Noir Films: The Good, the Great, the Unknown

In a Lonely Place

Do you have a penchant for desperate men who chain smoke and wear fedoras while they cling to hopeless lives? The library has black and white noir classics full those colorful characters.

"In a Lonely Place" stars Humphrey Bogart as a screenwriter. You may think a Bogie film you haven't heard of is a dud, but this has fine acting and a non-formulaic plot. Bogart's character is plagued by alcohol and uncontrollable rage. The femme fatale is Gloria Grahame, best known for her role as Violet in "It's a Wonderful Life." She's the supportive neighbor who confirms his alibi when he's accused of murder, but that doesn't mean he's innocent.

Win Win Or Scheme Scheme??

Win Win


There were no Oscar nods to this offbeat, funny and touching film yet it in every way "Win Win" should have won won. Struggling attorney and part-time high school wrestling coach, Mike, ( Paul Giamatti)  comes up with a strategy to solve his financial woes and benefit all...or does he? A simple story, super sound track and stellar cast make for one good movie night. And family, we learn, is about mutually acceptable compromises. With Paul Giamatti Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor and terrific newcomer and actual wrestling champ, Alex Shaffer.

--Laura S., Sachs Branch

The Beginner's Goodbye

The Beginner's GoodbyeThe Beginner's Goodbye


Anne Tyler is known for her novels featuring quirky characters struggling with close relationships. She writes with humor and sympathy about imperfect people making tentative steps towards their goals. Her novels are primarily set in Baltimore and focus on the everyday lives of people experiencing challenges in dealing with friends and family. Tyler won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for "Breathing Lessons." Some of her other popular novels illustrate her talent for great titles: "The Accidental Tourist," "Digging to America," and "Back When We Were Grownups."




Fans of Charles Frazier will be pleased to know his latest novel, Nightwoods, contains many of the features that made his previous bestseller, Cold Mountain, such a hit: epic landscapes, a perilous journey and, of course, a love story.

Begging for Dog Food - From Scratch!

The Dog Ate It


Our family dog, Sophie, is a yellow lab mix who loves food of all kinds but oddly enough, not dog bones. I decided that if I could buy treats from a store for her instead, why couldn't I make them at home? That way I know exactly what's in them and I can make sure they're both good and good for her. Here are four books that can start you off right down the road of delightful dog food at home.

I Can’t Buy a New Car Because I Still Have Books to Read



It's getting time for me to think about buying my next car. This one is 13-years-old. It has served me well, but if I want to get anything for it in trade, I need to act. Unfortunately, I still have books to read.

I shouldn't say read, I should say, I still have books to listen to. On tape. My car has a tape player which a new car will not have because the medium is quite obsolete.

Why do I have books on tape? Well, since the medium is obsolete, books on tape are easy to obtain! At garage sales and estate sales they are very inexpensive. In fact, I just got an unopened copy of "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel at a moving sale for less than $1!! How could I possibly pass that up?

Books on CD are also readily available at such sales, though not as cheaply. In my experience, folks charge the most for books on CD, then print books, then books on tape. Which is why my tape library is growing.

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