Are you an indie or foreign cinema fan? If so, you’ll probably enjoy the library’s collection of DVDs from Film Movement. For the last decade, Film Movement has been distributing award-winning independent and foreign films, including winners from top film festivals around the world. Recent releases include Clandestine Childhood, The Dynamiter and The Day I Saw Your Heart.
Have you ever read a book that reminded you of another book? I have recently read several books that remind me of novels from my past. In preparing for author Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s visit to our library, I read her book The Language of Flowers and found it to have similarities to another much-loved book I have read. The strong female lead character Victoria in Diffenbaugh’s book reminds me of Laura, the protagonist in one of my favorite books Lightning by Dean Koontz. Both novels explore how these young women deal with loss of family early in their lives; how they survive the foster system and then continue to overcome the challenges and struggles that their paths’ in life have set before them.
Another powerful female getting much attention is Katniss in the currently popular Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. This story also deals with loss and battling through life and reminds me yet again of another past favorite – one of Stephen King’s shorts, The Long Walk. Published originally under King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman in the collected work The Bachman Books. If you’re drawn into the dystopian setting of Hunger Games, King’s walking contest will keep you on your toes till the very end.
You don't have to be a gardener or a drinker (although it wouldn't hurt) to appreciate this witty, fascinating account of the history of plants as they have been used to make alcohol. Amy Stewart has a conversational tone as she shares her enthusiasm for the seemingly endless diversity of the plant world and the equally boundless innovation of humans to make intoxicating beverages from said plants.
This beautiful edition has quick, engaging anecdotes for those of us with a short attention span, and it has gardening tips for cultivating many of the plants included. Stewart also includes many of her own recipes as well of those of people she has met from all over the globe. Some of the recipes are classics, and some are very edgy.
Will was a wealthy and successful businessman who climbed mountains and parachuted out of airplanes in his spare time, that is until he was struck by a motorcycle which left him paraplegic. Lou was a quirky British lass who had just lost her job at the local coffee shop, but had no plans for herself other than to live at home and watch TV with her parents, that is until Will's mother hired her to be his caregiver and companion. In spite of Will's acerbic tongue and mood swings, Lou refused to treat him with kid gloves. Upon the realization that he had attempted to take his own life, Lou sets about a plan to show Will that life is worth living. The result is an unexpected love affair with a heartbreaking ending. An ending that is hopeful and thought-provoking, not at all schmaltzy or predictable.
I can't remember the last book I read that had me laughing out loud on one page and crying on the next. Me Before You is that rare book that takes you through so many emotions, but effortlessly and flawlessly. It's a book that teaches you that it's never too late to start living.
The newest novel in the Joe Pickett series is one of the best if not the best in the series and I've read them all.
Joe's acquaintance, Butch, has been building a dream home high in the Wyoming wilderness when two EPA agents suddenly arrive to give him a cease and desist order. Both agents are shot and killed, but by who?
The federal agents come in and impose overwhelming manpower to catch Butch, when it should have been a local matter, an exciting manhunt begins and the book also tackle issues of the environment and federal power, a great mystery and adventure.
Being a geek isn't just about books and brains anymore. Being geeky has become a state of mind. When we intensely explore our interests or get super involved in our latest craze, we get "geeky" about it. Geek Mom: Projects, Tips and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st Century Families is a quirky book filled with fun, imaginative things to do with kids of all ages. For example, why not throw a hobbit feast or grow heirloom vegetables this summer? Perhaps you can dig into your family history together or listen to a new style of music (bluegrass, anyone?) Maybe creating a secret lair, superhero style, or making a statement through yarn-bombing is more your style. Whether its computers and video games, at-home science experiments or traditional crafts, this book from the editors of Wired.com's GeekMom blog is filled with easy and fun activities for you and your family to get involved in and inspired by. So whether you dig out that crochet hook or start a rock collection, find something to be passionate about and get geeky!
Although I don't get to play as often (nor as well) as I would like, I absolutely love golf and enjoy watching PGA and LPGA tournaments on television. I also can't resist a good book about golf, especially the ones that give me a glimpse into what life is like on one of the professional tours. John Feinstein has written a number of books about golf and there's no one who does it better in terms of getting inside the mind of a professional golfer. A few of his books you might want to check out include Moment of Glory: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf, Tales from Q School, and A Good Walk Spoiled. Or, if you're like many and are still fascinated by all-things Tiger Woods, The Big Miss, Hank Haney's candid account of his six years coaching Tiger, is a book you won't be able to put down. Leave a comment below and share your favorite golf, or other sports, books!
If you have ever doubted the human/animal connection and the healing power of dogs, you must read A Dog Named Boo: How One Dog and One Woman Rescued Each Other – and the Lives They Transformed Along the Way. In this memoir, Edwards recalls how she came across an abandoned litter of puppies on Halloween and reluctantly adopted the runt of the litter and named him Boo. Ironically, Edwards thought she was rescuing this abandoned dog, but he turns out to rescue her from an abusive past and helps her to launch a career in dog training and animal assisted therapy. Together, the twosome bring joy and healing to all those they work with in their therapy work.
Animal Assisted Therapy is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment. The goal of AAT is to improve a person’s social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. In April, our library is offering Rainbow Time, a program specifically for autistic children to interact with some special therapy dogs.
It’s rather exciting that the most recent “Biggest Loser,” Danni Allen, is from our neck of the woods. I was rooting for her from the beginning and was so inspired by her attitude and perseverance, especially after all of her teammates were eliminated. Danni’s trainer was Jillian Michaels, who has been called America’s toughest trainer—if you watch the show, you know why. The library has many of Jillian’s workouts on DVD. With summer (hopefully) on its way, you may want to check one out before you hit the pool.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it...three Paul Doiron reviews in one!
During our last snowstorm I was trying to find a new mystery author that I hadn't read. I stumbled upon Bad Little Falls which is the 3rd book in the Mike Bowditch series.
Bowditch is a young rookie game warden in upstate Maine. He has a troubled past, a new ex-girlfriend, a severe loner complex, and a very large-sized chip on his shoulder. In his relatively short law enforcement career he has managed to get himself exiled to the most remote county in Maine.
I didn't have a choice (because of availability) and read the trilogy out of order...knowing full well that this was a major no-no in the "Official Guide to Mystery Readers'" handbook. I'm glad I did. In retrospect, I learned that by book three, Doiron had smoothed out the sharp edges on his main character, Bowditch, making him a little more likeable.
Hooked on the cold, vast setting of northeastern Maine and the remarkable characters, I then read the second book in this series: Trespasser, which involved a mysterious missing murdered female, who was a car accident victim, and several similar past crimes. Bowditch, who again has the misfortune of occupying the right space at the wrong time, becomes entrenched in a multiple-murder investigation where he is considered one of the primary suspects.
Consuming these 2 books lead me to the inevitable: reading Doiron's first award-winning novel: The Poacher's Son. In this story, Bowditch's estranged father, Jack, was on the run for multiple-murders. Against direct orders, and all reason, son Mike sets out to prove his father's innocence. In all three books there are the reoccurring themes of man-against-nature and bitter cold vs. bitter people. Can a damaged man ever find peace within himself?