Reviews

Want to know what our librarians and staff are reading? Browse through a variety of reviews added to our catalog from a variety of genres.

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  • Splash
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Nov 7, 2018

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Splash is one of the first Tom Hanks films, he was originally slated to play the role of the brother. Wonderful method acting was used to develop the scenes making it a must-be-seen for anyone in acting/theater/comedy. This is a film which is rich, hilarious, and the slap stick isn't too corny. They set you up for what you know is coming and then they tweak events ever so slightly to the right or left in a mind-blowingly satisfyingly unpredictable way. The flimsy plot is eclipsed by the real human characterizations and John Candy makes a wonderful 'older wiser' brother. Viewers who watched the Shape of Water will realize blatant copying of both themes in the abstract and certain scene shots which are a clear hat tip to this gem of a comedy.

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  • Accessory to war : the unspoken alliance between astrophysics and the military by Tyson, Neil deGrasse,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 31, 2018

    Tagged: African American Biography & Autobiography Politics Science

    This timely walk through recent historical military and political moves as relates to engineering and astronomical science is immensely well crafted, researched and searing with the gravity of the consequences of war and a military mongering mindset. Here comes the truth about China's space program superiority, 9/11, CNN's un-positive news spins at every given opportunity, and many more going's on. This book is forged from the heaviest most lugubrious subject matter and molded expertly by Avis Lang into a piece which is edible, eloquent and will hopefully be a call to arms for anyone in any industry to care about the death of freedom and planet earth. We can still shape the end-times into something more manageable instead of mis-directing all of our talents to starting wars to keep people distracted and misplaced. You will want to take notes while you read this. 

     

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  • Fearless : how an underdog becomes a champion by Pederson, Doug,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 31, 2018

    Tagged: Biography & Autobiography Sports & Recreation

    Uncover the hidden magic of the Philadelphia Eagles and coach Doug Pederson with this over-view cursory Autobiography of his time spent in the NFL as a Quarterback and everything leading up till summer 2017 season history. No stranger to disappointment Pederson presents his un-raveling as a player for Miami who got cut more than 5times, to a private football coach and then back to the NFL. There is a certain intrigue hearing who knows who/who has played with whom over the years which kills some of the mystique of The NFL. This is an excellent read for all fans, sports geeks and non-geeks alike. His career as a sort of wing man to Brett Favre during his time with Green Bay is explored as well as other anecdotal personal relationships discussed. He waives a religious banner alot in a "my God is for me" way which is disappointing but an accurate glimpse of his world view and sports view. Here's to Coach Pederson in the upcoming season!

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  • Apple of my eye
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 18, 2018

    Tagged: Pets Psychology Teens

    Bailey has always been a horse person but after an accident her vision quickly worsens until she is legally blind. When the local breeder is unable to pair her with a guide dog he orders in a miniature pony which is half trained. With the help of her new friends helping her adjust Apple quickly wins over her parents and becomes part of the family. Bailey is able to re-create her previous hobbies and zest for life to much success and the accolade of her parents. This is a great film, (ironically) for anyone who is not blind and can watch the film and also anyone interested in supporting a loved one who is partially blind by encouraging them with adjusting as it clearly is not a 2 hour Hollywoodized process. I greatly enjoyed the horses acting and think you will too!

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  • The Last Hours by Walters, Minette
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Oct 17, 2018

    Tagged: Fiction

    The Last Hours is an excellent example of historical fiction about the Black Death and the consequences of the population decimation it caused.  The author has obviously done her research, but don't for a minute think this is a dry history book.  Primarily an author of suspens

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  • Bellewether by Kearsley, Susanna
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Oct 17, 2018

    Tagged: Fiction

    This well-done historical fiction set on Long Island chronicles the story of two prisoners of the French and Indian War who have been sent to live with a local family.  Tensions are high as the French have caused grievous harm to the family.  However, the patriarch of the family welcomes the men and comes to admire one of them.  A romance develops between one of the prisoners and the daughter of the household.  

    Alternating with the historical story is the story set in modern times of a young woman from a prominent family who has come back to the town to run the local historical site where the original family lived.  There are rumors about ghosts and about a tragic love story.  She must use her research abilities to determine the truth as well as heal divisions in her own family resulting from her father fleeing to Canada as a draft resistor during the Vietnam War.  

    Both time periods have concurrent somewhat idealized love stories but the history and setting are the primary focus.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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  • Lost in the mirror : an inside look at borderline personality disorder by Moskovitz, Richard A.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 11, 2018

    Tagged: Psychology

    This is a very serious glimpse of Borderline Personality Disorder as depicted from his career treating and counseling afflicted individuals. The fictionalized cases present a range of the severity/legerity of the trauma and symptoms of the disorder which are vivid, disturbing, and absolutely believable. Anyone with BPD who reads this book should do so under supervision, at first you might find yourself oppositional to reading it but Moskovitz has a way of rendering the emotions accurately in a way that would get under anyone's skin. If you are reading this book for yourself, or for a loved one do not give yourself guilt for doing so. Your goal going into it was undoubtedly a deeper sense of self-knowledge and understanding.  This book was not intended as an opportunity for self-flagellation. When processed incorrectly it could be devastating or trigger destructive behavior. As a solution I advise reading this book slowly in small doses and checking in with someone if you are a sensitive person who feels this is necessary for your character development.

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  • Solve for happy : engineering your path to joy by Gawdat, Mo,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 11, 2018

    Tagged: Body, Mind & Spirit Business & Economics Psychology

    Gawdat's writing style is that of a Techie. Let him lead you through a narrative of success and loss as he presents his unique psychology and conceptualization of happiness. Honestly, I don't think of happiness as a formula and no amount of arguing is going to make me think about happiness and math in the same sentence. What is interesting for me about this book is the rarity of the honest glimpse of the trappings that come with a successful career working for Google X. (For example much mention is made of cars as a representation of status but not necessarily a good indicator of happiness) If happiness is contextual then that explains a large portion of how we as humans absorb different hardships throughout our lives. Even if you do not feel the need to re-vamp your own happiness equation; this book might be worth examining for the interesting view of what it looks like from the top of a certain corporate ladder; that of the uber-wealthy. Mo Gawdat seems to have tapped into the universal law that ‘sometimes we get the best results on our most difficult days’. If you possess a strong work-ethic and need to step back and re-analyze what makes you tick and where you can go in the future this book will help you get out of your own way and remember the wide angle lens view of yourself and your life.

     

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  • 7/27
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 11, 2018

    Tagged: Music

    I am addicted to Work From Home; the lyrics; the funky beat. Play this Album on a Friday night to get your weekend started or insert it as a little fun distraction between serious projects. You might need ten minutes to settle down after listening to it but it's a distraction that's worth it. It is not just another pop album it has some unique layers to the sounds that makes it really pop.

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  • Get lifted by Legend, John.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 11, 2018

    Tagged: African American Body, Mind & Spirit Music

    While I have not heard this Special Edition of Get Lifted it should be in keeping with the original. The album tracks are artfully arranged leading through a period of happiness and attraction through a love affair to a (hopefull) reconciliation song and then a balad of regret/lamentation with "Not like I used to" towards the end. Such a wonderful voice and songwriter. The strength of Mr. Legends musicality outshadows the tinge of blatantly sexually themed back to back songs. Lovers agree on one thing: John Legend is the man!

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  • Romanza by Bocelli, Andrea.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 11, 2018

    Tagged: Art Music

    Romanza album is my favorite Bocelli album. His voice is fresh and timeless. Great way to destress from the day and you can play it from start to finish or just play "Conte Partiro" and "Vivo per lei" is pretty easy to learn if you are into Kareoke. If your goal is to impress someone by learning to sing just one song in Italian then this is your winning ticket.

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  • Potíche Trophy wife
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 11, 2018

    Tagged: Movies & Television Politics

    Potiche stars the legendary Catherine Deneuve and is a relevent and fun exploration of female roles in politics and at home. Considering the current political landscape this mis-en-scene including its own scandals with charming Tres Francais accents and Gerard Depardieu is sure to please! Brush up on your highschool french!

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  • The perks of being a wallflower
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 4, 2018

    Tagged: Art Education Movies & Television Teens

    Abnormal High-school survival story here is a new option dealing with teenage sexuality, public education, risk taking behavior exploration. This film has a very modern feel and of course Emma Watson is in disguise with alot of mood lighting and shadows which really suits (short hair!). The best part of this film is that it provides an LGBT role-model who is tremendously self-assured of himself and seems to know exactly what he can get away with and still be happy in life. These actors are so well paired it makes up for the somewhat Hollywoodized plot. 

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  • Hermano
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 4, 2018

    Tagged: African American Psychology Sports & Recreation

    Great film for soccer fans and non-fans alike. Two talented brothers grow up together until one day tragedy catapults them into decisions, forgiveness, and supportive behaviors which will transform their futures. Great sports movie and great depiction of what positive male friendships should be like; albeit hopefully without any bloodshed.

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  • Absolutely on music : conversations by Ozawa, Seiji,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Oct 4, 2018

    Tagged: Music

    Patrons say: "This is a great read on music and music History, if you are not familiar with Classical music history or the pieces discussed it is recommended that you check out music to go along with the book in read-along format."

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  • Midnight crossroad by Harris, Charlaine.

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Sep 28, 2018

    Tagged: Fiction

    This review contains spoilers! Click to reveal...

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  • Karen Memory by Bear, Elizabeth
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Sep 28, 2018

    Tagged: Fiction

    Highly entertaining steam punk mystery set in the 19th century American west.  Karen Memery works in a brothel and is a wonderful character.  Told in the first person, her voice comes through as authentic.  Someone is on the loose brutally murdering low-class prostitutes.  A U. S. Marshall is in town tracking this monster.  Karen joins forces with him to help solve the mystery as well as the mystery of who is behind mind control of townsfolk.

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  • Stone Mad by Bear, Elizabeth
    ★★★☆☆

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Sep 28, 2018

    Tagged: Fiction

    Another Karen Memory adventure set in the alternate reality, wild west town of Rapid City.  In this adventure Karen and her lover, Priya have used the reward money from their last adventure to buy a small property where Karen can have her equine business and Priya and work as an engineer/inventor.  They run into trouble when they encounter Spiritualists at a local restaurant who beguile Karen into helping them against Priya's wishes.  

    It was pleasant to revisit Karen and Priya and learn of their new venture.  The action wasn't as brilliant in this book as in the first one, but it was a pleasant read.  

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  • The black elfstone : the fall of Shannara by Brooks, Terry,
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Sep 26, 2018

    Tagged: Fiction

    This review contains spoilers! Click to reveal...

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  • Talon of God by Snipes, Wesley,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Sep 26, 2018

    Tagged: African American Fiction

    Wesley Snipes a novelist? I loved his acting career. Now, he's on my list of Authors to keep on the nightstand. Talon of God was suprisingly good. Snipes knows action and adventure, and what elements combined will fill a page with creepy intrigue. Ray Norman has rounded out the rough edges of this tail, and filled in the world building necessary to pull the reader into the story at a deep dive.

    Think Blade without the vampire elements. Think wet work without the CIA. Think Avenging Angels without the Do-gooder vibe. Think dark Urban fantasy.

    I'm waiting for these guys to get the sequel in gear for pre-order!

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