Mr. Right (2015)

Reviewed by Kelsey (Library Staff)

While this is technically a Romance, I would label it more of an Action/Romance/Comedy. Anna Kendrick plays her role as Martha perfectly, with a quirky personality so odd it’s hard to distinguish if she’s just weird or if there is actually something wrong with her mind. Sam Rockwell plays Mr. Right and he does so with a perfect blend of creepy, charming, dangerous, and sincere. It’s all about a girl with bad luck in guys, who meets a man that quickly turns into Mr. Right. He is funny, sweet, can dance, and completely understands her quirky view of the world. When it comes to light that Mr. Right also happens to be a world class hit man, Martha has to decide if being with the perfect man is worth dating someone who kills for a living. While it sounds ridiculous, I encourage fans of Anna Kendrick, or for those who enjoyed movies such as “Red,” “Killers,” or “The Spy Who Dumped Me” to give it a try. You will be surprised by how fun and entertaining it is.

Available through the Bridges Library System

#TBT: 1961-1962

Popular Books Published from 1961-1962

1961:

James and the Giant Peach / Roald Dahl

A young boy escapes from two wicked aunts and embarks on a series of adventures with six giant insects he meets inside a giant peach. (J FIC DAHL/ J PBK DAHL)

 

The Phantom Tollbooth / Norton Juster

A bored young boy, Milo, drives his small electric car through a toy tollbooth and finds himself in the Land Beyond. A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom. (J FIC JUSTER / J PBK JUSTER)

 

Where the Red Fern Grows / Wilson Rawls

A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart’s desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters. (J FIC RAWLS / J PBK RAWLS)

 

 

Franny and Zooey / J.D. Salinger

Two children of the Glass family appear in separate stories laid in twentieth-century New York.(FIC SALINGER)

 

 

The Winter of Our Discontent / John Steinbeck

Focuses on the theme of success and what motivates men towards it. This book introduces the hero, Ethan Allen Hawley, who characterizes success in every era and in various forms as robbery, murder, even a kind of combat, operating under ‘the laws of controlled savagery’. (FIC STEINBECK)

 

Revolutionary Road / Richard Yates

The devastating effects of work, adultery, rebellion, and self-deception slowly destroy the once successful marriage of Frank and April Wheeler, a suburban American couple. (FIC YATES)

 

 

1962:

Something Wicked This Way Comes / Ray Bradbury

Story of two young boys who begin to encounter evil secrets when a lightning rod salesman gives them one of his contraptions covered with mystical symbols. (FIC BRADBURY)

 

A Clockwork Orange / Anthony Burgess

Presents Burgess’ satire of the present inhumanity of man to man through a futuristic culture where teenagers rule with violence. (FIC BURGESS)

 

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest / Ken Kasey

McMurphy, a criminal who feigns insanity, is admitted to a mental hospital where he challenges the autocratic authority of the head nurse. (FIC KASEY)

 

 

A Wrinkle in Time / Madeleine L’Engle

Meg and Charles Wallace set out with their friend Calvin in a search for their father. His top secret job as a physicist for the government has taken him away and the children search through time and space to find him. (J FIC L’ENGLE / J PBK L’ENGLE)

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Reviewed by Holly (Library Patron)

This book transports the reader back in history to 1937 when China was beginning to change. The book uses some of those changes as a backdrop for a carefully woven story of two sisters with personalities that provide them with quite different perspectives of their shared experiences. In the beginning of the book Pearl and May live a semi-privileged life in Shanghai, China. Their father sold them off to become wives in a family composed of many “paper” sons. The author is very good at incorporating the explanation of key terms and concepts that develop as these two girls travel through the challenges that life presents. This book is a descriptive “serious” read. Telling many twists and turns that are believable and fascinating, it explores family bonds and secrets. As Pearl and May immigrate to the West Coast of the United States the reader becomes aware of what that experience could have been like. The world events of Pearl Harbor/WWII and the communistic governmental rise of Chairman Mao provide context periodically in this book. If the essence of both Pearl/May’s story left many wanting more, there is a sequel ……Dreams of Joy.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC SEE)

Films in Focus: Sequels

Sequels: All of these movies come after the original. They might be the second, third, or even fourth movie in a series. Are they better than the original? 

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Jason Bourne dodges a ruthless C.I.A. official and his Agents from a new assassination program while searching for the origins of his life as a trained killer. (DVD BOURNE)

 

The Dark Knight (2008)

When the menace known as The Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham. The Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice. (DVD DARK)

 

The Godfather Part II (1974)

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate. (DVD GODFATHER 2)

 

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. (DVD HOW TO TRAIN 2)

 

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron’s new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard. (DVD LORD)

 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong. (DVD MISSION)

 

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius. (DVD SPIDER 2)

 

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader. (DVD STAR WARS)

 

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the planet Sakaar, and must race against time to return to Asgard and stop Ragnarök, the destruction of his world, at the hands of the powerful and ruthless villain Hela (Cate Blanchett). (DVD THOR)

 

Toy Story 3 (2010)

The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it’s up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home. (J DVD TOY STORY 3)

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Reviewed by Katy Z (Library Patron)

I grew up with crawdads in my backyard, where it ran down to a murky lake. I can’t say I ever heard them sing, though, and that’s what first intrigued me about Delia Owens’s debut novel. The title Where the Crawdads Sing was begging me to pick up the book and find out.

As it turns out, “way out yonder where the crawdads sing” is the coastal marsh of North Carolina, in the 1960s. The story opens on a 6-year-old girl watching her mother walk up their home’s dirt driveway and out of her life. We stay with Catherine “Kya” Clark as the rest of her family–four siblings and her father–abandons her, one by one. By the time she is ten, Kya is alone in the marsh, with only the natural world for companionship. Owens’s descriptions of the marsh and its resident flora and fauna are gorgeously limpid, transporting the reader. The inclusion of snippets of poetry, ostensibly written by a local female poet, only enhances the lyrical quality of the writing.

Kya’s interactions with the human world are more complex, and less satisfying for the reader. She finds herself entangled in not one but two troubled romantic relationships, as well as a murder investigation. Owens’s characters, other than Kya, are uninspired and predictable. The murder mystery did keep me guessing, so that combined with the descriptions of the natural world made for an enjoyable-enough read. Just watch out for the surprise ending!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC OWENS)

Venom (2018)

Reviewed by Kelsey (Library Staff)

Lovers of all things Spiderman and Marvel unite! While our friendly neighborhood Spiderman doesn’t make an appearance, Tom Hardy does a fantastic job bringing the well-known archenemy, Venom, to life. Playing both Eddie Brock and Venom, Hardy surprises viewers with his humorous spin to this pair’s unorthodox relationship and I found myself laughing frequently throughout the movie. The plot is generic, I will admit, but it is still fun and captivating and the special effects are fantastic. The intro takes a bit, but it doesn’t leave you bored, and the fight scenes are definitely worth the wait. I implore you: don’t listen to the critics!! I highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan of the comics, Marvel, or superhero movies in general, or even if you are just looking for an action movie that will make you laugh. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Located in DVDs (DVD VENOM)

#TBT: 1880s

Popular Books Published in the 1880s

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions / Edwin A. Abbott (1884)

In a parody of Victorian society, A. Square meets a tragic fate when he dares to inform the inhabitants of his two-dimensional universe that there is a third and fourth dimension. (530.1 ABB)

 

A Study in Scarlet / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)

This story, the first of the Sherlock Holmes adventures, includes an explanation of how Watson and Holmes come to share rooms at 221B Baker Street, and an introduction of Scotland Yard detectives Gregson and Lestrade. (FIC DOYLE)

 

The Mayor of Casterbridge / Thomas Hardy (1886)

In a drunken haze Michael Henchard sells his wife and child to a sailor for five guineas at the local fair. The next morning Henchard awakes, realizes the magnitude of what he has done, and swears he will not drink again. More than two decades later, Henchard has grown wealthy and is the Mayor of Casterbridge–but he can never escape the tragic repercussions of his past. (FIC HARDY)

Heidi / Johanna Spyri (1880)

An orphan sent to live with her grandfather learns to love both the old man and the Swiss Alps and is homesick when she goes to the city to be a companion to an invalid. (J FIC SPYRI)

 

Treasure Island / Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a notorious pirate’s fortune. (J FIC STEVENSON)

 

 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Mark Twain (1885)

Rather than be ‘sivilized’ by the Widow Douglas, Huckleberry Finn sets off with Jim, an escaped slave, to find freedom on the Mississippi river. With the law on their tail, they navigate a world of robbers, slave hunters and con men, and Huck must choose between what society says is right and his own burgeoning understanding of Jim’s friendship and humanity, in a razor-sharp satire of the antebellum South that is one of the most important of all American novels. (FIC TWAIN)

Ben-Hur / Lew Wallace (1880)

Details how a wealthy young Jewish man and his family, who are all experiencing changing fortunes under Roman tyranny, are affected by the life and teachings of a Nazarene named Jesus Christ. (FIC WALLACE)

 

The Canterville Ghost / Oscar Wilde (1887)

A celebrated and feared English ghost is outraged when the new American owners of his haunting place refuse to take him seriously and actually fight back against him. (CDBOOK WILDE)

 

 

Did you know? The American Red Cross was established on May 21, 1881 by Clara Barton.

 

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

This slim book of poetry and art is outstanding. Its poems are written in the tanka form, a type of poetry similar to haiku, but where haiku has seventeen syllables over three lines, tanka is thirty one syllables distributed over 5 lines, the first three lines being in the style of haiku. Mr. Medina has crafted an impressive poetry collection descriptive the experience of young black males in America today. The illustrations accompanying these lovely short works are provided by artistic members of the African American art community: Floyd Cooper, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Skip Hill, Tiffany McKnight, Robert Liu-Trujillo, Keith Mallett, Kesha Bruce, Brianna McCarthy, R. Gregory Christie, Euka Holmes, Javaka Steptoe, and Chandra Cox. A brief description of each artist’s style and medium is included in the book. Additional background information about Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy is included, as well.

Located in Children’s Nonfiction (J 811.54 MED)

Films in Focus: Rotten Tomatoes Top Movies

Rotten Tomatoes: Rotten Tomatoes is a  website that collects reviews of movies and TV shows, and gives each movie a score based on the reviews. It is a great website to check out if you are deciding whether to see a movie or not. This list contains some of the top rated movies ever from their website.

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events. (DVD BLACKKKLANSMAN)

 

Black Panther (2018)

T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past. (DVD BLACK)

 

Citizen Kane (1941)

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. (DVD CITIZEN KANE)

 

Get Out (2017)

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point. (DVD GET OUT)

 

Lady Bird (2017)

In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California. (DVD LADY)

 

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in search for her homeland with the aid of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max. (DVD MAD)

 

Moonlight (2016)

A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. (DVD MOONLIGHT)

 

The Third Man (1949)

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime. (DVD THIRD MAN)

 

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well. (DVD WIZARD)

 

Wonder Woman (2017)

When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny. (DVD WONDER WOMAN)

The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy by Bill Carter

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

I am an avid podcast listener and one of my new favorites is late night show host’s Conan O’Brien’s “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.” After listening to a few episodes, I went down the rabbit hole to find out more about his history and found this book, The War for Late Night.

Exhaustively researched and impeccably written, the book covers Conan’s oh-so-brief tenure as host of “The Tonight Show” before NBC yanked the rug out from under him and gave it back to Jay Leno. Although you know what is coming, you can’t help but root for O’Brien, who comes off as a man with genuine integrity. Bill Carter, who also wrote of the feud between Jay Leno and David Letterman, clearly knows his subject and engages us with a narrative reminiscent of any page-turning novel. Intriguing and entertaining!

Available through the Bridges Library System