Staff Review: “My Friend Michael” by Frank Cascio

Michael Jackson, while once known as the most famous pop star on the planet, was also quite possibly the most eccentric and mysterious one. He had a pet chimp named Bubbles; there were leaked tabloid photos of him sleeping in an oxygen chamber; his children were rarely seen in public without a mask or disguise; his own appearance was greatly distorted over the years from numerous plastic surgeries and skin lightening treatments; he did not want to go grow up, often choosing child companions over adult ones and even naming his California ranch after J.M. Barrie's fictionalized Neverland. The list of unusual behavior is almost too great to list.  But who was the real Michael Jackson?  

The "Casablanca" of Westerns–"Rio Bravo"


Directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne, "Rio Bravo" illustrates why Wayne became an American icon. The intense plot is galvanized by the excellent cast and sharp dialog. Wayne's character, Chance, arrests Joe Burdette, the spoiled brother of a rich cattle baron, Nathan. Nathan threatens trouble. A test of wills begins while they wait for the U.S. Marshall. Chance's allies are questionable. Dude, played by Dean Martin, is a drunk and Stumpy, played by Walter Brennan, has a game leg.

Left Behind


Have you ever left something inside a returned library book? Given the amount of things we find in our books, you may have. Michael Popek became fascinated with the things he found in the pages of the books he sorted for his family's used book store. Popek began sharing with friends descriptions of some of the more unusual things he found. He then started a blog and now has a new book titled "Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages." The book is organized by the type of object found, from photographs to razor blades. Popek does not comment on the found items. He simply reproduces an image of the letter, recipe, drawing, or object with a transcription if needed. He also includes an image of the book in which the items were found. The entries range from the amusing to the heart-wrenching. This delightful book will please any reader who wonders "Who read this book before me?"

--Jennifer A., Headquarters

The Naughty List Doesn’t Have to Include Your Diet

As much as I dislike the thought, I have resolved this holiday season to make at least one dessert that I can eat without guilt. That way I can also have some of my full fat, full sugar delights without a qualm, because hey, those other things were low-fat! It's all about the rationalization, and in that spirit I present several healthier recipes from the St. Louis County Library collection that not only will excuse that late night dessert plate on Christmas Eve, but also will taste fabulous. These two recipes you see below I even made myself, to make sure of just that.

Staff Review: "Double Dexter" by Jeff Lindsay


Dexter Morgan, America's favorite "good guy serial killer" returns in his fifth book. This time, he is spotted early on in his "hobby" and must deal with being seen as well as raising a family and doing his job for the police department. He juggles all of this while trying to keep what he calls his "Dark Passenger" as secret. Jeff Lindsay keeps the continuity flowing by weaving in references to his previous four Dexter novels. A good story and it keeps the reader excited for Dexter's next adventure.

--Michael B., Jamestown Bluffs Branch


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