Kathleen Z.

The Hundred-Foot Journey (Audiobook)

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Richard C. Morais
The Hundred-Foot Journey (Audiobook)

The book is quite different from the movie. The first half, where the characters are well-developed, is engaging and fun. The second half, which covers Hassan Haji’s experience as a chef and then restaurant owner in Paris, bogs down. The characters in the Paris part of the story are two-dimensional and never really develop. I think the movie with Helen Mirren is a better story.

Check our catalog for the print book. Check MeLCat for the audiobook.

 

Kathleen Z., Administration

The Hundred-Foot Journey (DVD)

Friday, March 25, 2016
The Hundred-Foot Journey (DVD)

In this movie starring Helen Mirren, an Indian family is displaced by political upheaval in India. Eventually they find their way to southern France to open a restaurant across the road from a Michelin-rated restaurant owned by Mirren’s character and the boisterous feud begins. However, the characters grow to appreciate each other and something magical develops. Good story.

Check our catalog for this movie.

Kathleen Z., Administration

Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story

Friday, February 5, 2016
David Maraniss
Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story

This is a 2016 Michigan Notable Book. The author was born in Detroit and is an associate editor of the Washington Post. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a best-selling author.

This story is about Detroit in 1963 when things on the outside looked so upbeat for the Motor City. Maraniss describes the signs showing that things would soon fall apart for Detroit. It’s a well-told story that captures your interest about an exciting time in Detroit’s history (think Motown), but I can’t recommend the audio because the tracks are long – up to 50 minutes - and, while the author is a good reader, he is not great.  Read the book instead.

Check our catalog.

Kathleen Z., Administration

How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #9

Friday, November 6, 2015
Louise Penny
How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #9

   Chief Inspector Gamache works for the Surete du Quebec or the Provincial Police Force of Quebec.  This is the 9th novel in this mystery series.  

   Complex characters and sophisticated plots keep the reader guessing and eager to find out about an unusual murder case as well as corruption within

the Surete itself.   The title comes from a quote by Leonard Cohen, “There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.” Check our Catalog

Also available through Mel Cat as an audiobook

Kathleen Z., Administration

The Colorado Kid, Audiobook

Friday, November 6, 2015
Stephen King
The Colorado Kid

This is one of Stephen King’s short novels that is not in the category of horror.  The story is told by two old reporters to a young intern at their small newspaper on an island off the coast of Maine in 2005.  The story that the old reporters tell is about a body that was found in 1980.  There are many mysteries surrounding the circumstances of the death that were never resolved.  King is a master storyteller and while this story is not profound, it has kernels of wisdom that leaves much to contemplate after finishing it.  I listened to the audio and the accents were done well.   Check our Catalog

Kathleen Z., Administration

Ocean At the End of the Lane

Friday, January 2, 2015
Neil Gaiman
Ocean at the End of the Lane

 A fantasy about a man who returns to the site of his childhood home where many years earlier Lettie Hempstock, an unusual 11 year old neighbor, had introduced him at the age of 7 to a magical world that was both fascinating and dangerous. Much has changed, but some things are amazingly the same. He learned in this visit as an adult that nothing is quite the same as he remembered. Check our Catalog

Kathleen Z., Administration

 

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

Friday, January 2, 2015
Denise Kiernan
Girls of Atomic City

      Oak Ridge Tennessee was a city built in a remote rural area of the south in only 6 months during World War II to accommodate a secret

      mission to help win the war.   At one point over 75,000 people lived and worked there and it used more electricity than New York  City. 

      However, the world outside did not even know the city existed until after two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan.  This account weaves

       stories based on the voices of some of the women who worked there who were interviewed when in their 80s and 90s.  The book tells the

       human side and captures the spirit of the people who did not know the real purpose of their work. They only wanted to help end the war.   

       Check our catalog

Kathleen Zaenger, Administration

Doc: A Novel

Saturday, August 30, 2014
Mary Doria Russell
Doc: A Novel

This is well-researched historical fiction about Dr. John Henry Holliday (better known as Doc Holliday) as a young man.  Born to a genteel family outside of Atlanta, GA in 1851, John was educated in fine schools including the best dental school in the U.S. in Philadelphia.   At the age of 21 he was   diagnosed with Tuburculosis,  a disease with no cure that had killed his mother six years earlier.  In hopes that the dry air of the west would help the symptoms, he moved to Texas and then to Dodge City, Kansas.  These were the raucous early days of  Kansas when cattle drives attracted lawmen like the  Earp brothers, Wyatt and Morgan, and Bat Masterson.   This is Doc’s story long before the gun fight at O.K. Corral in Tombstone, AZ,  Doc was trained as a classical pianist as well as a scholar of classic literature.   He could speak Latin and French and his English was impeccable.   The Civil War and ensuing economic depression left him almost penniless and unable to make a living as a dentist in Texas and Kansas even though he practiced his trade whenever he could. So gambling became his chief source of income.  A compelling story.     Check our Catalog

Kathleen Zaenger, Administration

 

 

Proof of Heaven

Friday, June 20, 2014
Dr. Eben Alexander
Proof of Heaven

The author is a neurosurgeon with impeccable credentials, a medical degree  from Duke and 15 years of experience and research at Harvard-affiliated
hospitals.  As a medical doctor, Alexander  had always dismissed stories of near death experiences (NDE) from his patients as illusions caused from misfirings in their brains due to trauma.  Then his NDE happened during a 7-day coma from E-Coli meningitis and his whole outlook changed.  This short and easily readable story of his NDE was very challenging to write because human language is so much more limiting than the communication
“systems” outside of the time-space universe which he experienced.   Alexander describes something discussed in other works – “consciousness isnot local”  - it does not reside in our brains.  Consciousness is part of a universal communication system that our brains must filter because of our physical limitations. His story describes beautifully the eternal nature of conscousness and the interconnectiveness of everything.  There is a long list of recommended reading at the end that encourages the curious reader to explore further.  Check our Catalog.

Kathleen Zaenger, Administration 

Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Charles Novacek

This memoir reads like a spy novel.  Charles was taught to be part of the Czech resistance as an 11 year old boy when the Nazi’s invaded his homeland in 1939.  Few of us know of the arduous stories of people in Eastern Europe who endured the hardships of World War II and then the oppression of Communism afterwards.  This amazingly true story tells of       cunning, bravery, strength, fortitude and a belief in a bright future despite terrifying circumstances.  After torture and imprisonment and a harrowing escape in 1948, Charles was able to get to a displaced-persons camp in Germany, then to venezuela and finally was able to immigrate with his family to the U.S. in the 1950s.  He became a civil engineer in Detroit and a model citizen. Highly recommended.

Kathleen Zaenger, Administration

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