Colony

Tracy says:
I have a weakness for a good sci-fi, alien invasion show—and Colony delivers on all fronts. There’s loads of mystery and tension, along with a fascinating undercurrent of family secrets, betrayals, mixed loyalties, and political and moral gray areas. Plus, there’s Josh Holloway of Lost fame. But a word of warning: Unfortunately, this show was canceled after the third season. If you’re the type that will be forever haunted by a cliffhanger ending, you might want to stop watching after season 2.

Deadwood

Tracy says:
With the long-promised movie finally released a decade after the series ended, I’ve embarked on my third binge-watch of Deadwood. This convention-defying, profanity-laced Western takes place in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory, beginning in 1876. Real historical figures—Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, notorious brothel-owner Al Swearengen—are skillfully intertwined with fictional characters to bring the past alive. The episodes are bawdy and violent, but also really, really smart and addictive. It’s how I’d imagine Shakespeare would portray the Old West: complex, highly articulate villains; tragically flawed, conflicted heroes; and plots filled with machinations, betrayals, and bloodshed.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Stephanie says:
Pulled from the hard labor of the salt mines, assassin Celaena is given an opportunity to pay for her crimes in another way—a competition. All she has to do is win and vow to serve as the King’s Assassin for two years, then the freedom she has dreamed of can be hers.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Tracy says:
I first read and recommended this book pre-TV show way back in 2010, and it’s still riveting the second time around! An epic journey in the rich tradition of post-apocalyptic tales like The Stand, Cronin’s novel is richly plotted with not a word wasted despite the 700-plus page count. If you think the TV show is enjoyable, the book packs in double doses of tension and nail-biting action. Pieces fit together in unexpected ways, and there was one long stretch of about 300 pages where I had a near-death grip on the book as I eagerly devoured page after page.

Puddle Pug by Kim Norman

Monty says:
This is an adorable book about Percy the Pug. Percy loves puddles and wants to be friends with the piglets next door, but mamma pig has other thoughts. The illustrations are precious and add so much to the story.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Susan says:
I enjoy well-plotted psychological thrillers, and this one did not disappoint. A fifteen-year-old girl goes missing while walking to the library. The mystery goes unsolved until ten years later when clues to her disappearance start turning up!

Your Name

Kirsten says:
An animated take on body swapping similar to Freaky Friday for those who like romance.

The Library Book By Susan Orlean

Andrew says:
A must read for bibliophiles. The author uses the unsolved LA Central Library fire of 1986 to examine the role of books and libraries on her life and their role in the larger society.

Lightning in a Bottle: A One Night History of the Blues

Tracy says:
This special one-night-only celebration of the Blues features incredible live appearances from the likes of Keb’ Mo’, Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, India.Arie, Macy Gray, John Fogerty, Bonnie Raitt, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry, the Neville Brothers, Robert Cray, Alison Krauss, B.B. King, and others—all interwoven with behind-the-scenes moments, historic video clips, and reminiscences. There are so many standout moments, but both musical perfomances from Angélique Kidjo—“Zélie,” a traditional African chant, and Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child”—were downright jaw-dropping.

National Treasure

Cheryl says:
Nicholas Cage and his cohorts use The Declaration of Independence and other important artifacts from the Revolutionary War to hunt for a magnificent treasure. This movie is fun and exciting for the whole family.

Woman Walks Ahead

Donna says:
This movie shows some of the hardships women have faced. One woman braved the old west, and showed the world what she was made of.