Staff Choices

Posted by bweiner on 05/18/16
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Every couple of months I scan the shelves of the Marketplace in search of a great book. I bypass every author I have ever heard of, and search for a book so obscure, yet so extraordinary that it takes my breath away.
 
I finally found one.
 
The Vegetarian, by South Korean author, Han Kang, is exactly what I was looking
for. This story about Yeong-hye, her family, and her attempts to become a
vegetarian will shock you. The savage images that lead her to this desperate
resolution are lost on her family and set in motion a chain of events that embroils
the entire family in bitter conflict.
 
This story is about the fine line between the physical and psychological; it is
strangely fixated in the physical yet bound to the spirit. It is dark and disturbing
and rich and sumptuous in detail. Yeong-hye fights for ownership of her body and
its destiny, as everything about her is exposed and revealed. This story is
alternately frightening and familiar as it rolls in waves between fantasy and reality.
Characters are imprisoned and liberated, and face their lives with exhausted
endurance. Art is vision and reality as it becomes an obsession and a compulsion.
The characters are passionate, yet unemotional, and there is a perseverance of will that is terrifying to see.
 
All this, wrapped in a package of perfect prose, definitive and direct in purpose, yet
lyrical and evocative in deliverance.
 
Simply marvelous.
 
Posted by lsears on 05/14/16
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Readers learn right away that author Paul Kalanithi’s life will be cut short by an aggressive cancer but this is not a despondent story. In college he could have gone into writing or into medicine – it was that close. Medicine won out as he rationalizes that there would always be time to write later.
 
Paul shares details about the grueling demands of his medical training. He writes simply, almost as a matter of record, but his words reveal that he was a rather remarkable man who treated medicine and surgery as a calling, not a job. After the diagnosis, he grapples with making the right decisions. Which treatment should he undergo, should he try to return to surgery, should he try to start a family with his wife and to possibly leave her to carry on alone? To use a quote directly from the book: “In residency, there’s a saying: The days are long, but the years are short.”
 

Every once in a while I like to read a book that makes me think about the meaning of life and its fragility. This one certainly did. Despite the sad outcome, the book is full of life and dignity.

 
memoir
Posted by jfreier on 05/08/16
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The latest John Wells spy thriller pits Wells against billionaire Aaron Duberman and his chase to destroy him. This is the 10th Wells novel but is a direct sequel to Twelve Days, so that should be read first.
Aaro Duberman had escaped Wells in the previous book and Wells as an ex-C.I.A. op is off the grid to corner Duberman. He has the help of his old boss and friend Ellis Shafer and Vinny Duto to help.
The story is well written and Wells is a interesting and flawed character, Alex Berenson also does a great job with setting from Israel to Macau.
Spy Suspense
Posted by annetteb on 05/06/16
Believe it or not, summer is just around the corner! Whether you are planning a fun summer trip or are ready to relax and enjoy the summer locally, one fun way to share what you're up to with your friends and family is through video blogging ("vlogging"). Our Sony Bloggie Cameras can help you create video updates and can allow you to capture footage from your latest adventures. Feel free to call the library or stop by the Tech Help Desk if you have any questions. 
Posted by annetteb on 05/06/16
Are you looking to create a great new video with exciting special effects? Consider using our portable green screen to incorporate exciting backdrops into your project. The green screen is available for check out from the library at this link. If you have any questions, feel free to stop by the Tech Help Desk.  
Posted by jdunc on 05/02/16
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Do we really need another retelling of Pride and Prejudice? If it is Curtis Sittenfeld, then yes! I absolutely loved this version. Sittenfeld does a wonderful job of updating the classic story to incorporate modern changes including, cross fit, babies before marriage, and sex (oh my!).

Liz Bennett is a writer who lives in New York City with her sister Jane, a yoga instructor. They return home to the Cincinnati suburbs after their father's health scare. Mrs. Bennett, as insufferable as ever, is obsessed with her daughters finding good matches. The prime “eligible” bachelor is Chip Bingley, who participated on a Bachelor like television show.

Sittenfeld’s provides creative, updated versions of the characters. Fans of the original story will appreciate that she maintains all of the original character’s names and personalities. No one can top Austen’s original, but Sittenfeld provides a light, quick read with the wit we all love about Austen’s work.

Eligible is part of a series in which modern authors retell Austen’s six novels. The others include works by Alexander McCall Smith, Joanna Trollope and Val McDermid.

If you enjoy Eligible, I would highly recommend American Wife, by Sittenfeld. Another retelling of sorts, a fictional account of the life of former first lady, Laura Bush.
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 bweiner 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 jfreier 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.
 
 
 
 
Suspense
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6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
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