Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 2 November 2010:

Building the Great Cathedrals

Carved from a hundred million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spiderweb of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry. But how did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Consuming the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking a hundred years to build, these architectural marvels were crafted from just hand tools and stone. Many now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse.

Colossal Squid

Colossal Squid is a landmark television event that presents the dramatic capture of a massive squid off the coast of Antarctica, and the ground breaking research to discover the secrets of one of the ocean's most elusive creatures.

Crash of Flight 447

On June 1st, 2009, Flight AF447, an Air France Airbus A330 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean with the loss of all 228 lives. How could a state-of-the-art airliner with elaborate electronic safety and navigation features and a faultless safety record simply vanish without trace? NOVA assembles a team of seasoned pilots, engineers and safety experts to examine the evidence that emerged in the weeks following this horrific disaster

Deadliest Catch Complete Season 6

In the far northern reaches of the planet a rare breed of extreme fishermen still ply the Bering Sea. Adventure is their call, crab is their prey, and a one hundred million dollar plunder is their reward. Five skippers and their crews will endure boat-killing storms and mind-numbing working conditions - risking it all on the hunt for crab. In the end, they will all come to the realization that the most violent storms come from within. This year, there's a fracture in the Bering Sea brotherhood.

The Pacific

The extraordinary experiences of three men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain forests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day. Narrated by Tom Hanks.

Toy Story 3

As Andy prepares to leave for college, his loyal toys find they have been donated to the Sunnyside Daycare, where untamed tots with their sticky little fingers do not play nice. So it's all for one and one for all as they join Barbie's counterpart Ken, a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants, and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear to plan their great escape and ensure that no toy gets left behind.

Van Gogh - Brush with Genius

Viewers are lead on a journey through the short, nine-year period of the artist's amazing career in which he completed more than 900 paintings. From the dazzling yellow of the cornfields to the deep blue of his famous night sky, audiences will once again see some of the most important works in art history. Van Gogh's story is told from the perspectives of three main characters: a museum researcher, a film director, and Van Gogh himself.

WWE Hell in a Cell 2010

Its demonic structure can make a career or end it. Some of the most iconic moments of the last decade have happened in Hell in a Cell, and now its̀ a WWE pay-per-view event! The stars of Raw and SmackDown, will compete at Hell in a Cell, and included here are all the matches from this spectacular event. Stars include: Big Show, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Triple H , John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Edge, Rey Mysterio, John Morrison, The Miz, and Kofi Kingston.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Sex and the City 2 with 480 requests.

The Girl who Played with Fire had 289 requests,

You Don't Know Jack had 241 requests,

Winter's Bone had 224 requests,

Surviving the Holidays with Lewis Black and
WWE Smackdown - the Best of 2010 tied with 34 requests and

Dawn of the Ocean had 31 requests.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review: Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog

Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog
Jon Agee

Puns! Sometimes you just need a great pun! And kids are particularly fond of them. (Once they "get it." Until they do, kids' "puns" can be a bit painful.)
This is Mr. Putney.
He has all sorts of unusual friends.
Can you guess what their names are?
Who wakes Mr. Putney up in the morning?
Who does Mr. Putney use to see how tall his nephew is?
What to you call Mr. Putney's messy lunch companion?

It's easy to tell what Mr. Putney's friends are. You see a lobster, a grumpy armadillo, a Great Ape, and many more. The kicker is, what is each one's name? I'm good at this, and I didn't get even one!

And they all left me giggling - especially Mr. Putney's friend who looks just like a pastry!

This is a great book for kids who are just mastering the many uses of words. As they're getting that words can kind of do different things, this will just tickle their fancies!

Some other wonderful word play books that will tickle your kids' tongues are Little Dogs Say "Rough"!, Otter Nonsense, and Chocolate Moose for Dinner

Friday, October 22, 2010

Teen Mysteries

We're coming up on the end of Teen Read Week. Have you completed your activity card, and gotten your AMAZING PRIZE????

If you're still wondering what you can read, how about a good mystery? There are so many different kinds, that one is just bound to appeal to you! Here's a sample of some great titles. And we have a longer list for you!

Enjoy!

Hex Hall
Rachel Hawkins
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes.

Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I am the messenger
Markus Zusak
Meet Ed Kennedy--underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he's hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That's when the first Ace arrives. That's when Ed becomes the messenger. . . .

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?

Double Helix
Nancy Werlin
Eli has lucked into a job at Wyatt Transgenics - offered to him by Dr. Wyatt, the famed scientist. The salary is substantial, the work is interesting, and Dr. Wyatt seems to be paying special attention to Eli. It's almost too good to be true. Is there a catch?

Eli's father is vehemently against his taking the job, but won't explain why. Eli knows that there's some connection between Dr. Wyatt and his parents - something too painful for his father to discuss. Something to do with his mother, who is now debilitated by Huntington's disease.

As he continues to work at the lab, and to spend time with Dr. Wyatt, he begins to uncover some disconcerting truths about himself - about his very makeup.

Heist Society
Ally Carter
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre . . . to case it.

When Kat turned 15, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind.

Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

The boy who couldn't die
William Sleator
When his best friend is killed in a plane crash, Ken makes a decision: He will never die.

As the only child of rich, indulgent parents, Ken is used to getting his way, and this time is no different. He finds a woman who claims she can make him invulnerable to pain and death for the unbelievably cheap priceof fifty dollars. And her strange ritual works. Ken can't be burned, beaten up, or even bitten by the sharks he dives amongst on his spring break in the Caribbean.

Ken can't die, but he can kill. As long as he's awake, he feels in complete control of his life. But at night the dreams take over, dreams of digging up graves, of knifing perfect strangers...then of trying to murder someone he loves. And no one can stop him, not even himself.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 26 October 2010:

Dawn of the Ocean

Oceanographers have been gripped by a new spirit of discovery and have undertaken the biggest population census of ocean species ever conducted, a 'Census of Marine Life.' Join National Geographic as they travel more than four billion years into the past to uncover how oceans and marine life came to exist.

The Girl who Played with Fire

Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. A researcher and a Millennium journalist about to expose the truth about the sex trade in Sweden are brutally murdered, and Salander's prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and violent behavior makes her an official danger to society. Digging deeper, Blomkvist unearths evidence implicating highly placed members of Swedish society, as well as shocking detailsabout Salander's past.

Sex and the City 2

The fun, the fashion, the friendship: this hilarious sequel brings it all back and more as Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda come together to take another bite out of the Big Apple and beyond. What happens after you say 'I do'? Life is everything the ladies ever wished it would be, but it wouldn't be Sex and the City if life didn't hold a few more surprises. After all, sometimes you just have to get away with the girls.

Surviving the Holidays with Lewis Black

Armed with history, humor, and his trademark ranting, comedian Lewis Black takes a hilarious look at how to survive the 'month-long festival of consumption' without losing your mind.

Winter's Bone

Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly sets out to track down her father, who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails to find him, she and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods. Challenging her outlaw kin's code of silence and risking her life, Ree hacks through the lies, evasions, and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth.

WWE Smackdown - the Best of 2010

Now fans can relive their favorite matches and moments from the popular show that just celebrated its tenth anniversary. The season featured a number of outlandish moments, outstanding matches, and bitter rivalries. Fan favorites include: Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Undertaker, The Hart Dynasty, Batista, and many others.

You Don't Know Jack

Angel of mercy, or murderous 'Doctor Death'? Jack Kevorkian is one of the most polarizing figures in modern American history, a man whose passionate belief that people have the right to die has brought him both praise and vilification.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Predators with 397 requests.

DisneyNature - Oceans had 211 requests,
Please Give had 98 requests,
WWE Night of Champions 2010 had 47 requests and
Raging Planet! had 10 requests.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Review: The Ghouls Come Haunting One by One

The Ghouls Come Haunting One by One
Tom McDermott
Illustrated by Liz McGrath

Halloween is a wonderful time for children's books! It's the time when grownups everywhere rediscover that children are much more resilient and hard to frighten that we are!

The Ghouls Come Haunting is a great book with amazing illustrations. You'll find yourself singing to the tune of The Ants Come Marching.... as the tension builds and increasingly spooky (and imaginative!) ghouls appear.
...The ghouls come haunting five by five,
Your pet cat yowls and darts outside.
And they all come haunting...
The author must have sung a different version of The Ants Come Marching than I grew up with. The beat doesn't scan exactly right for me, but the "Thump Scratch Drip Schlipp" is a wonderful refrain!

As the ghouls gather on each page, they're obviously all looking forward to some mischief! And the ending, when they're all gathered in YOUR room, is classic Kid Justice! In the spirit of Monster's Inc., the kid always wins out!

This is a wonderful cumulative story. The kids will kind of know what comes next, but what sort of ghoul is going to join the crowd will be the payoff on each new page.

This book is reminiscent of classic books like I Know an Old Lady , Henny Penny , and even (my all time favorite) The Monster at the End of This Book , with Cute, Lovable, Furry Old Grover!

Check this out and see who's the most scared by the end of the book!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Teen Read Week


Think teens only text and tweet their friends? They don't know what a book is? OMG! Is the next generation is going to heck in a handbasket????

You couldn't be more wrong! Teens LOVE to read! And they are knocking library walls down to get to their favorites! Fiction, Nonfiction, and Graphic Novels - we just can't keep up with them!

Get your teen a Teen Read Week Activity Card (their ticket to Amazing Prizes!) or just check out some of the great teen books the library has!

One of the activities on The Card (Prizes? Did I mention Prizes?) is read one of the YALSA Teen Top Ten nominated titles. You can see the Contenders now, and see the Winners when they're announced on 18 October 2010!

Wednesday, October 13, 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:

Sworn to Silence
Linda Castillo

In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and "English" residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish.

Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She's certain she's come to terms with her past--until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past--and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.

Open and Shut
David Rosenfelt

Whether dueling with new forensics or the local old boys' network, irreverent defense attorney Andy Carpenter always leaves them awed with his biting wit and winning fourth-quarter game plan.

But Andy prefers the company of his best friend, Tara, to the people he encounters in the courtroom. Tara, a golden retriever, is clearly smarter than half the lawyers who clog the courts of Passaic County.

However, just as it seems Andy has everything figured out, his dad, New Jersey's legendary ex-D.A., drops dead in front of him at a game in Yankee Stadium. The shocks pile on as he discovers his dad left him with two unexpected legacies: a fortune of $22 million that Andy never knew existed... and a murder case with enough racial tinder to burn down City Hall.

Struggling to serve justice and bring honor to his father, Andy must dig up some explosive political skeletons-and an astonishing family secret that can close his case (and his mouth) for good.

Monkeewrench
P J Tracy

People are dying for the new computer game by the software company Monkeewrench. Literally. With Serial Killer Detective out in limited release, the real-life murders of a jogger and a young woman have already mimicked the first two scenarios in the game.

But Grace McBride and her eccentric Monkeewrench partners are caught in a vise. If they tell the Minneapolis police of the link between their game and the murders, they'll shine a spotlight on the past they thought they had erased--and the horror they thought they'd left behind. If they don't, eighteen more people will die...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 19 October 2010:

DisneyNature - Oceans

Features an exhilarating look under the sea through the eyes of those that live there. Incredible state-of-the-art underwater filmmaking will take viewers' breath away as they migrate with whales, swim alongside a great white shark, and race with dolphins at play. Includes first-ever images of elusive deepwater creatures, featurettes, music video, filmmaker annotations, and more. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan.

Please Give

Kate has a lot on her mind. There's the ethics problem of buying furniture at estate sales and marking it up at her Manhattan store. There's the materialism problem of not wanting her teenage daughter to want the expensive things that she wants. There's the marriage problem of sharing a partnership in parenting, business, and life with husband Alex but sensing doubt nibbling at the foundations. And worst of all are the neighbors: cranky, old Andra and the two granddaughters who look after her.

Predators

Royce is a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors mysteriously brought together on a jungle planet. But when these cold-blooded human 'predators' find themselves in all-out war against a new breed of alien Predators, it's the ultimate showdown between hunter and prey. Explore the Predator universe like never before with exclusive Motion Comics that take you beyond the movie.

Raging Planet!

Brace yourself for impact! brave the fury of the elements to explore the deadliest and most devastating natural disasters our world can dish out in these eight mind-blowing programs. You'll travel with the experts to the ends of the Earth and witness some of the best footage and archival images of history's most destructive natural phenomena. Includes nine episodes.

WWE Night of Champions 2010

It's the one night when every championship in the WWE Universe is defended. The Superstars of Raw and SmackDown look to take the opportunity to step up and grab the gold, or hold on to their precious championships. Fan favorites include: John Cena, Michelle McCool, Big Show, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, The Miz, and many more.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is How to Train Your Dragon with 718 requests.

Jonah Hex had 458 requests,
I am Love had 101 requests, and
WWE Best of the High Flyers had 29 requests.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 12 October 2010 - 15 October 2010:

I am Love

The wealthy Recchi family has undergone sweeping changes. Eduardo Sr. has named a successor to the reins of his company, and surprised everyone by splitting power between his son Tancredi and grandson Edo. But Edo had always dreamed of opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio. To make matters worse, the very foundation of the entire family may be totally shattered after Tancredi's wife Emma falls deeply in love with Antonio and begins a passionate love affair.

Jonah Hex

Having survived death, Jonah's violent history is steeped in myth and legend and has left him with one foot in the natural world and one on the 'other side.' His one human connection is with Lilah, whose life in a brothel has left her with scars of her own. But Jonah's past catches up with him when the U.S. military makes him an offer he can't refuse: to wipe out the warrants on his head, he must hunt and stop dangerous terrorist Quentin Turnbul.

How to Train Your Dragon

Hiccup is a Viking teenager who aspires to hunt dragons, but doesn't exactly fit in with his tribe's longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. His world gets turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.

WWE Best of the High Flyers

High-flying Superstars have always brought fans to their feet, from 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka, the Killer B's, the Rockers, Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman, and more. Now viewers can see some of the greatest aerial displays in sports entertainment history. The dozens of matches in this collection represent the 'Creme de la Creme' of WWE, WCW, ECW, WCCW, and more. Stars include: Rey Mysterio, Shawn Michaels, Marty Janetty, Evan Bourne, Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat, and others.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Splice with 365 requests.

A Nightmare on Elm Street had 326 requests and
Journey to Shark Eden had 9 requests.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Book Review: The Treatment Trap

The Treatment Trap: how the overuse of medical care is wrecking your health and what you can do to prevent it
Rosemary Gibson

Is it possible to get too much medical care?

The authors report that 1/3 of Americans say they have had unnecessary medical tests or procedures, that did not improve their health or in some cases left them much worse. The personal stories in the book, submitted by physicians and patients, definitely add drama to the debate.

Some of the problems include:
  • outright fraud or negligence, but the main problems are systemic
  • a system that pays physicians and hospitals for the number of procedures they do, not for the overall outcome of their care.

  • healthcare professionals who do not take into account all of a patient’s concerns.
The authors readily admit that most doctors are caring and highly skilled professionals. The problems they see are in the financial incentives and pressures and a professional culture, or "marinade" as they put it, less attuned to patient's concerns than it could be.

I find some of the cultural issues influencing healthcare use to be fascinating too. The book reports surveys that find “almost 34 percent of Americans believe that modern medicine can cure just about anything,” compared to only 11 percent of Germans who believe similarly (p. 124)

Also, the book reports that the United States is the only country besides New Zealand that allows direct to consumer marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. (p. 124)

Certainly, healthcare reform is a controversial issue, but I would like to highlight this book because it is introduced by the President of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. Also, the book is helpful to a number of other organizations it mentions, including:

The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
and
HealthNewsReview.Org

Also see my review of Getting What We Deserve: Health and Medical Care in America

Friday, October 1, 2010

CD Review: Arturo Sandoval, "A Time for Love"

Arturo Sandoval
A Time for Love

I have never heard such a rich tone before. It helps that Arturo Sandoval plays fluegelhorn on this brand new recording, but still I was impressed! I am a big fan of Chuck Mangione, but I don't think his tone ever sounded quite this pure. The album also includes Chris Botti and Kenny Barron, on one track each.

Arturo confesses in the liner notes that this recording is much different than anything he has done before--a bit of a mid-life crisis. If only all crises were so peaceful. (A former band director of mine had a motto, "There are no crises." Period.)

There is great depth of love in this recording, but it is a melancholy love. This includes what is my favorite track, an arrangement of Gabriel Faure's Pavane for a Dead Princess.

I appreciate Arturo conceding that music doesn't always have to be "higher, faster, louder"--as fun as that is! In our busier, noiser world, I highly recommend this thoughtful, contemplative, absolutely lush set from a Latin Jazz great.