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December 2005

Librarians’ Choice 2005 · Audiobooks, Music, and Movies

Audiobooks

cover of America: A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction America: A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction
Jon Stewart
Fans of The Daily Show on Comedy Central will love Jon Stewart’s “cheeky, irreverent, and playfully ingenious” satire of the American political scene.

cover of Anansi Boys Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman
After learning of the death of his estranged father, Fat Charlie finds on his doorstep a man claiming to be his brother, who promptly begins wreaking havoc in his personal and professional life. Is it any surprise that Charlie turns out to be the son of Anansi, a trickster god? A delightfully original tale from the author of American Gods.

cover of 11 on Top 11 on Top
Janet Evanovich
The irrepressible Stephanie Plum is back, and she has a change of career in mind. Her search for the perfect job does not go smoothly, however, what with exploding automobiles, a chaotic love life, a stalker, and an unsolved murder to contend with. Maybe the bounty hunter gig isn’t so bad after all?

cover of Goodnight Nobody Goodnight Nobody
Jennifer Weiner
Kate Klein, a former New York City gossip columnist turned suburban mommy, is caught in the middle of a murder investigation when she discovers the body of one of her neighbors. Kate decides to squeeze in some sleuthing in while her kids are at preschool but things get complicated when her path crosses that of a handsome private investigator…

cover of A Long Way Down A Long Way Down
Nick Hornby
Hornby’s latest novel offers an amusing treatment of a serious subject. On New Year’s Eve, five Londoners contemplating suicide coincidently choose the same rooftop. The bond they form that night carries the group through a period of mutual support and recovery. Several talented actors lend their voices to characters inhabiting a most unusual and unforgettable support group.

cover of Polar Shift Polar Shift
Clive Cussler
Kurt Austen and the NUMA team attempt to thwart a polar displacement that could cause severe weather, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and quite possibly, the end of the world. Another action-packed sea adventure from Clive Cussler.

cover of Rococo Rococo
Adriana Trigiani
Interior decorator Bartolomeo di Crespi welcomes the challenge of renovating a church in his New Jersey hometown. But the project seems the least of Bartolomeo’s problems after romantic difficulties, family dramas, and the revelation of community secrets interrupt. This novel of family is told with wit and charm by the author of Big Stone Gap (includes great recipes, too!).

cover of Specimen Days Specimen Days
Michael Cunningham
The author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Hours, weaves together three related stories having recurring characters in Manhattan settings of different time periods. With direct reference to Walt Whitman’s masterwork, The Leaves of Grass, Michael Cunningham’s narrative triptych explores the problem of human alienation in the age of the machine.

Music

cover of Face the Truth Face the Truth
Stephen Malkmus, former Pavement frontman, showcases his eclectic songwriting abilities in this well-received third solo effort.

cover of Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack
Grateful Dead
The five discs of this box set are taken from a 5-night performance given at San Francisco’s Winterland in October 1974. All the music from the 1977 documentary, The Grateful Dead is included, along with 32 bonus tracks.

cover of Late Registration Late Registration
Kanye West
Hip hop impresario West follows his Grammy-winning debut (The College Dropout) with a genre-bending album that “steps up his lyrical game, shows off his epic production skills, reaches higher, pushes harder and claims the whole world of music as hip-hop turf.” (Rolling Stone magazine)

cover of The Legend The Legend
Johnny Cash
Spanning 1955-2002 and arranged thematically (The Hits, Old Favorites and New; The Great American Songbook, and Family and Friends), the cuts on this four-disk anthology are a powerful testimonial to the depth and range of an American icon.

cover of Living Room Tour Living Room Tour
Carole King
Music legend songwriter and singer Carole King offers her fans a live performance in this 2-disc set of her classic hits. Included are such favorites as “Locomotion,” “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

cover of Push Barman To Open Old Wounds Push Barman To Open Old Wounds
Belle and Sebastian
A must for both novices or die-hard fans of Belle and Sebastian, this compilation of seven out-of-print EPs from 1996-2001 contains all of the delicate and smart songs that made this Scottish combo heroes of the indie pop scene.

cover of Tarefero de Mis Pagos Tarefero de Mis Pagos
Chango Spasiuk
Argentinian accordian player Chango Spasiuk delivers a set of “spirited, yet elegant, tunes from traditional and modern sources” (All Music) on this folk album.

cover of Twice the Speed of Life Twice the Speed of Life
Sugarland
The twangy voice of Jennifer Nettles belting out energetic tunes will leave you anxiously awaiting the sophomore album of this group from Atlanta.

cover of Vagabond Lullabies Vagabond Lullabies
Po’ Girl
This mellow, organic, and intimate recording is the second from the Vancouver-based acoustic folk trio Po’ Girl. The songs are a smooth fusion of many different musical genres, incorporating a little R&B, punk, jazz, hip-hop, and country.

cover of Wow Gospel, 2005: 30 of the Year’s Top Gospel Artists and Songs Wow Gospel, 2005: 30 of the Year’s Top Gospel Artists and Songs
Contains old favorites such as Shirley Caesar (“I'm Gonna Wait”), the Rance Allen Group (the first traditional gospel group to add jazz, rock and soul to their music), and younger contemporary artists such as Smokie Norful, who combines gospel and hip-hop.

Feature Films & Documentaries

cover of Goodbye Lenin! Goodbye Lenin!
This German comedy involves a young man named Alex whose socialist mother became comatose before the fall of the Berlin Wall. When she wakens with a weak heart, her family dares not tell her that capitalism has triumphed! Keeping the truth from her becomes a comedy of errors.

cover of Hotel Rwanda Hotel Rwanda
This is the deeply moving true story of a five-star-hotel manager, Paul Rusesabagina, who heroically risked his life to protect 1,200 Tutsis from being slaughtered during the 1994 Rwandan conflict. Don Cheadle was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Paul Rusesabagina.

cover of House of Flying Daggers House of Flying Daggers
During China’s Tang Dynasty, a secret organization rises to oppose the government. Two lawmen are sent undercover to find the ringleaders and stop the revolution. Breathtaking visuals, lavish costumes, and a ballet of martial arts agility mark this beautiful film.

cover of National Treasure National Treasure
For six generations, the Gates family has searched for a fabled treasure, protected through the centuries by the Knights Templar, and hidden somewhere in the U.S. With a rival in pursuit of the prize, Benjamin Franklin Gates must steal the most valuable document in the National Archives to lead him to the treasure. A roller coaster ride of action and thrills.

cover of Spanglish Spanglish
A beautiful woman from Mexico brings her daughter to the U.S. when she accepts a job as housekeeper to an affluent, but troubled, family in Los Angeles. This is a heart-warming story of class, cultural collision, and the enduring importance of family.

cover of Star Wars Episode II: Revenge of the Sith Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The eagerly awaited third chapter of this series is by far the most intense, dark, and heartbreaking tale. This is the prequel to Star Wars: A New Hope, the 1977 film that started the 23-year love affair between George Lucas and his millions of Star Wars fans.

cover of A Very Long Engagement A Very Long Engagement
This film, starring Audrey Tautou of Amelie, tells the story of young lovers separated by World War I. Matilde refuses to believe her fiance has been killed in the war and embarks on a journey to find out what happened to him. A beautifully told love story.

cover of Basic Backstroke Swimming Technique Basic Backstroke Swimming Technique
University of Washington swim coach Mickey Wender offers advice for developing an efficient backstroke technique “from the inside out.” Swimming drills are illustrated by students in the pool.

cover of Building the Alaska Highway Building the Alaska Highway
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, officials in Washington D.C. realized that Alaska was also vulnerable. To provide accessibility, a highway linking Alaska to the lower 48 was hastily built by thousands of young soldiers working under enforced segregation, in a beautiful but hostile environment.

cover of Faster: Inside the Exhilarating World of Motorcycle Racing Faster: Inside the Exhilarating World of Motorcycle Racing
Welcome to the incredibly fast world of Grand Prix motorcycle racing, where bikes and riders typically achieve speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour. Narrated by Ewan McGregor, this film delves into the MotorGP scene with interviews of riders, mechanics, doctors, commentators, and fans.

cover of Fidel Castro Fidel Castro
One of the most controversial figures of the past sixty years, Fidel Castro has become the living symbol of Communist revolution in defying the will of ten U.S. presidents. Archival film footage, and interviews with childhood friends, journalists, human rights activists, and former political prisoners present a fascinating portrait of a remarkably resilient political leader.

cover of Going Faster: The Official Visual Guide of the Skip Barber Racing School Going Faster: The Official Visual Guide of the Skip Barber Racing School
The Skip Barber Racing School has turned out an impressive number of legendary racing drivers. This program allows you to get behind the wheel and get an idea of the fundamentals and techniques of car racing.

cover of Marple Series 1 Marple Series 1
Series 1 features new adaptations of four Agatha Christie novels. This series was originally aired on the PBS television program Mystery! in 2004. Geraldine McEwan stars as Miss Marple.

cover of Tom Dowd & the Language of Music Tom Dowd & the Language of Music
A profile of the life and work of a legendary music producer and recording engineer who influenced modern music through his work with musicians such as Eric Clapton, John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, The Allman Brothers, Thelonious Monk, and Aretha Franklin.

cover of Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
In 1908, Jack Johnson became the first African American to earn the title Heavyweight Champion of the World. Ken Burns uses his trademark blend of voiceovers, archival photographs and film footage, and interviews with experts, to trace the story of a remarkable individual.