Mystery of the Abbey

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

A medieval French Abbey is the setting of this mystery. Brother monks are settling down for the evening when the unthinkable happens! Someone is murdered; now you must search around the abbey for evidence and investigate each other in the hopes of finding out what happened. This game is Clue taken to the next level and set in an abbey instead of a mansion. Players can now ask questions based upon characteristics of the monk they suspect and clue cards give additional chances to gather information which means you are no longer limited to only finding things out based upon who’s in the same room as you or what rooms you can easily reach. Anyone who enjoys Clue or logic puzzles should give this game a try.

Located in Board Games (BOARD GAME MYSTERY)

#TBT: 1988

Popular books published in 1988

The Power of Myth / Joseph Campbell

Explores the common themes that underlie diverse religions of Eastern and Western cultures. (291.13 CAM)



The Cardinal of the Kremlin / Tom Clancy

Jack Ryan, CIA analyst, must rescue Colonel Filitov, America’s highest agent in the Kremlin, from the KGB as the race to build the first Star Wars missile defense system continues. (FIC CLANCY)


The Alchemist / Paulo Coelho

A fable about undauntingly following one’s dreams, listening to one’s heart, and reading life’s omens features dialogue between a boy and an unnamed being. (FIC COELHO)


Matilda / Roald Dahl

Child genius, Matilda, applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of the evil, child-hating headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and restore her nice teacher, Miss Honey, to financial security. (J FIC DAHL / J PBK DAHL)


The Book of Ruth / Jane Hamilton

Having come within an inch of her life, Ruth Dahl is determined to take a good look at it — to figure out whether, in fact, she’s to blame for the mess. Pegged the loser in a small-town family that doesn’t have much going for it in the first place, Ruth grows up in the shadow of her brilliant brother, trying to hold her own in a world of poverty and hard edges. (FIC HAMILTON)

The Silence of the Lambs / Thomas Harris

FBI trainee Clarise Starling is assigned to interview a brilliant, imprisoned psychopathic killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. She needs him to bring in a psychotic serial killer. (FIC HARRIS)


A Brief History of Time / Stephen Hawking

Stephen W. Hawking, widely regarded as the most brilliant physicist since Einstein, discusses in a friendly and self-deprecating manner age-old questions about the origin and fate of the universe. Difficult concepts are made simple by Hawking’s familiar, accessible prose. (523.1 HAW)


Alaska / James A. Michener

The prehistory of Alaska does not seem to prepare it for the changes beginning in the 18th century when traders and hunters began to take its resources. (FIC MICHENER)


The Satanic Verses / Salman Rushdie

Just before dawn one winter’s morning, a hijacked aeroplane blows apart high above the English Channel and two figures tumble, clutched in an embrace, towards the sea: Gibreel Farishta, India’s legendary movie star, and Saladin Chamcha, the man of a thousand voices. Washed up, alive, on an English beach, their survival is a miracle. But there is a price to pay. Gibreel and Saladin have been chosen as opponents in the eternal wrestling match between Good and Evil. But chosen by whom? And which is which? And what will be the outcome of their final confrontation? (FIC RUSHDIE)

Breathing Lessons / Anne Tyler

During a ninety-mile drive to her best friend’s husband’s funeral, Maggie and her husband, Ira, recall and revaluate the details of their twenty-eight-year marriage. (FIC TYLER, ANNE)



Did you know? The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway on January 26, 1988. 

Cooking for One by Kimberly Stevens

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

I checked this book out to get some variety into my meals. Did you know that most people cook the same 12 meals over and over again? I also wanted small size ingredient lists so I do not have to do the math to cut them down to single size.

This book gave good tips and techniques for buying and using smaller quantities. The photographs were a bonus, I enjoyed viewing the beautifully plated food. If you want to make just one cookie, there is a recipe for that and a single serving for beef stew? No problem with this book!

The downside of the cookbook was that it included ingredients I have never eaten in my life. Three recipes for mussels? I consider myself adventurous if I eat haddock instead of cod!

Overall, it was a good read and has given me inspiration to skip the grocery store frozen entrée aisle for a while.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Films in Focus: Sports Movies

Sports Movies: There are many movies that feature the exhilarating wins and heartbreaking losses that come with sports. Here are a few in our collection:

42 (2013)

In 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and faces considerable racism in the process.


Bleed for This (2016)

The inspirational story of World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza who, after a near fatal car crash which left him not knowing if he’d ever walk again, made one of sport’s most incredible comebacks.


The Blind Side (2009)

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.


Happy Gilmore (1996)

A rejected hockey player puts his skills to the golf course to save his grandmother’s house.



A League of Their Own (1992)

Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.


Radio (2003)

The story of a high school coach and the developmentally challenged man who he took under his wing.


Remember the Titans (2000)

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.


The Sandlot (1993)

In the summer of 1962, a new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his rowdy team, resulting in many adventures.


Seabiscuit (2003)

True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation.



Cicada by Shaun Tan

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

This is a strange little book in a long line of strange little Shaun Tan books. Always thought-provoking, always more than a little bizarre, I am continually drawn to Tan’s body of work.

Cicada was extra thought-provoking for me, though, and I’ve been forcing my friends, family and co-workers to read it and discuss their interpretation of it with me. It takes less than 3 minutes to read this picture book but I’ve thought about it every day since I read it.

I need to know–what do YOU think happened at the end??

Available through the Bridges Library System

The Mansky Caper (Board Game)

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

Big Al is going out of town and has left his great big mansion full of loot. How could any self-respecting gangster allow all that treasure to become lonely? You and a crew of mobsters decide it’s best to break in and steal all of Big Al’s loot before he gets back in town. However, Big Al isn’t the trusting sort and has used dynamite to booby trap each safe in every room. The best bet is to crack the safes and pull out what you can without being too greedy between trips to the car to stash your newly found riches.

I’ve really enjoyed every play of this smart and clever push your luck game. Players roll the dice to see how many tokens are taken out of a safe; the loot is split evenly between all the players in the room. The safes also contain dynamite that can explode and cause everyone to lose everything in you your loot pouch. This game is great for younger players 7 and up but also has enough decision making and variety to entertain adults making it a great addition to any family game night where you want to spend more time playing and less time reading rules or deep in strategy.

Located in Board Games (GAME MANSKY)

#TBT: 1840s

Popular books published in the 1840s

Agnes Grey / Anne Bronte (1847)

When Agnes’s father loses the family savings, young Agnes determines to make her own living as a governess. Working for the Bloomfields, her enthusiasm is soon dampened by isolation and the cruelty of the children in her charge. Agnes hopes for better in her second job, but when the scheming elder daughter Rosalie makes designs on Agnes’s new friend, the kind curate Mr Weston, she feels herself silenced and sidelined. Becoming a governess is one thing, becoming invisible is quite another. (FIC BRONTE)

Jane Eyre /  Charlotte Bronte (1847)

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. (FIC BRONTE)


A Christmas Carol / Charles Dickens (1843)

A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. (J FIC DICKENS / FIC DICKENS)


David Copperfield / Charles Dickens (1849)

The story of an abandoned waif who discovers life and love in an indifferent world, this classic tale of childhood is populated with a cast of eccentrics, innocents, and villains who number among the author’s greatest creation. (FIC DICKENS)


Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave / Frederick Douglass (1845)

Presents a dramatic autobiography of the great nineteenth century black leader and abolitionist. (Available in the book Autobiographies by Frederick Douglass, 921 DOUGLASS)



The Count of Monte Cristo / Alexandre Dumas (1844)

The Count of Monte Cristo is the story of Edmond Dantes, who is imprisoned in the island fortress of the Chateau d’If on a false political charge; after escaping, he finds the fabulous treasure of Monte Cristo and sets upon the course of revenge against his old enemies. (FIC DUMAS)


The Three Musketeers / Alexandre Dumas (1844)

In seventeenth-century France, young d’Artagnan initially quarrels with, then befriends, three musketeers and joins them in trying to outwit the enemies of the king and queen. (FIC DUMAS)


The Raven / Edgar Allan Poe (1845)

Presents Poe’s haunting poem, which explores the terrifying truths that lurk deep within the human psyche. (J 811 POE)


Vanity Fair / William Makepeace Thackeray (1848)

Chronicles the exploits of Becky Sharp, an unscrupulous young woman who is determined to achieve wealth and social success, and her sentimental companion, Amelia, who has fallen for a caddish soldier, in the classic novel set against the backdrop of English society in the early 1800s. (FIC THACKERAY)


Did you know? The first telegraph was sent on May 24, 1844 by Samuel B. Morse.

Super Manny Cleans Up by Kelly DiPucchio

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Following on the heels of the excellent Super Manny Stands Up, this adventure finds our heroes continuing to fight crime together all throughout the city…until they notice a local pond and park filled with garbage. Our heroes Manny and Gertie band together to fight their most fearsome foe of all, the litterbug. Exhibiting the empathy and storytelling that so marked the first story, this follow up will leave you wanting even more fun with Manny and Gertie as they set their sights on making a great planet for all.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E DIPUCCHIO)

Films in Focus: Movies based on Stephen King Writings

Based on Stephen King: These movies are based on the writings of the famous horror writer, Stephen King. So watch at your own risk!

11.22.63 (2016)

A high school teacher travels back in time to prevent John F. Kennedy’s assassination. (DVD ELEVEN)



Carrie (2013)

A shy girl, outcasted by her peers and sheltered by her religious mother, unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom. (DVD CARRIE)


The Dark Tower (2017)

The last Gunslinger: Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, and determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower that holds the universe together. With the fate of the world at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle, as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black. (DVD DARK)

The Green Mile (1999)

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift. (DVD GREEN)


It (2017)

In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids band together to destroy a shape-shifting monster, which disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small Maine town. (DVD IT)


Secret Window (2004)

A successful writer in the midst of a painful divorce is stalked at his remote lake house by a would-be scribe who accuses him of plagiarism. (DVD SECRET)


The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (DVD SHAWSHANK)


Stand By Me (1986)

After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy. (DVD STAND)

The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

The tangled roots of this taut mystery unfold in alternating chapters and these parallel narratives were the perfect way to tell this story, growing the tension steadily to the point where I could not put it down.

Present day we follow Owen, a boy who has just been sent home from his fancy boarding school because his father has embezzled millions from their family’s business and run off with the money. Just trying to survive day to day in a town where everyone blames him for their financial misfortunes, Owen begins working at a pecan orchard as a retreat, but also to piece together some truth about his father, who also spent a summer working at the orchard. Every other chapter takes us through the story of Owen’s dad meeting Owen’s mom during his summer at the orchard.

I have been telling everyone I know how much this story impressed me, and now here I am jabbering at YOU about this book! You should probably read it just to shut me up.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC ELSTON)