Staff Choices

Posted by jonf on 06/22/17
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Nick Mason is back with a real mission impossible, locate three men in WITSEC, the program for high value informants that has never been compromised. Nick is ordered to find them to help free his boss Darius Cole, if not Cole's former assassin will be sent to kill Nick.
This thriller starts in Chicago and leads Nick to New York and and other locales. This is the second in the Nick Mason series and picks up where The Second Life of Nick Mason left off, so best to read that first.
Steve Hamilton has created a fast paced series with a great lead character. This book is filled with really bad, bad guys and the risk Nick causes to his family. Looking forward to more Nick Mason books.
Posted by Uncle Will on 06/14/17
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What can you do in 39 minutes? Drive to downtown Chicago from Arlington Heights at 4 am? Paint a small closet? Plant 4 huckleberry bushes? How about watching this 2001 Academy Award winning "Best Short Film, Live Action" The Accountant?
Not to be confused with Ben Affleck's new thriller by the same name, this short film was written and produced by actors Ray McKinnon, Walter Groggins, and Lisa Blount. Groggins is best know for his 7 seasons starring in The Shield and in Justified, where he played Boyd Crowder for 74 episodes. Blount was the "pregnant" best friend of Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman.
This DVD's been in our collection since 2009. I can't remember, but I might've been the one that originally requested we purchase it. The film is funny, clever and thought provoking. It has a great tagline: "Can one man, one hard drinking, chain smoking, backwoods accountant, stop a national conspiracy, change the course of history, and save a way of life? It's do-able...but it ain't gonna be purdy." It is well worth the 39 minute investment. You can even watch it while the closet paint dries...
Posted by LucyS on 06/12/17
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Four thousand miles is a long way to travel, especially on foot. Traveling by car isolates and insulates you from everyone and everything you pass; so Andrew Forsthoefel walks. Newly graduated from college at age 23, Andrew had something to prove, to find and to learn as he made his way across America from Pennsylvania to San Francisco by way of Texas. His parents’ divorce when he was a teenager was a pivotal time in his life, a shadow, a reckoning he needed to address.

While on the road he is frequently surprised by the kindnesses of strangers. Many took him into their home, fed him a meal, or allowed him to camp on their property. By keeping his eyes open he kept his mind open, meeting people from different cultures, religions, and backgrounds; he listened. And when he was alone, he had the writings of Rilke and Whitman for company.

Hurt walking, urge walking, dream walking, fury walking, scream walking, dance walking, weep walking, why walking, beauty walking – Andrew experienced all of these.

His writing got better as the book goes on. He becomes more confident, more introspective, asking different questions of himself and others he meets trying to understand the world around him. Walking to Listen may appeal to those who also read Wild by Cheryl Strayed, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, and Tracks by Robyn Davidson.
Posted by SherriT on 06/07/17
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Jenni L. Walsh’s book, Becoming Bonnie, is a fast-paced, exciting, and touching story of Bonnie before Clyde, showing the reader who she was as a girl and explaining how she transformed into the infamous gun-slinging, bank-robbing woman we all know. The story takes us back to the mid-to-late 1920s to a dusty town on the outskirts of Dallas where people worked hard but did not always have much, prohibition was in full force and the worst, longest and deepest economic depression was just about to hit.  A fun look at the Roaring Twenties complete with speakeasies, market crashes, and dance marathons. This story is filled with unusual characters from Bonnie's wild friend Blanche, to Roy (a man who goes through his own surprising transformation), to even Big Bertha, the car that totes them from one adventure to the next.

Even though I knew the story of Bonnie & Clyde, I loved hearing it told in the fantastic new voice that Jenni Walsh brings to the table. A charismatic, fun and engaging debut. I am already desperate for the sequel, which unfortunately does not come out until 2018!
Posted by Uncle Will on 06/04/17
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A great thing about high-definition (HD) is the ability to re-enhance older black & white films. The latest product is one of my all-time favorite films: The Devil's Disciple (1955). It stars 3 Academy Award Best Actors: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, and Sir Laurence Olivier.
The story takes place sometime during the middle of the American Revolutionary War. It's historic fiction. Lancaster plays the Rev. Anthony Anderson, a peace-loving pastor of a small village. His wife is young and very naive. She's played by British actress, Janette Scott, who was only 17 at the time. The heroic and well-preserved Lancaster was 42.
More heroic was Douglas' character, Richard Dudgeon, whose father is hung by the British troops for suspicion of treason against the Crown, at the beginning of the film. Douglas is perfect for the role of the sharp-tongued, rake and ramblin' guy.
Olivier plays "Gentleman Johnny" (true historic figure Gen. John Burgoyne). Through a couple Hitchcockian plot twists and mistaken identities, Olivier is placed in the position to hang one of his co-stars....for King and Country!.
This historic romance is based on the 1901 play written by George Bernard Shaw. Each chapter of the film begins with a narration and Claymation war figurines, which are a cute touch for back in the '50's. This film only runs 83 minutes. My favorite scene is when the "trees fall." Enjoy!
Posted by annetteb on 06/03/17
Are you a fan of British television shows? If so, Acorn TV is perfect for you! 
Acorn TV is an app available on our circulating Rokus. According to the Acorn TV website, "Acorn TV streams world-class mysteries, dramas, and comedies from Britain and beyond." With Acorn TV, you can enjoy hours of commercial-free viewing. 

Both the Roku 3 and Roku Streaming Stick media players are now available at the Tech Help Desk. With the Roku, you can now stream thousands of movies and TV shows on your HDTV via your home high-speed wifi. Either of these devices will give you a terrific streaming experience.

Learn more about the Roku here.

Posted by annetteb on 06/03/17
Are you looking to create a great new video with exciting special effects this summer? Consider using our portable green screen to incorporate exciting backdrops into your newest project. The green screen may be checked out for a one-week period. If you have any questions, feel free to stop by the Tech Learning Center.
Posted by jonf on 05/14/17
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 The bad boy Dallas Cates is out of jail and looking for revenge for Joe Pickett and his family. Dallas had a relationship with Joe's adopted daughter April and started a personal feud with Joe and the Cates clan led by his mother Brenda, it ended with Brenda paralyzed and two dead brothers and Dallas in jail.
Dallas has concocted a brilliant plan to terrorize Joe and his family, but with help from Joe's good friend Nate Romanowski
they figure out their own solution to the threat. The Cate's clan show up in the book Endangered, it would help to read that book first, another good mystery by C.J. Box.
Posted by Uncle Will on 05/13/17
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On Sunday, June 11, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm in the Cardinal Room, I will be leading a discussion of "What's Better: The Book or the Movie." That day we will be discussing a novella by Stephen King. 1982, Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption was one of 4 novellas published in the book Different Seasons. It was adapted to film and released as “Shawshank Redemption” in 1994. The film was nominated for 7 Oscars. Today it remains No. 1 out of the 250 top-rated films of all time by the movie database: IMDb.
Tim Robbins stars as Andy Dufresne, a man arrested for murdering his wife and her lover. In 1948, Andy’s found guilty and given to 2-consecutive life sentences in the fictitious corrections’ facility: Shawshank Prison. There Andy meets Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding, played by Morgan Freeman. In time, the two convicts develop a life-long friendship.
I know that many have never read the book that the movie is based on. The novella is only 110 pages and a very quick read.
If you register for the program, there'll be a book discussion copy that can be checked out for 6 weeks and a DVD for one week at the Info Desk.
Our "What's Better: The Book or the Movie" discussions are usually a raucous event so please sign up and join us!
Crime, drama
Posted by Uncle Will on 05/10/17
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It's been a while since I ran across a good TV series that stars the U.S. Navy. The Last Ship is an action-packed, apocalyptic, tale told in the near future. A pandemic has occurred and billions of the world's population has been annihilated, save for one American warship. 
The warship's commander has a crew of 216 - all who have been on a mission to the artic, observing strict radio silence, for 4 months. When a genius biologist and her lab partner are attacked by Russian helicopters, the "science data" mission changes radically. Eric Dane plays CO CDR Thomas Chandler, happily married, father of two. His character is somewhat like a cross between John Wayne and The Terminator. Rhona Mitra plays Dr. Rachel Scott, who is set on saving the world. Big, bad boy and former My Bodyguard, Adam Baldwin, rounds out a strong cast who are all dedicated, creative, and honorable. In a second season episode, I actually found myself standing up when our flag was raised on a front porch in a Norfolk neighborhood.
The episodes run about 46 minutes - so it's easy to speed through several at a sitting. Since they are located in the TV section of the DVDs, they each are a 2-week checkout. Five seasons are already planned for this TNT series. Currently, we own 3. With how the world is spinning these days, I found this series to be uplifting and hopeful.
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