Wednesday, October 28, 2015

November is National Novel Writing Month

Got an idea for a novel in the back of your mind? There's no better time to commit to putting it all on paper than November, which has been celebrated as National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short) for the past fifteen years. The goal is simple enough: on November 1st, participating writers work towards a goal of 50,000 words to be completed by November 30th at 11:59 PM. The NaNoWriMo Homepage has more information, and also features hints on getting started, a community to encourage you, and more.

You'd be surprised at how many famous novels got started through this celebration of writing. Here are a few you might recognize from our shelves:


Told in retrospective, Water for Elephants follows a young man remembering his time in the circus during the Great Depression. This was also turned into a film of the same name in 2011.

Cover image for Anna and the French kiss
Cover image for The night circus : a novelANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.

Cover image for The Darwin elevator
In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet's refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator--created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders--emits a plague-suppressing aura. Book one in a trilogy.

Cover image for FangirlFANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, immersed themselves in the series when they were kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving. Her sister has grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. Now that they're going to college, Wren has told her she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone, and can't stop worrying about her dad. Can she do this?

Think you've got what it takes to finish a novel this month? Who knows - maybe you'll be on this list someday.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

May the Force be with you!

Who hasn't heard of Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader?
Well, it all started a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away with Episode IV, called A New Hope. The year was 1977 when we were first introduced to Luke Skywalker, a young boy from Tatooine, who was unwillingly asked to follow in his father’s footsteps. We saw him grow into the Jedi he was meant to be in  Episodes V and VI.
The subsequent releases were prequels that took us to the days of Anakin Skywalker and his descent to the dark side. 
Who can hear the opening music and not feel the excitement building up in anticipation of what’s to come? If I were you, I would start now to revisit the old episodes, before everyone else decides to do so.

Before you know it, Episode VII - The Force Awakens will be in the theaters near you, and hopefully at your Library in the not too distant future. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Teen Read Week--Get Away@ the Glenview Public Library!

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) encourages libraries to use the Get Away theme during Teen Read Week™, October 18 - 24, 2015, to spotlight all the great resources and activities available to help teens build literacy skills while reading for the fun of it. An annual celebration, this year’s theme encourages libraries to help teens escape from the day to day grind of school, homework, family responsibilities, part time jobs and so on by picking up something to read. Interpret the theme in ways that highlight a variety of resources in your collection—fantasy novels, sci-fi, beach reads, travel books, tales of adventure and escape, and more!

Book JacketCheck out these awesome Teen Reads that cross the genres and check out our special display near the Teen Scene on the black cart during this week as well.


The Rithmatist by Brandon SandersonAs Wild Chalklings threaten the American Isles and Rithmatists are humanity's only defense, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice.


The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
During her last summer at home before leaving for college, Emaline begins a whirlwind romance with Theo, an assistant documentary filmmaker who is in town to make a movie.

Don't Turn Around by Michael Gagnon
Noa Torson is a smart and tough computer hacker. As a runaway teenager, Noa thrives living "off the grid" -- until the day she wakes up on an operating table with no memory of how she got there. Noa teams up with fellow hacker Peter to discover what happened to her, but the pair soon becomes the target of a dangerous corporation determined to keep them from exposing its deadly secrets.

Science Fiction:

Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill
On the planet Mars, sixteen-year-old Durango and his crew of mercenaries are hired by the settlers of a mining community to protect their most valuable resource from a feral band of marauders.

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Part of the first generation to be conceived in deep space, fifteen-year-old Waverly is expected to marry young and have children to populate a new planet, but a violent betrayal by the dogmatic leader of their sister ship could have devastating consequences.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

October - the Scariest Month of the Year!

Who loves a good scary movie? If you do, there's no better month than October to watch your old favorites, or find new ones! All over the internet, people are watching lots of horror films this month. On social media sites like Letterboxd people are participating in the "Hoop-tober Challenge" (so named for famed horror director Tobe Hooper), which is a 31 film challenge with a few more specific rules. You might also find people on Twitter using the hashtag #31HorrorFilms31Days - the challenge being only to watch 31 scary movies in the month of October, and tweet clever little one-sentence reviews of them. Here are a few horrifying favorites in our collection:

ALIEN (1979): A space freighter receives a mysterious distress call from an uncharted planet and unwittingly brings a terrifying alien back on board. Commonly regarded as one of the greatest films - horror or otherwise - ever made.

THE SHINING (1980): Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, The Shining follows the Torrance family as they winter at a secluded - and spooky-  hotel. Who could forget Jack Nicholson's infamous "Here's Johnny!"?

JAWS (1975): Based on  the Peter Benchley novel of the same name, Jaws focuses on a small vacation town as it is beset by a terrifying Great White Shark who is quite literally eating into their tourist trade. Often credited with creating the summer blockbuster (as well as the shark attack subgenre of horror), you'll recognize the theme song immediately!

EVIL DEAD (2013): A remake of Sam Raimi's 1981 cult classic THE EVIL DEAD, this is one of the most gruesome horror films in recent memory - not for the squeamish or faint of heart, the plot involves a group of people helping a friend recover from drug addiction at a remote cabin in the woods. Unfortunately for them, they accidentally awaken an ancient demon and it possesses them one by one.

IT FOLLOWS (2014): One of last year's most critically acclaimed horror films, It Follows made quite the splash! It follows (pun intended) 19-year-old Jay as a supernatural entity stalks her slowly but persistently. An unsettling and unique premise with a great retro feel - perfect for fans of John Carpenter's films!

HALLOWEEN (1978): Speaking of John Carpenter, what October-themed scary movie list would be complete without John Carpenter's classic Halloween? Halloween is one of the most imitated horror films ever created - a psychopathic murderer stalks teens on the scariest day of the year.

Be sure to  check out our monthly display, which will be showcasing horror films for all of October, as well as our suggested films pamphlet for even more scary titles!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2015 Man Booker Prize Winner and National Book Award Shortlist Announced

What an exciting week this is for book lovers!
Man Booker Prize for 2015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015, Jamaican author Marlon James won the Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings. The book spans three decades and introduces a multitude of characters to put readers into the violent, gritty world of gangs and politics in Jamaica. James tells the (true) story of the attempted murder of reggae singer Bob Marley right before a peace rally, during which he, his wife, and some friends were injured. The 680-page book was described by Michael Wood, Chair of the Man Booker Prize Judges, as "the most exciting book on the list"  and even "very, very funny" in places. James is the first Jamaican Winner of the Man Booker Prize, which only last year opened submissions to anyone writing in the English language.

National Book Award Finalists for 2015:

Karen E. Bender, Refund: Stories

Angela Flournoy, The Turner House

Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies

Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles:Stories

Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

Click on the titles to find out more about these books!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The foreign film challenge continues . . .

If you like foreign films, you may want to review this list. Here's how it works. I am going through the newly-arranged (by language) foreign films and highlighting those that received a rating of 7 or better on So here I am continuing with the Chinese films. If you do have a chance to view any of them and you love them, please leave a comment and start a dialogue. Enjoy!

Two cabbies search San Francisco's Chinatown for a mysterious character who has disappeared with their $4000. Their quest leads them on a humorous, if mundane, journey which illuminates the many problems experienced by Chinese-Americans trying to assimilate into contemporary American society. 

Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.

Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.

Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) Mandarin
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.

The Drummer (2007) Mandarin/Cantonese
A gangster's willful son is sent into hiding over sexual misconduct. Sent far, he unexpectedly takes up with remote Buddhist drummers who slowly but profoundly influence his life.

Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) Mandarin
A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members.