Karl Pilkington is a British TV and radio personality. He works with Ricky Gervais. I love everything Pilkington does, like An Idiot Abroad, where he travels to the Seven Wonders of the World with twists orchestrated by Gervais. Also, try The Ricky Gervais Show for more hysterical, dry wit.
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Finding your place in this life can be a tricky proposition. Our upbringing leaves its mark, but ultimately we make our own choices. In the case of creator Craig Thompson, fulfillment might be found in religious faith, devotion to art, or intoxicating first love. The question is whether they have to be mutually exclusive. Multiple-award winner Blankets is a revealing autobiographical novel that celebrates the bittersweet. Stark black and white illustrations enhance this poignant coming-of-age story by adding layers that straight prose cannot offer. Wrap yourself in Blankets and be pleasantly surprised at how much a graphic novel has the power to tug at your heart.
Do you want to win a portable DVD player or a gift card to Amazon? You can score these prizes (and more!) by reading comics during Graphic Novels for Grown-ups month at the Library!
To win prizes, all you have to do is:
1. Select a Graphic Novel from the Adult or Teen Graphic Novel collections (or choose one from the jar at the Fiction/AV/Teen desk).
2. Check out and read the Graphic Novel.
3. Come back to the Fiction/AV/Teen desk to fill out a raffle ticket.
You may enter as many times as you want and must be 18 or older to participate.
Don’t forget to ask staff what their favorite comics are or to ask for the Graphic Novels binder which features lists on topics as varied as romance, historical fiction, literary adaptations, true crime, award-winners, and zombies.
Erik Larson, the author of The Devil in the White City, has said, “I don’t necessarily hunt for dark subjects. It just happens that the darker events of history are often the most compelling.”
If you want a safe way to explore the blood and shadows of the human psyche, click here for true crime books.
No joke, John Mellencamp and Stephen King are friends. They even collaborated on a Southern gothic musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, about two brothers involved in a murder/suicide who haunt an isolated, Mississippi cabin. King wrote the play, Mellencamp wrote the music, and T. Bone Burnett put his haunting, roots rock stamp over the soundtrack, which features a devilish Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and more. Interspersed with dialogue from the play, the soundtrack gathers you into the story of ghost brothers Jack and Andy as they feud, die, and later watch their nephews step onto the same calamitous path of tragic love and family secrets.
SPOILER WARNING: These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points, if you have not read the book.
Title: The Other Wes Moore
Author: Wes Moore
Page Count: 233
Genre: Memoir, pop sociology
Tone: Moving, fast-paced, thoughtful
1. What drove author Wes Moore to write to the prisoner Wes Moore? Why do you think prisoner Wes Moore wrote the author back?
2. Have you ever, or would you ever, write a prisoner? Why or why not?
3. What was the fate of author Wes Moore’s father? Do you think his father might have survived under other circumstances? (p. 15)
4. What was the fate of prisoner Wes Moore’s father?
5. What significance did fathers play in the lives of both Wes Moores?
6. Did both Wes Moores have strong mother figures? Do you think both mothers tried their best? Is there anything that either of them could have done differently?
7. Do you think one Wes Moore had a stronger family unit or a better support system while growing up? How can having a strong support system change a child’s life?
8. Outside of his family, who warned author Wes Moore about the bad path he was on? (police officer after he got caught tagging) Did Moore heed this warning? For how long? Why didn’t the change stick?
9. Author Wes Moore states, “Later in life I learned that the way many governors projected the numbers of beds they’d need for prison facilities was by examining the reading scores of third graders.” (p. 54) How did reading this make you feel? Why?
10. What allowed author Wes Moore to go to better schools than prisoner Wes Moore?
11. Author Wes Moore states, “Soon it became clear that the Riots were about more than the tragic death of Dr. King. They were about anger and hurt so extreme that rational thought was thrown out the window – these were people so deranged by frustration that they were burning down their own neighborhood.” (p. 19) Does this “deranged frustration” make sense to you? Are there places today’s America that feel like this?
12. Author Wes Moore talks about the Bronx in the 1980s and early 1990s as an apocalyptic place to be with drugs, burned out buildings, and crime everywhere. Are there still cities like this today? What causes cities to crumble like this? How does living in a neighborhood like this affect a person?
143. At what ages did both Wes Moores start to “go wrong”? Were you surprised by how young they were? What kind of crimes was author Wes Moore into? What about prisoner Wes Moore?
14. What was your first impression of author Wes Moore? What about your first impression of prisoner Wes Moore?
15. How did each Wes Moore respond to danger and aggression? Were their reactions the same?
16. How did Tony try to dissuade prisoner Wes Moore from following his illegal path? Why did it work or not work?
17. At one point, Mary, prisoner Wes Moore’s mother, flushed his drugs down the toilet. What did you think of her actions? Was it enough? Would you have done anything different?
18. Military school obviously benefited author Wes Moore. Do you think there were any other paths that could have set him on the straight and narrow?
19. Prisoner Wes Moore joined Job Corps. Did it help him? What did he go on to do after he exited the program? Why?
20. Prisoner Wes Moore continued to proclaim innocence, saying he wasn’t there for the robbery. Do you think the author believed him? Did you believe him? Do you think he should have been sentenced to life in prison?
21. What did author Wes Moore go on to do after exiting military school?
22. What do you think was the defining factor of why author Wes Moore stepped out of his cycle of destruction and prisoner Wes Moore did not?
23. What does education have to do with the path that each Wes Moore landed on then continued on?
24. What does racial privilege have to do with the stories of both Wes Moores?
25. What does economic privilege have to do with the stories of both Wes Moores?
26. Are racial privilege and economic privilege tied together? How so or how not?
27. Was there a topic you wished the author delved deeper into?
28. After the epilogue, there is “A Call to Action”. What is this section about? Why do you think the author put it in the book? Did reading The Other Wes Moore make you feel called to action? What other books have made you want to take action in the world?
29. If someone enjoyed reading The Other Wes Moore, what books would you recommend to them?
30. Are there any documentaries you would recommend to someone who enjoyed this book?
Author Wes Moore’s website
Lit Lovers’ book discussion questions
Wikispace guide to The Other Wes Moore
Brooklyn Public Library hosts Wes Moore
Interview with the Open Society Foundation
Interview with Oprah
Interview with Salon
If you liked The Other Wes Moore, try…
There are no Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz
Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Whatever it Takes by Paul Tough
Anne Tyler has taken the sting from death in The Beginner’s Goodbye. Aaron’s wife begins appearing to him a year after she dies. As Aaron looks back on his marriage and moves forward in his life, he’s challenged to recognize his deceased wife for her truest self and offer one final romantic date.
Jane Austen wrote, “How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book,” and her fans surely agree when it comes to the much-beloved Pride and Prejudice. Perhaps your own devotion has led you to read all the books, watch all the movies, and still it isn’t enough. May we suggest enjoying the story in Marvel comic form? That’s right! Graphic Novels for Grown-ups Month is the perfect time to sample Pride & Prejudice as adapted by an award-winning romance author and skilled illustrators. Much of Austen’s language and wit are smartly preserved, and the drawings add insight into the characters’ personalities and foibles. This is a delightful way to revisit a favorite, and don’t forget to enter for prizes after you reach the happy ending!
Fiction has many gorgeous layers. One layer is that of Latino and Latina authors. Latino refers to male citizens of the U.S. who have Latin American origins, whereas Latina points to female citizens of the U.S. with Latin American origins.
Click here to dive into the depth and diversity of Latino and Latina authors.
In the 1970s and ‘80s activists began to hound banks for redlining – an unwritten rule that banks would avoid putting branches in poorer neighborhoods. By the 1990s, other entrepreneurs stepped into the gap that the banks had left. Pawnshops, check cashing companies, payday lenders, and furniture rental stores filled working poor neighborhoods. In Broke USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc., Gary Rivlin examines the businesses that serve people living paycheck to paycheck. Rivlin begins neutrally, but as a cycle of debt is revealed he pounces on these businesses as predatory in this surprising page-turner. If you like easy-to-read exposés on American economics like Nickel and Dimed, try Broke USA.