Tag Archives: psychological thrillers

April 2020

April 2020It’s April! Check out some of our Staff Picks to help get you through your quarantine!

 

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

catch and killCatch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, by Ronan Farrow, New Nonfiction 331.4133 FAR

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ronan Farrow tells the story behind his groundbreaking reporting on the sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against powerful men in Hollywood, beginning with Harvey Weinstein. Farrow discusses both the woman who came forward and the powerful men who tried to bury this story. This book is well-written and reads like a mystery novel, the most engaging nonfiction book I’ve read in a while.

 

Jake – Administration

talking to strangersTalking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know, by Malcolm Gladwell, Nonfiction 302 GLA

In his latest book Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell tries to unravel and then understand the various ways people misjudge each other. Gladwell looks at both current social interactions, a police officer pulling a motorist over, and then also historical social interactions, the Prime Minister of England meeting Adolf Hitler, and then identifies how misconceptions and false confidence end up undermining events. As in his other books, Gladwell presents his scenarios and analysis in an easy to understand manner that ultimately forces the reader to reevaluate how they may have once interpreted things. A quick and informative read!

 

Chris – Technical Services

rampageRampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila, by James M. Scott, Nonfiction 940.54 SCO

A WWII history account of Douglas MacArthur returning to the Philippines as promised and liberating Manila. The 29 day battle for Manila was one of the darkest chapters of the Pacific War.  It resulted in the catastrophic destruction of the city and a rampage by Japanese forces that brutalized the population. Landmarks were destroyed, houses torched, resistors tortured and killed, women raped and children murdered.  An estimated 100,000 civilians lost their lives. Meticulously researched and well-written by a noted war historian.

 

the perfect horseThe Perfect Horse : the Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis, by Elizabeth Letts, Nonfiction 940.542 LET

A nonfiction story that reads like fiction about the Lipizzaner horses (from the world famous Spanish Riding School in Vienne, Austria) and other purebred Arabian horses saved at the end of WWII. A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.

 

Paula – Circulation

knives outKnives Out, starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, and Ana de Arnas, New DVD Knives Out

Knives Out is a fun and crazy modern-day murder mystery. In the style of Agatha Christie, a family patriarch is found murdered in his bed, and all of his family members quickly become suspects. Daniel Craig stars as Benoit Blanc, the detective mysteriously hired to solve the case. Working through each family member, Blanc tries to narrow down a suspect, but new twists and turns continuously throw him off the trail. Filled with an all-star cast and a good mix of comedy and mystery, Knives Out will keep you guessing until the very end.

 

Hubbell – Circulation

unsaneUnsane, starring Clare Foy, Joshua Leonard, and Jay Pharoah, Find it on Kanopy!

Claire Foy (known for playing a young Queen Elizabeth in Netflix’s The Crown) gives a great performance as an involuntarily committed mental institution patient. At the start, we feel for her in her forced confinement, but her reality shifts quickly.

 

 

 

 

leave no traceLeave No Trace, starring Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie, and Dale Dickey Find it on Kanopy!

A father and daughter live a self-sufficient wilderness lifestyle in the forests of Oregon. But when they are found out by social services and forced to live in society, their priorities clash with their expectations.

 

 

 

first reformedFirst Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, and Cedric the Entertainer, Find it on Kanopy!

Ethan Hawke plays a deeply troubled priest whose relationship with a pregnant parishioner and her radical environmentalist husband creates a feud you don’t see coming.

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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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September 2017

september2017coverIt’s September! Time to hit the books again! Why not check out some of ours?

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

whiteprincessThe White Princess, starring Jodie Comer and Jacob Collins-Levy, New DVD White Princess

The White Princess is a mini-series based on the book by Philippa Gregory and it follows the marriage of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. It is a sequel to The White Queen, though you can watch it as a stand-alone. I thought that this series was really well acted and it kept me engaged throughout. If you are a fan of historical dramas or in the history of the royal house in England, this is a great show to watch.

Paula – Circulation

mementoMemento, Starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano, DVD Memento

Guy Pearce stars as Leonard, a man with anterograde amnesia who is trying to track down his wife’s murderer. Due to his condition, his search for this man proves difficult because Leonard cannot develop new memories. He can remember everything up until his wife’s murder, but he quickly forgets everything that happens to him afterwards. In order to compile information, Leonard keeps a series of photographs and notes, and tattoos clues on his body that will lead him to the man who killed his wife.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, Memento is a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat. In typical Christopher Nolan fashion, the story is told in a complex series of events and plot twists that will keep you guessing throughout the entire film. Just when you think you have something figured out, new clues are revealed that force you to rethink which characters are telling the truth and which ones not to trust.

Pat – Circulation

undergroundrailroadThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Fiction Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a plantation in Georgia where conditions are especially rough. Her mother escaped when she was very young leaving her to fend for herself. When a fellow slave tells her about the Underground Railroad, she finds the courage to run for her freedom.
The story portrays the amount of abuses that blacks were vulnerable to–all the daily abuses and even the killing of slaves in the most brutal ways.
There is something essential about reading this kind of book. In the United States it’s too easy to forget the dark times in our history.

hillbillyelegyHillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, Nonfiction 921 Vance, J.

J.D.Vance had grown up poor in rust-belt Ohio, in a family that was, by his account, highly dysfunctional. His book describes how he transcended severe disadvantages to attend Yale law school and go on to a lucrative career.
Vance’s father was absent and his mother an erratic and neglectful parent with alcohol and substance abuse problems.
Vance’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love”. They got married and moved North from Kentucky to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them.
This is a family history that is also a troubling analysis on the loss of the American dream for a large portion of this country.

Chris – Circulation

knightofthesevenkingdomsA Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin, Fiction Martin

Comprised of three novellas published during the writing of the series A Song of Ice and FireA Knight of the Seven Kingdoms follows Dunk and Egg, a knight and his squire as they travel Westeros almost one hundred years before A Game of Thrones. Martin’s vivid and engaging writing returns to tell these tales, but in a more compact form than in the novels. That being said, these stories are full of the history and ancestors from the main novels. Fans of the series will enjoy meeting familiar and new families and traveling to new locations mentioned in the main series, but never visited. Even in these short tales, Martin adds his classic dramatic twists and plots of romance. The honorable Dunk and quick-witted Egg are sure to entertain in their various exploits with villagers and nobility alike.

Brigitte – Youth 

soloSolo by Kwame Alexander, New YA Alexander

If you aren’t familiar with Kwame Alexander’s other works (The Crossover, Booked) you should know that 100% of this book is in verse. While that might be intimidating or even off-putting to some, it adds to the intimacy between the reader and the narrator. While Alexander’s other works skew younger, this is a decidedly Young Adult book. Solo is about familial relationships, first love, and the uncertainty that comes with the end of high school. Blade is a young man about to enter into the adult world but who doesn’t know who he really is. When a family secret is revealed to him, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, and ends up finding out more about his family than he bargained for.

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