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Showing posts from March, 2009

Securing The City by Christopher Dickey

In the three decades [Dickey's] been reporting on guerrilla wars and terrorist conspiracies, the fanatical hatred of countless groups has focused on New York City like a compass needle quivering toward magnetic north. from page 3
Securing the City: Inside America's Best Counterterror Force--The NYPD by Christopher Dickey is the last of my nonfiction reads and I am now (happily) back to fiction. Securing the City was a riveting and interesting read. Dickey has easily accessible writing and another positive for me was the short chapters (chapter length probably plays too large a role in my enjoyment of a book... the answer lies in my reading process, but that is another post for another time).

The book chronicles the sheer luck and later the sheer diligence of the work that the police put in to prevent many terrorist plots from successfully detonating on American soil. This page turner uses true accounts of countless terrorist attacks both on American soil, specifically New Yo…


Wanted stars Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. It is loosely adapted from the limited graphic novel series, Wanted, and a sequel to the film is apparently in the works.

The film achieves a very similar tone and structure to the graphic novel, however, the film's story greatly differs from that portrayed in the graphic novels. The film features thrilling, intense action scenes and satisfying plot twists; ultimately, I liked the story as portrayed in the film better than I liked the story as portrayed in the novel.

About a thousand years ago a group of weavers formed a secret fraternity of assassins to ensure balance in the world by following the credo "kill one, save a thousand." The weaving on the loom of fate (reminiscent of the Fates of Greek mythology) once interpreted and decoded tells the fraternity the names of those that fate wants dead. Wesley is recruited into this secretive, elite organization to exact vengeance on the rogue assassin who murder…

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

In the end, the end of a life only matters to friends, family, and other folks you used to know ... for everyone else, it's just another end. from page six of Elsewhere
In this young adult novel, fifteen year old Liz dies after being hit by a car on Earth; she awakens on a cruise ship bound for Elsewhere, and she slowly realizes that death is more of an afterlife lived in a place similar to Earth called Elsewhere. This is the story of a teen adjusting to the end of her life as she knows it and to the beginning of a new life without her friends and family. The end of the novel, though certainly not the end of Liz's story, is heartbreakingly poignant.

Zevin writes beautifully; however, this novel is definitely for the tween and young adult set. I could easily tell that this was targeted for the younger reader from the juvenile tone of some sections of the book. There are some authors who write for younger readers whose novels the older, more sophisticated reader can also appr…

New Arrivals In DVD's!

The library is adding two new documentary series on DVD to its shelves. We hope you'll check out these series the next time you visit the library.

The History Channel Presents The Decades Collection. Made up of twenty DVD's, each decade of the twentieth century is covered in this series. DVD/577 -DVD/596

The History Channel Presents 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America. This three DVD series examines such events as Albert Einstein's letter to President Franklin Roosevelt urging him to develop a new weapon to the assassination of President McKinley to Shays' Rebellion to the gold rush and how they impacted the history of America and our lives as Americans today. DVD/574 - DVD/576

New Arrivals in Yound Adult Fiction!

The library has recently added new titles to the Young Adult fiction section located downstairs along the back wall of the library. We hope you'll check them out the next time you're visiting the library!

New titles

Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter

Shadows of Lancaster County by Mindy Starns Clark

Against All Odds by Irene Hannon

Love Starts With Elle by Rachel Hauck

Waiting for Daybreak by Kathryn Cushman

Where Do I Go? by Neta Jackson

Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates

I've never read a book by Joyce Carol Oates though I did see her speak once at the National Book Festival On The Mall a few years ago. She is a very prolific writer--she writes scripts, novels, and poems, and as a person she struck me as slightly eccentric. She was a very good speaker. Recently I was reading the news on a movie website that I frequent, and I came across an article about an upcoming independent film production that was adapting Oates' novella, Rape. Samuel L. Jackson and Maria Bello are attached to star. You can easily read this book in a day, all told, I finished it in a few hours.

You were twelve at the time. Your thirteenth birthday would arrive abruptly, too soon in August, and depart mostly unheralded. For childhood belonged to before, now you had come to live in after. from page 37
Rape: A Love Story is seen through the eyes of Bethel Maguire. It is a narrative of before and after; it is the tale of the end of childhood for Bethel, and the story of…

The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes--And Why by Amanda Ripley

My streak of nonfiction reads continues--and ends with The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes--And Why by Amanda Ripley, a writer for Time magazine. I read a short article by Ripley in Time; it was about the survivors of the Hudson River passenger jet crash and their behavior in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

The Unthinkable is a fascinating read. Ripley examines the various stages one goes through in a disaster (for example, denial, deliberation, determination...) and the different reactions people have and why (for example, paralysis, panic, action, heroics...). It also examines who responds in what way and why they respond this way in a crisis or disaster and what we can do to improve our chances of survival in the midst of a disaster such as a fire or a tsunami or a plane crash (for example, rehearse evacuation, locate all the exits in an unfamiliar place...). Ultimately this book is an examination of human behavior as it is influenced by genetics and exper…

New Arrivals in Children's Audio Books!

We are adding several new titles to the Children's Audio Book Section downstairs at the library. Some of these titles include ones by Kevin Henkes, Tomie DePaola, and Rosemary Wells as well as Giggle, Giggle, Quack; Officer Buckle and Gloria, and Harry the Dirty Dog!

Come in to the library to check out these new titles!

Generation Kill by Evan Wright and One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick

Non-fiction books aren't really my thing; generally, this is how my relationship goes with non-fiction books: I see a really interesting one, I borrow it, I start to read it, and then I ditch it a chapter or two later when the dry, boring writing and non-existent plot fail to hook me. However, this a review of two non-fiction books that I read back to back after a five year old three article series that I dug up on the internet; it was written by Evan Wright and preceded his book Generation Kill, which is basically a book version of the article series that he wrote and published in Rolling Stone Magazine.

Recently HBO adapted Generation Kill into a mini-series that ran sometime last year; I got the series on DVD and in the midst of watching it, I decided I wanted to get my hands on the book to read. In the meantime, I stumbled across One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick, the lieutenant of the platoon that Wright embedded with, and I read that book while I waited for Generation Kill …

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Child had been here. It was here no longer. The man Jack followed his nose down the stairs through the middle of the tall, thin house ... The man Jack sniffed the air. Then, without hurrying he began to walk up the hill." from page 10
This Newbery Medal winning book by Neil Gaiman is a fantasy-supernatural-mystery-coming-of-age story told in long, vignette-style chapters interspersed with black ink illustrations.

When Nobody 'Bod' Owens is just a babe his family is killed by a Man, and Bod barely escapes with his life. Serendipity finds the toddler Bod wandering out of his home while the Man is killing his parents and his sister. Bod wanders up the hill and into the graveyard near his home where the graveyard folk take him in, give him the Freedom of the Graveyard, and teach him the ways of the dead. Since Bod is too young when his parents are killed to remember his own name, his adoptive parents, the Owens, give him a new one and their last name.

Each chapter sha…