Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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A Gift to Remember

Darcy Archer works at local bookstore. Being a reader, she likes to daydream about all the places that you can travel as long as you have a book. Her life changes when her boss at the bookstore announces she is moving away. If that wasn’t enough, Darcy crashes into a man walking his dog. The owner of the dog is knocked out leaving the dog with Darcy. She must figure out a way to reunite the owner and dog while trying to figure out if she wants to be manager of her beloved bookstore.

I watched this movie during the first snowfall of the season. I thought that this was a really, cute movie. This is one that I would watch again.  Ali Liebert is Darcy Archer, Tina Lifford is Mrs. Henley, Brandi Alexander is Nurse Nancy, Aurelio DiNunzio is Luigi and Peter Porte is the Dog Owner. This is a great, feel good Christmas movie.

A Gift to Remember is based on the book by Melissa Hill. I will definitely have to read the book.


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Dead Woman Walking By Sharon Bolton

Jessie has surprised her sister, Isabel, with hot air balloon ride for her birthday. In the balloon are eleven other passengers including the pilot. As they are going over an old ruin of a castle, they see a woman being chased by a man. They watch as the man kills the woman. Horrified and not able to help because of no cell service, the pilot tries to find an area to land the balloon. In the meantime, the killer has spotted the balloon and starts to chase it on his motorcycle. The balloon crashes leaving only one survivor.

Jessie can’t believe what just happened. Her sister is dead, she witnessed a murder, and now the killer is after her. She doesn’t know who to trust and must find her way out of the woods the balloon landed in. Desperate to survive, Jessie will do anything. Even if it means confronting a killer.

This was a great book. It was suspenseful and full of twists. I have read other books by Sharon Bolton and she never disappoints.

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The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: an Oral History by Megan Mullally & Nick Offerman

From their humble Midwestern beginnings – Oklahoma City for Megan and Minooka Il for Nick – all the way to Hollywood and their current status as one of THE most adorable couples EVER, this dynamic comedy powerhouse couple takes us on a tour of how it all started. They don’t seem like the most obvious couple really. When they met, Megan was already established with a Broadway show and a popular sitcom, while Nick was living in someone’s basement and doing carpentry work when they were both cast in the same play. It wasn’t love at first sight, but as time went on and they got to know each other, sparks began to fly, and well, the rest is history. EPIC history.

The book has a lot of cute pictures of the two, but for maximum fun, I would suggest the audiobook, which is read, or discussed, or whatever, by the two authors. Heads up though – don’t listen to it in the car with the kids or you’re going to have some explaining to to do!

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Elevation by Stephen King

Something strange is afoot in Castle Rock, Maine. Scott Carey is losing weight. You wouldn’t know it to look at him though – he just looks the same as always. But, when he steps on the scale, even if he stuffs his pockets, the numbers on the scale keep going down. Scott consults with his old friend Dr. Ellis, and while both agree that it’s most unusual, Scott doesn’t want to be subject to all kinds of testing, so they decide to keep an eye out. In the meantime, Scott is trying to find a solution to his neighbor problem. It seems that their dogs really like his yard for doing their “business”, but when Scott tries to talk it out with his neighbor, he’s met with unexpected hostility. Scott tries to give the ladies the benefit of the doubt – after all they’re new in town and from the big city. Maybe they’re just not used to small town life and being neighborly. Scott discovers that there’s more to the story, mainly the way that the ladies have been received by the town, and sets out to mend the rift.

If you don’t read Stephen King because his books are “too scary”, but you enjoy really good storytelling, this would be a great one to start with. With Scott’s weight loss hovering in the background, King uses the opportunity to explore community and prejudices, what divides us and what can bring us together. King is famous for his nightmare inducing horror fiction, but at the heart of each story is a great storyteller, and Elevation is a great example of this.

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Happy Xmas – Eric Clapton

I don’t know about you, but at our house we’ve been listening to Christmas music for a couple of weeks now. Of course we all have our favorites that we play over and over again, but sometimes you want something a little different. How happy was I that EC released a holiday album? Over the top excited! Happy Xmas does have a few holiday classic songs on it, along with some lesser known ones, and a brand new song – For Love on Christmas Day. Honestly though, this album is a bit of a slow burn – slow to get into, and with few surprises – well, until you get to Jingle Bells. But for fans of EC’s blues/rock style, it will be the perfect addition to your holiday listening.

Looking for more holiday music to add to your playlist? Search “Christmas” in hoopla for contemporary favorites, classics, and much more.

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Jack Taylor

After a run-in with a cabinet minister gets him fired from the Garda (Irish National Police), Jack Taylor (played by Iain GlenGame of Thrones) finds that even though he’s no longer on the force, the job seems to be following him. Reluctantly, he becomes a sort of private PI, and takes on cases that seem to call out for justice. Surly, alcoholic, and self-destructive, Taylor is not afraid of anything, especially the authorities, and will stop at nothing to get to the truth of a case.

Based on the best-selling mystery series by Ken Bruen, this series has an excellent cast – Iain Glen is perfect as Jack. Being shot in Galway, Bremen, and other locations in Ireland, a wonderful backdrop. It’s difficult to fully capture the full “Jack-ness” of Jack in a mere 90 minutes though. While the show hints at Jack’s rock and roll lifestyle, to get the full Jack experience, you probably want to read the books. Yes, Jack’s kind of cliche, as the hard-boiled, damaged,  reckless, alcoholic, ex-cop. But to know Jack is to love him, and you’re definitely gonna want him on your side.

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The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey

Coop is an LA thief who specializes in, shall we say, “other worldly” items. After a job lands him in jail, upon release, Coop finds that his services are much in demand. The job: steal a small magic box and deliver it to a mysterious client. The catch: his client isn’t the only one who wants the box. There’s a couple of doomsday cults that want to use the box to accelerate the end of the world. The Department of Peculiar Science wants it so they can keep it out of the hands of the bad guys. And then of course, there’s the angel who was supposed to destroy the earth with the Great Flood but messed it up, and now he wants his box back so he can finish the job.

Richard Kadrey was a recommended author by on of our regulars here at the library, and I think I’m hooked! Fans of Christopher Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett will enjoy this witty romp through LA’s darker side, as well as Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series.