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?
Bryan Ferry's music has always been tinged with a retro feel. Even the jarringly eclectic first album by Roxy Music featured his Cole Porter-styled crooning. Now he's gone even further back in the musical time machine, adapting some of his best-known songs into early jazz-age arrangements (think Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke). He even used special recording techniques to give the sessions a true 1920s feel. The songs have also been turned into instrumentals and Ferry doesn't actually play anything--he's more of a conceptualist/arranger. So, how do things fare? Once you get past the "how can he possibly make 'The Bogus Man' work that way?" stage, surprisingly well. Significant stylistic liberties are taken--"Avalon" loses its silky groove and gets a bit more of a stomp--but it all turns into a very delightful listen. In the long run, it may be better in doses, though.
In Bye Bye Baby, Chicago P.I. Nate Heller is hired by Marilyn Monroe to bug her phones as she is being harassed by Fox studios and possibly by government agencies. This mystery is filled with real people including Bobby Kennedy, Jimmy Hoffa, Frank Sinatra,and Chicago gangsters. This is a fast-paced mystery dealing with the death of Marilyn Monroe, in which Nate knows it was murder.
Lately I have been on a kick of reading Young Adult fiction even though I don't quite fit that demographic.(forty-something?) But, there are so many amazing Teen books that are great for adults too that I can't seem to stop! The YA book Paper Towns by John Green is a great read no matter your age.
Green is know for his well written award-winning young adult novels. In this book, Quentin Jacobsen is a smart, nerdy high school senior who has been in love with his neighbor, Margo Roth Speigelman for years. She is a popular, crazy, spirited rebel who he worships from afar. One night she shows up at his bedroom window dressed as a ninja and they spend the night carrying out her plan for revenge on classmates who have wronged her. Quentin is thrilled to re-kindle his friendship with Margo, but by the next day she goes missing. Quentin goes on a mission to find her and piece together where she might have gone and why. Through his journey he learns things about himself and Margo that he never knew.
This book is filled with humor, heartbreak and insight and will touch you no matter your age.
If you are a film buff, or a film buff wannabe, you might enjoy the latest releases from Criterion. The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films, is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. Each film is presented uncut, in its original aspect ratio, as its maker intended it to be seen.
I'm an unabashed fan of "progressive rock." I hum Mike Oldfield music in my sleep (this really annoys my wife). Imagine my delight at seeing that his 1980 album QE2 was reissued in late 2012. Frankly, it's an under-appreciated album. His longer works (Tubular Bells, Ommadawn, etc.) are classics, but you sometimes had to wade through the long, repetitive quiet parts to get to those great Oldfield guitar solos. Not in QE2. The songs are shorter and with a stronger, more accessible rock feel than his earlier work. That's not to say that there's not the necessary pomp--snippets of Bach in "Conflict," a brief horn fanfare in the title track, African drums, kettle drums...you get the idea. Ultimately, though, it's Oldfield's guitar that gets you. It's, well, majestic...and you never have to wait too long to hear it. The use of 1980s vocoders (synthesizers that give the singer kind of a robot voice) make the album seem a bit quaint and retro in a few places, but that's part of the fun. The bonus alternate takes and live tracks are OK (the stripped down live performances have an even harder edge), but lack the expansive sound of the main album. Ultimately...if you like this kind of thing, this is the kind of thing you'll like.
Set in post-war Los Angeles, this new nonfiction book reads like historical fiction. Lieberman has an easy-going narrative style that keeps his recounting moving fluidly.
Mickey Cohen was the major mob boss in L.A. in 1946. A certain captain in the LAPD realized that the only way to bring Cohen down was to work outside the law. It was the old adage of fighting-fire-with-fire. Sgt. Jack O'Mara was selected to lead a team of detectives that would be the firefighters that were to put out Cohen's flames. This book is the historic account.
Lieberman's book rights were purchased by Hollywood and a major motion-picture was released last month starring Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin.
If L.A. Confidential was to your liking, this book will not displease.