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

August 2007 Recommendations

book cover  Hard Times
by Charles Dickens

Many people avoid reading Dickens' novels simply because his books are so long and his characters are so many that the reader can easily become overwhelmed once they have started a story. This is not the case with "Hard Times." Dickens draws the reader into the story of an industrialized town caught up in a struggle between the "haves" and "have-nots." Those with social standing and education dictate their morals and beliefs on the rest of society with dramatic results. I was especially impressed with the way Dickens exposed the weaknesses of the educational system of his day. I recommend the Norton critical edition of this title for its background notes.
[Also available in unabridged audiotape, 1994 BBC DVD and various other print editions.]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library -- Reference Department


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book cover  Energy Medicine
by Donna Eden [615.89 Ede]

Discover the healer within as Donna Eden shows you step by step how to take control of your bodies own healing. Detailed drawings showing the exact meridian paths in your body make this book an exceptional resource for healing and energizing your body. Donna Eden?s long standing knowledge of the human body and its energy fields makes her the perfect teacher to introduce you to the practice of energy medicine. Professionals as well as laypeople will benefit from this informative book.
[Also available in Paperback Reprint Edition.]

[ official Donna Eden and Energy Medicine web site ]


Recommended by Patty L.
Walt Branch Library


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book cover  The Lost Daughters of China
by Karin Evans [362.734 Eva]

We follow the author as she completes the paperwork, the wait, and the trip to China to adopt a baby girl. She also discusses the social, historical, political, religious, and economic conditions that brought China to where it is today that forces parents to make the horrific decision to abandon a child. A well-informed story done with compassion. Excellent for parents waiting for their referrals; good for friends and family to understand the process; those already home with their children can re-live their journey.

Review Score - 10
Recommended by Charlotte K.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  Mistress of the Art of Death
by Ariana Franklin

In 12th century Cambridge, England, four children have been murdered and mutilated. The King of England asks for the assistance of the finest medical examiner in Europe. It falls to Adelia Aguilar of Salerno, Italy, a mistress of the art of death, to discover who has murdered these children. An entertaining historical mystery told with a touch of humor.
[Also available in unabridged downloadable audio format.]

[ official Mistress of the Art of Death and Ariana Franklin web site ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Tammy T.
Collection Management Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  Die for Love
by Elizabeth Peters

A librarian stuck in a cold water college in the East looks for some way to take a brief break from a very bleak winter. She choses a Romance writers conference only to run into a murder. Not only does she get involved with solving the murder but she starts to write her own Romance Novel. For those who like sharp witted comedy that makes them laugh out loud.

[ official Barbara Mertz/Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels web site ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Rayma S.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  The Virgin of Small Plains
by Nancy Pickard

17 years ago a young unidentified female murder victim was found in Small Plains Kansas. The townspeople bury her in the local cemetery and her grave becomes a legendary source of 'miracles'. Prodigal son Mitch Newquist returns and findshimself entangled in the old mystery which may or may not involve his family. Throw in a devastating tornado and you have a great thriller you can't put down.
[Also available in Large Print format.]

[ official Virgin of Small Plains page on the official Nancy Pickard web site ]


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


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book cover  A Model Summer
by Paulina Porizkova

The cover of this book caught my interest because of the elegant cover and the author, Paulina Porizkova, a very successful model in the 1980s and early 90s. In her debut novel, Porizkova writes an eye opening account of the seductive, exploitable world of high fashion modeling. Porizkova's main character, Jirina, is a scrawny, soft hearted, na´ve fifteen year old from Sweden desperate for friendship with anyone. Throughout her life, she has become accustomed to receiving taunts and disdain from peers and her parents. Unfortunately, Jirina's self-esteem reflects their attitudes and never thought of being beautiful or elegant enough for the glossy pages of fashion magazines. However, Jirina is suddenly whisked off to Paris for a summer to begin her career as a model. This book is a somewhat dark comedy, detailing the trials and tribulations that Jirina faces as a na´ve fifteen year old, trying to make it in the very adult, cutthroat world of fashion all the while living in a foreign country. The novel is somewhat dark, but the reader will certainly identify with Jirina and the situations she gets herself into while left alone to navigate through fashion's fast lane. Due to being raised by a lackadaisical, single parent, Jirina has adapted to relying on herself to survive, and asking for help from adults does not always cross her mind, which furthers her troubles. In the end, the reader, along with Jirina, will find there are no easy answers in life.

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


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book cover  This is Jim Rockford...[The Rockford Files]
by Ed Robertson [791.457 RocYr]

This large trade paperback volume is an extended look back at the classic 1974-1980 detective series, The Rockford Files. It features numerous interviews and behind-the-scene memories of cast and crew members, plus a very extensive episode guide and character guide. If you're a fan of classic television, or of The Rockford Files in specific, you won't want to miss this one! From Rockford's origins as a spinoff episode of Toma, to the trials and tribulations of the series of updated TV-Movies in the 1990s, this books gives you all the insider information.

[ Rockford Files episode guide ] | [ official Ed Robertson web site ]

Review Score - 9
Recommended by Scott C.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  We Took to the Woods
by Louise D. Rich [917.41 R37w]

An early "back-to-the land" story--here, they moved to the Maine woods. Adventures with wild animals and primitive conditions are described with humor and appreciation for nature. If you liked this, you might like -- Joseph Wood Krutch: The Twelve Seasons. 818 K94t.

[ We Took to the Woods Tour web site, covering the areas Rich describes in the book ]


Recommended by Bob B.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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The Screening Room

book cover  This review is for the DVD format of this itemThe Canteen Spirit
by Annie Mummgaard [DVD 940.548 Mum]

Produced by Nebraska's very own Public Television, "The Canteen Spirit" provides an in depth look at the internationally famous, World War II North Platte Canteen. In this award receiving documentary, soldiers revisit North Platte and reminisce with great emotion and appreciation about their stop at the Canteen. They meet with people who worked the canteen and use this time to express their heart felt admiration to them. Rare and historic pictures are used through out the film to show the canteen's creation, up all the way through the demolition of the depot that housed the canteen. I was excited to finally view a Nebraska produced film about this incredible act of unity and generosity towards strangers, a generosity which has been the subject of bestselling books and national recognition since the North Platte Canteen's inception in 1941. For its production of "The Canteen Spirit" NET television received a Silver Telly in the Film/Documentary category at the 26th Annual Telly Awards national competition in 2005. In January of 2006, the documentary premiered nationally on PBS. This is a movie that is sure to educate, amaze and inspire anyone who watches it.

[ official NET web page about this documentary ]

Review Score - 10
Recommended by Patty L.
Walt Branch Library

Review Score - 10
Recommended by Scott C.
Reference -- Bennett Martin Public Library



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last updated August 2007
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