All Aboard!

It starts when we’re very young.  We hear the story about The Little Engine That Could.  We watch Thomas the Tank Engine.  We see the trains on the tracks and count the cars as they pass before us.  And we become fascinated by trains.

Gulf Coast Reads -- The Promise

October brings the beginning of autumn – although in Southeast Texas, it still feels like summer.  Still, it’s a time of change.  School has been in session for a while and we get settled into the routines associated with that.  Holidays are getting close, and we start planning where we’ll be and who we might visit – or who will visit us.  We take advantage of the warmth and get in some outdoor activities before the winds change and we get cool, rainy weather.

It’s TV Time, Again

tvEvery year I look forward to fall and all it brings with it: cooler temperatures (scarf weather!), pumpkin-flavored everything, my favorite holidays (Thanksgiving & Christmas), and new episodes of favorite TV shows. I love TV, but I admit that last season I somehow fell drastically behind with many of my favorite shows. In fact, I didn’t clear several shows from the DVR until just a couple of weeks ago. And, I still have 2 shows that are only half watched! It wasn’t that I didn’t want to watch the shows as they aired. I just, for one reason or another, didn’t have time. Now I’m enjoying binge-watching episodes each weekend in preparation for the upcoming seasons.

If, like me, you fell behind last season, or you’re simply curious about a new (or older!) show currently airing, check out the list below and see what HCPL has to offer! Most of these shows premiere on TV in the next two or three weeks. But with cliffhanger endings the norm for many shows nowadays, new episodes can’t come fast enough!

  • Fall TV Picks:

Cooling Off

It’s summertime in Houston.  And that means one thing: it’s hot.

It’s REALLY hot!

I’ve lived in Texas a long time.  Every year I'm probably like a lot of people who think, “I'll never get used to this!”  And, yet, we do seem to adjust – however little bit – to summer temps.

Of course, it’s nice to just get somewhere with air conditioning and have a cold drink and think cool thoughts.

67th Primetime Emmy Nominations

emmyLast week, the nominations for the Primetime Emmys were announced. Honoring excellence in primetime television, the Emmys are highly anticipated by those in the field and those of us who simply love television. As a self-professed lover of all things TV, the Emmys align perfectly with my interests.

Like most years at the Emmys, there are many familiar titles and faces nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Because of the multi-season nature of most television shows, this makes sense. This sort of repetitive nomination pattern is less likely to happen at, for example, the Oscars, where new movies are released in theaters each year, starring different actors and actresses, and written, directed and produced by different people. In television, a show might be nominated every year it runs, like Modern Family, or it might receive a nomination its first season, only to be replaced in future years by the next big show.

This year, however, there are a number of new names amongst the nominations. The Lead Actress in a Drama category is a prime example of this, with three new faces including Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson, both strong, talented actresses who made the switch from movies to television, and Tatiana Maslany, who is finally nominated for her third season of incredible work on Orphan Black. This year also sees an increase in television produced by streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon. It will be interesting to see how this new format of television continues to impact the field in years to come.

With such an eclectic group of nominees, I, for one, am curious how the votes might fall this year. Will the Emmys go to the familiar faces in television, or will the new shows and faces be recognized for their addition to Primetime television?

Below, I have listed the nominees in the drama and comedy categories for Outstanding Series, Lead Actor and Actress, and Supporting Actor and Actress. Who would you like to see win an Emmy this year?

Omar Sharif (1932-2015)

Last week saw the passing of fine actor.

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

sharkHappy Shark Week! In 1988, the very first Shark Week, an annual event that offers movies and documentaries that promote shark awareness, premiered on the Discovery Channel. Now in its 28th year, Shark Week is more popular than ever.

Of course, this fascination with sharks didn’t start with Shark Week. Thirteen years previously in 1975, Jaws was released to massive critical and fan acclaim. With masterful direction by Steven Spielberg, a script co-written by Peter Benchley (who wrote the novel the film was based on) and Carl Gottlieb, an ominous main theme by John Williams, and memorable performances by stellar actors and an often-faulty mechanical shark, Jaws has become not only a cult classic, but one of the greatest movies of the twentieth century.

Since that time, sharks have repeatedly served as the inspiration for movies – often in a slightly campy, yet terrifying capacity. In fact, many a sci fi creature feature has starred an outrageously unrealistic shark terrorizing beachgoers. But that’s not to say that sharks can’t be friendly. In Pixar’s Finding Nemo, for example, the sharks are learning that “fish are friends, not food!” No matter the role, sharks remain a familiar feature in movies.

If you’re in the mood for a shark movie or two, but missed some of this year’s Shark Week programming, the library has you covered! Check out the list below and request a shark movie today!

American History and the Fourth of July

This weekend we Americans celebrate the birth of our country.  In fact, this is our 239th birthday.  I remember the excitement of the Bicentennial in 1976 and hope to be around for the Sestercentennial in 2026.  But, to tell the truth, I find every Independence Day to be exhilarating.

Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

Last week, we lost a fine actor with the passing of Sir Christopher Lee.  During his long career, he gave us one outstanding performance after another.  We probably know him best for his villainous roles, from

The Beauty of Horses

They have worked the fields and across the range. They have provided transportation. They have been part of sports and entertainment. They’ve been companions and part of our leisure time. They are one of humankind’s best animal friends.


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