Kimberly C's blog

Teen Craft: Gift Boxes

wooden boxesHey teens! End of semester blues got you down? Get your creativity flowing and decorate a cool wooden box with paints and other supplies. Keep the box for yourself, or gift it for the holidays. All supplies provided. For teens and tweens ages 10-18. Space is limited, so please register in person or by phone. Meet in the first floor Meeting Room on Monday, December 5th at 4:00 pm.

For more information or to register, call the library at 832-559-4200.

CC: Minhas caixinhas Photo by: Danny Alves

Here, There Be Dragons

dragonOpening this weekend in theaters is a movie I have been looking forward to seeing for months: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the newest addition to the Harry Potter universe created by J.K. Rowling. This chapter in the franchise follows Newt Scamandar and his briefcase full of magical creatures through the magic community in 1920s New York City. This film not only gives Harry Potter fans a look at the magic community in the United States, but it brings focus to the magical creatures, some of which were not even introduced in the original series.

One of my favorite magical creatures to see on film is, of course, the dragon. Although there may not be dragons in Fantastic Beasts (I’ll report back once I’ve seen the movie!), these creatures did feature in three of the original Harry Potter films: with Norbert in Sorcerer’s Stone, during the Triwizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire, and at Gringott’s in Deathly Hollows: Part 2. Each of these dragons played a unique and crucial role in Harry’s journey.

Of course, dragons aren’t exclusive to Harry Potter films. In fact, dragons have featured in many films in the past 40 years. In some movies, like Reign of Fire, the dragon is decidedly the enemy of mankind, while in others dragons and humans work together. Often, the dragon is a serious or destructive force, as in The Hobbit. But, dragons also appear as humorous sidekicks or companions, as in Mulan. No matter the physical appearance or their role in the plot, dragons continue to be a popular magical creature in films.

If you’re in the mood for a movie featuring dragons this weekend, check out the list below and request a movie today! What’s your favorite dragon movie?

Day of the Dead Altar-Making Class

day of the dead altarEach year on November 1 and 2, many people, particularly those in south and central Mexico, as well as those of Mexican heritage living elsewhere, celebrate Day of the Dead or, Día de los Muertos. On this occasion, families and friends come together to create elaborate altars to honor loved ones who have died.

This year at the library, guest artist Lizbeth Ortiz will present an interactive program for families on Day of the Dead altars. At this program, each family will create a mini altar to honor one of their loved ones. Families are encouraged to bring small mementos to add to the altar, as well as photocopies of pictures.

This altar-making class will be held in the first floor Meeting Room (L129) on Saturday, October 22, from 1:30-4:30pm. Registration is required for this event, and is limited to ten families of four. Each family group must include at least one adult.

While you’re in the library, make sure you stop by the altar in the Children’s Department honoring beloved author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak!

For more information or to register, call the library at 832-559-4200.

From Page to Screen in 2016

fantastic beastsOver the years, I have attended many Q&A’s with popular authors. No matter who the author or what type of book they write, they are nearly always asked to talk about where they find inspiration. This question can also easily be applied to screenwriters and, like authors, I am sure they find inspiration in everything around them. Whether in their own lives or in world events, complete fantasy or rooted in reality, screenwriters (and authors!) can turn even the most simple of ideas into a beautiful, complete story.

But screenwriters also find inspiration in the written word. In fact, movies based on books are so popular, that the Oscars have separated the screenplay category into two awards: original and adapted.  Each year there are more and more movies released in theaters that are based on books, and this year is no exception. 2016 has seen movies based on Young Adult novels, classic literature, literary fiction, genre fiction, and nonfiction.

Avid readers will understand why books are so often turned into movies. Some books are so stunningly descriptive that the words on the page are practically begging to be transformed into a visual format. And some books are full of so much creativity and imagination that turning them into a movie enhances the story.

The question then becomes, if a movie is made out of your favorite book, do you go see it? Personally, I have had this happen with a few books and, I admit, I haven’t had the courage to see the movie versions of all of them. On the other hand, there have been books I wasn’t particularly attached to that have become some of my favorite movies. Sometimes a difference in presentation makes all the difference.

Below, I have put together a list of some of the 2016 movie releases based on books. Click on the author to request a copy of the book and, when possible (because some of the movies aren’t yet out on DVD), click on the title to request a copy of the movie.

Fall Into TV

fall leafIt feels cliché to admit this, but fall is my favorite time of year. After a long, hot summer, I can’t wait for the slightly cooler temperatures that herald fall and all it has to offer. Wearing cardigans without roasting, grilling outside without melting, eating pumpkin spice everything, and, most important of all, prepping the DVR to record all my favorite television shows.

That’s not to say that I haven’t watched any TV at all this summer. In fact, I have spent all summer binge watching random TV shows and it has been fantastic. I’ve discovered shows I never knew existed (all crime shows, because I’m obsessed with them), fallen in love with shows I originally passed over without a second glance, and caught up on shows I’d previously abandoned. Despite that, I miss my usual shows. I miss familiar settings and plots that feel comfortable while still moving the plots forward. But most of all, I want to catch up with my favorite characters and see how they fared after last season’s cliffhangers!

If you’re looking to pick up a new TV show this season, or just want to binge watch old episodes of a favorite series, check out the list below and see what HCPL has to offer. You just might find a new favorite show!

Fall TV Picks:

I Am A Librarian!

librarianIn 1999, the action-adventure film The Mummy was released in theaters. It opened to middling critical reception, but, ultimately, was a box office success. I remember seeing it at the movie theater shortly after it was released and enjoying it immensely. Since then, it has become one of my favorite movies and is, in my opinion, a perfect genre film.

In The Mummy, Brendan Fraser plays Rick O’Connell, an erstwhile adventurer who agrees to lead Evelyn, a librarian and Egyptologist played by Rachel Weisz, and her brother to the lost city of Hamunaptra. Of course, things don’t go as planned – they never do when you accidentally raise a cursed mummy from the dead. One of my favorite pieces of dialogue in the movie occurs while Evelyn is talking to Rick:

  • Evelyn: Look, I... I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am.
  • Rick: And what is that?
  • Evelyn: I... am a librarian!

As a librarian myself, I have always loved this piece of dialogue. Librarians don’t often show up in movies, and when they do, they are generally written to the old stereotype: stuffy, staid, and grouchy. Evelyn isn’t like that at all, and it makes for a refreshing change of pace. While I don’t necessarily want to go off and battle reanimated mummies, I do appreciate that someone thinks that I could with my librarian know-how.

Below, I have put together a list of movies that feature a librarian or other library staff member. Some of these movies hammer straight through the stereotypes, while others embrace them. Either way, it is fun to see what Hollywood imagines my job!

Where's Orbit?

orbitorbit orbit

If you visited the library over the summer, you might have noticed our ongoing scavenger hunt to find Orbit. Each week, we hid a paper Orbit, the green alien mascot of the Houston Astros, somewhere in the library, then gave two clues to his location. Those who found Orbit, could report his location to a librarian and put their name in a drawing for a plush Orbit.

On August 6th, Summer Reading came to a close, and with it, the weekly scavenger hunt for Orbit. We had a huge response throughout the summer but, in the end, Luke was our big winner. These are just a few of the pictures from his mini photo shoot with Orbit!

Congrats to Luke, and thanks to everyone who found Orbit each week and helped make this summer so much fun!

Here Comes the Bride

heartsLast weekend, I attended the wedding of one of my younger siblings. It was a crazy weekend full of unexpected issues, but, ultimately, the wedding was beautiful for all involved. This wedding was only the latest in a string of ceremonies and receptions I have attended in the last six months. Love is definitely in the air!

Weddings, both the planning and the actual event, have long been a favorite topic in film. They can be the overarching theme of a movie, as in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, or simply a pivotal part of the plot, as in The Princess Bride. The wedding day in movies is often one where anything that can go wrong, will. While no one wants their wedding day to be a catastrophe (or even a little bit bumpy) in real life, it provides plenty of laughs on screen!

If you’re in the mood for a movie this weekend (and, let’s face it, it’s far too hot to be outside!), check out one of these wedding favorites.

Teens: Marble Roller Coasters

marble roller coasters

Summer Reading is coming to a close. (Have you registered? There’s still time!) We know you won’t want to miss the last program of the summer! On Tuesday, bring your friends and work together to build a roller coaster out of foam tubing. Then use marbles to take all the coasters for a test run! For teens and tweens ages 10-18. Meet in the first floor Meeting Room on Tuesday, August 2 from 3:00-4:30 pm.

For more information, call the library at 832-559-4200.

50+ Bus Trip to Space Center Houston

nasaJoin us for an exciting visit to Space Center Houston! Entrance to Space Center Houston costs $24.95 (or $12.95 with 15+ attendees) and lunch will be at your own cost at one of the Space Center Houston restaurants.

We will meet in the library lobby on Tuesday, August 9th at 8:45 am. The bus will leave promptly at 9:00 am, and return to the library by 4:30 pm. Must be 50 or better to attend. Space is limited, and registration is required. You may register in person, over the phone, or online at the HCPL Events Calendar.

The bus is provided courtesy of the Harris County Precinct 4 Senior Adult Program.

For more information or to register, call the library at 832-559-4200.

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