Celebrate Pinot Grigio Day!

Everyone knows that May 17th is Pinot Grigio Day…right?  A national holiday that is celebrated by wine enthusiasts every May. Here are a few titles from our collection that pair well with a bottle of white.

pinot grigio

 

Nonfiction Books

24-hour wine expert

The 24-hour wine expert

by Jancis Robinson

In her pithy, approachable, comprehensive guide, Robinson shares her expertise with authority, wit, and approachability, tackling questions such as how to select the right bottle at retail, what wine labels signify, how to understand the properties of color and aroma, and how to match food and wine.

 

 

 


 

Wine Girl

by Victoria James

At just twenty-one, the age when most people are starting to drink (well, legally at least), Victoria James became the country’s youngest sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

 

 

 


 

Shadows in the Vineyard

by Maximillian Potter

Journalist Maximillian Potter uncovers a fascinating plot to destroy the vines of La Romance-Conti, Burgundy’s finest and most expensive wine.

 

 

 


Fiction Books

 

Decanting a Murder

by Nadine Nettmann

Katie Stillwell focuses on two things in her life: work and practicing for Sommelier Certification with her blind tasting group. The exam was supposed to be the hardest part of her week, but that was before a body was found at an exclusive Napa Valley winery party.

 

 


The Illuminated Vineyard

by Jean Moynahan

The Illuminated Vineyard explores what occurs when unresolved conflicts from the past not only haunt the present but threaten to destroy it.

 


Movies/Documentaries

Somm

Follows four candidates as they prepare for the Master Sommelier exam, which covers every aspect of the presentation and appreciation of wine.

 

 

 

 

 


A Year in Burgundy

Follows seven wine-making families in France’s Burgundy region through the course of a year. Examines the processes of making wine. Shows the centrality of the wine to the culture of the region.

 

 

 

 


 

Bottle Shock

Napa Valley, 1976. For connoisseur Steven Spurrier, there is no finer art than French wine. But rumors bandy about of a new California wine country that holds the future of the vine. Positive the small Napa wineries are no match for established French vintages, Spurrier challenges the Americans to a blind taste test. He finds the valley full of ambitious, and talented, novice vinters like Jim Barrett and his son Bo. He realizes his publicity stunt may change the history of wine forever.

 

 

 


 

Sideways

A wine-tasting road trip through California’s famed Central Coast takes an unexpected detour as Miles and Jack hit the gas en route to their mid-life crises. The comically mismatched pair soon find themselves drowning in wine, women and laughter.

 

Best of 2021 on DVD at SPL

Best of 2021 on DVD at SPL

It may be a bit early for a “Best of 2021” list since it’s not quite the end of the year, but these movies are getting buzz on “best of” lists popping up on the web. So consider this a “Best Movies of 2021 So Far Available on DVD at SPL in No Particular Order” list. Not quite as catchy, but far more accurate!

The Green Knight

Based on the Arthurian legend, King Arthur’s nephew, Gawain, embarks on a quest to prove his worth to his family and kingdom–by confronting the Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men.

Starring Dev Patel and Alicia Vikander; directed by David Lowery.


In the Heights

In this musical, bodega owner Usnavi saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines, and sings about a better life; meanwhile, his tight-knit community faces the challenge of gentrification, losing their homes while trying to better themselves and hold on to their cultures.

Starring Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, and Leslie Grace; Lin-Manuel Miranda, producer and composer.  Also in Blu-Ray.


Land

A bereaved woman finds herself unable to stay connected to the world she once knew, and retreats to the magnificent, but unforgiving, wilds of the Rockies. After a local hunter brings her back from the brink of death, she must find a way to live again.

Starring Robin Wright (in her directorial debut) and Demián Bichir.


Nobody

An underestimated father and husband–a nobody–becomes a lethal vigilante in the aftermath of a home invasion in order to save his family from a vengeful drug lord.

Starring Bob Odenkirk and Connie Nielsen; directed by David Leitch. 


Pig

A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregon wilderness must return to his past in Portland in order to search for his beloved, kidnapped foraging pig. Interestingly, a documentary film about truffle hunting, The Truffle Hunters, is also getting buzz as a “Best of 2021.” Who knew it was the year of the truffles?

Starring Nicholas Cage, Alex Wolff and Adam Arkin; directed by Michael Sarnoski.


Riders of Justice

Recently deployed soldier Markus is forced to return home to care for his his teenage daughter following the death of his wife in a tragic railroad accident. But when a survivor of the acident turns up claiming foul play, Markus begins to suspect that his wife was murdered and embarks on a mission of revenge to find those responsible.

Starring Mads Mikkelsen; directed by Anders Thomas Jensen.


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

In this entry to the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi must face the past he thought he left behind and confront his father, leader of the dangerous Ten Rings organization. Think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets, well, pretty much any Marvel movie.

Starring Simu Liu, Awkwafina, and Michelle Yeoh. Also in Blu-Ray.


The World to Come

Somewhere along the mid-nineteenth century American East Coast frontier, two neighboring couples battle hardship and isolation, witnessed by a splendid yet testing landscape, challenging them both physically and psychologically.

Starring Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Christopher Abbott, and Casey Affleck.


Coming soon…

Keep your eyes open for The Last Duel, The Card Counter, and Saint Maud.

Clean Movies for Grown Ups

Looking for a movie with little to no sex or violence? Check out these first-rate PG/PG-13 DVDs from the Sewickley Public Library collection.

Arrival

When mysterious spacecraft touch down around the world, a team–including linguist Louise Banks–is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers. To find them she will take a chance that could threaten her life–and quite possibly humanity.

Starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. 2016. Also in Blu-Ray.


The Art of Racing in the Rain

This heartfelt tale is narrated by a witty and philosophical dog named Enzo. Through his bond with his owner Denny, an aspiring Formula One racecar driver, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition and understands that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life.

Starring Milo Ventimiglia and Amanda Seyfried. 2019.


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

After a jaded magazine writer is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love, and forgiveness. Based on a true story.

Starring Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys. 2019. Also in Blu-Ray.


Becoming Jane

Events from the life of the author Jane Austen inspired this romantic historical drama, which speculates of a romance that may have had a significant impact on her life and work.

Starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. 2007.


Gifted

Frank Adler is a single man raising a child prodigy, his spirited young niece Mary, in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn, whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.

Starring Chris Evans and McKenna Grace. 2017.


The Greatest Showman

Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, the musical tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Michelle Williams. 2017. Also in Blu-Ray.


Hidden Figures

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.

Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe. 2016. Also in Blu-Ray


Knives Out

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. A tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie and a fun, modern-day murder mystery where everyone is a suspect.

Starring Daniel Craig and Chris Evans. 2019. Also in Blu-Ray.


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.

Starring Dev Patel and Rooney Mara. 2016.


Little Women

Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the story of the March sisters–four young women determined to live life on their own terms. Based on the classic novel by Louisa Alcott.

Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen. 2019. Also in Blu-Ray.


Mr Holmes

In 1947, an aging Sherlock Holmes returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement.

Starring Ian McKellen and Laura Linney. 2015.


The Queen of Katwe

Based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

Starring Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, and Lupita Nyong’o. 2016.


The Second Best Marigold Hotel

As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy–posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals–Sonny pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel.

Starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, and Richard Gere. 2015.


 

New DVD Arrivals

Looking for something fresh to watch? Find new motion picture DVD releases below, paired with “watch-alikes” (similar, older titles from the SPL collection), just in case the new movie is out or you want more like it!


Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Starring Scarlett Johanson. Also available in Blu-ray.

Watch-alikes: Other than pretty much any Marvel movie? Atomic Blonde (2017), Red Sparrow (2018), Kill Bill (2004)


Blithe Spirit

A writer who is struggling to finish his first screenplay inadvertently summons the spirit of his first wife, and finds himself stuck between his two wives and their increasingly over-the-top attempts to outdo one another. Starring Dan Stephens.

Watch-alikes: Beetlejuice (1988), Extra Ordinary (2020), Ghostbusters (1984)


The Boss Baby Family Business

Now adults, Theodore Templeton and his estranged brother take a magical formula that transforms them into babies for 48 hours. Together, they must now go under cover to prevent an evil genius from turning fellow toddlers intro monstrous brats. Starring Alec Baldwin (voice).

Watch-alikes: Besides Boss Baby (2017), try Storks (2016), Onward (2020), The Secret Life of Pets (2016)


Censor

After viewing a strangely disturbing film, a film censor sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister’s disappearance. Starring Niamh Algar.

Watch-alikes: Relic (2020), Midsommar (2020), Get Out (2017)


Cruella

The story of Estella Miller, an aspiring fashion designer in 1970s London who explores the path that will lead her to become the notorious Cruella de Vil. Starring Emma Stone.

Watch-alikes: Maleficent (2014), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), 102 Dalmations (2000)


Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

In this sequel, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive, and discovering they’ve all played the game before. Starring Taylor Russell.

Watch-alikes: Besides the original Escape Room (2017), try Ready or Not (2019), Truth or Dare (2018), The Hunt (2020)


F9: The Fast Saga

In the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, Dom and the crew take on an international terrorist who happens to be his estranged brother. Starring Vin Diesel.

Watch-alikes: Besides other movies in the series, try spin-off Hobbs & Shaw (2019), Baby Driver (2017), Faster (2011), Overdrive (2017)


Free Guy

A bank teller, who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story, one he rewrites himself. Starring Ryan Reynolds. Also available in Blu-ray.

Watch-alikes: The Lego Movie (2014), Ready Player One (2018), Gamer (2010)


Green Knight

Based on the Arthurian legend, King Arthur’s nephew, Gawain, embarks on a quest to prove his worth to his family and kingdom–by confronting the Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Starring Dev Patel.

Watch-alikes: Dragonslayer (1981), Labyrinth (1986),  Last Knights (2015), A Knight’s Tale (2001)


Space Jam: A New Legacy

An algorithm named Al G Rhythm captures famed basketball player LeBron James and his son Dom. Al G challenges LeBron to a basketball game against Al’s digitized champions. LeBron gets the help of Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes to win the basketball game and get his son back.

Watch-alikes: Besides the original Space Jam (1996), try Detective Pikachu (2019), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Mary Poppins (1964)


The Vigil

A young man agrees to fulfill the duties of a shomer, the practice of looking after a dead body over the course of one night. However, he soon finds himself opposite a malevolent entity. Starring Dave Davis.

Watch-alikes: The Possession (2012), The Nun (2018), The Lodge (2019)

September’s New Audiobooks

September’s New Audiobooks

Apples Never Fall / Liane Moriarty
Read by Caroline Lee

From Liane Moriarty, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers , comes Apples Never Fall , an audiobook that looks at marriage, siblings, and how the people we love the most can hurt us the deepest.

The Delaney family love one another dearly — it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . .


The Turnout / Megan Abbott
Read by Cassandra Campbell

With their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, Dara and Marie Durant have been dancers since they can remember. Growing up, they were homeschooled and trained by their glamorous mother, founder of the Durant School of Dance. After their parents’ death in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago, the sisters began running the school together, along with Charlie, Dara’s husband and once their mother’s prized student.


We are the Brennans / Tracey Lange
Read by Barrie Kreinik

When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all–and her high school sweetheart–five years before with little explanation, and they’ve got questions.


Complications / by Danielle Steel
Narrated by Alexander Cendese

Known for its luxurious accommodations and bespoke service, the Hotel Louis XVI has been the most lauded boutique hotel in all of Paris for decades, attracting an international clientele of the rich and famous. Now, after four years of renovations and the death of its legendary and beloved manager, it is set to reopen its doors at last. An esteemed group of loyal returning guests is set to descend upon the hotel, joined by a number of new faces who have managed to secure coveted bookings in the wake of last-minute cancellations.


Harlem Shuffle / Colson Whitehead
Read by Dion Graham

“Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked…” To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver’s Row don’t approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it’s still home.


Not a Happy Family / Shari Lapena
Read by Ellen Archer

Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there, and Fred and Sheila Merton certainly are rich. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered after a fraught Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated. Or are they?

 

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.

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.

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: DVDs

Blair Recommends: DVDs

Sewickley Public Library staff member, Blair, has great recommendations! Whether it’s books she’s personally read, movies she’s watched, or rave reviews she’s noted from patrons – she collects lists of both popular and underrated materials you may have not yet checked out. We’re featuring these titles in a new series we’re calling “Blair Recommends.”  Up first: DVDs!


Foreign

Cover ImageAsh is the Purest White [2018]

In an industrial city in China, a young dancer named Qiao falls in love with a mobster named Bin. When a fight breaks out between rival gangs, Qiao uses a gun to protect Bin and is sent to prison for five years. When she is released, she seeks Qiao out to renew their relationship.

 


English Language

Cover ImageThe Public [2018]

An act of civil disobedience turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over the public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold.

 

 


Documentary

Cover ImageKen Burns American Lives

This collection presents seven episodes of Burns’ American Lives series, which delves into the biographies of historical figures whose accomplishments helped shape the fabric of America: Thomas Jefferson (1996), Lewis And Clark: The Journey of the Corps Of Discovery (1997), Frank Lloyd Wright (1998), Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (1999), Mark Twain (2001), Horatio’s Drive: America’s First Road Trip (2003), and Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson (2004).

 


Cover ImageHondros [2017]

Photojournalist, Chris Hondros, sought to reconcile peerless beauty with unfathomable atrocity, and Greg Campbell’s film follows suit. Hondros covered every major world event from behind the scenes since the late 1990s. Greg Campbell’s documentary tells the untold stories of many of Hondros’s most iconic photographs.

 


Cover ImageLast Men in Aleppo [2015]

The year is 2015. Syria’s brutal civil war has been ravaging the country since the government responded with force to civil protests during the Arab Spring in 2011. Regime, Kurdish, ISIS and rebel forces all occupy various parts of the city of Aleppo in northwestern Syria. A volunteer group called the White Helmets provides emergency services to traumatized residents in the rebel-occupied areas of the city. A crucial part of their efforts is rescuing survivors: After air attacks reduce buildings to rubble, the men of the White Helmets dig through the debris and pull survivors to safety. They are nothing short of heroes. The White Helmets are the subject of Last Men in Aleppo, the searing documentary directed by Feras Fayyad that won the World Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.


Cover ImageThe Nightmare [2015]

What is so striking is the similarity of the stories. People describe lying in bed, awake, unable to move. There is a tingling sensation, like static, like nerve endings shorting out from overuse. People describe a feeling that something is approaching, from behind them, or towards them. Along with that approach comes an overwhelming sense of evil. Dark amorphous shadow figures appear, somewhat human-like, leaning over the person lying in bed, appearing at the door frame. Sometimes the dark figure wears a hat. Something terrible is going to happen and the person is unable to move or to react. This is the experience commonly known as “sleep paralysis” and is the subject of Rodney Ascher’s engaging horror-film-like documentary, “The Nightmare.”

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.