Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Binge Watching for the holidays: New Tricks and Vicar of Dibley

Put down those worthy histories of war and pestilence, put off the self-improvement tomes until next year, and pick up a DVD set from our collection to chill out during the coming vacation. We have many series for your viewing pleasure, be your interest in murder and mayhem, family sagas, comedy or drama.

For the month of December, we’ll be featuring weekly staff picks of particular genres. Sit back and enjoy with no guilt - no calories are involved with this kind of binging.

New Tricks (DVD New)

Three retired police officers, led by a glamourous and feisty female superintendent are recruited to solve cold cases. Eccentric and set in their ways, they cope with a new-style police force, and each other’s troubled pasts.

Tense crime solving, and offbeat humor make this well-acted series an addictive treat!

vicar of dibley cover image

Vicar of Dibley (DVD Vicar)

The sleepy English village of Dibley is plunged into an uproar when its new vicar turns out to be a woman. And not just any woman, but the unconventional Geraldine Granger who brings her own earthy spirit and ribald humor to the pulpit.

Witty and well-acted, you’ll be in stitches!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

What We're Reading Now: Kill My Mother

Looking for some light, post-Thanksgiving reading?

Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer (GN FEIFFER)

Jules Feiffer’s graphic novel , a homage to noir, begins in the year 1933. Spirited young Annie resents her long-suffering mother’s attempts to provide for her after her cop-father’s death; mother Elsie works for a drunken private eye whom she hopes will solve the mystery of her husband’s murder.   Elsie becomes involved in her boss’ current case involving a tall forbidding blonde; the boss winds up dead. Fast forward to 1943 and the Pacific island of Tarawa, where all the characters converge as a USO troupe performs for war-weary Marines. 

Feiffer dedicated his novel to Milton Caniff, Dashiell Hammett and Billy Wilder among others. Tough broads, blazing guns, a Hollywood actor wildly ambitious beyond his ability, a murderous blonde, complicated family relationships and mistaken identities come together for an ending worthy of the best comic strips- and hard-boiled movies -of the era.      

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What We're Reading Now: Food Books!

Here are two recent titles relating to food that we’ve enjoyed:

Hungry by Darlene Barnes (641.5092 BARNES)
Would your dream job be feeding male collegians five days a week?  New to Seattle, Darlene Barnes did just that at the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity at University of Washington.  When she arrived the kitchen was a disaster; fresh food was totally alien to the environment.  She welcomed the challenge of creating good meals, feeding her guys more than just food and learning from them in exchange.  Her memoir is funny, irreverent and includes a few recipes which the fraternity grew to savor.  

 To Eat: A Country Life by Joe Eck (635 Eck)         

Gardeners and life partners Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd purchased 28 acres in Vermont in 1974.  Over the years they created a superb garden, detailing their experience in several books. Each chapter in “To eat” is devoted to a fruit, vegetable or livestock from the farm; line drawings and the occasional recipe add to the reader’s visual and culinary delight.
I made the Hashed Brussels sprouts-they were delicious.    

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What’s up on the second floor?

The second floor is now the proud home of Mountain View’s ever-expanding Seed Library. Separate drawers give the browser looking for seeds many choices: Cool season edibles, Herbs, Ornamentals, Warm season edibles, Grains and Unusual seeds. If you want to contribute additional seeds to the Seed Library, you can drop them off at the second floor Information Desk.  (More detailed information about this great program can be found at http://mvplibrary.org/seedlibrary/ ).

If seeds aren’t your thing, we have displays on other topics: November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and we have many books to guide budding authors. Holiday cooking features wonderful recipes for any occasion.  If you’re interested in getting value for your holiday shopping, check out the tips on improved access to Consumer Reports using your Mountain View library card.


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

What We're Reading: Great War

Great War: a photographic narrative by Mark Holborn (940.3022 Great)

 As November 11 approaches, this collection of photographs from Britain’s Imperial War Museum displays the impact of the camera on the historical record of World War 1. War photography captured the crowds’ excitement at the early stages of a war that would be “over by Christmas”; it saw the birth of aerial reconnaissance; it created an indelible portrait of the everyday soldier’s struggles in the trenches on the Western Front and the battles elsewhere on land, sea and in the air. It showed exhaustion, murderous slaughter and moments of great solemnity.
The shots of the denuded woods, the ruined villages, the gassed soldiers stay in one’s mind. These marvelous pictures from every theater of war-and the home front- do justice to a hollow victory which only set the stage for more violent wars to follow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What We're Reading: All Fall Down

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner (FICTION WEINER)

Allison Weiss supposedly has it all, but it’s fraying at the edges. She’s doing well as a blogger, much better than her newspaper journalist husband. Her father’s dementia is getting worse, but her mother doesn’t want to face it. Her young daughter challenges her at every opportunity. Life is exhausting -so what’s the solution? It starts with a little white pill (leftover from a prescription for back pain ) that gets her through the day. Soon it’s multiple pills, gotten by any means she can. She ends up in rehab, a solidly middle-class woman who made a wrong turn. After rehab is a different life, a hard road to staying clean and a different happy ending:
Life on life’s terms. It was an absolute bitch. There was no more tuning out…no more using opiates…to fill in the cracks… I would try to be grateful that I’d stopped when I had instead of berating myself for letting things get as bad as they’d gotten. I had learned what I needed to learn. 
I thought Weiner had exaggerated the ease of slipping into addiction, but the news says otherwise. Prescription drug abuse made the front pages of the September 7 San Jose Mercury News, detailing the rise in fatalities from prescription drug overdose. A recent New Yorker feature (September 8) detailed the overdose epidemic in middle-class Staten Island. No happy endings, just grieving families.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What We're Reading (and Doing): LEGO Architecture

LEGO Architecture by Philip Wilkinson (720.22 Wilkinson)

Did you play with LEGOs as a child? When it comes to LEGOs, the sky is the limit and it’s no longer just for children. LEGO Architecture highlights the many models that enthusiasts can recreate with LEGO bricks et al. The cover draws you in immediately with silhouettes of famous landmarks in black on a silver background. Inside, vivid color pictures of the original structures –the Sydney Opera House, New York’s Empire State Building, Chicago’s John Hancock Center , Rome’s Trevi Fountain,  Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel and London’s Big Ben among others- and the models  created with LEGOs demonstrate the intricacies involved in the building process.  You may not visit all these sites in the flesh, but you can build these replicas

If the price tag for a set is a little steep, check out this book as a first step.  Then join us this Thursday, October 16th,  for Lunchtime Legos for Grown-Ups. See if it's still as fun as you remember. Drop-in anytime between 12:30 and 1:30.