Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Scotland, PA

This delightfully dark, black comedy version of the Scottish play will appeal to both movie and Shakespeare buffs. Joe and Pat Macbeth (James LeGros and Maura Tierney) are the hired help in a small town greasy spoon. However, they have greater ambitions for the restaurant than boss, Norm Duncan, will allow ... so what's a scheming couple to do? Christopher Walken enters as Detective MacDuff, trying to solve the grotesque murders that ensue. Tierney is wonderful as Pat Macbeth, and the supporting cast, including Andy Dick as one of the three weirds, lends a comic, creepy air to this take on the Bard's famous play. The soundtrack is full of 70s rock (lots of Bad Company) as an added bonus. ~Kathryn, CC

Beautiful Birds by Jean Roussen

This ABC book is a little different from the usual variety. It delivers exactly what the title promises - beautiful birds. The gorgeous pictures accompany unique words; instead of apple to zebra we get albatross to zosteropidae. Parents (and non-parents) will love poring over the stunning illustrations as much as their kids. ~Laura, HH

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Foodies will love this novel about what it takes to pursue your passions. Eva Thorvald is born to a chef and a sommelier, and so comes by her precocious palate quite naturally. The novel uses Eva's life as the connecting story arc: Sometimes her role is as the entree, other times she is a side dish or a garnish to the other characters' stories. There are many references to food and pop-culture around food, as well as a few recipes and menus. This might be a fun book club choice if your club likes to theme the snacks to the book. ~Kathryn, CC

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr

If you are waiting to read All the Light You Cannot See you might while away the time by reading this nonfiction book by the author, who received a one year fellowship in literature to live and write in Rome. He moved there with his wife and six month old twin boys. He chronicles his experiences with learning the language, navigating the labyrinth of streets, being awestruck with the sights and their history and the two-fold challenge of child rearing. He paints a vivid portrait of Rome and the surrounding countryside which made me feel as though I, too, was there. ~Linda, CCL

The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig

After her mother dies, Rachel Woodley discovers a clipping of her deceased father, very much alive and doing very well as a respected earl and father of two. Channeling her hurt and anger, Rachel transforms herself into a debutante and infiltrates London's 1920's high society to get her revenge on her father and his family. Soon though, she begins to understand that beyond all the glitter and gold, all is not what it seems, and revenge comes at a high price. A highly enjoyable tale of a young woman finding herself and her place in the world. ~Jenna, CCL