Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"My Lucky Day"

"My Lucky Day" picture book. I really enjoy this author/illustrator of children's books.
Whose Lucky day do you think it is? I just used this at storytime today and the children loved it, scary but not too scary.
Children's books, whether picture books or fiction, are getting to be much better written then alot of adult books these days. I believe that writers for children's literature realize that if they can't capture the audience in the first few sentences, it is all over for them. The humor is generally pure, and delightful.
Next time you visit your local library, ask the children's librarian for a good children's book, and check it out.
Remember to support your local library!!!!!

"Lars and the Real Girl"

Lars and the Real Girl
Another cult film that Stanwood library staff enjoy suggesting to folks that enjoy the "indie" movies, not mainstream.
Poor Lars has terrible luck with women, so when he brings home his new girl-friend, it takes a bit of getting used to for his family, friends, and the entire town, but they finally adjust to his girl-friend, and then..........
Hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Damned United, movie

Well, with the World Cup going on currently, this was a timely movie to watch!
Especially, since we watched it the day England lost in a controverisal match to Germany!
This movie has an "R" rating simply for language.
If you saw the movie "The Queen", the actor who played Tony Blair, and who also played David Frost in "Frost and Nixon", plays the lead part in this one. He is an incredible actor - there are times when one can feel pure hatred towards him, and then again feel some compassion. He really did an excellent job.
Give it a try!

The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker

Well, E.D. Baker has come up with a new twist to the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.

Princess Annie is the sister of Princess Gwen aka Sleeping Beauty. When Princess Gwen has the curse placed upon her, a good fairy places a "curse/blessing" on Princess Annie - she will be a normal princess with no magical powers, but on the other hand magic will not be able to be used against Princess Annie either, it will just bounce off of her unto the fairy, or witch, or whoever has the magical power, and cause them to be the receipent of the spell.
Princess Annie escapes the castle, and is off in search of her sister's true love who will kiss her and wake up the kingdom. Along the way, Princess Annies meets up with many mystical creatures and fairy tale characters we all know. She invites every unattached prince she meets to go to her kingdom and see if their's is the kiss that will undo the magic spell.
Just thought I would add something different, in case there are any grandparents of young girls who need to find a good book for the summer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Waitress", the movie

Waitress, the movie, is a cult favorite at the library. Whenever someone wants a good movie that is not mainstream, this movie is one that several of us always talk about to library patrons.
Andy Griffith is marvelous in this movie.
Give it a shot!


I really enjoy this movie, another one I watch when I am ironing. Why can't our government learn how to control spending? Well, I guess they just don't get it.
After all, if we spent money the way they spend money.......
Kevin and Sigourney do a lovely job in this movie.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Coco Before Chanel" the movie

Oh, what a beautiful movie! We just watched this one over the weekend.
The photography was beautiful, the countryside, the seascape, the gowns, the mansion - it was a very enjoyable movie from start to finish.
I know that many folks don't like to watch foreign films with subtitles, but this one was so easy to keep up with. This is one to watch again and again.
There were so many things about Coco that I never knew, this film version of her life was very interesting, and I think probably pretty much along the lines of truth.
Hope you will consider this one.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"A Walk in the Woods" Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is one of those authors who just knows how to put words on paper, and bring forth magical images.
A Walk in the Woods is just a must read book, please overlook some of the language! The characters in this non-fiction event are memorable!
Marshmallows and other junk food are not for eating in the woods!
Brings to mind, a trip we took with Sally and Jody (think he was about 5 or 6 at the time) we were at Glacier National Park getting ready to take a hike in the woods, Jody wanted to take his salami sandwich with him, Jim was not Jody's favorite person when he took the sandwich away from him, but, hey! a screaming boy will keep the bears away just as well as those bear bells they sell at the parks!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When the Game Was Ours

Driving home from work, as usual listening to NPR, I heard the most interesting interview with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, about the book they decided to co-write. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview to the point that I wanted to read the book.

Not being much of a basketball fan, but knowing some of the game's well known figures, Larry and Magic are certainly two figures who I probably know the most about, and yet in reading of their book, I discovered I didn't know nearly as much about them as I thought.

This is a very interesting look at their joint careers over the 13 years they played for Boston Celtics (Larry) and Lakers (Magic). They came from somewhat similiar backgrounds, pretty much the same area of the country, and went to 2 high profile universities. I really enjoyed the way they wove each chapter as point/counterpoint to each other. Over the years, they developed a unique relationship, and eventually became friends.

If you are into statistics, at the back of the book there are 6 pages of them. The most interesting fact is, that in the 13 years they played against each, between the two of them they scored almost 40,000 points!

So, if you are a basketball fan, and want something enjoyable to read, well give this one a shot.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Making Rounds with Oscar"

"Making Rounds with Oscar" by David Dosa, M.D.
Dr. Dosa is skeptical about Oscar's ability to know when patients on this floor are near death.
Very thoughtful book regarding Alzheimer's and dementia, staff, and family members of patients at this medical facility, bring to Dr Dosa's attention that within hours of an impending death, Oscar always goes to comfort either the patient or a family member, takes this "duty" very seriously, and even stays until the funeral staff arrive to take the remains. Dr. Dosa interviews many family members, and observes first hand Oscar's self-appointed duties, and becomes a believer.
Oscar is not a forefront character in the book, but still this was an interesting book to see how animals connect with humans.
This subject could be depressing, but Dr. Dosa writes in a soft approach, with much empathy and sympathy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ladies in Lavender

Some Monday mornings, when I am ironing, I enjoy watching movies (right now I am watching the World Cup matches).
Ladies in Lavender is one of my many favorites to watch - probably because of the wonderful actresses in the film, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. If you haven't seen this one, you really should consider giving it a try.
Pre-World War II, small English village, young man washes up on the beach in front of the sisters' home. He speaks no English, but can play a "mean" classical violin. Urusla is quite taken with the young man, Janet tries to keep things on a even keel. Andrea is taken away by a bohemian artist who has a very famous musician brother.

"Harris and Me" by Gary Paulsen

Sometimes I think, we, as adults, take ourselves too seriously, we always have to read adult material, behave like the world is our master, and never enjoy life. So, I am throwing out a children's book that you might consider.
Gary Paulsen is a prolific writer of children's and teen books.

Harris and Me, is probably semi-autobiographical. Set in Minnesota at the beginning of WWII. "Me" tells the story. Me, has never met his relatives that live on a farm, but is sent to them when his father goes off to war. Harris is his cousin, a cousin who lives to enjoy life on a farm to the fullest, and who entices "Me" into situations that are hilarious to the read, but no so to "Me". This is one of those books that I hand out to children all the time, and mention to the parents that "you should read this one as well, especially if you need a laugh or two." Gary Paulsen writes about his adventures on the Iditarod, as well as living in the wilderness. His most famous novel is "Hatchet".

James has told me his "Uncle Seldon" stories, that could rank right up there with "Harris and Me's" adventures, like the time Uncle Seldon told him, under NO circumstances to enter the pig pen - which of course, well............. what can you expect from a small boy?

Hope you will consider "Harris and Me" for a little light reading - afterall, it is SUMMER!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast by Bill Richardson

I am re-reading this for about the 4th or 5th time - I own this one and the sequel - they are really fun reading.
Fraternal twins, Victor and Hector, inherit their mother's house, along with Mrs. Rochester (a parrot who flew in the window one day when they were young), never knew the father - an itinerate book salesman who only had one meeting with their mother, but who sent them books every year on their birthday - decide that they would rather stay on Vancouver Island and run a bed and breakfast place than just about anything else. They take this very seriously - they especially encourage folks to bring books they have been meaning to get around to.......
Have fun!

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms, a lovely Japanese film. Our friends in Hawaii had suggested this title.
We really enjoyed the story. You might wonder about the title at the very beginning, but give it a bit. Hope you enjoy

Hurt Locker

So, we watched this one the other evening.
Had doubts about whether I would watch it or leave the room, you know the "violence" thing. Also, had heard interviews on NPR, from former US military who had served in Iraq, some thought it didn't go far enough, others thought it too far, others just said it was not accurate - whatever.
Since it did win the Oscar, I figured we should see if it was worthy. Must say, that we watched it from start to finish, although some scenes were pretty gruesome, I came away from it with a distaste in my mouth for the reasons why we should be there.
Just don't know, should we or shouldn't we? All those precious lives lost, all those military families who will never see their loved one again.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Ok, so I haven't posted a volcano photo for a bit, this is "hot off the press" from USGS website.
Brings back memories of our trips to the Big Island......

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"What you say?"

Those of you who know me really well, will probably be scratching your heads to see a Dan Brown title on my blog, so here is the story.....
Driving home one evening, listening to NPR, as usual, Dan Brown was being interviewed concerning this book. Well, when he mentioned The Masons, he really got my attention - Daddy was a 32nd Degree, Mother was Eastern Star, and when they were doing their genealogy, Daddy discovered that I was a direct descendant of the first Freemason in the Colony of Connecticut on my Mother's side - so I decided that I needed to read this.
A library patron put a brand new copy in our Friends' of the Library Book Sale, so I bought it. Such a deal, brand new and only cost me $2!
As a child, we had lived in Dover, Delaware, and many times traveled to Washington DC, on one occasion we visited the Masonic Temple that Dan Brown discusses in the book. I have always had a "passion" for the "mystic" (that in itself is another story).
This story was very well researched, I really enjoyed his writing, at one point in the story, I thought "wait a minute, what has he done?", obviously, the person who had put it in the book sale thought the same thing, as his/her bookmark was left at the moment of "WHAT?" I really wonder if they didn't finish the book......., if so unless they see the movie they will never know what really happened.
Surprisingly, I did enjoy the book, don't plan on reading the previous ones, however - guess I have checked them out and returned them for too many patrons.
Give it a try, if you haven't already!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


After "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand", this book has become a very highly rated favorite of mine.
Time 1940, just before the U.S. becomes involved in WWII, setting a small village on Cape Cod. One man (doctor) tied to three women (not what you're thinking).
Think Edward R Murrow in Europe trying to bring the truth of what the Nazis were really doing - most Americans really couldn't come to believe his reports. Nor could most Americans believe that they were in any danger from the German submarines..... Little did they know!
The author did much research as far as I can tell. Her writing was very smooth, and lyrical.
Consider this one if you want to read something from a new author.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Not One less

What an intriguing movie. James bought this one when Hollywood Video was closing, and we just watched it.
Even with the subtitles, this movie is just a "joy" to watch.
That, which one takes away from the story, shows how one young woman (supposedly 13 years of age) accepts a position totally out of her realm, becomes a responsible person, with determination and perserverance to find one of the students left in her care, and earns respect from the villagers.
Hope you will enjoy this.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Charlie Bone and The Red Knight

It would appear from the ending, that this is the last book in the Charlie Bone series. I have really enjoyed this series, just my opinion, but I think it is a much better series than Harry Potter, writing more thoughtful, and the author was very careful with her character building.
Maybe you will enjoy, maybe you won't. Since, I work with children at the library, I read many books for the young audience. They are who will determine whether we continue to have libraries or just e-books........