Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jeannie Recommends Sarah McLachlan's "The Classic Christmas Album"

The Classic Christmas Album

Classic Sarah McLachlan, track #9 is a sure hit, Room on the Couch for Two. Christmas songs mixed with original tunes, excellent holiday listening! Or try it on Freegal (minus a few tracks) streaming will put you in the holiday mood.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Annie recommends "Journeys Home"

Journeys Home

26 authors relate heartwarming stories as they explore their family histories around the globe.  This National Geographic publication is accompanied by stunning photographs and tips on research and travel for exploring those old family homesteads.  Perfect for the amateur genealogist.  Available in print and audio.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Emily recommends "Over the Garden Wall"

This original animated miniseries from Cartoon Network tells the story of two brothers, Wirt and Greg, who find themselves lost in a strange forest. With the help of a bluebird named Beatrice, they travel across a strange land in hopes of finding their way home. Recommended for older children and adults who can appreciate well done animation and fairytale-esque stories.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Lisa recommends Biography in Context

Yogi Berra

We have been seeing a lot of biography reports at CMPL lately and this is a great resource to help.  You can search for anyone that may have had information written about them, from Albert Einstein to Taylor Swift.  When you search, you will get printable selections from books, magazine articles, pictures, and sometimes even videos.  These are all from reputable sources that teachers will respect-best of all you will even be able to print a citation with the article for your bibliography.  My favorite part is that you have access to this information 24/7 from an Internet connection so you still get information for your report at 10 p.m. on Sunday night.

This is the direct link:

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Kathy recommends "Cass County" CD by Don Henley

With “Cass County”, Don Henley has put together an outstanding album that stays with you long after the music is over.  Henley returns to his country/Americana roots.  It reminds me of early Eagles with an impressive set of guest stars:  Mick Jagger, Miranda Lambert, Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnson, Lee Ann Womack, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton,  and Lucinda Williams.  Even if you don’t generally listen to country music, you will enjoy this CD.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Karen recommends "Data and Goliath"

Data and Goliath : the hidden battles to collect your data and control your world

"Data and Goliath" by privacy champion and security expert Bruce Schneier, who exposes the surveillance society created by the convenience of modern technology. Cell phone users give implied consent to their carrier to track them, wherever they go, how fast they drive, etc.  This data can then be used to predict where they will be in the next 24 hours. Data and metadata, which is data about data, are both used for intelligence and surveillance.   Author, Bruce Schneier, offers solutions which do not sacrifice privacy in favor of security.  "Data is the pollution problem of the information age, and protecting privacy is the environmental challenge."  Schneier recognizes that both government and business rely on the stream of data created by the digital age, and offers tips to protect privacy.  As a bonus, Schneier provides over 100 pages of annotated notes for further reading.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jamie recommends "Mug Cakes: 100 speedy microwave treats to satisfy your sweet tooth"

Have you ever had a taste for cake, but don’t want to go to the trouble of baking and frosting the whole thing?  If so, Leslie Bilderback has come up with an amazing book to help you out.  I admit to being skeptical that I could make a cake in a coffee in the microwave when I checked this book out, but, amazingly, it worked!  That craving for a blondie on a Friday night was satisfied with a recipe that included chocolate chips.  You do need to mix the ingredients just as you would for a regular cake, but these smaller recipes accommodate two mugs, which make them great for sharing.  There are 100 recipes in this book and she even has recipes for those who need gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan options. I’d definitely recommend this book for whipping up a quick dessert right in the microwave!

For teens and adults.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kathy Recommends "The Knockoff" by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to BeyoncĂ©. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career!

Recommended for adults.  Available in Book, Ebook, and Audio CD formats.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gretchen recommends "Our Souls at Night"

Kent Haruf’s final posthumous book, “Our Souls at Night” is one that resonates long after the last chapter.  The slim book is a moving meditation on old age, life’s expectations and disappointments, and the little things that matter.  Two neighbors come to share company with each other in an unexpected way—even to each other.  They discover it’s never too late to love.  The author’s spare, plain-spoken dialogue is both humorous at times and often poignant as his characters relate their lives and hard-earned wisdom.  Haruf also manages to weave his other Holt, Colorado books into the story in a clever way in this understated and satisfying denouement to his writing career. 

For adults.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Kathy Recommends "Eight Hundred Grapes" by Laura Dave

Just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her fiance has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.  Georgia does what she’s always done.  She returns home to the family vineyard in the Sonoma Valley, expecting the comfort of her parents, her brothers, and everything familiar.  But it turns out, the comfort she is seeking is shattered with more secrets and the messy realities of family. What begins as a light romantic comedy—complete with bride-to-be fleeing Los Angeles in her wedding dress—becomes a thoughtful exploration of the shared history that makes a family.

Recommended for those who enjoy Emily Giffin or JoJo Moyes.  For adults.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Karen recommends "The Martian's Daughter"

 The Martian's daughter : a memoir

The Martian’s Daughter is Dr. Marina von Neumann Whitman’s memoir of her tumultuous childhood, her adolescence surrounded by great minds including Einstein, and her adulthood accomplishments which broke barriers for women in academia, government and industry.

Marina is the daughter of John and Marietta von Neumann, Hungarian immigrants who projected their high expectations. It was her father, John von Neumann, often regarded as the greatest mathematician, whose contributions include: game theory, quantum mechanics, nuclear weapons including involvement in the Manhattan Project, as well as computer architecture, whose influence resonated in Marina’s life.

 “Were it not for his oft-repeated conviction that everyone — man or woman — had a moral obligation to make full use of her or his intellectual capacities, I might not have pushed myself to such a level of academic achievement or set my sights on a lifelong professional commitment at a time when society made it difficult for a woman to combine a career with family obligations.”

During the Nixon presidency, Dr. Whitman was the first woman to serve on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors.  She was the highest-ranking female executive in the U.S. auto industry as GM's vice president and chief economist in the 1980’s.

While serving in her various roles, Dr. Whitman, created friendships which lasted a lifetime. She shares her insights into the personalities and minds of many individuals who affected public policy and industry, including President Richard M. Nixon and GM's  Chairman, Roger Smith.  Dr. Whitman also discusses her own perceived failures with painful candor.  Currently, Marina v.N. Whitman is a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan's Ford School and also holds an appointment at the Ross School of Business Administration.

The final sentence of the final chapter, “Having It All”, Dr. Whitman states:  “My father’s shadow has lifted at last, if we meet again, it will be in sunlight.” 

Recommended for adults.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kathy recommends "The Bullet" by Mary Louise Kelly

The bullet

Two words:  The Bullet.

That’s all it takes to shatter her life.  In a split second, everything she’s known is proved to be a lie.

It began with a simple pain in her wrist.  Caroline Cashion, a professor of French literature at Georgetown University, is stunned when she  goes for an MRI.   Doctors discover a bullet lodged near the base of her skull, one that Caroline had no idea existed.  When questioned, her parents admit the shocking truth. They adopted Caroline at the age of three after her birth parents were murdered in cold blood.  Caroline was wounded – a bullet buried too close to her spinal cord to remove.

Now, thirty-four years later, Caroline is desperate to discover what really happened. 

The Bullet is a riveting thriller, with twists and turns, impeccably  written by a former journalist for NPR and the BBC.

Recommended for Adults.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Gretchen recommends "Find the Good: unexpected life lessons from a small-town obituary writer"

Find the good : unexpected life lessons from a small-town obituary writer
“Find the Good” is a little book with a big heart.  Heather Lende, obituary writer for the newspaper in Haines, Alaska, has done it again.  Her latest book chronicles life lessons from her own family and the people who live in her remote, small town.  Her wry and often poignant observations and reflections, however, are universal.  Challenged to come up with a pithy piece of wisdom to live by, she reminds us through her stories that you never know what life will bring, but find the good.    I once heard Heather Lende give a talk on her first book at a Barnes and Noble in Alaska.  Her unpretentious manner and storytelling were winsome.  She’s now a grandmother, and I look forward to each new book, brimming with wit and wisdom and always a bit of wackiness too.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kathy recommends "Pursuit in Provence"

A vacation in Provence turns deadly. Jordan Mayfair is a widow, an architect and the mother of five. Foreseeing an empty nest, she's delighted to accompany her uncle Alex to Provence for a long-delayed vacation and to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. Things go wrong from the start when Alex misplaces his passport and they miss their direct flight to Paris. Rushing off the commuter train in Brussels, Jordan forgets her suitcase.  While enjoying sights and delicious food in Provence, Jordan is aware that she is being followed and finds herself thrown into a web of international intrigue all centered around her missing suitcase.  Vivid descriptions of Provence, interesting characters, and a hint of romance make this an entertaining read for those who enjoy both cozy and traditional mysteries. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Kathy recommends "Dead Wake : The Last Crossing of the Lusitania" by Erik Larson

Bestselling author Erik Larson’s newest book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, is a compelling account of the May 7, 1915 sinking of the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland --- a casualty of Germany’s submarine campaign during World War I.  The story is told from four perspectives – the Lusitania’s passengers and crew; the British Admiralty; the German U-boat commander, Walther Schwieger; and President Woodrow Wilson.  Larson provides a fascinating description of an epic historical disaster that will intrigue not just history buffs, but anyone interested in a riveting tale of human foibles and hubris.

Recommended for adults and young adults.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marilena recommends "THE PUTIN MYSTIQUE"

Not a biography of Vladimir Putin, this book explores the complexities of what we used to call the “Russian Soul” of the people he is ruling. The author’s look at history, current events and interviews of famous personalities, revolutionaries, bureaucrats and ordinary citizens opens a window on the difficulties East and West encounter when trying to come to any accord.  Appropriate for Adults.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Colette recommends "BEING MORTAL: Medicine & What Matters in the End" by Atul Gawande

BEING MORTAL is a very thoughtful examination of aging and our mortality,  It emphasizes the importance of conversations:  “If your time becomes short, what is most important to you?  What is your definition of a happy purposeful life?”  People really care about what we consider a good life as we age and shift from independence to dependence- we don’t look forward to it so we don’t plan for it.  People have priorities besides just surviving and staying safe; everyone deserves to live a meaningful life, even those with disease or the frailty of aging. BEING MORTAL is sure to encourage important and needed discussions.

Recommended for adults.  Available in audiobook, e-book and print.