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A Day at the Movies November 19, 2014

Posted by Dori in Movies.
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imagesAre you revving up to watch all the potential Oscar winners that are coming out before the awards ceremonies, chiefly the Golden Globes and the Oscars? My colleague, Lauren, makes a point to see all the nominated films; she even goes so far as to listen to the soundtracks! I’m not quite as on top of it – I’ll see those that have come out on DVD, and maybe a couple at the movies, but I’m feeling the need to get a little geeky about it and try to see them all, totally inspired by Lauren!

Right now, the Best Picture nominee titles to look for are: Birdman, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, Boyhood, Gone Girl, Mr. Turner, Whiplash and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Throw in Interstellear, Selma, Into the Woods, Unbroken and Wild and that makes for an extensive list! The Grand Budapest Hotel has been out on DVD and Blu-Ray for a while, and Boyhood comes out in January and Whiplash possibly Feburary, but for the rest I’ll be theater bound. Or I may catch one of those theater specials where they play all the nominees in a weekend – we’ll see. (I bet that come February I’ll be whining about how I haven’t seen any of them, but one can always hope, can’t one?)

DVD Releases 11-18

The Wind Rises - DVD & Blu-Ray
22 Jump Street - DVD & Blu-Ray
The Purge, Anarchy - DVD & Blu-Ray
Into the Storm – DVD & Blu-Ray
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For  - DVD & Blu-Ray
If I Stay - DVD & Blu-Ray
The Fluffy Movie - DVD & Blu-Ray
And So It Goes - DVD & Blu-Ray
Copenhagen – DVD
The Paradise, Season 2 - DVD
Happy Watching!
~ Dori

Collecting November 17, 2014

Posted by Lauren in Thoughtful Ramblings.
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I remember asking my mother when I was little, “Mom what can I collect? I need a collection!” It seems that most collections are a bit more organic in their generation and development. Your Great Aunt Sally gives you a charming teapot and the rest is history as you embark on a delightful journey, scouring flea markets and antique stores for new friends for that first, special teapot. I, however, always felt uninspired in this area. I needed my mother to please tell me what I should be collecting so I could get on with it. I had a box of rocks and minerals, I had a few kaleidoscopes, some dolls…but I never really got anywhere.

Apparently this desire to have a collection still nags me, because recently I found myself caught up in researching the subject. I dove into internet searches and books on collecting with great commitment. I was fascinated to learn about types of collections that had never occurred to me—or items I hadn’t even heard of before! Match safes, tip trays, hotel silver, French enamel—oh the possibilities! I kept going, my research expanded, I took notes.

And where did I get? I remain without a single match safe or piece of Depression glass. I own not one vintage advertising tin. However, I can tell you where to look for them, what to look for, and how to learn about your next great treasure. I know that glass can have straw marks or bubbles, but steer clear of “glass sickness.” I know how to navigate eBay with savvy. For me, it seems that the research was the best part. I guess I collect…information! (Although, the next time I come across a piece of American Limoges china in that pattern I just have to have, I’m not missing my chance.)

-Lauren

Latest Additions November 17, 2014

Posted by stacey in Fiction, Non-Fiction.
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Wow! That was a some kind of first snow on Friday! It’s not like we could pretend like we didn’t know it was coming -it’s Northeast Ohio for goodness sake- but it was still quite the unpleasant event. And then bright and early Monday morning -it’s back? It just seems so soon… At least it makes for good reading weather! Now the question becomes, “If I’m snowed in, do I have enough to read until someone digs out my front door?” Well don’t you worry! There are some newly added titles to The Reading Room for you to check out:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Invisible City by Julia Dahl
President Me by Adam Carolla
A Quilt for Christmas by Sandra Dallas
In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

Now you just need a warm beverage, a cozy blanket, and you’re all set for enjoying that crazy snow!!

– Stacey

Narrative Nonfiction -It’s as much Fun as Fiction! November 16, 2014

Posted by stacey in Genre Book Discussion, Non-Fiction.
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There’s nothing a real, true story that reads quick and easy like a fiction book. For this genre discussion everyone picked a book that offers a strong sense of narration rather than all kinds of facts and figures -which are also lovely to read but more for the information than for the entertainment factor. I feel like this category is wide open for any topic you’d like to explore, how could you not find something kind of amazing? Are you ready to see if that opinion was a popular one for everyone involved in the discussion?

Chris: What Jackie Taught Us by Tina Santi Flaherty reminds us what a truly unique and successful individual Jackie Kennedy was. She lived a full-life and seemed to shine at every stage, whether she was a student, daughter, sister, mother, wife, or First Lady, she was committed to being true-to-herself and outstanding. I particularly liked remembering Jackie for her love of books and her dedication to being the best editor an author could hope for. She went back to work in her fifties at Viking then Doubleday, and we know she didn’t need the money. Her lifelong involvement with the arts led her restore the White House and work to restore Grand Central Station. That perhaps is my biggest lesson learned: do what you love and do it with passion. This commemorative book also includes quotes from famous women sharing the impact Jackie had on their lives. Nicely done.

Emma: The book Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation, by Ann Bausum, celebrates the achievements of a stray dog. Stubby became the mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment Yankee Division. He wandered into a military training camp at Yale University and befriended James Robert Conroy who was later stationed in France. Over time, Stubby became “Sergeant Stubby” complete with ID tags, gas mask, and military coat decorated with authentic patches and medals. Forgotten about for several decades, Stubby is now on permanent display at the National History of American History. For dog lovers and/or military-history buffs.

Lauren: In Goat Song, Brad Kessler takes us along with him as he and his wife retreat to a farm in Vermont to try their hand at raising goats and making their own cheese.  Kessler interweaves the history of herding back to its most ancient roots and the long relationship between goats and humans with his own experiences tending goats.  From setting up house to breeding and delivering kids, to milking and cheese making, Kessler keeps a positive attitude while weathering the learning curve of goat farming.  No matter how many times “the queen” sticks a hoof in her milk bucket (or kicks it over all together), Kessler meets each farm task with likeable aplomb.  Kessler’s farm provides a naturally idyllic setting, but his beautiful writing brings the place to life.  How fun to read about newborn goats frolicking out to pasture and his starting attempt at homemade goat cheese, down to the first blissful taste.

Megan: Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming is a heartbreaking, insightful and charming memoir. Cumming openly discusses how his difficult childhood shaped and continues to influence his adult life. He reflects upon his relationship with his father and the disturbing news he received just as he was scheduled to appear on the show Who Do You Think You Are?, where the mystery of his maternal grandfather’s death is finally solved and revealed. My only regret with this book is that I was too impatient to wait for the audiobook to be available. Cumming himself reads the audio and I am sure it is a real treat!

Maureen: Caribou by Charles Wright.Tennessee native Charles Wright has written poetry for over 20 years and was named Poet Laureate of the United States this year. He often focuses on nature themes and the human condition in his works, trying to inform the reader and make them think and reflect about their position and effect in the world. While his latest collection, Caribou, is a slender volume, it still delivers quite the punch, addressing themes such as aging, death, saying goodbye, redemption, and regret. I am amazed by the feeling Wright can evoke in so few words; most of the poems take up less than one small page. A wonderful, lyrical short read that will leave you pondering life’s big mysteries for a long time to come.

Ann: Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt is his account of the many dogs he and his wife Debbie Myers have rescued over the years and how they managed to move their own 25 dogs from California to Maine. When he first met Debbie a number of years ago on a blind date she told him she had to be home at a precise time to give her dog eye medication. He soon realizes that Debbie is an ardent dog lover. Now Rosenfelt had nothing against dogs; he actually liked dogs, but he had no plans on getting one. As a newly single guy he lead a life of relative leisure and certainly didn’t want to expend the time required taking care of a dog. Flash forward to now, and he and his wife Debbie have 25 dogs. This number is actually low, as at one time, they had 42 dogs, but have decided that more than 40 is slightly eccentric. Parts of the book introduce us to the various dogs they rescued, and the other parts tell about the planning and the actual move.  Let’s just say the subtitle sums it up- 25 rescues, 11 volunteers, and 3 RVs on our canine cross-country adventure. It is definitely one wild ride!

Steve: One Summer, by Bill Bryson, recounts the summer of 1927 in America.  There was a slew of events going on during that time, highlighted by Charles Lindbergh’s historic nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic.  Lindbergh is the thread that holds the summer’s events together, but along the way Bryson recounts a variety of other topics, including Babe Ruth’s historic 60 homerun season, the Mississippi flood, the rise of journalistic sensationalism, Prohibition and gangsters.  The book is lengthy, clocking in at over 500 pages, but Bryson’s wit makes it an easy and oftentimes humorous read.

Carol: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette by Hampton Sides follows the adventures of a group of men who, prompted by a late 19th-century obsession with the unmapped North Pole, set off for exploration in the uncharted Arctic seas. The voyage begins on July 8, 1979, and ends two years later when the hull of the ship is breached by icebergs. The crew, marooned a thousand miles north of Siberia, must march across the ice—facing polar bears, deadly storms, and starvation, as they try to survival. This book is narrative nonfiction at its best, and is ultimately a thrilling and suspenseful read that, despite its grisly details, will have you turning its pages until the very end.

Dori: In Lost Cat: a True Story of Love, Desperation and GPS Technology, Caroline Paul is surviving a plane crash and doesn’t have much time to dedicate to her two cats, Tibia and Fibia. Tibia, in response, disappears and Caroline is inconsolable. 5 weeks later however, Tibia comes home, fat and happy…where has she been? Caroline and her partner Wendy investigate using the latest gadgets – cameras, GPS – but it’s good old fashioned neighborliness that solves the puzzle in the end. Funny and clever, with great illustrations by Caroline’s partner, artist Wendy MacNaughton, this book’s for you if have a special kitty or two in your life!

Stacey: Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall is an amazing story of friendship and personal resilience. A dedicated gardener, Carol took solace in caring for the beautiful greenery of her lawn. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer and began treatment, she found herself seeking the assistance of Mister Owita who’d demonstrated his landscaping abilities on a neighbor’s lawn. As the pair put their heads together to redesign her plantings, a strong bond develops. It’s their journey, as individuals and as friends, and how help each other through really tough times that makes this such a special narrative.

Next up? Yep -that’s right! We’re talking about Holiday stories! Find yourself something that features the winter holiday of your choice -and we’ll chat!

Enjoy!

— Stacey

A Day at the Movies November 11, 2014

Posted by Dori in Movies.
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imagesOn this Veterans Day it might be a good idea to watch a movie that is a reminder of the their service. Some ideas: Saving Private Ryan, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Deer Hunter and The Messenger, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Just do a little looking around online and you can find numerous lists – and chances are the library has a copy of the movie you’re looking for.

MOVIE REVIEW: Last night I showed Only Lovers Left Alive, Akron native Jim Jarmusch’s latest film that’s about, well, vampires, nominally. It had a lot of funny lines, with references to science, literature, art and music that the vampires, Adam and Eve, were witness to throughout their lengthy lifetimes. Set in Detroit and Tangier, it spent a lot of time showing Detroit’s emptiness and Tangier’s beauty and at more than 2 hours, it was a bit long. But I really love Tilda Swinton (as I’ve previously mentioned), who stars as Eve,  and I could watch her for hours…

DVD Releases 11-4/11-11

Maleficent - DVD & Blu-Ray
A Million Ways to Die in the West - DVD & Blu-Ray
Planes – Fire & Rescue - DVD & Blu-Ray
Hercules – DVD & Blu-Ray
A Most Wanted Man – DVD & Blu-Ray
Step Up All In – DVD & Blu-Ray
Hot in Cleveland, Series 5 – DVD
The Newsroom, the Complete Second Season – DVD
White Collar, Season 5 – DVD
How to Train Your Dragon 2 - DVD & Blu-Ray
Let’s Be Cops - DVD & Blu-Ray
Jersey Boys – DVD & Blu-Ray
Tammy – DVD & Blu-Ray
Art 21: Art in the 21st Century, Season 7 – DVD
True Blood, Complete Season 7 – DVD
Monty Python Live (Mostly) One Down and Five to Go – Blu-Ray
Happy Watching!

~ Dori

Latest Additions November 10, 2014

Posted by stacey in Fiction.
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Eek! Today is going to be sponsored by the word -brief. As in -Today’s Latest Additions is going to be very brief as I don’t have much time to chat at the moment, sorry! In fact, I’m going to have to get right to the good stuff…

Moonrise by Cassandra King
The Undertaking by Audrey Magee
Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas
Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen
Heart of a Tiger by Herschel Cobb

See? B-r-i-e-f! Gotta go for now but -see ya later this week with some narrative nonfiction titles!

— Stacey

Latest Additions November 3, 2014

Posted by stacey in Fiction.
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Well, that was a pretty big weekend we just had there -didn’t we? First there was all that Trick or Treating going on and then we had the ever exciting, ever confusing start of Daylight Saving Time! Or maybe it was just one big event -eating lots of smaller sized candy treats over two days *plus* a bonus hour of snacking! Either way, it’s hard to imagine not having a fond memory or two of the last 49 hours… If you’ve managed not to consume all the leftover candy, you might want to try one of these 50(!) possible dessert recipes offered up in the Huffington Post. Yes, taste testers *are* available at the library -thank you for asking! While we wait for the baked goods to arrive, why don’t I share some of the most recent titles my co-workers have added to The Reading Room?

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon
Making Marion by Beth Moran
Firebug by Lish McBride
Sargent Stubby by Ann Bausum
Death of a Dog Whisperer by Laurien Berenson

Good books? + Good snacks? = Great week! Enjoy!

— Stacey

A Day at the Movies October 28, 2014

Posted by Dori in Movies, Thoughtful Ramblings.
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imagesHark – Halloween beckons! I’m a big fan of Halloween – not so much the violent horror aspect, but more in the traditional Celtic sense of All Hallow’s Eve and the Mexican Day of the Dead – ending the harvest and ushering in the darkness of winter; lighting a bonfire to ward off the spooky spirits while welcoming the souls of our dear ones who have passed away with a food and feasts. I like how it fits with the movement of the earth –  it falls between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice - and also being part of a ritual that’s been going on for centuries.

Which brings me to the fact that some folks like to celebrate Halloween by watching a frightening film – and there are tons here at the library. Just search under the subject term Horror films to find classics like The Blob,  to funny gems like Slither,  to movies that’ll scare the pants off you, like The Omen. Me, I’ll just stick to the bonfire, the feast, and, of course, a little candy!

MOVIE VIEWING: Friday, October 31st, at Lunch and a Movie, we won’t be showing a Halloween movie, but one called The Grand Seduction. It’s about a town in Newfoundland that needs a doctor in order to attract an oil company that will create jobs on the island. They lure a doctor to town and try to make him stay in all sorts of silly ways. It promises to be funny and sweet. See you in the Auditorium at 12 noon sharp!

MOVIE REVIEW: Well, I finally got to watch Snowpiercer – and I think I need to watch it again. Pros: it was a feast, visually, and had you thinking the whole time -  plus, there was some great and bizarre acting – Tilda Swinton was a riot – and a completely un-Hollywood ending.  Cons: the social message was a little obvious and it was oh so violent, but I guess that’s what would happen if the majority staged a revolution against the 1%. If you watch it, let me know what you think.

DVD Releases 10-28-14

Deliver Us From Evil – DVD & Blu-Ray
Begin Again – DVD & Blu-Ray
Chef – DVD & Blu-Ray
America: Imagine a World Without Her – DVD
How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson – DVD

Happy Watching!

~ Dori

How I Survived a Murder Mystery Party and Lived to Tell! October 27, 2014

Posted by carol in Uncategorized.
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True confession time: I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween! In truth, though, I don’t mind the holiday itself. I like candy. I think it’s cute when babies and little kids get dressed up in their costumes and parade down the streets. What I don’t like is being frightened, dressing up in a scary costume, or trying to scare other people. Maybe I was traumatized by my older siblings as a child, but whatever the case, I’m usually the one at home, not wearing a costume, and passing out candy.

For years, my best friend has hosted a pajama-themed Halloween party, specifically because of my dislike of the scary costume tradition. Really, she’s been the best to do this, but over the last few years, I’ve felt a bit guilty about forcing the direction of her annual event.

This year, she did something a bit different. She hosted a Murder Mystery Party!  She bought a script and party plan from http://www.shotinthedarkmysteries.com/  and decorated her living room like a speakeasy.

The party’s theme was “A Flapper Murder Mystery at an 1920s Speakeasy.” We all had prearranged characters and a script of information to share or hide (and reveal only when directly questioned). We dressed in characters as flappers, coppers, speak easy owners and gangsters…and we had to figure out who done it? Who killed Fanny Birchwood?

A Flapper's Life

Ultimately, I didn’t commit the crime, but I sure had a ball! And it was a great opportunity for friends who have known one another for years to break out of the mold and have something else to talk about!

So, if you are looking for an alternative to the usual fright fest for your Halloween soiree (or any party for that matter), try your hand at hosting a murder mystery party! It’s a whole different kind of scream!

Have a Happy Halloween!

~Carol

Latest Additions October 27, 2014

Posted by stacey in Fiction.
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Oh boy! It’s almost time for candy, candy, candy- and costumes! Is everyone as ready as I am? Have you checked the delicious freshness of the snacks you’re passing out to the impressionable children coming to your door? If not, you should! Or even if you have? You still have time to double check -preventing the chance of crushing spirits left and right! In fact, taste testing your Halloween candy is your civic duty! (Did that help?) And leave a little space for a quick stop on Thursday, October 30th -you’ll need to run into the story for more candy… but it’s absolutely for a good cause! So do it! But now you need a project to keep you stationary while sampling those treats, right? How about checking out some of the books that have been recently added to The Reading Room, shall we?

Traveling Light by Andrea Thalasinos
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers

Just remember -candy wrappers do *not* make good bookmarks… (unless the candy is still inside please!)

Enjoy!

— Stacey

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