Staff Faves

Discover what we love to read and watch. Ask us for suggestions on what you should read or watch next. We review books on our Current Picks blog and movies and music on our Shows 'n Tunes blog. We also create lists on popular book and movie topics. Why? Because we have a passion for making recommendations for you. 

 

catherinetCatherine T.

Fantasy, Classics, Romance, Historical Fiction, Comedy
Read more of Catherine's recommendations... 

 

emilyEmily A.

Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Microhistories, Animation, Current Films, Video Games
Read more about Emily's recommendations...

 

heatherHeather F.J.

Audiobooks, Comedy, Fantasy, Historical, Junior, Memoir, Nonfiction

Read more about Heather's recommendations...

 

jacksJack S.

Graphic Novels, Games, Video Games, Junior, Teen

Read more about Jack's recommendations...

 

Jennifer A.Jennifer A.

Novels, Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Historical, Romantic Comedy, Sports

Read more about Jennifer's recommendations...

 

JimmyJimmy D.

Novels, Short Stories, Graphic Novels, Memoir

Read more about Jimmy's recommendations...

 

joepJoan M.

Fiction, True Story, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Read more about Joan's recommendations...

 

joepJoe P.

Adventure, Teen, Sci Fi & Fantasy, Nonfiction

Read more about Joe's recommendations...

 

marypMary P.

Novels, Historical, Mystery, Women's Fiction, Comedy & Foreign Films

Read more about Mary's recommendations...

 

marysMary S.

Novels, Mystery, Suspense, Animals, Audiobooks, Memoir, Drama

Read more about Mary's recommendations...

 

monicadMonica D.

Junior, Audiobooks, Fantasy, Mystery, Historical, Gothic Horror

Read more about Monica's recommendations...

 

nataliewilliamsNatalie W.

Audiobooks, Contemporary, Fantasy, Feminist, Religious, Memoir, Teen

Read more about Natalie's recommendations...

 

 

shirleyjShirley J.

Mystery, Romance, Memoirs, Animals, Classic Films, Suspense

Read more about Shirley's recommendations...

 

 

tonylTony L.

Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Graphic Novels, Nonfiction

Read more of Tony's recommendations...

 

  

Recent Reviews

10 July 2020 • Avatar: The Last Airbender
Shows ‘n Tunes: Movie, Music, and Game Reviews

In Avatar: The Last Airbender the world is filled with war and chaos as the Fire Nation tries to continue its conquest of the Earth and Water Nations. The main tool for war are benders who control the various elements of fire, water, earth and air, and only the avatar can use all of them, but he is missing. The story follows Katara and Sokka from the Southern Water tribe who find Aang, a young airbender who is also the avatar, trapped in an iceberg. Aang needs to learn to master all the elements so he can stop the Fire Nation and restore order to the world.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) is a great animated series for all ages. There is something for everyone in the story, with fun memorable characters and fantastic fight scenes. Binge watch season 1 (2005-2006) on Hoopla today or check out seasons 1 - 3 on dvd. You can also read the comics!

And check back soon for my review of the sequel, The Legend of Korra. 

09 July 2020 • Above the Bay of Angels
Current Picks: Book Reviews

In 1896, after her family has fallen on hard times, Isabella goes into service as a maid. When an opportunity arises to interview for a cook position at Buckingham Palace, Isabella jumps at the chance, even though it's under false pretenses. After getting the job, Isabella finds that she has a gift for cooking and becomes a trusted member of Queen Victoria's household. However, the memory of her privileged upbringing and the fear of losing her job are never far from her mind. When love possibly comes her way, will Isabella choose a career over being a wife?

Above the Bay of Angels (2020) is another delightful read from author Rhys Bowen with lots of descriptions of what life was like in the royal household.



07 July 2020 • Teslafy Me
Shows ‘n Tunes: Movie, Music, and Game Reviews

Watch this 90-minute documentary about the story of Nikola Tesla and his achievements from the early 1900s. He was overshadowed by many famous inventors in his day and was never given the recognition he deserved—to this day. He was considered the inventor that kick started the Industrial Revolution.

In Teslafy Me (2019), I learned his patents and ideas are still being used today and remain unchanged. He believed in renewable energy and that energy should be provided to the world for free. His technologies were ahead of their time. He believed in free wireless power transmission and had ideas for cell phones and internet. He was definitely a genius and we are only finding out about him today.

Watch Teslafy Me on Hoopla today. If you are interested in this subject, read or listen to books about and by Nikola Tesla on Hoopla.


06 July 2020 • The Cuckoo’s Calling
Current Picks: Book Reviews

The first book in the Cormoran Strike detective series made me a fan— and I have three more Strike novels to look forward to.

Strike is a British private detective. Unfortunately, he and his business are a mess. Just as he gets to the end of his rope, a wealthy man hires him to investigate the death of his sister, a famous celebrity high fashion model. Everyone except the victim's brother thinks it was a suicide. Strike has a temp secretary, Robin, who helps him with the case. Their interactions make this sixteen-hour audiobook seem like a quick read (and Robert Glenister narrates with a dignified British accent).

The Harry Potter series wasn't for mewrong generation, I guess. What I didn't know was that Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling. That was a surprise. Terrific job, J. K.

The Cuckoo's Calling (2013) is available to read or listen to in Overdrive—and if you get hooked, you can read the rest of the series too. Also, the first three novels were adapted into a British TV show called C. B. Strike.



03 July 2020 • Life is Beautiful
Shows ‘n Tunes: Movie, Music, and Game Reviews

Life is Beautiful (1997, rated PG-13) is just that, a beautiful movie about a father who will do anything in his power to keep the horrors of WWII away from his son. I love how Roberto Benigni invents the whole game scenario for his boy and humorously wings it with every turn for the worse in their prison camp.

The ending is nothing short of brilliant, loving, and courageous. For those movie fans who shy away from foreign films because of the subtitles, I encourage you to watch this wonderful movie that proves how love will always be victorious in the end.

Watch three-time Oscar winner (actor, foreign film, original score) Life is Beautiful on Hoopla today. In Italian with English subtitles. Roberto Benigni wrote, directed, and acted in this excellent movie.