Information, Answers & Reviews

Half Broke Horses: a True Life Novel

Half Broke HorsesThis Sunday in our Booksplus program (Library Room 2B at 2p.m.) we will be discussing Jeannette Walls' rousing true fiction story Half Broke Horses about her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, a feisty woman who grew up in the still wild west of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the early years of the last century. You may be familiar with the author's first book The Glass Castle; it made many best books of the year lists when it came out in 2005 and still has a wide readership.

What a gripping opening. A flash flood rips through the family ranch one evening and Lily her brother and sister hear a loud rumbling as the earth shakes beneath them. Lily grabs the youngest and runs for the only tree in the field. They spend a harrowing night hanging on to branches as massive flood waters drown the field. Although Lily is only ten at the time, she keeps both children awake by making them say their math tables, the names of the states, and any other long list she can remember.
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Post Mortem: The death investigation crisis in America.

Everything is not what it seems. I guess I watch too much tv. I've always been under the impression that forensic investigations and death investigations were done in a highly scientific and professional manner. As it turns out, the reality is that throughout most of America the position of Coroner is an elected position. This means that the person doing the investigation could have little to no experience at all which could then lead to a Read more »

The Housemaid (2010)

Currently I'm a little in love with pretty much anything coming out of South Korea. Whether it's Thirst, The Host, Oldboy, or 3-Iron, I love pretty much everything I see. South Korean directors manage to make some of the most deliciously weird movies I've seen. The latest batch of weirdness comes courtesy of The Housemaid, the latest from Sang-soo Im. Read more »

The Hunger Games

Hunger GamesIf you have not heard of Suzanne Collins' trilogy, The Hunger Games, I must ask what rock you've been sleeping under? The 2008 Young Adult Bestseller has exploded in classrooms, libraries, bookstores, and on the tongues of everyone I come in contact with (or so it seems). Well after being dogged for not reading this book, I finally gave in and read it, determined not to like it to spite all those people who gawked at me for not yet reading it. Unfortunately, my mission backfired on me. I loved it.
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"...a song that was a hit before your Mother was born."

Image 2011 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Johnson. He has been called the "King of the Delta Blues Singers". Legend has it that he sold his soul to the Devil. It has been said that he faced away from his audience when he played certain licks on his guitar so that no one could copy his style. People claim that he died as a result of being poisoned by a jealous husband. but what of his music and its legacy? Read more »

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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