September 2020

September 2020It’s September and we are back with our Staff Picks: Quarantine Edition! Check out some of the things we read, watched, and listened to while stuck in quarantine over the past few months!

Michelle – Administration

watchmenWatchmen, starring Regina King, Jeremy Irons, and Tim Blake Nelson, New DVD Watchmen

This series is set in an alternate reality Tulsa, where the cops have to wear masks to protect themselves, though costumed heroes are seen as vigilantes. The show does a great job of blending in actual historical facts to create this new reality. Regina King stars as Detective Angela Abar, and the story and her place in it slowly unfolds around her. The series is definitely a slow burn, but was interesting enough to keep me watching. Though I had not either seen the previous movie or read the comic series, this show is a sequel of sorts to both. I was able to enjoy the show without watching/reading the earlier work.

Chris – Circulation

jojo rabbitJoJo Rabbit, starring Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waititi, and Scarlett Johansson, New DVD JoJo Rabbit

JoJo Rabbit is about a young boy’s fascination with Hitler and the Nazis. Hitler is JoJo’s imaginary buddy he talks to. JoJo finds out the truth about his mother’s doings and may have different feelings about Hitler and his actions. It’s good, funny, and also sad, yet entertaining.

Paula – Circulation

fire and bloodFire and Blood, by George R. R. Martin, Fiction Martin

Fire and Blood is the prequel to George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Going back 300 years before Game of Thrones takes place, Fire and Blood tells the history of House Targaryen and its rule over Westeros. Beginning with Aegon the Conqueror, Martin goes into great detail about the first seven of seventeen Targaryen kings, recording all of their successes and failures throughout their reigns. I found it fascinating learning about the bloody history of the Targaryens. From watching the show or reading the books, you only learn about a select few Targaryen rulers. But with Fire and Blood, you get a special look into the foundation of Westeros as we know it. It’s also written as a history book told from the viewpoint of a maester, making it feel like a true piece of history from the world that George R. R. Martin has created.

Jean – Reference

distant deadThe Distant Dead, by Heather Young, New Fiction Young

A body burns in the high desert hills. A boy walks into a fire station, pale with the shock of a grisly discovery. A middle school teacher worries when her colleague is late for work. By day’s end, when the body is identified as local math teacher Adam Merkel, a small Nevada town will be rocked to its core by a brutal and calculated murder. Weaving together the last months of Adam’s life, Nora’s search for answers, and a young boy’s anguished moral reckoning, this unforgettable thriller brings a small American town to vivid life. It is filled with complex, flawed characters wrestling with the weight of the past, the promise of the future, and the bitter freedom that forgiveness can bring.

Wow, this book knocked me sideways. This book has everything – a powerful opening and a plot that keeps you engaged until the very end, characters you come to know and think about when you’re not reading the book, and a beautiful writing style that is rare, and made me flip to the beginning and start again when I finished. This book will stay with you for a long time.

Melissa – Technical Services

catch and killCatch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, by Ronan Farrow, New Nonfiction 331.4133 FAR 

Farrow tells the story of how he worked to bring the Harvey Weinstein scandal to light, even after being swept under the rug by his own NBC bosses. The story unfolds against a backdrop of cover ups, payouts, and coercion. It’s revealed that many women and journalists attempted to speak out over the years only to be stripped of their voices. The methods used are shocking, including paying operatives to befriend victims for years to watch and learn what they plan to do with their accusations. Weinstein had mob connections that he used to threaten women, journalists, and even competitors in the film industry. The larger story revealed is how Weinstein was only one of countless powerful men who treated women this way. These men were protected by other powerful men, enabling them to continue to commit these crimes. It’s easy to see the absolute necessity of the MeToo Movement after reading this book.

Chris – Technical Services

resistanceResistance, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Clemense Poesy, and Ed Harris, New DVD Resistance

Based on a true story.  An aspiring Jewish actor in France joins the French resistance and saves the lives of hundreds of Jewish orphans pouring into France to escape the Nazi’s.  This actor became the world famous mime, Marcel Marceau. “The Best Way to Resist is to Survive.”

the boy who followed his fatherThe Boy Who Followed his Father into Auschwitz: A True Story of Family and Survival, by Jeremy Dronfield, New Nonfiction 940.5318 DRO

The discovery of a diary kept by Gustav Kleinmann from Vienna, Austria and the remembrances of his son, Fritz, tells their heartbreaking tale of love and support during the darkest hours of WWII imprisonment in numerous concentration camps.  That fact that they and the diary survived is a miracle. Sometimes the only way to resist is to survive, and tell the stories for those who did not survive.

your life is a recordYour Life is a Record, by Brandy Clark, New CD 781.64 Clark

Singer/songwriter with country styling but no twang. Accentuating a cozy acoustic quartet with the lush sounds of the Memphis Strings and Horns. The instrumentation manages to be simultaneously intimate and luxurious, a sound that not only suits Clark’s impeccably crafted tunes but enhances them.

 

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April 2020

April 2020It’s April! Check out some of our Staff Picks to help get you through your quarantine!

 

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

catch and killCatch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, by Ronan Farrow, New Nonfiction 331.4133 FAR

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ronan Farrow tells the story behind his groundbreaking reporting on the sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against powerful men in Hollywood, beginning with Harvey Weinstein. Farrow discusses both the woman who came forward and the powerful men who tried to bury this story. This book is well-written and reads like a mystery novel, the most engaging nonfiction book I’ve read in a while.

 

Jake – Administration

talking to strangersTalking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know, by Malcolm Gladwell, Nonfiction 302 GLA

In his latest book Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell tries to unravel and then understand the various ways people misjudge each other. Gladwell looks at both current social interactions, a police officer pulling a motorist over, and then also historical social interactions, the Prime Minister of England meeting Adolf Hitler, and then identifies how misconceptions and false confidence end up undermining events. As in his other books, Gladwell presents his scenarios and analysis in an easy to understand manner that ultimately forces the reader to reevaluate how they may have once interpreted things. A quick and informative read!

 

Chris – Technical Services

rampageRampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila, by James M. Scott, Nonfiction 940.54 SCO

A WWII history account of Douglas MacArthur returning to the Philippines as promised and liberating Manila. The 29 day battle for Manila was one of the darkest chapters of the Pacific War.  It resulted in the catastrophic destruction of the city and a rampage by Japanese forces that brutalized the population. Landmarks were destroyed, houses torched, resistors tortured and killed, women raped and children murdered.  An estimated 100,000 civilians lost their lives. Meticulously researched and well-written by a noted war historian.

 

the perfect horseThe Perfect Horse : the Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis, by Elizabeth Letts, Nonfiction 940.542 LET

A nonfiction story that reads like fiction about the Lipizzaner horses (from the world famous Spanish Riding School in Vienne, Austria) and other purebred Arabian horses saved at the end of WWII. A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.

 

Paula – Circulation

knives outKnives Out, starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, and Ana de Arnas, New DVD Knives Out

Knives Out is a fun and crazy modern-day murder mystery. In the style of Agatha Christie, a family patriarch is found murdered in his bed, and all of his family members quickly become suspects. Daniel Craig stars as Benoit Blanc, the detective mysteriously hired to solve the case. Working through each family member, Blanc tries to narrow down a suspect, but new twists and turns continuously throw him off the trail. Filled with an all-star cast and a good mix of comedy and mystery, Knives Out will keep you guessing until the very end.

 

Hubbell – Circulation

unsaneUnsane, starring Clare Foy, Joshua Leonard, and Jay Pharoah, Find it on Kanopy!

Claire Foy (known for playing a young Queen Elizabeth in Netflix’s The Crown) gives a great performance as an involuntarily committed mental institution patient. At the start, we feel for her in her forced confinement, but her reality shifts quickly.

 

 

 

 

leave no traceLeave No Trace, starring Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie, and Dale Dickey Find it on Kanopy!

A father and daughter live a self-sufficient wilderness lifestyle in the forests of Oregon. But when they are found out by social services and forced to live in society, their priorities clash with their expectations.

 

 

 

first reformedFirst Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, and Cedric the Entertainer, Find it on Kanopy!

Ethan Hawke plays a deeply troubled priest whose relationship with a pregnant parishioner and her radical environmentalist husband creates a feud you don’t see coming.

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March 2020

March 2020It’s March, and you’re in luck! We have more picks for you at the library!

 

 

 

Paula – Circulation

doctor sleepDoctor Sleep, starring Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, and Kyliegh Curran, New DVD Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep is the fantastic sequel to Stephen King’s eerie The Shining. Now an adult and struggling with alcoholism, Dan Torrence is still haunted by the events from his stay at the Overlook Hotel during his childhood. Looking for a fresh start, Dan moves to a new town and begins to turn his life around. Just when things are returning to normal, Dan meets Abra, a girl with the same abilities, or “shine,” that he has. She tells him of the True Knot, a cult that is hunting down innocent people with “the shine” and feeding off of their abilities to become immortal. Together, they must find a way to stop the True Knot and save Abra’s life, for she is their next target. The film is an excellent follow-up to The Shining. Ewan McGregor is as talented as ever and shines in his role, pun intended. Full of mystery and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Doctor Sleep is a great movie for any Stephen King fan.

Pat – Circulation

the peanut butter falconThe Peanut Butter Falcon, starring Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen, and Dakota Johnson, New DVD Peanut Butter Falcon

This is an authentic and heartwarming movie. The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story that begins when Zak, a young man with Down Syndrome runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler.  He hides out in a boat owned by Tyler, a hard-up fisherman still mourning the death of his older brother.  The two of them form a bond that leads to a very heartwarming friendship, and Tyler works to fulfill a promise he made to get Zak to a wrestling school run by The Saltwater Redneck. Great acting and a well done movie.

Chris – Circulation

new way to bakeA New Way to Bake: Classic Recipes Updated with Better-For-You Ingredients from the Modern Pantry, by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Nonfiction 641.815 NEW

I love this idea of using wholesome, healthy ingredients and not feeling guilty or fat after eating.  This book takes old and new recipes and switches ingredients to enhance the flavor and make them a little more nutritious. Simply changing the flour makes it a healthy choice.

 

Chris – Technical Services

blue zones kitchenThe Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100, by Dan Buettner, New Nonfiction 641.563 BUE

Author Dan Buettner researched areas around the globe where people live long and have less dementia and asks the question, “What do they eat?” The answer is a plant-based vegetarian diet. A very interesting read.

 

 

desk 88Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America, by Sherrod Brown, New Nonfiction 328.7309 BRO

Sherrod Brown, a US Senator from Ohio elected in 2006, tells the stories of eight senators who also occupied desk #88 and how each made a decisive contribution to creating a more just America.

 

 

 

Cathy – Circulation

piano guysThe Piano Guys, by The Piano Guys, CD 786 Piano Guys

The Piano Guys play modern music with a twist: to the piano or cello. Listeners will recognize most of the tunes and hopefully really enjoy their interpretation. Their mix of classical music with film scores, rock hits, and pop favorites paired with their creative videos resonate with audiences across generations.

 

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February 2020

february 2020It’s February! Fall in love with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Jean – Reference

nine perfect strangersNine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty, Fiction Moriarty

This is a light, fun story that is a perfect winter read. Each chapter is in the voice of one of nine characters who are struggling in mid-life, and on impulse each one signs up for a 10-day “health retreat” in the middle of the outback in Australia. The owner of the retreat and her staff have their own secrets, and the author reveals each storyline in pieces to keep you reading until the end.

 

Chris – Technical Services

this is really warThis is Really War: the Incredible True Story of a Navy Nurse POW in the Occupied Philippines, by Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, New Nonfiction 940.5472 LUC

The author describes the experiences of Dorothy Still, one of twelve navy nurse POW’s in WWII. Held captive in a POW camp, they continued to nurse the sick and dying, even though they were also facing starvation.  All 12 came home. Highly recommended, powerful story of the will to survive and fight against all odds.

 

Hubbell – Circulation

juniorJunior: Writing Your Way Ahead in Advertising, by Thomas Kemeny, Nonfiction 659.1023 KEM

Copywriting is not what it used to be. And creative work in advertising has changed a lot since the days portrayed in Mad Men. However, not everything has changed. Thomas Kemeny did not go to a traditional ‘portfolio school’ nor did he have a pedigree to get him in the door at some of the nation’s top advertising firms. He explains in his debut book (which is somewhere between memoir and textbook) how he did it and how he made a name for himself in an uber-competitive creative field without much help. It’s also blue, which is different.

Chris – Circulation

starbucksHow Starbucks Saved My Life: a Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else, by Michael Gates Gill, Biography 921 Gill

Michael Gill, who was a big time Advertising Exec, was forced to step out of his comfort zone and old privileged habits after 25 years. Let go from his job, in his 60’s, divorced, and finding it hard for anyone to hire him, set him on a humbling journey.  While he sat in a Starbucks and knew he no longer could afford the expensive coffee and needed insurance, he changed his life by excepting employment at Starbucks as a last resort.  In a not so great neighborhood (he thought) in New York, with his new role serving people, new young female manager, and people from different backgrounds, he was challenged daily. He experienced things he never had to deal with since things were just handed to him in the past. This journey was so much harder, yet he found a way to survive and accept, realizing nothing in his past life was as good as this.

Paula – Circulation

jokerJoker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz, New DVD Joker

Joaquin Phoenix takes on one of his most challenging roles yet in this extremely dark origin story for one of the most notorious villains ever created. Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck, a deeply troubled man with a mental illness no one understands. All Arthur has ever wanted to be since he was little was a comedian, but all of his efforts at becoming one have failed. His dead-end job as a clown and mediocre stand-up gigs only make him a target of brutal physical and verbal abuse. As you watch Arthur’s descent into madness, you are torn between sympathizing for him and being utterly disturbed by him. Phoenix does an excellent job of portraying the tortured man, and shows how abuse from others can drive a person into darkness. The film is a good platform for raising awareness of mental health issues while also giving us a viewpoint for the Joker that we’ve never seen before.

Michelle – Administration

jexiJexi, starring Adam DeVine, Alexandra Shipp, and Michael Pena, New DVD Jexi

I had not heard of this comedy starring Adam Devine, but I was looking for a laugh so I gave it a try. The movie proved to be very silly, but made me giggle. The story follows a guy named Phil who gets a new phone with a very intrusive AI assistant named Jexi. At first, Jexi seems to be able to help Phil improve his life, but then things take a turn to the ridiculous. If you are looking for a fun way to unwind, I recommend you check out this movie!

Cathy – Circulation

the best we could doThe Best We Could Do: an Illustrated Memoir, by Thi Bui, Nonfiction 973.0495 BUI

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

 

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January 2020

january 2020.jpgIt’s January! Spend the new year with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa – Technical Services

evictedEvicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond, Nonfiction 339.46 DES

Desmond won the Pulitzer for this work. It’s an eye-opening account of how both poor tenants and landlords who cater to low-income families struggle. He follows several people living in Milwaukee in 2008-2009. He does an amazing job of showing the full, cyclical impact poverty can have on a person; how much of their government benefits go towards rent (hint: they have not received a dime more towards housing costs since 1995); how evictions are used strategically; how landlords know they can take advantage of poor tenants. He doesn’t paint landlords as villains, however. In his opinion, they aren’t. They often overlook missed rents and work with people to the extent that they can, but they too have much at stake. This book reads like a novel, and for many of us, can function as eyes into a lifestyle we are fortunate enough to not have to endure.

Cathy – Circulation

the dog who knew too much.jpgThe Dog Who Knew Too Much: a Chet and Bernie mystery, by Spencer Quinn, Fiction Quinn

A nice cozy mystery told from a dog’s point of view. Chet and his owner Bernie are a team of private investigators. They are hired to find a kid who has gone missing from a wilderness camp in the high country. The boy’s mother thinks the boy’s father, her ex, has taken the boy, but Chet makes a find that sends the case in a new and dangerous direction. Perfect for a cold winter’s read!

 

Paula – Circulation

star wars.jpgStar Wars Trilogy. IV, V, VI, starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, DVD Star Wars Trilogy V. 4, 5, 6

With the newest movie of the saga in theaters, it’s time to revisit the trilogy that started it all. The original Star Wars trilogy is an icon in movie history, and it is one of the absolute best sci-fi series ever made. Everyone and their grandma has seen Star Wars. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Don’t listen to the nay-sayers and haters who think it isn’t good. They’re wrong. With an amazing cast of characters, epic space battles, and the adventure of a lifetime, Star Wars is a classic for people of all ages.

Chris – Technical Services

linda ronstadt.jpgLinda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, New Nonfiction DVD 921 RONSTADT, L.

The most popular female artist of the 1970’s, Linda was the first artist to top the Pop, Country, and R & B charts simultaneously. Her extraordinary vocal range and ambition created unforgettable songs across rock, pop, country, folk ballads, American standards, classic Mexican music, and soul. She was the voice of my generation.

 

 

the art of mending.jpgThe Art of Mending, by Elizabeth Berg, Fiction Berg

The author asks the question, “Is it too late to mend the hurts of the past?” She skillfully explores family secrets, sibling interactions and rivalries, and the black sheep of the family.  She confronts some of the deepest mysteries of life, as she explores how even the largest sins can be forgiven by the smallest gestures, and how grace can come to many through the trials of one.

 

 

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December 2019

december 2019

It’s December! Enjoy the holidays with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Brigitte – Youth Services

gremlins.jpgGremlins, starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, and Hoyt Axton, J DVD Gremlins

Want to watch something truly magical this holiday season? Try the 1984 classic movie Gremlins. Gremlins are cute & cuddly…until you get them wet or feed them after midnight. When a wary inventor buys a mogwai as a Christmas present for his family, he has no idea what wrath he hath brought. So pop some popcorn & get ready to laugh at this Christmas horror movie!

 

Hubbell – Circulation

true detective.jpgTrue Detective Season Three, starring Mahershala Ali, Stephen Dorff, and Carmen Ejogo, New DVD True Detective Season 3

Series creator Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective veered off course in Season Two but was outstanding in its third iteration. This may well be because Pizzolatto himself is a native of New Orleans where the first season took place. After Season Two’s detour to L.A. and the CHP, this story feels so much more authentic taking place in rural western Arkansas, examining the disappearance and potential murder of a brother and sister. Mahershala Ali plays Wayne “Purple” Hays, a Vietnam vet and Arkansas state trooper alongside his partner Roland West, played by Stephen Dorff. The show spans over 30 years, with parallel story lines from the time of the investigation itself and of a present day documentary crew revisiting the unsolved crime after unearthing new evidence that could damage the reputations of the investigators themselves. Ali is amazing as always, being instantly believable as a sharp-witted, fearless detective and a semi-lucid but still focused, aging man. Just like in Season One, the story twists and turns, exposing secrets along the way which even the most seasoned TV seer can’t envision.

Michelle – Administration

let it snow.jpgLet It Snow, by Nancy Thayer, New Fiction Thayer

If you are looking for a light-hearted story for the holiday season, this book is for you. The story follows a Nantucket shopkeeper who finds love with a rich businessman, just to discover that his father, who happens to be her landlord, is the biggest Scrooge of all and is planning to raise her rent and drive her out of business. The story takes place over Christmas and the author really brings a festive spirit to the book.

 

Jean – Reference

their little secretTheir Little Secret, by Mark Billingham, Fiction Billingham

A detective mystery set in England. DI Thorne is investigating what appears to be an open and shut suicide case of a woman who jumped in front of a metro train. He feels compelled to dig deeper, and uncovers a con-man who is preying on vulnerable women and swindling them out of their life savings. I really enjoyed the interaction of the male and female detective partners, as well as the English setting and euphemisms the author intersperses throughout.

 

Chris – Technical Services

hidden in plain view.jpgHidden In Plain View: The Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, by Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard, Nonfiction 973.7 TOB

The patterns we see in quilts originally had hidden meanings which historians are just starting to decipher. Using geometric patterns as codes and stitching, information could be passed in a non-written way. Many West Coast African cultures used oral history to pass on knowledge and brought this with them when they were enslaved.

 

Paula – Circulation

pentatonixChristmas is Here!, by Pentatonix, CD 781.72 Pentatonix

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without the angelic voices of Pentatonix tackling some of our favorite Christmas songs. Pentatonix, one of the best known a cappella groups in the music world, put their unique spin on holiday classics such as Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas, and Here Comes Santa Claus, and a few other winter related songs like Sweater Weather and Waltz of the Flowers. Their five-part harmony perfectly blends together to create a seamless transition from song to song. This is only one of four Christmas albums Pentatonix has; check out their other three as well!

 

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November 2019

november 2019It’s November! Give some thanks and enjoy our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

red joan.jpgRed Joan, starring Judi Dench, Sophie Cookson, and Tom Hughes, New DVD Red Joan

Red Joan is the story of Joan Stanley, the longest serving British KGB spy, who is arrested after years of espionage. She is played by Judi Dench in the present and the story is told in flashbacks. In these flashbacks, we learn how she became a communist sympathizer and how she was recruited by the KGB. The story is very loosely based on real life spy Melita Norwood, who began working as a spy for the Russians in the 1940s and wasn’t discovered until 1992. The movie is superbly acted and is engaging throughout. It really makes you think of how far you would go to do what you think is right.

Pat – Circulation

chernobyl.jpgChernobyl, starring Stellan Skarsgard, Jared Harris, and Emily Watson, New DVD Chernobyl

Chernobyl is a five-part mini-series that relives the events that unfolded on the day, and days after, the Soviet nuclear horror. This show is intense and eye opening. It covers so many aspects of what everyone had to deal with to avoid this disaster from becoming something worse.  It shows beautifully the heroic, ordinary people of Russia and the Physicists, who against the Russian state, made the authorities come to terms with what happened. This is a series not to be missed.

Cathy – Circulation

the glass castleThe Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, Biography 921 Walls, J.

The Glass Castle is even more profound than Educated. The crazy poverty the kids survive is amazing. It has been adapted into a movie as well. Check it out!! I promise the fans of Educated will love this and if you have not read either- what are you waiting for?? Get these books checked out!

 

 

Paula – Circulation

love hate and other filtersLove, Hate, and Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed, Fiction YA Ahmed

Maya Aziz just wants to be a normal teenager. She wants to go to the senior prom, date the boy she likes, and go to NYU, her dream school, to study film. Her traditional Muslim parents have other plans for her though: graduate high school, attend a college close to home in Chicago, and marry a nice, Muslim boy. However, with fierce determination and a little help from her sympathetic aunt, Maya starts to turn her dreams into reality. But when a terrorist attack hits close to home, Maya and her family become targets of anti-Muslim hate crimes, causing Maya’s world to fall apart. Love, Hate, and Other Filters dives into the issue of Islamophobia and its harsh impacts on those just trying to live a normal life. It is an excellent YA read of romance, family, and the struggles of modern Muslims living in American society.

Jean – Reference

suggested readingSuggested Reading, by David Connis, New Fiction YA Connis

I thoroughly enjoyed this YA read that explores the issue of book banning in a real-life setting. Clara is a senior at an expensive, private high school, but is not part of the wealthy class, and is relying on winning a coveted scholarship in order to attend college. Unlike many of her privileged peers, she works hard, volunteers in the school library, started a “Free Little Library” in her neighborhood, and moderates a book club in her free time. Because of her job in the school library, she gets wind that the school board has instructed the principal to remove a list of titles deemed inappropriate from the library shelves, and anyone caught with one of the books will face disciplinary action. Clara devises a plan to run a “banned book” library from her locker. Her actions will have unforeseen consequences, not only for herself, but also for everyone.

Hubbell – Circulation

the pioneersThe Pioneers: the Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West, by David McCullough, New Nonfiction 977 MCC

Preeminent American historian and author David McCullough’s most recent work is The Pioneers. It examines a lesser known period of American history following the Revolutionary War in which the newly formed United States settled and populated what are now considered the Midwest states. It is told in a way only McCullough can, through the lens of those living at the time. He follows several main characters from the time they settled a town in the wilderness of Ohio, drawing from a vast amount of primary sources. As always, it is meticulously researched and visualizes the era vividly.

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October 2019

october 2019It’s October! Check out our Staff Picks for some good tricks and treats!

 

 

 

 

Paula – Circulation

bastille doom daysDoom Days, by Bastille, New CD 781.66 Bastille

Bastille is back at it again with their third album Doom Days. The songs on this album continue to have the same haunting yet beautiful sound that the previous albums do, but the album itself is set up in a new way. Doom Days tells a story, and all of the songs are connected to each other. It takes place over the course of one night at a party, the first song starting at 12:15am, and the last song starting at 8:34am. The party takes you through an emotional whirlwind of euphoria, helplessness, hope, madness, and relationships on what seems like a night that the world is ending. One of the best parts of the album is that every song is relatable. They encompass raw human emotions, and remind us that when we feel hopeless in a world full of chaos, we can always manage to find things that give us joy.

Chris – Circulation

vietnamese foodVietnamese Food Any Day : Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors, by Andrea Quynhgiao Nguyen, Nonfiction 641.59597 NGU

Author Andrea Nguyen came from Saigon with her family at a young age. She had to learn to adapt in America, its food in particular, without the same Asian influences. Her mother had to improvise some of her recipes with American ingredients, shopping at several grocery stores to get it right. She tried to keep them true to their culture and taste combining the two. This book is exactly that. I found the flavor and the ease of each recipe to be tasty and simple, finding all the ingredients for an authentic Vietnamese meal. The soups are my favorite and having meals under 60 minutes even better ….yum.

Michelle – Administration

the instituteThe Institute, by Stephen King, New Fiction King

Stephen King’s newest novel follows the story of a boy named Luke who was kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night and taken to the mysterious Institute. There he meets other children with special abilities. Why have they been taken? What does the Institute do with these special children? King unravels this mystery and keeps you turning the pages, eager to find out how all these pieces come together. Stephen King has proven, once again, why he is one of the best writers out there. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with a twist.

Chris – Technical Services

the testaments.jpgThe Testaments, by Margaret Atwood, New Fiction Atwood

Some books you slowly saver, this one I devoured! I could not read it fast enough. It filled in the back-stories of the characters in The Handmaid’s Tale. I would definitely read them in order. Revenge is sweet, but you must have patience.

 

 

 

 

Melissa – Technical Services

salem's lot‘Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King, eBook on OverDrive

There are a few newcomers in the small town of Jerusalem’s Lot: a writer revisiting his hometown, and two new businessmen who open an antique shop. All three are there for one reason: the Marsden House. It’s an old, abandoned home that once belonged to a mafia hitman, which has stood empty for decades since the owner murdered his wife then turned the shotgun on himself. The writer, Ben Mears, is drawn to it after a terrifying experience in the house during his childhood that won’t subside. The two antique dealers are actually vampires hoping to take up residence in the Marsden house and infect the town. The story begins when two young brothers take a shortcut through the woods, and only one comes out. King’s talent for setting an eerie scene in a small town is perfect for fall.

Hubbell – Circulation

the hot zone.jpgThe Hot Zone, starring Julianna Margulies, Noah Emmerich, and Liam Cunningham, New DVD Hot Zone Season 1

Ebola bad, Julianna Margulies good. She plays Army scientist Nancy Jaax in charge of studying infectious diseases in 1989. The Hot Zone shows what happens when everything goes wrong and an endemic strain of ebola threatens to begin spreading domestically within in the US. Flanked by her army officer husband (the awesome Noah Emmerich), Dr. Jaax realizes before anyone else that a strain of ebola from Africa being tested on chimps is extremely virulent and uncontained. What unfolds is at least one monkey kidnapping, near-disasters in haz-mat suits, and paranoid lab techs infecting themselves. In the end, with the help of her estranged mentor Wade Carter (played by Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham), Dr. Jaax confronts the bureaucracy in an effort to expose the country’s vulnerabilities. The six-episode series is loosely based on Richard Preston’s nonfiction work and is anchored by solid performances from the leads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 2019

september 2019It’s September! Get ready for Fall with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Paula – Circulation

itIt, starring Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, and Sophia Lillis, DVD It

Before the sequel It: Chapter Two hits theaters this month, be sure to check out the first movie It. One of Stephen King’s most well-known novels, It brings to life the story of Pennywise, the horrifying monster who preys on the innocent children of Derry, Maine and takes the form of a clown. In order to defeat Pennywise, a band of bullied outcasts, who call themselves the Losers Club, must face their own fears and venture into Derry’s underground. Bill Skarsgard does an outstanding job as Pennywise. A better actor could not have been cast to play the evil clown. The children cast as the Losers Club are also perfect in their roles. Their hilarious banter and fearless determination make them one of the best parts of the film. It is the perfect movie for all fans of Stephen King, horror, and creepy clowns.

Michelle – Administration

rocketmanRocketman, starring Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, and Jamie Bell, New DVD Rocketman

Rocketman tells the story of Elton John in a unique and interesting way that I have not seen before. The movie is half musical biopic and half fantasy, creating a fantastic journey through John’s life. Taron Egerton gives an amazing performance as Elton. The movie also stars Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton’s mother. I would recommend this movie to any music lover or anyone interested in the inspirational story of a man who overcame the odds to become one of the most recognizable music legends.

Chris – Technical Services

every man a heroEvery Man a Hero: A Memoir of D-Day, the First Wave at Omaha Beach, and a World at War, by Ray Lambert, New Nonfiction 940.54214 LAM

Sgt. Lambert, a medic, gives a very direct and forthright story of his experiences in three of the major campaigns of WWII: the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and lastly, Normandy on D-Day. He is also a recipient of the Silver Star. A great read for anyone interested in WWII.

 

 

Cathy – Circulation

where the sidewalk endsWhere the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein, Juvenile Nonfiction J 811.54 SIL

Classic, silly, and fun poems for children of all ages! Pay special attention to the poem “Sick;” it applies to students and people working Monday through Friday. Its fun! A tidbit of information: Shel Silverstein wrote songs for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show consisting of some great folksy music from the 60’s and 70’s. Enjoy!

 

Hubbell – Circulation

succession.jpgSuccession Season 1, starring Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin, and Jeremy Strong, DVD Succession Season 1

Imagine if an HBO crew followed around Rupert Murdoch and his family as they make their attempt for global domination of mass media. That’s pretty much what Succession is. Logan Roy is the patriarch of the Roy family and his global media conglomerate. His three children jockey for position within both the family and the company. (There’s a fourth child but he is resigned to lesser aspirations, like running for president). There is also an ugly duckling in the form of bumbling Greg, an outcast grandnephew who falls into the family drama completely by mistake. There is conniving, backstabbing, infidelity, and hilarity; the standard HBO fare. The series begins with Logan suffering from health problems, which the family to form a plan of succession. But when Logan recovers and returns, his children are not immediately thrilled by the development. And, then the finale happens, and no one is ever the same again.

 

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August 2019

august 2019It’s August! Enjoy the rest of the summer with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

Paula – Circulation

the publicThe Public, starring Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin, and Michael K. Williams, New DVD Public

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to work in a public library? Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, The Public shines a pretty accurate light on the daily happenings of public library life. Estevez stars as Stuart Goodson, an overwhelmed librarian who makes an effort to care for the library’s regular patrons, many of which are homeless or mentally ill. When a bitter cold snap hits the city of Cincinnati, the homeless population bands together for a sit-in at the library to seek shelter from the cold. The “occupy” movement forces the police to be involved, causing a standoff between the police, the homeless population, and the librarians who have chosen to defend them. The film also acts as a good social awareness message for the challenging issues of homelessness and mental illness, and what actions must be taken in order to help address them. The film is as moving as it is educational, and even provides a few good moments of library humor.

Michelle – Administration

shazamShazam!, starring Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, and Asher Angel, New DVD Shazam!

The DC universe finally takes a break from the doom and gloom with Shazam! This is the story of a 14-year-old foster kid who gets the ability to transform into a fully grown adult superhero on command. It’s a funny and touching story of family and responsibility in a world full of super powers, superheroes and super villains. The movie stars Zachary Levi, Mark Strong and Asher Angel.

Chris – Circulation

the clean plateThe Clean Plate: Eat, Reset, Heal, by Gwyneth Paltrow, Nonfiction 641.563 PAL

Gwyneth has made it her lifestyle to live green and clean. The recipes in this book may challenge you to try something new, maybe making it your regular go-to. She has listed foods to avoid and foods to add on a daily basis that can help reset and heal. She will introduce you to her favorites and special treats that are actually tasty. She also has some expert Q&A on detoxing, heart health, and more.

Brigitte – Youth Services

ottolenghi.jpgOttolenghi Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi, New Nonfiction 641.512 OTT

The end of summer leaves me exhausted, hot, and unable to even think about using my oven. With Ottolenghi Simple by world famous chef Yotam Ottolenghi I have been saved. This is truly the cookbook for the laziest of people. Every recipe takes 30 minutes or less with 10 ingredients or less. Every recipe is a celebration and is guaranteed to make you look like a professional chef, even when you’re not. Minimal hassle, maximum joy; exactly what I want after a long day of serving OBPL patrons!

Hubbell – Circulation

lingoLingo: Around Europe in Sixty Languages, by Gaston Dorren, Nonfiction 306.44 DOR

Linguist and polyglot Gaston Dorren’s accessible Lingo takes us on a quick jaunt through Europe’s languages. We don’t learn grammar or syntax trees here; rather, we’re introduced to the many quirks and overall diversity of the European languages. Don’t expect to gain fluency from Dorren’s book, but do expect to be surprised.

 

 

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