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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October 2018

october 2018

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

 

 

 

Pat – Circulation

deal with the devilA Deal with the Devil: The Dark and Twisted True Story of One of the Biggest Cons in History, by Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken, New Nonfiction 364.163 ELL

This is a very interesting and informative account of two investigative journalists from CNN Money who researched the French psychic Maria Duval scam. The scam spanned decades in which people, mostly vulnerable adults, where scammed out of $200 million dollars. Victims received personalized letters from a woman who, claiming amazing psychic powers, convinced them to send money in return for riches, good health, and good fortune. Ellis and Hicken travel around the globe and dig deep into obscure records to find the perpetrators of a silent but devastating crime.

Paula – Circulation

the conjuringThe Conjuring, Starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Lili Taylor, DVD Conjuring

Based on the true case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring is the terrifying account of a family who was haunted by an evil spirit in the 1970’s. After moving into a new home, the Perron family must call on the famed Warrens to help them when strange and dark things begin happening in their farmhouse. The Conjuring is definitely one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. The fact that these events may have happened is truly haunting. In addition to a sequel, it has also inspired other horror films such as the Annabelle movies and The Nun. If you’re looking for a good scary movie to watch for Halloween this year, The Conjuring is the perfect one.

Hubbell – Circulation

sneaky-pete.jpgSneaky Pete, Starring Giovanni Ribisi, Peter Gerety, and Margo Martindale, New DVD Sneaky Pete Season 1

Marius is to be released from prison. Marius has no family or loved ones to return to. Marius steals his cell mate’s identity. Marius becomes Pete. Marius, coincidentally, is sneaky. Sneaky Pete is thus born. He knocks on the door of Pete’s family who haven’t seen him since he was a child. What Pete doesn’t expect is that this seemingly docile and loving family (with the always excellent Margo Martindale and Peter Gerety playing Pete’s grandparents) has a past and secrets of its own. Pete is faced with tough choices as he balances feelings of closeness with a newfound “family” and his previous life of psychopathy and avarice.

Michelle – Administration

woman walks aheadWoman Walks Ahead, Starring Jessica Chastain, Michael Greyeyes, and Sam Rockwell, New DVD Woman Walks Ahead

In this movie based on true events, Jessica Chastain plays Catherine Weldon, a New Yorker who travels alone to North Dakota in 1890 to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull. The films follows their growing friendship as well as the growing tensions between the Native Americans and the US Army in the lead up to the Massacre at Wounded Knee. This was an interesting story of both human relationships and the strength of a woman who was trying to follow her heart. The movie also stars Sam Rockwell and Michael Greyeyes as Sitting Bull.

white collarWhite Collar Season 1, Starring Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, and Tiffany Thiessen, DVD White Collar Season 1

This show had been on my list to watch since it premiered in 2009, but it wasn’t until the recent rave reviews from my sister that I finally checked it out from the library. The show stars Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey, an extremely charming art thief and con man who begins working with the FBI in exchange for an early release from prison. He works with FBI Agent Peter Burke, played by Tim DeKay, to catch other white collar criminals. The show is very witty and makes me laugh out loud at times. The two leads have great chemistry, which makes the show work even though the premise is slightly unbelievable. If you are looking for lighthearted entertainment, this is the show for you!

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September 2018

September 2018

It’s September! Enjoy the last few weeks of summer with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

Jette – Circulation

cat on a hot tin roofCat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennesse Williams, Nonfiction 812.54 WIL

Margaret and Brick are two of the many characters in this intensely moving play that definitely keeps you turning the pages to see how they will resolve their family problems as they get ready to attend a birthday party for a member of the older generation. I viewed this play on stage too. Truly intense!

 

 

 

chosen by a horseChosen by a Horse: a Memoir, by Susan Richards, Nonfiction 636.1 RIC

I enjoyed and recommend this book for women who love horses. It’s a true story of one woman’s experiences with a sickly mare she picked up at the SPCA. The mare chose her to save its life. She does so through patience and love, and spares no expense. Very descriptive narrative.

 

Pat – Circulation

what the eyes dont seeWhat the Eyes Don’t See, by Mona Hanna-Attisha, New Nonfiction 615.925 HAN 

Written by the doctor who sounded the alarm and led the fight about the Flint water crisis. The crisis was about water that GM didn’t use in their factories because it corroded their machines, but was still given to the people of Flint. This is a thoroughly well done account of her taking on the indifference of city, state, and federal agencies to advocate for the city’s children. This is a must read if you have a passion for social justice, public health, education, and/or exploring the incredible injustices faced by those living in poverty. This is an excellent book. Highly recommended.

Paula – Circulation

hope never dies.jpgHope Never Dies, by Andrew Shaffer, New Fiction Shaffer

Hope Never Dies imagines what life would be like for former President Barack Obama and former VP Joe Biden after leaving the White House. When an Amtrak conductor dies under mysterious circumstances, Obama and Biden team up once again as amateur sleuths to try to solve the case. The infamous bromance between the two is taken to a new level in this hilarious buddy mystery thriller. Full of suspense, adventure, and classic Uncle Joe jokes, Hope Never Dies continues the legacy of two of America’s greatest heroes.

Hubbell – Circulation

legion.jpgLegion, Starring Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, and Rachel Keller, New DVD Legion Season 1

Legion is weird… It’s about David Haller, a man who has spent more time in mental institutions than the outside world. He is a diagnosed schizophrenic, or at least that is the medical explanation for his symptoms. Legion and David are tied to the X-Men mutant universe. When David meets a new patient, a new explanation for his symptoms begins to emerge. David discovers a separate identity – and a new dangerous reality.

Chris – Technical Services

southeasternSoutheastern, by Jason Isbell, CD 781.66 Isbell, J

If you like the sound of a Martin acoustic guitar and the poetry of songs similar to John Prine, you will like the soulful songs of Jason Isbell, a Grammy Award winning American singer/songwriter from Green Hill, Alabama.

 

 

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August 2018

august 2018

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

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

the tudorsThe Tudors, Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, and Natalie Dormer, DVD Tudors Seasons 1-4

I recently re-watched the Showtime TV show The Tudors and I still found it to be an entertaining work of historical fiction mixed with actual events that occurred. The show follows the reign of King Henry VIII as a young man through the end of his life, highlighting his many marriages, the relationships in-between and his slow descent into cruel madness. Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as Henry VIII and the show also features Henry Cavill as the Duke of Suffolk, Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn and many other faces you may recognize. A word of warning, however, the show does not shy away from the bloody violence that was so abundant at the time. As they say – viewer discretion is advised!

Jean – Reference

baby teethBaby Teeth, by Zoje Stage, New Fiction Stage

For fans of Stephen King and Gillian Flynn, a psychological thriller in the vein of The Omen, that is creepy, yet fun.  For parents Suzette and Alex, their seven year old daughter’s perplexing behavior becomes more and more sinister as they try to make sense of her inability to speak (or is it an unwillingness)?  As we read alternating chapters in Hanna’s voice, it becomes clear that there is more going on than childish misbehavior.  But as we delve deeper and deeper into her psyche, the reader begins to wonder – is it a simple lack of ability to communicate, or is it just pure evil?

Paula – Circulation

AGameOfThronesA Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin, Fiction Martin

A Game of Thrones is the first book in the epic fantasy series A Song of  Ice and Fire, and the basis for the hit HBO TV series Game of Thrones. The series tells the story of the war for the Iron Throne between the Seven Kingdoms, and each of the noble families that claim they have the right to rule the land of Westeros. Each chapter is written from a different character’s point of view, giving the reader a unique experience by being able to see the conflict develop from multiple different sides. It is an exciting read as much as it is complex, dark, and bloody.

Pat – Circulation

then she was goneThen She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell, New Fiction Jewell

Then She Was Gone is a psychological thriller. This book is about a young girl, Ellie, who goes missing one day on her way to the library. Ten years later her mother, Laurel, meets a man, Floyd, in a coffee shop and they strike up a friendship. When Laurel meets Floyd’s nine year old daughter she is taken aback at the striking resemblance she has to her missing daughter and she understandably cannot let the mystery go. The book was mysterious, sad, crazy, but engaging. Also some parts are disturbing, so be prepared for that.

Hubbell – Circulation

nobody knows your nameWhere Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball, by John Feinstein, Nonfiction 796.357 FEI

Minor league baseball players toil in small cities, ride buses across the country, eat crappy food, and stay in cheap motels. Washington Post columnist John Feinstein compiles the stories of nine minor league baseball players whose careers are marked by varying degrees of success. One waits eighteen years between major league at-bats. Another experiences fantastic success at the major league level and helps his team to a World Series championship only to be demoted after the post-season. Feinstein explores the day-to-day life of these players and coaches, but also uncovers some of the darker unknowns of minor league service. They lack a labor union, have no collective bargaining rights, are exempt from overtime pay and, on average, make less than minimum wage, all of which is explicitly permitted by law.

Melissa – Technical Services

11millionHow Do You Kill 11 Million People? by Andy Andrews, Nonfiction 320.01 AND

This book is an essay about integrity in politics and the consequences that derive from a lack of it. The author notes the Nazi government tactic of repeatedly lying to its citizens in order to get them to board the trains to concentration camps, and give up their wealth and security. He also explores how lying is regarded as commonplace in American politics. This essay is relevant for all governed peoples, and for all time.

 

 

 

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July 2018

july2018cover

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

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

love simonLove, Simon, Starring Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, and Josh Duhamel, New DVD Love, Simon

Love, Simon is an adorable coming-of-age story, made in the same style as my favorites from the 80’s, but modernized to reflect society and teens today. The movie, which made me both laugh and cry in equal measures, is based on the YA book “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” and follows the story of Simon Spier, who is keeping a huge secret from everyone in his life.

 

Chris – Technical Services

child in timeThe Child in Time, Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kelly MacDonald, and Stephen Campbell Moore, New DVD Child in Time

The Child in Time is a BBC Masterpiece Theatre 2017 production. Based on the award winning novel by Ian McEwan, it stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Kelly MacDonald as a couple who has lost a child. Don’t be put off by the heartbreaking story for it is “heart mending”, as a father works through the pain of a daughter lost. It is an exploration of love, loss, acceptance, and renewed hope and joy. I highly recommend it.

Hubbell – Circulation

the sinner'The Sinner, Starring Jessica Biel, Bill Pullman, and Christopher Abbott, New DVD Sinner Season 1

Jessica Biel is a happy new mother enjoying a day at the beach with her family when she commits a shocking act of violence without any provocation. She confesses, but the case’s detective, Bill Pullman, begins to ask questions about the true motivations of her crime. What is uncovered is a sad and sordid story of a sheltered girl, her devotion to a dying sister, and a hidden troubled upbringing. The Sinner surprises often, both in plot twists and sheer subject matter.

Paula – Circulation

lord of the ringsThe Lord of the Rings, Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, and Viggo Mortensen, DVD Lord…Fellowship, DVD Lord…Two, and DVD Lord…Return

One of the greatest fantasy series of all time, The Lord of the Rings is an absolute work of perfection. The series follows a young Hobbit named Frodo and his group of friends who are sent on a quest to destroy the One Ring of Power in order to save Middle Earth from falling into darkness. In the book series, J. R. R. Tolkien, a master of fiction, created an entire world full of unique characters and breathtaking landscapes that are beautifully depicted in the films. Each major character has their own story line that progresses throughout the films and captivates the viewers in a way that most stories do not. The Lord of the Rings is by far my favorite movie series, and is a must-see for all lovers of fantasy, adventure, friendship, and heroism.

 Mary – Reference

the caregiverThe Caregiver: Poems, by Caroline Johnson, New Nonfiction 811.54 JOH

This collection of poems is both beautiful and powerful, and while written as a tribute to the author’s parents, they are relatable to everyone. Managing her parent’s terminal illnesses over twelve years, the author states to have, “found caregiving to be the most important, profound job I’ve ever had. It has been a privilege and an honor…”

 

 

Jean – Reference

upside downUpside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, by Julie T. Lamana, Juvenile Fiction J Lamana

The experience of Hurricane Katrina written in the voice of a 10-year old girl, living in the lower-ninth ward. This story will transport you to the world of a young girl who wants nothing other than to celebrate her birthday party with her happy, tight-knit family, and yet finds her life literally ripped apart by the devastating hurricane and its aftermath. Prepared to be sad, moved and inspired – this book will stay with you for a long time after you finish reading it!

 

Melissa – Technical Services

lincoln in the bardoLincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders, Fiction Saunders

 “Bardo” is a state of being after death, similar to purgatory or limbo. It is where Abraham Lincoln’s youngest son, Willie, finds himself after dying of typhoid. He is not alone, rather surrounded by a truly colorful cast of characters whose forms are shaped by the lives they led; an artistic rendering of perpetual suffering. The prose itself is unique too, as the story is comprised entirely of either dialogue or quotes from historical sources. This is Saunders’s first novel, and it’s apparent why he won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for it. It’s vivid yet dark, and wholly transcendent.

 

 

 

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June 2018

june2018

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

 

 

 

 

Jean – Reference

radium girlsThe Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, by Kate Moore, YA 363.17 MOO

If you have ever wondered if corporations have the public’s or worker’s best interest at heart, this book will cure you of that belief. This is an amazing and under-told story of young women in their early twenties (and teenagers) after WWI who worked in factories painting luminous watch dial-faces with paint mixed with toxic radium. These women suffered terrible effects of radioactive poisoning and died horrible deaths within years. The companies knew of the harmful effects, and kept their employees in the dark. Some workers were even outright fired as they became ill. The women brought ‘David and Goliath’ lawsuits (some on their deathbeds) against the corporations and won hard-fought protections for workers everywhere.

Paula – Circulation

westworldWestworld, Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins, and Ed Harris, DVD Westworld Season 1

Westworld is the thrilling tv series about a theme park gone wrong. Set in the future, Westworld exists as a park that allows vacationers to indulge in their wildest fantasies without any consequences. The inhabitants of the park are robotic hosts that are created to serve the needs of the guests that come to visit. However, as some of the hosts begin to gain sentience, a chain reaction of events occurs, plunging the park into complete chaos. Westworld is a phenomenal series full of complex details and unforgettable characters. The fast-paced story and numerous plot twists will leave you guessing until the very end.

Hubbell – Circulation

deadwoodDeadwood, Starring Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, and Molly Parker, DVD Deadwood

HBO’s Deadwood is frequently classified as a show which was canceled too soon. It is an ultrarealistic time period piece taking place in the black hills of South Dakota in the 1870’s. The main characters are, generally, based off of real-life ones, including brothel owner Al Swearengen, sheriff Seth Bullock, and other famous western characters like Calamity, Wild Bill Hickock, Annie Oakley, and others. The show takes care to frame the drama in the historical context of its time. It was simultaneously hilarious, shocking, dirty, and endearing.

Jacob – Administration

durrellsThe Durrells in Corfu, Starring Keeley Hawes, Josh O’Connor, and Milo Parker, DVD Durrells in Corfu

The Durrells in Corfu is a PBS Masterpiece television series about an English mother that moves her four reluctant children to a Greek island in hopes of starting anew. The series tracks the ups and downs of this family, often in a comedic way, as they acclimate to a new culture and a new way of living. The series has great characters and breath taking scenery. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

 

Chris – Technical Services

tree of forgivenessThe Tree of Forgiveness, by John Prine, New CD 781.64 Prine

The Tree of Forgiveness is an excellent album by John Prine, a folk, country, and protest musician from Chicago. If you visited the clubs in Old Town in the ’70s, you would have definitely heard him.

 

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May 2018

may2018It’s May! Enjoy the warm weather with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Paula – Circulation

lady birdLady Bird, Starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Tracy Letts, New DVD Lady Bird

Lady Bird is a beautiful coming-of-age story about a high school senior who dreams of getting out of her hometown of Sacramento. Christine, who goes by the name Lady Bird, is tired of her poor, under-average life, and longs to go to a more sophisticated college in New York City. The film follows Lady Bird as she pushes herself to overcome the challenges of “living on the wrong side of the tracks,” and of the strained relationship with her strong-willed mother who she constantly butts heads with. Filled with charming humor and a wonderful cast of characters, Lady Bird is a heart-warming film worthy of its five Academy Award nominations.

Chris – Technical Services

so b itSo B. It, Starring Talitha Bateman, Alfre Woodard, and Cloris Leachman, New DVD So B. It

Based on a bestselling book by Sarah Weeks, and with excellent performances by its three main female characters, this story is of a young girl’s struggle to seek the truth about her family which then sends her on a cross country journey.

 

Lisa – Youth Services

loving vincentLoving Vincent, Starring Douglas Booth, Saoirse Ronan, and Aidan Turner, New DVD Loving Vincent

A unique and beautiful film. Each scene is hand painted in the style of Van Gogh’s paintings. The story takes place after the artist’s death and follows various people and scenes he painted in Arles.

 

 

Melissa – Technical Services

the-gift-of-fear.jpgThe Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence, by Gavin de Becker, Nonfiction 362.88 DEB

De Becker has spent his career predicting violent behavior. His firm advises many of the world’s most prominent figures and helps them to evaluate threats, including our own government. In this book, he explains how true fear is a gift, and uses real-life cases as examples for ordinary people can predict violent behavior. Whether it be an angry ex-boyfriend, a disgruntled employee, or a persistent suitor, these types of people always give clues as to their intentions. Violence is never truly “out of the blue”. De Becker shows readers how they can be more attuned to the red-flags, as well as how to best handle those types in volatile situations. Definitely a must-read for true crime fans.

Jean – Reference

the woman who smashed codesThe Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies, by Jason Fagone, Nonfiction 652.8 FAG

Excellent story about a lesser-known female figure who actually had an out-sized role in early code-breaking. Elizebeth Friedman worked for the Coast Guard, which fell under the government branch of the Treasury Department before there was a National Security Administration, FBI, or CIA. Although her husband William was a co-founder of the NSA and Signal Intelligence, her work was classified and unknown until recently. This is an easy-to-read and fascinating account of code-breaking, first with an aim to bust rum-running operations during prohibition, and then during WWII to bust the German Enigma code machines, using little more than just her brilliant mind, paper, and pencil.

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April 2018

april2018It’s April! Spring into the new season with one of our Staff Picks! April 8-14 is also National Library Week, so show your local library some love by stopping in for special activities!

 

 

 

Jean – Reference

nomadlandNomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, Nonfiction 331.398 BRU

Retirement is often viewed as a time that is earned after one puts in a life-time of hard work, including idyllic views of selling the family home and traveling the country in a recreation vehicle. However, after the economic collapse in 2008, when many retirees lost their savings and many people found their mortgage underwater, living in an RV, car or van became a necessity after many walked away from their homes, no longer able to afford them, or able to sell them. Having little-to-no retirement savings left, these retirees find themselves traveling the country looking for temporary work in order to pay for gas and food. They are referred to as “Workampers” and corporations such as Amazon and large agricultural conglomerates have tapped into this alternative sub-set of the workforce by providing campground facilities surrounding their warehouses and farms. The work these seniors do is often back-breaking, low-pay, and often provides no benefits and few worker protections. It’s a fascinating, yet dire, look at a subculture of the labor force in America.

Hubbell – Circulation

artemisArtemis by Andy Weir, New Fiction Weir

Andy Weir’s second novel following his made-to-movie The Martian stays closer to home and follows the story of Jazz Bashara, a porter (and sometimes smuggler) working in the Moon’s first city, Artemis. Jazz is drawn into a mystery involving the city’s wealthiest resident, its government, and, most importantly, the unique mineable resources which make the entire endeavor profitable. Like in The Martian, Weir’s humor and down-to-earth, if not salty, dialogue shine in the rendering of the novel’s protagonist and we find her just as easy to follow as the mystery and intrigue itself.

Paula – Circulation 

dunkirkDunkirk, Starring Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Cillian Murphy, New DVD Dunkirk

Dunkirk is the heart-pounding true story of the evacuation of Allied soldiers that were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, France during WWII. Surrounded by German forces, British and French troops desperately tried to stay alive while waiting to be rescued. The film is told in three separate timelines, each focusing on events that occurred on land, sea, and in the air. Nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, Dunkirk is an awe-inspiring and emotional film that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Pat – Circulation

glass castleThe Glass Castle, Starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts, New DVD Glass Castle

The Glass Castle is a biographical drama based on Jeannette Walls’ best selling memoir. It depicts Walls’ real-life childhood spent squatting in homes and living in poverty.
Four siblings must learn to take care of themselves, as their free-spirited parents both inspire and inhibit them. On the way home from a dinner with her fiancé, Jeanette (Brie Larson) spots her parents, Rex (Woody Harrelson) and Rose Mary (Naomi Watts), digging through the trash. She then remembers her childhood, when she, her parents, and her siblings would go on the run every time her father lost a job, their lack of food, Rex’s drinking and the time she burned herself as a child while boiling hot dogs. She also remembers the wondrous times such as planning the “glass castle” that they hoped to build someday, or Rex letting the children choose their very own star as a Christmas present. Outstanding acting, the movie is a powerful story of dysfunction, abuse, and thriving against all odds.

Michelle – Administration

handmaids taleThe Handmaid’s Tale Season 1, Starring Elizabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, and Alexis Bledel, New DVD Handmaid’s Tale Season 1

Based on the book by Margaret Atwood, the show is a dystopian look at a not-too-distant future that could be waiting for us. Following a coup, America is ruled by a repressive, religious regime that has taken away the rights of all women. Due to environmental reasons, there are few women who are able to bear children. Those women have been collected and forced to become Handmaids. The show follows the story of one Handmaid named June and those around her. The book was written in 1985, but its themes are so relevant to the concerns in today’s society. The Handmaid’s Tale has received both Emmy and Golden Globe wins. Catch up now before season 2 begins on April 25.

Chris – Circulation

origin of symmetryOrigin of Symmetry by Muse, CD 781.66 Muse

Regarded by many as their seminal work, Origin of Symmetry put Muse on the UK’s map back in 2001. This is the album that would gain them genre labels such as progressive rock and space rock, which are accurate descriptions of the kind of music they made for this album. Their use of synths and electronic effects create an atmosphere of both hurtling through space and of gently floating wherever momentum takes you. Both of these feelings are present on “Citizen Erased” and “Space Dementia,” two of the progressive tracks on the album. Standout straight up alt-rock singles from this album are “Bliss” and “Plug In Baby,” the latter of which features one of the most iconic guitar riffs of the 21st Century. Muse expertly blends rock with classical, electronic, and progressive influences. This is an album not to miss if you have not heard it before.

 

 

 

 

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March 2018

march2018It’s March, and you’re in luck! We have more picks for you at the library!

 

 

 

 

Pat – Circulation

aloneAlone: Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean by Brett Archibald, New Nonfiction 613.69 ARC

In this intense memoir, Archibald describes how in the middle of the night in 2013, he fell into the Indian Ocean off the side of a boat he and his friends had chartered for a birthday surfing trip. His friends discovered his disappearance eight hour later. For the next 28 hours he struggled to survive.
A breaking news story surfaces on social media and a frantic search got under way.
Alone is the incredible tale of what it takes to defy needle-in-a-haystack odds and survive what should have been certain death. I highly recommend this book.

Jean – Reference

readyplayeroneReady Player One by Ernest Cline, YA Fiction Cline

This exciting novel is set in the near future, where the online world has become more immersive and all-consuming, and people now spend their entire days connected to a virtual reality world called OASIS. The founder of OASIS is worshipped by gamers and computer programmers who document every minute detail of his video games, writings and 1980s pop culture. The founder dies and in his will, he leaves his billion dollar fortune and ownership of the OASIS to the winner of an online game he has created. With so much at stake, and cut-throat competition from mega-corporations, homeless teenager Wade embarks on a dangerous quest to solve the riddle and escape his dreary reality to win the ultimate prize. *Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg*

Paula – Circulation

professormarstonandthewonderwomenProfessor Marston and the Wonder Women, Starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, and Bella Heathcote, New DVD Professor Marston

Everyone is familiar with Wonder Woman, the most iconic female superhero of our time. This movie reveals the secret and unconventional history of Wonder Woman’s creator and the women who helped to inspire her. William Moulton Marston, a psychology professor and contributor to the invention of the lie detector, was in a polyamorous relationship with his wife and one of his former students. Forced to hide their relationship from the public, Marston used this and the feminist ideals of his partners to create the Wonder Woman comics. The movie does a fantastic job of portraying controversial issues such as sexual freedom and support for the gay community during a time when such issues were not to be discussed in public. It is not only intriguing and informational, but it also tells a powerful story of love and fighting for what you believe in.

Chris – Circulation

sciencefictionScience Fiction by Brand New, New CD 781.66 Brand New

If the rumors are true, this album may be the last from alternative/indie legends Brand New. They are set to break up in 2018 with Science Fiction being the long-awaited product of the eight years since their last full-length effort. If it is truly their last, it certainly makes a statement, not by being loud and bombastic, but by the notable lack thereof. This is a very understated album compared to the rest of their work. They removed the sudden shifts in energy within a single song from their previous two albums. This one is more consistent and flows from song to song steadily–it is certainly in no hurry to leave. The beauty this time, instead of a package of immediately catchy alternative tunes, is in the production and craftsmanship of each song and their cohesiveness as a whole. I recommend “Lit Me Up,” “Out of Mana,” and “Batter Up.”

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