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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July 2019

july 2019It’s July! Celebrate summer and the 4th of July with some of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

Melissa – Technical Services

fates and furiesFates and Furies, by Laura Groff, Fiction Groff

Fates and Furies tells of a fiery relationship between actor/playwright Lotto and his wife Matilde. We see life and the relationship through Lotto’s eyes in the first half and switch to Matilde’s in the second. The prose is artsy and decadent, doing much to draw the reader into their fierce passion. This book is reminiscent of Julian Barnes’s The Sense of Ending in that it explores the power of perception and how the consequences of actions can ripple through time.

 

Jean – Reference

a woman of no importanceA Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II, by Sonia Purnell, New Nonfiction 940.5486 PUR

The true story of an American woman who worked for a highly-selective British intelligence unit specially formed to build up the Resistance in France early on in the war against the Nazi invasion of Europe. At a time when women were not thought to be suited nor qualified for the male work in intelligence, Virginia Hall proved to be more formidable and brave than many of her male peers. Add to the fact that she had a disability after losing a leg during a hunting accident, it was unheard of for her to be selected for the highly risky, top-secret spy mission. Little recognition was given to her because of her sex after the war, but thanks to author Sonia Purnell, we now know the story of this historically brave woman who served the Allies’ cause with honor.

Michelle – Administration

waiting for tom hanksWaiting for Tom Hanks, by Kerry Winfrey, New Fiction Winfrey

This is a perfect summer beach read. It follows rom-com obsessed Annie, who dreams of living her own rom-com fantasy. She gets a job working on a movie set when they come to her Ohio town and the pieces begin falling into place. If you are looking for a light bit of fluff to pass the time, then this book is for you!

 

Cathy – Circulation

sunny side upSunny Side Up, by Jennifer Holm, Graphic Novel J Holm (Graphic bk)

Have you wondered what the kids are reading and why they love graphic novels? Check this one out! You don’t need to be a kid to love this book, the graphics are great and the story fun and timeless. The drawings really help tell the story. This book opened up a whole new genre for me, and it might for you too.

 

 

Hubbell – Circulation

patrick melrosePatrick Melrose, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugo Weaving, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, New DVD Patrick Melrose

HBO’s 2018 mini-series Patrick Melrose is a show loosely based on a series of novels by English writer Edward St. Aubyn. The titular Melrose, played brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch, struggles with substance abuse and recovery, as well as confronting his past and his relationships with his parents. The series begins with Melrose visiting New York from England to retrieve his father David’s ashes. He quickly spirals out of control, but also vows to cease drugs and drink. The show is also a reflection and commentary about Britain’s upper class and the trappings of social privilege. Melrose is given everything in life and while afforded every opportunity to expand socially, he maintains very few close friendships, for those to whom he is closest, his family, are the ones responsible for his personal demons.

Paula – Circulation

bastille bad bloodBad Blood, by Bastille, CD 781.66 Bastille

Having just released their third album, Bastille’s Bad Blood is a must-listen. It is the first album from the British indie rock band that contains their first single “Pompeii” that brought them to fame. It introduces the brooding yet melodic sound that Bastille is known for. Their music may sound happy and upbeat at first, but after a close listen, the lyrics suggest otherwise. As the band puts it, they have “quite the catalog of depressing songs,” but their lyrics take on a deeper meaning than most bands. They focus on real-life issues and emotions, and draw them out with their haunting tunes. Their songs may be a little somber, but they balance them out with beauty and passion.

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June 2019

june 2019It’s June! Summer is just around the corner! Grab a good read and enjoy the warm weather.

 

 

 

Chris – Technical Services

scottish folkThe Rough Guide to Scottish Folk, New CD 781.62 Scottish Folk

Sung in Scottish, Gaelic, and English, this hour of folk songs by various artists sing of the history of Scotland and preservation of their musical traditions.

 

Jean – Reference

the worst hard timeThe Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan, Nonfiction 978 EGA

An excellent story along the lines of Grapes of Wrath, but unlike the story of the mass migration, this one is told from the point of view of those who actually remained in the panhandle during the “Dirty Thirties” due to stubbornness, or because they were too poor to leave. It’s also a good treatise on how humans can have a devastating impact on climate and on the earth. An amazing account of our country’s history that everyone should read.

Melissa – Technical Services

normal peopleNormal People, by Sally Rooney, New Fiction Rooney

A Man Booker Prize nominee, Normal People tells the story of two teens who could not be any more different, but are inexplicably drawn to each other when no one else is watching. Connell is charismatic and popular, and Marianne is withdrawn; a true rebel who doesn’t care a whit about other’s opinions. They keep their friendship, and eventually their relationship, secret. As they move to college and grow as adults, their relationship and personalities change shape. They cannot be together, but they cannot be apart. The tale is not so melodramatic as this summary makes it seem; it’s subtle and intoxicating. It’s a look into how small nuances can shape the deepest relationships.

11-22-63.jpg11/22/63, by Stephen King, Fiction King

King puts forth a time travel tale that is both vivid and riveting. A portal exists in a small-town diner that links modern day to September 9, 1958 every time it is used. After learning of it from the diner’s owner, Jake Epping is tasked with going from 2011 to 1958 to live for 5 years, gather information, and then attempt to stop the assassination of JFK. Within those 5 years, Jake’s “life” begins to catch up with him. But this is a Stephen King novel, so it is not without some paranormal elements (aside from time travel, that is). It is eerie, fun, and reflective.

 

Theresa – Youth Services

the house we gew up inThe House We Grew Up In, by Lisa Jewell, Fiction Jewell

If you like reading about dysfunctional families, this is the book for you!  The Bird family consists of Lorellei (Mom), Dad, Meg, Beth, and the twins, Rory and Rhys. Most of the story takes place in Cotswolds, England in their house, which over years becomes more and more filled with Lorelei’s “precious mementos.” Lorelei loves the early years of her children so much that she tends to collect mementos in an effort to somehow freeze time. She insists on hanging up every single piece of art produced by the children, along with craft items that they could never in a million years use. The yearly Easter egg hunt is extremely important to her, especially saving the candy egg “foils.” One Easter weekend a tragedy occurs, so terrible, that it begins to tear the family apart. Much is swept under the rug. Issues are not discussed. Years pass by, the children become adults, and Lorelai has become the county’s worst hoarder. After becoming a recluse, alienating her husband and children, something beckons them all back home… to the house they grew up in… and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago. I really enjoyed this. Each character has their own story. It gives a great deal of insight as to why someone would become a hoarder.

Chris – Circulation

the-good-neighbor.jpgThe Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, by Maxwell King, Nonfiction 921 Rogers, F. Kin

In this book, Fred Mcfeely Rogers, the famous Mister Rogers, walks us through his beginning as a Harvard graduate to his over 30 years in television. His program “Mister Rogers” touched almost all our lives, teaching us our virtues and how to be a good neighbor. His passion and unique way to show us that we are all different was part of his story, just as he was different. Showing children how to deal with events or just learn how to whistle was his magic. His puppets, movies, and regular guest visitors were a treat and lesson. He very much enjoyed this role he was blessed with in his life.

Hubbell – Circulation

a-private-war.jpgA Private War, starring Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, and Stanley Tucci, New DVD Private War

The late Marie Colvin was a tenacious and outspoken journalist. She died covering the Syrian Civil War in 2012 and had covered numerous conflicts during her career including Sri Lanka, Iraq, and numerous other Middle Eastern countries. Matthew Heineman’s A Private War (the director’s first dramatic piece) includes an excellent supporting cast including Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci. It uncovers Colvin’s life’s mission to show us the cost of war while also movingly personalizing her story.

Paula – Circulation

the breakfast clubThe Breakfast Club, starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Judd Nelson, DVD Breakfast…

The Breakfast Club is one of the most iconic movies of all time. A classic John Hughes masterpiece, the film centers on the lives of five teenagers stuck in detention on a Saturday. By spending the whole day together, the teens, who were strangers with nothing in common, become good friends and learn more about themselves through sharing some of their deepest secrets with each other. Full of some of the most memorable quotes and 80’s nostalgia, The Breakfast Club is a movie that people of all ages will enjoy.

 

 

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May 2019

may 2019 It’s May! Enjoy the warm weather with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

welcome to marwenWelcome to Marwen, starring Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, and Merritt Wever, New DVD Welcome to Marwen

Welcome to Marwen tells the true story of a man, played by Steve Carrell, who was viciously attacked and finds solace in the creation of a fictional world. He turns that fictional world into a highly regarded art installation. In the film, the art comes to life in a way that is unique to any other movie experience. It is worth watching for the visual thrill alone, but the story keeps you engaged and tells the tale of a man fighting to survive in his own way.

on the basis of sexOn the Basis of Sex, starring Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, and Justin Theroux, New DVD On the Basis…

This is the origin story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and follows her from the start of law school, through her career as a professor, and into her first court case. The film also shows the beautiful love story between her and her husband Martin. They had a marriage that was way ahead of its time, just like most aspects of RBG’s life. This movie is quite powerful and shows how one woman fought to make change and became a national icon.

 

Paula – Circulation

the-avengers.jpegMarvel’s The Avengers, starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth, DVD Avengers

With the final movie of the original Avengers out in theaters, take a look back at the one that started it all. Marvel’s The Avengers was the first film that brought all of original superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe together, such as Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. It was the first film, in my opinion, that really introduced the massive impact the MCU has on the superhero film industry. All of the actors have amazing chemistry with each other that has lasted throughout the entire series. Its fun, fast-paced action and cast of unforgettable characters has made The Avengers one of the best movie series of all time.

 

Hubbell – Circulation

mary poppins returns.jpgMary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Ben Whishaw, New DVD Mary Poppins…

Lin-Manuel Miranda speaking Cockney?! Dick Van Dyke tap-dancing?! Disney’s newest reboot in Mary Poppins Returns hits all the right notes to trigger some serious nostalgia. But, it also modernizes the tale as we the original movie’s siblings all grown and facing their own hardships and trials. Emily Blunt is perfect in her portrayal and we quickly find ourselves endeared to this newer iteration. Oh, and the Miranda-led BMX bike-riding, lamp-lighting crew is a sight to behold.

 

Chris – Technical Services

songs of our native daughtersSongs of Our Native Daughters, by Rhiannon Giddens, New CD 781.62 Songs…

Four female musicians reclaim the untold stories of their ancestors inspired by New World slave narratives. It is reminiscent of early minstrel and banjo music. Highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 2019

april 2019It’s April! Spring into the new season with one of our Staff Picks! April 7-13 is also National Library Week, so show your local library some love by stopping in for special activities!

 

 

Pat – Circulation

can you ever forgive me.jpgCan You Ever Forgive Me?, starring Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, and Dolly Wells, New DVD Can You…

Based on a true story, Lee Israel, played by Melissa McCarthy, is a writer, an alcoholic, has no money, her cat is sick, and she is months behind in her rent. She began forging letters from famous literary people and succeeds in fooling honest, hardworking sellers who trusted her. When her letters cause suspicion, she has her friend, Jack Hock, a flamboyant drug dealer sell the letters for her. Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant are both excellent in this movie.

 

Paula – Circulation

blackkklansman.jpgBlacKkKlansman, starring John David Washington, Laura Harrier, and Adam Driver, New DVD BlacKkKlansman

Based on a true story, BlacKkKlansman recounts the work of Ron Stallworth, the first African-American to serve as a detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department. After joining the force, Ron makes contact with the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and decides to infiltrate and expose the activity of the notorious hate group. Bringing in fellow detective Flip Zimmerman, Ron goes undercover as a new member of the KKK. Ron handles all communication by phone, while Flip pretends to be Ron in person. The film brilliantly depicts the dangerous events of the case and the risks that had to be taken to take down the KKK. It is dramatic and emotional, and an excellent parallel to some of the hateful events that are happening in today’s society.

Hubbell – Circulation

the facebook dilemmaThe Facebook Dilemma, New DVD 302.231 Facebook…

Facebook’s privacy troubles began long before the Cambridge Analytical scandal and the phenomenon of ‘fake news’ predates the 2016 American presidential election. Frontline’s analysis mixes older, forgotten footage of candid interviews and expert opinion to demonstrate Facebook’s past history of manipulating and exploiting its users data. It also focuses on Facebook’s inability to keep with its own growth and how that problem allowed armies of trolls to influence public opinion and sow discord.

 

Melissa – Technical Services

one more thingOne More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, by B.J. Novak, Fiction Novak

Many people know B.J. Novak from his role as Ryan on “The Office”, and are aware that he was also a staff writer for the show. As a fan of the series, I expected his stories to be similar in their usage and style of humor. They were not, at all, and yet they were still so much fun. Novak is an incredibly talented writer, and these stories are some of the most creative I have read. At times, he takes a seemingly mundane phrase or idea and delves so deep into its history or practicality, and does so in ways that literally make the reader laugh out loud. Though I hesitate to use the word “fun” should people read that as “trivial”, but they are so much fun, and still so inventive.

 

Jake – Administration

man-who-caught-storm.jpgThe Man Who Caught the Storm: The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras, by Brantley Hargrove, Nonfiction 551.553 HAR

Tim Samaras is a man who likes thunderstorms and tornadoes. He spends his springs chasing them all across the Midwestern plains taking photographs and video. Soon though this is not enough. He wants to prove to the scientific community that the center of the tornado can be penetrated and that vital data can be gathered. Samaras puts his nontraditional education and tinkering skills to the test in trying to complete the task. This book follows his quest and demise. An interesting book that gives a look at storm chasing, while showing one man’s determination.

 

 

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March 2019

march 2019It’s March, and you’re in luck! We have more picks for you at the library!

 

 

 

Paula – Circulation

star is bornA Star is Born, starring Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, and Sam Elliot, New DVD Star is Born

One of the most talked about movies of the year, A Star is Born lives up to its hype. The film focuses on the relationship between rock star Jackson Maine, played by Bradley Cooper, and struggling artist Ally, played by Lady Gaga. When Jackson first meets Ally, he is instantly drawn to her. Believing she has enormous potential, Jackson brings Ally into the spotlight to start her career as a singer. As Ally’s fame grows, her relationship with Jackson is tested as he struggles with his own personal demons. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper have undeniable chemistry together, and flawlessly portray the hardships of balancing fame and stardom with life at home. Nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Actor and Actress, and winner of Best Original Song, A Star is Born is a film everyone needs to see.

Michelle – Administration

p15444050_v_v12_adBohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, and Ben Hardy, New DVD Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody is a highly entertaining look at the career of the band Queen and their lead singer Freddie Mercury. The movie presents an uplifting story and enjoyable musical performances. Oscar winner Rami Malek becomes Freddie Mercury and you almost forget you are watching an actor. That said, the movie isn’t exactly true to history, with some important moments missing or only briefly mentioned and other moments are pure fiction created for the movie. The timeline of events is also blurred quite a bit in favor of smooth storytelling. In spite of that, the movie is great fun and may be the most entertaining biopic I’ve seen.

Jean – Reference

dear fahrenheitDear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life, by Annie Spence, Nonfiction 808.6 SPE

A collection of very short (and funny) essays about the author’s love for various books she has read during her lifetime. Any book-lover will laugh out loud at least once while reading these “Love Letters and Break-Up Notes” to books!

 

 

Theresa – Youth Services

the nestThe Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, Fiction Sweeny 

This is a story about a very dysfunctional family with four gown-up siblings who have lived their lives believing that they will have a trust fund (“The Nest”) to count on in their aging years. Left by their father who has since passed away, it has made it easy for them to live their lives in a financially careless way. When Leo, the eldest brother, has gotten himself into some legal trouble, their alcoholic mother takes it upon herself to give him a large portion of “The Nest.” His siblings are furious, to say the least when they hear of this news.  With a cast of very interesting characters, this title keeps you wanting to continue reading more! As a popular book club choice, this title will give the reader much to think about and discuss with others who have read the book.

Chris – Circulation

my lucky lifeMy Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, by Dick Van Dyke, Biography 921 VAN DYKE

After reading Dick Van Dyke’s memoir, I am a fan of his courage and drive, not just as an actor, but life itself. It takes you to his days before he was an actor during his struggles. He started his career like most of us, not loving it. He started as a door-to-door salesman and moved wherever he could to get an acting gig. Radio took him to his next journey into live acts on stage. He married, had family, and moved several more times. He fell into a dark time in his life, finding drinking his friend. Overall, he is now much older, wiser, and very happy with his blessing in life.

Hubbell – Circulation

proximaPróxima Estación Esperanza, by Manu Chao, CD 781.63 CHAO

Required listening for hippies, transients, Spanish learners, bums, and Iberians. This is the binational, French, Spanish, Manu Chao’s second formal solo album and he is still really weird. Some of the songs are spliced with the same beats and melodies as others with different lyrics transferred on top of them. You may only understand about 40% of the words, but this album will make any day sunny.

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February 2019

february 2019It’s February! Fall in love with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Paula – Circulation

mary shelleyMary Shelley, starring Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, and Bel Powley, New DVD Mary Shelley

This film tells the story of famed author Mary Shelley and the inspiration behind her greatest work, Frankenstein. After meeting and falling in love with poet Percy Shelley, Mary is thrown into a life of love, heartache, adventure, loss, and torment. She then uses this passion and despair as fuel for her story of Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation. Elle Fanning delivers an excellent performance as a young, haunted Mary Shelley. It is a dark yet enjoyable film that shows how loneliness and the absence of love can create monsters in us all.

Michelle – Administration

first manFirst Man, starring Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, and Corey Stoll, New DVD First Man

First Man is a look at the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the moon. I did not know much about Armstrong to begin with and this movie was full of facts that I was not aware of. The movie is based on the book of the same name by James R. Hansen and is the only official biography of Armstrong and was written with the support of him and his family and coworkers. Unlike most other space exploration movies, this film does not glorify the astronauts, but shows their more human side, in both the triumphs and tragedies. This is a great movie for anyone interested in a closer look at Armstrong and the Apollo missions. However, there is one caveat, I did not like the way some of the film was shot. There are way too many extreme close-ups that I found distracting. The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Armstrong, Clarie Foy as his wife and a host of other well-known faces, including Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll and more.

a simple favorA Simple Favor, starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, and Henry Golding, New DVD Simple Favor

A Simple Favor centers around Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), who seeks to uncover the truth behind her new friend Emily’s (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town. Stephanie is joined by Emily’s husband Sean (Henry Golding) in this stylish thriller filled with twists and turns, secrets, murder and revenge. The movie is a strange mix of comedy and thriller that I found to be an enjoyable new take on the genre. It is directed by well-known comedy director Paul Feig.

Brigitte – Youth Services

high noonHigh Noon, starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, and Thomas Mitchell, New DVD High Noon

Sick of the frigid temperature outside? Why not dive into a classic Spaghetti Western like High Noon? Fight a gang of outlaws with Gary Cooper under the New Mexican sun before riding off into the sunset with Grace Kelly. This newly remastered classic is sure to keep you warm all day long!

 

 

mary-shelley-creator.jpgMary Shelley: The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein’s Creator, by Catherine Reef, New Nonfiction YA 921 SHELLEY, M. REE

Have you ever wondered who created Frankenstein? The story of Frankenstein’s creator is a strange, romantic, and tragic one, as deeply compelling as the novel itself. Catherine Reef brings Mary Shelley back to life in this Nonfiction YA book about a woman who was truly ahead of her time.

 

 

Melissa – Technical Services

first comes marriage.jpgFirst Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story, by Huda Al-Marashi, New Nonfiction 306.81 ALM

As a child of Iranian immigrants, Huda, like so many other second generation immigrants, faces a seemingly constant struggle between the culture she is raised in and the culture in which she lives. The focus of this memoir is on the practice of marriage in Muslim culture within America. Huda is eager to partake in the religious traditions, yet still finds herself drawn in by American romantic tropes and looks for ways to meld the two. Her memoir is an engrossing glimpse into the love life of a woman seeking to simultaneously fulfill her romantic dreams of two vastly different cultures.

Hubbell – Circulation

marwencol.jpegMarwencol, DVD 617.481 MARWENCOL

The inspiration for the 2018 release Welcome to Marwen starring Steve Carrell, Marwencol is the true story of Mark Hogancamp. Sad, but ultimately inspiring, the film shows Mark to us in the one place he feels comfortable, creating an enormous miniature WWII era town in upstate New York using customized figurines and props. He creates stories for his characters and chronicles all of their activities with professional level photography. Mark’s story was uncovered and then exhibited to the modern art world, where his personality is free to come through. Mark’s past, though, includes an extraordinarily violent beating which left him near death and wiped his memories. He must literally re-learn and re-invent himself with limited cognitive ability. As always, the true story exceeds the current retelling.

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January 2019

january 2019It’s January! Spend the new year with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

alphaAlpha, Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, and Marcin Kowalcyzk, New DVD Alpha

Alpha is the story of a young man trying to survive in extreme conditions and the friendship that he discovers with a wolf that is also trying to survive. While it sounds like a story that we’ve all heard before, it has one huge twist – it takes place 20,000 years ago. It does tell the story of survival and friendship, but also serves as an origin story of dogs as domestic pets. The movie is worth watching for the beautiful cinematography alone and I would recommend it to any dog lovers out there.

Jean – Reference

the library book.jpgThe Library Book, by Susan Orlean, New Nonfiction 027.47 ORL

A fascinating recount of the fire that destroyed the Los Angeles Public Library on April 29, 1986. As a librarian myself, I was shocked not to know about this event. But as the author explains, it happened within days of the Chernobyl disaster which dominated the news. Susan Orlean does a nice job of interweaving the story of the fire with the history of libraries in general, and the “who-done-it” angle of the arsonist who started the fire. Recommended for anyone who loves books and libraries.

Hubbell – Circulation

kitchen confidentialKitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain, Nonfiction 641.5 Bou

Anthony Bourdain’s first non-fiction book (did you know he wrote a chef inspired murder mystery first), Kitchen Confidential is both biographical and exploratory of Bourdain’s beginnings as a line cook to his rise as a premier New York chef. It is simultaneously hilarious, depressing, and revealing. And, you might learn a thing or two about cooking for yourself.

 

Paula – Circulation

the spy who dumped me.jpgThe Spy Who Dumped Me, Starring Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, and Sam Heughan, New DVD Spy Who Dumped…

The Spy Who Dumped Me is a hilarious account of a breakup gone wrong. After finding out that her ex-boyfriend is a spy, Audrey and her best friend Morgan get dragged into an international conspiracy and are forced to go on the run across Europe. With the help from a charming British agent, Audrey and Morgan set out to save the world while picking up their own espionage skills along the way. Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon have effortless chemistry as the two best friends turned spies. Their crazy adventures will have you laughing throughout the entire film.

Brigitte – Youth Services

beartownBeartown, by Fredrik Backman,  YA Fiction Backman

This Young Adult novel was on several summer reading lists as well as being a Lincoln Award winner for 2019. Set in a small town, this novel tells the story of a junior ice hockey team who are about to compete in the national semi-finals. While the premise seems like a straightforward sports novel, this book is anything but. Fredrik Backman (who also wrote A Man Called Ove) takes the reader deep inside this small community that hinges its happiness on a set of teenaged boys who are unprepared for local fame. A crime is committed – and covered up, leaving everyone scarred. The characters have various viewpoints with rich relationships. All events are interwoven, leaving the reader both elated at hockey games and devastated in the players’ personal lives. More than anything else, Beartown forces readers to think about the ripple effect of their actions, and tackles difficult subjects such as the idealization of celebrity and personal integrity.

Theresa – Youth Services

tattooist of auschwitz.jpgThe Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris, New Fiction Morris

This book is based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, who in 1942 was forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners. Using the privileges of his position, Lale risks his own life to help keep fellow prisoners alive. He also manages to fall in love along the way, and vows to somehow survive the camp and marry his beloved Gita. As another look into the atrocities of the Hitler regime, this is ultimately a hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

 

 

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December 2018

december 2018

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

 

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

an-easy-death.jpgAn Easy Death, by Charlaine Harris, New Fiction Harris

This is the first book in Harris’s new series Gunnie Rose. It is the story of Lizbeth Rose, who is a gun-for-hire, otherwise known as a gunnie, in the southwest country of Texoma, formerly in the United States. Lizbeth is hired by Russian wizards to help them find a direct descendant of Rasputin. The book starts off slow as the reader is dropped into a world that is familiar, but different from our own. However, the story picks up steam once this new world unfolds. While this is a different type of story than the ones Charlaine Harris usually writes, if you are a fan of her Sookie Stackhouse or Midnight, Texas series, I’m sure you will enjoy this story as well.

Pat – Circulation

killing the ssKilling the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminal in History, by Bill O’Reilly, New Nonfiction 940.5318 O’RE

Killing the SS is informative, well written, and gripping. Bill O’Reilly relates the stories of seemingly ordinary people who turned into ravenous animals during the war, then tried to slip away to other countries after the war. It’s very revealing to read just exactly who helped these evil people (Catholic Church, Red Cross, various governments). His focus is on four of the worst and most notorious war criminals in WWII: Adolf Eichmann, Martin Bormann, Klaus Barbie and Joseph Mengele. Everyone should read Killing the SS to understand what human nature is capable of justifying in their minds. My only problem is that some parts of the book seem a bit disjointed.

Hubbell – Circulation

mad menMad Men, starring Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, and Elizabeth Moss, DVD Mad…Season 1

Ranked on many “best-ever” lists, Mad Men follows the high-stakes world of 1960’s Madison Avenue, New York advertising firms. But beyond the show being an excellent period piece, its central story is that of the troubled Don Draper, a womanizing, hard-drinking, but brilliant creative executive with some pretty darn serious personal demons. The series also adeptly touches on cultural themes from the time including radical shifts in politics, race, sexuality, and gender equality.

Jake – Administration

home-alone.jpgHome Alone, starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, and Daniel Stern, J DVD Home…

A young Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) and his entire extended family are travelling to Europe for the Christmas holiday. In the confusion and chaos of getting a large family to the airport on time, Kevin is left home alone. The family does not realize their mistake until they are on the plane. For a couple of days Kevin must rely on himself, while defending the family home from two pesky burglars. Watching Kevin’s ingenuity in thwarting the robbers is inspiring. This over-the-top, heartwarming film is my favorite holiday movie.

Paula – Circulation

a-christmas-carol.jpgA Christmas Carol, starring Patrick Stewart, Dominic West, and Richard E. Grant, J DVD Christmas Carol

Of all the different versions of A Christmas Carol, this one is my favorite. The legendary Patrick Stewart delivers an outstanding performance as the wicked Ebenezer Scrooge, a man who cares more about business than the welfare of others. Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his dead business partner Jacob Marley, who warns him he must change his ways or suffer the consequences of his actions in death. He is then visited by three spirits, who hope to thaw the icy heart of the old miser and force him to realize there is more to life than profit. It is the perfect film to watch for the holiday season.

 

 

 

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November 2018

november 2018

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

 

 

 

 

Melissa – Technical Services

capoteCapote, Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Clifton Collins Jr., DVD Capote

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in this biopic portraying the author Truman Capote as he began writing In Cold Blood. Hoffman captures the vivid presence and complexity that Capote was known for, and received a Golden Globe for his performance. In Cold Blood was the first of what we now know as the true crime genre, and paved the way for Helter Skelter, Dateline, true crime podcasts, and the like. Capote depicts how the author befriended the criminals and how he at times crossed the line for what was appropriate or ethical, all in service of the book that would make him the most famous author in America.

Paula – Circulation

book-club.jpgBook Club, Starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, and Candice Bergen, New DVD Book Club

Book Club is a hilarious comedy about four best friends whose love lives are completely turned around after reading the Fifty Shades of Grey series. For their monthly book club, the women choose the steamy series in hopes that it might give them some inspiration to change their seemingly boring love lives. Sparks fly and comedy ensues as new romances are found and old flames are rekindled. The film is as charming and funny as it is relatable. A better cast could not have been put together to portray this dynamic group of friends.

Hubbell – Circulation

911.jpg9-1-1, Starring Angela Bassett, Connie Britton, and Peter Krause, New DVD 911 Season 1

Do you like mindless, brain-numbing, action-packed television!? Car accidents, impalements, mega-earthquakes, and more! 9-1-1 was a hit for FOX when it aired in 2017. Its plot and character development are by no means nuanced, but there is enough there among the characters (all of whom are police, firefighters, or 911 call center employees) to keep you invested in their well-being while the sometimes absurd emergencies they encounter are more than entertaining.

Chris – Technical Services

the-escape-artists.jpegThe Escape Artists : A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War, by Neal Bascomb, New Nonfiction 940.472 BAS

British RFC (Royal Flying Corps) pilots imprisoned during WWI in Holzminden, a land locked Alcatraz, made a “great escape” and a 150 mile trek to freedom in Holland in summer, 1918. A great read, I highly recommend it.

 

 

Jean – Reference

the-other-einstein1.jpgThe Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict, Fiction Benedict

“Behind every great man, is a woman”. This novel envisions how the Theory of Relativity, a ground-breaking physics theory credited to Albert Einstein, could just as easily (or likely?) been the brainstorm of his equally brilliant wife, Mileva Maric, a scientist in her own right, who has been erased by history.

 

 

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