Discover what we love to read and watch. Ask us for suggestions on what you should read or watch next. We review books on our Current Picks blog and movies and music on our Shows 'n Tunes blog. We also create lists on popular book and movie topics. Why? Because we have a passion for making recommendations for you.
We compiled a list of some of our favorite books we read in 2020.
Fantasy, Classics, Romance, Historical Fiction, Comedy
Read more of Catherine's recommendations...
Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Microhistories, Animation, Current Films, Video Games
Read more about Emily's recommendations...
Audiobooks, Comedy, Fantasy, Historical, Junior, Memoir, Nonfiction
Graphic Novels, Games, Video Games, Junior, Teen
Novels, Short Stories, Graphic Novels, Memoir
Fiction, True Story, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Adventure, Teen, Sci Fi & Fantasy, Nonfiction
Novels, Mystery, Suspense, Animals, Audiobooks, Memoir, Drama
Junior, Audiobooks, Fantasy, Mystery, Historical, Gothic Horror
Audiobooks, Contemporary, Fantasy, Feminist, Religious, Memoir, Teen
Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Graphic Novels, Nonfiction
Set in Australia, Big Little Lies (2014) starts with a dead body at trivia night attended by all the parents of the elementary students. Was it murder? Liane Moriarty creates suspense, then goes back in time and skillfully guides the reader full circle to return to this moment. It follows three women, each with a secret, whose lives converge when their children attend the same kindergarten. The book is about fitting in, being a parent, the interpersonal lives of women, and the little lies we live with every day. By the end, you will become attached to these characters.
Read the ebook or listen to the audiobook on Overdrive. After you read the book, check out the TV show adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Zoe Kravitz. Big Little Lies. Season 1 follows the book, and season 2 goes beyond.
For anyone out there who is a Beatles fan, is it even possible to not enjoy watching the movie, Yesterday (2019, rated PG-13)? It's jam packed with one great tune after another, with some of the best pop music ever written. In fact, there's even a deleted scene with George Harrison's "Something" that should have been included in the movie. The scenes that could have been created around all the fabulous music from The Beatles is probably endless and the movie would be five hours long.
And for the younger generation of music listeners, I hope they will also enjoy this romance/comedy and appreciate some of the music these four guys from Liverpool, England, brought to the world.
Listen to the soundtrack on Hoopla and check out the movie.
Jennifer is also a fan. Read her review.
Physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow bring the latest thinking about the nature of reality to the general, non-scientific public in this interesting and entertaining book. The Grand Design (2010) traces mankind's progress from mythology to science. And do we really have free will? Observer created reality, quantum, string, and M theory are presented. The big bang and multiple universes are discussed.
There is no math in this book, which helps by making the theoretical concepts accessible to those without a masters in physics. The authors have presented much to think about in a very brief book (200 pages or 4.5 hours). In the end, the explanations of our reality in The Grand Design are only theories. And those theories are, so far, unprovable.
National Geographic made this documentary about the Appalachian Trail. This hiking trail is over 2,000 miles long, running from Georgia to Maine (cutting through 14 states). There are many day hikers that do portions of the trail, but also thru-hikers that can take up to 6 months to complete the entire trail. 1 in 4 succeed with over 2,000 hikers trying each year to complete the trail.
It is known as the "people's trail" because it was created by Americans and is completely cared for by an army of volunteers. It is truly an American experience, and the journey changes lives. This is the ultimate challenge for hikers who have an adventurous side. Watch Appalachian Trail (2009) on Hoopla today.
It's 1946 and Billie Walker is back home in Sydney running her own private investigation agency. During the war, Billie was a journalist who met her photographer husband, Jack, in Paris. Jack then went missing two years ago, presumed dead. Billie came back to Australia when her father, also a private eye, fell ill. After her father's death, Billie took over his office and has an assistant--war veteran Sam.
Most of Billie's cases involve marital disputes, but client Mrs. Brown hires her to find her son, Adin, who is missing. Billie's investigation leads her through both the upper and lower classes of society along with providing a great sense of place of post-war Sydney for the reader in addition to the fashions of the time.