Staff Profile

Mike Smoody

Adult Services Advisory Specialist

Patron Engagement


Underground Men

Here is a list of books that provide a window into the hidden conscious experience of strange, unsavory, twisted, bitter, depraved and underground men.

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Woody Plays the Fool

"Everybody plays the fool sometimes..." but none better than Woody Allen. Today (and possibly forever), Woody Allen is known as the cerebral comedian, but we should never forget his foolish roots. Here is a list of reminders.

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Graphic Memoirs

Fun Home, which I read on the recommendation of a friend, was my entry point into the world of graphic novels. Delighted by the book, I went on to read Bechdel's second graphic memoir, Are You My Mother? After that, I read Marbles and then Stitches. Along with the other titles in this list these books are united under a double theme: art and mental disorder.

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Philip K. Dick

The latest multimedia capitalization on the Philip K. Dick legacy is the Amazon Original Series "The Man in the High Castle." Dick's novel of the same name won the 1962 Hugo Award. Since his death in 1982 many of his stories have become hit movies. A list of my favorite Philip K. Dick books and movies follows.

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The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky

Books and television specials devoted to explaining the latest discoveries in modern physics.

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Favorite Classics

Despite the hoary adjective, a classic is a book that never grows old. As many readers attest a great work grows with you and becomes something new at each stage of your life. These are works of depth and genius and as such are an endless source of discussion. Please join us at our quarterly Classic Book Discussion to get a taste of what great literature is all about. Below is a list of some of my favorites.

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Movies That Talk

Too many movies these days have nothing to offer besides special effects. It's hard to believe that they even have scripts! As a retreat from the visual bombardment of rapid scene changes and explosive imagery, here is a list of movies in which the the loudest sounds you'll hear are the character's voices.

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To Earth With Good Intentions

Sometimes, when they say "We come in peace," they mean it.

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Be an Artist

Art is for everyone! You don't need to be a genius to reap the benefits of creativity. Scientists are beginning to discover that engaging in a creative hobby at any age can improve your mood and your brain health. So, if you are in need of inspiration or just curious about the world of art, take a look at the titles below.

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Working for the Weekend

Workers of the world, unite! Okay, maybe radical revolution might be going a bit too far. Instead of taking to the streets, how about sitting back on your couch (after a hard day's work, of course) with a loved one (pet or human) or alone (what do I care?) and taking pleasure in watching other people pick up the slack. What I'm trying to say is—watch these movies about working life.

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It Ain't All Gamblers and Gunslingers

Westerns are peopled by many character types—from rebellious and headstrong men and women, to the desperate, confused, and outright maniacal—all of them bound together by the forbidding, but beautiful landscape that serves as a character in its own right.

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Books Inspired by the Arabian Nights

Although the influence of the Arabian Nights can hardly be reduced to eight books, I hope this selection gives an approximate idea of the range of that influence, and will gratify those readers who wish the Nights will never end.

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Be a Chef

To cook is to be human. In Michael Pollan's book listed below, you'll learn that our big brains may be the result of eating cooked food. So feed that big brain of yours and start cooking. In this list you'll find plenty of advice on how to cook and why; inspiration and entertaining tales from some of the world's top chefs; and most important of all, the pleasure of cooking in a great selection of movies and novels that will whet your appetite and warm your soul.

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The Midnight Disease

In his novel *Wonder Boys,* Michael Chabon diagnoses writers with the "midnight disease," a form of insomnia driven by late-night inspiration, resulting in daytime madness. These movies and the books that influenced them demonstrate witness its effects.

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Short Books, Big Ideas - Science

One of my favorite kinds of books, and there are so many good ones.

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