May 3

Green Hornet – Seth Rogan, Jay Chou

Britt Reid is a rich playboy with a directionless life. After his father dies, Britt inherits his vast media empire, where he meets employee Kato. The two realize that they have a chance to do something worthwhile with their lives by fighting crime, so Britt becomes the Green Hornet. With the help of Britt’s secretary, the two begin hunting down Benjamin Chudnofsky, the man who controls LA’s gritty underworld. But Chudnofsky has plans of his own: to swat down the Green Hornet once and for all


May 13

Justin Bieber – Never Say Never

Justin Bieber’s odds were a million to one, until millions of fans found him online. Now revealed is the story of his journey from average teen to global superstar, culminating with a dream sold-out show at the famed Madison Square Garden. Special features include featurettes.



May 24

Gnomeo and Juliet

Caught up in a feud between neighbors, Gnomeo and Juliet must overcome as many obstacles as their namesakes. But with flamboyant pink flamingoes and epic lawnmower races, can this young couple find lasting happiness?  We just gnome it!




Biutiful – Javier Bardem

Uxbal is a man on the wrong side of the law who struggles to provide for his children on the dangerous streets of Barcelona. As fate encircles him, Uxbal learns to accept the realities of life, whether bright, bad, or biutiful.


It’s getting pretty expensive to buy video games, and it’s always a disappointment when you buy one only to find out that it’s not that great.  So why not try them out for free?  The library recently added a lot of new video games to our collections at all three locations!  We’ve got games for the Wii, XBox 360, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3.  And they’re not all just for kids; we have games that teens and adults can enjoy as well!

Our video games can’t be placed on hold, but you can stop into any of our locations to see if they are available.  Just check with a staff member who can point you in the right direction.

Here are just a few of our newest games:

Just Dance 2

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Michael Jackson:  The Experience

Plants Vs. Zombies

Epic Mickey

Need for Speed:  Hot Pursuit

Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2

I don’t read a lot of mysteries, but at the suggestion of a good friend I picked up The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first in a series by Alan Bradley starring wannabe detective Flavia de Luce.  Flavia is one of the most unique protagonists I have seen lately:  she’s smart, inquisitive, resourceful, and witty.  She has an obsession with chemistry, especially poisons.  Oh, and did I mention that she’s eleven years old?

In The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, we are introduced to Flavia and her family, who are living in an estate called Buckshaw in England in the 1950s.  Her mother disappeared when she was a baby, so Flavia is left with her distant father, her antagonistic older sisters, and man-about-the-house Dogger.  Things are boring as usual at Buckshaw when Flavia discovers a dead man in their cucumber patch in the middle of the night.  When Flavia’s father is taken into custody as the prime suspect, Flavia gets on the case to find out who really did it and prove her father’s innocence.  Flavia follows a series of initially puzzling clues (including an antique postage stamp and a dead bird) that lead to the identity of the killer, making for an exciting and surprising climax.  I listened to the audiobook and it’s very enjoyable; the reader manages to capture Flavia’s spirit very well and make it an exciting listen.

After finishing this book I had to immediately go out and pick up a copy of the second in the series, called The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag.  Flavia meets a traveling puppet show team whose car has broken down, and so they elect to do a series of shows in Bishop’s Lacey while they are waiting for the repairs.  When the star of the show is murdered, of course Flavia is the first one on the case.  I’m in the middle of it right now and I’m glad to say that Flavia has kept her cheek and tenacity fully intact.  The third book in the series, A Red Herring Without Mustard, just came out a couple months ago to rave reviews, and it’s certainly next on my “To Read” list.  If you like mysteries with a strong female protagonist, the charming setting of England, or mysteries that really keep you guessing right up to the end, this series will not disappoint.  Even if you don’t usually read mysteries, I recommend checking out this series, because I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to know Flavia de Luce.

Tornado Hunters Video footage of F4 tornados taken by amateur and professional storm chasers in Tornado Alley.

Twister The (modern) classic tornado flick starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton as the battling “storm-obsessed lunatics.” (All Movie Guide). There’s a complicated plot about “Dorothy,” a machine that will gather vital data about tornados as they pass over the device, and an evil competitor with a similar gizmo.

Which leads us to The Wizard of Oz , the (traditional) classic twister flick.

The tension of the brewing storm’s destruction  is built up carefully – with everyday, realistic touches. Everyone who sees this as a child can imagine themselves in Dorothy’s shoes (ha) – worrying about the darkening skies but having to go about their business. Even after 72 years, this film holds up, IMHO, as the film best able to instill a lifelong fear of storms.

On his way to dinner with his wife Emily where he intends to ask her for a divorce, Sandy Portman – wealthy, sophisticated, self-centered – is hit by a car and dies. Furious that someone as important as himself should die so young, he makes a deal with the angel sent to retrieve him – a second chance to make things right. The only string attached? He’s coming back as a dog. An old, smelly, not-very-attractive dog to be exact.

Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee is a charming story with both laughs and heartbreak. Now known as Einstein (and as a dog) Sandy struggles to come to terms with who he was as a man. Emily learns to become her own person, not defined by her Mother or sister or husband and to move on with her life. Einstein is very funny and sarcastic (he calls the angel that’s assigned to him “old man”) and Emily’s struggles are realistic. Some might label this as “chick lit”, but the issues are deeper and have more resonance than merely “getting the guy”. This is a love story on several levels, and also a story of forgiveness both of the people in your life and of yourself.  You’ll cheer for both Emily and Einstein, because everyone deserves a second chance.

Wow! This is a great book for travel dreamers or doers.  Subtitled A Rough Guide to Travel Adventures by Greg Witt, Ultimate Adventures showcases all sorts of exotic locations — some places I’ve never even heard of, but now can’t wait to see.  And though there are many adventures which are geared more to the adrenaline junkie, there are still plenty of “soft” experiences for the more conservative traveler.  For instance, I know I’ll never ever attempt a 51-day ski trip to the South Pole or ice diving in Russia’s White Sea.  But maybe I could handle hiking New Zealand’s Milford Trek, as I’ve had friends who’ve successfully completed it.

One handy feature is a 5-star rating system covering 4 elements: physical, psychological, skill level and wow! factor.  This is designed to help the reader decide if this trip is a good match for their abilities.  For example, climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro is ranked high (4) for the physical endurance required, only a 2 for the skill level needed (it’s basic hiking, not technical rock climbing) but it scores a 5 for Wow factor.

It’s well-organized (by continents); the photos are breathtaking and the descriptions should inspire even the stodgiest couch potato.  As a librarian, I don’t need to buy many books, but I do plan to purchase this one!

Bossypants by Tina Fey was released on Tuesday, April 5th, and I started and finished it on that very day.  Enough said.

Granted, I’m a big fan of Tina Fey and her critically-acclaimed show 30 Rock, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book.  It’s part memoir, part humorous essay collection, and part how-to guide on being a woman in show business.  And it’s hilarious.  She talks about everything from the more unpleasant jobs she had over the years to finding acceptance in a summer theater group to what it was like to meet Sarah Palin after publicly (and frequently) making fun of her on Saturday Night Live.  There are one-liners and hilarious anecdote in such abundance that you’ll be embarrassed to read the book in public because you’ll be laughing so much.  She also talks about some serious things, like being slashed in the face by a stranger when she was five years old (the source of the trademark scar on her cheek) and how hard it is to balance being a mother and a very busy woman in the workforce, but she still manages to keep it lighthearted.  What I really enjoyed about the book was how clearly her comedic voice came through.  This isn’t one of those books “written” by a celebrity (aka written by a ghostwriter with the celebrity’s name thrown into the byline); Fey’s sharp wit comes through in every sentence so that you can practically hear her reading it as though she were reciting lines she wrote on 30 Rock.

I tried really hard to pick out a favorite excerpt to share here, just to give you a taste of what the book is like.  But every time I tried I just kept typing and typing and pretty soon it was going to border on copyright infringement.  So I’ll just tell you that Bossypants is hilarious and if you like humorous memoirs or are a fan of 30 Rock, then you should check it out.

Want an idea of how bad floods can get in this area? Take a look at some of these dvds and videos….

Fighting the Floods WQAD’s coverage of the June 2008 floods has footage of the floods in Iowa and Illinois, including Davenport, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

Illinois Valley, Historic Flood of 2008 footage of the September 16th flood along the Illinois River.

’93 Flood This video was aired live during the flood and aftermath; it contains aerial footage of the flooded Mississippi River.

Fatal Flood A 1927 Mississippi River flood killed more than a thousand people and destroyed the homes of millions from Cairo, Illinois on south to New Orleans. This a PBS American Experience program – which are uniformly excellent.

Remember Kabul Beauty School, the memoir by Deborah Rodriguez?  Well, the author is back, this time with a fictional account which seems likely to have been based, at least in part, upon her own life experience as co-owner of a coffee house in Kabul.  At least that’s my bet, as the dialogue and place description both have an authentic feel to it.

I enjoyed A Cup of Friendship on several levels.  First of all, it’s just a good story.  It’s got solid characterization with some humor and some romance to help balance out the more tragic episodes.  It’s also a reflection about relationships and lasting friendships with women of different faiths and cultures.   Finally, I think it helps those of us living in the West to better understand Afghan culture.  We may not agree with the way women are treated there, but knowing some of the “why” behind it certainly helps.

As one might expect, being an American woman running a business in Kabul these days is not the easiest job in the world.   However, the main character, Sunny, runs her coffee shop amidst bombs going off nearby, and still manages to create a welcoming haven for many ex-patriots.  She also finds a way to do some good in her little corner of the world.  This is a “feel good” book!

Discovery Channel’s dvd, America’s Tsunami, explores the impact of the wave that hit Thailand 7 years ago. Scientists attempt to find out why it happened, and to predict where the next one would happen (see if they were right). They have gathered fascinating footage of divers exploring a seabed that is larger than the Alps.

The Wave That Shook the World is another dvd about 2004’s Indian Ocean tsunami. This Nova production explains why this event was so destructive.

Tsunami: Killer Wave by National Geographic covers the risk in Hawaii, Japan and California. See how the recently famous Pacific Tsunami Warning Center operates.

Tsunami: The Aftermath is actually a drama about several people who were affected by the Thai tsunami, including a Thai survivor who lost his entire family, a reporter, a meteorologist and a relief worker. Tim Roth and Toni Collette star in this HBO miniseries.