Library Staff Recommended Reading May 2015

Recommended Reading Archive

The sound of music

50th Anniversary Edition of The Sound of Music (DVD)

After watching all the special programs celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beloved movie The Sound of Music, I now know that am not the only person who can’t get enough of this joyous celebration of nature, family, courage and song. Having seen it countless times and well versed in every line and scene, I couldn’t wait to see what if any improvements could be made in the newly remastered 50th Anniversary Edition of The Sound of Music on DVD. Kudos to those wise enough to know that while you can’t improve upon perfection, you can add a little shine. The sharpness and color appear to be HD in a way that was never seen in this movie before. This is the spectacular clarity that this classic has always deserved, and which was intended from the start. And, just when you think it can’t get any better, there is the magnificent “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” scene. No longer does the song soar with only shadows on the wall; we now see Maria as she listens enraptured to the Mother Abbess’ timeless advice. Bravo!                                        

~Shannon McKeown~

How to fix absolutely anything : a homeowner's guide

How to Fix Absolutely Anything: A Homeowners Guide by Nicole Smith

It is that time of year again! Spring and summer bring longer days and more time available for home maintenance and repairs. The book contains very useful information including gems such as how to fix a broken cabinet hinge, how to fix the seal on your oven door, and how to refresh that old plastic cutting board. It even covers how to fix a classic G.I. Joe figure! The majority of included repairs are indoor repairs but there is a small yard section in the book as well.  Each repair section begins with a list of materials needed, then follows with how to perform the repair broken down into manageable steps. Each step includes a generous amount of detailed photographs. This is an indispensable guide for homeowners interested in repairing common and easy to fix problems inside and outside the home.                                               

~Lori Kuban~

If I knew you were going to be this beautiful, I never would have let you go

If I Knew You Were Going to Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go by Judi Chicurel

The lyrics “you can’t always get what you want” hold a special meaning for all the kids in Elephant Beach, a once-glamorous seaside town now turned into a seedy hovel infested with booze, drugs, and children eager to grow up. Yet, for 18 year old Katie, these lyrics hold more poignancy as the summer after her senior year approaches-- with bittersweet consequences. The Vietnam War rages on and brings many unexpected characters to the quiet town, including the return of young Luke, now a war veteran--the same young man that Katie has lusted after since freshman year. As the summer rolls on, Katie hopes that the days of sun-kissed skin and bonfire lit nights will never come to an end, but she is soon disillusioned as her friends make plans for their future, which all include leaving Elephant Beach. Katie tries to hold onto the endless summer days but love, loss, and unanswered questions force her to look beyond the sandy beach outside her window. When the dream she thought could turn into reality slips from her grasp, Katie is forced to reanalyze the life she wants for herself, which means letting go of Elephant Beach and embarking on a new chapter of her life.                                                                                                                                                                   

~Stefan Romero~

Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule : a novel

Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini

This book tells the story of Julia Dent and her girlhood friend, Jule, spanning the years between 1844 and 1885. Beginning with their childhood years in Missouri, the two young women are swept along by the events of history. Julia Dent marries Ulysses S. Grant, and the story of their life together includes detailed accounts of the Civil War and the presidency. Good historical fiction and a colorful account of that era.                                                               

~Nancy Arevalo~

The folded clock : a diary

The Folded Clock: A Diary by Heidi Julavits

For adults, the act of keeping a diary presents infinite potentialities, something award-winning novelist Julavits realized as she resumed writing one in her early forties. The diary of an adult, with ideas and opinions fully formed, can be a cathartic tool for introspection and reflection. With it, one might better comprehend the weight a day; where it takes you and where you take it. Julavits’ entries typically begin with the recounting of a daily activity, but quickly evolve into an attempt to answer questions about herself and the world around her. Nearly all of the entries in The Folded Clock are thought-provoking in different ways, and this is a book best enjoyed in incremental doses, so as to appreciate the small moments in life that can give way to musings of greater significance.                                                                                                     

~Noah Weckwerth~


The Business of Being Born (DVD) and Babies (DVD)


These two highly-praised films capture life before and after childbirth, the first documenting the history and current tends of birthing practices in the United States and the second illustrating the first year of life of four different babies growing up in Namibia, Mongolia, San Francisco, and Tokyo. In The Business of Being Born producer Ricki Lake and director Abby Epstein summarize the history of childbirth as well as highlight the various options currently available for expectant mothers. Their aim is to empower women to approach childbirth as a natural process, one that many healthy mothers-to-be can successfully accomplish without numerous medical interventions. As a compliment, Babies chronicles what it is like for diverse children to grow up. Here the documentarians take a hands off approach, foregoing one-on-one interviews and, instead, opting to film the babies and their families during their normal, everyday lives. Especially interesting is the juxtaposition of child-rearing and parenting styles across the globe.  Though these films will appeal to any fan of documentaries, they will be particularly attractive to parents-to-be.                                                                                  

~ Abby Landers ~


French beyond the basics.

French Beyond the Basics (Language instructional CDs)

This program is perfect for the person who spends a lot of time in their car and wants to learn a foreign language instead of wasting the time spent behind the wheel. Not for beginners, these tapes are for a person who has already learned the basics of French but wants to bring their conversational skills up a notch. The tapes consist of conversations about common, everyday occurrences one is likely to experience should one travel to a French speaking country. Each conversation introduces a new grammatical concept, but also uses idiomatic phrases they don't normally teach in the classroom. After each conversation, the phrases are repeated so that the listener has to chance not only to repeat the phrases but to understand them more clearly. Should you be interested in taking your study further, the CDs come with a workbook with written assignments. Also included is French/English pocket dictionary. Series also includes kits for Italian, German, and Spanish.                                                                                                                                                    

~Milly Strawn~

All the bright places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Finch and Violet meet on top of the bell tower at school. Finch thinks a little too much about death and how his life might end. Violet is still devastated by the death of her sister six months before and hasn't been able to move on. The community believes that Violet saved Finch's life that day, but she knows better. As they work together on a class project, they break through the labels they each carry - popular, smart girl and charming but freaky guy - to reveal who they really are. An unlikely romance develops as Finch's support and encouragement help Violet begin to come to terms with the loss of her sister. However, Finch's troubles are even more complicated and Violet's support may not be enough to save him. These characters are so likeable, you can't help but root for them even though their story is at times very sad. Recommended for high school and up, especially fans of John Green's novels.                                                                                

~Sue Daniels~

“Staff Recommends” Compiled by Paulette Brooks


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