Check It Out Category: Picks by Cathleen

Staff Pick: Boy & the World

Cathleen_2014Delight your eyes with a work of wonder! Nearly wordless and enhanced with music, Oscar nominee Boy & the World is a warm, uplifting exploration of childlike discovery. This Brazilian fable dazzles with inventive hand-drawn animation, juxtaposing the realities of life’s hardships with the adventure of youth. Exhilarating and unforgettable.

Staff Pick: Oscar

Cathleen staff picks photoA farcical comedy-of-errors with rhythms of a crackling stage play, Oscar is the screwball story of “Snaps” Provolone, a top-tier gangster who promises to go straight. Supporting cast Tim Curry, Chazz Palminteri, and Peter Riegert tickle with humor that bounces between droll dialogue and broad slapstick. Ridiculous fun.

Staff Pick: Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag

Cathleen of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag:

The Dress Shop of Dreams book coverOn a winding cobblestone street in Cambridge, there sits an unassuming boutique called A Stitch in Time.  It is destined for one special kind of shopper:  the woman looking for a lost piece of herself.  Whether the customer seeks confidence, courage, beauty, or magnificence, proprietor Etta has a gift for introducing the unique and extraordinary garment to spark the transformation.  The one person resistant to this possibility is her granddaughter Cora, a young scientist whose past tragedy has narrowed her gaze only to the potential found in her work.

Menna van Praag’s The Dress Shop of Dreams is an embrace of expectant promise.  The gentle spell of interlacing characters, secret attractions, and magic found in simple pleasures will inspire faith in what is truly meant to be.

 

For more books that blend fantasy indulgences with the promise of personal revelations:

A Vintage Affair book cover

 

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff tells the exquisite story of Phoebe Swift, who fulfills a long-cherished dream to open a vintage clothing shop that treasures the history behind each unique garment.

 

The Sugar Queen book cover

 

Books appearing just when you need them is only one of the magical realities of Sarah Addison Allen’s The Sugar Queen, a bewitching and lightly humorous exploration of the courage it takes to change one’s life.

 

Chocolat book cover

 

In Chocolat by Joanne Harris, the truth that others may see us more clearly than we see ourselves is flavored with the rewards of taking bold steps forward and lush descriptions of tantalizing delights.

Lucia, Lucia book cover

 

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani celebrates a young seamstress’s passion for beautiful things and her willingness to break with convention to follow her dreams in glitzy 1950s New York.

Sweetshop of Dreams book cover

 

In the hopeful Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan, Londoner Rosie Hopkins’ impulsive decision to re-open her elderly relative’s old-fashioned village candy store stirs surprising possibilities in both life and love.

Staff Pick: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Cathleen staff pick photoThis unlikely frontier love story (based on the biblical story of Hosea, of all things!) has stayed with me for years. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is a narrative of unconditional commitment that breaks through terrible brokenness and betrayal to invite real trust. Somewhat controversial, but absolutely rewarding.

Staff Pick: About Elly

Cathleen Staff Pick photoA lighthearted seaside getaway turns chilling with the sudden disappearance of a last-minute guest. As the others confront how little they know About Elly, nearly everyone’s casual relationship with truth turns a bad situation worse, intensifying our dread of the story’s reveal. Delicious, provocative storytelling from Oscar-winning auteur Asghar Farhadi.