Weekend Picks

Another long weekend, another installment of long play picks. Enjoy two classics, each running around the three hour mark!


A petty criminal in 16th century Japan is hired to impersonate a famous dying warlord, and finds himself transforming into the leader of 25,000 samurai warriors. This Criterion Collection film has made numerous appearances on many “Best of” lists- usually the ones the ones without “Empire Strikes Back” and “The Dark Night”.


Once Upon a Time in America

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.


Weekend Picks

Seniors Book Club September Selection

bw-books0506The Seniors Book Club will meet Wednesday, September 9th at 2 pm in Forsyth Hall. This month we’re discussing All the Light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr – the widely acclaimed and immensely popular novel which won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

About the book:

“…a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work”–Provided by publisher.

About the Author

Anthony Doerr’s website

A Powells Books Interview

A Reading Group guide

A Video from the Publisher’s website

The Washington Post review


Learn more about the Battle of Normandy

Listen to audio clips from World War II (BBC Archive)

YA Picks

It’s that time of year again. Get back in the mood for classes, clubs, and camaraderie with a little fun, unassigned reading.

Gabe Johnson Takes OverGabe Johnson Takes Over by Geoff Herbach

Band geek, Gabe, is normally the funny guy at the lunch table, but this week is different. He’s having a hard time trying to kick his soda addiction and is also determined to shed his hated nickname, “Chunk.” When Gabe finds out that band camp is cancelled due to lack of funds, he’s furious. Finding out that the school’s vending machine money, which used to go to the band, will now be sponsoring the new cheer squad, is the last straw. Tired of being a joke and a pushover, Gabe fights back. Originally published as Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders, this funny story will have you rooting for the underdog.

Friends With BoysFriends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Enter Maggie, getting ready for her first day of high school. Having been home-schooled up until this point, the prospect of attending public school and making friends is daunting. Maggie’s also dealing with the fallout from her mother recently abandoning the family, and appearances of a creepy ghost from the cemetery down the street remind her about things she’d rather forget. A graphic novel about growing up and how friends and big brothers can help a girl navigate even the toughest of times.

Weekend Picks

With the summer almost gone, we think that it’s about time for you turn on, tune in, and grab this installment of Weekend Picks.

Spark: A Burning Man Story

Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in the Nevada desert for the week-long Burning Man festival, where they party and collaborate on large-scale art before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams.


Festival Express

In 1970, such names as Janis Joplin, The Band, The Grateful Dead, and Buddy Guy traveled by a customized train for five days to Toronto, Calgary, and Winnipeg for a mega-concert at each stop. This experience was filmed and some footage was locked away, until now.


Weekend Picks

Science Fiction Picks

This month I chose something that’s a little older to share.  One urban fantasy, and one high fantasy series.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm Front

Harry Dresden’s Yellow Pages ad reads:

Harry Dresden–Wizard
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, no-one else does what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting. Magic. It can get a guy killed.

In Fantasy reader circles, Harry Dresden is sometimes known as ‘the other wizard named Harry’.  Storm Front is the first book in a series of 15 books (so far) detailing Harry’s adventures with magic in the city of Chicago.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan


The book starts off with the lives of Rand, Perrin, and Matt, three young men in a small village at the end of the road.  Evil takes notice of the village, and one of the three will become the Dragon, destined to save the world, as well as destroy it.  What follows is a high adventure, complete with good vs. evil, magic, a bit of a love story, and close escapes.  Robert Jordan excels at world building, so the setting of this fantasy epic is very vivid.

The Eye of the World is the first book of the Wheel of Time series, a 14 book series.