Doris M.

A Soldier's Story (DVD)

Friday, July 29, 2011
In 1944, when a black sergeant is murdered off-base in Louisiana, the Klan is quickly blamed. But could someone else have killed this unlikeable fellow? True to the jacket copy, the story "is both a spellbinding mystery and a superb drama that transcends race."
 

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iRelax: Leaving the Workday Behind (CD)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Slip this CD into a player and start relaxing as soon as the music begins playing. Warning, though! This music is so mellow and soothing (think meditation) you probably shouldn't listen in your car--even if you are leaving your workday behind.

 
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The Secret in Their Eyes (DVD)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Twenty-five years ago an unsolved rape and murder case was closed. But the criminal court investigator who worked the case can't get the horrific crime out of his mind. After retiring he decides to write a novel about the case. His research leads him to an unexpected discovery.

 
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A Final Crossing: Murder on the S.S. Badger

Friday, August 6, 2010
Richard L. Baldwin

Having crossed Lake Michigan a few times on the Badger, I had to read this book. When reclusive  MSU professor Peg Lott falls in love, she confesses to her wealthy dream man, Dr. Leonard Lowe,  that she's involved with other radical environmentalists in burning new luxury houses. But she knows her co-ecoterrorists won't just let her quit the Ring of Fire. She and Len hatch a plan for her to stage an attack on her in her Badger stateroom and then jump overboard, to be picked up by a secretly waiting fishing boat. The plan doesn't go off as anticipated, and things are further complicated by a real murder in her stateroom. Though the story lines are frequently a stretch, they were interesting enough to keep me reading until the end. The library has other titles featuring Michigan locales written by Richard L. Baldwin.



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Twenties Girl (Book of CD)

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Sophie Kinsella
Lara Linton never knew her great-aunt Sadie until she started demanding her necklace at her funeral, and Lara was the only one hearing the 105-year-old, now a ghost. Despite coming off sounding like a lunatic, Lara stops the funeral and tells Sadie she'll look for the necklace. But finding the necklace is just one of many things for Lara to deal with, one being, keeping Sadie happy. This is another laugh out loud book by the author of the Shopaholic books.
 
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Love Happens (DVD)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I thought this Jennifer Anniston movie would be another formula chick flick. True, a romance develops after the main characters have a chance encounter, a la chick flicks. But the backstory of a self-help guru needing help himself to overcome a personal tragedy broadens Love Happens into an appealing drama.

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The Art of Racing in the Rain (Book on CD)

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Garth Stein

Everyone knows a dog is a man's best friend. In this book, the dog narrating the story truly exemplifies that adage. (I listened to the audio edition.)  Enzo has a love of car racing just as Denny, the man in his life who is known for his skill at racing in the rain. After the death of his wife, Denny puts his racing career on the back burner while he fights his in-laws for custody of his daughter. Enzo is there for him throughout it all with compassion and fierce loyalty. You'll rejoice at the ending.



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The Knife Man: The Extraordinary Life and Times of John Hunter, Father of Modern Surgery

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Wendy Moore

This book is both repugnant and fascinating. Anatomist John Hunter had an insatiable curiosity about the human body, as well as those of animals. He had no qualms about dissecting hundreds of bodies, nearly all "resurrected" from their graves, some acquaintances (such as a giant who thought his friends would prevent his being cut apart by Hunter), and preparing specimens from them for his collection. His collection included women at different stages of pregnancy. Hunter also conducted human experiments, including one on himself to test his theory regarding venereal disease. The discoveries Hunter made and the surgical techniques he developed helped spur new thought regarding medicine, which at the time still prescribed bloodletting as a treatment for disease. And what's more fascinating than anecdotes about Hunter's work? He married, had children, and continued to dissect people in his house.



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Departures (DVD)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Departures isn't the name of a travel agency, as an out-of-work cellist eventually realizes after answering an employment ad.  What he also eventually realizes is that the job he is hired to do is filled with beauty and dignity and compassion.  I recommend this Japanese movie that won the 2009 Academy Award for Foreign Language Film.

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Burlesque Beat (DVD)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Don't let the title keep you from checking out Burlesque Beat. The most scandalous part of this exercise DVD is the (male) instructor's costume. The moderate-intensity routine he teaches is actually a good workout.

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