It’s November! Give some thanks and enjoy our Staff Picks!
Michelle – Administration
Red Joan is the story of Joan Stanley, the longest serving British KGB spy, who is arrested after years of espionage. She is played by Judi Dench in the present and the story is told in flashbacks. In these flashbacks, we learn how she became a communist sympathizer and how she was recruited by the KGB. The story is very loosely based on real life spy Melita Norwood, who began working as a spy for the Russians in the 1940s and wasn’t discovered until 1992. The movie is superbly acted and is engaging throughout. It really makes you think of how far you would go to do what you think is right.
Pat – Circulation
Chernobyl is a five-part mini-series that relives the events that unfolded on the day, and days after, the Soviet nuclear horror. This show is intense and eye opening. It covers so many aspects of what everyone had to deal with to avoid this disaster from becoming something worse. It shows beautifully the heroic, ordinary people of Russia and the Physicists, who against the Russian state, made the authorities come to terms with what happened. This is a series not to be missed.
Cathy – Circulation
The Glass Castle is even more profound than Educated. The crazy poverty the kids survive is amazing. It has been adapted into a movie as well. Check it out!! I promise the fans of Educated will love this and if you have not read either- what are you waiting for?? Get these books checked out!
Paula – Circulation
Maya Aziz just wants to be a normal teenager. She wants to go to the senior prom, date the boy she likes, and go to NYU, her dream school, to study film. Her traditional Muslim parents have other plans for her though: graduate high school, attend a college close to home in Chicago, and marry a nice, Muslim boy. However, with fierce determination and a little help from her sympathetic aunt, Maya starts to turn her dreams into reality. But when a terrorist attack hits close to home, Maya and her family become targets of anti-Muslim hate crimes, causing Maya’s world to fall apart. Love, Hate, and Other Filters dives into the issue of Islamophobia and its harsh impacts on those just trying to live a normal life. It is an excellent YA read of romance, family, and the struggles of modern Muslims living in American society.
Jean – Reference
I thoroughly enjoyed this YA read that explores the issue of book banning in a real-life setting. Clara is a senior at an expensive, private high school, but is not part of the wealthy class, and is relying on winning a coveted scholarship in order to attend college. Unlike many of her privileged peers, she works hard, volunteers in the school library, started a “Free Little Library” in her neighborhood, and moderates a book club in her free time. Because of her job in the school library, she gets wind that the school board has instructed the principal to remove a list of titles deemed inappropriate from the library shelves, and anyone caught with one of the books will face disciplinary action. Clara devises a plan to run a “banned book” library from her locker. Her actions will have unforeseen consequences, not only for herself, but also for everyone.
Hubbell – Circulation
Preeminent American historian and author David McCullough’s most recent work is The Pioneers. It examines a lesser known period of American history following the Revolutionary War in which the newly formed United States settled and populated what are now considered the Midwest states. It is told in a way only McCullough can, through the lens of those living at the time. He follows several main characters from the time they settled a town in the wilderness of Ohio, drawing from a vast amount of primary sources. As always, it is meticulously researched and visualizes the era vividly.