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South Branch Staff Picks

Sigh No More Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons/ Sigh No More

Mumford & Sons/ Sigh No More

Get out your plaid, skinny jeans and thick-rimmed glasses because we’re ready to talk about some Mumford and Sons’ Sigh No More. In all seriousness I’m definitely not a pioneer of the “hipster” movement. I like what I like, and I definitely like this CD. The general feel of it makes me want to lay on a grassy hill and just look up into the sky and find shapes in clouds. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are times when I was “gettin’ down” (as in, grooving in my chair and dancing while doing the dishes). Of course there are the tried and true singles that have music videos and air time on the radio, such as “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man”. But, that’s not all, (sounding like an infomercial here) there are special gems sprinkled throughout the album. Marcus Mumford, the lead singer, has a gravel-filled, soulful, passionate voice. There were times when I couldn’t help getting chills. I would tell you which ones, but I want you to figure them out for yourself. (It would be like giving away a twist in a book, or the climax in a movie.)

So what’s this album sound like? Well, it has a folksy feel with a: bass, guitar, banjo, mandolin, and a resonator guitar. If you’re not quite sure if you like the folk-style, this is definitely a good introduction. It has a sense of rock, soul, and folk. With time changes and key changes, Mumford and Sons make their music stand out from other genres.

Other albums similar to this one:

The LumineersThe Lumineers, Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions, Of Monsters and Men’s My Head is an Animal, and fun’s Some Nights

By Megan Y.

By MPPL on February 17, 2014 Categories: Adult, Music

Heaven is for Real: a little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back by Todd Burpo

Heaven is for Real

Heaven is for Real

Have you wondered about the mysterious and extraordinary existence of heaven? Read Heaven is for Real  to see Todd, a minister in a small town, retell the story of how his critically hospitalized son made an incredible trip to heaven and back.  Todd is taken aback by three-year-old Colton’s descriptions, marveling at how all that Colton expresses about heaven matches the stories in the Bible–despite his being too young to read.  Imagine having a three-year-old telling you that the angels sang to him and that Jesus rides a rainbow horse…Take the trip with Colton and his father through the next several years as this experience strengthens their family and inspires others in the community.        

If you like this, you may like: 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper and Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander.

By jperez on January 6, 2014 Categories: Adult, Books, Nonfiction

USA Citizenship Interview and Test Practice Made Easy

USA Citizenship Interview and Test Practice Made Easy 2013 Edition by J.S. Aaron

Do you want to become a U.S. citizen? Learn how you can get a Green Card or prepare yourself for the citizenship interview with USA Citizenship Interview and Test Practice Made Easy.  Created with English as a Second Language user, this study guide is a comprehensive tool covering a variety of useful information including how to apply for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”.  From the reading and writing practice to simple steps on how to apply, this edition by J.S. Aaron will give you a clear understanding of what you need know and do to become a U.S. Citizen. 

If you like USA Citizenship Interview and Test Practice Made Easy you may also like Your U.S. citizenship guide : what you need to know to pass your U.S. citizenship test, A simple guide to U.S. immigration and citizenship, or The citizen’s almanac : fundamental documents, symbols, and anthems of the United States

By hmarroquin on August 1, 2013 Categories: Adult, Books, Nonfiction

The Devil Wears Prada

 

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada

A delightfully hilarious film about how can someone hate their boss so much. Andrea Sachs landed a job “a million girls would die for” and this job might be the death of her! Miranda Priestly, is a high-profile, fabulously successful editor of Runway magazine and is Andrea’s boss. Watch how Andrea is sorely tested each and every day by Miranda. Some of Andrea’s tasks are unfeasible but she still finds a way to get them done in order to get a stellar recommendation from Miranda. That can open many opportunities for a better top job in any magazine of her choosing. Starring Academy Award winner Meryl Streep and Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway.  

 

By: T. Tovar

By MPPL on June 3, 2013 Categories: Adult, Fiction, Film

El caballero de la armadura oxidada por Robert Fisher (Spanish JF)

 

El caballero de la armadura oxidada

El caballero de la armadura oxidada

El caballero de la armadura oxidada

¿Cuáles son las cualidades de un caballero verdadero? Cuando un día un caballero distinguido se encuentra atrapado en su armadura de batalla, empieza una misión para librarse de esta. La solución no es nada fácil y el camino se le presenta con muchos obstáculos.  No es su capacidad de rescatar damiselas, ni su carrera de matador de dragones que le salvará, sino el conocimiento de su “yo” verdadero.

Presentada como una historia de la edad medieval este cuento de autoayuda ofrece observaciones y consejos para el caballero(a) en cado uno de nosotros.  Con 98 páginas, no es una lectura muy larga pero está llena de reflexiones profundas sobre el ser humano y es recomendable para cualquier edad.

 

Por Allison S.

By MPPL on May 13, 2013 Categories: Adult, Books, Fiction, Youth

Biblia umarłych Toma Konxa

Biblia umarłych

Biblia umarłych

Powieść Toma Konxa “Biblia umarłych to książka dla cierpliwych. Mówiąc inaczej – dla pasjonatów gatunku dobrze już zadomowionego w literaturze, łączącego elementy kryminału, powieści sensacyjnej i thrillera. Jakby tego było mało, mamy tu udaną symbiozę i wątków współczesnych, i historycznych.

Tylko że lokalizacja miejsca zdarzeń -  i w sensie odległości czasowej i geograficznej – bardzo oryginalna: jaskinie francuskie, Laos, Abchazja, Daleki Wschód…

W ten splot okoliczności, miejsc i – znalezisk niejako wchodzą ze swoimi pasjami i dociekliwością (wpisaną w pewnym sensie w ich profesje): Julia – archeolog, Jake -fotoreporter i Chemdy – prawniczka.

Thriller opowiada nie tylko o znanych z nie tak odległej przeszłości zdarzeniach w Kambodży i rządach Czerwonych Khmerów (masowe egzekucje, ludobójstwo, niewolnictwo XX wieku), ale o odpowiedzialności człowieka współczesnego i człowieka w ogóle za oblicze naszej ziemskiej cywilizacji.

Jaką postawę przyjmą bohaterowie wobec poznanych ludzi, faktów i zdarzeń?

Czy zawarta w tytule metafora “biblia umarłych” pozostanie tylko przenośnią?

Warto sięgnąć po tę wyjątkową lekturę. Zachęcam.

By mariag on April 29, 2013 Categories: Adult, Books, Fiction, Polish

Paper Heart

Paper Heart

Paper Heart

Paper Heart is about Charlyne Yi who is an artist and comedian makes a comical documentary about what is fairytale love. Yi travels throughout the U.S. looking for anyone who will talk to her about their life lessons about love. During her journey, she meets some amazing people, including older folks, children, and even celebrities. Yi’s skepticism about love is shaken when she meets actor Michael Cera. Shy but curious about one another, Cera and Yi have an unscripted hook up or so we think.  It’s hard to know exactly where the line is between documentary and fiction in this film, but in a way it doesn’t matter just enjoy Yi’s creative cardboard-cutout puppetry.If you like Paper Heart you may also like Sunshine Cleaning, Juno and Larry Crowne.

 

By T. Tovar

By MPPL on April 15, 2013 Categories: Adult, Film

Devil’s Wake

Devil's Wake

Devil’s Wake

If you’ve seen all the movies about zombies, but still feel an uncontrollable urge for MORE…look no further than Devil’s Wake.  Authors Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due draw upon the popular zombie traditions, set by the likes of George Romero, but expand expertly into their own rationale for the “birth” of their zombies, and revealing unique and terrifying symptoms along the way.  It’s easy to identify and cheer for the young protagonists—a handful of teenagers from vastly diverse backgrounds who band together in a blue van, trekking across the Northwest coast to find a way to begin life again.  Sure they battle zombies, but also other humans (“pirates”) and the elements as winter approaches.  Underlying the thrill and suspense of their journey glows a story about friendship and trust under extreme circumstances, and how to keep your humanity when the world you knew has lost it.

 

By Allison S.

By MPPL on March 16, 2013 Categories: Adult, Fiction

English Verbs & Essentials of Grammar for ESL Learners

English Verbs & Essentials of Grammar for ESL Learners

English Verbs & Essentials of Grammar for ESL Learners

Need extra help learning the odds and ends of the English language?  Check out English Verbs & Essentials of Grammar for ESL Learners. Author Edward Swick covers a variety of subjects including Passive Voice and Punctuation. Find what you need with real-life examples that will help you understand grammar quickly.

Looking for more books like this? Check these out: English Verbs by Loretta Gray or 2,000+ Essential English Verbs by Louise Stracke

By jperez on February 24, 2013 Categories: Adult, Books, Nonfiction

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy

J.K. Rowlings is a master at world-building.  But if you’ve even considered picking this book up ever since it came out, you already knew that.  Instead of illuminating a magical world that exists intersected with ours, in The Casual Vacancy she throws open the doors of the mind into a deceptively quiet village in Britain.

When family-man and friendly neighbor Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly of an aneurism, it leave an incredible number of holes in the hearts and minds of his fellow citizens of the village of Pagford.  As the village bustles to fill the “casual vacancy” left by his death on the local Parish Council, J.K. Rowlings explores the unforeseen repercussions of his death, revealing the complex relationships and inner workings of this intimate community.  Barry Fairbrother’s death is a catalyst for the building pressure between neighbors and within families, and the cracks are finally beginning to show.

As you become familiar with the characters, it reads like a sitcom of the tiny English town, one by one baring all of the residents’ petty grudges, and dark secrets.  Rowlings’ observations of human nature are bitingly sharp, often satirical, but ultimately compassionate. And despite its length, readers will be hanging on every word, waiting for the inevitable eruption.

 

By asmith

By MPPL on February 15, 2013 Categories: Adult, Books