Bolivar by Sean Rubin

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

I’ve been beefing up the Graphic Novels section in Children’s lately, and this is one of our newest. It’s written/illustrated by Sean Rubin who has done some lovely work on a series of Redwall books in the past. This is the charming story of a dinosaur and Sybil, the girl next door who has spotted him. Somehow, Bolivar has been able to make his way around New York City without being spotted by anyone but Sybil. Sybil is determined to get a picture of him to prove to her mother that he’s real. Naturally, she’s not having much luck. This is a really cute book, a perfect combination of hide-and-seek and adults not believing what they’re seeing. It’s a great read for any age, and would be a terrific first graphic for the very young.

Located in Children’s Graphic Novels (J GRAPHIC RUBIN)

Spotlight On: DVD Rentals

DVD Rentals: DVD Rentals are extra copies of the newest and most popular DVDs and TV Series. They are located in the first shelving unit that is in the middle of the DVD area. Each rental costs $1.00 and you get the DVD for 7 days. These items cannot be placed on hold. They are first come, first serve. If a new DVD that just came out has a long wait list, check our Rental area to see if the DVD is available today!

Beauty and the Beast

An adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love. (RENTAL DVD BEAUTY)


The Beguiled

The unexpected arrival of a wounded Union soldier at a girls school in Virginia during the American Civil War leads to jealousy and betrayal. (RENTAL DVD BEGUILED)


Game of Thrones 

Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while a forgotten race returns after being dormant for thousands of years. (RENTAL DVD GAME SEASON 1-7)


Girls Trip

When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. (RENTAL DVD GIRLS)


La La Land

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future. (RENTAL DVD LA LA)


Master of None

The personal and professional life of Dev, a 30-year-old actor in New York. (RENTAL DVD MASTER SEASON 1)



My Little Pony: The Movie

After a dark force conquers Canterlot, the Mane 6 embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their homeland. (RENTAL DVD MY LITTLE)


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon while being pursued by an undead sea captain and his crew. (RENTAL DVD PIRATES)


The Shack

A grieving man receives a mysterious, personal invitation to meet with God at a place called “The Shack.” (RENTAL DVD SHACK)


Tulip Fever

An artist falls for a young married woman while he’s commissioned to paint her portrait during the Tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam. (RENTAL DVD TULIP)


“I have always imagined paradise will be a kind of library.” ~Jorge Luis Borges

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson

Reviewed by Amanda Kensgaard (Library Staff)

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson is a great interactive picture book about the changing of the seasons. Readers are asked to tap, blow or brush the tree and then turn the page and see how their actions affected the tree. The text is easy and engaging with lots of rhyming. The illustrations are simple but charming. There really is magic in that tree!

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E MATHESON)

Queen of the Desert (2015)

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

Queen of the Desert was a snooze in the truest sense–I fell asleep with about 20 minutes left to go in the movie. The story of Gertrude Bell, English gentlewoman adventurer in the Middle East, should have been riveting, but I simply couldn’t bring myself to engage with the characters.

The film opens around 1900, with a youngish Gertrude (Nicole Kidman) bemoaning the tedium of life in England. My first thought was that Nicole Kidman, nips and tucks notwithstanding, is too old to play a debutante. I understand the filmmakers had to choose an actress who could portray Bell at the ages of both 30 and 50, but if I were doing the casting I would have erred on the side of youth. Worse casting woes were yet to come. Gertrude persuades her father to finance a trip to Tehran, where she immediately falls in love with both the desert and British diplomat Henry Cadogan (James Franco). All I can say is that there must have been some Pineapple Express involved when the casting director chose Franco for the role. The little attempt he makes at a British accent falls so flat, one almost wishes he would have just gone Kevin Costner and not tried it at all. And the near-constant smirk that has served him so well through such fine films as This Is the End and Why Him? clashes violently with the dopey, lovelorn Cadogan character. I was actually relieved when Gertrude’s father refused to allow their marriage and Franco made his exit, stage left.

Of course, this romance seems to have been made up out of whole cloth for the purposes of the filmmakers. Because a woman must have suffered a disappointment in love in order to choose to break the bonds of polite society, right? Right? So Gertrude takes her broken heart into the desert and apparently becomes an expert on the peoples of the Middle East. We never get to see much of her interactions with the indigenous population she is meant to be studying. The next hour or so of the movie sees her riding her camel across desolate vistas, with a small train of brown men, besting each male authority figure she meets. She defies the Ottoman army, the British consul, and a Druze sheik, and we are meant to marvel at her bravery. The mood is lightened for a few minutes by her meeting with a delightfully fey Lawrence of Arabia (Robert Pattinson), then it is back to the old camels-and-sand show.

Why is it that a film about a pioneering woman can’t leave the glass ceiling storyline alone? I can’t help but think that a very good story was squeezed out by the director’s compulsion to hammer away at the patriarchy with these repetitive Gertie-versus-The Man vignettes. Certainly lost in the shuffle was any accurate portrayal of the desert peoples to whom the real Gertrude Bell devoted her life. Shame.

I dozed off shortly after the start of the Great War, so maybe the film got better in the last few minutes. But I won’t be revisiting Queen of the Desert to find out. Instead, I think I’ll check out the biography Desert Queen, by Janet Wallach, to find out a little more about the real Miss Bell and her world.

Available through the Bridges Library System

If You Liked Legally Blonde

Watch one of these:

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

A pretty, popular teenager can’t go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does.



13 Going on 30 (2004)

A girl makes a wish on her thirteenth birthday, and wakes up the next day as a thirty-year-old woman.


Bring It On (2000)

A champion high school cheerleading squad discovers its previous captain stole all their best routines from an inner-city school and must scramble to compete at this year’s championships.


Clueless (1995)

A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil’s popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way.


Mean Girls (2004)

Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George.


Miss Congeniality (2000)

An FBI agent must go undercover in the Miss United States beauty pageant to prevent a group from bombing the event.


The Parent Trap (1998)

Identical twins Annie and Hallie, separated at birth and each raised by one of their biological parents, later discover each other for the first time at summer camp and make a plan to bring their wayward parents back together.


The Princess Diaries (2001)

Mia Thermopolis has just found out that she is the heir apparent to the throne of Genovia. With her friends Lilly and Michael Moscovitz in tow, she tries to navigate through the rest of her sixteenth year.


She’s All That (1999)

A high school jock makes a bet that he can turn an unattractive girl into the school’s prom queen.



The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

Four best girlfriends hatch a plan to stay connected with one another as their lives start off in different directions: they pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that fits each of their bodies perfectly.

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

I’ve been a fan of Dan Gemeinhart’s books for a while, and this is the best yet. Jonathan has been sentenced to Slabhenge Reformatory for Troubled Boys for an unnamed crime. Soon after his arrival, though, things take a stunning turn and the boys are left on their own. You’ll love some of the boys and hate others, and will be kept on the edge of your seat right up til the end.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC GEMEINHART)

Spotlight On: New Nonfiction (Adult)

New Nonfiction (Adult): These books are all located in our new book area in the adult section, which is located next to the computers. All of these books are new to the library within the last year, and range in topics from true crime to memoir to history and more. All books in this section are cataloged using the Dewey Decimal System.

Hellfire Boys: The Birth of the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service and the Race for the World’s Deadliest Weapons / Theo Emery

Traces the actions of the “Hellfire Battalion,” a group of American engineers who were trained in gas warfare and were sent to the front lines in France to launch multiple assaults against the Germans. (358.34 EME)

The Man From the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer / Bill James

A celebrated baseball statistician uses his analytic skills and interesting sleuthing techniques to uncover the culprit in a 100 year-old cold case involving a spate of axe bludgeoning deaths across the country, from Iowa to Louisiana. (364.1523 JAM)


What It’s Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience / Gregory Berns

A noted neuroscientist relates how he and his team taught dogs to go into an MRI scanner completely awake, an experiment that helped them discover what makes dogs have different capacities for self-control and value systems and a complex understanding of human speech, and which was expanded to other animals. (591.513 BER)

A Taste of Italy: 100 Traditional, Homestyle Recipes / Damiano Carrara

Growing up in Lucca, Italy, chef Damiano Carrara learned how to cook, not only from his mother and grandmother, but also from his father. Here, he brings those dishes from his family’s table to yours—including his father’s tried-and-true recipe for homemade gnocci with pesto.(641.5945 CAR)

Growing Up Fisher: Musings, Memories, and Misadventures / Joely Fisher

A behind-the-scenes memoir by the half sister of the late Carrie Fisher describes their upbringing in their Hollywood family, the author’s personal struggles with identity, her two-decade marriage, her experiences as a mother to five children and how she became motivated to pursue a creative life in the wake of Carrie’s death. (792.092 FIS)

The Cold War: A World History / Odd Arne Westad

The immediate historical roots of the Cold War sprouted after World War II, when Soviet-led countries faced off against the U.S. and its allies. Though the division of Germany into East and West, the Iron Curtain cutting off Eastern Europe, and the American anticommunist frenzy of the 1940s and ’50s come readily to mind, award-winning historian Odd Arne Westad traces the Cold War’s origins to the Industrial Revolution and illuminates its effects throughout the world. (909.825 WES)

Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir / Amy Tan

The best-selling author of such novels as The Joy Luck Club presents an intimate memoir on her life as a writer that explores formative experiences from her childhood and her evolving perspectives on the symbiotic relationship between fiction and emotional memory. (921 TAN)


Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned to Fight Hitler / Bruce Henderson

Drawing on veteran interviews and archival research, an account of the lesser-known contributions of the German-born Jewish-American soldiers known as the Ritchie Boys describes how they risked their lives to join major combat units and gather crucial intelligence from German POWs. (940.53 HEN)

The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia / Masha Gessen

The award-winning Russian-American journalist and author of the best-selling The Man Without a Face traces how within the space of a generation, Russia has succumbed to a more virulent and resistant strain of autocracy as demonstrated by the experiences of four prototype individuals born at the once-presumed dawn of Russian democracy. (947.086 GES)

Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle Over Civil Rights / Steven Levingston

A revelatory account of the contentious relationship between the 35th President and Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the tumultuous early years of the Civil Rights movement shares insights into their profound influence on one another and the important decisions that were inspired by their rivalry. (973.922 LEV)

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” ~Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

Hardcore Twenty Four by Janet Evanovich

Reviewed by Judy B (Library Patron)

I am finished with the Stephanie Plum series.
Actually, I was getting bored back around number 10, but kept reading out of loyalty. I kept hoping that author Janet would finally let the characters break out of their moldy roles. Even having three hunky guys in the same story wasn’t enough. They are not fun anymore. Always the same story line every book.
For those of you who need the same story and characters over and over again, you will be happy.
But not for me. I am done until I read a review that one of the characters finally breaks the mold.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC EVANOVICH)

Wind River (2017)

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

During winter in the Wind River Indian Reservation, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent, Cory Lambert (played by Jeremy Renner), finds the frozen body of an 18-year-old girl. A rookie FBI agent, Jane Banner (played by Elizabeth Olsen) comes to the reservation to determine if the girl was murdered. Cory and Jane work together to solve the case in the frozen land of Wyoming.

I had not heard anything about this movie so I was curious to watch and see if I enjoyed it. While the subject manner was sometimes difficult, and a few scenes were intense, I was captivated by the story.

Available through the BRIDGES Library System

If You Liked Wuthering Heights

Read one of these:

Little Women / Louisa May Alcott

Following the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy—the novel details their passage from childhood to womanhood and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters.


Pride and Prejudice / Jane Austen

Human foibles and early nineteenth-century manners are satirized in this romantic tale of English country family life as Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters are encouraged to marry well in order to keep the Bennet estate in their family.


Jane Eyre / Charlotte Bronte

In early nineteenth-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess and soon finds herself in love with her employer who has a terrible secret.


Madame Bovary / Gustave Flaubert

The classic tale of a woman who craves passion and intimacy, but finds only greed, betrayal, and heartbreak, as she stumbles towards suicide.


A Room with a View / E.M. Forster

Lucy Honeychurch falls in love while on a visit to Florence and must choose between fulfilling her social role or following her heart.


Wives and Daughters / Elizabeth Gaskell

Molly Gibson’s mother dies when she was young, and she is close to her father. When she is 17 years old, her father marries again, causing unhappiness for Molly ; she slowly begins to realise that her father is aware that he has made a poor choice — and he is unhappy, too.


Far From the Madding Crowd / Thomas Hardy

After an unfortunate marriage to Sergeant Troy and an affair with Farmer Boldwood, Bathsheba Everdene finally becomes the wife of the man who has always loved her.


Gone with the Wind / Margaret Mitchell

First published in 1936, this book is a historical novel set against the dramatic backdrop of the Civil War. It tells the love story of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler.


Anne of Green Gables / L.M. Montgomery

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.


Anna Karenina / Leo Tolstoy

Beautiful and charming, Anna lives in a splendid world of her own making. She smokes, rides horseback, plays tennis, takes opium, practices birth control, and–although she is already married–falls in love with a handsome army officer. Anna’s life is played out against a backdrop of dazzling balls and the vastness of Russia’s landscape.