Stop by the Grand Street Branch for Books, DVDs, Computers and more!

2 Jun

Did you know that the Hoboken Public Library has a second branch? It is located at 124 Grand Street at the Multi Service Building (second floor). We’re a small branch, but we have something for everyone.

Adult patrons can choose from recent Fiction and Non-Fiction titles including current New York Times bestsellers and popular titles such as Luster, Interior Chinatown, and The Beauty in Breaking. We also have an assortment of recent DVDs and Blu-Rays.

For those who enjoy book discussions,The Grand Street Book Discussion Group discusses a recent fiction or nonfiction release on the third Monday of each month. June’s book was Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan and July’s book is Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. Those interested in attending, please email megan.flynn@hoboken.bccls.org.

If technology is what you are looking for, adult laptops are available by reservation. The time slots are:
Monday-Thursday  10:15-11:15, 11:30-12:30, 12:45-1:45, 2-3, 3:15-4:15, 4:30-5:30

Friday  10:30-11:30, 11:45-12:45, 1-2, 2:15-3:15, 3:30-4:30

Saturday remains the same:   11-12, 12:15-1:15, 1:30-2:30

Reservations may be made either by phone (201) 420-2346 option 2 or email GrandStreet@hoboken.bccls.org. We also have free scanning (you must bring a USB drive for scanning).

Teens have Fiction and Non-Fiction titles to browse through. We also have an assortment of Young Adult Graphic Novels, including the Dragonball series, My Hero Academia series, and Ouran High School Host Club series. Teens also have access to laptops for 30 minute sessions in the Teen Room.

For little ones ages 0-12 years old, our collection of favorite titles ranges from board books all the way to chapter books. Some of our more popular items include Dog Man, Pete the Cat, The Who Was series, National Geographic Kids, and Diary of A Wimpy Kid Series. We also have Launchpads, DVDs and Blu-Rays for checkout.

Self-checkout via meescan and Grab and Go services are available in addition to traditional checkout. We also have lockers and a book drop within the locker console for contactless after-hours convenience, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Grand Street Branch is a quick, convenient, and welcoming option for those who live in Downtown Hoboken. Starting June 3 our current hours of operation are open at 10 AM closing at 6 PM Monday through Thursday, at 5 PM on Friday and 3 PM on Saturday.

Written by:
Megan Flynn
Senior Library Assistant, Grand St. Branch

The Search for America’s Soul: Minari

26 May

In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I have decided to write a review of the recent award-winning Korean language film “Minari,” which had a profound effect upon me. It is a uniquely American film focusing on a family of Korean immigrants who move to rural Arkansas in the 1980s in order to pursue the American dream of starting their own farm.

The director, Lee Isaac Chung, grew up on an Arkansas farm, so the film is inherently authentic and semi-autobiographical.  His character-driven script and gentle, unhurried direction give the cast and story room to breathe. This is top-notch filmmaking from beginning to end.

As the film opens, the Yi family are moving from California to Arkansas. The father Jacob (Steven Yeun) and wife Monica (Yeri Han) are chicken sexers, which means they identify the sex of newborn chicks for chicken farms. The females are kept for eggs and poultry, while the males are thrown into the incinerator.

Jacob has purchased a cheap plot of land and the dilapidated trailer home that sits on the property. Together, they will raise their two young children and hopefully start a successful farm so that they can leave the monotonous, soul-killing work of chicken sexing behind.

There is clear marital tension between Jacob and Monica, and it is only exacerbated by the isolation and loneliness of their new home. Apparently, their life in California was much more social, because they were surrounded by other Korean and Asian families. However, property taxes were escalating and they couldn’t afford to stay, so they decide to move to rural Arkansas where the cost of living is cheaper and life is much simpler and safer.

Jacob and Monica try to ingratiate themselves into the local community in Arkansas by joining a church. Their ethnicity is a novelty, but they are mostly welcomed. They quickly find that holding down their jobs, trying to start a farm and raising two children is too much, so they send for Monica’s mother, Soonja (Youn Yuh-jung, winner of the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award), an elderly woman who instantly infuses life and humor into the household. Her first goal is to win over the skepticism of her young grandson David (Alan S. Kim) and her granddaughter Anne (Noel Cho) who is somewhat more reasonable.

But even with the new help on the home front, Jacob struggles with his farmland. One problem after another occurs, beginning with the lack of cheap water supply. However, an angel appears in the form of Paul (Will Patton), an eccentric Vietnam veteran and evangelical Christian, who offers to help farm the land. They make an unlikely, yet effective team. However, just as the situation changes for the better, Soonja suffers a stroke, throwing the family into crisis.

The anchor of the film is Steven Yeun, an actor born in South Korea and raised in Michigan who is the star of the popular TV series “The Walking Dead.”  His work in “Minari” is nothing less than masterful, a performance of subtlety and depth matched by Yeri Han (Monica) and Youn Yuh-jung (the feisty grandmother Soonja), both of whom were nominated for SAG Awards.

Just what is minari you may ask?  It is an edible Korean water plant, like a watercress, that is said to grow almost anywhere. This seems like an apt metaphor for a movie about the resilience of immigrants. However, it is so much more than that, because of the racial reckoning in America and, of course, the recent attacks on Asian Americans in New York City and beyond. It is impossible to watch “Minari” without keeping those events in mind. It is not just about the American dream; it is a search for America’s soul.

“Minari” is a poignant, heart-filling celebration of putting down roots, family bonding, and inter-racial connections that is ultimately very intimate, improbably funny and steadfastly stirring. You can borrow it from BCCLS libraries on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Written by:
Ethan Galvin
Reference Librarian

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