Month: July 2012

Check It Out Blog

John’s Pick: Two-Lane Blacktop

John staff picks photoThe late-60s/early-70s cycle of existential road movies yielded a number of interesting films, but perhaps the most overlooked is Monte Hellman’s minimalist masterpiece, Two-Lane Blacktop. “The Driver” and “The Mechanic” have simplified their lives to exist almost solely as extensions of the ‘55 Chevy they race from town to town.

Fear the Worst

Dead Scared book coverWhen someone finally notices that Cambridge University is experiencing an unusually high rate of violent suicides, DC Lacey Flint is tapped to go undercover. She’s warned of websites that may be pushing vulnerable students to extreme action, but what she discovers is infinitely more insidious. Pretty young women are being systematically traumatized, but it’s all chalked up to their own mental and emotional struggles. Since Lacey herself has just barely survived an especially brutal case, it may not take much acting to play the part of the fragile co-ed. Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton is a creepy, fast-paced, and gruesome psychological thriller, and you won’t be able to put it down.

John Waters, Eccentric Extraordinaire

John Waters is a boundary-breaking filmmaker and author. He is an oddball, kitsch king, and anti-tastemaker whose outsider aesthetic, over the decades, has been more and more accepted by popular culture. His most recent book, Role Models, is a self portrait wherein Waters explores himself through profiling the (sometimes shocking) people who have influenced him.

Here is John Waters talking about his life and work with Paula Marantz Cohen of Drexel University.

LISTS: Medical Thrillers

Death Benefit book coverJames Patterson, Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, Tess Gerritsen, and Robert Ludlum have something in common. They’ve all written exhilarating medical suspense. If you like your danger and conspiracies to be mixed with doctors, diseases, and hospitals, we’ve got something for you.

Click here to let the bloodletting medical thrillers begin!

The Private Letters of Booklovers

84, Charing Cross Road book coverMiss Helene Hanff loved books – old, beautiful, rare books. Unfortunately, she was a struggling New York writer and couldn’t afford to buy any. That is, until she found Marks and Company through an ad in the Saturday Review of Literature. 84, Charing Cross Road is a collection of the correspondence between Helene Hanff and the employees of the London antiquarian bookshop Marks and Company, especially Frank Doel, the shop’s manager. What starts with a single letter of Hanff’s, requesting out-of-print but affordable books, turns into a twenty-year friendship across the Atlantic. When you finish this true, charming, and fast read, watch the lovely movie adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft.

Award-Winning Faith Fiction

Promises to Keep book cover

The 2012 Christy Awards, designed to honor and promote excellence in Christian fiction, newly announced top picks in a variety of genres. Click here for a complete of nominees, and choose one of the winners below to inspire your end-of-summer reading.

Contemporary Standalone: Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

Contemporary Series: The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Suspense: The Queen by Steven James

Historical: Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Historical Romance: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

First Novel: Words by Ginny Yttrup

When Cary Met Sophia

Houseboat DVD coverCary Grant agreed to the film Houseboat because he was in love with Sophia Loren, and their attraction is obvious in this warm family comedy. Grant plays a widower, Tom, who doesn’t know what to do with his three precocious children. Enter Cinzia, a sheltered Italian socialite who desperately wants the chance to meet a real American. Pretending to be a maid, she agrees to care for the children and helps to mend fences between Tom and his estranged family. Loren is captivating as the woman who wins all of their hearts with playfulness, understanding, and an appreciation for dolce far niente, “the sweetness of doing nothing.”

A Magician, a Harlot, and a Jewish Interpreter Walk Into a Western

1867, Omaha. Julius Meyer was kidnapped by the Ponca Indians. Julius quickly picks up the Ponca’s customs and language and becomes their official interpreter. Combine Julius’ story with that of a scandalous soiled dove and Julius’ soon-to-be-famous magician cousin, Alexander Hermann, and you have Magic Words, by Gerald Kolpan.

Kolpan discusses the inspiration and writing process behind Magic Words: The Tale of a Jewish Boy-Interpreter, the World’s Most Estimable Magician, a Murderous Harlot, and America’s Greatest Indian Chief in the clip below.

LISTS: Wrestling

Mankind Havea  Nice Day book coverThere are wrestlers…and then there are hardcore, can’t get enough, you-can’t-stop-this brawling maniacs. Take for example the four-time World Champion, eleven-time Tag Team Champion Mick Foley who once said, “If God built me a ladder to heaven, I would climb it and elbow drop the world.”

For books on the greatest wrestlers ever, click here.
Then click here to see what wrestling DVDs the Library owns.