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

These recommendations were posted in December 2005

Tarzan of the Apes - Cover  Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice 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!

[ an official Edgar Rice Burroughs website ] | [ www.tarzan.com ]

Review Score - 9
Recommended by Scott C.
Reference Department - Bennett Martin Public Library


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New Mercies - Cover  New Mercies by Sandra 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 myster relating to her family which involves a murder.

[ New Mercies excerpt on the official Sandra Dallas website ]

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


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Carnival Music in Trinidad - Cover  This review is from the staff of the Polley Music LibraryCarnival 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.

[ Companion Website to the Book ] | [ official Shannon Dudley page on University of Washington site ]

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


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Throwim Way Leg - Cover  Throwim 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


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Edge of Human - Cover  Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human by K.W. 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.

related lists See more books like this on our Dark Futures booklist
Recommended by Corey G.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


Average Customer Review Score - 9
Rated by -- Anonymous
Visitor to the BookGuide site

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Arrowsmith - Cover  Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis

Sinclair Lewis goes after Big Pharma before it was Big Pharma, a truely timeless classic.
[Available in several additional printings or editions.]

[ annotated summary of Arrowsmith ] | [ The Sinclair Lewis Society ]

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


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Lost Moon - Cover  Lost 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 Science Center site ] | [ NASA's James Lovell biographical page ]

Review Score - 9
Recommended by
Charlotte K.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


Average Customer Review Score - 10
Rated by -- Marilyn M.
Visitor to the BookGuide site

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Monet's Garden in Art - Cover  Monet'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 giverny.org ]

Recommended by Becky W.C.
Walt Branch Library


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A Feast for Crows - Cover  A Feast for Crows by George R.R. 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.
[Also available in unabridged audiotape format.]

[ A Song of Fire and Ice site ] | [ official George R.R. Martin homepage ]

Recommended by Sean S.
Eiseley Branch Library


Average Customer Review Score - 9
Rated by -- Anonymous
Visitor to the BookGuide site


Review Score - 9
Rated by -- Anonymous
Visitor to the BookGuide site

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James McNair's Cakes - Cover  James 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


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The Screening Room

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth - DVD Cover  This review is for the DVD format of this itemJoseph Campbell and the Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell [DVD/Video 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!
[Individual episodes are also available in both audiotape and videotape formats, and the series was accompanied by a book as well.]

[ Joseph Campbell page on Wikipedia ] | [ the official Joseph Campbell Foundation website ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Scott C.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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last updated July 2007
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