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  • <h3>Mr. & Mrs. Murder. Series 1</h3>Charlie and Nicola Buchanan are a pair of crime-scene cleaners with a knack for solving mysteries. As they go about their work, they discover clues the police overlook. This warm and witty whodunit from Down Under is sure to please mystery and comedy fans alike.
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  • <h3>In fear</h3>Young couple Tom and Lucy on one of their first dates is driving to a festival in the remote Irish countryside. But when they leave the main road to look for their hotel, they will quickly become hopelessly lost. Now the night is coming. The fear is growing. And they are not alone.
  • <h3>American hustle</h3>A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, American Hustle is the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld, who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that\'s as dangerous as it is enchanting. Carmine Polito is the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the cons and Feds. Irving\'s unpredictable wife Rosalyn could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down.
  • <h3>Oldboy</h3>Kidnapped and kept in solitary confinement for 20 years, Joe Doucett has suddenly been set free without a word of explanation. Obsessed with finding those who imprisoned him, Doucett wreaks havoc upon his captors, unaware his freedom is part of a plan and his true punishment\'s about to begin.
  • <h3>Yaariyan</h3>Set in a boarding school of Sikkim, \'Yaariyan\" is a story of close knit 5 friends who are exploring the best moments of their lives in college, experiencing different relationships and learning new values everyday.
  • <h3>The Venture Bros. The complete season five </h3>Released with all eight episodes from Season five and packed with special features, fans will be thrilled when they watch Hank, Dean, Doctor Venture, and Brock as they are pushed in fun and unpredictable new directions.
  • <h3>Above suspicion. Set 3</h3>When the brutal murder of a famous young actress brings DI Anna Travis face-to-face with her old boss, DCS James Langton, the two must find a killer and deal with their own sexually charged relationship. She\'s determined to get ahead; he\'s angry about being passed over for promotion and obsessed with finding the person on his team who betrayed him. Meanwhile, there are too many suspects, and the body count is rising.
  • <h3>You will be my son</h3>Paul de Marseul is the passionate, demanding proprietor of his prestigious family wine estate. But he has no faith in his son, Martin, who works at the vineyard. Paul dreams of a harder-working, successful son. A dream that one day seemingly materializes when he meets Philip, the son of his dying estate manager. Can Paul turn against his own blood and turn Philip into the rightful heir of his family estate?
  • <h3>Odd Thomas</h3>Small-town fry cook Odd Thomas is an ordinary guy with a paranormal secret: he sees dead people, everywhere. When a creepy stranger shows up with an entourage of ghostly \"bodachs\"- predators who feed on pain and portend mass destruction- Odd knows that his town is in serious trouble. Teaming up with his sweetheart, Stormy, and the local sheriff, Odd will plunge into an epic battle of good vs evil to try and stop a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. Based on the best-selling thriller by Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas is a supernatural action thrill-ride from the acclaimed director of The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.
  • <h3>Mr. Nobody</h3>The life story of Nemo Nobody, a 118 year-old man who is the last mortal on Earth after the human race has achieved quasi-immortality. On his deathbed, Nemo shares his life story with a reporter and reviews the choices he made along the way. Yet even with his last breath, a pivotal decision awaits to conclude his destiny.
  • <h3>Delivery man </h3>The story of friendly underachiever David Wozniak, whose ordinary life gets twisted in a knot when he finds out that he has fathered 533 children via sperm donations he made twenty years earlier.
  • <h3>Thor: the dark world</h3>Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos, but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
  • <h3>The grandmaster</h3>Watch an epic action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary kung fu master, Ip Man, who mentored Bruce Lee. The story spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China\'s last dynasty, a time of chaos, division, and war that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts.
  • <h3>Homefront</h3>An action-packed thriller about how far one man will go to protect his family. Widowed ex-DEA agent Phil Broker retires to a quiet Southern town with his ten-year-old daughter and discovers that the idyllic setting is riddled with drugs and violence. When a riveting chain of events forces him to face off with psychotic local drug lord Gator Bodine, Broker must retaliate using the fearsome skills he hoped to keep in his past.
  • <h3>The patience stone</h3>Adapted from the best-selling novel by Atiq Rahimi. It tells a story of a young woman watching over her older husband, in a country torn apart by war.
  • <h3>Inside Llewyn Davis</h3>Follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Issac) is at a crossroads and struggling to make is as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles--some of them of his own making. Living at the mercy of both friends and strangers, Llewyn\'s misadventures take him from the baskethouses of Greenwich Village to an empty Chicago club--on an odyssey to audition for a music mogul--and back again. Brimming with music performed by Issac, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan, as well as Marcus Mumford and Punch Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis is an epic on an intimate scale.
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  • <h3>Wadjda</h3>Wadjda, a fun-loving 10-year-old girl living in Saudi Arabia, has her heart set on a beautiful new bicycle. However, her mother won\'t allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl\'s virtue. Determined to turn her dreams into reality and buy the bike on her own, Wadjda uncovers the contradictions and opportunities ingrained in her world. Hilarious, heartbreaking and inspiring all at once, this groundbreaking film has charmed critics and audiences all over the globe.
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  • <h3>Goliyon ki raasleela Ram-Leela</h3>The film is an adaptation of Shakespeare\'s Romeo and Juliet, set in violent times. Boy and girl from warring factions love one another. Do they live happily ever after?
  • <h3>Saving Mr. Banks</h3>When P.L. Travers travels from London to Hollywood in 1961 to finally discuss Walt Disney\'s desire to bring her beloved character Mary Poppins to the motion picture screen (a quest he began in the 1940s as a promise to his two daughters), Disney meets a prim, uncompromising sexagenarian not only suspect of the impresario\'s concept for the film, but a woman struggling with her own past. During her stay in California, Travers reflects back on her difficult childhood in 1906 Australia.
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MPPL's staff blog about books, movies, music and the talent behind them.

Fiction: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation book coverFans of sci-fi and horror mixed in equal measure will revel in the foreboding tone, the ever-present dread of Annihilation, the first title in Jeff VanderMeer’s new Southern Reach trilogy. An all-female expedition of four unnamed scientists explores the mysterious “Area X,” a place once home to a peaceful fishing village and adjacent to a military base (or so the women have been told), but that now hosts unfamiliar and dangerous creatures that stalk, write cryptic messages on tower walls, and elicit madness. The novel is scary, and reminds one of doomed-mission flicks like the Alien franchise or the puzzle-piece structure of the TV series Lost. It leaves the story (and the reader) unsettled, begging for the next installment.

Book Discussion Questions: Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell

Claude and Camille book cover

SPOILER WARNING: These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points, if you have not read the book.

 

Title: Claude and Camille
Author: Stephanie Cowell
Page Count: 338
Genre: Historical, biographical fiction
Tone: Lush, leisurely

 

1. In the beginning of Claude and Camille, Monet’s mentor Boudin said “The only thing I see you lack Claude, is humility. When you learn that, you will do your best.” Do you believe that Claude ever learned humility? Was it necessary for him to succeed? Would Monet have been as successful if Boudin hadn’t challenged him?

2. Where did Claude Monet first see Camille? What was his reaction to her? Is Camille Claude’s muse?

3. What did  you think of the sexuality displayed in Claude and Camille? Did it surprise you?

4. Do you think Camille ever actually intend to marry her fiancé? What would lead you to that conclusion?

5. Claude and Camille ran off together and spent a week in Sevres (which, by the way, is Mt. Prospects Sister City). Claude had painted a picture of Camille (Women in the Garden) and as it was time to go back, he packed the picture away. He said, “My love is inside there now, my love is rolled away in darkness.” What do you think he meant by that? Was he talking about Camille or was the painting his love?

6. Camille is from a wealthy family and had a life of privilege. Do you think Camille realized how much her life would change when she defied her parents to live with Monet? If she had realized do you think she would have made the same choices?

7. What did Camille see in Claude? Why do you think they lived together and didn’t immediately get married?

8. What did you think of Camille’s parents’ attitude towards Claude? How would you feel if she were your daughter?

9. A recurring theme throughout Monet’s life is his refusal to take a job and his insistence on pursuing his art fulltime. What did Camille think about this? What do you think of this? Did you ever admire or agree with Claude’s choice to remain solely an artist? As an artist, do you think he could have achieved the success he did without solely concentrating on his art?

10. Do you think Claude’s father should have helped him more financially? What would you do if you had a budding Monet?

11. Did you wonder if Camille was mentally unstable?

12. When Camille thinks she is pregnant, Claude is clearly not happy, why is that? Why didn’t Claude and Camille marry when she discovered she was pregnant?

13. Claude goes to Le Havre to ask his father for more money after they learned of the pregnancy but he stayed there for quite some time. Why? What did you think of Camille’s reaction?

14. Camille’s first lover was Frédéric Bazille. He lets the cat out of the bag on the day Claude and Camille get married. Why then? Were you surprised to learn who Camille’s 1st lover was? Does Claude have a reason to be upset? Do you think Camille would have had a “better” life had she married Bazille?

15. There is a suggestion that Bazille was in love with Monet and Monet accepts this. What are your thoughts?

16. Was there any way that Claude could have prevented Bazille from going to war? If Frédéric had not died in the war would they have resumed their friendship?

17. Camille tells Claude that she gave up the Theatre for him. Is this a true statement? Why or why not?

18. After Claude and Camille’s argument at the house in Le Havre, Claude goes off to paint and Camille leaves the baby and goes to the shack where they made love. Claude comes home to find the baby crying and cold and angrily goes in search of Camille. What are your thoughts on both of their actions? Who do you sympathize more with?

19. After his suicide attempt, Claude writes Camille the most passionate letter of his life and then he leaves her to go to Le Havre. Why did he leave her? Why doesn’t he take Camille with him?

20. Camille’s uncle suffered a heart attack and she takes over the book store. She and Jean move into the rooms above it. Claude has been writing her sporadically. He writes her passionately and she is silent for three days and then her letter, when it comes, is “cautious.” How does Claude react to this? What does his reaction say about him?

21. How did you feel about Claude taking his family to London to wait out the war? Pissarro said, “…Our friends are safe and so are we….living our lives with the sole justification to paint…” What did you think of the artists? Do you think they were more important than common workers?

22. Monet and Camille were happy when Monet gets a lucrative commission from Ernest Hoschedé to paint some panels on the wall of the gazebo at his wife’s chateau. While there he becomes attracted to Alice Hoschedé. What do you think attracted him to her? Was she attracted to him?

23. Claude claimed to love Camille deeply. He had the example his father set of what happens to a relationship when there is infidelity and yet Claude had a tryst with Alice? Your thoughts?

24. Claude seemed very upset at the idea of Alice’s husband mismanaging her fortune and losing all those things she held dear. How is this different from how Claude took Camille away from her life of privilege and why does he feel so badly for Alice?

25. Claude eventually married Alice. Why? How was Claude and Alice’s relationship different than Claude and Camille’s?

26. Claude seemed genuinely upset over the death of Camille. He was an artist and he painted her on her deathbed as a way to keep her with him. Why was Camille’s sister Annette so horrified to see the picture Claude painted?

27. In the first  interlude Monet  is an old man working on his famous Water Lillies. He is having a difficult time and says, “What can these paintings of water lilies which are such a struggle for me have to do with my long lost love?” What do you think the lillies had to do with Camille? And why were they such a struggle for him?

28. Monet is writing to Camille’s sister Annette asking if she knows about Camille’s old love letters.  Why does he want to see letters written to another man? Why did Annette hate Claude? Why did Annette blame Claude for Camille’s death?

29. Did reading this novel affect how you regard Claude Monet? How?

30. Do you think it is necessary to understand art to love it? Can learning too much about an artist ruin your art appreciation? Explain.

 

Other Resources
Stephanie Cowell’s official book discussion questions
Lit Lovers‘ book discussion questions
Chocolate and Croissants interview
Huffington Post interview
Passages to the Past interview
Monet documentary

Be sure to stop at the second floor Reference Desk to ask about Claude Monet art history and coffee table books.

 

If you liked Claude and Camille, try…

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Hidden in the Shadow of the Master: The Model-wives of Cézanne, Monet, and Rodin by Ruth Butler
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

The Painted Girls book cover     Hidden in the Shadow of the Master book coverThe Art Forger book cover

Staff Pick: The Circle by Dave Eggers

Denise staff picks photoThe Circle by Dave Eggers portrays an alarming fantasy world of social media on steroids. You may mock this premise as implausible fiction or see it as an eerie foreshadowing of where our society is headed, but either way you won’t be able to put this book down.

Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project

Warming Up book coverThe first of its kind, the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project seeks to promote talented self-published authors and to celebrate the importance and influence of libraries. Mary Hutchings Reed, the nominee of Mount Prospect Public Library, earned high praise as a finalist for Warming Up, a novel that sparks from an incident in which a creative runaway teen cons sixty dollars from a depressed musical actress. One hundred and three books were submitted for consideration, and a panel of over twenty librarians served as judges through a series of eliminations. The chosen winner was Joanne Zienty of Wheaton for The Things We Save.

Visit the Soon to Be Famous page for more information on the finalists, and watch the video below to hear each speak about the importance of story.

 

Fiction and Nonfiction: Awards Spotlight

Every Friday the Library will bring you short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.  This week we invite you to check out a winner!

Are you drawn to the adventure and panorama of the West?  Try one or more of the Spur Awards honorees:

Light of the World book cover

Crossing Purgatory book cover

Spider Woman's Daughter book cover

Best Western Contemporary NovelLight of the World by James Lee Burke

Best Western Traditional NovelCrossing Purgatory by Gary Schanbacher

Best First NovelSpider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman

 

Have a taste for distinguished American writing?  Read a newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner:

Goldfinch book cover

Toms River book cover

Margaret Fuller book cover

FictionThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

General NonfictionToms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin

Biography or AutobiographyMargaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall

 

Which titles have the respect of their peers?  The Los Angeles Times Book Awards are chosen by working writers to celebrate how reading is an essential way of connecting with and understanding the world in which we live:

Tale for the Time Being book cover

Cuckoo's Calling book cover

We Need New Names book cover

FictionA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Mystery/ThrillerThe Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Art Seidenbaum Award for First FictionWe Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

 

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste.

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