DVDs

October 30th 2017

On the evening of October 30, 1938, CBS radio broadcast an adaptation of H. G. Well's War of the Worlds, the 1898 novel about a Martian invasion of Earth, as part of the radio drama series Mercury Theatre on the Air. Written and directed by Orson Welles (left), the program was mostly in the form of simulated news bulletins. For decades stories have been told about the panic that ensued when many listeners jumped to the conclusion they were listening to an actual news broadcast.

The... Read Post

March 20th 2017

On this day in 1778, King Louis XVI of France recieved at court two representatives of the newly declared United States, Silas Deane and Benjamin Franklin. Their reception by an absolute monarch was an astonishing coup for a fledgling nation rejecting the very notion of monarchy, but Louis' hatred of Great Britain trumped concerns about encouraging rebellion againts kings. The fact that one of the emissaries was Benjamin Franklin made Louis' decision easier: Franklin was the equivalent of a... Read Post

February 18th 2017

The Dallas Buyers’ Club starring Matthew McConaughy, Jared Leto and Jennifer Gardner is about a blue collar electrician, in Texas, in the 1980’s, who is infected with the HIV virus.  The movie portrays the stigmas surrounding AIDS and homosexual men of the decade.

The main character, Ron (Woodruff), a heterosexual man, loses his job and home due to workplace and housing discrimination. He loses all of his friends, but gains new ones, including Jared Leto’s character, Rayon, a cross-... Read Post

January 14th 2017

I never would have thought, but DVD's from your local library are a great way to help you through the winter. Lately, I've been taking home three or four movies a week and watching one almost every night before bed. Going outside when it's 30 degrees isn't really something I'm very keen on, especially when it's 30 degrees and nighttime. I typically tend to be a summer person, so staying in on a cold winter's eve is much preferred. Not only do I have something cheap (absolutely free with my... Read Post

June 24th 2016
...for June 24: Henry VIII was crowned King of England on this day in 1509. It was the beginning of a turbulent reign, and nearly all of the turbulence was caused by his difficulties in fathering a son: he was only the second monarch of  the Tudor dynasty, a family whose claim to the crown was shaky at best. To prevent a return to civil war it was essential Henry have at least one male heir. In his quest for sons, he married six times, beheaded two of his wives, and took England out of the... Read Post
April 11th 2016
Did you know that you can check out an e-book for free from your library and download it to your Ipad or kindle fire? A whopping 40% of people don't know they can check out an eBook from their library! So instead of spending all that money on Amazon.com, you can get all the books for free, by signing into Overdrive using your library card. Overdrive has audio books & eBooks! This is just another way libraries are moving along with the times and providing you more ways to access information... Read Post
March 26th 2015
On November 18, 1985, people across the country opened their newspapers (this was back when most people read newspapers) and met a sandy-haired six-year old named Calvin and his stuffed (but sentient) tiger Hobbes.  Calvin was every babysitter's nightmare, the bane of his teachers, Dennis the Menace on speed (but with a much better vocabulary and a more interesting mind). He was a source of nonstop stress for his parents and a constant torment to his neighbor Susie. Of course readers fell in... Read Post
June 11th 2014
Are you an avid reader and a movie buff? Do you watch film adaptions of books you've read and make mental notes about plot changes and casting choices? Perhaps you should join the library's Books into Movies discussion group. It meets the third Monday of every month at the Central Library, 7:30 to 8:30. On June 16 the group will discuss Jim Thompson's The Grifters and the film  of the same name starring John Cusack and Anjelic Huston, as well as the Robert Redford/Paul Newman film The Sting,... Read Post
November 22nd 2013
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963  still haunts our collective imagination, and rightly so.  It was the moment when the entire nation was forced to confront the violence endemic to American life, when people sitting in their own homes watched murder happen. Stephen King's novel 11/22/63 was one of the popular books of 2011. Twenty-five years after nomination for the National Book Award, Don DeLillo's Libra still  provokes reflection. References both serious and... Read Post
August 22nd 2013
Last weekend a friend I hadn't seen in a long time stopped me on the street and asked me what the library was doing to commemorate the 200th birth year of Richard Wagner.  The library has too many programs for me to keep track of, so I said, "I'll get back to you on that." There is no question that Wagner is a towering figure in Western culture. He influenced  later composers such as Claude Debussy, Hector Berlioz and Gustav Mahler.  And  his cultural impact extended beyond music: the works of... Read Post
August 20th 2013
Elmore Leonard, author of such works as Glitz, City Primeval and Killshot, died at his home in Michigan. He was 87. His works were populated by murderers, conmen and schemers, people living alongside us, but in a separate world with its own rules and risks and expectations.  Leonard wrote  about this world with an emotional depth and a gritty realism that endeared him even to critics prone to be dismissive of crime novels. Readers curious about Leonard have two options for sampling his... Read Post
August 7th 2013
"Dark fins appear, innocent/as if in fair warning"--Denise Levertov, "The Sharks." "You may rest assured that the British government is entirely opposed to sharks"--Winston Churchill in Parliament, Prime Minister's Question Time, Feb. 20, 1945. We've barely begun to recover from the heart-stopping excitement of Sharknado, and here we are in the middle of Shark  Week, the Discovery Channel's annual celebration of all things squaline. And while I'm sure that most of the programming of SW 2013... Read Post
April 23rd 2013
I didn't submit my suggestions in time to be included in the last post but I'll throw a few out there now. I recently saw Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery [1993], which was a lot of fun. Woody re-teams with his erstwhile muse Diane Keaton, and the inspired addition of Alan Alda and Anjelica Huston makes the whole thing even better. Carol and Ted (Keaton and Alda) are sure that their elderly acquaintance Paul (Jerry Adler) has committed the perfect murder. Hard-boiled author Marcia Fox (... Read Post
April 22nd 2013
After last week, a lot of us could probably use a break from reality: a few minutes or a few hours of not thinking about the horrors of last week. I asked my colleagues what makes them laugh, cheers them up when they're down, or just makes them forget their worries. Here are a few suggestions. East Branch Director Marilyn suggests A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  I have to second that: Confederacy is one of the craziest, best-written pieces of inspired lunacy that I have ever... Read Post
January 21st 2013
Today we honor the memory of one of the greatest Americans ever, a man whose courage, wisdom, and determination changed this country forever. In the twelve years between his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and his murder at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Martin Luther King did more to advance racial justice than had been accomplished in the previous century since emancipation. The finest work I know on King's life and work is Taylor Branch's three-volume America in the King Years. I... Read Post

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