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January 2005

Librarians’ Choice 2004 · Films & Recordings


cover of The Steps The Steps
Rachel Cohn
The “steps” in twelve-year-old Annabel’s life are the stepsisters, stepbrothers and half-siblings she inherits when her mother and father form new families with new spouses. On a Christmas vacation to her father in Australia, Annabel, who was very happily an only child for most of her life, determines to return to the States with her father and without all those extra “steps.” Teen appeal.

cover of Where I’d Like to Be Where I’d Like to Be
Frances O’Roark Dowell
Maddie’s grandmother always told her she was a “special” child, but after years of foster homes and orphan homes, the magic in Maddie’s life can be found only in her special scrapbook, where a real home is a place of dreams. She shares her dreams with a few chosen friends, and they begin to create their own home until one friend betrays them all. For listeners ages eight and up.

cover of Metro Girl Metro Girl
Janet Evanovich
The best-selling author of the Stephanie Plum series gives us another hilarious adventure with Baltimore-born heroine Alex “Barney” Barnaby, who grew up in her father’s auto repair garage, raced stock cars for two years, and spent much of her time bailing her brother out of trouble. Teaming up with the “NASCAR Guy” to find a missing brother and a missing boat, Barney takes us on a wild ride from Miami to Key West to the islands of Cuba.

cover of Skinny Dip Skinny Dip
Carl Hiaasen
The tenth book by Carl Hiaasen, and one of his funniest, finds the innocent Joey Perrone swimming for her life after being thrown overboard by her sleazy husband, Chaz, who fears she is onto his crooked deal that will pollute the Everglades. Joey vows revenge, and with the help of her rescuer and other odd characters along the way, drives the bad guys to the brink.

cover of Prague Prague
Arthur Phillips
This intelligent, bitingly funny narrative centers around a group of five twenty-somethings, expatriates from America and Canada, who wind up in Budapest after the fall of Communism, each looking for a personal success story. Instead, they find disappointment and the sense that their counterparts in Prague enjoy the kind of excitement and entrepreneurial gain they wish they had.


cover of Babies Makin’ Babies Babies Makin’ Babies
This lengthy compilation of funky ’70s soul includes the smooth, sultry sounds and stone grooves from veteran vocal artists Smokey Robinson, Bill Withers, the Isley Brothers, Deniece Williams, Chaka Khan, Minnie Ripperton, and others.

cover of Salt Salt
Lizz Wright
In her debut Verve release, twenty-something Lizz Wright entertains with a mixture of jazz standards, traditional folk, R&B and gospel. Her cool contralto voice and superb delivery have been compared to top jazz singer Cassandra Wilson.

cover of No Thanks! The ’70s Punk Rebellion No Thanks! The ’70s Punk Rebellion
In this four-disc box set with a fat, photo-packed booklet, Rhino has compiled a hundred tracks that define the punk scene from 1965 to 1979. From the garages and back rooms of the U.S. and the British Isles came the pop songs of legendary groups like Blondie, The Jam, and The Clash, and political tracks such as Sham 69’s “Borstal Breakout.”

cover of Asha Bhosle: Rough Guide to Bollywood Legends Asha Bhosle: Rough Guide to Bollywood Legends
Asha Bhosle
India’s most recorded (over twenty thousand recordings) singer and Rough Guide have conspired to present sixteen of Asha Bhosle’s favorites, including a full range of Bollywood sounds, early rock and roll and swing jazz, disco, classic Hindustani and more. Moving from style to style, the listener appreciates the full range of ability in this most talented recording artist.

cover of Cellar Door Cellar Door
John Vanderslice
John Vanderslice’s fourth solo album, Cellar Door, is a collection of first person, slice-of-life narratives, inspired in part by the artist’s passion for art-house films.

Movies & Documentaries

cover of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Imagine that you undergo a dream-like procedure that erases all memory of an unhappy relationship, and then you realize you want to save some of the nicer moments. Now you must frantically chase your memories around all night, trying to save them. An inventive, visually stunning film with some nightmare qualities, but ultimately very poignant and hopeful.

cover of Im Toten Winkel Im Toten Winkel: Hitler’s Sekretarin (Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary)
Traudl Junge was Hitler’s personal secretary from 1942 to 1945. This eighty-seven-minute interview with the elderly Junge takes place more than sixty years after Hitler’s final days. Junge describes Hitler’s personality, the last days in the bunker, and her own naivete as a young woman at the epicenter of one of the darkest periods in the history of the world.

cover of Mystic River Mystic River
From Academy Award nominee Clint Eastwood (director), and featuring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, and Lawrence Fishburne, this intense thriller examines the far-reaching psychological effects of a childhood crime on three boyhood friends who are reunited when the daughter of one is murdered. Based on the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane.

cover of Russian Ark Russian Ark
This intriguing feature-length narrative was shot in one continuous take in the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, Russia. While exploring the marvelous holdings in this centuries-old museum, the narrator discusses the people and events that shaped the history of Russia.

cover of Spellbound Spellbound
The ultimate championship of the Spelling Bee is held each year in Washington D.C. This documentary follows the lives of eight teenagers and their families who experience the drama, intensity, and pressure of a competition equal to any Olympic event.