Miniseries/Limited Series on DVD

After its heyday in the 70s and early 80s (Roots, anyone, or The Thorn Birds?), the miniseries declined in popularity on broadcast television. However, the last ten to twenty years have seen a resurgence (now often rebranded as limited series) on cable and streaming networks. Longer than movies in total run time, the limited series allows for greater character development and extended story telling, perfect for book adaptations. Find the following titles, and more, in SPL’s DVD collection.

11.22.63

On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was killed in Dallas and the world changed forever. But what if it could be changed back? Jake Epping is an English teacher who accepts the monumental mission of trying to prevent the assassination of JFK. Luckily, he has the help of Sadie Dunhill, a resourceful librarian who’s trying to reconcile secrets of her own. Based on the novel by Stephen King.

Starring James Franco, Sarah Gadon, and George MacKay. Originally aired on Hulu in 2016. 8 episodes.


Band of Brothers

This 10-part miniseries is based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s nonfiction bestseller about a World War II army unit called ‘Easy Company.’  Nominated for 19 Emmy Awards, Band of Brothers follows the story of Easy Company as they participate in some of the worst battles of World War II and experience the horrors of war and the evil that men do. Also includes the 80-minute documentary We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company.
Starring Damian Lewis, and Ron Livingston. Originally aired on HBO in 2001. 10 episodes.

Chernobyl

This award-winning series tells the story of the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the cleanup effort that followed. Based on Voices From Chernobyl, by Belarusian Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich, a compilation of interviews with survivors of the nuclear reactor accident.

Starring  Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, and Emily Watson. Originally aired on HBO in 2019. 5 episodes.


Grant

This dramatized miniseries examines Grant’s life story using his perspective and experiences to explore a turbulent time in history: the Civil War and Reconstruction. Based on the acclaimed biography by Ron Chernow.

Starring Justin Salinge, Carel Nel and Dianne Simpson. Originally broadcast on History Channel in 2020. 3 episodes.


Hatfields & McCoys

Triggered by a murder based on misunderstandings and an illicit love affair, this is the dramatic historic feud that teeters on the brink of an all-out civil war as friends and neighbors join opposing sides in a rivalry that would ultimately shape American history.

Starring Bill Paxton, Kevin Costner and Tom Berenger. Originally broadcast on the History Channel in 2012. 3 episodes.


Howard’s End

This series follows Margaret and Helen Schlegel, two intelligent, idealistic sisters living together in Edwardian London with their hypochondriac brother, Tibby. Their loving but interfering Aunt Juley tries to keep the siblings in line after the death of their parents, but a series of events pushes the sisters to lead unorthodox lives full of romance, tragedy, and drama. Based on the novel by E.M. Forster.

Starring Hayley Atwell, Philippa Coulthard, and Tracey Ullman. Originally aired on PBS’s Masterpiece in 2017. 4 episodes.


Mildred Pierce

This series charts the hopes and heartaches of a single, middle class, Los Angeles mother as she fights to win her daughter’s affections during the Great Depression. Based on the novel by James M. Cain.

Starring Kate Winslet , Guy Pearce, and Evan Rachel Wood. Originally aired on HBO in 2011. 5 episodes.


Les Misérables

An adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel, following a cast of characters struggling to survive in 19th century war-torn France. Not to be confused with the musical, this six episode series doesn’t skimp on character development, giving a complete and compelling screen rendition.

Starring Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins.  Originally broadcast on PBS’s Masterpiece in 2018. 6 episodes.


The Pacific

This award-winning series follows the lives of three men and their fellow Marines across the Pacific theater during World War II. Based on true stories.

Starring James Badge Dale, Jon Seda, Joseph Mazzello, and Rami Malek. Executive producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Originally aired on HBO in 2010. 10 episodes.


Sharp Objects

A reporter confronts the psychological demons from her past when she returns to her hometown to cover a violent murder. Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn.

Starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, and Chris Messina. Originally aired on HBO in 2018. 8 episodes.

Hispanic Heritage Month

This week kicks off National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), which commemorates the amazing contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. Check out some of these recent titles in our collection to help you celebrate.


The Five Wounds / Kirstin Valdez Quade

It’s Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans for personal redemption. With weeks to go until her due date, tough, ebullient Angel has fled her mother’s house, setting her life on a startling new path.


Velvet Was the Night / Silvia Moreno-Garcia

1970s, Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the latest issue of Secret Romance . While student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes into stories of passion and danger.

Her next-door neighbor, Leonora, a beautiful art student, seems to live a life of intrigue and romance that Maite envies. When Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman–and journeying deeper into Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents.


Dominicana / Angie Cruz

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.


Fruit of the Drunken Tree / Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.

When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal.


A Lot Like Adiós / Alexis Daria

The national bestselling author of You Had Me at Hola returns with a seductive second-chance romance about a commitment-phobic Latina and her childhood best friend who has finally returned home.

 

Tutor.com Help Goes Beyond Primary School

Tutor.com Help Goes Beyond Primary School

College students can connect to the tools they need for a successful school year with Tutor.com! This useful database is a one-stop-shop for test prep & homework help resources and is available to all library card holders in Allegheny County.

Tutor.com’s Student Success webinar series is coming back next month with three more webinars. These sessions on confidence building are perfect for college students seeking a strong start to the new school year. With all of the Tutor.com webinars, if you are unable to attend the training at the given time you will be sent an email with a recording that you can view as your schedule permits.

Learn more and register via the following links:

Tutor.com is also bringing back their monthly orientations to help you navigate using Tutor.com services. These are great for users of all ages. In these orientations, Tutor.com will review all of the features you can find within the program. Sign up for a session at Tutor.com Orientation.

 

New Playaways

Check out one of these new Playways just added to the collection. Playaway is a pre-loaded audiobook that gives you the portability and freedom to listen to audiobooks anytime, anywhere. Just grab a battery and some headphones and get ready to listen!


The Personal Librarian / Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

The remarkable story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times author Marie Benedict, and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray. In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs.


Three Hours in Paris / Cara Black

Kate Rees, a young American markswoman, has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Fuhrer. Wrecked by grief after a Luftwaffe bombing killed her husband and infant daughter, she is armed with a rifle, a vendetta, and a fierce resolve. But other than rushed and rudimentary instruction, she has no formal spy training. Thrust into the red-hot center of the war, a country girl from rural Oregon finds herself holding the fate of the world in her hands. When Kate misses her mark and the plan unravels, Kate is on the run for her life–all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up. Cara Black, doyenne of the Parisian crime novel, is at her best as she brings Occupation-era France to vivid life in this gripping story about one young woman with the temerity–and drive–to take on Hitler himself.


Fallen / Linda Castillo

When a young woman is found murdered in a Painters Mill motel, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is shocked to discover she once knew the victim. Rachael Schwartz was a charming but troubled Amish girl who left the fold years ago and fled Painters Mill. Why was she back in town? And who would kill her so brutally? Kate remembers Rachael as the only girl who was as bad at being Amish as Kate was–and those parallels dog her. But the more Kate learns about Rachael’s life, the more she’s convinced that her dubious reputation was deserved.


It’s Better This Way  / Debbie Macomber

It’s been nearly six years since Julia Jones had her heart broken. After her husband became involved with another woman, she did everything she could to save their marriage, to no avail. Their two daughters continue to stand by Julia in the wake of their father’s behavior-and they’ve had a tough time getting along with the “other woman” who became their stepmother. Distraught after selling the family home, Julia moves into a condominium complex that offers the warmth and charm of a fresh start. Now, having settled into her new community and sold her successful interior design business, she’s embraced a fulfilling new life, one that doesn’t seem to need a man in it. Her beloved father’s trusty saying is ringing truer than ever: It’s better this way. But when Julia meets a handsome new resident in the building’s exercise room, she can’t help but be drawn to him.


The Forest of Vanishing Stars / Kristin Harmel

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest–and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.


Billy Summers  / Stephen King

Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong? How about everything.

 


The Therapist  / B. A. Paris

Alice and Leo have just moved in together to a gorgeous gated community in London. But when Alice tries to get to know their new neighbors, she discovers a devastating, grisly secret about her new home–and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before. Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened, but none of her new neighbors want to talk about it. Soon it becomes clear to Alice that things are not at all as they seem


21st Birthday  / James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

When young wife and mother Tara Burke goes missing with her baby girl, all eyes are on her husband, Lucas. He paints her not as a missing person but a wayward wife–until a gruesome piece of evidence turns the investigation criminal. While Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas pursues the story and ME Claire Washburn harbors theories that run counter to the SFPD’s, ADA Yuki Castellano sizes Lucas up as a textbook domestic offender … who suddenly puts forward an unexpected suspect. If what Lucas tells law enforcement has even a grain of truth, there isn’t a woman in the state of California who’s safe from the reach of an unspeakable threat.

 

 

 

 

 

Back to School Adult Fiction

Go back to school vicariously with these compelling fiction reads!

The Wonder Test by Michelle Richmond (2021)

Escaping New York City and the espionage case that made her question everything, recently widowed FBI Agent Lina Connerly returns home to sell the house she has inherited in tony Greenfield, California. With her teenage son Rory, Lina hopes to reassemble her life, reevaluate her career, and find a clear way forward. Adrift and battling insomnia, she discovers that her father’s sleepy hometown has been transformed into a Silicon Valley suburb on steroids, obsessed with an annual exam called The Wonder Test.

When students at her son’s high school go missing, reappearing under mysterious circumstances on abandoned beaches, Lina must summon her strength and her investigative instincts, pushing her own ethical boundaries to the limits in order to solve the crimes.


Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (2016)

When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson’s handsome French “almost fiancé” ditches her, she definitely does not roll with the punches, despite the best efforts of family and friends. It seems that nothing will get Kate out of pajamas and back into the world.Miraculously, one cringe-worthy job interview leads to a position in the admissions department at the revered Hudson Day School. Kate’s instantly thrown into a highly competitive and occasionally absurd culture, where she interviews all types of children: suitable, wildly unsuitable, charming, loathsome, ingratiating, or spoiled beyond all measure. And then there are the Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

As Kate begins to learn there’s no room for self-pity or nonsense during the height of admissions season or life itself, her sister and friends find themselves keeping secrets, dropping bombshells, and arguing with each other about how to keep Kate on her feet. Meanwhile, Kate seems to be doing very nicely, thank you, and is even beginning to find out that her broken heart is very much on the mend.


Night School by Lee Child (2016)

It’s 1996, and Jack Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he’s off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind. Two other men are in the classroom–an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there.

From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher maneuvers inside the game and outside the law.


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (2020)

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Ninth House is the mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo, a tale of power, privilege, dark magic, and murder set among the Ivy League elite.


Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West (2020)

When a devoted teacher comes under pressure for her progressive curriculum and a helicopter mom goes viral on social media, two women at odds with each other find themselves in similar predicaments, having to battle back from certain social ruin.

Perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Small Admissions , a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High–the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle–and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally bursts.


The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman (2003)

Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson fled the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy. The week before her graduation, in that sheltered wonderland, three lives were taken, all victims of suicide. Only Jane was left to carry the burden of a mystery that has stayed hidden in the depths of Heart Lake for more than two decades.

Now Jane has returned to the school as a Latin teacher, recently separated and hoping to make a fresh start with her young daughter. But ominous messages from the past dredge up forgotten memories. And young, troubled girls are beginning to die again-as piece by piece the shattering truth slowly floats to the surface. . .


The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger (2019)

Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School is a keenly entertaining novel that observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. Seen through the lens of four families who’ve been a part of one another’s lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group’s children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate. It’s a humorous, keenly observed, timely take on ambitious parents, willful kids, and the pursuit of prestige, no matter the cost.


Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia (2017)

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good girlfriend. But Hattie wants something more, something bigger, and ultimately something that turns out to be exceedingly dangerous. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death, the tragedy rips right through the fabric of her small-town community.

It soon comes to light that Hattie was engaged in a highly compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The question is: Did anyone else know? And to what lengths might they have gone to end it?


Class Mom by Laurie Gelman (2017)

Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom–or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it’s her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max–this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the “wisest” candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.

Relatable, irreverent, and hilarious in the spirit of Maria Semple, Class Mom is a fresh, welcome voice in fiction–the kind of novel that real moms clamor for, and a vicarious thrill-read for all mothers, who will be laughing as they are liberated by Gelman’s acerbic truths.


The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (2018)

Vermont, 1950 . There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears…

Vermont, 2014 . As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced…


Find these books and more on display at SPL!

Women in Translation

Women in Translation

Check out these titles for #WIT Month


The Unwomanly Face of War : an Oral history of Women in World War II by Svetlana Alexievich; translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her invention of “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul.”

In The Unwomanly Face of War, Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women–more than a million in total–were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten.


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald ; translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara: Sara traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal Amy, but when she arrives she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor–there’s not much else to do in a dying small town that’s almost beyond repair. You certainly wouldn’t open a bookstore. And definitely not with Sara the tourist in charge.

You’d need a vacant storefront (Main Street is full of them), books (Amy’s house is full of them), and…customers. The bookstore might be a little quirky. Then again, so is Sara. But Broken Wheel’s own story might be funnier, more eccentric and surprising than she thought.


Windward Heights by Maryse Condé ; translated from the French by Richard Philcox

Prizewinning writer Maryse Condé reimagines Emily Brontë’s passionate novel as a tale of obsessive love between the “African” Razyé and Cathy, the mulatto daughter of the man who takes Razyé in and raises him, but whose treatment goads him into rebellious flight. Retaining the emotional power of the original, Condé shows the Caribbean society in the wake of emancipation.


The Time in Between by Maria Duenas ; translated by Daniel Hahn

The inspiring international bestseller of a seemingly ordinary woman who uses her talent and courage to transform herself first into a prestigious couturier and then into an undercover agent for the Allies during World War II.

An outstanding success around the world, The Time in Between has sold more than two million copies and inspired the Spanish television series based on the book, dubbed by the media as the “Spanish Downton Abbey.” In the US it was a critical and commercial hit, and a New York Times bestseller in paperback. It is one of those rare, richly textured novels that enthrall down to the last page. María Dueñas reminds us how it feels to be swept away by a masterful storyteller


The Vegetarian by Han Kang; translated by Deborah Smith

Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams–invasive images of blood and brutality–torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.


In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri ; translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein

In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story–of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery always eluded her.

Seeking full immersion, she decides to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world. There, she begins to read, and to write–initially in her journal–solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.


Earthlings by Sayaka Murata; translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori

As a child, Natsuki doesn’t fit in with her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut, who talks to her. He tells her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. One summer, on vacation with her family and her cousin Yuu in her grandparents’ ramshackle wooden house in the mountains of Nagano, Natsuki decides that she must be an alien, which would explain why she can’t seem to fit in like everyone else. Later, as a grown woman, living a quiet life with her asexual husband, Natsuki is still pursued by dark shadows from her childhood, and decides to flee the “baby factory” of society for good, searching for answers about the vast and frightening mysteries of the universe–answers only Natsuki has the power to uncover.


The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda; translated from the Japanese by Alison Watts

On a stormy summer day the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer’s, and the physician’s bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only person spared injury. But the youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery. The police are convinced that Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident, who was herself a childhood friend of Hisako’ and witness to the discovery of the murders. The truth is revealed through a skillful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbors, police investigators and of course the mesmerizing Hisako herself.


The Dead Girls’ Class Trip : Selected Stories by Anna Seghers ; translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo

This selection of Seghers’s best stories, written between 1925 and 1965, reflects the range of her creativity over the years and includes her most famous stories, such as the autobiographical “The Dead Girls’ Class Trip,” as well as those translated into English for the first time, like “Jans Must Die.” Here are psychologically penetrating stories about young men corrupted by desperation and women bound by circumstance, as well as enigmatic tales of bewilderment and enchantment, stories based on myths and legends like “The Best Tales of Woynok the Thief,” “The Legends of Artemis,” and “The Three Trees.” Seghers used the German language in especially unconventional and challenging ways in her stories, and Margot Bettauer Dembo’s sensitive and skilled translation preserves this distinction.


Flights by Olga Tokarczuk; translated by Jennifer Croft

From the incomparably original Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. Chopin’s heart is carried back to Warsaw in secret by his adoring sister. A woman must return to her native Poland in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart, and a young man slowly descends into madness when his wife and child mysteriously vanish during a vacation and just as suddenly reappear. Through these brilliantly imagined characters and stories, interwoven with haunting, playful, and revelatory meditations, Flights explores what it means to be a traveler, a wanderer, a body in motion not only through space but through time. Where are you from? Where are you coming in from? Where are you going? we call to the traveler. Enchanting, unsettling, and wholly original, Flights is a master storyteller’s answer.


Snowdrift / Helene Tursten ; translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy

It’s been fourteen years since Detective Inspector Embla Nystrom’s best friend disappeared from a nightclub, but Embla recognises her voice on a surprise call before it is abruptly disconnects. Embla is thrilled to learn Lollo is still alive, but before she can find out more, she gets another call this time from a relative. A man has been found shot dead in one of the guest houses he manages in rural Sweden. Could she come take a look? When Embla arrives on the scene, she receives another shock. The dead man is Milo Stavic, a well-known gang member and one of the last people seen with Lollo.

Summer In Review

Summer In Review

The 2021 Adult Summer Reading Program has finally come to a close. As we reflect on this past summer of logging, one thing is very clear: we have some seriously dedicated readers in this community! Give yourselves a round of applause 👏👏👏

We had 176 adults participate in this year’s program and together they logged over 236,800 minutes! That’s just shy of 4,000 hours of reading. In that many hours, you could drive back and forth from Sewickley, PA to Los Angeles, CA 100 times and still have hundreds of hours to spare.  Our point is, that’s a lot of time spent reading and we think it should be commended! So we’re going to highlight the weekly winners and top readers from this year’s Adult Summer Reading Program.

Summer Reading Winners

Week 1 – Lori W
Week 2 – Marc F
Week 3 – Tess R
Week 4 – Jenny B
Week 5 – Nicole D
Week 6 – Ellie Z
Week 7 – Lara H
Week 8 – Michelle W

Grand Prize Winner – Tara C


Adult Summer Reading – Top Readers

Name                      Minutes Logged
Tess R                      18,475
Karen P                        8,975
Kimberly A                        8,612
Michelle W                        8,255
Mae R                        7,560
Tara C                        7,256
Lori W                        7,018
Miriam T                        7,001
Diane P                        6,288
Staci D                        6,260

 

Congratulations to all our winners & our readers! We hope you enjoyed participating in the Summer Reading Program. To learn more about what’s happening at Sewickley Public Library, check out our Event Calendar and/or sign up for our Weekly Emails!

More From Page to Screen

Books continue to inspire both large and small screen adaptations. Here are several added to the SPL collection during the past year.

Call of the Wild

The story of a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s.

Based on the classic novel by Jack London, this 2020 feature motion picture stars Harrison Ford.
Available on DVD and Blu Ray Combo.


News of the World

Five years after the Civil War, Captain Kidd moves from town to town as a storyteller. In Texas, he crosses paths with Johanna, a ten-year-old taken in by the Kiowa people six years earlier. She is being returned to her biological aunt and uncle against her will. Kidd agrees to deliver the child where the law says she belongs. As they travel hundreds of miles, the two will face tremendous challenges of both human and natural forces as they search for a place that either can call home.

Based on the 2016 novel by Paulette Jiles.
Available on DVD and Blu Ray Combo.


Nomadland

Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.

This Academy Award winning 2020 film is based on the 2017 nonfiction book by Jessica Bruder.
Available on Blu Ray only.


The Secret Garden

Mary Lennox is a prickly and unloved ten-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents. When they suddenly die, she is sent back to England to live with her uncle, where she begins to uncover many family secrets, particularly after meeting her sickly cousin Colin, who has been shut away in a wing of the house. Together, these two damaged, slightly misfit children heal each other through their discovery of a wondrous secret garden.

Based on the classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Available on DVD.


The Turning

Newly appointed nanny Kate is charged with the care of two orphans, Flora and Miles. Quickly, she discovers that both the children and the house are harboring dark secrets and things may not be as they appear.

This 2020 motion picture is based on Henry James’s novella, The Turn of the Screw.
Available on DVD.


The Undoing

From writer David E. Kelley, this HBO limited series focuses on Nicole Kidman’s Grace Fraser, a successful therapist, and her devoted husband, Jonathan (Hugh Grant), and their young son who attends an elite private school in New York City. A chasm opens in Grace’s seemingly perfect life: a violent death, a missing spouse, and a chain of terrible revelations.

Based on the novel You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz (2014).
Available on DVD.


His Dark Materials

This HBO series follows Lyra Belacqua, a brave young woman from another world. Lyra’s quest to find her kidnapped friend leads her to uncover a sinister plot of a secret organization, encounter extraordinary beings and protect dangerous secrets.

Based on the beloved trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman. Seasons 1 and 2, following the arcs of the first two novels, have been released so far. A third and final season is expected, probably in 2022.
Available on DVD.


Defending Jacob

An assistant district attorney and his wife’s comfortable life is turned upside down when their son is accused of murder. Part thriller, part courtroom drama, this series explores the lengths parents will go to protect their child.

Based on the 2012 novel by William Landay, this AppleTV+ limited series stars Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery.
Available on DVD.

Blair Recommends: Non-Fiction

Blair Recommends: Non-Fiction

SPL staff member, Blair, always has recommendations! Whether for books or movies – she’s either read it, seen it, or noted feedback from other library book readers. We’re sharing these collected lists in a series we’re calling “Blair Recommends.”

Continue your education with these Non-Fiction titles!


Cover ImageThe Bird Way by Jennifer Ackerman

“There is the mammal way and there is the bird way.” But the bird way is much more than a unique pattern of brain wiring, and lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviors they have, for years, dismissed as anomalies or mysteries –– What they are finding is upending the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives, how they communicate, forage, court, breed, survive. They are also revealing the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, abilities we once considered uniquely our own: deception, manipulation, cheating, kidnapping, infanticide, but also ingenious communication between species, cooperation, collaboration, altruism, culture, and play.

 

Cover ImageCosmos: Possible Worlds by Ann Druyan

Based on National Geographic’s internationally-renowned television series, this groundbreaking and visually stunning book explores how science and civilization grew up together. From the emergence of life at deep-sea vents to solar-powered starships sailing through the galaxy, from the Big Bang to the intricacies of intelligence in many life forms, acclaimed author Ann Druyan documents where humanity has been and where it is going, using her unique gift of bringing complex scientific concepts to life.

 

Cover ImageThe Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg

In the early evening of June 25, 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders named Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were murdered in an isolated clearing. They had been hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived. Deep suspicion was cast on a succession of local residents in the community, depicted as poor, dangerous, and backward. Weaving in experiences from her own years spent living in Pocahontas County, she follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, revealing how this mysterious murder has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and desires. Beautifully written and brutally honest, The Third Rainbow Girl presents a searing and wide-ranging portrait of America—divided by gender and class, and haunted by its own violence.

 

Yes to Life In Spite of Everything by Viktor E. Frankl

Eleven months after he was liberated from the Nazi concentration camps, Viktor E. Frankl held a series of public lectures in Vienna. The psychiatrist, who would soon become world famous, explained his central thoughts on meaning, resilience, and the importance of embracing life even in the face of great adversity.
Published here for the very first time in English, Frankl’s companion to his international bestseller, Man’s Search for Meaning resonates as strongly today—as the world faces a coronavirus pandemic, social isolation, and great economic uncertainty—as they did in 1946. He offers an insightful exploration of the maxim “Live as if you were living for the second time,” and he unfolds his basic conviction that every crisis contains opportunity.

 

Cover ImageWine Girl: the Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America’s Youngest Sommelier by Victoria James

Exhilarating and inspiring, Wine Girl is the memoir of a young woman breaking free from an abusive and traumatic childhood on her own terms; an ethnography of the glittering, high-octane, but notoriously corrosive restaurant industry; and above all, a love letter to the restorative and life-changing effects of good wine and good hospitality.

 

Cover ImageKorean Dream:  a Vision for a Unified Korea by Hyun Jin Preston Moon

In this centennial edition commemorating the March 1, 1919 Korean Independence Movement, Dr. Moon makes a compelling case that reunification led by Korean civil society is the only way to solve the security, economic, and social problems created through 70 years of division. In presenting his case, Dr. Moon offers a groundbreaking approach to lasting peace rooted in the founding principles and national identity that have made Koreans one people for millennia.

New Biographies

New Biographies

Everything She Touched : The Life of Ruth Asawa / by Marilyn Chase

Everything She Touched recounts the incredible life of the American sculptor Ruth Asawa.

This is the story of a woman who wielded imagination and hope in the face of intolerance and who transformed everything she touched into art. In this compelling biography, author Marilyn Chase brings Asawa’s story to vivid life. She draws on Asawa’s extensive archives and weaves together many voices–family, friends, teachers, and critics–to offer a complex and fascinating portrait of the artist.


(Re)Born in the USA : An Englishman’s Love Letter to His Chosen Home / Roger Bennett

One-half of the celebrated Men in Blazers duo, longtime culture and soccer commentator Roger Bennett traces the origins of his love affair with America, and how he went from a depraved, pimply faced Jewish boy in 1980’s Liverpool to become the quintessential Englishman in New York. A memoir for fans of Jon Ronson and Chuck Klosterman, but with Roger Bennett’s signature pop culture flair and humor.


Letters to a Young Athlete / Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh, NBA Hall of Famer, eleven-time All-Star, two-time NBA champion, Olympic gold medalist, and the league’s Global Ambassador, had his playing days cut short at their prime by a freak medical condition. His extraordinary career ended not at a time of his choosing but “in a doctor’s office in the middle of the afternoon.” Forced to reckon with how to find meaning to carry forward, he found himself looking back over his path, from a teenager in Dallas who balanced basketball with the high school robotics club to the pinnacle of the NBA and beyond.

 


Heart and Steel / Bill Cowher with Michael Holley

In Heart and Steel , Cowher will take you on his journey from childhood to the undersized, mohawked, disco-dancing North Carolina State linebacker, to fighting for a spot as a “bubble player” with the Browns and Eagles, before injuries ended his playing career. Bill will discuss how that same drive led to his big coaching break, running Special Teams for Marty Schottenheimer and the Cleveland Browns at just twenty-seven-years-old, before taking over the Pittsburgh Steelers just seven years later. Cowher will reveal exclusive, never-before-told anecdotes and candid thoughts on the biggest games, players, and moments that defined his fifteen-year Steelers tenure.

 


Somebody’s Daughter : A Memoir / Ashley C. Ford

Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley C. Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he’s in prison, and she doesn’t know what he did to end up there. She doesn’t know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father’s incarceration . . . and Ashley’s entire world is turned upside down.


Upper Bohemia / Hayden Herrera

Hayden Herrera’s parents each married five times; following their desires was more important to them than looking after their children. When Herrera was only three years old, her parents separated and she and her sister moved from Cape Cod to New York City to live with their mother and their new hard-drinking stepfather. They saw their father only during summers on the Cape, when they and the other neighborhood children would be left to their own devices by parents who were busy painting, writing, or composing music. These adults inhabited a world that Herrera’s mother called “upper bohemia,” a milieu of people born to privilege who chose to focus on the life of the mind. Her parents’ friends included such literary and artistic heavyweights as artist Max Ernst, writers Edmund Wilson and Mary McCarthy, architect Marcel Breuer, and collector Peggy Guggenheim. On the surface, Herrera’s childhood was idyllic and surreal. But underneath, the pain of being a parent’s afterthought was acute. Upper Bohemia captures the tension between a child’s excitement at every new thing and her sadness at losing the comfort of a reliable family.


London’s Number One Dog-Walking Agency / Kate MacDougall

In 2006, Kate MacDougall was working a safe but dull job at the venerable auction house Sotheby’s in London. After a clumsy accident nearly destroyed a precious piece of art, she quit Sotheby’s and set up her own dog-walking company. Kate knew little about dogs and nothing about business, and no one thought being a professional dog walker was a good use of her university degree. Nevertheless, Kate embarked upon an entirely new and very much improvised career walking some of the city’s many pampered pooches, branding her company “London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency.” With sharp wit, delightful observations, and plenty of canine affection, Kate reveals her unique and unconventional coming-of-age story, as told through the dogs, and the London homes and neighborhoods they inhabit.


Brat : An ’80s Story / Andrew McCarthy

Most people know Andrew McCarthy from his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Less than Zero , and as a charter member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack. That iconic group of ingenues and heartthrobs included Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Demi Moore, and has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture. In his memoir Brat: An ’80s Story , McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. The result is a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction, and masculinity. New York City of the 1980s is brought to vivid life in these pages, from scoring loose joints in Washington Square Park to skipping school in favor of the dark revival houses of the Village where he fell in love with the movies that would change his life.


Seeing Serena / Gerald Marzorati

Seeing Serena is an in-depth chronicle of Serena Williams’ return to tennis after giving birth to her daughter, and an insightful cultural analysis of the most consequential female athlete of her time. Author Gerald Marzorati shadows her through her 2019 season, from Melbourne and the Australian Open, to Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, and on to the US Open as she seeks her 24th Grand Slam singles title. He writers about her tennis and her forays into fashion, investing, and developing her personal brand on social media.

Seeing Serena illuminates Williams’s singular status as the greatest women’s tennis player of all time and–in a moment when race and gender are the most talked-about topics in America and beyond–a pop icon like no other. Marzorati is on the scene, observing her matches, and talking to her, her coach, her competitors, and former greats who have witnessed her for years.


The Wild Silence / Raynor Winn

Nature holds the answers for Raynor and her husband Moth. After walking 630 homeless miles along The Salt Path, living on the windswept and wild English coastline; the cliffs, the sky and the chalky earth now feel like their home. Moth has a terminal diagnosis, but together on the wild coastal path, with their feet firmly rooted outdoors, they discover that anything is possible.

Now, life beyond The Salt Path awaits and they come back to four walls, but the sense of home is illusive and returning to normality is proving difficult – until an incredible gesture by someone who reads their story changes everything. A chance to breathe life back into a beautiful farmhouse nestled deep in the Cornish hills; rewilding the land and returning nature to its hedgerows becomes their saving grace and their new path to follow. The Wild Silence is a story of hope triumphing over despair, of lifelong love prevailing over everything. It is a luminous account of the human spirit’s connection to nature, and how vital it is for us all.