bookspacePhoto of readermy comments
 home > bookspace > my comments
Subscribe to All Comments via RSS 
Limit to:
Cover ArtThe cartographer of no man’s land
by Duffy, P. S.
Adult Fiction DUFFY
A Nova Scotia man joins Canadian troops headed to the Great War, promised with his sailing, artistic and navigation skills he’ll be a cartographer. On the home front his son Simon watches the war and its effects on his family and neighbors. Duffy has written a wonderful story that appealed to me on many levels. The mystery of brother-in-law Ebbin, thought missing in action, gives the narrative page-turning intensity. But, Simon’s coming-of-age age story, particularly as he confronts the prejudice against his German heritage teacher is touching. And, the widow and son where Angus billets behind the lines gives the story both humor and pathos. Good first effort from this Minnesota writer.
posted by EmilyEm on Apr 20, 2014 at 3:48PM

Cover ArtSerena : a novel
by Rash, Ron
Adult Fiction RASH
I couldn’t put it down.
posted by Lorhu on Apr 19, 2014 at 1:57PM

Cover ArtA clockwork orange [sound recording]
by Burgess, Anthony, 1917-1993.
Adult Fiction BURGESS
Anthony Burgess wants to investigate an interesting question about crime, free will and the power of the state. The main character, however, fights the author’s good intention. Alex rapes and murders because he likes it, so just leave him alone. The effect is to arouse a desire for vigilante justice, which doesn’t need any encouragement. The author’s semantic device--making Alex speak in Russian slang--might have worked in 1962 when the English audience was rabid with Cold War fear. Today, it is easier to separate the Russian people and their language from Vladimir Putin’s regime. Did the US rhetoric during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan lead or follow the change in our powers of discernment?
posted by MikeG on Apr 18, 2014 at 5:08PM

Cover ArtCountry, God or the girl [sound recording]
Forgive me, K'Naan, for liking your music. One boring, old guy in the audience could ruin your reputation as an angry young man carelessly tossing around the "N" word. I just have to listen to a kid who can survive the war zone and write a song like "The Wall."
posted by MikeG on Apr 18, 2014 at 5:01PM

Cover ArtTassili 10:1 [sound recording]
Volkswagen would like to think that the $45,000 Touareg can transform your urban commute into an exotic safari. The rest of us can listen to Tinariwen in our Ford Escorts. In fact, you could learn their language, live with the people for a month and still have enough money to buy a Toyota Highlander, which is a better vehicle anyway. I took option #2. Having misplaced my Tamashek phrase book, I relied on the liner notes to translate the lyrics and discovered that the singers have concerns similar to yours and mine--the concerns that we would have if our Ford Escorts were commandeered for an ethnic war in the Sahara Desert. If you opt for the real safari, you might want to order your VW with armor plating.
posted by MikeG on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:52PM

Cover ArtThe shawl [sound recording]
by Ozick, Cynthia
Adult Fiction OZICK
Elie Wiesel’s “Night” is a perennial leader in Holocaust literature. I recommend “The Shawl” as an adjunct, for it takes the reader into the minds of the survivors long after the war and tells the story from a woman’s point of view. In contrast to Wiesel, who exposes the horrible acts of the Nazi Germans and the feelings of the victims, Ozick’s symbolism requires more time to decipher, but the book is short like “Night” and within reach.
posted by MikeG on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:45PM

Cover ArtRosetta [videorecording]
Adult Fiction Drama ROSETTA
One way to show love for children is to make them laugh with entertaining, uplifting stories. Another way is to express an understanding of their difficulties and to show them a way out. The Dardenne brothers take the latter approach, depicting young people in desperate circumstances and providing them with a mentor or an inner determination that saves them from perdition. Of the six titles readily available, "Rosetta" is my favorite because the rough visual quality reflects the emotional turbulence of the protagonist and her gender demonstrates the brothers’ versatility. (Most of the stories feature males in the leading roles.) The interviews following the movies do become more insightful as the directors grow comfortable discussing their work. If you can watch “L’Enfant” without reaching into the screen and strangling Bruno, you might appreciate the interview in this package for the contribution of the normally taciturn brother, Jean-Pierre Dardenne.
posted by MikeG on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:39PM

Cover Art1975 Hmoob poob teb chaws. Parts 1-2 [videorecording] : wb thiaj tau sib ncaim
This is the first Hmong movie that I have found with English subtitles. The four-part series dramatizes the exodus from Laos in 1975. The expense of captions in a low-budget movie demonstrates the crew’s commitment to making their story accessible to the non-Hmong audience. It’s not Hollywood, but a comparison to Mel Gibson’s “Air America” favors “Hmoob poob teb chaws” for its authentic scenery and personal point of view. The sympathetic portrayal of the Pathet Lao, reducing their persecution of the Hmong to a few disobedient officers, suggests that government control of the content is the price paid for the English translation.
posted by MikeG on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:18PM

Cover ArtThe heart is a lonely hunter [sound recording]
by McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967.
Adult Fiction MCCULLERS
Chapter one reminded me of a handful of Flannery O’Connor stories strung together and stripped of substance. Whereas O’Connor’s characters attack your conscience from their inception, McCullers’s characters are a little shy around readers. Let them develop and you might decide that the lineage points in the other direction.
posted by MikeG on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:08PM

Cover ArtThe Bletchley circle [videorecording] : cracking a killer's code
Adult Fiction Drama BLETCHL
You have to like a woman who gets out of bed in the middle of the night to draw truth tables.
posted by MikeG on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:06PM

Cover ArtAll creatures great and small
by Herriot, James.
Adult Nonfiction SF613.H44 A28 1972
Any books by this author are great.
posted by MarshmallowReaders on Apr 18, 2014 at 1:07PM

Cover ArtStiff : the curious lives of human cadavers
by Mary Roach
Adult Nonfiction R853.H8 R635 2003
Hmmm. I didn’t care for the author’s style. Details matter to me and when they’re wrong in fiction it’s one thing, when they’re wrong in non-fiction it’s something more. When she used the word "burked" as an example of "Machiavellian fricatives" although it’s neither, I stopped trying to find reasons to continue reading. If she’s willing to use words that sound good or look good but aren’t accurate, what else has she twisted or bent to make the book lite or upbeat or wry?
posted by momkat on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:44AM

Cover ArtThe goldfinch
by Donna Tartt
Adult Fiction TARTT
This is a wonderful book. The story is rich and detailed and heartbreaking. There were points in the story when the action was so sad or terrible that I had to put the book down, and there were other points when the action was so riveting I could not put it down. A rewarding read.
posted by momkat on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:31AM

Cover ArtThe sight
by Erin Hunter
Teen Fiction HUNTER
Great opening to an awesome Warriors series!
posted by Warriorsfan on Apr 17, 2014 at 7:59PM

Cover ArtSunset Boulevard [videorecording]
Adult Fiction Drama SUNSET
Sunset Boulevard is not a book. But it is available at the library, so I feel it is worthy to add to the list. Sunset Boulevard is about Joe Gillis, a man who goes to Hollywood trying to make it as a screen-writer. We start out with some people trying to reposess his car. To escape them, he pulls into the driveway of a crumbling mansion to find the equally crumbling Norma Desmond, star of the silent films. She coerces Joe to edit a film she has written, which promises to be her grand return to film. Joe, short on cash and options, stays on. The story is both darkly comical and deeply tragic. Norma Desmond has cracked in her stardom and then her isolation. Joe struggles underneath the weight of Hollywood indifference. Great movie, classic of the time and well worth watching.
posted by Plymouth Library on Apr 17, 2014 at 6:49PM

Cover ArtStone cold
by C. J. Box
Adult Fiction BOX
I waited nearly 4 1/2 months for Stone Cold to arrive. I will say this story is little like the old Saturday matinee with a thrill a minute, every scene promising an end to the hero unless something miraculous saves him. Of course, in those matinees the bad guys were evil beyond redemption and each of them was fatally flawed for choosing the evil path in the first place. That is unfortunately how Stone Cold left me. There is just too much for me to swallow here. Having the tragic shooting death of the boy on a rooftop by the police made me grimace at how patently absurd C.J. Box went for the jugular in every way possible. And the family dialog and family spirit of previous novels just was given lip service in Stone Cold.
posted by Larryw on Apr 16, 2014 at 6:34PM

Cover ArtDivergent
by Roth, Veronica
Teen Fiction ROTH
In the Saga "Warriors" start with "Into The Wild" in the original series. At the back of the book, it’ll direct you to the next book / series you need to read! It’s great, and if you love Divergent, you’ll LOVE Warriors!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Warriorsfan on Apr 16, 2014 at 5:00PM

Cover ArtDivergent
by Roth, Veronica
Teen Fiction ROTH
Readers have recently commented on these titles: Augie’s secrets : the Minneapolis mob and the king of the Hennepin strip What happened to goodbye Eleanor & Park Book lust : recommended reading for every mood, moment, and reason Tolstoy and the purple chair : my year of magical reading The polysyllabic spree Juliet : a novel Will in the world : how Shakespeare became Shakespeare Before I go to sleep : a novel Sacre bleu : a comedy d’art
posted by Warriorsfan on Apr 16, 2014 at 4:57PM

Cover ArtInferno : a novel
by Dan Brown
Adult Fiction BROWN
This is another book I listened to. I find myself continuing to listen to books I would probably have set aside if I were reading. This is definitely the weakest entry in the Robert Langdon books. Robert wakes up in a hospital suffering from amnesia after an apparent gunshot wound to the head. When he finds himself in danger he runs out of the hospital accompanied by a doctor. However, after some initial headaches etc. absolutely no further mention is made of any more affects from the wound. He goes running, jumping, climbing etc. with no problem. The first half of the book is fairly interesting as Robert and Sienna follow clues to why someone is chasing them and what Robert did during the time he can’t remember. The only annoying things are the imbedded lectures and Brown’s tendency to melodrama as he ends each of his chapters (over 100!) with cliffhangers and hyperbole. Then, suddenly everything changes in the story in such a way that made me say "Oh come on!" (Probably aloud. I think I got some funny looks on the bus). The second half is kind of a bust and the ending a disappointment. As usual, though chasing around with a woman through the whole book he’s kind of a eunuch. Has he never had a significant other? After four books I don’t feel like I know this character at all.
posted by Laura P. on Apr 14, 2014 at 1:46PM

Cover ArtAugie’s secrets : the Minneapolis mob and the king of the Hennepin strip
by Karlen, Neal.
Adult Nonfiction HV6452.M6 K37 2013
I was very disappointed in this book. Neal Karlen is a great writer, but this book is poorly written. Karlen treats the Jewish gangsters as if the killing and maiming were just cute stunts by lovable Jews. As someone who is Jewish, I find this offensive. Your fondness for either your uncle Augie, or the fact that he passed on these "secrets" to you has clouded your judgement, Neal. And the constant use of Yiddish, where it adds no value, is insulting too. Does this make you feel more Jewish? The story you had to tell was an excellent one and could have made for great reading. You blew it, Bubbe. This book is a 2 on a scale from 1 to 10. At best.
posted by Ted's Review on Apr 13, 2014 at 10:49AM

hcl mobile app
Facebook Twitter Tumblr YouTube Vimeo Flickr Federal Depository Library Federal
Hennepin County Government Hennepin
© 2014  Hennepin County Library12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305 Comments and Feedback    |    RSS