Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews

Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews (2008)
Gina Foxton, host of a Georgia public television cooking show, is stunned when her show is cancelled – and doubly so after she finds out why: her producer (and boyfriend) was caught sleeping with the sponsor’s wife. Things are looking up when Gina learns she has a chance to host a national show at The Cooking Channel. But there’s a catch: she’ll have to beat Tate Moody, host of a popular hunting/fishing/cooking show, in a reality show cook-off. Sparks fly as the two clash, cook, and click.

Enjoy the delightful Southern setting, the hilarious situations throughout the novel, and the wonderfully entertaining cast of characters surrounding Gina and Tate. A fun, breezy novel that’s perfect for the beach, or for a lazy afternoon in your own backyard.


Check out the Book Reporter interview with the author, or visit Mary Kay Andrew’s website for an excerpt and book discussion guide.

Charlie Wilson’s War

Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) R
Hollywood heavyweights Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in this true story about a playboy congressman’s fight to free Afghanistan from Soviet rule. This fascinating and thought-provoking story follows U.S. Representative Charlie Wilson, CIA Agent Gust Avrakotos, and socialite Joanne Herring through the 1980s as they bring together traditional enemies from across the Middle East to combat the Soviet Union and end the Cold War.

For more about the topic, read George Crile’s 2003 book of the same name and watch the History Channel documentary The True Story of Charlie Wilson. Watch this clip from Oprah where Tom Hanks discusses Charlie Wilson. Also check out the video gallery at IMDB.com for clips from the movie and interviews with the actors and director.
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Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse

Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse (1924)
You’ll chuckle throughout the novel as you follow the comedy of errors and convoluted connections in Leave it to Psmith (the ‘p’ is silent). A large cast of characters descends on Blandings Castle for somewhat nefarious reasons. An enjoyable jaunt from a classic British novelist.

Visit P.G. WodehouseBooks.com for all things Jeeves & Wooster (and Psmith, of course) and true devotees will want to check out the Wodehouse Society website.
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It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night (1934)
Heiress Ellie Andrews eludes her controlling father by jumping off their yacht and swimming ashore. On her way from Miami to New York, she encounters unemployed newspaperman Peter Warne. The two fall in love as they deal with a washed out bridge, a broken down bus, and hitchhiking misadventures.

Starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night was the first movie to win all five major Oscars (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay in 1934).

Visit the American Film Institute to find more information on the movie AFI rated the #3 romantic comedy. You can watch a trailer of It Happened One Night, plus read film details and a summary. Also check out About.com's Classic Movies section for trivia.

Make Him Look Good by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Make Him Look Good by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez (2006)
Set in sultry Miami, this story features an ensemble cast of six women who are connected through their relationships with Latin pop star Ricky Biscayne. This humorous chick lit novel isn’t completely lighthearted, as the characters deal with teenage pregnancy, discrimination, drugs, adultery, and more. Not for the faint of heart, the flamboyant Make Him Look Good occasionally goes into explicit detail.

Visit this bestselling author's website and take a sneak preview of the book before you visit the library.

Chuck. Season 1

Chuck. Season 1 (2007-2008)
When Chuck Bartowski opens an email from his college roommate, he unintentionally downloads all of the government’s secrets into his brain. What follows is an action-packed comedy adventure that has Chuck trying to balance his life as a computer consultant at Buy More Electronics with being a government “agent” catching assassins and terrorists.

Chuck features goofy humor and great characters. CIA Agent Sarah Walker and NSA Agent John Casey go undercover to protect Chuck. Sarah works at the nearby Wienerlicious hot dog shop, and Casey is a salesman at Buy More. The antics of the entire Buy More staff are hilarious. The action scenes showing Sarah, Casey, and Chuck battle the bad guys are entertaining. Because of the writer’s strike, season one is (sadly) only 13 episodes.

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein (2008)
Ever wonder why the Upper Peninsula of Michigan extends over Wisconsin? Or why so many of the western states have a similar shape and size? Or why Texas is so huge and West Virginia so funny looking? Author Mark Stein explores the reasoning behind the shape of each state.

It’s an interesting book, though not one you’d read start to finish. Stein has chapters on each state – I’d recommend reading a few chapters at a time. The book is filled with trivia and history and political shenanigans (and plenty of maps). Get a fresh perspective on events in American history and learn why Wisconsin always got the short end of the stick.

Browse the book, read reviews and information about the author from HarperCollins.com, and listen to an author interview from NPR's "OnPoint."

Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts

Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts (2008)
Lutie and Fate McFee can’t seem to catch a break. They’ve been abandoned by their alcoholic father; his ex-girlfriend (and their current caretaker) dies at Wal-Mart; and so the fifteen and eleven-year-old siblings decide to make the trip from Spearfish, South Dakota, to Las Vegas to reconnect with their father.

What could go wrong does. Many of the things that happen to these kids are truly horrifying. There are times when you really struggle to like Lutie. But you just have to keep reading. It’s a compelling story, and it’s mesmerizing to listen to. Cassandra Morris does a fabulous job bringing Made in the U.S.A. to life.
Listen to an excerpt at the publisher's website. Find out more about the author and read reviews at BookBrowse.com.
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What Happens in Vegas

What Happens in Vegas (2008) PG-13
Joy (Cameron Diaz) escapes to Vegas after her fiancé dumps her in front of their friends. Jack (Ashton Kutcher) decides that Vegas is the perfect destination after he’s fired by his father. The two meet, talk, drink, and get married. The morning after, their plan to get an annulment is derailed when they win $3 million. A divorce judge (Dennis Miller) orders them to stay married and live together for six months before he will release the money.

Chaos and hilarity ensue as the pair try to get their “better half” to concede first and attempt to trick their court-ordered marriage counselor (Queen Latifah). Along the way, Joy and Jack make some unexpected discoveries. A very fun (and not stupidly funny) comedy.
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The Woman Who Can't Forget by Jill Price with Bart Davis

The Woman Who Can’t Forget by Jill Price with Bart Davis (2008)
Jill Price remembers everything she’s ever done since 1970 – in minute detail. If she heard about events happening around the country or the world, she can tell you about those too. Sounds great, right? For Jill, her astounding memory is both a blessing and a curse. Her memories constantly play through her head, triggered by a sound, a smell, or something else. The emotions of the memory – both good and bad – remain strong.

Follow Jill’s story from her childhood to the present. See how her extraordinary memory impacted her life and kept her mired in the past. Find out what researchers have discovered about her memory. Listen to this CD – when Jill introduces medical jargon, it’s nice to have the correct pronunciation.

View the ABC News story and video and read the 2006 Orange County Register article about the scientists' study.

Miracle

Miracle (2004) PG
Do you believe in miracles? Based on a true story, Miracle documents the months leading up to the 1980 Olympics and the unforgettable showdown between the American and Soviet hockey teams at Lake Placid. Despite knowing the ending, you’ll be on the edge of your seat till the very end.

If you want to learn more about the “miracle on ice,” check out Wayne Coffey’s 2005 book, The Boys of Winter. Also look at the cover and article from the March 3, 1980, issue of Sports Illustrated and an article from ESPN Classic. Want to see the original team? Do You Believe in Miracles? is an HBO documentary featuring footage of and interviews with the 1980 hockey team.

Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn (1942)
Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire shine in this classic film featuring the music of Irving Berlin. After his girl leaves him for showbiz partner Ted Hanover (Astaire), Jim Hardy (Crosby) heads to Connecticut to run an inn that’s only open on the holidays. While the best known “holiday” song is the Academy Award-winning “White Christmas (1943 Best Song), other entertaining tunes include ditties for Washington's birthday (“I Can't Tell a Lie”) and Independence Day (“Song of Freedom”). Follow the men as they meet each holiday to compete for a woman – who also happens to be Hardy’s new partner.

Father of the Bride

Father of the Bride (1991) PG
George Banks is having trouble adjusting. His 22-year-old daughter Annie has just returned from a trip abroad – engaged. The tightfisted shoe designer not only has to deal with his little girl growing up, but with the burgeoning cost of her wedding. Laugh out loud as you watch the lengths George goes to in order to save money – and how the rest of the family deals with it. Father of the Bride is a good comedy with a good message (not to mention a great cast).

The fun continues in Father of the Bride, Part II (1995). Starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, and Martin Short.

Also check out the original Father of the Bride (1950) featuring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor.
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The American President

The American President (1995) PG-13
An all-star cast delivers in this fantastic movie about a widowed president. Andrew Shepherd has been a popular figure throughout his first term in office. As reelection time nears, the incumbent seems to have a smooth path to a second term…until he starts dating.

Lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade enters the White House, shoots her mouth off, and embarrasses herself in front of the president. Instead of being offended, he’s amused. As the two begin dating, the campaign begins to unravel. Suddenly, the president’s popularity is falling, he’s fighting with his staff, and his new romance is on the rocks.

This feel-good movie about falling in love and standing up for what you believe in is one you can watch over and over again.

Written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Rob Reiner. Starring Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, David Paymer, and Richard Dreyfuss.

Music and Lyrics

Music and Lyrics (2007) PG-13
An unlikely duo team up to write a song for the latest pop sensation. Alex Fletcher is a washed up ’80s pop star. Sophie Fischer is a struggling writer trying to find herself after she’s used and exploited by a former professor/flame. What begins as a purely business arrangement turns in to something more powerful. It may be hard to imagine Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore as a romantic pair, but they pull it off. And how could you resist a movie that features Grant singing and dancing?

Also starring Brad Garrett and Kristen Johnson. Check out About.com for interviews with Grant, Barrymore and Garrett, as well as video interviews and pictures from the premiere.