Information, Answers & Reviews

Sweetgrass

Last weekend I watched a "reality" documentary called Sweet Grass. It represents the name of Sweet Grass County in Montana. The film features a family of ranchers that take several hundred sheep out on a long and arduous cattle drive to graze for fresh grass in the mountains before returning home. Read more »

The London Train

London TrainNot many novels tell the story of a daughter's pregnancy through her father's eyes, and although this is only one of this book's themes, it's very powerful one. In the first half, we follow the story of the very imperfect Paul--critic, college teacher, husband, father, friend, and neighbor who is involved in a feud over the cutting down of trees. Paul himself admits that he has problems, for example, he's too afraid of showing emotion so he does not ask the undertaker to see his mother's body. He lies to his wife, has affairs, and for years has ignored his oldest child.
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One Book One Bloomington Voting!

One BookWhat if everyone in our local community all read and discussed the same book? This year we read the excellent Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann and I am certainly looking forward to next year's selection as well.

As in the past, we are asking the community what they want to read together in 2012. It's time to vote!
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No Strings Attached

I decided to take a break from watching documentaries to see the movie "No Strings Attached." Because it was new, popular, and the talk of the town when I first heard about it I thought I had to place a reserve on it and watch it. While romantic comedies are not really my cup of tea, this one is interesting because of its gender-role reversal.

The normal story line of a romantic comedy happens when a man meets a woman and they interact in very ridiculous scenarios. Later, the man does something that derails the momentum of a possible relationship and then Read more »

The Paris Wife

Paris WifeTo be an American during the 1920s in Paris? What could be more trendy and romantic? Especially, if you've just married the dashing young fiction writer, Ernest Hemingway. This absorbing novel introduces you to all the famous ex-pat writers of the time period: everyone from Gertrude Stein ("a rose is a rose is a rose") to Scott Fitzgerald with the wild Zelda on his arms to Ezra Pound and John Dos Passos.

But it's not primarily a biographical novel about Papa Hemingway; it's more the story of a marriage between two smart, witty people who each possess an incredible zest for life and adventure.
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Best Seller Express

Best Seller ExpressPart of offering library services is asking for, listening and responding to feedback from the community. One comment we hear often is that the wait is long for the new and popular materials.
We hear ya. This spring, MCPL started offering a new feature called Best Seller Express in our Movies and Music department. Patrons who came to the Main library or Ellettsville were able to check out one brand new DVD. The catch is that they aren't holdable, you can't renew them and they only check out for three days. Despite these limitations, the new service has proven to be extremely popular. We've heard from patrons that they love coming to the library and seeing a DVD on the shelf that they might have been on a very long wait list for. Read more »

The Green Lantern

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For some reason The Green Lantern was panned by most critics and many comic book fans. For my part I don't understand why. I've long awaited a movie version of The Green Lantern and this film fit the bill as far as I was concerned. Read more »

Fiction! Fiction! Fiction!

State of WonderI admit to being a streaky reader and will often go through several books on the same subject over the course of a month or so. While not as exotic as reading books about bananas (What? Not exotic either? Well you get the point), I have lately been reading some excellent literary fiction.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
I have read some critiques of this book that there are plot holes and lapses of logic. Upon reflection, I would have to agree with this, however it in no way changes my reading experience. I loved this book and was completely emotionally invested in the characters and outcome of this story. I both devoured the last pages, and didn't want the book to end. Read more »

In the Dog House, Season One

Are you having trouble training your dogs to behave in public or at home? Well here's another reality television show about dog training. Also, if you haven't seen the Dog Whisperer you might want to check it out. I like Cesar Millan's personality much more in the Dog Whisperer than I like Brad Pattison's in the Dog House. As far as techniques go, they are both excellent in providing tips and tricks to get your dog properly trained. Read more »

September's Books Plus Discussion

Major PettigrewBoth a British comedy of errors and a sweet love story, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand has enough to please a wide range of readers. Major Pettigrew is retired and living a quiet widow's life in a small town in Sussex. As his friendship with Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper, becomes something more, complications - both large and small, funny and serious - arise. Join us to discuss Simonson's first novel next week during our monthly Books Plus book discussion.

For more details of this and future programs, please see below.
Books Plus meets the first Sunday of each month. All are welcome. Join the discussion or simply come to listen.
2 p.m., First Sundays
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