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Monday, July 24, 2017

Our All-Time Favorite Films

Posted by Staff

Joyce - One favorite is the 1962 version of the Miracle Worker directed by Arthur Penn, Anne Bancroft as Teacher and Patty Duke as Helen

Mason – Plan 9 From Outer Space



Cary - Favorite movies: Romance trio – Room with a View / Moonstruck / Pride & Prejudice (Keira Knightly). I watch these three movies once a year!


Katherine – Princess Bride 

Jake - I have a lot of favorite movies but the one I always come back to is The Fountain from 2006 starring Hugh Jackman & Rachael Weisz. I have seen a lot of movies before & since but I have never seen one like it. It blows your mind and breaks your heart at the same time. It is impossible to describe. It can only be experienced.

Vani - The Godfather

 Tirzah and Gwen - The Sound of Music

Lisa – Jeremiah Johnson



Kathleen - The Hunt for Red October. My favorite moment of the movie is at the beginning when the screen is dark and written is a statement that according to the United States and the Soviet Union, what you are about to see never happened. Also, this is the first "old" movie that my dad and I watched and both enjoyed, so it has some sentimental value as well.

Jill - Inglorious Bastards and Sound of Music 


Gerry - One of my favorite movies has to be Interstellar. It's a brilliant science-fiction film directed by the amazing Christopher Nolan, and is also complimented with a excellent cast led by Matthew McConaughey. If you want to be blown away-WATCH THIS MOVIE! 

Amanda -  Shaun of the Dead

Sally - Little Shop Around the Corner is one of my favs. Jimmy Stewart - can't go wrong. It is the film on which You've Got mail is based.

Devin – Howl’s Moving Castle 


Kristen - Dan in Real Life

Susan – Love Actually. Not from a book but it is such a feel good movie. Sad but everyone finds happiness. And of course, Hugh Grant at his prime. Who wouldn't like that!  

Mary B. - I don't think I can pick a favorite movie, but I just saw (after reading the book) the movie The Zookeeper's Wife, about life in Poland during WWII and the way one family hides Jewish refugees from the Nazi's. The movie was good, but the book was better!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Book Reviews from Our Patrons

Reviews by EPL Patrons

Gumbeaux by Kimberly Vargas
This is the story of a rich young woman who lives with her alcoholic, abusive uncle since her parents died. Her goal is to get away from him and she manages to get a scholarship to college in New Orleans. I'm a sucker for anything New Orleans and the author did a great job of depicting the southern lifestyle while telling a good story.

River's Edge by Erin Keyser Horn
Illlinois author, Erin Keyser Horn, starts to reel you in but doesn't fully develop the characters. When the story picks up - it suddenly ends only to tell you the read the next book. 3 out of 5 stars

The Train to Potevka by Mike Ramsdell
A CIA agent tells about his personal life while also telling why he's on this train at this time and why his life is in danger as he travels through Siberia. Very interesting - lots of facts about Russia, the CIA and the Russian people.

Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin
A good summer read! Romance, friendship, and betrayal. A longtime friendship is tested when a man comes between these two women.


A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
A book about two children who go to stay a week with their small-town grandma each summer during the Depression. An easy pick-up/put-down read. Each chapter tells the story of one summer. The kids learn to see their Grandma more clearly each year.

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
The author of Harry Potter brings us a world devoid of magic and full of Dursleys. The death of a town councilman occasions jockeying for position and reveals the tangled mess beneath the peaceful, bucolic surface. I initially had a difficult time getting into the book and keeping tracks of the large cast of characters, but the longer I read, the more involved I became in the story. Stick it out, it's worth the read.

The Reluctant Queen by Sarah Beth Durst
Lots of detail make the story hard to follow at first, but it gets very exciting and has a strong, unexpected finish.


The Light in the Summer by Mary McNear
Very good light reading. Refreshing to keep reading page after page and enjoy the whole book. How complicated our lives can get!


The Bones of the Earth by Rachel Dunne
Hard story to follow. The characters stories inside don't seem to flow together at times. Not a bad read, but a bit disjointed.

The Long Haul by Finn Murphy
An interesting book. I learned a lot about how moving companies work. Not a travel book but a fun business primer for anyone thinking about a career as a moving van driver.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

On Our Nightstands: What We're Reading Now

Posted by Staff


Mary B. -  The Baker's Secret by Stephen Kiernan. Good WWII historical fiction type book. Takes place in France and follows a small town and its residents from occupation until D-Day. I'd give it a thumbs up!

Devin G. - The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Mason S. - Black Elk Speaks by Black Elk, John Neihardt and Love in Action by Thich Nhat Hanh

Jill S. -  I am reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, because we will be discussing the book at the Library’s book club on June 27th. By the way, it also won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction & the National Book Award!

Joyce D. - The Swallow’s Nest by Emilie Richards

Cary H. - Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish by Sue Bender
My mother gave me this book when it was first published in 1991 when I was a young woman, before I had children. Now, with a different life perspective, I was drawn back for a re-read and I am getting more out of it than I did then. We don’t need to strive to be like the Amish, or even relate to their lifestyle, to gain peaceful and purposeful insight by understanding their simple tenants. I, like the author, particularly respond to the idea of the “faceless doll.” If you are intrigued, you should read it! 

Gerry B. - Sick In The Head by Judd Apatow

Mary H. - I've just been listening to audiobooks recently. Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh and Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford

Tirzah D. - The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis

Amanda E. - I recently listened to an audiobook (found on Hoopla) version of Servant of the Crown by Melissa McShane. I enjoyed this book but I was a bit confused by it as well. It’s kind of a genre mash-up. It’s a bit regency romance , a bit steam punk, a bit fantasy, and a bit something else I’m unfamiliar with. The fantasy and steam punk elements were really what confused me because they were never actually really addressed. Halfway through the book someone heals someone using magic and that is the first time you get an idea that magic is a thing that exists in this universe; after that it is only vaguely hinted at. The steampunk element is kind of light as well, occasionally the word ‘devices’ is used but otherwise it’s not really addressed.

This book initially grabbed my attention because the Royal Library is at the heart of the story and the main character is a female book publisher in what approximates regency era England. This book is the first in a series. I liked the book enough that I will give the second a chance. Honestly, I’m mostly really curious to see if the author intends to develop the fantasy elements at all or if they are just some kind of confusing shtick. The romance aspect is just kind of meh. Neither character was particularly memorable. There are a few other characters that I found way more interesting and would like to read more about. There’s a really feisty queen that, in a different setting, would make an awesome pirate.

My review has been a bit jumbled and vague because that’s kind of how I felt about the book. If you are at all intrigued, I recommend giving it a chance. The narrator on the edition that is available on Hoopla, Gemma Dawson, is really great. British accent, dynamic voice acting. I really enjoyed her. I may not have continued with a print version of this book.

Sally A. - A Piece of the World by Christina Baker 

Katherine R. - Born a Crime by Trevor Noah 

Lisa E. - Once You Get Through the Mountains the Land Opens Up by Tecumshea S. Holmes, Sr. (local Edwardsville author) 

Susan C. - Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken. I love the way he connects stories together, then circles back to his conclusion. I’m not real far into it, but as he tells stories about his upbringing, I can see a bit how he got where he is now. I like the title. It's great!