Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Other Shakespeare films that I enjoyed were Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Love's Labour's Lost, and Hamlet. The library does not have a copy of Love's Labour's Lost, but you should be able to obtain one through the Interlibrary Loan system.
I have also prepared myself for the newest Shakespeare movie The Tempest starring Helen Mirren by reading the play in its original form and the No Fear version to fully understand the story. Instead of a male character playing the lead of Prospero, the director Julie Taymor went a different route creatively and Ms. Mirren will be playing the role of Prospera. It should make for a lively film. While Shakespeare is often seen as dull and boring by many, the Bard of Avalon had his finger on the pulse of humanity and all of our foibles, thus making his words as powerful today as they were then.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart
"Bleak times have fallen upon the Tower of London's residents. Grief, infidelity, loneliness, and other sorrows have begun to shadow the lives of those who guard and run the tower—everyone from the barmaid to the Beefeaters have felt the touch of misfortune. Until, suddenly, their splintering lives are drawn back together by a most unexpected decree; the queen wishes to house her menagerie of gifted pets within the tower's confines. Before long, the animals take merely complicated lives and send them into mayhem. Strained marriages crumble, long-simmering feuds spark back to life, and precious personal possessions turn up in the strangest places. Life works in mysterious ways, however, and the animals may just be the breath of fresh air that the tower's inhabitants need to repair their broken hearts." ~Library Journal Reviews
Daniel by Henning Mankell
"Set in the 1870s, this earnest and heartbreaking story opens with the unsolved murder of a mentally retarded Swedish girl, but this isn't a mystery in the mode of Mankell's international bestselling Kurt Wallander novels (Firewall, etc.). Hans Bengler, a Swedish entomologist, travels across southern Africa in search of undiscovered insects. In the desert, he finds an orphaned native boy, whom he adopts on impulse and calls Daniel. Bengler brings Daniel back to Sweden to exhibit him for money. A link eventually emerges between the girl's murder and Daniel's story, which dramatically illuminates the evils of colonialism (Bengler notes that he "had to make the important decisions for these black people") and the cultural chasm between Europeans and Africans. " ~Publishers Weekly Reviews
The Farthest Home is in an Empire of Fire: A Tejano Elegy by John Phillip Santos
"Encouraged by an uncle who traced family ancestors to the Texas-Mexico border country in the 1800s, the narrator makes his first trip to Spain in 1980, and returns in 1987 while making a documentary. During an intervening research trip to South Texas, he finds family names in a 1767 document; subsequently, on a 1992 trip to Seville, he discovers the village his ancestors left in the 1580s, the precious link to his family's "Iberian past." Santos' novel is brimming with historical details, which he poetically enriches with myth, dream sequences, and conversations with helpful ghosts. While painstakingly pulling together the varied threads of his fictionalized family drama, Santos connects the story to the larger tale of global migration and racial intermingling." ~Booklist Reviews
Fathom by Cherie Priest
"During a summer vacation to her aunt's coastal Florida home, innocent teen Nia sees her cousin Bernice commit a brutal murder and then get dragged into the ocean by a monstrous water witch. Nia becomes inadvertently entangled in a conflict between primordial creatures that endangers the very existence of humankind. Entombed in stone for countless years, Nia eventually emerges from her cocoon transformed, only to realize that an old god is close to awakening and destroying the world. Priest's haunting lyricism and graceful narrative are complemented by the solemn, cynical thematic undercurrents with a tangible gravity and depth." ~Publishers Weekly Reviews
Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto by Maile Chapman
"A novelist in search of an appropriate setting for a bleak novel in the 19th-century tradition, where tuberculosis kills thousands and women are routinely deprived their societal voice, would be hard-pressed to find a more fitting venue than the Finnish convalescence ward where Chapman has set her anxious debut. Ex-dancer Julia is a reluctant tenant of the Suvanto Sairaala, attended to by an American nurse named Sunny Taylor with whom she shares an uneasy connection. The two women weather a succession of historical set pieces involving the consequences of imperfectly understood obstetrics, Finland's changing relationship with Russia, and madness. " ~Publishers Weekly Reviews
The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran
"Mistress Ann More doesn't like her uncle's secretary, John Donne, from the moment she meets him. He is dark and brooding, writes scandalous poetry about noble women, and is rumored to have Catholic sympathies. But Ann is a troublemaker, too. She refuses a spot at the aging Elizabeth I's court and angers her father with her fiery spirit, most unbecoming in a young lady. The more she is thrown together with Master Donne, the more she comes to understand his mind. But because of John's lack of a living and his reputation, Ann will never be permitted to marry him. Not only are the historical details well presented but the love story that unfolds is exciting and beautiful. Filled with excerpts of Donne's poetry, this love story is not to be missed." ~Library Journal Reviews
The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge
"In his first novel, memoirist Sledge imagines the life of poet Elizabeth Bishop and her lover, socialite and architect Lota de Macedo Soares, while they lived together in Brazil during the 1950s and '60s. Both women struggle with their demons as, from a remote mountain compound in Samambaia (where Lota has designed and built a glass house), Elizabeth wins the Pulitzer Prize and Lota rises to power in the turbulent political sphere of Rio de Janeiro. The book imagines much of the couple's tumultuous, tragically short relationship, based partially on Elizabeth's surviving letters, journals, and drafts (though her correspondence with Lota was burned by Lota's ex-lover)." ~Publishers Weekly Reviews
Thursday, October 21, 2010
A portion of both in-store and online book purchases on October 21-24 will be donated to support Library Services for children at ABC Libraries. Even your café purchases count! Online shopping available through October 28. Special events are planned throughout the day, including a special Halloween Storytime on the 23rd & a musical performance by harpist Gabrielle Coffing on the 24th. More information: Shopping voucher. You must present this voucher prior to making your purchase-you can print it out, or pick up a voucher at any branch library.
ABC Libraries & the Friends for the Public Library thank you for your support!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
In November, the Cherry Hills Library Book Discussion Group will be talking about one of my favorite novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad) by Gabriel García Márquez. This book is a famous example of what is called the "magical realism" school of literature. I hadn't given it much thought before, but after talking it over with my co-workers who run the book group, I realized I am actually a fan of magical realism in fiction. Why do I like it so much? I enjoy reading fantasy novels, with their elaborately created worlds, but sometimes I just enjoy stories of everyday life that are slightly askew. I like to imagine that there could be magic mixed in the mundane day-to-day, that there is a deeper world than one I could see-often delightful, sometimes frightening. I read One Hundred Years of Solitude back in college, but I still like to suspend my disbelief once in a while. Here are some more of my favorite magically realistic titles, in no particular order:
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Dona Flor & Her Two Husbands by Jorge Amado
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories by Aimee Bender
Margin-exploring modern magical realism online
Sunday, October 17, 2010
- Visit the site the National Book Foundation website to see the 2010 National Book Award nominees.
- National Book Award v. the Man Booker Prize: read an article here. Also, an older (but still interesting) history of judgiing for the Booker Prize is available here.
California's Huntington Library-one of the most beautiful sites in the world-has opened an exhibition about Charles Bukowski.
Nelson Mandela's new memoir, Conversations with Myself, has just been released. Put a hold on a copy today! The Omnivoracious blog says the book "delves into his private archive of letters, private recordings, and diaries--including those he kept during 27 years in prison, recording everything from his blood pressure to the content of his dreams".
Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
But back to our book banter forums. We have a new section called "The Millennium Trilogy" for you to write about all things Stieg Larsson-the books; the movies; the new biography of Larsson, The Man Who Left Too Soon; Reg Keeland of Albuquerque, Stieg Larsson's English translator; the author himself; the tour of Salander's Sweden; Larsson's disputed legacy... Love the books? Hate the books? Let us know your opinions on our forums! Here are some articles to give you something to talk about (may contain spoilers):
The Girl Who Read Enough of Stieg Larsson
The Stieg Larsson Phenomenon
The Original Stieg Larsson
Göran Lindberg and Sweden's dark side
The World of Millennium (includes a plug from the 2010 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature!)
"The Author Who Played With Fire" by Christopher Hitchens
"Stieg Larsson’s Heir? Camilla Läckberg"
Stieg Larsson's biographer Barry Forshaw explains what makes the Millennium Trilogy such a worldwide phenomenon: