Monday, December 17, 2007

Wintry Tales

Doctor Zhivago Originally released as a motion picture in 1965 (remember the first glimpse of the enchanting Ice Palace?) This DVD features: audio commentary, an introduction by Omar Sharif, 30th-anniversary documentary Doctor Zhivago: The making of a Russian epic, 10vintage documentaries, music-only audio track, vintage audio track interviews,and the December 1965 New York premiere coverage.

Silent Night: the story of the World War I Christmas Truce. It happened in spite of orders to the contrary by superiors; it happened in spite of language barriers. And it still stands as the only time in history that peace spontaneously arose from the lower ranks in a major conflict, bubbling up to the officers and temporarily turning sworn enemies into friends. In December 1914 the great war was still young, and the men who suddenly threw down their arms and came together across the front lines, to sing carols, exchange gifts and letters, eat and drink and even play friendly games of soccer, naively hoped that the war would be short-lived, and that they were fraternizing with future friends. It began when German soldiers lit candles on small Christmas trees, and British, French, Belgian and German troops serenaded each other on Christmas Eve. Soon they were gathering and burying the dead, in an age-old custom of truces. But as the power of Christmas grew among them, they broke bread, exchanged addresses and letters and expressed deep admiration for one another. When angry superiors ordered them to recommence the shooting, many men aimed harmlessly high overhead. Sometimes the greatest beauty emerges from deep tragedy. Surely the forgotten Christmas truce was one of history's most beautiful moments, made all the more beautiful in light of the carnage that followed it.

Smilla's sense of snow by Peter Hoeg An international bestseller, the main character is a woman who is an authority on ice classification. Set in Denmark and Greenland, this literary thiller explores the conspiracy behind a young boy's death.

Novels & Stories by Jack London Includes Call of the Wild, Klondike, White Fang and other stories set in Alaska. Classic tales of conflict and survival, battling the elements and human nature as well.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
In a large, neglected estate house near the Scottish fishing town of Creagan,
on the shortest day of the year, the lives of five people will come together and be forever changed. Winter Solstice is a novel of love, loyalty and rebirth.

The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs When a devastating house fire reveals a rare treasure among her grandfather's belongings, leading her on a search for the truth, Jenny Majesky returns to the only place she feels safe, The Winter Lodge, where she finds an ally in the local police chief who makes her feel safe--and loved. Second tale set among the Lakeshore Chronicles. Preceded by Summer at Willow Lake

Friday, December 07, 2007

Parrots, Penguins and Pale Male, the red-tailed hawk

Availabe as both books and DVD's in the library collections are these three tales of "birds" and the diverse places they inhabit.

New York City is home to the
Pale Male, a red-tail hawk caring for his offspring, after his mate meets an untimely death. His predicament and how he raises the babies, nesting in a ledge of an apartment complex, is a point of fascination to the worldly New Yorkers who flock to Central Park to view the progress of this apartment-dwelling bird and family. The DVD is narrated by Joanne Woodward, and originally aired on PBS.

San Francisco is one of the homes of a colony of
Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill . Follow the ups and downs of a flock of wild urban parrots within the green niches of San Francisco. Along the way meet unforgettable characters like Picasso and Sophie, the inseparable parrot lovers, and Connor, the lovable outcast of the flock. And the humans involved in have their own stories too. Read about Mark Bittner's experiences in The wild parrots of Telegraph Hill : a love story ... with wings

From the United States to Antarctica, the award-winning documentary
March of the Penguins on DVD includes special features: "Crittercam: Emperor penguins" documentary; "Of men and penguins" documentary; "8 ball Bunny": a classic WB animation short with Bugs Bunny and a penguin.
The official children's companion to the documentary,
March of the Penguins
is available at all library locations.