Barb C.

Men Women and Children

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Men Women and Children

Men, Women and Children follows the lives of several characters and how social media connects and them with each other and impacts their lives.    They include a couple mutually uninterested in their own marriage, each leading separate affairs (Rosemarie DeWitt and Adam Sandler,) their porn-addicted son (Travis Tope,) a mother (Jennifer Garner) who tyrannically monitors every movement her outcast daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) makes, who falls hard for a similar outcast (Ansel Elgort) who is disgusted with his home life. A progressive parent (Judy Greer) created a website for her daughter, an aspiring actress (Olivia Crocicchia,) when she may be doing her daughter more harm than good. Domestic violence, eating disorders, teen suicide, mental and physical abuse, class struggle and social alienation are some of this film’s many conversation-starting themes.

This movie is quirky and a bit slow placed but funny, and the topics are very relevant and the characters are interesting.  The actors do an amazing job of drawing you in to the story.  Some of the best scenes in the film are shot with a voice over by Emma Thompson, who describes real life social media scenarios in a tragic, yet hilarious way.  I give this movie a thumbs up.  After you watch it, turn off the electronics and go spend some quality time with your family. Check our Catalog

Barb C. Technical Services


Valley of the Dolls

Friday, December 26, 2014
Jacqueline Susann
Valley of the Dolls

Valley of the Dolls is a glorious venture into escapism for readers who are looking for drama and romance, written in a soap opera style. This novel so compelling because of the three main characters, Anne--a model, Jennifer--a starlet, and Neely--a singer.  Jacqueline Susann (author) creates character portraits of these 3 girls who made it big, rags-to-riches style. In each chapter, the character’s story of success, and failure, is detailed with their experiences of love, business and addiction.  Susann's writing is entertaining and will have you constantly turning the page. Valley of the Dolls was inspired by Susann's experience as a mid-century Broadway starlet who came heart breakingly close to making it, but did not. What makes this book so intriguing is this book was written almost 50 years ago, yet the story seems so incredibly modern. I recommend this book for readers who enjoy books of the “girl power” genre.

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Barb C., Technical Services

Partners music CD

Friday, October 24, 2014
Barbra Streisand

I am listening to "Partners", Barbra Streisand's new album.  This CD has 12 timeless songs featuring Streisand in a duet with a popular male vocalist.  All the songs are classics, some of them Streisand classics.   The songs are remixed in a format that suits both performers.  For example, the “People” duet with Steve Wonder incorporates his harmonica, and it works.    Among the songs included are "New York State Of Mind," with Billy Joel, "Come Rain Or Come Shine," with John Mayer, "Love Me Tender," with Elvis Presley, "The Way We Were," with Lionel Richie, "What Kind Of Fool," with John Legend, "I Can Still See Your Face," with Andrea Bocelli, "Evergreen," with Babyface, a first studio-recorded duet with her son Jason Gould, on "How Deep Is The Ocean."  If you are a fan of great vocal performances, you will enjoy this CD.

Barb C., Tecnical Services

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Thursday, September 11, 2014
DVD and BluRay
Captain America

This movie is a great sequel to the first Captain America feature.  Steve Rogers (AKA Captain America, played by  Chris Evans,) is still acclimating to modern life after having been frozen since WWII, and is working under the orders of Nick Fury and SHIELD. Already having doubts about SHIELD's motives Rogers finds himself at the center of a conflict festering within SHIELD and must fight alongside other agents to stop a villainous plot to establish a new world order.  He partners with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) who was  in Iron Man 2 and The Avengers.   We are introduced to The Falcon (another Avenger character).   Along the way Captain America will have to face a dark figure which may be connected to his past. This movie has a great plot as it takes its story line from possible world terrorism scenarios and makes you think about what freedom truly stands for.  This movie has action, special effects and a message.  Check our Catalog

Barb C., Administration

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Catherine Steiner-Adair
The Big Disconnect

This book is a wonderful eye opener about the impact of technology in our society, in particular on our children.  Adair offers great suggestions about how to deal with screen related issues including social media and too much screen time.  She also delves into how parents and can socially connect with their kids in this digital age.  Read this book and you will have clarity about the importance of human connection and how it impacts the educational and social development of kids today. 

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Barb C., Administration

2014 Grammy Nominees Music CD

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Various Musicians
2014 Grammy Nominees

If you are looking for a nice variety of current music, this CD is for you.  There are 18 chart topping hits that represent a diversity of musical genres.  All songs are performed by the original artist and are full length performances.  A great CD for the car!  The music starts off strong with the Bruno Mars hit “Locked out of Heaven”.  Other pop tunes include “Roar”, by Katy Perry and “Just Give me a Reason” by Pink.  There are also country, rap and classic rock songs included on the play list to give you a nice variety of tunes to listen to.  Other featured artists include:  Imagine Dragons, Justin Timberlake, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift. Check our Catalog

Barb C. Tech Services

The Five Year Engagement

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Jason Segel, Emily Blunt

“The Five Year Engagement” is a movie about love and perseverance.   The main characters, Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) become engaged.  He is a chef in San Francisco; she gets accepted to grad school at the University of Michigan, delaying their wedding plans.  Tom agrees to follow Violet to Ann Arbor and thus begins the adventure.  Violet fits right in to life at the U.  She thrivesunder the tutelage of the suspiciously charming Prof. Winton Childs and makes new friends with her crazy study group. Tom, on the other hand, flails mightily in trying to fit into his new surroundings, eventually landing a lowly job at a sandwich shop (Zingerman’s Deli) and turning into a grizzly-looking house-husband who takes up hobbies like deer hunting and sweater knitting.  For anyone who is familiar with Ann Arbor you will find this movie more engaging as it was shot on location.  The movie also pokes fun at the world of academia and university politics.  Most of the supporting cast is hilarious and the dialogue is filled with humor and emotion.  Not a movie for kids, this is a mature chick flick movie.   

The Muppets (2012)

Monday, March 19, 2012
Jason Segel, Amy Adams

"The Muppets" rule!  This is a great movie for kids and adults.  If you are looking for a hilarious, hart warming movie the entire family will enjoy, this is it!

The story line centers on the adventures of two brothers.  Gary ( a human, played by Jason Segel) and Water (a Muppet ) grow up together in a small town.  Walter is the world's biggest Muppet fan.  Amy Adams plays Gary's girlfriend, Mary.    When the trio heads to Los Angeles for a vacation, they uncover the diabolical plot of a greedy oil millionaire to destroy the Muppet Theater. Now, the Muppet-loving trio must reunite Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and their friends to stage the greatest Muppet telethon ever and save their beloved theater.

The film is loaded with surprise cameos and many of the sub plots are skits that pay homage to The Muppet Show.  Fans of the Chickens, Gonzo and Animal will not be disappointed.  Fozie Bear is also in prime comedic form.  If you are a fan of The Muppet Show, you will appreciate this movie even more.   If you are not a fan, or have not seen The Muppet Show, this movie will make you a fan!   

The Skin I'm In

Sunday, August 7, 2011
Sharron G. Flake

This book is a must read for anyone of any age (well, 5th grade and up). All of us have been teased for being "different" at one point in our lives. This book brings home the message of struggle with security and self- assurance. The story takes place in an inner city school. Seventh-grader Maleeka Madison is constantly being teased by her classmates for being "too black" , "too smart" and her unstylish clothes. She is forced into friendships with a clique of troubled girls who use her for completing homework for them. They "accept" her into their group but Maleeka is forced to do things she does not want to do, like skipping class and smoking. A new teach named Miss Saunders who appears to be rich and self-assured, comes in to Maleeka's school and gives a lot of attention to Maleeka. Attention Maleeka does not want. Miss Saunders has a white birthmark across her black skin, and is prone to getting into kids' faces about both their behavior and their academic potential. This different looking teacher tries to convey a message to Maleeka that she should be proud of who she is and encourages her in her school work. This story examines the importance being true to who you are and difficulties a person has to endure to accomplish this. The reality is that social standing is the most important thing to many young people. When you do not have it, your life can be very difficult. Anyone who reads this book will appreciate the honesty of Maleeka's situation. The message is so powerful and in the end, uplifting.

Barb C, Youth Services

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A Discovery of Witches

Friday, July 22, 2011
Deborah Harkness

I decided to read this book because it falls in the vampire genre. As I was a fan of the Twilight series I thought this would be a good read. I was pulled in by the beginning of the story. A witch and Yale historian named Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire, Matthew Clairmont. Diana chooses not to practice witchcraft, even though she is a powerful witch. She does not realize the extent of her power until later in the story. It turns out that Matthew is not the only "creature" that is interested in this manuscript, which holds the secrets to the evolution and extinction of all mythical creatures. The value of this manuscript throws Diana in to several adventures as she is sought after by beings who want her to summon the manuscript for them. Of course Matthew and Diana fall in love, which causes problems as creatures are not allowed to socialize with beings of a different kind. This is a good book; however it is a long book, almost 600 pages. The story begins to drag in the last third of the book and then turns in to a set up for a sequel. This irritated me as this story could have been completed and I am tired of sequel books. My final opinion, "A Discovery of Witches" is worth reading as long as you are prepared to wait for the sequel.

Barb C., Tech Services

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