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Staff Pick: Sweet Smell of Success

John staff picks photoSweet Smell of Success features gorgeously stark black-and-white cinematography, a crackling Elmer Bernstein jazz score rife with jumpy energy, and muscular dialogue in a memorably hard-boiled style. Add two intensely powerful performances by Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, and you’ve got a masterful ode to blackhearted American ambition.

By MPPL on May 13, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by John, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Enon by Paul Harding

Donna S. staff picks photoPaul Harding has written another book about the Crosby family. They first appeared in Tinkers, his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Enon tells the story of grandson Charlie, who is grieving the sudden death of his only child, Kate. Now he must learn to live without her.

By MPPL on May 6, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Picks by Donna, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go Bernadette book coverDonna C. of Research Services recommends Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple:

Where would you go if you wanted to get away from it all? If a chance to truly leave it all behind opened up, would you take it? Where’d You Go, Bernadette asks a simple question, but Maria Semple’s book skillfully reveals why the answer is so hard to ascertain. Who really knows Bernadette? Her daughter? Her husband? Reading this book, you find yourself quickly wrapped up in the messy and all-too-familiar life of a suburban mom doing her best to toe the line while the vines of her creative, disjointed past threaten to strangle and uproot the present. While this book would make a great beach read, it may also satiate your own desire to escape. Semple draws a beautiful picture of the lush and high-tech city of Seattle, peeking into the lives of Microsoft employees, eccentric architects, and precocious students in the search for our missing heroine.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on May 5, 2014 Categories: Books, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Big Brother by Lionel Shriver

Cynthia staff picks photoLionel Shriver’s Big Brother deftly challenges ideas about food, success, and loyalty. Pandora puts a lot on the line when her older brother, an NYC jazz musician, shows up in Iowa having gained a shocking amount of weight. His large presence shakes her status quo and leads to a spur of the moment decision.

By MPPL on April 29, 2014 Categories: Books, Picks by Cynthia, Staff Picks

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.

By MPPL on April 22, 2014 Categories: Books, Picks by Denise, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Cathleen Staff Picks photoNeed a vacation?  Let the honeyed voice of Edoardo Ballerini whisk you to a remote Italian villa in Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.  Entwining the past story of a bewitching extra on the set of Cleopatra with that of contemporary film production team, this Audie Award-winner offers a fascinating mental getaway.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on April 15, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Baby’s in Black by Anne Bellstorf

Colleen staff picks photoIf you are a fan of The Beatles, then you will definitely want to pick up the graphic novel Baby’s In Black.  Working closely with Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe’s girlfriend, Bellstorf packs an emotional punch with black-and-white drawings that detail “the lost Beatle’s” short but impactful time with the band.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on April 8, 2014 Categories: Books, Music, Picks by Colleen, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: The De-Textbook: The Stuff You Didn’t Know About the Stuff You Thought You Knew

De-Textbook book coverSteve from Research Services recommends The De-Textbook: The Stuff You Didn’t Know About the Stuff You Thought You Knew by

The De-Textbook is full of lists that will blow your mind. You’ll find out how little you know about real ninjas, Puritans, Thomas Jefferson, why you lay awake at night, and velociraptors. One interesting fact is that the symbol of the modern anarchist movement is Guy Fawkes, a supervillain who wanted to blow up the English king and Parliament. You’ve seen his pointed moustache on a thousand protest masks. In actuality this man was no anarchist. Guy Fawkes wanted to install a much more conservative government ruled by the Pope. He’s been misappropriated by a movement that doesn’t understand what he wanted. But then, most everything any of us think we know about most anything is probably wrong, and this book will astound you out of ignorance.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on April 7, 2014 Categories: Books, Humor, Nonfiction, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: My Pinterest

Joyce Staff Picks photoLooking for ideas on deck designs, weddings, or gluten-free cookies? Pinterest is your friend! It is a visually-oriented social network used to collect and share ideas for your projects or interests. Check out Michael Miller’s book My Pinterest for tips on navigating or enhancing your Pinterest experience.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on April 1, 2014 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Joyce, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Endeavour

Larry staff picks photoEndeavour is a must-see movie for those who enjoy PBS’ Inspector Morse series. Young Endeavour Morse struggles with the naïveté of youth, his past, and learning hard life lessons while on his first detective case in this coming-of-age whodunit, full of twists and turns.

By Readers' Advisor on March 25, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks