Friday, October 2, 2015

Book-To-Film Adaptations: October 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 well as checking out the books they're based on.

The Martian
Starring: Matt Damon
Release Date: Oct. 2
Adapted From: "The Martian"
Author: Andy Weir
Summary:  During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew.  But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet.  With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit, and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Starring: Levi Miller
Release Date: Oct. 9
Adapted From: "Peter Pan"
Author: J.M. Barrie
Summary: 12-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny - to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

Starring: Dylan Minnette
Release Date: Oct. 16
Adapted From: Goosebumps Series
Author: R.L. Stine
Summary: A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R.L. Stine after the writer's imaginary demons are set free on the town of Greendale, Maryland.

Starring: Cate Blanchett
Release Date: Oct. 16
Author: Mary Mapes
Summary: Newsroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report investigating former President George W. Bush's military service, and the subsequent firestorm of criticism that cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers.

Steve Jobs
Starring: Michael Fassbender
Release Date: Oct. 23
Adapted From: "Steve Jobs"
Author: Walter Isaacson
Summary: His passion and ingenuity have been the driving force behind the digital age.  However, his drive to revolutionize technology was sacrificial.  Ultimately it affected his family life and possibly his health.  In this revealing film, we explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day genius, the late CEO of Apple inc. Steven Paul Jobs.

Our Brand is Crisis
Starring: Sandra Bullock
Release Date: Oct. 30
Adapted From: "Our Brand is Crisis"
Author: Rachel Boynton
Summary: A feature film based on the documentary "Our Brand is Crisis," which focuses on the use of American political campaign strategies in South America.

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

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Oct. 5-10)

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

Teen Book Club @ Your Library
Oct. 5 @ 6:00PM
Main Library
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
If you're a teen who loves to read, be a part of our Teen Book Club at your library.  This group meets each month to discuss popular teen literature and light snacks are provided. 

Tween Time: Eyeball Rings
Oct. 5 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Don't miss this crafting workshop where youth, ages 8-15, are invited to come out and make some Eyeball Rings, which will be a great project for October.  We'll supply all the materials and instruction needed, you just come out and be ready to make some awesome rings. 

Kids' A.R. Club @ Your Library
Oct. 6 @ 6:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Kids in grades K-5 are welcome to join our evening storytime club where library staff will read books that are currently on the Accelerated Reader list for schools.  Not only will youth be exposed to great stories, they'll also be able to test on them at school. 

Anime Club @ Your Library
Oct. 6 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you're a fan of anime & manga, this is the club for you.  Designed for teens and young adults, ages 13-24, join us at the library as we watch anime shows and engage in additional anime-related activities.  It's the best place to meet up with other enthusiasts in the community. 

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Oct. 8 @ 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you're between the ages of 10-17 and you enjoy writing, come hone your skills at your library with a group of your peers in our weekly writing club.  We'll collaborate on a number of writing prompts and activities designed to help you build your skills in all forms of writing.  No registration needed. 

You Have the Power to Save Your Memory
Oct. 8 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Nutrition coach Dessire Young will return to the library to lead another workshop where she'll discuss what you can do, nutritionally, to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease, which affects an estimated 5.3 million Americans in 2015.  Although longer life spans are a contributing factor, there are lifestyle dietary changes that can play a part, so learn how you can combat it.

Family Flix @ Your Library
Oct. 10 @ 10:45AM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
Kids and parents are invited out to the first Family Flix event of the month, and for this session, we'll be showing a great Disney film about two funny monsters and the adorable girl that stumbles into their world.  Feel free to bring your own snacks, and we'll supply some popcorn and drinks, and enjoy a movie at your library.  2015 Movie Schedule 

Don't miss out on these great activities being hosted at your library, and get in on what we have to offer.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "The New New Rules" By Bill Maher

The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their A**
Click to Place Hold
Author: Bill Maher
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

Summary: New Rule: If one of your news organization's headlines is about who got kicked off Dancing with the Stars last night, you're no longer a news organization.  Sort of like, if you were on Dancing with the Stars last night, you're no longer a star.

Media, celebrity, Democrats, Republicans, religion, children - when it comes to lighting up his targets, Bill Maher is an equal-opportunity destroyer.  This book offers his new and best-loved observations about the world around us, along with some modest tips for its improvement.  Because wouldn't life be a little better if the inside of the office microwave didn't look like a Jackson Pollock painting, or if father stopped signing up their 9-year-olds to win free hunting trips?  Scathingly funny and relentlessly unafraid of sensitive topics, Maher's hilarious brand of realism is more welcome and necessary than ever.  So sit back, read on, and enjoy.  You may not agree with all his views, but one thing's for certain: If you're listening, you're laughing.

Personal Review: I'm a big fan of Bill Maher, and that was my main draw for reading this book.  Maher is the host of the HBO show "Real Time with Bill Maher," and although I don't subscribe to the channel, a podcast of the show is released every Sunday, and I listen to it that way.  Maher is not a Democrat, and he's certainly not a Republican, he's more of an Independent, but doesn't hold back his thoughts when it comes to talking about the Republican Party.

Maher has no filter on his show, and this carries on to his book, as he shares his "new rules" with readers.  Maher doesn't hold back on his thoughts, and if you easily get offended, this is not a book you'll want to read as Maher has never been one to hold back his thoughts...which is what I admire about him.  If he has an opinion, he's going to say it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Visits to Amish Country and a Morgue Inspired Writer" | Abilene Reporter-News

Article by Scott Kirk, Abilene Reporter-News

Linda Castillo at Book Signing
Linda Castillo was forging a pretty solid career as a suspense-romance novel writer, working for two different publishing houses when her editors suggested she quit concentrating so on the suspense aspect of her books and more on developing the characters in her books.

"In other words, I needed to quit killing off my characters," Castillo said to a luncheon at the Abilene Public Library.  Castillo is one of the featured authors at the 15th Annual West Texas Book Festival.

"It occurred to me I was probably writing the wrong genre," she said.

So Castillo took the advice of her editors and began working in the mystery genre, where she has written seven books in which the main character, Kate Burkholder, is the chief of police in the fictitious town of painters Mill, Ohio, located in Amish Country.

Although Castillo is a transplanted Texas (currently living in Bushland, west of Amarillo) from Ithaca, Ohio, she was not familiar with the Amish until a 2005 trip with her sister and brother-in-law to Amish country in Ohio.  The pastoral setting triggered a somewhat perverse thought.

Kate Burkholder Series

October's Cover-to-Cover Book Club Selection

If you're looking for a great book club discussion group, try our Cover-to-Cover Book Club at your library.  Meeting on the third Thursdays of the month, this group reads everything including bestsellers, fiction, biographies, nonfiction, classics, and more.

For October, the featured selection is In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library and then attend the book club on Thursday, October 15 @ 7:00PM.  For more information, be sure to contact Ann Mount at 325-676-6025. 

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
Author: Nathaniel Philbrick
Call Number: 910.916 PHI
Summary: The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the 19th-century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the 20th.  In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with 20 crew members aboard.  In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale.  The crew drifted for more than 90 days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival.

Be sure to check out this title from your Abilene Public Library, or borrow one from a friend, and come out ready to discuss this title with other avid readers on Thursday, October 15 @ 7:00PM.

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days 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.

Marvel's The Avengers - The Age of Ultron
Starring: Chris Evans
Summary: When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.  As t4he villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure. 

Starring: Sam Rockwell
Summary: The classic tale about a family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces.  When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and hold the youngest daughter captive, the family must come together to rescue her before she disappears forever. 

Place Hold
Starring: Melissa McCarthy
Summary: Susan Cooper is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency's most dangerous missions.  But when her partner falls off the grid, and another  top agent is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global crisis.

Starring: Adrian Grenier
Summary: Movie star Vincent Chase, together with his boys, Eric, Turtle, and Johnny, are back; and back in business with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold.  Some of their ambitions have changed, but the bond between them remains strong as they navigate the capricious and often cutthroat world of Hollywood. 

The Murder House
Author: James Patterson
Summary: It has an ocean front view, a private beach, and a deadly secret that won't stay buried.  Noah isn't superstitious, but there's one beach house that has a troubling history of violence and mystery: when Noah was a kid, No. 7 South Ocean burned down in a devastating fire, killing the couple trapped inside.  Investigators has no explanation for what happened, and many believe it was no accident.  Rebuilt after the fire, the gorgeous, ocean front property is still known by locals as The Murder House.  Now, 16 years later, a powerful Hollywood player and his mistress are found dead in the Murder House - and the police unearth proof that the couple is undeniably linked to Noah's past.  To prove his innocence, Noah must uncover the house's dark secrets - and reveal his own. 

The Cinder Spires: the Aeronaut's Windlass (Cinder Spires Series #1)
Author: Jim Butcher
Summary: Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.  Captain Grimm commands the ship Predator.  Loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy's shipping lines by attaching their cargo vessels.  But when his ship is damaged in combat, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion - to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring his ship to its fighting glory.  Undertaking this dangerous task, Grimm learns the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come...and death will follow.

Look out for these great titles at your Abilene Public Library, and get yourselves on the reserve lists so you're certain to keep up with some of the popular releases of the week.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Celebrate Banned Books Week, Sept. 27 - Oct. 3

It's Banned Books Week, hosted every September and celebrating your freedom to read the materials you choose.  Libraries and bookstores across the nation support the mission of offering access to the books you want, and this initiative brings together the entire book community to support the freedom to seek out the materials you want.

Having begun in 1982, Banned Books Week began after a surge in the number of books begin challenged across the nation.  More than 11,000 books have been challenged since that time, and this designated week is set aside to draw attention to the dangers of censorship by allowing readers the opportunity to seek out books they want, be they banned or not.

For 2015, books for young adults and teens will be the focus of this program, as these materials are challenged more frequently than any type of book according to Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee.  Platt states, "These are the books that speak most immediately to young people, dealing with many of the difficult issues that arise in their own lives, or in the lives of their friends.  These are the books that give young readers the ability to safely explore the sometimes scary real world.  This Banned Books Week is a call to action, to remind everyone that young people need to be allowed the freedom to read widely, to read books that are relevant for them, and to be able to make their own reading choices."

Books are usually challenged for three reasons, according to the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom including...

  1. The material was considered to be "sexually explicit"
  2. The material contained "offensive language"
  3. The material was "unsuited to any age group"
While the majority of challenges reported come from parents, and are aimed at school libraries, many still come from the public library sector too.  Despite the challenges made, public libraries affirm people have the right, privilege, and freedom to read the materials they choose, and many work diligently to support access to literature for everyone.

Each year the Office for Intellectual Freedom puts out a list of the 10 most challenged books, and for 2014, those titles were...
  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie | Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence, depictions of bullying.
  2. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi | Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint, politically, racially, and socially offensive, graphic depictions.
  3. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell | Reasons: anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, promotes the homosexual agenda.
  4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison | Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, contains controversial issues.
  5. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris | Reasons: nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, alleges its child pornography.
  6. Saga by Brian Vaughan & Fiona Staples | Reasons: anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  7. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini | Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence.
  8. The Perks of Being Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky | Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, date rape, and masturbation.
  9. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard | Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  10. Drama by Raina Telgemeier | Reasons: sexually explicit.
Celebrate this week however you'd like, but a good way would be simply to visit your local public library and celebrate your freedom to read by checking out anything you desire.  After all, it's your right.

"Plenty of Zany Zombie Action @ Your Local Library" | @ the Library Article

"They're coming to get you, Barbara."  A line from the first zombie movie in 1968 by George A. Romero - it's certainly one that most have heard.  Shocking the system with a culturally significant piece, Romero's work went on to include additional sequels and spawned a surge in the popularity of zombies.  Because it had such a strong impact on society, regardless of whether you're a fan or not, Night of the Living Dead was not just a horror movie.  It spoke on the current social and political climates and issues facing the United States at the time.  I'm not saying all related works after Romero's have been as profound, but zombie literature continues to be on the rise with more published works in print than ever before.

If you don't mind a little gore, and don't scare easily, you might want to look out for some of the zombie fiction housed at your Abilene Public Library.  Aimed at adult readers there's something for everyone, whether you're looking for traditional horror or action.  The overall themes of zombie hysteria doesn't have to just be about the undead feeding on the living, so allow me to introduce you to a few titles I've read, which are available for checkout.

I couldn't begin my coverage without mentioning The Walking Dead series.  Although first released as graphic novels, there have been traditional novels added to the entries including 2013's The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor Part One and Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Descent.  This series follows the aftermath of the zombie epidemic and a small band of travelers trying to survive.  With the graphic novel series having been adapted to AMC in the hit TV series of the same name (which happens to be the best show ever, in my opinion), it's more than just a series about zombies.  Of course they're there or you couldn't call it The Walking Dead, but the storylines delve more into the struggles of the living to come to terms with their new world, while trying not to self-destruct in the process.  "Zombie" is a term that's never even used in the series; they're referred to as "walkers" instead.  Filled with as much drama and moderate horror, it's an engaging series with an incredible fan following.

Another popular title is Max Brooks' World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War published in 2006.  Instead of focusing on the actual carnage of the zombies, this novel takes place a decade after the zombie war has ended.  Readers are taken through the accounts of what happened during the war as collected through the stories of those who survived the outbreak.  Filled with social, political, religious, and environmental themes, this proved to be a strong and different entry in zombie novels.  Plus, it was adapted to film in the summer of 2013 starring Brad Pitt.  It was a major blockbuster hit and attracted new readers to the book.  I must warn you, bot the book and the film are two entirely different stories with the film taking place during the start of the outbreak, and in the book, the outbreak is long past.

A third title worth mentioning is Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! by Otto Penzler.  Published in 2011, this title provides a large anthology of monster stories, 57 to be exact, to offer you a wide selection of assembled zombie stories in one place.  The superstars of horror have come together in this book, including Stephen King, Richard Matheson, and Joe R. Lansdale.  Each provide entries in this compilation of stories that will delight horror fans everywhere.  Making up a definitive collection of zombie short fiction, it's a great title to check out if you want a little bit of everything.

And that's only three of the title available through your Abilene Public Library in the category of zombie literature, but know that there are many others.  From John Joseph Adams' The Living Dead to David Wellington's Monster Island to Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, there are a ton of great zombie reads for you to acquire at your library.  It may not be a genre for everyone, but it certainly is for a vast legion of followers who have kept this genre alive in book, film, and TV.  Try it out for might just like it.

Article Contributed by Tremain Jackson, Branch Manager of the South Branch of the Abilene Public Library