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

September 2006 Recommendations

book over  The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson [658.8 And]

What could have been an incredibly dry look at contemporary economic trends is turned into a fascinating exploration of societal change and cultural shift, in Anderson's best-selling tome. An expanded version of an article he originally did for WIRED magazine, The Long Tail is entertaining, informative and eye-opening. As the book's subtitle hints, the theory of "the long tail" of economics is that beyond the "hits" in most product categories -- the most popular or most requested books, movies, CDs, herbal shampoos, etc. -- resides an immense number of less-popular yet still in-demand products. That vast number of lower-interest products is not traditionally stocked in most brick-and-mortar stores, due to space limitations, but for on-line merchants who can afford to provide a broader selection, those low-interest items, when combined, comprise an increasingly larger portion of sales than ever before.
[Also available in downloadable audio format.]

[ Original WIRED article ] | [ the official Long Tail blog ]

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


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book over  Tatooine Ghost by Troy Denning

Troy Denning is an awesome author. Unfortunately, many of his works go unheralded beacuse so many of his books are contributions to larger series. Such is the case with many of his Star Wars books. But, in "Tatooine Ghost", Denning gets to tell a stand-alone story. Denning has a great feel for his characters. His plots draw upon events from other stories and authors, yet only serve to enhance them, not contradict them. In this book, Han Solo and Princess Leia have travelled to Tatooine on a mission. Denning does a great job in portraying their desire to get married, but some of the reservations they have as well. His best work is in having Leia confront the childhood of Anakin Skywalker, the man she only as Darth Vader. A nice touch is involving Anakin's childhood friend, Kittster, as a central point in the plot. This is a great novel for any fan of Star Wars to read.
[Also available in abridged book-on-cd format.]

[ official Star Wars website ] | [ Wikipedia page for Tatooine Ghost ] | [ official Expanded Universe page at the official Star Wars Web site ]

related lists See more books like this on our Star Wars booklist
Review Score - 8
Recommended by Corey G.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book over  An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Dreiser's epic features Clyde Griffiths, a Midwest kid whose family runs a strett mission. After working in a hotel and seeing how the other half lives, he gets a job in a factory in order to better himself. After romancing one of the factory girls who gets pregnant he meets a beautiful rich girl who embodies all of his dreams. After hearing about a boating accident on a nearby lake, he plots to rid himself of his complaining girlfriend. This ill-advised venture leads to the tragedy in the title. A classic worth revisiting.
[Also available in Russian translation, Cliff's Notes editions.]

[ Wikipedia page for An American Tragedy website ] | [ electronic copy of the book ]

related lists See more books like this on our booklist: Time Magazine's 100 Best Novels -- 1923-2005
Review Score - 9
Recommended by Rayma S.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book over  Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane

One of my all-time favorite Star Trek novels, by one of the writers who captures the characters the best. "When Dr. McCoy grumbles once too often about the way the Enterprise ought to be run, Captain Kirk decides to leave the doctor in command while he oversees a routine diplomatic mission. However, the doctor soon learns that command is a double-edged sword, when Kirk disappears without a trace. Desperately trying to locate his captain, McCoy comes under pressure from Starfleet to resolve the situation immediately. Matters go from bad to worse when the Klingons arrive and stake their own claim to the planet in question. Then another, more deadly power threatens them all, and suddenly, Dr. McCoy and the Enterprise find themselves pitted against an alien fleet in a battle they have no hope of winning." Though the underlying premise -- Doctor McCoy refusing to give up command to the much more able Commander Spock -- is ridiculously silly, if you can get past that, this book is a great character study and an adventurous romp in the Star Trek universe!


[ Complete Starfleet Library fan website ] | [ official Diane Duane website ]

related lists See more books like this on our Star Trek booklist
Review Score - 10
Recommended by Scott C.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book over  The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers by Phil Farrand [791.457 StaYf]

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Classic Star Trek's first airing this month (premiered September 8, 1966), we present this wonderful book for true-science-blue Trek fans. The Nitpickers Guides were a series of books published in the early-to-mid 1990s, until publishing issues brought them to a halt and migrated their content to the internet. The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers looks at the original Star Trek series with a loving yet discerning eye, bringing a sense of humor towards the task of pointing out the logic and continuity lapses that the series fell into. If you're not "into" Star Trek, this book probably isn't for you. But if you consider yourself even a passing fan, you'll appreciate Phil Farrand's humorous tribute to the show.
[Also available the Next Generation edition.]

[ Nitpicker's Central -- the official Nitpicker's Guide/Phil Farrand website ]

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


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book over  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski tells of his life in a traveling circus 70 years earlier. As a veterinary student just shy of his degree he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there he meets the beautiful, married, star performer Marlena and Rosie the elephant who seems untrainable. He falls for both of them. Depression era circus life was hard on everyone but good does triumph over evil. One of the 2007 One Book One Lincoln finalists!

[Also available in downloadable audio, book-on-cd [abridged or unabridged], and Large Print formats.]

[ publisher's Water for Elephants website ] | [ official Sara Gruen website ]

Review Score - 9
Recommended by Ann F.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book over  Purple Dots by Jim Lehrer

Author Jim Lehrer, long time news anchor for the Jim Lehrer Report, provides a glimpse into the Washington political scene in this fictional book about the sometimes funny, sometimes thrilling story of a retired CIA agent. Charles Henderson steps out of his retired life to help his long time friend during his nomination as director of the CIA. Along the way he discovers a prized political perk called the purple dot and finds out just what it can do for the person who possesses one. This story is fun to read and provides a picture of some of the absurd priorities held by our Washington politicians
[Also available in Large Print format.]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Patty L.
Walt Branch Library


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book over  The World, the World: Memoirs of a Legendary Traveler by Norman Lewis [910.92 Lew]

Norman Lewis was a writer who covered areas of the globe not normally visited by outsiders. He visited Indo-China in 1950, Burma before the communists, tribal India, and various locales in South America. He wrote an expose on the brutal, genocidal treatment of the Indians in Brazil in 1969 which led to the founding of Survival International, a world-wide organization working for tribal peoples' rights. These memoirs describe Lewis's life and travels. He truly had a way of picking out the most striking or bizarre happenings that occurred during his trips. His sympathy for the foibles of mankind also comes through in his writing. If you like reading about other people's lives, this book will be enjoyed.


[ Wikipedia page on Norman Lewis ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Cindy C.
Technical Processes Department -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book over  A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century by Witold Ribcynski [B Ol5r]

This is the compelling story of the multi-talented, Landscape Architect Fredrick Law Olmsted, who created Central Park in New York City. [Note: He was also the primary landscaper for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago -- one of the topics of this year's One Book - One Lincoln selection, The Devil in the White City, and he is featured somewhat prominently in that book.]


[ Wikipedia page on Olmsted ] | [ Publisher's page for A Clearing in the Distance ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Patty L.
Walt Branch Library


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book over  Mainstay: For the Well Spouse of the Chronically Ill by Maggie Strong [649.8 Str]

Stressed, confused, exhausted from caring for your ill spouse or parent? Strong has been there, done that, and has good advice for you! She knows the pressures, the guilt, the anger, and gives you ways to deal. She points out the need to keep yourself physically and mentally well, the need for outside contacts, relaxation, and other interests. She suggests how to deal with physicians and family, find support groups, and much more. You are not alone. [No longer owned by Lincoln City Libraries -- available through InterLibrary Loan.]


[ The Well Spouse Association ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Bob B.
Reference Department -- Bennett Martin Public Libraries


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last updated September 2006
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