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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  • Custer died for your sins; an Indian manifesto. by Deloria, Vine.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen ? on Mar 31, 2020

    Tagged: Environment and Nature History Animals and Nature

    To quote Vine Deloria: "The betrayal of treaty promises has in this generation created a greater feeling of unity among Indian people than any other subject." This book is eloquent in it's discussion of legal back turning and the Christian churches complicity in turning a cold shoulder to injustices and then magically doing a 360 in the 1960s vis-a-vis our governements' treatment of Native peoples. Well researched and orgainized, Vine Deloria is a hero for authoring so many truths which are to this date not incorporated into the public education system and combats the damage done by our Rand McNally textbook biased version of affairs. I recommend this book to educators, individuals, and future lawyers since 'Native peoples have had no way to get the federal government to admit they have rights in the first place' and the rectification of such a situation poses unique challenges for equal rights legislation, not to mention diplomacy in the new millenium. 

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  • Des vies en mieux : Billie, Mathilde, et Yann by Gavalda, Anna,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Mar 14, 2020

    Tagged: Fiction

    This book is a French Romance, full of rhyme, poetry, sensuality, and the author is very tongue in cheek starting off with a rated R romantic flashback. In the style of bouquins you will not be disappointed. Lexique: Moderne. This is not Madame Bovary les enfants!

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  • Legacy and the queen by Matthew, Annie.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Mar 11, 2020

    Tagged: African American Children Sports & Recreation Summer Reading

    In lieu of his recent passing, as a tribute to him Kobe Bryant's childrens' books are soaring, selling out, and put him on the NewYorkTimes best seller list. Here is a book for 10-14year olds on the pressure and dedication and young adult challenges revolving around tennis. It speaks to the depth of his character as a father and a person that he was able to create such a custom beautiful Fantasy chapterbook inspite of the demands of being a pro-athlete. I assume that elements of the story were directly communicated orally via recording and that only his rigorous schedule prevented him from 'officially authoring' the story but the voice is clearly his. Every nuance and every detail of this book is magically and masterfully constructed and is a lasting tribute to his standards of excellence. This book won't just make you feel special this book will tell you you are special.

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  • The boys of '36
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Mar 11, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television Sports & Recreation History

    This is one of best and only full length rowing movies of all time. Featuring real footage and interviews on the history behind the Washington crew's win in Germany it's a powerful tribute to the sport, Roosevelt, and all that goes into the mechanics of the difficult sport. Both political and biographical it makes a great introduction to the sport for those that know little about competitive rowing and also motivational inspiration for athletes who are dedicated and need reminding in tough times why they are pursuing such a difficult sport involving 4am training, precision timing, and teammate trust on a micro and macro scale which distinguishes it from the other Olympic sports.

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  • Beauty and the beast
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Mar 11, 2020

    Tagged: Children Movies & Television

    This is a Disney remake of their original Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson. Personally I thought it was way too long. By attempting to keep the original soundtrack intact and also adding in additional new songs it puts the movie over the 2 hour mark, which: even in the modern day of screens and machines (long airplane flights not withstanding) feels like way too long to expect any child to sit still. Since it is not a musical I was not clear on why they took such a hardline on maintaining their own original script but I suspect it has to do with privacy ownership rights and regulations.

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  • Swiss army man
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Feb 27, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Swiss Army Man is a zany comedy starring Daniel Radcliff and Paul Dano who share a surprising amount of equal cinematic weight as they are stuck together stranded. Depending on your sense of humor the comedic aspects will make the flimsy plot worth watching. I felt like the ending which made sense realistically destroyed my positive image of every human grace I had just witnessed in both character and was genuinely shattered. I am left with two impressions: First, he acting is powerful enough to carry the plot through two hours of phantasmagorical life or death scenarios. Second, Daniel Radcliffe really wanted to produce a film which would be fun to create and genre busting. The end result proves to be a disturbing exploration of male bonding and the psyche of love when madness is involved.

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  • Sword song : the battle for London by Cornwell, Bernard.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Feb 14, 2020

    Tagged: ebooks Fiction

    This review contains spoilers! Click to reveal...

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  • Roman J. Israel, Esq.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 31, 2020

    Tagged: African American Movies & Television

    Denzel Washington does a convincing job portraying a down and out civil rights lawyer who, elaborately schemes in order to be able to craft the ultimate brief challenging the injustice behind the cash/bail system and sentence/penalty structure biases inherant and prevalent in the criminal justice system. This film is unique proof of the ultimate power wielded by Defense Lawyers. If you're not one; you'll want to become one; though even the title of Esquire might not keep you from the wrong side of the law. This film is loosly based on someone's true story somewhere and deserves to be way more popular than it is. (Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo are well paired and do an excellent job as well. 

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  • Neither heaven nor earth Ni le ciel ni la terre
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 31, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    This is a French Foreign Film set in Afganistan with reviews calling it "Eerie", "unnerving" and "powerful". 

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  • Shaolin warrior
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 28, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Shaolin warrior is an epic kung fu drama containing classic themes of buddhism as well as live shots of historic landmark Temples in Mainland China. Clearly the videographic choices were pared down to comply with censorship limitations (avenging the death of a concubine being a touchy subject). All of the monks in the film will win your heart and there are some very comical in jest "fake kung fu" moments where the actor is intentionally pretending to not know how to do the moves which lend a comedic lightness to the direness of the situation. I am not clear on what the traditional punishment was for harboring a criminal inside a Buddhist place of worship but I imagine it would have made relations awkward so it's a compelling narrative. Check it out!

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  • Where the wild things are
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 28, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    This is one of those rare instances where the beloved childrens book is rendered onto screen in such a charming powerful way that the film is sure to become a classic in it's own right. If you enjoyed or grew up with the book you will love the depth of elaborate scenes and costumes in the movie.

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  • The big trip : your ultimate guide to gap years and overseas adventures.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Free Library of Philadelphia

    You've always wanted to take a gap year, or volunteer in Ecuador, or do some extremely long around the world travel and now you can. Here in one volume, you can be up to date on the latest cheap travel sights, accomodations, volunteering and work opportunities on every continent.

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  • American sign language for babies & toddlers 200 words in audio & ASL.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Disabilites and Accessibility Language Study Movies & Television

    Here are 200 signs which are not too complex and geared towards young children but will be a fun addition to any adults vocabulary. Again, probably not super applicable to daily conversations IRL but it's nice to be able to sign colors, numbers, abc's and I particularly enjoyed "Kangaroo". 

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  • Drawdown : the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Science

    This is a sort of encyclopedia of two page spreads detailing different industry changes or innovations that are under way or need to become more mainstream. Not geared towards the individual unless you happen to have money or alot of land or want to become a career switcher and harness and sell natural energy. Still, if you have any amount of power and influence it's easy to skim through and you can be an over night expert on what companies are on the yes list and which practices need to be tossed out. FYI this book is already somewhat dated, we have the ability to both capture, store, sequester and generate energy from Carbon storage this is not going to give you a 2020 understanding of that niche, the scientific reasearch for this book is about 2-5years old but I'm giving it 5stars because it demonstrates what a combined approach looks like very well.

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  • You want it darker by Cohen, Leonard,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Music

    Leonard Cohen's iconic darkest album. The opening track "Hineni Hineni, I am ready my lord"  so haunting and the maturity of his voice is something we don't get to hear very often where youth is idolized by hollywood everywhere. This album is addicting musically, semi gothic, and he sounds "like a jewish, Johnny Cash".

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  • A New day in old Sana'a
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    A cute Muslim love story including beautiful black and white image photography and authentic prayers. When the Bride to be casually throws out one of the gifts from her betrothed, it falls into the hands of another and much drama ensues. Will Tariq marry Bilquis as planned or will the village gossipers antics tear apart his plans to escape from his family duty? 

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  • Gul?ba gai?ga
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    A woman (Rajjo) battles against a crooked politician (Sumitra Devi) in order to create a sanctuary for abused women in her country. Much singing, dancing, and fighting ensue. I enjoyed it as far as Hindi films go but the corruption and sabotoge tactics at the end don't make for a Hollywood happy ending. Too much #betrayal and #machette_action for kids to watch alone. 

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  • Spartacus, vengeance.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jan 13, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

     Torn from the woman he cherished, and sold to the Ludus of Quintus Batiatus, Spartacus has survived the arena. He has forged bonds with Oenomaus, Crixus and Gannicus, warriors of unparalled prowess. Together, they take down the house of Batiatus and vow to free any slaves willing to fight for freedom. 

    Between the Gladators and their ultimate goal stands the might of Rome in the form of General Giaus Claudius Glaber. The history between Spartacus and Glaber is long and bloody. Glaber has vowed to see Spartacus's head on a pike and anyone standing with him. Their personal war will spill across the Roman countryside as the rebellion grows and blood turns the seven hills red.

    Spartacus and his companions cry Vengance for the treatment of those they loved and lost, those threatened by the depraved desires of Roman masters unrelenting crulty. These "Gods of the Arena" unleash their wrath upon their oppressors. 

    You may know how this story ends, but the ride will give you chills....

    Note: Sex and Violance. Not for young viewers! or those with sensitivity to detailed sceens of gore and abuse.

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  • The night voice : a novel of the noble dead by Hendee, Barb.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jan 13, 2020

    Tagged: Fiction

    The Noble Dead series comes to an end. Only one task remains to secure the safe continuation of the world. Hide the last two orbs of power. 

    Out of the desert come tales of an undead horde and the devastation left in their wake. Magiere, Leesil and Chap know what they have to do. Fate will place her champions on the line once more, spin the dice and hope for victory.

    This time its winner rule all.

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  • Blood fury : Black Dagger legacy by Ward, J. R.,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jan 13, 2020

    Tagged: Fiction

    Poor little rich boy Payton....

    How he managed to score a spot in the Black Dagger Brotherhood's trainee program is a mystery. First off, he's a major waste of space attitude wise. He's a darling of the glamira - can you spell pampered son? He's also a major screw up who lands a fellow trainee in sickbay - and not minor repairs. 

    Redeming quality: He can fight. Payton faces challenges that force him to dig deep, find his worth and earn his place among his peers.

    Motivation: Novo. She's worth the time and effort to build a romantic relationship (provided she can forgive him for almost getting her killed).

    Major drawback: His family ties. Members of the Glamira are world class snobs and Novo is a card carrying nobody. 

    But even poor little Rich boys can turn into males of worth!

    Blood Fury is Book 3 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Legacy series

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