Apr 3, 2014

Dept. of Speculation - Jenny Offill

Dept. of Speculation - Offill, Jenny

Summary: An unflinching portrait of marriage features a heroine simply referred to as "the Wife," who transitions from an idealistic woman who once exchanged love letters with her husband and who confronts an array of universal difficulties. - (Baker & Taylor)

Booklist Reviews
This is a magnetic novel about a marriage of giddy bliss and stratospheric anxiety, bedrock alliance and wrenching tectonic shifts. Offill, author of the novel Last Things (1999) and various children's books, covers this shifting terrain and its stormy weather in an exquisitely fine-tuned, journal-like account narrated by "the wife," an ironic self-designation rooted in her growing fears about her marital state. She is smart if a bit drifty, imaginative and selectively observant, and so precisely articulate that her perfect, simple sentences vibrate like violin strings. And she is mordantly funny, a wry taxonomist of emotions and relationships. Her dispatches from the fog of new motherhood are hilarious and subversive. Her cynical pursuit of self-improvement is painfully accurate. Her Richter-scale analysis of the aftershocks of infidelity is gripping. Nothing depicted in this portrait of a family in quiet disarray is unfamiliar in life or in literature, and that is the artistic magic of Offill's stunning performance. She has sliced life thin enough for a microscope slide and magnified it until it fills the mind's eye and the heart. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Japanese pop, beat & bossa nova 1966-70 (CD)

Japanese pop, beat & bossa nova 1966-70 (CD)

Summary: The likes of Shonen Knife and The 5-6-7-8s have given more face to women in Japanese pop, but they draw on a tradition that stretches back to the wild 1960s 'Group Sounds' era, when the Land Of the Rising Sun was smitten with westernized rock 'n' roll, yet came to develop its own distinctive brand of the same. Like in the west, female artistes tended to be solo, though their accompaniment often came from some of the top GS acts like the Bunnies. Major female stars of the period represented here include Miki Obata, Linda Yamamoto and Mie Nakao, the latter with the fuzztoned classic Sharock No 1. The sound was eclectic, drawing upon not only the full smorgasbord of 60s styles like groovy go-go, lounge-y bossa nova and wobbly pop-psych, but also traditional Japanese songwriting and themes. There's dance floor fillers such as Ye-Ye and the usual fascinating interpretations of western material, such as Nana Kanomi's take on the Zombies' I Love You.

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Careless people - Sarah Bartlett Churchwell

Careless people: murder, mayhem, and the invention of the Great Gatsby - Churchwell, Sarah Bartlett

Summary: An investigation into the inspiration behind F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece traces his parties and quarrels at the side of Zelda amid the scandals and milestones of 1922 before a brutal double murder in New Jersey set the stage for what was to become an American classic. - (Baker & Taylor)

Kirkus Reviews
The Great Gatsby floats on a limpid river fed by myriads of autobiographical, cultural and historical tributaries. Churchwell (American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities/Univ. of East Anglia; The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe, 2004, etc.) has written an excellent book on a novel that remains a favorite in English courses in American high schools and colleges. Surprisingly, she even manages to find fresh facts that escaped previous scholars, including one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's own published comments about his novel, a book that, as Churchwell notes, neither sold well nor received uniformly favorable reviews. Churchwell weaves together a variety of strands: a summary of the novel (including its earlier drafts), a biographical account of the years Fitzgerald was working on the novel (including the time he and Zelda were living and partying in Great Neck, near the novel's setting), and an account of a sensational New Jersey murder case in 1922 (the year that Gatsby takes place), an investigation that resulted in arrests and a trial but no convictions. Churchwell also digs deeply into the architecture of the novel--looking, for example, for the relevance of specific details Fitzgerald mentions. She also examined Simon Called Peter, a novel that Nick Carraway picks up early in Gatsby; she read countless New York newspaper and magazine files looking for items in 1922 that may have found their way into the novel (car wrecks, wild parties and the like). She haunted the rich Fitzgerald archives at Princeton and elsewhere and, employing the clarity of hindsight, chides most of the early critics who missed what Fitzgerald was up to. At times, Churchwell attempts Fitzgerald's lyrical style--one chapter-ending sentence alludes to "the vagrant dead as they scatter across our tattered Eden"--she's earned the right to play on his court. Prodigious research and fierce affection illumine every remarkable page. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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The moth

The moth (Anthology)

Summary: "In the tradition of book anthologies created from public radio programs such as StoryCorps and This I Believe, THE MOTH collects the best storytelling moments--most in print here for the very first time--straight from their archive of more than 3000 shows since the first Moth Evening in 1997. From James Braly's struggling with what to do when his three-year-old son wants a pink bicycle to Dr. George Lombardi's flying to India to save Mother Theresa's life, from former U.S. Press Secretary Joe Lockhart'soversleeping after a long night in a Moscow bar and missing Air Force One on his first international trip, to Ed Gavagan's surviving being stabbed by a gang and then testifying at their trial, these 40 stories range from sublime to heartbreaking to hilarious, and this collection will feature the very best. Backed by The Moth's own efforts and their expanding syndication and live event efforts in 2012-2013, this book will be an important and cherished read for existing fans of the program, literary fans of some of the featured storytellers, and oral history buffs coast-to-coast"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Kirkus Reviews
Storytellers from a diverse array of backgrounds present true tales via a New York–based organization broadcasting at themoth.org. For all its vital cultural roots, storytelling makes a strange bedfellow with the printed page. In this self-congratulatory volume--readers can plow through a preface, a foreword and an introduction before even getting to the first story--stories originally told before live audiences are transcribed and edited to no discernible purpose, considering that they are all available in their original formats on the website. The stories run the gamut from childhood memories to love and marriage to illness, crime, war and family secrets, with several epiphanies thrown in for good measure. Some are quite moving--e.g., rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels' account of how Sarah McLachlan's music saved him from depression and geneticist Paul Nurse's discovery that the woman he had thought was his sister was actually his mother. Malcolm Gladwell's "Her Way" manages to be both hilarious and heartbreaking in its evocation of a friendship's end. Others that should pack a punch, including writer Jillian Lauren's "The Prince and I," about her stint as a courtesan to the Sultan of Brunei, fall flat on the page. Therein lies the problem with this anthology: These stories are meant to be experienced in a live venue, where listeners can immerse themselves in each teller's unique sense of tone and timing. Unlike personal essays, stories require give and take from an audience, which prompts the question: Why bother printing these in an age when people who couldn't attend the original sessions can easily access live footage online? Other contributors include A.E. Hotchner, Adam Gopnik, Sebastian Junger and Nathan Englander. Comes across as a vanity project that does little credit to the storytelling process. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Poupee de son - France Gall (CD)

Poupee de son - France Gall (CD)

Summary: Import-only collection from the French vocalist containing 23 of her most popular recordings from 1963-67, including eight tracks written by French icon Serge Gainsbourg. Gall became a household name in Europe when she won the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest with her hit song 'Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son'. She then spent the next few decades as one of France's most popular performers. Gall was later married to French singer/songwriter Michel Berger, with whom she collaborated with on many of her most popular recordings. Features 23 tracks.

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Apr 1, 2014

Uganada be kidding me - Chelsea Handler

Uganada be kidding me - Handler, Chelsea

Summary: Presents a collection of humorous essays about the talk show host's life and loves and the state of the world.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Here's all you really need to know about Chelsea Handler, straight from the girl herself: "It is not lost on me that my life has become ridiculous." Handler, star of her own late-night TV show, Chelsea Lately, and best-selling author of three previous titles, including Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea (2008), takes readers on her travels; each adventure can only be described as a total shit show. Absurdity reigns, from a safari in Africa, where the only ones getting penetrated (her favorite word) are the hundreds of baboons at the lodge, to the Bahamas, where after eight days in Africa without a bowel movement, Handler finally lets loose into an innocent kayak. The U.S. is not left unscathed, either. At most times, Handler is surrounded by her friends—let's face it, she wouldn't survive on her own—and Chunk, a half-German, half-Asian dog that she believes to be the reincarnation of her dead mother. As long as someone can make a decent margarita, and there's Xanax on hand, Handler is just fine—although the same can't be said for the people she encounters. The final chapters really have nothing to do with travel and feel less connected to the rest of the book; in Handler's defense, she was probably drunk by this point in the writing process. But if you're one of the millions who enjoy Handler's sarcastic, self-deprecating humor (and her tendency to be pantless), then you may just pee yourself laughing as she humiliates herself from Montenegro to Telluride. Unfortunately—really unfortunately—photos weren't available at the time of review, but based on the shenanigans described, they have a ton of potential. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Who's not watching Chelsea Lately at 11/10c? Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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The sleepwalkers - Christopher M. Clark

The sleepwalkers: how Europe went to war in 1914 - Clark, Christopher M.

Summary: An authoritative chronicle, drawing on new research on World War I, traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute narrative that examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914.


Booklist Reviews
The immense documentation of the origin of WWI, remarks historian Clark, can be marshaled to support a range of theses, and it but weakly sustains, in the tenor of his intricate analysis, the temptation to assign exclusive blame for the cataclysm to a particular country. Dispensing with a thesis, Clark interprets evidence in terms of the character, internal political heft, and external geopolitical perception and intention of a political actor. In other words, Clark centralizes human agency and, especially, human foibles of misperception, illogic, and emotion in his narrative. Touching on every significant figure in European diplomacy in the decade leading to August 1914, Clark underscores an entanglement of an official's fluctuating domestic power with a foreign interlocutor's appreciation, accurate or not, of that official's ability to make something stick in foreign policy. As narrative background, Clark choreographs the alliances and series of crises that preceded the one provoked by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, but he focuses on the men whose risk-taking mistakes detonated WWI. Emphasizing the human element, Clark bestows a tragic sensibility on a magisterial work of scholarship. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Find Momo - Andrew Knapp

Find Momo: my dog is hiding in this book. Can you find him? - Knapp, Andrew

Summary: Thousands of Internet fans play hide-and-seek with Momo the border collie every day, and now you can, too. Momo and his best buddy Andrew Knapp have traveled all over—through fields, down country roads, across cities, and into yards, neighborhoods, and surreal spaces of all sorts. The result is a book of spectacular photography that’s also a game you can play anytime. Lose yourself in page after page of Andrew’s beautiful, serene, dreamlike images, and sooner or later you’ll find Momo’s sweet, eager face looking back at you. (Can’t find him? Don’t worry…the answers are in the back.) - (Random House, Inc.)

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Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah - Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi

Summary: "A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected"-- Provided by publisher.


Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* To the women in the hair-braiding salon, Ifemelu seems to have everything a Nigerian immigrant in America could desire, but the culture shock, hardships, and racism she's endured have left her feeling like she has "cement in her soul." Smart, irreverent, and outspoken, she reluctantly left Nigeria on a college scholarship. Her aunty Uju, the pampered mistress of a general in Lagos, is now struggling on her own in the U.S., trying to secure her medical license. Ifemelu's discouraging job search brings on desperation and depression until a babysitting gig leads to a cashmere-and-champagne romance with a wealthy white man. Astonished at the labyrinthine racial strictures she's confronted with, Ifemelu, defining herself as a "Non-American Black," launches an audacious, provocative, and instantly popular blog in which she explores what she calls Racial Disorder Syndrome. Meanwhile, her abandoned true love, Obinze, is suffering his own cold miseries as an unwanted African in London. MacArthur fellow Adichie (The Thing around Your Neck, 2009) is a word-by-word virtuoso with a sure grasp of social conundrums in Nigeria, East Coast America, and England; an omnivorous eye for resonant detail; a gift for authentic characters; pyrotechnic wit; and deep humanitarianism. Americanah is a courageous, world-class novel about independence, integrity, community, and love and what it takes to become a "full human being." Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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The hundred thousand kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin

The hundred thousand kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin

Series: Inheritance Trilogy

Summary: Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother's death and her family's bloody history.

Booklist Reviews
Yeine Darr, mourning the murder of her mother, is summoned to the magnificent and beautiful city of Sky by the king, her grandfather. He names her his heir but has already assigned that role to both his niece and his nephew, so what he's now done is set up a competitive and thorny three-way power struggle. Yeine, looking more like her Darre father than her Arameri mother, may be a baroness in the Arameri world, but in the matriarchal North she is a chieftain of her people. She is also terrified and fascinated by the gods who roam Sky, including the nocturnally monstrous Nahadoth and the childlike Sieh. In just a few days, Yeine discovers that every action has consequences when she inadvertently sets up Darre to be attacked and realizes that her role in the succession to the throne may be that of a human sacrifice. This complex tale of politics, assassination, racism, and gods too intimately involved in the lives of humans is a challenging read and a notable authorial debut. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Cutie and the boxer (DVD)

Cutie and the boxer (DVD)

Summary: In New York City in 1969, nineteen-year-old art student Noriko fell in love with 41-year-old avant-garde artist Ushio Shinohara and put her career on hold to marry and support this rising star of the Manhattan art world. But 40 years later and still struggling, Ushio remains consumed with reinforcing his legacy via his 'boxing' paintings, while Noriko is now finding her own creative voice through a series of drawings.

Video Librarian Reviews
Filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling's Oscar-nominated documentary begins with an arresting title sequence in which diminutive 80-year-old avant-garde Japanese emigrant artist Ushio Shinohara creates one of his trademark "boxing" paintings—methodically moving left to right while beating the bejeezus out of a huge rectangular canvas with his paint-drenched boxing gloves, finishing the work in about two minutes. In 1969, the-41-year-old Ushio married 19-year-old art student Noriko in New York City, where the couple still live, struggling to make rent payments (at one point, Ushio literally stuffs some of his surreal sculptures into a battered suitcase and jets to Japan, returning with a few thousand dollars and a beaming smile). Noriko continues to pursue her own artistic dreams, creating drawings of a nude "Cutie and Bullie" in a series of semi-autobiographical cartoon panels (sometimes presented in striking iconographic animation here), although Ushio feels that his own work is much more important ("the average one has to support the genius"). But while the couple clearly have a loving relationship, Noriko is also starting to chafe at the proverbial bit, a little tired of being a "free secretary, free assistant, free chef." Fate smiles on Noriko when she lands the chance to do a joint exhibition with her husband (tellingly, he wants to call the exhibit "Roar!"; she successfully names it "Love Is a Roar"). Heinzerling's documentary interweaves fly-on-the-wall footage of the artists' daily lives (and interactions with their alcoholic artist son, Alex), combined with excerpts from a 1970s documentary by Rod McCall entitled Shinohara: The Last Artist. Serving up a delightful portrait of an unusual artist couple, this entertaining documentary is recommended. (R. Pitman). Copyright Video Librarian Reviews 2014.

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Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos - R.L. La Fevers

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos - La Fevers, R.L.

Series: Theodosia Throckmorton

Summary: Twelve-year-old Theo uses arcane knowledge and her own special talent when she encounters two secret societies, one sworn to protect the world from ancient Egyptian magic and one planning to harness it to bring chaos to the world, both of which want a valuable artifact stolen from the London museum for which her parents work.

Booklist Reviews
/*Starred Review*/ "You'd be surprised by how many things come into the museum loaded with curses--bad ones," says 11-year-old Theodosia, whose parents run London's Museum of Legends and Antiquities. The twentieth century has just begun, and Theodosia's mum, an archaeologist, has recently returned from Egypt with crates of artifacts. Only Theodosia can feel the objects' dark magic, which, after consulting ancient texts, she has learned to remove. Then a sacred amulet disappears, and during her search, Theodosia stumbles into a terrifying battle between international secret societies. Readers won't look to this thrilling adventure for subtle characterizations (most fit squarely into good and evil camps) or neat end-knots in the sprawling plot's many threads. It's the delicious, precise, and atmospheric details (nicely extended in Tanaka's few, stylized illustrations) that will capture and hold readers, from the contents of Theodosia's curse-removing kit to descriptions of the museum after hours, when Theodosia sleeps in a sarcophagus to ward off the curses of "disgruntled dead things." Kids who feel overlooked by their own distracted parents may feel a tug of recognition as Theodosia yearns for attention, and those interested in archaeology will be drawn to the story's questions about the ownership and responsible treatment of ancient artifacts. A sure bet for Harry Potter fans as well as Joan Aiken's and Eva Ibbotson's readers. This imaginative, supernatural mystery will find word-of-mouth popularity. ((Reviewed May 1, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

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Independent study - Joelle Charbonneau

Independent study - Charbonneau, Joelle

Series: Testing Series

Summary: Now a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas, Cia Vale attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government's grueling and deadly Testing put her and her loved ones in great danger.

School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 6–10—In this sequel to The Testing (Houghton Harcourt, 2013), Cia is drawn deeper into the political machinations of Tosu City as she enters the University. She is accepted into the Government course of study, much to her disappointment. Now, joined by students from the City who did not have to endure the Testing, she must go through a hazing process that forces her to once again rely on her wits to survive. Cia must win an internship to continue on at the University; the alternative will be her death. Her love for Tomas takes a backseat in the narrative to make way for descriptions of how the factions are fighting for control of the capital and the Testing. The action is fast paced and the story line compelling. Fans won't have time to wonder why those who run the Testing place such a low value on the lives of their teen charges or why parents have asked so few questions about where their children end up. Readers will root for the likable and capable heroine. While the adults' motives are suspect and often inexplicable, Cia struggles to make good decisions, both ethically and intellectually. Fans of The Testing will be thrilled with this new installment and will be anxiously waiting for the story's conclusion.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH

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The great American dust bowl - Brown

The great American dust bowl - Brown, Don

Summary: A graphic novel account of the giant dust storms in the Midwest in the 1930s discusses the ecological and agricultural damage caused by the storms.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Concise and clear in imagery, text, and layout, Brown's (Henry and the Cannons, 2013) nonfiction examination of the Dust Bowl contextualizes its genesis in geological and cultural history, the dynamics of its climatological presentation, and the effects on both the landscape and Depression-era High Plains farmers. The pen-and-ink artwork, digitally painted in burnished and dusty brown and yellow hues—and the shock of blue that comes with the rain that eventually clears the air—is combined with swirling text, along with well-researched and minimally descriptive explanations and occasional speech balloons attributed to anonymous residents and observers. The brevity of this presentation heightens rather than diminishes its power to evoke the history, and an ample list of resources provides plenty of opportunities for further research. A closing photo of the 2011 dust storm in Arizona emphasizes that the Dust Bowl wasn't an isolated incident. This is a complete visual package, from the whirly, mud-colored cover design through the sudden reintroduction of color only after the dust storms abate. The Dust Bowl, as experienced by its survivors, truly comes to life in this compelling look at an important moment in American history. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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This is the story of a happy marriage - Ann Patchett


This is the story of a happy marriage - Patchett, Ann

Summary: Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto, examines her deepest commitments-- to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband-- creating a resonant portrait of her life.



Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* This is the story of how best-selling novelist Patchett (State of Wonder, 2011) became a writer. As a young child in California and, after her parents' divorce, Nashville, she knew she had to write, and she was fortunate, as she so warmly and vividly explains, in her writing teachers—Allan Gurganus, Grace Paley, and Russell Banks—and in her success supporting herself by writing nonfiction for magazines and newspapers, beginning with Seventeen and extending to the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Vogue, and Gourmet. Patchett now assembles a retrospective set of 22 sterling personal essays to form an episodic, piquant, instructive, and entertaining self-portrait. She reflects on her family, life on a Tennessee farm, literary discipline and inspiration, and her failed first marriage. Her second marriage is central to her hilarious account of an RV road trip, and the full measure of Patchett's toughness and daring surfaces in "The Wall," a riveting account of her father, a captain when he retired after 30 years on the Los Angeles police force, coaching her as she takes the grueling admission test for the Los Angeles Police Academy. A self-described "workhorse" who has even opened an independent bookstore, Patchett is a commanding and incisive storyteller, whether her tales are true or imagined. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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May we be forgiven - A.M. Homes

May we be forgiven - Homes, A.M.

Summary: Feeling overshadowed by his more-successful younger brother, Harold is shocked by his brother's violent act that irrevocably changes their lives, placing Harold in the role of father figure to his brother's adolescent children and caregiver to his aging parents. \

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Incisive, funny, and commanding, Homes broke new ground in her last novel, This Book Will Save Your Life (2006). She continues in the same philosophical and stylistic vein in this eventful family tragicomedy set in New York's Westchester County and ignited by an epic, even biblical battle between two brothers in a Jewish family rife with feuds and subterfuge. George is a successful, arrogant, and bullying television executive with a lonely wife and exceptionally smart, sensitive children. Historian Harry endures a chilly, childless marriage, cocooned within his scholarly obsession with Richard Nixon. Resentments boil over, horrific violence ensues, and Harry finds himself in "an endless free fall," struggling to be a good parent to his nephew and niece while entangling himself in scary if hilarious Internet-initiated sexual predicaments. Homes sends her magnetic characters on a wild, mordantly comic, deeply moving odyssey through a shopping mall, nursing home, the wilderness, schools, an amusement park, a South African village, and a lawyer's office, where Harry reads an astonishing, newly discovered Nixon archive. In this frenetic, insightful, and complexly moral novel of a man transformed by crisis, Homes dramatizes hubris and greed, alienation and spirituality, improvised families, and justice in our age of smart phones, dumbed-down education, and bankrupt culture. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Mar 1, 2014

Hollow city - Ransom Riggs


Hollow city - Riggs, Ransom

Summary: Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London (circa 1940), the "peculiar" capital of the world. Illustrations feature vintage photography.


Kirkus Reviews
Along with picking up the action where it left off in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2011), Riggs fills in background detail while adding both talking animals and more children with magical powers to the cast. With evil wights and murderous hollowgasts in hot pursuit—and only days to save their beloved Miss Peregrine from permanently becoming a bird—Jacob and his nine young (in body, if not age) companions fling themselves through time loops to Blitz-torn London. The growing attachment between Jacob and kindhearted fire-conjurer Emma turns out to play a crucial role in the plot. After a brisk round of chases, captures, escapes and bombings—capped by a devastating reversal—the two end up separated from most of their allies but with a new talent that just might save "peculiardom" from its seemingly all-powerful enemies. As before, the author spins his tale in part around a crop of enigmatic vintage trick or portrait photographs, including two men (corpses?) sharing a bed with skeletons, a pipe-smoking dog and a staring girl with a huge hole through her midsection. Though less of a novelty here than in the opener, these still add distinctly creepy notes (even when the subject is supposedly comical) to a tale already well-stocked with soul eaters and tentacled monsters. Less a straightforward horrorfest than a tasty adventure for any reader with an appetite for the…peculiar. (Fantasy. 11-14) Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Zoobiquity - Barbara Natterson-Horowitz

Zoobiquity: what animals can teach us about health and the science of healing - Natterson-Horowitz, Barbara

Summary: In the tradition of Temple Grandin, Oliver Sacks, and Neil Shubin, cardiologist and psychiatrist Natterson-Horowitz and science writer Bowers look at the remarkable correspondences between the way human beings and animals live, die, get sick, and heal in their natural settings.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Our ancestors knew that animals suffer the same diseases as humans, but as modern medicine developed, a great schism grew between physicians and veterinarians. Cardiologist and psychiatrist Natterson-Horowitz now calls for a new species-spanning approach to medicine and health. She and science writer Bowers coined the term zoobiquity for this emerging field, and they present their case with winning enthusiasm and expertise. Natterson-Horowitz, astute and funny, recounts her mind-expanding zoobiquitous expeditions involving a remarkable array of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects and explicates the genetic and evolutionary roots of her revelatory discoveries. Not only do animals faint but fainting can be essential to survival, leading Natterson-Horowitz to modify a classic phrase to Fight, flight, or faint. Even more arresting are her revelations about animals, intoxication, and addiction (including a Texan cocker spaniel who loved to lick cane toads for the hallucinogenic toxin in their skin). Her investigation into animal sex redefines natural acts, and her coverage of animal adolescence and eating disorders is fascinating and instructive. Clearly, we have much to learn from animals and from this profoundly illuminating new fusion of veterinary, human, and evolutionary medicine. Zoobiquity is as clarion and perception-altering as works by Oliver Sacks, Michael Pollan, and E. O. Wilson. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Far far away - Tom McNeal

Far far away - McNeal, Tom

Summary: "When Jeremy Johnson Johnson's strange ability to speak to the ghost of Jacob Grimm draws the interest of his classmate Ginger Boltinghouse, the two find themselves at the center of a series of disappearances in their hometown"-- Provided by publisher.


Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* So it begins: What follows is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost. Ghostly Jacob Grimm, of the famous Brothers, narrates this tale of Jeremy and Ginger and their near-tragic encounter with town baker Sten Blix, whose long-held grudges figure in the disappearance of several village children. Unappreciated as a youngster, Blix has elevated revenge to a sweet art, and he holds Jeremy, Ginger, and an additional victim, Frank Bailey, in a hidden dungeon under the bakery, while Jacob desperately tries to tell parents and friends of the predicament. If he fails, the three may become grist in the baker's next batch of Prince Cakes. Reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel and rife with allusions to the Brothers Grimm tales, this is a masterful story of outcasts, the power of faith, and the triumph of good over evil. McNeal's deft touch extends to the characterizations, where the ritual speech of traditional tales (Listen, if you will) establishes Jacob's phantasmagoric presence amid the modernist American West. There are moments of horror (as there were in the Brothers Grimm original tales), but they are accomplished through the power of suggestion. Details aplenty about Jacob and his famous sibling make this a fiction connector to both fairy tales and Grimm biographies, too. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Cress - Marissa Meyer

Cress - Meyer, Marissa

Summary: Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company.


Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Meyer's fairy tale/sci-fi hybrid series (Cinder, rev. 1/12; Scarlet, rev. 3/13) continues with a "Rapunzel"-inspired story. Cress, taken from her Lunar parents as a baby, is forced to live alone on a satellite, spying on the Earthens for Queen Levana. But her real loyalty lies with cyborg Cinder's plan to protect Earth by dethroning Levana. After a rescue attempt of Cress goes awry, Cinder and an injured Wolf head to Africa in search of Dr. Erland; Scarlet becomes Levana's prisoner on Luna; and Cress and a temporarily blinded Thorne survive a crash landing on Earth and subsequent desert trek. Eventually everyone but Scarlet reunites, and they return to New Beijing to stop Emperor Kai's wedding to Levana. This multilayered, action-packed page-turner is sure to please series fans. Cress is a sympathetic protagonist, socially awkward due to her isolated youth but highly skilled in technology, and her teenage crush on Thorne evolves into a believable romance. And balanced nicely with Cress's story is Cinder's continuing journey -- she accepts her new identity as Princess Selene, the long-lost Lunar heir, but must find the inner strength she'll need in order to lead a revolution in the upcoming final installment, Winter. cynthia k. ritte Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.

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The roads to Santiago - Derry Brabbs

The roads to Santiago: the medieval pilgrim routes through France and Spain to Santiago de Compostela - Brabbs, Derry

Summary: Brabbs traces the four main routes within France leading to Santiago de Compostella, the third most important pilgrimage destination for medieval travelers. His photographs of the journeys are breathtaking, showing the tiny towns and grand cathedrals where the pilgrims took, and still take, shelter. In many towns of France and Spain the scallop symbol of St. James can still be found at wayside inns and hostels. Brabbs has written an informative and lively text to accompany his photos. This not only gives the background of the pilgrimage sites and the purpose behind the journey, but also describes the personal reactions of one who followed the same path as thousands over the centuries. Today there are more than religious reasons for making a pilgrimage to Compostella, but, as Brabbs shows so beautifully, anyone who follows the old roads there cannot avoid being affected by the journey.

Derry Brabbs is regarded as one of England's finest photographers within the sphere of heritage and landscape, with over 20 illustrated books to his credit. His stunning color photographs for the worldwide best-seller James Herriot's Yorkshire contributed to its success. He is the author of several beautifully photographed titles celebrating England's landscape and architectural legacy. His other titles for Frances Lincoln include The River Thames, Hadrian's Wall, A Year in the Life of Rutland, A Year in the Life of the Welsh Marches and Coast to Coast with Wainwright.
- (Mbi Pub Co)

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The extraordinary adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (DVD)

The extraordinary adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (DVD)

Summary: In 1912, author Adèle Blanc-Sec journeys to ancient Egyptian tombs to find a mummified doctor to help heal her ailing sister.

Video Librarian Reviews
Inspired by Jacques Tardi's European comic book series, director Luc Besson's Edwardian special-effects-laden whimsical fantasy set in 1912 stars Louise Bourgoin as a one-woman, uh, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Adèle Blanc-Sec is a fearless French Nellie Bly-style globetrotting reporter, who travels to Egypt in order to steal the 4,000-year-old mummy of ancient Egypt's greatest physician. Her ultimate objective: revive the long-dead doctor to help heal Adèle's comatose twin sister. Unfortunately, the eccentric old professor who is actually able to resurrect the trussed-up dead Egyptian is stuck in prison, although he is psychically bonded to a newly-hatched pterodactyl that is terrorizing Paris. Elements of Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, the Brendan Fraser Mummy romps and Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy (makeup distorts many character's faces into funny-papers dimensions) combine here to make for a giddy, lighthearted, comedy-fantasy family-fare bonbon. Highly recommended. (C. Cassady)Copyright Video Librarian Reviews 2011.

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Blood song - Anthony Ryan

Blood song - Ryan, Anthony

Summary: Raised by the Brothers of the Sixth Order, Vaelin Al Sorna, a Warrior of the Faith, must battle the Empire and even his own father.

Booklist Reviews
The first of a trilogy, Blood Song is this British author's first fantasy novel, and the first one to be printed. It was originally an e-book, as were three science-fiction novels Ryan has also written. The plot is standard: a young boy's father abandons him at the door of the Sixth, or fighting, Order of the national faith. He is raised to be a warrior, and becomes one of the most effective in the forces of his king, Janus, of the Unified Realm. But a number of vital questions arise as the story progresses, starting with why his father cast him out of the family and into the Faith in the first place. While the plot is standard, it is deftly and originally executed, as are the characters. They are complex characters, not archetypes. The setting is medieval-based, but with a number of original differences (especially the religion!). Ryan's style makes Blood Song a page-turner. Apt turns of phrase, descriptions that linger, questions answered at unexpected times all make the story definitely superior to much of the genre. It should please a wide audience, but those who do not care for gory fantasy adventure are hereby warned. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Zealot - Reza Aslan

Zealot: the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth - Aslan, Reza

Summary: Presents a meticulously researched biography of Jesus that draws on biblical and historical sources to place his achievements and influence against the turbulent backdrop of his time.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Aslan brings a fine popular style, shorn of all jargon, to bear on the presentation of Jesus of Nazareth as only a man. What's more, as he pares the supernatural or divine away from Jesus, he refrains from deriding it. He isn't interested in attacking religion or even the church, much less in comparing Christianity unfavorably to another religion. He would have us admire Jesus as one of the many would-be messiahs who sprang up during Rome's occupation of Palestine, animated by zeal for "strict adherence to the Torah and the Law," refusal to serve a human master, and devotion to God, and therefore dedicated to throwing off Rome and repudiating Roman religion. Before and after Jesus, such zeal entailed violent revolution, but Jesus proceeded against Rome in the conviction that zealous spirit was sufficient. It wasn't, and Rome executed him. This depiction of Jesus makes sense, as we say, though many Christians will find holes in its fabric; indeed, Aslan grants one of the largest, the fact that no one who attested to the Resurrection recanted. But you don't have to lose your religion to learn much that's vitally germane to its history from Aslan's absorbing, reader-friendly book. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Gravity (DVD)

Gravity (DVD)

Summary: Dr. Ryan Stone is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky. On a seemingly routine spacewalk, the shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left, and the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

An astronaut's guide to life on Earth - Chris Hadfield

An astronaut's guide to life on Earth - Hadfield, Chris

Summary: Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. Through stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement and happiness.

Kirkus Reviews
Hadfield chronicles what it took to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut. The author explains how the excitement of watching Neil Armstrong's televised moon landing changed his life. At age 9, he "knew, with absolute clarity that I wanted to be an astronaut." Though the odds were particularly slim due to the fact that he was (and remains) a Canadian, he succeeded in becoming a top NASA astronaut. The author explains how he charted his career with fierce determination. He joined the Canadian air force, studied engineering with a military scholarship and then volunteered to be a test pilot. He was then chosen to be one of a few fortunate Canadian airmen tracked into NASA. By the time of his retirement in 2012, he had served as director of NASA operations in Russia and chief of International Space Station Operations. On his last space mission, Hadfield served as commander of the International Space Station, where he spent 146 days in space while making 2,336 orbits around the Earth. The author provides a satisfying behind-the-scenes look at the life of an astronaut, which is a useful corrective to the popular celebrity image. He explains that being in space helped him to keep his perspective even while enjoying the excitement of his job--"most people, including me, tend to applaud the wrong things: the showy, dramatic record-setting sprint rather than the years of dogged preparation or the unwavering grace displayed during a string of losses." The author emphasizes that becoming an astronaut involved developing physical capabilities and technical skills through tireless practice and a fanatic attention to detail. However, he also delivers a lively account of his experiences with the joys of weightlessness as well as the discomfort of leaving the ship for a space walk. A page-turning memoir of life as a decorated astronaut. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Salinger - David Shields

Salinger - Shields, David

Summary: Draws on extensive research and exclusive interviews to share previously undisclosed aspects of the enigmatic writer's life, from his private relationships and service in World War II to his legal concerns and innermost secrets.

Publishers Weekly Reviews
The culmination of over 200 interviews and almost a decade of research, Shields (How Literature Saved My Life) and Salerno, director of the documentary accompanying the book, offer an oral history, effectively blended with narrative and analysis of the iconic writer and his body of work. In lesser hands, this approach could quickly spiral out of control, but Shields and Salerno keep the story on track. Granted, many mileposts and lore—such as Salinger's predilection for young girls or Catcher in the Rye's influence on high-profile assassinations—will not be all that revelatory but the authors' impressive collection of first-person accounts by those who were there gives readers greater insight into the writer and his place in the world. Literary snippets, such as "I'm Crazy," a short story Salinger wrote in Europe that was the first story narrated by Holden Caulfield, and asides—"Jesus, he has a helluva talent," Hemingway is reported to have said of Salinger—combined with a number of photos will make this a must-read for fans of the celebrated author. Photos. (Sept.)

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Out of their minds - Luis Humberto Crosthwaite

Out of their minds: the incredible and (sometimes) sad story of Ramon and Cornelio - Crosthwaite, Luis Humberto

Summary: Ramon and Cornelio are best friends, driven by boredom as teenagers to start a band. Not just any band. A norteño band, playing God's favorite music. God even pitches in to write the songs. Success, disaster and good music follow.

"Hey, what's up, come a little closer, I have something to tell you," God said to Cornelio. The deal was simple: God would be the silent partner in the norteño band that Cornelio had started with his best friend Ramon. Cornelio would sing and play the bajo sexto, Ramon the accordion, and God would write the songs. Cornelio agreed; he would sell his soul to God.

Success and disaster followed. The band went from playing bars in Tijuana to playing the biggest stadiums in Mexico. Women started fan clubs dedicated to their heroes Ramon and Cornelio. It seemed to Cornelio and Ramon that they had everything, but fame was a cruel mistress. Ramon and Cornelio’s story has some loose parallels to a real Mexican band, but it’s also the apocryphal story of the Beatles and the kids tuning up in the garage down the street.

Luis Humberto Crosthwaite is an award-winning writer, editor, and journalist who teaches at the University of Iowa. His fiction has garnered critical attention for his ability to express the complexities of living on the US/Mexico border. Among his best known books are Estrella de la Calle Sexta, Aparta de mí este Cáliz, Idos de la Mente, Instrucciones para Cruzar la Frontera, and Tijuana: Crimen y Olvido. His translated novels are The Moon will Forever be a Distant Love and Out of their Minds. He is also co-editor of Puro Border: Dispatches, Snapshots, & Graffiti from the US/Mexico Border.

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Rosie Revere, engineer - Andrea Beaty

Rosie Revere, engineer - Beaty, Andrea

Summary: A young aspiring engineer must first conquer her fear of failure.

Horn Book Guide Reviews
After a confidence-shattering incident when she was younger, little budding engineer Rosie Revere is too timid to show anyone her machines. Then great-great-aunt Rose, an engineer herself, teaches Rosie the true meaning of a successful invention. Beaty's rhymes are cleverly constructed, and Roberts's meticulous illustrations, some on drafting paper, capture the quirkiness of the girl and her gizmos.

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The book or Mormon original Broadway cast recording (CD)

The book or Mormon original Broadway cast recording (CD)

The 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and nine 2011 Tony Awards® say it's the Best Musical of the Year. Vogue says, "It's the funniest musical of all time." And The New York Times says, "It's the best musical of this century." It's THE BOOK OF MORMON, the Broadway musical from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez. The Daily Show's Jon Stewart calls it "A crowning achievement. So good, it makes me angry."

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Everything is perfect when you're a liar - Kelly Oxford

Everything is perfect when you're a liar - Oxford, Kelly

Summary: A Twitter sensation and popular writer uses her trademark blend of biting wit and self-deprecation to find hilarity in everyday life.

Kirkus Reviews
Autobiographical vignettes from Twitter comedian Oxford. These stories fall into roughly three stages of the author's life: obnoxiously precocious childhood, confused young adulthood and parenthood. When Oxford tells us about her childhood and teen years, she doesn't hold back, giving us mortifying stories about wetting herself in a gas station and puking in her friend's father's car before a party. She also comes across as somewhat bratty and entitled. Her young adulthood was appropriately wacky. She flew from Canada to Los Angeles on a whim in a desperate attempt to meet Leonardo DiCaprio and bought, then sold, a dilapidated camper van. When describing her adulthood and parenthood, she grows into her precociousness. "An Open Letter to the Nurse Who Gave Me an Enema Bottle" is entertaining, and the last sentence is genuinely funny and unexpected. "How I Met Your Father" is sweetly raunchy, the kind of story that will horrify her children but delight her grandchildren. As amusing as some of these stories are, Oxford is a mostly unremarkable writer with a remarkable claim to fame: her successful use of Twitter to gain an audience for her humor and writing. Yet this, the most interesting fact about her, receives very little attention in the book. She does share her experience meeting David Copperfield as a result of a Twitter exchange, but the story readers will most likely want to hear--how she got started with Twitter and how her tweets got the attention of significant public figures like Copperfield and Roger Ebert--is absent from the narrative. Alternately grating and amusing, Oxford skips the most interesting part of her life: her canny use of Twitter. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Twenty feet from stardom (DVD)

Twenty feet from stardom (DVD)

Summary: They are the voices behind the greatest rock, pop and R&B hits of all time, but no one knows their names. Now, in this award-winning documentary, director Morgan Neville shines the spotlight on the untold stories of such legendary background singers as Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill, and more.

"While the lead singers in rock, pop, and R&B are the ones who get the glory, knowledgeable music fans will tell you the backing vocalists often add the touches that make a performance truly memorable, and though many backup singers have the respect of their peers in the music business, they're all but unknown to the average listener. Twenty Feet From Stardom pays homage to some of these unsung heroes, including Darlene Love (the un-credited lead voice on some of Phil Spector's most memorable productions of the 1960s), Merry Clayton (who contributed a striking vocal cameo on the Rolling Stones' ""Gimme Shelter"", Lisa Fischer (who has appeared on albums by Sting, Tina Turner, and Aretha Franklin, as well as touring with the Rolling Stones), and the Waters Family (they sang with Michael Jackson on the album Thriller and lent their voices to the films The Lion King and Avatar)." - (Alert)

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The second half of life - Angeles Arrien

The second half of life: opening the eight gates of wisdom - Arrien, Angeles

Summary: When you find the courage to change at midlife," Angeles Arrien teaches, "a miracle happens." Your character is opened, deepened, strengthened, softened. You return to your soul's highest values. You are now prepared to create your legacy: an imprint of your dream for our world-a dream that can fully come true in The Second Half of Life. Working with images, poetry, metaphors, and other forms of symbolic language from diverse world cultures, Dr. Arrien introduces us to the Eight Gates of Initiation. By mastering their lessons and gifts, you harvest the meaning and purpose of your life, and come into spiritual maturity. With The Second Half of Life, she takes you step-by-step through each gate to deepen your most valuable relationships, reclaim your untended creative talents, and shift your focus from ambition to meaning to grow into the exceptional elder you've always imagined you would one day become. Book jacket. - (Soundstrue)

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