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A Day at the Movies December 16, 2014

Posted by Dori in Movies.
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imagesrareShould we talk Holiday movies this week? Any weird obscure ones or not so popular titles that you can recommend? One of our favorite family movies is Scrooge, a musical Christmas Carol rendition with Albert Finney - we’ve been watching that for ages – the music is great and Finney makes an amazing Scrooge. I do like the foreign film Joyeaux Noel, about the temporary Christmas truce during World War I. Another favorite is A Christmas Tale, a French movie about a troubled family, that takes place at Christmas time and stars the beautiful and imposing Catherine Deneuve. But most unusual of all is Rare Exports, a Finnish movie about the traditional Finnish practice of capturing and taming wild Santa Clauses – these are some bloodthirsty elves! It’s funny and harrowing at the same time. Makes me thankful for our jolly, harmless American Santa.

DVD Releases 12-16-14:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- DVD & Blu-Ray
The Maze Runner – DVD & Blu-Ray
This is Where I Leave You – DVD & Blu-Ray
Magic in the Moonlight – DVD & Blu-Ray
Stonhearst Asylum – DVD & Blu-Ray
Peter Pan Live – DVD
Altina – DVD
Emperor’s Ghost Army – DVD
Arrested Development, Season 4 – DVD
Extant, the First Season  – DVD & Blu-Ray
The Americans, Season 2 – DVD
Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler – Blu-Ray
Happy Watching!
~ Dori


Holiday Stories for the Holiday Time! December 15, 2014

Posted by stacey in Book List, Genre Book Discussion, Holiday Books.
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I always appreciate it when a genre is fairly easy to describe… say like, Holiday Stories. Well. That kind of covers everything, doesn’t it? And so this time we discussed fictional tales centered around -and for our particular purposes- winter holidays! Ta-dah! On to the good stuff -or what people had to say about the books they read:

Steve: A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic, by Caseen Gaines, is a wonderful look at the making of this classic and its lasting legacy. Originally A Christmas Story was not a big hit at the theaters, but thanks to VHS rentals, and Ted Turner playing it non-stop after acquiring it from MGM’s film library, A Christmas Story is now a holiday staple. The book is full of many interesting stories. Did you know that the actress playing Miss Shields, Ralphie’s teacher, was actually seven months pregnant and wore a body suit to make her look frumpy instead of pregnant? And that the bulk of the film was actually filmed in St. Catharines and Toronto, Canada, and many of the Canadian school kids were used as extras, and paid just $1 for their work? Many more stories await you in this gem of a book.

Megan: My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of short stories, is compiled and edited by Stephanie Perkins. Twelve well-known young adult authors have contributed holiday-themed romances. As with any anthology, some stories are better than others. In most cases the authors have stuck with what they do best, while others have branched out and tried something new, so you might be in for a surprise when you turn to your favorite author’s story! Full of magic, charm, romance and diversity, this holiday book has something for everyone to enjoy.

Ann: In The Christmas Train by David Baldacci Tom Langdon is on his way cross country on the train to meet his girlfriend for Christmas. Langdon is a writer and reporter taking a break from covering the dangerous wars of the world and from his recent writing about gardening and home decorating, and has decided to write a story about a cross country train journey. From the moment Tom steps on the Capitol Limited he meets character after character. There’s Agnes Joe who almost knocks him down the stairs, hard-working, efficient Regina, one of the train’s employees, Father Kelly, the priest, and young Julie and Steve running off to get married. The most astonishing person he meets is Eleanor Carter, his long-lost first love! Then later, when his current girlfriend boards the Southwest Chief train in Chicago, things really get interesting. Throw in an avalanche and you have a Christmas story filled with twists and turns and lots of surprises. Baldacci dedicates this to everyone who loves trains and holidays.

Julie: For a departure from the usual Christmas stories, it’s no mystery what you should grab – The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries, edited by Otto Penzler. With stories written by Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ed McBain, and many, MANY more, plus categories ranging from traditional to scary, there’s a mystery for everyone!

Emma: The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle by Joanne Huist Smith is the true story of Joanne and her 3 children grieving the unexpected loss of their husband/father. Joanne doesn’t want to even think about celebrating Christmas when little gifts start appearing on their doorstep. Each day during the twelve days before Christmas someone leaves small presents. Random acts of kindness by “True Friends” help bring this family together at Christmas time. A wonderful story.

Carol: Silent Night: a Lady Julia Christmas Novella by Deanna Raybourn was a quick little read that gave me the perfect excuse to spend a bit of time with the clever Julia and her hunky partner in investigating and love, Nicholas Brisbane. Julia and Brisbane go to Bellmont Abbey to spend Christmas with Julia’s eccentric family and as usual, it’s chaos. Family and animals are everywhere, and Julia and Brisbane barely can have a moment together. Also per usual, trouble follows the two. This time, it’s in the form of missing jewels and a ghost haunting. But don’t worry, Julia will get to the bottom of the strange happenings before the Holidays have ended.

Dori: Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas, the 12th in Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mystery series, features Jane as an amateur sleuth. While she, her sister and her mother are visiting their brother’s family for the holiday season, they are invited to spend the holidays at the house of a local wealthy couple. Relieved and excited to be away from the dour, cold and non-celebratory home of their brother, they are enjoying a lovely holiday with visitors from afar, when someone is murdered. Jane’s novelist skills are ideal for the task at hand: to discover the murderer in their midst!

Lauren: In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective is at it again, tested to solve the grisly Christmas Eve murder of family patriarch Simeon Lee. Lee has gathered his family at his home for Christmas, bringing together estranged siblings and a granddaughter no one has met before under the guise of togetherness for the holidays. It quickly becomes clear that Lee has other motives—he dangles his will in front of his children and hints that he may be making changes, relishing in taunting everyone with his mind games. When he is brutally murdered in his bedchamber the list of suspects is eerily short and consisting largely of his own family. This is a fun, quick read that departs from the usual saccharine Christmas book.

Stacey: Petunia’s Christmas by Roger Duvoisin may look like a simple picture book but for me it is one of my most treasured holiday stories, ever. I read all XX pages in just a few minutes, and then I spent hours remembering all the times I’d read this book -this very copy!- in the past. Ah, childhood memories of Christmas… Petunia is a goose who falls in love with a gander named Charles. While Petunia is a beloved pet, Charles is being fattened up to be someone’s Christmas dinner. Petunia is determined to free Charles -and live happily ever after- but first she has to figure out how to make that happen. (It *is* a Christmas story so don’t worry too much, okay?)

Next year (weird to think about that, right?) we’ll start off nice and smooth with some Gentle Reads. If you want to read along with us, look for a charming, easy going story that focuses on the everyday joys and sorrows in small groups of people. Enjoy!

— Stacey

2014 Top Ten plus 4 and 1 Tribute December 12, 2014

Posted by Donna in Book List, Fiction, Top Ten, Uncategorized.
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Woo Hoo! I love talking books so I am very grateful to have a chance to share my favorite books of 2014 with other readers. I do have to apologize for not having all of these titles in our Reading Room but I will work on it as one of my top resolutions for 2015. If you have been following our lists this past week, you can easily see that all of us have different reading interests! We are a very diverse staff! My favorite kinds of books are the ones with quirky, likeable characters and sentimental, mushy stories that tend to have happy endings. It was hard to whittle my list down to just 10 books but here it is:

otherwise engaged    Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) never disappoints me. Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler and guidebook writer, is one sassy heroine and no one can stop her, not even a serial killer!

lost lake   Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

One word describes the author’s books — Magical. Kate and her daughter attempt to find their lives again at Lost Lake, the run-down summer resort owned by her great-aunt Eby.

book of life  The Book of Life by Deborah E. Harkness

In this conclusion to  All Souls trilogy, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont must find Ashmole 782 before the birth of their children. This is a perfect book with fantasy, romance, magic, history and science all blended together.

mimi mallooy   Mimi Malloy at Last: A Novel by Julia MacDonnell

It is never too late for a second chance at love even for sixty-something Mimi Malloy with a fading memory. Tissues are needed for the end of this one.

all you can dream   The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel by Barbara O’Neal

I needed tissues for this book too but along with the tears, I laughed and laughed with food blogger Lavender Wills and her online food blogger friends who visit her on her organic farm.

chestnut street   Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy

This posthumously published collection of short stories revolve around the imaginary Chestnut Street in Dublin where neighbors may come and go but their lives are all intermingled together.

monogram murders   The Monogram Murders: the New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah

He’s back! With permission from the Agatha Christie estate, the author, Sophie Hannah, has created a new Hercule Poirot mystery filled with red herrings, twists and turns that will puzzle  new and old Agatha Christie fans. Ooh-la-la!!

goodnight june   Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of my favorite’s childhood books. When June Anderson finds some lost letters between her great-aunt and Margaret Wise Brown, she is determined to prove that their friendship was the inspiration behind the classic book.  I absolutely adored this book!

secret life   The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams

Gosh darn! I don’t know how this author can blend two such  fascinating stories in one but she does! In 1964, Vivian Schuyler receives an overseas package that had been lost in the mail. This  draws her back into her family’ past and into the life of an aunt that she never knew from the 1940s.

oneplusone  One Plus One: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

This was another book that I laughed and cried because of the quirky characters and their off-kilter romance during their horrible, disaster-prone road trip with a moody stepson, a 10 year-old math whiz  and one stinky dog that was just too-too much!

happyface  Now for my Plus 4:

grimm warning  The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer

This is the third book in the Land of Stories series and each one gets better and better. Alex is now training to be the next Fairy Godmother in the Land of Stories. When Connor discovers a clue left by the Grimm Brothers that warns of danger to the Land of Stories, he must get back there to warn his sister.


Horton  Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss

This is a collection of lost stories written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss that were first published in the 1950s in various magazines. Since I love Horton the Elephant, I loved the new story with Horton and how he deals with the Kwuggerbug.

nancy knows   Nancy Knows by Cybele Young

I love elephant stories and this one is my new favorite. What an original! The story is simple as Nancy tries to remember something important but the illustrations are so imaginative and delightful that makes this picture book stand out!

alexander best   Alexander, Who’s Trying his Best to be the Best Boy Ever by Judith Viorst; illustrated by Isidre Mones in the style of Ray Cruz

This is a wonderful installment to the Alexander books first published in 1972.


Finally, my Tribute to P.D. James

 P.D. James, an English crime writer famous for her detective novels featuring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh, died at the age of 94 on November 27, 2014.

Her last book, Death Comes to Pemberley death comes to pemberly was published in 2011 so I really couldn’t include it in my top ten list of 2014 but it too is one of my favorite books. I love Jane Austen and I definitely loved how P.D. James adapted Pride and Prejudice to create this mystery whodunit. This book has also been made into a PBS Masterpiece Mystery. Take a look at her interview on YouTube, P. D. James on Jane Austen and Death Comes to Pemberley.

santa46Happy Reading! Happy Holidays! Donna

Top Ten + four + one =Stacey’s List of 2014 December 12, 2014

Posted by stacey in Book List, Top Ten.
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It’s so hard to pick just a few friends for special attention from such a crowded list of good stuff, but I did my best! Part of what helped me narrow my focus was to avoid authors I know I’ve mentioned before, adding in a few nonfiction, setting aside my extra four for just teen titles, and my plus one is poetry. And of course, just like years before, I give you my list in the very best Librarian-style order… they are Alphabetical by Author!

Ten -Fiction/Nonfiction for Adult Readers

The Enchanted: A Novel The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
Dark souls wander through the dungeon waiting for death to help them make their escape; Arden will break your heart.

Book Cover Image. Title: 10% Happier:  How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story, Author: Dan Harris10% Happier by Dan Harris
Newsman Harris shares his personal journey from stressed-out ambition to blissed-out satisfaction; that’s right, meditation is the key.

Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic QuestSavage Harvest by Carl Hoffman
I may have learned way too much about cannibalism for my liking, but this was a fascinating look at how Western society often wrongly dismisses customs and traditions we don’t understand; Michael Rockefeller paid the ultimate price for making that cultural mistake.

Book Cover Image. Title: We are Called to Rise, Author: Laura McBrideWe Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride
I love Bashkim and could have read a whole book about just him, but was still able to find room in my heart for all the other characters in this story.

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I listened to this one and the Australian accent was delightful! Oh, and the story was equally engaging!

23) The Crane WifeThe Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
The author delved into the tough topics of love and forgiveness, along with a touch of humor and beautiful book-art imagery.

Delicious! Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
I might be a picky eater but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to read about food! This book has the added features of referring to Homefront recipes from World War II, James Beard as minor character, and -super features- Cleveland’s West Side Market and Akron key to the story!

The Paris WinterThe Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson
In the early 1900s, Maud wants to be both a respectable lady *and* an artist in Paris? A nearly impossible task, but she does try -and it almost kills her, literally.

Review: Casebook by Mona SimpsonCasebook by Mona Simpson
As Miles tells the story of his parents’ divorce, it’s easy to get swept up in drama. I love how the author is able to make those small moments of life into something special, but never sinks into the overly sentimental.

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open HeartMr. Owita’s Garden by Carol Wall
I might not be a gardener so some of the finer points of the plant selections were lost on me but I did understand (and appreciated) the deep, abiding friendship that developed between Carol and Mr. Owita.

Four -Teen Titles
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Each one is better than the last!
We Were Liars by E Lockhart
So many really smart surprises!
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
A fantastic conclusion to an outstanding series!
Homeland by Cory Doctorow
Ack! (Scary stuff to think about -but worth it!)

One -Poetry
Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson

Happy reading!

— Stacey

Top Ten of 2014 December 11, 2014

Posted by Chris in Fiction, New Books, Non-Fiction, Top Ten.
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These are some of the books I loved in 2014 and why:

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande for writing the most thought provoking and the most important book I’ve read in years.

Let Me Be Frank with You: A Frank Bascombe Book by Richard Ford for his masterful writing about American life.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham for entertaining me with her wit and wisdom—had to listen to it to hear the mischief in her voice.

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande for showing me the importance and magic of the humble checklist.

Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast for making me see that all those maddening idiosyncrasies my parents had were actually what made them so lovable and now, so missed.

Bark by Lorrie Moore—no one does quirky better or more realistically.

Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin for inspiring me with the good people of New Jersey who made sure that no more children would die in their community as the result of chemical pollution.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion for taking me back to the sixties.

Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides for a coming-of-age story unlike anything I’ve ever read.

By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review edited by Pamela Paul. Otherwise I never would have known which authors, dead or alive, Jeffrey Eugenides would invite to his dinner party. Go first to page 85 for a very funny conversation among Kafka, Kundera and Joyce. Shakespeare was busy that night.

Hope your 2015 is filled with books you love!



Steve’s Top Ten in 2014 December 11, 2014

Posted by Steve in Book List, Non-Fiction, Top Ten.
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This year I continue my trend of mostly non-fiction picks, all but one in fact. There are some interesting real life characters I’ve read about this year, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The Big Bam: the Life and Times of Babe Ruth by Leigh Montville

This is the life story of Babe Ruth, from his time in a Baltimore orphanage through his Yankee years and his decline. This is a well-balanced book on this complex individual. A fair amount of time is given to the games, so non-baseball diehards may want to skim portions, but Babe the man is given ample attention.

A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic by Caseen Gaines

Gaines takes a wonderful look at the making of this classic and its lasting legacy. Originally A Christmas Story was not a big hit at the theaters, but thanks to VHS rentals, and Ted Turner playing it non-stop after acquiring it from MGM’s film library, A Christmas Story is now a holiday staple. The book is full of many interesting stories. Did you know that the actress playing Miss Shields, Ralphie’s teacher, was actually seven months pregnant and wore a body suit to make her look frumpy instead of pregnant? And that the bulk of the film was actually filmed in St. Catharines and Toronto, Canada, and many of the Canadian school kids were used as extras, and paid just $1 for their work? Many more stories await you in this gem of a book.

A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley by Neil Thompson

Thompson details the very interesting but very odd life of Ripley. He started out poor, painfully shy, and very self-conscious of his large teeth and stutter. A caring teacher took note of his artistic talents and allowed him to draw his reports, rather than write and speak about them, saving him the embarrassment of his stutter. As Ripley grew older, he honed his skills and began his career as a newspaper cartoonist, later stumbling onto his wildly popular “Believe It or Not!” fame after first showcasing odd sports feats.   As his life progressed, Ripley became rich, famous, odd and erratic. A thorough and enjoyable read!

Dead Giveaway: The Rescue, Hamburgers, White Folks, and Instant Celebrity . . . What You Saw on TV Doesn’t Begin to Tell the Story . . . by Charles Ramsey

This book tells the story of Ramsey’s experiences helping to free the abducted girls and his life before and after the momentous event. It is a quick and oftentimes hilarious read, and you will actually learn many surprising things about Ramsey. Did you know that his father likely was connected to the mob, that Ramsey grew up privileged, that at one time Ramsey was a drug dealer, and that he is a Tea Party Republican? And, contrary to popular belief, he does not have free burgers from McDonalds for life.

Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander (audio version) by Phil Robertson

Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the popular Duck Dynasty clan, tells his life story, warts and all, and you might be surprised to learn that he was not a real nice guy, walking out on his family for a life or partying before finding God. The stories about starting the duck call business are pretty funny and are the true strength of the book. There is some preaching and Bible quoting, but it’s not until the later chapters that it becomes more prominent. Narrator Al Robertson, the eldest son of the family, lends an authentic voice to this audio version.

Heart of a Tiger: Growing Up with My Grandfather, Ty Cobb by Herschel Cobb

This is the story of Herschel and his grandfather and their relationship that blossomed during Ty’s retirement and after the death of Ty’s two adult sons, who he never fully reconciled with. Young Herschel and his siblings were the brunt of horrible abuses by their bullying father and alcoholic mother, and grandfather Ty was the welcome comfort in their lives. Herschel offers another side to the often vilified Ty Cobb, as we witness Cobb showering affection on the grandchildren and him helping struggling ex-ballplayers who didn’t have the great fortunes that he amassed.

Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin

Bushkin, Carson’s longtime lawyer and confidant until a falling out split the two, tells of his time with the late night heavyweight. There are some real eye openers here, and although you will get plenty of dirt, it didn’t feel like a malicious tell-all, more of a stroll down memory lane, with the exception of various lawsuits.

Misery by Stephen King

This is a King classic, a terrifying psychological horror novel with one of the worst villains ever created. Author Paul Sheldon is in a car accident in Colorado and found by retired nurse Annie Wilkes, who happens to be his “number one fan.” She keeps Paul hostage in her home and makes him write a new novel featuring her favorite character, a character from his best-selling Misery series that he had previously killed off. Annie has a long history of violence and mental instability, and her treatment of Paul is terrifying. The book includes some incredibly gory descriptions, not for the faint of heart.

One Summer by Bill Bryson

Bryson recounts the summer of 1927 in America. There were 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.

President Me: the America That’s in My Head by Adam Corolla

Carolla explains all that is wrong with America and what he would do to fix it. He does take on political topics, like big government, but leaves plenty of time for pet peeves as well. It is a very funny read, but not for those easily offended. Carolla lays into those that he sees as inept and incompetent, and does not go easy on the cursing and vulgar language to express what he would do to change things.

- Steve

2014 The Twelve Books of Christmas December 10, 2014

Posted by Ann in Book List, Fiction, Mystery, Top Ten.
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2014 clip art

The Twelve Books of Christmas

On the first Day of Christmas my library gave to me big little lies BIG LITTLE LIES

On the 2nd Day of Christmas my library gave to meyou should have known YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN

On the 3rd Day of Christmas my library gave to meoutcast THE OUTCAST DEAD

On the 4th Day of Christmas my library gave to me north of boston NORTH OF BOSTON

On the 5th Day of Christmas my library gave to mehusbands THE HUSBAND’S SECRET

On the 6th Day of Christmas mylibrary gave to meall birds ALL THE BIRDS SINGING

On the 7th Day of Christmas my library gave to me Dr. sleep DOCTOR SLEEP

On the 8th Day of Christmas mylibrary gave to metraveling light TRAVELING LIGHT

On the 9th Day of Christmas mylibrary gave to me martian THE MARTIAN

On the 10th Day of Christmas my library gave to meI see you I SEE YOU EVERYWHERE

On the 11thTH Day of Christmas mylibrary gave to me secret THE SECRET PLACE

On the 12th Day of Christmas mylibrary gave to me my soul MY SOUL TO TAKE

 happy reading



Lauren’s Top Ten for 2014 December 10, 2014

Posted by Lauren in Book List, Top Ten.
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Here’s my top ten of 2014! I was surprised to find that most of them actually were published this year—this makes me feel unbelievably hip and with it, which is a strange and new sensation for me.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Detective Cormoran Strike is back in the second installment in this series. I love the main characters of Strike and Robin and am excited that seven books have been planned. I always like to imagine who would play the characters if a book became a movie. Strike is tough because I have such a clear picture in my head and it’s hard to find a match, but I think Robbie Coltrane comes closest. For Robin, I pick Felicity Jones.

The Secret Place by Tana French
Tana French is hands-down on of my favorite authors. I probably recommend her to friends more than any other author. Her latest doesn’t disappoint in the least.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I was so excited for Amy Poehler’s first book to come out in November. I think she’s absolutely hilarious and also appreciate her as a voice for women. Amy and Tina Fey will be hosting the Golden Globes together again this year and I. can’t. wait!

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
I am big fan of HBO’s Girls and love Lena Dunham. Her writing is raw, honest, and funny—I was glued to the page.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
In high school Tsukuru is one of a group of five very close friends. One day, suddenly and without explanation, he is informed that they can no longer speak to him. Years go by until he is encouraged to revisit his past, track down his former friends, and find answers.

The Martian by Andy Weir
This isn’t the type of book I would naturally gravitate towards and I was so pleasantly surprised! The main character, Mark Watney, is an astronaut stranded alone on Mars. He’s incredibly intelligent and amazingly has a sense of humor that prevails as he fights to survive. I don’t have to wonder who’d play Mark in a movie, as it has already been announced that Ridley Scott will direct the film version in 2015 starring Matt Damon.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Spanning roughly a decade from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, this book follows a small group of individuals struggling during the hardships and turmoil of the Chechen Wars. There were single sentences that took my breath away, and the last 100 pages or so make for really incredible reading. One of the best books I’ve read in a while.

Miracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose by Gabrielle Bernstein
I enjoy Gabby Bernstein’s books and I think her latest is one of her best yet. I read this book straight through, but you could also flip to any page and read a single entry to take with you as you go about your day. We all need to find our inner hippie every once in a while.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Mystery in the form of creepy family secrets! Margaret is a young woman who spends her time working in her father’s antiquarian bookshop. One day she is contacted by a famous author she’s never met who wishes to finally tell her own story before she dies—and she wants Margaret to be her biographer.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
I somehow missed out on reading this classic until now. My only regret is that twelve-year-old-me didn’t have her chance. What a wonderful story! This is sure to be a book I go back to and read again.


My Top Ten (Plus Four) Reads of 2014! December 10, 2014

Posted by carol in Book List, Fiction, Top Ten, Uncategorized.
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What a great year! What great reading!


While 2014 has practically flown by for me, I did manage to get quite a bit of reading done along the way! As usual, it was hard to narrow down my favorites, but I also did manage to come up with a list of winners.  In no particular order, here are the books that moved me this year:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Paris Winter by Imogene Robertson

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Martian by Andy Weir

A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

My Real Children by Jo Walton

Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough

Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

California by Eden Lepucki

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

You can find our staff’s book reviews on the above titles (and about 8,000 other books) in our Reading Room at http://readingroom.rrpl.org

Check it out and maybe you will discover your new favorite book!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!


A Day at the Movies December 9, 2014

Posted by Dori in Movies.
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A quick post today…

DVD Releases 12-9-14:

Guardians of the Galaxy – DVD & Blu-Ray
When the Game Stands Tall – DVD & Blu-Ray
Dolphin Tale 2 – DVD & Blu-Ray
Calvary – DVD
Safe – DVD & Blu-Ray
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead – DVD
Little Bedroom – DVD
Dr. Who, the Complete 8th Season – DVD
Under the Dome, Season 2 – DVD
Happy Watching!
~ Dori





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