06 Jun 2012
in New Books
Tags: astronaut, books, china, drama, fiction, historical fiction, hypnotism, list, love, mystery, romance, scandal, world war II
The Cottage at Glass Beach
By Heather Doran Barbieri
Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a doting mother. But her carefully constructed life falls to pieces when she, along with the rest of the world, learns of the infidelity of her husband, Malcolm. Humiliated and hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters, Annie, seven; and Ella, twelve, and takes refuge on Burke’s Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine. Just as she begins to regain her balance, her daughters embark on a reckless odyssey of their own, a journey that will force Nora to find the courage to chart her own course and finally face the truth about her marriage, and her long-buried past.
Far Side of the Sky
By Daniel Kalla
The Japanese Imperial Army rampages through China in 1938 and tightens its stranglehold on Shanghai, a city that becomes the last haven for thousands of desperate European Jews. Dr. Franz Adler, a renowned surgeon, is swept up in the wave of anti-Semitic violence and flees to Shanghai with his daughter. At a refugee hospital, Franz meets an enigmatic nurse, Soon Yi “Sunny” Mah. The chemistry between them is intense and immediate, but Sunny’s life is shattered when a drunken Japanese sailor murders her father. The danger escalates for Shanghai’s Jews as the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Facing starvation and disease, Franz struggles to keep the refugee hospital open and protect his family from a terrible fate.
The Infinite Tides
By Christian Kiefer
Capt. Keith Corcoran, “genius” mathematician, engineer, and astronaut working aboard the International Space Station, discovers during his deployment that his 16-year-old daughter has died in a car wreck and his wife, embroiled in an affair, wants a divorce. Once back on the ground, Keith takes an indefinite vacation from NASA while battling recurring migraines and his sudden solitude, and hanging out at the local Starbucks, where he befriends Peter Kovalenko, an impetuous Ukrainian former astronomer presently working at Target. The two alienated men soon bond and share their various misfortunes while smoking pot, drinking beer, and stargazing through Peter’s telescope in an abandoned suburban lot. Keith’s stasis and confusion stem, in part, from his uncertain job status, but his newfound relationships enable him to strive toward a self that will persevere and survive his losses.
The Hypnotist’s Love Story
By Liane Moriarty
Ellen O’Farrell is a successful hypnotherapist with a thriving practice; a new boyfriend, Patrick; and a newly found emotional distance from her unconventional upbringing. Content for the first time in recent memory, Ellen realizes how tenuous her happiness is when Patrick lets her know that his ex-girlfriend, Saskia, has been stalking him ever since they broke up. As a mental-health professional, Ellen realizes that Saskia isn’t a violent stalker who needs a restraining order but a jilted former lover who probably just needs a listening ear. But when Saskia’s methods of surveillance become more extreme, Ellen has to decide how much longer she’s willing to put up with Patrick’s former life if she wants to be a part of his future.
The Red House
By Mark Haddon
Shortly after their mother’s death, wealthy doctor Richard invites his estranged sister and her family to accompany him on holiday in the Welsh countryside with his new wife and teenage stepdaughter. Angela, a teacher grieving in a much less clinical fashion than her brother, convinces her husband and their three children to come on the premise that it’s the best, or only, vacation they can afford, and so begins the novel’s seven-day drama—each relative descending on the country manse with an obligation either to invite another or to attend on another’s behalf.
The Summer House
By Marcia Willett
Matt has always felt that there was something missing in his life. His mother kept all his childhood memories in a small inlaid wooden box, along with many photos of Matt as a child. But something about these photos has always puzzled Matt. Why doesn’t he remember those clothes? The toys? And where, in the photos, is his sister Imogen? Imogen and her husband, a country vet, are living in a rented cottage with their gorgeous baby but must soon move on. Since her childhood, Milo has assumed the role of honorary father. Knowing how she loves it, he offers to sell them the Summer House, a charming folly in the grounds of his beautiful ancient house on Exmoor, but Imogen’s marriage is threatened when her husband refuses to live so far from his practice. Meanwhile, Matt begins to discover the strange and tragic secret which has affected his whole life.
09 May 2012
Tags: historical fiction, PageTurners, prisoners, racism, reviews, soldiers, world war II
by John Katzenbach
World War II was racially segregated, the lowliest jobs going to African American GIs. A distinguished few called the Tuskegee Airmen, however, became officers in the U.S. Air Force, escorting bombers in their lethal new longrange Mustang fighters. When proud, defiant First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott arrives at Stalag Luft Thirteen, he is subjected to hostile treatment by bigoted airmen who refuse to acknowledge that any black man can equal them in skill and courage. Scott’s persistent tormentor, Captain Vincent Befford, is soon found murdered. Honor, courage, and sacrifice are revealed in unexpected ways as a ranking U.S. prisoner in a Nazi POW camp is joined in December 1944 by a law-student lieutenant who’d been captured despite his father’s powerful military connections. When First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott is falsely accused of murdering fellow prisoner, Captain Vincent Befford, Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart, the only prisoner with any legal training, is appointed to defend him in a formal military trial observed by top- ranking German officers, who will furnish the firing squad when the defendant is almost certainly convicted.
The PageTurners Book Club met on Thursday, May 3, at 6 pm in the Bottom Shelf Room at the Rice Lake Public Library. Six people attended the discussion. The general consensus about the book was that it started slow but became more enjoyable once the mystery began. Several participants watched the movie in lieu of reading the book; it was agreed that the movie differed substantially from the book. The average score awarded to this book was 3.75 out of 5 books; the lowest score was a 3.5 / 5 and the highest score 4 / 5.
Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.
Hart’s War by John Katzenbach is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There over ten 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.
11 Jan 2012
Tags: family drama, fiction, historical fiction, Kristin Hannah, Leningrad, Winter Garden, world war II
by Kristin Hannah
Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time — and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.
* * * *
The PageTurners Book Club met on Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 6 pm. Nine people attended. Discussion lasted an hour; most participants agreed that the historical aspects of the story were strongest and that the ending was too coincidental. The average rating was 3.5 / 5 books; the lowest rating was a 1, and the highest was a 4.5.
Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There are over ten 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.
The PageTurners Book Club is sponsored by the Friends of the Rice Lake Public Library. It usually meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6 pm at the Rice Lake Public Library. Discussion lasts an hour; everyone is welcome.
03 Dec 2011
in Movies, Subject Guide
Tags: 1930s, a day that will live infamy, affair, america, american, army, attack, back in time, best friends, bombing, boxer, childhood, china, chronicles, December 7th 1941, drama, dramatization, epic, events, family, fascist colonial empire, films, final countdown, fly planes, from here to eternity, germany, hawaii, heroism, history, In harm's way, Italy, Japan, japanese, life, list, love triangle, lovers, movies, mussolini, naval base, naval officer, navy nurse, nuclear-powered, paradise, pearl harbor, pilot, points of view, private, remembrance, romance, royal air force, Saturday Cinema, sergeant, soldier, stories, storm, tora tora tora, tragedy, What to Watch, Winds of war, world, world war II
In remembrance of December 7th, here is a list of films to watch.
The Final Countdown (1980) Rated PG
When an electrical storm transports the nuclear-powered U.S.S. Nimitz back in time, hours before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the crew must decide between allowing the attack to take place and preventing it, which would forever change history.
From Here to Eternity (1953) Rated NR
Drama about life in the Army in the days prior to World War II. Private Prewitt is a soldier and former boxer being manipulated by his superior and peers. His friend Maggio tries to help him but has his own troubles. Sergeant Warden and Karen Holmes tread on dangerous ground as lovers in an illicit affair. Each of their lives will be changed when their stories culminate on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
In Harm’s Way (1965) Rated NR
Epic treatment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the attack on the naval base.
Pearl Harbor (2001) Rated PG-13
Two childhood best friends, Rafe and Danny, grow up wanting to fly planes. When Rafe gets the chance to join the Royal Air Force during World War II, he takes it, leaving his new love, Evelyn, a dedicated Navy nurse, and Danny, also a pilot, behind. Danny and Evelyn are transferred separately to the idyllic paradise of Hawaii, where they eventually meet through a connection to Rafe, who has been declared missing. But just as the love triangle begins to get complicated, Dec. 7, 1941 arrives, changing all of their lives forever.
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) Rated G
A dramatization which chronicles the bombing of Pearl Harbor from both the Japanese and American points of view.
Honorable Mention: The Winds Of War (1983) Rated NR
Set against the backdrop of world events that led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Naval officer, Victor “Pug” Henry, and his family learn to navigate the waters of dangerous times in the late 1930s. While Germany expands and proceeds to seize several border countries, Italy attempts to establish a Fascist Colonial Empire under Mussolini and Japan prepares for a major battle with China. Meanwhile, the Henry clan finds itself drawn into the center of the conflict as they deal with the drama, romance, tragedy and heroism that lead to America’s involvement in World War II.
17 Sep 2011
in Movies, Subject Guide
Tags: 1942, Allied, american, australian, bridge, Bridge on the River kwai, british, burma, camp, dog, father, films, g.i.s, german, Great escape, guards, husband, in enemy hands, japanese, Korean War, lawyer, list, mother, movies, officer, POW, Pow/mia, prisoner-of-war, Prisoners of the sun, railway, Recognition Day, Saturday Cinema, September 16th, sons, spy, stalag 17, stranger, three wishes, two, u-boat, war, What to Watch, world war II
Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) Rated PG
When British P.O.W.s build a vital railway bridge in enemy-occupied Burma, Allied commandos are assigned to destroy it.
Great Escape (1963) Rated NR
A high-security German prisoner-of-war camp in 1942 holds only known troublemakers and risk-takers, all of whom are determined to pull off the war’s most daring escape.
In Enemy Hands (2004) Rated R
The U.S.S. Swordfish U-boat is taken prisoner in a battle with a German sub. Meningitis strikes half the German crew. Avoiding the contagion and POW protocol, crew members and prisoners must work together to survive.
Prisoners of the Sun (1991) Rated R
In the aftermath of World War II, a mass grave of brutally executed Australian POWs is discovered. A tough military lawyer and his team are dispatched to prosecute the Japanese guards. To win his fight for justice, the lawyer must deal with an American officer protecting his national interests and a Japanese commander who has sworn his troops to a blood oath of silence.
Stalag 17 (1953) Rated NR
A group of American G.I.s in a POW camp suspect a spy is among them.
Three Wishes (1995) Rated PG
A mother and her two young sons try to survive the best they can since her husband, the boys’ father, is presumed to have died in the Korean War. One day they meet an injured stranger and his dog who change their lives.
16 Jul 2011
Tags: au revoir les enfants, based on, Bastille Day Films, Bastille Day movies, boarding school, day for night, director's life, family, farm, films, forgive, France, french films, french movies, friendship, german occupation, Good-bye children, happy bastille day, I have loved you so long, jean de florette, life, list, minors, mother, movies, murder, music, music teacher, neighbor, nice, personality, prison, rehabilitation, romantic film, Saturday Cinema, sister, son, steal, supervisor, the chorus, world war II
In honor of Bastille Day here is a list of French films to see:
Au Revoir les Enfants (1987) Rated PG
Based on the director’s life, this film chronicles Malle’s experiences during the German occupation of France in World War II. Julien (Malle) is 12 years old, and the smartest boy in his class at boarding school when a new student appears. The two form a friendship even though Julien senses that there is something different about his new friend.
The Chorus (2004) Rated PG-13
Unemployed music teacher Clement Mathieu becomes the supervisor at a boarding school for the rehabilitation of minors. Dismayed by the repressive administration, he works to positively transform the students’ lives through music.
Day for Night (1973) Rated PG
Frictions and personality clashes beset the making of a romantic film in Nice.
I Have Loved You So Long (2008) Rated PG-13
A shell-shocked Juliette is released from prison after serving 15 years for murdering her young son. As life has moved on, she must relearn certain basics. After being banished from her family, she is now reunited with her younger sister, Lea. Hopefully, Juliette will learn to forgive herself in the process.
Jean De Florette (1986) Rated PG
A man inherits a farm from his mother, but his powerful neighbor plots to steal it from him.
07 Jul 2011
in Movies, Subject Guide
Tags: 18th century, acceptance, adventure, An angel for may, Anna Massey, anxiety, apartment, big city, books on cd, books on tape, boy, British actress, cancer, co-worker, concerts, confusion, cousin, cryptic, daphne du maurier, dog, england, evacuee, family fortune, farmhouse, fatigue, films, friends, genteel widow, grandson, guilt, hallucinations, injury, innocent, journey, kinship, lectures, list, london, machine shop, mad, Mansfield park, mental health, movies, mrs. palfrey at the claremont, nightmare, paranoia, physical health, plot, poverty, prostitute, quality, reason, Rebecca, Saturday Cinema, scotland, terror, Tess of the D'urbervilles, The Machinist, uncle, wealth, wealthy, What to Watch, world war II
Anna Massey was a british actress that passed away on July 5th from Cancer. Here’s a list of films to remember her by:
An Angel For May (2002) Rated NR
While playing in a deserted farmhouse, a boy named Tom is whisked back in time to World War II. Tom is guided by a dog, and becomes friends with a young evacuee named May. The three set off on an adventure with consequences they won’t forget.
The Machinist (2005) Rated R
Trevor Reznik hasn’t slept in a year. The shocking deteroration of his physical and mental health has made his every waking moment an unrelenting state of confusion, paranoia, guilt, anxiety and terror. His only solace from this living nightmare comes from an affectionate prostitute. When cryptic notes turn up mysteriously in his apartment and hallucinations of a co-worker that no one else sees causes a gruesome machine shop injury, he embarks on a journey to find out whether there is an elaborate plot to drive him mad or his fatigue has simply robbed him of reason.
Mansfield Park (1986) Rated NR
True virtue triumph’s over superficiality in 18th century England. Young, impoverished Fanny Price arrives at the elegant estate of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram. Snubbed by everyone except her cousin Edmund, she begins her long struggle for accceptance by her shallow relatives who believe wealth automatically means quality.
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005) Rated NR
Mrs. Palfrey, an elegant, genteel widow, has come from Scotland to London to take up residency at the Claremont Hotel. Though she had high hopes for the cosmopolitan pleasures of living in a big city, such as attending lectures and concerts, as well as making a wider assortment of acquaintances, she is soon filled with a sense of uneasiness and slight gloom as she surveys her drab surroundings at the Claremont. The only bright spot in her decision to come to London is the fact that she will be closer to her only grandson, Desmond.
Tess of the D’Urbervilles (2008) Rated NR
When the beautiful and innocent Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D’Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting the manipulative Alec proves to be her downfall.
Anna also read books for audio: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
15 Jan 2011
in Movies, Subject Guide
Tags: 50 first dates, annette kellerman, bee movie, college, easy to love, esther williams, esther williams vol 2, eurasian, fiesta, films, florist, hawaiian, jaws, lieutenant, list, long island, marine, matador, million dollar mermaid, movies, musical, navy, New york city, pagan love song, plantation, racial, sharks, short-term memory loss, south pacific, Summer films, summer movies, swimmer, tahiti, this time for keeps, thrill of a romance, veteran, video tape, water skier, world war II, wwII
Waiting for summer to arrive, here’s a list of films at your local library to tie you over until June.
50 First Dates (2004) Rated PG-13
Henry Roth lives an enviable life in a Hawaiian paradise, spending every night with a different beautiful tourist in search of an island fling. It’s a great life, no strings attached–until he meets Lucy. He and Lucy hit it off right from the start, but the next day she acts like she doesn’t know him. Lucy suffers from short-term memory loss, so every night all memory of her day is erased. But a man in love will go to great lengths to win the girl of his dreams. In an effort to help her remember him, he makes a video tape for her to watch every morning.
Bee Movie (2007) Rated PG
Having just graduated from college, Barry B. Benson finds himself disillusioned with the prospect of having only one career choice – honey. As he ventures outside of the hive for the first time, he breaks one of the cardinal rules of the bee world and talks to a human, a New York City florist named Vanessa. He is shocked to discover that the humans have been stealing and eating the bee’s honey for centuries. He ultimately realizes that his true calling in life is to set the world right by suing the human race. That is until the ensuing chaos upsets the very balance of nature. It is up to Barry to prove that even a little bee can spell big changes in the world.
Esther Williams Vol. 2 (1945-1953) Rated NR
Thrill of a romance: A war hero takes swimming lessons in order to woo the instructor. Fiesta: A woman disguises herself as a matador to fill in for her brother. This time for keeps: A veteran falls in love with a swimmer. Pagan love song: A love story set on Tahiti. Million dollar mermaid: Dramatizes the life of Annette Kellerman. Easy to love: A water skier falls in love with her agent.
Jaws (1975) Rated PG
A man-eating shark causes havoc off the Long Island coast and three men join together to hunt and destroy it.
South Pacific (1958) Rated NR
Set in the Pacific theater during World War II, this musical film explores the theme of racial prejudice in two parallel stories–that of a Navy nurse’s love for a plantation owner with two Eurasian children, and a Marine lieutenant’s love for a native woman.