Staff Choices

Posted by meyoung on 04/08/16
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I'm not going to lie to you. When I picked up this book, I wasn't expecting to like it at all. The cover looks like a light, fluffy, love story. The description on the back makes it seem like love ever-lasting. Basically, it looks like something that would make me barf. After sitting down for more than an hour with it, I realized that I just couldn't put it down. A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka is a beautifully crafted book following two time periods.

While the story does, in fact, include love, it is so much more than that. One story gives us the worries, horrors, and anxiety of WWII. One story gives us a coming-of-age tale in New Poland almost 50 years later. Pasulka examines how the past shapes who we are today by gracing us with the life of grandparents and the life of a granddaughter.

Pasulka does a wonderful job creating characters that are so tangible, so real. Her description of setting is deep without it masking the story line. The addition of Polish words is a nice reminder that the characters speak Polish - and a great additive to their personalities.

Brigid Pasulka is a local author and will be visiting the library on April 26 from 7-8:30PM for an author panel discussion.
Fiction, WWII
Posted by jdunc on 04/01/16
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I recently binge watched the first two seasons of this incredibly addictive BBC show. The Peaky Blinders are a criminal gang family in early 1920s Birmingham, England. Cillian Murphy is perfectly cast as the handsome, but troubled Thomas Shelby who leads the family business. As Thomas tries to expand the family’s reach, he and his brothers struggle with post-traumatic stress from the trenches of World War I. Thomas’s desire for power brings him head to head with a detective obsessed with bringing down the family. There is also a star-crossed love story that reveals a softer side of Thomas Shelby, but also showcases that no one can be trusted. Don’t worry if you finish the two seasons in a weekend, Season 3 is now in production and expected to air in the UK in April!
Posted by BARB W on 03/20/16
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Breathe: Respire, the 2014 film by acclaimed actress-director Mélanie Laurent, confronts the issue of bullying in a credible and terrifying way.
Charlie is your average high school student, endearingly sweet and alternately willful. She fights with her family, laughs with her friends and makes tentative steps into adulthood with the opposite sex.

Enter Sarah, the new student with the rebellious attitude and free spirit. Charlie is drawn to her total lack of social constraint and allows Sarah to influence her actions and behavior. The consequences of this shatter the lives of all involved…

No more reveals, for there are some interesting twists and turns in this well-acted, absorbing film. In French with English subtitles.

Posted by jonf on 03/20/16
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 A casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry and a mysterious man named Jack A.K.A. the ghostman is called in to clean up the mess. Jack or who ever he really is must fulfill a favor from his handler due to a mess up in Kuala Lumpur 5 years earlier.
Jack uses his many skills to find out what happened and who set up who and using his ability to remain off the grid and virtually invisble cleans up the mess.
This is Roger Hobbs debut novel and is a great thriller and very different because of the Ghostman's skill set. he has a new book called Vanishing Games.
Posted by LucyS on 03/19/16
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Zee and Doug are a married couple who move into Zee’s wealthy mother’s carriage house and must share quarters with Zee’s stepfather’s unemployed son, Case, and his wife, Miriam. Several things take place at the same time. Zee is angling to get her husband a job at the university where she works and tries to discredit one her colleagues. Doug is trying to write a monograph about his favorite poet who once visited this same property where Doug now lives when it was an artist’s colony decades ago but is secretly writing for a popular tween girls’ book series. Doug and Miriam plot to get into the attic of the main house. Unusual bad luck happens to Case and is it related to the backstory of the house being haunted by one of its original owners?
Working backward in time from 1999 to 1955 to 1929 to 1900, each time frame distinctly introduces us to new characters and a different tone to the story.  As the story goes back in time, the significance of the characters and seemingly mundane objects becomes clear. However, just like in real life, the people in the present never really know all that happened in the past. There are several ah-ha moments that I really enjoyed discovering, no spoilers here, even though I sometimes needed to reread certain sections to really understand what I had just read.
Be prepared to work hard to keep track of this story and the details will be revealed. The story contains elements of mystery, some lighthearted humor, has a complex way of building on the story and is richly detailed.

Rebecca Makkai is a local author who has written novels and short stories. She will visit the library on April 26 from 7-8:30pm for an author panel discussion.


Posted by MammarappallilBoys. on 03/12/16
Do you plan to shoot and edit a video, record music, or do some graphic design?
Stop by at the Tech Help Desk and ask for equipment newly available for checkout outside the library, such as the Green Screen, HD Camcorder, Zoom H4N Recorder, Wacom Tablet, Recording Kits and more...
Posted by BARB W on 02/14/16
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The Daughters by Adrienne Celt explores the complex dynamic between mothers and daughters in a dramatic, unflinching and uncompromising way. The maternal presence in this story is represented by four successive generations in one family, and their fierce love mixed with struggles for power is a familiar scenario.

Woven into the fabric of this story are bits of Polish mythology, and this influences the fates of the women involved. Lulu is an opera singer who has trouble with her voice following the difficult birth of her daughter, an event that has extracted a personal cost to her family. When a daughter is born, someone must be held accountable…

Adrienne Celt does a magnificent job creating mood and atmosphere in this story. You can feel the darkness descend and the moments of tension between the women are tangible. The passion of these mothers is transcendent, and to be in their inner circle is fascinating. As an added bonus, most of the action takes place in Chicago. This is a very interesting read, and a wonderful exploration of the powers of motherhood.
Posted by LucyS on 02/09/16
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Lily and Ted meet in a London airport bar during a flight delay. Some small talk, an attraction, too many gin and tonics, too many personal details shared and the conversation takes a dark turn. Ted reveals that his wife is involved with another man so his emotions are highly charged and he is feeling vengeful. Lily seems reasonable in a cold, calculating way and encourages him to act on his wronged point of view. They make plans to meet in a few days’ time. If neither shows up, no harm was done. Except that they do meet and make a plan for murder.
These characters play by a different set of self-serving rules; morality is not a characteristic they possess. And yet I wanted to find out what happens next and enjoyed being surprised by the plot twists. Others may be able to anticipate them but I did not see them coming. Will they get away with murder? Will anyone be punished? What kind of person would dare to make a determination that someone is “the kind worth killing”?

The beginning of this story is reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and, in a nod to this author, Lily is reading one of her novels when she meets Ted. Readers who enjoy suspenseful novels with plenty of twists and turns might like to read Peter Swanson’s novel The Kind Worth Killing.

Posted by meyoung on 02/05/16
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Ever since I was young(er), I've loved suspense stories. I've loved the twisted, psychological thrill of basically anything from Criminal Minds to reading about the Stanford Prison Experiment (which is now a movie that I highly recommend). It's no surprise that Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Haeberlin, a book about a lone survivor of a serial killer caught my eye.
16-year-old Tessa Cartwright is found among the remains of other women. She has very little memory of how she got to be buried alive, let alone about the circumstances leading up to this finale. Tessa Cartwright is the sole survivor of the Black-Eyed Susans, rightly named due to the array of black-eyed susans around the grave. Her testimony is what lands a man in jail and sentenced to death.
Almost 20 years later, with the death clock looming, Tessa isn’t so sure the right man is sitting in the cell. After finding the infamous flowers planted beneath her bedroom window, she has her doubts. We soon see that Tessa has a lot more secrets than she's letting on.
Julia Haeberlin takes us through the psychological journey in two different timelines. We follow the therapy and development of young Tessa, as well as the adult Tessa. The slow-building tension is beautifully done and left me falling off the edge of my seat. While some may compare this to Gillian Flynn, Haeberlin is in a league of her own – excellently executed. Once you notice things don’t quite add up, this book is hard to put down.
Fiction, Suspense
Posted by BARB W on 01/27/16
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If you are looking for heaps of hilarity in your life, something guaranteed to make you chuckle, or even better, make you laugh till the tears come down, look no further. Check out the hysterical, frenetic world of bestselling author Jenny Lawson, as she describes in uproarious detail, her struggles with mental illness in 2015’s, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things.

Whoa, wait, mental illness? Are we allowed to laugh at that? According to Jenny Lawson we are! She shares her struggles and permits herself to be gloriously and furiously happy, to ride the tide of joy when she can, knowing the darkness is not always that far behind.

This audiobook caught my eye because of its riotous cover, which Jenny will explain in detail. Her goofy voice, sincere delivery, captivating stories and fresh approach to living with mental illness make this a superb selection.
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