Growing up is . . . ugh. Sometimes it’s like there are voices in our heads, am I right? Few films better illustrate our emotions of anger, sorrow, joy, disgust, and fear as this film. Pixar’s “Inside Out” has been nominated fo...read more
This is not a story about heroes. This is about the villains.
Even cooler, this is a pulpy Star Wars book, published on the eve of 2015's big theatrical release of "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens." The reason this particular book is import...read more
Captivating, magical, and honest, this is a contender for best YA Fantasy of 2015. "Uprooted" is written by award-winning author Naomi Novik, acclaimed for her alternative history/fantasy "His Majesty's Dragon." Every ten years one girl is taken to a...read more
Sometimes you feel like you were born in the wrong time period. All the exciting parts of the earth have been discovered, you tell yourself. The pyramids, the great expanse of Antarctica, the Aztec temples. What's left? But then you remember that the...read more
Overwhelmed by technology? Do you feel like the smart phone and Wi-Fi world is marching inevitably forward leaving you behind and frustrated? Abby Stokes is your new best friend. "Is This Thing On?" is a great book for any adult. If you have digital ...read more
"The dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead, called 'Histories', rest in the Archive." Already, the beginning of that jacket synopsis has my attention for obvious reasons....read more
If as a child you devoured "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" or "Goosebumps", this Young Adult graphic novel will take you to the next, darker level. Mystical, creepy, and beautiful, this graphic novel represents the best of its genre and shows wha...read more
Think of Han Solo in Cormac McCarthy's "The Road." Shouldn't be too hard. Now take that character and pretend he's trying to survive in a zombie-infested North America. Good? Now add airborne helium-lofted cities, zeppelins, blimps, and gangs of raid...read more
Rooftoppers feels like a birthday, shines like the moon, and reads like milk chocolate. This book is nothing less than a new classic children's fable; easily read by adults and children alike and loved for its themes of family and imagination.
When ...read more
"Annihilation" is trippy, surreal science-fiction. It's best classified in a genre which should be called science-horror. It's sure to strike a chord in readers enjoying the weird, the paranoid, and the destabilizing. It's like David Lynch directed a...read more
This book rattled me. If you've read nothing or believe you've read everything about the Holocaust, make this memoir your next read! It's not about the politics or the moving of armies or the gas chambers. It's the very personal story of a girl named...read more
This is the most unique book I've read so far in 2014. Imagine dying young, choosing first to have your head chopped off and cryogenically frozen until a time where science can reattach your head to a donor body. Imagine five years later, you wake up...read more
Joel wants to be a Rithmatist and has been told his whole life he cannot be one. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity's only defense against the Wild Chalklings -- mercil...read more
Directed by the great Ron Howard, "Rush" should have filled the tenth spot for Best Picture 2013 at the Oscars. Simply put: this was a stellar film about the real-life drama between two champion F-1 racers in the '70s -- Niki Louda, a German, and Jam...read more
Take the cast of Ender's Game, the cyberpunk ethos of Neuromancer, the tech of the Matrix movies, and the classroom setting of Hogwarts. Boom. This amazing book.
This coming-of-age war story follows teenager Tom Raines as he is recruited into a futu...read more
If you like Venice, Rome, Oliver Twist, Shakespeare, the Renaissance, the Godfather films or Ocean's Eleven, this fantasy epic is for you. For readers hesitant to tackle longer books, or the fantasy genre in general, I can say without a doubt that Sc...read more
A brave, tour-de-force of psychological horror, "American Horror Story" is a twisted, frightening television show about the many people who have died in one Los Angeles house throughout the 20th Century. The story picks up in 2011 with a new family m...read more
This multi-award winning film is a eco-documentary, featuring the acclaimed National Geographic photographer James Balog, who deployed several time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. His hauntingly beautifu...read more
Featuring one of the tightest, smartest endings of a YA (young adult) debut author I've ever read, "All Our Yesterdays" is my Top Ten Young Adult title of the year. The character depth is just as fully realized as the thrilling plotting. It's ambitio...read more
You can't make everyone happy. That can be said about every film version of "Anna Karenina." It can also be said about the tragic characters and harrowing themes within the original work. Depending on how you count, this 2012 adaptation is the fifth ...read more
The Passage is an intricate tome, offering dedicated readers a chance to immerse themselves in Cronin's thrilling world of vampires and apocolyptic adventure. There are a lot of characters and over 780 pages, but if you're a fan of King, Stoker, McCa...read more
"False Memory" is a hard-hitting action/sci-fi, laced with romance and intriguing military secrecy. Imagine you're a teen, waking up on a bench in a mall with no memory. You get into an altercation with a security guard and some kind of power you did...read more
If you think television is all trash and not worth watching anymore, or you can't find a show that is witty or relevant, I am happy to tell you you're wrong.
The first season of HBO's political drama, "The Newsroom," is a well-cast, beautifully-shot...read more
Parents don't often listen to kids or believe them, which is why our protagonist in "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" feels such terror in this book. You will too. The effect is a palpable one and this story gripped me like few others have done in 2...read more
With the Cecil County Fair coming up soon, I can't help but recommend this book! This is a little perfect summer read; a nostalgic paperback mystery about broken hearts, summer jobs and carnivals, and just a tiny dab of the supernatural. A novel that...read more
It's a bloody, disturbing book.
We follow Jazz, a teen just like any other. He wants his own life, his friends, and a girl. But unlike you and me, Jazz grew up being indoctrinated by his serial killer father. At seven, Jazz was seeing things no one ...read more
Bully is one of the most difficult documentaries I've ever made myself watch. It's tragic, cruel, and is one of our country's chronic issues. Regardless of skin color, income, or what county you live in, bullying doesn't just happen during the hours ...read more
Here's a novel readers will love but may overlook: a modern sci-fi tale taking place in a secret science facility buried in the exotic Amazonian rain forest. The place is called Little Cam and animal testing and complete isolation from the outside wo...read more
The harsh realities and the gruesome details of Ship Breaker's futuristic world demand a fearlessness from the reader and a certain level of intelligence. This is a smart book all about loyalty and survival. Frankly, it tops Kenneth Oppel's Airborn, ...read more
The Cutting Season defies categorization: Part thriller, murder-mystery, historical novel, and part contemporary literary fiction. The term "crowd pleaser" comes to mind.
Obama had just been elected, and ironically, people are still making a living ...read more
Karen Walker's first novel is a mild sci-fi about the world slowing its spin--adding minutes and eventually hours to each day. This is not going to end well for the planet. If it sounds too apocalyptic for you, rest assured that this backdrop is filt...read more
Every once in a while you read a book that delivers more than you thought it would. It's touching, refreshing, relevant and humble. "Every Day" is that book, and one of the very best young adult books of 2012.
Fans of the dramatic, romantic, and sli...read more
A "must-read," this book is the kind of powerful historical fiction that will be used in classrooms or summer reading one day.
"Between Shades of Gray" takes place during WWII, is based on fact, but is more accessible in voice and tone than the "The...read more
It's 1917, rural Alabama, and the locals have just gathered by the train station to welcome a new postmaster to their town. Needless to say, they're shocked when they see an African-American family step off the train. "Surely the new postmaster would...read more
Fans of Harry Potter and X-Men will enjoy this coming-of-age mystery. A relatively clean "PG-13" style fantasy and adventure, the story centers around 16-year-old Jakob as he treks to another country with his father. They are on a mission...read more
Finally, an award-winner appealing to more than solely the scholarly writers, socialites, and hipsters of the reading community.
Winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2011, I'm surprised this poetic and heavy little book is not being talked about more c...read more