Solano County Library Staff Picks



Life Story (DVD)
A show that highlights the difficulties of life for different animals in the wild. Each episode has a different theme and revisits some animals at different stages of their life. The stories and the photography in this show are amazing.
Recommended by: Kristina C. Want it? 




Jonesy is a teenager that loves "Stuff!" (her absolute favorite music artist), making zines, her pet ferret Rocky, and getting even with the people that pick on her. How does she get even? With her super secret powers!! Jonesy can make anybody fall in love with anything (except herself!), but she often ends up getting in more trouble rather than enjoying sweet revenge like she intended. The cover art for this comic caught my eye at first. It reminds me of the art style of the "Scott Pilgrim" comic series, but much more colorful and expressive. I love Jonesy as a character; she's hot-headed, mischievous, and isn't afraid to tell everyone what's on her mind. The plot of the comic is more on the juvenile side so tweens/younger teens would enjoy this the most. But anyone who enjoys light-hearted comics and flashy art will love "Jonesy" too!
Recommended by: Andrea K. Want it? 




I'll Give you the Sun
“There should be a horn or gong or something to wake God. Because I’d like to have a word with him. Three words actually: WHAT THE [EXPLETIVE DELETED]?!” Let me start by saying that it took me a LONG time to get over this book. “I’ll Give You The Sun” is a unforgettable, heartbreaking, and somewhat aggravating novel that will leave the reader breathless (probably from all the crying and screaming that you do into your pillow). The story focuses on a girl named Jude and her twin brother Noah who are, at first, inseparable. The twins earlier years are narrated by Noah, and the later by Jude. As the story switches back and forth between past and future, the reader helplessly struggles to understand what went wrong and why the twins are barely speaking to each other. The lack of communication between the characters in this book is enough to drive even the sanest person to the brink of madness. In the words of Jandy Nelson “WE WERE ALL HEADING FOR EACH OTHER ON A COLLISION COURSE, NO MATTER WHAT. MAYBE SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST MEANT TO BE IN THE SAME STORY.”
Recommended by: Tyler C. Want it? 




Merry Widow (DVD)
A silent classic from Erich von Stroheim. Beautiful, decadent, romantic.
Recommended by: Mark F. Want it? 




Out 1: Noli me Tangere (DVD)
This masterpiece has been completely unavailable legally in the United States (and most other countries) since it's completion in 1971. So now's your chance to finally get a look at it. It is sometimes said that it's a 13 hour movie, which makes it sound really intimidating, but in fact, it is an 8 episode series - watch it just like your favorite TV show and you should be fine. What's actually challenging are a few very long sequences (including one in the first episode that lasts 40 some minutes) of theater groups doing improv training. If you can, just go with it. If you have to fast forward through some of the theater stuff, that's cool - because the rest of the series is intensely enjoyable. Some absolutely incredible French actors of the 70s (Jean-Pierre Leaud, Juliet Berto, Michael Lonsdale), a fascinating, if perplexing, mystery about a secret cabal of 13 running Paris, and some of the most gorgeous technicolor you'll ever see.
Recommended by: Mark F. Want it? 




News of the World
Captain Kidd, an elderly widower who has survived three wars, makes his way through post-Civil War Texas reading the news aloud for coins. His solitary life is brought to an end when he is tasked with returning Johanna, a girl kidnapped by the Kiowa four years earlier, to her relatives. Unlikely partners, the unwilling Johanna and Captain Kidd traverse Texas from top to bottom on their journey. They encounter all sorts of characters - Texas Rangers, cowboys, Kiowa raiders, and plenty of nefarious activity. Fans of westerns like True Grit and Lonesome Dove will appreciate this funny and endearing yarn.
Recommended by: Brenda W. Want it? 




Longmire (DVD)
Longmire is a TV series. It's about a sheriff in a small town that's outside a reservation area. I find the performers and storyline to be believable. I enjoy the friendship between the sheriff and the owner of the Red Pony.
Recommended by: Junella H. Want it? 




Born of Night
This is the first of the League series. It's a science fiction series by the author of the Dark-Hunter series. I am always impressed by the way the author can change the "bad guy" into the misunderstood good guy. If you like science fiction this is a must read.
Recommended by: Junella H. Want it? 




Hunt for the Wilderpeople (DVD)
I love stories of community and unconventional families. And misfit teens. And misfit senior citizens too. You have that here in this Kiwi film adaptation of Barry Crump's "Wild Pork and Watercress". Pathos, humor, and talent abound in this fantastic comedy!
Recommended by: Heather C. Want it? 




The Legend of Tarzan (DVD)
I was surprised by how good this movie was. It's great for those who enjoyed whichever version of Tarzan they grew up with, and unexpectedly for those who enjoy the majesty of the animals of the African jungle. If anything, Samuel L. Jackson's performance is great and provides humor throughout.
Recommended by: Mychal T. Want it? 




The Cookie Fiasco
This entry in a new series by popular children's author Mo Willems is perfect for beginning readers. The humorous story told in short word bubbles also introduces concepts including math and problem solving. Fans of Willems Elephant & Piggie books will be excited to see their favorite characters return as the narrators of this new series titled Elephant & Piggie like reading!
Recommended by: Kristen M. Want it? 




Tesla's Attic
This is book one in the Accelerati Trilogy and it has become one of my new favorite series to recommend to upper elementary age kids. When Nick and his family move into a house they inherited, he should have realized something was off when he opened the door to his attic bedroom and a toaster hit him in the head. After selling all the junk in the attic at a garage sale, Nick discovers the items were placed there by Nikola Tesla with a very specific purpose. Now Nick and his friends need to get the items back before members of the Accelerati get to them first. Part science, part supernatural, this read keeps you on the edge of your seat and wanting more.
Recommended by: Kristen M. Want it? 




Hardcore Henry (DVD)
If you're looking for non-stop action 'Hardcore Henry' doesn't disappoint. The opening few seconds are pretty much the only parts of the film where something isn't happening. The first person point of view makes you feel as though you are part of the film. It's not an Oscar award winning film, nor is it one for the faint of heart. But if you're looking for a movie that's different, or one you can't turn away from, this is the one for you.
Recommended by: Mychal T. Want it? 




My brilliant friend
The first book in the Neapolitan Series, My Brilliant Friend truly is a masterpiece. Set in Italy in the 1950s, this book begins the story of two friends whose lives are connected from when they meet as young girls in their poor neighborhood outside of Naples. Both girls are remarkably intelligent, but their paths diverge when one is allowed to continue her education while the other is sent to work in her family’s business. The book covers the girls’ lives through adolescence but their story continues through the next three books. The books are addicting. The characters are compelling and fascinating as is the setting the author creates. The story is violent and the characters are often brutal to each other. The reader gets a sense of what it must have been like living in Italy during the social and political upheavals of that time. The author has created a fascinating world in these books. Begin with this book and then continue the series.
Recommended by: Nancy R. Want it? 




I'm thinking of ending things
It's hard to describe this book without spoiling the story for the reader. Reid has written an unsettling, tense, suspenseful book that defies easy description. From the very start, you will be on edge but for reasons you can't quite define. The book seemingly moves back and forth through time as the narrator remembers events throughout her life, but the reader senses that all isn't as it seems. And it isn't. Take this book home, read it and enjoy the unsettling and disturbing story. And when you're finished, read it again to see the clues that you missed the first time.
Recommended by: Nancy R. Want it? 




I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids
This is a great book for teachers looking to create a positive classroom culture. Many of the author's suggestions can also be incorporated into creating a positive staff culture in one's place of business. So, it would be great for small business owners as well.
Recommended by: Juli H. Want it? 




The Obelisk Gate
This is how the world ends. The Stillness has been torn apart, a Season has begun. The last Season. Essun began her journey looking for her daughter. Instead, she found a community. And Alabaster Tenring. Alabaster has given her a task: to bring back the moon. To do this Essun must learn how to use the obelisks without being killed. Far away her daughter, Nassun, grows in power, learning from the Guardian Schaffa. But the Stone Eaters also want Nassun. With the Broken Earth Trilogy, Hugo Award winner N. K. Jemisin has built an intriguing world populated with complex characters and an exciting plot. The characters are fully realized, the world feels familiar, yet not. The story progresses naturally, The Obelisk Gate taking up immediately where the first book, The Fifth Season, ended. It is a perfect centerpiece, setting the reader up for what is sure to be an exhilarating finale. Jemisin is a refreshing voice in the science fiction/fantasy genre and definitely worth reading.
Recommended by: Sandy S. Want it? 




Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Duckworth's research has been featured in other psychologist's books, and in this title makes her research and that of others on the topic digestible and easy to understand. The evidence on how perseverance and passion, rather than talent, can help us to build more productive lives for ourselves and our children, is one that if we can shift towards as a culture can positively impact achievement in the workplace and in schools. With anecdotes and examples sprinkled throughout her book to entertain while she informs she lays out ideas and practices that will be beneficial to anyone who wants to learn to be more gritty.
Recommended by: Taaren S. Want it? 




The Hunger Pains: A Parody
Katniss Neverclean and Pita Malarkey are chosen to play in the Hunger Games reality television show. Both from the worst neighborhood of the districts, “The Crack,” they have to make difficult decisions in order to last throughout the games. Katniss is faced with the reality of an ever-threatening death, her romantic interests, and family peril. Although the storyline becomes a little boggy towards the end, The Harvard Lampoon creates an awkward and hilarious retort to the original. This parody on Suzanne Collin’s “Hunger Games” is a must read! “May da odds be eva in ya fava, mon!”
Recommended by: Nikki H. Want it? 




The Good Lie (DVD)
“The Good Lie” sheds light on the struggle that the Sudanese people endured in their Civil War. The film shadows Mamere, Jeremiah, Paul, and Abital’s journey from their Sudan Village to America. Being forced out of their village for fear of being massacred alongside their family, a group of Sudanese children face the dessert to find solace. After enduring weeks of starvation, slaughter, and much uncertainty they arrive to a refugee camp in Kenya. Years later, they are among the few given asylum in America. Although this “saving grace” brings a new breath of hope, they are met with more disappointments and hurdles that they have not met before. What I love most about this journey of fear, uncertainty, hope, restoration and redemption is that it unveils the stock the human race has to overcome famine, poverty, war and death. It is encouraging to see those with less to overcome so much and it gives me hope that though what I may go through may be minuscule to their pains, that I can keep my head up when I face struggles knowing they, and so many others, made it.
Recommended by: Nikki H. Want it? 




How To Hang a Witch
Teenager Samantha Mather and her stepmother move to her father’s ancestral home in Salem, where he lies hospitalized in a mysterious coma. She soon discovers that although 300 years have passed since one of her relatives initiated the infamous Witch Trials, local descendants of the victims still harbor a malicious grudge. Finding herself at the center of a centuries old curse about to replay itself, she races against time to break the chain of events that are, once again, causing residents to die. Will her father be next? Spells, ghosts, frightening visions and intrigue abound in this engaging allegory likening bullying to a modern-day witch hunt.
Recommended by: C.S. C. Want it? 




Plants and landscapes for summer-dry climates of the San Francisco Bay region
There's no end to the drought in site, so many Californians are choosing to landscape their yards with drought tolerant options. This book is a valuable resource to discover plants that will do well in our specific climate.
Recommended by: Natasha N. Want it? 




This is a great resource that explains the origins of the city of Fairfield in photos. One interesting fact about the book that you can't discover from the cover or description on the back is that there is an in-depth history of the public library that spans several pages. This was a great find! I also consider this required reading for potential library students.
Recommended by: Johnny P. Want it? 




Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News
Interesting history of the 1938 broadcast of Orson Welles' War of the World and its aftermath. It's also the history of radio from it's earliest beginnings right up to today and the life of Orson Welles himself. Very engaging, readable, and hard to put down.
Recommended by: Juli H. Want it? 




Eye in the Sky (DVD)
Eye in the Sky is the late Alan Rickman's final film, and is definitely one worth watching. A brilliant war film that keeps you wondering what is going to happen next, while asking questions about the costs of war.
Recommended by: Mychal T. Want it? 



important Announcement

We will be conducting a scheduled upgrade of the library catalog on Dec 6 at 5am. The upgrade is expected to last two hours. During that time 'Your Account' and 'Catalog Search' will be unavailable.




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