Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review: The Night Bookmobile

The Night Bookmobile
Audrey Niffenegger

Author of The Time Traveler's Wife (and The Time Traveler's Wife movie)

This is a book for people who find comfort in books. Maybe I should say, ...for people who live through books.

I enjoyed this book as a book lover and partly because my first library experience was with a bookmobile, a service provided at the time to rural New Mexico by the State Library. I don't want to give away the story since it is so short, but I'll give you my broad perceptions of it.

I come away from this book thinking, "Life is stories." Period. Stories are how we make meaning, how we make sense of our experiences, of our existence. I think that encapsulating moments of our lives as stories can help us appreciate the experience, even if it is painful at the time. I think that is what this book is about.

This book is a graphic novel, or rather a graphic short story. I'm usually not a fan of graphic novels, but the simplicity of these pictures seems to help the story seem personal, like a story any of us could have written.

While the book is illustrated, it is not a children's book. There are several adult themes that are probably not appropriate for young children.

I recommend this book, especially to reader's--like myself--who are prejudiced against graphic novels!

I also recommend:

The American Splendor comicbooks by Harvey Pekar

(Harvey was a featured speaker last April at the Clark County Library before passing away July 12. Harvey worked as a file clerk at the Cleveland VA Hospital, writing comic books about his life on the side. We miss you, Harvey!)

and the movie American Splendor, starring Paul Giamatti.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 5 October 2010:

Journey to Shark Eden

Just south of the Equatorial Islands lays a coral reef teeming with sharks and exotic ocean life. Join leading marine ecologists and National Geographic Emerging Explorer and Enric Sala as they explore this utopia for sharks and discover valuable clues about how to preserve this delicate ecosystem.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Five teenage friends living on one street all dream of a sinister man with a disfigured face, a frightening voice, and a gardener's glove with knives for fingers. One by one, he terrorizes them within their dreams, where the rules are his and the only way out is to wake up. But when one among them dies, they soon realize that what happens in their dreams happens for real and the only way to stay alive is to stay awake.

Splice

Two young scientists become superstars by splicing different animal DNA to create fantastical new creatures. Ignoring legal and ethical boundaries, the scientists, who are romantically involved, introduce human DNA into their experiment and risk the dawn of a terrifying new era.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Iron Man 2
with 1099 requests.

Get Him to the Greek had 528 requests,
WWE Chris Jericho had 29 requests, and
Harriet the Spy - Blog Wars had 24 requests.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review: Burger Boy

Burger Boy
Alan Durant
Children's Picture Book

Benny didn't like vegetables...
Benny liked burgers. Benny LOVED burgers.
Burgers were the only thing Benny would eat.

So begins the cautionary tale of Burger Boy by Alan Durant. Benny's obsession with burgers is so severe that his mother warns him to be careful or else one day he may turn into a burger. Well, it wouldn't be much of a story if Benny actually listened to his mother.

As a burger boy, Benny faces several challenges, like hungry dogs and angry cows chasing after him. Despite his insistence that he's a boy - not a burger, trouble continues to follow him. Read Burger Boy to find out how Benny copes with his meaty situation.

I recommend Burger Boy for kids ages 8 - 10 who like silly humor. Parents of burger lovers will also get a kick out of Benny's ordeal. For more funny food stories, check out My Little Sister Ate One Hare by Bill Grossman and Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthal.

Friday, September 24, 2010

CD Review: Turtle Island Quartet, "A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane"

Turtle Island Quartet
A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane

It takes audacity to cover one of the greatest jazz recordings ever, A Love Supreme by John Coltrane. The Turtle Island Quartet pulls it off to a “T!” Not bad for a string quartet.

I’m always on the lookout for genre crossover, or fusion, recordings. I like the perspective an unexpected instrumentation gives to a familiar piece. At the same time, I find it ironic that this string quartet can sound deceptively like a traditional jazz combo, with sax and trumpet—at least when listening from another room.

What is truly impressive, though, is the precision with which the Turtle Island Quartet recreates Coltrane’s technique. Unlike a couple of similar recordings, the quartet never sounds contrived, like it is simplifying the charts. These other bands—Apocalyptica and the Klazz Brothers—as much as I enjoy them, just don’t have the same level of polish as the Turtle Island Quartet.

Be on the lookout for the newest Turtle Island release—their take on Jimi Hendrix!

See also:
For an even more surreal experience try the Rockabye Baby series with "Lullaby Renditions" (featuring glockenspiel, vibraphone, and mellotron) of bands like:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Did you miss the great library event: Titans of the Graphic Novel when it was here?

The great news is you can still catch it - here, at your library blogs! Our On the Road - Virtually! blog lets you see those great programs that you may have missed the first time, or lets you catch them again if you want to remember how great it was!

Over at OTRV, you can see Part One of Titans of the Graphic Novel, with Alison Bechdel:

Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist best known for her syndicated comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For which she started in 1983. Bechdel’s comic covers everything from love to politics involving primarily lesbian characters.

Other works by Bechdel include Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, the story of Bechdel’s relationship with her father. It took seven years to write, and was named by Time magazine as the best book of 2006.

Part Two features Harvey Pekar:

Perhaps best known for his autobiographical series, American Splendor, Harvey Pekar, who passed away in July 2010, was a comic book writer who saw his self-published series turn into a cult classic with a large and loyal fan base. In 2003, Splendor was adapted into a critically acclaimed film starring Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis.

First published in 1976, Splendor covers Pekar’s everyday life ranging from his job as a file clerk to his relationships with his friends and family. Other stories include situations he had with his car, his health and anxieties in general.

Head over to On the Road - Virtually! to see this great program and more! at your Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 28 September 2010:

Get Him to the Greek

The intern of a record company finds himself with both his dream job and biggest nightmare when he is assigned to retrieve a British rock star and get him to his concert in time.

Harriet the Spy - Blog Wars

Aspiring writer Harriet 'The Spy' Welsch is determined to become class blogger. Competing against her supreme nemesis, Marion Hawthorne, Harriet will do whatever it takes to win the coveted title. But when it begins to look like Marion might take the lead, Harriet becomes desperate to figure out a way to get the most blog hits.

Iron Man 2

Now that the world knows billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored superhero Iron Man, his life has suddenly become even more intense. Everyone wants in on the Iron Man technology, whether for power or profit, but for Ivan Vanko, it's revenge. With Pepper Potts and James 'Rhodey' Rhodes at his side, Stark must once again suit up and face his most dangerous enemy yet.

WWE Chris Jericho

The WWE fans love to hate Chris Jericho. Throughout his remarkable career he has provided sports entertainment fans with amazing matches and astounding moments whether he was in Smokey Mountain Wrestling, ECW, WCW, or WWE. He's also left his mark on the entertainment industry outside the ring, from his band Fozzy, writing a NY Times bestselling autobiography, and his role in the hit film Magruber.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Robin Hood with 724 requests.

Collapse had 45 requests
Mythbusters Collection 6 had 34 requests
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 21 September 2010:

Collapse

Over the 20th and 21st centuries, the rise of this civilization has seemed unstoppable. But could modern, industrialized civilization fall apart? Three hundred years from now, will scientists find evidence that this civilization followed a recipe for disaster like that of the Maya or the Romans? Imagine it has already happened. National Geographic reveals a look into the future to descendents in the year 2310 as they set out on a scientific expedition to figure out what happened.

Mythbusters Collection 6

No myth is safe when Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman break out their beakers and blowtorches to put them to the test. Along with Mythbusting accomplices Tony Belleci, Kari Byron, and Grant Imahara, this team is a combustible concoction of scientific genius, ingenuity, and a touch of pyromania too. Whether busted or confirmed, the journey to the truth promises to be full of explosive action and mind-blowing science.

Robin Hood

In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power. And whether thief or hero, one man from humble beginnings will become an eternal symbol of freedom for his people.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time with 851 requests.

Letters to Juliet had 699 requests
Just Wright had 366 requests
WWE Summerslam 2010 had 58 requests
24 Hours after Hiroshima had 49 requests
James and the Giant Peach had 47 requests
The Black Cauldron had 43 requests

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On the Road - Virtually!


Please let us know what you think about our road trips, leave your comments on the site under Updates.


The link to On The Road - Virtually, can be found under Books, Movies & More link on the library's website.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mike's Hardboiled Mystery Picks

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 books in the down and dirty mystery genre.

Here are Mike's picks for the month:

C. J. Box, - Open Season:
Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden - especially one like Joe, who won't take bribes or look the other way - is far from popular.

When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the wood pile behind his state-owned home, Joe takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he'd had run-ins before, chose Joe's backyard woodpile to die on. Even when the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of two more bodies, are quickly solved, Joe continues to investigate, uncomfortable with the easy explanation offered by the local police.

As Joe digs deeper, he discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his back door: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. If word of this gets out, it will destroy any chance for InterWest, a multinational company, to build a natural gas pipeline across the state. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species, and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything and everyone he holds dear.

Joe Lansdale - Savage Season
A rip-roaring, high-octane, Texas-sized thriller, featuring two friends, one vixen, a crew of washed-up radicals, loads of money, and bloody mayhem.

Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are best friends, yet they couldn't be more different. Hap is an east Texas white-boy with a weakness for Texas women. Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet. Together, they steer up more commotion than a fire storm. But that's just the way they like it. So when an ex-flame of Hap's returns promising a huge score. Hap lets Leonard in on the scam, and that's when things get interesting. Chockfull of action and laughs, Savage Season is the masterpiece of dark suspense that introduced Hap and Leonard to the thriller scene. It hasn't been the same since.

Dan Simmons - Hardcase

Joe Kurtz has been wronged one too many times. So when he takes out the drug-dealing thug who killed his girl-friend, the ex-P. I. gets to cool his heels for eleven years in Attica. While there he meets "Little Skag" Farino, the son of an aging Buffalo, New York, mob boss. In exchange for protecting the kid's manhood against any unwanted jailhouse affection, Kurtz gets an audience with Little Skag's father upon his release from prison.

Semiretired Don Byron Farino is still clinging to what dwindling power he holds on the New York organized-crime scene. He enlists Kurtz's help to track down the Family's missing accountant - a man with too much knowledge of Family business to have on the loose. But someone doesn't want the accountant found. As the story twists and turns, and the body count rises, Kurtz no longer knows whom he can trust. Everyone seems to be after something, from the mob boss's sultry yet dangerous daughter, to a hit man named the Dane, an albino killer who is good with a knife, and a dwarf who is armed to the teeth and hell-bent on revenge.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 14 September 2010:

24 Hours after Hiroshima

On August 6th, 1945 a weapon unlike any other was unleashed on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Four days later, the Japanese surrendered, having been subjected to horrors and devastation previously unknown and unimaginable. A team of scientists and experts from the Manhattan Project was ordered by President Truman to investigate the facts of what really happened when the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima. Revealed is what happened moment by moment in those first 24 hours.

The Black Cauldron

Whoever releases the mysterious Black Cauldron's powers will be invincible! The fearsome Horned King will do anything to possess it, but he is challenged by the most unlikely adversary: a young assistant pig keeper named Taran. With a motley team of the brave Princess Eilonwy, a minstrel named Fflewddur Fflam, and Hen-Wen, a remarkable pig who can predict the future, Taran embarks on a quest to stop the Black Cauldron's evil once and for all.

James and the Giant Peach

After the daring rescue of a spider, a young boy named James gains possession of some magic crocodile tongues. When James spills them in the garden, out sprouts an enormous peach! Climbing inside, he meets an astonishing cast of characters and embarks on a magical odyssey full of thrills and adventure.

Just Wright

Leslie Wright is a straight-shooting physical therapist who gets the gig of a lifetime working with injured NBA star Scott McKnight. Leslie not only whips Scott into shape, she helps take his game to the next level and all is going well, until Leslie finds herself falling for him. Oblivious to her growing affection, Scott only has eyes for Morgan, Leslie's sexy and seductive friend. With everything on the line, Leslie must take her best shot.

Letters to Juliet

In Verona, Italy, the beautiful city where Romeo first met Juliet, there is a place where the heartbroken leave notes asking Juliet for her help. It's there that aspiring writer Sophie finds a 50-year-old letter that will change her life forever. She sets off on a romantic journey of the heart with the letter's author, Claire, now a grandmother, and her handsome grandson. All three will discover that sometimes the greatest love story ever told is your own.

Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time

It's a race against time when a rogue prince reluctantly teams up with a rival princess to safeguard a magical dagger that gives its possessor the power to reverse time and rule the world.

WWE Summerslam 2010

It's the biggest event of the Summer, and this year, it's making a return engagement in Los Angeles. The WWE Universe will be watching as the Superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment bring SummerSlam to the Staples Center. Last year's show saw the triumphant return of D-Generation X and stunning championship victories for Randy Orton and CM Punk. Superstars include: John Cena, Big Show, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Kofi Kingston, and others.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Solitary Man with 372 requests.

MacGruber had 258 requests
Camp Rock 2 - The Final Jam had 138 requests
Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe Collection 6 had 25 requests
Inside the DEA had 23 requests
Denise Austin Hot Body Yoga had 17 requests