I can’t think of a better summer read than David Grann’s 2009 book, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. This is the fascinating, page turning, nail biting true story of Percy Fawcett, a real-life Indiana Jones type adventurer who inspired Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World”, dedicated his life to finding the lost city of El Dorado deep in the Amazonian jungle, and the mystery of what became of him. The task of finding El Dorado is an unimaginably dangerous one; many hundreds have tried, and few have come out of the jungle alive, most disappearing without a trace, even as late as a 1996 expedition where none (of sixteen strong) was ever seen or heard from again. We watch this story unfold through a humorous and unlikely lens: an admittedly out of shape journalist from New York with no experience in the field deciding to go to the jungle and hunt for clues about Fawcett’s journey, 80 years later. Beginning with Fawcett’s early adventuring days hunting down legendary caves filled with gold and jewels in colonial Sri Lanka, to his days “learning how to be an adventurer” in the Royal Geographical Society, and finally to his final days trekking through the Bolivian rainforest, I could not put this book down and it sent me on a series of frenzied Google searches, my mind hungry for more information. I already plan to re-read this book and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a well written mystery with a side of history. (Submitted by Mandi)
You are welcome to borrow The Lost City of Z at Surrey Libraries!
Audio-Book on CD
coming soon: movie adaptation – DVD
Posted in Audiobooks, Biography, DVD, ebook, History, Large Print, Non-fiction, Travel
Tagged adventure, Amazon river, Amazonian rainforest, Bolivia, El Dorado, gold, jewels, Jungles, Mystery, Percy Fawcett, Rainforest, South America, travels
Me Before You has an unusual twist which really saves the novel from being another redundant Jane Eyre-Cinderella type of story.
Louisa Clark is a simple girl with down-to-earth expectations of life. She is from a working class family, living in a little town. At a first glance, she is unremarkable, except for her peculiar tastes in fashion. However, when you get to know Lou, you see that she has such a vibrant personality: her liveliness, optimism, perseverance, and kindness can fuel the universe for years to come!
William Traynor is a handsome, successful, daring, witty, and rich young man.
Lou and Will would have been a cliche-perfect romantic pair. But, here is where the author takes matters into her hands and writes an unexpected destiny for the couple. Will ends up in a road accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. Ironically, that’s when the beauty of the story kicks in.
After you are done with the book, borrow a movie! Still want more? Get the sequel – After You.
Surrey Libraries have them all: the book, the movie, and the sequel. Just drop by your local branch! (Submitted by Mariya)
Posted in Book Club Kits, DVD, ebook, Fiction, Movie, Romance
Tagged caregiver, England, friendship, Jojo Moyes, love, quadriplegic, road accident, Romance
This DVD documents country superstar Glen Campbell’s final cross country farewell tour before he completely succumbed to his Stage 4 Alzheimer’s diagnosis. This bittersweet documentary is at times heart wrenching, funny, nostalgic, and frightening. If one word to describe this film might be used to summed up this herculean effort it could be “brave.” He played 151 shows over a period of a year and a half, and was still rocking to the end. (Submitted by MB).
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What We Do in the Shadows is a spoof mockumentary following the everyday life of four flatmates in New Zealand, who also happen to be vampires. One of the stars is Jemaine Clement (as Vladislav) from the popular TV comedy series Flight of the Conchords. They discuss how they manage to “blend in” with humans and what the main problems with humans are. We follow them as they prepare and go out for a night on the town, and we find out how they joke around and what they find humorous, etc. I particularly enjoyed the individual secret interviews where they complain about each other. Don’t miss watching the extras either as they are a series of hilarious skits about everyday events. (Submitted by Melanie).
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Delicacy, by David Foenkinos, is one of the loveliest books I have read. It is the story of a woman finding love after the death of her first husband, who she thought was the one love of her life. The characters are brilliant, and the story, very engaging. Throughout the book, the reader keeps being called back to the title, because so much of the story is subtle and gentle. Natalie, the story’s lead character, is very fragile in her mourning. The way Markus approaches Natalie, and the relationship that develops, is a tale of astounding delicacy that infuses every word and every page of the book.
As an additional point of interest, author David Foenkinos, himself, made a movie out of his novel. Directed by David and his brother, Stephane, the film La delicatesse is as wonderful as the book. You can find the book, the eBook and the movie (with Audrey Tautou and Francois Damiens) in Surrey Libraries. (Submitted by Eva).
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Sixto Rodriguez failed as a young singer in the early 1970s, but managed to scrape by making a living for the next 40 years working as a day labourer in Detroit. Unbeknownst to him, he had been and still was a Superstar in South Africa. Watch the unbelievable story unfold as the documentarians try to trace how he died and their shocking subsequent discoveries. Witness his triumphant sold-out concert in South Africa and finally his return home. Truly life is sometimes stranger than fiction! ( Submitted by Melanie)
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