Tag Archives: Thriller

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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February 2020

february 2020It’s February! Fall in love with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Jean – Reference

nine perfect strangersNine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty, Fiction Moriarty

This is a light, fun story that is a perfect winter read. Each chapter is in the voice of one of nine characters who are struggling in mid-life, and on impulse each one signs up for a 10-day “health retreat” in the middle of the outback in Australia. The owner of the retreat and her staff have their own secrets, and the author reveals each storyline in pieces to keep you reading until the end.

 

Chris – Technical Services

this is really warThis is Really War: the Incredible True Story of a Navy Nurse POW in the Occupied Philippines, by Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, New Nonfiction 940.5472 LUC

The author describes the experiences of Dorothy Still, one of twelve navy nurse POW’s in WWII. Held captive in a POW camp, they continued to nurse the sick and dying, even though they were also facing starvation.  All 12 came home. Highly recommended, powerful story of the will to survive and fight against all odds.

 

Hubbell – Circulation

juniorJunior: Writing Your Way Ahead in Advertising, by Thomas Kemeny, Nonfiction 659.1023 KEM

Copywriting is not what it used to be. And creative work in advertising has changed a lot since the days portrayed in Mad Men. However, not everything has changed. Thomas Kemeny did not go to a traditional ‘portfolio school’ nor did he have a pedigree to get him in the door at some of the nation’s top advertising firms. He explains in his debut book (which is somewhere between memoir and textbook) how he did it and how he made a name for himself in an uber-competitive creative field without much help. It’s also blue, which is different.

Chris – Circulation

starbucksHow Starbucks Saved My Life: a Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else, by Michael Gates Gill, Biography 921 Gill

Michael Gill, who was a big time Advertising Exec, was forced to step out of his comfort zone and old privileged habits after 25 years. Let go from his job, in his 60’s, divorced, and finding it hard for anyone to hire him, set him on a humbling journey.  While he sat in a Starbucks and knew he no longer could afford the expensive coffee and needed insurance, he changed his life by excepting employment at Starbucks as a last resort.  In a not so great neighborhood (he thought) in New York, with his new role serving people, new young female manager, and people from different backgrounds, he was challenged daily. He experienced things he never had to deal with since things were just handed to him in the past. This journey was so much harder, yet he found a way to survive and accept, realizing nothing in his past life was as good as this.

Paula – Circulation

jokerJoker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz, New DVD Joker

Joaquin Phoenix takes on one of his most challenging roles yet in this extremely dark origin story for one of the most notorious villains ever created. Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck, a deeply troubled man with a mental illness no one understands. All Arthur has ever wanted to be since he was little was a comedian, but all of his efforts at becoming one have failed. His dead-end job as a clown and mediocre stand-up gigs only make him a target of brutal physical and verbal abuse. As you watch Arthur’s descent into madness, you are torn between sympathizing for him and being utterly disturbed by him. Phoenix does an excellent job of portraying the tortured man, and shows how abuse from others can drive a person into darkness. The film is a good platform for raising awareness of mental health issues while also giving us a viewpoint for the Joker that we’ve never seen before.

Michelle – Administration

jexiJexi, starring Adam DeVine, Alexandra Shipp, and Michael Pena, New DVD Jexi

I had not heard of this comedy starring Adam Devine, but I was looking for a laugh so I gave it a try. The movie proved to be very silly, but made me giggle. The story follows a guy named Phil who gets a new phone with a very intrusive AI assistant named Jexi. At first, Jexi seems to be able to help Phil improve his life, but then things take a turn to the ridiculous. If you are looking for a fun way to unwind, I recommend you check out this movie!

Cathy – Circulation

the best we could doThe Best We Could Do: an Illustrated Memoir, by Thi Bui, Nonfiction 973.0495 BUI

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

 

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October 2019

october 2019It’s October! Check out our Staff Picks for some good tricks and treats!

 

 

 

 

Paula – Circulation

bastille doom daysDoom Days, by Bastille, New CD 781.66 Bastille

Bastille is back at it again with their third album Doom Days. The songs on this album continue to have the same haunting yet beautiful sound that the previous albums do, but the album itself is set up in a new way. Doom Days tells a story, and all of the songs are connected to each other. It takes place over the course of one night at a party, the first song starting at 12:15am, and the last song starting at 8:34am. The party takes you through an emotional whirlwind of euphoria, helplessness, hope, madness, and relationships on what seems like a night that the world is ending. One of the best parts of the album is that every song is relatable. They encompass raw human emotions, and remind us that when we feel hopeless in a world full of chaos, we can always manage to find things that give us joy.

Chris – Circulation

vietnamese foodVietnamese Food Any Day : Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors, by Andrea Quynhgiao Nguyen, Nonfiction 641.59597 NGU

Author Andrea Nguyen came from Saigon with her family at a young age. She had to learn to adapt in America, its food in particular, without the same Asian influences. Her mother had to improvise some of her recipes with American ingredients, shopping at several grocery stores to get it right. She tried to keep them true to their culture and taste combining the two. This book is exactly that. I found the flavor and the ease of each recipe to be tasty and simple, finding all the ingredients for an authentic Vietnamese meal. The soups are my favorite and having meals under 60 minutes even better ….yum.

Michelle – Administration

the instituteThe Institute, by Stephen King, New Fiction King

Stephen King’s newest novel follows the story of a boy named Luke who was kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night and taken to the mysterious Institute. There he meets other children with special abilities. Why have they been taken? What does the Institute do with these special children? King unravels this mystery and keeps you turning the pages, eager to find out how all these pieces come together. Stephen King has proven, once again, why he is one of the best writers out there. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with a twist.

Chris – Technical Services

the testaments.jpgThe Testaments, by Margaret Atwood, New Fiction Atwood

Some books you slowly saver, this one I devoured! I could not read it fast enough. It filled in the back-stories of the characters in The Handmaid’s Tale. I would definitely read them in order. Revenge is sweet, but you must have patience.

 

 

 

 

Melissa – Technical Services

salem's lot‘Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King, eBook on OverDrive

There are a few newcomers in the small town of Jerusalem’s Lot: a writer revisiting his hometown, and two new businessmen who open an antique shop. All three are there for one reason: the Marsden House. It’s an old, abandoned home that once belonged to a mafia hitman, which has stood empty for decades since the owner murdered his wife then turned the shotgun on himself. The writer, Ben Mears, is drawn to it after a terrifying experience in the house during his childhood that won’t subside. The two antique dealers are actually vampires hoping to take up residence in the Marsden house and infect the town. The story begins when two young brothers take a shortcut through the woods, and only one comes out. King’s talent for setting an eerie scene in a small town is perfect for fall.

Hubbell – Circulation

the hot zone.jpgThe Hot Zone, starring Julianna Margulies, Noah Emmerich, and Liam Cunningham, New DVD Hot Zone Season 1

Ebola bad, Julianna Margulies good. She plays Army scientist Nancy Jaax in charge of studying infectious diseases in 1989. The Hot Zone shows what happens when everything goes wrong and an endemic strain of ebola threatens to begin spreading domestically within in the US. Flanked by her army officer husband (the awesome Noah Emmerich), Dr. Jaax realizes before anyone else that a strain of ebola from Africa being tested on chimps is extremely virulent and uncontained. What unfolds is at least one monkey kidnapping, near-disasters in haz-mat suits, and paranoid lab techs infecting themselves. In the end, with the help of her estranged mentor Wade Carter (played by Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham), Dr. Jaax confronts the bureaucracy in an effort to expose the country’s vulnerabilities. The six-episode series is loosely based on Richard Preston’s nonfiction work and is anchored by solid performances from the leads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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December 2018

december 2018

It’s December! Enjoy the holidays with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

an-easy-death.jpgAn Easy Death, by Charlaine Harris, New Fiction Harris

This is the first book in Harris’s new series Gunnie Rose. It is the story of Lizbeth Rose, who is a gun-for-hire, otherwise known as a gunnie, in the southwest country of Texoma, formerly in the United States. Lizbeth is hired by Russian wizards to help them find a direct descendant of Rasputin. The book starts off slow as the reader is dropped into a world that is familiar, but different from our own. However, the story picks up steam once this new world unfolds. While this is a different type of story than the ones Charlaine Harris usually writes, if you are a fan of her Sookie Stackhouse or Midnight, Texas series, I’m sure you will enjoy this story as well.

Pat – Circulation

killing the ssKilling the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminal in History, by Bill O’Reilly, New Nonfiction 940.5318 O’RE

Killing the SS is informative, well written, and gripping. Bill O’Reilly relates the stories of seemingly ordinary people who turned into ravenous animals during the war, then tried to slip away to other countries after the war. It’s very revealing to read just exactly who helped these evil people (Catholic Church, Red Cross, various governments). His focus is on four of the worst and most notorious war criminals in WWII: Adolf Eichmann, Martin Bormann, Klaus Barbie and Joseph Mengele. Everyone should read Killing the SS to understand what human nature is capable of justifying in their minds. My only problem is that some parts of the book seem a bit disjointed.

Hubbell – Circulation

mad menMad Men, starring Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, and Elizabeth Moss, DVD Mad…Season 1

Ranked on many “best-ever” lists, Mad Men follows the high-stakes world of 1960’s Madison Avenue, New York advertising firms. But beyond the show being an excellent period piece, its central story is that of the troubled Don Draper, a womanizing, hard-drinking, but brilliant creative executive with some pretty darn serious personal demons. The series also adeptly touches on cultural themes from the time including radical shifts in politics, race, sexuality, and gender equality.

Jake – Administration

home-alone.jpgHome Alone, starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, and Daniel Stern, J DVD Home…

A young Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) and his entire extended family are travelling to Europe for the Christmas holiday. In the confusion and chaos of getting a large family to the airport on time, Kevin is left home alone. The family does not realize their mistake until they are on the plane. For a couple of days Kevin must rely on himself, while defending the family home from two pesky burglars. Watching Kevin’s ingenuity in thwarting the robbers is inspiring. This over-the-top, heartwarming film is my favorite holiday movie.

Paula – Circulation

a-christmas-carol.jpgA Christmas Carol, starring Patrick Stewart, Dominic West, and Richard E. Grant, J DVD Christmas Carol

Of all the different versions of A Christmas Carol, this one is my favorite. The legendary Patrick Stewart delivers an outstanding performance as the wicked Ebenezer Scrooge, a man who cares more about business than the welfare of others. Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his dead business partner Jacob Marley, who warns him he must change his ways or suffer the consequences of his actions in death. He is then visited by three spirits, who hope to thaw the icy heart of the old miser and force him to realize there is more to life than profit. It is the perfect film to watch for the holiday season.

 

 

 

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November 2018

november 2018

It’s November! Give some thanks and enjoy our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

 

Melissa – Technical Services

capoteCapote, Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Clifton Collins Jr., DVD Capote

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in this biopic portraying the author Truman Capote as he began writing In Cold Blood. Hoffman captures the vivid presence and complexity that Capote was known for, and received a Golden Globe for his performance. In Cold Blood was the first of what we now know as the true crime genre, and paved the way for Helter Skelter, Dateline, true crime podcasts, and the like. Capote depicts how the author befriended the criminals and how he at times crossed the line for what was appropriate or ethical, all in service of the book that would make him the most famous author in America.

Paula – Circulation

book-club.jpgBook Club, Starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, and Candice Bergen, New DVD Book Club

Book Club is a hilarious comedy about four best friends whose love lives are completely turned around after reading the Fifty Shades of Grey series. For their monthly book club, the women choose the steamy series in hopes that it might give them some inspiration to change their seemingly boring love lives. Sparks fly and comedy ensues as new romances are found and old flames are rekindled. The film is as charming and funny as it is relatable. A better cast could not have been put together to portray this dynamic group of friends.

Hubbell – Circulation

911.jpg9-1-1, Starring Angela Bassett, Connie Britton, and Peter Krause, New DVD 911 Season 1

Do you like mindless, brain-numbing, action-packed television!? Car accidents, impalements, mega-earthquakes, and more! 9-1-1 was a hit for FOX when it aired in 2017. Its plot and character development are by no means nuanced, but there is enough there among the characters (all of whom are police, firefighters, or 911 call center employees) to keep you invested in their well-being while the sometimes absurd emergencies they encounter are more than entertaining.

Chris – Technical Services

the-escape-artists.jpegThe Escape Artists : A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War, by Neal Bascomb, New Nonfiction 940.472 BAS

British RFC (Royal Flying Corps) pilots imprisoned during WWI in Holzminden, a land locked Alcatraz, made a “great escape” and a 150 mile trek to freedom in Holland in summer, 1918. A great read, I highly recommend it.

 

 

Jean – Reference

the-other-einstein1.jpgThe Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict, Fiction Benedict

“Behind every great man, is a woman”. This novel envisions how the Theory of Relativity, a ground-breaking physics theory credited to Albert Einstein, could just as easily (or likely?) been the brainstorm of his equally brilliant wife, Mileva Maric, a scientist in her own right, who has been erased by history.

 

 

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September 2018

September 2018

It’s September! Enjoy the last few weeks of summer with one of our Staff Picks!

 

 

 

Jette – Circulation

cat on a hot tin roofCat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennesse Williams, Nonfiction 812.54 WIL

Margaret and Brick are two of the many characters in this intensely moving play that definitely keeps you turning the pages to see how they will resolve their family problems as they get ready to attend a birthday party for a member of the older generation. I viewed this play on stage too. Truly intense!

 

 

 

chosen by a horseChosen by a Horse: a Memoir, by Susan Richards, Nonfiction 636.1 RIC

I enjoyed and recommend this book for women who love horses. It’s a true story of one woman’s experiences with a sickly mare she picked up at the SPCA. The mare chose her to save its life. She does so through patience and love, and spares no expense. Very descriptive narrative.

 

Pat – Circulation

what the eyes dont seeWhat the Eyes Don’t See, by Mona Hanna-Attisha, New Nonfiction 615.925 HAN 

Written by the doctor who sounded the alarm and led the fight about the Flint water crisis. The crisis was about water that GM didn’t use in their factories because it corroded their machines, but was still given to the people of Flint. This is a thoroughly well done account of her taking on the indifference of city, state, and federal agencies to advocate for the city’s children. This is a must read if you have a passion for social justice, public health, education, and/or exploring the incredible injustices faced by those living in poverty. This is an excellent book. Highly recommended.

Paula – Circulation

hope never dies.jpgHope Never Dies, by Andrew Shaffer, New Fiction Shaffer

Hope Never Dies imagines what life would be like for former President Barack Obama and former VP Joe Biden after leaving the White House. When an Amtrak conductor dies under mysterious circumstances, Obama and Biden team up once again as amateur sleuths to try to solve the case. The infamous bromance between the two is taken to a new level in this hilarious buddy mystery thriller. Full of suspense, adventure, and classic Uncle Joe jokes, Hope Never Dies continues the legacy of two of America’s greatest heroes.

Hubbell – Circulation

legion.jpgLegion, Starring Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, and Rachel Keller, New DVD Legion Season 1

Legion is weird… It’s about David Haller, a man who has spent more time in mental institutions than the outside world. He is a diagnosed schizophrenic, or at least that is the medical explanation for his symptoms. Legion and David are tied to the X-Men mutant universe. When David meets a new patient, a new explanation for his symptoms begins to emerge. David discovers a separate identity – and a new dangerous reality.

Chris – Technical Services

southeasternSoutheastern, by Jason Isbell, CD 781.66 Isbell, J

If you like the sound of a Martin acoustic guitar and the poetry of songs similar to John Prine, you will like the soulful songs of Jason Isbell, a Grammy Award winning American singer/songwriter from Green Hill, Alabama.

 

 

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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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June 2017

june2017coverIt’s June! Summer is just around the corner! Grab a good read and enjoy the warm weather.

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

fromcradletostageFrom Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars by Virginia Hanlon Grohl, New Nonfiction 920 GRO

Virginia Hanlon Grohl, mother of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Nirvana, interviews other mothers of successful musicians and shares their stories. The mothers all have unique and interesting stories of raising children hit by the music bug, including Dr. Dre, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Mike D, Tom Morello, Adam Levine and more. The author is in a unique position to be able to relate to her subjects and she also shares her own stories of raising Dave. It is a thoughtful collection of short stories and a good read for anyone interested in today’s musical creators.

Melissa – Technical Services

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet, Fiction Burnet

hisbloodyprojectIn a search through his family history, the author uncovers some documents relating to murder trial involving one of his ancestors. Roderick Macrae is the son of a crofter living in the Highlands of Scotland in 1869 and from the outset, we know that he is on trial for murder. He is an exceptionally bright young man, and we hear his side through his written memoir. We then hear other perspectives, and learn that each is in itself unreliable. The journey of the book is motive and state of mind. What were the real reasons for the murder? Is Roderick a murdering psychopath or a man pushed beyond his limits? Did he suffer a fit of insanity or is he wholly sane? The colorful characters help bring this book to life, and at least one is based on an actual historical individual: a prison doctor who specialized in criminal psychology. My favorite aspect of “His Bloody Project” is the deft manner in which Burnet presents each side of case; each tale is perfectly rational and yet they are mutually exclusive. This book is a thrilling tour through historical Scotland that offers much more than its description as “thriller” as it touches on class conflict and preconceived biases. The book earned a much-deserved spot as a finalist for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

Pat – Circulation

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman, Nonfiction 940.53 ACK

zookeeperswifebookWhen Germany invaded Poland, bombs devastated Warsaw, and the city’s zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonia Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen “guests” hid inside the Zabinski’s villa. They ended up saving the lives of hundreds of people.

Sometimes the text does get a bit bogged down in details but the bravery of these people is amazing and truly uplifting. A fascinating true story.

Chris – Circulation

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, New Fiction Gaiman and YA Gaiman

norsemythologyMuch like author Neil Gaiman states in his intro to Norse Mythology, my initial encounter with the Norse gods was through Marvel’s incarnation of Thor, the god of thunder. Getting myself wrapped up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and being a fan of Gaiman’s easy-to-read but intellectual writing style, I had to check out this book. His experience in the fantasy genre and his previous works about gods and mystical creatures lend him to be the perfect candidate to bring some of these ancient stories back to life in a way only he can.

This is a collection of selected Norse myths mainly involving Odin, Thor, and Loki, the three figures with the most lore remaining. The book does a great job introducing these players and revealing their quirks. Gaiman wisely begins his telling with the very beginning–the creation of the gods and the Nine Worlds. He continues with their various exploits such as how Odin lost his eye, where Thor’s hammer came from, Freya’s wedding, Thor’s journey to Jotunheim, and his fishing trip. He appropriately ends the novel with Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods. This is an excellent starting point for anyone curious about Norse mythology or anyone looking for a well-written collection of fantasy stories.

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April 2017

april2017coverIt’s April! Spend a rainy day inside with some of our picks! April 9-15 is also National Library Week, so show your local library some love by stopping in for special activities!

Michelle – Administration

eyeintheskyEye in the Sky starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, and Alan Rickman, DVD Eye in the Sky

This fast-paced movie is an interesting look into drone warfare and the politics behind war in the electronic age. It appears to take place in mostly real-time and shows the tense conflict between ethics and military casualties. Eye in the Sky stars Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul and Alan Rickman in his final onscreen role.

silence_fallen_layout.inddSilence Fallen by Patricia Briggs, New Fiction Briggs

This is the 10th book in the Mercy Thompson series and it is still as fun to read as the first. The series follows shape-shifting coyote Mercy Thompson as she finds her way into trouble in the supernatural world and works to save herself. While she is surrounded by those more powerful, including werewolves, vampires and the fae, Mercy is an exceptional heroine who never waits to be rescued.

Chris – Technical Services

unlikelycatladyAn Unlikely Cat Lady: Feral Adventures in the Backyard Jungle by Nina Malkin, Nonfiction 636.8 MAL

A born and raised “Brooklynite” (New York) writes of her true adventures as an indoor cat lover and outdoor caretaker of a feral cat family that chooses her backyard as home base.

Chris – Circulation

Awake by Tycho, CD 781.63 TYCHO

awakeTycho is one of those bands you listen to when you just want to chill out. In a genre appropriately labeled chillwave, Tycho creates dreamy compositions using synthesizers, guitars, and other electronics. A steady and driving but not overbearing beat supports the rest of the instruments. Completely instrumental, this is a perfect soundtrack to a lazy night in with friends or a cruise down the highway after long day. Awake is Tycho’s third album, each one becoming a bit more electronic.

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