Rowayton Library Recommends

Always

February 19, 2017

Always by Sarah Jio is a romance and mystery rolled into one page-turner. Set in Seattle, the book takes place in two time periods ten years apart. The narrator is a reporter for the local paper, engaged to a veritable prince charming that does not always agree with her views but clearly adores her. Her perfect life is upended when her past love suddenly resurfaces. What to do? Who to choose? You can whip through this in one night!

How to Hygee--The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life

February 19, 2017

How to Hygge--The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen is a well-rounded introduction to the spirit of hygge. The Scandinavians have used a lot of imagination to dream up enough coziness to get through their epic winters. This book shows us all how to create and benefit from the relaxed, warm and convivial environment that is the hallmark of the Scandinavian home. From décor to outside pursuits to food and drink this book is an inspiration. (Non-Fiction)

The Unsettlers--In Search of the Good Life in Today America

February 19, 2017

The Unsettlers--In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America by Mark Sundeen is well-crafted journalism. He follows the path of three distinct “off the grid” families/groups that share a desire to be self-sufficient. From Missouri to Detroit to Montana homesteaders, urban agriculturalists and organic farmers construct individual or communal lives dedicated to the proposition that a simple life is a better life – for the individual and the planet. Their determination is inspiring. (Non-Fiction)

A Really Good Day

February 19, 2017

A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman is her diary of 30 days of micro-dosing on LSD as an alternative approach to treating her debilitating mood disorder. She also explores the way the US criminal system treats drug possession and use. Micro-dosing was a tremendous help to her, so she is naturally in favor of relaxing punishment for medical use. It’s a fascinating, very different look at the power of psychedelic drugs. (Non-Fiction)

Home Sweet Home

February 19, 2017

Home Sweet Home by April Smith is set in1950’s, South Dakota. The newly transplanted Kusek family is somewhat naïve about both the rigors of the cattle ranching life they hope to adopt and the extent of the anti-Communist hysteria that is gripping the country. Cal and Betsy have moved to Rapid City from New York City with their young children. The novel charts their challenging adjustment and settlement, then flashes forward decades to a gruesome murder. Based on a true story, this gripping saga will keep you enthralled.

Class

February 19, 2017

Class by Lucinda Rosenfeld is an amusing send-up of present-day Brooklyn and liberal do-gooders. Karen, her husband Matt and daughter Ruby are residents of Cortland Park and go to the local, diverse, public elementary school. This satire is firmly grounded in reality. Karen does her best to be supportive of their school but finds herself caught up in the hyper-competitive race to the top. As it turns out there isn’t much a lot of parents won’t do or say to make sure their children are first among equals. Lots of laughs out loud moments leaven the more serious look at what is fair and what is not.

The Dry

February 19, 2017

The Dry by Jane Harper is set in drought-stricken, small town Australia. Aaron Falk is seconded from the Melbourne police to the tiny town where he grew up after a family is found murdered. The potential suspects are legion and may go back to a long ago, deadly day that Aaron was a part of. The sense of place is very strong. The cruelty of the severe weather and the still-raw wounds from the past haunt the present. This is vividly rendered, tense and hard to put down.

Her Every Fear

February 19, 2017

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson is a clever, twisty book. He is very adept at creating plausible, scary situations that have people questioning their sanity. There is evil afoot on two continents as a London/Boston apartment switch between cousins unearths all kinds of secrets better left buried. Although lacking the finesse of A Kind Worth Killing this is an engrossing read.

A Meatloaf in Every Oven

February 19, 2017

A Meatloaf in Every Oven by Fran Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer is loaded with dozens of mouthwatering recipes contributed by everyone from famous chefs and politicians to the authors’ family members. There is a lot of variety, which is a testament to the universal appeal of this iconic dish. The recipes are interspersed with funny interviews with the authors and lots of good information about techniques and ingredients. (Non-Fiction: Cookbook)

Sheet Pan

February 19, 2017

Sheet Pan by Kate McMillan is perfect for winter cooking. Imaginative, easy, tasty oven dishes all made in one pan--what could be better! The acorn squash stuffed with lamb, pomegranate etc. is gorgeous to look at and luscious to eat. The Dijon rosemary chicken thighs with pumpkin pack a ton of flavor into a few minutes of prep time. This one’s a winner. (Non-Fiction: Cookbook)

Swing Time

February 19, 2017

Swing Time by Zadie Smith is wonderful. As expected there is great writing and detailed and believable character development. A predominantly London setting among Jamaican immigrant families is very atmospheric. The love of dance unites two young friends and for a time manages to bridge their differences. As they mature and take different paths surprising truths emerge, especially for the narrator who works with a famous pop star with questionable intentions guiding her charity work in Africa. This is a moving exploration of the power of friendship.

Rather be the Devil

February 19, 2017

Rather be the Devil by Ian Rankin finds a “retired” John Rebus in vintage form. He manages to insinuate himself into active investigations despite being just a consultant to the Edinburgh police force. Reluctantly drinking light beer and definitely coughing too much, he dives into both active and cold cases that threaten to upend the tentative order the local, rival crime bosses had sanctioned. Competition has created a tough environment for the old warhorses and the newer arrivals--in both the underworld and the force.

The Old Man

February 19, 2017

The Old Man by Thomas Perry is a diverting thriller. Dan Chase is in his sixties, living in retirement in VT with his loyal dogs. All is not as it seems, though; he has been on the run for decades from shadowy government operatives who want him dead because of a long ago plan that went awry. This is a real adventure complete with movie worthy chases and various forms of mayhem. Fasten your seatbelt for a great ride.

Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

February 19, 2017

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah is excellent. It’s a no holds barred look at growing up in both apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. His multi-race background was literally a crime when he was born, so his early years were virtually spent in hiding. It’s serious but also very funny in many parts as he skewers the ridiculous lengths South Africa went to separate the races. The unconditional love of his mother often expressed itself in ways that he did not appreciate at the time but her determination was critical to his success. (Non-Fiction; Biography)

Trolls Children's Movie (PG) 92 minutes

February 13, 2017

TROLLS --CHILDREN’S MOVIE—(PG)--Bring home happy with DreamWorks Trolls--musical adventure critics are calling "terrifically funny." When their village is invaded by the grumpy Bergens, two mismatched friends must work together in perfect harmony to save the day. Featuring hit songs performed by Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick and more. This is a feel-great picture.

American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson Miniseries (NR) 499 minutes

February 13, 2017

American Crime Story: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON MINISERIES--(NR)-A solid cast, including Cuba Gooding Jr., John Travolta, Sarah Paulson, David Schwimmer, Bruce Greenwood and Sterling Brown. Lead this critically acclaimed account of the explosive and utterly captivating murder trial. Told from the perspective of the lawyers, it explores the chaotic dealings behind closed doors and how prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and shocking courtroom twists led to one of the most earth-shattering verdicts of all time. Based on the best-selling book The Run of His Life: The People V.  O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, this shows the trial that riveted the world as you’ve never seen it before. Good fictional companion piece to the Oscar-nominated documentary, Made in America.

Sherlock Season Four (NR) 270 minutes

February 13, 2017

SHERLOCK, Season Four –-SERIES--(NR)--Sherlock returns with three brand-new feature length episodes, promising laughter, tears, shocks, surprises and extraordinary cases. The eagerly anticipated fourth season begins with everyone’[s favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), back once more on British solid, as Doctor Watson (Martin Freeman) and his wife Mary, prepare for their biggest challenge ever becoming parents for the first time. Also, Detective Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves). Episodes: The Six Thatcher’s’, The Lying Detective and The Final Problem.

Undercover Season One (NR) 300 minutes

February 13, 2017

UNDERCOVER – SERIES--(NR)--Maya (Sophie Okonedo) a barrister in London is at the top of her profession. She is about to become the first black Director of Public Prosecutions. But just as her life comes under intense public scrutiny, Maya discovers that her husband Nick (Adrian Lester) has been lying to her for 20 years. At the same time, a case that has dominated her career is about to reach its conclusion. Rudy Jones (Dennis Haysbert), a black man in America wrongly convicted of murdering a white politician, is to be executed. As she fights to save Rudy and discovers more about her husband’s past, Maya begins to realise there are bigger forces at work. An intricate web of corruption involving members of the police, the press and politicians unfold.

Victoria Season One (PG) 415 minutes

February 13, 2017

VICTORIA, Season One – SERIES--(PG)--The early life of Queen Victoria from her ascension to the throne at the young age of 18 to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Cobourg. Created by Daisy Goodwin, this ambitious drama presents the early years of one of the history's greatest monarchs. Stretching from the upper echelons of the royal court to the below-stairs staff, this is a story of passionate affairs, power struggles, and unrequited love, at the center of which stands the new Queen (Jenna Coleman) a strong, complex, and willful woman who must, somehow, become an enduring icon. Well-acted, marvelous cast and a great mix of what makes a palace work in the mid-1800s.

Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None Miniseries (NR) 177 minutes

February 13, 2017

Agatha Christie’s “AND THEN THERE WERE NONE” –-MINISERIES--(NR)--Set as the world teeters on the brink of WWII, 10 strangers are invited to isolated Soldier Island. Among them are young secretary Vera Claythorne (Maeve Dermody), soldier Philip Lombard (Aidan Turner), General John MacArthur (Sam Neill), spinster Emily Brent (Miranda Richardson), and Judge Lawrence Wargrave (Charles Dance). With seemingly nothing in common, the guests wonder who their mysterious host may be. But the ominous reason for their visit soon becomes clear…and by the end of the night, the first of them is dead!

London Spy Miniseries (NR) 289 minutes

February 13, 2017

LONDON SPY – MINISERIES--(NR)--A chance romance between two men from very different worlds, one a seemingly innocuous investment banker, Alex (Edward Holcroft) actually from the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service, and the other, Danny (Ben Whishaw), an innocent young romantic from a world of clubbing and youthful excess, leads into mystery after one of them is found murdered. From best-seller Tom Rob Smith, Child 44 and co-starring Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling, this miniseries has been called electrifying, exquisitely subtle and an emotional tour de force.

ESPN 30 For 30: O.J. Made in America Documentary (NR) 463 minutes

February 13, 2017

Espn 30 for 30: O.J. MADE IN AMERICA --DOCUMENTARY--(NR)--One of this year’s Oscar nominations for Best Documentary, it is the defining cultural tale of modern America, an essential examination of the rise and fall of Orenthal James Simpson, and parallels between his incredible story with that of race in America. This critically acclaimed documentary series reveals how he first became a football star, why America fell in love with him off the field, what happened in the trial for his ex-wife’s murder, and finally, why he is now sitting in jail for another crime 20 years later. This is a story that divided America like few things before or since, and it is perhaps the defining cultural tale of twentieth-century America. From the producers of ESPA Films, 30 for 30 and Peabody and Emmy award-winning director Ezra Edelman. Good companion piece to miniseries, The People v. O.J. Simpson, (see above)

Harry and Snowman Documentary (NR) 84 minutes

February 13, 2017

HARRY AND SNOWMAN --DOCUMENTARY--(NR)--For Horse Lovers and Lovers of Underdog Stories! A Dutch immigrant, Harry deLeyer, journeyed to the United States after World War II and developed a transformative relationship with a broken down Amish plow horse he rescued off a slaughter truck bound for the glue factory. Harry paid eighty dollars for the horse and named him Snowman. In less than two years, Harry & Snowman went on to win the triple crown of show jumping, beating the nation’s top pedigree horses and wealthiest socialites. Famous during the 1950’s, they traveled around the world together. Their chance meeting at a Pennsylvania horse auction saved them both and crafted a friendship that lasted a lifetime. Eighty-six year old Harry tells their Cinderella love story firsthand, as he continues to train on today’s show jumping circuit. See also, White Stallions, below.

Life: Animated-Documentary (PG) 92 minutes

February 13, 2017

LIFE: ANIMATED - DOCUMENTARY--(PG)--Directed by Academy Award®-winner Roger Ross Williams (2009, Best Documentary--Short Subject, Music by Prudence), Life: Animated tells the remarkable story of how Owen found a pathway to language and a framework for making sense of the world through Disney animated films. At three years old, a chatty, energetic little boy named Owen Suskind suddenly stopped speaking and disappeared into autism. Almost four years passed and the only thing that seemed to engage Owen was Disney film. Then one day his father donned one of his son’s puppets—Iago, the wisecracking parrot from Aladdin —and asked, “What’s it like to be you?” Suddenly Owen responded to his father using dialogue from the movie. By evocatively interweaving classic Disney sequences with verité scenes from Owen’s life, the film explores how identification and empathy with characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel create a context for him to understand his feelings and interpret reality. Beautiful, original animations further give Owen form.

The Eagle Huntress-Documentary; Foreign Language (G) 687 minutes

February 13, 2017

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS –-DOCUMENTARY/Foreign Language--(G)--A spellbinding true story about a 13-year-old girl on an epic journey. Following Aisholpan as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. Set against the breathtaking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, the film features some of the most awe-inspiring cinematography ever captured in a documentary, giving this intimate tale of a young girl’s quest the dramatic force of an epic narrative film. A masterful film by Otto Bell.

Legendary White Stallions Documentary (PG) 60 minutes

February 13, 2017

LEGENDARY WHITE STALLIONS - DOCUMENTARY--(PG)--Nature and PBS bring the story of the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions from their origins in ancient times in North Africa to the almost unknown drama of their rescue in 1945. The program begins at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, a unique and elite university where horses train for years to successfully execute supremely difficult maneuvers. Only a very few will master the artistic and athletic skills required to perform an impressive display of beauty and power that celebrates a perfect harmony between horse and rider, movements originally intended for use in the war in this ancient court of kings. Learn their history; spend time backstage with riders and horses, mares and their foals, and marvel at these living works of art.

Masterminds (PG-13) 94 minutes

February 13, 2017

MASTERMINDS – Movie--(PG-13)-- Zach Galifanakis is armed and dangerously funny in this hilarious action-comedy inspired by an incredible but true story. David (Galifanakis) is an unassuming armored-truck driver who longs for adventure. Lured into the scheme of a lifetime by his beautiful work crush Kelly (Kristen Wiig) and her cohort Steve (Owen Wilson). David manages the impossible and makes off with $17 million in cash. But when his partners-in-crime keep the loot and set him up for a fall, David must the authorities, evade a hit man (Jason Sudeikis) and find a way to take back what he rightfully stole!

Loving (PG-13) 123 minutes

February 13, 2017

LOVING – Movie--(PG-13)--In 1958, in the state of Virginia, the idea of interracial marriage was not only considered to be immoral to many, it was also illegal. When Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred (Ruth Negga) fall in love, they are aware of the eyes staring at them and the words said behind their backs. It is when they get married, however, that words and looks become actions, and the two are arrested. The couple decides to take their case all the way to the Supreme Court in order to fight for their love in this passionate and gripping drama that critics are calling ‘a masterpiece’.

American Pastoral (R) 108 minutes

February 13, 2017

AMERICAN PASTORAL – Movie--(R)--Ewan McGregor directs and stars alongside Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning in this acclaimed film adapted from Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Seymour Swede Levov (Ewan McGregor), a once-legendary high school athlete, is a successful businessman married to an ex-beauty queen, Dawn (Jennifer Connelly). When Swede and Dawn’s daughter (Dakota Fanning) disappears after being accused of a violent crime, Swede’s perfect life is broken forever and he is left to make sense out of the chaos.

Equals (PG-13) 93 minutes

February 13, 2017

EQUALS – Movie--(PG-13)--In a future dystopia where emotions are controlled with inoculations and coupling is strictly prohibited, two young illustrators, Silas (Nicholas Hoult) and Nia (Kristin Stewart) defy societal laws by beginning a secret love affair. When a “cure” for all human emotion is invented, the couple must plot a way to escape the totalitarian state in this sci-fi romance from director Drake Doremus.

Deepwater Horizon (PG-13) 97 minutes

February 13, 2017

DEEPWATER HORIZON – Movie--(PG-13)--A dramatization of the April 2010 disaster, when the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Kurt Russell and Mark Wahlberg lead an all-star cast in this unforgettably powerful film inspired by real-life heroes. For the one hundred and twenty-six people aboard the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, April 20, 2010, began like any normal day. Before day’s end, the world would bear witness to one of the greatest man-made disasters in U.S. history. Deepwater Horizon reveals the brave acts of the men and women who rose to the challenge and risked everything to lead others to safety.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (PG-13) 117 minutes

February 13, 2017

Jack Reacher: NEVER GO BACK –-Movie--(PG-13)--Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns to enforce his bold brand of justice in this 2nd film based on the bestselling books by author Lee Child. When Army Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is framed for treason, Reacher discovers she’s the target of a massive government conspiracy. With help from Turner and a mysterious new ally, Reacher risks everything to take down the powerful organization that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets.

Inferno (PG-13) 122 minutes

February 13, 2017

INFERNO –-Movies--(PG-13)--In this contemporary action thriller, the famous symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia and finds himself the target of a manhunt. Langdon teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones); a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a virus that would wipe out half the world’s population. “A thrilling action movie with lots of surprising twists and turns” (daily news)

The Girl On The Train (R) 112 minutes

February 13, 2017

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN – Movies-(R)--The Girl on the Train is based on Paula Hawkins' bestselling thriller that shocked the world. Rachel (Emily Blunt), devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple that lives in a house that her train passes every day. Everything changes when she sees something shocking happen there, and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds. Alcoholic experiencing black-outs, she is confused about reality and her role in the mystery itself, but cannot stop trying to find out the truth of what she saw, what she did, what she remembers. Taut with suspense, red herrings and misdirection, this is the perfect winter thriller.

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (R) 139 minutes

February 13, 2017

USS INDIANAPOLIS: Men of Courage– Movie--(R)--Nicholas Cage, Tom Sizemore, and Thomas Jane star in the harrowing tale of real-life American heroes shipwrecked in shark-infested waters in the waning days of World War II. Sunk by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea, stranding 300 seamen for five days after they had delivered the atomic weapons that would eventually end the war. As they await rescue, they endured extreme thirst, hunger, and relentless shark attacks.

The Light Between Oceans (PG-13) 133 minutes

February 13, 2017

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS –-Movies--(PG-13)--Lighthouse keeper Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) and radiant, spirited Isabel (Alicia Vikander) live together in married bliss on a remote, rugged island off the coast of Australia. But their windswept world is turned upside down when Isabel learns that she’s unable to bear a child. One day, a drifting lifeboat washes ashore with a crying baby in it. The dilemma the couple now face will echo far beyond the island, engulfing and irrevocably impacting their world and that of a stranger, Hannah Roennfeldt (Rachel Weisz)--in a passionate story about love, hope, and a fateful choice. Get swept away by this stunning film, with an exclusive bonus Audio Commentary that will pull you deeper in.

Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! An Alphabet Caper-Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors

February 9, 2017

Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! An Alphabet Caper by Mike Twohy--In the vein of Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, and other classic cartoons, Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! is a hilariously clever alphabet caper, perfect for fans of LMNO Peas and Z Is for Moose. A little mouse is asleep until a ball suddenly bounces into his home, setting off an epic chase--from A to Z.

The Infamous Ratsos-Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors

February 9, 2017

The Infamous Ratsos by Kara LaReau Louie and Ralphie Ratso are no softies. Readers are sure to chuckle as the determined Ratso brothers' plans to act tough go hilariously awry. Louie and Ralphie Ratso's dad, Big Lou, always says that there are two kinds of people: those who are tough and those who are soft. Louie and Ralphie are tough, tough, tough, just like Big Lou, and they're going to prove it. But every time they try to show just how tough they are, the Ratso brothers end up accidentally doing good deeds instead. What'll Big Lou do when he finds out they've been acting like softies all over the Big City?

Go Otto Go!-Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors

February 9, 2017

Go Otto Go! by David Milgrim--Otto the robot builds a spaceship in this Pre-level 1 Ready-to-Read by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator David Milgrim, part of the award-winning, star-reviewed The Adventures of Otto series! See Otto work. Work, work, work on a spaceship to take him home. Since landing on Earth, Otto has made many friends, but what Otto wants most is to visit his family. Will Otto's spaceship take him up, up, up, so he can go, go, go?

Good Night Owl-Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors

February 9, 2017

Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli--Owl is ready for bed. But as soon as he settles in, he hears a strange noise. He'll never get to sleep unless he can figure out what's going on! He looks everywhere-in his cupboard, underneath the floorboards-even in his walls. But while he's busy tearing his house apart, he doesn't notice one tiny, squeaky, mouse-shaped detail...Will Owl ever get a good night's sleep?

We Are Growing: A Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book (Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner)

February 9, 2017

We Are Growing: A Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! Book by Laurie Keller
Walt and his friends are growing up fast! Everyone is the something-est. But...what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!

We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler-Sibert Honors

February 9, 2017

We Will Not Be Silent: The White House Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman In his signature eloquent prose, backed up by thorough research, Russell Freedman tells the story of Austrian-born Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie. They belonged to Hitler Youth as young children but began to doubt the Nazi regime. As older students, the Scholls and a few friends formed the White Rose, a campaign of active resistance to Hitler and the Nazis. Risking imprisonment or even execution, the White Rose members distributed leaflets urging Germans to defy the Nazi government. Their belief that freedom was worth dying for will inspire young readers to stand up for what they believe in. (Adult Non-Fiction)

Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II-Sibert Honors

February 9, 2017

Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin
Uprooted takes a close look at the history of racism in America and carefully follows the treacherous path that led one of our nation's most beloved presidents to make this decision. Meanwhile, it also illuminates the history of Japan and its own struggles with racism and xenophobia, which led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, ultimately tying the two countries together. Today, America is still filled with racial tension, and personal liberty in wartime is as relevant a topic as ever. Moving and impactful, National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin's sobering exploration of this monumental injustice shines as bright a light on current events as it does in the past. (Adult Non-Fiction)

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story-Sibert Honors

February 9, 2017

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story by Caren Stelson--This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui's survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko's trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath. (Juvenile Biography)

Giant Squid-Sibert Honors

February 9, 2017

Giant Squid by Candace Fleming--The giant squid is one of the most elusive creatures in the world. As large as whales, they hide beyond reach deep within the sea, forcing scientists to piece together their story from those clues they leave behind. An injured whale's ring-shaped scars indicate an encounter with a giant squid. A piece of beak broken off in the whale's belly; a flash of ink dispersed as a blinding defense to allow the squid to escape--these fragments of proof were all we had...until a giant squid was finally filmed in its natural habitat only two years ago. (Juvenile Non-Fiction)

March: Book Three (Robert F. Sibert Informational Award Winner)

February 9, 2017

March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell--By Fall 1963, the Civil Rights Movement is an undeniable keystone of the national conversation, and as chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is right in the thick of it. With the stakes continuing to rise, white supremacists intensify their opposition through government obstruction and civilian terrorist attacks, a supportive president is assassinated, and African-Americans across the South are still blatantly prohibited from voting. To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative projects, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and a pitched battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television. But strategic disputes are deepening within the movement, even as 25-year-old John Lewis heads to Alabama to risk everything in a historic showdown that will shock the world. (Young Adult Graphic Novel)

The Sun Is Also a Star-Printz Honors

February 9, 2017

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon--Natasha: I'm a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I'm definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won't be my story. Daniel: I've always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents' high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store-for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Scythe-Printz Honors

February 9, 2017

Scythe by Neal Shusterman--Two teens must learn the "art of killing" in the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology. The world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life-and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe-a role that neither wants. These teens must master the "art" of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

The Passion of Dolssa-Printz Honors

February 9, 2017

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry--Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl who's been branded a heretic, on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire and wants Dolssa executed, too. Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town. When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille's tricks, tales, and cleverness can't protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon them, Dolssa's passion and Botille's good intentions could destroy the entire village.

Asking For It-Printz Honors

February 9, 2017

Asking For It by Louise O'Neill--Emma O'Donovan is eighteen, beautiful, and fearless. It's the beginning of summer in a quiet Irish town and tonight she and her friends have dressed to impress. Everyone is at the party, and all eyes are on Emma. The next morning Emma's parents discover her collapsed on the doorstop of their home, unconscious. She is disheveled, bleeding, and disoriented, looking as if she had been dumped there. To her distress, Emma can't remember what happened the night before. All she knows is that none of her friends will respond to her texts. At school, people turn away from her and whisper under their breath. Her mind may be a blank as far as the events of the previous evening, but someone has posted photos of it on Facebook under a fake account, "Easy Emma"--photos she will never be able to forget. As the photos go viral and a criminal investigation is launched, the community is thrown into tumult. The media descends, neighbors chose sides, and people from all over the world want to talk about her story. Everyone has something to say about Emma.

March: Book Three (Michael L. Printz Award Winner)

February 9, 2017

March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell--By Fall 1963, the Civil Rights Movement is an undeniable keystone of the national conversation, and as chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is right in the thick of it. With the stakes continuing to rise, white supremacists intensify their opposition through government obstruction and civilian terrorist attacks, a supportive president is assassinated, and African-Americans across the South are still blatantly prohibited from voting. To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative projects, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and a pitched battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television. But strategic disputes are deepening within the movement, even as 25-year-old John Lewis heads to Alabama to risk everything in a historic showdown that will shock the world. (Young Adult Graphic Novel)

They All Saw A Cat-Caldecott Honors

February 9, 2017

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel--The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws.  In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?

Leave Me Alone-Caldecott Honors

February 9, 2017

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol--One day, a grandmother shouts, "LEAVE ME ALONE!" and leaves her tiny home and her very big family to journey to the moon and beyond to find peace and quiet to finish her knitting. Along the way, she encounters ravenous bears, obnoxious goats, and even hordes of aliens! But nothing stops grandma from accomplishing her goal--knitting sweaters for her many grandchildren to keep them warm and toasty for the coming winter.

Freedom in Congo Square-Caldecott Honors

February 9, 2017

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford--As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves' duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square. (Juvenile Non-Fiction)

Du Iz Tak?-Caldecott Honors

February 9, 2017

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis--Du Iz tak? What is that? As a tiny shoot unfurls, two damselflies peer at it in wonder. When the plant grows taller and sprouts leaves, some young beetles arrive to gander, and soon with the help of a pill bug named Icky-they wrangle a ladder and build a tree fort. But this is the wild world, after all, and something horrible is waiting to swoop down-booby voobeck!-only to be carried off in turn. Su! With exquisitely detailed illustrations and tragicomic flair, Carson Ellis invites readers to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in even the humblest backyard.

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (Randolph Caldecott Award Winner)

February 9, 2017

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon, unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat's own introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn't always have to be neat or clean--and definitely not inside the lines--to be beautiful. (Juvenile Non-Fiction)

Wolf Hollow-Newberry Honors

February 9, 2017

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk--Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby's strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount. (Young Adult)

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog-Newberry Honors

February 9, 2017

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
The Inquisitor's Tale is bold storytelling that's richly researched and adventure-packed. It's no surprise that Gidwitz's latest book has been likened to The Canterbury Tales, considering its central story is told by multiple storytellers. As each narrator fills in what happens next in the story of the three children and their potentially holy dog, their tales get not only more fantastical but also more puzzling and addictive. However, the gradual intricacy of the story is not Gidwitz's big accomplishment. Rather it is the complex themes (xenophobia, zealotry, censorship etc.) he is able to bring up while still maintaining a light tone, thus giving readers a chance to come to conclusions themselves

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life-Newberry Honors

February 9, 2017

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives, and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that CAN'T be bought or sold-dreams. Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that lists the worth of each and every one of his "workers", Bryan has created collages around that document, and others like it. Through fierce paintings and expansive poetry, he imagines and interprets each person's life on the plantation, as well as the life their owner knew nothing about their dreams and pride in knowing that they were worth far more than an Overseer or Madam ever would guess.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon (John Newberry Award Winner)

February 9, 2017

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill--One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna's thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge--with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth's surface. And the woman with the Tiger's heart is on the prowl.

My Kite is Stuck and Other Stories

February 1, 2017

My Kite is Stuck and Other Stories by Salina Yoon is a collection of three stories about a group of very busy animal friends. Duck, duck, and porcupine are constantly looking for things to occupy themselves and in the course of a day they climb trees, make friends with different bugs and build a lemonade stand. All this activity is illustrated in dazzling color.

Stef Soto: Taco Queen

February 1, 2017

Stef Soto: Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres does a great job of describing the perils of navigating middle school. Stef’s family business is a taco truck called Tia Perla. The descriptions of her father’s food are mouthwatering! Tension rises as proposed new regulations about food trucks threaten her family’s livelihood. With the support of friends and family, Stef surprises herself by saving the day.

The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred FiddleDuckling

February 1, 2017

The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering is a whimsical, unusual tale. It is the story of Captain Alfred’s voyage home when he is waylaid by a big storm. His precious cargo of ducks, a duck egg, and his fiddle is tossed into the sea. What happens next is fairy tale magic as the duck egg hatches and the fiddle’s music ensures a homecoming for all the lost souls. The illustrations are beautiful and original, especially the musical notes.

No More Bows!

February 1, 2017

No More Bows! by Samantha Cotterill is the story of Hugo the hound and his owner Milly. Milly is determined to adorn Hugo with extravagant bows before they go out for a walk, which is a great source of consternation to Hugo. He eventually decides enough is enough but learns that dramatic actions may not be the best solution. The very expressive illustrations capture Hugo’s personality perfectly. The lovely ending “ties everything up in a bow."

The Fix-It-Man

February 1, 2017

The Fix-it Man by Susan Hood, illustrated by Arree Chung, will have everyone smiling. Joshua James is the fix-it man, determined to find a solution to all problems. He’ll even tackle a solution for the smelly problem of dirty diapers. As smart as he is there are some problems that are harder to tackle, and he learns that sometimes a break is not necessarily a disaster. This is a rollicking adventure for all!

Five (5) Little Ducks

February 1, 2017

Five (5) Little Ducks by Denise Fleming follows the adventures of a mallard family with five wandering ducklings. Each day of the week finds papa duck looking vainly for his diminishing troop of ducklings. All is, of course, resolved happily as the ducklings meet many other creatures and end the week listening to their wise mother.

Pablo in the Snow

February 1, 2017

Pablo in the Snow by Teri Sloat, illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet explores the many purposes of snow. Pablo is a young sheep who spends his first winter day discovering how much fun a snowy winter’s day can be. The artwork is endearing; it really captures the complimentary texture of sheep and snow. This book would be a perfect read after a day outside.

The Forgetful Knight

February 1, 2017

The Forgetful Knight by Michelle Robinson and Fred Blunt is a hoot. A brave but somewhat confused young knight seeks revenge against the dragon who ate his best friend Sir Clopalot. The story is told in clever, descriptive rhymes that seem to skip across the pages, which are lushly illustrated in bright watercolors. This one is lots of fun.

Pen Pals

February 1, 2017

Pen Pals by Alexandra Pichard is charming. Oscar the ant and Bill the octopus exchange letters during the school year, anxiously awaiting the end of school when a class trip will allow them to meet. The correspondence is lively and funny, especially when they start sending special gifts back and forth.

Poetry for Kids--Emily Dickinson

February 1, 2017

Poetry for Kids--Emily Dickinson, illustrated by Christine Davenier will be a classic. The thirty-five poems are organized by season, each one accompanied by a beautiful watercolor. From To Make a Prairie it only takes a Clover and One Bee to  Hope is the Thing with Feathers the collection is a well-edited pleasure and a great introduction to poetry.

Mission to Pluto--The First Visit to the Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt

February 1, 2017

Mission to Pluto--The first Visit to the Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt by Mary Carson and photographed by Tom Uhlman is terrific. Imagine traveling 3 billion miles over a nine-year period to reach your destination. That is exactly what the New Horizons spacecraft had accomplished when it flew by Pluto. It is continuing on to the Kuiper Belt where it is expected to arrive in 2019. The history of the mission and the people who made it happen comes alive in this exciting tale--find out lots of fun facts about things like ice volcanoes and Pluto’s mini moons. (Non-Fiction)

The Navajo Code Talkers

February 1, 2017

The Navajo Code Talkers by J. Patrick Lewis and Gary Kelley is a fascinating look at a little-known but critical part of American history that took place during the pivotal WWII battles fought in the Pacific. The Navajo language was complex and unwritten, which meant it could become an unbreakable wartime code. Bilingual Navajos, called code talkers, became integral to the war effort and were critical in turning the tide in the Pacific. The book goes into detail on aspects of the code, the history of the Navajos, and is enhanced by stunning artwork. (Non-Fiction)

Storks Childrens' Movie (PG) 87 minutes

January 22, 2017

STORKS--Children’s Movie--(PG)--Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages. Junior, the top delivery stork, gets into a bundle of trouble after the old baby-making factory is activated and an adorable baby girl is produced. Featuring the all-star voice talents of Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Aniston, Katie Crown, Ty Burrell, Danny Trejo, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordon Peele.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Childrens' Movies (PG) 92 minutes

January 22, 2017

MIDDLE SCHOOL: The Worst Years of My Life--Children’s Movie–(PG)--Rafe has an epic imagination and a slight problem with authority. Both collide when he transfers to a rule-crazy middle school. Drowning in do’s and do not's. Rafe and his best friend Leo hatch a plan to expose the principal by breaking every rule in the school’s Code of Conduct. As the principal strikes back, Rafe s world, at home and at school, explodes into hilarious chaos in this laugh-filled family comedy based on James Patterson s bestselling book series.

A Man Called Ove Foreign Swedish (PG-13) 116 minutes

January 22, 2017

A MAN CALLED OVE--FOREIGN Swedish--(PG-13)--Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman’s charming international best-seller, Ove (Rolf Lassgard) is the quintessential grumpy old man next door, a Curmudgeon with staunch principles and a short fuse. Still grieving his late wife, Ove has nearly given up on life when a boisterous young family moves in next door, accidentally flattening his mailbox and upending his ordered, solitary world in the process. An unlikely friendship between Ove and his new Iranian-Swedish neighbor (Bahar Pars) begins to form. Ove’s past happiness’ and heartbreaks come flooding back and what emerges is an unexpected, funny and heartwarming tale of human connection that reminds us life is sweeter when it’s shared.

Homeland Season 5 Part 2 (NR) 91 minutes

January 22, 2017

HOMELAND SEASON 5, Part 2--SERIES--(NR)--Now working at a private security firm in Berlin, Carrie Mathison (Claire Dane) is trying to start a new life, but she soon discovers she can’t escape her past. Blindsided by stunning betrayals, and without Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Quinn (Rupert Friend) to rely on, Carrie must uncover a deadly conspiracy that puts thousands of lives at risk, including her own.

Father Brown Season 3 Part 2 (NR) 315 minutes

January 22, 2017

FATHER BROWN SEASON 3, Part 2--SERIES--(NR)--Welcome back to the sleepy 1950s Cotswold village of Kembleford, where–in addition to shepherding his flock–Father Brown (Mark Williams) uses his personal blend of intuition, psychology, compassion, and justice to solve local crimes. He's ably abetted in his investigations by no-nonsense parish secretary Mrs. McCarthy (Sorcha Cusack), glamorous socialite Lady Felicia Montague (Nancy Carroll) and her accommodating chauffeur, Sid Carter (Alex Price). If only Detective Inspector Sullivan (Tom Chambers) would be as helpful! You'll chuckle at the humor, delight in the period detail and relish the dramatic twists in every episode of this charming series, based on the short stories of G. K. Chesterton.

Line of Duty Series 3 (NR) 401 minutes

January 22, 2017

LINE OF DUTY Series 3--SERIES--(NR)--The powerful, critically acclaimed drama returns with Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Detective Constable Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) back on the trail of corrupt police officers. After a criminal is shot dead during a police raid, the AC-12 team begins examining the conduct of Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), leader of an elite unit. But Waldron’s loyal team obstructs the investigation, and the truth about the shooting proves more complicated than Arnott and Fleming could ever have imagined. This series delivers “unbeatable, utterly unpredictable viewing” (The Telegraph, UK). Also starring Adrian Dunbar and Polly Walker with Keeley Hawes reprising her role as enigmatic DI Lindsay Denton.

The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses Series (NR) 381 minutes

January 22, 2017

THE HOLLOW CROWN: The Wars of the Roses--SERIES--(NR)--The three screen adaptations, HENRY VI, part 1 & 2 and RICHARD III, tell the story of The Wars of the Roses, an exceptionally turbulent period in British History. Shakespeare plays are filmed in the visually breathtaking landscape and architecture of the period. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Bonneville, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, Sally Hawkins, Sophie Okonedo & Tom Sturridge, the exhilarating and emotionally charged films feature some of Shakespeare’s most eloquent and powerful language.

Shetland Season 3 (NR) 480 minutes

January 22, 2017

SHETLAND Season 3--SERIES--(NR)--DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) faces a gripping new single mystery. When a young man disappears on the overnight ferry to Shetland, the team embark on a challenging case that leads them from the suspicious close-knit communities of the remote Shetland Islands to Perez’s old stomping grounds in Glasgow. As the start to unpick his increasingly complex conspiracy, Perez is aided by, and becomes romantically involved with, enigmatic police official Asha (Archie Panjabi). But he is unprepared for the ruthlessness of his adversaries, who are willing to take an appalling step to protect their interests: one that will have a devastating effect on them all.

The Magnificent Seven (PG-13) 133 minutes

January 22, 2017

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN--Movie--(PG-13)--In Director Antoine Fuqua’s Modern vision of a classic Story: the desperate townspeople of Rose Creek employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers, and hired guns after the town falls under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. This remake is an update of the original 1960’s western of the same name, which was based on Akira Kurosawa’s classic, The Seven Samurai. 

The Nice Guys (R) 116 minutes

January 22, 2017

THE NICE GUYS--Movie--(R)--Set in 1970s Los Angeles, down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and hired leg-breaker Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.

Denial (PG-13) 111 minutes

January 22, 2017

DENIAL--Movie--(PG-13)--Oscar winner Rachel Weisz stars in this powerful true story based on the acclaimed book, Denial: Holocaust History on Trial. When Deborah Lipstadt (Weisz) speaks out against Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall) over his falsification of history, she discovers that the stakes are higher than ever in the battle for historical truth. Now faced with a libel lawsuit in the British court, Lipstadt and her attorney (Tom Wilkinson) have the heavy burden of proving that the Holocaust actually happened, in a riveting legal fight with stunning consequences.

Maximum Ride (PG-13) 88 minutes

January 22, 2017

MAXIMUM RIDE--Movie--(PG-13)--Based on the James Patterson novels, Maximum Ride is the extra- ordinary journey of six DNA-enhanced young orphans with the ability to fly who were kept captive and experimented upon by a secret organization. Now they’ve escaped with the help of one man and are on a mission to rescue the youngest of their flock, Angel. During Angel’s rescue, they discover more about the diabolical, scientific secrets of how they came to exist. Their leader is Max, wise beyond her years, who must summon all her courage and acumen to outmaneuver the brutal half-human/half-wolf creations known as 'Erasers,' confront her own inner demons and face stunning betrayals.

Snowden (R) 135 minutes

January 22, 2017

SNOWDEN--Movie--(R)--Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone (JFK, Born on the Fourth of July) tackles the most important true story of the 21st century. Snowden, the politically-charged thriller reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon--Levitt), the controversial figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the National Security Agency and became one of the most wanted men in the world. A hero to some and a traitor to others, the provocative story of what led him to that fateful decision makes for one of the most compelling stories in recent history.

The Whole Truth (R) 93 minutes

January 22, 2017

THE WHOLE TRUTH--Movie--(R)--Defense attorney Richard Ramsay (Keanu Reeves) takes on a personal case when he swears to his widowed friend, Loretta Lassiter (Renee Zellweger), that he will keep her son Mike (Gabriel Basso) out of prison. Charged with murdering his father, Mike initially confesses to the crime. But as the trial proceeds, chilling evidence about the kind of man that Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi) really was comes to light. While Ramsay uses the evidence to get his client acquitted, his new colleague Janelle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) tries to dig deeper--and begins to realize that the whole truth is something she alone can uncover. Written by Lionsgate Premiere

The Accountant (R) 120 minutes

January 22, 2017

THE ACCOUNTANT--Movie--(R)--What happens when a CPA is trained in martial arts and modern warfare? Math savant Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is more comfortable with numbers than people, working as a freelance accountant for the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasure Department’s Crime Enforcement Division closing in, he takes on a legitimate client, a robotics company where a clerk has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, the body count that starts to rise. Surprise ending, too! Do Not Miss this thriller!

Hidden Figures (PG) 127 minutes

January 22, 2017

HIDDEN FIGURES--Movie--(PG)--Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three women. At NASA during the US space race against Russia to put a man in space, the untapped talent was found in a group of African- American female mathematicians that served as the brains ie. "computers," behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. We follow these women as they work in the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), and Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes. While living with the racial prejudice in place at NASA in Langley, VI.

The Dressmaker (R) 118 minutes

January 22, 2017

THE DRESSMAKER--Movie--(R)--A stylish drama with comic undertones about love, revenge, and haute couture. With her sewing machine and her couture style, the dressmaker, Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet) returns to her rural, dusty hometown in Australia. Based on Rosalie Ham's bestselling novel, it tells the story of glamorous femme fatale returning to her small hometown in the country to right the wrongs of the past and bent on discovering her missing past: why she was sent away to live, away from her mother and her home. She transforms the townswomen and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong. Somewhat over-the-top, but all in good comeuppance. French couture gowns in a dusty backwater town.

The Birth of a Nation (R) 120 minutes

January 22, 2017

THE BIRTH OF A NATION--Movie--(R)--Set against the antebelIum South, The Birth of a Nation follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Arnie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses, countless atrocities–against himself and his fellow slaves--Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (PG-13) 127 minutes

January 22, 2017

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN--Movie--(PG-13)--Based on the book of the same title by Ransom Riggs and directed by visionary Tim Burton, this is a wildly imaginative fantasy-adventure. When 16-year-old Jake (Asa Butterfield) unravels a mystery that spans alternate realities and times he discovers a secret world for children with unusual powers, including levitating Emma (Ella Bloom), pyro-kinetic Olive (Lauren McCrostie), and invisible Millard (Cameron King). But danger soon arises and threatens the children and their caretaker, Miss Peregrine (Eva Green). A strange and thrilling tale that should appeal to both young and old with Judi Dench, Samuel L. Jackson, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett and Chris O’Dowd.

Sully (PG-13) 96 minutes

January 22, 2017

SULLY-- Movie--(PG-13)--Based on the true events of January 15, 2009, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) and his copilot, Jeff Skiles (Aaron Ekhart) begin a routine flight that turns terrifying. Sully pulls off the impossible and glides his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. Even though he’s heralded for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an all-out investigation threatens to destroy Sully’s reputation and career. A separate Special Features disc with interviews with the actual Sully, a step-by-step discussion of the 208 harrowing seconds of Flight 1549, and Director Clint Eastwood and his producers discussing shooting the terrifying splashdown and rescue. A not-to-be-missed movie.

Conclave

January 8, 2017

Conclave by Robert Harris is a fictional account of the election of the next Pope. The politicking among the cardinals who are part of the conclave illustrate the changing fortunes of the church, especially the impact of the explosive growth of Catholic churches outside of Western Europe. The balloting is suspenseful as the cardinals vie for the majority needed to ascend to the highest office of the church. Harris has done his homework and really captured the tense atmosphere that would prevail in the Vatican at this time. There’s a nifty ending too!

Books for Living

January 8, 2017

Books for Living by Will Schwalbe is tailor made for the book lover. He has written an essay for each book that was life changing for him. The books range from childhood favorites like Stuart Little to recent novels such as A Little Life. He talks about books as a valuable tool for understanding a chaotic, modern world. We have all read that fiction makes us more empathetic by enhancing our ability to step into someone else’s shoes. Schwalbe has given us a fascinating peek into the selection of one person, leading us to perhaps think of our own books for a living.

The Amazing Things About You

January 8, 2017

Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell is the latest clever romance from this popular author. The heroine Hallie has cystic fibrosis but is set for a lung transplant as the book opens. The story doesn’t shy away from the difficulties of living with a chronic illness. However, this is a romance so there is a certain amount of humor mixed with the pathos. Recommended for fireside reading!

The Hollow Men

January 8, 2017

The Hollow Men by Rob McCarthy introduces a new kind of sleuth--Dr. Harry Kent, assigned to the London police. He has an agenda, as does everyone else around him, and before long he is immersed in a tangled case that finds him at odds with his former best friend. There are richly drawn and diverting characters. Lots of suspense and an unusual plot keep the pages turning. Highly recommended, but with lots of medical detail so it’s not for the squeamish.

The Undoing Project--A Friendship that Changed Our Minds

January 8, 2017

The Undoing Project--A Friendship that Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis is fascinating. The story of a friendship and academic collaboration that eventually led to a Nobel Prize in Economics revolves around the effort to understand how humans make wrong-headed decisions, even in the face of compelling evidence. The lives of the two Israeli psychology professors parallel the early history of the Jewish state which adds an interesting perspective on their development. The work Kahneman and Tversky did initiate behavioral economics and changed many of our assumptions about decision making.

Out of Bounds

January 8, 2017

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid is a great thriller. Set largely in Scotland it tracks the intersection of two cases--one very cold, the other very recent. Detective Karen Pirie and the young detective she is mentoring are a perfect pairing of opposites. She is hard-edged, highly capable and dismissive of politics. That can be a dangerous position to take as clashing interests intent on covering up decades of sin threaten to bury her. This is an enthralling read with terrific character development and a truly puzzling case.

Fences

January 8, 2017

Fences by August Wilson is on the list to encourage a reading prior to seeing the movie. The powerful language definitely resonates on the page. The flawed hero is a superlative embodiment of frustration--about changes as the 1950’s move into the 1960’s, and the toll a life as a black American in the early decades of the 20th century has taken.

The Mistletoe Murder

January 8, 2017

The Mistletoe Murder by PD James is a collection of four compelling short stories that show off her trademark stylish prose and twisty mysteries. Inspector Galgleish’s early days are the backdrop of two stories as he struggles to solve country house murders most foul. The other stories have different first person narrators that are divertingly creepy. This is a lot of fun and beautifully written.