Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

In an alternative history to our own, human experimentation was undertaken to figure out how to program the perfect soldier, undetectable, lethal and with no conscious. The experiments went too well and the soldiers killed without mercy threatening to bring to much attention to the whole program. The doctor responsibly had a change of heart and took his family and ran. Flash to present day, Agent 47, arguably the best agent the program produced, is looking for the scientist’s daughter; she is the key to keeping the program from starting up again if only he can get to her in time as he isn’t the only one looking for her or her father. Fans of action films will appreciate this 2015 film for the technical precision the action scenes are carried out with, although bullets fly, and cars explode it earned its R with the unconventional fight scenes proving anything can be a weapon in the hands of a genetically altered clone.

Located in DVDs (DVD HITMAN)

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer & Tamale Pie

“I ran downstairs to help Flo through the dinner rush. Addie’s tamale pie with cornmeal pastry was selling like lotto tickets.” ~Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer.

Tamale Pie


1 box corn muffin mix

1 egg

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup creamed corn

1/3 cup red enchilada sauce

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 lb. ground beef

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup Monterery Jack cheese, shredded

small handful cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)

kosher salt

ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare cornbread base. In a medium bowl, combine corn muffin mix, sour cream, creamed corn and egg. Whisk until evenly combined. Pour into a large cast iron skillet and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool slightly in pan.
  3. Meanwhile, make your taco meat. Saute onions over medium heat. Season with salt, pepper and spices and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground beef and stir to break up meat. Season to taste and saute until cooked through. Remove skillet from stovetop and drain excess fat.
  4. Poke entire surface of cornbread with a fork. Pour enchilada sauce over the cornbread. Add the meat mixture and top with shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake until the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil until cheese begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Top with cilantro, if desired.

Witches!: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

What if with one statement or random act, a person could be accused of being a witch and sentenced to death? This was the reality for many people living in Salem, Massachusetts, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. During this time, there was an epidemic of witch accusations, resulting in many people being put to death. In Rosalyn Schanzer’s book Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem, the history of the Salem Witch Trials is laid out, from those accusing others of working with the devil, to the great lengths some would go to prove that someone was a witch. It seemed that if people were not accusing someone of being a witch, they were being accused themselves. The accusations were false, but the terror was all too real.

Rosalyn Schanzer creates a strong, linear narrative, starting with the hysteria and ending with the lasting effects of those who witnessed the terror of the trials. Using simple language to portray the crazy and horrible circumstances surrounding the accused and the accusers, Schanzer creates a work that explains what actually happened in Salem. Adding to her intriguing narrative are black, white, and red pictures that showcase the disturbing horror and terror that occurred in Salem at this time and bring to life the written words. Using primary sources from the actual trials, Schanzer depicts a terrifying time in history with ease and understanding, creating a book that will allow those who read it to be well-versed in the topic of witches.

Available through the BRIDGES Library System

Weekly Book List: Week 26 (YA Books that Adults might Enjoy)

The Diviners / Libba Bray

After humiliating her parents with her unrestrained behavior at a party, privileged young Evie O’Neill is sent to live with her eccentric uncle in New York City — a “punishment” that utterly delights Evie, who can’t wait to mix with Ziegfield girls and sneak into some big-city speakeasies (it’s the Roaring Twenties). But when her Uncle Will, curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, is called on to help solve a rash of bizarre, other-worldly murders, Evie is drawn in to the investigations because of a special ability she’s tried to keep secret. (TEEN FIC BRAY)

I Hunt Killers / Barry Lyga

Jasper “Jazz” Dent is the son of Billy Dent, the country’s most notorious serial killer, and “Dear Old Dad” taught him everything he knew. But Billy’s in prison now and Jazz wants to convince the world — and himself — that he’s not like his father. When several murders occur in his town, Jazz and his friend Howie try to track down the killer before he strikes again. (TEEN FIC LYGA)

All the Bright Places / Jennifer Niven

Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school–both teetering on the edge–it’s the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the “natural wonders” of the state of Indiana, and two teens’ desperate desire to heal and save one another. (TEEN FIC NIVEN)

How I Live Now / Meg Rosoff

To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land. (TEEN FIC ROSOFF)


Fangirl / Rainbow Rowell

Cath Avery’s life has two polestars: Wren, her identical twin, and the Simon Snow series, a Harry Potter–like publishing phenomenon that Cath has been reading—and rewriting, as a hugely popular fanfiction author—for years. While Cath is an expert on Simon’s life, she finds her own difficult, especially now that she’s starting college and Wren doesn’t want them to room together. Since Cath would rather stay in her room and write than do anything involving other people, that first year is terrifying, which she expected, but also heartbreaking and romantic, which she did not. (TEEN FIC ROWELL)

The Raven Boys / Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Sargent’s gift seems to be that she makes other people’s talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the Aglionby Academy, she discovers that together their talents are a dangerous mix. (TEEN FIC STIEFVATER)


The Walls Around Us / Nova Ren Suma

Orianna and Violet are ballet dancers and best friends, but when the ballerinas who have been harassing Violet are murdered, Orianna is accused of the crime and sent to a juvenile detention center where she meets Amber and they experience supernatural events linking the girls together. (TEEN FIC SUMA)


The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender / Leslye J. Walton

Born with bird wings into a family cursed to be foolish in love, sixteen-year-old Ava delves into her family’s past hoping to understand her unusual nature and learn to fit in with her peers, but she is ill-prepared for what she discovers. (TEEN FIC WALTON)


Highly Illogical Behavior / John Corey Whaley

Agoraphobic sixteen-year-old Solomon has not left his house in three years, but Lisa is determined to change that–and to write a scholarship-winning essay based on the results. (TEEN FIC WHALEY)


The Book Thief / Markus Zusak

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. (TEEN FIC ZUSAK)

Ghostman by Roger Hobbs

Reviewed by Diane B. (Library Staff)

Jack is a criminal’s criminal, very few people know him or about him; those that do know he’s a ghost that can clear up any situation and make anyone disappear permanently but not lethally. Jack is the ultimate Ghostman. When a huge casino robbery taking a federal payload is botched, the man responsible for setting up the job, Marcus, calls Jack and lets him know he has forty-eight hours to find the money, the robbers responsible, and clean up the whole mess before the money alarm goes off and dyes the money unusable. Simple enough job for an expert with resources behind him you would think, except when you add in an FBI agent who’s excellent at her job, major crime boss intent upon stopping you and a city you have never been to before. Find out about Jack, ghostmen, and what it takes to pull off the heist of a life time with this dark and gritty crime novel. If you get a chance to listen to the audio version the narrator is exceptionally well suited to the genre.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC HOBBS)

Patriots Day (2016)

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

This movie follows the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, including the manhunt to find the terrorists. Mark Wahlberg stars as a police officer who was at the finish line when the bombs went off. His character ties every aspect of ensuing police investigation together, allowing the viewer to understand what was happening during the entire manhunt. Including some actual footage from the bombing, this movie is intense but interesting, and I was captivated the entire time. I would definitely recommend this movie. One word of caution, this movie earns its R rating with quite a bit of swearing.

Located in DVDs (DVD PATRIOTS)

The Pumpkin Muffin Murder by Livia J. Washburn & Turkey, Smashed Peas, and Pesto Sandwich

“To Carolyn, making a sandwich had never meant just slapping together meat, cheese, and bread with some mayonnaise or mustard. Each sandwich was a minor production for her and included an assortment of lettuce, tomatoes, avocado slices, cream cheese, and exotic dressings. A sandwich made by Carolyn was a full-course meal in itself.” ~The Pumpkin Muffin Murder by Livia J. Washburn

Turkey, Smashed Peas, and Pesto Sandwich


1/4 small red onion, sliced

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons butter

10 ounces frozen peas

kosher salt and black pepper

1/4 cup pesto

8 ounces sliced roasted turkey

8 slices white country bread, toasted


  1. Toss the onion and vinegar in a small bowl. Let sit until onion is tender and bright pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the peas and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until heated through, 5 to 7 minutes. Mash until the peas hold together.
  3. Divide the peas, onion, pesto, and turkey among the bread.

The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan & Chelsea Buns

“Two and a half hours later, and the Chelsea buns have been taken out of the oven. The exhausted bakers appraise their creations, assessing their relative merits: the extent to which the vine fruit have caught; the neatness of the cinnamon swirl; the uniformity of the buns; their softness; the merits of simple caster sugar versus an apricot glaze and drizzled icing top.” ~The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan

Chelsea Buns


1 lb strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp salt

1/4 oz sachet fact-action dried yeast

10 fl oz milk

1 1/2 oz unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1 egg

vegetable oil for greasing

For the filling:

1 oz unsalted butter, melted

3 oz soft brown sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

5 oz dried mixed fruit

For the glaze:

2 tbsp milk

2 tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. make a well in the middle and add the yeast
  2. Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm.
  3. Add the milk mixture and egg to the flour mixture and stir until the contents of the bowl come together as a soft dough. (You may need to add a little extra flour.)
  4. Tip the dough onto a generously floured work surface. Knead for five minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer feels sticky.
  5. Lightly oil a bowl with a little of the vegetable oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn until it is covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Lightly grease a baking tray.
  7. For the filling, knock the dough back to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 1/4 in thick. Brush all over with the melted butter, then sprinkle over the brown sugar, cinnamon and dried fruit.
  8. Roll the dough up into a tight cylinder, cut ten 1 1/2 in slices and place them onto a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving a little space between each slice. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  10. Bake the buns in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
  11. Meanwhile, for the glaze, heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the glaze, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Baby’s in Black by Arne Bellstorf

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

Falling in love can change your entire life’s path. In the graphic novel Baby’s in Black by Arne Bellstorf, falling in love changes one of the most beloved bands forever. The graphic novel centers on the love story between Astrid Kirchherr and Stuart Sutcliffe, one of the original members of The Beatles. Before the Beatles were famous, they were singing in bars in Germany, where Astrid and Stuart meet. Astrid is a photographer who takes photos of the group, and Stuart is the bassist for the band. But after they connect, through their love of art, Stuart decides to leave the band to become an artist. This beautiful graphic novel shares the true love story of Astrid and Stuart.

Using short statements and lyrics from songs, Bellstorf creates a graphic novel that slowly builds the love story. The artwork sets the mood for the time period by showcasing the cool vibe of the early 60s, using black clothing and cigarette smoking. Arne Bellstorf gets to the heart of the story, love, when he gets rid of the black lines surrounding the panels and shows enchanting scenes in a forest, highlighted with romantic song lyrics. The reader falls in love with the story of Astrid and Stuart. This romantic, beautiful graphic novel is the perfect mix of history, sadness, artistry, and of course, love.

Located in Teen Graphic Novel (TEEN GRAPHIC BELLSTORF)

Weekly Book List: Week 25 (6 or more words in the title)

The Florabama Ladies’ Auxiliary and Sewing Circle / Lois Battle

A close-knit group of settled small-town ladies bands together to help each other through their most difficult life passage–middle age. (FIC BATTLE)


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend / Katarina Bivaldi

As luck would have it, the day Sara arrives in Broken Wheel, IA, from Sweden to meet her book -loving pen pal Amy, the townsfolk are just leaving Amy’s funeral. Tourists are rare in this tiny, depressed town and the residents gather around Sara, sharing their stories of their departed friend. Sara stays in Amy’s house, surrounded by her huge collection of books, and is comforted by the warmth of this quirky community. (FIC BIVALDI)

Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All / Allan Gurganus

Lucille Marsden, 99, recalls her husband (whom she married when she was 15 and he was over 45) and his experiences in the Civil War and afterward during Reconstruction. (FIC GURGANUS)


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time / Mark Haddon

Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor’s dog and uncovers secret information about his mother. (FIC HADDON)


The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love / Joan Medlicott

Grace, Amelia, and Hannah decide that the last thing they want to do is live out their lives in a group home, and so, to the dismay of their children, they pool their resources and move to Covington, North Carolina, and new lives. (FIC MEDLICOTT)


The Last Letter from Your Lover / Jojo Moyes

More than forty years after a car accident causes Jennifer Stirling to lose her memory on the day she planned to leave her husband for a mysterious lover, journalist Ellie becomes obsessed by the story and seeks the truth in the hopes of revitalizing her career. (FIC MOYES)


Things I Want My Daughters to Know / Elizabeth Noble

Having received letters and a journal from their mother written at the end of her life, four sisters struggle through their first year without her, a time marked by their bereavement and efforts to achieve joy and passion. (FIC NOBLE)


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society / Mary Ann Shaffer

In 1946, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of Guernsey, who tells her about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club born as an alibi during German occupation. (FIC SHAFFER)


A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court / Mark Twain

This satirical novel tells the story of Hank Morgan, the quintessential self-reliant New Englander, who brings to King Arthur’s Age of Chivalry the “great and beneficent” miracles of nineteenth-century engineering and Yankee ingenuity. (FIC TWAIN)


The Personal History of Rachel DuPree / Ann Weisgarber

Agreeing to a marriage of convenience involving a share of land granted by the Homestead Act, an African-American boardinghouse owner’s son and a hired woman stake a claim and begin a pioneer life together in the South Dakota Badlands. (FIC WEISGARBER)