Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tracy recommends "Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night" by Joyce Sidman

Did you know that a baby porcupine is called a porcupette?  This is one of the little facts you find as you read the poems by Joyce Sidman in the “Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night”.   The author includes some side information about each subject of the poem.  This makes it an interesting  book for both budding poets and naturalists.  I would recommend this for children 3rd grade and up.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Matt recommends "Inside Job"

All of the sudden I understand Occupy Wall Street. I know I’m a little late to the party, but I only watched Inside Job, the incredible 2010 documentary that tells the story of the 2008 economic meltdown, last night. Probably like most people, I’ve only heard this story piecemeal on the news over the past few years, with vaguely comprehensible mention of “mortgage-backed securities” here and “collateralized debt obligations” there. These are complex subjects that I still have a lot to learn about, but after watching Inside Job, I have a new foundation of knowledge about the subject, and I understand better how certain decisions made by several presidential administrations, out-of-control bankers, crooked rating agencies, and economists with deplorable conflicts of interest led directly to the worst economic crisis to hit the American people since the Depression.

The filmmakers don’t pull any punches, speaking truth to power at every opportunity. (And how those powerful people sputter and squirm when they try to justify their decisions on camera.) For anyone who wants a smart, critical, comprehensive overview of exactly how our national government and economy were hijacked by greed (and how, unfortunately and unbelievably, not much has changed since everything fell apart), Inside Job is essential viewing.

Here’s the trailer:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kathy recommends "Sister" by Rosamund Lupton

“Elegantly suspenseful”, “a psychological murder mystery written with a literary flair”,  “gripping”, withHitchcockian spookiness” -- these are all words reviewers are using to describe British author Rosamund Lupton’s  debut literary thriller Sister.  Beatrice, who lives in New York, gets a call from her mother in London telling her that her sister, Tess, is missing.  Bea flies to London to search for Tess only to meet resistance from the police, her family, and her fiancĂ©.  Loosely written in letter format, Sister chronicles each painful step Bea takes to uncover Tess’ fate.  And for those who enjoy a truly twisted ending, this one is not to be missed.

Recommended for adults and older teens