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Cathleen’s Pick: I Am the Messenger

Cathleen staff picks pictureStop one incompetent bank robber, and everyone thinks you’re a hero.  Then Ed receives an Ace of Diamonds with three addresses written on it.  Why?  I Am the Messenger is the unusual story of a likable slacker who tries saving the day one mysterious playing card at a time.

By MPPL on August 23, 2010 Categories: Books, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: Love & War

Cathleen staff picks pictureIn a high-energy recording that doesn’t shy away from frank emotion, the three sisters of BarlowGirl challenge anyone who equates songs of faith with weak mediocrity.  Love & War offers driving rock, soaring ballad, and buoyant pop, all with unwavering conviction.  Uplifting? Absolutely.  Boring? Not a chance.

By MPPL on June 14, 2010 Categories: Music, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: I Capture the Castle

Cathleen staff picks pictureThough I only discovered Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle a few years ago, it feels like a book I’ve loved all my life.  Cassandra is one of the most fascinating and natural storytellers you’ll ever read, and her cleverness adds spice to this extraordinary coming-of-age tale.  Simply enchanting.

By MPPL on April 5, 2010 Categories: Books, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: Strict Joy

Cathleen staff picks pictureIf, like me, you were mesmerized by the magic of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s music in the film Once, you’ll be just as captivated by Strict Joy.  Gentle, aching harmonies interlace the bittersweet with the hopeful.  A truly poignant collaboration, these conversations in song will wring your heart.

By MPPL on January 18, 2010 Categories: Music, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: Nightmare Revisited


Cathleen staff picks pictureDanny Elfman’s moody music for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is reimagined on Nightmare Revisited with a diverse group of artists including Korn, Amy Lee, and the Yoshida Brothers.  My favorite tracks are those with an international flair, such as Rodrigo y Gabriela’s take on “Oogie Boogie’s Song”.

By MPPL on November 9, 2009 Categories: Music, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

"Not All Deaths Are Equal"

Six Suspects DVD coverCathleen of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup:

When playboy Vicky Rai shot doctoral student Ruby Gill in the face and neck in front of fifty witnesses, all because she refused to serve him a drink, the nation gasped.  Later, when Rai was acquitted, riots broke out.  So it is no surprise that he himself is murdered at the very party he throws to celebrate his release.  When the guests are searched, six separate individuals are found to have guns in their possession: a dim-witted American tourist, an ambitious politician, a Bollywood star, a primitive tribesman, a cell phone thief, and a corrupt bureaucrat who claims to have become Mahatma Ghandi.  Each has a secret, and each had just as good a reason to want Rai dead.  In his follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire, author Vikas Swarup casts a fascinating story of mystery and vengeance.  One by one the characters are revealed, but the pieces won’t fully come together until the shocking end.

By MPPL on October 5, 2009 Categories: Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: The Winslow Boy

Cathleen staff picks pictureOne man’s fight for his little boy’s honor turns into a national obsession in David Mamet’s The Winslow Boy.  Loosely based on an actual case, this Edwardian drama is less about courtroom and more about character.  Are some costs too high, even if fighting for what you believe is right?

By MPPL on August 24, 2009 Categories: Movies and Television, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: Shadow of a Doubt

Cathleen staff picks pictureCan you imagine anything creepier than suspecting a beloved family member is a serial killer?  In Shadow of a Doubt, Charlie begins to distrust the charming uncle she idolized.  Alfred Hitchcock and Thornton Wilder combine their considerable talents in a chilling film that brings paranoia to our own homes.

By MPPL on June 15, 2009 Categories: Movies and Television, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: First Drop

Cathleen staff picks pictureA roller coaster ride of thrills and spins, First Drop by Zoë Sharp introduces former soldier turned bodyguard Charlotte “Charlie” Fox.  Protecting a teen should be easy, but once the action starts, it doesn’t brake.  Trust me, when the ride is over, you’ll want to get right back in line.

By MPPL on March 16, 2009 Categories: Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: Pushing Daisies

Cathleen staff picks pictureFeeling low?  One sure remedy is a dose of Pushing Daisies.  This fanciful series has witty dialogue, quirky mystery, and overflowing heart.  Following the adventures of a shy piemaker with a unique gift and a burly private eye with a fondness for knitting, this is escapism at its most sparkling.

By MPPL on February 2, 2009 Categories: Movies and Television, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks