Weekend Picks

SAPL Top 10 of 2020

Drum roll please… here they are, the Top 5 circulated movies of 2020!

I hope you all continue to discover more deep-cuts, classics, and entertaining flicks from our shelves in 2021.

#5 |Ad Astra (540 checkouts)

#4|Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (555)

#3 | Once Upon A Time in Hollywood (600)

#2| Gemini Man (758)

#1| Joker (760)

Numbers 10-6


Offbeat’s Top Books

Here they are, Offbeat’s favourite reads from 2020! Would you like to see your top picks posted this time next year? Then join the club! Here’s how. 

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

I’m going through all her books! They are quite interesting. You get a great feel of how remote the locations are in this book.


Rule of Three by Megan McDonald

I’ve enjoyed all the books in this series with my daughter. It’s been such a great experience with lots of bonding.


In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Since travel is off-limits, travel books have been great.


The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas J. Preston

I heard about this book from one of the Offbeat member’s top picks from last year. Loved it!


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I got wrapped up in this story and could not put it down. Scenes of a fading starlett were done very well.


American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Just a fabulous read. Sounds like people either love or hate it, but I loved it.


The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamil

Didn’t do as much reading I normally do but this move was a very memorable read.


Untamed by Glendon Doyle

Just loved it. Simply put.


The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

Desperately needed to talk to people about it this book after reading it. 


Aria by Nazanine Hozar

I got this book as a gift from the book club and absolutely loved it.

The Trip to Echo Springs by Olivia Laing

Part memoir, part travelogue, this is just and an honest and artfully written book on the connection between alcohol and the relationships of some of literature’s memorable names.

Next Read

How to Do Nothing:
Resisting the Attention Economy
by Jenny Odell

Print |eAudiobook (hoopla)

“Odell’s great strength as a writer is her ability to convey art’s unique power without overestimating or misstating its social impact. . . . Ultimately, what sets her book apart from self-help is not a less quixotic set of demands but a more life-affirming endgame.”—Megan Marz, THE BAFFLER

We’ll discuss this book and more on February, 25 at 7:00 pm via Zoom. To find out how to join email offbeat@sapl.ca

The Offbeat Book Club is a drop-in book discussion group for 20-40 somethings who want to read mostly new, sometimes bold, and always entertaining books. Basically, we read books you’ll want to read, and not the ones you “should.”

Meetings take place five times a year at various restaurants* throughout St. Albert and are facilitated by library staff.

Monday Evening Book Club | January Selection

Moon of the Crusted Snow
by  Waubgeshig Rice

Print | eBook and eAudiobook (Hoopla)

The Monday Evening Book Club meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM via Zoom.

Register to drop-in and discuss this slow burning thriller and powerful story of survival.

We’ve been waiting for this story. It irresistibly turns our gaze toward something we already knew but couldn’t quite make ourselves see. The result is intense, thrilling, and vivid as the darkest dreams – much like the old Anishinaabeg stories told by the Elders. As one revelation follows another, we come face to face with mystery and responsibility of being human. ~Warren Carious, director, University of Manitoba Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture. 

Further Reading

About Waubgeshig Rice

Toronto Star | At Home During COVID-19

Hamilton Review of Books Interview

CBC Books


Watch & Listen

Weekend Picks

Cold Ones

With this December heatwave we’re having, let’s not forget to crack open a couple of cold ones this weekend.

The Spy Who Came in From The Cold

British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the Cold War during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.


Force Majeure 

An idyllic family skiing vacation takes a stunning turn when an avalanche threatens the ski lodge restaurant, sending people fleeing and demanding quick decisions that change the course of the family’s dynamics and trust.


Raised by her father, an ex-CIA agent, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna’s upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one. Sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe, eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own. Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence.



Weekend Picks

Black & White Friday

These new and old movies are on sale for the everyday low price of absolutely FREE!

Wings of Desire

Two angels, Damiel and Cassiel, glide through the streets of Berlin, observing the bustling population, providing invisible rays of hope to the distressed but never interacting with them. When Damiel falls in love with lonely trapeze artist Marion, the angel longs to experience life in the physical world, and finds – with some words of wisdom from actor Peter Falk.


Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

After the insane General Jack D. Ripper initiates a nuclear strike on the Soviet Union, a war room full of politicians, generals and a Russian diplomat all frantically try to stop the nuclear strike.


Frances Ha

A woman in her late twenties living in contemporary New York tries to sort out her ambitions, finances, and above all, her tight but changing bond with her best friend Sophie. Frances Ha gets at both the frustrations and the joys of being young and unsure of where to go next.

The Apartment

Bud Baxter is a minor clerk in a huge New York insurance company, until he discovers a quick way to climb the corporate ladder. He lends out his apartment to the executives as a place to take their mistresses. Although he often has to deal with the aftermath of their visits, one night he’s left with a major problem to solve.





Weekend Picks

Stache Cache

Just some guy stuff for Movember.


The Border

As a border guard involved in drug smuggling along the Rio Grande, Charlie Smith (Nicholson) has crossed the line many times. But when he decides to clean up his act and help unite an “illegal” woman with her baby, he runs afoul of his corrupt department, his greedy wife (Valerie Perrine) and a ruthless neighbor (Harvey Keitel) in this action-packed suspense-thriller.

Star Stache: The Corrupt Crumb Catcher – Jack Nicholson

Gangs of New York

As waves of immigrants swell the population of New York, lawlessness and corruption thrive in lower Manhattan’s Five Points section. After years of incarceration, young Irish immigrant Amsterdam Vallon returns to seek revenge against the rival gang leader who killed his father.

Star Stache: The Butcher’s Special – Daniel Day-Lewis

This Is Spinal Tap

Whether or not you’re a die-hard fan of the group, you’ll love this ‘Rockumentary’ of England’s legendary Spinal Tap. Take a behind-the-scenes look at a band whose time has come … and gone … and come again.

Star Stache: The Metal-Mo – Harry Shearer

No Country for Old Men

When a man stumbles on a bloody crime scene, a pickup truck loaded with heroin, and two million dollars in irresistible cash, his decision to take the money sets off an unstoppable chain reaction of violence.

Star Stache: The Sportsman – Josh Brolin

Weekend Picks

Noirvember Picks

The month of November can be as cold, tough, and shadowy as the distinctive characters and plot tangles from one of the most fascinating eras in film.

Trust no one, baby, but believe this… these picks are better than a deck with six aces.

Double Indemnity 

A rich woman and a calculating insurance agent plot to kill her unsuspecting husband after he signs a double indemnity policy. Against a backdrop of distinctly Californian settings, the partners in crime plan the perfect murder to collect the insurance, which pays double if the death is accidental.


The Killing

Career criminal Johnny Clay recruits a sharpshooter, a crooked police officer, a bartender and a betting teller named George, among others, for one last job before he goes straight and gets married. But when George tells his restless wife about the scheme to steal millions from the racetrack where he works, she hatches a plot of her own.


Sunset Boulevard

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.


The Maltese Falcon

After his partner is murdered, private investigator Sam Spade searches for the killer while also involving himself in a mystery surrounding the existence of a jewel-encrusted statue known as the Maltese falcon.