What We're Readin' and Watchin'

Book and video reviews by the Lucy Robbins Welles Library staff. The public library of Newington, Connecticut.
Website: www.newington.lib.ct.us Phone: 860-665-8700

Friday, July 06, 2007

Title: In the Company of Soldiers
Author: Rick Atkinson

Your thoughts:
This is an excellent account by an embedded reporter from the Washington Post of the initial days of the invasion of Iraq, post-9/11. Atkinson provides profiles of the various generals, colonels and “regular soldiers,” but he is directly attached to General Petraeus and the 101st Airborne Division. Petraeus is presently the four-star in charge of all US forces in Iraq, so it’s very interesting to see a profile of him during the initial invasion, with the attendant problems and snafus. And, in light of what’s transpired in the last 4 years, it’s illuminating to be reminded of who said what when. Not light reading, but very interesting. jpq

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Waiting for Harry

While you wait for the Harry Potter book come out try this daily trivia game.

Get this and other HP countdowns at LeakyNews.com



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Memory Keeper's Daughter

Title: Memory Keeper's Daughter
Author: Kim Edwards

Edwards does a beautiful job of showing the reader what a secret can do to a family. The secret built a wall between the parents. The keeper of the secret hid behind it and the other kept trying to get around or through a wall she could not see or understand but knew it was there. The secret kept them from truly knowing each other. The children could not connect with their parents because of the walls between and around the parents.

Of course I enjoyed the parts of the book about photography but I could also relate to all the characters because none were perfect. The father was remote and closed. The mom was in pain with no one to comfort her. The nurse who was the most caring and giving had some mixed motives for doing what she did.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Sister by Paola Kaufmann

Title: The Sister: A Novel of Emily Dickinson
Author: Paola Kaufmann

Your thoughts:
I highly recommend this book, especially to anyone remotely interested in Emily Dickinson. The story is told from the perspective of Lavinia Dickinson, Emily's sister. Lavinia writes at the end of her life, remembering memories of her sister as well as other family members. Kaufmann offers a very interesting perspective of the Dickinson family in her extremely well-researched and well-crafted book. Another nice touch is that Emily Dickinson's poems appear at the beginning of almost every chapter and set a lovely tone for the piece.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flight by Sherman Alexie

Title: Flight
Author: Sherman Alexie

Your thoughts:
Sherman Alexie is an incredible author and his most recent novel, Flight, is a reflection of his remarkable ability. To me, Alexie is most effective as a poet and short story writer (he is also a very talented screenwriter, as anyone who has seen Smoke Signals can attest), but his novels are also well worth the read. His style, though, may not appeal to some readers.

Flight tells the story of a half-white, half-Spokane Indian teenage boy called Zits. He has spent the great majority of his life in the foster care system and has known little other than abuse, neglect, disappointment, and hurt. During a recent stay in jail, Zits is befriended by a cellmate who has named himself Justice. As a result of this "friendship," Zits walks into a bank with a gun in one hand and a paint gun in the other and opens fire. Immediately after doing so, however, he is transported back in time and into the body of an FBI agent. This experience in time travel is the first of many that will make Zits confront his own violent acts. By forcing Zits to see the violence in the world and in himself, Alexie is also forcing the reader to confront the difficult history of violence that has long been a part of America's relationship with its indigenous peoples. The story ends with the hope that redemption, for Zits and perhaps even the world, may be possible after all.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Title: Motif for Murder: A Scrapbooking Mystery
Author: Laura Childs

Your thoughts:
Laura Childs is a new author to me; she was recommended to me by my friend because I love mysteries and scrapbooking. The main character, Carmen, has just reconciled with her husband. He is kidnapped from their kitchen one morning, and his uncle is murdered. Carmen and her friend get caught up in trying to find Carmen's husband and finding the uncle's murderer. In between running all around New Orleans trying to solve the mystery and parties, she runs a scrapbooking store. She keeps busy and sane by working on scrapping projects in her store. At the end of the book she gives directions for the scrapping projects she does in her shop and recipes for all the dinners and food she prepares. Laura Childs also writes a tea shop mystery series.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rome, the First Complete Season

Title: Rome, the first complete season

Your thoughts:
My friend let me borrow this DVD set. This was excellent! I don't know why Newington doesn't own this. I don't remember my Ancient History class being this exciting. There are plots and intrigues, love and war!! My husband and I both enjoyed watching this. My only disappointing moment was that there was no "et tu, Brute." I'm also happy to say that when this movie starts, it's the same time period as the mystery Rubicon that I read a couple of months ago.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Expected One

Title: The Expected One
Author: Kathleen McGowan

I could not put this book down. If you liked the DaVinci Code, you'll like this. The main character is Maureen Paschal who has vivid dreams of Mary Magdalene. As the story unfolds, she discovers information about her father. She travels to France and investigates the history of Mary Magdalene. This is a wonderful book, and I encourage you to read it. I have been recommending this to all my friends.