Monday, August 31, 2009

CD Review - Maxwell - "Blacksummers’ Night"

Title: Blacksummers’ Night
Author: Maxwell
Media type: Sound Recording
Genre: R&B/ Soul

I have always been a huge fan of Maxwell, but I was hoping he had not lost it since he has not released a CD since 2001. I lost my skepticism when I attended his concert at the Palms in Las Vegas on June 26, 2009. Here he showcased some of the newer songs from his CD, which was released in July. I have never seen him in concert before this, but he does a wonderful show. Awesome was all I could say!

He has also appeared on the BET Awards show, where he showcased his new look. Fans were used to seeing Maxwell with the curly afro, but he has a cleaner cut look with shaven hair and more refined dress style. He looks more mature and I think his music has matured as well.

Maxwell has done it again! His latest CD features the slow groove and melodic crooning that we are used to hearing from Maxwell. His music speaks to all generations and I think he has obtained newer fans from this generation particularly because of the song “Pretty Wings.” This is the 3 song on the CD and of course one of my favorites. The message that I obtained from this song is simply, when you love someone and they are not good for you, then you must let them go. Don’t forget to check online for the video of this. Awesome as well! Here is a little from the song:

Time will bring the real end of our trial
One day they'll be no remnants No trace, no residual feelings within ya
One day you won't remember me
Your face will be the reason I smile
But I will not see what I cannot have forever
I'll always love ya, I hope you feel the same
Oh you played me dirty, your game was so bad You toyed with my affliction
Had to fill out my prescription Found the remedy,
I had to set you free Away from me

To hear the songs from his new CD, including, Pretty Wings, click on "Maxwell" from the top of this page.

His music is sensual, yet there is always a message. Also, the accompanying music was just what this CD needed. You could hear the variation with each song, from light music to more instrumental. Remember you can request Black summers’ Night from our library collection. Hope you enjoy this as much as I have!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Library Event Finder!

It's Sunday and it's too hot to work outside, but you really want something cheap and fun to do. Or, it's Saturday, and the kids are making you crazy, and you really want to get them out of the house... It's the library, to your rescue!

You've probably seen the little ads for the events at the library, on the library web page. Are there more? Can you find just a movie? How about events to keep the kids occupied?

Yep! And it's easy, too!

Just click on "Events and Exhibits" on the left side of the library web page. From there, you can find events at a specific library, or find a specific type of event, like movies or storytimes. It's fast and can really give you some great ideas when you want something wonderful to do.

Give it a try!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August Urban Fiction Author - Carl Weber

The Urban fiction author for the month of August is Carl Weber. Carl Weber has written many books and has also been an Essence Bestseller author many times

Title: The Preacher's Son
Author: Carl Weber
Genre: Urban Fiction

The critically acclaimed, #1 "Essence" bestselling author of "Player Haters" serves up his most powerful novel to date: a revelatory chronicle of an esteemed church family that has a whole lot of repenting to do.

Bishop T.K. Wilson is the famous pastor of one of the largest congregations in Queens, New York. He decides to run for Borough President when several family secrets are revealed that could jeopardize his bid for the candidacy. His former love Marlene, a known drug addict comes back into the picture and we see that his past is something that will haunt him in his run for the borough presidency. Was the Bishop a former drug addict and father of her oldest child?

Dante has finally graduated and his parents are hoping he is ready to take over the congregation, but he has other plans. The only one to listen to him is his girlfriend, Tanisha. She is a “stripper” at the local club, so she can take care of her alcoholic mother, Marlene and her younger brother. Dante falls in love with her and decides this is the woman he wants to marry, however his mother has negative reactions about her and decides to find out more information. What could be so devastating that Charlene finds that will almost cause this union to end? It is here where the secrets of parental affairs are revealed.

Donna is engaged in an affair with Terrence Reynolds, her father’s protégé. When her father finds out, will she choose the man she loves or abide by her fathers wishes?

Charlene is dealing with her own issues, but she must be strong for her husband. Will she live to see her husband’s bid for Borough Presidency come to fruition, or will she pass before this indeed does happen?

Again, this book is for all readers who want to get away from many of the traditional urban fiction books that contain hardcore language and ghetto fabulous lifestyle. Don’t forget to read the sequel to this book, The First Lady. This book will provide insight to many of the unanswered questions in the first book.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The End of Reading Rainbow

The last episode of Reading Rainbow is airing today. It's been running for 26 years! But there was just no way to continue funding the program. They haven't made any new programs since 2006, but have continued to run re-runs.

It's sad to see the end of a beloved program. Only Sesame Street and Mister Rogers ran longer.

You can still see episodes of Reading Rainbow on DVD at the library. Or you can see the list of Reading Rainbow books, and find them at your library also!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Review: My Life in France

My Life in France
by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme
Nonfiction, bestseller, movie tie-in

The movie Julie and Julia is pounding the theater box office, and according to a New York Times article, it looks like everyone is leaving the movie theater and rushing out to purchase Child's books Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Mastering the Art of French Cooking II, and My Life in France. These were the books the movie highlighted.

While I didn't buy My Life in France, I did go on the waiting list for it at the library. It was worth the wait! It was a very fun book to read.

Julie Child wrote this with her nephew, when she was much older. It didn't matter. Her cheerful voice was clear through the words. She was able to recreate the experience of post-war Paris so completely that I was almost able to shiver with her through the winters and inadequate heating.

We've probably all heard that Julia learned to cook at Le Cordon Bleu, in Paris. What I didn't realize was she initially signed up for a basic "housewife's" cooking course, and then changed over to a six month course meant for basic cooks, to advance them to a higher skill level. That's it - six months, and she was a talented chef.

What Julia did extraordinarily well was she researched and tried and tested, and researched and tested more and more and more. Most professional chefs don't have the time or resources to devote that much time to any individual dish. Julia put enormous effort into every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her determination and devotion to detail shows on every page.

Reading about Julia's life as she and her friends developed their cookbook was highly entertaining. Julia had a great sense of humor and an eye for the ridiculous. My Life in France is never boring, and often brings an inside view into living in other cultures. (Julia and her husband Paul got moved around quite a bit, for his job with the US Information Service.)

Give this book a try! Paul took all the pictures in the book, and it's fun to see Julia and France through his eyes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Movie Review: Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies
by Hayao Miyazaki
Anime (Japanese animated movie)

To fans of animated films, the name of Studio Ghibli should be well known. Formed in 1985, the studio is headed by director Hayao Miyazaki and is home to noted producer/director/writers Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki. Studio Ghibli’s releases include Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and the current #9 box office release: Ponyo. These outstanding animated films may sometimes pass under your radar, because they are usually located in our Young Peoples Collection, and not the Adult DVD area. But they are definitely not kid’s "cartoons"; they are multilayered animated films with well developed and complex narratives which are beautifully rendered.

One Studio Ghibli film which is unlike any other is Grave of the Fireflies (directed by Takahata), which has been called one of the saddest, most moving animated films ever made. Strangely enough, it is said to have first appeared in theaters in a double bill with the lighthearted and delightful Studio Ghibili production, My Neighbor Totoro.

Grave of the Fireflies tells a story of the end of World War II as Japan suffers unrelenting bombing by American forces. It opens with the line: "September 21st, 1945, that was the night I died." The film tells the story of two children, 14-year-old Seita and his 4-year-old sister Setsuko, who are bombed out of their Kobe home. Soon after, their mother dies of her wounds and they are taken in briefly by an aunt who cares very little for them. The children soon strike out on their own and move into a cave by a lake. Seita tries to protect his sister from the horror: he lies to her about their mother's death and captures fireflies to amuse her and help pass the time. He tries to find food for them, but there is little to be had; Seita is forced to witness his sister wasted away by malnutrition. After she dies, he puts her ashes in a candy tin she had treasured to carry with him in his few final days.

Disc Two offers numerous perspectives of the movie. Roger Ebert gives an interview about its "emotional breadth". A section on the film's creative team offers a talk with the director about how he wanted to present the details of everyday life, and he discusses the movie's production. Akiyuki Nosaka, the author of the original story is interviewed with Takahata and some of the artists and biographies of Takahata and Nosaka are included. A "Historical Perspective" section completes the extras with an interview with historians about the firebombing strategy and the final stages of the war from Japanese and American perspectives.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

It’s Tuesday again, which means more new DVD releases. Remember, you can request these items at your local library, so do so soon, because the list can get very looong! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. Don’t forget to see the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Here is the release for September 1st:

State of Play
Oscar® winner Russell Crowe leads an all-star cast in a blistering thriller about a rising congressman and an investigative journalist embroiled in a case of seemingly unrelated, brutal murders. Crowe plays D.C. reporter Cal McAffrey, whose street smarts lead him to untangle a mystery of murder and collusion among some of the nation's most promising political and corporate figures in "State of Play," from acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland").

Handsome, unflappable U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is the future of his political party: an honorable appointee who serves as the chairman of a committee overseeing defense spending. All eyes are upon the rising star to be his party's contender for the upcoming presidential race. Until his research assistant/mistress is brutally murdered and buried secrets come tumbling out.

McAffrey has the dubious fortune of both an old friendship with Collins and a ruthless editor, Cameron (Oscar® winner Helen Mirren), who has assigned him to investigate. As he and partner Della (Rachel McAdams) try to uncover the killer's identity, McAffrey steps into a cover-up that threatens to shake the nation's power structures. And in a town of spin-doctors and wealthy politicos, he will discover one truth: when billions are at stake, no one's integrity, love or life is ever safe.

This week’s release with the most requests is Duplicity
, with 931 requests!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Movie Review: Coraline

Weekend Movie Watching, continued...

by Neil Gaiman and Henry Selik

Coraline - A young girl walks through a secret door and discovers a parallel reality that is eerily similar to the life she already knows, yet deeply unsettling in a number of ways, in director Henry Selick's animated adaptation of Neil Gaiman's international best-seller. Eleven-year-old Coraline Jones (voice of Dakota Fanning) is fearlessly courageous, and perhaps far too adventurous for her own good. Coraline and her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) have recently relocated to Oregon from Michigan. Bored in her new home since her parents are distracted by work and she has yet to make any new friends, Coraline passes the time by exploring her new neighborhood with an annoying local boy named Wybie Lovat (Robert Bailey Jr.). But after paying a visit to her eccentric neighbors Miss Spink (Jennifer Saunders) and Miss Forcible (Dawn French), a pair of aging British actresses, and crossing paths with the outright weird Mr. Bobinsky (Ian McShane), the precocious young girl becomes convinced that her new surroundings are just as dull as she'd initially suspected. Shortly thereafter, Coraline discovers a hidden door in her new house, and decides to investigate. Venturing into the eerie passageway inside, Coraline emerges into an alternate version of her own reality. At first glance, this strange new world seems even better than the real thing; there her parents aren't distracted by work, and Coraline is always the center of attention. There's even a mysterious Cat (Keith David) that's fascinated by her every move. But when Coraline's button-eyed Other Mother (also Hatcher) attempts to make her stay permanent, the frightened young girl must summon her resourcefulness and bravery in order to find her way back home and save her real family.

Tyler Perry's, The Marriage Counselor was hilarious, yet inspirational. He makes you laugh although many of the issues presented in the play were very serious.

Coraline thinks her "other mother" is the perfect mother, but she realizes she liked her other parents, but she trully loves her real parents, faults and all.

Don’t forget, you can request any of these movies, just click on the title!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Movie Review - Tyler Perry's The Marriage Counselor

>Weekend Movie Watching

Tyler Perry's The Marriage Counselor

How many of you have always dreamed of something better? You look at everyone else and they seem to have the perfect life, right? We have all heard before that “the grass is not always greener on the other side.” This is a very true statement and after watching one play and one movie over the weekend, I think I like my life just fine, chaos and all.

Tyler Perry’s The Marriage Counselor - Acclaimed urban playwright Tyler Perry explores the hardships of marriage and the benefits of working through our daily problems in this stage drama about the stressful union between a hard-working accountant and his loving wife, a harried marriage counselor. Roger Jackson works hard to support his family, a group that includes not only his ivy-league educated wife Judith, but his ganja-smoking father Stanley and her bible-thumping mother TT as well. Meanwhile, Judith doles out thoughtful advice to troubled couples every day, yet remains completely powerless when it comes to addressing the issues of her own troubled marriage. When an old college friend drops by her office, Judith faces her biggest personal challenge to date. Will this decision affect the rtest of her life?

to be continued...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August Urban Fiction Author - Carl Weber

The Urban fiction author for the month of August is Carl Weber. Carl Weber has written many books and has also been an Essence Bestseller author many times

Title: She Ain’t the One
Author: Carl Weber with Mary Morrison
Genre: Urban Fiction

Two African–American best selling authors collaborate on a sure to read urban fiction novel that will have you glued to the pages to the very end. There is an old adage that states “when a person shows you who they are, believe them.”

Ashlee is recovering from a serious heartache and nasty break up with her son’s father, so she decides to take a trip to Washing D.C. for a little rest and relaxation. She meets Jay a wonderful man who is recovering from a nasty divorce himself. The two are just what each other needs to get over their past relationships. Ashlee has a few secrets that start to be revealed as the relationship ensues. Ashlee becomes infuriated after she is dumped and decides that nothing will stand in her way of getting the man she thinks she loves, not even his son. She plans to kidnap Jay’s son and hold him hostage. What does she plan to accomplish here? Does she really go through with the kidnapping and in the end, what will it cost her? She becomes obsessed with Jay and this is when we see that Ashlee suffers from manic depression and has been under the psychiatric care of a doctor back in Dallas.

Jay meets Ashlee a very attractive woman who turns him on in every way imaginable. He thinks he has found the one. She has a little issue with jealously, but nothing Jay can’t help her get over, right? He thinks he is in love with her, and decides to propose. The proposal is short lived when Jay’s ex-girlfriend Tracy resurfaces with his son. Tracy tries to warn Jay that Ashlee is not what she appears to be. It is then that Jay realizes that Tracy is the one he truly loves, not Ashlee. He dumps Ashlee, but she does not go away that easily. Jay realizes that Ashlee has shown signs of not being stable all along, but he ignored these signs because of his lust for her. Now he must suffer the consequences of his actions.

Here is where the roller coaster ride is revealed and we see how Ashlee will go to any measures to keep Jay. This is a great read and once again, Carl Weber has brought reality to fiction. I enjoyed the collaboration of these two authors and it shows just how versatile each has become the further along they become in their careers. Great read for anyone who reads urban fiction.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Movie Review: Harvie Krumpet

Harvie Krumpet
Claymation DVD

Harvie is a perpetually unlucky Polish immigrant to Australia, featured in this Academy Award Winning Animated Short Film (2003). Harvie serves as an existential contrast to the students of Harvard Business School in my last review. The Harvard students were, in the words of one writer, "the best and the brightest, wanting to rule the world." (Henri Nouwen). Harvie is the refreshingly, complete opposite.

Harvie was born Harvek Milos Krumpetzki in 1922. His life is a series of odd calamities. Through it all he maintains his generous spirit and persistence.

During this time when so many are unemployed and losing homes, I recommend Harvie Krumpet to lift your spirits. In claymation, Harvie reminds us that life could be worse--much, much worse! Maybe Harvie's experiences are closer to what most of us experience in life than the Harvard students.

I think this film can serve as an entertaining companion to This is Water by David Foster Wallace, which I reviewed back in May or even Do-Over! by Robin Hemley, which I reviewed in July.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Library Event- Musical Performance

Special Program: Moonlight, Movies and Music
Come enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars with your family and friends. Bring your picnic basket and lawn chair or blanket.

When: Friday, August 21, 2009, 8 - 10 p.m.
Where: Rainbow Library
Venue: Amphitheatre

The notion of forming a group with the intention of playing completely improvised music is something that Las Vegas trumpeter Walt Blanton says has always fascinated him. While the concept of performing free-form jazz is nothing new, it is a bold move for an artist, like Blanton, not usually associated with the genre.

The Music of Miles Davis

Trumpeter, Walt Blanton, a mainstay in the Las Vegas jazz scene, will present the music of Miles Davis. Blanton, a prolific composer and performer, has five CD's to his credit and was awarded "Jazz Album of the Year" by East Bay Express, a prestigious internet music site. Enjoy the sounds of some of Las Vegas' finest jazz musicians and the great music of one of jazz's legendary giants, Miles Davis.

Concession sales are available. Glass containers, alcoholic beverages and pets are not permitted. Gate opens one hour before the performance. Free admission!! For more information, please call 507-3711.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Movie Review - Confessions of a Shopaholic

Although it was completely predictable, (as many chick flicks are) I enjoyed this light, romantic comedy. It was cute, fun and, of course, had a happy ending. I especially loved all the clothes as the main character enjoys shopping more than I ever have!

Title: Confessions of a Shopaholic
Director: P.J. Hogan
Starring: Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy
DVD Release Date: 6/23/09

This is an adaptation of Sophie Kinsella's best selling book by the same name. While the book is set in London, the movie takes place in New York City. Rebecca Bloomwood is a sweet and charming city girl who has a tiny, little problem that is rapidly turning into a big problem: shes hopelessly addicted to shopping and drowning in a sea of debt. While Rebecca has dreams of working for a top fashion magazine, she cant quite get her foot in the doorthat is, until she snags a job as an advice columnist for a financial magazine published by the same company. Overnight, her column becomes hugely popular, turning her into an overnight celebrity. But when her compulsive shopping and growing debt issues threaten to destroy her love life and derail her career, she struggles to keep it all from spiraling out of control...and is ultimately forced to reevaluate whats really important in life.

While I have not had the chance to read the book, I have seen both positive and negative comparisons. I think that watching this movie during our financial situation is enough to make you cringe at the amount of money that she spends, and that may take the enjoyment away for some people. Isla Fisher is very flamboyant as the main character Rebecca with Hugh Dancy as the "little too patient" love interest. I am not sure there are many men who would put up with her spending habits.

This is a very light movie and I recommend watching when you just want some eye candy and small giggles.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday’s New DVD Releases

It’s Tuesday again, which means more new DVD releases. Remember, you can request these items at your local library, so do so soon, because the list can get very looong! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. Don’t forget to see the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Here are the releases for August 25th:

In the film, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen star as spies-turned-corporate operatives in the midst of a clandestine love affair. When they find themselves embroiled in a high-stakes espionage game, they discover the toughest part of the job is deciding how much to trust the one you love.

CIA officer Claire Stenwick (Roberts) and MI6 agent Ray Koval (Owen) have left the world of government intelligence to cash in on the highly profitable cold war raging between two rival multinational corporations. Their mission? Secure the formula for a product that will bring a fortune to the company that patents it first.

For their employers—industry titan Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and buccaneer CEO Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti)— nothing is out of bounds. But as the stakes rise, the mystery deepens and the tactics get dirtier, the trickiest secret for Claire and Ray is their growing attraction. And as they each try to stay one double-cross ahead, two career loners find their schemes endangered by the only thing they can't cheat their way out of: love.

Small-town boy Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) has come to New York City with nothing. Barely earning a living selling counterfeit goods on the streets, his luck changes when scam artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard) sees that he has a natural talent for streetfighting. When Harvey offers Shawn help at making the real cash, the two form an uneasy partnership.

As Shawn's manager, Harvey introduces him to the corrupt bare-knuckle circuit, where rich men bet on disposable pawns. Almost overnight, he becomes a star brawler, taking down professional boxers, mixed martial arts champs and ultimate fighters in a series of staggeringly intense bouts. But if Shawn ever hopes to escape the dark world in which he's found himself, he must now face the toughest fight of his life.

Sunshine cleaning
A single mom and her slacker sister find an unexpected way to turn their lives around in the off-beat dramatic comedy Sunshine Cleaning. Directed by Christine Jeffs ("Rain," "Sylvia"), this uplifting film about an average family that finds the path to its dreams in an unlikely setting screened in competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Once the high school cheerleading captain who dated the quarterback, Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) now finds herself a thirty something single mother working as a maid. Her sister Norah, (Emily Blunt), is still living at home with their dad Joe (Alan Arkin), a salesman with a lifelong history of ill-fated get rich quick schemes. Desperate to get her son into a better school, Rose persuades Norah to go into the crime scene clean-up business with her to make some quick cash. In no time, the girls are up to their elbows in murders, suicides and other... specialized situations. As they climb the ranks in a very dirty job, the sisters find a true respect for one another and the closeness they have always craved finally blossoms. By building their own improbable business, Rose and Norah open the door to the joys and challenges of being there for one another—no matter what—while creating a brighter future for the entire Lorkowski family.

This week’s release with the most requests is, Hannah Montana, the Movie, with 609 requests!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Review: Asterios Polyp

Asterios Polyp
by David Mazzucchelli
Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel

On his fiftieth birthday, Asterios Polyp flees his burning apartment after it has been struck by lightning. Taking with him three valued possessions, he leaves everything else behind, including his old life as a divorced architect and teacher. With the money he has in his pocket, he travels as far as he can by bus, finally arriving in the town of Apogee.

There, he bluffs his way into a job as an auto mechanic, and finds a home with the garage owner’s family. As he builds a new life for himself, the book shows us the story of his old one, told by his twin who died in the womb.

Asterios Polyp is creator David Mazzucchelli’s first major work in fifteen years. He first rose to prominence working with Frank Miller on superhero titles like Daredevil and Batman. Since then, he has turned away from costumed heroes and focused on more personal work. As a piece of graphic fiction, Asterios Polyp obviously has a great deal of thought behind it. It’s a story about how people connect with one another and almost every aspect—the art styles, the lettering, the use of color—works to further that end. At their best, graphic novels tell stories in a way that would be impossible without the visuals. That’s the case here, where drawing style, color, and even lettering styles are used to show characters influencing each other and their environment.

I find it difficult to write too much about the story of Asterios Polyp. It’s an easy story to read and digest, but not so easy to sum up in a few words. It’s the story of a man, his life, and the people who get caught up in it, and that’s never a simple thing. As I read, I found the story provoking thoughts about my own life and relationships, and that should be the goal of any great story. Because so much of the story is told through flashbacks, this is a book that will hold up to multiple readings, with later chapters shedding new light and prompting new interpretations on earlier ones.

Many critics are calling Asterios Polyp the graphic novel event of the year, and it deserves that praise. This is a fantastic book by an artist who completely understands the medium, and deserves to be read by anyone who loves good literature.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Review: Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business SchoolBy Philip Delves Broughton
Genre: Non-Fiction, Business

This book gives me a mixture of sympathy and horror. I feel sympathy with students at Harvard Business School hearing about their various emotional insecurities and the challenges they face to stay focused.

I feel horror hearing how many of them, after being accepted to Harvard, go out and buy expensive cars in order to drain their bank accounts and therefore maximize their eligibility for financial aid. Fortunately, author Philip Broughton acknowledges upfront that the challenges he describes are upper class challenges.

Author and Englishman, Philip Delves Broughton attended HBS from 2004-2006 after spending a decade as a newspaper reporter, including a stint as Paris Bureau Chief for London's The Daily Telegraph. As an outsider to the business community, he highlights a number of lessons that I think the general public would do well to internalize and use to hold business leaders accountable.

Accounting is not actually primarily about numbers. Accounting and finance are much more philosophical than I ever thought. There are many assumptions involved and places for judgment calls in determining what to count and how to count it.

In a memorable conversation, the author's wife, Margret, tells him, "You know, these people are freaks...Why do they think they're all going to be leaders anyway? What wants them leading anything?" (90). That said, Philip generally found his classmates to be friendly and his time at Harvard to be stimulating. Don’t get me wrong, Broughton’s book is not entirely cynical. It reads like a combination of memoir and business textbook, but from the perspective of a non-businessman, which makes it more palatable.

Business and economic reports are useful, but ultimately we must remember that we cannot predict the future. Anyone who says otherwise is itching for a recession. Businesses get into trouble when they try to show perpetual growth at any cost. Life is just not that predictable. Humility is in order.

As you might imagine, Harvard frequently has business leaders visit. Warren Buffet had been rejected by Harvard before he attended Columbia. During his visit, he gave his standard commentary, called the Ovarian Lottery, on the need for wealthy individuals to give back to society. "Before you enter the world, you will have to grab a ticket from a barrel and that ticket will say man or woman, United States or Bangladesh, crippled or athlete" (138). This fact, beyond anyone's control, determines many of the opportunities all of us have.

Read Alike--Outliers: Why Some People Succeed and Some Don't

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August Urban Fiction Author - Carl Weber

Title: So You Call Yourself a Man
Author: Carl Weber
Genre: Urban Fiction

The Urban fiction author for the month of August is Carl Weber. Carl Weber has written many books and has also been an Essence Bestseller author many times.

How well do you know your friends? Many of you will say very well, but after reading this book, I had second thoughts about the people I call “friends.” We all have “skeletons” in our closets, but what makes this a real page turner is that although this is a work of fiction, it could have easily been based on real life experience. Hmmm, was it?

James Robinson and his wife have had their rough patches. But seven years into their marriage, things are better, and hotter, than ever--"until the not-so-distant past catches up with him. During one of their separations, James has an affair with a woman that will ultimately come back to haunt him. An unexpected package appears at his door that will change their lives forever. Will the marriage last this one final trial, or will the two separate forever?

Brent Williams, James’ best friend is what many women would call “a good catch.” He is a Christian, very handsome, athletically built and could have any woman he desires. While he's found his match in a full-figured woman, he finds temptation in a third party. Brent becomes involved with Jackie, the church’s organist and the ultimate friend. So why is the affair not suspected? For this you have to read the book and experience the shock that I felt.

Sonny Harrison has missed his friends in New York, but now that he's back from Seattle, he expects life to be good again. But when the rekindling of an old flame turns into wildfire, his friends worry if the move also cost him his sanity. Sonny is very over protective of his new girlfriend and his friends begin to question his motives. He claims to have had the perfect life in Seattle, so why did his ex-wife just leave without a trace? After running into one of Sonny’s friends, his ex-wife reveals things that transpired in their marriage that could not be characteristic of Sonny. Is she lying or does Sonny have a checkered past that will ultimately lead to his demise?

Many of Weber’s books are fast paced, and this is no exception. I like his books because many things are totally unexpected, which makes for a great read. This book is for all readers who want to get away from many of the traditional urban fiction books that contain hardcore language and ghetto fabulous lifestyle. Hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Online Book Discussion - Call of the Canyon

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific

Audio Book Discussions: Call of the Canyon, by Zane Grey

When Glen Kilbourne returns shell-shocked from World War I, he travels to Arizona to recover. He and his fiancee, Carley Burch, find the rugged Arizona landscape to be a strange test of their love. We'll be discussing the Blackstone Audio edition, narrated by Jim Gough.

Audio Book Discussions (ABD) are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, and 5:00 Pacific. These discussions are free and open to everyone, even those who haven't read the book, or read the book visually on paper or electronically.

Host: Unabridged: Downloadable Digital Audio Books for Print-Impaired Readers

Location: OPAL Auditorium

These discussions will be held in an OPAL online web conferencing room. First time users of OPAL can obtain information on how to get connected at the following URL:

A listing with links to all the upcoming free OPAL online events can be found at the following URL:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nuts and Bolts Writing Weekend for Authors - How It All Works

Publishing workshop!

You’ve written that next best selling novel, now what? Are you looking for tips on how to get your writing published? Join us for two days as Las Vegas publisher Carolyn Hayes Uber explains the basics of the publishing industry from the big New York publishing houses to smaller independent presses to the scary world of self-publishing. Find out how to evaluate your options, whether you need an agent and what to expect during the publishing process. Co-sponsored by Stephens Press.

This event is free and open to the public, no pre-registration is required.

When: Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16. 1 p.m.
Where: Clark County Library
Venue: Main Theater

Author, Carolyn Hayes Uber
A native Californian, Carolyn Hayes Uber grew up in Southern California, attending local schools, meeting a husband in college, the usual suburban story. Hers took a twist in the early 1970s when she had an opportunity to live in Turkey for two years. Seeing the world up close and personal was life-changing and profoundly inspiring.

A thirty-plus years career as founder and president of a successful marketing firm developed a good grasp on “what sells and how to sell it”. Clients included legendary management guru Peter F. Drucker, Los Angeles County Fair, Los Angeles World Airports, Department of Commerce’s Center for International Trade Development, California Egg Commission and many other institutions, agencies and corporations. For more information on Carolyn Hayes Uber, visit her website at

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mahogany Circle Book Group

Do you love books and discussing them with your friends? Why not join one of our many book discussion groups that are held at libraries throughout the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.

The Mahogany Circle Book Group is a universal book discussion group with affiliates in several major cities, including Washington D.C., New York, San Diego and many more. The primarily focus of each affiliation is different and is determined by the local chapter representative. The Las Vegas chapter initially started out reading books only by African-American Authors, but eventually evolved based upon the needs and desires of the participants. The Coordinator for this group is Pamela Woodruff. Communication is done via email to all members, so if you would like to be a part of this group, simply email Pam at

The Mahogany Circle Book Group meets the first Saturday of the month at 11:00 the Las Vegas Library, but will be switched back to the Clark County Library after renovations are completed. Each month a different member of the group chooses a title and then leads the discussion group for that month. I think this is a great idea, because you get so see various ways that the leaders have prepared and keep the interactions going.

This month’s discussion was Thank You For All Things by Sandra Kring , the group leader for this month was Cecilia Jerrell. She says she choose this book because the previous book discussed featured lots of violence and she wanted something a little more peaceful. This book was told from an eleven year olds perspective. She discusses the many ways in which the cycle of mental and physical abuse was carried down from generation to generation. I did not read the book, but after the discussion, I was very interested in reading it. One of the members actually gave me her book and I would like to thank her for her generosity. Comments were positive and negative, which makes for a good discussion in itself. Overall, I think this is a great book discussion group and I think I may attend a few more meetings before they move back to the Clark County Library.

Remaining book selections are:
·September 5th – I Wish I had a Red Dress –Pearl Cleage - (Selected by LaDawdre Stinson)
·October 3rd – Midnight” – Sister Soujah – (Selected by Jacquie Jackson)
·November 7th – Best African American Essays – edited by Gerald Early - (Selected by Toni Banks)***
·December 5th Palace Council – Stephan Carter – (Selected by Tracy Arbuckle-Lewis)
***read the first essay in each section for the meeting

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday's New DVD Releases!

Tuesday’s New DVD Releases

It’s Tuesday again, which means more new DVD releases. Remember, you can request these items at your local library, so do so soon, because the list can get very looong! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. Don’t forget to see the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Here are the releases for August 18th:

Hannah Montana: The Movie
Walt Disney Pictures takes the Disney Channel phenom to the big screen in a feature film extravaganza. Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) struggles to juggle school, friends and her secret pop-star persona; when Hannah Montana's soaring popularity threatens to take over her life—she just might let it. So her father (Billy Ray Cyrus) takes the teen home to Crowley Corners, Tenn., for a dose of reality, kicking off an adventure filled with the kind of fun, laughter and romance even Hannah Montana couldn't imagine.

The Last House on the Left
The night she arrives at the remote Collingwood lakehouse, Mari (Sara Paxton) and her friend are kidnapped by a prison escapee and his crew. Terrified and left for dead, Mari’s only hope is to make it back to parents John and Emma (Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter). Unfortunately, her attackers unknowingly seek shelter at the one place she could be safe. And when her family learns the horrifying story, they will make three strangers curse the day they came to The Last House on the Left.

This week’s release with the most requests is 17 Again, with 707 requests!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Movie Review: Gran Torino

Gran Torino

I confess, I am a brand new fan of Clint Eastwood! I’m not a big fan of action films, but his newest movie appeals to me on several levels. First off, I like the setting--an older factory town, a town with some history, with narrow streets lined with Craftsman style houses.

I highly recommend this movie for its depiction of personal transformation, the growth in self awareness by characters of all ages. The characters for the most part are well-rounded. I like a sense that the potential for good and evil runs through... the heart of each one of us.

The movie also gives one of the most realistic and, in the end mostly positive, portrayals of interracial interaction that I’ve seen. Some of the scenes are reminiscent of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but without the romance.

This type of interaction is definitely more of what we need in the world, and in this community too. It gives me hope for our community that over 700 people are still waiting to get a copy from the library over a month after the DVD release of a movie like this.

I like the way the story builds. There doesn’t seem to be any superfluous scenes—no gratuitous sex or violence.

I never saw the ending coming. Clint Eastwood brought tears to my eyes.

Plus, the car is really cool!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Book Review: Little Beauty

Little Beauty
Anthony Browne

Children's picture book

What do you do with a lonely gorilla? Give him a kitten to play with! That’s what the zookeepers do in this wonderful picture book by Anthony Browne. If you’re looking for a great book to read aloud to children of any age, this story of an unlikely friendship is a great choice.

This is the tale of a very special gorilla that learns sign language. By communicating with people, he gets almost everything he needs. There is just one thing he still wants: a friend. When he meets an adorable kitten, they bond immediately. All is well until an unexpected event sets off the gorilla’s violent temper.

Read it the first time to enjoy the story and richly detailed illustrations. Then read it again to notice all the ways the characters communicate without using words. This book also provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on and discuss how friends react when one gets angry. For another humorous look at dealing with a hot-tempered friend, pair this book with I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems. Both are touching and really funny.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Out at the Movies - Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail

Are you on the waitlist for movies that were recently released and it seems like you will never get your request? If so, many libraries are showing these movies, so take the family for an outing to the library to watch these recently released movies.

Film: Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail
When: Sunday, August 9, 2 P.M.
Where: Sunrise Library
Room: Auditorium

Family matriarch Madea has her loving nephew, his mean wife and their baby living in her house. Her nephew works at the local prison and is shocked one day to find Madea behind bars. A high speed chase and Madea's lack of tact put her in jail and the family rallies to get her out and in the mean time she brings with her a sassy teen who is in need of some guidance. 2009, 103 minutes. PG-13

Friday, August 7, 2009

Out at the Movies - Watchmen

The Clark County Library continues its summer movie series, Saturday Movie Matinee, with one of this years biggest hits. This popular movie was based on the popular Graphic Novel with the same title.

Film: Watchmen
When: Saturday, August 8, 2 p.m.
Where: Clark County Library
Venue: Jewel Box Theater

Director Zack Snyder (300) presents this adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' groundbreaking graphic novel. As World War III approaches, the masked fugitive Rorschach begins investigating the murder of a costumed crimefighter called the Comedian. Along with fellow heroes Nite Owl II, Dr. Manhattan, Silk Spectre II and Ozymandias, he is thrust into a conspiracy that will impact all of humanity. (2009, 128 min.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Movie: Marley and Me

The Rainbow Library continues to please summer movie goers during the Moonlight, Movies and Music Series by hosting movies outside in their Amphitheater. Come enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars with your family and friends. Bring your picnic basket and lawn chair or blanket. This Friday’s showing is Marley and Me, starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.

When: Friday, August 7, 2009 at 8 p.m.
Where: Rainbow Library
Venue: Amphitheatre

A tale of a couple embarking on the adventure of marriage, career, family and world's worst dog. The family learns important life lessons from their adorable, but naughty and neurotic dog. Marley & Me is based on the bestselling autobiographical book by columnist John Grogan. Starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.

Come enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars with your family and friends. Bring your picnic basket and lawn chair or blanket. Concession sales are available. Glass containers, alcoholic beverages and pets are not permitted. Gate opens one hour before the performance. Free admission. For more information, please call 507-3711

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Workshop: A Business of Your Own

Do you have a service of product that you think would be ideal to increase your income? Or have you been looking for a job with no success and wondering what you should do. How about taking a chance and starting your own business?

When: Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 7 p.m.
Where: Clark County Library
Room: Jewel Box Theater

The Clark County Library is hosting a workshop to help you get started. Join us for a panel discussion with representatives from the Small Business Administration, SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and Nevada's Microenterprise Initiative. They will offer valuable insight to guide you towards starting a business of your own. You do not want to miss this great opportunity, so mark your calendars.