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Staff Recommendations – December 2019

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INDEXES TO PAST STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS: BY TITLE | BY REVIEWER | TV SERIES/SPECIALS ON DVD | AGATHA CHRISTIE | STAR TREK | STAR WARS

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December 2019 Recommendations

Love at First Bark
by Debbie Burns

This is a pleasant, but light-weight, winter seasonal romance novel, the fourth in the “Rescue Me” series by Debbie Burns, which are all connected by the fictional High Grove Animal Shelter in St. Louis, MO.

Mia Chambers is an artist, volunteering her time at the shelter, and the mother of an 8-year-old son. Ben Thomas is an architect and mountain climber, who also volunteers at the shelter. Ben has been in love with Mia for over eight years, but due to a quirk in timing, his attempt to connect with her at her college graduation ended up leading her to fall for his best friend and get married after she became pregnant. Ben has been the rock in her life, godfather to her son, and a source of stability when her relationship with her husband fell apart — she was preparing to divorce her husband when he died unexpectedly. Will Ben now have the opportunity to show Mia how much he cares for her? Will a group of border collies, abandoned to roam a city park, all get rescued? (and will both Ben and Mia end up adopting their own dogs from that group of border collies?). Will the unexpected appearance of Mia’s headstrong but normally absent mother, and her bitter and judgemental former parents-in-law complicate matters? And will a trip to a rental cabin in Minnesota provide an opportunity for Mia and Ben to connect, emotionally? It’s a romance…you already know the answers to these questions!

But, the detailed information about pet rescues, descriptions about the kind of work that goes on in a pet rescue shelter (including an amusing “Puppy Bowl” event), and a handful of quirky but interesting supporting characters, make this a fast, fun read. It’s sort of a “Christmas romance,” as some of the events take place during the holiday season, but the plot carries on beyond the holidays, so that’s only a minor focus.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the rest of the “Rescue Me” series by Burns, including the first three volumes (a fifth is scheduled for 2020): A New Leash on Love, Sit, Stay, Love, and My Forever Home.] [ official Debbie Burns web site ]

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Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Hexagonal Phase
adapted from the novel And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer, based on the original novels by Douglas Adams (Compact Disc Hitchhikers)

I’ve been a fan of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy stories, by the late Douglas Adams, since the early-1980s, when I first saw the television version of HHGG, starring Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Sandra Dickenson as Trillian, Stephen Moore as Marvin, David Dixon as Ford Prefect and Paul Jones as the Voice of the Book. That TV series had actually followed the production and airing of HHGG as a radio play, with many of the same actors recurring their roles from the radio production in the TV series (a major exception being that voice actor Geoffrey McGivern was replaced by David Dixon as Ford Prefect). And, yes, viewing the TV show did ultimately get me started on reading all the books in the series as well.

Adams passed away in 2001, after having written 5 volumes in the “Hitchhiker’s trilogy”. All five of those were ultimately produced as multi-part radio plays, with the same actors in the key roles throughout all the stories. In 2009, an official authorized new entry in the Hitchhiker’s series was released by author Eoin Colfer — And Another Thing… — Two different radio play versions of this title were produced, one in 2009 and a second in 2018. That second version reunited most of the cast members (Jones, Davey, Dickenson, etc.). This CD set is the commercial release of the 2018 radio play.

When I reviewed the novel for our Staff Recommendations pages in 2009 (see link below), I ended up a little disappointed in it — it didn’t really live up to the quality of the original Douglas Adams stories. But, having sampled this 2018 radio play adaptation, my opinion has improved. As a radio play, with all the familiar voices reviving their comedic roles, this turns out to be a fun, entertaining sci-fi romp. The story itself is a little all-over-the-place, but the character bits are — at times — hilarious, and the sound effects, special effects and music all add to the overall production. This is a fun show to listen to!

[ Wikipedia page for this production web site ]

See Scott C.’s review of And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer in the November 2009 Staff Recommendations!

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Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


hooplaLet It Snow: Minnesota Christmas, Book 1
by Heidi Cullinan [Hoopla eBook]

One of my favorite tropes for a romance novel is strangers trapped together in a blizzard. You’re welcome.

Frankie is a hair stylist from Minneapolis who easily gets lost while driving. Throw in a blizzard and he’s pretty well guaranteed to lose his way. He’s traveling from Duluth, Minnesota, after a visit with his parents, when he takes a wrong turn, then crashes into the ditch while trying to avoid a moose. He finds an unoccupied cabin and tries to settle in for the duration.

Except the cabin is not unoccupied, but is owned by Arthur, who shares the cabin with two of his best friends – Marcus and Paul. They work as loggers for a local company, though Marcus is actually a lawyer who was treated badly by a boyfriend in the Twin Cities and has returned home to lick his wounds, and Paul and Arthur are talented fix-it men who would like to open their own repair shop. The cabin is located outside of Logan, MN, the small town where they grew up. When they return to the cabin they are surprised to find Frankie sleeping on the couch.

The guys aren’t trapped in the cabin for the duration of the book. After the first blizzard, they use their snowmobiles to return to town for supplies, and to assist their fellow residents deal with the aftermath of the first big snowfall, and prepare for the next one arriving in a few hours. They help evacuate people to the town shelter during the power outage, deliver food from the local restaurant and grocery store to stranded townsfolk, and shovel sidewalks. And we meet Marcus’ mother who is in the dementia unit at the local nursing home. All this is going on while Marcus and Frankie get to know one another.

Cullinan’s romances always end happily, so while the ending is a given, the journey is the point. Her characters are believable, three-dimensional people who are working through some kind of personal issue. Family and friends, and community responsibility are among the values her characters possess.

This is the first book in the Minnesota Christmas trilogy, but in reality there are five books to date that revolve around these core characters and the town. Each of the three guys gets their own book (my favorite is Book #2, Sleigh Ride where Arthur falls for Gabriel, the world’s best librarian as far as I’m concerned) and the characters populate all of the books.

This is a fun, engaging, quick read with a guaranteed happy ending.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try A Fortunate Blizzard, by L.C. Chase.] [ official Let it Snow page on the official Heidi Cullinan web site ]

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Recommended by Charlotte M.
Bennett Martin Public Library


Star Wars ReviewsGalaxy’s Edge: Black Spire
by Delilah S. Dawson

I wasn’t expecting much from this novel, but Black Spire turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed Delilah Dawson’s earlier novel, Phasma, so I anticipated that it would be well-written. She continues the story of characters introduced in Phasma and takes them to Batuu, a little-known and lightly-visited world at the edges of the known galaxy. Dawson’s characters are pretty standard fare, but still engaging and relatable. It takes the story a little while to get going, but the plot picks up about a third of the way through and really takes off from there. It has a bit of an uncertain ending, but perhaps events to be revealed in Episode IX will help the ending feel more complete. Black Spire works just fine as a standalone novel. I do recommend reading Phasma first to better understand some of the characters. It’s not a must-read novel for casual Star Wars fans, but readers who give it chance will enjoy it.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson, Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova or Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse.] [ official Black Spire page on Wookiepedia ] | [ official whimsydark/Delilah Dawson web site ]

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Recommended by Corey G.
Gere Branch Library


Akin
by Emma Donoghue

Because of a great-nephew he’s never met, needing immediate supervision by a relative, retired chemistry professor Noah Selvaggio amends his plan to go solo to the French Riviera he left as a small child during the Holocaust. He takes Michael, his eleven-year-old great nephew with him. Together Michael and Noah learn from each other as they also solve mysteries about their family history. They learn about human nature, love and loyalty, and risk both in WW II Nice, France and modern-day New York. They also learn they have more in common then either originally believed.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, The World That We Knew by Emma Donoghue, or All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.] [ official Akin page on the official Emma Donoghue web site ]

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Recommended by Jodi R.
Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries


Find Her
by Lisa Gardner (downloadable audiobook)

This is *technically* a mystery, which I don’t normally like to read. However, I had a “non-reading” friend recommend it to me, as an audiobook, so I felt like I really had to give it a shot. I waited a number of years for its popularity to die down (I’m a slow reader, so I don’t like to read brand-new things, if I can help it, because the pressure to zip through it in three weeks is too great!) and I gave it a shot. Wow! It didn’t read like a typical mystery, in my opinion.

I really loved the way this story went back and forth between Flora (the girl who was kidnapped) and D.D., the detective in charge of looking for her. They’ve got such different personalities, and yet, they’re similar in their tenacity and their hardness.

At one point, like halfway through the book, I thought I had it figured out. I was 100% sure I’d gotten it, and I was a little disappointed that it was going to take the other 1/2 of the book to get to what I already knew. I even made a note in my reading journal about it, which I never do (about that sort of thing). Guess what? I was WAY wrong!!! I was so glad!!! I didn’t want to spoil the book for myself by figuring it out so early. Yay! This book was amazing, and I may even go back and read more by this author. Oh! And I didn’t realize until I came to write this review that it is #8 in a series. I think I had an idea that it was part of a series, but I thought it was the first one. I really felt like it could stand alone. Props to Lisa Gardner!!!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Good Girl by Mary Kubica.] [ official Find Her page on the official Lisa Gardner web site ]

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Recommended by Tracy T.
Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries


Grown & Flown
by Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington (649.125 Hef)

As the parent of a student who just turned sixteen years old recently and is already receiving applications to college in the mail, I thought this book would be essential reading for me. The purpose of this book is to help provide guidance for parents who are helping their children make the transition from high school to college — a daunting task for anyone. What began as a blog became a compilation of advice from mothers, teachers, college administrators and students who have made the transition from high school graduate to college freshman or have helped countless students to make that transition successfully. I found this book to be well-researched, funny and useful, all at once. Recommended for anyone with children currently in high school.

[ official Grown & Flown web site ] | [ official Lisa Heffernan/The Spruce web site ]

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Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library


The World That We Knew
by Alice Hoffman

Ettie, the daughter of a rabbi who did the forbidden by creating a golem, is one of three protagonists in the most recent of Alice Hoffman’s magical stories. Lea, protected by the golem during 1941 at her mother’s request, is another protagonist needing to escape from Nazi-occupied Paris. Ava, the strong golem created to protect Lea, is the final protagonist. Their stories are braided together and described in the author’s amazing storytelling voice.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, Akin by Emma Donoghue, or All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.] [ official The World That We Knew page on the official Alice Hoffman web site ]

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Recommended by Jodi R.
Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries


Star Wars ReviewsSpark of the Resistance
by Justine Ireland (j Ireland)

Spark of the Resistance is your basic Star Wars adventure story written for a younger audience. Rey, Poe Dameron and Rose Tico, after the events of “The Last Jedi” find themselves helping a tribe of aliens under attack from the First Order. The author does a good job with what she’s given: some familiar characters, nice aliens in trouble, evil Imperial-types behaving awfully and some lessons learned about being a hero. It’s a fun read, but not a must read.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Cobalt Squadron by Elizabeth Wein, or Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka.] [ Spark of the Resistance page on Wookiepedia ] | [ official Justina Ireland web site ]

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Recommended by Corey G.
Gere Branch Library


The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson

I mentor a young adult in high school, and they recently mentioned to me that they watched the Netflix series inspired by this book. When I looked the book up, just out of curiosity, I discovered it was written by Shirley Jackson! I always marveled at her short story, “The Lottery.”

Intrigued, I decided to read The Haunting of Hill House. I found it very captivating! It’s told in an old-world style, though it can easily be adapted to modern-day. I loved the way the main characters interacted with each other, always trying to laugh and joke and make light of things, even during times of great stress. I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to visit Hill House!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin.] [ The Haunting of Hill House page on Wikipedia ] | [ official ShirleyJackson.org web site ]

See Charlotte M.’s review of The Haunting of Hill House in the October 2005 Staff Recommendations

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Recommended by Tracy T.
Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries


Sleeping Beauties
by Stephen King and Owen King (downloadable audiobook)

I don’t know how I missed reading this earlier! I see now that it came out in 2017, and I’m usually pretty on-top-0f reading items by my beloved author, Mr. King. An added bonus is that this is actually a collaboration with his son, Owen King! Nevertheless, I finally got around to this book. I listened to the audio book, and the woman who did the reading, Marin Ireland, did a GREAT job with the accents! The story takes place in a small Appalachian town…. the accents are what I would call “southern”, but not the same you would hear in Texas or maybe Oklahoma. It sounded different than anything I’d ever heard before, and I feel like she really did fabulous work.

Anyway, I was really pleased with this story and the way it unfolded. It was very intense from the beginning and, to me, the momentum never slowed. I’m always impressed with how well King can present a woman’s perspective. I feel like the complexities of marital relationships — the intense love combined with anger and frustration combined with renewed attraction, etc — are explored in such a way that still follows the main story-line. I was intrigued by the concepts laid out in this novel, and I’m curious what I would choose to do, if given the choice. One thing that really stuck out to me (without giving anything away): the women are all wrapped in a sort of cocoon once they fall asleep…. many of them fight sleep, eventually succumbing to it. That part of the story always made me a bit tired, even though I was captivated the whole time. It was kind of like a yawn, in that the feeling was sort of contagious!

I found myself wondering which parts were written by Stephen King and which were written by Owen King! (If you listen to the audio book, you may get access to a conversation they recorded together regarding their writing process, and they do say that they worked hard to make it flow seamlessly, so that it wouldn’t ever seem like two writers writing separate parts and then just piecing them together! Love these guys!).

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Under the Dome, by Stephen King, The Fireman, by Joe Hill or Bird Box, by Josh Malerman.] [ official Sleeping Beauties page on the official Stephen King web site ]

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Recommended by Tracy T.
Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries


The “Ordinary People Change the World” series
written by Brad Meltzer with art by Chris Eliopoulos (all: j Biography _____ )

This is a marvelous series of juvenile biographies of noteworthy people throughout history, told in an appealing and engaging graphic novel format. Each volume is written by Brad Meltzer, known to adult fiction fans for his pulse-pounding thrillers, with cartoon-style art by Chris Eliopoulos. The libraries own approximately a dozen of the 20 entries released in the series so far. Individuals profiled range from historical figures like DaVinci, George Washington and Albert Einstein to such recent and still-living notables as Jane Goodall, Billie Jean King and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Each book tells the life story of an individual — beginning with their childhood, and then highlighting significant moments or achievements in their lives, especially times when the historical figure persevered over challenges, interference or adversity. The volumes dealing with recent/current figures often feature more detailed quotes from the individuals being profiled. Each volume then has a two-page summary spread, giving a broad overview of how important they were to society, and what influence they’ve had over our history and culture. Following that is another two-page spread, featuring a literal timeline for that individual’s life, with highlights of their most important moments/achievements.

Artist Eliopoulos captures a lot of personality in his charming illustrations. He and Meltzer make the decision to show the highlighted individual as a child throughout their entire story, but with physical features that embody that individual at a time in their life that they are perhaps known for — Jim Henson appears with a full bushy beard, Neil Armstrong is in an Apollo space suit, Albert Einstein has his signature bushy hair and mustache, Lucille Ball has her unforgettable red curls from the “I Love Lucy” era, Abe Lincoln is in a stovepipe hat, etc. All the “featured” individuals look “different” from most of the other characters in the books, so they tend to stand out. The books focus on overcoming adversity or difficulties, so while they don’t avoid addressing tough topics (slavery in the Harriet Tubman volume, colonial imperialism in the Gandhi volume, sexual identity in the Billie Jean King entry), more often than not these topics are softened. And if the individual suffered a bad demise (Abe Lincoln‘s or Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassinations, Amelia Earhart‘s disappearance), those details may not be included or are minimalized.

But, overall, these are very engaging reads, and do a good job of sharing useful biographical information. Even kids who may not enjoy reading will still enjoy these. I’ve enjoyed them enough that I’ve started collecting them myself (the Neil Armstrong, Jim Henson and Lucille Ball volumes so far) — I’m glad to see the libraries adding them to our holdings, and hope that we’ll eventually get the entire set!

[ official Ordinary People Change the World web site ]

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Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


The Giver of Stars
by Jojo Moyes

Fans of public libraries, reading, books, and strong women are going to love this book. Getting books to residents of a small town in Kentucky was a challenge during the Depression. A group of women with different backgrounds banded together in this historical novel to deliver the books on horseback through the mountains. The weather, greedy men, racism, sexism, and societal norms of the time were all added challenges. I loved the examples of how access to information improved the lives of the people reached by these tough librarians.

[ publisher’s official The Giver of Stars web page ] | [ official Jojo Moyes web site ]

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Recommended by Jodi R.
Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries


Beautiful on the Outside:A Memoir
by Adam Rippon (Biography Rippon)

Figure skater Adam Rippon was not expected to make the 2018 Olympic team at 28 years of age. But the planets aligned and the fates smiled for he suddenly began pulling together some of his best performances when it counted. He ended the Olympics with a Bronze Medal in the Team Competition, and is now retired from figure skating.

We follow him from his youth where he pretty well fails at all athletic attempts, but he syncs with figure skating. He quickly advances through the skating ranks and is regularly winning junior competitions on sheer natural talent. He’s the oldest of six children, then his parents divorce, so it’s quite a hardship for the family for the costs involved. They can afford a coach only a few days a week, they barter for ice time at area rinks, and they drive several hours each day to get him to practices.

Reading his story, one wonders how much farther he could have gone if finances hadn’t been an issue. Or if he’d had coaches who could have assisted him with the emotional side of competition as well as the technical aspects. Considering his circumstances, it’s amazing how far he got. You learn a lot of what it takes to be an elite athlete, and get some inside information on how US Figure Skating works. Somehow, during the worst of times he was able to push on through and continue with skating.

He also discusses the difficulties of being a closeted gay man while competing, and his concerns that other athletes and US Figure Skating will reject him. He eventually came out before the Olympics.

He’s funny, honest, and endearing. Some are stories we’ve already heard from him in other interviews. I’ve been following him on Twitter and Instagram before he made the Olympic team, and enjoy his humor — “When I qualified (for the 2018 Olympics), I told myself I was going to have the full Olympic experience, because it was only going to happen once, unless I really got into archery around forty and went to the Summer Games.”

He’s now a spokesperson for several companies, and has his own YouTube channel broadcasts.

This book is recommended for fans of Adam Rippon and figure skating in general.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Landing It: My Life On and Off the Ice by Scott Hamilton, My Sergei: A Love Story by Ekaterina Gordeeva, A Skating Life by Dorothy Hamill, or Zero Regrets by Apolo Anton Ohno.] [ publisher’s official Beautiful on the Outisde web site ] | [ official Adam Rippon Instagram feed ]

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Recommended by Charlotte M.
Bennett Martin Public Library


Open and Shut
by David Rosenfelt (downloadable audiobook)

Defense Attorney Andy Carpenter is known in the courtroom for his dramatic and unusual style. Judges groan when they learn they are going to be hearing a case with him as the attorney. Andy doesn’t mind being a pain to people, he would rather spend time with his golden retriever Tara (the smartest dog on the planet, in Andy’s opinion), than people anyway. When Andy’s ex-D.A. father asks him to take an appeal case that he himself tried years ago, Andy thinks it is a little odd, but agrees. Andy’s father then dies and leaves Andy $22 million dollars that Andy did not know he had. Andy must figure out if the money and the case are connected. With some lighthearted humor thrown in, this was an entertaining read, and in my opinion the series gets better with the following books as readers become more familiar with the characters (this is the first book — out of 20 so far — in the Andy Carpenter series).

[ official Open and Shut page on the official David Rosenfelt web site ]

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Recommended by former Lincoln City Libraries staff member Marie P.
Bennett Martin Public Library


Screening Room

formatdvdAll is True
directed by Kenneth Branagh (DVD All)

As a fan of both Kenneth Branagh and the works of William Shakespeare, I had to see the film All is True in which Branagh plays Shakespeare in his later years. The film looks at the period of time after Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre burns down and he returns home to his family in Stratford-upon-Avon. Relationships with his wife and daughter are difficult; he has spent little time with them as he became the world’s greatest playwright. The film features an incredible cast including Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen. Definitely worth seeing!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Hamlet, and Henry V, both starring Kenneth Branagh.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official All is True web site ]

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Recommended by Kim J.
Bennett Martin Public Library


formatdvdDon’t Think Twice
(DVD Don’t)

I eagerly snagged this one from a display, as I’m a huge fan of Improv Comedy — Whose Line is it Anyway? (both the US and UK versions), Second City, Saturday Night Live, etc. Add to that the fact that Keegan-Michael Key (Jack in this film) is a recurring visitor to the current version of Whose Line is it Anyway? (on the CW network), and is hilarious on that show. (Disclaimer — I’ve never really watched his show Key & Peele).

This was an interesting film, in a general sense, and a disappointing film, as a fan of “improv”. The plot, in a nutshell, is that a six-person Improv comedy troupe called “The Commune” has been struggling to be noticed by talent scouts for the past 11 years. At the same time that the club they’re regulars at has decided to close up, there’s also a chance that a producer from Weekend Live (basically a thinly-disguised SNL) is going to scout the group at one of its final performances.

Jack is the most extroverted and career-conscious of The Commune’s six members, and takes advantage of the Weekend Live scout’s presence to get his foot in the door at the TV show, hoping to pull his girlfriend and fellow Commune member, Sam(antha) along with him. She, however, doesn’t crave the limelight the way he does. When Jack manages to “make it big”, the rest of The Commune regroup and deal with issues ranging from jealousy to despair, now that their long-term performing space is vanishing.

The performances in this are terrific, from writer/director Mike Berbiglia’s “Miles” to Gillian Jacobs’ (Community) as Sam. Key does a fine job as Jack, reaching for the brass ring and then regretting that he grabbed it. But some of the best performances are from the other Commune members — Tami Sagher as Lindsay, Chris Gethard as Bill and Kate Micucci as Allison. Overall, this is a rather bittersweet look at the costs of having dreams fulfilled. I was hoping for more examples of improv comedy, and there was scant little of that. There are a few short “extras” on the DVD, but nothing that can’t easily be skipped.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the improv show Whose Line is it Anyway? or the sketch comedy series Key & Peele. The libraries don’t have either of these on DVD (they do exist on DVD, at least partially — and season 1 of Key & Peele is available through our digital Hoopla resources), but you can find them on YouTube or via various streaming platforms.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Don’t Think Twice web site ]

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Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


formatdvdSeasons
by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud (DVD 590 Sea)

Having watched and been astonished by Winged Migration, a 2001 documentary about migratory birds that included some of the most amazing flying footage I’d ever seen, I was intrigued when I saw this 2015 documentary, also by co-directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, on the DVD displays at the downtown library.

Seasons looks at the history of the animals that populated the deep forests of Europe, and the ways their lives have changed since in the incursion and proliferation of humans over the past centuries. Much as with Winged Migration, the footage the filmmakers have captured is breathtaking and eye-popping. With minimal narration (which is in French with English subtitles), the filmmakers let the animals speak for themselves. We get to see everything from tiny beetles and mice, to massive bears, wild horses, and wolf packs, all in their native environments. Whether we are watching a bobcat stalking a deer, or a family of hedgehogs trying to safely cross a cobblestone road, or a pair of brown bears fighting for breeding dominance, or a mother wolf tenderly raising her pack of cubs, all the animals have their own distinct personalities. Some of the “special features” on the disc explain how some of the stunning footage was captured — animals raised in close association with humans so they would not be skittish around cameras and cameramen. However, this can still only account for a small percentage of the incredible images included herein.

The directors are honest and open about their goals to get people thinking about the impact humanity has had on the natural world, and about continuing global climate changes, but the message isn’t overly heavy-handed.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Winged Migration and Oceans, two previous documentaries by the same filmmakers. Sadly, Oceans is not owned by the Lincoln City Libraries.] [ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ]

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Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library


last updated December 2019
* Please Note: The presence of a link on this site does not constitute an endorsement by Lincoln City Libraries.

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