Waitress: Original Broadway Cast Recording

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

Years ago, while going through a break-up, a friend saw my sadness and handed me the 2007 movie Waitress (starring Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion), an unexpected romantic comedy about nurturing the spark of life inside you, especially when it seems the world has snuffed it out. It never became one of my favorite movies, but it made a distinct impression on me and I would think about it often.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I learned that Sara Bareilles, a singer/songwriter I admire, had composed the soundtrack for a Broadway musical based on this overlooked cult classic. I was unsurprisingly intrigued and sought it out. Within the first few lines, I knew this music was going to be something special, and by the end of the album it had become my new favorite musical. The songs grabbed onto those emotional threads that had stayed with me after watching the movie and tied them tightly to my heart with rich lyrics and melodies.

The songs range from hilarious to heartfelt, with phenomenal performances by the Broadway cast. Uplifting, strong, and honest without becoming sickly sweet (despite all those songs about pie!), this album will pick you up when you’re down. I also highly recommend the album What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress, where Sara Bareilles herself performs many of the songs with less of that Broadway theatricality and more of her intimate piano and vocal style.

Located in Soundtracks (CD SDTK WAITRESS #1)

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

This mystery centers around one of my favorite tropes. You know the one–an eccentric billionaire dies and leaves their fortune hidden within a treasure hunt. The billionaire in this case is Vincent Pryce (no relation to that other VP), who nurtured a lifelong obsession for everything Edgar Allen Poe, which adds wonderfully creepy undertones to the clues.

Tuesday Mooney is a professional researcher who has both a way with solving puzzles and loyal, clever friends. They all get wrapped up in solving the clues left by Vincent Pryce and unraveling the shady mystery behind an unexpected (but very charming) member of their team.

Injected with effortlessly cool banter and a cast of colorful characters varying widely in age, this book is just plain fun. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I found out her previous book, Bellweather Rhapsody, shares at least one character with Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, I began reading it immediately.

Between the treasure hunt and pop culture allusions, this is an obvious choice for fans of Ernest Cline’s Ready, Player One (although I thought this one was much better!)

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC RACCULIA)

Crab Cake by Andrea Tsurumi

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

Crab has a passion for baking; he likes to spend all his time baking while his underwater neighbors go about their normal business until a ship gets into trouble dumping trash on their home. All the sea creatures are scared and confused until Crab uses a cake to bring everyone together. The take away lesson from this colorful and clever story is that bad things are better when shared with friends who can help you find a solution, oh and cake helps make planning easier.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E TSURUMI)

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Reviewed by Holly (Library Patron)

This book takes you into a world few of us would imagine, the dark side of adoption history in the U.S. Readers are transported to this world through the characters Wingate paints in this carefully crafted book. The plot line is told in parallel time periods which fits perfectly with the premise of the book. Wingate reveals character relationships as the book develops. Some of them are surprising as names changed due to not only the adoption component but also due to the criminal nature of the actions taken by some shady characters. Obviously the book is not a “happy” read, but it does leave you with the power of family ties and perhaps will plant a seed of gratitude for your own family roots.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC WINGATE)