How is your reading going this month? There’s certainly a lot to choose from! I hope you’ve had a chance to stop by one of our locations for ideas on what to read.
If you’re still stumped, or pressed for time, how about a movie? All those great clothes (And hats! Everyone wore hats!) and classic cars – movies and television shows are a great way to immerse yourself in mid-century atmosphere. Here are some suggestions.
That Thing That You Do – Tom Hanks directed and starred in this charming story of a group of teens that are propelled into stardom in the early days of rock and roll.
L.A. Confidential – Gritty, complex and riveting, this look at a corrupt Los Angeles police department is chilling. Outstanding performances by Russell Crowe, Guy Pierce and Kim Basinger among others.
M*A*S*H – The classic television series starring Alan Alda. It’s a comedy (“Frank Burns eats worms!” still cracks me up) but it’s also a drama with an unflinching examination of the cost of war.
Mad Men – An inside look of the world of the glamorous and high-powered “Golden Age” of advertising, ruled by the men of Madison Avenue. A riveting examination of the times and how much things have (and haven’t) changed.
The once little-known condition of hoarding has become a household phrase – in part due to the popularity of the Emmy Award-winning television show Hoarders, which has captivated audiences with its stark and heartbreaking look at the people who suffer from this paralyzing condition. Now The Hoarder in You helps you overcome your worst hoarding compulsions.
Our fascination with hoarding stems, according to Dr. Robin Zasio, from the fact that we all fall somewhere on the hoarding continuum. From compulsive shoppers to hobbyists and collectors to ordinary, run-of-the-mill pack rats – to some degree or another, we all hoard. Dr. Zasio shares behind-the-scenes stories from the show, including some of the most serious cases of hoarding that she’s encountered – and explains how we can learn from these extreme examples. She also shares psychological and practical advice for de-cluttering and organizing, including how to tame the emotional pull of acquiring additional things, making order out of chaos by getting a handle on clutter, and creating an organizational system that reduces stress and anxiety. (description from publisher)
Looking for a different way to honor Dad this coming Father’s Day? How about checking out a movie featuring a fabulous father? There’s a lot to choose from — it all depends upon your interests, or perhaps, more importantly, upon the ages of your kids.
For the younger crowd, The Incredibles is a fun choice, and all the people in that family are pretty amazing!
One of my favorites is Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams. This is a good choice for slightly older kids; it’s hilarious, but also quite touching.
If your kids are older — maybe even adults — you may want to check out Father of the Bride. You can chose the popular newer version with Steve Martin, but it might be refreshing to go way back and view the original movie starring Spencer Tracy. See how things have changed, or possibly, how much has stayed the same!
For those of you who’d rather have a real book connection, why not look into To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch has to be one of the most understanding fathers in the world.
And if you prefer TV shows, you might like watching some true oldies, like My Three Sons or Father Knows Best. Have a Happy Father’s Day!
People! Why haven’t you been watching this show? It is one of the best shows on television – ever. And now this ratings-challenged, critically acclaimed show is gone (episodes originally aired on Direct TV; now showing on NBC, the final season is nearly over) Fortunately, the library has the DVDs – learn from the error of your ways and watch Friday Night Lights now.
Let me make this clear right from the start – Friday Night Lights is not about football. OK, sure, there are several scenes with shots of football games, and life in Dillon, Texas seems to revolve around the local high school football teams and the lead character is a football coach. The truth is, this show is about people – how they live, how they fall into and out of love, how they care for other people, how they try to be the best they can with what resources they have. For the younger people, it’s about how you think high school is the be-all and end-all of your life, only to realize it’s barely the beginning and you have some decisions to make that will affect the rest of your life. For the older people, it’s about how those decisions have shaped you and how you’ve learned to live – or not live – with those decisions. It’s poignant and funny and sad and beautiful – kind of like real life.
Brilliant acting (especially Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton), innovative photography, compelling story lines and characters that you can love and understand (even if you think they’re making dumb decisions), Friday Night Lights is both classic and modern, showing us who we are and what we are capable of. The fifth and final season does not disappoint and includes a bittersweet reunion of many of the characters from previous years. Also included in the DVD is a heartfelt retrospective of the series – there won’t be a dry eye in the house after watching this.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
I have to admit that when I first watched the pilot of Parks and Recreation starring Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones back in 2009, I was not impressed. I gave it up right then and didn’t look back until recently, when I heard great things about how much the show had improved. Curious, I picked up seasons one and two from the library and decided to give it another shot. The show follows the Parks and Recreation department of fictional town Pawnee, Indiana, led by Deputy Director Leslie Knope (Poehler). She’s ambitious and overly-eager, trying to get things done while dealing with the red tape so often associated with local government. The show starts off with her big project: trying to fill in a giant pit that local nurse Ann Perkins (Jones) complained about and turn it into a beautiful park.
Doesn’t sound like an exciting plot? Well, it is made wildly entertaining by the cast of characters who work and volunteer for the Parks Department. This includes the over-the-top womanizer Tom (played by hilarious comedian Aziz Ansari), office punching bag Jerry, apathetic intern April, and my personal favorite: Leslie’s boss, Ron Swanson, who deadpans every line and almost makes the moustache cool. It gets even better as we learn about the personal lives of each character (just wait until you see Leslie on a date and meet Ron’s evil ex-wife Tammy). I am so glad I gave this show another chance because now into its third season, it makes me laugh every week. If you like The Office, I highly recommend checking out this underrated and hilarious series.