Monday, August 21, 2017

After the Eclipse, Try...

If you viewed today's eclipse, but don't want to wait until 2024 for the next one, you might be interested in these films!

Image result for 2001 a space odyssey eclipse poster2001: A Space Odyssey: The opening shots of an eclipse remain some of the most iconic in science fiction. A science fiction film which moves from the pre-historic birth of intelligence toward the emergence of man as pure thought somewhere in the future.

The Right Stuff:  The story of how seven cocky pilots became the astronauts of Project Mercury and pioneered America's launch into the space race.

Image result for the right stuff posterApocalypto: An eclipse interrupts an execution, saving the protagonist of this thrilling adventure.

Little Shop of Horrors: In this musical, business booms at Mushnik's Flower Shop when an exotic potted plant called Audrey II arrives after a solar eclipse. People are rushing in to see it--and disappearing.

Ladyhawke: A total solar eclipse appears at the climax of this medieval adventure.

Image result for apocalypto posterPitch Black: Vin Diesel stars in this science fiction thriller. After their spaceship crashes on an abandoned world of three suns, a group of pilgrims encounters very aggressive creatures that can only live in darkness. Seems safe on a world of three suns, but a total solar eclipse is imminent...

Image result for little shop of horrors poster
And don't miss our list of Stellar Reads, either! 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Stellar Reads

The upcoming solar eclipse is telling of the fascination that people have with the sun, space, and the planets beyond us, a topic that lots of great fiction centers on.  Here are a variety of great reads set in space or involving what life on the planets beyond us might be like.

Lightless by C. A. Higgins
Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond--not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship's electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.
Nightfall by Isaac Asimov
Kalgash is a world on the edge of chaos, torn between religious fanaticism and scientific rationalism. Their civilization is threatened by Nightfall, the first sunset in over two thousand years.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago.
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
When Captain Jim Holden's ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the attack, stop a war and find the truth behind a vast conspiracy that threatens the entire human race.
Coming Home by Jack McDevitt
An antiquities dealer travels to Earth to search for an artifact of the early space age and to search for an interstellar transport that vanished 11 years prior.

by LM

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The End of Summer Reading

Don’t want summer to end? Check out these hot reads as summer cools down.
In the tenements of old New York, a young Russian Jewish immigrant woman is taken in by an Italian family who sells ice. Through sheer persistence and strong will, she manages to build an ice cream empire. Lillian Dunkle is a complex character who will both make you cheer even as you are dismayed. Have ice cream on hand when you read this book! -- Marika Zemke for LibraryReads.
The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close
When Beth and Matt, an aspiring politician, move from NYC to DC, Beth initially hates it. But things start to turn around for her when they befriend another “transplant” couple, Ashleigh and Jimmy. Beth’s loyalty is tested when she is forced to admit to herself that Matt is just not quite as attractive, magnetic or charismatic as his rival-friend, Jimmy…..who harbors similar political aspirations.The Hopefuls is on point in its descriptions of young marriage, career ambition, and complicated friendships. 
The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
Deep in the heart of London, in a lush communal square, as a festive garden party is taking place, a thirteen year-old girl lies unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner.
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
Set during the summer before the outbreak of World War I,follow the story of headstrong, independent Beatrice Nash and kind but stuffy surgeon-in-training Hugh Grange along with his formidable Aunt Agatha. 

by NM

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Time to Get Your Craft On!

Bandana-Rama by Judith Cressy is a colorful, beautifully illustrated beginning sewing book that is packed with ideas you will want to make. Take out your old bandanas or buy some new ones and create some amazing bandana items. This book includes 21 projects from start to finish with easy to follow pictures and directions. Projects include: a bandana belt, drawstring top, purse, decorative pillow, blouse, skirt and more. There is also a tutorial on techniques: from tying a knot to how to use a sewing machine. It may inspire you to design and create your own ideas from bandanas.

Two great books we used to develop ideas for projects to demonstrate our new sewing machines and sergers at our Maker-Faire were Megan Nicolay’s Generation T books. The T-shirt inspired projects Meghan has created are incredibly easy, inexpensive and anyone can make them. I highly recommend making some of these projects. Meghan Nicolay has a great website that has more T-shirt and craft ideas.  

Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform aT-shirt is Megan Nicolay’s first book and she has transformed the way we think about T-shirts. Her ideas are unique and inspirational. Megan's illustrations are easy to follow and easy to sew and you do not need a sewing machine. She encourages you to be your own designer and provides a template to help you design your own ideas. There are projects in this book for every person: tops, skirts, bags, pillows, hats and even a wedding dress. Think outside the box. T-shirts can be made into anything, literally.

Meghan as revolutionized the T-shirt. She has repurposed it, reinterpreted it and reinvented it. Now she explores new ways to slash a tee, scrunch a tee, and sew a tee with Generation T: Beyond Fashion. A collection of 120 projects for every occasion, it takes the humble yet ever-malleable tee in dozens of new directions. The rallying cry is: Don't buy; DIY. The result is hip, imaginative, crafty, and very green. There's a basic primer on techniques: knotting, sewing, braiding and lacing. Projects range from the simplest no-sew to intermediate, and all have easy-to-follow illustrations.

Girl With a Sewing Machine by Jenniffer Taylor
Create your own unique clothes to fit your personality and your shape. This stylish, instructive book from The Great British Sewing Bee’s Jenniffer Taylor shows you how to make and adapt your own clothes in a simple, no-fuss way. Using Jenniffer’s fun and imaginative ideas, this book will teach you how to get started transforming unloved items of clothing into new and exciting outfits; how to customize clothes with doilies, tassels, tie-dyeing and block printing; and finally how to measure yourself, create patterns and make clothes from scratch. The book is packed with all the tricks of the trade that Jenniffer has learned along her sewing journey. 

See Kate Sew by Kate Blocher
Create beautiful crafts for your home and everyone in it--no experience required! Learning how to sew has never been easier! In See Kate Sew, blogger Kate Blocher shows you how to make dozens of beginner-friendly projects with professional polish. From stylish pillows and home decor to adorable soft toys for kids and fashion-forward accessories, there is plenty to make and gift--or keep just for you! Detailed instructions and step-by-step illustrations help ensure your success, while sewing tutorials on everything from creating buttonholes to mitering quilt corners. Best of all, projects can be sewn together in 60 minutes or less. Sew great!

by EM

Monday, July 31, 2017

How About Some Good Sounds?

James Elkington is a Chicago based guitar player (by way of England) who just released his first solo album on the Paradise of Bachelors label. I first saw Elkington play in his band The Zincs at a music festival not long after I moved to Chicago in 2005. Elkington can now be found as a valued sideman to artists like Richard Thompson, Jeff Tweedy, Steve Gunn and Michael Chapman (as well as a regular member of Eleventh Dream Day and Brokeback). He makes anyone that he plays with sound better. It’s a real treat to hear him show off his playing AND his own songwriting on his new album Wintres Woma (old English for “the sound of winter, I looked it up).  Melding British folk (see Bert Jansch) and jazz-traditions, I really enjoy listening to what Pitchfork calls an “elegant and assured collection of acoustic fingerpicking and smart songwriting”. Watch the video below and you can find Wintres Woma in the library’s music CD collection.

by michael w

Friday, July 28, 2017

Check Out What’s New in Spanish

For those of us who like to read in a second language or maybe it is your first, here is a short list of some new titles in our Spanish collection. If you're not sure what to read, we can recommend something. Ask at the Reader Services Desk and check one out today. 
La razón de estar contigo by Bruce Cameron
Cuando aparecen los hombres by Marian Izaguirre
Mi novia preferida fue un bulldog Francés by Legna Rodríguez Iglesias
Respira, Rebecca, respira by Barbara Alves
Yo sí que cocino by Patricia Pérez
La cocina anticáncer by David Khayat
All You Need Is Love by Remedios Gomis

by CR

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tony Awards – 2017

The 71st Annual Tony Awards were held on June 11, 2017, to recognize achievement in Broadway productions during the 2016–17 season. The ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and was broadcast live by CBS. 
Dear Evan Hansen was written by Pasek & Paul, with a book by Steven Levenson.  It opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in December 2016.
The title character, Evan Hansen, is a high school senior with a social anxiety disorder who finds himself amid the turmoil that follows a classmate’s death.
Won: Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Music – Ben Platt as Evan Hansen, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical – Rachel Bay Jones as Heidi Hansen, Best Book of a Musical – Steven Levenson, Best Original Score – Pasek & Paul, and Best Orchestrations – Alex Lacamoire.
Hello, Dolly! (Revival) is a 1964 musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder’s 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers.  The musical follows the story of Dolly Levi (a matchmaker), as she travels to Yonkers, New York, to find a match for the miserly Horace Vandergelder.
Won: Best Performance by a Leading Lady in a Musical – Bette Midler as Dolly Gallagher Levi, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical – Gavin Creel as Cornelius Hackl, and Best Costume Design – Santo Loquasto.
Come From Away is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein.  It is set in the week following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland.
Won: Best direction of a Musical – Christopher Ashley.

Friday, July 21, 2017

What Have YOU Been Reading Lately?

News of the World

I highly recommend the powerful, yet tender historical fiction novel News of the World by Paulette Jiles, a book I read quite recently. I am not alone in my positive feelings about this book. News of the World was a 2016 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.
Set in lawless, post-Civil War Texas, the novel’s hero is Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a retired Civil War captain. Now in his seventies, Kidd spends his time traveling through northern Texas as a respected news reader, giving live readings of the news to paying audiences who are eager to know the events of the world. At one of his stops Kidd is offered a $50 gold piece to return a 10-year-old girl, Johanna, to relatives 400 miles south in San Antonio. Kidd feels obligated to take the job.
Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister. The Kiowa spared Johanna and raised her as one of their own. Recently “rescued” by the U.S. army, the young girl has once again been torn away from the only home she can remember. She has forgotten the English language and rebels at all efforts to “civilize” her, attempting to escape at every opportunity.
The 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and dangerous and both Kidd and Johanna realize they must rely on one another in order to survive. Slowly a bond begins to form between the two. When they reach San Antonio and Johanna’s relatives, Kidd is confronted with a complex moral decision, one of the most difficult of his life.
The audio version of this title is also highly recommended.
What have YOU enjoyed reading lately? Let us know!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Return of Jo Nesbo

Recently, during a spring getaway to Scandinavian Door County, my home away from home, I picked up a copy of a Norwegian magazine celebrating the culture, taste, history, events and personalities of Norway. Lo and behold I see that one of my favorite crime writers, the award-winning Norwegian crime novelist Jo Nesbo is back with the 11th installment of his best-selling series featuring maverick detective Harry Hole. Just released in May, it is entitled The Thirst. This latest novel follows Hole’s return to the Oslo police force to hunt for a serial killer. The search becomes personal when evidence connects the killer to an unresolved investigation from Hole’s past and escalates as he seeks revenge on an old enemy.
These Nordic noir police procedurals feature a borderline alcoholic who is obsessed with his job, tormented by his personal demons, and a maverick on the job. The suspenseful, multi-textured plots weave Norwegian society’s dark problems with graphic violence and psychological insights into the well-rounded characters. Because Harry Hole changes over time, this series should be read in order. So start with –
The Bat (Oct 2012) 
Cockroaches (Jan 2013) 
The Redbreast (Jan 2000) 
Nemesis (Jan 2009) 
The Devil’s Star (Jan 2003) 
The Redeemer (Jan 2005)
The Snowman (Jan 2007)
The Leopard (Dec 2011)
Phantom (Oct 2012) 
Police (Oct 2013)
Nesbo has sold more than 30 million books worldwide. If you like crime fiction, give this series a try and I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Blockbusters

The summer is in full blockbuster mode! After watching the latest hits at the theater, head on over to the library to check out similar movies! Below are four of this summer’s hits with a few suggested titles to try before or after.

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: HOMECOMING feels like John Hughes, the director of this classic high school comedy, made his own superhero movie. Look for all the local Chicago landmarks in between laughs!
  • Batman: Michael Keaton goes from heroic Batman here, to villainous Vulture in HOMECOMING.
  • Almost Famous: Parts of HOMECOMING are less about being a superhero and more about coming of age. Almost Famous has been cited by HOMECOMING’s director as a primary influence.
  • Captain America: Civil War: Don’t miss Tom Holland’s first appearance on the big screen as Spider-Man! 

  • Funny People: A comedian, diagnosed with a terminal illness, tries to fix relationships he has damaged.
  • Don’t Think Twice: An improv comedy troupe faces a series of crises.
  • Obvious Child: An unemployed standup comedian deals with an unexpected pregnancy. 

  • The Blues Brothers: Car chases, good music, great laughs! Another Chicago classic makes a perfect pairing with this summer’s “Car Chase Musical”!
  • Hot Fuzz: The director of BABY DRIVER, Edgar Wright, also directed this acclaimed crime thriller parody.
  • Bullitt: This 1968 crime thriller features one of the most famous car chases in movie history!
  • Heat: The quintessential heist movie.

  • Apocalypse Now: Woody Harrelson’s character in the latest Apes movie is a great homage to the iconic Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Colonel Kurtz.
  • The Searchers: Despite its science fiction, post-apocalyptic setting, WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES owes a lot to classic westerns like this.
  • The Great Escape: Another classic Steve McQueen film, this adaptation of true events during World War II is a great companion to the epic conflict shown in WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES.
  • Cloverfield: The new APES franchise is not the first time director Matt Reeves has explored science fiction! Check out this surprising found footage film that also spawned a pseudo-sequel, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Audiobooks: Beach Listens

Are you headed to the beach this summer?  If so take along one of these beach listens for your journey. Happy listening!
Given a last chance to save her career after being wrongly blamed for property damage, movie location scout Greer Hennessy confronts environmentally-minded mayor Eben Thinadeaux in a sleepy Florida Gulf Coast community.
Ignoring local gossip that pegs her as an eccentric, sixty-five-year-old Nantucket widow Nan skinny-dips in unattended pools and steals her neighbors' flowers before her diminishing funds force her to take in boarders, a change that brings an unexpected visitor.
The irresistible, irreverent mother-daughter team presents a new collection of funny stories and true confessions that every woman can relate to. From identity theft to the hazards of bicycling to college reunions and eating on the beach, Lisa and Francesca tackle the quirks, absurdities, and wonders of everyday life with wit and warmth.
Four friends who used to meet for a yearly summer beach vacation drift apart after one of their group tragically dies but reconvene years later.
The lifelong best friendship between privileged Emma and hardscrabble Maggie is tested and then cemented by the discovery that both are pregnant by the same man.

A fraught Montauk lawyer decides to defend a local man accused of murdering several ostentatious Hampton’s types and finds himself in the midst of another trial of the century.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

To Binge or Not to Binge

I have to admit, I have on occasion binged my way through entire television seasons. The temptation is just too great, sometimes it is hard to stop, there are no commercials to tolerate and you can easily fast forward and find out what happens next without having to wait a week. Here is a mix of drama and comedy, in no particular order, that may make it hard to get up off the couch.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Who's Your Wonder Woman?

The new Wonder Woman movie is now out in theaters. Below is a list of movies with strong women: they may not have super powers, but they're all superheroes in their own way. Who's your favorite? 

  • Aliens: Ellen Ripley survives the events of the first Alien film, only to go back to a hive of the dreaded creatures! 
  • Arrival: A linguist (Amy Adams) attempts to decipher the strange language of a visiting alien race. Don't miss the novella, "Story of Your Life".
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Lisbeth Salander, hacker extraordinaire, aids a journalist in unraveling a snarled mystery. You might also try the original Swedish film, or the book.
  • Hanna: Hanna, now 16, was raised to be the perfect assassin, and now is on the run across Europe.
  • Jackie: An account of Jacqueline Kennedy after the assassination of her husband. 
  • Kill Bill: Left for dead, "The Bride" (Uma Thurman) seeks revenge on her employer and his underlings. 
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: Max (Tom Hardy) might be the title character, but Charlize Theron steals the show as Furiosa in this non-stop post-apocalyptic action movie.
  • Miss Sloane: An ambitious lobbyist (Jessica Chastain) works to pass gun control legislation in this thriller. 
  • Princess Mononoke: The fearsome title character fights to protect the forest, which is being corrupted by an industrial village, in this epic anime. 
  • Room: Try the book, too! Brie Larson is set to get her own superpowers in the upcoming Captain Marvel movie, as well. 
  • The Silence of the Lambs: Clarice Starling (Jodi Foster) enlists the aid of a psychotic cannibal to catch another serial killer. Read the book!
  • Stoker: India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) begins to suspect that her mysterious uncle is not all that he seems in this Hitchcockian thriller. 
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane: Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes from a car accident in an underground bunker. Her rescuer claims that there was a massive attack and everyone outside is dead, but parts of his story don't quite add up...
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day: 10 years after a Terminator from the future was sent to assassinate her, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) has been targeted again - but this time she's ready. 
  • Wendy and Lucy: Penniless drifter Wendy (Michelle Williams) is on her way to Alaska in search of gainful employment, but when her dog goes missing her plans are put on hold. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Remembering Our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day: War Novels

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Celebrated on the last Monday in May many people visit cemeteries and memorials to honor those who have died in military service. Did you know that there are ten national cemeteries in Illinois? Below is a list of  novels organized by war, pick one up for the long holiday weekend.

 American Revolution
Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothers by Barbara Hambly
The Hornet's Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War by Jimmy Carter
Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara
Redcoat by Bernard Cornwell

Civil War
Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
North and South by John Jakes
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
March by E.L. Doctorow

World War I
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
To the Last Man by Jeff Shaara
The First of July by Elizabeth Speller

World War II
The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II by Jeff Shaara
The Winds of War by Herman Wouk
Battle Cry by Leon Uris
Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th by Newt Gingrich

Korean War
War Trash by Ha Jin
The Frozen Hours: A Novel of the Korean War by Jeff Shaara
The Marines of Autumn: A Novel of the Korean War by James Brady
The Hunters by James Salter

Vietnam War
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Word of Honor: A Novel of Vietnam by Nelson DeMille

Persian Gulf War/Iraq War
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Redeployment by Phil Klay
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pirtre

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

April Showers Bring May Flowers and Darkness Brings Light!

When I hear this old cliche, I think of beauty and light emerging from gloom and darkness. Then I reflect on flowers and books and the idea that out of tragic circumstances, an unexpected brightness can appear. Characters often struggle, triumph over adversity and eventually find unexpected happiness. Very often, books about growing up in the foster care system end with the hope of second chances. I've listed some of my favorite satisfying reads that embody this theme.

The Language of Flowers by Vanesssa Diffenbaugh 
This is a story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past.

A Good Year for the Roses by Gil McNeil
Recently divorced and struggling to support her three boys, Molly is stunned when she inherits her aunt's manor house, a house that includes her eccentric old uncle, an ailing bed-and-breakfast, and a beautiful rose garden.

White Oleander by Janet Finch
At the age of 12, Astrid has her world blown away when her mother is sentenced to life in prison for murdering her lover. Sharpened by harsh foster home environments, Astrid remakes herself as a survivor, and ultimately, an artist.

Like Family by Paula McLain
An account of growing up as a foster child describes how the author and her two sisters were abandoned by their parents, her next fourteen years in a series of temporary homes, and the impact of her unrooted life.

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
Having suffered abuse and misfortune for much of her life, a young child searches for a better life and finally gets a break in the home of a loving woman with several foster children.

The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson
A successful divorce lawyer, Paula’s carefully constructed life starts to fracture when family secrets come to light, forcing her to try to come to terms with the power of her story to hurt and heal, and a growing need for family connections.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Close to aging out of the foster care system, Molly Ayer takes a position helping an elderly woman named Vivian and discovers that they are more alike than different as she helps Vivian solve a mystery from her past.

Monday, May 22, 2017

After ALIEN: COVENANT, Try These...All on Hoopla!

Are you a fan of the Alien franchise? Just got back from the latest box office hit in the franchise, Alien: Covenant? Check out these similar titles, all available FREE on Hoopla!

  • Dead Ringers: This Cronenberg horror features twin brothers who take advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart - just like Michael Fassbender's android role in Covenant
  • Europa Report: An international crew of astronauts makes the long journey to Jupiter's fourth moon, seeking alien life.
  • The Last Days on Mars: The discovery of fossilized evidence of life on Mars is not as innocent as it seems in this Sci-Fi thriller. 

  • The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer: Area X, a mysterious quarantine zone of the unexpected, has had eleven expeditions. The first returned with reports of the beautiful landscape. The third expedition self-destructed and murdered each other. The eleventh expedition died of cancer months after returning. Annihilation, the first book in this acclaimed trilogy, begins with expedition number twelve. The spooky atmosphere, hiding unknowable horrors, is a perfect fit for Alien: Covenant's sense of dreaded discovery.  
  • At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft: This classic Lovecraft novella follows an expedition to the Antarctic and the chilling discoveries they make there. It's not as interstellar as the Alien franchise but the scares are just as cosmic. 
  • The Manitou by Graham Masterton: Karen Tandy discovers a mysterious lump growing under her skin that baffles all of her doctors. This chilling piece of body horror was the debut novel of eminent horror novelist Masterton. 


  • Aliens: Hoopla has more than enough Alien comics to keep you busy for a long time. A great way to dive into the extra mythology of this popular franchise. 
  • Hellboy: Mike Mignola's acclaimed series is all available on Hoopla! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

David Downing

David Downing’s series featuring British journalist John Russell, is set in Germany under Nazi occupation. While fictional, these books are filled with vivid descriptions of places, characters, and situations that ordinary people faced. Russell and his girlfriend, famous film actress Effi, must navigate the difficulties of life during wartime as John tries to work with the Allies yet remain in Germany. Gritty, but human, each title is the name of a Berlin train station. Begin with Zoo Station set in 1939 Berlin.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Literary Moms

With mother's day coming up, it brought to mind some of the moms that appear in novels.  Here are s few books (both classic and contemporary) featuring some memorable literary moms.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith

~ Katie Nolan

Young Francie Nolan, having inherited both her father's romantic and her mother's practical nature, struggles to survive and thrive growing up in the slums of Brooklyn in the early twentieth century.  Katie Nolan, her mother, is a proud woman who will do anything in order to make the lives of her children better.

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

~ Mrs. Bennet

From Jane's Austen's classic, Mrs. Bennet is a silly, ill-mannered lady whose sole focus is to see her daughters marry well.

Life after Life - Kate Atkinson

~ Sylvie Todd

Atkinson delivers a wildly inventive novel about Ursula Todd, born in 1910 and doomed to die and be reborn over and over again. Her mother is an equally compelling character who is deeply devoted to her daughter.

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

~ Marmee

The classic tale of the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young women in mid-nineteenth-century New England.  Their mother Marmee is a strong, loving presence holding the family together acting as head of the household while their father is away fighting in the Civil War for much of the story.

The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemison

~ Essun
Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman's vengeance. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back. She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.