Tag Archives: Biography

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 Connell is charismatic and popular, and Marianne is withdrawn; a true rebel who doesn’t care a whit about other’s opinions.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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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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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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February 2018

february2018It’s February! Keep warm inside for a bit longer with some of our recommendations!

 

 

 

 

Chris – Technical Services

gentleartofswedishdeathcleaningThe Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: how to free yourself and your family from a lifetime of clutter by Margareta Magnusson, New Nonfiction 648.5 MAG

“Dostadning” or Swedish death cleaning, is a term than means remove unnecessary things and make your home nice and orderly, before you pass on. By deciding how to get rid of things now, it removes the burden of your family having to do it later. In this quick-reading, 100 page book, she gives examples of how to go about it in the most efficient way. This art of decluttering can be done by anyone at any point in their life.

“Death cleaning is as much for you, as for the people who come after you.”

It is also something you can do for yourself, for your own pleasure. “One’s own pleasure, and the chance to find meaning and memory, is the most important thing. It is a delight to go through things and remember their worth.”

Michelle – Administration

goodbyechristopherrobinGoodbye Christopher Robin, Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Will Tilston, and Margot Robbie, New DVD Goodbye Christopher Robin

This movie tells the story of Author A.A. Milne and his young son Christopher Robin, who was the inspiration behind the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. The instant fame for both father and son changed their lives and their relationship completely. It is a well told story behind the story that we all know and love. The movie stars Domhnall Gleeson as A.A. Milne and the adorable Will Tilston as his son. It also features Margot Robbie and Kelly Macdonald.

Paula – Circulation

outlanderOutlander, Seasons 1 and 2, Starring Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, and Tobias Menzies, DVD Outlander

After the end of WWII, British combat nurse Claire Randall and her husband Frank travel to Scotland for a second honeymoon. While there, Claire is transported back in time to 1743 amidst a battle between the British army and the Scottish Highland clans. In order to survive, she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior with a haunting past and stubborn will. The two develop a passionate relationship, causing Claire to be torn between her past with Frank and her new life with Jamie. Outlander is an excellent mix of fantasy, romance, and history. It centers around the events of the Jacobite rebellions seen through the eyes of the Scottish clans and their efforts to save their way of life. As you follow Claire through her adventures, you can’t help but get swept up in the grand cultures of the 18th century and the relationships she develops with a vast array of characters.

Chris – Circulation

luciferiantowersLuciferian Towers by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, New CD 781.66 Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor is one of those bands that presents to you an experience in the form of an album. In the past, this experience has included extended passages of drone or ambient noise, but this time around, they switch it up a bit. Shorter than their previous efforts and seemingly more focused, Luciferian Towers does away with most of these stretches and fills them in with spacey guitar or drums. GY!BE is a band known for their social commentary on heavy topics, usually reflected in their music and song titles. But despite the dark album title, the music contradicts it in what is perhaps an album of hopefulness displayed in the energy and melody infused by the instrumentalists. This is a fantastic album to introduce new listeners to the band and their unique style.

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