Month: September 2012

Check It Out Blog

What the French Are Talking About

Delicacy book coverNot everyone has the chance to meet and marry her soul mate, but Natalie does. She and Francois are ridiculously happy together and full of plans for the future — plans that are cut cruelly short when an accident takes him away. Heartbroken and barely functional, Natalie isolates herself until one day when she impulsively kisses a stunned coworker. The odd but charming courtship that follows is the subject of La Delicatesse by David Foenkinos, a runaway bestseller in France and the adult fiction selection for this year’s Book Crossing program. At heart, it’s a playful, offbeat story about the journeys of two unlikely souls and how we are sometimes given what we need instead of what we expect.

JOIN US to chat about Delicacy on Monday, October 1, at 7 pm, and also hear about similar books and movies you may enjoy. A screening of the film adaptation starring Audrey Tautou will be shown Tuesday, October 2, at 1 pm. Registration is required for each event.

A Short History of Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins is the former lead singer of Black Flag. He’s a writer, a publisher, an actor, and a spoken word artist. He’s been around the world and back again and, if you go to see one of his shows, he’ll tell you about his travels. If you can’t make it to Rollins’ November dates at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, check out The Portable Henry Rollins or some of his more recent work.

LISTS: Courtroom Flicks

My Cousin Vinny DVD cover“I’ve got a judge that’s just aching to throw me in jail. An idiot who wants to fight me for two hundred dollars. Slaughtered pigs. Giant loud whistles. I ain’t slept in five days. I got no money, a dress code problem, and a little murder case which, in the balance, holds the lives of two innocent kids.”

To see what other problems Vinny has, check out the comedy My Cousin Vinny.

To see what other courtroom movies the Library owns, click here.

Civil Rights, Violence, and Sequins

The Sons of Tennessee Williams DVD coverIn 1959, three Tulane frat boys “rolled” a gay man – meaning they beat him to death in an alley. They were acquitted of the murder charges. This incident caused the gay men of New Orleans to decide that the revolution would be…costumed. In an era when a man touching another man’s leg in a bar could get both arrested, the gay community began to throw drag balls under the guise of Mardi Gras celebrations. The first ball was raided by the police, but it wasn’t long before these parties became the place to be. Through modern interviews and archival footage, The Sons of Tennessee Williams explores the question, “Is it really a civil rights accomplishment for a man to wear a dress at the civic auditorium?”

Books Are Magic

Libriomancer book coverReaders have long found themselves pulled into books, but what if you could pull things out of them?  That’s the idea behind Libriomancer, a book you should definitely not judge by its unfortunate cover.  Isaac Vainio has the ability to literally reach into a book and draw out an object described in its pages.  This gift comes in especially handy when three vampires attack him in the library.  With the aid of his fire-spider Smudge, Isaac cleverly defeats them and then discovers his battles are far from over.  Author Jim C. Hines, who just won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writing, successfully translates his geekery and tongue-in-cheek humor into a fantastically fun read, sure to appeal to modern booklovers with overactive imaginations and a taste for high adventure.

Infanticide, Corruption, and Diamond Mining

In Kathy Reichs’ fifteenth Temperance Brennan novel, Bones are Forever, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is looking for the killer of three infants in Yellowknife, a remote diamond mining town in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Andrew Ryan, Tempe’s ex, is heading up the investigation, which only gets more complicated when Ollie Hasty, another ex and a sergeant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, shows up.

The 2012 Hugos are Here!

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 6 book coverThe first weekend of September more than 5,000 people swarmed Chicago for the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, otherwise known as WorldCon. Beyond hosting authors, artists, and fans from more than 30 countries, WorldCon announced the winners of the 2012 Hugo Awards.

For a complete listing of winners, click here. For highlights, see below.

Best Novel: Among Others by Jo Walton

Best Novella:The Man who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson

Best Novelette:Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders

Best Short Story:The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Game of Thrones (Season 1)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form):The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who)

Best Fan Writer: Jim C. Hines

2012 PEN Literary Awards Announced

Catherine the Great book coverThe PEN American Center, the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization, has chosen the winners of the 2012 PEN Literary Awards. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie won the Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography, and you can see the story brought to life by favorite book dramatist Barbara Rinella at MPPL on October 1.

Click here for category information and a complete list of winners. Highlights include

Robert W. Bingham Prize: Zazen by Vanessa Veselka

Achievement in American Fiction: E.L. Doctorow

Award for the Art of the Essay: Arguably by Christopher Hitchens

Literary Science Writing Award: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Award for Literary Sports Writing: Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game by Dan Barry

Illustrated Children’s Book: Never Forgotten by Patricia C. McKissack