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

November 2007 Recommendations

book cover  Welcome to Wahoo
by Dennis and Elise Carr

"Welcome to Wahoo" is a light read for young adults and anyone else interested in the lives of high-schoolers and/or in learning 'life lessons' such as tolerance, integrity, loyalty and responsibility. Victoria Julianne Van Wyck is a spoiled but smart rich girl enrolled at the ultimate Swiss boarding school when she is suddenly propelled into hiding under a new identity in Wahoo, Nebraska. There she must try to keep a low (haha) profile as she adapts to an allowance and circle of friends that are both much smaller than before. She pals up with a brainy girl and gets a part-time job at the public library while at the same time trying to apply damage control to a smear campaign being waged against her by the high school's star quarterback, whom she rebuffed at a makeout party. Things eventually turn out well for our heroine, who dispenses pearls of wisdom along her way, and who may still be lurking in the Cornhusker State even now! (Note: at times it seems the authors must have originally set their story in Washington or Idaho, as potatoes seem to be the side dish to every meal!)

[ official Welcome to Wahoo! web site (also the official author web site) ]

Review Score - 7
Recommended by Becky W.C.
Walt Branch Library


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book cover  An Ice Cold Grave
by Charlaine Harris

Harper Connelly returns in this third book using her "gift" of finding dead bodies to help solve crimes. In "an ice cold grave" she encounters her first serial killer. Her quest to bring the 8 teenage boys' killer to justice puts her own life in danger. This newest mystery by Harris will have your heart pounding through the final pages as you wonder if Harper will survive for a fourth book!

[ official Charlaine Harris web site ]

Review Score - 7
Recommended by Jodene G.
Walt Branch Library


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book cover  The Ritual Bath
by Faye Kellerman

This delightful series has been around for 20 years and this is the first title. Peter Decker, homicide detective, was raised a Protestant but has recently discovered his birth parents were Jewish. He meets a beautiful Orthodox Jewish woman, Rina Lazarus, while investigating a crime and the rest, as they say, is history. Kellerman makes her characters very real with human shortcomings and enriches each tale with details of Jewish life. Read the rest of the series...it won't disappoint!

[ official Ritual Bath page on the official Faye Kellerman web site ]

Review Score - 8
Recommended by Rayma S.
South Branch Library


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book cover  An Adventure
by Charlotte Anne Elizabeth Moberly [133.12 M71a]

Many years ago, I saw a film called Miss Morison's Ghosts starring Dame Wendy Hiller and Hannah Gordon. This film is a haunting tale of two well-educated English women who experience a time-travel journey into the French court of Marie Antoinette while on a visit to Versailles. We are very fortunate to own a copy of the book that this film was based on: An Adventure by Miss Moberly. This book describes with incredible detail the experiences that Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain had on several visits to Versailles in the early part of the twentieth century. Not believing what they had actually experienced, the scholars use scientific research to try to determine what happened to them in the gardens of Paris. Complete with maps, research, and first-person accounts of the events, this book is a wonderful example of paranormal activity in Europe during the turn of the century.

[ Internet Movie Database entry for Miss Morrison's Ghosts ]

Review Score - 9
Recommended by Kim J.
Reference -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  The Man Who Never Was
by Ewen Montague [940.548 M76m]

Exciting true story of how the Allies worked to deceive the Germans in the Second World War about where the D-Day invasion would come -- using a dead body.

Recommended by Bob B.
Reference -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  The Recruit (Cherub #1)
by Robert Muchamore

A new take on the ever-popular espionage genre. James is a recently-orphaned child who has problems controlling his temper. When he is sent to an orphanage, he gets caught up with some of the trouble-makers at the home. He wakes up one day to find himself in a mysterious campus, where he is presented with two choices: join our organization, or go back to the orphanage. He chooses the former, and enters into a super-secret training program. Recruits must undergo intensive training, and then they must pass the test of their lives to be accepted into the program. This program is a division of Britain's MI5 agency. All the agents are between 10 and 17. The beauty of the program is that no one expects children to be spies, so they can infiltrate places that no adult possibly could. Find out what happens to James - does he pass the test and get to go on missions? Is he booted out of the program as a failure? What about his sister Lauren?

[ cherubcampus.com -- the official web site of the cherub series ]

Review Score - 9
Recommended by Julie H.
Walt Branch Library


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book cover  The Last Town on Earth
by Thomas Mullen

In 1918, World War I and the influenza pandemic threaten the world. A small lumber town in Oregon decides to protect itself from the flu by imposing a quarantine, allowing no one to enter or leave until the disease has passed. Graham Stone and Philip Worthy are standing guard when an obviously sick, hungry soldier approaches. Graham shoots the stranger and sets off a chain of events within the town. In a neighboring city, the repressive American Protective League has targeted the quarantined town as one which harbors "slackers" and is "anti-American." Violence within, violence without and flu all over town - the city is under seige. This is the story of how individuals deal with such dreadful pressures. The parallels to issues facing the country today are unmistakable, though the author says he did not intend to produce an allegory. This book is thought provoking and provided a basis for great discussions. It is Thomas Mullen's first book and I will be eagerly awaiting his second.
[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd format.]

[ Publisher's web site for this book ] | [ official Thomas Mullen web site ]

Recommended by Kaye A.
Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries


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book cover  Gifts for the Family: Over 120 Projects to Make for Those You Love in Under 30 Minutes
by Readers Digest [745.5 Rea]

Targeted for a general interest audience this book is intended for the novice, or child with supervision, eager to create easy, inexpensive, yet attractive or useful gifts. Each project has a color photo of the finished item along with a full page of complete instructions including color photo demonstrating each step. Provides a list of materials needed to complete the project. Also includes three alternative projects with instructions and photo of each finished product.

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


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book cover  The Tennis Partner: A Doctor's Story of Friendship and Loss
by Abraham Verghese [610.92 Ver]

The Tennis Partner is a story of medicine and tennis, a curious duo played out by Abraham Verghese, a physician and recreational tennis player. As the book opens, he has just moved to El Paso, Texas, to practice and teach at Texas Tech School of Medicine. Moving from the lushness of Tennessee to the arid spaces of the southwest desert signifies a change he welcomes. His marriage to Rajani is disintegrating. Their outsider status, which had previously bound them together during the storms of early adutt life, cannot provide a single touchstone or connection in El Paso, a border city full of outsiders. While supervising the medical interns at the hospital, he meets David Smith, an Aussie who was once on the professional tennis circuit. They strike up a friendship built around their regular tennis matches. An odd couple they make, Smith playing at a part of his life which no longer consumes him and Verghese awakening to his former passion for the game. Verghese re-reads his many boyhood notebooks filled with the intricate details of wrist position and racket angle and his thoughts on the great tennis players of his youth. Verghese sees this attention to details and appreciation of the pure art of tennis much the same as he sees the art of healing for the physician/clinician. Verghese learns that David is a recovering drug addict, facing his last chance to make it through medical school. Failures, excuses and apologies are all too familiar to David as he struggles to maintain his equilibrium in the high-pressure environment of medical internship. But the friends and the support of colleagues cannot keep him clean. Just as he learns he has secured a favored residency position, he succumbs to the familiar demon. David's suicide leaves Verghese with enough haunting questions to fill a new set of notebooks. Why couldn't David be saved? For that matter, why couldn't his own marriage be saved?

[ official Reading Group Guide for this book ] | [ Wikipedia page for Abraham Verghese ]

Recommended by Evelyn D.
Technical Processes -- Bennett Martin Public Library


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book cover  A Title to Murder: The Carhenge Mystery
by James C. Work

This light mystery's title is a play on words, as it hints at two of the threads throughout the novel -- famous works of fiction, and automobiles. The subtitle is "The Carhenge Mystery, a Western story". Professor David McIntyre is a visiting instructor at Western Nebraska Community College in Alliance, teaching a summer course in literature, and trying to sleuth out what happened to a former student suspected of murder. Cass Deering was a young woman who had a keen interest in classic literature and was known for gifting acquaintances with books which showed them parallels to their own lives. Then a man was found dead in her apartment and she disappeared, possibly with a second man. Prof. McIntyre, with the help of an attractive and clever female colleague, susses out what probably happened to Cass and with which literary heroine she identified. And, yes, Nebraska's motor vehicle replica of Stonehenge is part of the plot! Author James C. Work is a native of Colorado and was, himself, a literature professor. He has done some work for the University of Nebraska Press, as well.

Review Score - 7
Recommended by Becky W.C.
Walt Branch Library


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The Screening Room

book cover  This review is for the DVD format of this itemLovejoy [Season 1 on DVD]
Based on novels by Jonathan Gash [DVD Gash]

Based loosely on the series of Lovejoy novels by author Jonathan Gash, the Lovejoy television series aired in 1986 and again from 1991 to 1994 on the BBC in the U.K. and on the A&E network here in the States, a total of six seasons. Borrowing plots from some of the Gash books, the series also featured many original episodes written exclusively for the screen. The series starred Ian McShane (Deadwood) as the charming rogue known simply as Lovejoy -- an antiques dealer and appraiser based out of East Anglia in England. Aided by his young apprentice, Eric Catchpole, and his more senior assistant Tinker Dill, Lovejoy gets involved in numerous mysteries and scams in the antiques field, and maintains a "will they or won't they" relationship with his friend, Lady Jane Felsham. Marketed as a "mystery" series, the Lovejoy episodes are much lighter in tone than the occasionally dark and violent books by Gash, but are rich in colorful settings and quirky characters. A great deal of inside knowledge about the world of antiques is also provided over the course of the series' run. Anyone with a love for British television, especially with a healthy dose of mystery and/or suspense should get a kick out of them. But if you're looking for the same dark tone as the books, you'll probably end up somewhat disappointed. I saw the show before I read any of the books, and have to admit I prefer the geniality of the television series over the brooding qualities of the novels. Your mileage may vary!
[ The Books of Jonathan Gash ]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this series ] | [ Annotated episode guide for this series ]

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


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last updated November 2007
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