Have You Heard

Post date: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 12:52am

Have You Heard About... Florence and the Machine

… the powerful voice of Florence Welch? Florence and the Machine, a British indie-pop group, released their second album, Ceremonials, last fall, and it has been recognized worldwide as a strong, stirring follow-up to their debut album, Lungs. Ceremonials has an ethereal, almost supernatural quality with its beating drums and ghostly back-up vocals, and Florence’s voice gives the album a lot of drama - just listen to tracks like “No Light, No Light” and “What the Water Gave Me” to hear what I mean.

This music has a BIG sound, and Florence’s voice isn’t for everyone, particularly for those who prefer more traditional music. But if you like your music to have a touch of quirkiness and drama, I highly recommend you give Ceremonials a listen (or three). It’s a great album to lose yourself in.


Reviewed by Katie (staff)

Tags: CD, review, rock music
Post date: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 12:15am

Have You Heard About... Library Lily

… The little girl who loved to read? When Lily learns to read, her mom takes her to the library to get her very own library card. Lily loves to read. Thin books, fat book, new books, old books, touchy-feely-furry- type books, any type of book you can imagine is a great adventure. Lily likes to read so much that she is called Library Lily.

Gillian Shields does a terrific job in describing how Lily forgets to do much of anything else. When Lily goes to the park, instead of playing, she has her nose buried in a book. When her mom tells her to go and have some fun, Lily walks around and reads all of the different signs. All of a sudden another little girl, named Milly, comes along. Milly hates to read. Milly would rather be playing. In becoming friends, these two forge a friendship where they learn to have great adventures together outside, exploring and then reading about all the exciting adventures in books. In fact, they learn that it’s a great big world outside to explore, and you can always find the most perfect book at the library to go with what you find outside and more!


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 12:27am

Have You Heard About... To Kill a Mockingbird

… the classic novel of race and justice in Alabama? For me, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is the ultimate. It has long been the book I take with me if I am going somewhere and want to take a book. I have probably read it over 100 times. It makes me laugh, cry, think, laugh some more, wonder, get angry and everything in between. I read it in bed at night when I can’t go to sleep; I just flip to a random page and read until I feel better. This book speaks to me, and I know I’m not the only one. Mockingbird has been on school reading lists, has won many awards, was made into an Academy Award winning movie (which is also really fabulous…the script is mostly word-for-word excerpts from the book and Gregory Peck is Atticus), is a social commentary and an amazing artistic literary work.

OK, so you get that I love this book. And the movie. I even read Harper Lee’s biography Mockingbird to see if I could learn more about how much Mockingbird is about her childhood. Why bring this up now? I recently bought a Kindle thinking it would be come my “everywhere book”, but Amazon doesn’t currently have Mockingbird in Kindle format. When I found out, I almost returned my Kindle. I suppose it has something to do with pricing, the publisher’s feeling about eBooks versus print books…who knows? I do know that flipping to a random page would not be as easy on my Kindle. I guess I’ll just have 2 “books” in my carry on because I can’t imagine being without Mockingbird. But if space becomes an issue, it won’t be hard decision. I already know which one I would leave behind.

Even if you have already read Mockingbird, read it again. Do it!


Reviewed by Heidi (staff)

Tags: book, fiction, review
Post date: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 12:17am

Have You Heard About... Well-Offed in Vermont

… a pret’ near perfect murder? Well-Offed in Vermont is the first book in a new series by Amy Patricia Meade. Nick and Stella are “flatlanders” (out-of-staters) who try to move into a vintage farmhouse in a sleepy little town in Vermont. They never get moved in until the very end of the book though. Someone has been murdered on their new property, and they are forced to move into a hunting cabin, complete with no electricity and an outhouse (don’t ask how a flashlight ended up in the latrine).

The dialogue and antics of these two are pure slapstick as they try to get to know their neighbors while pretending to be the super sleuths. After all, they have nothing better to do until they can move into their new house, right? Was it the sheriff, or the owner of the Sweet Shop, the real estate agent or someone else who killed a not-so-well-liked businessman and dumped him on their property? These two city-slickers are sure to capture your heart and your funny bone in this delightful book.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 12:22am

Have You Heard About... The Big Year

… how funny bird watching can be? OK, The Big Year was seriously hilarious. At first I thought, “Oh great, three of the world’s biggest hams together in one movie. They are just going to try to upstage each other the whole time.” Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. Enough said, right? But they were all perfect! Each had some super silly moments to shine, but overall they played very real characters and I found myself looking past the actors and caring about the people they portrayed.

According to the film, having a “big year” is an expression in bird watching (or birding as the professionals call it) for a calendar year in which an avid birder tries to see as many North American species as possible. It was fun to see the beautiful birds, but you don’t have to be into birding to enjoy this movie. The Big Year also starred Brian Dennehy as J.B.’s father, one of my favorite parts of the movie.

Don’t miss this one; it’s a blast and family friendly!


Reviewed by Heidi (staff)

Tags: Comedy, DVD, review
Post date: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 12:10am

Have You Heard About... Eagle Brand Best-Loved Desserts

… all of your favorite Eagle Brand recipes in one book? Eagle Brand Best-Loved Desserts has sections for classics, kids, quick and easy, gifts, and the basics. Seventy-one of the recipes that cooks have been clipping from newspapers, magazines and can labels are gathered in one delicious cookbook.

Remember 7 Layer Magic Cookie Bars, Foolproof Fudge, Simple Fruit Smoothies, S’more Cookie Pizza, and Creamy Cinnamon Rolls? If you’ve never heard of any of these, it’s time to check out this book and give them a try. Very easy to make and very yummy to eat!


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 12:34am

Have You Heard About... Press Here

… the great interactive picture book? Apparently, I really missed the boat on Herve Tullet’s Press Here. It was one of the rare picture books to make it onto the New York Times Bestseller List, there has been a ton of positive press about it, we have two copies in the library, yet I had never read it. A friend recommended it, so I got a copy and brought it home to Marie, my almost-2-year-old.

She had a blast! This book is not a beautiful story. It doesn’t have scenic illustrations, but it is the most interactive book she and I have read together, including her pop-up books. The first page has a yellow dot on a blank what page and simply says, “Press here and turn the page.” Once you press the yellow dot and turn the page, you see that your participation has caused the dot to multiply! Gently rubbing this other dot will cause the dot to change color. Tapping on a different dot will create rows of new dots in the same color. Shake the book to mix the dots around. Clap to make the dots grow in size. It’s so simple, it’s brilliant!

Marie and I were laughing and laughing! When it comes time to shake the book (my favorite part), Marie shakes more of herself than anything else. Adorable! Don’t miss the fun. Enjoy!!!


Reviewed by Heidi (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 8:17am

Have You Heard About... Desolate Angel

… the ghost who has to fix the mistakes he made in life?  It may sound familiar, but Desolate Angel* by Chaz McGee puts a different spin on it.  Kevin Fahey was a crummy husband and father and only a mediocre detective, who was more often drunk than sober on the job, when he was killed in a drug bust. He’s stuck in a type of limbo, as a ghost, who has realized that if he can help his replacement, Maggie Gunn, solve some of the cases he screwed up on, he might finally see his final light. He can’t “talk” to Maggie, only guide her in the pursuit of justice, sort of like a very silent partner.  In this case, he realizes that he sent the wrong man to prison. He tries to guide Maggie and his former partner in the direction to “make it right.”

I wasn’t real sure that I’d enjoy a more serious type mystery, but as the mystery slowly unfolds, I found that I couldn’t put the book down and stayed up most of the night reading.

* The second book in the series is Angel Interrupted.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 12:09am

Have You Heard About... The White Devil

… the spectacularly spooky English ghost story?  The White Devil by Justin Evans follows the story of seventeen-year-old Andrew Taylor, who is sent to a British boarding school for his last year before college.  But it proves to be a tough adjustment, as Andrew’s classmates succumb to a mysterious epidemic as soon as he steps foot on campus, and Andrew begins having frightening visions of a malicious, jealous ghost haunting the school.  To make matters even stranger, the school’s poet-in-residence, Piers Fawkes, notices an uncanny resemblance between Andrew and the school’s most famous student, poet Lord Byron.  But this resemblance is extremely dangerous, for the ghost seems to be tied in with the history of Lord Byron, and he’s coming after Andrew next. 

This novel, with its foggy landscape and crumbling English houses, borrows heavily from classic ghost stories, but what makes this book really special is the literary background that forms the basis of the book’s central mystery. But don’t be fooled - this isn’t your average tale, with wailing ghosts and clanking chains.  This book is extremely scary, and best read in a well-lit room. 


Reviewed by Katie (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 12:02am

Have You Heard About... The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

…Vinnie Bump? In Melanie Benjamin’s The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb you’ll find out how the amazing Mercy Lavinia ‘Vinnie’ Warren Bump came to knock the Civil War off the front pages of the newspaper. This tiny, 2 ft. 8 in., dynamo had a huge personality and knew what she wanted out of life in a time when women were expected to marry and have children.

While telling of some of the problems that little people face, Vinnie tells her story with humor and compassion. She tells of how she first met the famous P.T Barnum and how their friendship grew and always inspired her. Her marriage to Charles Stratton, better known as General Tom Thumb, is very interesting, as is her loving relationship with her diminutive sister Minnie and what happened after she died.

You’ll need huge blocks of time to read this fascinating story as it’s very hard to put down.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)