On Southeastern, singer/songwriter Jason Isbell has crafted soulful, catchy songs with lyrics of dust-coated poetry about finding warmth in love when the world offers none, “Cover Me Up”, watching a friend die, “Elephant”, and a rollicking barn-burner about barely surviving an addiction,“Super 8”. It’s an album that proves the famous quote about how a great country song is only “three chords and the truth.”
Check It Out Category: Staff Picks
Delicious by Ruth Reichl is a book I liked more as I got into it. I loved the old mansion in New York, the cooking, the restaurant culture, and the WW2 era backstory with James Beard. The romantic side story added a nice flavor to the story too.
Dan from Building Services suggests A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities combines a colorful mixture of history, adventure, and romance set to the backdrop of the French Revolution. The story revolves around 3 characters: Lucie, a British girl of French descent, her lover Charles, a French nobleman seeking asylum from the bloody revolution, and their friend Sydney, a banker who harbors a secret love for Lucie.
Dickens summons up multiple emotions in the reader as Charles is forcefully extradited back to France in order to stand trial for his family’s crimes. This novel is sure to inspire wonder and horror as the author masterfully depicts this tale of love amidst one of the most unsettling times in French history.
The successful HGTV show, Fixer Upper, stars the upbeat couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Magnolia Story is about their interesting lives and a lot of ups and downs with running their decorating, retail and real estate businesses. In their own words, they have learned that with change comes opportunities and contentment in the journey. Hope you enjoy.
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald is a deeply personal memoir about grief, falconry, and T. H. White. A unique combination for sure, but Macdonald masterfully blends these threads into an engrossing work of art. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook narrated by the author herself for a particularly mesmerizing experience.
Audio is also available on Hoopla.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros follows Esperanza Cordero, a Mexican-American girl growing up in Chicago with struggles and triumphs as she rises above the despair of her Hispanic neighborhood. It is a classic Chicago tale.
Like any number of films “based on a true story,” the docu-comedy 24 Hour Party People frequently exaggerates, distorts, fabricates and otherwise obfuscates the historical truth of its subject matter (in this case, the Manchester music scene of the 80s and 90s). The difference is, this picture does so openly, amusingly, and with a cheerful wink to its audience.
Nancy from Administration suggests The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
He is a strange eleven-year-old, with an obsession for Guinness World Records. She is 104 years old, an immigrant from Lithuania, who does amazing card tricks. When the boy appears at the home of Ona Vitkus for a Boy Scout project, they become fast friends, and Ona finds herself sharing things that she’s never told anyone before. Soon, they’ve concocted a scheme to get Ona into the record books, as the Oldest Licensed Driver. However, the boy dies before they can achieve their goal.
Agreeing to continue her yardwork for a few more weeks, the boy’s father, Quinn, is also drawn into Ona’s quest for a world record. As a result, Quinn glimpses the son he never really knew. This is a lovely and amusing story of friendship, love, loss, and dreams pursued, especially enjoyable in audio.
For other thoughtful and touching stories of self-discovery, try one of these!
by Robin Pilcher
by Fredrik Backman
by Susanna Daniel
by Jojo Moyes
Hello, My Name is Doris is the hilariously awkward and thoughtfully heartwarming tale of a woman in her 60s deciding to take action in her life, specifically on her crush on a younger coworker. As a result of the depth of characters played by a stellar cast, the relationships Doris had with people rang painful at times, but they felt honest and allowed for moments of realistic redemption. The combination of comedy, drama, and romance in this made it an instant favorite!
Can you choose only two or three favorite items you read, watched, listened to, and/or played this year? MPPL staff can tell you, it’s hard to do! Check out below what staff members chose for the top of their lists this year and make sure to stop by the Library and share what your favorites have been!
This year three different books written by one author were chosen as staff favorites. Which author was it?
Book: Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest
by Beth Macy
Book: Einstein’s Dreams
by Alan Lightman
DVD: The Big Short
Book: First Star I See Tonight
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
DVD: Playing House
Book: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
by Fredrik Backman
DVD: Sing Street
Graphic Novel: Paper Girls, vol. 1
by Brian K. Vaughan
Book: The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture
by Glen Weldon
Book: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami
Book: The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
by Nadia Hashimi
Book: Karolina’s Twins
by Ronald H. Balson
We would love to hear from you!
Write to us on Facebook or Twitter and share what your favorites of the year were. If you’re interested in personalized reading, watching, and/or listening suggestions… Ask!