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Picks for September

Here we are winding down the long summer nights into the (hopefully) cooler Autumn days. So as the leaves begin to change and school starts up, grab a warm glass of cider and curl up with some of the things we enjoy and hope you will too.

Melissa – Reference

 

 The_Sense_of_an_EndingThe Sense of an Ending – By: Julian Barnes – Fiction: BARNES

 This novel is both enigmatic and fascinating.  The story follows the experiences of a young man through his formidable years and the experiences that shaped him.  Later in life, he receives a letter that forces him to question what he thought he knew about his friends and himself.

Julian Barnes sets up the novel perfectly.  As soon as I finished, I had questions about what really happened versus what was perceived to have happened, which I think is exactly the message Barnes wanted to deliver. 

 

 5345The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town – By: John Grisham – NONFICTION: 345 GRI

 Although Grisham isn’t known for his nonfiction, he certainly is an adept researcher.  “The Innocent Man” relates the tale of two men who were found guilty of the rape and murder of a young woman in a small town.  Although neither man had a spotless record, they did not commit this crime.

Grisham takes readers through the inaccurate police investigation and unlawful trial that led the two men to serve twelve years in prison.  One man received the death penalty and narrowly missed his execution.  I thought this book would be very upsetting to read, but it was in fact quite humbling.

 

Theresa – Youth Services

 Stitches-David-SmallStitches: A Memoir – By: David Small – Non-Fiction: 921 Small.

 Author and illustrator David Small effectively tells a story of his own sickly childhood growing up in Detroit. Using hauntingly beautiful illustrations and  minimal dialogue, this graphic novel captures spellbinding snippets in time. Quickly paced, Small’s grimly dysfunctional family life and lonely existence keep the reader’s morbid curiosity piqued. Although sad and disturbing, this memoir reveals Small’s amazing ability to survive, overcome, and perhaps even forgive family members for their shortcomings.  

Matt – Circulation

 

 81ZowVA-D8L._SL1500_Parks and Recreation – Starring: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Rob Lowe – DVDs: PARKS AND RECREATION

 For people who have not seen this show, you need to see this show. Parks and Recreation is about Leslie Knope: an idealistic government worker who loves her home town of Pawnee, Indiana. You can’t help but root for Leslie as she tries to improve an apathetic town with an excellent cast of characters whose quirks make this show a constant cavalcade of solid satire and a warm show with real heart. Every season this show gets better and is the best comedy currently on television. 

 

 foundation-isaac-asimovFoundation – By: Isaac Asimov – Fiction: ASIMOV

 This is the first in one of the most influential Sci-Fi series of all time Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series. This was the first book written in the series but not the first of the series as Asimov later wrote two prequels. I started with Foundation and was instantly hooked by the premise: the galactic empire is collapsing and PsychoHistorian Hari Seldon has come up with a mathematical formula mixed with psychology and evolutionary theory to predict major events in the collapse of the empire. Seldon decides to make The Foundation on two worlds at opposite ends of the universe to scientifically advance the primitive cultures of the outer worlds while trying to slow the coming collapse from within.

Rife with allusions to the fall of the Roman Empire and the politics of the Cold War, Asimov tells a compelling narrative about leaders who use their wits and cunning in the face of fanaticism and militarization. An interesting read and a classic Sci-Fi series.

 

Check back next month for more suggestions!

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Your Picks for July of 2012

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
magicians 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.

 

coriolanusCoriolanus – 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

bearinatticThe 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


handmaidThe 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.

languageflowersThe 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

ivegotyournumberI’ve Got Your Number -By: Sophie Kinsella – Fiction: KINSELLA

Light and fluffy chick lit novel which revolves around a harebrained plot of a lovable physiotherapist who makes a deal to share a “lost company cell phone” with a suave and debonair businessman. A perfect beach read that will tickle your funny bone!
strongerStronger – By: Kelly Clarkson – New CD’s: 871.63 CLARKSON, K.
American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson belts out inspiring and empowering lyrics which include bubbly pop, rock and electronic beats. Be sure to listen to the hit “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” and “Einstein” which are masterfully written, motivating, and hard to get out of your head.
Come back next month for some new picks!

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