Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Films - Make Mine A Comedy, Please!

Forget the stresses of Christmas shopping and other preparations in the run up to the coming holiday, if only just for a few hours. There is nothing like a good Christmas-themed comedy movie to get you back into the festive spirit. Relax and recharge with these classic Christmas comedies:

Four Christmases
This fairly recent movie follows a nonchalant couple as they must spend the holidays with their families.  The quirks of each of the four sets of parents and the mishaps at each of their homes are hilarious.  This Christmas comedy is perfect for any adult who faces the holidays with a certain amount of dread.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.

A Christmas Story
Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the '40's, dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. He sets out to convince the world this is the perfect gift. But along the way, he runs into opposition from his parents, his teacher, and even good 'ol Santa Claus himself.

Will Ferrell as Buddy makes this movie a must-see at the holidays. Stashed with Santa from an early age, Buddy travels to New York to find his real father.  The mere idea of a happy Elf in New York is funny enough, but Ferrell's acting brings an extra set of laughs.

Home Alone
An 8-year-old boy, who is accidentally left behind while his family flies to France for Christmas, has to defend his home against idiotic burglars.

The Family Man
A comedy movie with a heart wrenching touch, in this film Nicholas Cage learns what his life would have been like if he'd made a different decision years ago.  The story of a man trying to fit into a world with children is one hilarious plot.

Christmas With the Kranks
Luther Krank is fed up with the commerciality of Christmas; he decides to skip the holiday and go on a vacation with his wife instead. But when his daughter decides at the last minute to come home, he must put together a holiday celebration.  It is based on the novel Skipping Christmas by John Grisham.

Deck the Halls
This holiday comedy is centered around two neighbors in a small New England town who go to war when one of them decides to decorate his house with a so many Christmas lights that they are visible from space. The neighborhood is turned upside down as the families try to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Surviving Christmas
Drew Latham is an executive leading an empty, shallow life with only wealth on his side. Facing another lonely Christmas ahead, Drew wants to revisit his old childhood home and possibly relive some old holiday memories. But when he arrives, he finds that the house in which he was raised is no longer the home in which he grew up. Inhabited by another family, Drew offers a nice financial reward that has the family ringing. But is Drew's generous cash offer only the beginning of an annoying visitor who's a little too overeager to celebrate Christmas?

Modern version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with Bill Murray portraying a nasty, uncaring, unforgiving TV network president. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by three ghosts who show him the error of his ways.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Which was better, the movie or the book?

Just in time for the holiday season, there are several movies based on books that are, or will be, making the rounds at your local theater.

Lincoln, based on the book Team of Rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Historian Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius, as the one-term congressman rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals to become president.

Anna Karenina based on the book Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
A classic nineteenth-century Russian novel in which a young woman is destroyed when she attempts to live outside the moral law of her society.

Les Miserables based on the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Story of Valjean, the ex-convict who rises against all odds from galley slave to mayor, and the fanatical police inspector who dedicates his life to recapturing Valjean.

Cloud Atlas based on the book Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Many characters live out their lives from 1850 to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii and eventually their disparate lives intertwine.

The Hobbit: an unexpected journey based on the book The Hobbit, Or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.

Life of Pi based on the book Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Possessing encyclopedia-like intelligence, unusual zookeeper's son Pi Patel sets sail for America, but when the ship sinks, he escapes on a life boat and is lost at sea with a dwindling number of animals until only he and a hungry Bengal tiger remain.

On the Road based on the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac
On the Road is a thinly fictionalized autobiography, filled with a cast made of Kerouac's real life friends, lover, and fellow travelers.

The Silver Linings Playbook based on the book The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
This brilliantly written debut novel is the riotous and poignant story of how one man regains his memory and comes to terms with the magnitude of his wife's betrayal.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Native American Authors

Native Americans are proud of their heritage and culture. Their history was perserved through oral traditions for generations. With the beginning of writing to their culture, storytellers began to preserve these stories with the written word and now they can share their stories with all us.

Sherman Alexie
War Dances

Louise Erdrich
The round house
The plague of doves

Linda Hogan
Solar storms
People of the whale

N. Scott Momaday
House made of dawn
The ancient child

Susan Power
The Grass Dancer

James Welch
The heartsong of Charging Elk
Killing Custer

Martin Cruz Smith
Gorky park
Three stations

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Entertaining Fiction

Over the next few months, you may be giving a dinner party or attending one, or maybe a more casual get-together will be your choice.  But whatever form it takes for you, the entertaining season is frequently fraught with family problems, disasters in the kitchen or occasionally (in the literary world) murder and mayhem.  Here are a few books centered around food and eating that will get you in the mood for the holidays (except the murder part, of course!).

The Dinner Party by Howard Fast.
Ordinary events evolve into an intricate interplay of power and passion, idealism and ambition, when a prominent senator and his wife, their two college-age children, the wife's parents, and two key administration officials and their wives gather for dinner.

Dolce Agonia by Nancy Huston.
On a snowy Thanksgiving evening in a small college town, poet Sean Farrell hosts a dinner party and through each guest discovers something profound about his life.

The Banquet Bug by Geling Yan.
An unemployed Chinese factory worker, Dan Dong masquerades as a journalist in order to gain invitations to free state-sponsored, gourmet banquets, but, in his guise, he is drawn into the middle of a conspiracy and scandal that leads from the depths of society to the highest levels of Chinese government.

Entertaining Disasters by Nancy Spiller.
An unnamed freelance writer for the LA glossy Food Writer undergoes a panic-stricken week before she must host the exclusive dinner party that she has actually invented in her columns.

There But For The by Ali Smith.
When Miles Garth locks himself in an upstairs room during a dinner party and communicates only through notes slipped under the door, his involuntary hosts beg help from childhood friend Anna, who is unwittingly thrust into the family's surreal world.

Symposium by Muriel Spark.
As the guests assemble at American painter Hurley Reed's London dinner party, they wonder about the lateness of Hilda Damien, who at the moment is being murdered. By the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Mysteries

As the saying goes – ‘Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts.’

If all the togetherness and shopping frenzy leaves you out of sorts this week, try to relax, hang out (or maybe just hide!) with a Thanksgiving themed mystery. And watch out for that extra piece of pumpkin pie.

The Cat Who Talked Turkey by Lilian Jackson Braun

A Killer Crop by Shelia Connolly

A Catered Thanksgiving by Isis Crawford

The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis

Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet

Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes

Monday, November 12, 2012

Forthcoming Fiction for December

Here are some titles coming out this December. You can reserve these by going to our Online Catalog, or by calling the Reader Services Desk at 847-729-7500 x7600.
Luck of the Draw by Piers Anthony
Nano by Robin Cook
Dying on the Vine by Aaron Elkins
And Then You Dye by Monica Ferris
Shadow Creek by Joy Fielding
The Road to Cardinal Valley by Earlene Fowler
Empire and Honor by W.E.B. Griffin
Private London by James Patterson
Two Graves by Douglas Preston
Found Guilty at Five by Ann Purser
Shiver by Karen Robards
Unnatural Wastage by Betty Rowlands
All Fall Down by Harry Turtledove
The Child’s Child by Barbara Vine

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

At Your Library

1930 Glenview Road...the address is the same, the building is not. It has been two years since we opened the doors to this new library. Since then, many patrons, young and old have passed through these doors. Since then, many, many books,  movies, audio books, toys and other materials have been checked in and out.

Such a joy to see the little ones holding their father's hand on their way to Storytime, and then leave clutching books as if they were prizes won. Mothers helping their mothers look for audio books or Large Type books. Teens learning how to make things or how to cook or to volunteer their time.

There are public computers and meeting rooms that can be used;  ongoing workshops on how to download eBooks; movies to watch on the 3rd Friday of the month and monthly book discussions.

In November, come to the Library to listen to various lectures given by a docent from the Lyric Opera of Chicago or to be entertained as you listen to sound clips from some of radio's best known mystery and horror programs.

The Glenview Library has become the place to be truly is a place that educates, enriches, inspires and entertains....from the youngest to the oldest.

Monday, November 5, 2012

December Abounds With Teen Holiday Festivities

Any teen looking for something fun to do to prepare for the holidays should make sure to check out what the Glenview Public Library has to offer in December. 

On Saturday, December 1st, join us for the first-ever Craft Bonanza!  Enjoy working on craft projects at the Library over the past year?  Ever wonder what happened to some of the extra materials?  They will be on hand for you and your friends to make new and exciting gifts for the holiday season on this date only!  From 2-4PM, drop by the Youth Services Program Room to see what kinds of treasures have been left behind for your own personal creation.  Idea sheets will be on hand to give you some help, and YouTube videos of different demonstrations will be playing in the background.  Come solo or bring a group for a fun afternoon of craft-making while sipping hot chocolate, listening to holiday music, and enjoying some light refreshments. 

Want to focus your creative juices on chocolate?  Don't miss out on our Chocolate Dipped Creations program on Saturday, December 8th from 12-1PM.  Kelli McDonald, Foods Teacher at GBS, will be on hand to assist teens who will have a chance to dip oreos, rice crispy treats, and other tasty treats in melted chocolate.  Makes a cute gift, or something special for yourself.  All chocolate, sprinkles, bags and treats will be provided. 

Both programs are open to teens ages 13-18 years old.  Registration for Chocolate Dipped Creations can be done by calling 847-729-7500, or going to the Library's website and click on Calendar and Events.  No registration required for Craft Bonanza.