New in DVD

Fill the Void

Foreign PG

fill the voidShira is a pious 18-year-old Israeli woman, engaged to a talented young man of the same age. After her sister dies giving birth, the father is left to care for the baby and considers leaving the country. Shira’s mother discovers his plans, and pressures Shira to marry him in order to keep the baby in the country. Shira is now torn between her own wishes, and those of her mother. She is part of a community with strict laws of religion, and therefore has little choice.

Saving General YangSaving General Yang

Foreign NR

Seven sons must take on an army of thousands, brave treacherous mountain terrain, face their nemesis, and find a way home alive-all to rescue their beloved patriarch.

- posted by Ralph, Media Services

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A Little Christmas in my Mystery, Please! #2

christmas mystery giftEvery year I promise myself to read some books that have a Christmas theme well before the holiday season so I can write about them in this blog.  And every year I manage to read one …maybe two.  This year I actually remembered to start reading early enough to write this series of  blog posts.  I chose to stick to my favorite genre which is mystery and read books by authors I had always wanted to try but never did. I’ve read four books so far, so there will be at least four posts, maybe more if there’s time.

The nice thing about holiday books is that they are usually short and always have happy, feel good endings. Some bad/sad things might happen along the way to the characters we grow to care about while reading (especially in the case of mysteries), but there are plenty of “warm fuzzies” to go around at the end.

Silent Night by Robert B. Parker with Nancy Brann

First lines: Susan and I walked from my place up to Newbury Street on a sunny Saturday morning.  The snow from the night before had stopped falling.

silent nightSummary: “It’s December in Boston, and Spenser is busy planning the menu for Christmas dinner when he’s confronted in his office by a young boy named Slide. Homeless and alone, Slide has found refuge with an organization named Street Business, which gives shelter and seeks job opportunities for the homeless and lost. Slide’s mentor, Jackie Alvarez, is being threatened, and Street Business is in danger of losing its tenuous foothold in the community, turning Slide and many others like him back on the street. But it’s not a simple case of intimidation – Spenser, aided by Hawk, finds a trail that leads to a dangerous drug kingpin, whose hold on the at-risk community Street Business serves threatens not just the boys’ safety and security, but their lives as well.” (from the publisher)

My take:  It’s not a good idea to choose as your first read of a series one of the last books the author wrote, but I snagged a copy on the first day that it came out and picked it for my second holiday book.  Silent Night was an unfinished manuscript left behind by the late Robert B. Parker and completed by his longtime agent Nancy Brann.  I had put off reading any of the Spenser novels for fear that they would not live up to their reputation and my fear was realized in this case.  The book was just OK.  The plot made sense and it was interesting and entertaining enough to finish but I was left wondering, “What’s the big deal?” I’ve since gone back to the first Spenser novel, The Godwulf Manuscript and now understand a bit better and will be reading more in the series eventually.  Silent Night will surely satisfy Spenser fans eager for more.  Those readers looking for more books like Parker’s would do well to seek out Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series or the books of Elmore Leonard.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars.

- posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

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A Little Christmas in my Mystery, Please! #1

christmas mystery giftEvery year I promise myself to read some books that have a Christmas theme well before the holiday season so I can write about them in this blog.  And every year I manage to read one …maybe two.  This year I actually remembered to start reading early enough to write this series of  blog posts.  I chose to stick to my favorite genre which is mystery and read books by authors I had always wanted to try but never did. I’ve read four books so far, so there will be at least four posts, maybe more if there’s time.

The nice thing about holiday books is that they are usually short and always have happy, feel good endings. Some bad/sad things might happen along the way to the characters we grow to care about while reading (especially in the case of mysteries), but there are plenty of “warm fuzzies” to go around at the end.

Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier

First Lines: “Do you have any sharp knives?” asked the tremulous voice.  “Something that will cut through bone and gristle?” Lucy Stone stifled a yawn, adjusted her headset,and typed the code for “knives” on the computer keyboard in front of her.

mistletoe murderSummary: “As if baking holiday cookies, knitting a sweater for her husband’s gift, and making her daughter’s angel costume for the church pageant weren’t enough things for Lucy Stone’s busy Christmas schedule, she’s also working nights at the famous mail-order company Country Cousins. But when she discovers Sam Miller, its very wealthy founder, dead in his car from an apparent suicide, the sleuth in her knows something just doesn’t smell right.” (from the publisher)

My take: Since I usually try to read the first book in a mystery series, when I saw that Meier’s first Lucy Stone was a Christmas mystery, well, that made my first choice easy.  I read this book on long train ride and it was just the thing.  Lucy Stone is the typical character you will find in a cozy mystery who manages to take care of her family and job as well as get involved with solving a murder.  She and the rest of the characters were likeable and more importantly: believable.  The plot was intriguing enough and the solution made sense.  Fans of Diane Mott Davidson or Joanna Fluke might want to try this series.

Rating: 3 out of 4 stars.

Next: Silent Night by Robert B. Parker with Nancy Brann

- posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services


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New in DVD

wolverineThe Wolverine

PG-13 Action

Summoned to Japan by an old friend, Wolverine becomes involved in a conflict that will force him to confront his own demons. There, adamantium claws will clash with samurai steel as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will change him forever.

Inch’Allah

R Foreign

inch'allahChloe is a young Canadian doctor who lives in Jerusalem and works in Ramallah. Every day she passes through the checkpoints between the two feuding sides to monitor the pregnancies of young women. As she spends time with Rand, one of her patients, she learns more about life in the occupied territories. The more time she spends with Rand and her family, Chloe becomes torn between two sides of the conflict.

- posted by Ralph, Media Services

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He Said, She Said Book Discussion

Please join us on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm for a special evening to celebrate a year of great books and discussions.  Lisa Jones, Ed Goldberg, Sonia Grgas and Ralph Guiteau, Adult Services Librarians will discuss the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction Winner: “The Round House” by Louise Erdrich.

                round house

“When His mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, fourteen-year old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.  Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from…[Erdrich], the Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction-at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.” (from the publisher)

This program is free and will meet in conference room B/C. 

Books are currently available at the Circulation Desk on the 1st floor. 

Light refreshments will be served.

All are welcome – We hope to see you there!

- posted by Lisa J., Readers’ Services

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Mango Languages database now even better!

mango premiere

Traveling someplace different for the holidays this year? If you want to speak like the locals, try our Mango Languages database.

Mango offers a unique way of learning, using different colors for different parts of speech, and taking you through full conversations. There are also grammar and culture notes for each different country.

The best part is that Mango has a brand new add-on: Mango Premiere!

Mango Premiere is the first and only language-learning resource to teach through film. Focusing on the four key areas of language learning – vocabulary, phrases, culture and grammar – you not only get a good education, but also all the fun and excitement of watching a movie.

mango premiere laptopThere are some great new movies to watch on Mango Premiere, like the Chinese hit “Kung Fu Dunk,” or the fun Japanese film “Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge.” More movies will be added as time goes on.

Come up to the 3rd floor and ask a librarian how to get started!

- posted by Erica, Reference Librarian

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New in DVD

red 2Red 2

Action PG-13

Retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses rejoins his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device.

R.I.P.D.

Action PG-13

RIPDTwo cops are dispatched by the Rest In Peace Department (R.I.P.D.) to protect and serve the living from increasingly destructive spirits hiding among the unsuspecting Earth. When they uncover a plot that could end life as we know it, the new partners have to turn grudging respect into top-notch teamwork to restore the cosmic balance-or watch the tunnel to the afterlife begin sending angry souls the very wrong way.

Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe

Not Rated

myn balaKazakhstan, 1729: A ferocious Mongol tribe sweeps across the steppes, and Kazakh sultans leave their people to fend for themselves. Young Sartai and other survivors flee to the mountains. But revenge drives Sartai and his friends back to the steppe, where he falls in love with the beautiful Zere, daughter of a local khan who chose to protect his village by working with the hated Mongols.

- posted by Ralph, Media Services

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