Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the releases for July 6th;

Brooklyn's Finest - Burned out veteran Eddie Dugan is just one week away from his pension and a fishing cabin in Connecticut. Narcotics officer Sal Procida has discovered there's no line he won't cross to provide a better life for his long-suffering wife and seven children. And Clarence "Tango" Butler has been undercover so long his loyalties have started to shift from his fellow police officers to his prison buddy Caz, one of Brooklyn's most infamous drug dealers. With personal and work pressures bearing down on them, each man faces daily tests of judgment and honor in one of the world's most difficult jobs. When NYPD's Operation Clean Up targets the notoriously drug-ridden BK housing project, all three officers find themselves swept away by the violence and corruption of Brooklyn's gritty 65th Precinct and its most treacherous criminals. During seven fateful days, Eddie, Sal and Tango find themselves hurtling inextricably toward the same fatal crime scene and a shattering collision with destiny.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found and her beloved uncle is convinced she was murdered and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed and troubled yet resourceful computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) to investigate.

A Single Man – In Los Angeles 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis George Falconer, a 52 year old British college professor is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long time partner, Jim. George dwells on the past and cannot see his future as we follow him through a single day, where a series of events and encounters, ultimately lead him to decide if there is a meaning to life after Jim. George is consoled by his closest friend Charley, a 48 year old beauty who is wrestling with her own questions about the future. A young student of George's, Kenny, who is coming to terms with his true nature, stalks George as he feels in him a kindred spirit. A romantic tale of love interrupted the isolation that is an inherent part of the human condition and ultimately the importance of the seemingly smaller moments in life.

This week’s release with the most requests is Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief with 655 requests.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Urban Fiction Author for June – E. Lynn Harris


Author: E. Lynn Harris
Genre: Urban Fiction

In celebration of GLBT Month, we would like to highlight an author who is openly gay or whose characters have an alternative lifestyle. E. Lynn Harris has dominated the urban fiction genre in a representation of both. He talks about being gay in his memoir, What becomes of the brokenhearted : a memoir written in 2003. E. Lynn Harris died in 2009.

Harris was initially unable to land a book deal with a reputable publishing house for his first work, Invisible Life, so he self-published it through a vanity publishing and sold copies from his car trunk. Since then, ten of his novels have achieved New York Times bestseller status. (Retrieved, 4/29/10, Wikipedia)

Four friends, all graduates of Hampton Institute, keep a collective journal they call If This World Were Mine, and share their personal diaries each month at a gathering filled with humor, gossip, and affirmation. The four group members are as different as the seasons, yet they all share a love of one another. Yolanda, a media consultant, keeps it going on with a no-nonsense attitude and independence that are balanced by the theatrics of Riley, a former marketing executive whose marriage has reduced her to a "kept woman with kids." Computer engineer Dwight's anger at the world is offset by the compassion of Leland, a gay psychiatrist whose clients make him question why God ever invented sex.

However, the once-strong bonds of friendship have become strained over time, and when a stranger comes into their group, they are forced to confront their true feelings toward each other. When one of them faces death, the crisis forces the friends to recognize and accept the inner strength that the group has nurtured in each of them. Is their past friendship strong enough to survive the future?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the releases for June 29th;

The Crazies - Imagine living in a small town where everything is safe and happy…until suddenly it isn’t. Imagine your friends and neighbors going quickly and horrifically insane. In a terrifying tale of the “American Dream” gone horribly wrong, four friends find themselves trapped in their hometown in The Crazies, a reinvention of the George Romero classic directed by Breck Eisner from a screenplay by Ray Wright (Pulse, Case 39) and Scott Kosar (The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). David Dutten (Timothy Olyphant) is sheriff of Ogden Marsh, a picture-perfect American town with happy, law-abiding citizens. But one night, one of them comes to a school baseball game with a loaded shotgun, ready to kill. Another man burns down his own house…after locking his wife and young son in a closet inside. Within days, the town has transformed into a sickening asylum; people who days ago lived quiet, unremarkable lives have now become depraved, blood-thirsty killers, hiding in the darkness with guns and knives. Sheriff Dutten tries to make sense of what’s happening as the horrific, nonsensical violence escalates. Something is infecting the citizens of Ogden Marsh…with insanity. Now complete anarchy reigns as one by one the townsfolk succumb to an unknown toxin and turn sadistically violent. In an effort to keep the madness contained, the government uses deadly force to close off all access and won’t let anyone in or out – even those uninfected. The few still sane find themselves trapped: Sheriff Dutten; his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell); Becca (Danielle Panabaker), an assistant at the medical center; and Russell (Joe Anderson), Dutten’s deputy and right-hand man. Forced to band together, an ordinary night becomes a horrifying struggle for survival as they do their best to get out of town alive.

Hot Tub Time Machine - This movie follows a group of best friends who’ve become bored with their adult lives: Adam (John Cusack) has been dumped by his girlfriend; Lou (Rob Corddry) is a party guy who can’t find the party; Nick’s (Craig Robinson) wife controls his every move; and video game-obsessed Jacob (Clark Duke) won’t leave his basement. After a crazy night of drinking in a ski resort hot tub, the men wake up, heads pounding, in the year 1986. This is their chance to kick some past and change their futures – one will find a new love life, one will learn to stand up for himself with the ladies, one will find his mojo, and one will make sure he still exists!

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief- Modern and mythical worlds collide in this thunderous fantasy-adventure starring Pierce Brosnan, Kevin McKidd and Uma Thurman as you’ve never seen them before! Percy Jackson is no ordinary teenager...he’s just learned he’s the son of Poseidon and is accused of stealing Zeus’ ­lightning bolt – the most powerful weapon ever created! With storm clouds brewing, Percy embarks on an incredible cross-country journey to prove his innocence, recover the bolt and prevent a war amongst the gods that could destroy our world!

This week’s release with the most requests is Green Zone with 610 requests.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Urban Fiction Author for June – E. Lynn Harris


Title: Any Way the Wind Blows
Author: E. Lynn Harris
Genre: Urban Fiction

In celebration of GLBT Month, we would like to highlight an author who is openly gay or whose characters have an alternative lifestyle. E. Lynn Harris has dominated the urban fiction genre in a representation of both. He talks about being gay in his memoir, What becomes of the brokenhearted : a memoir written in 2003. E. Lynn Harris died in 2009.

Harris was initially unable to land a book deal with a reputable publishing house for his first work, Invisible Life, so he self-published it through a vanity publishing and sold copies from his car trunk. Since then, ten of his novels have achieved New York Times bestseller status. (Retrieved, 4/29/10, Wikipedia)

John Basil, good-looking gadabout from Not a Day Goes By, is back at the top of his game (razzle-dazzling both the women and the men) and hanging out with his new friend, Black Bart. All is well until Basil's picture-perfect life starts to unravel. Is someone out to get the unsinkable John Basil Henderson?

Back in the mix as possible suspects are: the daughter/mother diva duo of Yancey Harrington Braxton, brainy Broadway bombshell and Basil's jilted fiancee, and Ava "Mama Dearest" Braxton, a diva's diva and a second-rate showgirl housed in the body of an aging super-model -- still waiting for her close-up. Is it Yancey or Ava? Or one of E. Lynn Harris's fabulous new creations?

With just the right amount of wickedness, love, and compassion, Harris's masterful storytelling and delicious plot twists will have fans and newcomers alike frantically turning pages trying to find the answer to the ultimate question: Will the wily (and naughtily wonderful) Basil finally be undone?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
John Green and David Levithan
Young Adult Fiction

Young Adult Fiction greats John Green and David Levithan have united to write about two characters, Will Grayson and Will Grayson. The two Will Graysons are teenage boys with the same name living different lives in two different Chicago suburbs. When fate causes them to cross paths, the Will Graysons find their lives inexplicably affected as their stories weave together ever so slightly.

One Will Grayson is best friends with the world's largest and gayest teenager, Tiny Cooper, whose ultimate goal is to put on the most fabulous high school musical ever. The other Will Grayson is a misunderstood loner who spends every second of his free time chatting with his secret online boyfriend Isaac. When the two Will Graysons meet in the unlikeliest of places, it is the larger-than-life Tiny Cooper who ties them together. All three characters struggle to learn the hard truths of love and friendship, and their heartfelt journeys lead up to the premier of Tiny's epic musical.

This fantastically written novel presents two distinct and truly teenage voices as it captures what it's really like to grow up today and be different. This is a book for anyone who has ever struggled with love, friendship, and growing up feeling out of place.

Current fans of John Green and David Levithan will love this collaboration, and those new to their work will be hungry to read more. Try 2006 Printz Award winner Looking for Alaska by John Green and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn for more realistic fiction with strong teenage voices.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mike's Hardboiled Mystery Picks

MIKE'S MYSTERIES

Mike, out at the Enterprise Library, always has a great hardboiled mystery on tap. He's the man to see if you need to feed your gritty mystery addiction. Each month, Mike suggests three wonderful authors in the down and dirty mystery genre. Here are his picks for the month:

Don Winslow-
The author has written a series and eight stand alone novels. The author’s Neal Carey series was published in the 1990s. Neal Carey was taken in as a juvenile delinquent by an investigator working for the Family; a wealthy banking established that does favors for its wealthy clients.

All of Winslow's stand alone novels are excellent. I especially enjoyed California Fire and Life. He is best known for The Death and Life of Bobby Z.

Reed Farrel Coleman-
Moe Prager is an ex-cop forced to retire because of a knee injury. He’s been hired to locate the son of a cop, a young man who left a party 20 years ago and hasn't been seen since. So many people have been trying to find Patrick Mahoney since he vanished that Moe doesn't hold out much hope for his search. As his investigation proceeds, he finds himself looking for two different versions of Patrick.

The first book in the series is Walking the Perfect Square. There are currently six books in this series.

Mike Doogan-
Nik Kane has just been released from a 7 year prison term resulting from a false conviction and is on his own, cut off from the Anchorage Police Department after 25 years and from his wife. Kane is forced into private investigation to make a living.

His first case takes him to Rejoice, a fundamentalist Christian community. One of the daughters of the Elders, an 18-year-old girl named Faith, has gone missing; no one knows if she has simply broken free from the restrictive life at Rejoice or has met with foul play.

The author does a great job detailing Kane’s struggle to adjust to life outside of prison and not being a cop. The first book in the series is Lost Angel. There are currently three books in this series.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the releases for June 22nd;

Green Zone - Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93) re-team for their latest electrifying thriller in Green Zone, a film set in the chaotic early days of the Iraqi War when no one could be trusted and every decision could detonate unforeseen consequences. During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Damon) and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Rocketing from one booby-trapped and treacherous site to the next, the men search for deadly chemical agents but stumble instead upon an elaborate cover-up that inverts the purpose of their mission. Spun by operatives with intersecting agendas, Miller must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil for answers that will either clear a rogue regime or escalate a war in an unstable region. And at this blistering time and in this combustible place, he will find the most elusive weapon of all is the truth.

The Last Station - Set in the last tumultuous years of famed Russian author Leo Tolstoy's life, centers on the battle for his soul waged by his wife Sofya Andreyevna and his leading disciple Vladimir Cherkov. Torn between his professed doctrine of poverty and chastity and the reality of his enormous wealth, his thirteen children and a life of hedonism, Tolstoy makes a dramatic flight from his home. Too ill to continue beyond the tiny rail station at Astapovo, he believes that he is dying alone, while over one hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condition.

Remember Me - In the summer of 2001, New York college student Tyler (Robert Pattinson, The Twilight Saga) is still feeling lost from the tragedy that has strained his relationship with his father when he meets Ally (Emilie de Ravin, TV’s “Lost”), a girl who understands his pain. The last thing Tyler’s looking for is love, but through their passionate relationship, he finds new possibilities for happiness. It’s an unforgettable story about the power of the heart, the strength of family, and the importance of treasuring every day of one’s life.

She's Out of My League - In this outrageous comedy, Kirk (Jay Baruchel, “Knocked Up”, “Tropic Thunder”), an average guy, can’t believe his luck when the successful and gorgeous babe Molly (Alice Eve, “Sex and the City 2”) falls for him. His smart-ass friends, his crazy family, and even his obnoxious ex-girlfriend are just as shocked as he is.

This week’s release with the most requests is the Book of Eli with 954 requests.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review: A Mathematician's Lament

A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imagination Art Form
Paul Lockart
Non Fiction

I loved math until I met Algebra. Author Dr. Paul Lockhart says this may be because I was taught math like a art teacher teaching painting with paint-by-number. He actually argues that the way math is usually taught now is so harmful that we--as a society--would be better off without math in the school curriculum at all! The problem is that the standard methods instill confusion and fear of math in so many students and adults.

In case you already doubt his credibility, Dr. Paul Lockhart taught math at Brown University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. For the last ten years he has been working with K-12 students in Brooklyn.

These days there is a lot of talk about raising standards and expectations in school, which usually includes focusing more on math. Has anyone heard the argument before that we should focus on math because math is fun and not worry so much about the practical applications? This is exactly what Dr. Lockhart advocates.

Let me give you an example from the book. There is a rectangular box with a triangle drawn in it. This raises the question, "How much of the box does the triangle take up?" Dr. Lockhart says that all math begins with a question--unlike the problems in textbooks and worksheets that dominate math education today. The way most of us were taught to find the answer is to immediately apply the formula for the area of a triangle.

Dr. Lockhart counters that giving the formula is like asking a question and immediately giving the answer--thereby taking the fun out of it. Plugging numbers into a formula really doesn't require much thought. He thinks students should be allowed to play with the triangle for a while and derive the solution on their own.

On a related note, Dr. Lockhart thinks that the formalism of geometry proofs is completely ridiculous. He advocates that students be allowed to write prose arguments in their own words for why a particular mathematical situation is true.

I like the revolutionary tone of this short volume. It strikes me as a self-help book of the best sort--not the usual, "you can do it if you just believe in yourself." Dr. Lockhart is not afraid to challenge the system. He encourages teachers to focus on the "why" of math--the history of math and the process of discovering mathematical ideas--instead of just the how of math, which usually involves mostly memorizing formulae.

It seems strange, coming from a math teacher, but Dr. Lockhart's tactic seems less concerned with getting the right answer and more on the process. To me, this sounds like a good rule for life.

I highly recommend this book!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Urban Fiction Author for June – E. Lynn Harris


Title: Abide with Me
Author: E. Lynn Harris
Genre: Urban Fiction

In celebration of GLBT Month, we would like to highlight an author who is openly gay or whose characters have an alternative lifestyle. E. Lynn Harris has dominated the urban fiction genre in a representation of both. He talks about being gay in his memoir, What becomes of the brokenhearted : a memoir written in 2003. E.Lynn Harris died in 2009.

Harris was initially unable to land a book deal with a reputable publishing house for his first work, Invisible Life, so he self-published it through a vanity publishing and sold copies from his car trunk. Since then, ten of his novels have achieved New York Times bestseller status. (Retrieved, 4/29/10, Wikipedia)

Since the publication of E. Lynn Harris's stunning debut novel, Invisible Life, millions of readers have laughed, cried, and anguished along with his unforgettable cast of characters. Now, his growing legions of fans will finally find out what happens in this delicious conclusion to the Invisible Life trilogy. At the end of Just As I Am, Raymond Tyler, Jr., was beginning a relationship with Trent, a fraternity brother from his college days, while Nicole had found love with Jared, Raymond's buddy from Atlanta. As Abide with Me opens, Raymond and Trent are settled in Seattle, where Trent's career as an architect has blossomed and Raymond's law practice is booming. All seems well. Then, late one night, Raymond gets a call from a United States Senator that threatens everything he's built.

Raymond, facing a crisis of faith, travels to New York hoping for the support of his best friend, Jared, who's moved North after five years in Atlanta. His wife, Nicole, is performing in a revival of Dreamgirls, her lifelong fantasy at last coming true. Nicole is thrilled to return to the stage, but when things start to go wrong, her young and beautiful understudy, Yancey Elizabeth Braxton, steps into the spotlight a little too smoothly. And Nicole, far from achieving her dream, is suddenly forced to reevaluate her life and her marriage. Back, too, are the other beloved inhabitants of Harris's world: Raymond's family; the sexy and dangerous gray-eyed sportscaster and ex-football player, John "Basil" Henderson; and Peaches, the spirited owner of the Harlem shop Cuts 'n' Cobblers and the mother of Raymond's late friend, Kyle.

In Abide with Me, Harris once again encourages us to live, love, and dream. His masterful storytelling, wit, and sensitivity permeate this enormously satisfying novel, which is both a tribute to his loyal following and an invitation to a new audience to enter his irresistible world.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Review: Birthmarked

Birthmarked
Caragh M. O'Brien
Young Adult Science Fiction

Set in a dystopian future, Birthmarked is the story of young apprentice-midwife Gaia Stone. She and her mother dutifully turn over the first three neighborhood babies born each month to their mysterious governing body, the Enclave. The elite of the Enclave live behind a wall separating them from the lower class citizens, like Gaia and her family. Gaia has never had reason to question the ways of the Enclave before, but when her parents are arrested and face execution for reasons Gaia is completely ignorant of, she springs into action.

Smuggling herself into the Enclave to try to save her parents, Gaia finds she must decide between doing what is right and what is easy. As she uncovers dangerous secrets about the Enclave, finds unlikely romance with a soldier, and learns the truth about her parents, Gaia is in a race against time to save herself, her family, and much more.

Gaia is a strong heroine and will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Graceling by Kristin Cashore. This thrilling, action-packed novel with just a hint of romance is perfect for teens in grades 9-12 who want a book that will make them think. Like Lois Lowry's The Giver, Birthmarked rasies interesting questions about government and free will.

Warning to Boys: Birthing scenes throughout the book might make you squeamish, but the story is worth it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases


Here are the releases for June 15th;

The Book of Eli - In the not-too-distant future, across the wasteland of what was once America, a lone warrior must fight to bring civilization the knowledge that could be the key to its redemption.

When in Rome - Disillusioned with romance, an ambitious New Yorker travels to Rome, where she plucks magic coins from a special fountain. The coins attract an assortment of odd suitors, including a sausage merchant, a street magician and an artist. But, when a persistent reporter throws his hat in the ring, she wonders if his love is the real thing.

Youth in Revolt - YOUTH IN REVOLT is a coming-of-age comedy that puts a fresh and outrageous stamp on a tale of adolescent obsession and rebellion. Based on the acclaimed novel by C.D. Payne, YOUTH IN REVOLT is the story of Nick Twisp - a unique, but affable teen with a taste for the finer things in life like Sinatra and Fellini - who falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful, free-spirited Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) while on a family vacation. But family, geography and jealous ex-lovers conspire to keep these two apart. With Sheeni's encouragement, Nick abandons his dull, predictable life and develops a rebellious alter ego: Francois. With his ascot, his moustache and his cigarette, Francois will stop at nothing to be with Sheeni, and leads Nick Twisp on a path of destruction with unpredictable and uproarious consequences.

This week’s release with the most requests is Shutter Island with 831 requests.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Urban Fiction Author for June – E. Lynn Harris


Title: Invisible Life
Author: E. Lynn Harris
Genre: Urban Fiction

In celebration of GLBT Month, we would like to highlight an author who is openly gay or whose characters have an alternative lifestyle. E. Lynn Harris has dominated the urban fiction genre in a representation of both. He talks about being gay in his memoir, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted: a Memoir, written in 2003. E. Lynn Harris died in 2009.

Harris was initially unable to land a book deal with a reputable publishing house for his first work, Invisible Life, so he self-published it through a vanity publishing and sold copies from his car trunk. Since then, ten of his novels have achieved New York Times bestseller status. (Retrieved, 4/29/10, Wikipedia)

Invisible Life is the story of a young man's coming of age. Law school, girlfriends, and career choices were all part of Raymond Tyler's life, but there were other, more terrifying issues for him to confront. Being black was tough enough, but Raymond was becoming more and more conscious of sexual feelings that he knew weren't "right." He was completely committed to Sela, his longtime girlfriend, but his attraction to Kelvin, whom he had met during his last year in law school, had become more than just a friendship. No matter how much he tried to suppress them, his feelings were deeply sexual.

Fleeing to New York to escape both Sela and Kelvin, Raymond finds himself more confused than ever before. New relationships--both male and female--give him enormous pleasure but keep him from finding the inner peace and lasting love he so desperately desires. The horrible illness and death of a friend force Raymond, at last, to face the truth.

Invisible Life has been hailed as "one of the most thought-provoking books since James Baldwin's Another Country" (Richmond Voice), and Harris's "stories have become the toast of bookstores, reading groups, men, women, and gay and straight people" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Proceeds from the sale of this special fifth anniversary edition will go to the E. Lynn Harris Foundation, a charitable organization that gives young people across the country the opportunity to study writing with established authors, and also aids emerging artists.

From New York Times bestselling author, E. Lynn Harris, comes a vivid portrait of contemporary black life with all its pressures. This combined with the added complications of bisexuality, AIDS, and racism - makes Invisible Life a compelling and entertaining story.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Book Review: I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean

I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean
Kevin Sherry
Children's Picture Book

Did you know that giant squids can draw? Well, this one can. He can draw fish, crabs, manta rays, and much, much more. In fact, this giant squid is the best artist in the entire ocean! As it turns out though, his inky drawings are not appreciated by everyone. Can Giant Squid convince his ocean neighbors of the value in his art? Read I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean to find out, and be prepared for a very inky surprise!

Giant Squid is a lovably boastful character, reminiscent of Melanie Watt's Chester and Mo Willems's Pigeon. Sherry's big pages and bold colors make this a fun read for even very young readers. Read I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean with your children to discuss the different ocean animals in the story. This is a great opportunity to introduce them to new vocabulary. Read it again and encourage your children to create their own drawings like Giant Squid.

Don't forget to sign up for this year's Summer Reading Program: Make a Splash! (beginning June 1st) and kick off your summer by checking out I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean and Kevin Sherry's other Giant Squid book, I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday's NewDVD Releases

Here are the releases for June 8th;

From Paris With Love - A low-ranking intelligence operative (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) working in the office of the U.S. Ambassador in France takes on more than he bargained for when he partners with a wisecracking, fast-shooting, high-ranking U.S. agent (John Travolta) who’s been sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack.

Shutter Island - From Oscar®-winning director Martin Scorsese, "Shutter Island" is the story of two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who are summoned to a remote and barren island off the cost of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island's fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane.

This week’s release with the most requests is Alice in Wonderland with 967 requests.