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Staff Recommendations – December 2006

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

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December 2006 Recommendations

hollywoodathomeHollywood at Home
by Andrea Danese [728.8 qDan]

Published in 2005, this is a collection of articles on homes of the stars culled from Architectural Digest. Spanning the past 75 years or so, it takes us on tours of 27 residences of the ‘rich and famous’, from Kathatrine Hepburn to Cher. The range of styles and splendor goes from a sleek white mansion complete with a plane tarmac (John Travolta) to a manly mountain retreat (Dennis Quaid). Some are homey, some are avant garde, and some, like Jayne Mansfield’s “Pink Palace” are over the top. A few places were lived in very briefly but others were cherished homes for decades. Well-illustrated, this is a nice pleasure read, and you may find out a few facts about your favorite celebrities that you hadn’t known.

[ semi-official Hollywood at Home web site, including photos and video clips ]

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Recommended by Becky C.
Walt Branch Library


casinoroyaleThe James Bond books
by Ian Fleming

The blockbuster return of James Bond to movie screens with this winter’s release of the new Casino Royale proves that audiences are still interested in this icon of 1950s and 1960s cold war-era espionage. Though he may have been updated to the 21st century in terms of technology and the contemporary world political status, the new film returned Bond to his gritty, violent, driven roots. Fans who appreciated this new take on Bond should go back to sample the original Bond novels by his creator, author Ian Fleming. The series started with 1953’s Casino Royale and concluded with 1966’s Octopussy. In between are such classic spy/thriller novels as From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Thunderball, all of which are pulse-pounding action adventure novels that perfectly capture the essence of “one man against the bad guys”. Try to ignore the overblown film adaptations, and return to the original source material. Espionage fans can’t miss these!

[ www.ianflemingcentre.com ] | [ Wikipedia page on James Bond ]

See the extensive James Book booklist “007” here on BookGuide

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


notoriousvictoriaNotorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored
by Mary Gabriel [B W8587g]

This is the rousing story of Victoria Woodhull, an American suffragist. Although not often mentioned in history classes, author Mary Gabriel provides us with a detailed and honest accounting of this ground-breaking woman. Victoria was the first woman to operate a brokerage firm on Wall Street and the first woman to address the U.S. congress. She practiced the concept of free love and at one time lived with her husband, ex-husband and lover at the same time. Suzanne B. Anthony supported her until Victoria became too radical even for her liking. Victoria published the newspaper Wodhull & Claflin’s Weekly, which was the first American publication to reprint the Communist Manifesto. Of course all of this was during the time frame of 1838-1927 which makes it even more astonishing. Find out more about this intriguing woman who clearly was ahead of her times as you read this captivating and extensive biography of her life.

[ official Book page at the publisher’s web site ] | [ Victoria Woodhull biography at Women in History web site ]

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Recommended by Patty L.
Walt Branch Library


mansunqmindMan’s Unconquerable Mind
by Gilbert Highet [128.2 Hig]

A wonderful evocation of the heights and possibilities of the range of human thought–music, philosophy, history, literature, and so on.

[ Wikipedia page on philosopher and educator Gilbert Highet ]

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Recommended by Bob B.
Reference Department


deathofanexpertwitnessDeath of an Expert Witness
by P.D. James

A murder is committed in a forensics lab. Probably P.D. James’ best novel! Part of the Adam Dalgliesh series.

[ official P.D. James web site ]

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


shadowinthenorthShadow in the North
by Philip Pullman [j Pullman]

Mrs. Budd gave a convulsive little shudder, and began to talk in a low voice, her own voice, this time, but brimming with fear and horror. “The spark,” she said. “There’s a wire, and the counter going round, hundred and one, hundred and two, hundred and no, no, no! Bell. Bells, The bellman. Such a pretty ship, and the little girl dead! It isn’t Hopkinson, but they’re not to know. No. Keep it in the shadows. Sword in the forest oh, blood on the snow, and the ice he’s still there, all in a glass coffin.” This Victorian thriller will keep you turning pages. Sally Lockhart once again finds herself in the middle of a suspenseful mystery. This time shadows, conjuring, séances and spirits surround her. While this book is #2 in a trilogy, it can definitely be read as a stand-alone.

[ Sally Lockhart page on the official Philip Pullman web site ]

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Recommended by Jodene G.
Walt Branch Library


silverbellsSilver Bells: A Holiday Tale
by Luann Rice

A touching holiday romance with a bit of a paranormal twist. Christopher Byrne, Nova Scotia Christmas tree farmer, deals with the disappearance of his teenaged son, Danny, during their annual selling trip to New York City. Librarian Catherine Tierney mourns the loss of her husband during a previous Christmas season. Together, with the help of their friends and the timely assistance of the holidays, they can help each other come to terms with their losses and concerns to find a hope for the brighter future. This book was adapted into a very nice Hallmark Hall of Fame production for television in 2005, in which quite a bit of the supporting plot was altered, but actually improved on the storyline. Watch for it in case it airs on television again this holiday season!

[ official Silver Bells page on the publisher’s web site ] | [ author Luanne Rice’s blog ]

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


untamedlandThe Untamed Land
by Lauraine Snelling

This is the first in a series titled: Red River of the North. This is the story of an immigrant family arriving from Norway to New York and making their way to the Dakota territory in the 1880’s’. The book details the journey and their success and struggles in a new land.

[ official Red River of the North page on the official Lauraine Snelling web site ]

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Recommended by Dorene O.
Administrative Offices — Bennett Martin Public Library


ameliaearhartAmelia Earhart: The Sky’s No Limit
by Lori VanPelt [B Ea67v]

Althought it has been over sixty-eight years since the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, interest in knowing what happened to the internationally-beloved pilot has not waned. Native Nebraskan Lori Van Pelt helps whet the appetite of Earhart’s fans through an exploration of Amelia’s private life and accomplishments. The publication of this book coincides with the most recent attempts to locate Amelia’s missing plane in the Pacific. I would highly recommend this book for high school students looking for a book about Amelia’s life.

[ official Amelia Earhart web site (by her family) ] | [ Nebraska Author Lori VanPelt booklist here on the BookGuide site ]

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Recommended by Kim J.
Reference Department — Bennett Martin Public Library


Screening Room

berkeleysquaredvdformatdvdBerkeley Square
by The British Broadcasting Corporation [DVD Berkeley]

A delightful BBC period piece revolving aroung three young women beginning their duties as nannies in turn of the twentieth century London’s exclusive Berkeley Square.

[ Internet Movie Database page for this mini-series ]

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Recommended by Tammy T.
Collection Management — Bennett Martin Public Library


last updated December 2018
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