Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sue Recommends The Delta Solution by Patrick Robinson

Patrick Robinson combines two elements that have made national news in the last year--pirates of Somalia and the daunting Navy Seals--in his newest international thriller, The Delta Solution. No one is safe from these Somalian "businessmen" (as the pirates like to call themselves), even ships carrying food and aid to the starving people of their own country.

This is the third military thriller in the Mark Bedford series, the first two being Diamondhead (2009) and Intercept (2010). Mark Bedford returns to active military service as an instructor who is drafted to lead a team of hand-picked Seals in shutting down the out of control piracy in the Indian Ocean. He is not a stranger to terrorists, having battled them in Iraq and Pakistan (in his two earlier books). Lots of action and thrills for those who enjoy books by Vince Flynn, Steve Berry, and James Rollins. SH

Of note is that Robins0n lives in Ireland but spends his summers in our own Cape Cod.


Megan suggests: The Larry Sanders Show

The Larry Sanders Show

Remember the 90s? Care to relive the days of shoulder pads? Then it's time to watch (or re-watch) The Larry Sanders Show, which ran on HBO from 1992-1998. Sit in front of your TV for quite some time because we own all six seasons at WFL! The show stars Garry Shandling as the neurotic and self-absorbed TV talk show host Larry Sanders. Lots of celebrity guest spots and it's fun to watch Jeremy Piven and Janeane Garafalo in supporting roles.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mike Wants You To Step Into the Second Line

I have to admit, my mind has been on other things this week because come Friday I'm on my way to the annual American Library Association conference. This year's conference is especially sweet since it will happen in the granddaddy of party towns, home of the Who Dat Nation, New Orleans. To add to my excitement, the television show that I'm going to preach to you about is set in a place I'll be staying, a neighborhood just north of the French Quarter.

If you've read this blog before or had the ill luck to talk to me on a day when I'm thinking of it, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of David Simon and his past HBO television show The Wire. The Treme is set in its namesake neighborhood and pulls from the cast of characters that you'll find walking down the streets: the down-on-their-luck musicians hustling to get by, the bartenders weary of lending an ear, harried police and the lawyers keeping an eye on them. The show is rife with New Orleans' rich musical tradition, where you have at least one big name musician making a guest appearance; toss in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and you've got yourself something to keep your attention.

In contrast to his previous series, David Simon is taking his time in setting viewers up for major story moves; much like life, the earth-shattering moments aren't set up for a season's worth of wrap-ups. After all, the event that shook the character's bedrock has already happened, and they're just starting to pick up the pieces. It's this process of starting over that's the meat of the show, and the potatoes are memories of places, events, and things that came to signify what it means to live in New Orleans which are now just starting to show from under the receding flood.

A Fire Upon the Deep

A Fire Upon the Deep
by Vernor Vinge

A Fire Upon the Deep is a gripping tale of galactic war told on a cosmic scale. Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit a universe where a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, the farther from the galactic core the smarter you can become. At the galaxy's rim transcendent super-intelligent entities dwell. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these "regions of thought," but when an ancient Transcendent artifact is used as a weapon, it unwittingly unleashes an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence. Fleeing the threat, a family of scientists, including two children, are taken captive by the Tines, an alien race with a harsh medieval culture, and used as pawns in a ruthless power struggle. A rescue mission, not entirely composed of humans, must rescue the children-and a secret that may save the rest of interstellar civilization.

Winner of the Hugo award in 1993 this is an adventure story full of thought provoking scientific ideas. Aliens, interstellar war, ancient artifacts and evil gods maneuver for control of the galaxy. Dog lovers will enjoy the Tines; a pack-mind alien race. Vinge keeps you wanting to know what happens next alternating between events in space and events on the Tine world. A sequel called The Children of the Sky is due this October. Vinge published a prequel A Deepness in the Sky in 1999.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Got Vegan?

If you've been thinking about going vegan but don't know where to start, peruse the following popular titles in our cookbook section for ideas. And remember - you can even eat cupcakes and remain faithful to a vegan diet.

The get healthy, go vegan cookbook by Neal Barnard and Robyn Webb.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Favorite Books for Childhood Program on June 18

Looking for a fun afternoon, being nostalgic over great children's books from your childhood?

Join us at the Hills Branch on Saturday, June 18 from 2-3:30, as adults and kids share their favorite children's book, play book trivia games, and enjoy snacks and Hoodies!

Martin Cruz Smith is recommended by Rob

Meet Arkady Renko, beleaguered, bullied, and bullheaded Russian detective. He just wants to do his job--investigating murders. And he's good at it. Unfortunately for him, his superiors are often more interested in cover-ups and the appearance of an investigation, than in actually solving cases. Renko is constantly beset with corruption, incompetence, favoritism, bureaucracy and a legal system ill-suited for a cop with principles. But he dogs on, not unlike Columbo, winning with his wits and persistence rather than his dead aim or martial arts skills. There are seven books in the Arkady Renko series. The first three take place in the Soviet Union and the rest in post-Communist Russia. They're set in Moscow, Cuba, the Bering Sea, and Chernobyl. Start with Gorky Park where Renko has to contend with the KGB which is determined to block his investigation. All of the Renko books are available in audio format and Gorky Park was made into a movie, with William Hurt as Arkady Renko.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Megan Recommends: The Three Weissmanss of Westport

The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine

Are you a Jane Austen fan? Then you'll immediately recognize the plot of this book as a modern take on Sense and Sensibility. Fear not, no zombies or sea monsters here. In this case, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are transformed into Miranda and Annie Weissmann. The consequences of male primogeniture in the 19th century become the collateral damage of a late-in-life divorce in the 21st with lots of humor throughout.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Book Review that Ignited a Firestorm

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin and translated by Chi-Young Kim was a runaway best seller in Korea. It has been reprinted five times since published in the US and is due to be published in 20 countries. It's the story of a mother who becomes separated from her family in the bustle of the Seoul subway station and cannot be found when the family swiftly returns to the stop. In the subsequent efforts to find her, each member of the family must look at their relationship with this humble and self-sacrificing woman. A bruising, harsh, and some claimed racist review of this book by Maureen Corrigan which appeared on the NPR web site ignited an unprecented firestorm from readers. Read this sensitive and absorbing book and compare your thoughts with Corrigan's and those reponding to the review. You'll have a lot to think about. PM

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Revelation Space

Revelation Space
by Alastair Reynolds

In the far future, a singular question haunts humanity: why are there so few intelligent civilizations in the universe? Revelation Space is a sprawling operatic novel that ranges across vast gulfs of time and space-to arrive at a terrifying answer.

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just when it was on the verge of discovering space flight. For the human colonists now settling the Amarantin homeworld, what caused the species extinction is of little more than academic interest. Even after colonists discover an almost perfectly preserved city on the planet, only the archaeological community seems interested.

But one scientist, Dan Sylveste, is convinced that solving the Amarantin riddle is vital to the survival of humanity. Desperate to get at the truth-but with few resources, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. The ship's cyborg crew are walking weapons and could easily become a very real danger. They could also be Sylveste's only hope to find the answer he so zealously seeks.

Before becoming a full time writer, Reynolds was a scientist for the European Space Agency. Reynolds postulates a dark future of human machine cyborgs and artificial intelligences, which have mankinds emotions of revenge and murder. Mankind is colonizing the stars but finding little trace of extraterrestial civilizations. The question is: Where is everybody? The answer is shocking.