January 2024

Chris’ Audiobooks Picks:

Absolution by Alice McDermottAbsolution Opens in new window 

Absolution provides a glimpse into the role of women in 1960s America, where it was important to be a “helpmeet” to your husband. The story is told in retrospect by Patricia in conversation with Rainey, the daughter of “Tricia’s” best friend Charlene, as the two explore the pivotal year of 1963 that Tricia and Charlene spent in Saigon as young expat wives of ambitious engineers working on behalf of the CIA in Vietnam. Available as an e-audiobook on Libby.


The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters  Berry Pickers Opens in new window

When four-year-old Ruthie, the daughter of migrant Mi’kmaq berry pickers from Nova Scotia, disappears in Maine in the summer of 1962, it sets into effect a chain of events that affects two families for the next fifty years. This debut novel from Amanda Peters explores the intimate dynamics of two families along with the larger societal bias against indigenous people. Available as an e-audiobook on Libby.


Laura's Picks:

True detective (2014)True Detectives Opens in new window

Two Louisiana detectives revisit a bizarre homicide case that was solved 17 years prior—or was it? Readers of Tana French will want to check out this television series: it is less a whodunit and more a slow-burn character study, with exceptional acting from Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. 


Starter villain by John Scalzi (2023)starter villian Opens in new window

Do you ever wonder what a day in the life of a multi-billionaire evil villain looks like? First off, the super-intelligent dolphins want to unionize. The sentient cats in management (of course they’re in management, where else would they be?) have their hands (paws) full dealing with a security breach. And then there’s the murder attempts. Charlie Fitzer didn’t start out as an evil villain—he just inherited the business from his recently deceased uncle--but he’s got a lot to learn.


John's Picks:

Memory Almost Full by Paul McCartney (2007) Memory almost Full

The fourteenth studio album by McCartney and the first release on Starbucks’ Hear Music Label.  Many of the songs were actually written before McCartney’s prior album, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard in 2005 but were not included at the time.  The lead single, “Dance Tonight,” has McCartney playing all instruments (primarily the mandolin) and features a music video starring Natalie Portman.   McCartney continues to perform the song live today.

If on a Winter’s Night… by Sting (2009) sting

Sting’s ninth studio album and as of today, his only Christmas record.  It is named after the Italian novel, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino.  Comprised primarily of winter-themed folk songs and hymns, the album is a modern take on traditional songs, many of which are from centuries ago. 

Oppenheimer (2023) Oppenheimer

An epic biographical film about J. Robert Oppenheimer directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer.  The film covers the majority of Oppenheimer’s life from his university studies, through his leading of the Manhattan Project, and up to his 1954 security hearing.   Featuring a large ensemble cast including Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Robert Downey Jr., the film has been a critical and commercial success.  At just over three hours long, it’s a dense but engrossing film.  


Lauren's Picks: 

Tonight, I Burn by Katherine J. Adams (2023)Tonight I burn

Each night, one Thorn witch—and only one—is burned at the stake to patrol the boundary between life and death, drawing on their magic to return whole in the morning. When her sister Ella doesn’t return after being burned, Penny breaks the rules, burning in secret. What she finds is a web of secrets and the seeds of a rebellion brewing against the High Warden. Penny will strike bargains and play a dangerous game to save her sister— and the future of magic itself.