Tag Archives: coming of age

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 Connell is charismatic and popular, and Marianne is withdrawn; a true rebel who doesn’t care a whit about other’s opinions.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 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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February 2017

feb2017coverIt’s February! Let’s hope for an early spring and in the meantime enjoy the recommended titles below.

 

 

 

 

Sue – Circulation

roomwithsecondbestviewThe Room with the Second Best View by Virginia Smith, New Fiction Smith

This is the third book in the delightful Goose Creek series (preceded by The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade andSirius: The Little Dog Who Almost Changed History by Jonathan Crown). In this book, Millie and Al are working on the Victorian house they bought with plans to convert it to a bed and breakfast. They aren’t planning on opening for a couple of years yet, but with their close friends Justin and Susan getting married soon, Millie has invited some of the wedding guests to stay at the house (without telling Al, of course.) When Justin’s formidable great aunt shows up three weeks before the wedding, will Al be able to survive her demands and will Justin and Susan survive her attempts to take over the wedding planning? Meanwhile, Millie and her best friend have had a falling out over preparations for the town’s 150th anniversary celebration. If you want a fun and light, feel-good read, I recommend the titles in this series. Also includes recipes.

hundredpiecesofmeA Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon, Fiction Dillon

Gina is rebuilding her life after a serious illness and divorce. She decides to simplify her life and keep the 100 things that mean the most to her. When she is landed with an underfed, frightened greyhound who has been abused, Gina, who is not a dog person and knows nothing about caring for a dog, decides to drop him off at a shelter, but as he grows on her and she sees in him another being who needs a fresh start in life, they develop a bond. The book shines a light on the abuse often suffered by greyhounds used for dog racing when they don’t perform well or get old or injured. This is a bittersweet and touching story about healing from past wounds and moving forward.

midnightplanThe Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron, Fiction Cameron

This mystery is loads of fun! It has humor, suspense, action, supernatural elements, romance, loyal friendships, and a cute dog. Ruddy is a former college football star down-on-his luck and now working as a repo man. When he begins to hear a voice speaking to him, he fears he is losing his mind. But it turns out to be the voice of a murdered man named Alan who wants Ruddy to help him bring his killers to justice. Throw in a good-looking but dim-witted best friend, a sister trying to keep the family business afloat, her harebrained new boyfriend, and the daughter of the murdered man, for whom Ruddy falls hard, and you have a laugh-out-loud supernatural mystery that will keep you compulsively reading until the final page. The lead and supporting characters are a delight and you root for them to succeed as they get into one jam after another.

ordinarygraceOrdinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, Fiction Krueger

Touching and beautifully written, this is a gripping coming-of-age novel about tragic loss and finding hope in the aftermath of such loss. The events of the summer of 1961, when Frank Drum was 13 years old and living along the Minnesota River with his parents, older sister, and younger brother, changed all their lives. Frank tells his story 40 years later, looking back at that fateful summer. It was a summer filled with tragedy, beginning with the death of a boy hit by a train and followed by more personal losses for Frank and his family. Though suffering great loss, the family also experienced small miracles that summer that brought healing to their broken lives.

gooddogGood Dog: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Loyalty edited by David DiBenedetto, Nonfiction 636.7 Dib

Celebrating the special place dogs hold in our hearts, this is a collection of over 50 essays, by turns funny and moving, written by a multitude of noted authors about dogs that have touched their lives. Each dog is unique and special in his or her own way, with quirky personality traits, yet all the essays have one thing in common: the love the authors have for their dogs and how that love was returned wholly and unconditionally.

Pat – Circulation

sullySully starring Tom Hanks, New DVD Sully

On January 15, 2009, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed a U.S. Airways jet with 155 passengers and crew in the middle of the Hudson River in New York City after Flight 1549 was struck by a flock of Canadian geese seconds after takeoff from La Guardia Airport. He saved all aboard and became a hero around the world.

Sully is portrayed by Tom Hanks, who is brilliant, and in every role he plays he is fully committed. The story itself also provides some interesting insight into the event. Clint Eastwood does a good job of making a story we already think we know interesting. Definitely enjoyed it and thought it worth seeing.

Chris – Circulation

lovelessLoveless by My Bloody Valentine, CD 781.66 MY BLOODY VALENTINE

With the theme of Valentine’s Day comes Loveless by My Bloody Valentine, but for those who may be less fortunate in this area. This album is heralded as the definitive shoegaze album by both critics and fans. Originating in the late 1980s, shoegaze is a subgenre of alternative rock that got its name from the performance style of of the artists-they often get enveloped in their own world and just gaze down at their shoes instead of the crowd. That being said, this is a very personal style that the listener can get lost in especially with headphones. My Bloody Valentine piles layers upon layers of guitar effects and distortion in their production, burying the vocals underneath and in effect giving them a dreamlike quality. This style is in full effect on Loveless, thus why the album has become synonymous with shoegaze.

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