book fame. Pushing Daisies is definitely one worth checking out during the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lynda recommends "Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs" (Juv. Fiction)

The second in a possible series, Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs is kids' poetry at its best. Ron Koertge writes in such a way so as to both educate his audience on different types of poems (I never heard of a pantoum and a sestina was only vaguely familiar but I loved the explanations by example), and also to provide just a good read about an adolescent boy making his way through some tough emotions.

This is the continuation of a "poetry story" about Kevin Boland, who in 8th grade, developed mono and had to take a few months off from his favorite pastime, baseball. So he picked up one of his father's books about poetry and gave it whirl. And a whirl it is as he experiments with different styles of poetry and all sorts of emotions over his girlfriend, a new girl friend, the death of his mother, his father's new girl friend and even the fact that he is a poetry-writing baseball player. There is warmth and humor in his struggle to make sense of the people around him and his fluctuating feelings.

Poetry is a style of writing that few people take seriously, especially in novel form. But Ron Koertge has shattered that belief with both Shakespeare Bats Cleanup and Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs. These books can show (as referenced in the titles) how Shakespeare could tell a story in rhyme, making the telling a true art form. And like Shakespeare, I believe these books, and especially Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs deserve a prominent place in every middle school library as well as on every teenager's bookshelf.