Binge-worthy Literary Web Series

If you’ve been keeping up with YouTube in the past eight years, you might have noticed a growing trend in book adaptations. More and more, classic literature is being adapted are modernized as web series, typically available through video sites like YouTube.

The series tend to be shot vlog style, meaning they are presented as a video blog. Though the series still have actors, by mimicking the vlog formula, these adaptations tend to feel much more personal. The vlog setting, albeit fictional in this case, also functions on the idea that the characters are aware of their audience, and that other characters in the story are able to watch their videos.

Here are just a few literary web series that put fun new spins on classic tales!

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

The Emmy award-winning literary web series that kicked off the trend, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is still considered by many to be the best literature-inspired web series. It’s not hard to see why, with the lovable Bennet sisters stealing the show in this modern spin on Jane Austen’s classic romance Pride and Prejudice.

Emma Approved

Emma Approved is made by the same people who made The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, so it has a similar feel to the other series. Of course, this could also be in part because it’s source material, Emma, is also written by Jane Austen. This series aired after the completion of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and so its influence can be seen all over the show. However, this series still manages to feel fresh and new, and took home a few Emmy awards of its own as well.

Nothing Much To Do

Nothing Much To Do is the first web series from New Zealand based production company The Candle Wasters, and was so popular it was even given a sequel series. Based on William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Nothing Much To Do brings the classic characters into a modern day New Zealand high school, where the leads get into just as many wacky hi-jinks as they do in the original play. The sequel series, Lovely Little Losers, is based on Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, and follows the Nothing Much To Do characters as they go away to university.

Green Gables Fables

Green Gables Fables is a modern web series adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. The first season of the series focuses on Anne Shirley as she moves to Avonlea, where she is adopted by siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert and makes friends in her new home. The second season follows Anne and her friends as they head off to college, and covers the later books in the series. The series is known for its multimedia presence during its airing, with almost all of the characters having their own Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter accounts.

The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy

The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy brings the tale of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan into the modern world, without sacrificing any of the magic and whimsy from the original. Follow Peter, Wendy, and many of your other favorite Peter Pan characters as they tackle friendship, romance, and what it means to finally grow up. The show was funded by the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, and successfully funded a second and third season as well!

Call Me Katie

Fans of the movie 10 Things I Hate About You might notice some similarities in this web series, which is because they are both based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The web series follows two sisters, Katie and Bianca, whose father has set a strict rule on Bianca for dating: she can date once Katie dates. Headstrong Katie has no plans to enter a romantic relationship any time soon, which spurs one of Bianca’s suitors to pay bad boy Peter to romance Katie so that Bianca will be allowed to date. Just like 10 Things, the modern adaptation here allows for a much more progressive and comedic version of Shakespeare’s original play.

Classic Alice

Classic Alice is a little different than the rest of the web series on this list, and that is because it is not based on one single work of literature. In the series, the main character, Alice, lives her life as according to certain pieces of classic literature. The series starts with Alice living her life based on Crime and Punishment, and over the course of the show she moves on to many other novels and stories. This format has allowed the show to run for quite some time, as the writers have much more source material to work with.

Carmilla

Written in 1872, 26 years before Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla tells the story of a female vampire named Carmilla, who attempts to steal the life and vital fluids of the innocent Laura. In the web series, Carmilla and Laura share a dorm in college, and Laura begins to suspect that her roommate isn’t all that she seems. As opposed to the undeniably evil Carmilla in the original novella, the web series instead frames her as misunderstood, and eventually has Carmilla and Laura falling in love. This popular web series has spawned multiple seasons, and even a feature film adaptation. Season two and on are completely off-book, but the series is definitely still worth checking out!

In Earnest

An adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, this web series brings the classic play into the twenty-first century, where the main characters each upload videos to their individual YouTube channels. The series takes place in Pennsylvania, and was filmed at Grove City College and stars many Pennsylvania actors and actresses.

 

 

 

Feast of the Rings: Eat Your Way Through the Entire Trilogy

This past weekend, my friends and I sat down to accomplish what we considered to be one of the nerdiest things we had ever done: marathon the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended editions, of course) while eating all the foods from the series along with the characters. We can’t claim credit for the idea, as we were inspired by this Twitter thread. Here’s some ideas on how to hold your own food-filled Lord of the Rings marathon!

Note: Not all food is featured in this list, but most of it has been included.

The Fellowship of the Ring

Our Victoria Sponge Cakes, which were a bright start to a day full of food in Middle Earth.

1. The movie starts off with cake, jam, and tea for breakfast. We chose to make Victoria Sponge Cakes, which have jam in them, to start off our day. To match the berry jam, we made ourselves cups of berry tea.

2. When Gandalf and Frodo meet about the One Ring, there is jam, bread, and tea on the table. We decided to make some Lemon Raspberry Tarts to cover the first two ingredients, and finished off our tea from the first meal.

3. Pippin and Merry are stealing raw vegetables from Farmer Maggot. Time to munch on some raw carrots!

4. Aragorn throws an apple to Pippin when he inquires about Second Breakfast, so we all ate a fresh Gala apple.

5. The hobbits’ hunger leads to poor decision making as they cook up bacon and mushrooms on Weathertop, alerting the Nazgûl to their location. Bad for the hobbits, but a delicious meal for us.

6. The Fellowship stops for food at the Gap of Rohan, where they eat sausages. More delicious breakfast food!

7. Lembas bread in Lothlorien! We found a recipe for homemade Lembas bread, and just like Sam and Frodo, we got quite sick of eating it by the end of our marathon. While I only mention it here, make sure to keep lots of Lembas bread on hand for the plethora of times it gets eaten in the series.

The Two Towers

Our “Orc Power Juice,” also known as strawberry pomegranate sangria.

8. After some Lembas bread to start us off, the Orcs give Pippin and Merry what we dubbed “Orc Power Juice” to keep them going. For our marathon, this meant sangria, but you could also substitute grape juice, cranberry juice, or another dark reddish liquid!

9. Our star Uruk-hai proudly declares that meat is back on the menu. While the orcs cannibalize a slain orc, we decided to instead just have some barbecue pork ribs.

10. Gimli munches on some cheeses when the group arrives at Rohan, so we made ourselves a nice cheese plate.

11. Gollum finds a rabbit, which Sam adds to a stew with potatoes (boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew). We couldn’t get our hands on a rabbit, so we just settled for stew with potatoes.

12. Immediately after the rabbit stew, Eowyn makes Aragorn some gross fish stew. Not wanting another full meal or unappetizing food, we all decided to take one bite each of clam chowder.

13. Faramir takes Sam and Frodo to see Gollum hiding out by a waterfall, eating a raw fish. We enjoyed some fresh sashimi to avoid having to feast Gollum style.

Return of the King

Denethor has great taste in food, he’s just not very good at eating it.

14. After a largely foodless end to The Two Towers, we kicked off our third and final feast with some more sashimi as Gollum munches on yet another fish, washing it down with the Lembas bread Frodo and Sam are running out of.

15. Pippin and Merry find Isengard’s store room filled with preserves, and the salted pork is particularly good. We had some pork and beans so that we could include preserves in the mix.

16. Hail the victorious dead! We toasted the fallen warriors with the leftover sangria from our Orc Power Juice, but what really matters is that you toast, not what you are drinking.

17. Denethor once again beats out Gollum for the title of “Grossest Eater” with his meal of chicken, grapes, bread, and tomatoes. We bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, and made sure to eat our cherry tomatoes without getting them everywhere (it’s not that hard, Denethor).

18. As Frodo and Sam try to remember the taste of strawberries on the side of an erupting Mount Doom, we somewhat insensitively reminded ourselves by feasting on strawberries with whipped cream.

19. We finish our feast back at the Shire, with more cake and tea. We decided to make some petit fours to switch it up, but feel free to just use the leftover cake from the beginning of your marathon.

And thus ends the glorious undertaking that is a Lord of the Rings marathon feast!

Conclusion

My advice? As tempting as it is to eat as much as the characters for all of these meals, pace yourself and instead have small portions. Don’t be a fool of a Took and eat four pieces of Lembas bread instead of one bite. Your stomach will thank you halfway through the marathon, when you’re starting to feel full but still have hours of eating ahead of you (much of which will be the aforementioned Lembas bread).

If you’re wondering if a similar marathon could be done with the Hobbit movies, I assure you it is possible. That being said, it’s definitely going to be a long while until my friends and I attempt another marathon feast.

Happy eating!

Upcoming Movie Adaptations of Books

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Starring Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), this adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s national bestseller comes out on August 15, 2018. The movie follows Rachel Chu, an American woman who finds out her boyfriend secretly comes from an extremely wealthy and powerful family in Singapore. You can watch the trailer here!

 

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
This supernatural horror novel is coming to the big screen on August 31, 2018. From the director of 2015’s Academy Award-winning film Room and starring Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars) and Ruth Wilson (Jane Eyre), the film will tell the tale of a British doctor’s terrifying experience at a family’s countryside estate. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy
Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), and David Tennant (Doctor Who) are just a few of the talented actors in this film’s star studded cast. Saoirse Ronan stars as Mary Stuart opposite Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I. Written by the creator of Netflix’s House of Cards, the film is scheduled to be released on December 7, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
Coming to theaters September 28, 2018, this film tells the harrowing true story of Garrard Conley, who was outed as gay at age 19 and sent to a gay conversion therapy program by his parents. The movie stars Joel Edgerton (Red Sparrow), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), and Russell Crowe (Gladiator). You can watch the trailer here!

 

First man: the life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen
Ryan Gosling (La La Land) stars as Neil Armstrong in this biographical film about the first astronaut to walk on the moon. Directed by Damien Chazelle of La La Land and Whiplash, the movie is set to be released on October 12, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Cate Blanchett (Carol) stars as the titular Bernadette, who disappears and is pursued by her teenage daughter. The movie also features actors Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live, and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), and directed by Richard Linklater, director of the 2014 Best Picture Academy Award-winning movie Boyhood. The release date is set for October 19, 2018.

 

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
In this sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Claire Foy (The Crown) takes over the role of Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker who teams up with a journalist to investigate corrupt government. The movie comes out on November 9, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

The Black Hand by Stephan Talty
This movie follows a New York City detective as he goes up against the Italian mafia. The film is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), who also stars in the movie. No release date has been announced yet, but the movie is expected to hit theaters in 2019.

 

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Produced by Peter Jackson, director of the award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mortal Engines tells the tale of a post-apocalyptic future in which humans are forced to live in moving cities, and suffer under a corrupt government. The movie is set to be released on December 14, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Ophelia by Lisa Klein
In this reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) stars as Hamlet’s forbidden love, and stars Naomi Watts (The Glass Castle) and Tom Felton (Harry Potter). The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018, but is set to be released in theaters later this year.

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
From the producer of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, this movie tells the story of a British author, played by Lily James (Cinderella), who travels to the island of Guernsey at the end of World War II, where she meets a book club that began as an alibi during the island’s German occupation. Netflix has purchased the streaming rights to the film, which will be released through their service on August 10. You can watch the trailer here!

 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath’s famous novel is once again coming to the big screen, this time directed by Kirsten Dunst (Marie Antoinette). The movie tells the tale of Esther, played by Dakota Fanning (The Alienist), and her struggle with her mental health. No official release date has been announced, but the film is expected to hit theaters in 2018.

 

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
From the mind behind Mozart in the Jungle, Bel Canto tells the story of an opera star, played by Julianne Moore (Still Alice), and several other members of an embassy party as they are taken hostage by terrorists. The film also stars Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai), and is set for a September 2018 release.

 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel has been developed into a star-studded adaptation, with names such as Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story). The movie tells the tale of a young man living in Las Vegas with his deadbeat father, where he gets involved in the dangerous world of art forgery. The film is set to be released on October 11, 2019.

 

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Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Coming to Netflix on June 22 is the movie adaptation of Susannah Cahalan’s bestselling memoir, which tells the story of Cahalan’s struggle with a rare autoimmune disorder, which had been discovered only three years before she was diagnosed. The movie stars Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie), Tyler Perry (Acrimony), and Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix)

 

 

Honorable Mention: “Mary Shelley”

Currently in theaters, this movie tells the tale of literary legend Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein when she was just eighteen. Elle Fanning (The Neon Demon) stars in the titular role as the movie follows Shelley through her stay in Geneva, in which she wrote Frankenstein as a part of a competition to write the best horror story between herself, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron. Though it is not based on a book, the film tells the story of how one of fiction’s most famous monsters came to be. You can watch the trailer here!

New Music for Spring!

​Both Sides of the Sky by Jimi Hendrix
Little Dark Age by MGMT
Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest
There’s a Riot Going On by Yo La Tengo
Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt by Moby
Firepower  by Judas Priest
Dark Horse by Devin Dawson
Home State by Jordan Davis
American Utopia by David Byrne
I’ll Be Your Girl by The Decemberists
Sex & Cigarettes by Toni Braxton
Boarding House Reach by Jack White
Seasons Change by Scotty McCreery

Movies to Watch With Mom This Mother’s Day

Doesn’t matter what your mom is like, we have movies for all of the moms!

BraveBrave

Scottish princess Merida makes a decision which defies family custom and brings chaos to their kingdom. PG

Freaky Friday

An overworked mother and her daughter do not get along. When they switch bodies, each is forced to adapt to the other’s life for one freaky Friday. PG

Joy Luck Club

The stories of four native-born Chinese women and their American-born daughters, showing the influence each has on the others’ lives, and how they are the same and different. R

Mamma Mia!Mamma Mia!

After reading her mother’s diary, Sophie discovers she has three possible fathers, so she secretly invites them all to her wedding at her mother’s hotel on a Greek island. PG-13

Now and Then

Four girls vow to be friends forever & come together again after 20 years to lend support and help to each other. PG-13

Sister ActSister Act

A lounge singer witnesses a mob hit and must hide out until she can testify against the killers, so the police put her in the custody of a convent, where she soon begins to transform the sisters; Deloris returns to the order to teach music in their parochial school which is on the brink of closing. PG

Stepmom

Anna and Ben, the two children of Jackie and Luke, have to cope with the fact that their parents divoced and that there is a new woman in their father’s life: Isabel, a successful photographer. PG-13

What’s New in the Music Collection?

How to Solve Our Human ProblemsHow to Solve Our Human Problems by  Belle and Sebastian

Diamond Diana: The Legacy Collection by Diana Ross

Out in the Open by Steep Canyon Rangers

See You Around by  I’m With Her

Camila by  Camila Cabello

 

By the Way, I Forgive You by Brandi Carlile

Black Panther The Album: Music From and Inspired By

Fifty Shades Freed : The Final Chapter

Lady Bird : Soundtrack From The Motion Picture

The Shape of Water: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Coming to the Big Screen 2018

AnnihilationAnnihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation , the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

(February 23)

 

A Wrinkle in TimeA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine L”Engle”s ground-breaking science fiction and fantasy classic, soon to be a major motion picture.

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

(March 9)

 

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

The bestselling cult classic–soon to be a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut–part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner , and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

(March 30)

 

Where'd You Go, BernadetteWhere’d You Go, Bernadette Maria Semple

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Cate Blanchett

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

(May 11)

 

Crazy Rich AsiansCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

(August 17)

Coming to the Big Screen

Watch out for these great titles about to become movies!

 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Release Date: March 3

 

The Shack by William P. Young

Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.

Release Date: March 3

 

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these “guests,” and human names for the animals, it’s no wonder that the zoo’s code name became “The House Under a Crazy Star.” Best-selling naturalist and acclaimed storyteller Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story―sharing Antonina’s life as “the zookeeper’s wife,” while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism.

Release Date: March 31

 

The Lost City of Z by David Zann

In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle, in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years countless perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called “The Lost City of Z.” In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, journalist David Grann interweaves the spellbinding stories of Fawcett’s quest for “Z” and his own journey into the deadly jungle, as he unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century.

Release Date: April 21

 

The Circle by Dave Eggers

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

Release Date: April 28

 

It by Stephen King

Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.

Release Date: September 8

 

For more titles, see here: 19 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters in 2017

Looking for a Good Mystery to Watch?

Check out this list of recommended titles from one of our librarians!

Films

The Bourne Identity (2002) Found with two bullets in his back, Jason Bourne discovers that he has the skills of a very dangerous man and no memory of his violent past. Racing to unlock his secret identity, he discovers that he’s an elite government agent that his government no longer trusts.

ClueClue (1985) Who killed Mr. Boddy? Was it Colonel Mustard in the study with the gun? Miss Scarlet in the billiard room with the rope? Or was it Wadsworth the butler?

Dial M for Murder (1954) A man devises a plan to murder his wife for her money.

Flypaper (2011) A nervous bank customer has a crush on beautiful teller. They and the other staff and customers become hostages when two very different groups of crooks hit the bank simultaneously. When people begin mysteriously dying one by one, everyone involved begins to wonder if there’s someone else in the bank up to no good.

Locker 13 (2014) An anthology feature film comprised of five vignettes. Each story is connected by a mysterious locker 13.

The Maltese Falcon (1941) Detective Sam Spade goes in search of a priceless statuette after the death of his partner.

Memento (2000) An intricate crime story about a man who has lost his short term memory due to a rare brain disorder. Now he is out to catch his wife’s murderer, whose identity he cannot ever know for sure. The more he tries to figure out what is true and real, the more he sinks deeper into a multi-layered abyss of uncertainty and surprises.

Murder by Decree (2003) Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson conduct a gruesome and dangerous search through London’s squalid east end for the legendary Jack the Ripper. They soon discover that he is no ordinary murderer, but one with influential and determined friends.

Non-Stop (2014)  During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, Non-StopU.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks receives a series of cryptic text messages threatening to kill a passenger every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred into an off-shore account. With lives of hundreds of passengers hanging in the balance, Marks must use every nuance of his training to uncover the killer traveling on the aircraft.

Out of the Furnace (2014)  When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn’t follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice.

Reach Me (2014) A motivational book written by a mysterious man quickly gains popularity, inspiring a group of people that includes a journalist, his editor, a former inmate, a hip-hop mogul, an actor and an undercover cop to re-evaluate their choices and decisions by confronting their fears in hopes of creating more positive lives.

Restless (2015)  Haunted by the death of her brother at the hands of fascist thugs, Russian émigré Eva is recruited to be a British secret agent by a shadowy figure. After proving her merit in the field, she is sent on the most dangerous mission of her life. She must use any means necessary to manipulate the American press and draw the States into World War II.

Sherlock Holmes (2009) After finally catching serial killer and occult ‘sorcerer’ Lord Blackwood, legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson can close yet another successful case. After his execution, Blackwood mysteriously returns from the grave and resumes his killing spree, Holmes must take up the hunt once again.

A Time to Kill (1996) A murder trial brings a small Mississippi town’s racial tension to the flashpoint. Amid a frenzy of activist marches, Klan terror, media clamor and brutal riots, an unseasoned but idealistic young attorney mounts a stirring courtroom battle for justice.

The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947) A psychopathic artist paints his wives as angels of death before poisoning them.

movieposter
The Usual Suspects
(1995) Police investigating an exploded boat on a San Pedro pier discover the only survivors are a severely burned Hungarian terrorist and Roger Kint, a crippled con-man. Reluctantly, Kint explains what happened. His story begins six weeks earlier with five criminals being dragged in by police desperate for suspects in a truck highjacking, and ends with the possible identification of a criminal mastermind.

Vertigo (1958) Scottie Ferguson, a recently retired San Francisco police detective, is hired to shadow a rich shipbuilder’s tragically suicidal wife. After he saves her from drowning in the San Francisco Bay, Scottie’s interest in the beautiful but icy blonde shifts from business to romance. But when tragedy strikes again, Scottie must overcome the vertigo that haunts his dreams in order to unravel the secrets of the past and find the key to his future.

A Walk Among the Tombstones (2015) Private investigator Matthew Scudder is hired by a drug kingpin to find out who kidnapped and murdered his wife.

 

 

Television Series

PoirotAgatha Christie’s Poirot (1990 -) With the his razor-sharp mind and the aid of the affabel Captain Hastings, Poirot unravels the thorniest cases without mussing a hair of his famously sculpted mustache.

Grantchester (2014) It’s 1953 and Sidney Chambers is vicar of Grantchester, a village just outside Cambridge, England. Sidney’s is a quiet life. He tends to his flock, keeps up with his jazz collection, and does his best to contain his passion for beautiful heiress Amanda Kendall. But when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances, Sidney quickly finds that people confide things in a parish priest that they would never tell police.

Murder on the Home Front (2014) During the London Blitz of 1940, people live life in the moment–and criminals use the blackout and devastation to hide their darkest activities. As the Luftwaffe drop their bombs, people below are literally getting away with murder.Sherlock

Murdoch Mysteries (2009 -) In the 1890’s, Detective William Murdoch adopts modern techniques like ‘finger marks’ and forensics to track Toronto’s most sinister killers. Though derided by his skeptical boss, Murdoch finds friends and allies in a lovely pathologist and an eager-to-learn constable.

Sherlock (2010) Offers a contemporary take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tales.

A Touch of Frost (1992 -) Detective Inspector Jack Frost is a policeman with a knack for trouble. In the dreary town of Denton, he approaches each case with his characteristic wit and sense of moral justice.

 

Stories from the Emerald Isle

Stories from the Emerald Isle

March is here and it’s time for St. Patrick’s Day! Whether you claim Irish heritage, or just enjoy shamrocks and leprechauns, celebrate the Irish in you with a couple of these titles.

FILMS

Once
When a brokenhearted street musician clicks with a beautiful and feisty keyboardist, the unlikely couple have nothing –and everything –to lose. Over the course of one electric week, the duo writes, performs and records an incredible cycle of songs that are as spontaneous and soulful as their unbelievable romance.

Angela’s AshesAngela's Ashes
The 1999 drama based on Frank McCourt’s memoir of the same name chronicles the author’s childhood following his family’s forced emigration from America back to Ireland. It tells the touching tale of McCourt’s struggle to earn enough money to return to “the land of opportunity.”

Far and Away
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman play Irish immigrants trying to cash in on the American dream. The duo eventually participate in the Land Run of 1893, when over 100,000 people flooded to present-day Oklahoma to claim land during the opening of the Cherokee Outlet.

The Quiet Man
The 1952 American classic follows a retired American boxer, played by John Wayne, who moves to Ireland in the 1920s to reclaim his family’s farm. He embraces the land after falling in love with an Irishwoman (Maureen O’Hara). The romantic drama earned John Ford a best director Oscar.

The Commitments
The 1991 classic Irish dramedy adapted from Roddy Doyle’s novel of the same name follows working class Dubliners who form an American-style soul band. Despite its relatively unknown cast, Alan Parker’s film was met with critical acclaim and box office success. It also put actor Colm Meaney on the map.

BOOKS

Nora WebsterNora Webster by Colm Tóibín
Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s superb seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it.

The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
The Gault family leads a life of privilege in early 1920s Ireland, but the threat of violence leads the parents of nine-year-old Lucy to decide to leave for England, her mother’s home.

1916 by Morgan LLywelyn
Irish novelist and historian Llywelyn provides a fascinating account of the doomed 1916 Easter Rebellion. As fictional characters plot and fight alongside actual historical figures, the reader is swept up in both the glory and the tragedy of the doomed battle for Irish independence.

A few of the GirlsA Few of the Girls by Maeve Binchy
A Few of the Girls is a glorious collection of the very best of Binchy’s short story writing, stories that were written over the decades–some published in magazines, others for friends as gifts, many for charity benefits.

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
A debut novel already praised as “unbearably poignant and beautifully told” (Eimear McBride) this captivating story follows — over the course of four seasons — a misfit man who adopts a misfit dog

An Irish Country Doctor  by Patrick Taylor
An Irish Country Doctor is a charming and engrossing tale that will captivate readers from the very first page–and leave them yearning to visit the Irish countryside of days gone by.

The Immortal Irishman : The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan
The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York — the revolutionary hero, back from the dead, at the dawn of the great Irish immigration to America.