Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's The End of the World (We Thought) As We Know It

We thought the world would come to an end, but since it didn't, check out these awesome post Apocalyptic and dystopian reads!  Appropriate for both teens and adults. 

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
 Deuce gets her name when she is declared Huntress and protector of College, the enclave where the survivors of "the second holocaust" dwell. They live in abandoned subway tunnels, never venturing Topside; the stories of aboveground dangers are enough to keep everyone below. Deuce and her partner, the enigmatic Fade, bring news of the destruction of enclave Nassau by the mutant cannibal Freaks and are banished Topside for their trouble.

The Death Cure by James Dashner
 In this final book in the series, Thomas and his friends learn that the World in Catastrophe, Killzone Experiment Department (WICKED) wants to devise a blueprint for a cure for the lethal Flare disease by analyzing their brain patterns. Although Thomas knows that he was partially responsible for the creation of the Maze, a brutal experiment that forces its subject to undergo trials and tribulations, he no longer thinks the end justifies the means—even if the goal is to save mankind.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
In the near future, genetic engineering has given a single generation freedom from all physical ills and a long life, but something claims the lives of successive generations as women reach 20 and men reach 25. Many of the first generation and their offspring are fabulously wealthy, but the rest of the population struggles for a living. Rhine Ellery is 16 when she is kidnapped from Manhattan and selected as a bride for Linden Ashby, along with 18-year-old Jenna and 13-year-old Cecily.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
In Kagawa's postapocalyptic dystopia, vampires reign. Allison Sekemoto, 17, and her unregistered gang live in the shabby Fringe of New Covington while vampires rule the Inner City with their human pets, drinking blood donated by their Registered subjects. Unregistered humans roam without meal tickets or the Prince's protection, prone to arbitrary violence and starvation. In an act of desperation, Allie and her friends venture into the rabid-infested ruins surrounding the city in search of ancient, abandoned food hoards.

Delirium by Oliver Lauren
In this gripping dystopian novel set in a future Portland, ME, everyone is safe, unhappiness can be cured, and the freedoms we take for granted have been relinquished in the name of "security" and "the common good." There is no risk and no pain, or at least there won't be for 17-year-old Lena Haloway and her outspoken friend, Hana, once they turn 18.  Strong characters, a vivid portrait of the lives of teens in a repressive society.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
 In a future Chicago, the population is divided into five factions—Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, Erudite, and Amity—each of which believes its opposite is the root of human evil. Sixteen-year-olds are tested for aptitude and must choose whether to remain in their birth faction or select another. They are aided in this selection by a simulation in which their decisions indicate which faction best suits them. Occasionally, though, the simulation indicates multiple choices. These individuals, known as Divergents, are perceived as threats by leaders who want members to behave and think in specific ways. Fans of Collins, dystopias, and strong female characters will love this novel.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rest and Relaxation

Here we are, at the end of one year and the beginning of another. We somehow survived the holidays and the so called "end of the world" on December 21, 2012.  January is right around the corner, which means a lot of people will be making their New Year's resolutions: usually to exercise, to eat healthier and to give up smoking.
All of that is well and good, but we can also think about just trying to have a less hectic life, especially after the holidays.  What's not to like about taking the time to put our feet up and enjoying a good cup of tea with left-over Christmas cookies, and reading a good book or watching a movie.

The classics are always a good option to revisit.  Who doesn't like Jane Austen? You can read her books then watch the movies: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility,  and Emma.

Another great title is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This book was made into a movie in 1933 with Katharine Hepburn, in 1949 with June Allyson and in 1994 with Winona Ryder - all as Amy March.

More recently, there is a book written by Deborah Moggach that was originally published in 2004 under the title These Foolish Things. It was subsequently changed to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and made into a movie in 2012, starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

So go ahead and check these movies/ books out from the Library, enjoy them all in the comfort of your home and hopefully feel better!

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's Summer Somewhere....

December 21 (aside from the Mayan Apocalypse!) marks the first day of Winter - in our hemisphere anyway. However in the Southern Hemisphere, it marks the first day of Summer. Here are some books that take place in these lucky countries where Summer is just starting:

Turing's Delirium by Edmundo Paz Soldan
A thriller follows the leader of a group of computer hackers who oppose the government and the big corporations, the founder of the government's code-breaking unit, and a government agent who fears he works for the wrong side.

By Night in Chile by Roberto BolaƱo
In a deathbed confession, Father Urrutia, a Jesual priest and conservative literary critic, shares his memories of his work with agents of Opus Dei and his secret job of instructing Pinochet about Marxism to the Chilean junta generals can understand their enemy. Original..


The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer
A love affair between a wealthy South African woman and an Arab illegal alien challenges their notions of race, class, and citizenship.
(South Africa)

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
Rendered a confidant and supportive friend for her willingness to listen to her neighbors in genocide-stricken Rwanda, baker Angel Tungaraza provides decadent confections and transforming counsel to a series of troubled customers.

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
In small-town Australia, teens Jasper and Charlie form an unlikely friendship when one asks the other to help him cover up a murder until they can prove who is responsible.

Frangipani by Celestine Hitiura Vaite
In Tahiti, it's a well-known fact that women are wisest, mothers know best, and Materena Mahi knows best of all--or so everyone except for her own daughter thinks. Soon enough, mother and daughter are engaged in a tug-of-war that tests the bonds of their love.


The White Mary by Kira Salak
War reporter Marika Vecera learns that her long-time hero, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert Lewis, has committed suicide and sets out to write his biography, only to hear rumors that he may still be alive in Papua New Guinea.
(Papua New Guinea)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Glenviewings: The Eccentrics

A new Glenviewings film series kicks off Friday, December 21st with the heartwarming comedy of manners The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel screening at 2:00 and 6:30. This winter's Glenviewings film series is called The Eccentrics and features films with unconventional characters and ensemble casts. On January 18 we'll take a look at one my favorite films of year, Wes Anderson's well-regarded Moonrise Kingdom. We'll finish the series on February 15 with the endearing black-comedy Bernie starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughy. Please consider joining us--all films screen at 2:00 and 6:30 in the Community Room.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Forthcoming Fiction for January

Here are some titles coming out this January. You can reserve these by going to our Online Catalog, or by calling the Reader Services Desk at 847-729-7500 x7600

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
1356: Go with God, But Fight Like The Devil by Bernard Cornwell
Suspect by Robert Crais
The Alpine Xanadu: An Emma Lord Mystery by Mary Daheim
The Husband List by Janet Evanovich
Kinsey and Me: Stories by Sue Grafton
Unnatural Habits: A Phryne Fisher Mystery by Kerry Greenwood
Blood Money by James Grippando
Stakeout: a Stanley Hastings Mystery by Parnell Hall
Arsenic and Old Puzzles: A Puzzle Lady Mystery by Parnell Hall
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
Dream Eyes by Jayne Ann Krentz
Dead Aim by Joe R. Lansdale
Easter Bunny Murder by Leslie Meier
The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer
Daddy Love by Joyce Carol Oates
Private Berlin by James Patterson
The Bughouse Affair by Bill Pronzini
Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin
Watching the Dark: an Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson
The Blood Gospel by James Rollins
Die Easy: A Charlie Fox Thriller by Zoe Sharp
Until The End of Time by Danielle Steel
Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd
Habits of the House by Fay Weldon
Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods

Monday, December 10, 2012

Put a little cool in your Christmas!

No matter how many renditions I hear of my favorite Christmas carols, I never tire of them, even Cee-lo Green has a new Christmas CD.  He teams up with Rod Stewart for a version of Merry Christmas, Baby. From Winter Wonderland and Run, Run Rudolph, to The Little Drummer Boy and Silent Night, this Elvis and Bing-free list, will put some rhythm in your Christmas this year.

James Taylor at Christmas
Christmas in the Sand by Colbie Caillat
A Very Merry Perri Christmas by Christina Perri
Joy by Jewel
Glee the Music, The Christmas Album Music
Cheers, It's Christmas by Blake Shelton
Cee Lo's Magic Moment
Merry Christmas II You by Mariah Carey
Merry Christmas, Baby by Rod Stewart
Under the Mistletoe by Justin Bieber

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Best-of-the-Year Book Lists!

Ok. I'll admit it. I’m a bit obsessed with all these end-of-year, best-of-year book lists. When December rolls around and these lists start rolling in...I’m very happy. These book lists are great resources for gift-giving or for just finding the next good book to read. They often come in quite handy when seeking ideas for a book discussion group.
The New York Times just released their "100 Notable Books of 2012" and their "10 Best Books of 2012". Amazon has their "Top 100 Picks for 2012". The library journals are starting to release their own lists. Kirkus Reviews "Best Fiction of 2012: The Top 25" is here. Publisher's Weekly best fiction titles of the year are here. If you’re even more list-obsessed than I am, take a look at the mother-of-all-book-lists over on the largehearted boy blog. There, David Gutowski compiles the "Best of 2012" Book Lists, a list of ALL the online best books lists of the year. What a resource for the list-obsessed! Perusing this list of lists can keep one busy for hours!
Of course I can hardly resist listing a couple of my own personal favorites from 2012. Two of my favorite books happened to be written for young adults. If you are an "older" adult, don't let that "young adult" designation dissuade you from trying one of these excellent titles.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Wein tells an incredible story of friendship between two extraordinary young women--one British, one Scottish--who are brought together by World War II and become fast friends. One becomes a flyer, the other a spy and together they make a "sensational team". The spy parachutes from a plane, but is captured in Nazi-occupied France. Part One is her written "confession" to her Nazi interrogator. Part Two tells another's tale. Just the right amount of humor allows the reader to make it through the heartbreaking parts of the narration.

I finished this book then IMMEDIATELY went back to the beginning and read it again. The plot is intricate. While reading Part Two I realized that I should have been paying MUCH closer attention in Part One. Part One contains clues (lots of foreshadowing) and connections that help to complete the story, and I gasped (literally) when I "got" it all.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few more years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. When a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at the Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

I am not alone among those who are fans of this wonderful book. Below are just of few of the many accolades this book has received.
A blend of melancholy, sweet, philosophical, and funny. Green shows us true love…and it is far more romantic than any sunset on the beach.” -New York Times Book Review
“A pitch-perfect, elegiac comedy…it will linger long and hard in the minds of teens and former teens.” -USA Today

“Green writes books for young adults, but his voice is so compulsively readable that it defies categorization. The Fault in Our Stars proves that the hype surrounding Green is not overblown.” -NPR

Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 Kennedy Center Honors

December 2, 2012

Born July 30, 1936, in Lettsworth, Louisina

A six-time Grammy winner,  Buddy Guy pioneered the blues, working alongside Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Sonny Boy Williamson to name a few.  According to Eric Clapton, "By far without a doubt the best guitar player alive."

Actor and director
Born August 8, 1937, in Los Angeles, California

Dustin Hoffman is one of most versatile actors of any generation.  He has played such roles a 121-year-old Native American about to die, a young divorced parent, a Washington Post reporter going after the Watergate cover-up story, plus Captain Hook and the voice of Shifu in the Kung Fu Panda films.  He states, "I grew up thinking a movie star had to be like Rock Hudson or Tab Hunter, certainly nobody in any way like me."

Comedian and television host
Born April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis, Indiana

David Letterman is one of the most influential personalities and producers in the history of late=night television for more than 25 years.  In 1992, he received the Peabody Award for taking "one of TV's most conventional and least inventive forms...and infusing it with freshness and imagination."  In 1981, he won two Daytime Emmy Awards as writer and host for his first show.  Late Night with David Letterman premiered on NBC.

Ballerina, choreographer, teacher
Born November 21, 1940, in Leningrad, U.S.S.R.

Natalia Makarova left her native Russia in 1970 and debuted in the title role of "Giselle" with the American Ballet Theatre.  She has "ignited the stages of the world's greatest ballet companies and continues to pass the torch to the next generation of dancers."

Led Zeppelin, heavy-metal pioneer, who's members are all in their 60s, "transformed the sound of rock-and-roll with their lyricism and innovative song structures."  They combined rock-and-roll, British folk music, American blues, and english skiffle, heavyweight guitar riffs.

John Paul Jones
Rock bassist and keyboardist, composer and producer
Born January 3, 1946, in Sidcup, Kent, England

Jimmy Page
Rock guitarist, composer and producer
Born January 9, 1944, in Heston, Middlesex, England

Robert Plant
Rock singer, composer and producer
Born August 20, 1948, in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England