If you find yourself with a bit of leisure time after the holiday rush, consider one of the following suggestions. At the end of every year, the Library staff presents their most memorable read, listened or viewed experiences to share with all of you. Here’s what we came up with for 2018:
The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens Set in suburban Florida, this thriller exposes the secrets of three generations of neighbors whose lives intersect in the aftermath of a murder. The characters are likable and relatable, and the story line is engaging and suspenseful. Complete with a satisfying ending, this one is a real winner! — suggested by Deborah
Christopher Robin (2018) does a masterful job of recreating the tone of the original Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Christopher Robin is all grown up but he has lost his way in the world. Pooh and his friends travel from the Hundred Acre Wood to London to rescue their childhood friend from dreaded corporate world of lies and greed. This is not an animated feature, it is the Disney combo of live actors and a computer generated Pooh and company. All of the joy and magic of the original Pooh stories is here for the taking – if you will only believe.– suggested by Jackie.
Join us for a screening and discussion of the film Christopher Robin on Saturday, January 5th from 2 – 5 in the Library Meeting Room.
Circe by Madeline Miller is an engaging, emotional, enjoyable read! The Greek goddess Circe, daughter of the sun god Helios, is least loved by her parents until she disfigures her rival Scylla and becomes something the world has never seen–a witch. The Gods exile Circe to an island, where she crosses paths with the ruthless Minotaur, the infamous Medea, and the greatest hero of them all, Odysseus. A brilliant, beautifully written imagination of Greek mythology. — suggested by Spencer
A Wrinkle in Time written and performed by Madeline L’Engle. This book has been a classic since it was first published in the early 60s, but clearly it was a story way ahead of its time. Meg, the heroine, is a teenage girl and her mom is a PhD working for NASA. The three characters who help Meg travel through time and space to rescue her dad, who is also a scientist at NASA, are the very mysterious, magical and delightfully eccentric Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Madeline L’Engle’s voice adds so much atmosphere to an already engaging story. This is a Young Adult novel, but like Harry Potter, it is meant for all ages. — suggested by Jackie.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towley. This novel follows the 30 year saga of Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov a Russian noble who is placed under house arrest inside the Metropol Hotel in Moscow in 1922 by the Bolsheviks. Although imprisoned in the servent’s quarters in the attic of the hotel, the Count maintains his aristocratic ways. Over the decades, we share the Count’s adventures with Nina, his beloved “adopted” daughter who is also in residence, and hotel staff and guests as they confront the societal changes of communism. Two features to recommend this read: the many opportunities for “casting” the characters in books in your mind’s eye for future movie roles, and a terrific ending. — suggested by Rick
Virgil Wander by Leif Enger A new novel by Leif Enger is a welcomed treat and his latest is one to savor. Set in a small town on the shores of Lake Superior we follow Virgil, the main character of the book’s title, as he recovers from an accident that left him with an unreliable memory, and visions of a black figure no one else can see. At the same time, a visitor named Rune arrives in town to learn about the son he never knew he had who had mysteriously disappeared in a small plane years before. Beautifully written and enchanting, this heart-warming tale of family and community is a perfect companion for a cold winter’s night. — suggested by Deborah
Donna suggests a Helen Mirren double feature:
Eye In the Sky (2015) has lingered in my thoughts since I watched it earlier this year. The film’s premise focuses on geographically separate officials (UK and US military leaders, a British foreign secretary, US Secretary of State, and Kenyan undercover agents), linked by phone calls and video conferencing as they argue the pros and cons of launching a drone on a branch of the al-Shabaab terrorist group that is hiding out in Nairobi. Through airborne surveillance, the military leaders witness members of this terrorist group preparing for a suicide attack. The story unfolds in what feels like real time, keeping you on the edge of your seat and features a stellar cast with Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, and Barkhad Abdi playing major roles. This film’s portrayal of modern drone warfare and collateral damage is thought provoking. I’m sure Eye in the Sky will linger a long time with you too!
Woman in Gold (2015) is based on the true story of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) and her lawyer, Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) and their attempt to reclaim ownership of an extremely valuable Gustav Klimt painting from the Austrian government nearly fifty years after it was stolen by the Nazis. The film moves back and forth in history, going from young Maria’s life in pre-war Vienna, to her flight from the Nazis to the US, to her legal actions in the early 2000’s. A captivating movie that nicely blends art history, drama, and justice.