For Your Listening Pleasure…

For Your Listening Pleasure…

Whether you’re looking for something new to listen to on your walk or have grown tired of the same playlist during your commute, a great place to turn is to podcasts. Packed full of information or brimming with unbridled opinions, podcasts offer an alternative form of storytelling that can be just as entertaining and intriguing as traditional books.


Here are a few notable podcasts library staff love:

Stuff You Should Know

There’s a reason this is one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Since 2008, this show has been educating listeners about almost everything. Hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant.

Swindled

A true-crime podcast about white-collar criminals, con-artists, and corporate evil. (May contain explicit content.)

Radiolab

This beloved podcast is known for its deep-dive journalism, exploration of scientific inquiry, and storytelling. Hosted by Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser.

Reply All

A podcast about the ‘internet’ that is actually an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it.

Ologies with Alie Ward

Science with a sense of humor. Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and charming, bizarre stories about what fuels these professional -ologists’ obsessions. May contain explicit content.

Ridiculous History

History is beautiful, brutal and often, ridiculous. Dive into some of the weirdest stories form across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History.

Werewolf Ambulance

Comedy podcast about horror movies, hosted by Katie & Allen, Pittsburgh locals. Lots of PGH references, very funny and conversational. Some episodes more explicit than others – depending on the movie they’re talking about – but usually lightweight and fun. Comes out weekly.

Criminal

Concise and engaging true crime stories, hosted by Phoebe Judge. A lot of the episodes are inspired directly from books about the cases, so the podcast almost doubles as an immersive book talk. The wide array of crimes featured put this show apart from a lot of the more grizzly, sensationalized podcasts and the host’s voice is authoritative, yet soothing. Episodes released every other week.

You Must Remember This

A podcast about the first century of Hollywood. Comes out in “seasons,” so each series has a central topic. Her twelve-part series on Charles Manson and Hollywood should not be missed. Great for film buffs, history buffs, or just people in need of an addictive listen. Season episodes released weekly.

Why Won’t You Date Me w/Nicole Byer

A comedy podcast about love and relationships, hosted by comedian Nicole Byer. Every episode features an interview and discussion about a wide range of topics, circling back to love, sex, and relationships. Super funny, can be very explicit. Comes out weekly.

You’re Wrong About

A podcast about famous pop culture topics often misunderstood. With thoughtful and fair gaze, the hosts explore how media and culture can radically alter our perception of people and current events. Episodes released sporadically.

Nice White Parents

A limited run series about the effect of white parents on the education system, from failed integration and attempts to modernize school demographics to the mixed bag of contemporary gentrification.

Grit & Glitter

This podcast is close to our hearts because it is produced by one of our own, Teen Librarian, Emily Fear. It is dedicated to the power of women’s wrestling and although it’s a niche topic, Emily and Harley have a way of getting you into it whether you have an interest or not. And we are HERE. FOR. IT.


Find thousands of free podcasts that you can listen to on your device from iTunes (Apple), GooglePlay (Anroid) and Spotify.

Memorial Day Movies

This Memorial Day, remember the fallen with award-winning movies that show the human cost of war.

American Sniper
The story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and the struggles he suffers both as a sniper in Iraq and as a family man back at home. Based on a true story. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper. 2014


Apocalypse Now
A United States Army officer/trained assassin is sent into the depths of a southeast Asian jungle to seek out a renegade colonel and terminate his command during the Vietnam War. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola; starring Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando. Available in the original 1979 version, and the extended version, Apocolypse Now Redux, released in 2001.


Courage Under Fire
When Lt. Col. Nathaniel Serling is asked to review the posthumous candidacy of the first woman to receive a combat-related Medal of Honor, he finds himself plunged into an apparent cover-up surrounding the actions that led to her death. Starring Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan. 1996.


Dunkirk
Set during the early days of World War II, the story follows the harrowing evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. Directed by Christopher Nolan; featuring Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, and Tom Hardy. 2017.


Full Metal Jacket
This film crystallizes the experience of the Vietnam War by concentrating on a group of raw Marine volunteers, first in training and then in the field. Based on Gustav Hasford’s novel The Short Timers. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Featuring Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, and Vincent D’Onofrio. 1987.


Fury
In April, 1945, as the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, they face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. Starring Brad Pitt and Shia Labeouf. 2014.


Glory
A fictionalized account of the Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry, the first regiment of northern black soldiers to fight in the Civil War. Starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman. 1989.


MASH
The personnel of a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea develop a lunatic lifestyle to cope with the military bureaucracy and the horrors of war. Based on the novel by Richard Hooker. Starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, and Robert Duvall. 1970.


Memphis Belle
This fictionalized version of a true story depicts the final flight for the crew of the Memphis Belle, the first group of B-17 crewmen to fly 25 successful missions. The ensemble cast includes Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D.B. Sweeney, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, Harry Connick, Jr., and John Lithgow. 1990.


1917
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers are given a seemingly impossible mission to cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers. Directed by Sam Mendes; featuring George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman. 2019.


Platoon
The story of a naive Army recruit who faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man during the Vietnam War. Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, and Charlie Sheen. 1986.


Red Tails
Italy, 1944. As the war takes its toll on Allied forces in Europe, a squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky, even as they battle discrimination on the ground. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard. 2012.


Saving Private Ryan
In the last great war, the greatest danger for eight men… was saving one. Captain John Miller must lead his men deep into enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers died in combat. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, and Matt Damon. 1998.

Mom Movies

Celebrate motherhood with these DVDs from SPL!

Bad Moms
When three overworked and underappreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long-overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self indulgence.

Featuring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Christina Applegate. 2016.


Show (281×400)The Blind Side
Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama inspired by author Michael Lewis’ best-seller.

Featuring Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, and Tim McGraw. 2009.


Freaky Friday
A single mother and her teenage daughter Anna couldn’t be more different, and it is driving them both insane. After receiving cryptic fortunes at a Chinese restaurant, the two wake up the next day to discover that they have somehow switched bodies.

Featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. 2003.


The Joy Luck Club
Based on the novel by Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club explores the stories of four women who were born in China and emigrated to America, as well as their often fraught relationships with their Chinese American daughters.

Featuring Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, and Ming-Na Wen. 1993.


Juno
Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child in this charming comedy.

Featuring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. 2007.


Lady Bird
Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mother, a nurse working tirelessly to support her family after Lady Bird’s father loses his job. Here is an affecting look at the relationships that shape use, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.

Featuring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Tracy Letts. 2017.


Life As We Know It
When their goddaughter’s parents both perish in a tragic accident, Holly and Eric are informed that they were singled out as her caretakers in the event of an unforeseen disaster. Now, in order to raise her right, this bickering pair must put their differences aside while mastering the fine art of parenthood.

Featuring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. 2010.


Lion
Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of kilometers across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

Featuring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. 2016.


20th Century Women
The story of a teenage boy, his mother, and two other women who help raise him among the love and freedom of Southern California of 1979.

Featuring Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, and Greta Gerwig. 2017.

2021 Oscar Nominees

Time is running out to watch the 2021 Oscar nominees before the April 25 ceremony. There are 41 feature films nominated across twenty categories, plus the shorts. To see the nominees by category, visit www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2021, or download a ballot here.

The burning question is: How can we view the nominees? Some are only available through streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, while others are available on DVD and/or Blu-Ray; some can be streamed PVOD (premium video on demand), and some are currently in theatres. See the table below for notes on where to find the feature films that are nominated.

Feature Film Nominations Availability
Another Round International Feature Film
Directing (Thomas Vinterberg)
DVD 3/30
Better Days International Feature Film DVD
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Actress in a Supporting Role (Maria Bakalova)
Adapted Screenplay
Amazon Prime
Collective Documentary Feature
International Feature Film
DVD
Crip Camp Documentary Feature Netflix
Da Five Bloods Original Score Netflix
Emma Makeup & Hairstyling
Costume Design
DVD
Eurovision Song Contest Original Song (Husavik) Netflix
Father, The Best Picture
Actor in a Leading Role (Anthony Hopkins)
Actress in a Supporting Role (Olivia Colman)
Adapted Screenplay
Production Design
Film Editing
In Theatres
DVD on order
PVOD 3/26
Greyhound Sound Apple TV+
Hillbilly Elegy Actress in a Supporting Role (Glenn Close)
Makeup & Hairstyling
Netflix
Judas and the Black Messiah Best Picture
Actor in a Supporting Role (Daniel Kaluuya)
Actor in a Supporting Role (LaKeith Stanfield)
Original Screenplay
Original Song “Fight for You”
Cinematography
In Theatres
DVD & Blu Ray 5/4
PVOD 4/2
Love and Monsters Visual Effects DVD
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Actor in a Leading Role (Chadwick Boseman)
Actress in a Leading Role (Viola Davis)
Makeup & Hairstyling
Costume Design
Production Design
Netflix

 

Man Who Sold His Skin, The International Feature Film N/A
Mank Best Picture
Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Oldman)
Actress in a Supporting Role (Amanda Seyfried)
Directing (David Fincher)
Original Score
Sound
Makeup & Hairstyling
Costume Design
Cinematography
Production Design
Netflix
Midnight Sky, The Visual Effects Netflix
Minari Best Picture
Directing (Lee Isaac Chung)
Actor in a Leading Role (Steven Yeun)
Actress in a Supporting Role (Yuh-Jung Youn)
Original Screenplay
Original Score
In Theatres
PVOD 2/26
DVD on order
Mole Agent, The Documentary Feature DVD
Mulan Costume Design
Visual Effects
DVD & Blu Ray
My Octopus Teacher Documentary Feature Netflix
News of the World Original Score
Sound
Cinematography
Production Design
DVD & Blu Ray 3/23
Nomadland Best Picture
Actress in a Leading Role (Frances McDormand)
Directing (Chloé Zhao)
Adapted Screenplay
Cinematography
Film Editing
Hulu
In Theatres
Blu Ray 4/27
DVD N/A
One and Only Ivan, The Visual Effects Disney+
One Night in Miami Actor in a Supporting Role (Leslie Odom Jr)
Adapted Screenplay
Original Song “Speak Now”
Amazon Prime
Onward Animated Feature DVD & Blu Ray
Disney+
Over the Moon Animated Feature Netflix
Pieces of a Woman Actress in a Leading Role (Vanessa Kirby) Netflix
Pinocchio Makeup & Hairstyling
Costume Design
DVD 3/16
Promising Young Woman Best Picture
Actress in a Leading Role (Carey Mulligan)
Directing (Emerald Fennell)
Original Screenplay (Emerald Fennell)
Film Editing
DVD & Blu-Ray
Quo Vadis, Aida International Feature Film VOD or Digital purchase
Shaun the Sheep Movie, A: Farmageddon Animated Feature Netflix
Soul Animated Feature
Original Score
Sound
DVD
Disney+
Sound of Metal Best Picture
Actor in a Leading Role (Riz Ahmed)
Actor in a Supporting Role (Paul Raci)
Original Screenplay
Sound
Film Editing
Amazon Prime
Tenet Production Design
Visual Effects
DVD & Blu-Ray
The Life Ahead Original Song “Io Si (Seen)” Netflix
Time Documentary Feature Amazon Prime
Trial of the Chicago 7, The Best Picture
Actor in a Supporting Role (Sacha Baron Cohen)
Original Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin)
Original Song “Hear My Voice”
Cinematography
Film Editing
Netflix
United States vs Billie Holliday, The Actress in a Leading Role (Andra Day) Hulu
White Tiger, The Adapted Screenplay Netflix
Wolfwalkers Animated Feature Apple TV+
You may notice that of the Best Picture nominees, two are available only on Netflix (The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Mank), and another, The Sound of Metal, is available only on Amazon Prime. Don’t expect these to be released on DVD or Blu Ray until long after the ceremony.  Nomadland, on the other hand, is available for streaming on Hulu, but it’s still in theatres, and reportedly will be released on Blu-Ray two days after the ceremony. For a review of the Best Pic nominees, along with a description and where to watch, The Today Show list is a good resource.
Of course, the library has or will acquire copies of the nominated films on DVD and/or Blu Ray as they become available. Currently, the only Best Picture nominee available on DVD/Blu Ray is Promising Young Woman, although there are nominees in other categories available in those formats.
If a film availability is “DVD on order,” it means the library has preordered copies, and the release date is not yet known. Availability is as of the publication date of this post, and is subject to change.
Family Friendly Christmas Movies

Family Friendly Christmas Movies

‘Tis the season for some holiday movie viewing parties with the whole family! Check out these family-friendly titles from our DVD collection.


The Apartment

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.

Arthur Christmas

Santa’s (Jim Broadbent’s) clumsy son Arthur (James McAvoy) sets out on a mission with Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than two hours.

The Bishop’s Wife

A debonair angel comes to Earth to help an Episcopalian bishop and his wife in their quest to raise money for the new church.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Depressed at the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find a deeper meaning to Christmas.

A Christmas Angel in the House

After years of trying for a baby and failing, the prayers of a despairing couple are answered when a wise young boy miraculously arrives on their doorstep.

A Christmas Carol

An old bitter miser who rationalizes his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve. [Also available as sound recording narrated by multi-talented voice over artist, Sir Jim Dale.]

A Christmas Story

A Christmas classic! In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Christmas with the Kranks

With their daughter, Blair, away, Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas all together until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate it at the last minute.

Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis’s tale of four children trapped in an unearthed land called Narnia. In order to go back home, they must face dark forces and beasts. [Also available as sound recording]

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas

On the outskirts of Whoville lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans to ruin Christmas for all of the citizens of the town.

Edward Scissorhands

An artificial man, who was incompletely constructed and has scissors for hands, leads a solitary life. Then one day, a suburban lady meets him and introduces him to her world.

Elf

After discovering he is a human, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole decides to travel to New York City to locate his real father.

Frosty the Snowman

A magic hat brings a snowman to life, but makes him the target of people who want his magical powers.

Frozen

When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister Anna teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.

The Grinch

A grumpy Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.

The Holiday

Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other’s countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

Home Alone

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

It’s a Wonderful Life

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Joyeux Noel

In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other’s way of life. [foreign]

Little Women

Jo March reflects back on her life, telling the story of the beloved March sisters, four young women determined to live life on their own terms in post-Civil War America.

Love Actually

Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

A Madea Christmas

Madea dispenses her unique form of holiday spirit on rural town when she’s coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas.

Meet Me in St. Louis

Young love and childish fears highlight a year in the life of a turn-of-the-century family.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

Mickey and his friends star in 3 heartwarming stories of Christmas past.

Miracle on 34th Street

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol

This musical adaptation of the classic tale by Charles Dickens stars Magoo as the cold-hearted old miser, Ebenezer Scrooge. [Available on “Original Christmas Classics” DVD along with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and other adapted classics.]

A Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Noel

Five New Yorkers come together on Christmas Eve – all seeking a miracle.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

A man must struggle to travel home for the holidays with a lovable oaf of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.

Polar Express

On Christmas Eve, a young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express, while learning about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

Prancer

A farm girl nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa’s, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas. Her holiday spirit inspires those around her, something her disheartened father is having trouble understanding.

Rise of the Guardians

When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world. [Available on “Dreamworks Ultimate Holiday Collection” DVD]

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

The Santa Clause

When a man inadvertently makes Santa fall off of his roof on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.

Scrooged

A selfish, cynical television executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Serendipity

A couple search for each other years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they’d end up together.

The Shop Around the Corner

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other’s anonymous pen pal.

Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas home causes confusion.

While You were Sleeping

A hopelessly romantic Chicago Transit Authority token collector is mistaken for the fiancée of a coma patient.

White Christmas

A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

You’ve Got Mail

Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.

Festive & Happy Flicks

Festive & Happy Flicks

Don’t be blue this Christmas! Escape from the holiday madness (or general craziness of life) with these festive films that are guaranteed to have a happy ending. Embrace the spirit of Christmas as you watch characters bake cookies, have snowball fights, attend tree lighting ceremonies, and of course, fall in love.


DVDs from Our Collection

A Christmas Love Story
A youth choir director who needs to write a big song for a Christmas Eve show is distracted from her task when a boy with a golden voice joins her choir, which comes as a surprise to his widowed father. Starring Kristin Chenoweth and Scott Wolf. (2020)

A Heavenly Christmas
Eve Morgan, a workaholic, finds herself tethered to her guardian angel, Pearl, as she learns to become a Christmas angel in Heaven. Despite being the worst recruit in the history of Christmas, Eve is assigned the difficult task of helping a struggling singer use his musical gifts to heal old family wounds. Starring Kristin Davis, Eric McCormack, and Shirley MacLaine. (2017)

Operation Christmas
As her new romance blossoms, a single mother is dismayed when her boyfriend, a military sergeant, is deployed right before Christmas. Determined to not let it ruin the holidays for her and her children they decide to give back to the struggling military families on his base and, as their efforts go viral, they are rewarded in ways they never imagined. (2017) 

Mr. Miracle
Heaven and earth collide when angel in training Harry Mills, also known as Mr. Miracle, is sent down to a community college during Christmas for his first assignment: to help an insecure student realize her life purpose. As Harry is schooled in life lessons, he learns being human isn’t as easy as he thought. (2017)

 The Holiday
An Englishwoman and L.A. woman meet on-line at a website devoted to helping people exchange houses for vacations. Each agrees to spend the Christmas holiday at the other’s home. While each suffers from a minor case of culture shock, both women also end up becoming involved with a man. They must decide what to do with these new relationships as their pre-arranged house switch is scheduled to last less than two weeks. Starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black. (2007)


Hoopla for the Holidays

These titles are available at any time for streaming on hoopla! (Find out how to get started with hoopla here.)

A Holiday Boyfriend (2019)

What’s worse than getting dumped? When it happens right before the holidays, of course! But Katie is determined not to let it stop her, so she gets on a dating app. All  she wants for Christmas is a good guy, but it may not be that easy. Featuring Olivia Dunkley and Matt Merchant.

Hometown Holiday (2018)

Krista is starting this New Year with a new business and a resolution to be more selective with who she dates. When Krista meets Ryan Rourke, an entertainment lawyer from LA, the two really hit it off. Ryan is in her hometown to sign a local rancher turned viral singing sensation as his new client. Now with Krista also in Rust Creek, maybe there is more of a reason to stick around. Both are holding onto things from their past and are forced to make some decisions if they truly want to be together. Starring Sarah Troyer and Bradley Hamilton.

Naughty & Nice (2015)

When a cynical Los Angeles DJ is exiled to a quaint mountain town for the holiday season, the small-town charm and holiday cheer-not to mention his pretty new co-host-begin to melt his icy demeanor. The two have an entertaining repartee on-air that enthralls the town, and eventually leads to sparks between them that they can’t deny. Featuring Haylie Duff and Tilky Jones.

Back To Christmas (2015)

Trying to skip out on Christmas, Ali turns to work during the holidays. Upon meeting a kind stranger at a diner who encourages her to believe in the magic of the holidays, Ali admits that she would redo last Christmas if she could. The next morning, she wakes to realize that her second chance has come true-but changing history is no easy task, and Ali has her hands full trying to navigate every decision to make sure that this time around she ends up with the love of her life. Starring Kelly Overton and Michael Muhney.

Angels in the Snow (2015)

The dysfunctional Montgomery family go to their cabin for Christmas where a blizzard traps them inside. When another family arrives needing shelter, they are welcomed inside and remind the Montgomery family how to love each other. Starring Kristy Swanson and Chris Potter.

Native American Heritage

November is Native American Heritage Month. Celebrate by exploring works of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and film by indigenous American authors from the SPL collection.

An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo (2019)
Check out the current Poet Laureate’s latest collection of poems, entwining reflections on her personal history with the history of her tribe.
“Rich and deeply engaging, An American Sunrise creates bridges of understanding while reminding readers to face and remember the past.”
Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post, 8/13/2019. Available in print and eaudiobook.
Joy Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (1984)
Erdrich’s groundbreaking debut novel tells the interconnected stories of the Kashpaw and Lamartine families on a Chippewa reservation in Minnesota. Told from various points of view and spanning generations, it is recommended for fans of magical realism and character driven novels. Available in print only, but other titles by Erdrich are available in ebook and eaudio format from Hoopla and Overdrive.
Louise Erdrich is member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

There There by Tommy Orange (2018)
Preparing for the Big Oakland Powwow is no small feat. Orange effortlessly weaves together the distinct voices of his large cast of characters in this debut novel, illustrating both the diversity and commonality of experience of First Nations peoples through the various threads of story. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Available in print, cd audiobook, ebook, and eaudiobook.
Tommy Orange is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma.

Winter Counts by David Weiden (2020)
In this gritty thriller set on South Dakota’s Rosebud Reservation, Virgil Wounded Horse is paid to dispense justice when the law can, or will, not. When his teenage nephew becomes involved with drugs, the issue becomes personal, and Virgil is drawn into a battle with the cartel that supplies the reservation. Compelling characters and the authentic portrayal of native life make this more than your standard vigilante hero fare. Available in print, ebook, and eaudiobook.
David Heska Wanbli Weiden is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation.

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer (2019)
This nonfiction book provides a much needed counternarrative to the standard European American view of Native American history. A finalist for The National Book Award. Available in print, ebook, and eaudiobook.
David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.
Also recommended: Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian, available in ebook and eaudiobook. “A deeply knowing, darkly funny, unabashedly opinionated, and utterly unconventional account of Indian–White relations in North America since initial contact”–Overdrive description.

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie (2017)
Alexie, who won a National Book Award for his bestselling young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, processes the complicated relationship he had with his mother in this poignant and raw memoir. Available in print, cd audiobook, Playaway, ebook, and eaudiobook.
Sherman Alexie is a A Spokane/Coeur D’Alene Indian. 

Indian Horse (Film, 2017)
Saul Indian Horse is sent to a Canadian residential school as a young boy. Despite the deprivations and abuse he endures there, he discovers ice hockey and becomes a star player. The film is based on the 2012 novel by Richard Wagamese. Available in DVD.
Richard Wagamese was an Ojibwe from the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations.

Halloween Horror Films on Hoopla

Halloween Horror Films on Hoopla

It’s Halloween weekend! If binge-watching a whole bunch of scary movies is in your plans for the weekend, Hoopla has you covered. From haunted houses and supernatural thrillers to spooky classics, there’s a shriek-inducing flick for every horror movie fan.

Hoopla is a free streaming service for all library card holders! Get movies, music, books & more. Find out how to get started here.

Read more

Funny Scary Movies

Like some laughter with your suspense? Some giggles with your frights? Check out these quirky horror comedies from the SPL collection.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
A slacker must man up to save his friends and family from a zombie invasion. (DVD)

Ready or Not (2019)
To fit in with her husband’s family, a new bride must first survive her wedding night. (DVD and Blu-Ray)

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Five friends in a secluded cabin. What could go wrong? (DVD and Blu-Ray)

Coraline (2009)
A girl discovers a door into an alternate existence, but will she be able to find her way back home? Based on the book by Neil Gaiman. (DVD and Blu-Ray)

Happy Death Day (2017)
A college student is doomed to relive the day of her murder until she solves the identity of her killer. (DVD) Sequel alert: Happy Death Day to You (2019) (DVD and Blu-Ray)

Get Out (2017)
When a young black man visits his white girlfriend’s family for a weekend, the meeting takes a terrifying turn. (DVD)

Young Frankenstein (1974)
Made more for laughs than frights, this film spoofs the Frankenstein story. (DVD)

What We Do In the Shadows (2015)
This mockumentary documents the “real life” of a group of modern day vampires. (DVD or stream through Hoopla)

From Page to Screen: Recent Book to Movie Adaptations

Everyone knows that the book is almost always better than the movie, but it is still compelling to see how the original is brought to life on the screen! Whether you prefer literary or classic fiction, young adult or horror, detective stories or thrillers, there is something for everyone in this list of movie adaptations from the last year or two. To read or to watch first? It’s up to you.

People who love heartwarming dog stories will enjoy Garth Stein’s 2008 bestselling novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain. Canine Enzo narrates the ups and downs in the life of his favorite human, Denny, an aspiring race car driver. Much of the story is told in flashbacks from the perspective of an aging Enzo, who believes he will be reincarnated as a man (and hopefully a race car driver) once he dies. The well-received 2019 film stars Milo Ventigliamo and features Kevin Costner as the voice of Enzo.

The long-awaited follow up to Stephen King’s The Shining (1977), Doctor Sleep picks up many years later with an adult Danny Torrance, who has struggled with alcoholism in the wake of the traumatic events of his childhood at the Overlook Hotel. Now a hospice worker, he meets with a teen who shares his paranormal gifts. The two unite to fight a cult who would exploit their gift in order to achieve immortality. The 2019 film was directed by Mike Flanagan (creator of The Haunting of Hill House) and stars Ewan MacGregor.

A perennial favorite, Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma has made the journey from page to screen before, perhaps most memorably in 1995’s Clueless. The story of a rich, clever young woman who tries to act the matchmaker with her less fortunate friend, it combines witty social commentary with romantic tension and a comedy of manners. The 2020 version, directed by Autumn de Wilde, depicts a world of unconscious privilege for a select few that seems oddly contemporary, despite the Georgian England setting.

Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2013 novel The Goldfinch tells the story of Theo Decker, who loses his mother in a museum bombing at the tender age of thirteen. During the chaos of the event, he steals a painting (the titular Goldfinch), which he keeps as a physical reminder of his loss. The bestselling novel was adapted for the big screen and released in 2019. If you haven’t read the book yet, you may want to do so before watching the movie, as many who did not found the plot confusing.

In the engrossing thriller The Good Liar, a career con artist gets more than he expected when he attempts to swindle a wealthy widow. Nicholas Searle’s 2016 debut novel generated buzz when it was published in 2016. It was released as a motion picture in 2019, starring veteran actors Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen.

In Just Mercy, lawyer Bryan Stevenson recounts his real life experiences representing clients, most of whom are black and poor. His bestselling 2014 book exposed the injustices of the system, bringing much needed attention to the issues of systemic racial bias, mass incarceration, children being convicted as adults, and more. The 2019 movie (starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx) focuses on the wrongful conviction of Walter McMillan, who spent six years on death row for a crime he did not commit.

Another beloved classic that recently found its way to the screen once again, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women tells the story of the four March girls in the years following the Civil War. The appeal of the book has always been the strength of the book’s central female characters. Although they choose different paths, they are not relegated to the sidelines.  The critically acclaimed 2019 film, adapted and directed by Greta Gerwig, emphasizes the message of female empowerment. Nominated for six Academy Awards (including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay); won for Best Costume Design.

In Jonathan Lethem’s atmospheric detective story Motherless Brooklyn, private detective with Tourette’s Syndrome investigates the murder of his mentor/boss, a small time mobster.  The book was adapted for screen by Edward Norton, who also directed, produced, and starred in the 2019 motion picture. Set in 1950s New York, it’s a modern day film noir reminiscent of L.A. Confidential.

In Postcard Killers, NYPD detective Jack Kanon is on a tour of Europe’s most captivating cities, but he’s not just any tourist. Kanon is hunting his daughter’s killer, who has left a string of corpses through Europe. Bestselling authors James Patterson & Lisa Marklund teamed up for the 2010 novel, later adapted for screen as The Postcard Killings, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Famke Janssen.

The 1981 book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz is a collection of terrifying tales retold from American folklore. Illustrated with macabre drawings by Stephen Gammell, it served as a gateway to horror for generations of children and spawned two sequels. The 2019 movie, directed by Guillermo del Toro, brings to life six interwoven tales inspired from the original book collection. Bonus watch: Aficionados of Schwartz’s books will enjoy the documentary Scary Stories, which focuses on the history and impact of Schwartz’s books.

Natasha, a pragmatist whose family is in imminent danger of being deported to Jamaica, meets Daniel, son of immigrant parents, in The Sun is Also a Star. Is their meeting fate or coincidence, and which of the infinite possibilities that follow will come true? For fans of thoughtful romance. The 2016 bestselling young adult novel by Nicola Yoon was followed by the screen adaptation in 2019.

Bee’s mother has disappeared, and she is determined to find her. Maria Semple’s popular novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette?highlights the tension between women’s opposing roles in life, and shows the lengths one women will go to rediscover herself. The 2019 film was directed by Richard Linklater, and stars Cate Blanchett in the title role.