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INDEXES TO PAST STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS: BY TITLE | BY REVIEWER | TV SERIES/SPECIALS ON DVD/VHS

June 2007 Recommendations

book cover  Murphy's Law
by Rhys Bowen

Molly is a newly arrived Irish immigrant to New York City. Molly is faced with finding a job with few options for new immigrants and for women, Molly sets out to become a private investigator. I enjoyed this series (6 books) more for the historal details then the mystery. Its set in 1901. The author makes the city and the time frame characters in her books.
[Also available in Large Print format.]

Review Score - 10
Recommended byTami R.
Eiseley Branch Library


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book cover  House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest
by Craig Childs [970.3 Chi]

There's no question that the ancient Anasazi people of the American desert Southwest hold enduring fascination for people all over the world. They flourished in a harsh, demanding environment, influencing other cultures both near and far, then seemingly vanished. Left behind were astonishing handicrafts, pieces of exquisite art and architecture as baffling as it is stunning. They also created an extensive road system, much of which is still usable today. Craig Childs walks the reader through what remains of these fascinating people, letting his knowledge of the Chacoan civilization unfold like a great campfire tale. He doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but he invites you to follow his speculations and musings about these mysterious early Americans, and draw your own conclusions.

[ Chapter Excerpt from the book ] | [ publisher's Craig Childs web page ]

Review Score - 9
Recommended by Lisa V.
Gere Branch Library


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book cover  The Great Stink
by Clare Clark

This is the story of a Crimean War vet, suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, who becomes involved with murder and corruption in the great sewer project devloped by London engineers in the late 1850s. Eloquently written.
[Also available in Large Print format.]

[ official book and author site for this title ]

Review Score - 10
Recommended by Rayma S.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  Unsold Television Pilots
by Lee Goldberg [791.457 Gol]

With the 2006-2007 "official" television season have recently ended, TV viewers were told in late May about what shows the major networks had renewed for the fall season, and what new shows they had ordered from the dozens of pilots that had been filmed. Haven't you ever wondered whatever happened to all of the pilots that were filmed and never shown? Lee Goldberg's book goes into detail about an obscure area of television history, offering up descriptions, usually pretty hilarious, of dozens of shows that were never given a chance to grow. Ever wondered why there are so many "Fugitive"-type shows on TV? Or why so many characters who are granted special abilities end up as agents of secret government agencies? Find out all about these and other TV secrets in this book! The only reason I'm giving this an 8 rating instead of a ten is that this trade paperback edition is actually an abridged edition of a much larger book that originally came out in hardback a few years earlier. The hardback deserves an 11, but it is harder to track down, because it was a much more expensive edition!

[ official Lee Goldberg web site ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Scott C.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  Secrets of the Model Dorm
by Amanda Kerlin

See the Manhattan modeling industry through the eyes of Heather Johnson, an aspiring young model that was “discovered” in her Virginia home town. As with most aspiring models, Heather is forced to reside in “a model dorm”, a one bedroom apartment in the Financial District of Manhattan. Not only is the apartment small, but she must share it with five roommates at one time, all over 5 foot 10, who are also trying to land major modeling campaigns in the fashion industry. With a rotating cast of back stabbing roommates who are caught up with club hopping, drugs, men and their weight loss obsessions; Heather tries to rise to the top while struggling to keep her small town morals and values intact. This book is a great light read with wonderful references to big fashion names, Manhattan clubs, restaurants and even art galleries. Written by a former young model, that lived in the model dorm while trying to make it big, Amanda Kerlin combines humor, wit and juicy details of a vicious industry with the help of former dorm roommate, Phil Oh, in their debut book, Secrets of the Model Dorm.
Similar titles=This book is great for anyone who enjoys reading about the high fashion lifestyle or has enjoyed books by Plum Sykes, Candice Bushnell and Cecily VonZiegesar should check it out.

[ official Book and Author site for this title ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Jessica H.
Walt Branch Library


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book cover  Salt: A World History
by Mark Kurlansky [333.856 Kur]

Who would have thought that a person could write nearly 500 pages about salt?! Yes, it IS possible, and you learn some interesting facts along the way. This strangely captivating book takes us back to ancient times like prehistoric China and ancient Egypt. You learn how salt (or the lack of) influenced business, trade, and survival all the way into the present day. Did you know that salt also contributed to the discovery of some of the largest deposits of oil? What did Gandhi have to do with salt? Find out more in this great book.

[ official Salt: A World History British publisher's web site ]

Review Score - 9
Recommended by Julie H.
Walt Branch Library


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book cover  This review is for a Book-on-CD format of this titleTravels in the White Man's Grave
by Donald Macintosh [Compact Disc 916.6 Mac]

Posted to Nigeria in 1954, this Scottish forester spent the next thirty years in the primeval rain forests of West and Central Africa - the white man's grave. His tales of encounters with people and creatures of the this area are humorous, interesting and poignant. What makes the selection irresistable is the combination of the Scots-English accent, Latin species names, and African names and places. It is a delight to the ear!

Review Score - 10
Recommended by Kaye A.
Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries


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book cover  The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

The story of this book is a love story, the story of a marriage between a man who is constantly being thrown into and out of time without much notice and the woman who has known him since she was six years old. The time travelling is dealt with in a very matter of fact way, every scene begins with the year and the ages of the characters involved. Because of this, the reader is allowed to delve into the complications of the relationships, instead of spending thime thinking too much about the reality of being chronologically displaced. Claire is a scultor who works in paper and Henry is a librian who works at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Niffenegger's descriptions of the city are vivid and realistic, and her pop culture references are fun and add a certain level of depth to their interactions. The writing is enjoyable, the characters sympathetic and human. I enjoyed it very much and finished in a weekend. It's a delightful book to read with a cup of coffee.
[Also available in downloadable audio, book-on-cd [abridged or unabridged], and Large Print formats.]

[ Wikipedia page for The Time Traveler's Wife ] | [ official Audrey Niffenegger web site ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Sarah J.
Reference and Circulation Departments -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  Lois on the Loose: One Woman, One Motorcyle, 20,000 Miles Across the Americas
by Lois Pryce [917 Pry]

Lois on the Loose contains the entertaining chronicles of a BBC cubicle worker who spends her off the clock time, riding a motorcycle. Told with wit and a touch of sarcasm, Lois, bored with her job, crates up her 220 CC motorcycle and sends it and herself to Alaska, where she sets out on the ultimate motorcycle journey that takes her from Alaska through the Americas, down to Argentina. If you want an adventure, but don't have time to take one, Lois on the Loose might be a satisfying stand -in.

[ official Lois on the Loose web site that ties into the book ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Patty L.
Walt Branch Library


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book cover  This review is of material for a Young Adult audienceAmerican Born Chinese
by Gene Luen Yang

An award winning novel, told in graphic novel format, about the American immigrant experience. If you like this, you might enjoy these similar titles -- The Tale of One Bad Rat by Talbot; Persepolis by Sartrapi; and Maus I & II by Speigelman

[ Wikipedia page for American Born Chinese ]

Review Score - 10
Recommended by Susan S.
Eiseley Branch Library


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last updated July 2007
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