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Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

The Weird Sisters book coverCathleen of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown:

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” – Robert Frost

The Andreas sisters are named for three wildly different Shakespeare heroines, and the one thing they have in common is that their lives are messy.  Bianca has just been fired and is swimming in debt.  Cordelia gives up her semi-nomadic life when she discovers she’s pregnant.  Rosalind had already been living at home in order to care for their ailing parents, and the tension of her upcoming wedding isn’t helping.  In Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters, all three end up back under the same roof, and the curtain rises on a masterful blend of drama and lightness that would make the Bard proud.

By MPPL on May 2, 2011 Categories: Books, Literary, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: Wild Young Hearts

Cathleen staff picks pictureTake the energy of a ’60s girl group and mix it with a little modern funk, and you may well find yourself with Wild Young Hearts.  The London trio known as the Noisettes plays with tone and style in an unpredictable set of exuberant vocals and dynamic rhythms.

By MPPL on March 8, 2011 Categories: Music, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: Playing by Heart

Cathleen staff picks pictureAs one character observes, “talking about love is like dancing about architecture.”  Yet, Playing by Heart makes the intricate steps seem appealing.  A surprising ensemble including Sean Connery, Jon Stewart, and Angelina Jolie play out intertwining storylines exploring relationships at different stages.  This overlooked gem has warmth, wit, and style.

By MPPL on December 27, 2010 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Cathleen, Romance, Staff Picks

Cathleen’s Pick: The Past is a Foreign Country

Cathleen staff picks pictureThough Swedish crime fiction is all the rage, other nations have their own twisted secrets.  The Past is a Foreign Country, a new import from Italy’s prize-winning Gianrico Carofiglio, details a law student’s slow descent into darkness while under the influence of a charismatic con.

By MPPL on November 1, 2010 Categories: Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

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