Films in Focus: Mind-bending Films

Mind-bending films: These are movies that feature mind-bending situations, plots, or characters.

Arrival (2016)

A linguist works with the military to communicate with alien lifeforms after twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world. (DVD ARRIVAL)


A Beautiful Mind (2001)

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish. (DVD BEAUTIFUL MIND)


The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Evan Treborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal. (DVD BUTTERFLY)


Good Will Hunting (1997)

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life. (DVD GOOD WILL)


Inception (2010)

A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a C.E.O. (DVD INCEPTION)


Looper (2012)

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits – someone like Joe – who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by sending back Joe’s future self for assassination. (DVD LOOPER)


The Matrix (1999)

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (DVD MATRIX)


Se7en (1995)

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives. (DVD SE7EN)


Shutter Island (2010)

In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer, who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. (DVD SHUTTER ISLAND)


Split (2016)

Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities. They must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th. (DVD SPLIT)

Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

This story is told by 10 year old Sally O’Malley during the summer of 1959 in Milwaukee. She and her sister, Troo, have their idyllic life disrupted when their mom goes into the hospital, their stepfather deserts the family, and two young neighbor girls are molested and murdered.

I liked the time period references throughout the book that included neighborhood celebrations, shopping at the five and dime store and not being able to see their mom in the hospital because children were not allowed to visit. It took me back to my own hometown memories.

The murders were an intriguing story line, incorporating Sally’s fears that she would be the next victim. New suspects were added throughout the story, it kept me guessing who the killer was to almost the very end.

The story was well written; the girls’ lives, challenges and goals were insightful. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC KAGEN)


Barry Season 1

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Being a mom of a pre-schooler, it takes a lot for me to get hooked on a new show (oh, the commitment!) But I was pleasantly surprised by Bill Hader’s “Barry”. Starring Hader himself, along with an inspired, resplendent, and brilliant Henry Winkler, “Barry” is a weird mishmash of multiple different genres (Is it a drama? is it a comedy? Both? Neither?). Hader is the titular role, a former Marine-turned-hitman-turned acting student. On a job out in Los Angeles, he stumbles upon an acting class and finds his true calling as an actor. But much like Tony Soprano and Walter White before him, which side will win out? Although the anti-hero trope is well known, I raced through the first season and am eagerly awaiting season two. You visibly feel Hader’s torture and just wanting to lead a “normal” life while Winkler injects some much needed humor into the mix. Both won much-deserved Emmys for their respective roles. Carve out some time for Barry!

Located in TV Series (TV SERIES BARRY SEASON 1)

#TBT: 1860s

Popular Books Published in the 1860s

Little Women / Louisa May Alcott (1868)

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young women in nineteenth-century New England. (J FIC ALCOTT)


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Lewis Carroll (1865)

When a young girl falls down a rabbit hole, she discovers a strange and interesting world with fantastical, mad characters as she tries to find her way back home. (J FIC CARROLL)


Great Expectations / Charles Dickens (1861)

The orphan, Pip, and the convict, Magwitch, the beautiful Estella, and her guardian, the embittered and vengeful Miss Havisham, the ambitious lawyer, Mr. Jaggers — all have a part to play in the mystery. (FIC DICKENS)


Crime and Punishment / Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866)

Believing he can commit the perfect crime, Roderick Raskolnikov robs and murders an elderly pawnbroker. He eventually finds himself engaged in a battle of wits with inspector Porfiry, a policeman who is determined to wring a confession from the once confident Raskolnikov, a killer whose conscience is slowly beginning to destroy him. (FIC DOSTOYEVSKY)

Silas Marner / George Eliot (1861)

Here is a tale straight from the fireside. We are compelled to follow the humble and mysterious figure of the linen weaver Silas Marner, on his journey from solitude and exile to the warmth and joy of family life. His path is a strange one; when he loses his hoard of hard-earned coins all seems to be lost, but in place of the golden guineas come the golden curls of a child and from desolate misery comes triumphant joy. (FIC ELIOT)

Wives and Daughters / Elizabeth Gaskell (1866)

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. (FIC GASKELL)


Les Miserables / Victor Hugo (1862)

After nineteen years in prison, Jean Valjean has difficulty adjusting to the outside world, which scorns and shuns him. (FIC HUGO)


The Water-Babies / Charles Kingsley (1863)

The adventures of Tom, a sooty little chimney sweep with a great longing to be clean, who is stolen by fairies and turned into a water-baby. (J PBK KINGSLEY)


War and Peace / Leo Tolstoy (1896)

People from diverse social strata respond to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. (PBK TOLSTOY)



The Innocents Abroad / Mark Twain (1869)

Twain describes his experiences traveling in Europe and the Middle East, and pokes fun at tourists and tour guides. (FIC TWAIN)



Did you know? The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million, which equals about two cents per acre of land.

Judgment Road by Christine Feehan

Reviewed by Jen Bremer (Library Staff)

This book is simply appalling. The author plays fast and loose with heavy subjects such as PTSD, sex trafficking, abuse, torture, and trauma in order to advance the story. The “romance” is unrealistic and grossly unhealthy. The rapid flip flop between characters discussing horrific trauma to having an intimate moment is jarring and disturbing. And the inclusion of motorcycle gangs, violence, and paranormal abilities just puts the story over the top. It tries to much to hit every genre of romance and fails miserably. And, if all that wasn’t bad enough, the book is riddled with grammatical errors missed by the editors. I do not recommend this book at all.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Films in Focus: Father/Daughter Films

Father/Daughter Films: All of these movies, found in our collection, feature a father/daughter story. It might be a father saving a daughter, or the quiet relationship between them, or even someone taking care of children who are not their own, regardless, these films have glimpses of father/daughter relationships.

Captain Fantastic (2016)

In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.


Dan in Real Life (2007)

A widower finds out the woman he fell in love with is his brother’s girlfriend.



Definitely, Maybe (2008)

A political consultant tries to explain his impending divorce and past relationships to his 11-year-old daughter.


The Descendants (2011)

A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.


Despicable Me (2010)

When a criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better.


Father of the Bride (1991)

With his oldest daughter’s wedding approaching, a father finds himself reluctant to let go.



Gifted (2017)

Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.


Leave No Trace (2018)

A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.


Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.


Taken (2008)

A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna is a fantastic picture book about dealing with fear. This picture book is about young girl and her fear. Fear is represented as a little animal. When a young girl moves to a new country and has to go to a new school, her fear grows. It won’t allow her to make friends or go outside. It gets so big that it she has trouble sleeping. Until a young boy befriends her and her fear starts to shrink. She soon discovers that everyone has fears.

This is a beautifully illustrated book with a critical and positive message.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E SANNA)

Pandemic (Board Game)

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

Pandemic is my all-time absolutely favorite board game. I have never turned down an opportunity to bring this game to the table and I hope to convince you, dear patron, that you also should give this Matt Leacock original game a staring roll in your future game nights.

When you open up Pandemic you become a team of CDC workers trying to save the world from four virulent virus strains that are wreaking havoc with the world population. You and your teammates need to search for cures, collect five city cards of the same color, treat diseases by removing clues in a city, and finally cure the disease by turning in the five city cards at a research center. While your frantically work on treating, researching, and just trying to make it from turn to turn, the game is actively working against you.

This cooperative game is a great gateway game to introduce people to a whole new world of games. Each player’s strengths leads to a better chance to win for the whole team allowing different levels of strategic thinkers to play together without getting overwhelmed or being defeated by an overly competitive teammate. This game only plays up to four players which makes it harder for a large group. I should mention in all fairness that for all the years I’ve been playing this game I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve won and each victory is a sweet memory I treasure.

Located in Board Games (GAME PANDEMIC)

#TBT: 2002

Popular books published in 2002

Feed / M.T. Anderson

In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble. (TEEN FIC ANDERSON)


Running with Scissors / Augusten Burroughs

The author describes his bizarre coming-of-age years after his adoption by his mother’s psychiatrist, during which he witnessed such misadventures as a fake suicide attempt and front-lawn family/patient sleepovers. (921 BURROUGHS)


Everything is Illuminated / Jonathan Safran Foer

Hilarious, energetic, and profoundly touching, a debut novel follows a young writer as he travels to the farmlands of eastern Europe, where he embarks on a quest to find Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis, and, guided by his young Ukrainian translator, he discovers an unexpected past that will resonate far into the future. (FIC FOER)

Coraline / Neil Gaiman

Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others. (J FIC GAIMAN)


Hoot / Carl Hiaasen

Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. (J FIC HIAASEN)


Eragon / Christopher Paolini

When fifteen-year-old Eragon comes to learn that he is a gifted Dragon Rider, he realizes that his destiny is to fight the evil powers that will bring complete destruction to the Empire and so leaves his quiet life as a farm boy to succeed in his one true mission in life. (TEEN FIC PAOLINI)


The Beach House / James Patterson

When his brother turns up drowned in the ocean off exclusive East Hampton, law student Jack Mullen sets out to unravel the truth about Peter’s death, confronting a labyrinthine web of intrigue, legal interference, and paid protection as he discovers that his brother had been making serious money catering to the sexual needs of the area’s wealthiest men and women. (FIC PATTERSON)

Perfect Match / Jodi Picoult

District Attorney Nina Frost and her husband, Caleb, face a nightmare when they discover that their young son Nathaniel has been molested, a trauma that has left him mute, terrified, and unable to reveal the identity of his attacker. (FIC PICOULT)


The Lovely Bones / Alice Sebold

Looking down from heaven, 14-year-old Susie Salmon recounts her rape and murder and watches her family as they cope with their grief and “the lovely bones” growing around her absence. (FIC SEBOLD)


The Art of Hearing Heartbeats / Jan-Philipp Sendker

A successful lawyer suddenly disappears leaving behind his wife and daughter. Neither have any idea where he might be until they discover an old love letter written years ago to a woman in Burma. Daughter Julia takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of her father’s past as she uncovers a tale that will reaffirm the listener’s belief in the power of love. (FIC SENDKER)


Did you know? The cost of a Super Bowl ad in 2002 was $1,900,000.


I’m a Duck by Eve Bunting

Reviewed by Amanda K (Library Staff)

This is a cute little picture book about a duckling that is afraid to swim. He talks to his friends about his fear and they encourage him to be brave. Little duck practices in a puddle and his mom brings him snacks and rubs his back. He finally musters up the courage and jumps into the pond and he can swim! He swims a little differently than the rest of his siblings, but realizes that’s okay.

This is a lovely story about facing your fears and being okay with yourself. The illustrations are mostly in pastel colors and evoke happy feelings.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E BUNTING)