Friday, March 29, 2013

Recommended Read: Wave

Sonali Deraniyagala has written one of the most honest, brave, and heartbreaking books I've read. We often define ourselves based on the familial roles we play: child, spouse, parent. Imagine if all of the those identities were stripped away in one fell swoop. Deraniyagala lost her husband, two sons, and parents in the 2004 Tsunami. She survived.

Deraniyagala's journey isn't pretty, nor a guide to handling grief. But, her family lives on in this portrait of her now-deserted existence; fittingly, in remembering the small details, she brings to life the whole picture of this previous life. You'll feel as though you know her children, could even pick them out in a crowd, she describes them so well. Her anguish and rage leap off the page. Her honesty is refreshing (from the hospital where she waits in vain for her family after the tsunami):
The boy kept walking back and forth and crying. I wanted him to stop. Someone brought a large towel and wrapped it around his shoulders. Still the boy sobbed. But I didn't speak to him. I didn't try to comfort him. Stop blubbering, I thought, shut up ... Vik and Malli didn't have a chance. Just shut up.

It reads as quick and deep as the wave that destroyed her family.
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
Find it in the catalog!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Record Books

 Imagine if your favorite album was also a novel.  Graphic designer Christophe Gowans re-imagined several classic (or cult classic) albums as books.  He even includes fictional synopsizes of the books.  The albums converted into books include everything from the Pixies (Surfer Rosa) to Bruce Springtsteen (Born To Run) to Alanis Morissette (Jagged Little Pill).  Two of my favorites include Prince's Purple Rain, which is turned into a pulpy Sci-Fi novel, and Boston's self-titled album, which is a phone book.  Check out all of the books on Gowans's website

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Pi(e) Day!

Today is Pi Day, a day when nerds of the world gather together to celebrate the mathematical constant pi (π).  The most common way to celebrate Pi Day is, of course, to eat pie; whether it be sweet, savory or pizza is up to you!  In honor of day, below are some of our finest books on pies, in case you want to bake one to celebrate (or just because it's delicious):

A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies by Ashely English (2012).
Call No.:  641.8652 ENG
Find it in the catalog!
United States of Pie: Regional Favorites from East to West and North and South by Adrienne Kane (2012).
Call No.: 641.8652 KAN
Find it in the catalog!

Tart It Up!: Sweet and Savory Tarts and Pies by Eric Lanlard (2012).
Call No.: 641.8652 LAN
Find it in the catalog!
Vegan Pie in the Sky: 75 Out-of-This-World Recipes for Pies, Tarts, Cobblers and More by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (2011)
Call No.: 641.5636 MOS
Find it in the catalog!

Martha Stewart's New Book of Pies and Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned and Modern Favorites by Martha Stewart (2011).
Call No.: 641.8652 STE
Find it in the catalog! 
Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie  by Ken Haedrich (2004).
Call No.: 641.8652 HAE
Find it in the catalog!

The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum (1998). 
Call No.: 641.865 BER
Find it in the catalog!

If you really want to geek out, read this book with history and trivia on π:

The Joy of [pi] by David Blatner (1997).
Call No:516.22 BLA
Find it in the catalog!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Old School Charm

Looking for something new to read?  Check out latest fiction book display on top of our retro chic card catalog; which is located conveniently next to our self-check out stations!  This month we are showcasing books set in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Shakespeare's Richard III

The discovery of Richard III's [1452-1485] remains beneath a Leicester, England parking lot has not only spurred a resurgence of interest in Richard the historical figure, but also, not surprisingly, the charismatic fictionalized anti-hero of William Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of King Richard III. Writing at a time when the Tudor dynasty was necessarily portrayed as the benevolent embodiment of divine sovereignty, Richard's reign had to presented as an aberration. In perpetuating this myth, Shakespeare created one of the most sublimely duplicitous characters in all of literature, a character "determined to prove a villain and hate the idle pleasures of these days." This determined villainy has thrilled audiences for over four hundred years, on stage and eventually on film. The definitive screen version of Richard was given by Sir Laurence Olivier in the 1955 adaptation, though Sir Ian McKellen's performance in the 1995 adaptation should not be missed.

Young adult book adaptations

YA books aren't just for teens; they are a huge section of popular culture. The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie (based on the book by Stephen Chbosky) received many positive reviews when it was released last year. The shows Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game, Gossip Girl, and The Vampire Diaries all started out as YA books before those characters stepped out onto our television screens. The Twilight movies broke box office records, and The Hunger Games proved that a strong female heroine can bring in a huge audience. Even more movies and TV shows are in the works and set to be released in 2013 and 2014. Check out this list I compiled:

Beautiful Creatures
  • now in theaters
  • Starring Alice Englert (Lena), Alden Ehrenreicht (Ethan), Emmy Rossum (Ridley), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Lincoln), and Jeremy Irons (Macon Ravenwood).
  • Based on the book Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. 
  • Book synopsis: In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.
  • More books in the series: Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, Beautiful Redemption.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones 
  • Release date: August 23, 2013
  • Starring Lily Collins (Clary), Jaime Campbell Bower (Jace), Kevin Zegers (Alec), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Valentine), Aidan Turner (Luke).
  • Based on the book City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. 
  • Book synopsis: Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.
  • More in the series: City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, and City of Lost Souls.
  • Stay tuned to the blog and the library newsletter for a City of Bones Movie Release Party in August 2013!

Ender’s Game
  • Release date: November 1, 2013
  • Cast: Asa Butterfield (Ender), Abigail Breslin, and Harrison Ford.
  • Based on the books Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card.
  • Synopsis of Ender's Game book: Child hero Ender Wiggin must fight a desperate battle against a deadly alien race if mankind is to survive.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Release date: November 22, 2013
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), Liam Hemsworth (Gale), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch), Sam Clafin (Finnick Odair), Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee) 
  • Based on Catching Fire, the second book in Suzanne Collins' best-selling Hunger Games series.
  • Book synopsis: By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion.
  • Stay tuned to the blog and the library newsletter for a Catching Fire Movie Release Party in November 2013!

Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters
  • Release date: February 14, 2014
  • Based on Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. 
  • Book synopsis: Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy, where one focuses on mastering magic, the other on physical training, while both try to avoid the perils of gossip, cliques, gruesome pranks, and sinister plots.
  • Cast:  Zoey Deuth (Rose), Danila Kozlovsky (Dimetri), Lucy Fry (Lissa)
  • More books in the series: Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice.

  • Release date: March 1, 2014
  • Cast: Shailene Woodley (Tris), Kate Winslet; rumors everywhere about who will play Four (Alex Pettyfr? Lucas Till? Jeremy Irvine?)
  • Based on the book by Veronica Roth. 
  • Book synopsis: In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
  • In February an open casting call was held in Chicago for movie extras. According to the Chicago Tribune the movie will be shot entirely in Chicago. 
  • More books in the series: Insurgent. The third book in the series, jokingly referred to by both Roth and fans as “Detergent,” will be released October 22, 2013.
  • Release date: depends on whether or not the pilot is picked up by Fox.
  • According to author Lauren Oliver, filming on the pilot for this TV show is set to begin in March.
  • Cast: Emma Roberts (Lena), Jeanine Mason (Hana), Daren Kagasoff (Alex), Greg Sulkin (Julian), Billy Campbell (Thomas Fineman)
  • Based on the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem.
  • Synopsis of the first book in the series: Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

And adaptations of these books are also in the works:
I am very excited for Catching Fire, and am already brainstorming crafts and games for a movie release party at the library. I especially can't wait for Divergent, because I love that book series as well, and think that Shailene Woodley is a great pick to play Tris. How cool is it that the movie will be filmed entirely in Chicago? I'm also interested to see how the Vampire Academy movie turns out. I really enjoyed all the books in that series because Rose is such a strong character. Plus, the awesome supporting characters (Adrian!) are well-written too. I just hope it doesn't suffer from people who are sick of Twilight. This movie has a huge potential for great fight scenes and some swoon-worthy moments.

Are you a fan of YA literature? Which movie/TV adaptation are you most looking forward to seeing? Do you read the books before you see the movies, or the other way around? What do you think of the casting choices for these projects?

And lastly, are there any YA books not on this list that you think would make a good movie and/or TV show? My picks are Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis.