The Descendents

4 stars! The steward of 25,000 pristine acres of undeveloped waterfront on the island of Kauai must dissolve the family trust before a seven-year time limit. In the wake of this difficult decision, his daredevil unfaithful wife has been injured in a boating accident, and is in a coma, with no brain activity. Matt must bring his clan together to vote on a buyer for the land.

127 Hours

4 stars! After telling some ladies he’s guiding through Blue John Canyon in Utah that “these stones never move, they’ve been here for centuries,” Aron Ralston is caught by his forearm when the rock he’s standing on gives way and pinions him against the wall in a crevice. 127 Hours is how long it takes him to escape.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

5 stars! Just after coming home from the faculty mixer at 2:30AM, Martha informs her professorial husband George that they have guests coming over— Nick, the rising star of the biology department, and his mousy wife Honey. The younger couple become a vehicle for Martha and George’s bitter relationship, propelled by contempt and alcohol.

The Virtual Life of Lexie Diamond by Victoria Foyt

2 stars! The writing is well-paced and energetic, but the plot is predictable. While the story is unique, and the mix of technology and spirituality dynamic and original, there are so many technical mistakes it is nearly impossible to suspend one’s disbelief at the ghosts in the machine concept.

National Geographic Our World, Updated Edition: A Child’s First Picture Atlas by National Geographic Kids

5 stars! This introduction to continents and countries begins with an orientation session to the concept of a globe, a map, and land characteristics, which is a transition for how to recognize boundaries and landforms on a map.