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MBR: The Library DVD Shelf

Midwest Book Review
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The Library DVD Shelf

The Story of Math Collection
Hosted by Professor Marcus du Sautoy
c/o Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598288902 $79.99

The Story of Math Collection is a five-DVD documentary about the
extraordinary history and beauty of the discipline of mathematics.
From ancient surveyors in the cradle of civilization who needed
mathematics to keep track of farmland and taxes, to modern-day
contributions that expand our understanding of the universe itself,
The Story of Math Collection is not only about equations, but also
about the creative and often unusual individuals who advanced
humanity's collective understanding. The DVDs include "The Story of
Math" series, "The Music of the Primes" which focuses upon the quest
to learn about harmony in the prime numbers, and "The Code", which is
about patterns that often recur in nature. Bonus materials include
brief viewer's guides, short biographies of notable mathematicians,
and three "math shorts". Accessible to viewers of all ages and
backgrounds, The Story of Math makes learning about science fun, and
is worthy of the highest recommendation especially for high school and
college library DVD collections. 5 DVDs, 484 min. plus bonus,
widescreen, SDH subtitles.

My Digital Life
Learning ZoneXpress
667 East Vine Street
Owatonna, MN 55060

Intended both youth and adult viewers, My Digital Life is a DVD
overview of challenges endemic to the digital age. Topics addressed
including being aware of privacy concerns online, one's digital
footprint (the internet is "written in ink" in that anything posted
there is potentially archived forever, saved on a vast multitude of
people's computers), common misconceptions about "multitasking" and
how it can interfere with learning, the risk of neglecting
interpersonal skills in an era where social media are increasingly
prevalent, and much more. My Digital Life does not demonize the new
wired world, but it does put forth the value of taking time to unplug,
and ensuring that technology does not encroach upon one's need for
sleep, or other valuable aspects of life. Printable teaching materials
are available online for this excellent, educational DVD, ideal for
homeroom viewing and high school or public library DVD collections. 28

Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547
193777242X $295.00

Licensed for public performance, Detropia (a tell-all fusion of
"Detroit" and "dystopia") is a documentary of Detriot, one of
America's cities hardest-hit by deindustrialization. Detropia tells of
how Detroit became the destination of African-Americans fleeing from
racist Jim Crow laws in the South; how manufacturing bolstered the
middle class; and how America's love affair with the automobile shaped
the economic foundations of the "Motor City" - with devastating
results when the industry all but collapsed. The Great Recession of
2009 onward put Detroit on the brink, hollowed out its middle class,
expanded its slums and exacerbated its ills. Yet there are those who
will not give up hope, and envision a revolutionary new future for a
postindustrial Detroit. A striking portrayal of human resilience and
ingenuity grappling with the fallout of an all but broken economic
system, Detropia is highly recommended. 86 minutes (58 minute version
on disc), SDH captions.

She-Wolves: England's Early Queens
Athena Learning
c/o Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598287677 $34.99

As seen on public television, She-Wolves: England's Early Queens is a
documentary on DVD based on the book by historian Dr. Helen Castor,
about the women in England's history who dared to assume the throne -
or at least, make the attempt. 800 years ago, Matilda (daughter of
Henry I and granddaughter of William the Conqueror) was the first to
seek to wear the crown; others followed, despite the fierce opposition
of a male-dominated world. Women who sought rulership were demonized,
called "she-wolves", stymied, betrayed, imprisoned, and worse. A 16-
page viewer's guide complements this extraordinary exploration of the
lives of seven early English Queens in a staunchly patriarchal
society. She-Wolves: England's Early Queens is as fascinating as it is
educational, and highly recommended especially for public and college
library DVD collections. 185 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles.

Unfinished Spaces
a film by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray
Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547
193777239X $295.00

Unfinished Spaces is an award-winning documentary offering a glimpse
into Cuban cultural history. In 1961, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara
tasked three bright young architects with constructing Cuba's National
Art Schools upon a former golf course in Havana. The school's first
classes, instructing dancers, musicians, and artists from across the
country, began while construction was still unfinished; yet work on
the schools was abruptly halted when the political climate turned
against the project. Forty years later, the unfinished schools remain
in use, though suffering from the ravages of time and wear. Castro
personally invited the exiled architects to return to Cuba and finish
their masterpiece. Unfinished Spaces is a wonderful addition to
library DVD collections about art and art history, highly recommended.
86 minutes (an abridged 58 minute version is also available on the
DVD), with optional English SDH Captions or Spanish subtitles.

Wodehouse Playhouse: The Complete Collection
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598288971 $59.99

Wodehouse Playhouse: The Complete Collection gathers twenty of the
funniest BBC television shows by celebrated writer P.G. Wodehouse.
Oscar nominee Pauline Collins and her real-life husband John Alderton
are an acting tour de force, bringing Wodehouse's witty insights and
devious comedy to vibrant life. Bonus features include photo
galleries, a biography of P.G. Wodehouse, and an insert with
background notes about stories and characters. Wodehouse personally
offers introductions to the first seven stories in this mockingly
mirthful collection, highly recommended especially for gift-giving!
The stories are "The Truth about George", "Romance at Droitgate Spa",
"Portrait of a Disciplinarian", "Unpleasantness at Bludleigh Court",
"The Rise of Minna Nordstrom", "Rodney Fails to Qualify", "A Voice
from the Past", "Anselm Gets His Chance", "Mr. Potter Takes a Rest
Cure", "Strychnine in the Soup", "Feet of Clay", "The Nodder", "The
Code of the Mulliners", "The Smile That Wins", "Trouble down at
Tudsleigh", "Tangled Hearts", "The Luck of the Stiffhams", "The Editor
Regrets", "Big Business", and "Mulliner's Buck-U-Uppo". 6 DVDs, 628
min., fullscreen, English subtitles.

Saint Barbara
Ignatius Press
PO Box 1339
Fort Collins, CO 80522
9781586178161 $19.95

Saint Barbara: Convert and Martyr of the Early Church is movie on DVD
about the inspirational life of Saint Barbara. In 303 A.D. Barbara was
the pagan daughter of a Roman governor; she converted to Christianity,
and spoke up for her fellow Christians. She was tortured and martyred
for her faith, yet her serenity, compassion, and conviction are
idolized to this day. Saint Barbara: Convert and Martyr of the Early
Church recreates a Roman setting with a solid, historical
understanding of the time period, though some fictional characters are
interspersed with the historical characters in this dramatic tale of
sacrifice and redemption. 100 min., English/Spanish subtitles,

Religious Mysteries, Volume One
Ignatius Press
PO Box 1339
Fort Collins, CO 80522
9781586178154 $27.95

Religious Mysteries, Volume One is the beginning of a documentary DVD
series examining mysteries about Catholic saints, apparitions, Popes,
and sacred sites. Volume one has three fascinating featurettes: "The
Secret of Bernadette", about Saint Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879)
and her miraculous visions of the blessed Virgin Mary; "The Pope of
Mercy", about Pope John Paul II and the Polish nun St. Faustina
Kowalska, whose visions formed the foundation of the Divine Mercy
devotion; and "The Lost Ark", about the legendary Ark of the Covenant,
the Ethiopian claim to possess and cherish this sacred object, and
testimony from an Italian architect who photographed it. Captivating
photography blends with the soul-stirring narratives in this choice
pick for Christian DVD collections.150 min.


The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to
promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We
accept no funds from authors or publishers. Full permission is given
to post any of these reviews on thematically appropriate websites,
newsgroups, listserves, internet discussion groups, organizational
newsletters, or to interested individuals. Please give the Midwest
Book Review a credit line when doing so.

The Midwest Book Review publishes the monthly book review magazines
"California Bookwatch", "Internet Bookwatch", "Children's Bookwatch",
"MBR Bookwatch", "Reviewer's Bookwatch", and "Small Press Bookwatch".
All are available for free on the Midwest Book Review website at www
(dot) midwestbookreview (dot) com

Anyone wanting to submit books for review consideration can send them

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129

To submit reviews of any fiction or non-fiction books, email them to
Frugalmuse (at) aol (dot) com (Be sure to include the book title,
author, publisher, publisher address, publisher website/phone number,
13-digit ISBN number, and list price).

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
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