October 2012 Archives

Click for availability and more information Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond, by Hans Holzer
 
Like just about everyone, I've been fascinated by stories of ghost sightings since I was a young child. When I saw the downloadable e-book titled Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond, I knew I had to download it to my iPad! The author, Hans Holzer, is a world famous paranormal expert. He has studied paranormal incidents for over 30 years. Holzer can tell the difference between a manufactured story and the real deal. He begins by discussing some pretty incredible near death experiences to prove the existence of a spirit world. Then he proceeds to cite over 200 cases, which support the concept of ghost sightings. According to Holzer, ghosts are the result of dead people being stuck between the living and spiritual world, who have unfinished business. They can only pass on to that spirit world with the help of living people, who help them resolve their problems. He claims to have made contact with such famous people as Aaron Burr and John Wilkes Booth in séances through mediums. There is also audio and photographic evidence! I was a little skeptical at first, but now consider myself a true believer! This e-book is well-worth your time.
-Carl

The Lifeboat

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Click for availability and more information The Lifeboat, by Charlotte Rogan
 
For fiction readers, it is always a pleasure to discover an author whose first book is not only highly readable, but also displays great writing talent. Such is the case with The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan. Told in the first person, the prologue gives a brief glimpse into the story. Apparently, the main character, Grace Winter, is involved in a court proceeding of some sort. Then, the story reverts back in time with Grace adrift in a lifeboat somewhere in the north Atlantic after the ship she was on sank. The year is 1914 and the impending world war has caused many to escape from Europe to New York. This is, for the most part, a survival at sea story as Grace and her fellow survivors try to stay alive on their small lifeboat. The diverse collection of characters is credibly drawn and the interaction among them causes great tensions to mount as the days go on and on without a rescue. Rogan's knowledge of the sea and boats is evident with her skillful depiction of the small craft plunging through stormy waters and the attempt of Grace and the others to find water and some food to avoid dying at sea. Eventually, the reason for the Grace's being in a courtroom becomes clear and adds a good touch to the story. The Lifeboat has interesting characters involved in a very dramatic situation and makes for an enjoyable reading experience.
-Roy

Click for availability and more information Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women as I Knew Them, by Frank Langella
 
Frank Langella has written a totally engaging and delightful memoir of his interesting and productive career as a working actor for the approximately past 50 years. Dividing this book into chapters named for the various actors, politicians and other memorable characters he has known in his life, he writes concisely and vividly about these famous folks. For example, while working as a young actor in a summer theater on Cape Cod, he ends up at a luncheon with President Kennedy, his wife and Noel Coward among others. Though this happened many years ago, his writing makes this event, as well as the others he describes in subsequent chapters, so fresh and fun to read. Some other notables he socialized with are Yul Brynner and Rex Harrison. Both appear to be have been driven by huge egos and were very difficult men. Jacqueline Kennedy appears and then reappears in his life. Langella shows great skill as a writer as these diverse and very often immensely interesting folks come alive in his book. Dropped Names is highly recommended.
-Roy

The Shoemaker's Wife

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Click for availability and more information The Shoemaker's Wife, by Adriana Trigiani
 
Adriana Trigiani has become an extremely popular writer and The Shoemaker's Wife gives ample evidence as to why she has gained this reputation. With an excellent reading divided between the author and Annabella Sciorra, her story flows so easily and holds the listener's attention. The Shoemaker's Wife revolves around two main characters, Enza and Ciro. They meet quite by accident while both are living in villages tucked away in the northern Italian Alps in the early twentieth century. Each migrates to the United States before World War I unaware than the other has made the same journey. Ciro ends up a shoemaker in lower Manhattan and Enza becomes a seamstress. Their lives intersect at times, but then they wander off in different directions. Enza eventually has a great success creating wardrobes for the Metropolitan Opera while Ciro makes a good living making the shoes for the men building bridges and buildings in New York.

The book has great settings : early twentieth century New York City, the rugged mountains of northern Italy, battlefields of World War I as well as the mining areas of Minnesota. Enza and Ciro proceed through their lives and eventually find happiness. The Shoemaker's Wife on cd is a very pleasurable listening experience.
-Roy

A Tale Dark & Grimm

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Click for availability and more information A Tale Dark & Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz
 
Once upon a time...Hansel and Gretel decided to escape from their own story and jump into other classic Grimm fairy tales. As they wander through a forest brimming with menacing foes and talking trees, they learn the true story behind the bread crumbs, munch edible houses, and outwit some witches.
-Deirdre

Horrible Harry at Halloween

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Click for availability and more information Horrible Harry at Halloween, by Suzy Kline
 
Every Halloween Harry plays tricks on his classmates and dresses up as something scary or gross or both. He's been Count Dracula, a slimy snake and even the Loch Ness Monster. Everyone in Room 3B is waiting to see what Harry will be this year--and they're all in for a really big surprise!
-Deirdre

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