A very happy birthday to an author who always makes us laugh!
At just over 72 minutes in length, the fourth album from ScHoolboy Q features the Top Dawg Entertainment rapper at his most ambitious. Across 17 tracks, production influences range from trap to jazz rap to West Coast gangster rap, all of it forming this thick, aggressive, foreboding atmosphere. But even on the heaviest tracks, Q, with guest spots from Kanye West, Vince Staples, Anderson Paak, and others, never sacrifices a good pop hook. His raspy, often choppy delivery sets him apart from his peers, even as he tackles familiar subjects like newfound fame and gang life, some of it celebratory but much of it steeped in regret and anxiety. Although some songs highlight Qâ€™s clever metaphors and wordplay, Blank Face LP often finds him coasting on attitude rather than lyricism; he squanders his most vivid, personal lines in vague bars that paint him as an enigma, faceless in the way the albumâ€™s title implies without the same sense of purpose. And despite a few great songs (â€śGroovy Tony,â€ť â€śJoHn Muirâ€ť), Q just doesnâ€™t have the content or the insight to fill out an excessive 72 minutes. There are few truly weak tracks, but the album is sprawling and formless and overall a bit of a chore to get through in its entirety without a truly gripping artist at its forefront. Overall Rating: C+
Create your very own Snowy Day scene inspired by the classic book by Ezra Jack Keats!
Today is Take Your Child to the Library Day!
Kansas was one of a number of rock bands I enjoyed some years ago. "The Prelude Implicit" is their first album release in 16 years. Time can certainly change things over a period that long, and there have been personnel changes for Kansas. I've read reviews which were very critical of some of these changes and others that were favorable. My listen of this album is favorable. The 'essence' of Kansas in its heyday is still there. The music is strong but not overpowering as with many bands these days. The lead singer has a good voice and the harmonies are good as well. It may not be the same Kansas, but in grading the album on its listen-ability, I give it an A. Overall Rating: A
We librarians wanted to share with our favorite silly stories, songs, and crafts with you!
The third installment in the Bridget Jones saga is now on DVD. This newest feature finds Bridget (RenĂ©e Zellweger) alone again on her 43rd birthday having given up on love and now focusing on her career. Two chance meetings, one with a handsome American played by Patrick Dempsey and the other with the ex-love of her life, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), result in a baby on the way. The two potential dads then vie for Bridget, placing her in a position very different from the struggles she had in the first two films. The movie has some very funny, typical â€śBridget Jonesâ€ť moments and some very sweet romantic moments as well. Although the premise sounds like it could be tasteless, the story was done well. The language is very strong throughout, however, and some of the references are a bit crude, so the film is rated R. I wasnâ€™t sure I would enjoy this movie, but I really did. I would definitely recommend it. Overall Rating: A
What a Beautiful Morning by Arthur A. Levine From Miss Melia at Main Library
January is flying by, but we still have time for another celebration, National Hobby Month!
The newest EP from the EDM duo has some good songs that we all know and love. Overall, what I really want to hear from this group next is a full length album with some new instant favorites. Since their explosion onto the mainstream media scene in 2014, The Chainsmokers have rolled out hit after hit that have left me and the rest of the public wanting more. This release has 2 of their newest hit singles (â€śCloserâ€ť ft. Halsey and â€śDonâ€™t Let Me Downâ€ť ft. Daya) as well as some newer songs that have not had major radio play yet â€“ including â€śAll We Knowâ€ť ft. Phoebe Ryan and â€śInside Outâ€ť ft. Charlee. This group has certainly found their niche in the music industry combining the enthusiastic bass and rhythm of the dance music genre with features from popular indie singers to create extremely catchy and fun songs that instantly lift any mood. These are some of my favorite songs to listen to when driving or working out, and I often find myself singing along. This EP was a good listen and extremely entertaining. With the way in which this group has been performing â€“ Iâ€™m sure a full album is soon to come. Overall Rating: A-
Help us celebrate the birthday of the creator of Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne!!!
Our craft for today is "owl"-solutely perfect!
Usher-Hard II Love is Usherâ€™s eighth album release of his music career. The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200. It had been over 4 years since Usher had released a new album and his fans were anxiously waiting for him to release new music. I am a die-hard Usher fan and I have to admit it was worth the wait. Hard II Love is one of his best albums in over a decade since his chart topping album Confessions in 2004, which will always be a number one classic. As you listen to the 15-tracks, you will notice they are solely about Usher taking ownership of relationship issues in his past to becoming a better man. Literally, I liked every track on the album but some of my favorites were â€śNo Limitâ€ť featuring artist Young Thug, and â€śRivalsâ€ť featuring Future, â€śMissin Uâ€ť and 'â€ťStrongerâ€ť is a nice emotional track that ends the album well. If youâ€™re an Usher fan, listen to Hard II Love, you will not be disappointed. I believe Usher has made another classic musical masterpiece. Overall Rating: A
Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin From Miss Melia at Main Library
I was expecting to enjoy The Magnificent Seven; I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the 2016 version of The Magnificent Seven, based on the screenplay of the same name by Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawaâ€™s film, The Seven Samurai had a great influence on this film. In this legend, seven rough, fighting men volunteer to defend a small town against a dark enemy. Remarkably the warriorsâ€™ back stories are well developed, making the saga fascinating. The calamities that occur in the evolving story show how raw things could get in the â€śgood old daysâ€ť during the post-Civil War era. The action flows smoothly along as the story rushes to the climactic ending. Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Vincent Dâ€™Onofrio star in this Western. Overall Rating A+
It's Brainteaser Month, so we've collected some great books that will help keep your mind active and sharp!
Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and Simon Helberg bring to life the story of Florence Foster Jenkins. Based on a true story, the movie takes place during the last years of Florenceâ€™s life. Merylâ€™s performance was well done: Her singing abilities were put to the test as she, a talented singer, captured Florenceâ€™s inability to sing as well as Florenceâ€™s belief that she could sing. Hugh plays St. Clair Bayfield, the love of Florenceâ€™s life, who is very devoted to keeping Florence in the dark about her singing abilities, allowing Florence to live out her dream of singing. Simon Helberg plays Cosme McMoon, Florenceâ€™s accompanist. At first Cosme struggles with accompanying Florence, as he knows she cannot sing, but he stays with her throughout her life, performing on stages he may never have had the opportunity to play. This movie is funny and heartwarming. I enjoyed watching the movie. If you would like to hear what Florence sounded like, the library has her CD. The title is â€śThe Glory (???)Of the Human Voice.â€ť Overall Rating: A
Today we celebrate the birthday of Molly Bang!
Miss Carole shares another great book find!
Having never seen the original 1977 version of Peteâ€™s Dragon, I had no expectations when I sat down to watch the revamped 2016 film and, by the end, I had tears in my eyes. The story follows Pete, a small boy who finds himself alone in the woods after his parents die in a car accident. Scared and surrounded by vicious wolves, he is saved by a dragon who becomes his pseudo-parent, protector, and very best friend. The dragon â€“ who Pete names Elliot â€“ struck me as a mix between a large Labrador retriever and a big cat: Part clumsiness, part grace, both playful and serious, and covered in a sea of green fur. However, unlike in the original movie where Elliot was distinctly animated, the new Elliot was created using computer-generation imagery (CGI), which allowed him to have a realness that made the other charactersâ€™ responses to him all the more believable. The storyline was cute and a little predictable, but was engaging enough that I was rooting for a happy ending for both Pete and Elliot by the end.Overall Rating: A-
Here's how to make a pretty ornament to hang up for the holidays.
Jaqueline Woodson is one of the most celebrated young adult writers in the United States, so I was curious to try out one of her new adult fiction novels: Another Brooklyn. I listened to the audiobook on a recent trip. It clocks in at a short 2.75 hours, but packs a punch. The main character is an anthropologist, August, who returns home to Brooklyn for her fatherâ€™s funeral. After a run-in with a friend, August reflects upon her girlhood in Brooklyn during the 1970s, a time she remembers fondly, but in hindsight realizes that she was deep in denial about her motherâ€™s death, and that there were threats to her innocence everywhere. The audiobook is read by Robin Miles, whose rich voice embodies the various dialects and accents that are part of the novel. I do not often listen to audiobooks, but I enjoyed this one. After I finished it, I immediately downloaded Woodsonâ€™s award winning Brown Girl Dreaming. This audiobook inspired me to start working my way through all of Woodsonâ€™s novels. Overall rating: A
Monsters Go Night-Night by Aaron Zenz From Miss Carole at Madison Branch
Why not try something new this holiday season?
Ok you Fire Tablet borrowers, users, or anyone wanting to try an e-book from Amazon Kindle. "Time Change Series" by Alex Myers is a 3 book series that ties the story line together from book 1 to book 2 to book 3. Jack was riding in a car with his girl friend when a severe thunderstorm suddenly strikes, causing the car to skid and crash. When Jack awakens, he is not a hospital, as he expected. He somehow had been taken back in time to a period just years before the Civil War. As he finds his way around in his new world, he discovers his knowledge of products and technology from the 21st century have a significant impact on his experiences. It is to the extent that he believes he can be a factor in preventing the occurrence of the Civil War. His efforts, along with the acquaintances he gathers, are leading to that possibility, however, there are negative forces that do not want this to happen. Very interesting and entertaining story. Overall Rating: A
This month's story time is all about the number ten!
December is here and so is our annual Give the Gift of Reading book list!
Finding Dory, the much-anticipated sequel to Finding Nemo has finally arrived and it was definitely worth the wait! Dory, (the blue tang fish with very short-term memory), suddenly realizes she once had a family and decides itâ€™s time to go find them. Understanding she canâ€™t go alone she convinces Marlin, (Nemoâ€™s dad) to go along. Dory, Marlin, and Nemo set out with the few snippets of memories Dory can recall and begin a journey that takes them to a conservatory called the Marine Life Institute. Dory, who gets separated from Marlin and Nemo, meets Hank, an escape artist octopus and several other lovable marine creatures at the Institute who try to help her find her mom and dad, while Marlin and Nemo do their best to find Dory, as only two fish out of water can. There are several heart-tugging emotional scenes and the focus is, once again, on family bonds. The animation is beautiful and the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed Oâ€™Neil, and Diane Keaton really bring the characters to life. I enjoyed this Nemo film as much as I did the first one and would definitely recommend it! Be sure to wait for the fun scene at the end of the credits! Overall Rating: A+
Help us wish Jon Klassen a very happy birthday!!!
Miss Marisa reviews the newest book by one of her favorite picture book authors