Fantasia / Fantasia 2000

From Erik Schmid
Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 [videorecording]
Fantasia and its sibling movie Fantasia 2000 belong in that category of films which you either love or hate. For those of us who enjoy the music-only soundtrack concept, Fantasia reigns as an example of what animation can be as a creative art form. Others see it as devastatingly boring. It can be helpful to know that Fantasia was Disney’s attempt at merging the art forms of animation and music, where the music can stand alone, with his animators creating storylines or abstract visuals that complement the music. Both of the films were made with this concept in mind; however even though Disney made this film, the entire concept lends itself better to an adult audience. The 2000 version tried to make the concept more viewer friendly by using a greater amount of humorous guest announcers between the shorts; unfortunately the shorts themselves were less memorable than in the classic first film. This edition combines the 2 titles into one welcome package with pristi  ne transfers and expertly produced surround sound. For those who love these movies, this release is a treat.

Resumes That Pop: Designs That Reflect your Personal Brand

From Edna Susman
author: Criscito, Pat
Resumes That Pop: Designs That Reflect your Personal Brand
The beauty of this book is that it includes close to 200 examples of all possible types of resumes. In addition to executive resumes, curricula vitae and the usual resumes, the author explains how to create one’s electronic resume, including ASCII text resumes for cutting and pasting into e-forms or MS Word files for uploading to career websites. Explanations of social networking sites such as Linkedln, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube is clear and succinct. Sample profiles for these sites are presented as well as information on e-folios, cover letters and blogs.

Expert in Murder

From Eileen Effrat
author: Upson, Nicola
Expert in Murder
The year is 1934 and Josephine Tey, the famous Scottish mystery writer and playwright, is having a leisurely breakfast when she receives a visit from Inspector Archie Penrose, an old friend.  He is investigating   the murder of Elspeth Simmons, a young women Tey befriended the previous day on the train trip from her Scottish home to London.  Hours later, one of Josephine’s   colleagues in the theater is poisoned.  It soon becomes clear these two murders are   connected to Tey’s   play, Richard of Bordeaux, that is nearing its final weeks at a West End theater.  Is Josephine Tey the intended victim?  As the investigation proceeds, it uncovers backstage jealousies, buried family secrets, and the tragic consequences of the First World War. For an enjoyable mystery with a well researched portrayal of life in 1930’s England and the London theater, this mystery is strongly suggested.  I have just finished the sequel, Angel With Two Faces, and I was NOT disappointed.  Upson just gets better.

Promise me : how a sister’s love launched the global movement to end breast cancer

From Lisa Kropp
author: Brinker, Nancy
 Promise me : how a sister’s love launched the global movement to end breast cancer
 Part memoir, part non-fiction battle against breast cancer, this book tells how the author lost her beloved older sister, Suzy, to breast cancer at the age of 37. In one of her final conversations with her sister, she vowed to do everything she could to fight breast cancer and raise money in her sister’s name. Thus, the Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation was born.  Thirty years after the death of her sister, the Susan G. Komen For the Cure is one of the most influential and respected health charities in the world, raising over 1.5 billion dollars towards education, research, and community programs.  This was a fascinating read on how literally one person CAN make a huge difference when they put their mind to something.

One Day

From Lisa Kropp
author: Nicholls, David
One Day
 This clever story follows the lives of Dexter and Emma by focusing on a single day each year for two decades. We meet the unlikely twosome the day they graduate from university in England in 1988, and see how that initial meeting will change both of their lives forever. Over the next twenty years, they run circles around one another as their lives intertwine in surprising ways. This was a very entertaining read that was written in such a way that the reader is left at the end of each chapter, or “year” wanting to know more. Dex and Em might be polar opposites, but their story is a classic tale of love that hits all the right notes down to the surprise ending.

Zeus: King of the Gods

From Kyle, Teen Book Reviewer
author: O’Connor, George
Zeus: King of the Gods
I read the book Zeus: King Of The Gods by George O’ Connor. This book is a graphic novel and it started off talking about Gaea. Gaea is also known as Mother Earth and she is married to Ouranos. Then the titans came along, and two titans named Kronos and Rhea had many kids. Every time they had a kid, Kronos would eat them. But when they had Zeus, Rhea did not tell Kronos about Zeus and she tried her best to hide Zeus from Kronos.When Zeus got older, he realized that he was lucky that Kronos did not eat him. Later in the story, Mother Nature told Zeus that if he gave this herb plant to Kronos, Kronos would eat it and then Zeus’s brothers and sisters would be set free. When Zeus gave this to Kronos, Kronos ate the plant and then all of Zeus’s siblings come out of his stomach. But now Kronos was furious and he wanted to kill Zeus and his siblings. It is up to Zeus to stand up to his own father in a dangerous battle that could change the whole universe. I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about Greek mythology.

The road of lost innocence

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Mam, Somaly
The road of lost innocence
 This is the true story of a Cambodian woman who was sold into prostitution at the age of sixteen.  Somaly was abandoned by her birth parents when she was about five years old. A neighbor in her northeastern Cambodian village of Bou Sra took her in. She is Phnong., which is a tribe of mountain people. The poverty and primitivity she describes in her youth is almost beyond belief. She doesn’t know when she was born; she thinks it’s 1970 or 1971.  The Khmer Rouge regime of 1975-1979 was responsible for the deaths of about 20% of the population of Cambodia.  The Khmer seem to have also robbed the Cambodians of their culture and their spirit. Somaly describes with sickening detail her daily beatings and rapes.  The specifics are so shocking, I cannot describe them here. She doesn’t mention the word “torture”, but I believe she was tortured as well.  Her narrative doesn’t beg for us to pity her. She tells her story as an example of all the other girls sold into sexu  al slavery. She says that her experience was almost nothing (!) compared to the experience of those today. Virgins are especially prized ; girls of 5 or 6 years old are sold and raped repeatedly. The beatings today are even worse. She says that judges can’t be bribed in Cambodia; they’ve already been bought. The men who should be maintaining the law: the military, the police and the judges, are also customers of the brothels.  Even “humanitarian aid workers” use prostitutes! These sex traffickers make the mafia look like boy scouts.  She argues that the only way to stop it is for the international community to take notice and to bring the ringleaders to justice.   Today she runs an organization called AFESIP that rescues children from sexual slavery and provides housing, schooling and vocational training.  One would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by her account.