It’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
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 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 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
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
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
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 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.
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.