Victory Day    •    Monday, August 10    •    Closed

Staff Reviews - Books, Movies, Music & Online Courses

The Biggest Loser: At Home Challenge DVD Cover
Reviewed by Katie on Thursday, May 28
This workout video features Bob Harper, the star trainer from the TV show The Biggest Loser. There are several Biggest Loser workout videos, and I really enjoy them.   This video showcases three different fun trainers to take you through the warm up, cardio, strength training, and cool down portions. The trainers have different styles, but my favorite is Bob. He is very good at challenging,...
How to Make Stress Work for You Graphic
Reviewed by Katie on Wednesday, May 06
How to Make Stress Work for You is full of incredibly helpful practices to manage all kinds of stress. It turns out, managing stress is a skill that anyone can learn. The main points to work on are: mindfulness training, maintaining a positive and grateful outlook, and having generosity toward others. Making...
Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy Graphic
Reviewed by Alex on Friday, May 01
Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy is a series of lectures presented by Professor of Philosophy David Kyle Johnson. This particular course has us look through many pieces of media set in the genre of science fiction and explores the philosophical ideas and questions they bring to the...
Writing Great Fiction Graphic
Reviewed by Alex on Friday, April 24
Writing Great Fiction is a video course presented by Professor James Hynes, a novelist and visiting professor for many universities across the United States. This course is meant to help aspiring writers with their dreams of creating fictional works. It provides sound advice and practice at the end of...
Movie Still from The Electric House
Reviewed by Wil on Thursday, April 23
It’s impossible to point out one or two things that made Buster Keaton so awesome because there were way too many things that made him great. Here’s a short list:   Buster Keaton did his own stunts, and they're 100% real and jaw-dropping! He was a tremendously funny and expressive actor who was even funnier because he did everything with a straight face. He made satires, parodies, and black...
Making Healthy Food Taste Great Graphic
Reviewed by Katie on Monday, April 20
Making Healthy Food Taste Great is fun and inspiring. Chef Bill Briwa and Dr. Connie Guttersen team up to educate us about mindful eating without giving up the flavor.   There are 6 episodes to this course, each one offering dietary advice and examples of recipes to support the concepts being...
The Witch Movie Poster
Reviewed by Black Wil on Friday, April 17
Which is more evil? The old New England woods or the Puritan dad whose inability to get along with others results in his family living on the edge of those woods?   This review chooses dad.   We all know about banished colonists. Warwick settler Samuel Gorton was one of those guys. Rhode Island founder Roger Williams was one, too. Massachusetts didn’t like those men.   In...
Rhythmica Dance Cardio Party DVD Cover
Reviewed by Diane on Thursday, April 16
Get a nice workout with dance, exercise, pilates, and yoga videos on Hoopla and Kanopy.   Dance Gaiam: Rhythmica...
The Harder They Come Movie Poster
Reviewed by Wil on Wednesday, April 15
The Harder They Come is built on an oft-told tale—a young man is forced into a life of crime when the corrupt society around him won’t give him an honest chance. But with its hip reggae soundtrack, this rewrite is unlike any version that came before.   Cocky songwriter Ivanhoe Martin travels from the...
Screenwriting 101 Graphic
Reviewed by Alex on Monday, April 13
Screenwriting 101 is a video series on the subject of scriptwriting in Film Studies. Presented by Angus Fletcher, a Professor of English and Film at the Ohio State University, this course goes over many of the fundamentals when trying to develop your own screenplay—one such being reverse engineering.   As a beginner in...
Obit. Movie Poster
Reviewed by Wil on Friday, April 10
Every day, there’s someone in the library looking for an obituary. Sometimes they want an obituary for a family member or a friend. Sometimes they're trying to find an ancestor’s obit. But they always want one with facts about that person and their life.   An obituary is the last record of a person’s existence. It’s a summary of who they were and what they did. Obituaries are short, and a lot of...
Fundamentals of Sustainable Living Graphic
Reviewed by Katie on Wednesday, April 08
Kanopy offers thousands of learning opportunities in their The Great Courses section on all types of topics such as Skills, Hobbies, and History.   The Great Course that I watched, Fundamentals of Sustainable Living, is...
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday Movie Poster
Reviewed by Wil on Monday, April 06
Monsieur Hulot is a buffoon. He’s friendly and essentially harmless, and you might even say he’s endearing in his lanky, uncoordinated, and unsophisticated way. But he’s also a silly man.   He doesn’t have a lot to say, but that’s part of the joke. Nothing that anyone says in Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday is more than background sound—which lets the real background noise leap forward to tell the story...
Zodiac Movie Poster
Reviewed by Wil on Monday, April 06
Zodiac is a movie about obsessions—those of a newspaper reporter, a police detective, an editorial cartoonist, and director David Fincher himself. Every one of them wants to know who the Zodiac Killer is, and it’s a mystery they can’t put down.   If you know David Fincher’s work, you already understand that he’s a...
The Bookshop Movie Poster
Reviewed by Wil on Tuesday, March 31
The Bookshop begins as a lighthearted and breezy film. A young widow named Florence Green moves to the small town of Hardborough, Suffolk in 1959 with a plan to start a bookstore.   The town is filled with eccentric and very-British characters who create small obstacles for Florence as she endeavors to establish her shop. It...
The Public Movie Poster
Reviewed by Diane on Tuesday, March 31
This story is about homelessness on the streets of Cincinnati, though this could have taken anyplace in America. It deals with what happens at the end of the night when the homeless community has nowhere to sleep at night because there are not enough shelters after the public buildings—such as the libraries—close. It was about standing up and trying to get the authorities to see the problem.   It...
Let the Right One In Movie Poster
Reviewed by Wil on Monday, March 30
There’s something tragic about vampires. Even evil vampires are a little bit sad. But the most heartbreaking figures in vampire stories may be the humans who help them.   Eli’s grizzled caretaker Håkan slips up while procuring fresh blood for the vampire and is faced with only awful choices. He remains loyal to Eli and suffers horribly as a result.   12-year-old Oskar has a more complicated...
Robot & Frank Movie Poster
Reviewed by Wil on Friday, March 27
Imagine giving your aging dad a robot companion to help him out, but your dad doesn’t use the robot like he should. Dad has his own ideas, and the robot becomes part of dad’s plans.   Frank Weld is a former jewel thief with memory problems and a curious interest in the local librarian. His son Hunter gives Frank the robot helper, and Robot is an impeccable aide with one fatal flaw—he’s not...
Julie & Julia Movie Poster
Reviewed by Katie on Friday, March 27
Enjoy this delightful family friendly movie with some popcorn—because it will make you hungry!   Julie Powell is a 29-year-old unsuccessful writer, approaching her 30th birthday with fears and disappointments about her missed potential. After brainstorming with her husband, she decides to embark on a cooking project to fill the void. Her project is a huge undertaking—cooking all of the recipes in...
Castlevania Movie Poster
Reviewed by Alex on Friday, March 27
Castlevania is an animated adaptation of the Japanese video game franchise by the same name from Konami. The show is a dark fantasy with a heavy emphasis on the dark aspect, this is not a show for anyone under 18 due to its heavy themes and presentation of crass language, violence, sex, and gore.   However, despite the show not being shy with its brutal depictions, the visuals are beautiful and...
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