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Sneaky Good Binge Watch

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Top of the Lake Spring Break is finally here, hooray!  Typically Spring Break can be spent outside frolicking and enjoying the nice spring weather.  Unfortunately, as we all are aware, we live in Michigan and that might not be an option this year thanks to Mother Nature.  Which means it is perfect time to stay indoors, put your feet up, relax, and binge watch something from your friendly KDL branch.  You could catch-up on shows that have run their course like Breaking Bad or The Sopranos.  Or if you want to be in the loop for shows that are nearing their finale, Mad Men or Californication would be excellent choices.  But if you want something sneaky good that didn’t get much hype, I would highly recommend Top of the Lake.

Top of the Lake is a show filmed and set in beautiful New Zealand and follows a detective who is investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl.  The detective is played by Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss (who was nominated for an Emmy) and gives a truly outstanding performance as a very strong female lead in an environment dominated by male testosterone.  The series explores many themes throughout and takes great care to develop each character within their own experience.  The series is very unexpected and thankfully stays far away from the cliches of police procedurals found too often on TV.  Top of the Lake is a great show you will be sad ends after only six superb episodes.

 


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Baseball at KDL

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

It’s hard to believe with all the snow on the ground and frigid temperatures that it is almost time to kickoff baseball season.  Exciting indeed!  Even though Spring Training starts at the end  of February and opening day isn’t until April 1, there is a lot of preparation that should go into the new season and KDL is here ready to help you in your preparation.

We have a wide array of books for kids who are just getting started with the game and are interested in its history, including fabulous books on the Negro Leagues such as We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.  You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! and You Never Heard of Willie Mayes?! are exceptional biographies about two of the best who ever played. We also have biographies on current players such as Miguel CabreraJustin Verlander or Bryce Harper.

If you are looking for something a bit more in-depth about advanced stats, we have the modern classic Moneyball as well as others such as The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team From Worst to First or Hot Stove Economics: Understanding Baseball’s Second Season.

These and many more baseball books and DVDs are available at all of the KDL branches.  Baseball books are Guys Read Approved!

Moneyball  Baseball    Miguel Cabrera   The Extra 2%

 


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What to Binge-Watch over the Holidays

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The holidays are wonderful; I would argue they’re the best time of the year. With all the junk food consumed and cheesy music played, how is it possible not to fall in love with sugar comas or the nagging (and wonderful!) songs stuck in your head all month? For me, the best part is having an excuse to sit in front of the TV with loads of leftovers and desserts and finally binge-watching TV series I’ve have been dying to catch-up on. No need to worry about the at-home selection because KDL has us all covered. Try some of these titles that are available at your local branch:

 

MAD MEN - SEASON 1Mad MenAMC’s award-winning series is coming to a close after the upcoming seventh season and now is a great time to start watching if you haven’t already. Based in New York City during the ‘Golden Age’ of advertising, Mad Men follows advertising executive Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) as he creates slogans and lies in the changing and turbulent times of the 1960s. If you can’t get enough of bad-boy Don and his complexities, check out Brett Martin’s excellent book about the new antihero in television, Difficult Men.

 

 

UNDER THE DOMEUnder the DomeBased on Stephen King’s bestselling novel of the same name, Under the Dome premiered almost as event programming during the summer and did exceptionally well, ratings wise.  Taking place in Maine (like almost all of King’s novels), Under the Dome tells the story of what happens to a town when it’s completely cut off from the outside world and the citizens are forced to fend for themselves. If it sounds like the plot from The Simpsons Movie, you are exactly right.

 

 

HOUSE OF CARDS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASONHouse of Cards Loosely based on a BBC series of the same name, House of Cards originally premiered on Netflix as part of their new original programming push. Kevin Spacey stars as a corrupt congressman whose greatest asset is his ability to manipulate and blackmail. His ruthless tactics gain him more and more power in Washington but as the first season ends (*spoiler alert*), his empire might be about to start crumbling around him.

 

 

 

BATES MOTEL: SEASON 1Bates MotelConceived as a prequel for the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho, Bates Motel follows Norman Bates from his beginnings of moving into and owning the Bates Motel with his mother.  Considering audiences know how Norman will end up as an adult, it is interesting to see how the character evolves and what factors play into his ultimate psychotic behavior. An obvious play is the relationship between Norman and his mother, which was complicated (putting it lightly).

 

 

GOOD WIFE, THE - THE FIRST SEASONThe Good WifeA fast-paced legal thriller (in and out of the courtroom) set in the Second City. The Good Wife follows a lawyer forced to go back to work after her husband was caught in a very public scandal. Each episode can stand alone, but you won’t want to miss the overarching storyline that makes the show a perfect candidate for binge watching.

 

 

 


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The League!

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

As the NFL season heads into the final quarter of its 2013 season, there is a good possibility your fantasy football season is over. Unless you are the lucky few whose roster wasn’t stricken by injury or bad luck, you are probably facing a consolation playoff or four weeks of football with no fantasy, a bleak few weeks to be sure. But fear not, when the rest of your league is enjoying the playoffs (who wants to play in the playoffs anyway… right?) you could be reveling in your fantasy shortcomings by enjoying the silly shenanigans of the guys and gals of the outrageous and raunchy FX TV show, The League.

If you think the players in your league were a bit off-kilter, wait until you meet these gems. Willing to get divorced in order to make the fantasy draft or even hosting the draft in the delivery room so the mother-to-be can make her first round pick (and not have her husband screw it up), these characters are unforgettable, and will make the personalities in your league seem a bit more… normal. So, forget your fantasy failures and check out The League, the TV series I am personally calling the funniest on TV!

LEAGUE, THE SEASON 1  LEAGUE, THE SEASON 2  LEAGUE, THE SEASON 3  LEAGUE, THE SEASON 4

 


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Join the Monstrumologist for Halloween

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Halloween is truly a great holiday. On no other day is it as acceptable to celebrate all things scary. Whether it’s Michael Myers with a knife and hockey mask in Halloween or killer zombies with one thing on their “minds” in Night of the Living Dead, Halloween is a true celebration of all things weird and scary. In that tradition, The Monstrumologist book series by Rick Yancey fits right into the twisted cannon of October 31 thrills and chills.

The Monstrumologist series follows an eccentric scientist named Pellinore Warthrop and his orphaned apprentice, Will Henry, as they study things that go bump in the night — better explained as monsters. These monsters aren’t just your run-of-the-mill friendly-make-you-laugh monsters either; Warthrop and Henry keep readers on the edge of their seats by digging for monsters that devour humans in a few bites and chasing monsters that create nests out of human remains (grossed out yet?). Despite all the blood, gore, toe-curling descriptions of things no longer alive and moments that demand to be read with the lights on, the true story lies with the characters. Pellinore Warthrop is as peculiar and brilliant as they come, (think House but with less regard for living things) and poor Will Henry is thrust into a situation that is almost too unbelievable and dangerous to be true. An odd couple, to be sure, but one that works and will keep readers fully invested until they finish the final book.

The Monstrumologist series is Guys Reads approved.

                 

 


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Final Episodes of Breaking Bad are Finally Here!

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

The final eight episodes of AMC’s highly rated and critically acclaimed Breaking Bad premier this Sunday. Don’t be left in the Albuquerque dust when everyone else is talking about what happens to Walter “Heisenberg” White. Catch up with all of the past seasons with DVDs from KDL.

 


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TV Series Debut Wrap-up

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Now that spring has officially ended and summer television programming has begun in earnest, it provides us with a great opportunity to look back at the fall/spring season of television and highlight shows that debuted with their first season.

The Mindy Project – From the hilarious mind of Mindy Kaling (better known as Kelly from The Office), The Mindy Project follows a successful single doctor living in New York City. The main premise of this laugh-out-loud show is watching Mindy trying to balance a successful career with a not-so-successful dating life. Mindy is smart, lovable, quick-witted, quirky, brutally honest, awkward, fashion conscious, a good friend, a bad friend, sometimes religious, independent… and the list goes on. In a nutshell, she is a realistic and rounded character with believable flaws, which makes her a very relatable and fun character. If you love sitcoms with witty dialogue and great characters, this is a show worth checking out.

 

Nashville – A typical ABC drama set in the high-stakes world of country music in Nashville. This fast-paced drama focuses on two country music stars, one aging and in the twilight of her career and one just starting out. Although the music takes a backseat to the drama and relationships of its characters, there is some music I am told is pretty good, for country music. If you’re wondering whether or not to take the plunge, think Grey’s Anatomy but in Nashville, and switch surgical supplies with guitars.

 

 

House of Cards – An innovative series starring Kevin Spacey as a corrupt congressman who doesn’t mind getting his hands a bit dirty (metaphorically, of course) to get the power he thinks he deserves. Following in the footsteps of other flawed main characters such as Tony Soprano from The Sopranos or Walter White from Breaking Bad, Spacey’s character can be just as nasty and yet has the audience surprisingly on his side. Initially released all at once on Netflix as a streaming-only show to much success and critical acclaim, some predict House of Cards to be a trailblazer in distribution. With other big shots on board such as David Fincher, it may just live up to the hype.

 

Arrow – Based on the comic Green ArrowArrow follows a billionaire playboy who fights evil and corruption with, you guessed it, a bow and arrow. Jam-packed with action and a handsome cast, Arrow is aimed at young adults. Even a glance at the show’s premise is sure to bring back memories of the fated NBC show The Cape, which only lasted 10 episodes. Whether it is the fast-paced nature of the show or the chiseled abs of the main actor, Arrow has been confirmed for at least one more season (only time will tell if #sixseasonsandamovie is in the realm of possibility for this one).

 

These four shows have either already been released on DVD or are available for hold through our library catalog.

 


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New Guys Read Books

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Now that school is over and guys are wild and crazy and looking for something to keep them busy, it’s a perfect time to introduce them to Guys Read at your local KDL branch. Guys Read is a nationwide literacy program to get guys reading. And not reading just any book, but books that guys really like and want to keep coming back for. This summer, KDL has some of the newest books that guys will absolutely love.

               

If guys are looking for books that will keep them laughing, look no further than James Patterson as he brings back the hilarious Rafe Khatchadorian, this time at summer camp trying to fend off the popular kids in How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill; or Tom Angleberger who gets the origami rebel alliance together at McQuarrie Middle School in The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett. If guys want edge-of-their-seat action, they won’t want to miss the Lauren Tarshis thriller I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011 or book four of the Infinity Ring series, Curse of the Ancients.

For a complete list of Guy’s Read lists and recommendations, visit KDL’s Guys Read page, and for a list of new materials coming out this summer, visit KDL’s future releases page.

Guys Read


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A Farewell to The Office

Friday, May 17th, 2013

The OfficeOn May 16 America will say goodbye to good friends and family. We will sorely miss the practical jokes we wish our workplace allowed and the coworkers we wish we had. We will say goodbye to the grossly mismanaged paper company whose employees can best be described, on a good day, as unmotivated. We will say goodbye to an average, mundane American office glamorized by characters we all grew to love.

On May 16, after nine seasons and just over 200 episodes, America will sadly say goodbye to The Office on NBC. Over the past nine seasons spent together we have experienced what I think is the single greatest American love stories of all time (sorry, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler), some of the best office pranks (stapler in jello anyone?), and careers that were made right before our eyes. John Krasinski has starred in multiple movies and has even expanded his talents into writing and directing; Rainn Wilson is a verifiable funny man; and Steve Carell has become a bona fide movie star. The show was also a leader in providing online add-ons such as the immensely popular digital shorts.

 

But hopefully not lost is the show’s origin. In 2001 Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant created a 12-episode (and Christmas special) British show titled The Office, which served as the creative inspiration for its American counterpart.

So in preparation of life without new episodes of Dwight’s beet farm or Jim and Pam’s unforgettable romance, run to your local KDL branch and relive some of the moments that helped America fall in love with Dunder Mifflin and Scranton, Penn., or check out the British version and see if you can catch the origins of the characters many of us will never forget.

 


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