Have You Heard

Post date: Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 1:02de la mañana

Have You Heard About... A Nose for Justice

… the great new cozy mystery series set in the Southwest? A Nose for Justice, by Rita Mae Brown, is a departure from her Virginia series. Set in Nevada, this is a very timely book, both politically and on current events.

Octogenarian Jeep Reed, a WW2 WASP with a wicked sense of humor and her great-niece Mags Rogers, a former Wall St. banker, live on the sprawling Wings Ranch. The buying and selling of western land and especially water rights, is the theme throughout the book. Murder occurs when someone gets greedy for more land and water. Two delightful dogs provide a little bit of comedy. A second mystery within the wheeling and dealing of water rights almost gets Mags killed when old bones are dug up on the property and they are found to have a tie to Buffalo Bill.

I found this book informative, entertaining, and I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend it!

 

Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Etiquetas: book, fiction, mystery, review
Post date: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 1:00de la mañana

Have You Heard About... Sherlock

… the latest incarnation of Sherlock Holmes from the BBC?  Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, is a marvelous adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works.  Holmes and Watson are thoroughly modern characters – Sherlock uses nicotine patches rather than smoking a pipe, characters communicate by cell phone and text message, and John chronicles their adventures in his blog.  However, Holmes’ powers of deduction are as sharp as ever, and his personality is every bit as “quirky” (some might say, “difficult” or even “abrasive”) as the original.

The only drawback I found to this series is that the first season had just three episodes.  This is not uncommon for BBC productions, but it is highly frustrating to run out of new material so soon after getting wrapped up in these fascinating characters.  The cliff-hanger ending of episode three does not help at all.  Fortunately, the BBC has confirmed that a second series will come out in late 2011.  I can’t wait!

 

Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Etiquetas: DVD, review, suspense
Post date: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 1:00de la mañana

Have You Heard About... The Grimm Legacy

… the New York Circulating Material Repository?  It’s a lending library for objects – everything from chess sets to one of Marie Antoinette’s every-day wigs.  The special collections include more powerful and dangerous items, like Snow White’s mother’s mirror in the Grimm Collection and a shrinking ray in the Wells Bequest.  The special collections also require special deposits, such as your sense of direction or your voice, to check out anything.

In Polly Shulman’s The Grimm Legacy, Elizabeth Rew is the newest page at the Repository, recommended by her social studies teacher, who used to work there himself.  She loves working in the collections, making friends with the other pages, and learning more about the special collections.  However, the special collections also make the Repository a dangerous place to work because some people will go to any lengths to get the powerful magic items.

This is a great story, filled with adventure, intrigue, magic, and even a little romance.  The characters, particularly the pages, are well-developed and likeable.  I’m looking forward to more books that explore the other collections in the Repository!

 

Reviewed by Fran (staff)

 

 

Post date: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 1:00de la mañana

Have You Heard About... Antiques Roadshow behind the Scenes

…what people around the country are doing with their antiques (and old junk)?  You can find out with Antiques Roadshow behind the Scenes: An Insider’s Guide to PBS’s #1 Weekly Show, by Marsha Bemko.  Whether you are a fan of Antiques Roadshow or are just wondering if it’s worth it to try to go and see if grandma’s tea service is the big payout, you will love this informative, entertaining account of how it all comes together.  We all think we have something valuable tucked away – because it’s old, it must be priceless – but that’s not always the case.

cover imageThis book will give you insight as to what’s involved in possibly appearing and how you yourself are evaluated.  Something that is also intriguing is how much work and how many people are involved in making this #1 weekly show a success!

 

Reviewed by Doreen (staff)

 

 

 

 

Post date: Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 1:00de la mañana

Have You Heard About... The Sorcerer's Apprentice

… the hit DVD, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?  This movie is classified as Sci Fi, but it’s definitely for the whole family.

cover imageScience and magic come together when one of Merlin’s original apprentices becomes a modern day sorcerer and, with his new apprentice, tries to save New York from an ancient evil sorcerer and a spell. A little bit of romance, tons of laughter and lots of fantastic special effects make this an awesome movie. In one scene there is a new twist on the classic Disney film ‘Fantasia.’ Be sure to watch the bonus features on how the movie was made – they will blow you away on how the magic was created. The deleted scene was cool too.

Reviewed by Terry (staff)

 

 

 

Etiquetas: DVD, review, science fiction
Post date: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 1:00de la mañana

Have You Heard About... Blameless

… the humorous steampunk Victorian romance with vampires and werewolves?  Gail Carriger’s Blameless* picks up shortly after the end of Changeless, with both Lord and Lady Maccon dealing with the fallout of Alexia’s announcement.  (I won’t leave any spoilers here, because this series is definitely better when read in order!)  Our heroine’s situation is made even more dire by the disappearance of her dear friend Lord Akeldama and a series of attacks by vampires and their followers.  Alexia heads for Italy with her loyal butler Floote and the incomparable Madame Lefoux, hoping to learn more about preternaturals from the Templars.  Grand adventures ensue for both Alexia and Connall!  Along the way, the reader learns more about the background of several secondary characters, including Madame Lefoux, Floote, Professor Lyall, and Ivy and her husband.

Cover ImageBlameless certainly leaves some open threads (among them is the debatable destruction of Lord Akaldama’s greatest treasure) that will have me leaping upon Heartless as soon as it is available.  However, it has nothing like the wrenching cliffhanger in Changeless.  Prepare a cup of tea, have your favorite parasol or hat to hand, and read on bravely!

One of my favorite quotes (from p. 21):

Lord Akeldama did everything fashionably, sometimes to the exclusion of all else, including common sense.  If Lord Akeldama were to take up wrestling in vats of jellied eels, it would probably become fashionable within a fortnight.

* The previous books in the Parasol Protectorate series are Soulless and Changeless.

Reviewed by Fran (staff)

 

 

Post date: Friday, February 18, 2011 - 3:43de la tarde

Have You Heard About... The Disappearing Spoon

… the amazing science, people, and more behind the periodic table of the elements?  The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, by Sam Kean, is a fascinating look at everything from how the solar system was formed, to how the periodic table was formed, to the lives of various chemists and physicists, some famous and some less well known. It also includes useful bits of information, such as why it’s a bad idea to spill tellurium on yourself.* The author has an excellent ability to bring highly technical information to the understanding of an educated layperson, as well as a wry sense of humor. The two combine to make the book very readable and enjoyable. I had to keep two bookmarks in it—one to mark my place in the main text, and one for the excellent asides at the end.

Cover Image

One of my favorite quotes (from p. 338):

[As] he got older and crustier, Einstein came to distrust quantum mechanics. Its statistical and deeply probabilistic nature sounded too much like gambling to him, and it prompted him to object that “God does not play dice with the universe.” He was wrong, and it’s too bad that most people have never heard the rejoinder by Niels Bohr: “Einstein! Stop telling God what to do.”

If you have an interest in the history of science, its practical applications, and odd bits of trivia, I highly recommend this book!

*You’ll reek of garlic for weeks.

Reviewed by Fran (staff)

 

Etiquetas: book, nonfiction, review, science