August: Osage County

August: Osage County Book Cover

Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts are outstanding as mother and daughter in this story about family dynamics, dysfunction and addiction in the rural US. The drama is enthralling, bordering on disturbing, and the performances are unforgettable.

Flipped

Flipped Book Cover

Julianna likes Bryce, but Bryce doesn't like Julianna. Six years pass. Julianna stops liking Bryce. And—wait for it—Bryce now likes Julianna. Each chapter switches off between Julianna and Bryce which allows us to understand the story as it develops from their different perspectives. This is a very quick read that is amusing, sweet, heart-warming, and fun.

Woman in Gold

Woman in Gold Book Cover

WOMAN IN GOLD is the remarkable true story of a woman who overcame great odds with the help of an improbably young lawyer, and righted a wrong that had stood for decades. Sixty years after fleeing Vienna during World War II, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman, begins a journey to reclaim family possessions seized by the Nazis. She embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court. Among the possessions is Gustav Klimt’s famous painting, Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer I, a portrait of her beloved Aunt Adele, which has become a national treasure: an Austrian Mona Lisa.

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea Book Cover

9,400 people died, the largest loss of life in a single ship sinking in history! This story is unimaginable. It's gripping. It's haunting. It's about survival and the relationships that unfold during trauma.

Not My Father’s Son

Not My Father’s Son Book Cover

Not My Father’s Son is an eye opening book into the upbringing of one my favorite screen and stage actors. Alan Cumming beautifully depicts this unveiling of his family history, in a heart-wrenching page turner!

A Little Life

A Little Life Book Cover

A 2015 National Book Award Finalist, this novel spans fifty years, following the lives of four friends from college to middle age. The story is absolutely beautiful and brutal, exploring themes of child abuse, trauma and recovery, and the limits of friendship and love. This is the kind of book that takes over your life while you read it, and inspires visceral reactions on every page.

Dumplin’

Dumplin’ Book Cover

Willowdean Dickson (nicknamed Dumplin' by her beauty queen Mom) is a big girl and she is almost totally comfortable with her size. The book takes her through romantic encounters that test her confidence, but the big challenge is entering the "Miss Teen Blue Bonnet" beauty pageant and parading across the stage in a bathing suit. Willowdean is a hero and this is an excellent book for everyone - not just teens. It is filled with humor and a sprinkling of teen angst.

Tribe

Tribe Book Cover

Originally written as an article in the Vanity Fair, Junger expands his thoughts of what it means to be part of a tribe in past and current societies. In times of great peril, typically during war times, human societies have found more connection and a deeper sense of self and place. Junger examines this phenomenon and further dives into current issues facing society locally and globally. At times this book made me feel sad, uncomfortable, reflective, shocked, and deeply moved. Junger pushes his readers to analyze the meaning of our lives and our communities we live in. One of my top reads of 2016!

Home

Home Book Cover

This delightful animated movie will entertain kids and adults, alike! A misunderstood alien and a brave young girl find themselves on a wild adventure while on the hunt for "My Mom". Despite their cultural differences, this duo is able to teach each other the importance of courage and friendship. Check this movie out for your next Family Movie Night!

Six of Crows

Six of Crows Book Cover

This book is like Ocean's 11 in a magical, mythical world with a good portion of sexual tension thrown in. I loved it. It was fun and moved quickly and I am looking forward to the next book.