It’s February! Fall in love with one of our Staff Picks!
Jean – Reference
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.