Monday, October 30, 2017

A not so-scary Halloween and fun for the whole family

Having a 19 and 10 year old in the house means never being able to agree on a movie. Here is a list of flicks with fun Halloween scenes and themes. Not too scary and perfect for family movie night. So after trick or treating, sit back with your candy, relax and watch. Enjoy the time together!

Karate Kid
Mean Girls
American Splendor (rated R for language)
Never Been Kissed
Hocus Pocus
Mr. Mom

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Vietnam War Fiction

This fall, documentary filmmakers, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, aired a new PBS series about the Vietnam War. Their 10-year project has culminated in an excellent 18-hour, 10-part documentary. If you have been watching this documentary, you may be interested deepening your understanding of this war even further. Below is a selected list of fiction written about the Vietnam War and its legacy. Two of the authors listed below have featured interviews in the PBS documentary.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Heroic young men carry the emotional weight of their lives to war in Vietnam in a patchwork account of a modern journey in the heart of darkness.

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
In a story by a decorated Marine veteran who fought in the Vietnam War, Lieutenant Waino Mellas and his fellow Marines venture into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and fight their way into manhood. They meet not only external obstacles but also internal ones, including racial tension, competing ambitions and underhanded officers.

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel follows a Viet Cong agent as he spies on a South Vietnamese army general and his compatriots as they start a new life in 1975 Los Angeles.

The Quiet American by Graham Green
The setting of this novel is Saigon in the violent years when the French were desperately trying to hold their footing in the Far East. The principal characters are a skeptical British Journalist, his attractive Vietnamese mistress, and an eager young American sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission.

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
Helen Adams, an American combat photographer during the Vietnam War, captures the wrenching chaos of battle on film and finds herself torn between the love of two men, one an American war correspondent and the other his Vietnamese underling.

The Lotus and the Storm by Lan Cao
A tale set during the decades following the Vietnam War is told through the experiences of a Vietnamese-American family, including former South Vietnamese soldier Minh and his daughter, Mai, who move to a close-knit immigrant community in Virginia where they confront devastating secrets.

Friday, October 20, 2017

National Book Awards 2017: Fiction Finalists

On November 15, the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards will celebrate the best of American literature. Listed is the finalists for this prestigious fiction award.

Fiction Finalists:
Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman
A modern-day love story set on the Turkish border of Syria, where an Arab American with a conflicted past attempts to join the fight against Bashar al-Assad's regime before the plight of his host family reshapes his loyalties.

The Leavers by Lisa Ko
One morning, eleven-year old Deming Guo's mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a moving story of a boy who struggles to find his way in a new world. It's an unflinching look at the difficult decisions a mother faces. This novel explores what it means to be a family and the duality of lives, especially through adoption. Jennifer Ohzourk for LibraryReads.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
In early 1900's Korea, cherished daughter Sunja finds herself pregnant and alone, bringing shame on her family until a young minister offers to marry her and move with her to Japan, in the saga of one family bound together as their faith and identity are called into question.

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado
A wife refuses her husband's requests to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman narrates her sexual encounters as a plague slowly devours humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a shocking discovery within the seams of the store's prom dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted house guest. And in the brilliant novella, "Especially Heinous," the author re-imagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we simply assumed had shown it all.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Living with his grandparents and toddler sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo traverses the challenges of his anguished mother's addictions and his grandmother's terminal cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip of danger and hope.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Horror for Halloween - GPL's Scariest Movies of All Time!

Just in time for HALLOWEEN, check out the GPL collection of the 10 scariest, most terrifying, spine-tingling movies that have stood the test of time. Let the countdown begin:

10. Ringu (2002) A reporter and her ex-husband investigate a cursed video tape that is rumored to kill the viewer seven days after watching it.

9. Paranormal Activity (2009) After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

8. Psycho (1960) A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

7. Don't Look Now (1973) A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

6. The Shining (1980) A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

5. The Exorcist (1973) When a girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

4. Halloween (1978) Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

3. Blair Witch Project (1999) Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

2. Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) Two siblings visit their grandfather's grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

1. Funny Games (1997) Two violent young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

Be prepared for scared!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro

This week, we are celebrating our newest Nobel Laureate in Fiction, Kazuo Ishiguro.  In his nearly 35 year career, Ishiguro has written 8 novels, which have been translated into over 40 languages and have won numerous awards, including the Man Booker Prize, and is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, a title which denotes excellence in contributions to the arts and sciences.  The novelist was praised by the Swedish Academy as a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".

Here are some of Ishiguro's works available at the Glenview Library, as well as some recommended read-a-likes.

The Remains of the Day (1989)

Cover image for The remains of the day

The profoundly compelling portrait of Stevens, the perfect butler, and of his fading, insular world in post-World War II England. Stevens, at the end of three decades of service at Darlington Hall, spending a day on a country drive, embarks as well on a journey through the past in an effort to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving the "great gentleman, " Lord Darlington. But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington's "greatness, " and much graver doubts about the nature of his own life.

-The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes
-Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbary
-Abdication by Juliet Nicolson
-Atonement by Ian McEwan

Never Let Me Go (2005)

Never Let Me Go

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it. Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

-Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta
-Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
-And Again by Jessica Chiarella
-Smoke by Dan Vyleta

The Buried Giant (2015)

Cover image for The buried giant

A tale of lost memories, vengeance and war, The Buried Giant follows the experiences of a couple who journeys across a troubled land of mist and rain the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years.

-The Mermaid's Child by Jo Baker
-The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
-Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
-The Chimes by Anna Smaill

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Reads

The fall season and cooler weather always puts me in the mood for a good read.  If you're not a big fan of the typical horror novel, but looking for something to put you in a seasonal mood, here's some recommendations that you may enjoy.  Some of these titles may give you a bit of a chill.

The Fifth Petal - Brunonia Barry

When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween, chief of police John Rafferty suspects it may be linked to the triple homicide twenty-five years earlier involving three descendants of Salem Witch Trial victims.

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
Witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her.

Mrs. Poe - Lynn Cullen
Struggling to support her family in mid-19th-century New York, writer Frances Osgood makes an unexpected connection with literary master Edgar Allan Poe and finds her survival complicated by her intense attraction to the writer and the scheming manipulations of his wife.  A suspenseful, gothic tale.

Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
A classic chilling tale.  The reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife--the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

Monday, October 2, 2017

It's Horror Season!

It's October, and you definitely know what that means! It's time for another month-long series of horror recommendations, ranging from the slightly chilling to the absolutely mortifying! One of the best things about the horror genre is that it comes in all shapes and sizes - and, contrary to common logic, doesn't even always have to be scary (after all, what scares you might not scare your neighbor).

Here's a short list to get you started for your own horror season reading and watching.


Image result for what we do in the shadows poster
What We Do in the Shadows - Start your horror season off with a laugh with this mockumentary. Follow a group of incompetent vampires in modern-day New Zealand for hilarious effect. Perfect for fans of Spinal Tap, Zombieland, or any version of Dracula!

Get Out - This recent release made waves at the box office. Chris goes to meet his girlfriend's parents and makes a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries about the family he never could have imagined. A mysterious, slow moving piece of horror that is right at home with films like Rosemary's Baby, The Wicker Man, or The House of the Devil

Let the Right One In - This Swedish hit based on the book of the same name offers a new take on vampires. A young lonely boy befriends a vampire who appears to be about the same age. Great for non-horror fans, as it focuses more on the drama and the characters, or for fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Only Lovers Left Alive, or A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.


Image result for at the mountains of madness cover
Welcome to Night Vale - This novel set in the universe of the popular podcast of the same name feels like The Twilight Zone meets X-Files meets surreal deadpan comedy. Perfect for fans of paranormal horror, or those looking for lighter quirky fare.

Rosemary's Baby - This classic horror novel was responsible for creating a horror boom in publishing in the 1960's and has since been turned into a film and a television miniseries.

At the Mountains of Madness - This eerie novella from H.P. Lovecraft is a great way to get in the horror mindset as we move toward colder weather. Set in the ruins of an alien city in Antarctica, this is just one small piece of what forms the famous Cthulhu mythos. Perfect for fans of strange monsters and classic literature.

Also make sure to check out our Facebook page for more horror suggestions throughout the month - and as always, just ask a librarian for even more suggestions.