10 Oct 2012
Tags: books, drama, father, fiction, love, marriage, money, new york, PageTurners, rediscovery, retirement, reviews
by Louis Begley
Proud, traditional, and impeccably organized, Albert Schmidt is a buttoned-down lawyer of the old school. But now, after years of careful management, his life is slowly unraveling. His beloved wife has recently died. He stumbles–or is he being pushed?–into early retirement. And his daughter, his only child, is planning to marry a man Schmidt cannot approve of, for reasons he can scarcely admit, even to himself. As Schmidt gropes for resolutions, he finds unexpected hope in an intense passion that comes out of the blue.
* * * * *
The PageTurners Book Club met on Thursday, October 4 at 6 pm in the Bottom Shelf Room at the Rice Lake Public Library. Seven people attended the discussion. The general consensus was that the dialog was confusing, primarily because it didn’t use punctuation. No one was certain whether Schmidt was speaking to someone or thinking to himself. Nobody was excited about this novel. The average score awarded to this book was 2.5 out of 5 books; the lowest score was a 2 / 5 and the highest score 3 / 5.
Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.
About Schmidt by Louis Begley is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There are over five copies of this book in the MORE System. Please visit the card catalog website or call us at 234-4861 to reserve a copy today.
08 Aug 2012
in New Books
Tags: american, books, career, death, fiction, historical fiction, list, love, marriage, mystery, romance
Bride of New France
Laure Beausejour has been taken from her destitute family and raised in an infamous orphanage to be trained as a lace maker. Striking and willful, she dreams of becoming a seamstress and catching the eye of a nobleman. But after complaining about her living conditions, she is sent to Canada as a fille du roi, expected to marry a French farmer there. Laure is shocked by the primitive state of the colony and the mingling of the settlers with the native tribes. When her ill-matched husband leaves her alone in their derelict hut for the winter, she must rely on her wits and her clandestine relationship with an Iroquois man for survival.
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He’s been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear. Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy. When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable and kidnaps Max, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save him – and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or Budo’s very existence.
In early 1930s Montana, in the small town of Colton, Maddy Aldridge struggles to make ends meet during the Great Depression. Jeffers Grimm comes to her with a proposition too great for her to turn down: open an illegal speakeasy in the mercantile’s basement, defy Prohibition, and make enough money to make her worries disappear. But, unbeknownst to Maddy, Jeffers has also made a deal with the mob to bring huge quantities of alcohol across the Canadian border and store it in the mercantile. He wants to get rich, regardless of who stands in his way. Jack Rucker used to live in Colton and had been in love with Maddy before he moved away to become an agent for the Bureau of Prohibition. Now, after hearing rumors of a bootleg operation, the Bureau wants him to go back and hide in plain sight. What will Jack do when he finds out what Maddy is up to? Can he and Maddy rekindle the love they once knew? If Jeffers discovers Jack is a federal agent, to what ends will he go to silence him forever?
Goodbye for Now
Sam Elling is a brilliant software engineer, so brilliant that he develops an algorithm to allow grieving people to communicate with their dead loved ones. Initially created to help his soul mate, Meredith, when her beloved grandmother, Livvie, dies; and using previous electronic communication between Meredith and Livvie, he sets up “dead mail” between them. Soon Sam, Meredith, and her cousin establish RePose. Ethical and religious issues arise (as when parents of terminally ill children spend time videotaping rather than living in the moment), and Sam has qualms about how helpful his service really is until he needs it himself.
City of Women
David R Gillham
Berlin 1943, in the midst of war, offers little comfort for the women left behind. Sigrid, a seemingly dutiful wife to a husband serving on the Russian front, copes with a tedious job, a hostile mother-in-law, rationed food, air raids, and the fear of stepping out of line. There is always someone eager to denounce a neighbor for an unguarded moment or outburst. Sigrid has her secrets but holds them close: a Jewish lover from the recent past, and a random event that draws her into a chain of people hiding and protecting Jews. Even though her naïveté takes her to dangerous places, she is wise enough to be cautious. Life becomes more fraught when Sigrid’s wounded husband returns.
William Kent Krueger
Cork O’Connor and Jubal Little are deep in the Minnesota wilderness bowhunting, a long-standing tradition among these two friends, when the unthinkable happens. Little is killed by a stray arrow that turns out to have been O’Connor’s, and he becomes the primary suspect in the murder. He understands full well that he’s been set up. As he works to clear his name and track the real killer, he remembers his long, complex relationship with the tough kid who would grow up to become a professional football player, a populist politician, and the lover of the first woman to whom Cork ever gave his heart. Jubal was known by many for his passion, his loyalty, and his ambition. Only Cork knows that he was capable of murder.
04 Jun 2012
in Movies, Subject Guide
Tags: 11 years, apartment, bass guitarist, beaches, best friends, best friends in films, Best friends movies, career, country bar, debate, divorced, films, friendship, kills, list, lives, local station, man, marriage, men, movies, new york, rape, relationship, sex, the odd couple, thelma and louise, tv show, two, vacation, waitress, wayne's world, What to Watch, when harry met sally, wife, woman, women, young girls
Wayne’s World (1992) Rated PG-13
Wayne and Garth have their own public access TV show. When it becomes popular, a local station decides to hire them to do their show professionally. Meanwhile, Wayne meets and falls in love with Cassandra, a bass guitarist, who he helps by getting her career started by using his connections. But the road from basement to big time is fraught with danger and temptation.
The Odd Couple (1967) Rated G
A film about two divorced men who decide to share a New York apartment. One of them is fastidious and the other a slob.
Thelma and Louise (1991) Rated R
Thelma is an abused and neglected wife, while her friend Louise is a bitter, hard-edged waitress. The two decide to take a brief vacation to escape the drudgery of their everyday lives. Immediately, they run into trouble, as Louise shoots and kills a man who tries to rape Thelma in the parking lot of a country bar.
When Harry Met Sally (1989) Rated R
Will sex ruin a perfect relationship between a man and a woman? That’s what Harry and Sally debate during their first meeting and for the next eleven years.
Beaches (1988) Rated PG-13
Traces the friendship of two very different women, who meet on a beach as young girls, through good and bad times, career and marriage changes until together they must face a final challenge as only best friends can.
28 May 2012
Tags: all quiet on the western front, best years of our lives, brothers, captain, civilian life, courage, decency, enemies, enemy lines, family, firing squad, french general staff, generals, german, honor, killed in combat, lawyer, lives, loss, marriage, memorial day films, memorial day movies, orders, paths of glory, platoon, realities, sailor, Saving Private Ryan, sergeant, soldiers, suicide mission, three, veterans, viet cong, vietnam, war, world war I, wwII, young
Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Rated NR
Recounts the problems faced by three returning veterans of WWII as they attempt to pick up the threads of their lives. Captain Derry is returning to a loveless marriage, Sergeant Stephenson is a stranger to a family that’s grown up without him, and sailor Parrish is tormented by the loss of his hands.
Saving Private Ryan (1998) Rated R
Captain John Miller must take his men behind enemy lines to find Private Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Faced with impossible odds, the men question their orders. Why are eight men risking their lives to save just one? Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, each man searches for his own answer and the strength to triumph over uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.
Platoon (1986) Rated R
Follows young Chris Taylor who arrives in Vietman and quickly discovers that his worst enemies are not just the Viet Cong, but gnawing fear, physical exhaustion, and the anger growing within himself.
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) Rated NR
A group of young World War I German recruits pass from idealism to disillusionment with war.
Paths of Glory (1957) Rated NR
The French General Staff, safely behind the lines, sends orders for what amounts to a suicide mission. To cover up their fatal blunder, three soldiers are arrested and made scapegoats. Dax, a lawyer in civilian life, rises to the men’s defense but soon realizes that, unless he can prove that the Generals were to blame, nothing less than a miracle will save his clients from the firing squad.
21 Apr 2012
in Movies, Subject Guide
Tags: 1800s, adventure, affections, australian, Australian Films, best friend, big city, career, child, concert, death, deceit, dreams, duke, engaged, farmer, father, films, four, handsome, Hero, Lantana, life, list, love, love triangle, man, marriage, marriages, men, mistaken identities, Moulin Rouge, movies, Muriel's wedding, mute, new zealand, ourtesan, pianist, piano, poet, queen, Saturday Cinema, sex, shine, small town, sports, story, The Piano, travel, web of love, What to Watch, woman, writer, young, young man
Lantana (2001) Rated R
A woman disappears and four marriages are drawn into a tangled web of love, deceit, sex and death.
Moulin Rouge (2001) Rated PG-13
Christian is an idealistic and impoverished young writer who, newly arrived in Montmartre, is haphazardly inducted into a circle of young Bohemians led by Toulouse-Lautrec. A comedy of mistaken identities ensues, quickly enmeshing the young poet in a love triangle involving the unobtainable and consumptive Satine, queen courtesan of the Moulin Rouge, and the foppish Duke of Roxbury, his villainous rival for her affections.
Muriel’s Wedding (1994) Rated R
No one ever paid much attention to Muriel and her humdrum small town life, so she and her best friend Rhonda decide to leave it behind and head for the big city… where they end up having the exciting adventure of their lives! What’s more, soon everyone takes notice when Muriel becomes engaged to a handsome and popular sports hero!
The Piano (1992) Rated R
A young mute woman and her child travel to New Zealand in the 1800s for an arranged marriage to a farmer. After the marriage she meets another man, and the competition for her love begins. Just one of the men realizes that her affections can only be won through her beloved piano.
Shine (1996) Rated PG-13
The story of Australian pianist David Helfgott. He suffers as a child under his father’s ambitions and as a young man defies his father’s wishes in order to pursue his dreams. At the beginning of a great concert career, he experiences a nervous breakdown and is hospitalized, but later returns to the concert hall. Tells the story of rebellion and of individuality through the eyes of a pianist whose major form of self-expression is found in the keys of his instrument.
11 Apr 2012
in New Books
Tags: amnesia, Appalachian, faith, friendship, grief, historical fiction, Korean War, list, marriage, Mormon, new, pioneer, romance, secrets, spiritualism, Titanic, witch, world war I
The House of Velvet and Glass
Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation. Trapped in a world over which she has no control, Sibyl flees for solace to the parlor of a table-turning medium. But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help to psychology professor Benton Derby. As Benton and Sibyl work together to solve a harrowing mystery, their long-simmering spark flares to life, and they realize that there may be something even more magical between them than a medium’s scrying glass.
The Coldest Night
Henry Childs is just seventeen when he falls into a love affair so intense it nearly consumes him. But when young Mercy’s disapproving father threatens Henry’s life, Henry runs as far as he can—to the other side of the world. The time is 1950, and the Korean War hangs in the balance. Henry enlists in the marines and arrives in Korea on the eve of the brutal seventeen-day battle of the Chosin Reservoir—the turning point of the war—completely unprepared for the forbidding Korean landscape and the unimaginable circumstances of a war well beyond the scope of anything his ancestors ever faced. But the challenges he meets upon his return home, scarred and haunted, are greater by far.
The Song Remains the Same
Allison Winn Scotch
One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the horrific experience-or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind, with the help of family and friends, who have their own agendas. She filters through photos, art, music, and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon, in tiny bits and pieces, Nell starts remembering. . . . It isn’t long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband. In the end, she will discover that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself-and to finding happiness.
At the height of World War I, deep in the rugged Appalachians of North Carolina lies the cove, a dark, forbidding place where spirits and fetches wander. Or so the townsfolk of Mars Hill believe–just as they believe that Laurel Shelton, the lonely young woman who lives within its shadows, is a witch. Alone except for her brother, Hank, newly returned from the trenches of France, she aches for her life to begin. Then it happens–a stranger appears, carrying nothing but a beautiful silver flute and a note explaining that his name is Walter, he is mute, and is bound for New York. As the days pass, Walter slips easily into life in the cove and into Laurel’s heart, bringing her the only real happiness she has ever known. But Walter harbors a secret that could destroy everything–and danger is closer than they know.
The Beginner’s Goodbye
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.
In a novel based on true events, set in 1856, Mormon converts, encouraged by Brigham Young himself, and outfitted with two-wheeled handcarts, set out on foot from Iowa City to Salt Lake City, the Promised Land. The Martin Handcart Company, a ragtag group of weary families headed for Zion, is the last to leave on this 1,300-mile journey. Three companies that left earlier in the year have completed their trek successfully, but for the Martin Company the trip proves disastrous. This is the story of four women from the British Isles traveling in this group. Four women whose lives will become inextricably linked as they endure unimaginable hardships, each one testing the boundaries of her faith and learning the true meaning of survival and friendship along the way.
03 Sep 2011
in Movies, Subject Guide
Tags: attitude, attorney, auto parts, based on a true story, case, Clerks, comedy, convenience, corporation, coworker, diploma, drug dealers, erin brockovich, films, fired, girlfriend, harassment, hire, husband, job, Labor day films 2011, Labor day movies, law case, law firm, life, list, management, marriage, miners, minnesota, mother, movies, north country, Office Space, physically assaulted, pranks, salesmanship, Saturday Cinema, seven years, sexual harassment, sexy, steel mine, stores, tommy boy, U.S., verbally abuse, video store clerks, What to Watch
Clerks (1994) Rated R
A deadpan comedy about a day in the life of two nowhere-bound convenience and video store clerks and the two eccentric drug dealers who constantly loiter outside the stores.
Erin Brockovich (1999) Rated R
Erin Brockovich is a feisty young mother who convinces attorney Ed Masry to hire her and promptly stumbles upon a momumental law case against a giant corporation. Erin’s determined to take on this powerful adversary even though no law firm has dared to do it before. The two begin an incredible and sometimes hilarious fight that will bring a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees. Based on a true story.
North Country (2005) Rated R
Josey Aimes needs a job and goes to work at a Minnesota steel mine after splitting with her violent husband. But the job proves to be almost as harrowing as her marriage. The male miners are resentful of women taking their jobs, so the men verbally abuse and play humiliating pranks on the female miners. After being physically assaulted by a coworker, Josey tries to fight against the harassment, but none of the other women will join her case for fear that things will only get worse. A fictionalized account of the first class action sexual harassment case in the U.S.
Office Space (1999) Rated R
Unable to endure another mind-numbing day at Initech Corporation, cubicle slave Peter Gibbons gets fired up–and decides to get fired. Armed with a leisurely new attitude and a sexy new girlfriend, he soon masters the art of neglecting his job, which quickly propels him into the ranks of upper management.
Tommy Boy (1995) Rated PG-13
Party animal Tommy Callahan is definitely a few cans short of a six-pack. But after seven years, Tommy’s finally earned his diploma–and a cushy job at Callahan Auto Parts. Returning home, Tommy gets some more great news: his dad is marrying a real “10,” and Tommy will get the stepbrother he always wanted. But when his father dies, the business starts tanking–and his stepmother starts scheming. Now Tommy’s got to hit the road with his dad’s right-hand man, a smug numbers-cruncher. And what these two don’t know about salesmanship could fill a book.
04 Jun 2011
in Movies, Subject Guide
Tags: bride, career, columnist, family restaurant, Fat Greek Wedding, films, Greek Family, groom, Jennifer Lopez, June is wedding month, Left at the altar, list, love, Love Story, marriage, Master of Ceremonies, Matthew McConaughey, movies, My Best Friend's Wedding, My Big, romance, romantic comedy, Romantic films, Runaway Bride, San Francisco, The Wedding Planner, waitress, Wedding Films, Wedding Movies, Wedding Singer
My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) Rated PG-13
Friends Julianne and Michael made a pledge to wed each other at twenty-eight if neither had found another partner. But when the day approaches, Michael announces his plans to marry Kimmy.
My Big, Fat Greek Wedding (2002) Rated PG
Toula is a quiet, devoted daughter in a big, crazy Greek family. Working in her father’s restaurant, she hides behind her family and keeps the world at a distance. One day at the restaurant she finds herself pouring coffee for a man who inspires her to change her life, and the way she sees the world–forever.
The Wedding Singer (1998) Rated PG-13
Robbie Hart is a master of ceremonies, left at the altar at his own wedding. He becomes someone who can only destroy other people’s weddings until he meets a waitress named Julia. Julia, however, is about to have a wedding of her own and may be lost forever.
The Wedding Planner (2001) Rated PG-13
A romantic comedy about love, marriage and other events you just can’t plan for. Mary (Jennifer Lopez) is a successful, work obsessed wedding planner in San Francisco who finally finds a man of her own (Matthew McConaughey), or so she thinks. He turns out to be the groom in the biggest wedding of her career. Will she get the job or the guy?
Runaway Bride (1999) Rated PG
An unlikely love story developes when a cynical, big-city columnist comes to a small town to cover the story of Maggie Carpenter, a bride who’s left men at the altar several times.
09 May 2011
in Movies, News, Subject Guide
Tags: 1918, 1950s, anastasia, Arthur Laurents, ballerina, ballet, ballet career, bolsheviks, burlesque, college, czar nicholas, dance teacher, differences, directing, dowager empress, fifties, forties, friends, gypsy, Hollywood, love, Love Story, mainly on directing, marriage, midwestern housewife, mother/daughter, movies, musical, new york, opposites, paris, pheumonia, plays, Playwright, popular, princess, rivalry, romance, romanoff family, romanoffs, romeo and juliet, russia, screenwriter, seine river, street gangs, thirties, tragedy, turning point, vaudeville, way we were, west side story, white russian
Arthur Laurents was a famed play and screen writer for 66 years. Arthur passed away on May 5th from complications of pheumonia. He was 93 years old. He wrote a number of popular plays and movies, some of which are listed below.
Anastasia (1956) Rated NR
An expatriate White Russian general sets in motion a grand hoax after he meets a destitute woman on the banks of the Seine River in Paris. He is amazed at her resemblance to Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas of Russia, rumored to have somehow survived the Bolsheviks’ execution of the Romanoff family in 1918. He trains her to impersonate the missing princess but soon begins to feel she may be the real Anastasia. Ultimately, the truth can only be decided by one person–Anastasia’s grandmother, the Dowager Empress.
Gypsy (1962) Rated NR
The story of burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee, her rise to stardom from vaudeville and her volatile relationship with her ambitious mother.
Turning Point (1977) Rated PG
Two friends who started in ballet are reunited after many years; one is now a star ballerina, the other a Midwestern housewife/dance teacher whose daughter is embarking on her own ballet career.
Way We Were (1973) Rated PG
The romance and marriage of opposites– the love that binds them together and the differences that tear them apart. A love story from college to Hollywood in the thirties, forties, and fifties.
West Side Story (1961) Rated NR
This musical sets the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet against a backdrop of the rivalry of two street gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, in New York of the 1950s. A young woman who is sister to the Sharks leader has her first taste of love with the former head of the Jets.
Arthur Laurents also wrote a book on directing musicals.
Mainly on Directing
24 Mar 2011
in Movies, Subject Guide
Tags: 1880s, books, Civil War, classics, Cleopatra, Congestive Heart Failure, egypt, Elizabeth Taylor, films, IMDB, Julius Caesar, Life with Father, list, Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, Marc Anthony, marriage, movies, new york, novel, Simpsons: Complete fourth Season, Sisters, Springfield, Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?
Elizabeth Taylor passed away on March 23rd due to complications from Congestive Heart failure. Here is some of her films to remember her by:
Cleopatra (1963) Rated G
Story of the life of Cleopatra, queen of ancient Egypt from her ascension to the throne through her struggle for power and her loves and entanglements with Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony.
Life with Father (1947) Rated NR
Anecdotal look at growing up in the Day family in 1880s New York.
Little Women (1949) Rated NR
Louisa May Alcott’s Civil War story of four sisters who share their loves, their joys, and their sorrows.
The Simpsons: Complete Fourth season (1992-1993) Rated NR
The satiric adventures of a working class family in the misfit city of Springfield. Synopsis by IMDB.
Who’s afraid of Virgina Woolf? (1966) Rated NR
A freewheeling, headlong slide into the corrosive hell of a marriage twisted by years of hatred and humiliation.