New Releases - Staff Picks


High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic by Glenn Frankel
Director Fred Zinnemann's tense western was made during one of the most tumultuous times in Hollywood history. This is a chilling chronicle of the impact that anti-communist witch hunts had on the entertainment business in general and on individuals associated with "High Noon" in particular. Distinguished careers vanished overnight as studio heads bowed to the pressure applied by politicians drunk with their own power. Very few people suffered more unjustly than the film's writer, Carl Foreman. Some of the elements that made this period one of the nation's most perilous seem to be ominously reasserting themselves today. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Where have we been, where are we now and where are we going as a species? Pitched for the general reader with clarity, humor and many “aha” examples, we journey from the dawn of humanity to the current Anthropocene Era dominated by man and the religion of Humanism. While pointing out possible pitfalls in our continuing evolution (including self-extinction), Harari remains cautiously hopeful. What separates human consciousness from other species is imagination and the drive to tell stories and Science, Politics and Religion are the tools. Is consciousness simply a sophisticated series of algorithms? Will the continued development of Artificial intelligence eventually put an end to the species? We are currently in the Age Of Dataism where information IS religion. Should be required reading for all. Magnificent, profound and delightfully readable. ~ Reviewed by Karen Frank
Imagine Me Gone Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
Imagine Me Gone is a deeply moving portrayal of a family's complex love for one another as they manage and respond to the shape shifting undercurrent of mental illness experienced by both father and son. A compelling read on every level, this novel is crafted with impressive emotional sensitivity, providing a direct feed into the inner lives and secrets of each character - and you keep wanting more. Writing of this caliber is a rare thing. Haslett has created a gem of a novel that I will recommend over and over again. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone
62 million girls are not in school. Tanya Lee Stone digs deep into gender inequality with personal and inspiring stories of girls persevering against remarkable odds to gain an education. A fantastic primer for girls wanting to make a difference in the world. ~ Reviewed by Martha Cornwell