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Staff Recommendations – December 2005

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These recommendations were posted in December 2005

tarzanoftheapesTarzan of the Apes
by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Burroughs)

Ignore the cheesieness of decades worth of B-movie adaptations of this story and take another look at the original book that started it all. Burroughs is a master of details, bringing both the jungle and the various scenes in “civilization” to life in a believable fashion. At its heart, this is a pulp adventure tale — not surprising, since it first appeared in the old-time pulp magazines in 1912 — and Burroughs is at his best when catering to the need for an adrenaline fix. This is solid storytelling, with vivid, memorable characters and fascinating settings. And the best part is…if you get hooked, there’s over twenty more titles in the series to keep you busy!

( official Edgar Rice Burroughs website )


Recommended by Scott C.
Reference Department – Bennett Martin Public Library

newmerciesNew Mercies
by Sandra Dallas (Dallas)

Set during the Depression, a young widow finds that she has inherited a run down plantation in Natchez. When she arrives to survey her property she discovers a mystery relating to her family which involves a murder.

( New Mercies page on the official Sandra Dallas website )

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

carnivalmusicCarnival Music in Trinidad: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture
by Shannon Dudley (Music 781.63 Dud)

Carnival is important to the national identity of Trinidad, and music plays a major part — calypso, steel band, soca. Comes with a CD.

( official Shannon Dudley page on University of Washington site )

Recommended by Carolyn D.
Polly Music Library — Bennett Martin Public Library

throwimwaylegThrowim Way Leg: Tree-Kangaroos, Possums and Penis Gourds – On the Track of Unknown Mammals in Wildest New Guinea
by Tim Flannery (919.5 Fla)

The title of this book is pidgin for starting out on a journey. Tim Flannery, an Australian research scientist at the Australian Museum in Sydney, journeyed to Papua New Guinea on the trail of strange new mammals. His travels with the indigenous people of this island make an interesting read. He points out how technology impacts their lives and he contrasts the ways in which the governments and big international companies of both Papua New Guinea and Irian Jayan (part of Indonesia) help or hinder this process.

( official Throwim Way Leg page at the publisher’s site )

Recommended by Cindy C.
Technical Processes Department — Bennett Martin Public Library

bladerunner2Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human
by K.W. Jeter (Jeter)

Something of a “sequel” that blends elements of Philip K. Dick’s novel with the movie. Jeter, a close friend of PKD, created a controversy with the Internet community with Edge of Human. However, it did enjoy some commercial success, so make your own judgements. Jeter’s “sequel” owes more to the movie than the novel, but is still an amazing read. The story picks up with Rick Deckard, now officially an ex-Blade Runner, being dragged back to the world he left behind. There’s evidence that there was a replicant left behind from Deckard’s last case. Even worse, there’s evidence that the replicant is Deckard himself. It’s not quite the reality bending ride that made PKD a legend. But, it’s still an awesome book. And let’s face it. With the litigation the movie’s tied up in, this is going to be the closest thing Bladerunner fans get to new material for a long time to come.

See more books like this on our Dark Futures booklist

Recommended by Corey G.
Reference Department — Bennett Martin Public Library


Rated by — Anonymous
Visitor to the BookGuide site

by Sinclair Lewis (Lewis)

Sinclair Lewis goes after Big Pharma before it was Big Pharma, a truly timeless classic.

Arrowsmith entry on Wikipedia ) | ( The Sinclair Lewis Society )

Recommended by Matt N.
Circulation Department — Bennett Martin Public Library

lostmoonLost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13
by James Lovell (629.454 Lov)

Excellent retelling by astronaut Jim Lovell of the Apollo 13 crisis. He moves you through his career as he ends up at NASA and begins his training. This doesn’t get bogged down into unnecessary details; he even makes the science understandable. You learn about the “big names” at NASA and how the space program all fell into place. Not a boring history lesson of the space program but an interesting tale of one of NASA’s worst disasters and yet brightest moments. Basis for the Ron Howard film, “Apollo 13” starring Tom Hanks.

( Apollo 13 mission page at the Kansas Cosmosphere site ) | ( NASA’s James Lovell biographical page )

Hear Charlotte M. talk about Lost Moon in the ‘Casting About podcast series episode #61


Recommended by Charlotte M.
Reference Department — Bennett Martin Public Library


Rated by — Marilyn M.
Visitor to the BookGuide site

monetsgardeninartMonet’s Garden in Art
by Debra N. Mancoff (759.4 qMonYm)

This is a must-read for anyone who loves Claude Monet’s floral impressionist paintings. A nice-sized (not too big, not too small) art book which brings the reader into Monet’s life, garden, and artistry in a personal way. Includes many vividly beautiful examples of his work plus works of those in his family and acquaintance. Ms. Mancoff seems to have taken great care in the research and collaborative design of the book. I enjoyed it very much.

( Monet page at )

Recommended by Becky W.C.
Walt Branch Library

feastforcrowsA Feast for Crows
by George R.R. Martin (Martin)

The long awaited fourth novel in the Song of Fire and Ice series has arrived. An epic fantasy series rife with nobility anxious to tear a piece of power away from the tumultous throne of Westeros. Fans of Tolkien and Jordan will like the complex characters and vast scope of the novel.

( A Song of Fire and Ice site ) | ( official George R.R. Martin homepage )

Recommended by Sean S.
Eiseley Branch Library


Rated by — Anonymous
Visitor to the BookGuide site


Rated by — Anonymous
Visitor to the BookGuide site

jmcakesJames McNair’s Cakes
by James McNair (641.865 McN)

All of the recipes in this cookbook are very unique even though the selections may be somewhat familiar. The Carrot cake is especially delicious. Some of the recipes may take some time to prepare but the steps are easy and the results are worth the time spent. The cakes actually turn out looking just as nice as they do in the book. Bon Appetit!

Recommended by Patty L.
Walt Branch Library

Screening Room

powerofmythdvdformatdvdJoseph Campbell and the Power of Myth
by Joseph Campbell (DVD 201.3 Cam)

In this fascinating series of six 1-hour episodes, interviewer Bill Moyers sits down with scientist and philosopher Joseph Campbell to discuss the origins of human myth. Campbell sees mythology as man’s attempt to relate himself to the universe. Starting with various topics Campbell shows both how man creates his universe and is controlled by the myth he has created. I found the commonalities of mythologies across different human cultures intriguing and appreciated Campbell’s insights throughout this limited series. Viewers with strictly fundamentalist leanings may disagree with Campbell’s interpretations but these conversations are most definitely thought-provoking. You’ll probably never look at mythology the same way again!

(See the book that accompanied this series.)

( Joseph Campbell page on Wikipedia ) | ( the official Joseph Campbell Foundation website )


Recommended by Scott C.
Reference Department — Bennett Martin Public Library

last updated June 2023

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