Laura

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan (2013)

dadisfatI just listened to Dad is Fat on audio. Read by author Jim Gaffigan, it is a laugh-out-loud collection of essays of what it is like to be the father of five kids and their adventures of living in New York City. The humor is universal and the love for his family comes through in each chapter.
Laura

Joanne by Lady Gaga (2016)

joanneI have not been able to stop listening to Lady Gaga’s newest album Joanne. The album is named in tribute to her long-deceased Aunt Joanne, who passed away at the age of 19 and Gaga never had a chance to meet.

Gaga’s previous albums are much more glam/dance/pop and Joanne is a refreshingly stripped-down showcase of Gaga’s incredible vocal and musical talents.  There is a lot of variety on Joanne – it’s a little bit country, a whole lot of rock, and at times has Latin and Motown influences.

A few of my favorite tracks include: “A-YO” (a party tune that’s just plain fun);  “Joanne” (a heartbreaking acoustic ballad written to her late aunt);  “Hey Girl” (a funky duet with Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine); “John Wayne” (a crowd-pleasing guitar-heavy anthem); “Just Another Day” (perhaps a tribute to the late David Bowie or the Beatles); and “Million Reasons” (a beautiful catchy ballad that you won’t want to stop playing on repeat).  All the songs on this album truly showcase Lady Gaga’s absolutely stunning vocals and her incredible range as an artist.

If you don’t want to wait for the CD, stream it instantly via Hoopla!
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Laura

The Couple Next Door by Sheri Lapeña (2016)

couplenextdoorAnne and Marco Conti leave their newborn baby at home alone and go to a party at the neighbor’s house. Despite them checking on the baby every half hour, the baby is missing when they get home.

Sheri Lapeña’s The Couple Next Door is a gripping, can’t-put-down tale of deception, betrayal, and unfaithfulness that will keep you in suspense until the final twist.
Laura

Under the Influence by Joyce Maynard (2016)

undertheinfluenceDrinking cost Helen the custody of her son. While working to overcome her addiction, an eccentric wealthy couple, Ava and Swift Havilland, befriend her. The Havillands are wealthy philanthropists who established a charity devoted to rescuing dogs. Their home is filled with fabulous friends, expensive art, and over the top parties. As Helen increasingly falls under the Havillands’ influence by running errands and doing chores for them, Ava and Swift promise to help Helen regain custody of her son—but at what cost?

Joyce Maynard’s Under the Influence is an engrossing, can’t put down read until the very last page.
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Laura

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer (2016)

girlinredcoatA mother and daughter are separated at a crowded fair and suddenly 8-year-old Carmel vanishes.  Kate Hamer’s book alternates perspectives between Carmel and her mother, Beth. The Girl in the Red Coat captures the heart wrenching effects of such a tragedy from both Carmel and Beth's perspectives.  This book is suspenseful, deeply emotional, and very engrossing – twists and turns in the plot kept me riveted until the end.  If you have anything else to do, don't start this book as you won't be able to put it down until it is finished.
Laura

After Her by Joyce Maynard (2013)

When Rachel and Patty were kids, their dad was the detective hot on the trail of the Sunset Strangler, a serial killer who preyed on young women in their neighborhood. Thirty years later, Rachel is still searching to capture the killer. This is a can’t-put-down whodunit and a story that explores deep family bonds in a coming of age tale. Check out After Her by Joyce Maynard.
Laura

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Hansen (2012)

Cathy Bailey’s new boyfriend seems almost too perfect to be true. Their “perfect” relationship quickly becomes a nightmare. A portrayal of obsession and recovery make this a can’t-put-down thriller to the last page.

Check out Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Hansen today.
Laura

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012)

I just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn...it was the best book I have read in a LONG time. This captivating story unfolds in alternating chapters. A woman disappears from her home on the morning of her 5th wedding anniversary and her husband is the prime suspect. The truth is revealed in a tale with twist and turns up until the very end. This book kept me turning pages long into the night! I highly recommend it!
Laura

The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo (2012)

This is a coming of age story of 17-year-old Marjorie, the only child of parents who are basically illiterate. Her family is caught up in a bizarre church (cult), where the infliction of humiliating punishments on children is demanded.  It is a moving and intense story, but uplifting.  I couldn’t put it down!

Check the library catalog for The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo.
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Laura

Catfish

Catfish (2010)
I watched the documentary Catfish over the weekend and it was outstanding. It’s a “reality thriller”—you’ll never think about Facebook the same way again. I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish!

Check out articles from CNET and the Los Angeles Times for more details.

Laura

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen (2010)
Told in the perspective of the mother, a family is tragically affected by a shocking act of violence. A riveting read.

Listen to Diane Rehm interview the author and read the New York Times review.
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Laura

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (2009)
Libby Day was seven when she testified that her brother murdered their family in a brutal rampage. Years later, she begins to question her recollection and sets out to uncover the truth. A can't-put-down read!

Listen to the author talk about her first book Sharp Objects, read reviews at Amazon.com and visit the author's website.
Laura

Rachel Getting Married

Rachel Getting Married (2008) R
A woman (Anne Hathaway) is released from rehab...again...and just in time to attend her sister's wedding. Emotions boil to the surface in this realistic family drama.

There are plenty of reviews of this film; check out Roger Ebert, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, and Entertainment Weekly. Hathaway won the Critic's Choice Award for best actress.
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Laura

Waitress

Waitress (2007) PG-13
A bittersweet tale of a small town woman who turns hopelessness into a fresh start.

Check out a New York Times article about the movie and the late writer/director/actress Adrienne Shelly. Visit the Fox Searchlight website for articles and videos about the movie and the actors.

Laura

Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center

Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center (2009)
Lanie's life is not turning out how she expected. When she is uprooted from Texas to live in the Northeast, she finds her life more out of control than ever. Lanie takes the opportunity to get control and ends up finding herself in the process. A light, funny read.

Read reviews at Amazon.com, visit the author's web site, and watch a YouTube video.