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. 

We compiled a list of some of our favorite books we read in 2020.

 

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

Shows ‘n Tunes: Movie, Music, and Game Reviews

I enjoyed Kenny Chesney's album Songs for the Saints (2018). My favorite song was "Get Along," as I'm sure it was for many because it was featured on the radio quite a bit. For those Chesney fans, you know he has a unique sound to country music, combining country roots with his love for the seas, boating, and warm weather. Chesney primarily brings to attention the damage caused from a recent hurricane and brings in some friends for other recordings. These make nice additions to what I think is a very good album.

Listen to Songs for the Saints on Hoopla today.


01 March 2021 • Zoo 2
Current Picks: Book Reviews

In this short story sequel to Zoo, the adventure starts with Jackson Oz narrowly escaping from a polar bear. He and his family have set up housekeeping in the arctic thinking they would be safe from infected animal attacks.

Oz and wife Chloe were considering the dubious safety of Greenland when Oz gets invited to join a new effort to end the pandemic of animal attacks. There is a concern that the infection could spread from animals to microbes. Then the infection begins to be noticed in some humans in remote areas. Oz joins a team of researchers to capture an infected human alive. Infected humans are as savage as their animal counterparts but can speak and know how to use weapons.

This is an exciting standalone story but I recommend reading Zoo first—and check out my review of that title. Jay Snyder's excellent reading won't let you put this audiobook down till the end. Listen to the audiobook via Hoopla or read the ebook via Overdrive. Check out Zoo 2 (2016) by James Patterson and Max DiLallo today.



23 February 2021 • 1945
Shows ‘n Tunes: Movie, Music, and Game Reviews

I recommend the black and white film 1945. Set in a small village in Hungary in 1945 just as World War II finished, it opens on a summer day as the town prepares for a wedding. Two Jewish men get off the train with two large crates and go through town. The town's residents are wondering who these two men are and why they have returned. Some of the town's people were part of a coverup in getting a prominent Jewish family deported and taking over their possessions. Many of these people have such profound guilt, leading to irrational decisions while they think these two strangers are there to take back what was taken from this family. What happens in the town all takes place in a few hours.

This film was released in 2017, winning several awards at film festivals. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Watch 1945 on Hoopla today.


22 February 2021 • Chlorine Sky
Current Picks: Book Reviews

This #OwnVoices story follows teenager Sky through her journey to self-acceptance. Told in verse, this touching story perfectly displays the often overwhelming feelings of uncertainty and angst that will resonate with teens and adults alike. Poet Mahogany L. Browne's lyrical writing is inspiring without being cliché and will stick with you long after you've finished reading.

Check out Chlorine Sky (2021) and other works by Mahogany L. Browne today.


18 February 2021 • Convenience Store Woman
Current Picks: Book Reviews

At 176 pages, Convenience Store Woman (2018) is a brief, quirky story that you'll think about long after you finish the novel. Translated from Japanese, the story centers on 36-year-old Keiko. She's lived in Tokyo for her entire life and spent the last 18 years working part time at a convenience store. In so many ways, offbeat Keiko doesn't fit into society's expectations.

With wry humor, Sayaka Murata's engaging novel is thought-provoking social commentary and satire. There is so much to discuss—this would make an excellent choice for your book club. In addition to topics already mentioned, participants can discuss similarities and differences between American and Japanese culture and expectations, careers vs. jobs, and what it means to be a functioning member of society.

Available on Hoopla, read the ebook or listen to the audiobook today.