Today is Shakespeare's birthday and to celebrate a Goodreads contributer created a great infographic to help you select your next read. A comedy? A tragedy? MCPL has works by Shakespeare, books to help you get through the plays and of course biographies. One of the best biographies is Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World. Shakespeare expert and Harvard historian, Greenblatt does an excellent job of integrating a basic biography with the sights, sounds and feel of Elizabethan England. This book is dense with detail, but also entirely readable is a great choice for both self professed Shakespeare know-it-alls and newcomers alike.
Seeing as it is a classics sort of day, I thought I would also link to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. This fictional video blog chronicles the modern day Lizzie Bennet, her sisters Lydia and Jane, and her best friend Charlotte Wu as they navigate between the pressure of their parents and potential boyfriends including the new-to-the-neighborhood Bing Lee. Read more »
Interested in revisiting an old favorite classic in a new way? Consider the graphic novel version of your old familiar favorite novel. I recently read The Hound of the Baskervilles reimagined as a graphic novel by Ian Edginton and was pleasantly surprised. This is the famous story of Sir Charles Baskerville who has suddenly died and Henry Baskerville, his nephew and the heir to his estate. Henry is being warned of danger that might befall him as he takes ownership of the manor on the moor. Sherlock Holmes and Watson travel with Henry to the moor to investigate the threat, made complicated by an escaped murderer, jealousy, mysterious family dynamics, and a possible hell hound. The characters were visually well represented including Watson, Dr. Mortimer and Mrs. Stapleton. They mystery, though well known, has enough twists and turns to keep any reader going. The visual look and use of color does well to represent the haunting and atmospheric feeling of the moor and the danger lurking everywhere. For fans of dense novels, there is still quite a bit of dialogue which is slowed down further (for a modern reader!) by the original style. I really loved the look of this graphic novel edition which often reminded me of an animated movie. Read more »
It's 1961 and I'm six years old. I've rushed home from school to plant myself firmly in front of the TV to watch a puppet show. But not just any puppet show. This was Supercar; real science fiction. Never mind that the puppets, Marionettes really, were a little jerky and you could see the strings. I didn't really care about the story. I wanted to own Supercar and to fly it. Supercar was Gerry Anderson's first science fiction series filmed in Supermarionation; a fancy name for a show done with puppets. Supercar wasn't a car at all, but what we would today call a vertical landing and takeoff craft able to fly, go into space and undersea; there was not a single wheel on it. Supercar was a beauty to behold. Even today I still would love to own it. It's my dream car second only to the 1960's Batmobile. Read more »
Andy Griffith, one of America's most beloved actors, passed away recently. We remember him so well as the sheriff of Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show or as Private Will Stockdale in No Time For Sergeants. We may also remember him as Matlock, from the TV series of the same name. A select few might also remember him from his short lived Science Fiction series Salvage One. Always he was the mild mannered father- like figure who seemed to get the job done with down- home wisdom and honest effort. So what would you say if I told you that after watching Andy in his first film A Face in the Crowd, I was unable to watch Sheriff Andy without thinking "What a sleezeball?" Read more »
On Sunday May 6th, come join us to discuss Steinbeck's masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck wrote this novel longhand in only five months. The story of the Joads during the depression-era has many parallels for many Americans today.
Please come and share your thoughts about this American classic. As always, we'll provide snacks and drinks.
Books Plus meets the first Sunday of each month. All are welcome. Join the discussion or simply come to listen.
In 1885 the year of its US publication, a number of public libraries banned The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from their stacks. According to the American Library Association, it was the fifth most-frequently-challenged book in the United States in the 1990s. Despite strong arguments that the book supports positive racial themes, Huck Finn has been controversial from the beginning. Last year NewSouth Books published a sanitized edition, effectively keeping this book in the news and on the minds of both those who have loved and hated this classic American book. When was the last time you visited Huck Finn? Interested in learning more and sharing your ideas?
Join us next week for a panel discussion of this story that continues to both attract and repel members of our community. Does Huckleberry Finn belong in the literary canon and in our schools? What does it reveal about race relations, art and the power of language? Read more »
In the fall of 2011, Monroe County Public Library asked the students of Rachel Bahr's English and American Studies classes at New Tech High School to consider the "Great American Author." We were interested in getting teens' opinions about what criteria an author has to meet to be included on this rather arbitrary list, whether some authors considered great Americans have aged ungracefully or are no longer relevant, and who should be considered "great" that is not already.
I ran across an article this morning that mentioned that Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind turns 75 this month. In June of 1936, Mitchell published this now classic saga while recovering from a broken ankle. It was an instant hit, and brought immediate fame to the Atlanta journalist.
What is it about? Well....er...I haven't actually read it. "I'll never go hungry again!", right? But I only know that from the movie. It is high time to put this book on my to-read list. Read more »
How important is the cover of a book? Will romantic new covers and bonus quizzes like "Are you destined for a love like Catherine and Heathcliff's?" be enough to appeal to young adult readers? HarperTeen thinks so. They have recently rereleased several classic books including Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, and Romeo and Juliet with covers no doubt reminding teen girls of the Twilight series. Read more »