TV Series: The Crown
Beautifully filmed with fantastic costumes, this series chronicles the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The chemistry and tension between Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth and Matt Smith as Prince Philip is palpable, and as an American I found it interesting to learn more about palace dynamics– such as how much control the “courtiers” have on the royals.
CD: E·mo·tion by Carly Rae Jepsen
Super catchy and poppy; a distillation of being a boy crazy young girl without being too juvenile or sugary, meaning anyone can give this a listen and enjoy it.
“Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.”
Audiobook: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
“In 1941, Lina and her family are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers.”
Movie: Running Target!
Future Academy Award-winning cinematographer Conrad Hall shows his early skill with this beautifully photographed color adventure set in the Colorado Rockies. Future Academy Award-winning composer Ernest Gold provides the significant score. The story: a sheriff (Arthur Franz) reluctantly leads a modern day (circa 1956) posse into the wilderness to recapture four escaped convicts. Richard Reeves’ obsession with his weapon (his “brother”) remains germane today.
Audiobook: Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler by Bruce Henderson
The author follows a half dozen German-born Jews who as teenagers in the 1930s were sent or made their way from Hitler’s increasingly-dangerous Reich to the United States. As they reached military age and Germany declared war on the U.S., they enlisted and found themselves training at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. These “Ritchie Boys” learned interrogation techniques and because of their familiarity with the German language and culture became invaluable assets in front-line units from D-Day until the war’s conclusion. Some actually made contact with their families, others expected and found the worst: their kin had died in extermination camps. This is an exciting and moving tale one hopes Hollywood will turn into an epic film—with actors of the appropriate age as the real Ritchie Boys.
A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village. Their unconventional style changes the rigid community.
CD: Eden by Sarah Brightman
Sarah’s best album with a mix of English, Italian, French and Latin, as well as a mix of classic Opera, pop and New Age.
Audiobook: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
Listening to Roxanne Gay read her beautifully-written memoir Hunger was like listening to a close friend divulging some of her most intimate yet painful feelings and memories. It is quite literally the story of her body, and the way she and others have treated it. Powerful, raw, and heartbreaking, it is a must read.
CD: Beast Epic by Iron & Wine
After multiple albums of experimenting with new sounds, it seems that singer Sam Beam has gone back to his sweet melodic folk roots. This is his best album since Our Endless Numbered Days.
All quoted summaries from catalog.ccls.org.