Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree (2022)
Make yourself a cup of coffee, find a comfy chair, and enjoy this cozy story of “high fantasy and low stakes.” Viv wants to retire from a life of sword-wielding adventure and instead open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. But this quest is its own adventure and its success depends on friendships new and old.
Jenna's Picks- Middle Grade Graphic Novels:
Living with Viola by Rosena Fung (2021)
This essential debut by Fung covers a topic that many experience, but few feel comfortable talking about openly. Viola is Livy’s anxiety – a shadowy figure only she can see that follows closely and always talks down to her. Viola only becomes a larger presence when Livy starts attending a new school. Throughout the realistic ups and downs, Livy learns how to ask for help and learns the skills to handle her anxiety in a healthy manner. A must read for students and adults alike! "Living with Viola is a selection for the 2023 All CT Reads program from the CT State Library."
Enemies by Svetlana Chmakova (2022)
Did you love the graphic novels Awkward, Brave, and Crush? We did too and we could not be more excited that the Berrybrook Middle School series is back with a new installment of the laugh out loud, cringe-worthy, and extremely relatable stories. Enemies focuses on Felicity Teale, who we first met in Awkward, and a diverse cast of familiar characters from the series. Felicity is struggling to find her place in school when really all she wants to do is draw, write, and cosplay. Buckle up for some middle school drama!
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (2021)
A tension-filled mystery/thriller surrounding the Delaney family. Joy Delaney is missing, and her husband is the prime suspect in her murder. The four Delaney children are divided as to their father’s guilt, pitting them against each other. But is all as it seems? After all, Savannah, the young woman who appeared on the Delaney’s doorstep late one night after a fight with her boyfriend, is also nowhere to be found. The story builds with flashbacks to the past, tracing a path from Savannah’s arrival to the present while exploring the complexities and dynamics of the Delaney family over time.
Desperado by the Eagles (1973): The second studio album released by the Eagles through Asylum Records. Recorded in London at Island Studios, the album yielded two hit tracks, “Tequila Sunrise” and “Outlaw Man.” Interestingly enough, despite the title track being one of their best known songs, “Desperado” was never released as a single at the time. Although the album was not much of a commercial success upon release, it has since become a seminal record of country rock music.
From Russia with Love (1963): The second James Bond film adapted from the Ian Fleming novel of the same name and directed by Terrence Young (who also directed the previous film Dr. No). Sean Connery returns as James Bond while Robert Shaw portrays assassin Donald “Red” Grant. In the film, the secret organization SPECTRE plans to kill Bond by ensnaring him in a trap involving the defection of a Russian cipher clerk. Considered to be one of the best entries of the series, it’s a film that was way ahead of its time when it was release and has subsequently stood the test of time long afterwards.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011): The fourth film of the Mission Impossible series and the first one with a subtitle. Directed by Brad Bird, the film follows IMF agent Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, as he and his team are disbanded following an attack at the Kremlin and subsequently must go underground to stop a terrorist bent on nuclear aggression. Noted for its high technical stunts, including real mountaineering outside the Burj Khalifa, Ghost Protocol is high-octane action film that’s definitely worth the watch.