Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beth recommends: "Echo" by Jack McDevitt

Is anyone out there? In Jack McDevitt’s world, humans have been traveling through space for 8,000 years and have encountered only one other sentient, alien race. Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath – dealers in interstellar antiquities, learn of an artifact owned by Somerset Tuttle, one of the most fervent believers in alien cultures. Tuttle devoted his life to the search, undeterred by his colleagues’ ridicule at his lack of success. A picture of this artifact, with its strange script, leads them to wonder about Tuttle’s last voyage, a voyage shrouded in mystery. In their search for the tablet, Alex and Chase attract the attention of individuals who are determined to delete that voyage from the historical record – at all costs. What happened on that trip? Who – or what – did Tuttle encounter? Why does even a casual mention of the tablet terrify Rachel Bannister, Tuttle’s friend and lover? Echo is the latest novel featuring Alex and Chase and I have thoroughly enjoyed every title in this series. Jack McDevitt has created a wide world “out there” – planets and cultures and space travel – that is fascinatingly detailed and complex as well as intimate and familiar despite its setting in the far future. Even if you are not a science fiction fan, I heartily recommend these stories of adventure and intrigue.

Recommended for: adults, young adults.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Matt recommends "Proud Mary: the Best of Ike and Tina Turner"

It struck me recently that I hadn't heard any of the music that Ike and Tina Turner made together in the 1960s and '70s besides the song "Proud Mary." Of course I've heard the sad story of their relationship, and growing up, I'd heard plenty of the music Tina made on her own, but I didn't really have a clue how it compared to what she'd done with Ike. I checked out the library's copy of "Proud Mary: the Best of Ike and Tina Turner" a few weeks ago and couldn't believe what I heard. What amazing stuff! It has a bit of Motown, a bit of blues, some soul, rock, even funk, and this is all in a single greatest hits compilation! The songs all have an exciting, rollicking zeal that I just can't get enough of, and Tina's voice is much more raw, forceful and unpolished than I expected. Many of the lyrics are about her devotion to Ike, which, knowing what we now know about their relationship, lends the whole thing a sense of poignancy, but the songs' joyful energy is catching nonetheless. All in all, I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't heard it and likes any of the musical styles mentioned above, as well as anyone who may have heard it before but forgot how great it sounds.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lisa recommends" The Seventh Level"

Are you looking for a middle school book that is a good read? Check out The Seventh Level, Jody Feldman’s 2nd book for kids/teens. Travis is invited to join a middle school secret society called the Legend, but in order to get in he has to solve seven puzzles. Some of the tasks he is given have a cruel undertone. Are they really from the Legend or is someone trying to get Travis into trouble? The Seventh Level is a fun and suspenseful read.

Recommended for grades 5-8

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lisa recommends "The Lost Hero"

For those who wondered what happened next at Camp Half-Blood, look no further! A new adventure has started with Jason, Piper, and Leo as they journey on a quest to save Hera from Mother Earth. Some of my favorite demigods reappear to aid the new heroes on their quest, including Annabeth. What is interesting in this new series is that there is some Roman mythology mixed up with the Greek. The length of the book looks intimidating, but it is a fast-paced read! Personally, this was Rick Riordan’s best adventure yet!

Recommended for grades 5+.

Also recommended: Percy Jackson and the Olympians series