Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Synopsis: Master animator Hayao Miyazaki directs this tale about a former World War I flying ace who is also a pig. Slouching toward middle age, Porco Rosso makes his living by flying about in his bright red bi-plane and fighting sky bandits who prey on cruise ships sailing the Adriatic. When he's not engaging in dogfights, this porcine pilot lives on a deserted island retreat. Porco Rosso was once a strapping young man, but after his entire squadron was wiped out, he was mysteriously transformed into a pig. Rosso is defeated in a dogfight against a dashing American rival, who has been hired by the dastardly bandits. With his plane damaged, he finds a repair hangar near Milan run by an aging mechanic named Piccolo, and his spunky granddaughter Fio. Initially skeptical of her mechanical prowess, Rosso is amazed when she and a legion of local women fix his plane. Soon, Porco Rosso is ready to battle his rival.
Brandon Says: Charming! That word comes to mind when I think about my experience with Porco Rosso (Crimson Pig). The tale of a man cursed with the face of a pig as well as his own self-loathing through survivor’s guilt, Porco must fix his plane in order to continue his career as a bounty-hunter, but ends up getting more than he bargained for…a new friendship that offers him a different perspective on who he thinks he is. I instantly fell in love with the many delightful characters and the environment in which they live. Porco Rosso possesses the elements by which Miyazaki fans are constantly endeared to his films: it has a great story, it’s funny, packed with adventure, and rife with memorable characters.
Brandon's Past Staff Picks
Injustice: Gods Among Us. Year One
Synopsis: The world is changed forever after Superman is tricked into destroying the one thing he loves the most. Now unwilling to let crime go unpunished, the heroes of our world must choose if they are with Superman or against him. But not every country will submit to his new world order and neither will Superman's greatest threat: Batman.
Crystal Says: This is the beginning of a 5-year story arc that starts by Superman saying "No more." No more victims of violence. No more loved ones left to their grief. No more criminals. It quickly becomes a dark road, blurring the lines of friend and foe while painting a vivid picture of what the world will look like when individuals have the might to enforce what they deem as right. It's a MUST read for any Superman/DC comic book fan!
Crystal's Past Staff Picks
Five Little Pigs
Synopsis: It was an open and shut case. All the evidence said Caroline Crale poisoned her philandering husband, a brilliant painter. She was quickly and easily convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Now, sixteen years later, in a posthumous letter, Mrs. Crale has assured her grown daughter that she was innocent. But instead of setting the young woman's mind at ease, the letter only raises disquieting questions. Did Caroline indeed write the truth? And if she didn't kill her husband, who did? To find out, the Crale s daughter asks Hercule Poirot to reopen the case. His investigation takes him deep into the conflicting memories and motivations of the five other people who were with the Crales on the fatal day. With his keen understanding of human psychology, he manages to discover the surprising truth behind the artist's death.
Donna Says: I truly enjoyed the structure of the book with Poirot solving a sixteen year old cold case. The mystery begins with Poirot interviewing the people involved in the investigation of the case and the trial. It moves on with his request for the five suspects to write their memories of what led up to the day of the murder and the day of the murder. He then follows through with asking each suspect one question, which then culminates in the reveal of the actual guilty party. This revelation unmasks one of the most cold blooded murderers in Christie’s works and will give you goosebumps as you think about how the victim’s death played out. This is a must read classic cold case mystery.
Donna's Past Staff Picks
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Synopsis: At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
Elizabeth Says: I read “Wild” for the library’s Read More challenge and was very surprised to find myself thoroughly enjoying it. Cheryl Strayed eloquently writes about her struggle to overcome her grief.
Elizabeth's Past Staff Picks
Synopsis: In a voice more powerful and compassionate than ever before, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout binds together thirteen rich, luminous narratives into a book with the heft of a novel, through the presence of one larger-than-life, unforgettable character: Olive Kitteridge. At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer’s eyes, it’s in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love. At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance: a former student who has lost the will to live: Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse. As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.
Megan Says: This novel is written in episodes, all revolving around the enigmatic Olive Kitteridge. In this novel, Strout has put together a compelling portrait of a small town. We all have known an Olive or at least, we think we know her. Strout shows us the parts we don't know, what's behind the prickliness and the 'attitude.' Through fiction, we now have a better understanding of such a person. I myself had some personal revelations while reading this poignant masterpiece.
Megan's Past Staff Picks
Breakfast with Buddah
Synopsis: When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger--and amuse himself--he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way. From a chocolate factory in Hershey to a bowling alley in South Bend, from a Cubs game at Wrigley field to his family farm near Bismarck, Otto is given the remarkable opportunity to see his world--and more important, his life--through someone else's eyes. Gradually, skepticism yields to amazement as he realizes that his companion might just be the real thing. In Roland Merullo's masterful hands, Otto tells his story with all the wonder, bemusement, and wry humor of a man who unwittingly finds what he's missing in the most unexpected place.
Nina Says: Merulo’s gentle and humorous story reminds us to find peace within and joy in interpersonal connections around us without it ever being overly sentimental.
Nina's Past Staff Picks
Synopsis: Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. She tells about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classrooms labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and the disappointments, triumphs and exhilarating discoveries of scientific work. Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.
Randall Says: Lab Girl is a beautifully written memoir infused with friendship and gritty determination. Jahren leads readers along the winding and often bumpy path of a career scientist, pausing throughout to share her insight into the secret life of plants. Fans of Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk will enjoy the blend of nature writing and memoir.
Randall's Past Staff Picks