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Staff Pick: Upstream Color

Picture of JohnUpstream Color unfolds in an elliptical manner, inviting viewers to deduce the narrative with limited dialogue and an absence of exposition.  However, it would be a mistake to dismiss this as some gimmicky puzzle film:  Amy Seimetz’s outstanding lead performance reveals the powerful emotional heart at the center of this ecological sci-fi love story.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 26, 2015 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by John, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Picture of DonnaLittle Beach Street Bakery is a delightful novel by Jenny Colgan. Two people decide to totally change the course of their busy lives and end-up in a remote area of Cornwall, England. One takes up baking bread and the other to tending to bees. Fishermen and townspeople add side stories to this new book. I kept reading to find what what happens next.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 19, 2015 Categories: Books, Picks by Donna, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

Cover of The Awakening of Miss PrimMarta of Fiction/AV/Teen services suggests The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera…

Step with Miss Prim into the village of San Ireneo de Arnois and enjoy the stores filled with luscious chocolates, beautiful flowers and well-chosen books.   Meet the intelligent children who have been carefully educated by their parents in the classics of literature and art. But, if you are not looking to be married, beware the San Ireneo Feminist League, who might place husband finding on the agenda.

Imagine Prudencia Prim’s horrified surprise when she finds herself subject to this scrutiny. And yet… as she searches her heart she finds that love is growing for her employer: the inscrutable Man in the Wing Chair.

Fans of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy will relish a romance based on moral ideals, attraction and longing. Readers who love a well described sense of place will want to visit San Ireneo and never leave.

For more charming international cozies try

 

Cover of Hector and the Search for Happiness
Hector and the Search for Happiness
by Francois LeLord

The French author tells a charming yet meaning laden tale of a burned out psychiatrist who leaves his job and travels the world trying to discover what makes people happy or unhappy.

Cover of The House at the End of Hope Street
The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag
11 Hope Street is literally a life changing location. Alba has recently suffered disappointment and is offered 99 days to stay in this unusual home. Will its magic work for her?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover of Hotel Pastis
Hotel Pastis
by Peter Mayle
Simon Shaw ditches his career as an advertising executive and escapes to the south of France. Pleasures and obstacles are equally great in this ode to provincial life and the desire to begin again.


The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
by Andrew McCall Smith
More than a mystery, the first book in this popular series draws readers into small village life in Botswana and into the wise, contented mind of Mma Ramatswa.

Cover of Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes
Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes
by Betsy Woodman
Far from her native Scotland, Janet Laird moves to a small home in India. When the proposed building of a new dam threatens to wipe out the village, Janet comes up with a plan to save this new home that she loves.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 14, 2015 Categories: Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Picks by Marta, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Picture of NancyIn Maggie Shipstead’s Astonish Me, Joan Joyce, a wife and mother in California, looks back on her time as a professional ballet dancer in 1970s New York, particularly when she helped a celebrated dancer defect from the Soviet Union to the United States.  With precise, graceful language that mirrors an elegantly performed ballet, this captivating novel examines choices made and secrets kept.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 12, 2015 Categories: Books, Picks by Nancy, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Picture of CynthiaMedieval historian-turned-mortician Caitlin Doughty brings a unique blend of historical perspective, practical training, and newbie experiences to her exploration of modern death in the U.S.  The essays in Smoke Gets in Your Eyes include some gory details, but also honest accounts of a new mortician sometimes fumbling her way in the space after death.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on April 28, 2015 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Cynthia, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Now, Voyager

Cover of Now VoyagerDiane of Fiction/AV/Teen services suggests Now, Voyager

Hollywood cranked out women’s pictures, or weepies, with excessive emotional fervor from the 1930s to 1950s. For many historians, 1942’s Now, Voyager starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, and Claude Rains, is the definitive weepie. Davis portrays Charlotte Vale, a dowdy Boston spinster, oppressed and driven to a nervous breakdown by a domineering mother. She recovers with the help of a kindly psychiatrist, played by Claude Rains, who runs a mental health sanitarium. After leaving the doctor’s care, Charlotte takes an ocean voyage where she finds self-confidence and love through a romance with an unhappily-married man, played by Paul Henreid, and ends up taking his emotionally troubled daughter under her wing.

 

For more movies featuring Bette Davis as the headstrong lead try

Cover of Dark Victory
Dark Victory follows the life of a fast moving Long Island socialite who skids to a stop when she discovers that she has less than a year to live.

Cover of The Letter
Set on a rubber plantation in Malaya, The Letter centers on a woman’s reasons for killing a man who was a close family friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover of The Old MaidHeadstrong, beautiful Tina has nothing but disdain for her Aunt Charlotte, in The Old Maid, but unloved, unlovable Aunt Charlotte is really Tina’s mother, whose romance with a Civil War soldier that didn’t return resulted in Tina’s birth.

Cover of Deception
World War II has separated pianist Christine Radcliffe from her great love, cellist Karel Novak. Thinking Karel has been killed in action, she is unexpectedly reunited with him. Pulling off the ultimate Deception, she’ll lie to keep her shameful past as the mistress of a wealthy composer a secret.

Cover of The Great Lie
In The Great Lie, tempestuous and ambitious concert pianist Sandra shares a bond with down-to-earth Maggie and her little boy, Pete. No one knows that Pete is Sandra’s son – the son of the heroic aviator both women love.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on April 27, 2015 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: From the Land of the Moon by Milena Agus

Picture of JennyThis poetic gem translated from Italian is weighted with sorrow. Written in flashbacks spanning three generations, a girl shares the story of her Sardinian grandmother who has been in search for perfect love and declared mad as a result. Milena Agus’ From the Land of the Moon is a study of unreliable narrators, misunderstanding, and the reaches of the heart.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on April 21, 2015 Categories: Books, Literary, Picks by Jenny, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

Picture of ColleenThe Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly on audiobook will appeal to almost anyone! Narrator Adam Grupper becomes main character, Mickey Haller, and brings non-stop action into this courtroom drama. His character voicing and pacing elevate this audio to an easy listen whether you are new to audiobooks or an avid listener.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on April 14, 2015 Categories: Audiobooks, Picks by Colleen, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson

Cathleen staff picks photoPaging through Carnet de Voyage is like a virtual backpack trip through Europe and Morocco. Craig Thompson’s sketchbook travel diary depicts in simple yet telling detail the moments, individuals, and local color that made indelible impressions on him during a combination book tour and search for exotic new inspiration.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on April 7, 2015 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: The Children of Huang Shi

Picture of JoyceFind a hero in The Children of Huang Shi ! This true story takes journalist George Hogg behind the lines in war-torn China. With the help of a partisan leader, an Australian nurse, and a former aristocrat, Hogg attempts to save 60 orphans through their perilous trek over the mountains.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on March 31, 2015 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Joyce, Staff Picks