At Westerly Library & Wilcox Park: Everything from Nic Cage to Keanu Reeves | Guest Columns

We, as a society, are fascinated by celebrities. The more eccentric, the better. We follow them on social media, surreptitiously read click-bait articles about them, and eagerly await the release of their (inevitable) memoirs. Sometimes we even abandon a perfectly good, half-written newspaper column at the 11th hour and decide, inexplicably, to write about such celebrities instead. I’m using the royal “we,” of course.

One of the most eccentric actors these days is unquestionably Nicolas Cage. You may remember him best for his Oscar-worthy performances in “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Adaptation,” but it’s just as likely that you know him for his bizarre spending habits, or naming his son after Superman, or that terrible film “The Wicker Man.” He’s seen his share of highs and lows over his 40-plus-year career, but it seems he may be on a high at the moment: he received critical acclaim for his role as a truffle hunter in the film “Pig” ( 2021). He’s also playing a fictionalized, down-on-his-luck version of himself in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” which is now in theaters. The film has received praise from critics, and should be available on DVD this summer. Finally, there’s a new book by Keith Phipps entitled “The Age of Cage,” which chronicles Nic Cage’s life and career while also examining the film industry as a whole. Whether you hate to love him or love to hate him, I have no doubt that you’ll find it entertaining. You can get all of these (and countless others) through the Ocean State Libraries consortium!

Cage’s many eccentricities often cause him to be the butt of jokes and the subject of memes, but there are other celebrities whose eccentric behavior makes them all the more endearing. Perhaps the best example is the universally beloved Keanu Reeves. Like Cage, he’s definitely been involved in his share of bad movies (think “The Watcher” or “Johnny Mnemonic”), but he’s also known for iconic roles such as Neo in “The Matrix” franchise, the protagonist in the “John Wick ” series, and the cult hit “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Unlike Cage, who makes headlines with his over-the-top antics of him, Reeves makes headlines for things like giving up his seat on the subway and being strangely down-to-earth. Nobody can quite figure him out.

If you’re a fan of the enigmatic Keanu Reeves, you’re in luck. In addition to the scores of films he appears in, his mere existence has inspired numerous books and movie roles. In 2016, he slowed his voice to the titular kitten in Key and Peele’s buddy comedy “Keanu.” More recently, I have made a cameo appearance in Ali Wong’s “Always Be My Maybe.” Finally, he inspired the new book “How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days” by KM Jackson, which is also available here at the library. If none of these things appeal to you, we also have plenty of celebrity memoirs! Try “Rebel Homemaker” by Drew Barrymore or “Baggage” by Alan Cumming instead.

Top requested books

  • 1. “The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley
  • 2. “What Happened to the Bennetts” by Lisa Scottoline
  • 3. “Run Rose Run” by James Patterson
  • 4. “Dream Town” by David Baldacci
  • 5. “The Match” by Harlan Coben
  • 6. “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles
  • 7. “22 Seconds” by James Patterson
  • 8. “The Maid” by Nita Prose
  • 9. “The Hotel Nantucket” by Elin Hilderbrand
  • 10. “One Italian Summer” by Rebecca Serle

Top requested DVDs

  • 1. “Belfast”
  • 2. “Spider-Man: No Way Home”
  • 3. “Yellowstone Season 4”
  • 4. “The Beatles: Get Back”
  • 5. “Death on the Nile”
  • 6. “The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4”
  • 7. “Nightmare Alley”
  • 8. “Sing 2”
  • 9. “Cyrano”
  • 10. “Parallel Mothers”

this week

MONDAY — 4-4:45 pm, Couch to 5k Run Club – It’s week three of our Run Club, and we’re meeting at the fountain in Wilcox Park for our group run. No registration is required; 5:30-7:30 pm, Monday Movie Night – Join us in the Auditorium for an eleven a month film screening! This month, we’re showing an Oscar-nominated musical drama starring Peter Dinklage.

TUESDAY — 10-10:30 am, Family Storytime – Join us on Tuesdays in the Terrace Room for a family storytime! The program will be geared towards ages birth through 11 years when accompanied by a caregiver; 1-4 pm, Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via email to help connect you with local services/resources. Contact her at advocate@westerlylibrary.org; 2-3:30 pm, Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Tuesday to address your tech questions. Preregistration is required; 5:30-7:30 pm, Knit and Crochet Club – The Knit and Crochet Group is meeting on the 2nd floor of the library. Masks are highly recommended.

WEDNESDAY — 5 pm-7 pm, Digital Literacy Classes – Sign up for up to 8 weeks of free computer classes with Spanish support, presented by the Providence Public Library and RI Office of Library and Information Services. Limited spaces available, so registration is required; 6-7 pm, Author Talk with Karen Brooks | The Good wife of Bath – Join us for a virtual author talk and Q&A with author Karen Brooks. This program is in partnership with Savoy, and will be held on Zoom. Registration is required.

THURSDAY — 4-6 pm, League of Women Voters of South County in Conversation with RIDE – Join us in the library auditorium for a conversation on RIDE’s effort to reimagine high school, and proposal to revise the high school graduation requirements; 5:30-6:30 pm, Zumba in the Park and Library | Turn It Up and Tone – Enjoy a free Zumba class with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi; 5:30-7:30 pm, Chess Club – Drop by the library’s Old Main Reading Room for our weekly Chess Club. Players of all skill levels are welcome.

SATURDAY —10 am-12 pm, Digital Literacy Classes – Sign up for up to 8 weeks of free computer classes with Spanish support, presented by the Providence Public Library and RI Office of Library and Information Services. Limited spaces available, so registration is required; 10:30-11:30 am, Zumba in the Park and Library – Try out Zumba for a fun workout! Classes are FREE and will be held in the 3rd floor Terrace Room (in undesirable weather).

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at Westerly Library & Wilcox Park.

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