Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book-To-Film Adaptations: July 2015

Literature often inspires film adaptations and each month I like to highlight those hitting theaters soon.  Check out this blog entry to see what they are, and be on the lookout for seeing them in theaters, as well as checking out the books they're based on at your Abilene Public Library, if we own them.

Ant-Man
Starring: Paul Rudd
Release Date: July 17
Inspired by: Ant-Man
Author: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby
Summary: Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats.  Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.  Based on the Marcel Comics character of the same name, this is the 12th installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (set several months after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron) and has already received some high marks on IMDB.  Plus, there is a possibility on this being a series as well.

Mr. Holmes
Starring: Ian McKellen
Release Date: July 17
Author: Mitch Cullin
Summary: The story is set in 1947, following a long-retired Holmes living in a Sussex village with his housekeeper and rising detective son.  But then he finds himself haunted by an unsolved 50-year-old case.  Holmes' memory isn't what is used to be, so he only remembers fragments of the case: a confrontation with an angry husband, a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife.  McKellen will tackle this role, base don characters by Arthur Conan Doyle, which has already received positive reviews from critics.

Paper Towns
Starring: Cara Delevingne
Release Date: July 24
Inspired by: "Paper Towns"
Author: John Green
Summary: Adapted from the bestselling novel, this is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one.  After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears - leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher.  The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving.  Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship and love.  Green struck gold last summer with the adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, and this adaptation is already receiving some strong ratings from critics online.

Pixels
Starring: Adam Sandler
Release Date: July 24
Inspired by: "Pixels"
Author: Patrick Dean
Summary: As kids in the 1980s, Sam, Will, Ludlow, and Eddie saved the world thousands of times - at 25 cents a game in the video arcades.  Now, they're going to have to do it for real.  In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens discover video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth, using the video games as the models for their assaults - and now, U.S. President Cooper (one of the friends) must call on his old-school arcade friends to save the world from being destroyed by PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Centipede, and Space Invaders.  This is certainly a film that is going to take most of us back for all of us who had a fondness for the classic arcade games and Atari games of our childhood.

And there you have it, your look at January's book-to-film adaptations to be on the lookout for in theaters this month.

Weekly Events @ Your Library (July 6-11)

Keep up with the great programs and events your Abilene Public Library has to offer by catching this weekly blog each Thursday.  For a complete listing of events, visit our main website to take a look at our program calendar.  And remember, all programming offered FREE of charge.

June 1 - July 25
All Locations
PH: 325-677-2474
Be a part of our Summer Reading Club program for this summer, with a club for youth, teens, and adults.  Youth and teens will receive a weekly prize/incentive for coming out to the library and teens and adults will have the chance to win one of six Kindle Fires...plus we'll have the Reading Champion signs available for kids. 

July 1-31
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
We're hosting another contest where local artists in the community, ages 13 and older, can submit their original artwork for a chance to have it re-created into window clings to adorn the Main Library's windows on the 1st floor.  For more information on the rules, and to obtain an entry form, CLICK HERE to download one online or stop by any library branch location to pick one up. 

July 6 @ 6:00PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
If you're a teen who loves to read, be a part of this book club at your library that focuses on reading popular teen literature, with a focus on titles falling in the genres of action, adventure, and fantasy.  Those who attend will be the ones to decide what we'll read next. 

July 6 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Learn some new ways to add style to your pencils (and pens too) by joining us for a crafting workshop where our staff will show youth how to create some squid erasers using a few simple materials.  This program is designed for ages 8-15. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle

American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Author: Chris Kyle
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

Book Summary: From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in the United States military history.  The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyle's kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book.  Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitain ("the Devil") and placed a bounty on his head.  Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions.  Kyle's masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy.  After 9-11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire.  He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat.  Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war - of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

American Sniper also honors Kyle's fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield.

Personal Review: This autobiography was released in 2012, and spent many weeks on bestsellers lists.  It had been on my list to read for quite some time, and I finally was able to, bumping it closer to the top after learning it's set to be a feature film starring Bradley Cooper.

That being said, this book was an excellent read and very enlightening, detailing one man's time spent at war, and giving me (as a reader) quite the adrenaline rush myself.  Kyle certainly was a man who loved his country, and was certainly all about God, country, and family.  Having been deployed to Iraq four times, Kyle felt the need to be there among his fellow countrymen, covering them, taking fire for them, protecting them with his own life, placing himself in harm's way countless times.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in book & DVDs and Tuesdays are the biggest days where the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists.

While We're Young
Starring: Ben Stiller
Summary: Cornelia and Josh get their lives turned upside down when a young couple enters their lives.

The Bone Labyrinth (Sigma Force Series #10)
Author: James Rollins
Summary: A war is coming, a battle that will stretch from the deepest trenches under the sea to the rocky craters of the moon, in a book that spans 50,000 years in human history to mankind's next great leap, but will it mark a new chapter in our development...or our extinction.  A series of strange events throws the world into turmoil.  As a manned Chinese rocket explodes upon launch, three American astronauts, each separated by thousands of miles, are murdered.  Then an archaeologist in Croatia uncovers a new cavern system that reveals elaborate primitive paintings of a tribe of Neanderthals.  The artwork, painted in blood, illustrates an immense battle between the Neanderthals - joined by Homo sapiens - and frightening shadowy figures.  Who is the ancient enemy depicted and what does it mean?  Commander Gray Pierce of Sigma Force will need to search for the answers.

Monday, June 29, 2015

"Rules for Scoundrels Makes for Hot & Historic Summer Reading Adventure" ~ @ the Library Article

Something light and intriguing and romantic is always fun for a summer read, and your Abilene Public Library has many to choose from.  Here are just a few from our large selection.

The Regency period in England offers a background filled with interesting historical characters and many opportunities for adventure.  Throw in a scoundrel, or four, for an entertaining series by Sarah MacLean.  The first title in the series introduces the four scoundrels Bourne, Cross, Temple, and Chase.  As the series progresses, more of each scoundrel's background appears separately and as a group.

In book one of the series A Rogue by Any Other Name, the Marquis of Bourne loses everything at the gaming table to his former guardian, Viscount Langford.  Determined to get his estate back, Bourne becomes a partner in what turns out to be London's most exclusive gaming hell.  It has made him rich.  But Langford refuses to sell anyone for any price - until now.  Now, Langford loses the state to the Marquis of Needham and Dolby who attached it to his oldest daughter's dowry.  Bourne will do anything to regain his estate, including marry.  The victim of a broken engagement and scandal, Penelope Marbury shows little interest in a convenient marriage, but holds out little hope for the love match of her dreams until her childhood friend Michael the Marquis of Bourne resurfaces.

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover presents the odd Lady Philippa Marbury, a scientist.  Pippa is looking forward to getting married and retiring to the country to tend her hothouse, conduct experiments, run the estate and possibly breed dogs.  She is, however, concerned about what takes place in the marriage bed.  She has come up with a plan to research the topic but she needs a research assistant.  Pippa settles on Cross as the perfect research assistant because, according to gossip, he's an expert.  When Pippa presents her proposition to Cross, he resists her request but can't seem to stop exploring her thoughts.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of June 28)

Many patrons browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest reads.  Part of finding them is browsing the New York Times Bestsellers lists we make available to locate that popular title, or get yourselves on the reserve lists.  Check out this blog entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Nonfiction lists for the week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 23
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Summary: A psychological thriller set in the environs of London.

#2: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 59
Call Number: F DOERR
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II; the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.

#3: Finders Keepers
Author: Stephen King
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F KING
Summary: A deranged reader's infatuation with a Salingeresque novelist has dangerous consequences in a sequel to "Mr. Mercedes."

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bag of Books Bonanza Caps Friends of the Library's Annual Sale ~ Ablene Reporter-News

Article by: Ronald W. Erdrich
Date: June 21, 2015

How many bags would it take to hold 1,000 books?  Carrie Casada has no idea.

"There's no telling," she said.  "We're so wiped out by the time the week is over, we're not even doing any kind of mathematical stuff."

Casada is the president of the Friends of the Abilene Public Library who held its annual sale this weekend.  The bookish bacchanalia peaked with the occasionally-frenetic Sunday sale.

For six bucks, shoppers could walk away with as many books as they could fit in a paper grocery sack.

"We had a great turnout on Thursday night for our members," Casada said, referring to a pre-sale before the main event.  "But this is the exciting day.  This is the day when my adrenaline gets all pumped up - and for someone my age, it takes a lot for my adrenaline to get pumped up."

Tryon Condra was pushing a stroller stacked with three sacks full of books, and a few more piled on top of those.  His son Sandler, having just turned 3 on Saturday, hung on his daddy's neck as Sandler sat on the Stroller handle.

"I think we've got about two bags of kids books, and then some mysteries for me and my wife," Tryon said.  Behind him, Cassie corralled their four other children.

Like other regular book sale shoppers, they've had to install more bookcases in their home over the years thanks to the sale.  Tryon said their favorite part of the event is finding books they haven't seen before.

"For a reasonable price," Cassie adds.

Over on the other side of the room, Tod Lawrence rested in a chair beside Joe Joplin.  Bot men had bags of books around their feet as they waited on those they came with.

"I left my mom over there, this is her pile here," Lawrence said.

He had spied Joplin from a ways off, the man appeared to be working on a cross word puzzle.

"Do you see that guy over yonder?" he asked his mother, who confessed she couldn't.  "I'm going thataway anyway, because there's a chair over there."

He ambled over, sat down and watched the world go by as she continued to shop.

Back at the front, one of Casada's coworkers quipped there were so many people at Sunday's sale, they should have held services.  They guessed at least 1,000 people came through the doors, in reality it may have been many more than that.

"We could have church here," Casada agreed.  "Any kind of church you want we could do it."

Why not?  They've certainly got the books for it.

Abilene Library Group's Yearly Sale a Treat for Book-Lovers ~ Abilene Reporter-News

Article by: Brian Bethel
Date: June 20, 2015

Walking out of the Abilene Civic Center with bags of books in hand, Johann and Scarlett Gin of Abilene had broad smiles on their faces.

For the Gins, as well as many book-lovers, the annual Friends of the Abilene Public Library Book Sale is something akin to a literary Christmas morning, the presents wrapped in dust jackets instead of paper and bows.

When asked to show their spoils, they eagerly opened up bags stuffed with newfound treasures, including a lovely antique bookstand.

"You don't see anything like that anymore," said Scarlett Gin, showing off the delicately-carved wooden piece with pride.

While it was Scarlett Gin's first time to wade into the literary sea within, Johann Gin said he has charted those waters many times before.

"I always find something that I never thought existed or found stuff that's really old that I've been looking for a while," he said.  "I like all different genres, but I have some specific authors I like. And I always just look for subject matter that interests me."

Walking into the Civic Center, one is greeted by table after table filled with books, magazines, and the occasional gewgaw, arranged in groups devoted to individual topics.

Fiction and nonfiction are in abundance, both of recent and of antique vintage.

On one table, Scott Adam's 1996 masterwork The Dilbert Principle promises to explain the mysteries of business in the latter 1990s, while for the flying mammal lover, a copy of Bats of Texas in another section could be the perfect Christmas - or All Hallows - gift.

An endless sea of paperbacks contains enough John Grisham, Brad Mentzer and Dan Brown books to fill a wheelbarrow, while an immense table of romance novels displays thousands of lovers crushed to one another's chests in eternal embrace.

With his four young children in tow, Gary Rhodes said it was his family's second time to shop at the sale after missing last year, but he's confident the sale would become a yearly event for them.

"There are some pretty good finds here," he said.

"My wife happens to be a teacher, as well, so she's stocking up for her classroom," Rhodes sad.

All 100,000 items are donations from the Abilene community, said Matt Preston, the book sale's chairman for the Friends.

"We'll have folks downsizing their homes or (they) just have too many books," he said.  "So they'll call us and we'll come and get them, or they'll drop them off at the main library."

The books are stored all year until their debut at the four-day event, but not without much behind-the-scenes effort from volunteers.

Carrie Casada, president of the Friends of the Abilene Public Library, said local Boy Scout troops 272 and 258 and volunteers form Dyess Air Force Base were indispensable in getting the sale together.

On Monday, the library fed 100 volunteers, while Chick-fil-A provided food for Tuesday's 75 workers, Preston said.

"It was almost a different crowd on Tuesday," he said.  "So I'd use that for an estimate."

Shopping at the sale with family from Dallas, with an eye toward books for her grandchildren, Dianne Hawley of Abilene sad the event is a must-do for her.

"I come every year, and then I turn my books back in after I read them - recycle," she said, estimating she picks up at least 20 volumes to read throughout the year.

"I love them, and it's a great way to help the community, too, giving back to the library," Hawley said.