Pixels on DVD & Blu-Ray

Pixels hasn’t really gotten good reviews…. But I kind of liked it? Perhaps it was the 1980s arcade video game nostalgia, perhaps it was Adam Sandler, perhaps I was just in the mood for a movie so bad its good?

In Pixels aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a threat and the aliens retaliate by attacking the Earth video-game style with games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Space Invaders as a model for their war plan. The president, played by Kevin James, calls in his childhood best friend, Adam Sandler, who in 1982 was a video game champion, to help defeat the aliens and save the planet. Add in two more 80s childhood pals, one played by Peter Dinklage, a wacky love story, a cute kid, an intergallactic battle, and Q*bert and you’re all set!

The Bureau of Misplaced Dads

The Bureau of Misplaced Dads is a charmingly weird and beautifully illustrated picture book in which a young boy has misplaced his dad and cannot find him around the house. So naturally he happens upon the Bureau of Misplaced Dads and searches for him there. Is his dad hiding among the dads with beards, dads playing checkers, dads named Michael, or the dancing dads? The book is a bit bizarre and silly, and grown-ups are sure to enjoy it as much as, if not more, than the kiddos.

Celebrated Actress, Writer, and Producer Cindy Williams Discusses Her Career And Her New Autobiography: “Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life”

Sunday August 9, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Actress, writer, and producer Cindy Williams is one of the most recognizable names and faces of 1970s & 1980s television.

Best known for her starring role in the hit TV show "Laverne and Shirley," she also had lead roles in such iconic films such as "American Graffiti" and Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation."

While millions have been entertained by her good-natured personality and comedy antics, she has rarely spoken about her life in entertainment, and how she came to star in one of the most popular shows of all time.

Join us for this truly special event at the Downtown Library as Cindy sits with local radio personality Lucy Ann Lance to discuss her life, career and new book Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life. In this hilarious and heartfelt book, she shares some of her most memorable stories including her role as Shirley Feeney in the iconic TV show "Laverne & Shirley." She shares stories of her experiences in her personal life (growing up in a blue-collar family) and show business as well as her encounters with entertainment giants such as Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Little Richard, Cary Grant, Jim Morrison, Ron Howard, and many more. Of course, she also talks about her professional partnership and personal relationship with her co-star and friend Penny Marshall.

This event includes a book signing and books will be for sale by Literati Bookstore.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #539

Exquisite Corpse *, marks the first US release for Paris-born bestselling graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu. This is the English translation of her Cadavre Exquis, originally published in French, and a prize-winner at the 2010 Angoulême International Comics Festival, the second largest comics festival in Europe.

Down-trodden twenty-something Zoe is a "booth babe", hawking luxury goods at trade shows by day and dreading the evenings with the unemployed Neanderthal of a boyfriend at home. On a lunch break, she meets Thomas Rocher, a recluse who happens to be a world-famous author, and soon becomes his girlfriend/muse. Everything is fabulous until Thomas' wife shows up, and that's just the first secrets that put into play an expected yet satisfying ending.

"(An) absorbing, fast-paced erotic literary drama... (this) funny and fresh exploration of authorship and a writer's relationship to fame is utterly charming."

An immensely fun and quick read.

* = starred review

Surrealism At Its Most Hilarious!

OH MAN. You guys have to read this book! It’s so weird and beautiful and hilarious. I first discovered the author, Lisa Hanawalt, through her Maximum Fun podcast with comedian Emily Heller, Baby Geniuses. Since I started listening to the podcast, I’ve been trying to convince everyone else I know to listen to it too, and I am so thrilled to do the same with Hanawalt’s book!

My Dirty Dumb Eyes, by Lisa Hanawalt, is an adult graphic novel with a series of comics on strange subjects. Topics range from “What do Dogs Want??” (one answer: a tennis-ball bride) to “The Secret Lives of Chefs” (“Christina Tosi employs a child think tank to come up with recipes for Milk Bar”) to “North American Wildlife and Hats,” which features images such as an elk in a “New Jersey turnpike hat”, and a desert hare sporting a “lazy susan hat with hotdog and pancake condiments.”

The drawings in this book are just as surreal and gorgeous as you could hope for. The book is full of bright, bold colors and meticulous details. It contains very mature themes and drawings, so it is not for young folks. But all you grown ups out there, check out My Dirty Dumb Eyes now!

Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance

Aziz Ansari is one of this generation’s most beloved comedic voices and his new book, Modern Romance, combines his irreverent humor with in-depth social science to offer readers a funny, relevant and informative tour of the modern dating world.

Dating has definitely gotten more complicated in the past decade or two, with the invention of social media, countless new modes of communication, unusual new venues to meet people, and, perhaps the most complex (and some would argue, the most useful!) of all, emojis. Ansari himself felt overwhelmed at times trying to navigate the complexity of the present-day romantic world, as have many of the rest of us. He shares stories of his own experiences in Modern Romance, but what’s particularly interesting is the fact that he teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg to design and execute a massive research project conducted throughout the world with the aid of many other leading social scientists. The study includes focus groups, interviews, online message forums, and more, and the results of it are detailed in Ansari’s book.

The combination of Ansari’s own experiences and those of his friends, and the unique research results presented by him and Klinenberg make Modern Romance a truly unique—and important—read.

You can also try the audiobook version, read by Ansari himself.

Red: A Crayon's Story

Favorite children’s author and illustrator Michael Hall has given us another lovely book with Red: A Crayon’s Story. A red crayon struggles to draw the things that he is supposed to: fire trucks, strawberries, ladybugs… everything he draws and colors turns out blue! The other crayons all have tips and advice for him, but nothing works. Kids will quickly see the problem: the crayon has been mislabeled and is actually a blue crayon with a red papering! Readers will cheer Red on as he struggles to find his true calling… and will celebrate with him when he ultimately draws a beautiful BLUE ocean and realizes his talents.

Other books by Michael Hall are My Heart is Like a Zoo, Cat Tale, and Perfect Square.

Skeleton Twins

The indie comedy-drama Skeleton Twins made its way through film festivals across the country last year with much acclaim. The film stars SNL alums Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig with phenomenal performances as fraternal twins Maggie and Milo.

They are both in their 30s, live in different states, and haven’t talked to each other in ten years. Unbeknownst to each other, they both plan to end their lives on the same day, and they each end up foiling the others plan, which forces a reunion. They spend the film getting reacquainted and trying to sort out their messed up lives. The movie is darkly funny, and the characters are so deeply flawed and loveable.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #501 - “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love.

2 UK debuts. 2 young women rising out of bleak adolescence to realize the individuals they are meant to be.

British cultural critic Caitlin Moran follows up her 2012 New York Times bestselling memoir How To Be a Woman with a debut novel - How to Build a Girl * * that draws from her own experience, having joined the music weekly Melody Maker at an very young age before becoming a prize-winning columnist at the London Times.

14-year-old Johanna Morrigan, the product of a large dysfunctional council-flat welfare family in the West Midlands, decides to remake herself after an embarrassing appearance on national TV. Almost overnight, the freaky fat girl who is at once "endearing, ­hilarious, pathetic, and wise" becomes the feared music reviewer Dolly Wilde (named after Oscar's niece - "this amazing alcoholic lesbian who was dead scandalous"), drinking regularly, having lots of sex, and writing acidulous reviews of rock bands. But is that enough?

"Moran's coming-of-age debut novel is both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, a treat for young adults as well as those who remember the era (1990s) and its music."

In Making Marion : where's Robin Hood when you need him? * * by Beth Moran, Marion Miller leaves behind her job as a library assistant, a doctor-fiance and a childhood of neglect and abuse in Ballydown, a hamlet in Northern Ireland for Nottinghamshire, to uncover her father's secret past.

Searching for Sherwood Forest Visitor Center lands her at the Peace and Pigs campsite, an impromptu job offer, and a place to call home. Though hard work and the determination to overcoming her shyness earn her friendship and acceptance, the locals refuse to talk when shown the photograph of her father as a young man, dressed as Robin Hood. Only Reuben, heir to Hatherstone Hall is willing to come to her aid, motivated by a connection to his family history.

"Roaming pigs, food fights, and conspiring chickens add flavor to this delightful debut, which also touches on mother-daughter relationships, family secrets, and finding love, and yourself."

"One of the best inspirational novels of the season", it will appeal to fans of Jane Green, Marian Keyes, and Jill Mansell.

* * = 2 starred reviews

New Youth BOCDs @ AADL

If there is a family road trip in your future, consider taking along a few New Youth Books on CD. Recorded stories can keep a family entertained for hours. Our newest selections include Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue, an Origami Yoda book by Tom Angleberger. In this book, state tests are coming up as the Origami Rebel Alliance finds powerful allies in their fight against the "FunTime test preparation program". Another new selection is Absolutely Almost, by Lisa Graff, in which a new nanny named Calista makes a big difference in the confidence of Albie, a ten-year-old boy. Enjoy!

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