Have You Heard

Post date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 1:43am

Have You Heard About... Rango

Clint Eastwood turning into a chameleon? That’s the idea behind Rango — a very hip and totally unique DVD. Rango blows into the town of Dirt and takes on the Eastwood persona. Think The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, music and all, only with the residents of the desert turned into cartoon characters in place of people.

No, Clint Eastwood isn’t in the movie, exactly – just listen and watch. Also, be sure to watch the special features to see how this movie came about. Kids will like the cartoon aspect and adults will get a kick out of the western satire.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Tags: DVD, family, review
Post date: Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 10:57am

Have You Heard About... Skirting the Grave

… the Vintage Magic Mysteries? Skirting the Grave is Annette Blair’s fourth book in this wonderful series* about vintage clothing and Maddie Culter, the owner of Vintage Magic.

Maddie’s sister Brandy is behind the fabulous-fifties theme fundraiser that the Vintage Magic shop is providing the clothes for. Carhop uniforms complete with the roller skates. Cocktail dresses to die for. Remember to wear your hat and gloves! Maddie has a new assistant, Isobel, who knows the world about fashion. Now, think trouble times three! Isobel was murdered as she got off the train. Is the new assistant really Isobel or her twin sister, or could it be the look-alike cousin? Maddie has to sort out “who’s who” before another murder happens.

*I highly recommend this entire series: A Veiled Deception, Death by Diamonds, and Larceny and Lace.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 1:29am

Have You Heard About... Hounded

… the two-thousand­-year-old Druid living in Arizona? Atticus O’Sullivan (born Siodhachan O Suileabhain) is the hero of Kevin Hearne’s Hounded*. He survived over twenty centuries by being very smart, fast, and good at magic. He has also been on the run from Aenghus Og, the Celtic god of love who wants Fragarach, Atticus’ magical sword, preferably over Atticus’ dead body. (Don’t worry — there’s a pronunciation guide at the front of the book.)

Hounded is a fun, fast-paced modern fantasy filled with gods, goddesses, werewolves, witches, and other magical beings. The characters come from a mix of different cultures – American, Celtic, Norse, Polish, and more – bringing an interesting variety of styles and abilities to the mix. Everyone has his or her own motivations, and there are plenty of miscommunications, assumptions about who is on whose side, and changes of allegiance. It can be a little tricky to keep track of who is doing what for (or against) whom. Fortunately, there’s plenty of witty banter and action to keep things moving. Although this is the first in a series and several things are deliberately left open at the end, the main plot thread is wrapped up neatly without any serious cliff-hangers.

* The next two books in the series are Hexed and Hammered.


Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 1:14am

Have You Heard About... Eat This, Not That! No Diet! Diet

…eating whatever you want and still losing weight? Eat This, Not That! No Diet! Diet by David Zinczenko is the book to tell you how to accomplish this miracle.

Yes, you can eat at McDonald’s or your favorite family restaurant and still lose weight. It’s just a matter of swapping out a few of the truly bad choices you make for one or two healthier choices. This book looks at the hidden ingredients in some foods. Who knew that Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream or a Jr. chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s were better for you than a Cold Stone Creamery plain yogurt?

 Like the previous books by this author (Eat This Not That, Cook This Not That, etc…), it’s a simple matter of choices in what you eat. All kinds of fast food places are included with handy charts to compare one restaurant to another. There are also a lot of fairly simple recipes that don’t call for any exotic ingredients. This book is divided into breakfast, lunch, supper and dessert, making it very easy to decide where you’d like to start on your no-diet diet. It’s all about making smart choices.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 1:02am

Have You Heard About... Coastliners

….another riveting novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Chocolat, Joanne Harris? In Coastliners, Madeleine returns to the small French island she grew up on after a ten year absence.

Madeleine reconnects with her aloof father and his neighbors as they attempt to save the island from erosion. A mysterious newcomer becomes an integral part of the island community and helps Madeleine determine her path in life. As the story unfolds, Harris’ visual descriptions bring the beauty of the island and characters to life.


Reviewed by Rose (staff)

Tags: book, fiction, review
Post date: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 1:59am

Have You Heard About... Frozen Stiff

…the latest exploits of deputy coroner Mattie Winston?  In Annelise Ryan’s Frozen Stiff*, the murder of an ex-girlfriend of her boyfriend, hunky Steve Hurley, has Mattie up to her eyeballs in intrigue. Did Steve really kill his ex or is he being framed?

Mattie needs to sort this out fast because her feelings for Steve are escalating, and her ex-hubby, who refuses to sign the divorce papers, is on the line. A big fire, a convict with a huge grudge against Steve, the fact that Mattie drives a hearse as a personal car, and her dog Hoover make this a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving read. The revelation of Mattie’s full name is a fun episode near the end, which should lead into book number four.

* The previous books in the series are Working Stiff and Scared Stiff.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 1:42am

Have You Heard About... Trickster: Native American Tales

… coyote, raven, rabbit, and the other Native American tricksters? Trickster: Native American Tales collects a wide variety of stories in graphic novel format. Edited by Matt Dembicki, this book brings together over twenty stories from a variety of Native American traditions.

These tricksters come in a variety of forms, both animal and human. They may be benevolent, just out for laughs, or actively cruel. Sometimes, their actions help others; other times, they only help themselves; and sometimes, their tricks backfire against them. The stories come from the plains, mountains, swamps, and ice fields. They feature a wide variety of storytelling styles and artwork, from very sparse to highly detailed. Not all of these tales will appeal to all readers, but there is something here for everyone, and the overall collection is excellent.


Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 1:32am

Have You Heard About... Earth

… the stunning film of our planet from Disney Nature? Earth is a great movie for the whole family. It starts and ends with the daddy polar bear. Next, mom polar bear comes out of her den, then the baby polar bears come out and see their world for the first time. The scenery is breathtaking.

The focus then moves to the tropical forests, where the beautiful birds get together. They describe how the male bird does his house cleaning, and what he goes through in his grooming. It’s really funny.

See the baby ducks in ‘flight school.’ You could watch this scene over and over; it’s so cute! In the deserts, the elephants have long treks to find water, and the mom elephant protects her adorable baby from lions. The oceans are fantastic with the whales and their 4,000 mile trek to a ‘summer vacation’ destination. In a helicopter over Angel Falls in Venezuela you feel like you are actually there. This was awesome!

James Earl Jones is the narrator of the film, and he does an excellent job of describing all of the animals and the scenery. Be sure to keep watching the movie as the credits roll, to see how some of the movie was filmed. Also, don’t miss the special features. It took 5 years to film this documentary, and it shows what the crew went through to get the fantastic shots without disturbing the animals.

I very highly recommend this DVD. I thought it was super fantastic!


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 1:16am

Have You Heard About... In Search of Lost Roses

… the incredible history of roses? In Search of Lost Roses, by Thomas Christopher, is an elegant look at how roses and their cultivation have changed over time. In particular, Mr. Christopher focuses on older, heirloom strains. These fragrant, beautiful roses were largely pushed aside by the more dramatic and longer-blooming hybrid tea roses that are so common today.

This book travels across the world and through time, giving us a history of a flower surrounded by history and legend. The author also crossed the United States, meeting with individuals who are seeking out and cultivating old roses. They go through old gardens and graveyards, taking cuttings of promising plants, then look through antique catalogs and garden descriptions, trying to match newly found heirlooms to old names. This book can teach you an amazing amount about a flower everyone knows.

I first learned of In Search of Lost Roses through a science fiction novel and read it to learn what the history of roses has to do with an alien world. (Roses are almost always grown from cuttings because the seeds can produce a very different plant from the parent. The author borrowed this concept and mixed it with some genetic engineering to good effect.) I fell in love with the incredible descriptions, beautiful stories, and eccentric people associated with old roses, to the point where I re-read this book almost as often as the one that inspired me to seek it out.


Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 1:13am

Have You Heard About... Gone with a Handsomer Man

Michael Lee West’s new killer comedy? In Gone with a Handsomer Man, Teeny Templeton is a wannabe pastry chef from the wrong side of the tracks, and she sometimes has a grammar problem.

By the end of the first chapter, you feel like you’ve known her all of your life. Teeny makes up yummy recipes in her head, sometimes with added poison ingredients if needed. Part romance, part mystery, this is a fun, laugh out loud read that is very hard to put down. I can’t wait for the sequel!


Reviewed by Terry (staff)