Staff Choices

Posted by SherriT on 06/07/17
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Jenni L. Walsh’s book, Becoming Bonnie, is a fast-paced, exciting, and touching story of Bonnie before Clyde, showing the reader who she was as a girl and explaining how she transformed into the infamous gun-slinging, bank-robbing woman we all know. The story takes us back to the mid-to-late 1920s to a dusty town on the outskirts of Dallas where people worked hard but did not always have much, prohibition was in full force and the worst, longest and deepest economic depression was just about to hit.  A fun look at the Roaring Twenties complete with speakeasies, market crashes, and dance marathons. This story is filled with unusual characters from Bonnie's wild friend Blanche, to Roy (a man who goes through his own surprising transformation), to even Big Bertha, the car that totes them from one adventure to the next.

Even though I knew the story of Bonnie & Clyde, I loved hearing it told in the fantastic new voice that Jenni Walsh brings to the table. A charismatic, fun and engaging debut. I am already desperate for the sequel, which unfortunately does not come out until 2018!
Posted by Uncle Will on 06/04/17
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A great thing about high-definition (HD) is the ability to re-enhance older black & white films. The latest product is one of my all-time favorite films: The Devil's Disciple (1955). It stars 3 Academy Award Best Actors: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, and Sir Laurence Olivier.
 
The story takes place sometime during the middle of the American Revolutionary War. It's historic fiction. Lancaster plays the Rev. Anthony Anderson, a peace-loving pastor of a small village. His wife is young and very naive. She's played by British actress, Janette Scott, who was only 17 at the time. The heroic and well-preserved Lancaster was 42.
 
More heroic was Douglas' character, Richard Dudgeon, whose father is hung by the British troops for suspicion of treason against the Crown, at the beginning of the film. Douglas is perfect for the role of the sharp-tongued, rake and ramblin' guy.
 
Olivier plays "Gentleman Johnny" (true historic figure Gen. John Burgoyne). Through a couple Hitchcockian plot twists and mistaken identities, Olivier is placed in the position to hang one of his co-stars....for King and Country!.
This historic romance is based on the 1901 play written by George Bernard Shaw. Each chapter of the film begins with a narration and Claymation war figurines, which are a cute touch for back in the '50's. This film only runs 83 minutes. My favorite scene is when the "trees fall." Enjoy!
Posted by annetteb on 06/03/17
Are you a fan of British television shows? If so, Acorn TV is perfect for you! 
 
Acorn TV is an app available on our circulating Rokus. According to the Acorn TV website, "Acorn TV streams world-class mysteries, dramas, and comedies from Britain and beyond." With Acorn TV, you can enjoy hours of commercial-free viewing. 

Both the Roku 3 and Roku Streaming Stick media players are now available at the Tech Help Desk. With the Roku, you can now stream thousands of movies and TV shows on your HDTV via your home high-speed wifi. Either of these devices will give you a terrific streaming experience.

Learn more about the Roku here.

Posted by annetteb on 06/03/17
Are you looking to create a great new video with exciting special effects this summer? Consider using our portable green screen to incorporate exciting backdrops into your newest project. The green screen may be checked out for a one-week period. If you have any questions, feel free to stop by the Tech Learning Center.
Posted by jonf on 05/14/17
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 The bad boy Dallas Cates is out of jail and looking for revenge for Joe Pickett and his family. Dallas had a relationship with Joe's adopted daughter April and started a personal feud with Joe and the Cates clan led by his mother Brenda, it ended with Brenda paralyzed and two dead brothers and Dallas in jail.
Dallas has concocted a brilliant plan to terrorize Joe and his family, but with help from Joe's good friend Nate Romanowski
they figure out their own solution to the threat. The Cate's clan show up in the book Endangered, it would help to read that book first, another good mystery by C.J. Box.
 
 
 
 
Mystery
Posted by Uncle Will on 05/13/17
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On Sunday, June 11, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm in the Cardinal Room, I will be leading a discussion of "What's Better: The Book or the Movie." That day we will be discussing a novella by Stephen King. 1982, Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption was one of 4 novellas published in the book Different Seasons. It was adapted to film and released as “Shawshank Redemption” in 1994. The film was nominated for 7 Oscars. Today it remains No. 1 out of the 250 top-rated films of all time by the movie database: IMDb.
 
Tim Robbins stars as Andy Dufresne, a man arrested for murdering his wife and her lover. In 1948, Andy’s found guilty and given to 2-consecutive life sentences in the fictitious corrections’ facility: Shawshank Prison. There Andy meets Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding, played by Morgan Freeman. In time, the two convicts develop a life-long friendship.
 
I know that many have never read the book that the movie is based on. The novella is only 110 pages and a very quick read.
If you register for the program, there'll be a book discussion copy that can be checked out for 6 weeks and a DVD for one week at the Info Desk.
 
Our "What's Better: The Book or the Movie" discussions are usually a raucous event so please sign up and join us!
Crime, drama
Posted by Uncle Will on 05/10/17
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It's been a while since I ran across a good TV series that stars the U.S. Navy. The Last Ship is an action-packed, apocalyptic, tale told in the near future. A pandemic has occurred and billions of the world's population has been annihilated, save for one American warship. 
 
The warship's commander has a crew of 216 - all who have been on a mission to the artic, observing strict radio silence, for 4 months. When a genius biologist and her lab partner are attacked by Russian helicopters, the "science data" mission changes radically. Eric Dane plays CO CDR Thomas Chandler, happily married, father of two. His character is somewhat like a cross between John Wayne and The Terminator. Rhona Mitra plays Dr. Rachel Scott, who is set on saving the world. Big, bad boy and former My Bodyguard, Adam Baldwin, rounds out a strong cast who are all dedicated, creative, and honorable. In a second season episode, I actually found myself standing up when our flag was raised on a front porch in a Norfolk neighborhood.
The episodes run about 46 minutes - so it's easy to speed through several at a sitting. Since they are located in the TV section of the DVDs, they each are a 2-week checkout. Five seasons are already planned for this TNT series. Currently, we own 3. With how the world is spinning these days, I found this series to be uplifting and hopeful.
Posted by Lucy S on 05/09/17
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Moonglow is a fictionalized memoir . . . with footnotes. The narrator/grandson visits his taciturn, dying grandfather who has turned into an open book. The grandson tries to fill in the gaps of what he remembers to this new information brought forth. Michael Chabon creates a bit of an eccentric world spanning decades, a story of a family.
 
Throughout the narrative, the love of the grandfather for his wife does not waver despite him sensing that something was broken within her when they first met. The passing years would tell the extent of it and of how it filters down through generations. How do you explain what love is? The grandmother is French and spent the war in France suffering traumas that haunt her entire life. Today we might call it PTSD. The grandmother’s cultural differences also make for amusing peculiarities when the grandson, as a child, visits his grandparents. His grandmother would bring out tarot cards to tell him stories. Separated by two generations yet connected.
 
The novel is told back and forth between the present and the past. It covers religion, rocketry, the race to the moon, a war, Werner von Braun, mental illness, a prison stint, standing up for yourself, a villainous uncle harmed at the hand of a family member, great sadness, love and humor. It is told with a tinge of the surreal but also with a warmth that can cocoon a family despite what the world throws at you. The story is very engaging; the author writes with a vocabulary that is rich, but not flowery, forcing me to pay attention and to enjoy the phrasing.
 
Those who like to read traditional memoirs and fans of Michael Chabon’s other work may enjoy his newest novel.
 
 
Fiction
Posted by Lucy S on 04/17/17
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Aisholpan Nurgaiv is 13 years old at the time of the filming, the daughter of a Kazakh nomad family living in Mongolia. Monday through Friday she lives in a dorm while attending school, her father transporting her via a small motorcycle. She is a typical schoolgirl except that she is determined to learn how to train golden eagles, a traditionally male role. Eagle hunting is a form of falconry that involves riding on horseback and catching small prey with a trained bird.
 
Among many memorable moments, Aisholpan and her father climb a cliff to take a three month old eaglet from its nest for her to train. Aisholpan is tethered to her father and safety only by a single rope tied around her waist as she clambers down into the eagle’s nest. The scenes when she is training with the eagle are striking. The force of it landing on her gloved arm from full flight just about spins her completely around. She is not afraid and she is strong; she has to be as she and her father ride for miles with their eagles perched on their arms to attend the Golden Eagle Festival competition. These birds can weigh up to 15 pounds with a 5 foot wingspan.
 
Working with a small film crew, the cinematographers beautifully capture the sweeping steppes of Mongolia; seemingly desolate but also full of life. Classified as a documentary, there are scenes that appear to be timed fortuitously for the camera yet there is no denying Aisholpan’s abilities and the events that took place. Most memorable to me is the support of her family, her father empowering his daughter, and the relationship she has with her eagle. It is beautiful to watch this culture’s traditions and their respect for these majestic birds. The Eagle Huntress is breathtaking to watch.
 
Actress Daisy Ridley lends her voice to the narration.
 
 
Documentary
Posted by Uncle Will on 04/12/17
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Nowadays there is a lot of competition among TV and filmmakers. Netflix and Amazon appear to be winning over more and more viewers from the 4 major American television networks. One of the problems for American series shows is that they never seem to know when to call it quits. Some shows keep dragging out the story-line until audiences get bored with the redundancy. Why do series from the BBC, Australia, Ireland, and Canada seem to know how to produce tightly written shows year after year?

I recently stumbled upon a gem from BBC Ireland called The Fall. It is a compact 17-show series that stars Gillian Anderson (from The X-Files' fame.) I know that this series has come and gone, but for those of you who missed out...it's not too late to jump aboard.

The story is about a police "huntress" who is brought to Belfast, from the London MET, to hunt for a serial "hunter" of women. The pacing is methodical. The suspense is earned by great scripts and acting.

Unlike most American shows, the key plot points are not described in detail repeatedly; since the producers don't think their audiences can add 2 plus 2 and get 4. The stars of this series spend a lot of time in deep thought before they speak. One might find this irritating; however, so much if left to one's imagination while they deliberate. Remember the "eyes are the window to the soul."

Season 3 (the final season) is now in our catalog with not to long of a waiting list. Season's 1 and 2 are ready on the shelves to be checked out. The ADULT thriller is dark and disturbing, but worth the watch.
 
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6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
 
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