Staff Choices

Posted by Kelley M on 10/31/14
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It’s the perfect type of day for a book like Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory.  A little gory, a little creepy…  However, you will learn a bunch by reading this book.  Caitlin Doughty’s book makes you think about a topic that most folks like to avoid: death.  This young woman decided to become a mortician at the age of 23.  The book takes a look at not only the adventures of working at a crematory/mortuary, but also gets into the history of rituals surrounding death, both internationally & nationally. 
 
This book just might change your perspective on what should happen to you after you pass away.  The author makes a depressing topic an interesting and entertaining one.  The book is witty and a quick read.
 
If you liked Mary Roach’s book Stiff or the television series Six Feet Under, you might like this read…
 
Non-Fiction
Posted by Ultra Violet on 10/23/14
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A witty, fun, surprising detective story. What at first seems to be a bit of a Sherlock knock-off, quickly takes an original turn. R.F. Jackaby is a detective in 19th Century New England, but he isn't a classic detective. In fact, he misses many obvious clues that his sharp assistant, Abigail Rook, picks up on. Jackaby can see magical creatures. Not so useful in run of the mill cases, but invaluable when the murders being investigated are being perpetrated by an ancient paranormal creature. Jackaby's ability to recognize a banshee and elicit help from a ghost make up for his awkward ways.
 
This would be a great light read for fans of Doctor Who. There is a lovable, unflappable quirkiness about Jackaby and Abagail is a worthy assistant. Even though this book is in Kids' World (no foul language, sweet romance, light on the gore) it is suitably intelligent for teen or adult readers as well.
Posted by jmurrow on 10/20/14
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Branching out from his usual jokes about manatees and hot pockets, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan’s Dad is Fat is a smart, heartwarming, and side-splittingly funny book that details all the joys and horrors of life with five young children.  Written with his usual wit, Gaffigan covers everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids"), the horrific realities of vacationing at Disneyworld, and the bond that comes from reading The Giving Tree with his young son (as well as his children’s insightful comments on their father’s weight, hence the title of the book). The inclusion of dozens of photographs featuring Gaffigan's adorable family only serves to make this book an all the more enjoyable read.
 
For parents and non-parents alike, such as myself, Dad is Fat is a hilarious, heartwarming cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.
 
Posted by Uncle Will on 10/14/14
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Looking for a movie whose mission might make you feel good to be alive? Try actor/director Jon Favreau's latest creation Chef.  It is loosely based on the book L.A. Son : My Life, My City, My Food  by Master Chef Roy Choi. This movie has all the necessary ingredients:  a great soundtrack, perfect casting, clever script, a lovable kid, fantastic editing and if you like to cook, there's tons of tips. 
 
This movie has been categorized as a road-trip-flick, but it is much more. It tries to show the importance of following one's dreams, no matter what the cost.  
 
Before sitting down to watch this film, just make sure you've had a big meal, or you're gonna have to plan on pausing it before it's over, to run to the kitchen.
Posted by dnapravn on 10/08/14
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The five talented and extremely energetic hosts of the ABC television show, The Chew, are back with a new cookbook just in time for the holidays. Whether you are thinking about your upcoming Halloween party, a Thanksgiving feast, or celebrations beyond those two, you will find them covered in this book.
 
The format of this cookbook is one complete menu per holiday or event. Recipes range from cocktails to dessert, and everything in between. The book is filled with photographs of both food and the antics of The Chew hosts. One thing I particularly liked about the book was that beside your standard ingredient lists and prep times, there was a skill level attached to each recipe. There are also general entertainment tips and a few decoration and gift ideas thrown in.
 
I found this to be a colorful and fun book to get me thinking about the festivity-filled months ahead. This is the third companion book from the show. Be sure to check out the others as well. Happy Holidays!
Posted by Uncle Will on 10/04/14
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Looking for something different to watch that is not the latest, mass-produced, run-of-the-mill product of our Hollywood Film Factory?  A film that is off-center, dark, disturbing, thoughtful, well-acted, and futuristic? A film whose script, at times, is reminiscent of a Seth MacFarlane Family Guy TV episode?

Look no further. The Rover is directed by Australia's David Michôd, whose first film, Animal Kingdom, won 39 international awards in 2011.  

The Rover stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. It's a little like Mad Max meets The Road. The setting is recent future Australia, 10 years after some sort of apocalyptic event. Pearce is a loner who has his car stolen by three desperate armed men who just committed a violent robbery and are running from what appears to be the local martial law. They have just left a 4th gang member, Pattinson, for dead, at the scene of the heist. The two stars join forces and pursue the 3 villains.

 
Pearce's character has so much baggage that it would make even Paris Hilton blush. The interesting thing about this film is that it takes its time to unpack all that baggage. Pattinson appears to be valiantly trying to distance himself from his past pretty-boy parts (as in the Twilight Saga). This performance showcases a dramatic range that will shock his fans and critics.
 
This a stark film with an unforgettable ending.  
 
Posted by jfreier on 10/02/14
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An intelligent new mystery by Randy Wayne White, Doc Ford, marine biologist and man with a mysterious and lethal past is up to his neck in a complex case.
 
Doc is asked by his his friend Tomlinson, a self medicated Zen master of sorts to help him and his Crow Indian friend to recover an old Indian relic. Doc is also hired by Leland Albright the wealthy owner of a phosphate mind in central Florida known as the Bone Valley. Leland and his dysfunctional family, trophy wife Ava and their twin daughters and stepson Owen lead them into the dark world of crazy relic collectors.
 
Doc, Tomlinson, and Duncan are soon being chased by a psychotic biker with a bionic arm who wants access to the private Bone Valley. A fast, entertaining,informative and funny mystery, the 21st in the Doc Ford series.
 
 
 
Posted by Kelley M on 10/01/14
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During my formative years, my parents used reverse psychology on me, allowing me to stay up to watch Johnny Carson if I agreed not to complain about getting up for school in the morning.  I was so excited to read a book about this legendary entertainment powerhouse.  Johnny Carson’s long time lawyer & confidant, Henry Bushkin, is the author of this book.  Mr. Bushkin was sworn to secrecy regarding his interactions as Johnny’s attorney, until Johnny’s death in 2005.  Johnny Carson preferred to keep a low profile in his private life so it was great to gain some perspective on the man behind The Tonight Show.
 
While this book is a work of non-fiction, the pace was fast enough to keep my interest.  Especially interesting were the accounts of Johnny’s relationship with his mother & father, his marriages, details about show guests, Johnny’s travels and how he became the country’s highest-paid entertainer during the ‘70s & ‘80s.  It’s important to keep in mind that this is a biography by a longtime friend who, eventually, had a falling out with Johnny.  How the book has been received has been a bit controversial.  Folks like Doc Severinsen have blasted the tell-all book.  However, it’s worth a read if you would like to learn some juicy details about the “King of Late Night TV”. 
 
Biography
Posted by jkadus on 10/01/14
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October is my favorite month.  There is a slight chill in the air and the leaves are turning beautiful colors.  But best of all, it's HALLOWEEN!  Even though I am now handing out the candy instead of receiving it, I still love all the decorations, the costumes and just the festive atmosphere that prevails around Halloween all October.  The Library has lots of books to help you plan the best party or even just some ideas for the scariest costume around. 
Posted by jdunc on 09/30/14
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From the bestselling author of the Husband’s Secret, comes the latest novel from Liane Moriarty. Big Little Lies follows a cast of characters that interact as parents of kindergarten aged children at Piriwee Public School on the coast of Australia. Moriarty provides witty and funny characters that all have dark lies. At the center of the story is a death that occurs during trivia night to raise money for the school. The book begins 6 months earlier and intersperses police interviews with other parents into the narration. The reader is not only guessing who the murderer is, but also who was murdered for much of the story, with a twist in the last 50 pages.
 
The novel focuses on three mothers who form a quick, tight friendship. Jane is a plain, shy, young single mother who seems to be hiding a secret. Madeline is a flamboyant, outspoken mother of three on her second marriage. Celeste is a beautiful, wealthy mother of twin boys who seems to have a perfect life. Each carries their own big, little lie. While the plot is somewhat dark, Moriarty has the ability to seamlessly include humor which results in both disturbing and laugh out loud moments. At its heart, Big Little Lies exposes the "little" lies we tell ourselves and others to keep us going through life.
 
 
 
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