Rowayton Library Recommends

Pete the Cat (Series)

April 4, 2020

Pete the Cat by James Dean (including an Easter adventure)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Series)

April 4, 2020

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Series)

April 4, 2020

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Big Nate (Series)

April 4, 2020

Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce

Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows

April 4, 2020

Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro is a captivating early reader. The team helps sick magical animals get well. The world’s cutest baby dragon is their big challenge. Lots of science and adventure enliven the story

We Don't Eat Our Classmates

April 4, 2020

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins is a sketch. A young T-Rex needs a lesson in manners. Children will relate to the challenges of adjusting to new circumstances and making friends. The illustrations are adorable.

Stick and Stone

April 4, 2020

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry (also available as an eAudiobook and a movie) is a charming best friend story. The stick and stone may be inanimate objects, but they have whimsical personalities. The story is sweet.

Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie

April 4, 2020

Little House in the Big Woods (also available as an eAudiobook) and The Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder are the first two books in this iconic series. The heartwarming story of Laura’s family takes place on the American frontier

Little Blue Truck

April 4, 2020

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle has a catchy rhyming text with lots of animal sounds. The story teaches a nice message about helpfulness as well. The colorful illustrations are a great addition.

 

Harold and the Purple Crayon

April 4, 2020

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, our celebrated Rowayton author. Harold sets out one night accompanied by his extra-large crayon. Children have thrilled to his adventures for generations and it remains fresh and imaginative. Also available as an eAudiobook.

 

Goodnight Already!

April 4, 2020

Goodnight Already! by Jory John and Benjamin Davies (also available as an eAudiobook) introduces the reader to Bear. All he ideas! This also has very cute illustrations; the put-upon bear’s expressions are priceless.

Curious George's Dinosaur Discovery

April 4, 2020

Curious George’s Dinosaur Discovery by Margaret and H.A. Rey is for the dino-enthusiast in your home. George gets to visit an actual dinosaur dig! What will he find? This irrepressible, busybody monkey always entertains.

A Bear Sat on My Porch Today

April 4, 2020

A Bear Sat on My Porch Today by Jane Yolen questions whether the porch can survive all the animal visitors who have come over.  This rollicking chant-along is great fun.

The Sacrament

April 3, 2020

The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson (also available as an eBook) is the story of a young Icelandic nun who is asked to investigate possible abuse within the Catholic Church. The book takes place partly in Paris where she studied as a young postulant, and decades later in Iceland when she has to confront both possible evils in the church and her own past mistakes. It’s deeply personal and very affecting.

Motherless Brooklyn

April 3, 2020

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem is highly original and so much better than the widely panned movie. The hero struggles with his ferocious tics while trying to sort through a devastating crime. The writing is excellent and the hero a one of a kind character.

The Lost Man

April 3, 2020

The Lost Man by Jane Harper explores the isolated, arid backcountry of Australia by examining one family’s dysfunction. It’s very atmospheric; she really knows how to create tension and slowly unfold backstories that shine a light on a past full of pain. Highly recommended.

Eight Perfect Murders

April 3, 2020

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson is a terrific thriller. A writer finds himself caught in an intricate web as someone kills according to the murders he wrote about. Swanson is a master at keeping up the suspense. There is also good character development.

The Woman Who Smashed Codes

April 3, 2020

The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone (also available as an eAudiobook) is the little-known story of Elizabeth Smith. She was a brilliant cryptologist who began working in 1916 and eventually married another amazing cryptologist. Their work was groundbreaking and the source of many critical code-breaking successes in WWII. This is well written, page-turning, popular history. (Non-Fiction)

News of the World

April 3, 2020

News of the World by Paulette Jilles is a must-read. Tom Hanks stars in the movie version currently being produced. It’s the story of a traveling newsreader in Texas after the Civil War. He accepts a fifty-dollar gold piece to return a young girl who had been kidnapped by the Native Americans to her family. They forge a bond during their journey and he has to decide what the right ending to her story.

The Little Book of Hygge

April 3, 2020

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (also available as an eAudiobook) is subtitled “Danish Secrets to Happy Living”. The focus on comfort, togetherness, and wellbeing is particularly appropriate given our current shelter in place life. (Non-Fiction)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

April 3, 2020

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (also available as an eAudiobook) is a historical novel based on the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Service of the 1930s. Cussy Carter believes in the power of books and you will be rooting for her as she works hard to convince the hardscrabble populace she serves of the value of her mission.

And Then There Were None

April 3, 2020

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (also available as an eAudiobook) is one of the original page-turners. Ten guests are brought to a deserted island by an unseen host who never turns up. Things quickly start to go terribly wrong. This is probably her most famous book and deservedly so. It’s very clever!

See You Sunday

March 5, 2020

See You on Sunday by Sam Sifton--Aptly subtitled A Cook Book for Family and Friends this is an excellent resource. The renowned New York Times columnist gives great advice and recipes in this lavishly illustrated cookbook. It's the cooking world's answer to “just do it”. He makes the whole idea of entertaining approachable with practical tips and user-friendly recipes. After paging through the tasty options in this book you will no longer have any excuses for not having friends over! (Cookbook)

Rage Baking

March 5, 2020

Rage Baking by Kathy Gunst and Katherine Alford--Subtitled The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury and Women’s Voices, it posits that baking can reset the anger button, at least for a time. This book of essays and recipes is not shy about mixing politics and baking ingredients. The recipes are well-chosen, user-friendly and practical. In this cookbook, the well-done sheet cake recipe is best used for messaging! Fun photos mix women protesting, the contributors and the beautiful creations. There is some salty language. (Cookbook)

Smacked

March 5, 2020

Smacked by Eilene Zimmerman--This is a brave memoir that provides a window into white-collar drug addiction. The author's husband was a highly successful attorney in San Diego who hid a raging addiction to a variety of drugs until the very end of his life. The book is the story of their marriage and her efforts to contain an escalating crisis. Her shock upon discovering the root of his behavior leads her to research the extent of this problem. It’s a sobering account. (Non-Fiction)

Nature's Best Hope

March 5, 2020

Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas W. Tallamy--This book offers “A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard.” It’s a wonderful, accessible “how-to” on creating welcoming habitats in your own yard. With little effort, the beleaguered bees can find nourishment and your yard can support untold varieties of insects (aka bird food!). Leave the fertilizer and insecticide behind and become a grassroots conservationist. This is a thoughtful book that is very empowering --you can make a difference! (Non-Fiction)

Last Call

March 5, 2020

Last Call by Daniel Okrent--The history book Club selection for our March 25th meeting is a captivating look at Prohibition, including the circumstances that led to the constitutional amendment, what happened during the period it was the law of the land and the long term implications for the USA even after repeal. Okrent is a great, witty writer who brings the historical figures vividly to life. It’s a fascinating look at a footnote in our history that still impacts us today. Americans were awash in the drink from the start and they proved remarkably adept at the end running the dry legislation. (Non-Fiction)

Inconspicuous Consumption

March 5, 2020

Inconspicuous Consumption by Tatiana Schlossberg--A well-written book that calls attention to "the environmental impact you don't know you have".  Our convenience-driven and interconnected society have made climate change impact a part of our everyday lives. She focuses on four categories: technology and the internet, food, fuel, and fashion and the toll they take on the environment. For starters, we are an astonishingly wasteful society. Small, practical sacrifices can in fact matter and reading this book encourages one to think about how to lessen our impact on the earth. (Non-Fiction)

The Falcon Thief

March 5, 2020

The Falcon Thief by Joshua Hammer--Subtitled A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird this is a fascinating, true account. There is worldwide, underground traffic in rare raptor eggs; the buyers are wealthy Arabs who use the birds for sport hunting. Andy McWilliams, an intrepid detective from Liverpool specifically assigned to a “bird crimes” unit, meets the expert egg thief and proceeds to learn a great deal about a flourishing global trade that is decimating wild falcon populations. (Non-Fiction)

The House of Trelawney

March 5, 2020

The House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild--This book is an Anglophile’s dream. The Trelawney’s have lived at their Cornwall family estate for 800 years. The current owners are literally on their last legs, with a house that is rapidly falling around them. Years of neglect and bad financial decisions have brought them to a new low and the survival of the estate as a family business is now in question. Rothschild has a great ear for family dysfunction at all class levels and the dialogue and observations into their thoughts are priceless. The financial crash of 2008 precipitates a final reckoning that brings out the best and the worst in the family, who complicate their lives with an amazing ability to ignore the obvious. Highly recommended.

The Good Killer

March 5, 2020

The Good Killer by Harry Dolan--Dolan has once again written an exceptionally fine page-turner. He is an excellent writer who can create believable characters even in circumstances that can seem a bit edgy. The Iraq war provides a back story that ensnares a returned soldier and his nemesis in a vicious cat and mouse game. Sean and his girlfriend Molly have been living a carefully constructed hidden life until Sean’s act of bravery exposes them to terrible danger from people he thought he had left in his past. This is a real thrill ride.

These Ghosts are Family

March 5, 2020

These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card--This debut novel looks at a Jamaican family over the generations.  Stanford Solomon is ailing and has specifically requested an aide who he knows is his firstborn daughter--she though is ignorant of this major information. Her family grew up without a father and his decision to end his secret life upends so much of what she believed. It's a very compelling, well-written book that integrates family lore and history from the colonial plantations to present-day Harlem.

Eight Perfect Murders

March 5, 2020

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson--This twisty thriller will have you turning the pages at top speed. Malcolm Kershaw, a bookseller in Boston specializing in mysteries, published the list referenced in the title many years ago on his blog. Is it possible to get away with murder? An FBI agent trying to connect a series of unsolved murders thinks they are eerily like his list. He finds himself reluctantly drawn into the hunt. It’s very original and frankly somewhat depraved, perfect for mystery fans.

A Divided Loyalty

March 5, 2020

A Divided Loyalty by Charles Todd--Inspector Ian Rutledge returns in this intriguing mystery, set in England in 1921. A young woman is found murdered at the bottom of one of the plinths that make up the Avebury stone circle. No one knows who she is so the hunt is on. Rutledge is a terrific character who gets more interesting with each book. Here he struggles with the politics of Scotland Yard; his supervisor would be happy if he failed to solve the crime.

The Blaze

March 5, 2020

The Blaze by Chad Dungas--Another Iraq war backstory, but a very different book that takes place in Montana. Matthew Rose returns home to settle his father’s estate and try and bring closure to memories that have haunted him since he was a young boy. Plagued by a brain injury caused by an IED explosion, he struggles to understand what happened to his family on a long-ago night when arson destroyed a local store. History repeats itself and this time there is a body inside. Excellent character development brings the story to life.

All the Best Lies

March 5, 2020

All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen--A cold case is uncomfortably close to home for FBI agent Reed Markham. It appears that one of the prime suspects in the murder of his birth mother forty years ago is his adoptive father, a powerful VA politico now running for governor. There are abundant red herrings to keep everything lively and propel the plot.  This is third in a series but can be read easily as a standalone. The action takes place largely in Las Vegas and the author does a great job of painting a picture of the city. This is as much a family drama as it is a murder mystery.

The Absolution

March 5, 2020

The Absolution by Yrsa Sigurdardottir--This Icelandic noir is the last of a three-book series. Detective Hulgar and his motley crew, aided by child psychologist Freyja, investigate the murder of a teen. It turns out that bullying is the reason the grisly crime may have happened. Social media also plays a major role in spreading cruel messages. Is that enough to drive someone to kill? Very strong sense of place, with the isolation of Iceland setting the prevailing tone. The killer is numbering the victims; where will it end?

Ready to Fly, How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina

February 14, 2020

Ready to Fly, How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina by Lea Lyon and A. Lafaye, illustrated by Jessica Gibson--This is the inspiring true story of a young African American girl’s determination to become a ballerina. Sylvia loved music and dancing and was entranced by the graceful ballet movements she originally saw on TV. There was no money for lessons, but there was a bookmobile that provided her with books about ballet. After being turned away by many schools she found a teacher who took her under her wing and she was off! 1950's America could still be a prejudiced place and ballet was considered to be for white girls. She was spunky though and prevailed. (Non-Fiction)

Fly High, John Glenn--The True Story of an American Hero

February 14, 2020

Fly High, John Glenn--The Story of an American Hero’ by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Maurizio A.C. Quarello--This uplifting biography is fascinating. Clearly, John Glenn was born to fly; he had model airplanes hanging from his bedroom ceiling when he was just a tyke. He didn't actually learn to fly until he was 20. There was no stopping him after that! He became a highly decorated WWII fighter pilot, then test pilot, then Mercury astronaut and the first man to go into space. He was fearless, eventually becoming a United States Senator and flying in the space shuttle at the age of 90. (Non-Fiction)

I Am a Promise

February 14, 2020

I Am A Promise by Shelley Ann Fraser Pryce with Ashley Rousseau, illustrated by Rachel Moss--This juvenile biography is the uplifting story of a Jamaican who loved to run from the minute she was on her feet. All her young years she heard from people that she had "promise". She was never exactly sure what that meant but she kept on running. She always promised herself she would do her best. Ultimately she became a multi-medal Olympic track athlete representing Jamaica. She "ran like a rocket ran to be free” (Non-Fiction)

Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should Be A Vet!

February 14, 2020

Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should Be a Vet! By Dr. Seuss, illustrated by Kelly Kennedy--A dizzying array of possibilities--you have to DO something - are enthusiastically laid out in this early reader. There are some quirky options like lepidopterists to consider along with more standard selections like a trombone player. Everything rhymes so it is tons of fun to read while you think about what you might want to be when you grow up. (Early Readers)

Jack at Bat

February 14, 2020

Jack at Bat by Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli--In this comical early reader, Jack is a key player in a tense baseball game between the Ladies and the Brats. His initial role is batboy, which is not playing to his strengths. Once the game gets going he has the chance to save the day for the Ladies. Can Jack do it? Read along and find out and have some laughs along the way. Cute illustrations. (Early Readers)

Vote for Me

February 14, 2020

Vote For Me by Ben Clanton--At last, humorous dialogue about voting choices! The elephant and the donkey work hard to convince the reader one of them is the only/right choice. They get frightfully emotional and a real argument breaks out. The silly ending anoints a Big Cheese with lots of laughs. Primary colors heavy on the red and blue enliven the text. Highly recommended for all ages as a way to lighten up the primary season.

Up On Bob

February 14, 2020

Up on Bob by Mary Sullivan--Bob believes in being prepared. He’s a dog who has a lot of work to do before he can sleep all day. Dog owners will recognize Bob’s nest creation style; it’s hilarious. Once he’s all set he realizes that “Someone” is watching him who will not go away until he too has the perfect nest for sleeping. Bob gets a taste of his own medicine!

Snail Crossing

February 14, 2020

Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor--This is a very funny tale of a determined snail. He spots a yummy looking cabbage across the road and begins his long, slow trek to his goal. A group of pushy ants tells him he is in the way so he course corrects in time to meet a variety of motored and feathered obstacles. A kind deed to his new “antsy” friends pays big dividends for all. The illustrations are priceless, especially the expressions on the snail.

Numenia and the Hurricane

February 14, 2020

Numenia and the Hurricane by Fiona Halliday-This book is inspired by a true migration story. Whimbrels are migratory shorebirds who travel from Canada’s North West Territories to the US Virgin Islands. One of the birds was wearing a tracker and the scientists following her realized she had been blown off course by a major hurricane. The book uses poetry and beautiful imagery to describe the daunting journey through the heart of the storm.

No More Naps

February 14, 2020

No More Naps by Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Leo Espinosa--This is "A Story for When You're Wide-Awake and Definitely Not Tired". Annalise is a highly reluctant napper. We meet her screaming because she does not want to take a nap. Out and about in her stroller, she meets all kinds of people, animals, and birds who are happy to "take" her naps. With the whole world asleep around her she realizes it’s actually a good idea, but who will give her a nap? A kindly cat with naps to spare solves that problem! The bold paintings that capture the cityscape and its residents are great.

Cyclops of Central Park

February 14, 2020

Cyclops of Central Park by Madelyn Rosenberg, illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov--This highly original book is gorgeously illustrated. Cyclops lives in NYC with his flock. He keeps them together with constant admonishments about the scary world beyond their cave. Eugene is having none of it and disappears one day. Cyclops searches fruitlessly throughout the city, eventually recruiting the rest of the flock to help him. Further high energy adventures ensue, with everyone learning to appreciate change, as well as the familiar. This is a rollicking, colorful romp.

Bonnie and Ben Rhyme Again

February 14, 2020

Bonnie & Ben Rhyme Again by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek-This cute book interweaves favorite nursery rhymes within a story of two young children out for the day with their friend Skinny Doug. The group grows with each rhyme as the characters step out of their story to join the fun. The illustrations are vibrantly colorful and lively. This is a good read aloud because many of the nursery rhymes are familiar.

The Bold, Brave Bunny

February 14, 2020

The Bold, Brave Bunny by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Chow Hon Lam Whimsical illustrations warm this tale of a bunny named Teetu who is frankly tired of bunnies – they are everywhere in his burrow.  He decides to break out of the burrow and explore. He writes a book along the way to replace the one the little bunnies snacked on earlier. His adventures help him appreciate the warmth of his rabbit family.

Bird Hugs

February 14, 2020

Bird Hugs by Ged Adamson-Bernard is an exceptional bird. He has very, very long wings that keep him from flying, as hard as he tries. He gets very discouraged and blue until he comes across a seriously sad orangutan. A comforting hug from Bernard's wrap-around wings perks him up and a star is born. Animals line up for hugs and tell him their problems. Best of all, when you help your friends they help you!

Beehive

February 14, 2020

Beehive by Joyce Hurley--Each page in this lovely book has only one verb that describes bees in the process of making honey. The author’s note at the end has explanatory descriptions for the words. Bold, graphic illustrations are stunning representations of the life of these marvelous insects. Each bee is different

Maleficient: Mistress of Evil

February 2, 2020

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL – Children’s MOVIE (PG) The story of this most iconic villain continues, starring Angelina Jolie. After sharing many happy years, Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by Aurora's upcoming wedding, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play. While the years have been kind to Maleficent and Aurora, the hatred between man and fairies still exists. Aurora's engagement to Prince Phillip is cause for celebration in the kingdom of Ulstead, but all is not as it should be, there are dark currents swirling everywhere.

The Addams Family Children's Movie (PG) 87 minutes

February 2, 2020

THE ADDAMS FAMILY – Children’s MOVIE (PG) Get ready to snap your fingers! The Addams Family is back in their first animated comedy about the kookiest family on the block. Funny, outlandish, and completely iconic, they redefine what it means to be a good neighbor.

You Season 1 New Series (NR) 451 minutes

February 2, 2020

YOU SEASON 1 NEW SERIES (NR) Based on the book by Caroline Kepnes. A 21st-century romantic thriller centered around a relationship that gets taken too far. When a brilliant bookstore manager, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) crosses paths with an aspiring writer, Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), his answer becomes clear: anything. As he uses the internet and social media to gather the most intimate of details to get close to her, a charming and awkward crush quickly becomes an obsession when he quietly and strategically begins to remove every obstacle, and person, between them.

The Truth Will Out Season 1 New Foreign Series (NR) 355 minutes

February 2, 2020

THE TRUTH WILL OUT SEASON 1 NEW FOREIGN SERIES (NR) Swedish with English subtitles Inspired by true events, this Swedish crime drama delivers enthralling mystery, striking scenery, and droll humor. Returning to work following a mental breakdown, Detective Peter Wendel (Robert Gustafsson), is tasked with creating an elite team of investigators to crack cold cases. When the police find a note on a dead body that claims Sweden’s most notorious serial killer is a fraud, Wendel gets a chance to redeem himself--but only the dregs of the force are available to work the case. Under pressure to mobilize quickly, Wendel is forced to hire two cops who hate each other, plus a forthright woman who isn’t even a police officer. Can his lowly group solve this high-profile crime?

Pitching In Season 1 New Series (PG) 225 minutes

February 2, 2020

PITCHING IN, SEASON 1 NEW SERIES (PG) On the scenic and serene north Wales coast, the residents of Daffodil Dunes are content with their cozy if somewhat outdated, camping-park community. Then owner Frank (Larry Lamb) makes the surprising announcement that he plans to sell the park and retire. But when his strong-willed daughter, Carys (Caroline Sheen) returns home for the first time since her mother's death, 18 months ago, she attempts to change his mind. Cary’s plans events from medieval reenactments to fitness retreats to draw new visitors and increase income. But she is in over her head as she tries to juggle a teenage son, her ex-fiancé's new girlfriend, another woman in her father’s life, estate agent Iona’ (Hayley Mills), who has her own plans for Daffodil Dunes--and for Frank himself--in this endearing family drama.

My Life is Murder Season 1 New Series (PG) 450 minutes

February 2, 2020

MY LIFE IS MURDER, SEASON 1 NEW SERIES (PG) An Australian detective drama starring Lucy Lawless, playing retired cop Alexa Crowe. But with her old boss and long-time friend Detective Inspector Kieran Hussey (Bernard Curry) regularly asking for her insight on cold cases, she can’t resist because Alexa can't seem to stop solving crime. She acts on instinct, a cross of both avenging angel and a bit of a shit-stirrer. Deeply empathetic and blunt to the point of rudeness, she solves the unsolvable with bubbly, sarcastic, ambitious and grounded Madison (Ebony Vagulans), a true extrovert, working as a Data Analyst for the Police and on hand at Alexa's call to do what she does best.

Father Brown Season 7 (NR) 450 minutes

February 2, 2020

FATHER BROWN, SEASON 7 SERIES (NR) Step back in time again to the sleepy 1950s English Cotswolds where Father Brown (Mark Williams) continues to tend his flock and catch criminals with compassion, intuition, psychology, and wit. You'll wonder: Who would kill an opera diva, a church bell ringer or the owner of a medieval whistle? Why poison a gardener or blackmail a lord? When someone steals Lady Felicia's jewels, should Father Brown ask a brilliant thief to help recover them? And how on earth will perish secretary Mrs. McCarthy (Sorcha Cusack) and Bunty (Emer Kenny) find Father Brown and Inspector Mallory (Jack Deam) after the two men go missing?

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice New Documentary (NR) 93 minutes

February 2, 2020

LINDA RONSTADT, The Sound of My Voice – NEW DOCUMENTARY (NR) An icon for more than 50 years, with extraordinary range and ambition, Linda started singing with her family in Mexican Canciones. Her teens found her singing folk with the Stone Poneys, and she was rock queen of the '70s and early '80s. Producing 11 Platinum albums, she was the first female artist to top the Pop, Country and R&B charts simultaneously. She's won 10 Grammy Awards on 26 nominations. Now fighting Parkinson's Disease, she narrates her story in this remarkable film.

Honeyland New Documentary (NR) 90 minutes

February 2, 2020

HONEYLAND – NEW DOCUMENTARY (NR) OSCAR NOMINEE English Subtitles - Hatidze lives with her ailing mother in the mountains of Macedonia, making living cultivation honey using ancient beekeeping traditions. When an unruly family moves in next door, what at first seems like a balm for her solitude becomes a source of tension as they, too, want to practice beekeeping, while disregarding her advice. The most awarded film at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Honeyland is an epic, visually stunning portrait of the delicate balance between nature and humanity that has something sweet for everyone.

The White Crow (R) 127 minutes

February 2, 2020

THE WHITE CROW – MOVIE (R) Written by David Hare, this incredible true story of legendary ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (Oleg Ivenko) is brought vividly to life by director Ralph Fiennes. Nureyev’s poverty-stricken childhood in the Soviet Union, his blossoming career as a dancer in Leningrad, to his nail-biting defection to the West at the height of the Cold War. Nureyev’s magnetic presence as a wild and beautiful dancer limited by the world of 1950’s Leningrad, helped him to emerge as ballet’s most famous star. He flirted with Western artists and ideas. A gripping and revelatory look at a unique artist who transformed the world of ballet forever.

Terminator: Dark Fate (R) 128 minutes

February 2, 2020

TERMINATOR: Dark Fate – MOVIE (R) Decades after Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) prevented Judgment Day, a lethal new Terminator is sent to eliminate the future leader of the resistance. In a fight to save mankind, battle-harden Sarah Connor teams up with an unexpected ally (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and an enhanced super soldier to stop the deadliest Terminator yet. The fate of humanity hanging in the balance in this action-packed thrill ride.

Paper Soldiers (R) 87 minutes

February 2, 2020

PAPER SOLDIERS – MOVIE (R) Crime has never been more disorganized than in this outrageous comedy featuring Kevin Hart, Stacey Dash and hip-hop superstars Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek, and Capone-N-Noreaga. When a rookie crook (Hart) teams up with a hot-headed hood bully (Sigel) and some other bungling small-time house burglars, the crew's capers result in comic mishaps proving some guys have so much fun…it’s criminal!

Motherless Brooklyn (R) 149 minutes

February 2, 2020

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN – MOVIE (R) In 1950s New York, Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective with an affliction, ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the powerful engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of eh the whole city in the balance.  Also starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Defoe and Alec Baldwin.

Harriet (PG-13) 125 minutes

February 2, 2020

HARRIET – MOVIE (PG-13) I'm Gonna Be Free or Die! Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, telling the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Haunted by memories of those she left behind, Harriet (Cynthia Erivo) ventures back into dangerous territory on a mission to lead others to freedom. With allies like abolitionist William Still (Leslie Odom Jr.) and the entrepreneurial Marie Buchanon (Janelle Monae), Harriet risks capture and death to guide hundreds to safety as one of the most prominent conductors of the Underground Railroad. Witness the story of a woman who defied impossible odds to change the course of her life.

Gemini Man (PG-13) 117 minutes

February 2, 2020

GEMINI MAN – MOVIE (PG-13) Will Smith stars in the nonstop action thrill-ride from director Ang Lee. Retired hitman Henry Brogan (Smith) is forced on the run by a young, highly skilled operative who will stop at nothing to eliminate his target. Now on a race around the globe, Henry must outsmart the mysterious assassin at every step, but how far will he go once they finally come face to face? Packed with epic fight scenes and groundbreaking visual effects, Gemini Man is the future of action movies.

Gallows (R) 80 minutes

February 2, 2020

GALLOWS – MOVIE (R) In 1993, an accident results in the death of an actor during a high school play. Twenty years later, a theater group at the same school resurrects the production to mark the tragedy.  In an attempt to sabotage the play, three students break into the school at night, only to discover that the horrors of the past don’t always stay buried, as their own cameras capture a series of chilling and inexplicable incidents that leads to a shocking climax.  Creepy!, Chilling!, Terrifying! Redefines HORROR!.

Black and Blue (R) 107 minutes

February 2, 2020

BLACK AND BLUE – MOVIE (R) This fast-paced action-thriller is about a rookie cop (Naomi Harris) who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Tyrese Gibson) as she tries to escape the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage

Angel Has Fallen (R) 121 minutes

February 2, 2020

ANGEL HAS FALLEN – MOVIE (R) When there is an assassination attempt on U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), his trusted Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is wrongfully accused and taken into custody. After escaping, he becomes a man on the run and must evade his out agency and outsmart the FBI in order to find the real threat to the president. Desperate to uncover the truth, Banning turns to unlikely allies to help clear his name, keep his family from harm, and save the country from imminent danger.

Pain and Glory (Dolor Y Gloria) Foreign Movie (R) 113 minutes

February 2, 2020

PAIN AND GLORY (Dolor y Gloria) – FOREIGN MOVIE (R) OSCAR NOMINEE Spanish, English and French Languages and also Subtitled--A Film by Pedro Almodovar-A series of re-encounters experienced by Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), a film director in his physical decline. Some of them in the flesh, others remembered: his childhood in the ‘60s, when he emigrated with his parents to a village in Valencia in search of prosperity, the first desire, his first adult love in the Madrid of the ‘80s, the pain of the breakup of that love while it was still alive and intense, writing as the only therapy to forget the unforgettable, the early discovery of cinema, and the void, the infinite void that creates the incapacity to keep making films. And in special collaboration with Penelope Cruz as Jacinta!

The Lighthouse (R) 109 minutes

February 2, 2020

THE LIGHTHOUSE – MOVIE (R) OSCAR NOMINEE From Robert Eggers, the visionary filmmaker behind modern horror masterpiece The Witch, comes this hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. As an approaching storm threatens to sweep them from the rock and strange apparitions emerge from the fog, each man begins to suspect that the other has become dangerously unmoored. Starring Willem Defoe and Robert  Pattinson. A gripping story brilliantly filmed and led by a pair of powerhouse performances, (this film) further establishes Robert Eggers as a filmmaker of exceptional talent. Critics, “Rotten Tomatoes”

Judy (PG-13) 118 minutes

February 2, 2020

JUDY – MOVIE (PG-13) OSCAR NOMINEE Renee Zellweger rocks as Judy Garland in this movie about the legend behind the Rainbow. Thirty years after rising to global stardom, showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. While preparing for the shows, Garland battles with management reminisces with friends and adoring fans and embarks on a whirlwind romance with soon-to-be fifth husband Mickey Deans--all while struggling to overcome intensifying anxiety and physical decline. Featuring some of her best-known songs, this film celebrates Judy’s unyielding spirit and matchless talent.

Joker (R) 121 minutes

February 2, 2020

JOKER – MOVIE (R) OSCAR NOMINEE JOKER centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips' exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham's fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.

Ad Astra (PG-13) 123 minutes

February 2, 2020

AD ASTRA – MOVIE (PG-13) OSCAR NOMINEE Brad Pitt gives a powerful performance in the sci-fi thriller set in space. When a mysterious life-threatening event strikes, astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) must travel to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel the mystery threatening the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

Dragon Gets By

January 22, 2020

Dragon Gets By by Dav Pilke, Dragon wakes up groggy and as a result begins a day full of goofs like reading an egg, frying the newspaper and sweeping his entire dirt floor into the yard. A shopping adventure also goes awry in a major way, leaving him with no choice but to water his bed and crawl into his plants for a well-deserved rest. Young readers will laugh at his humorous misadventures. (Early Reader)

I Voted--Making A Choice Makes a Difference

January 22, 2020

I Voted--Making a Choice Makes a Difference by Mark Shulman and Serge Bloch, Young citizens will enjoy this primer on the merits and how-to of voting. It starts with the principle of why and how one might vote--i.e. for the type of class pet, how some votes are hard (ice cream or cupcakes?), others not (cookies or onions?), how you talk to people about voting, etc. Cheerful paintings add to the enthusiasm of the participants. This is a good, light-handed civics lesson. (Non-Fiction)

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver

January 22, 2020

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta, illustrated by Frank Morrison, This is the story of his lifelong love of gardening. Born a slave, he grew up on a farm where he especially loved growing flowers. He experimented with a secret garden in the woods, taking care of people’s plants and getting a reputation as a plant doctor. It was when he was hired as a professor at the Tuskegee Institute that his research into the benefits of the peanut took off. He spent his life teaching and traveling and became a living folk hero. This is an inspirational book, with beautiful, complementary illustrations. (Non-Fiction)

The Oldest Student--How Mary Walker Learned to Read

January 22, 2020

The Oldest Student--How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard and Oge Mora, Be inspired by the uplifting story of a girl born into slavery in 1848, who learned to read at the age of 114. Her family was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, but that did not free her from a lifetime of hard work sharecropping and doing odd jobs, with no time to learn to read. At last, a class in her retirement home opened the door to learning to read and she became the oldest student in the country. She loved reading and famously lived the motto “You’re never too old to learn” (Non-Fiction)

Becoming RBG--Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice

January 22, 2020

Becoming RBG--Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Whitney Gardner, This is a graphic novel of the Justice's life from birth to the present day. It is an accessible, well-documented biography of a woman who was born before equal rights for women were accepted as a fact. She overcame losing her beloved mother her senior year in high school and went on to excel academically through Cornell and Harvard Law. Her legal prowess was well known and she was asked to join the Supreme Court by then-President Clinton. (Non-Fiction)

Bear Goes Sugaring

January 22, 2020

Bear Goes Sugaring by Maxwell Eaton III outlines Here are the “bear” essentials of maple sugaring. It’s an informational book chock full of facts about sugaring, laced with humor as bear prepares to tap the trees. Producing syrup for pancakes is the critical end goal. The bear has a few sidekicks who mostly point out that they need to keep the focus on eating pancakes and gosh, syrup seems to take a long time to make. The illustrations are terrific; this is a fun educational read for adults and children. (Non-Fiction)

Snail and Worm All Day

January 22, 2020

Snail & Worm All Day by Tina Kugler This book contains three stories about two fast friends. They work through classic childhood issues like bad days, trouble falling asleep, and fear of the unknown with sly humor and fun antics. The illustrations make their personalities shine. This is a great early reader or read aloud about the comfort of a wonderful friend

I Love You Fred

January 22, 2020

I Love You, Fred, by Mick Inkpen, illustrated by Chloe Inkpen, This could be the cutest dog story of 2020. Fred is a good dog who knows how to sit, stay and (mostly) not run away. He is confused about what to do when he hears "Fred", which he assumes is another command he needs to figure out. He will, with a little excitement along the way. Laugh out loud and touching both, this is a great read-aloud.

The Girl and the Dinosaur

January 22, 2020

The Girl and the Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes, illustrated by Sarah Massini, This is about a young girl on a magical journey. It all starts with digging for old bones in the sand and a wish that the bones she finds would come alive when she goes to sleep. Sure enough, a dinosaur taps at her window and their delightful adventures begin. The gorgeous illustrations are lush and spirited and the imaginative worlds they explore have just the right amount of realism to make the magic feel genuine.

Froggy Builds a Snowman

January 22, 2020

Froggy Builds a Snowman by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Welcome back Froggy! He’s always pushing the envelope just a bit, and this time the setting is the school winter carnival. Everyone is super excited and after a breakfast of cereal and flies Froggy is ready for fun in the snow. He and his classmates have a rip-roaring time, culminating in a snowman build. Froggy's snowman is exceedingly clever!

Freedom Soup

January 22, 2020

Freedom Soup by Tami Charles, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara The story follows a girl and her grandmother as they make freedom soup, a Haitian New Year’s tradition celebrating the end of slavery and the country’s independence from France 12 years later. Everyone gets into the spirit of creating a communal pot of delicious soup. Brightly colored illustrations add to the fun.

Cuddle Monkey

January 22, 2020

Cuddle Monkey by Blake Hellman, illustrated by Chad Otis, This character is adorable. Cuddle Monkey loves to cuddle but is thwarted at every turn by busy parents, inappropriate choices like a puddle, or inanimate objects that don’t cuddle back. He is the soul of patience and eventually prevails. Very sweet!

Cowie

January 22, 2020

Cowie by Elizabeth Stanton The donkey is a stitch. He came by his name because of his love for cows. He would like to be a cow, but despite his best efforts he cannot even muster a proper “moo”. His friends long to help him reach his goal and eventually figure out how. The journey, full of heartwarming watercolors, is a testament to the power of friendship and ingenuity. Highly recommended.

Tartine, A Classic Revisited

January 16, 2020

Tartine, A Classic Revisited by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson is a wonderful cookbook. It’s loaded with stunning, mouthwatering photographs. There are 68 new recipes, some of which are gluten-free, and 55 updated favorites. Check this out and strap on your apron and you won’t have to go to San Francisco to savor this deservedly famous bakery’s treats. (Cookbook)

We are the Luckiest--the Surprising Magic of a Sober Life

January 16, 2020

We are the Luckiest--the Surprising Magic of a Sober Life by Laura McKowen is a page-turner, which may sound like an odd description for a memoir about the struggle to get sober. The author recovered from her addiction using a variety of tools from AA to meditation and yoga. Some of the scenes she describes are shocking, making her recovery even more amazing. It also makes you think about all the different relationships people have with alcohol and other addictive substances. It’s an eye-opening tour de force. (Non-Fiction)

Tightrope--Americans Reaching for Hope

January 16, 2020

Tightrope--Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn is a harrowing read. The well-known New York Times reporter returns to his rural hometown of Yamhill, Oregon to survey the downturn of what had been a relatively prosperous area. Factories closed and families splintered, drug addiction got a grip. Kristoff finds that fully one-quarter of his original school bus has died by middle age. The authors look at the unfolding crisis on a micro and macro level and ask that the country. (Non-Fiction)

Notre Dame--A Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals

January 16, 2020

Notre Dame--A Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals by Ken Follett was written after the author watched the burning of the iconic cathedral last April. He spent years researching cathedral construction for his bestselling book Pillars of the Earth so he was well-positioned to write this engrossing book (all profits go to the rebuilding fund). Cathedrals are the oldest buildings still used for their original purpose. Building a cathedral was a communal enterprise inspiring a multitude of the faithful. Notre Dame’s history is a key part of this impressive legacy; it’s really interesting to learn about how it was built. (Non-Fiction)

Martha Stewart's Organizing

January 16, 2020

Martha Stewart’s Organizing by Martha Stewart is aptly subtitled The manual for bringing order to your life, home and routines. It’s a perfect reference for everyone who resolved to be more organized in 2020. It's organized by month, also by major holidays and rooms in the house. There's something for everyone here and she doesn't make you feel inept because you haven't thought of some of these ideas. Whatever you think of Martha there is going to be a takeaway or two in here! (Non-Fiction)

Such a Fun Age

January 16, 2020

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid has both cringe-inducing and funny moments. It's the story of a successful white mother whose babysitter is African American. One night the babysitter is confronted in an upscale grocery and accused of kidnapping her three-year-old charge. Havoc ensues, especially once the child’s mother seeks to make amends by helping her sitter. The dialogue is sharp and honest and will make you think about the potential complexities of employer/employee relationships complicated by race and class.

A Small Town

January 16, 2020

A Small Town by Thomas Perry is classic Perry. A town housing a big prison is effectively destroyed in a major breakout and a dozen escapees have not been found two years later.  This is a story of revenge. The main character is a policewoman from the town assigned to find the perpetrators who are at large. The novel follows her as she tracks the perpetrators and dispenses with them. Perry pushes the credibility envelope a bit at times but the suspense is real and the characters are well developed.

The Secret Guests

January 16, 2020

The Secret Guests by Benjamin Black (the pen name of John Banville) is a novel based on the idea that the English princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were sent to safety accompanied by secret service protection to an estate in “neutral” Ireland at the height of the London Blitz. There is a lot of fascinating history to mine for the awkward relationships that were the inevitable result of English/Irish tension during the war. Once the princesses get homesick and boring things to get interesting!

The Sacrament

January 16, 2020

The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson is very atmospheric. The Catholic community in Iceland is small but not immune to the troubles the church has had with accusations of misconduct by priests. This beautifully written, affecting novel is told from the perspective of a young nun who is sent from Paris to Iceland twenty years ago to investigate charges against a priest. She goes back twenty years later and confronts her past, regrets over decisions she made, and the chance for redemption. This is a solemn work, highly recommended.

Many Rivers to Cross

January 16, 2020

Many Rivers to Cross by Peter Robinson is the latest DCI Banks thriller. A young Middle Eastern boy is murdered in Eastvale and Banks and Annie Cabot start investigating. The team has to juggle the tensions that surround a proposed real estate development and try and find the threads that tie another murder to their investigation. Robinson is a master at the police procedural and the interweaving of the personal and professional issues that complicate Banks’ job. It is not always easy to know exactly what to do. An excellent read.

Long, Bright River

January 16, 2020

Long, Bright River by Liz Moore is a real page-turner. It takes place in Philadelphia and is the story of two sisters robbed of any chance of a normal life by the disappearance of their father and the death of their mother. Raised by an embittered grandmother, one becomes a police officer and one becomes an addict. The narrator is the cop; the events take place “then” and “now”. Riveting, wonderful character development and

Hunter Killer

January 16, 2020

Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor is the latest in the Pike Logan series. These thrillers are distinguished by the realism the author weaves into the plot as a result of the experiences he had in his 21 years in the Special Forces. The action/mayhem starts in the USA but quickly jumps to South America. It is nonstop but does not feel like a comic, which can happen with this type of book. The bad guys, Russians in this case, have picked on the wrong team leader. It's a highly enjoyable page-turner.