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Monday, February 28, 2011

Boston Globe Article....

Well worth not reading.
Some of my favorite books are the ones I’ve never opened.

By Kirsty Logan
February 13, 2011

Visit this link for the full article.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week....

Hughes, Bettany. The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life.
Alfred A. Knopf.

The same society that can make possible a certain manner of living is also able to destroy it. British historian Hughes maintains that was the situation Socrates endured in that oft-called “cradle of democracy” callled ancient Athens. A case is made that Socrates paid his dues in early life fighting in the Peloponnesian War and emerging with a clear distinction between real and imagined fear. He then brought that clarity to the streets of Athens instead of its schools, developing a “method” of questioning to bring forth “wisdom” since Socrates believed he had none within himself. Thus an outsider, Socrates was suspected of being a corrupter of youth. For asking questions Socrates was tried and sentenced to death. When recalling the fate of many in history since Socrates who also challenged the “norm” in their society, one might conclude that the human race at its core has not changed all that much.

For more about Socrates, Merrick Library has the following books:

Nehamas, Alexander. The Art of Living : Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault.
Waterfield, Robin. Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths.
Wilson, Emily. The Death of Socrates.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nancy Pearl's Pic....

In Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family, Patricia Volk delivers an affection-filled tribute to both family and food.

In a series of vignettes, she lovingly describes her adored extended family. Each chapter, titled for a different food, from Butter Cookies to Caviar, is primarily devoted to one of her relatives. Among them are her great-grandfather, who was the first to import pastrami to New York; her grandfather, who invented the wrecking ball; her mother, forever trying to improve her daughters (“Mom made me, and now she will make me better”); her beautiful and best beloved older sister, Jo Ann; her embittered Aunt Lil, who embroidered a pillow with the phrase, “I’ve never forgotten a rotten thing anyone has done to me”; and her magnetic father, who taught her:

…how to swim, speak French, drive, eat using the utensils American-style (which nobody in America seems to do), spot welder, solder, emboss, ride English, ride western, merengue, sing pop songs from World War I’s “Keep Your Head Down Fritzie Boy” up through his favorite—the one that chokes him up, although he’s not sure why—“Younger Than Springtime,” remove a splinter, sap a blister by sticking a sterilized threaded needle through it then tying the exposed ends in a knot, carve a Thanksgiving turkey, chop, dice, and mince, make canapĂ©s, deglaze a pan, suck meat off a lobster a lobster doesn’t know it has, blind a mugger, kill a rapist with a rabbit punch, remove stains, cloisonnĂ©, and intimidate a tennis opponent by clenching my teeth then drawing my lips back and growling like a gas-station dog.

Volk’s family is sufficiently odd enough to keep anyone’s attention, while her writing (she’s also the author of a novel and two collections of stories) is both witty and tender. I pored over the all-too-few family photographs, and wished that that I, too, could be part of the whole Volk/Morgen clan.

March Book to Movies....

We Can Remember It for You Wholesale: and Other Classic Stories by
Philip K. Dick by Philip K. Dick
The list author says:
"In theatres March 4, 2011.

*Book includes story "The Adjustment Team"

movie version will be titled "The Adjustment Bureau""

Summary: The affair between a politician and a ballerina is affected
by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart.

Director: George Nolfi
Writers: George Nolfi (screenplay), Philip K. Dick (short story
"Adjustment Team")
Stars:Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Terence Stamp

Monday, February 14, 2011

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week....

Orenstein, Peggy. Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front-Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. Harper/HarperCollins.

At the turn of the twentieth century debate centered on the merits of the traditional “womanly” woman compared to the assertive “new” type depicted in Henrik Ibsen’s plays. Today there is just as serious a discussion about the rearing of females from an early age. Corporate culture, Disney and American Girl prominent among its members, tell girls not yet out of preschool that how they look to others is more important than their own self-identity. Argument rages over whether the “princess” viewpoint is an early form of empowerment or just self-absorption reinforced by buying certain products.
The pressure to live up to certain standards of “femininity,” critics claim, may lead to depression, eating disorders, poor body image and bad choices regarding sexuality. Orenstein not only writes about these issues but is living through it having a daughter of her own.

Reviewed by Librarian, Bob.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Audiobook Arrivals!

Ex-convict Piet Hoffman--a family man, a rising member of Stockholm's Polish mafia, and an undercover police informant--is sent to a maximum security prison to make himself the boss of the amphetamine trade so the police can shut it down.

Catherine Anderson and Clay Forrester come from two completely different worlds, but one blind date leaves them forever linked. Clay, a handsome law student, and Catherine, a serious, bookish undergrad, experience an evening they will never forget. A few short months later, Catherine discovers she's pregnant. They agree to a marriage of convenience, an arrangement that suits them both, until they begin to fall in love.

Traces the multi-generational story of wintry Blackwell town through the experiences of such characters as a wounded Civil War solider who is saved by a passionate neighbor and a woman who meets a fiercely human historical figure.

Ali Reynolds' peaceful summer is short lived when Brenda Riley, an old broadcasting colleague from Ali's days in California, comes to town with a story of her missing fiance. Ali agrees to help and soon discovers that the fiance is Richard Lowensdale, an Internet predator who preys on his victims' emotions. But when Richard is found murdered, the women he scammed, including Brenda, are prime suspects.

In the Scottish Highlands, residents are forced to rely on Pete Ray and his old brushes to clean their chimneys. However, when Police Constable Hamish Macbeth finds a dead body stuffed in a chimney, the town of Lochdubh immediately suspects Pete. Unconvinced, Hamish embarks on another whodunit.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week......

Hertsgaard, Mark. Hot: Living Through the Fifty Years on Earth. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

As America endures the harshest winter in recent memory and ardently hopes the groundhogs are right about an early spring it is rather difficult to discuss global warming. Indeed, the whole concept has become such a “political football” that people find more vagueness than truth. That was what veteran journalist Hertsgaard had to face after the 2005 birth of his daughter in trying to predict what life would be like when she reached adulthood. He discovered that future droughts might kill millions especially in increasingly overpopulated regions with their huge demand for fresh drinking water. Hertsgaard contrasts a funded two century plan by the Netherlands to protect itself from rising sea levels to the failure of current governments in Louisiana to plan against flooding even worse than that brought on by Hurricane Katrina. Successes in “adaptation” are cited in African countries that have reclaimed arable land and planted trees amidst their crops.

Merrick Library also has these books by Mark Hertsgaard:

A Day in the Life: The Music and the Artistry of the Beatles
On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency

Reviewed by Librarian Bob.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Books to Movies....

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies) by Pittacus Lore

In theatres February 18th, 2011.

*Note: Pittacus Lore is a pen name for James Frey, who wrote this book*"


John is an extraordinary teen, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed ... he is Number Four.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Make Way for the Oscars!!

On January 25 nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced in Los Angeles. The following movies in Merrick Library's DVD collection have received these Oscar nominations:

Alice In Wonderland - Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects

How To Train Your Dragon - Best Animated Feature Film, Best Music (Original Score)

I Am Love - Best Costume Design

Inception - Best Picture, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematogaphy, Best Music (Original Score), Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects,
Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Kids Are All Right - Best Picture, Best Actress (Annette Bening), Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Restrepo - Best Documentary Feature

Salt - Best Sound Mixing

The Social Network - Best Picture, Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg), Best Cinematography, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Film Editing,
Best Music (Original Score), Best Sound Mixing, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Town - Best Supporting Actor (Jeremy Renner)

Toy Story 3 - Best Picture, Best Animated Feature Film, Best Original Song ("We Belong Together"), Best Sound Editing, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Winter's Bone - Best Picture, Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (John Hawkes), Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Wolfman - Best Makeup

The Academy Awards will air on ABC Sunday, February 27 at 8 p.m.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week...

O’Brien, Soledad, and Arce, Rose Marie. The Next Big Story: My Journey Through The Land Of Possibilities. A Celebra Brook.

There has never been a dull moment for Soledad O’Brien since the St. James, Long Island native broke onto the national news scene. At a young MSNBC “The Zone” which O’Brien anchored was the first daily program to document in depth the emerging Internet revolution. NBC employment gave O’Brien opportunity to cover school shootings in Colorado and Oregon plus the airplane death of John F. Kennedy, Jr. Becoming co-anchor of “American Morning” at CNN, Soledad O’Brien’s stories included Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake. Currently heading the network’s “In America” documentary unit, O’Brien’s point of view on race and immigration is highly personal (her father being white, her mother both black and Cuban). O’Brien relates her anger at the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s statement that she didn’t “count” when discussing CNN’s lack of African-American anchors (Jackson later apologized upon learning about the reporter’s lineage).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sag Awards

On January 30 the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were held in Los Angeles. The following productions in Merrick Library's DVD collection were given these Guild honors:

"You Don't Know Jack" - for his portrayal of Dr. Kevorkian Al Pacino was cited for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.

"Temple Grandin" - for playing the title role Claire Danes captured the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (The previous evening, "Temple Grandin" director Mick Jackson was acknowledged for his work on the film by the Director's Guild of America).

"Inception" - Outstanding Peformance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

"True Blood" - Outstanding Peformance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series (Merrick Library has seasons 1 and 2 on DVD of the HBO series).

The highlight of the evening was presentation of the Guild's Life Achievement Award to Ernest Borgnine. Now age 94, Mr. Borgnine was saluted by friends Tim Conway and Morgan Freeman for his seven decades in both movies and television. Merrick Library has Mr. Borgnine"s 2008 memoir "Ernie: An Autobiography" plus the following films in the DVD collection featuring his talents:

The Dirty Dozen
From Here To Eternity
The Poseidon Adventure
Strange Wilderness (voice-over work)

Books on Sale Soon...

Postmistress: (pb) by Sarah Blake, February 1st

The Winter Ghosts: by Kate Mosse, February 3rd

Known and Unknown: by Donald Rumsfeld, February 8th

Heartwood: by Belva Plain, February 8th

I Think I Love You: by Allison Pearson, February 8th

A Discovery of Witches: by Deborah Harkness, February 8th

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Audiobook Arrivals!

A young Jewish-American lawyer joins the defense team of an arrested but possibly innocent Palestinian. Soon the lawyer's father, a famed criminal attorney, must win the Palestinian's case or risk losing his daughter forever.

Dru Rayne and her uncle are Louisiana refugees who relocated to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina. Now, five years after the storm, their struggling restaurant faces a different danger. When Joe Pike witnesses Dru's uncle beaten by a neighborhood gang intent on extorting protection money, he offers his own brand of protection. But neither Dru nor her uncle want his help--and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching their store.

Already in the midst of the See-No-Evil killer murder trial, the sleepy town of Oak Knoll is shocked at the murder of Marissa Fordham. Sheriff's detective Tony Mendez is perplexed by the case. The only witness to the crime, the victim's young daughter, implicates her own father. To assist him on the case, Tony calls on child advocate Anne Leone, who also happens to be the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial.

Benjamin January, a librarian at the National Archives, receives a surprise visit from Clementine Kaye, an old childhood flame who is searching for Benjy's father. Trying to impress his old crush, Benjy gives Clementine a tour of a secret vault where classified documents are reviewed. There, the duo discovers a hidden dictionary that once belonged to George Washington and is plunged into a deadly mystery involving the most important secret in U.S. history.

ATF agent Sean Ozburn is deep undercover supporting the sicarios of the Baja Cartel when he suddenly goes completely dark, his only communications being the haunting digital videos he sends to his desperately worried wife, Seliah. Charlie Hood must determine if Oz is simply chasing demons deeper undercover than anyone has ever gone, or whether his friend has suffered a permanent break with his mission and his moral compass.