Sunday, December 28, 2008

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

When a 15th century illuminated Haggadah, which disappeared during the fighting in Sarajevo, turns up during the ceasefire in 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian book conservator, is sent by the UN to document and repair it. Within the pages she finds an insect wing, a wine stain, salt crystals, and a white hair, clues that will unlock the history of the book which has survived centuries of Jewish persecution.

As Hanna crosses the globe to speak with experts in her field pursuing the clues scientifically, the reader is plunged into a journey that will wind through the ages from Nazi Germany to the Spanish Inquisition as people of the book tell their own stories and risk their lives to preserve the book.

Narrated by Edwina Wren, whose authentic mimicry of dialects lends weight and realism to the stories in "People of the Book".

To request a copy from the JCLC catalog, click here!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tales of Beedle the Bard

Our muggle fairy tales like "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty" are like Harry Potter's wizard tales in "Tales of Beedle the Bard". The first story is called the "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot". A cauldron follows a young wizard around and around, clanging loudly, until he makes potions to help the people in the village.

Read the new Harry Potter book! It is very enjoyable.

Written by Ozzie

Click here to request your copy from the JCLC catalog!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Gypsy Crown by Kate Forsyth

17th Century England, Oliver Cromwell and the puritans are in power. Dancing, music and even Christmas has been banned. Times are hard on the gypsy who makes his trade in music, dance and magic.

One gypsy family, the Finches, has been working on an estate, but when the daughters is betrothed, to raise money for the dowry they all decide to go to the town of Kingston on market day and ply their gypsy trade. All goes well until they become involved in an accidental death and only young Emilia and Luka escape being thrown in prison.

With the help of a horse, a monkey, a dancing bear and a fiddle the children make their way across the south of England searching for the five gypsy families to find the charms of power each family owns for legend states when the charms come together the luck of the gypsies will return. But everywhere they go they are pursued by Rom hating Puritans and Cromwell’s spies. The children must give up everything they hold dear and trust to the charms if they are to free their family before they are brought to trial that will lead to a death sentence.

Portrayed with gentle humour to counter loss, this fast paced, historical novel woven with magic and mystery is an enjoyable story. The time period has been well researched and there is extra, easy-to-read information in the back for those wishing to know more. However it isn’t a patch on one of my old standing favourites – Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke

From the author of Inkheart and Dragon Rider comes a tale of magic, humour and the spirit of Christmas. So, sit back with a mug of hot cocoa, some gingerbread and prepare to be entertained!
On the run from Gerold Geronimus Goblynch, the evil new leader of the Santas’ council in Yuleland, Niklas Goodfellow’s wagon comes crashing to earth after a storm and his unreliable, invisible reindeer, Twinklestar, bolts. Now, with the help of two children from the town, Niklas Goodfellow, two angels and a crew of grouchy elves face danger and adventure in an effort to find Twinklestar, rid Yuleland of the wicked tyrant and his nutcrackers and to return the magic and spirit of Christmas.

To request this wonderful Christmas story from our catalog click here!

Monday, December 15, 2008

lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H Lawrence

Written in 1928 and possible the most well known of D H Lawrence novels, this final book shocked the world with its explicit subject matter and was banned until the 1960s.

But for a banned book I was not overly impressed. Perhaps my generation has grown too used to romance being spelled out across movie screens and in books, so this novel is no longer notable for the shockingly detailed affair between an upper class Lady and her husband’s game Keeper.

I found its plot lacking, in originality and substance. The narrator, Margaret Hilton, did nothing to impress me. There was so much politics and philosophy I felt like I was should be back at school studying it (although I don’t think many high schools would teach such a book!). And to be quite honest I have read better sex scenes.

If you still want to read this book,click here to see our catalog.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Patriot (The Motion Picture)

I just recently enjoyed watching The Patriot. This movie, set in the time of America's revolutionary war, tells how one family perseveres through great loss and hardship.

The oldest son, Gabriel Martin, (Heath Ledger) decides to join the Continental Army against the wishes of his father(Mel Gibson). Soon afterward, Gabriel finds that his father has also joined as a result of his youngest brother being killed by the British Army. Father and son fight side by side through many bloody battles until Gabriel is killed by the same soldier who shot Thomas, his youngest brother.

The movie culminates in a vicious battle where the father ultimately gets his revenge. I enjoyed the movie for its authenticity and attention to details of the Revolutionary War.

To request your copy from the JCLC catalog click here

Written by Lisa Keith.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stardust by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess

“There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire. And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole tale of it."
So begins Gaiman’s enchantingly beautiful adult fairy tale full of romance, magic and adventure. Every nine years the Victorian town of Wall is disrupted from its sleepy ways by people who come from the ends of the earth to see the fairy market held in a meadow on the other side of the wall. On one such market day, Dunstan Thorn falls in lust with a fairy woman. 

Nine months later a basket is left at the entrance to the meadow containing Tristan Thorn. Now, 17 years later Tristan, knowing nothing of his heritage, has fallen in love with the beautiful and aloof Victoria Forrester. He makes a bargain with her, that if he brings back a falling star that fell that night from the sky into the lands beyond the wall, she will give him his heart’s desire. His quest takes him into adventure and finally to the discovery of who he really is, for in fairy the star is not just a lump of metal, but a beautiful girl named Yvaine, a daughter of the moon. 

Finding her is not difficult, but getting her back to Wall is trickier, for Tristan is not the only one searching for her. The dying Lord of Stormheld knocked Yvaine out of the sky with a gem that one of his sons must retrieve to become the next Lord and an ancient witch is pursuing the star, determined to cut out her heart so she and her sisters can be young again. Enhanced by stunning illustrations from Charles Vess, delicate and yet full of detail that captures the very essence of the tale, Stardust is an entrancing, twisting, magical witty and scary-at-times timeless tale that has unsurprisingly won many awards.

To request a copy from the JCLC catalog click here or find out about the movie (now out on DVD) by clicking here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Here lies the librarian by Richard Peck

From the Newbery award winning author of “A Year Down Under”, comes an uproariously funny tale of classic automobiles, librarians and small town life.
Meet Peewee (Eleanor McGrath) a 14 year old stubborn, courageous and steadfast tomboy. She and her adored brother Jake run a struggling gas station "way out in the weeds." that rivals the bigger, wealthier and underhanded Kirby establishment. All Peewee wants is to work on cars. Jake has big dreams though, and not even a few robberies and set backs, (courtesy of the Kirby’s) will stop him from building a car and racing his name into auto mechanic glory, that is until Irene Ridpath and her sorority sisters come motoring into town with big plans to restore the small town library and in doing so turn Peewee’s and Jake’s lives upside down.
To request you copy from the JCLC catalog, click here!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

From the back of the book:

This work was set in Berlin, 1942. When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But, Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than what meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Librarian’s night before Christmas by David Davis

Having been introduced to the "Cajun Night before Christmas" years ago, I was pleased to come across another in this wonderful series. Brilliantly thought out, smoothly worded and packed with superb illustrations by Jim Harris making this charming book a must have for any library, library goer or librarian!

Our librarian finds herself feeling like “Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol” on a cold yuletide night. Because of lack of funding and low staffing alone she stacks shelves, mends books and wonders if the age of reading has come to an end. Just then St Nick appears driving a bookmobile with six elves to help out. The elves stock the shelves with classics like Hawthorne, Steinbeck and Hemingway, redecorate the library with Christmas cheer, while Santa signs Newbery, stars Caldecott books and tells the children stories. Then with a yell of “Happy Reading, you bibliophiles!”, St Nick is off with one last demand “Have a real merry Christmas--teach someone to read!”

To request your copy from the JCLC catalog just click here!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kit Kittredge, An American Girl

Kit Kittredge: An "American Girl" is not just another movie with childish charm, it contains a lot of wonderfully mature based subject matter that I found to be very interesting and really held my attention throughout the entire movie. The characters delicately, but boldly display the desperately hard times experienced during the Great Depression. I was expecting a flighty almost boring movie, however I was pleasantly surprised. Great friendships are formed, important lessons are learned and the characters have a lot of fun in the process of both. I recommend that you watch this movie. It is worth your time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Artist's Guide to GIMP Effects by Michael J. Hammel

This is an excellent book for new users and those just wanting to learn a few new tricks in GIMP – the GNU Image Manipulation Program, which has become one of the most admired freeware rivals to Adobe Photoshop.

The book takes you detailed-step-by-detailed-step through each stage of your image's development to produce professional looking images, text effects or logos from scratch and how to create fabulous photographic effects. Michael J. Hammel also shows you where, on the drop down menus, to find each effect you need.

From a crash course in using GIMP, this book helps you create fancy gel, metallic or distressed texts, tiled patterns, perspective shadows, different textures, (to just name a few!) for fantastic movie posters, web designs and so much more.

Still not impressed? Then take a look at the logo for this blog, the graphics on the teen and youth pages on the GPL website. All of those images where created using GIMP with the help of this book!

To request this book from the JCLC catalog, click here!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

In this disappointing third book of the Inheritance Cycle, after losing his fight and the sword Za’roc to his brother Murtagh, Eragon and his dragon Saphira must now begin to fulfill their promises. Having sworn to help Roran, rescue his betrothed from Galbatorix’s keep, Eragon and his cousin, Roran, set off on this dangerous mission against the advice of his friends. On their return to the Varden the cousins soon find that their duties keep them apart. Roran, having led his own people must now prove to Nasuada, the leader of the Varden, that he can be trusted and is sent out on raids under various captains.

Eragon’s oaths are beginning to conflict. Having lost to his brother, Eragon knows he must keep his promise to his elven teacher to return and learn as much as he can. Saphira has made promises to the Dwarves too. Eragon is forced to make a choice. But how can he leave when the Varden desperately need him to fight against Galbatorix’s army? And how can he fight when he no longer has a weapon?

Again Paolini leans too heavily on other fantasy plots but this time without a spark of his own originality to keep a book of length interesting. Eragon has not grown in character and Roran’s increasing feats of arms are ridiculous. Nothing of note really happens until the last chapters, leaving the readers wondering why they bothered picking up the book and not just waiting for the synopsis in the final book. Let us hope Paolini redeems himself with his final book in this series.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

City of Ember is a captivating tale about an underground city called Ember. A group of people known as the Builders constructed the city to preserve the human race. The Builders gave Ember a timeline of 200 years and then a box would open up and there would be instructions for how to leave the city. But one of the mayors was less than honorable and the box was lost to them.

The story starts out after the box has opened and the city is starting to crumble around the people. Lina and Doon must find a way to save their city from devastation. Can they find the way out in time?

This is a wonderfully illuminating tale of courage of two young adults. It is hard to put down.

To request this book or others in the series, click here!

Written by Amber Young

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chalice by Robin McKinley

Mirasol is a beekeeper, brought up on a small woodlot in the corner of Willowlands. She knows little of the manor house and the Master’s Circle that governs their lands. When the Master and his Chalice die in a fire without naming heirs, Willowlands is thrown in to turmoil, but Mirasol barely has time to notice as her goats are producing vast amounts of milk and honey literally pours out of her beehives, leaving her little time to care for the woodlot.  So, when the Circle come to her cottage, she believes they will send her away for her poor tending of the land she holds, but instead she discovers she is to be the new Chalice, the most important member of the Master’s Circle.  She will be the one who binds the Circle, land and people together and creates harmony among them.

Although ill prepared for her new life and uncomfortable in the presence of the other members of the circle, Mirasol wants their new Master to have a fair chance. But how can she reconcile the demesne and it's Master when the Master is a Priest of Fire, taken from his training by the death of his older brother, a man whose very nature is fire and whose touch burns flesh to the bone?
This enchanting retelling of beauty and the beast, smoothly weaves together a tale of magic, healing and honey.

To request this book from our catalog click here!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber

This story could be called a "tear-jerker".

Mary Jo Wyse, a young woman who lost her parents in an accident several years ago, has been under the protection, love and care of her three older brothers. But when she falls for David Rhodes, an older man from another city, one thing leads to another and you’ve guessed it she becomes pregnant. When David finds out he tells Mary Jo he would go to birthing classes with her, which never happens.

David tells Mary Jo he would be in Cedar Cove for Christmas and heavily pregnant, Mary Jo slips away from her brothers on Christmas Eve to warn him and his family about her brothers. After reaching Cedar Cove she discovers no one has anything good to say about the man, and that his parents will not return from a cruise until Christmas day.

The people of Cedar Cove take Mary Jo under their care. The three brothers arrive, after getting bad directions, only to find Mary Jo after her baby girl is born on Christmas Eve whom she names Noel Traci.

Mary Jo returns home with her brothers with the understanding that EMT Mack McAfee who delivered the baby is very much interested in seeing Mary Jo
and her little one again.

Written by Bunny Cowart

To request this book from the JCLC catalog
click here

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

For Mercedes Thompson, taking over a mechanic workshop of a fae by the name of Zee, living next door to the pack leader of the local werewolves and working on cars for the vampires, a quiet life is hard to come by.  Especially as Mercy isn't what you would call normal herself - she's a walker, having the ability to change, without a full moon, into a coyote.

Having used a weapon of the fae to help kill a demon vampire, Mercy has a debt to pay, and the fae are not ones to let her off lightly.  So, when several deaths on the fae reservation occur, Mercy is asked to put her nose to the test and sniff out what others might miss.  Finding the killer isn't a problem, but when her ex-boss and mentor, Zee, goes to confront him, someone has got there first and the police arrive just minutes later.  Now Zee has been charged for the murder of a human and the fae may just let him swing, but Mercy isn't about to let that happen, no matter the cost to herself.

This third crowd pleasing, paranormal mystery following Moon Called and Blood Bound is a well balanced novel.  Set in a believable world were humans have an uneasy truce with werewolves and the faery kind, having yet to discover the vampires that roam among them.  The troubled atmosphere among the races adds a realist aspect and detail as the story moves us fluently between the pack psychology, human legal proceedings and the fae mentality.

To reserve your copy from the JCLC catalog click here

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves a children’s picture book, by Julia Rawlinson is beautifully illustrated, by Tiphanie Beeke. A story that will melt the hearts of young children from toddlers to grade three, Fletcher’s concern for his best friend, a tree, is most compelling.

With warm hues of autumn, mix delicate, creative artwork that children will love. The story is worded in such a way that Fletcher and the Falling Leaves is a pleasure to read to groups of children.

Fletcher, is a small young fox, experiencing the seasonal change from fall to winter for the very first time. His notices a change in his very best friend, a tree. His poor tree is losing its leaves, and feraing it is sick, Fletcher sets out to save it. Soon other animals from the forest collect the tree’s leaves for their own needs, upsetting Fletcher terribly. But in the end, he is amazed by the change of seasons and understands and embraces the beauty of winter as well.

Author Julie Rawlinson has been writing children’s stories for three years. Illustrator Tiphanie Beeke is also the illustrator of Book! Book! Book!, by Deborah Bruss. Both Rawlinson and Beeke live in England.

Written By Lou Ellen Nichols

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How to remove the musty smell from old books

The first thing to understand is that what you smell is mold. Just like food kept too long in the fridge, books kept in enclosed or damp spaces will begin to grow mold. Spraying any liquid on a book is likely to damage the surface. Also using newspaper or dryer sheets can leave marks on the pages. There are some gas products out there which are supposed to kill mold, but as most, although not all, of these gases are toxic here are a few inexpensive ideas for tackling just the smell:

1.To obtain Kitty litter smell. In a large container with a lid, put some kitty litter. Then put the book(s) you wish to de-smell in a smaller lidless container. Put the smaller container inside the larger container and cover. Make sure the books do not touch the kitty litter and leave for a couple of days or longer as need.

To get cedar wood shavings smell. Put the books in enclosed container and sprinkle the wood shavings around them. After a few weeks the books should have lost that musty smell.

3.For a fresh baking powder smell. Sprinkle baking powder in between several pages and set the opened book out in a sunny and DRY! place for a few days.

4. The Perfume sachet smell. Put books in a plastic sack or container with lid and add sachet. Leave for a week or so and you will have fresh smelling books that you can use instead of potpourri, especially for those books you leave in the bathroom…

5. The clothes pin no-smell! This method, unlike the previous ones, provides you with instant book satisfaction. Take a clothes pin and place it on your nose as tight as possible. Then using a pair of cheap cloth or latex gloves, read your book. Not only does this completely remove the smell from your nose, also you don’t have to worry about those bugs that live in books.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

This gem of a novel full of mystery and suspense is set in Cornwall during the 1840s and is told by Philip Ashley. Orphaned at a young age, Philip’s care and training were given over to his young bachelor cousin, Ambrose, whom he adored.

At a doctor’s recommendation, Ambrose begins to spend his winters abroad in warm climes on the continent leaving Philip, his heir, to run the manor. One such trip takes him to Florence, were he meets a distant relative, Cousin Rachel.

Through his letters home, Philip, learns of Ambrose’s high regard for this woman and soon Rachel and Ambrose are married. After some financial business has been concluded they plan to journey back to Cornwall. The letters from Ambrose become confused and few and far between, calling Rachel “his torment”. Philip discovers that Ambrose’s father died of a brain tumor.
Full of unease, afraid Ambrose is deathly ill and jealous of Ambrose’s new relationship, he goes out to Italy only to find Ambrose is dead and buried and Cousin Rachel has disappeared.

On returning home, He learns all has been left to him to be inherited on his 25th birthday, 6 months away and nothing to his Cousin Rachel.
When Philip receives a letter from Rachel that she is in England and wishes to come to the house, Philip is hostile, but lets her come. He and his guardian provide Rachel with an allowance, and slowly Philip comes to like and even to love this mysterious woman. Putting aside Ambrose’s fears as the ravings of a dying man Philip becomes reckless with his inheritance, but after a disastrous birthday and an illness of his own Philip’s unease returns. How did Ambrose really die?

To request a copy from the JCLC catalog click here!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Read it before you see it!

Stephanie Meyer's Twilight
21 November 2008
click here to reserve your copy

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
MOVIE RELEASE DATE: 19 December 2008
click here to reserve your copy from the JCLC catalog

John Grogan's Marley and Me
MOVIE RELEASE DATE: 25 December 2008
click here to read staff review
click here to reserve your copy from the JCLC catalog

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
MOVIE RELEASE DATE: 14 November 2008
click here to reserve your copy from the JCLC catalog

Jeanne DuPrau's City of Ember
MOVIE RELEASE DATE: 10 October 2008
click here to read staff review
click here to reserve your copy from the JCLC catalog

Friday, October 3, 2008

One For The Money by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum, a recently laid-off lingerie buyer from New Jersey, has no job, no car and no furniture.  She does have a hamster, a deranged grandmother, and a love/hate relationship with a cop by the name of Joe Morelli.

When the chance to get out of her jobless rut presents itself in the form of filing for her cousin Vinnie’s bail-bond business, Stephanie is reluctant to take it, but she is desperate and goes by his office anyway, only to find that job is already gone.  So, she blackmails Vinnie into hiring her on as a bounty hunter on the $10,000 case.

Scrouging up money to buy a clapped-out Chevy Nova, a gun, some mace, and with a few tips from Ranger, one of the other bounty hunters, Stephanie is out to catch Joe Morelli, a cop accused of murder. Now, Morelli and Stephanie have some history.  Having grown up in the same neighbourhood with the heart throb, Stephanie had fallen for his charms, but the next time she ran into him, it was with a Buick.

Follow Stephanie as she navigates (and often falls prey to!) the pit falls of a first time bounty hunter.  If you are not put off by the crude language and some downright scary situations, this is an uproarious and suspenseful murder mystery. 

To request a copy from the JCLC catalog click here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg

From the book cover:

In this final volume of the beloved American saga that began with All Over but the Shoutin’ and continued with Ava’s Man, Rick Bragg closes his circle of family stories with an unforgettable tale about fathers and sons inspired by his own relationship with his ten-year-old stepson.

He learns, right from the start, that a man who chases a woman with a child is like a dog who chases a car and wins. He discovers that he is unsuited to fatherhood, unsuited to fathering this boy in particular, a boy who does not know how to throw a punch and doesn’t need to; a boy accustomed to love and affection rather than violence and neglect; in short, a boy wholly unlike the child Rick once was, and who longs for a relationship with Rick that Rick hasn’t the first inkling of how to embark on. With the weight of this new boy tugging at his clothes, Rick sets out to understand his father, his son, and himself.

The Prince of Frogtown documents a mesmerizing journey back in time to the lush Alabama landscape of Rick’s youth, to Jacksonville’s one-hundred-year-old mill, the town’s blight and salvation; and to a troubled, charismatic hustler coming of age in its shadow, Rick’s father, a man bound to bring harm even to those he truly loves. And the book documents the unexpected corollary to it, the marvelous journey of Rick’s later life: a journey into fatherhood, and toward a child for whom he comes to feel a devotion that staggers him. With candor, insight, tremendous humor, and the remarkable gift for descriptive storytelling on which he made his name, Rick Bragg delivers a brilliant and moving rumination on the lives of boys and men, a poignant reflection on what it means to be a father and a son.

To reserve your copy from the JCLC catalog, click here

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Book of Ballads, illustrated by Charles Vess

Fantasy and comic book illustrator Charles Vess brings to life thirteen ballads through pictures. Set out in sequential-art form, this delightful and daring book will captivate comic book, art and folk music fans alike.

With the help of many fantasy authors, such as Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Charles de Lint, Vess’ elegant art gives weight and background to the musical tales adding elements not in the originals as each author expresses their ballad with their own personal style.

Here songs and folktales of England, Ireland and Scotland made popular by groups and singers as Steeleye Span and Loreena McKennitt are represented in black and white with the original ballads follows each author’s interpretation.

See the hard-hearted Barbara Allen, discover the ugly Alison Gross, admire the brave and sexy Sovay and marvel at Vess’ skill to pull them all together into this marvelous book of ballads!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Modern and Creative Book shelves

If you are like me, you go to the library and check out a big pile of books.  But when you get them home you have nowhere to put them - all the available shelf space being taken up with the books you already own.  So, you end up with piles on the floor that dogs and husband (not to mention yourself!) trip on or knock over.
But fret no longer! Here is a creative idea designed to hold your books without taking up floor space and giving your home an interesting modern art look!
If your house isn't big enough for you to devote a whole room to books, with comfortable chairs to read in, then  this designer bookcase is the one for you!  Inspired by the smallness of modern Japanese homes, kick back and relax within arms reach of your next title!
Need to move large numbers of books and don't want all the heavy lifting.  Then shelves on wheels might be the thing for you!  Just load these shelves up with your school books, work books or reading projects and wheel them from room to room as you move about your house or office!
To see more creative ideas for bookshelves click here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ella Enchanted - The Movie

Having read this wonderful reworking of the well known Cinderella story and reviewed it here, I thought to give the film of the same name a try.

Supported by a star studded cast, Anne Hathaway plays Ella: a girl placed under the gift or curse of obedience by her well meaning fairy godmother, Lucinda. The spell forces Ella to obey any command, be it ridiculous or sinister. After being forced to give up her best friend by her horrible step-sisters, Ella decides it is time to look up Lucinda and get the spell removed. With the help of a Benny, man accidentally turned into a book, and Slannen, an elf who wants to become a lawyer, Ella sets off to Giantville. On the road she is captured by ogres, rescued by the prince (Hugh Dancey), then saves him from a royal conspiracy and learns the strength to break the curse must come from inside herself.

As a movie in its own right, this glitzy, feel good story works well. There is humour, evil to overcome and a love story. Unfortunately fans of Gail Carson Levine’s novel are left wondering what went wrong. Gone is Ella’s sassy spirit, her ambition and determination. The friendship between Ella and the prince is put aside for a love-hate relationship and the steadfast King, who governs his lands so well, is put aside for an evil regent.

All in all, if you enjoyed the book, skip the movie, but if you haven’t read it, then you will find this a charming family flick.

Rated: PG.
Run Time: 96 minutes

Friday, September 5, 2008

John Adams - the HBO Miniseries

As a former New Englander, and a Colonial period history buff, I knew that I had to see this movie. What an awesome recount of the life and times of John Adams (Paul Giamatti) and Abigail Adams (Laura Linney). The sets are remarkable in their showing an expert rendition of that time period. From the inception of the Declaration of Independence, to the death of John in 1826, it shows the courage of a man who was hot tempered, yet a great orator in the courtroom and meetings with the delegates. What a thrill to see the White House being built, his being sworn in, and many other tidbits of his life.

As we know from our history books, Abigail was an integral part of her husband's life as a President. While he was in France, Abigail wrote many letters to John, but he was silent. You can see the uncomfortable atmosphere portrayed after their 3 years of being away from each other. Their love for each other through all the hard times keeps them strong for everything that they had to endure.

The author of the book, David McCullough, was on site while the film was being made, and he was really excited at how good the production crew made his book come alive. This movie is not for the faint-of-heart as a man is tarred and feathered and surgeries are done with no anesthesia. It makes me thankful for how far we have come in the medical field. It is for adults and young adults alike. A must see for every history buff.

To request your copy from the JCLC catalog click here.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Monk's Hood by Ellis Peters

The year is 1138 and England is in the midst of civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud. But for now, the town of Shrewsbury has been left in an uneasy peace with both monarchs gathering their forces elsewhere.

Even so, plots are afoot within the Abbey town. Gervase Bonel, a wealthy landowner has bequeathed his land to the church and plans to live out his days in the sparse comfort of the abbey. So, when the man falls ill, it is the abbey’s herbalist and sometime detective Brother Cadfael who hurries to his aid. Cadfael is unprepared for what he finds for not only has Bonel been poisoned with monk’s hood oil but someone has used Cadfael’s own supply!
Confusion amounts over who was the intended victim as Bonel’s poisoned meat came from the Prior Richard’s own table, and even Cadfael himself is suspected for not only did the poison come from his laboratory, but the victim’s wife, Richaldis, was once Cadfael’s betrothed.
The obvious suspect is Bonel’s stepson, who has reason enough to commit the murder, but Cadfael is not convinced of the boy’s guilt and sets out to learn the truth of this deadly mystery.

Not into books? Then don’t miss the excellent TV series, starring Derek Jacobi as Brother Cadfael!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

Strap yourself in for the thrill ride you’ll want to take again and again!’re about to take ff on a heart-stopping adventure that will blow you away…
Ever dreamed you could fly; to know what it is to soar above the earth? For 14 year old Max, and her adopted family, flying is no dream, it is a reality. Genetically engineered in an experimental lab known as “The School”, these six kids are only 98% human, the other 2% is genetically altered avian DNA.
With the help of Jeb, one of the scientists, Max, Fang, Iggy, Gasman, Nudge and Angel have escaped and are free, that is until their old guards, mutant wolf-humans called Erasers, find their hid-out. Led by Ari, Jeb’s son, the Erasers capture Angel and take her back to the lab.
Now the “Flock” must use all their unique talents to rescue the six year old. Along the way Max learns that not everything in their crazy mixed up world is as it seems. Oh yeah, and she is destined to save the world.
Based on characters created in Patterson’s bestselling books When the Wind Blows and The Lake House, this fast paced sci-fi thriller has the feeling of James Cameron’s Dark Angel. Filled with frenzied chases and turbulant action this YA novel is not to be missed!
Request your copy today! Just click here!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

When Miyax, a 13 year old orphan, runs away from her unhappy marriage, she plans to go to her pen pal in San Francisco but she had not counted on the vast Alaskan tundra.  Once out of the village she is soon lost and starving.  Relying on the Eskimo knowledge imparted to her by her father, Miyax approaches a wolf pack.  Copying the ways of the puppies and learning patience Miyax is accepted by the leader, who she names Amaroq – “Wolf”, and befriended by a feisty black pup she names Kapu, after her father.  Miyax becomes part of the pack as she and the wolves make their way across the tundra to new hunting grounds.  But as they get closer to civilization, Miyax must look hard at who she really is:  Miyax of the Eskimos or Julie of the wolves.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Food for Fines

Donate food to your local library and pay off overdue fines!

Thanks to the creators of this wonderful video!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow

We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the Hand - Randy Pausch

There are books written that are timeless. You know that you will remember it always. "The Last Lecture" was that book for me.

Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give a lecture with other professor's about what they would want their legacy to be. Randy Pausch did not have to imagine his last lecture. He had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Randy was not going to talk about dying but LIVING. The title of his lecture was "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". It was about overcoming obstacles, enabling the dreams of others, and seizing every moment in life.

This book will make you think about your dreams as a child and have you make your dreams come true. That it is never too late. Randy talks about being a Tigger or an Eeyore in life.

This is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Randy Pausch lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008

Written by Vicki Morton.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Creative ways to recycle old books.

Okay, everyone has them, those books picked up at a yard sale, second hand book shop or given as gift. Read and forgotten or just shelved, boxed and forgotten. You find your self not wanting to throw the books away, but not wanting to read them either.

Instead of letting the books molder, why not try out some of these great recycling ideas?

1. Those big, old, useless textbooks getting you down? Tried selling them, but they’re too old. Why not make bookends? Click here for simple instructions. Or use those old encyclopedias to make a free standing bookcase.

2.Got some old cookbooks with recipes you still use? Tear out those good recipes and cover with Plexiglas for a unique backsplash for your stove. Or just frame your favorites and use them as decoration.

3.Make a secret hidey-hole for trinkets, by hollowing out a book.

4.Need a new case for carrying all those DVDs? Use a book! Here’s how!

5.Make your own audiobook by turning a book into an mp3 player case.

6.Have a favorite passage from an old, falling apart book? Cut out the section, laminate it and use it as a bookmark.

7.Decorate a room by framing covers of favorite children’s books or make an eccentric clock.

8.Use a stack of books to make an invisible book shelf

9.For a unique wedding gift make a scrapbook of your best recipes for two. For an added touch include helpful hints and notes. This is one gift that will never go out of style!

Need a new lamp shade?

Trade your better looking old books for new ones or donate them to your local library. There are a numerous websites where you can trade,, and are just a few.

Set a good book free and watch its progress at Over 680,000 people in over 130 countries have participated. Simply register your book, then leave it at a coffee shop and track it online.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Charlie Bone and the Time Twister by Jenny Nimmo

The year is 1916. Henry Yewbeam and his brother Jamie have been sent to stay with their uncle, Sir Gideon Bloor, headmaster of Bloor’s Academy and father to the hateful cousin Zeke, for the winter holidays to avoid being infected with diphtheria. While playing marbles he finds one that doesn't belong to his collection. But this is no ordinary marble, this is a time twister. Suddenly Henry begins to disappear.

Charlie Bone is beginning a new term at Bloor’s Academy, the boarding school for gifted children. He and his friends are hoping this term will better than the last, but when his ancestor Henry Yewbeam appears at Bloor’s, twisted through time and not a day older than when he left. Charlie must find a way to protect Henry and himself from old Ezekiel Bloor and escape the clutches of the Red King's less savory descendants.

The Children of the Red King series, although aimed at a younger crowd, will please Harry Potter fans and new readers alike.

To reserve your copy of this book or others in the series from the JCLC catalog click here

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis

Sallie March, 11 year old spunky, tomboy and her older ladylike sister Maude live with Aunt Ruthie until their Aunt has the misfortune to be accidentally shot dead by the notorious Joe Harden.

The two girls are taken in by Reverend Peasley and his wife, who immediately put the girls to work running the household while they take it easy. Maude, on whom falls the brunt of the work and being courted by an elderly gentleman, decides it is time to take her’s and Sallie’s fortune into their own hands and brave the wilds of the frontier in search of their last living relative, Uncle Arlen.

But Maude and Sally soon find that losing their Aunt Ruthie is only the beginning of their problems as they ride out of Cedar Rapids and into the kind of trouble Sallie has only read about in her beloved dime novels.

Told by Sallie as she tries to set the record straight and punctuated by the erroneous newspaper reports of "Mad Maude and her gang", this rollicking Wild West adventure story will leave you begging for more.

To reserve your copy from the JCLC catalog, click here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling

“The children were at the Theatre, acting to Three Cows as much as they could remember of Midsummer Night's Dream.”

So begins a time of magic for Dan and Una. It was Midsummer’s Eve and the children have performed the play three times, unwittingly, inside a fairy ring near their home in Sussex. The summoning calls up the mischievous Puck, the last of the People of the Hill left in merry old England. Puck gives them the gift “to see what they shall see and hear what they shall hear, though it should have happened three thousand year;” through which they witness a host of characters who tell, through their stories, the making of England.

Kipling’s adventurous tales and accompanying poems, including the well-known “If-” and “A Smuggler’s Song”, blend familiar accounts of history with fresh and unique insight for the enjoyment of adult and child a like.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Confessions of a Shopaholic is a wonderfully charming tale about a 20 something writer for a finance magazine. Becky Bloomwood lives in London with her roommate, Suze. Becky is in tremendous debt because of her spending habits. She can't resist buy a new top or pair of shoes and tries to justify why she needs all new clothes.

To take control over her spending Becky buys a self-help book and after a disastrous curry dinner she comes clean about all her spending to her roommate who suggests that instead of trying to spend less, Becky should try to make more money.

One hilarious disaster follows another, as Becky tries to eliminate her debt while avoiding her bank manager.

Written by Amber Young

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen

by Susan Gregg Gilmore

Remember your childhood dreams of getting out of the life you were living? Going to the big city, or the dream job, or the perfect life that you could accomplish, if only….? That’s exactly what Catherine Grace Cline does, dream. She and her sister spend every Saturday during the 1970’s sitting at the Dairy Queen talking and planning Catherine Grace’s big escape from Ringgold, Georgia, the smallest of small towns, population 1,923 and only one traffic light. She had bigger plans for her life than to be the wife of a farmer and grow tomatoes. And to top things off, Catherine Grace’s father is the preacher at the Baptist Church and raising his two daughters on his own. Believing in God and knowing what her father had taught her, she also prayed everyday for God to take her out of Ringgold.
Every detail of Catherine Grace’s moving to Atlanta after her high school graduation was planned out and working in perfect order. But even the most perfect plan always has a few twist and turns. There is Hank, her father and sister being left behind, and the lack of funding for the move. But neighbor and longtime family friend, Gloria Jean Graves, steps in and helps Catherine Grace live out her dream. She moves to Atlanta, gets a great job and is even next in line for a promotion, but tragedy calls her back to Ringgold. When Catherine Grace returns, life as she had dreamed would never be the same. But in dealing with this tragedy and the other surprising events that occur, Catherine Grace begins to realize she was living out the wrong dream. She was trying to escape the one place and the people who really were her dream life.
It took tragedy for Catherine Grace to realize her blessings. Sometimes we don’t realize the true blessings that surround us. In reading this wonderful story, I was reminded that I should not always pray for more, I should look at the blessings that God has already given to me. Although “Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen” is a work of Fiction, it could have been true, and spoke to me just as if it was a testimony for life.

Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes

“Fascinating, agonizing…Superb.” – Birmingham News

Charlie Gordon, born with a low IQ of 68, has been offered the opportunity to increase his mental capacity. He will be the first human guinea pig for an experimentally surgery that the researchers hope will increase his intelligence. The doctors are optimistic as Algernon, the white mouse they experimented on, has become extremely smart.

As the effects of the procedure begins to show, Charlie's intelligence expands at a phenomenal rate surpassing even the predictions of his doctors. His old memories return with clarity and Charlie begins to understand that being smart and remembering comes with cruel shocks. He begins to remember his childhood rejection by both his family and schoolmates. At the bakery where he worked, Charlie soon learns that the people he had always called friends had always been making fun of him. His sudden intelligence makes those who previously knew him uncomfortable, and Charlie comes to the realization that he no longer fits in his old world.

While Charlie is still trying to find his place, Algernon begins to deteriorate. Now Charlie must use all of his superior intelligence to find out if the same thing will happen to him.

Told through heartrending “progris riports” that Charlie is asked to write for the researchers, this intense Hugo, Nebula and Oscar winning classic gives voice to the vast emotional journey of Charlie experiences.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

The zookeeper's wife is the true story of Jan and Antonina Zabiniski, Polish Christian zookeeper in Warsaw, who helped hide over 300 Jews during World War II. Ackerman tells their story using Antonina's journal entries for most of her information.

The characters are well developed and the book reads like a novel despite Ackerman's use of extremely descriptive language which could "bog" the reader down at times. But, overall, an eye-opening and interesting book.

Written By Phyllis Kelly

Friday, June 27, 2008

Grey's Anatomy

Meredith Grey, Christina Yang, Izzie Stevens, George O’Malley and Alex Karev are new, passionate surgical interns at Seattle Grace Hospital who find themselves under the supervision of one Dr. Miranda Bailey, who has the nickname “The Nazi” for a good reason – she is tough on her interns. But having “the Nazi” as a supervisor is the least of their problems.

Much is expected of Meredith as her mother, Ellis Grey, is one of Seattle’s finest surgeons however, Meredith’s mother doesn’t even recognize her due to early onset Alzheimer's and Ellis doesn’t want anyone to know. Then there is the guy Meredith picked up at a bar the evening before who just happens to be the new head of Neurosurgery, Dr Derek Shepherd.

Christina was first in her class and wants to stay that way. Although eager for difficult surgeries her bedside manner leaves much to be desired. Despite her ambition and abrasive manner she and Meredith soon become firm friends.

Izzie Stevens put herself through med school by modeling lingerie and now has to deal with the consequences. George O’Malley is talented, but unsure of himself. His effeminate nature makes him come across as gay to his fellow interns which does little to boost his self confidence. Then there is Alex Karev whose macho ways keep getting him into trouble.

The cast is rounded out by three other surgeons: The for-mentioned Dr. Derek Shepherd, Dr. Preston Burke who may be the best surgeon at the hospital but his arrogance could get in the way of his ambition. Finally, the hospital's Chief of Medicine, Dr. Richard Webber whose devotion to the hospital is beginning to cause him marital problems.

Told through the eyes of Meredith Grey, this fast-paced, witty medical drama is a welcome addition to the rest as it is packed with action, romance and does not always portrayed the doctors as heroic, but also reveals their humanity in flaws and ambitions that any surgeon might possess.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

For those readers who like stories of finding true love, Nicholas Sparks delivers... again.

Travis Parker is a vet who meets his neighbor, Gabby Holland, when he helps deliver her dog's puppies. Their relationship grows despite a rocky beginning as Gabby must make a choice between Travis and her longtime boyfriend. But the tale doesn't end there with a happily ever after as eleven years later Travis must make a choice between life and death when Gabby is involved in a car accident.

The narrator, Holter Graham, although a good reader tended to be nasally at times which I found a bit irritating.

Written by Phyllis Kelly