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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  • Ballet music by Rubinstein, Anton,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jul 9, 2019

    Tagged: Music

    This is worth listening to but I was hoping to do a full Ballet Barre to it and it is not that type of Ballet adajio music. It's basically some totally arbitrary classical compositions and some of the Ballets are the more obscure ones such as labayadere so only the true professional is going to know what steps go to which song. If however; you are a classical musican and you want to play along or you're just sick of your own music you need a cleanse than this album could be the low key all purpose background noise of your dreams.

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  • Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House by Sims, Cliff
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jul 9, 2019

    Tagged: African American Author Events Biography & Autobiography One Book, One Philadelphia Politics Summer Reading History

    If you haven't been keeping up with the current POTUS's tweets, faux-pas, and just general incongruencies reading this book could be a good solution; reading it will not lead to impeachment but it will catch you up on what if any redeeming qualities "The Donald" possesses and solidify the fact that he has undoubtedly been enjoying what he must see as his starring role. Irregardless of where you stand on the fence about his tactical prowess and leading capabilities this inside glimpse is excellently written by Cliff Sims who will earn your respect and keep you engaged and enthused and believing that some good is coming out of the four years and the future. I believe Mr. Sims is up to the task of portraying the man in a biased, positive, non-offensive manner which will not make excuses for anything negative which has been said but will inform you just enough so that you know going to the polls in 2020 is going to be like going to War. It really matters more than ever. We need a true diplomat in the White House next time to clean up this messy oil spill.

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  • Global weirdness : severe storms, deadly heat waves, relentless drought, rising seas, and the weather of the future
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jul 9, 2019

    Tagged: Children Environment & Nature One Book, One Philadelphia Philadelphia Rare Books, Manuscripts, & Digital Collections Science Business & Entrepreneurs Summer Reading

    This book is a co-authored wonderful addition to your personal collection of science books. Full of all things relevent to differentiating between Climate Change v.s Global Warming while in professional company or around your friends this pocket sized book is very thought provoking. Appropriate for nerds of all levels and non-nerds and future nerds. While this book is not full of any immediate steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint it will motivate you to do something. Read this because no matter what you believe; the temperature in far Northern Alaska was 85 degrees the other day for three days and there are billions of people that need to grow more consious about their carbon footprint. You can lead others to the light if you read this; either way earth is warming and we are along for the ride. I recommend you read this with milk and cookies. There is no plot. It is pure facts*.
     

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  • Maleficent
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jul 9, 2019

    Tagged: Children Family Movies & Television

    Maleficent is a malevolent fairy whose power and joie de vivre is un-fairly taken from her by a human whom she had trusted and loved. This is a sleeping beauty fairy story re-telling which explores some broken kinds of love and grudges and damaged feelings issues which are a bit complex for the younger kids to grasp. With little violence the film will be tolerable for a wide range audience however the Disney happy ending leaves even the adult viewer with hope and a good feeling although the message comes across as kind of a 'blood is thicker than water' tale. You will really enjoy the sidekick, the plot, and the ending and what Mrs. Jolie clearly put into the role. In fact; this might be her best role.

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  • Shadowhunters and downworlders : a Mortal instruments reader by Claire
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jun 20, 2019

    Tagged: LGBTQ

    Shadowhunter - The Child of an Angel and a human.

    Downworlder - the child of a demon and human.

    Both walk our streets and have ordinary lives; but in the shadows a war rages.  Members of Valintine's Circle seek to rid the mundane (ordinary human) world of anyone with demon blood. What would you do to save innocent people whose only crime was to be born different?

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  • Captain Marvel by Perlman, Nicole, et. al
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jun 20, 2019

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Captain Marvel - 2019 features a US Airforce Pilot who crashes and is restored by the Kree. As Virs accepts a mission back to earth she discovers the enemy before her is less dangerous than the one at her back. 

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  • The Eternal Maria Callas
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jun 15, 2019

    Tagged: Music Performing Arts Special Collections

    This is a wonderful metrage of Maria Callas's interviews and performances highlighting closeups of her face providing a unique glimpse not only of her vocal prowess but her skills as an actress, as someone who really lived her role as an Opera star and a clear telling for the un-aquainted of what went into those relationships and what worked and when some of them stopped working how she dealt with the demands on her. Easily the greatest singer of all time this is not to be missed.

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  • The elephant whisperer : my life with the herd in the African wild by Anthony, Lawrence.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jun 15, 2019

    Tagged: Psychology Science Summer Reading Animals and Nature

    Here is a true story about a naturalist turned elephant connoisseur struggling to put together an Eco-tourist reserve in South Africa. Lovingly told true stories of how the African elephants came to thula thula and all the efforts ongoing daily to ensure a safe livelihood for future generations of elephants. There are seldom few books devoted exclusively to elephants; and while Lawrence’s dog Max features slightly at one point this book is in a class by itself...not only does it offer the reader a James Harriet style view of animal husbandry but it is adapted for all ages and treats delicate subject matter such as death, neglect, poaching, and human error in an educational manner. Not only are you certain to love The Elephant Whisperer; you will be ready for your first nature conservation tour whenever it comes.

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  • The hate U give
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Apr 27, 2019

    Tagged: African American One Book, One Philadelphia History

    The

    Hate

    U

    Give ---is the movie based on the best-selling novel by Angie Thomas telling the story of Starr Carter who lives in two worlds: the poor/victimized black neighborhood where she resides and the mostly white prep school she attends. This uneasy balance is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend by a white police officer. Facing pressures from all sides, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right. There are multiple heros in this film and it's a must be seen for the whole family. Great acting and casting.

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  • Eat dirt : why leaky gut may be the root cause of your health problems and 5 surprising steps to cure it by Axe, Josh,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Apr 27, 2019

    Tagged: Cooking & Nutrition Medical Science

    Dr. Axe explains that 70% of our immune system is located in the gut; when it's under attack, our health suffers. Leaky gut syndrome is thought to be the ground zero for many of the most confounding health crises including but not limited to allergies, asthma, food sensitivities, diabetes, digestive diseases, arthritis, chronic fatigue and even autism. By ditching hand sanitizers, and supplementing with more essential oils for personal products, reducing antibiotics usage, managing stress, and incorporating more pro and pre biotic rich foods into our diets we can conquer the over exposure to toxins in our lives. I really like the individual recepies, and candida gluten-free supplement recommendations and all the solutions at the end of the book. The only downside is that many authors are not accentuating the importance of proper label reading and sticking to exclusively organic products in order to avoid trace amounts of transfats and other toxins so I am not sure this book by itself is a good detox book; but very relevent and informative.

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  • Meaty : essays by Irby, Samantha,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Apr 27, 2019

    Tagged: African American Art Biography & Autobiography Literature Social Science

    Samantha Irby has a very distinct voice. Deftly crafting a narrative of her awkwardest moments in life, what stood out to her and what will likely appeal most to you is her best skill. Succulent peaches is the best ladylike term I can come up with to describe the dexterity with which she explains the perverse situations she finds herself wading through in the modern social media fueled era. I could also tell you the writing is crass but digestible, un-becoming of a woman and possibly not fit to be shelved next to other more lawyerly books but who am I to judge? If you can't stomach the writing because it's too 'twenty first century' for you then at least check it out and take it home for three weeks and admire the jacket art because this is quite possibly the cutest book cover that will ever go to print. Ever.

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  • Ten arguments for deleting all your social media accounts right now by Lanier, Jaron,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Apr 27, 2019

    Tagged: Databases & Electronic Resources Social Science Digital Media

    You might have trouble imagining life without social media but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists you are better off without them and after reading his book I am inclinded to agree. Whether it's because it's poisonous grip tends to bring out the worst in us, it tends to make politics terrifying, and disconnect us from other people we are starving for real contact with I am certain you will find the strength to reduce, or cull your previously incessant usage of social media. Lanier manages to be uplifting while including a well organized argument, dry wit, novel acronymns to drive home his point. Do you really want to put an algorithm in charge of what you see all the time? Good I thought not. Happy Reading.

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  • One million followers : how I built a massive social following in 30 days : growth hacks for your business, your message, and your brand from the world's greatest minds by Kane, Brendan Michael,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Apr 27, 2019

    Tagged: Business & Entrepreneurs Digital Media Digital Magazines

    In One Million Followers, Kane will teach you how to gain an authentic, dedicated, and diverse online following from scratch; create personal, unique, and valuable content that will engage your core audience; and build a multi-media brand through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. While I doubt this book is going to overnight us all into stardom/fandom the in-depth personal interviews with celebrities, influencers, and marketing experts create a sort of memoire effect which is captivating and impressive. If you are quitting social media or taking a break in the hopes of better options in the future this is not the book for you. This book is about dominance of the industry irregardless of the zombiefication of your soul and eyeballs. This book is for you if you are willing to invest the time money and energy it takes to grow digitally.

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  • How to be a bawse : a guide to conquering life by Singh, Lilly,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Apr 27, 2019

    Tagged: Author Events Psychology Business & Entrepreneurs

    YouTube sensation Lilly Singh wants to share the lessons she learned while taking the world by storm, and the tools she used to do it. How to be a Bawse is the definitive guide to conquering life. Make no mistake, there are no shortcuts to success, personal, or professional. Just consider Lilly a personal trainer for your life as she divulges fifty rules to up your game.

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  • Alpha
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Apr 26, 2019

    Tagged: History

    Ancient European language, hunting, nomadic tribal culture is explored in all it's probable forms in this tantalyzing boyhood to manhood coming of age story. No film has ever been made about this time period in history and it is alone in it's genre but loosely comparable to Dances with Wolves and possibly The Eagle Huntress. It's a little dark and heavy at times but overall uplifting about the triumph of different species' exploring the family unit and man and wolf. The language options are Ancient Nordic sounding gutteral viking speak, or French, or English. No subtitles. For the film to hold my attention I had to choose a language I am familiar with and I chose French. The context of the action is super understandable even with the Ancient European so feel free to try it just as is! A great indigenous Tribes/ First Nations genre film.
     

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  • They call it Myanmar lifting the curtain
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Apr 26, 2019

    Tagged: Environment & Nature History

    Myanmar (Burma) has been off limits to foreigners ever since the British returned power to the Burmese military who has held totalitarian control over the nation for the past over 50 years. Home to lush verdant tropical areas, millions of Buddhists and Temples, and a hard working people this largely illegal and difficult to obtain footage will impress you with equal parts examination of cultural wonders and the conditions under which the populace continues to stretch it's meager means to self-educate and survive. This is equal parts Travelogue and Sociological examination of the current childhood labor industry. Instead of traveling to Greece this year, consider applying for a Burmese visa at the border and supporting the local economy with your tourism.

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  • Into the Badlands by Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Apr 3, 2019

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    In a Post-Apocalyptic age, Barons rule and the strongest take all. Clippers are the military might by which the Barons hold their territories or settle disputes.  Sonny is the best at what he does. His back is a testament to the numbers of lives he has clipped short in his Baron’s service.  He is content with his position and fate until the woman he loves in secret shares news that will end her life. She is carrying Sonny’s child. Will they be successful in making a bold escape into the Badlands where no man rules and mutants roam?

    Warning: Voilence, Strong Language and mild Adult content

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  • Feeding you lies : how to unravel the food industry's playbook and reclaim your health by Hari, Vani,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Mar 31, 2019

    Tagged: Cooking & Nutrition House & Home

    Vani Hari is amazing and is quickly gaining mass recognition in a way she has long deserved. Here is her newest FDA whistleblowing guide to surviving all things modern day food pollution, water pollution, etc. If you are interested in getting your toes wet and detoxing from all the sodas, burgers, keto diet fad stupidity and other generic craziness you have been fed start with her first book The Food Babe Way which includes a 21day cleanse which is intense. The oil from the food truck could be making you sick and the soda you are drinking contains chemicals found in your yoga mat. Run, don't walk towards the book shelf and take this home and do not bring it back until you have finished it. Amazing research went into it. Bravo.

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  • The Food babe way : break free from the hidden toxins in your food and lose weight, look years younger, and get healthy in just 21 days by Hari, Vani,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Mar 31, 2019

    Tagged: Cooking & Nutrition House & Home Science Self-Help

    I cannot say enough positive things about this book and Vani Hari in general. While she didn't come up as a Nutritionist she has literally made a 180 degree swivel in her career and become a full-time FDA whistleblowing activist and is really trying to change Americans' eating and purchasing habits to save us all from annihilation cancer and what is essentially starvation from lack of healthy food source options.

    This is her original book before she came out with Feeding You Lies. Words of caution: this book is not a fad diet book this is literally a how not to eat chemicals, save your liver, colon and other organs and how to view labels, sodas, and packaging in a whole new light book. My only argument is that I can't really think of a single person on earth who has the time to implement all of her ideas into their busy work week in a calender year let alone in the space of 21days. So when you get to the section on filtered shower water (yes you heard that right.) try not to roll your eyes and fall apart but really think about the long term benefits of these changes and what they will mean to you and your loved ones. You might look at your pets, pets water and even the water your plants are getting in a whole new light.

    In conclusion; I am curious to hear how long readers took to implement her ideas into their busy schedules. Please leave comments below and organic high fives to you all!

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  • The other 8 hours : maximize your free time to create new wealth & purpose by Pagliarini, Robert.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Mar 31, 2019

    Tagged: Self-Help Business & Entrepreneurs

    The Other 8 Hours might not be a total lifehack book; but it has enough nitche information on how to self-revise where your free time is going/being mis-spent by evaluating what truly matters and motivates you. Whether you are a creative, or a therapist, or wish you could become a professional blogger on the side, this book will help you do the grunt work of self analysis and say "If only I were doing this this and this differently I would have time to work on my real lifes work." This book is a hidden gem and has been around longer than the bestselling Timothy Ferris The Four Hour Workweek book so I highly recommend it. The only downside to this book is it doesn't come with some sort of insurance policy / task master magic wand you can wave to magically free up your time. Share your ideas on time management hacks in the comments section below.

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