Blogs

Game of Thrones

As soon as my husband and I wrapped up watching our favorite shows Breaking Bad and Dexter, it was time to move on to the next great dramatic television series.  I checked out Season 1 of Game of Thrones as my brother has been raving about the show for years. Per usual, my brother's recommendation was spot on and we quickly watched Season 1 and have moved on to Season 2.  Season 4 is currently airing on HBO and is expected to be released on DVD in February 2015. The library owns Seasons 1-3 on DVD, so place your hold now!

Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama television show currently airing on HBO.  The television series is based upon a novel series by George R.R. Martin called A Song of Ice and Fire of which the first book is titled A Game of Thrones.  The show is set in the fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.  It follows the Lords of each Kingdom and their families as they battle for the Iron Throne.  The show has been criticized for its use of nudity and violence but has also won several awards and many more award nominations.  You be the judge and checkout the DVDs today! 

Books on Tap - May Follow Up

Over the noisy setting of the dining room, we were able to have a great discussion about the memoir When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago. There were differing opinions on whether or not people enjoyed the book, but I think overall we agreed that there were many relatable themes presented by the author that inspired an open dialogue about what to do when life isn't peachy keen. The book allowed the readers to experience a lifestyle that was previously unfamiliar to them and see where there was overlap with their lives. If you would like to learn more about the author, you can visit her website as well as read her other memoirs: Almost a Woman and The Turkish Lover.

Please join us in June when we will discuss Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

The Paladin Prophecy

The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost is a great book about a seemingly normal highschooler named Will. His parents taught him all his life to be under the radar and keep to himself. His life changes completely when he scores way above average on a test given to all highschoolers in the nation. A lady shows up at his school and tells him about The Center, an esteemed prep school you have to be invited to to attend. The Center were not the only ones interested in him, however. Some bad people want him and his abilities for themselves. Will's parents get taken and he has to flee to The Center where he is safe, and learns more about who the "bad people" are and why they're after Will. 

This was a great book with lots of action and suspense. I really really liked the fact that there was little to no romance involved and focused on the plot at hand. So, basically, you can tell it was written by a man. :) This book had everything in it that I was looking for: action, a bit of sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, suspense. The list goes on. I would encourage anyone looking for a great new series to check this one out and see what you think!

Why You Want to Read Banewreaker by Jacqueline Carey

The Out Of This World book club is reading Banewreaker by Jacqueline Carey for our meeting on May 19 at 7:00 PM, and you should join the discussion.

Banewreaker is the first of two books in The Sundering, which is usually characterized as The Lord of the Rings told from the villains' side as a tragedy. It is also characterized as a deconstruction of the fantasy epic, because these are sympathetic protagonists rather than the unambiguous evil of Sauron's forces. Both sides are convinced that the other is lying and malicious, and war is coming.

If you enjoy fantasy but are looking for a variation, this has it. You have races that are identifiably elves, dwarves, trolls, and hobbits but there are differences. You have all the archetypes you expect, with a mixture of playing them straight and subverting expectations that makes the old new. Some things will surprise you, which might make it surprising when other things are exactly what you expect.

If you do not enjoy fantasy because of its black and white morality, here is your gray. Tolkien's Middle-earth has the forces of good and the forces of evil, where the main nuance is infighting in the forces of good. Banewreaker opens with the claim that the supposed war of good and evil started because the god of the elves demanded that the god of fertility remove humans' ability to reproduce so that they would die out in a generation. Motivations for the epic fantasy war are more realistic, misguided, and/or petty than "for/against the Dark Lord," although some of the participants certainly see it in those stark terms.

You may already know Jacqueline Carey from her Kushiel's Legacy series, which spans three trilogies. We will not have time to encompass all that, but we may have a chance to touch on Godslayer, the sequel, or your other favorite fantasy deconstructions, anti-heroes, and villain protagonists. There are more comic takes like Mary Gentle's Grunts and Eve Forward's Villains By Necessity, or perhaps you want something more classic like Michael Moorcock's Elric saga or even Shakespeare's Richard III? Paradise Lost is the obvious ancestor. Feel free to bring your suggestions for books we should be reading if we did or did not like Banewreaker

 Whatever you think of Banewreaker, and you won't know until you read it, please join us on May 19 at 7:00 PM.

The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible...On Schindler's List

Watching a news story a few days ago featuring filmmaker Steven Spielberg and the 20th anniversary of both the making of the movie Schindler's List and the USC Shoah Foundation reminded me of a wonderful book I had read recently. The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible...On Schindler's List is a memoir written by Leon Leyson, the youngest boy on Oskar Schindler's "list." Mr. Leyson died in January 2013, only seven months before the book was published. This touching memoir is aimed at ages 9-14, but teens and adults would enjoy it as well. To read a wonderful book review on the USC Shoah Foundation site, click here.

Fortune

Say what you will about Chris Brown's personal life but there is no denying that this young man has talent. He is an entertainment triple threat, he sings, acts and dances.  Not only does he do these activities but he does them well and sometimes figures out how to combine two out of three. For example in Battle of the Year, Brown acts and dances.

Although Chris Brown has five albums to date, he as not released another album since Fortune in 2012.  Fortune, mixed hip-hop beats, R&B soul and dance club style electronica.  To say the least, this album will be sure to get you bobbing to the beat or even up out of your seat dancing.  Some of the tracks live up to the parental advisory warning but if you are like me and listen beyond the lyrics; you will be energized by the dance songs.

elpl.org Offline for Maintenance

elpl.org will be offline for maintenance starting at 8pm this evening.  Additional online services, such as:

 

  • The Library's Catalog
  • 3M Cloud Library
  • Hoopla
  • Overdrive
  • Zinio
  • MelCat

 

Will still be available.  Maintenance is expected to take approximately 1 hour.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

As an avid audio book listener, I always enjoy when the author reads their work.  Malcolm Gladwell's latest is no exception.  In David and Goliath, Gladwell examines how what we might see as a disadvantage is really an asset.  In his typical style, he tells a story using what we think we know about a topic and sheds a different light on it.  The chapter titled "You wouldn't want your child to be dyslexic, or would you?" was particularly interesting to me.  While this book did not get as many 5 star reviews as his past titles, I still would recommend it to any Gladwell fan.

Artemis Fowl

Eoin Colfer did a marvelous job writing this book. It's all about a genius 12 year old who finds a secret race called the People. These People include fairies, trolls, goblins, and dwarves who all live underground without humans knowing about it. Artemis discovers them and decides to exploit them for their gold. His plan and all around intelligence makes for a great story. The audiobook was very easy to listen to and the guy who read it did an amazing job with all the characters. I'm looking forward to continuing the Artemis Fowl series

Love In the Future

When people used to ask me who my favorite music artists were I’d say, “I love the Johns, John Legend, John Mayer and Jon B.”  I would get a few strange looks considering Jon B was a 90s artist that has rarely been seen since but I stayed true to my loyalty.  John Mayer’s voice and guitar playing skills got me every time.  John Legend made being Ordinary People, sound like the greatest possibility of a love story.

Although I have seen John Legend in concert at least three times, my love for his music faded.  Sometime around his album Wake Up! my fandom waivered.  I really wanted to like this album, the songs were collaborations with The Roots, a band of musical geniuses, but this one fell short. 

So when John Legend’s new album, Love In The Future was released in 2013 I was apprehensive to take a listen.  To my ears delight, the old John Legend that I once adored was back! I have listened to this album for three days straight. The soulful crooner returned to what he does best, signing about love.  

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