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Staff Reviews - Books, Movies and Music

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Reviewed by Jackie on Friday, April 03
   Lost Children Archive tells the story of an unhappy married couple, the husband’s ten-year-old biological son and the wife’s five-year-old biological daughter as they set forth on a road trip from New York to Arizona.  The purpose of this trip is the parent’s independent work-related projects.  Along the way, the parents grow more distant from each other while the children grow closer together...
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Reviewed by Kathleen on Friday, April 03
  I chose this class looking for tips to improve my ability to connect names with faces – a true challenge for me.  I learned several other tools to help, as well as many other tips and methods for other memorization needs, i.e., lists, numbers, etc.  Some systems were familiar, such as mnemonics, and some were new to me.  I learned about the “pegs” system, and the use of “loci” methods. There is...
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Reviewed by Katie on Thursday, April 02
  This story takes a hard look at a restaurant that has failed, and what happens to its employees.  It is about loyalty and how the kindness of the manager, Manny, matters.  Manny has complicated relationships with his staff.  He has to choose a few of them to bring with him to the next restaurant, and we witness the emotions brought on by that.   Stewart O’Nan brings a feelings front and...
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Reviewed by Niles on Thursday, April 02
  Juxtaposing glittering opulence in the imperial ballrooms and palaces with grinding, inescapable poverty and destitution, prolific author Candace Fleming paints a portrait of Tsar Nicholas II, his German wife Alexandra, and their Russia in the decades leading up to his overthrow and beyond. Oblivious to the plight of his desperate and increasing alienated subjects, Nicholas and Alexandra...
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Reviewed by Kathleen on Wednesday, April 01
  Liam Pennywell is 61.  He has always carefully structured his life, keeping to the familiar, following routines, avoiding both conflict and change.  Having been laid off from his teaching job, Liam decides to retire, moving into a smaller and even more controlled life.  He plans to spend his remaining years reading in his rocking chair.  Then Liam awakens in a hospital bed, with no idea why he...
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Reviewed by Jenn M. on Wednesday, April 01
    I enjoyed this book, I didn’t want to put it down. It flips back and forth between the past and present. About struggles, family and finding the truth. A great read!       This book is available on the Ezone as an ebook or audiobook.
Book
Reviewed by Kristin on Tuesday, March 31
This story kicks off with a literal bang with two shootings and an arson. Still reeling from his role in these tragedies, Moses is sent into the wilderness to complete court-ordered community service at a children's camp.   The flap text pitches a heavy, guilt laden book. And it is has those elements, but Unstoppable Moses is also hilarious. To the point I was taking photos of my kindle screen...
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Reviewed by Kristin on Tuesday, March 31
  Trudchen has survived polio, but life without her sister has ground her belief in magic into dust. Odette carries a bag stuffed equally full of wonders and family secrets. In alternating chapters, the believer and the skeptic share their versions of their history and gradually reach the truth.       Looking at the cover, you'd think this is a predictable paranormal romance where good looking...
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Reviewed by Doreen on Tuesday, March 31
      From the very beginning Lucy knew her mother-in-law, Diana, did not like her. Diana did a lot of charity work so she was very well liked. No matter what Lucy did she could never get Diana’s approval.       That was five years ago. Now Diana is found dead? Who could kill such a kind person? Diana’s will was just changed; she was not leaving anything to her family.       Deep family secrets,...
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Reviewed by Katie on Monday, March 30
    Lionel Essrog is an orphaned teenager growing up in the 1970’s, tough-guy Brooklyn.   It would be a struggle if that were his only obstacles, but he also has Tourette’s syndrome.  That makes his world a lonely place.  Then Frank Minna walks into his life, picking him and a few of his fellow orphans for his own “Minna Men” operation.  Frank is Lionel’s saving grace; he accepts Lionel for who...
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Reviewed by Kathleen on Monday, March 30
I highly recommend Conflict Resolution 101. This class presents a well organized and systematic approach to ways of identifying and resolving conflict in the workplace, school, home and any situation in which there are broken personal relationships.  The examples and exercises are excellent and timely.  There are many suggestions, and also many places where opportunities to ‘think outside the box...
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Reviewed by Anna on Monday, March 30
  Not all sequels to books or movies are good, most are not, but this is one of the good ones. You can enjoy reading Doctor Sleep even if you never read The Shining. But all the better if you did read the first book.   Danny is grown up in the segues. The story is intertwined with the characters from The Shining: Danny, his mother, the Overbrook Hotel, etc.    Enjoy!       Doctor Sleep is...
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Reviewed by Niles on Monday, March 30
By the 1660’s, the Narragansett Indians were alone among the New England Indian tribes in refusing to bow to English colonial authority.  Daily Beast contributor James A. Warren examines the alliance between them and Roger Williams and his Rhode Island settlement. Driven from Massachusetts by his differences with the prominent Puritan leader John Winthrop and the religious establishment in 1635,...
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Reviewed by Alex on Monday, March 30
  Star Wars: Darth Bane - Path of Destruction is a novel written by Drew Karpyshyn, set 1,000 years before the events of George Lucas' Star Wars movies. The dark lords of the Sith, led by Kaan and his Brotherhood of Darkness are at war with the Jedi Order, led by General Hoth and his Army of Light. Numbering in the thousands, they fight a devastating war that threatens to consume the Old Republic...
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Reviewed by Diane on Wednesday, March 25
This is a story of survival and making something of yourself against all odds.  It is also about how prejudiced people can be without knowing anything about your life. It's about hate. It's about family dysfunction.  It's about physical abuse. It's about survival...but mostly it's about love and compassion. I really enjoyed this beautiful story and highly recommend reading it.       The story is...
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Reviewed by Anna on Wednesday, March 25
  This book is a MUST read for anyone dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s. It is told from the viewpoint of the person who has early stages of Alzheimer’s. It helps the caregiver understand what the person who has this sickness  is thinking and feeling (what the patient is going through ).  This story is available on the Ezone as an audio book or ebook.
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Reviewed by Doreen on Wednesday, March 25
  If you have ever had to host Christmas dinner with family and friends, you'll find this book both entertaining and relatable! Becky's parents inform her that that they are moving to a more hip area and that she is hosting the family's Christmas dinner for the first time!       Sounds easy right? But not for Becky. She's busy working at a gift shop with her best friend Suzi, and her husband Luke...
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Reviewed by Mary Anne on Tuesday, March 24
  Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus (2011), has written the perfect fantasy for book lovers. Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student at a Vermont college, when he finds a rare book in the library that captures his interest. He is disturbed to find a story about himself in its magical pages. Following a series of clues, he ends up at a literary masquerade party in Manhattan, and...
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Reviewed by Katie on Tuesday, March 24
    This story is based on the real life of Hedy Kiesler (later Hedy Lamarr).  Hedy’s story begins in Austria in the mid 1930’s.  At 19, she is an aspiring actress from an affluent Jewish community, until she is swept away by one of the most wealthy and powerful men in the country, Fritz Mandl.  Without fully understanding him and his world, Hedy renounces her Jewish identity and rushes into...
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