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Staff Recommendations – June 2011

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June 2011 Recommendations

musicoflotrThe Music of the Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore’s Scores
by Doug Adams (Music 781.542 ShoYa)

This is a marvelous accompaniment to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson. If you are a lover of orchestral film scores, and enjoyed Howard Shore’s Academy-Award-winning scores to the LotR’s trilogy, you’ll definitely want to check this book out. Music historian Doug Adams was brought in by Shore to chronicle the creation of the three films’ music as soon as Shore knew he had been hired as the composer. Adams followed the creation of the music every step along the way, and provides exhaustive background information about every little bit of the music — how and why certain musical riffs were created, what the musical influences on the soundtrack were, and much more. The book includes a CD with rare musical bits and alternate tracks from the recording sessions. This book is lavishly illustrated with photos and art from the films, as well as fragments of Shore’s sheet music. This one is a little intense for casual readers, and at times the writing style is a bit “dry”, but if you are a LotR fan, a fan of orchestral movie soundtracks, or a musical history fan, it’s right up your alley. I enjoyed it tremendously!

( official Music of the Lord of the Rings Films web site and blog of Doug Adams )


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

zombiesvsunicornsZombies vs. Unicorns
edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (j 813.08 Bla)

The title sums it up. This book is an anthology of stories written about zombies and unicorns and is aimed primarily at young adults. Between each story is a running commentary by two editors – Holly Black is the leader of Team Unicorn and Justine Larbalestier leads Team Zombie. While a bit graphic at times it redeems itself with bits of comedy.

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Walking Dead graphic novel series by Kirkman or if you’re looking for more young adult anthologies on magical beings I’d suggest Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists and Other Matters Odd and Magical which is available through Interlibrary Loan.)

( official publisher’s page for Zombies vs. Unicorns )


Recommended by Carrie R.
Bennett Martin Public Library

nightseasoncdformatCDbook2The Night Season
by Chelsea Cain (Compact Disc Cain)

In 1948 Vanport, Oregon was washed away when a dike holding back the Columbia River broke during a flood. Fifteen people died. The town was not rebuilt. Chelsea Cain incorporates this real-life tragedy in her latest book featuring modern day Portland homicide detective Archie Sheridan. Archie and his team have their hands full. The raging Willamette River is threatening to overflow its banks. People are evacuating the city. A serial killer is running loose and a nine-year-old boy is missing. The excitement mounts as Archie, his team and the dauntless reporter, Susan Ward, track the serial killer down the deserted streets of Portland, now knee-deep in swirling muddy water. Cain engrosses you in her tale. The characters come alive and you alternately cheer for them and hold your breath when they are peril. The Willamette River also becomes a deadly foe. As lethal as the serial killer that they are chasing.

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Lisa Jackson and Tami Hoag.)

( official Chelsea Cain web site )


Recommended by Donna G.
Virtual Services Department

guiltbyassociationGuilt by Association
by Marcia Clark (Clark)

Marcia Clark took a cue from Linda Fairstein when she penned this page-turner. Clark’s character is Rachael Knight, a deputy DA in Los Angeles. The book opens with Knight celebrating a court victory with two of her colleagues. After their party, Jake and Toni go home. Rachael promises to leave as soon as she gets finishes a few things. She heads for her place, a six-block walk, but is waylaid by the sound of sirens and flashing red lights. Rachael makes the short detour and sees that, much to her horror, Jake’s body being carried out of a seedy motel. Things get worse the next morning when she learns that Jake apparently murdered a 17-year-old boy and then committed suicide. Rachael was warned to stay away from Jake’s murder. So she works it on her own time. On work time, she investigates a case that she inherited from Jake, the rape of fifteen-year-old Susan Densmore, in her bedroom. Susan’s wealthy and influential father is certain that the young man that Susan tutored broke into her bedroom and attacked Susan. He wants an arrest NOW. Susan is certain that the young man did not do it. Rachael and her L.A. detective friend Bailey follow a twisting trail to find the rapist. Marcia Clark is a former deputy district attorney for the County of Los Angeles. She gained fame as the lead prosecutor in the O. J. Simpson trial. This is her first work of fiction.

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Linda Fairstein, Lis Wiehl and the Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson.)

( official Marcia Clark author web site )


Recommended by Donna G.
Virtual Services Department

swiftjusticeSwift Justice
by Laura DiSilverio (DiSilverio)

Life was good for Charlotte “Charlie” Swift. She enjoyed running her own private investigation business. Charlie had a silent partner, Les Goldman, who was only interested the profit and loss statements and did not interfere with her work. But all that changed when Les ran off to Costa Rica with his personal trainer and the family funds. As his wife, Georgia “Gigi” said, “the only assets he left me are the house, the hummer and a half-interest in Swift Investigations.” Gigi explained that she needed money and that being a private investigator was one way to earn it and she was here to learn how. Charlie decided that the partnership would not work when Gigi decorated the office in a kitten and duckling motif to make it homier. She tried to discourage the socialite by giving her outlandish undercover assignments such as conducting surveillance while working as the bison mascot for a fast food restaurant. Gigi is determined and no task is beneath her. Charlie learns that Gigi’s social connections and people skills are a real asset when they search for the mother of an abandoned baby. I enjoyed this amusing debut novel that reminded me of the Stephanie Plum series. Charlie is more serious and competent than Stephanie. Gigi is Stephanie and Lulu rolled into one.

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of K.J. Larsen, Donna Andrews and the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.)

( official Laura DiSilverio web site )


Recommended by Donna G.
Virtual Services Department

by Jennifer Donnelly (YA Donnelly)

The story follows Andi, a student about to graduate from one of the most prestigious schools in the U.S. Her brother is killed, her mother goes crazy so her father decides to take her to Paris. Her father, a famous geneticist, is there to test a heart that people claim to be the heart of the dauphin of France. The dauphin of France was the son of the King and Queen during the Revolution. His parents were beheaded and he was imprisoned so the people could live in a democratic world no longer ruled by royalty. While Andi is in France she discovers a diary in an old guitar case that belonged to Alex, the official companion to the dauphin. Alex took care of him, entertained him, and after he was imprisoned tried to free him. The story bounces back from Andi’s life to Alex’s journal entries. As Andi gets drawn in by Alex’s story she notices things in her world start to overlap with Alex’s. She must know whether Alex was able to save the dauphin or if it really is his heart that her father is testing. The book is great if you’re a fan of historical fiction. Donnelly does a great job of explaining the French Revolution as she’s telling the story.

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try A Northern Light also by Donnelly.)

( official Jennifer Donnelly web site )


Recommended by Carrie R.
Bennett Martin Public Library

by Julie Kaewert (Kaewert)

Combine bookselling, publishing, and a bit of mystery set in England, and you have A Booklover’s Mystery: Unsolicited by a Nebraska author. (Part of the A Booklover’s Mystery series.).

( official Julie Kaewert web site )

See more titles like this in the Julie Kaewert booklist here on the BookGuide site!


Recommended by Meredith M.
Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors

twokissesformaddyTwo Kisses For Maddy
by Matthew Logelin (Biography Logelin)

“Life and death. All in a 27-hour period.” This is the heart-wrenching memoir of a man who welcomed his premature baby into the world only to lose her mother the next day. The book envelops us from the first page into two stories. We are immersed in Matt’s thoughts and feelings as he navigates the memories of meeting and building a relationship with his wife Liz – from high school to delivery, the anticipation of meeting their daughter Maddy. and everything that comes with losing a spouse and raising an infant. From the emotional highs and lows, to the struggle to live daily with tangible memories of his wife surrounding him and reflected in his daughter Maddy’s face. This story will move the reader from tears to laughter along with him because of the gripping, unedited, raw emotion. The book does contain ‘rough’ language – as did his corresponding blog. However, it is used to capture his voice and honest reactions. The tale also brings hope for Matt and Maddy – and hope for the future, that things can change for widows/widowers and society in general. An added bonus is that you can jump onto his blog and see how the Logelin family’s life has evolved and how Maddy has thrived.

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try a fiction book called Good Grief written in 2005 by author Lolly Winston. She is widowed at the age of 36. For her, the death of her husband sets off a spiral of events in the first year – some crazy, some sane. In her journey, she rediscovers who she is and re-prioritizes her life to reflect who she has become. Not only does our heroine become a Big Sister to a troubled teen, but there is an element of romance and re-birth. Written with comedic tone, this quick read gives us another look at how grief can equal growth. (But not without the dreaded growing pains.))

( official Matt Logelin blog — where this book began! )


Recommended by Sarah J.
South Branch Library

perkeysnebplacenamesPerkey’s Nebraska Place-Names
edited by E. Perkey (R 917.82 Per)

Perkey’s Nebraska Place-Names is one of my most frequently used reference books in the reference collection at the Bennett Martin Public Library. It is an essential tool for those doing historical research on the state of Nebraska. The book is organized on a county-by-county basis, and within each county is a master list of all the communities that have existed there — both those that are still around, and those that died off decades ago. For each community listed, there is background information about how it was named, where it was located, when/if a post office was first established, when/if rail travel existed to it, and when/if it was absorbed by a larger community or simply ceased to exist. Liberally scattered throughout the book are rare B&W photographs or pieces of art, highlighting historical events or locations throughout Nebraska. At the back of the book is a bibliography citing all of Perkey’s research sources, and a master alphabetical index to all the communities and individuals referenced throughout this volume. Oddly, the latest edition available at the Lincoln City Libraries is the 1982 version, although a 1995 edition was published and is available through InterLibrary Loan.


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

makingoftesbStar Wars ReviewsThe Making of the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Definitive Story
by J.W. Rinzler (791.437 qStaYr)

Unquestionably the best of the Star Wars films, The Empire Strikes Back has always been among my two or three favorite films of all times. I was, therefore, quite pleased to find this massive history of the making of this film on the “new books” display at Bennett Martin Public Library. Rinzler’s book goes into quite a bit of detail about the making of the original first Star Wars film, to set the stage for exhaustive background info about the making of TESB. This book is filled with hundreds of gorgeous photos and production artwork from the Lucasfilm archives. Rinzler interviewed (or had access to interviews with) dozens of behind-the-scenes personnel associated with the production, and he peppers their comments throughout his narrative. The level of detail that is included in this book is astounding, and should satisfy the interests of all true Star Wars devotees and/or fans of motion picture production. I loved The Making of the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Definitive Story, and will be looking to acquire a copy for my own personal Star Wars collection!

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Complete Making of Indiana Jones, also by Rinzler – same level of intense detail — but sadly no longer in the libraries’ collection!)

( Video Trailer for this book  on YouTube (after ad) ) | ( official J.W. Rinzler web site )


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

aclaimofherownA Claim of Her Own
by Stephanie Grace Whitson (Whitson)

Stephanie Grace Whitson is a Nebraska author. The book, A Claim of Her Own, takes place in the mining town of Deadwood, South Dakota. Mattie O’Keefe is fleeing an abusive relationship with her boss while in search of her brother who tells her of the riches he has discovered in the gold fields. Once Mattie arrives in Deadwood, all of Mattie’s plans change.

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Sixteen Brides, also by Whitson.)

( official Stephanie Grace Whitson web site )


Recommended by Dorene O.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Screening Room

centennialdvdformatdvdJames A. Michener’s Centennial
based on the book by James A. Michener (DVD Michener)

Centennial was produced as a massive mini-series for television during the height of that format’s popularity on TV. I remember watching every episode in 1978 with intense enthusiasm, reveling in the huge cast and the impressive historical span of the production. Covering the historical period from the earliest days of western exploration and expansion all the way up to the mid-20th-century era in which the mini-series aired, Centennial focused on the lives of the residents of the fictitious community of Centennial, Colorado…covering many generations of loves, feuds, dreams, and adventures. The quality of the film has held up well when transferred to DVD, and this set features “Memories of Centennial”, a retrospective featuring comments from many of the folks responsible for making the mini-series. This is a marvelous ensemble work and does a good job of adapting Michener’s massive novel to the screen. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the Shogun mini-series and the Winds of War and War and Remembrance mini-series.)

( Internet Movie Database entry for this film )


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

last updated July 2022
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