Welcome to the first picks. Here’s how this works: we at the library want to share with you some of the great things in our collection. Staff members will share the things that entertain, intrigue, mystify or inspire them in books, music and movies. We will post monthly. Feel free to discuss your opinions or impressions in the comments section. We would love to hear some of your recommendations as well!
Matt – Circulation Desk
The Magicians – By: Lev Grossman – Fiction: GROSSMAN
The story starts with Quentin, a whiny kid who loves a series of fantasy books set in Fillory, a land similar to C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. Quentin is about to graduate high school and has no idea what to do or where to go. He unwittingly tests for a secret magic school and finds himself at Brakebills with people as strange as he is and in a world completely divorced from the one he grew up in. This may be a book about twenty-somethings using magic, but it brings an honest look at the challenges facing someone starting out in a world they are beginning to understand. A great book and a very entertaining read as Grossman’s writing brings a grim sense of humor to a world of wonder.
Coriolanus – Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain and James Nesbitt. – New DVDs: CORIOLANUS
There have been many modern adaptations of Shakespeare plays that keep the dialogue but update the scenery and costumes. Most of those are terrible. This one is actually good. It stars Ralph Fiennes as Caius Martius Coriolanus, a feared Roman general who has a particular disdain for the common people as he does for Rome’s enemies. When he returns from a successful campaign, he looks to become Consul in reward for his duty. He ends up getting tossed out of Rome and sent into exile by the people at the goading of rival senators. Coriolanus ends up joining a rival nation to take revenge on the home he once defended. An exciting adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s lesser known works.
Mandy – Youth Services
The Bear in the Attic – By: Patrick McManus – Nonfiction: 814.6 MCM
If you love the great outdoors and consider yourself a wilderness enthusiast, then you will enjoy Patick McManus’s outdoorsman humor.
Melissa – Reference
The Handmaid’s Tale – By: Margaret Atwood – Audiobooks: CD ATWOOD
The BBC production of the audiobook is wonderful. Unlike many other dry readings of books, this production adds sound effects to the background, such as the patter of rain and swishing of windshield wipers during a tense car scene. As for the storyline, it was about a dark dystopia wherein human reproduction is on the steep decline and the harsh measures society takes to ensure the elite are the ones to procreate. Sadly, the plot is not all that far-fetched. My favorite aspect was the sampling of the male perspective given through The Commander, which wasn’t what I anticipated. This tale is one that will stay with me many years to come.
The Language of Flowers – By: Vanessa Diffenbaugh – Fiction: DIFFENBAUGH
This story is of a young girl as she begins to make her own life upon leaving behind the cycle of foster homes she grew up in. Her outlook is never self-pitying, but positive and practical. She can form relationships because she chooses too without them being forced upon her, and she forms one with the owner of a flower shop. The shop is really where she comes into her own, as she has a history with flowers, and (as the title implies) their language. Through this “language” a number of lives are impacted. This is a perfect read for Spring or Summer, where the reader can regard flowers in a new light.
Jennifer – Youth Services
I’ve Got Your Number -By: Sophie Kinsella – Fiction: KINSELLA