Rowayton Library Recommends

The Enigma Game

January 16, 2021

The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein is an outstanding historical thriller, a prequel to Code Name Verity. Set in rural Scotland in the early days of WWII it has an ensemble cast. The tension builds as a young girl works to untangle the Enigma machine and pilots on both sides of the conflict meet. Lots of historical detail and excellent character development make for a real page-turner. (Young Adult)

The Cousins, Family First Always

January 16, 2021

The Cousins, Family First Always by Karen McManus is a clever mystery. Three teenage cousins who have rarely met are summoned to work at their grandmother’s estate for the summer. They have never met her and do not know why their family has pulled apart years ago. Secrets and surprises come in a steady stream, livened with witty teen dialogue and observations. This is fun for all ages. (Young Adult)

The Lost Spells

January 16, 2021

The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris is the most beautiful book. Stunning watercolors of various animals, birds, insects, and flora are the backdrop for rhythmic, poetic “spells” that describe what they might be feeling. In one of our favorites the woodpecker confirms he loves being “the forest castanet”. Check this out for page after page of original, enchanting read-aloud spells and gorgeous paintings. (Non-Fiction/Informational)

A Parade for George Washington

January 16, 2021

A Parade for George Washington by David Adler tells the story of George Washington’s trip from Washington DC to New York City for his inauguration as the first president of the USA. It’s full of fascinating period detail and reinforces how excited the young country was to be independent. O’Brien’s lively watercolor illustrations are delightful. (Non-Fiction/Informational)

Clark the Shark Gets A Pet (Early Readers)

January 16, 2021

Clark the Shark Gets a Pet by Bruce Hale is a fun early reader. Clark really wants a pet but his mother is not sure he can be responsible for taking care of one. However, they go off to the pet store and Clark takes home a dogfish (yes, there is such a thing!). Anyone who has had a young pet will empathize with the mischief a pet can get up to, especially when feeding, walk, or play a session is forgotten. A good-humored look at pet ownership.

Two Many BIrds

January 16, 2021

Two Many Birds by Cindy Derby is about a very stern bird monitor trying to keep order at the big tree. The number of signs grows in tandem with the number of birds who want to perch in the tree. The silliness of his efforts is perfectly captured in the detailed illustrations. Every bird has a distinct character. As the community reaches a tipping point the birds resolve the issue--more or less.

Time for Bed's Story

January 16, 2021

Time for Bed’s Story by Monica Arnaldo has a neat narrative reversal. Bed tells the story of the life of a bed from his perspective. Bed knows you are not sleepy but have you ever thought about how little sleep he gets with all your kicking and blanket stealing? Even during the day, he has to put up with jumping. This is a clever twist on bedtime stories with exuberant illustrations.

Quiet Down Loud Town

January 16, 2021

Quiet Down Loud Town by Alastair Heim stars an irascible elephant who finds everything and everyone in his town to be TOO LOUD.  The vibrantly colored, busy illustrations show the residents of a city going about their business and yes, creating many different levels of sound. Read this aloud as there are wonderful shout outs, and find out what happens when the elephant gets what he wished for.

Mouse in the House

January 16, 2021

Mouse in the House by Russell Ayto is a hoot. Mr. Bosh and Mr. Bumble are truly incompetent mouse catchers who have been hired to rid a house of one very smart mouse. As they escalate their comic efforts to catch said mouse the stakes are raised and the potential for disaster increases. The illustrations are very funny and expressive.

Elevator Bird

January 16, 2021

Elevator Bird by Sarah Williamson is a beautifully illustrated, whimsical tale that takes place in a hotel. Not just any hotel, as assorted animals, do all the jobs. The worms are porters, the turtles run reception, and the elevator bird runs the lift. He is exceptionally kind and helpful and loves his job, but not his basement quarters. One night he tells his friend Mousey he would love a room with a view. That’s all it takes for the staff to rally around and build Elevator Bird his dream house.

Bulldozer Friends

January 16, 2021

Bulldozer Friends by Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha is high energy fun. Oliver and Annie love to play with the construction trucks at their school. They are a good team and use their imagination to create projects that involve lots of dirt moving. This is perfect for young digger enthusiasts!

Upside-Down Magic Children's Movie (PG) 96 minutes

January 7, 2021
UPSIDE-DOWN MAGIC CHILDRENs MOVIE (PG) 

13-year-old Nory Boxwood Horace (Izabela Rose) discovers she can flux into animals and her best friend Reina Carvajal (Siena Agudong) can manipulate flames. Together they enter the Sage Academy for Magical Studies. Reina’s abilities send her to the top of her class, while Nory's wonky magic lands her in a class for those with Upside-Down Magic, otherwise known as UDM. Headmaster Ms. Knightslinger (Vicki Lewis) believes that the UDM's unique powers make them a target to dangerous and evil “shadow magic”. Nory and her fellow UDM classmates set out to prove that Upside-Down Magic beats right-side-up!

Yellowstone Season 3 (NR) 433 minutes

January 7, 2021
YELLOWSTONE, Season 3, – SERIES (NR)

In the most explosive season of Yellowstone yet, John Dutton (Academy Award Winner Kevin Costner), and his family must protect their land from new and old enemies, led by Wall Street maverick Roarke (Josh Holloway). Threatened by betrayals, bad blood, and lucrative business deals, the Duttons form unexpected alliances and confront dangerous measures to safeguard their legacy. Go all-in on this season with extended content and bonus features, including making-of featurettes, behind the scene clips, never-before-seen interviews with cast and crew, and much more.

The Sommerdahl Murders New Foreign Series (NR) 356 minutes

January 7, 2021
THE SOMMERDAHL MURDERS NEW FOREIGN SERIES (NR) Danish with English subtitles 

DCI Dan Sommerdahl  (Peter Mygind)  investigates murders in a lovely Danish coastal town with his wife, Marianne (Mariane Drasbaek), a criminal technician, and his best friend, Detective Flemming Torp (Andre Babikian). But Dan's years of devotion to the job have hurt his marriage, and with Marianne wanting a divorce, Dan discovers his rival for her affections is none other than his best friend. And they all must still work together to solve crimes, despite the love triangle.

The Nest New Miniseries (NR) 288 minutes

January 7, 2021

THE NEST NEW MINISERIES (NR) Martin Compston and Sophie Rundle star in this suspenseful Scottish drama about a wealthy couple who would do anything to have a baby. After a chance encounter, they recruit a down-on-her-luck 18-year-old (Mirren Mack to be a surrogate, but secrets emerge about the girl’s past that could make them regret their deal.

Death in Paradise Season 9 (NR) 461 minutes

January 7, 2021

The sun is hotter and the crimes more baffling than ever as the smash-hit whodunit returns. From an apparent serial killer on the loose on New Year’s Eve to a man stabbed during a survival weekend on a deserted tropical island, Detective Inspector Jack Mooney and the team face some of the most confounding crimes they've ever seen. But when an unexpected romantic encounter turns Jack's life upside down, the team faces a fresh challenge in the shape of new arrival DI Neville Parker. He may be a brilliant detective but is he really suited to live in the Caribbean?

Words on Bathroom Walls (PG-13) 110 minutes

January 7, 2021
WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS – MOVIE (PG-13)

If you can’t trust your mind, trust your heart.  Adam (Charlie Plummer) is a witty, introspective teen pursuing his dream of becoming a chef. When Adam is diagnosed with a mental illness, he lives in fear of being exposed--until he meets Maya (Taylor Russell), an outspoken and fiercely intelligent girl who inspires him to open his heart and not be defined by his condition. With its inspiring journey of love, acceptance, and hope, this is a triumphant story of overcoming life’s challenges and embracing who you are.

Tenet (PG-13) 150 minutes

January 7, 2021
TENET – MOVIE (PG-13)

In a twilight world of international espionage, an unnamed CIA operative, known as The Protagonist (John David Washington), is recruited by a mysterious organization called Tenet to participate in a global assignment that unfolds beyond real-time. The mission: prevent Andrei Sator, a renegade Russian oligarch with precognition abilities, from starting World War III. The Protagonist will soon master the art of "time inversion" as a way of countering the threat that is to come.

Switched (NR) 104 minutes

January 7, 2021

SWITCHED – MOVIE (NR)  Tired of being bullied, Cassandra Evans (Miya Horcher )prays that her nemesis, Katie Sharp (Madeleine Byrne), the queen bee of social media, would know what it’s like to walk a day in her shoes. Her prayer is answered in an unexpected way when they get “Switched”.

Spontaneous (R) 101 minutes

January 7, 2021
SPONTANEOUS – Movie (R) 

An explosive love story. Get ready for the most outrageous coming-of-age love story about growing up…and blowing up! When students in their school begin blowing up (Literally!), seniors Mara (Katherine Langford) and Dylan (Charlie Plummer) struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last.  Mara and Dylan discover that when tomorrow is no longer promised, they can finally start living for today!

Mulan (PG-13) 115 minutes

January 7, 2021
MULAN – MOVIE (PG-13)

Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China's legendary warrior to life in Disney's MULAN, in which a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China (Jet LI) issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan (Yifei Liu), the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation and a proud father.

Made in Italy (R) 120 minutes

January 7, 2021
MADE IN ITALY MOVIE (R)

A heartwarming father-son story set in glorious Tuscany about bohemian London artist Robert, who returns to Italy with his estranged son Jack to make a quick sale of the house they inherited from his late wife. Neither expects to find the once beautiful villa in such a state of disrepair. Renovations go badly, with father and son soon finding themselves at odds. Robert's comical lack of DIY experience leads him to seek help from some colorful locals.

The Last Shift (R) 91 minutes

January 7, 2021
THE LAST SHIFT – MOVIE (R)

The Last Shift is an American story about two men struggling in the same town, while worlds apart. Stanley (Richard Jenkins), an aging fast-food worker, plans to call it quits after 38 years on the graveyard shift at Oscar’s Chicken and Fish. His last weekend takes a turn while training his replacement, Jevon (Shane Paul McGhie), a talented but stalled young writer whose provocative politics keep landing him in trouble. These two who share little in common are brought together through circumstance. Stanley, a high school dropout who has watched life pass by his drive-through window, proudly details the nuances of the job. While Jevon, a columnist who’s too smart to be flipping patties, contends their labor is being exploited. A flicker of comradery sparks during the long overnight hours in a quiet kitchen.

The Irishman (R) 210 minutes

January 7, 2021

THE IRISHMAN – MOVIE (R) Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci star in this Martin Scorsese crime saga. Frank Sheeran (DeNiro) looks back from his nursing home on his life’s journey through the ranks of organized crime, from Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) in Philadelphia to Teamster union head Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), and to the rift that forced him to choose between the two. Based on Sheeran’s real life.

Honest Thief (PG-13) 100 minutes

January 7, 2021
HONEST THIEF – MOVIE (PG-13)

Wanting to lead an honest life, a notorious bank robber turns himself in, only to be double-crossed by two ruthless FBI agents. to fight for her own survival. John Malkovich, Colin Farrell.  Action, Suspense

Ava (R) 97 minutes

January 7, 2021
AVA – MOVIE (R)

Ava (Jessica Chastain) is a deadly assassin who works for a black ops organization, traveling the globe specializing in high profile hits. When a job goes dangerously wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival.

After We Collided (R) 105 minutes

January 7, 2021

Hardin will always be Hardin. But is he the guy Tessa fell madly in love with or has he been a stranger all along? She wishes she could just walk away, but it’s just not that easy. Still, Tessa is not sure she can endure one more broken promise. She’s focused on her studies and just starting an exciting new internship at Vance Publishing. And she’s being pursued by Trevor, a coworker who is exactly the kind of guy she should be with. Can Hardin overcome his mistakes and save Tessa’s love…or will life never be the same.

Snacking Cakes

January 2, 2021

Snacking Cakes by Yossi Arefi provides moth watering recipes for one-bowl cakes and simple glazes. It’s loaded with delicious ideas that are easy to execute and very tasty. The other advantage is they are beautiful! Recipes are pantry friendly with a wide range of seasonal ingredients. This is also perfect for budding bakers of a younger age. The sparkling gingerbread is amazing. (Cookbook)

The Flavor Equation

January 2, 2021

The Flavor Equation by Nik Sharma is worth it for the Pomegranate and PoppySeed Wings, or Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Crème Fraiche alone! There is lots of kitchen science but you can also read just for a great collection of imaginative and really tasty recipes. This is our favorite new cookbook of the month. (Cookbook)

A Wealth of Pigeons

January 2, 2021

A Wealth of Pigeons by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin is a hoot. The collection of cartoons and strips is original, adult without being cringe-making, and pure pleasure. You can sit with it for a few minutes or get completely swallowed up. Just one example--a group of lemmings doing a U-turn in front of a cliff --the caption--“Lemmings After Just One Self Help Course”. (Non-Fiction)

One Life

January 2, 2021

One Life by Megan Rapinoe is inspirational. She is not only a famously skilled soccer player but an agent for change.  From the beginning, she asks us to consider “what will we do” to make a difference. This is not just for soccer fans although it is wonderful to relive her description of some of those famous games. (Non-Fiction)

Billion Dollar Loser

January 2, 2021

Billion Dollar Loser by Reeves Wiedeman is the story of ‘the epic rise and spectacular fall of Adam Neumann and We Work”. It’s impossible to look away from this train wreck and accept how many people were taken in by what was essentially a poorly executed real estate scam. Fascinating and timely. (Non-Fiction)

What Are You Going Through

January 2, 2021

What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez is thought-provoking. Every word counts as the unnamed narrator, a writer, looks at her craft, the power of stories, the meaning of empathy, and the importance of connection and companionship. This sometimes challenging search for attachment is explored more deeply as she agrees to help a terminally ill friend at the end of her life.

V2

January 2, 2021

V2 by Robert Harris is a terrific thriller set in the closing days of WWII. Romance combines with skullduggery.  The main characters are a German engineer tasked with the development of the V2 rocket and a young, British female spy whose goal is to thwart the development.

Shadow Sands

January 2, 2021

Shadow Sands by Robert  Bryndza is a page-turning thriller. The second in a series featuring Kate Marshall, it combines unsolved events from the past with an eerie murder in the present. Kate and her sidekick Tristan have to work fast to uncover the secrets that make this atmospheric, tense story an exciting read.

The Moonflower Murders

January 2, 2021

The Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz is a wonderfully twisty, entertaining read. If you enjoyed The Magpie Murders this is right up your alley. Can you keep track of the various narrators and their agendas? Have fun trying! It’s complex and literary, with clever and suspenseful plot lines. There’s a book within a book so it’s a two for one value. Pure delight!

Love Your Life

January 2, 2021

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella is lighthearted and brisk. Her trademark sense of humor supports crackling dialogue from a mismatched but hopelessly attracted pair of Londoners who on paper are not meant to be together. Meeting under the protection of aliases they reunite in London to discover how different it is possible to be while madly in love.

The Law of Innocence

January 2, 2021

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly is the latest Micky Haller Lincoln Lawyer novel. Micky is a great character who manages to enrage/challenge many of those with who he comes in contact with. His stubbornness will serve him well here as he is set up to take a huge fall and actually sees the “other side” when he is sent to prison for a murder he did not commit. The cast of supporting characters gets more developed with each book, with his daughter and Harry Bosch making welcome appearances.

The End of the Day

January 2, 2021

The End of the Day by Bill Clegg is beautifully written and heartfelt. It interweaves a trio of stories, with intriguing characters who have not always been in control of their destinies but find themselves pulled by circumstance into facing the uncomfortable truths that connect them. These characters have 50 years of secrets between them, with the plot unfolding over one day. He always sets some of his work in CT and the sense of place is strong. Highly recommended

The Cold Millions

January 2, 2021

The Cold Millions by Jess Walter takes place in the early 20th century. The rise of the labor movement in the West, mostly in Spokane, is the backstory for a novel rich in characters and events that eerily echo many of today’s headlines. Gig and Rye, two brothers on their own, are the fulcrum around which the swirling cast revolves. Populated by historical characters as well as fictional ones, it is original and really interesting.

Weathering With You Animated Movie (PG-13) 112 minutes

November 11, 2020
WEATHERING WITH YOU –Animated Movie (PG-13)

From director Makoto Shinkai comes a new romantic drama set in the rain-soaked streets (and skies) of modern Tokyo. In the summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day as if to suggest his future. Finally finding work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine, one-day Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability, the power to stop the rain and clear the sky.

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs (PG) 92 minutes

November 11, 2020
RED SHOES AND THE SEVEN DWARFS – CHILDRENs MOVIE (PG) In this outrageous fairy tale spoof starring Chloe Grace Moretz, seven bold princes seek a kiss from Snow White to break the curse that’s turned them into dwarves.

Masterpiece: World On Fire Season 1 (NR) 420 minutes

November 11, 2020

Summer of 1939. Harry, a translator at the British Embassy in Warsaw, is falling in love with Polish waitress Kasia. When German tanks roll into Poland, and Britain declares war on Germany, Harry and Kasia face terrible choices. With her life in grave danger, can Harry help her, and if he can, how will he ever explain himself to Lois Bennett, the girl he left behind in Manchester? World on Fire is an adrenalized, emotionally gripping, and resonant World War II drama that follows the intertwining fates of ordinary people in Britain, Poland, France, Germany, and the United States, as they grapple with the effects of the war on their everyday lives. Producers: Chris Clough, Nickie Sault, Callum Devrell-Cameron.

Vikings Season 5. Vol. 2 (NR) 464 minutes

November 11, 2020

As the explosive second half of Season 5 begins, Ivar the Boneless' tyrannical reign as king of Kattegat ushers in a new Dark Age for Scandinavia. And while Bjorn and Lagertha flee Ivar's murderous forces with Bishop Heahmund, Duke Rollo's return brings even more upheaval. Meanwhile, Floki battles the elements – as well as his settlers' lust for revenge – in beautiful, desolate Iceland. Ultimately, the sons of Ragnar and old sworn enemies must become allies to challenge the despot Ivar, who has declared himself a god. The gut-wrenching action and dramatic plot twists reach a fever pitch as the season unfolds.

Van Der Valk Season 1 (NR) 276 minutes

November 11, 2020
VAN Der VALK, Season 1 NEW SERIES (NR)

With a theme song that topped the UK charts, crime stories that weren't shy about sex and drugs and gangsters, a precinct made up largely of Amsterdam canals, and a sulky blond hero at its heart, the British detective series ran for 32 episodes over five series between 1972 and 1992 as British audiences were captivated by their first truly international detective. Reimagined in the Amsterdam of 2018 and beyond, aiming to captivate audiences all over again with new, compelling crime mysteries.

London Kills Season 1 (NR) 238 minutes

November 11, 2020
LONDON KILLS, Season 1 NEW SERIES (NR)

London’s best detectives take on its worst crimes in this sleek British mystery series.  Veteran DI David Bradford (Hugo Speer) heads an elite murder squad, but he’s been on leave following the unexplained disappearance of his wife. In his absence, ambitious ds Vivienne Cole (Sharon Small) has been leading the investigations, and when Bradford returns to work, the two clash over their methods and lines of inquiry. Despite the tension, Bradford and Cole strive to solve complex crimes, along with DC Rob Brady and Trainee DC Billie Fitzgerald.

Hidden Season 2 (NR) 344 minutes

November 11, 2020
HIDDEN, Season 2 – SERIES (NR) 

Detectives Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) and Owen Vaughan (Sion Alun Davies) investigate the brutal murder of a former school teacher, but a group of local teenagers knows more about what happened than they are letting on. "Nail-biting…[and] confidently stylish" (The Guardian), this compelling Welsh crime drama has been hailed "best in class" by the New York Times.

Endeavour Season 7 (PG-13) 266 minutes

November 11, 2020
ENDEAVOUR, Season 7 – SERIES (PG-13) 

Endeavour and his colleagues are entering a new decade and era of change. Opening on New Year's Eve 1969, normal order has been resumed and the team reunited at Castle Gate CID, with Chief Superintendent Bright back in charge. However, the events of the past year have left their mark. Old friendships will be challenged, and new relationships will blossom.

The Crown Season 3 (NR) 547 minutes

November 11, 2020
THE CROWN, Season 3– SERIES (NR)

The Crown traces the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding in 1947 through to the early part of the twenty-first century. Season Three covers the time period between 1964 and 1977 and introduces an outstanding new ensemble cast led by Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies. Beginning with Harold Wilson's election as the Queen's first Labour prime minister and ending with the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II, it follows pivotal moments such as the death and state funeral of Winston Churchill, the Aberfan disaster, the Apollo 11 moon landing, and the Investiture of Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales.

Balthazar Season 2 Foreign Language Series (NR) 495 minutes

November 11, 2020
BALTHAZAR, Season 2 – Foreign Language SERIES (NR) French with English Subtitles 

An eccentric but endearing forensic pathologist in Paris, Raphael Balthazar (Tomer Sisley) can make the dead speak like no one else. He solves the city’s most disturbing crimes with no-nonsense chief inspector Helene Bach (Helene de Fougerolles), who helps him reopen the one case that still haunts him: his wife's 12-year-old murder.

Rogue (R) 105 minutes

November 11, 2020
ROGUE – MOVIE (R) 

Megan Fox Team leader O'Hara leads a lively squad of soldiers on a daring mission: rescue hostages from their captors in remote Africa. But as the mission goes awry and the team is stranded, O'Hara's squad must face a bloody, brutal encounter with a gang of rebels, and the horde of ravenous, enraged lions they encounter.

The Friendsgiving (R) 95 minutes

November 11, 2020
FRIENDSGIVING – MOVIE  (R)

Thanksgiving movie, Abby (Kat Dennings) is looking forward to a laid-back holiday with her friend Molly (Malin Ackerman). But the friends’ plans go up in smoke when Molly’s new boyfriend and her flamboyant mother (Jane Seymour) arrive, followed by Molly’s ex-boyfriend, and a trio of Fairy Gay Mothers. Now it's a recipe for a comically chaotic Thanksgiving no one will ever forget, even if they wanted to!

The Broken Hearts Gallery (PG-13) 109 minutes

November 11, 2020

What if you saved a souvenir from every relationship you’ve ever been in? The always unique Lucy, a 20-something art gallery assistant living in New York City, who also happens to be an emotional hoarder, does exactly that. After she gets dumped by her latest boyfriend, Lucy is inspired to create The Broke Hearts Gallery, a pop-up space for the items love has left behind. Word of the gallery spreads, encouraging a movement and a fresh start for all the romantics out there, including Lucy herself.

All Thirteen--The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team

November 4, 2020

All Thirteen--The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat is a dramatic step by step recounting of the rescue operation in 2018 that saved the 13 members of the soccer team trapped in a cave by rising floodwaters. There are two parallel stories - the rescuers struggle to find a way to the team, and the trapped boys and their coach find ways to survive half a mile below the earth’s surface with limited supplies while keeping their hopes up. (Non-Fiction)

See the Cat--Three Stories About a Dog

November 4, 2020

See the Cat--Three Stories About a Dog by David LaRochelle is an early reader hoot. The dog must manage a book author determined to create stories that do not reflect reality--until they do. Lots of humorous expressions give the dog a big personality and allow him to finally tell his story! (Early Readers)

Horse and Buggy Plant a Seed

November 4, 2020

Horse & Buggy Plant a Seed by Ethan Long is another laugh out loud early reader. Buggy has some seed packets and after they decide what to plant they prepare their garden and wait and wait. At last, there is a heartening "boink" as the seed pops up. But there is a surprise in store for the pair of friends; it’s quite a seed….. (Early Readers)

What We'll Build--Plans for Our Together Future

November 4, 2020

What We’ll Build--Plans For Our Together Future by Oliver Jeffers is an imaginative story of all the objects and places a father and daughter can build together. Jeffers’ signature paintings are the visual backdrop to the challenge and joy of building a future full of love and opportunity for all.

The Tiny Baker

November 4, 2020

'The Tiny Baker by Hayley Barrett is a charmingly old fashioned ode to teatime. The baker is a busy bee with ladybug helpers; together they turn out delicious treats for their beautifully dressed ant clientele. One day disaster strikes and she discovers the true meaning of friendship. The detailed illustrations are so pretty.

The Suitcase

November 4, 2020

The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros is a lovely story about kindness overcoming skepticism. A stranger arrives, weary from what has clearly been a long, arduous journey. He has a suitcase which he says has a teacup, chair and table and cabin inside. The skeptical animals open it when he falls asleep, see the contents, and get to work to welcome the new arrival.

A Story For Small Bear

November 4, 2020

A Story for Small Bear by Alice B. McGinty & Richard Jones is an exceptional bedtime choice. Small bear is getting ready for winter, under instructions from her mother not to dilly dally or there won’t be time for stories before bed. Small bear finds lots to do in the forest; the beautiful, softly brushed illustrations capture the fading colors of late fall perfectly. The ending is as soft and warm as a hug.

Moo-Moo I Love You

November 4, 2020

Moo-Moo, I Love You! by Tom Lichtenheld and Amy Krouse Rosenthal is absolutely adorable. A cow and her calf find infinite ways of expressing what they love about each other, always using wordplay with the "oo" letters and sound. Young readers will have a good time with the wordplay and everyone will recognize the picture covered fridge, aka a “mooseum”. This is a special book.

Max and Ruby and the Babysitting Squad

November 4, 2020

Max & Ruby and the Babysitting Squad by Rosemary Wells is very cute. Ruby and her best friend Louise start a babysitting service and line up caring for mischievous young Percy the skunk on the first day. Naturally, they face considerable challenges that are only overcome with the help of Ruby’s younger brother Max and his digger collection. There will be lots of giggles as the story unfolds.

Gnu and Shrew

November 4, 2020

Gnu and Shrew by Danny Schnitzlein is a clever nod to the advantages of action over talk. Gnu and Shrew live near a crocodile-infested river where there is a rumored cache of diamonds--on the opposite side. Gnu dreams of what they can do if they find the diamonds while pooh-poohing Shrew's efforts to solve the problem of how to get there. Children will appreciate the humor and silliness at the same time they see Shrew’s point. The illustrations are terrific.

Donut Feed the Squirrels

November 4, 2020

Donut Feed the Squirrels by Mika Song is a sweet graphic novel. Norma and Belly are in search of sustenance after Norma burns their pancake breakfast. The aroma of a donut truck intrigues them and starts a series of escapades that challenge the beleaguered donut truck owner. A surprise ingredient makes up for the mess the squirrels create and all is well.

Construction Site Mission: Demolition

November 4, 2020

Construction Site Mission: Demolition! By Sherri Rinker and Ag Ford perfectly captures the sights and sounds of demolition day at an old building. The equipment all have distinct personalities and colorful paint jobs. Each page covers a different part of the process until the end when we can all agree that “demo day was tough but fun”.

Animals Brag About Their Bottoms

November 4, 2020

Animals Brag About Their Bottoms by Maki Saito is a song of praise for the wonderfully varied bottoms in the animal world. Big, small, heart-shaped, hard, soft, furry, and/or colorful--they all deserve admiration. The beautiful illustrations totally support the creatures' pride in their rear ends! This is a unique and charming animal extravaganza.

Rose's Ice Cream Bliss

October 21, 2020

Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss by Rose Levy Beranbaum will help extend those summer menus! An endless supply of delectable frozen treats awaits in this stellar collection. Everything from the vanilla and chocolate basics to more exotic flavors is copiously illustrated and clearly explained. The butterscotch toffee sauce which would be delicious on so many of these creations is off the charts.

Modern Comfort Food

October 21, 2020

Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten is reliably wonderful, in fact, better than her last few books in our humble opinion. It's a perfect antidote to kitchen exhaustion as it has original ideas but they aren't too taxing to execute. She is relentlessly cheerful but not in an annoying way. Three cheers especially for the applesauce cake recipe. This is also just a beautiful book to drool over even if you don’t cook!

Greenfeast

October 21, 2020

Greenfeast by the British cookbook author Nigel Slater is the literary version of eating something delicious straight from the Aga. The pages ooze warmth and flavor as the author describes his vegetable-centric but undeniably rich approach to comforting winter eating. He is never shy about trying new spice combinations and his soup section is amazing.

The Violence Inside Us-A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy

October 21, 2020

The Violence Inside Us--A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy by Senator Chris Murphy addresses the uncomfortable truth that violence is inside us. His commitment to gun control was forged in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Access to firearms contributes to high rates of suicide as guns ensure success (only 3% of drug overdose suicides are successful). We are also exporting violence via the lucrative business of gun-running, as weapons purchased at gun shows are not subject to background checks. This is a tough book to read but essential to understanding how we as a country came to this point and how we can move forward.

Transcendent Kingdom

October 21, 2020

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi is brilliant. The background of the lab at Stanford where the mice steal the show, the complicated family dynamics that bedevil the main character and the wonderful writing make it hard to put down. Gifty is a graduate student of Guyanese descent who is trying to outgrow an upbringing in Huntsville AL where an absent father and mentally ill mother create a toxic environment for herself and her brother. Beautifully written.

A Song For the Dark Times

October 21, 2020

A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin is the latest Inspector Rebus, except he is no longer an Inspector. This does not keep him from sticking his nose into two cases – one involving his daughter’s husband, the other a murder in Edinburgh that Siobahn Clarke and Malcolm Fox are trying to solve. Rebus may be retired but he is still “on the case” and sharp as ever. Highly entertaining and recommended.

Silver Wings, Iron Cross

October 21, 2020

Silver Wings, Iron Cross by Tom Young is a tense page-turner. The major characters, an American flyer, and a German U boat officer find themselves thrown together at the end of WWII. They are each dependent on the other to survive at a time when the end is closing in. It has a Tom Clancy feel with the detailed descriptions of wartime machinery.

The Searcher

October 21, 2020

The Searcher by Tana French is really atmospheric and tension-filled.  Cal has moved to rural Ireland to start over after retiring from the Chicago PD and getting divorced. He has bought a tumbledown house to restore and is gradually falling into the rhythm of his new life. Word is out on his past and a youngster looking for help in finding his missing brother disrupts Cal's new beginning. The characters are terrific; this is a page-turner with heart and plenty of surprises.

The Orphan's Guilt

October 21, 2020

The Orphan’s Guilt by Archie Mayor is the latest in the Joe Gunther series. Set in VT, it’s a cold case that involves two brothers and a dysfunctional family. Joe is always pulled back into the dark reaches of Vermont’s underbelly whether he wants to be there or not. A strong sense of place and great dialogue keep the pages turning.

One by One

October 21, 2020

One By One by Ruth Ware is definitely a knockoff of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, but what a fun read. The group on a corporate retreat gets snowed in at a luxurious alpine chalet. The tension builds immediately with the foreknowledge that four of the characters will be found dead. But which four…..The plot is clever, has multiple narrators, with a classic underestimation of the true evil in their midst.

Monogamy

October 21, 2020

Monogamy by Sue Miller is a close-up view of a long-term marriage, ended too soon with the sudden death of the patriarch. Graham’s orbit was huge--an ex-wife, children, current wife, patrons of his bookstore, friends, the list goes on. The characters wrestle with the impact of losing Graham, realizing his outsize hold on their lives may not always have been a good thing.

The Forger's Daughter

October 21, 2020

The Forger’s Daughter by Bradford Morrow is written in a captivatingly old fashioned way. Will has been retired for decades from a life of duplicity and become a family man, but his nemesis has not. Threats to his family force his hand. The talents of his oldest daughter come into play as they try and perfectly copy an invaluable, early collection of Poe’s stories. It’s a diverting gothic tale.

The Secret Garden Children's Movie (PG) 99 minutes

October 4, 2020

Starring Colin Firth, Julie Walters, and Dixie Egerickx is a new take on the beloved classic novel of the same name written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Set in England during a new period in 1947, the film follows a young orphan girl who, after being sent to live with her uncle, discovers a magical garden on the grounds of his estate.

Outlander Season 5 (NR) 700 minutes

October 4, 2020

A continuation of Claire and Jamie's fight to protect those they love, as they navigate the trials and tribulations of life in colonial America. The Frasers strive to flourish within a society that is unwittingly marching toward Revolution. Jamie must now defend the home they have built together at Fraser's Ridge while Claire seeks to put her skills and medical expertise to use in keeping her family together and safe from harm for the rest of their lives.

My Brilliant Friend Season 1 Foreign Language Series (NR) 460 minutes

October 4, 2020
MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, Season 1 FOREIGN LANGUAGE (NR)

ITALIAN with English Subtitles Based on the first of four novels, this drama begins with an elderly woman discovering that her "brilliant friend" seems to have disappeared without a trace. Beginning an epic tale that spans over 60 years, she writes about their tempestuous relationship that started in 1950 and tries to describe the mystery of her friend, who is – in a way – her worst enemy. Set in a dangerous and fascination post-WWII Naples, Italy, and directed by Saverio Costanzo.

Luther Season 5 (NR) 227 minutes

October 4, 2020
LUTHER, Season 5(NR)

Golden Globe Award-winner Idris Elba (The Wire), returns to his monumental role as London's haunted DCI John Luther. In Season Five of the thrilling police drama, Luther and his recruit, DS Catherine Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku), confront a new nightmare—a series of monstrous killings that grow increasingly audacious. As the police and notorious gangster George Cornelius (Patrick Malahide) converge on Luther’s home, the detective must choose between saving a friend in peril, or the serial killer’s next target. Brace yourself for consequences that change John Luther forever.

John Lewis: Good Trouble Documentary (PG) 97 minutes

October 4, 2020

This Is an expansive documentary chronicling the remarkable life of the legendary Civil Rights and U.S. Representative icon John Lewis's life and legacy. The intimate account takes us through his more than 60 years of activism--from the bold teenager on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement to the legislative powerhouse he is today. Dawn Porter's film is a moving tribute to the real-life hero at the forefront of many hard-won battles for lasting change.

South Mountain (NR) 85 minutes

October 4, 2020

Lila (Talia Balsam) is an artist who teaches at a community college and has built a modest rural paradise in New York's Catskill Mountains with her husband Edgar (Scott Cohen). Soon after their teenaged daughters head off on summer adventures and her best friend Gigi (Andrus Nichols) begins chemotherapy, Edgar reveals he has started a new family with another woman. This leaves Lila alone for a season of explosive grief and self-discovery that focuses on an unconventional friendship with a younger man (Michael Oberholtzer).

A Nice Girl Like You (R) 94 minutes

October 4, 2020

A romantic-comedy. Violinist Lucy Neal (Lucy Hale) is thrown for a loop when her ex-boyfriend accuses her of being too inhibited or “pornophobic”. Starring award-winning actresses Lucy Hale, Mindy Cohn, Jackie Cruz,  Australian actor Leonidas Gulaptis, and Adhir Kalyan. Based on the popular memoir by Ayn Carrillo-Gailey, the story follows Lucy (Hale), who to prove him wrong, creates a rather wild to-do list that sends her on a whirlwind and surprising journey of self-discovery, friendship, and new love.

Fisherman's Friends (PG-13) 112 minutes

October 4, 2020
FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS  (PG-13)

A fast-living, cynical music executive (Danel Mays) heads to a remote Cornish village on a stag weekend where he’s pranked by his boss (Noel Clarke) into trying to sign a group of shanties singing fisherman (led by James Purefoy). He becomes the ultimate “fish out of water” as he struggles to gain the respect or enthusiasm of the unlikely boy band and their families (including Tuppence Middleton) who value friendship and community over fame and fortune. As he’s drawn deeper into the traditional way of life he's forced to reevaluate his integrity and ultimately question what success means.  A feel-good movie!

First Cow (PG-13) 121 minutes

October 4, 2020
FIRST COW (PG-13)

Two travelers (John Magaro and Orion Lee), on the run from a band of vengeful hunters in the 1820s Northwest Oregon Territory, the dream of striking it rich. But their tenuous plan to make their fortune in the frontier comes to rely on the secret use of a wealthy businessman’s prize cow, with their scheme lying somewhere between honest ingenuity and grift.

End of Sentence (NR) 97 minutes

October 4, 2020

After being widowed, Frank Fogle (John Hawkes) reluctantly embarks on a two-fold journey, a promise to honor his wife's last wishes of taking his estranged son, Sean (Logan Lerman), along for the trip of spreading her ashes in a remote lake in her native Ireland. Between a disconcerting Irish wake, the surfacing of an old flame, picking-up a pretty hitchhiker, and plenty of unresolved issues, the journey becomes a little more than father and son had bargained for.

Endings, Beginnings (NR) 110 minutes

October 4, 2020

In present-day Los Angeles, Daphne (Shailene Woodley), a 30-something woman, finds herself adrift in life. Navigating through love and heartbreak over one year. She becomes intertwined with 2 friends, Jack (Jamie Dornan) and Frank (Sebastian Stan) after meeting them at a party. During that time, she will unlock the secrets of her life in a sudden turn of events and the most surprising of places.

Elena Ferrante on Film Foreign Language Movie (NR) 200 minutes

October 4, 2020
ELENA FERRANTE ON FILM   FOREIGN LANGUAGE (NR)

ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES This was recently released in N. America, this is a compilation of well-received films based on the books of best-selling author Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend), including Troubling Love and The Days of Abandonment.

 

Bad Education (NR) 108 minutes

October 4, 2020

A critically acclaimed dark comedy based on the true story of a scandal that rocked a Long Island district in the mid-2000's Hugh Jackman delivers a grade-A performance as a charismatic superintendent Frank Tassone and Alison Janney shines as district business manager Pam Gluckin. While turning Roslyn High School into the nation's best, Frank and Pan have also been perpetrating the largest public school embezzlement in U.S.history. The bit when a tenacious young reporter from the school paper begins to investigate both Frank and his audacious scheme begins to unravel.

Marjory Saves the Everglades--The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas

September 25, 2020

Marjory Saves the Everglades--The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rebecca Gibbon is inspiring. Marjorie first went to FL as an 11-year-old but did not make it her home until after college and a failed marriage. She settled in Miami, working for her father at the Miami Herald. She discovered the Everglades and despite multiple mosquito bites fell in love with the "river of grass". She devoted her life to educating people about the beauty of what her detractors called a swamp. Her efforts were key to the creation of Everglades National Park, where there would be a huge airport today if she had not rallied national interest in the cause. This is an eye-opening look at early 20th-century environmental activism. (Non-Fiction)

Curious Encounters

September 25, 2020

Curious Encounters by Ben Clanton and Jessixa Bagley takes the reader on a number journey from 1 to 13 via varying forest friends who represent each number. It’s a vibrantly illustrated, humorous trail that starts with 1 moose making a “moosical” and with lots of clever wordplays winds up with 13 soaring seagulls. The animals romp through all kinds of activities with clever descriptions, and the delightful, detailed illustrations are a treat. (Non-Fiction)

Robobaby

September 25, 2020

Robobaby by David Weisner is a clever take on the impact of a newborn’s arrival. This extended family is robotic and literally has to build out Flange, their new baby. Older sister Cathode, aka Cathy, stands by helplessly as the adults flail around causing mishaps by not following instructions in the detailed manual. Of course, she saves the day! The ending is a perfect twist on happy surprises.

This Old Dog

September 25, 2020

This Old Dog by Martha Brockenbrough and Gabriel Alborozo is just about the sweetest book ever. The old dog is having kind of a tough time. Since the baby was born everyone seems to be in a hurry, so the days of leisurely sniffing and lazy walks are over. Then one magical day the little girl thumps to the ground from her crib and walks! Hooray--she is not in a hurry and happy to accompany the old dog on long, exploratory rambles. All is well. The illustrations are priceless.

The Oboe Goes Boom, Boom, Boom

September 25, 2020

The Oboe Goes Boom, Boom, Boom by Colleen A Venable, and Lian Cho is a fascinating, lighthearted introduction to the world of instruments. A school band leader explains each instrument’s history and how it is played. He is thwarted in his efforts to hear his players try out by Felicity, the very enthusiastic drummer. Then the tuba tries out….. This jolly, brightly illustrated book is a lot of fun and reaffirming that there is an instrument for everyone. Fun fact: Beethoven was the first famous composer to use the trombone.

Noodleheads Lucky Day

September 25, 2020

Noodleheads Lucky Day by Ted Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss is a chuckle. The pasta pair get into all sorts of trouble looking for a pet. They misunderstand exactly what a pet can be and have all kinds of humorous interactions with characters happy to take advantage of their ignorance.

Nice Try Charlie

September 25, 2020

Nice Try Charlie by Matt James is a picture book with a big heart. Charlie is the neighborhood picker; he finds things and then finds things to do with them. He often helps people along the way. Aunt Myrtle keeps a close watch on the street and when Charlie finds a big pie she cautions him to look for the owner. He does his best but people are starting to get awfully hungry….. The illustrations perfectly capture the feel of an urban streetscape. In the end, the group of friends shares a spectacular looking pie!

Monkey with a Tool Belt Blasts Off!

September 25, 2020

Monkey with a Tool Belt Blasts Off! by Chris Monroe finds Chico Bon Bon in a bright yellow rocket called the Banana 5. As you might imagine the right tool belt is a must-have item for a journey to outer space. You really can't safely leave earth without a galactic hatchet and a gummi laser. He's on the way to the space station to make much-needed repairs. The vibrant pictures that are characteristic of this series get an extra dash of energy and color from the extraterrestrial life forms. Chico is always a ton of fun.

Jabari Tries

September 25, 2020

Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall is a great follow up to Jabari Jumps. Jabari is in his backyard with his father and younger sister, intent on building a flying machine. His initial efforts don't exactly "take off" and he gets frustrated with the project and his little sister Nika. Wise counsel from his father and unexpected help from Nika make his dreams an exciting reality.