Weekend Picks

Best Indie Films 2017 – Vol. III

The Death of Louis XIV

Upon returning from a hunting expedition, King Louis XIV feels a sharp pain in his leg. He begins to die, surrounded by loyal followers in the royal chambers. Based on extensive medical records and the memoirs of the Duke of Saint-Simon and other courtiers, a wry neoclassical chamber drama, the depicts the death of the Sun King.

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It’s time for a young African-American to meet with his white girlfriend’s parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambiance will give way to a nightmare.
This evocative character study tells the story of a young American fashion assistant and spiritual medium who is living in Paris and searching for signs of an afterlife following the sudden death of her twin brother. A chilling meditation on modern modes of communication and the way one mourn those they love.

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the February 21, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Year of lessThe Year of Less : how I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy in a store

By Cait Flanders

Cait Flanders worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, but her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was buying was making her happy–only keeping her from meeting her goals – she decided to set herself a challenge: she would not shop for an entire year.

 

Berlin 1936Berlin 1936 : sixteen days in August

By Oliver Hilmes

A lively account of the 1936 Olympics told through the voices and stories of those who witnessed it, from an award-winning historian and biographer. During the games the Nazi dictatorship was in many ways put on hold, and Berlin 1936 offers a last glimpse of the vibrant and diverse life in the German capital in the 1920s and 30s that the Nazis wanted to destroy.

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

51kqxes2qalUNDER the HARROW by Flynn Berry

One is “under the harrow” when one is distressed and in danger.  This is certainly the case with Nora who, on a routine visit to see her sister, finds her brutally murdered.  Nora becomes obsessed with finding Rachel’s killer, having little faith in the police to do their job after her experience with them in the past. So much of the action in this novel seems to take place “in Nora’s head” and we have to wonder if Nora’s recollections of events, both in the present and the distant past, are accurate or if they even happened at all.

Flynn Berry has written a riveting psychological thriller that will satisfy the most seasoned readers of this genre.  The killer’s identity and motivation are a clever surprise to this first novel by a very promising new writer.

873670BLACK OUT by John Lawton

The London Daily Telegraph lists Lawton as one of the “50 Crime Writers to Read before You Die” and his Troy series was selected by Time magazine as one of “Six Detective Series to Savor”.

Troy is a tiny bit “Lynley” with a smidge of “Morse” and far better with the ladies than either one of these two.  He’s from money but decided to make his way as a detective with Scotland Yard.  It’s London, February 1944, when Troy is called to a bomb site where children have found a severed arm.  It’s soon determined that a bomb was not the cause of death but that the person was murdered, and soon a link is made to a number of refugees who have systematically gone missing.

This is historical espionage at its finest as Lawton drops names like Churchill and H.G. Wells into this quick-paced and clever story that he’s concocted.  Whether he’s on his way to an interview in his Bullnose Morris or chasing a lead on a tube train, it soon becomes evident to Troy that it’s getting progressively more difficult to know who to trust.  But you can trust that this is a great read, a real page-turner.

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the February 14, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fineEleanor Oliphant is completely fine : a novel

By Gail Honeyman

The story of an unusual heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open her heart. Eleanor Oliphant struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance, means that Eleanor has become a bit of a loner.

 

 

Only Story Julian BarnesThe Only story : a novel

By Julian Barnes

A novel about Paul, a young man on the cusp of adulthood and Susan, a woman who is already there, a love story shot through with sheer beauty, profound sadness, and deep truth. It’s a piercing account of helpless devotion, and of how memory can confound us and fail us and surprise us (sometimes all at once), of how, as Paul puts it, “first love fixes a life forever”–

Weekend Picks

So ’90s Valentine’s Day Ed.

Like omg, when that little boy in Jerry Maguire asks for a hug… so kewt!

Reality Bites
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Jerry Maguire
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Before Sunrise
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Romeo + Juliet
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Ghost
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The English Patient
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You’ve Got Mail
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Titanic
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10 Things I Hate About You
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Clueless
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ps – click here to take a totally awesome Valentine’s Day trip to the ’80s.