RELEASED: Oct. 27 on Gaiaonline.com
WHAT: The world of Gaia is in trouble: Random objects known as the Animated are coming to life, attacking innocent Gaians. Using the avatar you create on the Web site, you battle the Animated.
GAME PLAY: The battle system is similar to World of Warcraft, except it is not as frustrating, and you level up your attacks, not yourself. The only trying aspect of this game is that sometimes it will lag or freeze at random moments, so if you're in the middle of a lagging battle and it freezes, you'll find yourself dead when it unfreezes. You can head that problem off if you use Mozilla Firefox, and choose a server with the fewest players.
PARTING SHOTS: With great graphics, wacky nonplayable characters, an addictive battle system and wonderful musical scores, any amount of lagging or freezing is worth it. Plus, you don't have to download it.
-- Amber Forbes
'The Last Lecture'
AUTHOR: Randy Pausch and Jeffery Zaslow
DATE OF PUBLICATION: April 8
SUMMARY: A popular topic for college professors is what they would say if this were their "last lecture." This is the last lecture of Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon who died of pancreatic cancer. By showing how he accomplished his childhood dreams (be in zero gravity or write an entry in the World Book Encyclopedia), Pausch defines the values and attitude that one must have to be successful (be a Tigger, not an Eeyore).
MY THOUGHTS: Pausch had just a few months to live when he gave this lecture, but he was lively and energetic and not above self-deprecating humor. While I was reading this book, my emotions were constantly fluctuating between parts where I wanted to laugh to others that nearly brought me to tears. Even though Mr. Pausch wrote this book and gave this lecture for his children, the morals and sense of love that comes through would benefit anyone.
-- John Klement
RELEASED: Nov. 21
MY THOUGHTS: Although predictable like most Disney movies, Bolt has redeeming value. The story follows a dog who thinks that the television show he's in is real, and he sets off to find his owner, Penny, after a cliffhanger taping in which the show's villain, Dr. Calico, kidnaps her.
Bolt goes on a journey across the country to find Penny with the help of a street cat and a psychotic hamster. The movie is enjoyable and a crowd-pleaser.
-- Lauren Noto