Book Spotlight: Read a book that is set in the Middle East

Happy February Everyone!

This month we covered two of the Read Harder Challenges. Meaning that if you’ve been following along you’ve read two books focused around reading outside of your comfort zone. Which means you have twenty-two books left for the rest of the year. Go you!

For this spotlight let’s get into the next challenge, which is “Read a book that is set in the Middle East” For those of your who are interested there are a number of narratives set in the middle east. Previously narratives were about the “Mystery” and the “Danger” of the “Orient” that can be pretty harmful when not written by someone who actually is from the Middle East. Usually when an author notes how “exotic” someone looks, I’d steer clear. Also I would caution you to seek out authors that are of Middle Eastern descent. Remember guys, representation matters.

With that being said, the book spotlight of the challenge is the book “The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh.

 

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“The Wrath and the Dawn” follows Khalid, the 18 year old Caliph of Khorasan. Every night he marries a new girl and every night ends with her execution. The country is in peril, families are hiding eligible women, everyone is trying to solve the mystery of why someone would do something this awful. 16 year old Shahrzad has had enough and volunteers to be married to Khalid. The reader soon learns that Shahrzad’s best friend was murdered in this fashion and she seeks revenge.

What I liked about this book is that language. Everything is told in a very lyrical style. You really understand setting and the scenery through the prose. The author has a style that makes you really fall into the story.

Let the Field Library know what you think!

Don’t forget registration for “The Field Games: Read Harder Challenge” ends on February 14th.

 

 

Web Series based on books

Hello Everyone!

Here at The Field Library we know that reading the classics can sometimes be a total bore. And that’s okay. Some times it is. And maybe what you consider modern classics will some day be boring to someone else 100 years from now. Imagine if in 2150 an English class has to read “The Fault in our Stars” and declares it boring?

(Imagined conversation)

Teacher: Okay guys, what did you think when Hazel first went to the support group?

Student: Oh my god, why couldn’t she just take the elevator. This is so BORING!!!!! AUGUSTUS IS A TERRIBLE BOYFRIEND!!!

Teacher: Take off your virtual reality googles and listen! It’s a metaphor!

(I would love it if years from now someone found this blog post and talked about how lame my imagined conversation was.)

Why do I bring that up? Because classic novels by authors such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, or Bram Stoker used to be the popular literature at the time. In fact, many of these authors were considered ‘trashy’ or ‘low-brow’ in their time. Shocking! In fact, Jane Austen was put down since she was first published, mostly because she was talking about “mundane” subjects like marriage and women’s problems. How dare women write about how hard it is to live in 19th century England? And now thousands of people everywhere are required to read her. So next time someone tells you that Gayle Foreman is trash, maybe you should bring that up, huh?

So, you might be thinking right now “Ugh, here goes the librarian, talking about classic literature” or “No way classical books are fun”

On the contrary,

There are many different ways of reading classical novels. There are also different ways of learning about the stories. One of them is through Youtube.

I’m sure a lot of you watch Youtube videos, Vines, all that stuff that the cool kids are watching. What’s cool about the internet these days is you get to see a lot of original content that you wouldn’t otherwise get to see. But did you know that there are web series based on classic novels? So you can watch a retelling of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, adapted for modern times. This series is called “The Lizzie Bennett Diaries” (by the way the series has been adapted into a book. A book turned into a web-series, turned into a book. What a time to be alive)

So we have the usual characters that we know and love; Lizzie, Jane, Dracy, Bing Lee…..wait, you mean Mr. Bingley, right? Like I said, adapted for the modern age! Actual diverse casts and everything! What a time to be alive!

But wait, there’s more Austen!

Thanks to the wonders of Youtube there is more Jane Austen adaptations for everyone!

This adaptation is based off of Jane Austen’s novel “Emma”. Similar to the original text Emma is setting up her friends for the right matches while getting into trouble. In this version Emma is running her own match-making industry, very similar to match-making services today. Kingsley takes the form of the business bookkeeper (close in age to Emma in this version). In this series we explore what it means in modern times to set your friend up. Where is the line between being helpful and being hurtful. Maybe send this as a link to that one friend who’s ALWAYS trying to get you to go out with that one guy that you don’t like……

A favorite series of mine growing up was also “Anne of Green Gables” by LM Montgomery. Anne Shirley is a character that I and thousands of other people always have a soft spot for years after reading the books. And now that there is stirrings of a new adaptation, this is a perfect time to check out this web-series.

What I like about this series is the actors change around Anne’s problems to suit a modern generation. Instead of being an eleven year old girl, we have a 16 year old girl who has been in the Canadian foster system for most of her life. Instead of Marilla and Matthew wanting a boy for the farm, they want a boy because it’s “Just easier”. Instead of her insulting Mrs. Rachel Lyne to her face, her video where she vents about her is discovered (Ouch, lesson learned about putting drama on the internet). It’s these kind of situations where you realize that you might have the same problems as a fictional character from the 20th century. Like Anne, we all know what it’s like to not fit in. We all have said something out of anger and wish we could take it back. Hopefully though not of us have accidentally dyed their hair green.

The final series I want to talk about is a web-series based off of the novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This series changes a few things around. Unlike the novel no one has fought in WWI, there is no bright yellow car, and hopefully no one is disillusioned by the jazz age (maybe by dub-step)

Whatever you pick these series are a good-tie in to the original books. It’s also a really good way to look at a story with fresh eyes.

Comment below with that series you really like and what stories you’d want to see adapted into a web-series. I’m sure that if you can imagine it, there is a web-series based around it (The internet kind of works funny that way).

Also remember this would work for the Read Harder Challenge. This would fall under “Read a book then watch the movie.” Remember registration for “The Field Games: Read Harder Challenge 2016 is still

Book Spotlight: Books that are over 500 pages

Hello Everyone,

Rumor has it that we’re supposed to get hit massively with snow this weekend. If that’s right I hope that you have the books you need. Also the provisions, which at the Field Library we usually mean chili when we say provisions. Speaking of which here’s a vegetarian chili that we swear by for the ultimate comfort food during a snow storm.

But this post isn’t about the best vegetarian chili. It’s about what you should be reading while enjoying that yummy chili. This bi-weekly book spotlight is about books over 500 pages, which is part of “The Field Games-Read Harder Challenge 2016”

So, for our Book Spotlight we have the book we all love (Drum Roll)

 

“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick

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“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” follows a young boy named, you guessed it, Hugo Cabret. Hugo is a young boy who lives in a train station in Paris in the 1930’s. His father was the repairman for the train station clock. His father disappears and his uncle takes his place in raising young Hugo. Due his uncle’s cruelty he runs from his uncle’s home to live behind the clock of the train station. Hugo takes over his father’s notes and finds a drawing for an automaton. Hugo believes that if he constructs the automaton that he can learn what truly happened to his father. From there he begins to steal pieces from the toy maker who works at the station. When Hugo is caught by the toy maker he learns that nothing is truly as it seems.

This book is an adventure because it is told mostly through pictures. You follow the story through the pictures and character actions. In fact, you don’t actually get words until page 80 or so. The fascinating part of the book is that the illustrations really capture character thoughts and feelings. We know that Hugo is desperate to build this automaton without reading it. We know that the toy maker is disappointed by the devastating effects of World War I.

 

Another reason why I chose to highlight this book is because it is in conjunction with another challenge in “The Field Games: Read Harder Challenge 2016”. Another challenge if you are following along is “Read a book then watch the movie. Discuss”

There is a movie based on the book (YEAH) and it was released in 2011. “Hugo” also follows Hugo Cabret and is also very faithful to the book. Starring Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz, the movie shines as a companion to the text.

Ahh, didn’t know you’d be killing two birds with one stone, did you?

Enjoy the book and the movie guys! At 533 pages the book more than fulfills the requirement of reading a book over 500 pages. If you are interested we have both the book and the movie here at the Field Library. And if someone gets to us first and it’s checked out, don’t worry! We can have it sent from another library!

If you are doing the Read Harder Challenge and haven’t registered yet, then come on over and register by February 14th.

In the mean time we are also accepting entries for Book Spotlights, meaning that this could be you writing a spotlight. Think about it! If you are interested please come see me at the adult reference desk.

Until then, May the odds be ever in your favor!

The Field Library has…..

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a good week! With the kick-off for The Field Games-Read Harder Challenge a lot of you have been very interested in the challenge. For the challenge, one of the person to check off is to read a Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic novel.

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic novels that The Field Library has the following titles. Have another book in mind? Don’t worry, come to the adult reference desk and ask for a book! Let us know what you want to read and we’ll make it happen!

 

  • The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
  • The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
  • Only Ever Yours by Louise O’neill
  • The Giver series by Lois by Lowry (Also a middle-grade novel)
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  • The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
  • The Legend Series by Marie Lu
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Mayer
  • Matched series by Allyson Condie
  • The Selection series by Kiera Cass
  • The 100 series by Kass Morgan
  • The Program Series by Suzane Young

Movie Showing-Pitch Perfect

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Hello Everyone!

 

You asked and we listened! We are showing Pitch Perfect at the Field Library. We are showing the movie at The Field Library Gallery.

 

What’s the movie about? Wikipedia says:

At a national a cappella competition, Barden University’s all-female acappella group, the Barden Bellas, perform well until Aubrey Posen (Anna Camp) vomits on stage during her solo. They are publicly humiliated, losing any chance of winning. Four months later, newly arrived Barden freshman Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) has no desire to attend college, but she is forced to do so by her father (John Benjamin Hickey), a professor at the university, with whom Beca has a strained relationship. Wishing she could instead pursue a career as a music producer, Beca spends her time making mash-up mixes of songs and takes up an internship at the school radio station, where she gets to know fellow freshman Jesse Swanson (Skylar Astin).

This movie is PG-13. The event is free and snacks will be provided.

Read Harder: Book Spotlight

Happy New Year everyone!

To get the Field Library Teens started on the Read Harder Challenge 2016 #FieldRHC2016 we are starting our first book. This book covers the challenge to read a Distopian/Apocalyptic novel. Nowadays there are plenty of novels that can fit that bill. Many of those books have become movies. Many of these books are scary and mirror real life events or rather what they could become.

With that being said our new book spotlight for the Read Harder Challenge is….(Drum Roll)

 

 

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Yes, that is the least creepiest cover I could find

“Only Ever Yours” by Louise O’Neill follows frieda(There’s a reason her name isn’t capitalized), a young girl who was genetically modified to be the ‘perfect’ girl. She lives in a society where women can only be three things; a companion, a concubine, or a chasity. Women strive to be a companion because a companion offers the most freedom in a limited world. To be a companion is to be ranked in your class as the most beautiful girl. For some it’s a matter of life or death. As frieda and her best friend isabel navigate through their final year they learn about what truly matters to them.

This book scared me. There are a lot of cut-throat consequences to judging your worth simply on how you look in this world and this novel was a good estimation of the extreme. These girls are weighed daily and ranked on their appearance constantly. They are encouraged to insult one another in order to improve. A large part of this novel’s charm is when it borrows from our current culture. There are many situations in the novel that mirror celebrity culture; including but not limited to a parody of “Keeping up with the Kardasians” right in the book. This book carries a message about physical and mental agency that I haven’t seen in a YA book in recent years. I read this entire novel on Christmas Eve while my entire family was experiencing holiday cheer.

While this novel is a gem I warn you that this novel does have trigger warnings. There is mentions of behaviors related to eating disorders. I recommend if you are triggered by that to proceed with caution.

If you liked this book you may also like the classic novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. “The Handmaid’s tale” a novel that follows Offred, a woman who is in a system where her worth is measured by her fertility. She was a wife and a mother until the republic of Gilead came to pass.

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If you decide to read this book let us know! Remember we are still taking registration for The Field Games: Read Harder Challenge. Registration will be accepted until February 14th.

 

Read Harder Challenge Rules

Read Harder Challenge Rules

  1. The reading challenge will be adults (18+) vs. Teens (12-17) 17 year olds who have their 18th birthday during 2016 will still be counted as teens.
  2. Register at the adult circulation desk by February 14th in order to compete for your division.
  3. When Registering please provide an email or phone number in order for updates.
  4. Updates will be accepted from January 1st to December 1st 2016
  5. You may combine categories however number of books read in your division will determine which division wins. You may read from the same category multiple times.
  6. As you update the “Read Harder Challenge” you must update at the adult circulation desk periodically.
  7. Updates for the Read Harder Challenge need to be in by December 1st 2016 . On your last update you will be asked to RSVP for the RHC Party.
  8. Books read will be accepted on an honor system but do not abuse the privilege. In short, no cheating!
  9. During the RHC there will be Readers Spotlights both on the Adult and Teen Field blog. Those interested will have a chance to be photographed with their book. Those who choose the spotlight will be asked to write a short paragraph summarizing their book (No spoilers). The paragraph and a photograph or a picture of the book will be featured on the blog.
  10. Teens who want to be featured on Readers Spotlight will be asked to submit a photo release if they do not have one on file with The Field Library.
  11. If you share this on Social Media tag us with the hashtag #FieldRHC2016
  12. Winners will be awarded a certificate and an invitation to the RHC finishing party.
  13. Have fun!


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