Battlestar Galactica

This dark, four-season remake of the 1978 TV series is full of surprises. Twelve colonies of humans in a distant star system are wiped out by the cylons, a race of metal, humanoid-like machines. The remnants of humanity, traveling aboard a ragtag fleet of ships, including Battlestar Galactica, set off to search for the 13th colony--Earth. But not all cylons are metal. Some look just like humans. In fact, some cylons are programmed to think they are human. Can you tell who is a cylon?

Starring Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, and Jamie Bamber.



Up in the Air

Set against the backdrop of the financial crisis of 2008, Up in the Air (Rated R) follows Ryan Bingham as he flies around the country doing his job--firing people. His spartan lifestyle, which keeps him almost constantly airborne en route to the next city, suits him just fine. But when a new business model and a romantic entanglement threaten his comfortable existence, his goals shift unexpectedly.

Starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick.



The Book of Unknown Americans

The Book of Unknown Americans follows the Rivera family as they move from Mexico to the United States in order to get the best care for their daughter. The novel includes a cast of characters from throughout Latin America each with a unique and telling story to share. Grappling with issues like anti-immigrant sentiment, poverty, and the difficulties of assimilating into a new culture, this well written book puts a human face onto every person who ever tried to come to this country in search of a better life.

The library will have a book discussion on this title on February 17, 2022.



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Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America

Laila Lalami, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, interweaves her personal experiences as a Muslim immigrant from Morocco with the realities that all migrants to this country must face. She argues that people who do not look the right way or do not practice the right religion have their citizenship called into doubt.

The library will have a book discussion on this nonfiction title on February 3, 2022.

Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America is also available as an ebook on eMediaLibrary.

Source Code

This movie is the Sci Fi version of Groundhog Day except that if the main character doesn't get it right soon, millions of people will die. Confused, Captain Colter Stevens wakes up in another man's body, but the encounter only last's eight minutes--the last eight minutes of his life. Reliving the same eight minutes again and again, Stevens must find information to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack. Will he discover who the terrorist is in time? Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, and Vera Farmiga.

Source Code is available for checkout on DVD.



The Circle

The Circle is the name of the world's most influential Internet megacorporation, and Mae Holland has just landed a job there. As she rises quickly through the ranks she learns how the company's long tendrils have spread into all areas of life from entertainment to politics and more. Is there no segment of existence that The Circle cannot peer into? And who is this mysterious person that Mae keeps running into? With many parallels to real life, The Circle by Dave Eggers will make you question how long your own privacy will last. (Also a film starring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega, titled The Circle).

Sully

Three minutes into a flight out of New York's LaGuardia airport on a cold January day in 2009 and with 155 souls aboard, Captain "Sully" Sullenberger's plane hit a flock of birds causing catastrophic engine failure. Essentially gliding at 2800 feet above one of the most populated areas in the world, Sully had only seconds to decide where to land. Try to make it back to the runway and jeopardize even more lives on the ground, or ditch the plane in the Hudson River? 

This suspenseful film is based on a true story. Sully is directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, and Laura Linney.

Also check out the book Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by Chesley Sullenberger.

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Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

On April 18, 1942, sixteen B-25 bombers took off from an aircraft carrier and bombed Tokyo in what would be known as the Doolittle Raid. Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (1943) is a nonfiction, firsthand account of that secret mission as told by pilot Ted W. Lawson. The mission showed that the Japanese mainland was vulnerable to attack, served as revenge for Pearl Harbor, and boosted morale. Lawson's detailed retelling of the attack brings to life this harrowing event.




Station Eleven

Set in the near future, after an airborne disease has wiped out much of the population of the planet, Station Eleven (2014) follows a troupe of traveling musicians and actors as they migrate from town to town to put on shows. The plot bounces back and forth in time describing the first days of the pandemic then returning to the future, showing the evolution of the characters. Emily St. John Mandel skillfully brings these seemingly disparate storylines together as the main characters converge in the end.

Check out our list Welcome to Dystopia for similar titles. Visit Overdrive to read Station Eleven as an ebook or audiobook.



The Bourne Identity

A man is pulled from the ocean by a fishing boat. He is riddled with bullet holes but somehow still alive. He has no recollection of who he is or what he was doing, yet he has advanced combat skills and can speak several languages. A laser projector found with him gives the only clue: a safe deposit box number in Zurich. After he goes to the bank to retrieve the contents of the box, very dangerous people begin trying to kill him, and he expertly evades them. Can he remember who he is before it is too late?

The Bourne Identity (2002, PG-13) is the first action-packed movie in the Bourne series starring Matt Damon (and based on the novel of the same name by Robert Ludlum). Watch the entire series by checking out "The Bourne Series" binge box, which includes The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy, and Jason Bourne.



To Kill a Mockingbird

This classic novel is a page turner from start to finish. The beauty of To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) is that it is told from the point of view of six-year-old Jean Louise Finch (nicknamed Scout), whose curiosity and confusion about the racial injustice she sees all around her serve to highlight and call into question these horrible racial biases. The main storyline follows Scout's father, Atticus, a lawyer who has been appointed by the judge to defend a black man accused of rape. The fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, in the early 1930s serves as the backdrop with a multitude of characters, young and old, each with their own prejudices.

Beyond the major theme, the book is about growing up and parenting in a particular place and time. Harper Lee's novel explores the human condition exposing the flaws of even the protagonists, who have their own biases.

To Kill a Mockingbird is available to borrow via Hoopla (ebook, audio) and Overdrive (ebook, audio).

If you liked this book, check out our list of read-alikes.



Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is the coolest kid in his suburban school, and he has decided to take a day off with his best friend and girlfriend. After scheming their way out of attending school for the day, they sneak into Chicago for an adventure. Everything seems to go Ferris's way, but the principal is on to him and determined to put an end to the fun. This John Hughes film, with Ferris's signature soliloquies, is a classic 80s comedy.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986, PG-13) is part of the "1980s Radical Adventures" binge box along with E.T., Ghostbusters, Goonies, and Better Off Dead. And for more films set in Chicago, check out our list Location: Chicago.


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Big Little Lies

Set in Australia, Big Little Lies (2014) starts with a dead body at trivia night attended by all the parents of the elementary students. Was it murder? Liane Moriarty creates suspense, then goes back in time and skillfully guides the reader full circle to return to this moment. It follows three women, each with a secret, whose lives converge when their children attend the same kindergarten. The book is about fitting in, being a parent, the interpersonal lives of women, and the little lies we live with every day. By the end, you will become attached to these characters.

Read the ebook or listen to the audiobook on Overdrive. After you read the book, check out the TV show adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Zoe Kravitz. Big Little Lies. Season 1 follows the book, and season 2 goes beyond.



Tremors

Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward) have decided to leave the small, isolated town of "Perfection" for greener pastures. Unfortunately, they are a little too late. There's something under the ground, and it's killing people one by one. Now they are trapped. This comedy-horror film will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Tremors (1990, PG-13) also stars Michael Gross and Reba McEntire. This film is available on DVD in the Binge Box "Funny and Scary Collection" along with Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Cabin in the Woods, and What We Do in the Shadows.


My Antonia

Willa Cather's My Antonia (1918) describes growing up in frontier Nebraska during the end of the eighteenth century. It is told from the point of view of ten-year-old orphan Jim Burden, who leaves Virginia to live with his paternal grandparents. He soon befriends Antonia Shimerda, who lives on the next farm, and they go on adventures that are indelibly etched into their memories. They grow up together and become lifelong friends, keeping in touch even after Jim moves east, eventually settling in New York. When he comes to visit later in life, Antonia has aged considerably, but despite her change in appearance, she is still the dear friend he remembers.

My Antonia leaves you with a deep feeling of nostalgia for a person and place you never knew. Visit Hoopla to read the ebook or listen to the audiobook.