The Perfect Christmas Gift!

Already tired of shopping and it’s only the beginning of December? Are you having a hard time coming up with new gift ideas — particularly ones which are easy on the pocketbook? No sweat — here’s the perfect gift. See if you can guess what it is.

  1. It’s small and requires no elaborate wrapping.
  2. It requires no batteries and it has no moving parts, so it can’t wear out.
  3. You can use it again and again and again, for many years to come.
  4. It’s one size fit’s all.
  5. It is equally appropriate for men, women, children, teens and seniors.
  6. It can help you do your homework or help you get a job.
  7. It allows you to virtually travel to anywhere in the world.
  8. It saves you money.
  9. It allows you to enjoy a vast array of vicarious experiences.
  10. It never goes out of style.
  11. No waiting in long lines.
  12. And best of all — it’s absolutely FREE!

You guys are smart, so I’m assuming you’ve already determined exactly what this perfect gift is – a library card! Just bring current id with your Davenport address (children under 18 also need to bring a parent to sign for them) and fill out an application today – it’s quick and easy!

PhoDOGraphy by Kim Levin

Getting great pictures of your furry best friend just got easier – Kim Levin shows you all kinds of great tips and tricks on how to photograph your dog in PhoDOGraphy. Plus, the book is just fun to look at – it’s filled with fabulous pictures of all kinds of dogs from sweet and adorable, to kind and noble.

There’s a lot of good, basic photography skills explained here – using available light, framing the shot, choosing interesting settings and backgrounds, stopping action and composition. There’s also a lot of information that is particular to photographing dogs for instance, photographing black dogs so that you don’t lose the facial details and expressions. Tips are also included for photographing two or more dogs together, dogs with their people and dogs with cats. Special consideration is given for photographing puppies (high energy) vs older dogs (more sedate and dignified), and big dogs (need more room to feel comfortable) and small dogs (place them where you can be at their eye level)

Most of all, this book is about capturing the spirit and personality of that important and beloved member of the family, the dog.

City of the Sun by David Levien

Although I enjoy James Patterson and Harlan Coben it’s nice to come across a solid suspense novel by someone else. City of the Sun grabs you from the beginning as 12 year old Jamie Gabriel disappears while on his morning paper route. We come to understand his parents desperation as month after month passes with one dead end after another. As all hope of finding Jamie is essentially lost, the Gabriels’ last plea for some closure comes from a former police officer turned private detective, Frank Behr. This colorful character adds his own tortured subplot to the story. We finally learn that Jamie’s disappearance is related to the youth slave trade. With renewed hope Frank and Jamie’s father track down the ring in Cuidad del Sol – the City of the Sun. The ending is climactic to say the least.

David Levien writes concisely yet allows you to feel the overwhelming emotions of the characters involved. The story is tense and exciting; well worth reading!

DVDs for December

December 2

Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian – Ben Barnes, Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton

“Prince Caspian” finds the Pevensie siblings back into the land of Narnia where a thousand years have passed since they left. The children are once again enlisted to join the colorful creatures of Narnia in combating an evil villain who prevents the rightful Prince from ruling the land. imdb

also: The Longshots, Step Brothers, Wanted, X Files I want to Believe

December 9

Dark Knight – Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine

Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker. imdb

also: Horton Hears a Who

December 16

Mamma Mia – Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Waters, Colin Firth

Set on a colorful Greek island, the plot serves as a background for a wealth of great ABBA songs which are used in remarkably appropriate ways. A young woman about to be married discovers that any one of three men could be her father. She invites all three to the wedding without telling her mother, Donna, who was once the lead singer of Donna and the Dynamos. In the meantime, Donna has invited her backup singers, Rosie and Tanya. imdb

also: The Mummy – The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

December 23

Burn after Reading – George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton

A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it. imdb

also: The Women