Survive The Night

I really enjoyed reading Survive the Night (2021) by Riley Sager. It's the story of a young college student, named Charlie. Two months earlier, her college roommate and best friend, Maddy, was the third victim of a serial killer on campus, known as the Campus Killer. Charlie feels the need to get away from school and go home to visit her grandmother in Ohio. Since she doesn't drive, she is looking for a ride share on the campus ride board and by chance meets a guy, Josh, who is looking to drive her in exchange for gas money. Josh calls Charlie and tells her he will be picking her up at 9 pm. Charlie is having second thoughts at having a complete stranger drive her home. From the moment she gets in his car, and the more they talk, she starts to get an uneasy feeling that he could be the Campus Killer. The story is what happens in the next few hours on their road trip. Should Charlie escape, should she call for help, or should she just run... is he the serial killer?

Read the eBook and eAudiobook on Libby.




Let Him Go

George & Margaret Blackledge (played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), are a retired sheriff and his wife living with their son, daughter-in-law and grandson, on a Montana ranch. Their son, James dies in a horse riding accident and then many years later, their daughter-in-law, Lorna , remarries Donnie Weboy. Margaret sees that this union is very abusive and wants to get her ex daughter-in-law and grandson back. Lorna, Donnie and her son are taken away by Donnie's family. And George and Margaret must go to long measures to locate their grandson. Neither Donnie's family or George & Margaret are willing to let the boy go and George must rescue his grandson before it's too late. Very good movie.

Available in DVD and Blu-Ray.




Killing the Mob

If you enjoy learning about gangsters, outlaws and the Mafia, I recommend reading "Killing the Mob: the Fight Against Organized Crime in America" by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard. This book covers the history of corruption in the U.S. from the 1930's when bank robbers, such as Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillinger were robbing banks during prohibition. This book gives insight to the rise of the Mafia with the Hollywood elite, politicians and gambling in Las Vegas. Many conspiracies theories are looked at in regards to President John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy deaths as well as the Teamsters Union boss Jimmie Hoffa. I couldn't put this book down and enjoyed learning more about the legendary mobsters and gangsters. This book is about the history of organized crime in America and the families that ruled them. 

Check out the eBook and eAudiobook on your browser through eMediaLibrary.




The Last Right

I really enjoyed watching the movie called The Last Right on Hoopla. It was a quirky, light-hearted comedy set in Ireland. The story begins with a death in the family that causes Daniel Murphy to be flying from the US back home to his family's home in Ireland to attend his mother's funeral. A chance encounter with the passenger sitting next to him on the plane sets the entire movie in motion. I really enjoyed this movie because it reminded me of an updated 2021 version of  Rain Man. It is an interesting adventure with two brothers, a friend and a stranger and their adventure across Ireland not knowing that the police are in hot pursuit of them. It's about doing what's right for FAMILY.

Watch The Last Right on Hoopla.





Home Before Dark

If you like stories about a haunted house then you will probably enjoy Home Before Dark (2020) by Riley Sager. This is the story of a Victorian estate in Vermont which the Holt family moves into to fix up. Baneberry Hall was built by William Garson in the mid 1800s. He lived there with his family and then a few other generations of the Garson's did also. William's daughter Indigo kills herself in 1889 which begins all the hauntings in the house. Many families and people come and go over the years with a number of murders and suicides that happen in the house. The Holt family is not disturbed by this history and move in . Not much has changed over the years. Over a decade of antiques and personal items are left from previous families. The Holt family suddenly leaves in a panic 3 weeks later to never return. The father Ewan Holt, writes a book about the haunted house and their families' experiences and makes lots of money from the book. 25 years later he dies and his daughter, Maggie inherits the money and the house. She can't remember her personal experiences from when she lived there those 3 weeks when she was a child and goes to the house to fix it up to sell. She always felt that the book was fictional and that her dad made most of the stories up. The past catches up with her and she finally resolves the mysteries of the house.


Check out the ebook or listen to the eaudio on Overdrive.


The Founder

I highly recommend this film about the true story of the founding of McDonald's Corporation. It's about an ambitious malt shake mixer salesman, Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) and his chance encounter with Mac and Dick McDonald in 1954.

Mac and Dick have a highly successful hamburger stand in San Bernardino, CA. These two brothers have developed a speedy assembly line for producing hamburgers at a rate of 30 seconds from beginning to end. They changed the idea of a food stand or drive-in and came up with a cost-efficient model that is highly effective in reducing overhead costs. Ray Kroc sees the potential of this and goes into partnership with franchising the company, McDonald's.

The Founder (2016, rated PG-13) is the story of how Ray Kroc turned this concept into the billion-dollar empire that we have today. Check out the DVD today.


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Appalachian Trail

National Geographic made this documentary about the Appalachian Trail. This hiking trail is over 2,000 miles long, running from Georgia to Maine (cutting through 14 states). There are many day hikers that do portions of the trail, but also thru-hikers that can take up to 6 months to complete the entire trail. 1 in 4 succeed with over 2,000 hikers trying each year to complete the trail.

It is known as the "people's trail" because it was created by Americans and is completely cared for by an army of volunteers. It is truly an American experience, and the journey changes lives. This is the ultimate challenge for hikers who have an adventurous side. Watch Appalachian Trail (2009) on Hoopla today.


1945

I recommend the black and white film 1945. Set in a small village in Hungary in 1945 just as World War II finished, it opens on a summer day as the town prepares for a wedding. Two Jewish men get off the train with two large crates and go through town. The town's residents are wondering who these two men are and why they have returned. Some of the town's people were part of a coverup in getting a prominent Jewish family deported and taking over their possessions. Many of these people have such profound guilt, leading to irrational decisions while they think these two strangers are there to take back what was taken from this family. What happens in the town all takes place in a few hours.

This film was released in 2017, winning several awards at film festivals. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Watch 1945 on Hoopla today.


The Great Alaskan Race

I highly recommend the movie, The Great Alaskan Race (2019, rated PG). It is the heroic true story of a race against time during an arctic blizzard. In 1925, there was a diphtheria epidemic that made all the children of Nome, Alaska, deathly ill. The town desperately needed the anti-toxin serum to stop this epidemic. This is the story of the Serum Run.

Twenty brave mushers and 150 courageous dogs traveled 700 miles through -80 temperatures to bring the serum back to Nome to save the children. What should have taken 25 days to travel by dogsled was done in a record of 5.5 days by these heroic mushers and dogs. This proved that anything was possible with hope and courage. The Iditarod Race is done in remembrance of the 1925 Serum Run.

Watch The Great Alaskan Race on Hoopla today or check out the Dvd.



All Good Things

I recommend the movie All Good Things (2010, rated R), based on a true story from the early 80s about New York real estate heir David Marks (Ryan Gosling) and the disappearance of his wife Katie (Kirsten Dunst). Gosling does an amazing job with the transformation of his character in how he changes over the years of his marriage. He tries to outrun his past, but his family and wealth bring him back into the family business.

Watch All Good Things on Hoopla today or check out the DVD. The inspiration for the movie may be stranger than fiction: read about the strange case of Robert Durst.

The Last Tsarinas: Splendor & Misery

I highly recommend watching the documentary, The Last Tsarinas: Splendor & Misery (2018). It traces the journey for the great, great, great-granddaughter, Maria von Preussen of Alexandra and Nicholas I. She is directly related to Kaiser Wilhelm II and Princess Charlotte. Maria follows in the footsteps of Princess Charlotte in 1817, who leaves Prussia to be wed to the Grand Duke in St. Petersburg, Russia. Princess Charlotte has her name changed to Alexandra and becomes the Tsarina with Nicholas I. They have a very happy and long marriage. This story explains why many Tsarinas were of German ancestry and the many changes that take place in Russia to end the Russian monarchy.

Watch The Last Tsarinas: Splendor & Misery on Hoopla today.



Masterminds

I enjoyed this lighthearted comedy based on a true story that happened in 1997. It is about David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis), an armored car guard who robs his employer Loomis Fargo. Because he is in love with his former work partner Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig), he is tricked into committing the largest cash robbery in U.S. history. He steals over 17 million dollars in this heist. David assists in helping the FBI catch the real mastermind, Steven Chambers (Owen Wilson).

Masterminds (2017, rated PG-13) is a pretty funny movie that I highly recommend. Watch the film on Hoopla today.

If you like Masterminds, you might be interested in some of the titles on Great Movies: Comic Capers and Cons.

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Teslafy Me

Watch this 90-minute documentary about the story of Nikola Tesla and his achievements from the early 1900s. He was overshadowed by many famous inventors in his day and was never given the recognition he deserved—to this day. He was considered the inventor that kick started the Industrial Revolution.

In Teslafy Me (2019), I learned his patents and ideas are still being used today and remain unchanged. He believed in renewable energy and that energy should be provided to the world for free. His technologies were ahead of their time. He believed in free wireless power transmission and had ideas for cell phones and internet. He was definitely a genius and we are only finding out about him today.

Watch Teslafy Me on Hoopla today. If you are interested in this subject, read or listen to books about and by Nikola Tesla on Hoopla.


Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway

What an amazing journey to see how genius Lin-Manuel Miranda created the Broadway hit Hamilton. He was inspired to write an updated, contemporary, hip-hop musical that reignited New York City's Times Square. After writing the story and music, Miranda starred as the title character (and won a lot of Tony Awards).

After reading a biography on an obscure founding father, Miranda was inspired to write this musical. Side note: Alexander Hamilton (2008)by Ron Chernow is available in Overdrive as an ebook, abridged audio (11 hours), and unabridged audio (35 hours).

Miranda brought Hamilton to life by showing his humanity and flaws. He shined light on a historical character that is self-made and rises to unexpected heights. Another groundbreaking effort was Miranda's movement to diversify roles in his musical to further diversity in musical theater.

I highly recommend this documentary to see the inspiration behind the creator of the hit musical Hamilton.Watch Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway (2017, rated TV-PG) on Hoopla today. Then, listen to the Hamilton soundtrack on Hoopla too!

And exciting news: the Broadway production will be available on Disney+ starting July 3. Reserve one of our Family Rokus today for your chance to watch the production.


The German Girl

I highly recommend The German Girl (2016). It is the fascinating story of two very different girls growing up in different times. In 1939, Hannah Rosenthal is wealthy and originally from Berlin. In 2014, Anna is from New York.

Hannah's story features her and her parents' escape from Germany before the war begins. She is not of "pure" German blood and they escape by securing passage on a luxury transatlantic ocean liner, called the St. Louis. Her family plans to make a new life for themselves in Havana, Cuba.

Anna receives a birthday gift from a mysterious unknown relative, her Great Aunt Hannah, in Cuba. So Anna and her mother travel to Cuba to meet this relative and find out the truth of her past.

Author Armando Lucas Correa weaves the two stories together so well that I could not put the book down. It is inspired by the true story of the passengers of the St. Louis and what became of them during the Holocaust. (Spoiler alert: read the article from the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum—but not if you want to be surprised by the book).

The German Girl is available to read or listen to via Overdrive. Check it out today. Visit our website for a list of World War II Novels.