Monday, December 23, 2013

Hey Stout! #CheckThisOut — Staff Recommendation

Bridget Krejci
Today's Hey Stout! #CheckThisOut features a staff recommendation. Bridget Krejci is an assistant in the Cataloging & Processing department and one of the newest staff members at the University Library, joining the team in May 2013. Today she offers her review of Ann Patchett's State of Wonder:

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Copyright 2011, Harper Publishing
In State of Wonder, a pharmaceutical researcher, Dr. Marina Singh, goes to the Amazon jungle to find information regarding a colleague who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Once there, she must find Dr. Anneck Swenson, a renowned gynecologist who has spent years looking at the reproductive habits of a local tribe where women can conceive well into their middle ages. Dr. Swenson is paid to find the key to this longstanding childbearing ability by the same company for which Dr. Singh works. However, that isn’t their only connection: both have an overlapping professional past that Dr. Singh has tried to forget. In finding her former mentor, Dr. Singh begins to face her own disappointments and regrets.

I really enjoyed was watching Marina as she became adjusted to living in the jungle. She realized how the material things in her life are not that important and she slowly got rid of them. When she rids herself of these material things, she learned so much about herself. I also loved how Ann Patchett managed to weave together so many powerful topics like ethics in medicine, science and conflicting morals and values. This book really pushes the envelope and that is one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. It is unlike any other book I’ve read.


Review by Bridget Krejci

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

See Pictures of Your Friends With Santa!

Santa visited the library on December 17th, and many students and library staff got their picture taken with him.  All of the photos are all available on our Facebook Page! 




Thursday, December 12, 2013

SANTA is coming to visit!

Santa will be coming to visit us in the library on Tuesday, December 17th at 1:00!  Take a break from studying, grab some free coffee and treats, and tell Santa what you are wishing for this Christmas!  Visit the Library Facebook page after the event to see photos of you and your friends with Santa!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Finals Fun and More @ the Library

The University Library is the place to be during finals time. Not only does the library have the scholastic resources to help you succeed, but it's a great environment to study and work! The library also has several fun events planned for this week and next, so don't miss out on a chance to unwind and de-stress. Read on for a look at what the library is offering.
The library lobby is all ready for Santa's visit on Tuesday!
  • Research Guides. Organized according to subject, major, and course, the library’s research guides are a great place to start your research project. Find the guides through the link on the library’s home page.
  • Ask a Librarian. Library staff is here for you. If you’re looking for help with research or using the library’s resources, visit the Reference Desk on 1st Floor, call, email, or chat online. Find Ask A Librarian on the library’s home page.
  • Take a Study Break. Give yourself a breather with popular magazines, board games, and a snack from the kiosk on 1st Floor, browsing books, movies, and video games on 4th Floor.
  • More than Books. The library is designed with your study needs in mind. Make use of group study rooms, multimedia resources, comfy furniture, quiet floor on 5th, and an abundance of convenient electrical outlets to keep your devices fully charged.
  • Fun Finals Events. The Library has planned a variety of fun events this week and next! Pick a gift-wrapped book from the lobby display for a surprise reading over break; enjoy free coffee and snacks next Tuesday and Wednesday; and take a photo with Santa on Tuesday at 1pm. Don't miss out!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Hey Stout! #CheckThisOut – Ask A Librarian

In this week's Hey Stout! #CheckThisOut, we are featuring the library's Ask A Librarian contact feature. Reference librarians are available to help with your research and library-related questions during reference desk hours. You can visit the Reference Desk — located on the library's first floor across the lobby from Circulation — but if you aren't on campus, reference librarians can also be reached by phone, text, email, web form, and through the Ask A Librarian instant message chat on the Ask A Librarian webpage.  Be sure to take advantage of this helpful library service!

Email: reference@uwstout.edu
Phone: 715-232-1353
Text: 715-952-9555
Chat and web form

Unwrap a Book for Winter Break

Are you going home for the holidays and looking for a book to read while you curl up by the fire?  Or maybe you have a fabulous vacation planned, and are looking for a book to read on the beach.  Check out our book display on 1st floor, and unwrap a favorite title chosen by one of our students or staff!  Each book is gift-wrapped and given three words to describe its content.  After you check the book out, unwrap it to find out what it is! 

More photos on our Facebook Page

Monday, December 02, 2013

Hey Stout! #CheckThisOut

Rise of the Guardians
Copyright 2012 DreamWorks Animation
This week's Hey Stout! #CheckThisOut feature is DreamWorks' 2012 release, Rise of the Guardians. It is available in the Browsing Collection (DVD RISE) on 4th Floor. Check availability or place a request.

Synopsis

DreamWorks' newest animated adventure is a fun-filled and magical story about the legendary guardians — Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and Sandman — together for the first time! When the evil Pitch threatens to take over the world, it's up to our beloved heroes to protect the hopes and dreams of children everywhere. Filled with non-stop action and laughs, it's a dazzling family film that's being hailed as "an instant classic. You will believe." (DVD jacket)

Submitted by Alyssa, Student Assistant

Read The Book Thief with us!

The library will be hosting a book discussion of The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, on Thursday, December 19th at 10:00am.  This discussion is open to any UW-Stout students, faculty, and staff interested in reading young adult literature.  To join us, meet in the Educational Materials Center on 1st floor at 10:00 for a casual book discussion over coffee and treats.  If you can't make the discussion, read the book and tweet your thoughts using the hashtag, #StoutReadsYa.  Contact the library to reserve a copy of the book.

Read the November-December 2013 Porcelain Press

http://lgdata.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/docs/271/957658/PP11_2013_D2.pdf

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hey Stout! #CheckThisOut

Hey Stout! #CheckThisOut is a new weekly blog series featuring the best of the UW-Stout University Library. Every week we will highlight library materials and services to inform students, faculty, and staff about all the library has to offer. On a rotating basis, Hey Stout! #CheckThisOut will feature a book, a video, a library service or resource, and a staff suggestion and review. Comment to share your thoughts about the week's selection and let us know what you'd like to see in the future!

Our first feature is The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, a nom de plume of famed Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. This book is available in the Browsing Collection (PR 6068 .O93 C83 2013).  Check availability or place a request.

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
Copyright 2013, Mulholland Books, publisher

 

Synopsis

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.
 
You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this. (Amazon.com)

Submitted by Averie, Student Assistant

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Student Employee Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Announcing the winners of this year's Student Library Assistant Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

Best Theme: Team Monster
Best Technical Design: Team Witch
Most Creative: Team Vampire

Thanks to all who voted, and thanks to our students for doing such a fabulous job on this contest!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Join us for a YA Book Discussion in Library or on Twitter!

The library will be hosting a book discussion about the book Just One Day by popular YA author Gayle Forman.  This book tells the story of Allyson Healey, who meets actor Willem on a trip to Europe.  When he encourages her to abandon her travel plans and come to Paris with him, they spend 24 hours together, and her life and view of her world is transformed. 

Readers can tweet their thoughts about the book on Twitter using the hashtag #StoutReadsYA.  There will be a book discussion and pizza party in the library on November 19th at 5:00pm.

If you would like to order the book using Interlibrary Loan, use the link here.
 
 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Children's Literature Resources and Recommendations at Stout

Are you looking for the perfect children's book for a story time or student teaching assignment?  Check out the Kid's Books Site at the Stout Library.  This website provides reviews and recommendations for materials that are available in the library's educational materials center.

If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest books added to the collection, current news in children's and YA literature, and education news, follow the UW-Stout Educational Materials Center Tumblr

Halloween Window Decorating Contest for Student Orgs

Win prizes for your Org! The University Library, in collaboration with the Involvement Center, is hosting a Halloween window decorating contest.  There will be three prizes awarded to the windows voted “best dressed,” “spookiest,” and “most org spirit.” This is a great opportunity to promote your organization to the campus community while helping us spookify the library!

 The Details:

Who: All Student Organizations on Campus
Where: Library windows in the reference area (1st floor)

What do we need to bring? Nothing but your creative ideas!  Window paint will be provided by the library, and  paper, die-cuts, and other supplies are available at the Creation Station in the Involvement Center.

When: Decorating will take place from October 23-30th.  Judging will occur on October 31st

Contact: To sign up for a window, please contact Kate Kramschuster (kramschusterk@uwstout.edu).

YA Book Club to Meet October 21

Do you like to read young adult fiction?  Are you looking for ideas on what to read next? All UW-Stout students, faculty, and staff are invited to join us in the University Library on Monday Oct. 21 at 3:30pm for a Young Adult Book Discussion Group. Bring your favorite YA book to the 1st Floor Educational Materials Center for a lively discussion.  Find out what others are reading, and see some of the new YA books in the library!  Contact Kate Kramschuster kramschusterk@uwstout.edu for more information.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

University Library Welcomes New Director

Today the campus community welcomed Library Director Marlys Brunsting with a reception in the library lobby. As director, Marlys has administrative responsibility for the management, planning and development of all library policies, services, budgets, and supervision of library personnel.  She also serves as the campus copyright officer.

Prior to coming to UW-Stout, she had 16 years of experience  in various library positions at UW-Green Bay, including 12 years as Coordinator of Library Automation and Copyright Librarian.  Her expertise was in library technology.

Marlys enjoys reading, piano, golf, scrapbooking, and spending time with family. She can be reached at brunstingm@uwstout.edu or (715) 232-1184.

Photo: Associate Vice Chancellor Jackie Weissenburger with Library Director Marlys Brunsting

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The librarians at Stout ROCK!

University Library Reference Services Survey
Executive Summary

In spring 2012 the library sent a survey to all UW-Stout students, faculty and staff to find out how the campus uses the library. We found out that 59% of students and 77% of the faculty/staff used our reference services. Librarians helped students, faculty, and staff with a wide range of services -- from finding books, theses, or media to helping with technology needs such as printing, or using the library computers.

The majority of students, faculty and staff were satisfied or very satisfied with our services. One person commented "the librarians at stout ROCK!".

We did find that, many were unaware of, or did not use the ability to email, chat, call or text a librarian with a question.

We were a bit disappointed to find that “Asking a Librarian” was not the first research stop for our users. Most users preferred searching on their own first using Google and the Library Website.

Based on the survey responses, the library staff will develop an action plan focused on:
      Improving service points and space utilization
      Better marketing our services
      Alleviating student confusion and anxiety in navigating the library and its services
      Better serving the distance learners and instructors
      Making our website easier to use


Contact:
Ann Vogl, Reference/Distance Learning Librarian

715-232-1553

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Search@UW - new Discovery interface for Stout

UW System Libraries have been working on a new Discovery interface for the library catalogs and article databases.  You can now search both, plus UW digital collections - all in one place!  The search box on the Stout Library homepage will take you into the new Discovery interface.  We are calling it: Search@UW! http://www.uwstout.edu/lib 
To learn more about this fabulous tool, or request training, see the Research Guide: http://libguides.uwstout.edu/search_uw 
Check it out! 

Friday, July 05, 2013

Browsing Area Books for July 2013--Whodunits



Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs. Call Number: PS3568.E476345S65 2010.
          Reich’s 13th book starring Temperance Brennan has the forensic anthropologist trying to unravel a mystery concerning James Lowery, a man recently drowned in a bizarre fashion in Quebec.  But Lowery died 40 years before, in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. And in Hawaii to reanalyze the old remains, Brennan finds yet a third body identified as Lowery. It’s obvious something sinister is at work, but what?


Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane. Call Number: PS3562.E426M66 2010.
          Twelve years earlier, police investigators Kenzie and Gennaro had tracked Amanda McReady down when she’d vanished at the age of four, taking her from a loving couple who’d gone to prison and returning her to a drunken, neglectful mother because that was the law.  Now, haunted by the wrongness of that act, the duo once again tracks Amanda’s steps, a hunt that takes them to identity thieves, ruthless Russian mobsters, meth addicts and a priceless religious icon.
 
Mad River by John Sandford. Call Number: PS3569.A516M33 2012.
          Virgil flowers is back in his sixth story, this time chasing three teenaged thrill killers who are rampaging through southern Minnesota, shooting  a woman during a robbery, then killing a man for his car. And after that, they can’t seem to get enough.  But Virgil can’t quite make the pieces fit and as the dragnet tightens around the killers, he knows there’s more to the story.  But he never sees how it’s going to end.



White Heat by M.J. McGrath. Call Number: PR6113.C4775W55 2011.
          McGrath’s first book features Edie Kiglatuk, an Inuit woman living on the top of the world. Guiding two men on an alleged hunting expedition, she realizes they are looking for something besides ducks. Then one of the men is shot and killed.  Anxious to avoid the authorities, the elders on Ellesmere Island call it an accident.  But Edie knows better.  And when her nephew kills himself because of something to do with the murder, Edie takes matters into her own hands.


 
 
 
 


 

Library Videos for July 2013--Private Eyes

Private Eye, Starring Jeong-min Hwang, Dal-su Oh, Deok-Hwan
 Ryu and Ji-won Uhm. Directed by Dae-Min Park.
Call Number: PN1995.9.F67P75 2012.
   A Korean import that shows their directors have been paying
attention to American noir.  In the 1900 Korean empire, Hong-Jin
Ho is a private eye barely surviving on money made by spying on
cheating spouses.  Then a rich man’s son is found murdered in
the woods and Hong-Jin is hired to find the culprit.  With the help
of a medical student, he uncovers a far more complex crime than
it seems. Film noir meets an Asian Sherlock Holmes.
 
The Zero Effect, starring Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, Ryan O’Neal and Kim Dickens.  Directed by Jake Kasdan.  Call Number: PN1995.9.D4Z47 1998.
     Daryl Zero is a brilliant detective who can’t function in the real world.  Steve Arlo is hired to be his leg man and gofer, dealing with people Zero can’t talk to—which is everybody.  When Daryl is hired to find a millionaire’s missing keys, it leads to a lot of unexpected complications for him—like love.
 
 
 
The Big Sleep, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Directed by Howard Hawks.   Call Number: PN1995.9.D4B56 2000.
   A Faulkner screenplay from a Raymond Chandler script revolves around legendary detective Philip Marlowe, trying to save a family’s name from the indiscretions of the youngest sister.  The plot takes a lot of watching, but the characters and atmosphere carry everyone along through the murky world of blackmail, pornography, gamblers and murder.  And of course, whenever Bacall and Bogart are on the screen the dialog and sexual tension sizzle.

 
 
The Girl by the Lake, starring Toni Servillo, Valeria Golino, Fabrizio Gifuni.
Directed by Andrea Molaioli. Call Number: PN1995.9.D4G57 2010.
     Called to a small Northern Italian village, Inspector Giovanni Sanzio investigates the murder of a beautiful young girl, and uncovers many of the secrets of the town in the process of recreating her last day.  It’s a place of great beauty, but beneath the idyllic setting, there are many things people are trying to keep hidden—and the Inspector is one of them.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Library Videos for June 2013--Invaders from Outer Space

 Attack the Block, starring John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail and Leeon Jones. Written & directed by Joe Cornish. 2011. Call Number:
 PN 1995.9.A48A88 2011. 
          A British import by the producers of Shaun of the Dead follows serious delinquents who find themselves the first line of defense for their housing project against big-toothed aliens.  It’s a genre-busting, low tech flick that won’t make the Hall of Fame, has no blue screen, or CGI, but still gets high marks for its wit and ingenuity.

 
Battle: Los Angeles, starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynihan and Ne-Yo. Directed by D.J. Caruso.  Call Number: PN1995.9.A48B38 2011.
         Aaron Eckhart is the staff sergeant on the edge or retirement when aliens invade Los Angeles and other coastal towns around the world.  In the panic to evacuate, the Staff Sergeant’s squad is sent to pull civilians out of a surrounded police station only hours before the Air Force bombs the entire neighborhood.  Nice camerawork, interesting and unique aliens and smart soldiers make this a sleeper in the realm of sci-fi war movies.
 The Day the Earth Stood Still
, starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. Directed by Robert Wise. Call Number: PN1995.9.A48D39 2002.
          One of the classic apocalyptic “visitors from outer space” movies of the 50’s, feeding on the repercussions of the nuclear arms race. A mysterious visitor to Earth lands in America with a message he won’t share with the President—he wants to talk to all the world’s leaders at once. This makes everyone in the Cold War era nervous and when shots are fired, the Army suddenly sees how outclassed it is with the appearance of the visitor’s guardian a giant robot named Gort.


District 9, starring Sharlto Copley and Jason Cope. Directed by Neill Blomkamp.  Call Number: PN1995.9.A48D57 2009.
          A splendid South African film, about a stranded spaceship above Johhannesburg, unable to leave the planet.  Thousands of lobster-like aliens are taken off the ship and exiled to a fenced relocation camp, guarded by a private security company that’s becoming rich in the process.  When one of the company’s managers is accidentally infected by a virus that slowly begins to turn him into an alien, he finds himself to be the only human who can unlock the fierce some alien weapons technology. It’s an ability that leaves him isolated in his own land and may cost his life.

Browsing Area Books for June 3013--New Sci-Fi

 
Dragon’s Time by Anne & Todd McCafferey.  Call Number: PS3563.A255D755 2011.
Another chapter in the iconic Dragonriders series.  In this book the planet Pern is in desperate straits.  The deadly Thread is falling, a life-form that feeds on anything organic and falls through space from an erratic planetoid above.  Able to breathe fire, Dragons can burn Thread before it touches ground, but a plague has killed many of the dragons and their riders are desperately attempting anything they can think of to save their planet.  One possibility is to use the dragons’ abilities to teleport back in time, but mixing the past and future can lead to…consequences.

Fourth Wall by Walter Jon Williams. Call Number: PS3573.I456213F68 2012.
Mixing the near future with bits of surreal humor and suspense, Williams tells the story of Sean Makin, a washed-up child actor desperate for work, who gets a call from the famous Dagmar Shaw.  Dagmar’s made millions in alternative reality video games and now she wants to make a movie, with Sean as the star.  The only hitch is people seem to die around her.  And the movie may be a little something more than Sean knows.

  Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reyonlds. Call Number:PR6068.E95B58 2012.
            One hundred and fifty years from now, the Akinya business empire is worried.  The matriarch, Grandmother Eunice Akinya, has died while exploring the solar system and she’s left something awkward behind on the moon.  Her grandson doesn’t want to leave his biological research of elephants, but the family needs him to keep a lid on whatever Eunice left, so he’s sent to contain the damage.  Unfortunately the effects are a lot more extensive than the family guessed and the results could tear civilization apart.


Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey.  Call Number: PS3603.O73428C35 2012.
            Second book in the Expanse Trilogy, sees war break out between Mars and Earth, as a Martian outpost on Ganymede is slaughtered by one invincible super soldier.  James Holden, the idealistic Captain of the space ship Rocinante, finds his crew out of a job until a scientist from Ganymede asks them to return to the war-torn moon and help him find his child.  Holden has no way of knowing that the bioengineered soldier responsible for starting the war was only the first glimpse of an alien invasion beyond any expectations, even those of the evil corporations seeking to control it.  A powerhouse novel.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Welcome Ann Vogl and Bridget Krejci


Ann Vogl joins the library staff as the Reference/Distance Learning Librarian.  She is head of the Reference Work Group and works extensively with distance learning instructors to provide the best customer service possible to off-campus users.
Ann earned her Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor's of Business Administration from UW-Whitewater.







Bridget Krejci began working in the Cataloging/Processing area of the library in May 2013.  In this position, she provides thorough and efficient access to the books and other materials owned by the Stout Library.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Browsing Area Book of the Week, May 13, 2013.



The First Clash: the miraculous Greek victory at Marathon—and its impact on Western civilization by Jim Lacey.  Library Call Number: DF225.4.L332011.
          Author Lacey, a veteran and military historian, takes a fresh look at the battle of Marathon, when a small army of about 9,000 Athenians, aided by 1,000 Plateans, took on the vanguard of the Persian army of Darius I.  Outnumbered about 2 to 1, the battle developed in such an unexpected way that it left possibly half the Persians dead at the loss of less than 200 Greeks.      
         The book jacket states:
…Lacey shows how the heavily armed Persian army was shocked, demoralized, and ultimately defeated by the relentless assault of the Athenian phalanx, which battered the Persian line in a series of brutal attacks. He reveals the fascinating aftermath of Marathon, how its fighters became the equivalent of our “Greatest Generation,” and challenges the view of many historians that Marathon ultimately proved the Greek “Western way of war” to be the superior strategy for fighting—and winning—battles to the present day.
          Immediate, visceral, and full of new analyses that defy decades of conventional wisdom, The First Clash is a superb interpretation of a conflict that indeed made the world safe for Aristotle, Plato, and our own modern democracy. But it was also a battle whose legacy and lessons have often been misunderstood—perhaps, now more than ever, at our own peril.

Library Videos of the Week, May 13, 2013.

 
The Ladykillers, starring Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Alec Guinness and Katie Johnson.  Directed by Alexander MacKendrick. 1955.          Library Call Number:PN1995.9.C55L33 2002
              
          The original English version of this classic movie has five criminals planning a million dollar bank job in the apartment of their leader, Professor Marcus.  Renting a two-room apartment from Mrs. Wilberforce, a sweet old lady, in an isolated house, they pose as a musical quintet in order to use her as cover for their heist.  But when things begin to go wrong, there’s nothing to it but to kill the old lady, a deed easier said than done.



The Ladykillers, starring Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons, Irma P. Hall and Diane Delano.  Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.  2004.
Library Call Number: PN1995.9.C55L34 2004.

          The Coen Brothers remake moves the action to Mississippi and the bank becomes a riverboat casino with a buried vault on shore.  Five robbers led by the blowhard Professor Dorr rent Mrs.  Marva Munson’s spare room and ask to use the basement to practice playing classical music.  Instead, while they play orchestral CDs, they dig their way to the money. Not a great success at the box office, but still a very funny movie and film buffs will love comparing the two versions.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Library Video of the Week, May 6, 2013.

Pink Ribbons, Inc. a documentary film by Lea Pool. Written by Patricia Kearns & Nancy Guerin and Lea Pool. Presented by the National Film Board of Canada.
Library Call Number: RC280.B8P56 2012.
            By now, the symbolism of the Pink Ribbon is known to just about everyone. Support for the campaign against breast cancer is all over and the pink ribbons, armbands t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks and hats can be found from NFL games to marathon runs across America. But there is controversy involved in some of the Komen Foundation’s work.
          As the National Film Board of Canada’s summary says: “Breast cancer has become the poster child of corporate cause-related marketing campaigns. Countless women and men walk, bike, climb and shop for the cure. Each year, millions of dollars are raised in the name of breast cancer, but where does this money go and what does it actually achieve? Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a feature documentary that shows how the devastating reality of breast cancer, which marketing experts have labeled a "dream cause," becomes obfuscated by a shiny, pink story of success.”

Browsing Area Book of the Week, May 6, 2013.

 The Reversal by Michael Connelly Library Call Number:PSO51165R48 2010.

          Mickey Haller, hero of Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer, returns a third time to the Los Angeles county courthouse, but with a twist—this time he’s working the other side of the bench, prosecuting Jason Jessup, a man who has spent 24 years in prison for killing a child before DNA evidence got his sentence reversed.  The District Attorney wants to retry him, but doesn’t want his office tainted by failure if the reversal is upheld.  He offers Haller a proposition: convict Jessup and your ex-wife, currently prosecuting criminals in the Valley, far from LA, gets out of exile and returns downtown.  Haller, in turn, agrees, as long as his half-brother, Harry Bosch, can be the chief investigator.  Both of them believe Jessup is guilty.  And since both have daughters about the age of Jessup’s victim, they both have an emotional stake in putting him back behind bars.
          So begins another taught courtroom drama from a writer who matches Scott Turow in turning legal cases into page turners.



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Library Video of the Week, April 29, 2013.



Canvas starring Marcia Gay Harden, Devon Gearhart and Joe Pantoliano. Directed by Joseph Greco.  Library Call Number: PN1995.9.M463C36 2007.
        A realistic look at the troubles and turmoil a family faces when a member is diagnosed with mental illness, Canvas is one of those movies that leaves a lasting impression. 
          Living in Hollywood, Florida, John (Emmy winner Pantoliano) is barely making ends meet after his wife, Mary (Harden) is diagnosed with schizophrenia.  On and off her medications, she grows increasingly erratic and eventually is forcibly institutionalized by the police, leaving her husband and son to cope with her absence.  John’s health insurance refuses to cover a mental illness, Mary takes one step forward and one back, but it is the effect on the son, Christopher that takes center stage.  Taunted and embarrassed at school by kids who call his mom a nut case, angry that his mom is gone and his father is withdrawing into a backyard boat-building project, the pressure seems unbearable.  Only the strong ties of the family can keep them all from spinning off the edge of the world. 
          This is a thoughtful look at how families deal with terrible events, an ultimately triumphant movie of the resilient human spirit, without the hackneyed Hollywood ending.

Browsing Area Book of the Week, April 29, 2013.


 
War by Sebastian Junger.  Library Call Number: DS371.4123K67J86 2010.
     Throughout the long war in Afghanistan, the Korengal Valley has been one of the most dangerous places on earth.  Fighting between American forces and the Taliban flare up at any time and without warning.
     Into this environment went Sebastian Junger, author of the Perfect Storm.  Junger embedded himself with the Second Platoon of Battle Company and spent a tour with them, sharing their dangers and their missions in a spot he defines as, “sort of the Afghanistan of Afghanistan: too remote to conquer, too poor to intimidate, too autonomous to buy off.”
     In a world of sudden death and destruction, what Junger finds is that the abstract notions of what soldiers fight for—“good” or “right”—all give way to the simple truth that when they are put in harm’s way, they fight for each other.



Monday, April 22, 2013

Browsing Area Book of the Week, April 22, 2013.

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey.
Library Call Number: PS3603.O73428L48 2011.

                       Mars and Earth are in an uneasy truce, the Outer Planets Alliance is testing the limits of their independence and over all of them are the super-corporations that own so much of the solar systems resources.
          When Jim Holden’s ship, an ice miner hauling water from Saturn’s rings, receives an SOS from the ship Scopuli that’s dead in space, the captain directs they go to its aid.  But the rescue mission quickly turns into a race for survival when an unknown warship nukes the rescuers, leaving only Holden and his shuttle crew alive.  For there is a horrible secret aboard the Scopuli, something that will change the solar system forever.
          Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to The Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.
          Holden and Miller form an uneasy alliance in their search for the truth and know the odds are against them. But something evil is loose in the solar system and  if something needs to be done, a police officer and a ship’s XO and misfit crew might be the ones who can make things right.
          Part one of a trilogy called the Expanse, this is fast-moving sci-fi with an awful twist, that’s hard to put down once started.

Library Video of the Week, April 22, 2013.

Finding the Words,  a documentary  about children recovering from autism, by Horn Productions.  Distributed by the Video Project.
Library Call Number:  RJ506.A9F56 2010.
          From the website:  FINDING THE WORDS is the story of eight "perfect babies", each given a grim diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as toddlers, whose grieving families fight prejudice, misinformation, and despair to get their children well again.
          Filmed in thirteen locations across the United States, this hour-long documentary is an ensemble piece, presenting elements of each family's long, emotional journey through home videos, photographs and medical reports; as well as interviews with the families, the childrens' doctors, therapists and friends. Commentary on these remarkable stories is provided by a courageous group of doctors all working to rewrite the future for ASD afflicted children by accepting a surprisingly controversial premise: autistic children can recover.
          The film also captures the unfolding drama of scientific discovery as doctors, pushed along by relentless parents, search for answers. The synergy we see between these determined families and the doctors who have been called to lead this struggle to uncover better therapies for ASD is fascinating. We see a paradigm shift in the doctor/patient model, and a great example of how treatments can be discovered in the presence of urgent need.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Browsing Area Book of the Week, April 15, 2013.

Shock Wave by John Sandford. Library Call Number: PS3569.A516S54 2011.
          They’re building a PyeMart in the small river town of Butternut Falls, Minnesota and many people are unhappy about it.  Environmentalists say the run-off from the parking lot and the building site will pollute the pristine river, the local merchants see themselves being put out of business by the megastore. So when a bomb goes off at the trailer of the construction site’s foreman, killing him,  the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension calls in their ace investigator, Virgil Flowers, canceling his vacation and telling him to find out who’s responsible.     
       Three weeks earlier, a bomb had gone off at PyeMart’s executive headquarters, narrowly missing the company’s Executive Board and killing a worker. No one can figure out how the bomb was even placed in the penthouse meeting room.
          Arriving in Butternut Falls, Flowers has to contend with a lot of suspects, the high-powered President of PyeMart, his Executive Secretary, unhelpful city officials and residents, and some truly strange individuals. Before it’s over he will lose his boat and (perhaps worse) nearly his life.
          In Sandford’s books, sometimes you know the bad guy, sometimes it’s a mystery.  This is one of the truly good mysteries in his series of nearly forty books.