Not more snow!!! March 11, 2014Posted by Maureen in Uncategorized.
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I refuse to watch the Weather Channel. Ever again.
That said, I have been busy looking at beautiful gardening books and picking out lovely plants I will SOMEDAY be able to plant in my garden WHEN summer arrives. Have a look!
The English Garden by Ursula Buchan
A lovely coffee table book of beautiful photographs of gardens not realistically achievable by the common man. But nice to dream.
Pruning Plant by Plant by DK Publishing
Okay, so I love plants. I just don’t like to actually take care of them. Until it’s out of control, that is. This year WILL be different!
The Gardener’s Guide to Common-Sense Pest Control by William Olkowski
Creepy crawlies are my nemesis. Revenge shall be mine.
The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden by Roy Diblik
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t like to take care of my garden. I just like it to look perfect. Roy promises I can have it all. And I want to believe him.
Plantiful: Start Small, Grow Big with 150 Plants that Spread, Self-Sow, and Overwinter by Kristen Green
How to get more from your existing garden by using seeds and plants that start themselves. Sounds too good to be true, but I’m up for the challenge! Who can resist free plants?
I’m going to stack these books up and block the view out my window tomorrow. If I don’t see the snow, it isn’t really happening, is it?
From one gardener to another!
Tuesday at the Movies March 11, 2014Posted by Dori in Movies.
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Just a quick plug for Hoopla, our new digital service that offers library card holders access to thousands of movies, television shows, music albums and audiobooks for mobile and online access. Register at www.hoopladigital.com or use the hoopla app on your iOS or Android mobile device and click on ‘Sign Up’. When I was checking out new movies available on Hoopla the other day I was excited to find The Great Beauty, the Italian film which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film and is screening at the Cedar Lee right now. With your library card, you can watch it anywhere for FREE!
WEEKLY MOVIE REVIEW: In my quest to watch more Oscar nominees, I did see Gravity, but (and this is a big but) it was not on a big screen nor in 3-D. So I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have because, to me at least, the story was a bit clichéd and the dialogue standard – it was all about the images. I think an IMAX showing would be ideal, so if you see it coming to a nearby theater again, give me a heads up!
New Releases for 3-11-14:
The Book Thief - DVD and Blu-Ray: based on the bestselling book by Marcus Zuzak and starring Geoffrey Rush, it tells the story of a young girl who is sent to live with a new family in World War II Germany and transforms the lives of everyone around her.
The Best Man Holiday - DVD and Blu-Ray: college friends reunited during the Christmas holidays after 15 years and revisit long-forgotten rivalries and romances. Stars Taye Diggs and Terence Howard.
Out of the Furnace - DVD and Blu-Ray: Casey Affleck and Christian Bale star in this gritty drama about two brothers, one who seeks justice for the other.
Inside Llewyn Davis - DVD and Blu-Ray: follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.
Latest Additions March 10, 2014Posted by stacey in Book List, Fiction.
Tags: Latest Additions, The Reading Room
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Did you remember to turn your clocks forward? It’s such a tough thing to remember -even though Daylight Saving Time has been around (in some fashion) for a long, long time! Why is it so hard to remember? And then fixing the time on each clock -particularly in the car- makes the process extra painful, why? It’s only twice a year and DST means Spring is that much closer -heck, it’s “spring forward” after all! I’m going to try focusing on the positive… better weather, green grass, and Easter candy are all coming my way! And your way too! To celebrate the joy ahead? This week I’ll actually be changing up the list of books! (Instead of those five titles that got some double lovin’ for the past two Mondays.) See? Already springing forward! Are you ready for this kind of change? Let’s jump in then!
Are you curious about next week yet? Will these titles get another shot -or will we forge on again?! Ooo, the anticipation! Enjoy it!
Tuesday the Movies March 4, 2014Posted by Dori in Movies.
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A quick blog post this post-Oscar broadcast week. No crazy unexpected wins, but lots of movies to still watch – so get thee to the library and check them out – 2 of those in the mix are out on DVD today!
MOVIE SHOWING: Join us Monday, March 10th in the Auditorium at 6:30 pm for the Indie Int’l Film Fest. The film that was supposed to screen, The Iran Job, is late arriving, so instead we’ll be showing Wadjda, a highly praised Saudi Arabian film about an eleven-year-old Saudi girl who enters her school’s Koran recitation competition so she can buy a green bicycle that she has her eye on. It is a rare film in that it is directed by a Saudi Arabian woman and gives us a glimpse of the lives of females in that country.
New releases 3-4-14:
The Grandmaster – Blu-Ray and DVD: This Chinese film is an epic action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary kung fu master, Ip Man, who mentored Bruce Lee.
12 Years a Slave – Blu-Ray and DVD: Winner of the best picture Oscar, we’ll be showing this at Lunch and a Movie on March 28th
About Time – Blu-Ray and DVD: At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time tries to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend which turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
Dallas Buyer’s Club - Blu-Ray and DVD: Matthew McConaughey won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of In electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof who works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.
Oldboy – Blu-Ray and DVD: Spike Lee’s remake of a South Korean cult film about revenge.
Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor – DVD: the third installment in a trilogy which together serve as the Eleventh Doctor’s last appearance.
March (reading) Madness! March 4, 2014Posted by Maureen in Fiction, New Books, Thoughtful Ramblings.
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So, you’ve shoveled out your driveway (yet again!), hung up your St. Patrick’s Day decorations, printed out your NCAA brackets…now what? Oh yeah…it’s still cold and miserable outside.
Well, since we are still, for all intents and purposes, stuck indoors, it’s a great time to catch up on some reading. I have decided that my (better-late-than-never) resolution for the year is to finish at least 2-3 books a week. And guess what? I did it this week! Good job, me!! Hopefully I can stick with it!
So here’s what I finished this week:
The Bear by Claire Cameron
Told in the narrative style by 5-year-old Anna, this gripping book reveals the story of what happens to the Whyte family while they are camping in the Algonquin Park wilderness, about 200 miles northeast of Toronto. After a black bear attacks their campsite, Anna must figure out how to keep herself and her 2-year-old brother Alex (called Stick) alive without the help of her parents. How will they escape? Where will they go? What will they eat? I was completely captured by this book and the way the story is told from a young child’s perspective; you WILL finish it in one sitting!
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
A very suspenseful adult ghost story of sorts that begins in 1908 in West Hall, Vermont. Sara Harrison Shea loses the daughter, Gertie, she so desperately loves in a tragic accident and cannot bear to cope with the loss. Her grief drives her to call on the methods of the tribal woman she called “Auntie” who raised her after her mother died giving birth to her. Auntie has many magical healing remedies and secrets of how to bring people back from the dead. But is this a wise thing to do? Sara does not care what may happen, she only wants her Gertie back. Meanwhile, in the present day, the inhabitants of Sara’s old house are discovering secrets linked to Auntie’s magic and the awakening of “sleepers.” Lots of twists and turns intertwine the story of the characters and weave an intricate plot that keeps you guessing what will happen next.
Now, go pick up a book to read!
Latest Additions March 3, 2014Posted by stacey in Fiction.
Tags: Latest Additions, The Reading Room
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It’s almost Spring! Only two weeks and three days! (But who’s counting?) I’m not delusional. I know it can still be cold and snowy in Spring, but it’ll be a relief to at least be able to say, “It’s Springtime!” In the meantime, I’ll probably …read! What a shock! What are you going to do while you wait? Will you read too? Would you like to read one of the books recently added to The Reading Room? How lucky I have a few to share!
Do you think that will keep you busy at least until next week? If you finish way too quickly -just stop in or give us a call and we’ll provide you with plenty of options! Enjoy!
Vicious by V.E. Schwab Review February 27, 2014Posted by Megan in Science Fiction.
Tags: Science Fiction, super human powers, V.E. Schwab
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Vicious by V.E. Schwab
September 24, 2014
Hardcover, 364 pgs.
What it’s about:
From YA author Victoria Schwab (Near Witch, 2011, The Archived, 2013), comes a new adult science fiction novel. When Victor and Eli first meet in college they are both ambitious and arrogant and slightly socially awkward. During their senior year a shared interest in near-death experiences and super human powers lead them to pose an interesting hypothesis. They believed that under the right circumstances it was possible for certain people to gain extraordinary powers. This was interesting as a theory, but deadly during the experimental phase. Ten years after that fateful semester Victor has escaped from prison and is hunting down his former friend. Fortunately for Victor, Eli is also on the look out for Victor as part of his crusade to eliminate ExtraOrdinaries (EOs) from the world. Both men are fueled by rage, armed with terrible powers, and dead-set on revenge.
Why you might like it:
Though marketed as an adult novel, I think high school readers would probably enjoy this book, so if you are a fan of Victoria Schwab, you might want to check out Vicious. If you like enjoy stories where the lines between good and evil are blurred, you will probably like the moral ambiguity in this book. If you are intrigued by the idea of having superpowers, you should probably read this book. It might change your mind! Are you a fan of revenge tales? That’s Vicious! Looking for complex friendships, unlikely heroes, and strange friendships? Look no further! If you like your reading deep, dark, and dangerous you will find all of that here. Bottom line: this book is fabulous! I found the cover off-putting, so this is a perfect opportunity to NOT judge a book by its cover!
Want more like this?
The first book that comes to mind is Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Both tell the story of extraordinary powers corrupting people. I’ll have to think about more readalike!
Graphically Speaking February 26, 2014Posted by Megan in Book List, Graphic Novel.
Tags: Bill Willingham, Eric Shanower, Favorite books, Graphic Novels, Humor, Joe Hill, L. Frank Baum, Memoirs, Michael Inman, Science Fiction, Stephen King
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If you are a reader of graphic novels you don’t need me to tell you how wonderful they can be. There is something refreshing (and maybe just a bit nostalgic?) about reading a story told in both words and pictures. But don’t dismiss graphic novels as fluff or kids stuff just because they are illustrated. I have found many graphic novels that are entertaining, powerful, and moving. I personally love a series, but I have also found a number of enjoyable standalones. My introduction to graphic novels was Bill Willingham’s Fables series, and it not only remains a favorite, but it is also a series I love to recommend. Here are some more of my favorites:
1. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley is a charming memoir that is sure to delight all you foodies out there.
2. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh is a hilarious and heartbreaking glimpse into the world of depression. The book is a compilation of new material as well as material previously published on the author’s blog.
3. Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer is a coming of age story about a girl moving away from her small town and finding herself in a big city. This is the perfect gift for the high school graduate in your life.
4. The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam by Ann Marie Fleming is a biography of her great-grandfather, China’s greatest magician. This is a fascinating look at Chinese culture and the early world of vaudeville. Definitely worth picking up.
5. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston is a novel told in pictures and tells the story of a young girl coming of age in the 1920s. Her dream is to be a writer, but life seems to have other plans for her, until she is swept off her feet by a handsome young man. Loaded with vintage postcards, magazine ads, letters, and fashion spread, this book pairs perfectly with The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
6. 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, My Dog: The Paradox, and Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants by Michael Inman are all ridiculous, irreverent, and absolutely hilarious. Inman is the creator of The Oatmeal.com, the internet home of his comics. His humor isn’t for everyone, but if it IS your style, these books will leave you in tears!
7. Chi’s Sweet Home by Kanata Konami will make a cat lover out of even the staunchest nay-sayer (I should know, I was one of them!). These tiny, darling books chronicle the author’s adventures in adopting a street kitten.
8. Locke & Key by Joe Hill follows the Locke family as they move into their family’s ancestral home, a Victorian mansion called Lovecraft. Bad things happen. The story is dark, disturbing and utterly addictive. Joe is certainly giving his father, Stephen King, a run for the title of King of the Macabre!
9. Y: the Last Man and Saga by Brian Vaughan are two offerings from a Cleveland native. Y: the Last Man follows Yorick, the lone survivor of a plague that kills all the men. Saga is his newest offering and it is just plain bizarre, in an awesome way! Interplanetary wars and star-crossed lovers!
10. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman…do I really need to explain this one? Actually, I gave up in the show after the first season, but the books are fantastic. They are so much more horrifying than the tv series and after the first book, they books and television show are two entirely different things. I think it’s safe to read and watch simultaneously.
And just so that I am not ending on that horrific zombie note, here’s a nice bonus:
Eric Shanower’s Oz series is a must-read! This graphic adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic Wizard of Oz series is one of my favorite discoveries. The story is fresh and illustrations are amazing. Every time I look at them I want to take them apart and frame the pages. I encourage you to venture to the Children’s Department and rediscover Dorothy and her band of misfits as they have adventures in the land of Oz.
Romance is Lover-ly! February 26, 2014Posted by stacey in Book Discussion, Book List, Genre Book Discussion, Romance.
Tags: Genre Book Discussion, Romance
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Romance! Full of love and affection! Who doesn’t love love? Well, I guess maybe the heartless are physically incapable of love -not having a heart and all- but if we ignore those walking medical miracles? Reading a book that features strong emotions and two individuals struggling to become a happy pair will hopefully leave everyone in a good mood! Let’s see if that’s what happened in our very own romance genre discussion, shall we? (You’ll have to base your opinion on the brief descriptions people provided..)
Megan: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg is the story of Levi and Macallan, two best friends set on proving to everyone that guys and girls can be just friends. They manage just fine for years, but then something changes. What follows is a series of missed connections and misunderstandings that could potentially ruin everything. Full of witty banter and lovable characters, readers will be rooting for Levi and Macallan long after they close the book!
Chris: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert tells the story of woman in desperate need of romance. Emma Bovary hopes to find it with her country doctor husband, Charles, but he proves to be dull beyond words. She enters into a secretive love affair with the worldly Rodolphe, but after awhile he becomes bored with her demanding affections and leaves. She then succeeds in rekindling the flame with an old lover, Leon, but soon tires of him. Will she ever find that excitement and passion she yearns for? Madame Bovary’s search for romance leads her to suffering financial woes and ill health and, ultimately, to taking her own life.
Emma: Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie is the story of two Bradleys’. One is Lucy’s ex-husband Bradley Porter, and the other is a high school friend of Lucy’s ex, John Bradley. John Bradley has stolen a sizeable amount of government bonds and Lucy’s ex is helping him hide the evidence. There is a key to a safety deposit box somewhere in Lucy’s house and it must be found. Tina, Lucy’s sister, has threatened her former brother-in-law if he ever enters the house or tries to contact Lucy. John Bradley tries to scare Lucy away from her house by blowing up her car, but she won’t leave her dogs behind. Police detective Zach Warren moves in to protect Lucy and catch the culprit. The two become a couple very quickly. Getting Rid of Bradley is a great combination of romance, humor, and a touch of suspense.
Dori: Ellen O’Farrell is a hypnotherapist, helping to guide people to change through the power of the mind eve4n though she can’t seem to hold onto a relationship of her own. Then she meets Patrick through an online dating site and the two hit it off immediately, though Patrick has a secret: his ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen, being the empathetic person that she is, is both fascinated and repelled by the idea while Saskia, the stalker, is deeply hurt and confused by Patrick’s sudden rejection. Liane Moriarty explores the inner lives of both Ellen and Saskia in The Hypnotist’s Love Story while delving into the intricacies of relationships, love, loss and just plain old dumb luck.
Donna: The Rosie Project is the debut novel by Australian Graeme C. Simsion. Don Tillman is a genetics professor who is looking for a wife. He designs the Wife Project, a very detailed questionnaire, to screen for potential perfect matches. He starts the Rosie Project when he meets Rosie who wants him to help her find her biological father. Soon, the two projects merge. Rosie and Don are two delightful, quirky characters that the reader will constantly root for in this charming, laugh out loud romance.
Steve: A Knight in Shining Armor, by Jude Deveraux, finds Dougless Montgomery stranded by her boyfriend in a medieval English church near a statute of Nicholas Stafford, an earl who died in 1564, executed for treason. She had been anticipating a marriage proposal and asks aloud where her knight in shining armor is. The earl, in 1564, hears her sobbing and travels to the 1980’s to aid her. Dougless thinks he is crazy, but grows to believe his time-traveling story and soon is helping him research who falsely accused him of treason. This is a light, funny love story with a touch of intrigue. The historical details and time travel add a nice element. All in all not too shabby.
Ann: Anyone but You by Jennifer Crusie introduces us to Nina, recently divorced and turning 40. She’s moved into her own apartment and is going to get a puppy (her ex-husband never wanted a dog). She goes to the shelter to pick out a bouncing puppy- to cheer her up. Instead, she comes home with Fred. Fred is an overweight, quirky, sad-faced basset hound-beagle mix. But when he crawls through the wrong apartment window, Nina gets to meet her downstairs neighbor, Alex. Now Nina is not looking for a new man and if she would be, it would not be Alex. Sure he is charming, great looking, and shares Fred’s love of Oreos, but he just is turning 30! 10 years is a huge age difference- isn’t it? A witty, clever romantic comedy.
Carol: A Victorian Rose by Catherine Palmer is a historical romance that takes readers back in time to Victorian Yorkshire, England. Artist and young widow, Clemma Laird, has caught the eye of Dr. Paul Baine, a man who is shunned by the community for his past amoral behavior. Despite her better judgment, Clemma is drawn into Dr. Baine’s lifework, and what she discovers about his past changes her outlook on life and her future. This book was a quick, charming, and thoughtful read about love and redemption.
Julie: Beth Harbison’s latest book grabbed me with the title, Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave him the Wrong Finger – fun, right? The story follows Quinn ten years after she left her high school sweetheart at the altar because she found out he had cheated on her. Oh, and it was his brother who told her and who she then ran away with to Vegas. She quickly ended that, but now they’re both back in her life and she has to figure out what to do about it.
Stacey: The Wedding Bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch probably falls a bit between romance and general fiction but it delivers nicely on the main points of a good romance; and so this is my book of choice! Sugar Wallace has moved once a year for the past fifteen years and each new location is chosen by the queen bee of her hive. Wherever she lands, Sugar likes to help as many people as possible and it looks like her newest home in NYC will be business as usual. Well at least until her new friends decide Sugar might need some redirecting herself, no matter what she says! Even better if that new path takes her into the arms of Mr. Right, right?
And next time, if you care to read along with our genre challenge of March, you’ll want to find a biography or autobiography! Yes, that’s right! You’re looking for a book that is written by or about one person and focuses on their life experiences. Enjoy!
Tuesday at the Movies February 25, 2014Posted by Dori in Movies, Thoughtful Ramblings.
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What’s up movie watchers? It’s been tough catching up with all the Oscar nominees before the broadcast – I have not gotten to watch most of them – but did recently watch Captain Phillips (see review below). That leaves 7 more to watch in the next week and a half and all of these are not out on DVD yet (both Gravity and Nebraska are out today)! I have to finagle some viewings asap.
WEEKLY MOVIE REVIEW: I wasn’t expecting to like Captain Phillips so much – I’m not a giant Tom Hanks fan, to me he’s just always Tom Hanks, but he was great in this. Director Paul Greengrass of Bourne fame, has created a thriller that is both thoughtful and suspenseful by focusing on the humanity of the kidnappers (the acting of Barkhad Abdi was amazing as well - and nominated for Best Supporting Actor).
MOVIE SHOWING: Speaking of Gravity, we’ll be showing this on Friday for Lunch and a Movie. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, it’s a Best Picture contender and stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Join us at noon in the Community Room.
New Releases 2-25-14:
Rush – Blu-Ray and DVD: Ron Howard directs this film about Formula One racing in the 1970s.
Gravity – Blu-Ray and DVD: nominated for Best Picture, this film explores the terror of outer space.
Nebraska – Blu-Ray and DVD: nominated for Best Picture as well, this is Alexander Payne’s latest movie about a man on a road trip with his sons, seeking a sweepstakes prize.
Thor: the Dark World - Blu-Ray and DVD: Thor is back to restore order across the cosmos!
Blue is the Warmest Color – Blu-Ray and DVD: a hit at the Cannes film festival, this is a French film about intense first love.
Pulling Strings – DVD: Mexican star Jaime Camil stars as a mariachi singer trying to get a visa from the American embassy.
Mr. Nobody – DVD: a new release of a 2009 movie starring Jared Leto (nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyer’s Club) about Nemo Nobody, a 118 year-old man who is the last mortal on Earth after the human race has achieved quasi-immortality.
Narco Cultura – DVD: a documentary about narco-traffickers that looks at their influence on pop culture on both sides of the border.