Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 7 September 2010:

Camp Rock 2 - The Final Jam

Mitchie, Shane, Jason, Nate, and their friends return to Camp Rock for another fun-filled summer. They soon learn that Star Camp has also opened on the lake and has lured many Camp Rock instructors and campers away. When hotshot performer Luke Williams issues a challenge to see which camp has the greatest musical talent, everyone prepares for an all-out battle of the bands. The only catch is, the losing camp is will closed for good!

Denise Austin Hot Body Yoga

Get the lean, sexy body you've always wanted with two yoga workouts designed to sculpt tight abs, arms, and buns fast. Both workouts include effective moves and poses that burn fat fast.

Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe Collection 6

Mike Rowe immerses viewers in his extraordinary quest to find some of the filthiest, most fascinating jobs on the planet. Rowe continues to celebrate the people behind the world's toughest jobs, his ever-evolving relationship with poo, and his unexplainable affinity for dirt. contains ten episodes.

Inside the DEA

Follow four agents who are hidden from the public eye and working around the country and across the globe identifying, investigating, and dismantling major international drug trafficking organizations. Then, enter the agencys̀ unique operational and intelligence capabilities on the front lines of one of the longest running wars in the world today.

MacGruber

Only one operative has been awarded sixteen purple hearts, and only one guy is man enough to still sport a mullet. In the ten years since his fiancee was killed, special op MacGruber has sworn off a life of fighting crime with his bare hands. But when he learns his country needs him to find a nuclear warhead that's been stolen by his sworn enemy, MacGruber teams up with his trusty sidekick and an uptight lieutenant to get the job done.

Solitary Man

Ben Kalmen, a fifty-something New Yorker, discovers that he is not the man he wanted to be. Through many business and romantic indiscretions he has lost his once-successful car dealership. Now he must make the decision to face the challenges of his not-so-youthful life.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Tyler Perry's Why Did I get Married Too? with 321 requests.

Harry Brown has 237 requests and Glacier National Park has 33 requests.

Friday, August 27, 2010

CD Review: March of the Zapotech and Realpeople Holland by Beirut

March of the Zapotech and Realpeople Holland --
CD by Beirut

The two disks in this set could not be more different--or are they? I don't know that this is what the band intended but I'd like to think of these two disks as representing different images of the city of Beirut, Lebanon, with lessons applicable to other locales. (The band is actually from New Mexico.)

The March of the Zapotech disk sounds like a pickup band--tuba, trumpet, accordion, etc.--that you might hear in the plaza of some southern Mexican town (which has experienced plenty of its own fighting in recent years)--or as I like to think, representing modern Beirut--the Beirut of civil war, the bombed Beirut. The sound is rugged, with reminders of the efforts people in war zones make to find some normalcy.

The Realpeople Holland disk conjures images of Beirut when it was known as the Paris of the East. The flavor is more technopop, though I would say, slower, and more harmonic, than much of the genre--and again with accordion. The sensibility is soothing, of life without a thought for tomorrow.

I think fans of music as diverse as the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Daft Punk will enjoy this set--and maybe expand your musical taste in the process. I consider myself more the brass band fan but have to admit I am content to put the Realpeople of Holland on endless repeat. It has probably been years since I have discovered an entire disk so refreshing!

I highly recommend this CD!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Review: Priceless

Priceless: how I went undercover to rescue the world's stolen treasures
Robert Wittman

Robert Wittman went from editing a family owned agricultural newspaper to founding the FBI stolen art team. Until then, his main exposure to the arts had been studying piano in college and then helping with his father's short-lived Japanese antiques business.

Here is a real life Indiana Jones. Like all real heroes, he has a tragic flaw. I won't give away the story except to say he requires a defense attorney for the better part of a decade at the start of his FBI career.

Wittman, aka Bob Clay, repeatedly notes that his main motivation is recovering the stolen art--more than prosecuting the thieves. He never obsesses with the monetary value of the stolen goods. His main concern is that a piece of our collective cultural heritage had been taken from us. There is something very compelling to me about being motivated by such lofty goals.

The stories are exciting to me, too, because I have been to several of the crime scenes. The book opens with an attempt to recover paintings from the biggest art heist in US history--the 1990 theft of 13 pieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, including paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt. The total value is estimated at $500 million. (See also the book The Gardner Heist and the DVD Stolen). In 1999, Wittman went undercover in Santa Fe, New Mexico to help stem the illegal trade in eagle feathers and other contraband Native American artifacts.

Throughout, Wittman sketches his strategy as an undercover agent. Most fascinating, he comments that his experience selling advertising for the agriculture newspaper helped him more in developing his undercover technique than his formal FBI training. Undercover work is essentially sales--selling your credibility to win over the suspect.

I highly recommend this book to mystery readers, fans of PBS "Antiques Roadshow" (in fact one case involves the show!), Indiana Jones fans, true crime readers. Did I leave anyone out?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 31 August 2010:

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is undergoing dramatic changes. As the glaciers that give this wilderness its name rapidly melt away, it is clear the park will never be the same. Explore the backcountry of this scenic regions' pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes to discover a dramatic transformation, and witness a defiant new environment as it emerges.

Harry Brown

Harry Brown lives in a world that has been taken over by drug dealers and gangsters. A world where killing is a way of life, and the police have lost all control. But when his only companion and best friend is senselessly murdered just feet from his own apartment, Harry takes matters into his own hands. Utilizing the skills he learned while fighting the IRA, Harry takes on these hooligans as he doles out his own form of justice.

Tyler Perry's Why Did I get Married Too?

Gathered together in the Bahamas for their annual one-week reunion, four close couples eagerly reconnect, sharing news about their lives and relationships. But their intimate week in paradise is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of Sheila's ex-husband, Mike, who hopes to break up her new marriage with Troy and win her back. With their relationships hanging in the balance when they return home, each couple must choose between blame and forgiveness.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Back-Up Plan with 685 requests.

City Island had 241 requests and
The Real Robin Hood had 49.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Review: School of Fear

School of Fear
Gitty Daneshvari
Juvenile Fiction (Ages 9-12) - Humor

What are you afraid of?

Everyone is afraid of something. As you will learn in this book, some are just more afraid than others. Madeleine, Lulu, Garrison, and Theo are four kids who each have a unique and paralyzing fear that has taken over their lives and the lives of their parents. Madeleine, for example, is so afraid of insects, she constantly shields herself in a veil and sprays insect repellent everywhere she goes. When their parents just can't handle the consequences of their children's irrational fear any longer, they do what any sensible parent would do. They send their children to the highly revered but very secretive School of Fear.

At the School of Fear, the children meet their teacher, the bizarre Mrs. Wellington, and her quirky assistant Schmidty. In the hands of these two, the fearful foursome doubt they'll survive the summer much less learn to conquer fear. Mrs. Wellington seems to be more concerned with turning her pupils into beauty pageant contestants than helping them. Schmidty, while undeniably kind to the children, inspires little confidence. Will the children overcome their fears, or will Mrs. Wellington's teaching methods cause them to spiral into an even deeper terror? Read School of Fear to find out!

You definitely need to have a sense of humor that's a bit on the strange side to enjoy this book. Think Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. Mrs. Wellington, who has trained her beloved cats to be untrained, is a fantastic character that adults will enjoy just as much as kids. Fans of Dale Basye's Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go and Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society will love School of Fear.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Book Lists - eMedia!

What new book lists have gone up today?

New eAudio
New eBooks
Coming Soon eMedia

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 24 August 2010:

Back-Up Plan
Zoe wants a baby, but has a problem letting anyone get close to her. The perfect solution is to become artificially inseminated. Shortly after she conceives twins, she finally meets the man of her dreams. Will he stick around when he finds out?

City Island
Vince Rizzo is a lifelong resident of the tiny, tradition-steeped Bronx enclave of City Island. A family man who makes his living as a corrections officer, Vince longs to become an actor.

Vince would rather let his wife believe his weekly poker games are a cover for an affair than admit he is secretly taking acting classes in Manhattan. When Vince is asked to reveal his biggest secret in class, he inadvertently sets off a chaotic chain of events that turns his mundane suburban life upside down.

The Real Robin Hood
The inspiration for more movies, radio and TV programs than any other folk hero, but the man in tights and a feathered cap is a recent addition to the myth. Probes the fascinating story behind the marauding vigilante of English folklore. In reality, the character is a composite of actual historical figures whose exploits date back to the Crusades, a dark time of tremendous brutality.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is The Last Song with 590 requests.

Furry Vengeance had 369 requests
WWE - Money in the Bank had 60 requests
Extreme Survival Pack had 11 requests

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Book Lists

What new book lists have gone up today?

Staff Picks (What your library staff is reading!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Book Lists!

What new book lists have gone up today?

New Large Print: Family and Relationships: Each month the library receives new Large Print books on the topic of Families and Relationships. Check out these new titles at your library today!

New Large Print: Christian Fiction: Each month the library receives new Large Print books with Christian themes. Check out these new, inspirational books at your library, today!

New Large Print: Stories From Other Times (Westerns, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction): Large Print books are set in many different time periods. Check out these new Westerns, Historical Novels, and Fantasy & Science Fiction Large Print books today.

New Large Print: Non Fiction: Each month the library gets new non-fiction books in Large Print. Check out these new Large Print titles at your library today!

New Large Print: Lighthearted Mysteries: Each month the library receives new Large Print mysteries that are more humerous, romantic, or just lighthearted. Check out these new Large Print titles at your library today!

New Large Print: Mysteries and Thrillers: Each month the library gets new Large Print mysteries and thrillers - the gritty, realistic kind. Check out these new Large Print titles at your library today.

New Large Print: Romance: Each month the library gets new Large Print Romance books, ranging from tender love stories, to steamy bodice-rippers. Check out these new Large Print titles at your library today!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 17 August 2010:

Extreme Survival Pack

Features programs that explore the actions of those whose clear thinking under pressure helped save their lives in the most extraordinary cincumstances.

Episodes include:
Secrets to Survival: Mountain Escape;
Secrets to Survival: Firestorm;
I Shouldn't Be Alive: Science of Survival,
Escape From the Amazon; and
I Shouldn't Be Alive: Science of Survival, Lost in the Snow. Contains bonus episode:
Man vs. Wild: Shooting Survival.

Furry Vengeance

Sometimes four legs are better than two. Dan just moved his wife and son to the woods to take a new job with a supposedly eco-friendly housing development. But the fur, and Dan's temper, is sure to fly when the local critters learn of the bleak plans for their forest home and stop at nothing to halt construction.

The Last Song

Seventeen, angry, and alienated from her estranged father, Veronica 'Ronnie' Miller's life gets turned inside out when her mother forces her to spend the summer with him in the small Georgia beach town where he lives. Here, Ronnie finds salvation, friendship, second chances, and first love. Includes behind the scenes, music video, and commentary.

WWE - Money in the Bank

For the past six years, the Money in the Bank match has been a highlight of the WrestleMania evening, with each of the six winners going on to successfully cash in their opportunities and win World Championships. Now, multiple WWE superstars will battle each other in a brutal ladder match, looking for the opportunity to climb the ladder. Who will follow in the footsteps of Edge, Rob Van Dam, CM Punk, and Jack Swagger to earn a shot at the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship?

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Date Night with 640 requests.

Here's how the rest of this week's titles did:
Death at a Funeral - 521
The Joneses - 274
Letters to God - 170
America - The Story of Us - 85
WWE Raw - The Beginning: The Best of Seasons 1 & 2 - 39
My Name is Khan - 38

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Book Lists!

What new book lists have gone up today?

Fiction Preview: Newly ordered fiction titles

Nonfiction Preview: Newly ordered nonfiction titles

New Nonfiction DVDs - Newly arrived DVDs

Book Review: Freefall by Joseph Stiglitz

Freefall
Joseph Stiglitz

A friend recommended this book and described it as "a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think." Stiglitz is the 2001 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and former Chief Economist at the World Bank.

I feel confident recommending this book because Stiglitz has plenty of blame to pass around for the current economic crisis. Politically, he criticizes what both the Bush and Obama administrations have done. Plus he makes a valiant attempt to make the situation understandable to the lay person.

Points that stand out to me are:

Leading up to the housing bubble, there was excessive emphasis placed on finance in our economy, with 40% of corporate profits coming from this sector alone.

There doesn't need to be a dichotomy between regulation and free enterprise. Both are necessary for an efficient market economy. The question is, "What regulations will we have?"

He explains the problem of "moral hazard," and how the bank bailouts contribute to this but are not the only source of moral hazard.

Later in the book, Stiglitz moves beyond the immediate crisis to the readjustments to the global economy needs in order to generate more stability.

Among other issues he discusses six main points:
  • the gap between global supply and demand--global supply is currently being underused while billons of people still have unmet needs
  • climate change
  • global imbalances in consumption and saving
  • the shift of manufacturing jobs from developed countries to developing countries
  • sheer economic inequality--with 40% of humanity living on less than $2 a day, and 1 billion people living on less than $1 a day.
  • financial stability--economic crises have been happening more often, with more severity
There have been a number of good books published on the current crisis. I recommend this one for its comprehensive coverage of the issues and for being 90% understandable by me!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Book Lists!

What new book lists have gone up today?

Past & Present (New History books)

Science and Nature (New Nonfiction)

New eMedia (New downloadable audiobooks, ebooks, music and videos!) (all new audiobooks this month!)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Book Lists!

What new book lists have gone up today?

Book from the Blogs: Killer Thrillers!

NPR asked its listeners to vote for their favorite "Killer Thrillers". The votes are in, and you can see the top 100 in their article!

You can see the top 25 on the Killer Thriller book list.

Do you agree these are The Best? Which of your favorite titles did they forget?

Top Killer Thrillers

NPR asked its listeners to vote for their favorite "Killer Thrillers". The votes are in, and you can see the top 100 in their article!

Here are the top few, and you can see (and request) the top 25 on the Killer Thriller book list.

Do you agree these are The Best? Which of your favorite titles did they forget?

The Silence of the Lambs
Thomas Harris




The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson




Kiss the Girls
James Patterson




The Bourne Identity
Robert Ludlum




In Cold Blood
Truman Capote

Movie Review: Michael Palin--Pole to Pole

Michael Palin's Pole to Pole

What could be more fun than traveling around the world with Monty Python--well, Michael Palin that is, of Monty Python fame! Of course, we won't be traveling the usual way, east to west. We will start at the north pole and head to the south pole, along 30 degrees longitude--as much as possible.

Although Palin made his trip nearly 20 years ago, it doesn't feel dated except in certain fascinating ways. His path took him right through the Soviet Union, during what turned out to be the country's last days. Further south in Africa, Palin ventured through Ethiopia just months after the 15-year civil war ended there.

To be honest, I was most taken with the journey through Africa. Where else can you see what the train in Sudan looks like? I was truly amazed at how beautiful Ethiopia is, and how green, at least soon after the rains. This just goes to illustrate one of the best benefits of travel--it challenges your prejudices.

Besides all of the extraordinary footage, Palin truly is funny!

Other Recommendations:

Any travel writing by author Paul Theroux: especially Dark Star Safari, the story of his overland trip through Africa, Cairo to Capetown, to celebrate his 60th birthday.

(Paul Theroux will be in Las Vegas, hosted by the Black Mountain Institute, October 14, 7 p.m.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD releases

Here are the releases for next Tuesday, August 10th:

America - The Story of Us - Viewers are taken on a breathtaking journey through 400 years of U.S. history. Live-action recreations of key historical events give viewers an immersive view of history in the making. Features the vocal talents of Rudy Giuliani, Sean Combs, Al Sharpton, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powell, Donald Trump, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Tom Brokaw, and many others.

Date Night - About an ordinary couple in the right place, on the wrong night. Phil and Claire Foster are a sensible suburban husband and wife slogging through their daily lives and marriage. But a case of mistaken identity sets off an outrageous chain of events involving small-time thieves, big-city mobsters, corrupt cops, and a crazed cabbie, as the Fosters' 'date night' turns into a wild ride they'll never forget!

Death at a Funeral – When Aaron's father dies, he must organize the funeral and give the eulogy. Keeping things civil is a problem right from the start when the undertaker makes a horrifying mistake. Then his brother Ryan wants to be in the spotlight but refuses to pay for anything. But this is nothing compared to information received from a mysterious dwarf at the funeral who exposes way too many family secrets.

The Joneses - The Joneses, a seemingly perfect family, are the envy of their posh, suburban neighborhood filled with all the trappings of the upper middle class. They are the ultimate trendsetters with an endless supply of high-tech toys, designer clothes, fast cars, and the latest gadgets. But as the neighbors try to keep up with the Joneses, none are prepared for the truth about this all-too-perfect family.

Letters to God - Eight-year-old Tyler is armed with strong faith and courage as he faces a battle against cancer. His prayers take the form of letters he sends to his ultimate pen pal, God, on a daily basis. These letters find their way into the hands of Tylers postman, Brady, who is at a crossroads in his life and searching for meaning. Brady is at first is confused over what to do, but his decision ultimately is a testament to the power of Tylers shining spirit, bravery, and grace.

My Name is Khan - Rizwan, an Indian man with a unique way of looking at the world, moves to San Francisco and meets a vivacious single mother named Mandira. They form a special bond and fall in love against all odds, but fate and tragedy conspire to tear them apart. That's when Rizwan embarks on a remarkable journey across America to win back the love of his life.

WWE Raw - The Beginning: The Best of Seasons 1 & 2 - Now, for the first time ever, the best matches and moments of seasons one and two of Raw are collected in one set. Includes bouts with: Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Lex Luger, Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect, And many other superstars of the wrestling world.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

The DVD with the most requests this week is Kick-Ass: 487

Coming behind are:
Diary of a wimpy kid: 479
The ghost writer: 415

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Book Lists!

What new book lists have gone up today?

New Audio Books

Whether you're travelling, jogging, using your hands, or just needing to rest your eyes, sometimes an audiobook is just what you need. Check out these new audiobooks at your library!

Book Club Choices

Each month, the various libraries host book discussion groups. Pick your library, pick your book, and scroll down to request your copy!