What Else We Found…

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Books to Film: Summer Break Edition

Shaft by Ernest Tidyman

12466775Shaft (2019) film poster.pngMovie: Shaft
When it comes out: June 14
What the book is about: Shaft has no prejudices. He’ll kill anyone- black or white. Who is John Shaft? A black Bogart who says the Revolution is a new way to chase chicks…the Mafia is a meatball…and life is going to screw you if you don’t screw it. John Shaft is a private eye. John Shaft is a black man made of muscle and ice.

American Woman by Susan Choi

285086American WomanMovie: American Woman
When it comes out: June 14
What the book is about: When 25-year-old Jenny Shimada steps out of the Rhinecliff train station in New York’s Hudson Valley, the last person she expects to see is Rob Frazer, a shadowy figure from her previous life. On the lam for an act of violence against the American government, Jenny agrees to take on the job of caring for three younger fugitives whom Frazer has spirited out of California. One of them, the granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate in San Francisco, has become a national celebrity. Kidnapped by a homegrown revolutionary group, Pauline shocked America when she embraced her captors’ ideology, denouncing family and class to enlist in their radical cell.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

1325218Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark film logo.jpgMovie: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
When it comes out: August 9
What the book is about: This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz’s popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright. There is a story here for everyone—skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney. Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories—and even scary songs—all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.

The Kitchen by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle

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Movie: The Kitchen
When it comes out: August 9
What the book is about: The Irish gangs of Hell’s Kitchen rule the neighborhood, bringing terror to the streets and doing the dirty work for the Italian Mafia. Jimmy Brennan and his crew were the hardest bastards in the Kitchen, but after they’re all put in prison, their wives—Kath, Raven and Angie—decide to keep running their rackets. And once they get a taste of the fast life and easy money, it won’t be easy to stop.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

3153910The Art of Racing in the Rain.jpgMovie: The Art of Racing in the Rain
When it comes out:
August 9
What the book is about:
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

13526165Where'd You Go Bernadette (film poster).pngMovie: Where’d You Go
When it comes out:
August 16
What the book is about:
Bernadette Fox has vanished. When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces–which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where’d You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother.

 

Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström

9292518click for larger (if applicable) Movie: The Informer
When it comes out:
August 16
What the book is about:
Piet Hoffman, a top secret operative for the Swedish police, is about to embark on his most dangerous assignment yet: after years spent infiltrating the Polish mafia, he’s become a key player in their attempt to take over amphetamine distribution inside Sweden’s prisons. To stop them from succeeding, he will have to go deep cover, posing as a prisoner inside the country’s most notorious jail. But when a botched drug deal involving Hoffman results in a murder, the investigation is assigned to the brilliant but haunted Detective Inspector Ewert Grens–a man who never gives up until he’s cracked the case. Grens’s determination to find the killer not only threatens to expose Hoffman’s true identity-it may reveal even bigger crimes involving the highest levels of power. And there are people who will do anything to stop him from discovering the truth.

 

The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War by Marcia & Thomas Mitchell

4578102Official Secrets PosterMovie: Official Secrets
When it comes out:
August 23
What the book is about:
British secret service officer Katharine Gun’s only crime was telling the truth, but she paid a steep price when she exposed a U.S.-U.K. spy operation to secure UN authorization for the Iraq invasion. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, this book tells the story of the young woman Sean Penn describes as “a hero of the human spirit.”

Books to Film: May Edition

Tell It to the Bees by Fiona Shaw

6767519Tell It to the Bees (film poster 2019).jpgMovie: Tell It to the Bees
When it comes out: May 3
What the book is about: Lydia Weekes is distraught at the break-up of her marriage. When her young son, Charlie, makes friends with the local doctor, Jean Markham, her life is turned upside down. Charlie tells his secrets to no one but the bees, but even he can’t keep his mother’s friendship to himself. The locals don’t like things done differently. As Lydia and the doctor become closer, the rumors start to fly and threaten to shatter Charlie’s world.

The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester

25019The Professor and the Madman (film).pngMovie: The Professor and the Madman
When it comes out: May 10
What the book is about: An extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary — and literary history. The compilation of the OED, begun in 1857, was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

The Family: The Story of Charles Manson’s Dune Buggy Attack Battalion by Ed Sanders & The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten by Karlene Faith

5073151100168Charlie Says (2018 film) poster.jpgMovie: Charlie Says
When it comes out: May 10
What the book is about: The Family: The first full-length, chronological account of the Manson clan tracks the case through two decades of turmoil and include revealing information on the highly publicized murder trial of 1970 and 1971, Squeaky Fromme’s attempt to shoot President Gerald Ford, and Manson’s continued leadership of the Satanic underground from behind bars.

The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten: At The Age Of Twenty-One, Leslie Van Houten was sentenced to death, along with Charles Manson and his other disciples, for the infamous murder rampage spanning two nights in August 1969. Leslie, who was present at the Rosemary and Leno LaBianca stabbings, serenely accepted her sentence, wishing only that she had better served Manson in carrying out his apocalyptic vision of Helter Skelter. When the United States temporarily suspended its death penalty, her sentence for murder conspiracy was converted to life in prison. Today, at the age of 51, after three trials and with no parole in sight, Leslie has become a remarkable survivor of a living nightmare.

A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron

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Movie: A Dog’s Journey
When it comes out: May 17
What the book is about: The direct sequel to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling A Dog’s Purpose.

Buddy is a good dog. After searching for his purpose through several eventful lives, Buddy is sure that he has found and fulfilled it. Yet as he watches curious baby Clarity get into dangerous mischief, he is certain that this little girl is very much in need of a dog of her own.

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

28763485The Sun Is Also a Star film poster.pngMovie: The Sun Is Also a Star
When it comes out:
May 17
What the book is about:
Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. Definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when her family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica.

Daniel has always been the good son, the good student, living up to his parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when he sees her, he forgets about all that. Something about Natasha makes him think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store.

Aniara by Harry Martinson

1138948Aniara movie posterMovie: Aniara
When it comes out:
May 17
What the book is about:
Harry Martinson’s Epic Science Fiction Poem, is at once a warning of despair in the time of the nuclear weapons and the looming threat of ecological disaster and perhaps the most complete expression of Martinson’s lifelong project to illustrate man’s attempts to truly see himself and his role in creation.

Trial by Fire” (The New Yorker) by David Grann

Trial by Fire.jpgMovie: Trial by Fire
When it comes out:
May 17
What the book is about:
When Elizabeth Gilbert approached the prison guard, on a spring day in 1999, and said Cameron Todd Willingham’s name, she was uncertain about what she was doing. A forty-seven-year-old French teacher and playwright from Houston, Gilbert was divorced with two children. She had never visited a prison before. Several weeks earlier, a friend, who worked at an organization that opposed the death penalty, had encouraged her to volunteer as a pen pal for an inmate on death row, and Gilbert had offered her name and address. Not long after, a short letter, written with unsteady penmanship, arrived from Willingham, convicted of setting the fire that killed his three young children. “If you wish to write back, I would be honored to correspond with you,” he said. He also asked if she might visit him. Perhaps out of a writer’s curiosity, or perhaps because she didn’t feel quite herself (she had just been upset by news that her ex-husband was dying of cancer), she agreed. Now she was standing in front of the decrepit penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas—a place that inmates referred to as “the death pit.” Gilbert came to believe that the polite unassuming man Willingham was innocent and would soon set out on a long, frustrating journey to find the truth.

Need to catch up on your Graphic Novel reading? Or start?

Graphic Novels (and the one comics that they come from) are more popular than ever.

Sequential art (to use a term coined by Will Eisner) as a method of story telling has been around for roughly the entire history of mankind but up until the last century or so it had fallen out of fashion. Even then it was considered kids stuff. Only in the last couple of decades has it really come to be recognized as a legitimate form of literature and art.

The “Graphic Novel” has gone mainstream. They’re used in classrooms, adapted into popular TV shows and movies and enjoyed by people of all ages.

Image result for umbrella academyIf you are uncertain if Graphic Novels are for you pick a movie or TV show that’s been based on a graphic novel or comic that you like (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Umbrella Academy, Preacher, The Walking Dead, Deadly Class, the MCU, the DCEU, and so on, and so on) and start there. Or you could go for a graphic adaptation of classic literature or popular novels. Or nonfiction graphic novels about everything from physics to life abroad to economics. Or something entirely different. If you look around enough you’re bound to find something to interest you.

But where are you supposed to do this looking?

We’re glad you asked. The Moline Public Library has a Graphic Novel section in each of its three main areas, children’s, young adult and adult. In addition to that we have access to all the graphic novels in the PrairieCat system if you don’t mind waiting a week or so for them to be sent in. Then there is hoopla!, one of our e-material collections, which has an impressive amount of comics and graphic novels on offer for you to checkout, download and read on your digital device. 

Graphic Novels: Try them, you’ll like them.

“The Public” is out in select theaters now!

Unfortunately the closest “select theaters” are in the Chicago suburbs, but still, we’re excited about it and you should be too. Addressing the issues of homelessness and mental health, public libraries, Emilio Estevez! How could we not be interested?

If you can’t make it to a theater showing it just keep it in mind for when it gets a wider release or, more likely, is out on DVD. In the meantime, check it out and, if you think it looks promising, pass it along.

Christian Slater, Alec Baldwin, Emilio Estevez, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Jeffrey Wright in The Public (2018)

A particularly brutal Arctic blast (sounds familiar) has hit downtown Cincinnati, including the public library, where most of the film takes place. Library officials and some homeless patrons are at odds over how to handle the dangerous weather event. When the patrons turn the building into a shelter for the night by staging an “Occupy” sit in, what begins as an act of civil disobedience escalates to a stand-off with police with the rush-to-judgment media constantly speculating about what’s really happening (sounds familiar too). This story tackles some of our society’s most challenging issues, homelessness and mental illness, and is set in one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: the public library.

So, not topical or relevant at all then.

Just kidding. Obviously.

Watch the trailer!

Murder on the Orient Express

Do you enjoy intelligent murder mysteries, trains, movies made from books about murder on trains, and/or anything by Agatha Christie? If so, here are some other things you might be interested in.

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