Diane M.

N or M? A Tommy and Tuppence Mystery

Friday, August 4, 2017
Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie never disapoints!  Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, former "Bright Young Things" in the roaring 20's" offer their services to His Majesty's Government at the beginning of the war, but are turned down because they are middle-aged, and "past it."

Then, almost incidentally, they are asked to find a traitor, believed to be living at a rural guesthouse on the south coast - ever-so close to Germany.. But the place is full of harmless eccentrics: elderly ladies, retired military men, a hypochondriac and his colorless wife, a young mother, and a German refugee - who just happens to be a research chemist and the love interest of the landlady's teenage daughter..

Christie excells at red herrings, but her characters are so very enjoyable.  Tommy always believes Tuppence is capable and never "the little woman,"  even if others see her as "only able to knit and wait."

Diane, Administration

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Murder on Capitol Hill

Monday, June 26, 2017
Margaret Truman

A recent trip to Washington DC made me decide to re-read a couple of mysteries I had enjoyed in 1980's.  Margaret Truman's Murder on Caiptol Hill was an easy read, with reasonably good descriptions of places I had just seen, but I found the story to be bit clunky.  The characters felt stock and not fully fleshed out.  I'm not sorry I did some re-reading, but they seemed more entertaining in 1981.

Check our Catalog to see if you agree with me.

This review was NOT influenced by mother's chilly encounter with Ms. Truman at the 1952 World Series in New York.  My mother was wearing an "I Like Ike" button.

Diane, Administration

 

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Sweetgirl

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Travis Mulhauser

While searching for her meth-addicted missing mother,16 year-old Percy James discovers a baby girl in the freezing home of a local minor criminal.  Taking the child, (or is it a rescue?), forces her to confront the nature of her mother’s affliction while she finds her own fate tied to that of the child’s.  Mulhauser captures the sweeping sense of cultural and geographic isolation of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in a story of courage and sacrifice.

Sample some of Percys' story and get an idea of the author's excellent sense of place:

...Still I missed her.  I missed her …and I was tired of the wondering where she was, and of the constant alarm that gripped my heart like a strangler vine.

So I took Detroit to Grove...where the houses and lives improved considerably.  ...the shoreline where the real cash was.  The downstate and Chicago money put their roots down in sand – their seasonals all perfectly placed along the water for maximum panorama, and not a soul there to enjoy it because it wasn’t nice that time of year.

I couldn’t blame them.  It was the middle of January in Cutler County Michigan.  We’re at the northwest tip of the lower peninsula, the top of your left ring finger if you map it by the back of your hand, and unless you go the whole Jack London, ends of the earth vibe, why wouldn’t you fly off to somewhere else if you could?  It was only 9 o’clock at night and downtown was already 3 blocks of black windows behind banks of snow and there wasn’t a single other car in the streets…

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Diane, Administration

Arctic Drift

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Clive Cussler

I listened to this audiobook, which begins with the ill-fated 19th century Franklin expedition, just as it was announced that Franklin's ship had been found.  Cussler and son Dirk imagine the U.S. and Canada on the brink of war in their latest collaberation. In 2011, as the price of gas hits $10 a gallon, President Garner Ward must contend with a corrupt Canadian cabal that's subverting efforts to solve America's energy problems. Pitt barely escapes serious injury when a bomb destroys a D.C. lab along with records of research into an artificial photosynthesis process that could, almost immediately, eliminate the threat of global warming. That discovery may be connected with a legendary failed 19th-century sailing expedition to the Arctic as well as a series of deaths due to the phenomena that the Native Americans of British Columbia know as the Devil's Breath.  Cussler's book are good fun, with lots of adventure.  Check our catalog.

Diane, Admin.

 

Rod: The Autobiography

Saturday, August 16, 2014
Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart.  Rock & Roll, blondes and rooster hair equals Rod Stewart to most people.  Turns out he's a total model railroad geek AND a family man.  Now after more than five decades in the spotlight, he is finally ready to take a candid and romping look back at his life both on and off the stage. From his humble British roots to his hell-raising years on tour with his bandmates, not forgetting his great loves (including three marriages and eight children) and decades touring the world, Rod delivers a riveting ride through one of rock's most remarkable lives. And enjoyable read - and his model railroad buildings, cities, etc. are a wonder to behold.  Check the Catalog

Diane, Administration

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Daniel James Brown

I grew up hearing about rowing.  My dad rowed in high school and college.  One of his high school rowing teammates won a gold medal at the 1952 Olympics rowing for the USA (Naval Academy Team).   Among other things I can tell you about rowing is that a practice that doesn't end with throwing up means you weren't working hard enough.

If Jesse Owens is rightfully the most famous American athlete of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, refuting Hitler’s notion of white supremacy by winning gold in 4 events, the gold-medal-winning effort by the 8-man rowing team from the University of Washington is still a remarkable story. It includes rowing guru British boatmaker George Pocock and an unlikely bunch of rough & tumble young rowers - not the elite young men who usually rowed for eastern schools. 

Brown paints a vivid picture of the socioeconomic landscape of 1930s America (brutal), the relentlessly demanding effort required of an Olympic-level rower, the exquisite brainpower and materials that go into making a first-rate boat, and the wiles of a coach who somehow found a way to, first, beat archrival University of California, then conquer a national field of qualifiers, and finally, defeat the best rowing teams in the world.

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Diane, Admin

Amazing Stories DVD

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Steven Spielberg's foray into television, Amazing Stories, was based loosely on a pulpy sci-fi magazine from the '40s and '50s. Yet despite the retro concept, Amazing Stories brought high gloss and state-of-the-art production values to their yarns of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. Spielberg directed many episodes and wrote most. Part of the fun of this collection is seeing if you can recognize the stars under all that 80's hair and big glasses!  Many "names" worked either in front of or behind the camera, including Martin Scorsese, Sam Waterston, Tim Robbins, Clint Eastwood, Harvey Keitel, Brad Bird, Burt Reynolds, Kyra Sedgwick, David Carradine, Patrick Swayze, Jon Cryer and John Lithgow. The storytelling is crackerjack, and the trip down TV memory lane priceless.  Check our Catalog.

Diane, Admin

Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Graham Nash

Graham Nash's songs defined a generation and helped shape the history of rock and roll—he’s written over 200 songs, including such classic hits as "Carrie Anne," “On A Carousel,” "Simple Man," "Our House," “Marrakesh Express,” and "Teach Your Children."  He co-founded The Hollies and Crosby, Stills, Nash & (sometimes) Young.  I read this as a downloadable e-book using the kindle app on my ipad - and discovered something really cool - this ebook contains 4 videos, 34 audio clips!  Graham Nash talks about song writing a great deal, specific songs will have a little icon that you can press and listen to the song as you read how and/or why he wrote it!  Diane, Admin.  Check our catalog!
Check our e-catalog!

 

Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football

Thursday, March 6, 2014
John U. Bacon
Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football

Bacon looks at major college football through the lenses of four Big Ten schools—Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, and Northwestern. The 2012 season was a tumultuous one for all four.

John U. Bacon can be heard regularly on Michigan Radio and writes so well about what he loves - SPORTS.  He graduated fron Ann Arbor Pioneer and and has been a Big Ten fan as long as he can remember.

Fourth and Long reveals intimate scenes behind closed doors, from a team’s angry face-off with their athletic director to a defensive lineman acing his master’s exams in theoretical math. It captures the private moment when coach Urban Meyer earned the devotion of Ohio State’s Buckeyes on their way to a perfect season. It shows Michigan’s athletic department endangering the very traditions that distinguish the college game from all others. And it recreates the euphoria of the Northwestern Wildcats winning their first bowl game in decades, even as they do honor to the student-athlete ideal.

Most unforgettably, Fourth and Long finds what the national media missed in the ugly aftermath of Penn State’s tragic scandal: the unheralded story of players who joined forces with Coach Bill O’Brien to save the university’s treasured program—and with it, a piece of the game’s soul.

 

Check our catalog for this book.

 

Diane M., Administration

The President's Vampire, Book 2

Friday, June 22, 2012
Christopher Farnsworth

The book opens with undead Nathaniel Cade confronting a very bad man in the mountains of Pakistan.  Unfortunately, Osama Bin Laden turns into something even scarier than a vampire.....

The ultimate secret. The ultimate agent. Nathaniel Cade returns.

For 140 years, Nathaniel Cade has been the President's Vampire, sworn to protect and serve his country. Cade's existence is the most closely guarded of White House secrets: a superhuman covert agent who is the last line of defense against nightmare scenarios that ordinary citizens only dream of.

When a new outbreak of an ancient evil—one that he has seen before—comes to light, Cade and his human handler, Zach Barrows, must track down its source. To protect and serve" often means settling old scores and confronting new betrayals . . . as only a centuries-old predator can.      Check our Digital Catalog & Download Center!

Diane

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