Staff Picks

Staff Review
image of filmmakers face

Karl Marx City (DVD)

By Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker
4
Rated by Michelle H.
Apr 25, 2018

Filmmakers Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker travel to Chemnitz, Germany because a mystery surrounds Petra’s father’s death. Just before ending his life, he sends his daughter a sweet note with no indication of his plans other than his disappointment with East Germany and the surveillance practices of the Stasi. What Epperlein and Tucker uncover is that place in the mind we all go, or would go, when very few around us are trustworthy and nowhere is safe from the gaze of surveillance, neither your home nor anywhere you visit.

Staff Review
Dark island with a house

And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie
4
Rated by Jackie S.
Apr 13, 2018

And Then There Were None is the first Agatha Christie novel I’ve read, and I was not disappointed. This intense mystery follows ten strangers who have been invited to stay on an island by an unknown host. Trying to figure out which of the guests lured the rest to this remote location, and then committed murder, is what keeps the reader engaged. As I am often disappointed when I can foresee the conclusion of a book, I was delighted that Christie’s writing style kept me on my toes, and didn’t make any one suspect stand out consistently.

Teen Staff Review
Book cover

Saint Death

By Marcus Sedgwick
4
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 12, 2018

A powerful book about the tough and gritty existence on the edge of the border, where everyone dreams of better lives that are only available to a very few through even fewer routes.

Staff Review
Ready Player One

Ready Player One

By Ernest Cline
4
Rated by Dylan R
Apr 11, 2018

Functioning as both a seminal look into pop culture's past as well as a fun, technological romp, Ready Player One is a fantastic tale centered around Wade Watts, a teenager and dedicated gamer in the year 2044. Having almost no family, few friends, and seemingly even fewer avenues open to him to escape his downtrodden existence, Wade has had a difficult life, to say the least. However, what Wade does have is access to the OASIS; a cyber-reality which will change his life forever.

Staff Review
face of actor

Stalker

By Andrei Tarkovsky
5
Rated by Michelle H.
Apr 9, 2018

Two men are taken to The Zone – a quarantined area rumored to have an abandoned building with a room inside it in which wishes are granted. But the road there isn’t clear, and even if it were, the path there can never be repeated. If the room is found, it grants only the wish behind the conscious wish, making the journey toward the room an increasingly frightening endeavor as the men inevitably wander hither and yon looking for the correct path and the correct wish.

Staff Review
man and woman standing with mountains in the background

The Mountain Between Us

By Charles Martin
4
Rated by Debbie L.
Apr 7, 2018

Oh, I liked this one! I stayed up late to read it and grabbed it first thing in the morning to continue reading. Two strangers are stranded in harsh weather in remote mountains after a plane crash. They need each other in order to find their way out alive. A great recommendation for fans of Nicholas Sparks. The Mountain Between Us is also a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba. 

Staff Review
Colorful cover of Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers

By Mbue, Imbolo
5
Rated by Kari E.
Apr 5, 2018

Behold the Dreamers tells the story of two different families who were brought together by the Lehman Brothers collapse. Jende and Neni Jonga emigrate from Cameroon, Africa to New York City with their young son, Liomi. Jende is a loyal chauffeur who does not talk about what he hears his boss say in the car. Jende is proud of the car he drives and his ability to support his family. Coming to America is everything Neni dreams of and more.

Staff Review Apr 3, 2018

It Can’t Be Don’t, Nellie Bly is a short, but interesting chapter book about Nellie Bly, a journalist in 1888, when women were not considered journalists.

Staff Review Mar 26, 2018

If you're looking for some mindless action and excellent snark, this is the movie for you.

I can find fault with the pacing and the paper-thin plot, but the reason for the movie is obvious: Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson trading quips and being generally hilarious.  When they do that, it's definitely worth the time.

Staff Review
hand against red background

House of Names

By Colm Toibin
5
Rated by Cheryl M.
Mar 23, 2018

In a word -- Wow! Clytemnestra opens the downloadable audiobook House of Names with: "I have been acquainted with the smell of death.

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