Tag Archives: movies

Can’t Get Enough Mr. Darcy?

It is a truth universally known that authors take inspiration from works they have read and stories they have heard and loved, this is why there are so many retellings of our favourite stories. Fairy tales and Greek and Roman mythologies are often re-told thousands of times over with unique settings and plots in each version that speak to the author’s and society’s views at the time. Whether they were written to teach lessons as many of Hans Christian Andersen’s tales were or to explain the name of a flower which grows by a pond, all were influenced by how society was perceived at different points in time.

I’m always interested in retellings of fairy tales and mythologies whether they are Young Adult, Children’s or Adult novels, however I am also very much interested in retellings of Classic stories especially those from Jane Austen. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has been retold many times over and is still being retold in novels and they themselves are being retold in films. If you are a fan of the classic novel, have read it countless times and are looking for something similar but slightly different, give these books and series a try! Or if you haven’t read the original source material, request your copy here.

Pride & Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

ppz Did you ever read Pride and Prejudice and think, what this books needs is zombies? If so, this book is for you, if not, give it a try, it may surprise you! Keeping the same text but altering it slightly to include a zombie plague that has overrun England and a warrior Elizabeth Bennet, Grahame-Smith’s novel is a wonderful and fun take on the classic with some fantastic illustrations to boot. There is also a film version of the novel that came out recently which you can also check out, though it veers a bit from its source material it’s still a fun picture.

  Austenland by Shannon Hale

austenland

Ever fantasize about living in Jane Austen’s world? In Austenland Jane Hayes is allowed to truly experience the world of Jane Austen thanks to a gift left to her by her recently deceased great aunt. She travels to an exclusive resort where guests can experience the wonder of the regency era and perhaps even some romance of their own. Filled with hilarity, wit and the fun of a Jane Austen novel, Austenland takes many a fan’s dream of meeting Mr. Darcy and turning it into a reality. There has also been a film adaptation of the novel that is also available starring Keri Russell.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries – Hoopla digital

ldiaries  The Lizzie Bennet Diaries started out as a web series available through the Pemberley Digital channel on YouTube but has become a phenomenon. Though there are 100 episodes in total they are only around 3 to 10 minutes in length each. This smart, well-acted modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is sure to delight those new to the series, with Lizzie Bennet as a graduate student working on her thesis by creating a vlog with her friend Charlotte, and those who loved the book and are craving more of the story. I have to say my favourite episodes are those of Lizzie and Charlotte Lucas, the actors are hilarious together and their re-enactments and imitations of the other characters are spot-on! If you enjoyed this series, Hoopla also has available the Emma Approved web series which is based on the Jane Austen novel Emma, and is excellent as well.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

eligibleLizzie is a columnist of a beauty magazine, Jane a yoga instructor, Mary and Kitty cross-fit enthusiasts, and Charles Bingley was on a Bachelor-type show. Yes, this is a recent adaptation of Pride & Prejudice which is a bit more risqué and deals with contemporary issues (as retellings often do) yet possesses all the feels of the original.

 

 

 

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

bjones  Fielding’s beloved novel follows Bridget Jones, a 30-something woman who has a plan for the year to improve her life: lose weight, stop smoking and find a man. In this novel we follow Bridget along through her success and failures as she laments in personal and extremely funny ways to her diary, be prepared to laugh out loud and even think, “I’ve felt that way before.”

 

 

 

lostinaLost in Austen

This film is yet another fun, fan’s dream come true. Amanda Price, a huge P&P enthusiast finds a portal that takes her into the novel where characters are not all they seemed in the book. Unfortunately her escapade changes things, and if she wants to keep the story as-is she must unite Lizzie and Darcy, but what’s a girl to do when she is falling for Darcy and Lizzie becomes transported into her world? A truly enjoyable series with some modern twists and laugh-out-loud moments.

Pride and Prejudice has also inspired many spin-offs and continuations of the series as well as authors considering the novel from Darcy’s point-of-view, which all make for fun reads. Click here to see all that we have to offer.

Last but not least, I can’t forget the wonderful adaptations of the famed novel. Whether you swooned over Colin Firth when he exited the pond, or were entranced with Keira Knightley’s Oscar nominated performance or love both, the library has you covered here!

Let me know some of your favourite retellings of P&P or other classics in the comments below.

Aileen

The Queen of Crime

Very few of us are what we seem.” Agatha Christie

Before your James Pattersons and your Patricia Cornwells, your M.C. Beatons and your Gillian Flynns, there was Agatha Christie.

Agatha Christie wrote what we would call today “Cozy Mysteries”. She wrote them before the term even existed. She pretty much invented and popularized the genre. The elements of a “cozy” mystery remain popular today: Not much “on page” violence or sex, the setting: a small quaint village, preferably seaside, or someplace exotic, like a train or Egypt, and the most important element: an amateur sleuth. Maybe we could call her books “proto-cozy”?

Agatha Christie is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling author of all time, and ranks third in the world for the most widely published books, behind The Bible and Shakespeare.

Agatha Christie, surrounded by some of her 80-plus crime novels.

Her 1926 novel, “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” was voted “best crime novel ever” by the 600 members of the Crime Writers Association in 2013, and her novels “And Then There Were None” and “Murder on the Orient Express” remain favourites to this day.

There has been a sudden surge of interest in Ms. Christie’s writings again. As this recent Globe and Mail article points out, the BBC has greenlit seven new television productions over the next 4 years, Kenneth Branagh is remaking “Murder on the Orient Express” with himself as Poirot, “Twin Peaks” co-creator Mark Frost is developing a new Miss Marple series, and “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes is working on “Crooked House”. That’s a pretty decent resumé for someone who passed away over 40 years ago.

In addition to being a novelist, Agatha Christie wrote 19 plays, which may be one of the reasons she was chosen for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s “Master Playwright Festival” in 2017. Running from February 8-26, there are a number of interesting productions and showings around the city related to Agatha Christie and her life and work.

You can see the whole line-up at RMTC’s website.

The Millennium Library is hosting three free movies related to Agatha Christie during the Festival.

You can start things off by watching the PBS documentary “The Mystery of Agatha Christie”, hosted by David Suchet on February 14.

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Then you can check out a Miss Marple mystery, “Murder She Said” on Wednesday, February 15th.

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On the following Tuesday, February 21, you can see the late great Sir Peter Ustinov as Hercules Poirot in “Death on the Nile”.

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All movies start at 6:30 pm and are in the Carol Shields Auditorium of the Millennium Library downtown.

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2017 Movies which started as Library Books

As the calendar year turns, it’s a great time to reflect back and to look forward. One of my favourite things at this time is to discover new movies on the horizon. Often the best are based on solid novels otherwise known as library books. Which books have been chosen to be made into new, hopefully insightful and thrilling movies in 2017? Many are coming, but here are just a few for your consideration. How best to prepare? Read or reread the book (or at least a good book review).

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Silence by Shusaku Endo

“The most important novel of the acclaimed Japanese author Shusako Endo caused a major controversy in Japan following its publication in 1967. Now with a forward by Martin Scorsese (the movie’s director). A Japanese Catholic, Endo tells the story of two 17th-century missionaries attempting to shore up the oppressed Japanese Christian movement. Father Rodriques has come to Japan to find the truth behind unthinkable rumors that his famous teacher Ferreira has renounced his faith. But after his arrival he discovers that the only way to help the brutally persecuted Christians may be to apostatize himself.” (Publisher summary)
Stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson
Release: January 6

 

Dennis-Lehane.jpgLive By Night by Dennis Lehane

“From New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane comes this epic, unflinching tale of the making and unmaking of a gangster in the Prohibition Era of the Roaring Twenties–now a Warner Bros. movie. Meticulously researched and artfully told, Live by Night is the riveting story of one man’s rise from Boston petty thief to the Gulf Coast’s most successful rum runner, and it proves again that the accolades Lehane consistently receives are well deserved.” (Publisher summary)
Stars Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, and Sienna Miller
Release: January 13

 

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The Gunslinger  by Stephen King

“‘An impressive work of mythic magnitude that may turn out to be Stephen King’s greatest literary achievement’ (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), The Gunslinger is the first volume in the epic Dark Tower Series.

“A #1 national bestseller, The Gunslinger introduces readers to one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations, Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake. Inspired in part by the Robert Browning narrative poem, ‘Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,’ The Gunslinger is ‘a fresh compelling whirlpool of a story that draws one irretrievable to its center’ (Milwaukee Sentinal). It is ‘brilliant and fresh…and will leave you panting for more’ (Booklist).” (Publisher summary)
Stars Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba
Release: July 28

 

The-mountain-between-us-by-charles-martin.jpgThe Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

“Flying together on a storm-ravaged night are a surgeon facing a painful separation from his wife and a young magazine writer on her way to her wedding. When their plane crashes in a frigid and remote mountain wilderness, they must learn, as week follows week without rescue, to rely on each other for their mutual survival.” (Publisher summary)
Stars Idris Elba and Kate Winslet
Release: October 20

 

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Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

“Fourth-grade class clowns George Beard and Harold Hutchins have created the greatest superhero in the history of the elementary school — and now they’re going to bring him to life! Meet Captain Underpants! His true identity is SO secret even HE doesn’t know who he is!” (Publisher summary)
Stars Kevin Hart, Kristen Schaal, and Nick Kroll
Release: June 2

 


It
by Stephen Kingindex.aspx.jpeg

“It’s a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry, the haunting is real. In 1958, the small town of Derry, Maine, is shaken by a series of brutal murders targeting children. That fateful summer, seven kids are drawn together in a fierce bond of friendship to face a force of unspeakable evil. Unsure if they have vanquished the nightmarish creature that lurks in Derry’s sewers, they vow to return should IT ever reappear. Twenty-seven years later, when the murder cycle begins again, they are summoned back to their hometown, reunited for a final, decisive battle against the reawakened evil. Winner of the British Fantasy Award and the bestselling book in America when it was published in 1986, It is Stephen King’s incomparable epic about evil in all its forms and that which it cannot destroy.” (Publisher summary)
Stars Bill Skarsgard, Finn Wolfhard, and Jaeden Lieberher
Release: September 8

 

The-Breadwinner-by-Deborah-Ellis.jpgThe Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

“Afghanistan: Parvana’s father is arrested and taken away by the Taliban soldiers. Under Taliban law, women and girls are not allowed to leave the house on their own. Parvana, her mother, and sisters are prisoners in their own home. With no man to go out to buy food, they face starvation. So Parvana must pretend to be a boy to save her family. It is a dangerous plan, but their only chance. In fear, she goes out – and witnesses the horror of avoiding landmines, and the brutality of the Taliban. She suffers beatings and the desperation of trying to survive. But even in despair lies hope.” (Publisher summary)
Stars Soma Bhatia, Ali Kazmi and Kane Mahon
Release: 2017

 


The Long Home
by William GayThe-Long-Home-by-William-Gay.jpg

“In a literary voice that is both original and powerfully unsettling, William Gay tells the story of Nathan Winer, a young and headstrong Tennessee carpenter who lost his father years ago to a human evil that is greater and closer at hand than any the boy can imagine – until he learns of it first-hand.” (Publisher summary)
Stars James Franco, Josh Hartnett, Josh Hutcherson, Ashton Kutcher, Timothy Hutton and Courtney Love
Release: 2017

Happy reading and viewing!

  • Lyle

Books to Movies: The Rest of 2016

One of my hobbies is discovering quality movies that have been adapted from good novels. As you already know, the book and the movie are invariably different creatures; they can never be the same in every way. They may contain roughly the same story, but be told in different styles with quite different meanings! Both can be interesting and potentially great in their own way; often, just one is. I remember loving John Steinbeck’s awesome epic tale East of Eden and then being terribly disappointed afterwards in the James Dean movie based on the book. (Now there is talk of a remake.)

Often, if you’ve read the book first you probably want to see the movie based on it. I do. Or if you enjoyed the movie, you might like to read the book if you have the time. I find the fun part debating with friends about how the book and the movie are different or the same, and learning something about art and life in the process.

So what do we have to look forward to in the books adapted for film category for the 2nd half of 2016? The links below are to books in our collection that are soon to be released as movies. The summary (taken from imdb.com, usually) tells you more about movie and the release date lets you know when you can expect to see it in theatres. My favourites on this list are The Girl on the Train, Queen of Katwe, and Silence. What are yours?

 

TheBFG
The BFG by Roald Dahl (July 1)

“Directed by Steven Spielberg, the upcoming fantasy adventure flick tells the story of Sophie, who encounters the Big Friendly Giant. Despite his intimidating appearance, the BFG turns out to be a kind-hearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because he, unlike his peers, refuses to eat boys and girls. Mark Rylance stars as the BFG, while Ruby Barnhill plays Sophie. Bill Hader, Penelope Winton, Rebecca Hall, and Jermaine Clement also co-star.”

LightBetweenOceans
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (September 2)

“A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat. Directed by Derek Cianfrance. Stars Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, and Rachel Weisz.”


QueenKatweQueen of Katwe by Tim Crothers (September 23)

“The film, inspired by Tim Crother’s book of the same name, chronicles the life of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan teen chess prodigy who becomes a Woman Candidate Master after her performances at World Chess Olympiads. Directed by Tim Crothers. Stars David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, and Charity Rose Pimer.”

PeregrinesChildren
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs (September 30)

“When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepens as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers. Directed by Tim Burton. Stars Eva Green, Ella Purnell, and Kim Dickens.”


GirlTrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (October 7)

“The Girl on the Train is the story of Rachel Watson’s post-divorce. Every day, she takes the train into work in London, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down – Megan and Scott Hipwell. She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. Directed by Tate Taylor. Stars Laura Prepon, Emily Blunt, and Rebecca Ferguson.”

MonsterCalls
A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness (October 14)

“Based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Patrick Ness, the movie will follow the story of Conor, a young boy who is struggling to cope with his mother’s terminal illness and is repeatedly visited in the middle of the night by a monster who tells stories. Directed by J.A. Bayona. Stars Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson, and Sigourney Weaver.”

Inferno
Inferno by Dan Brown (October 28)

“When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot. Directed by Ron Howard. Stars Tom Hanks, Ben Foster, and Felicity Jones.”

FantasticBeasts


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
by J.K. Rowling (November 18)

“The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. Directed by David Yates. Stars Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, and Colin Farrell.”

SilenceSilence by Shusaku Endo (December 22)

“In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Stars Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, and Andrew Garfield.”

 

These last two don’t have release dates yet, but there’s a good chance they’ll be out before the end of the year.

LostCityZ
The Lost City of Z by David Grann (late 2016)

“In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Directed by James Gray. Stars Tom Holland, Charlie Hunnam, and Robert Pattinson.”


TheCircleThe Circle by Dave Eggers (late 2016)

“College graduate Mae Holland joins a powerful Internet company at the beginning of its descent. The timely novel grapples with technology, the future of the industry, and whether tech companies have too much power. Directed by James Ponsoldt. Stars Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and Karen Gillan.”

Enjoy!

  • Lyle

“Great Scott!”

Clock
As summer winds down, the nights get cooler, and we realize another eight months of cold is about to begin, I can’t help but wish I could stop time, rewind back to May, or fast forward through the winter.

Time travel has long been a popular sub-genre of science fiction in books as well as on the big screen. H. G. Wells spearheaded the movement (and arguably the genre itself) with his classic novella The Time Machine. In this story, the Time Traveler ventures eons into the future and is surprised and disturbed by the disparity between the upper and lower classes, which now form two separate species.

replayAudrey Niffenegger’s novel The Time Traveler’s Wife is about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel, and his wife, who is forced to cope with his unpredictable absences. Replay by Ken Grimwood tells the story of a 43-year-old man who dies and awakens in his 18-year-old body. Some say this novel was a precursor for the comedic time-loop film, and one of my personal favourites, Groundhog Day.

groundhogMany other films have aimed to capture the thrill of time travel. Michael J. Fox won our hearts as he drove the DeLorean from 1985 to 1955 in Back to the Future. Woody Allen brought our favourite writers of the 1920’s to life in Midnight in Paris. Arnold Schwarzenegger even used time travel to go back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor in The Terminator!

Current research on time travel argues it is possible to bend time if we can travel faster than the speed of light. Stephen Hawking outlines this theory, along with others, in his famous essay How to Build a Time Machine. Hawking does an excellent job of breaking down cosmology and fourth dimensions into layman’s terms: “All you need is a wormhole, the Large Hadron Collider or a rocket that goes really, really fast.”

futureYes, the grass is always greener, but travelling back to fix a mistake, or fast forwarding to a cool, futuristic city seems pretty tempting. Sadly for us, the ability to time travel isn’t readily available yet, so reading about it in our favourite books will have to do for now. But, if we stop and think, we might find we do time travel in our own small ways. Every time we recycle a fashion trend from the 90s, listen to vinyl, or pore over pictures on our iPhones. Every time we read about the past and dream about the future. We don’t need the DeLorean to time travel – just our imaginations.

*Check out our “Great Scott!” display on the main floor at Millennium Library for more materials on time travel, outer space, and science fiction.

Brittany

Mysteries becoming Movies

If you’re not currently reading a (hopefully) great mystery novel this summer, you may be planning to soon as you head off to the cottage or beach, or enter a well-earned staycation at home. But which mystery books are being turned into worthwhile movies as we speak? What are the films on the horizon that may tempt us to read the book now – potentially during this summer’s vacation – before we see it on Netflix or at the theatre down the road?

Here are just a few of these mysteries-turned-movies that will soon be released. When I say ‘soon’, this may mean a 2016 release date!

One of my most anticipated movies is the new Sherlock Holmes movie. No, not one of the Benedict Cumberbatch TV movies, although they are excellent, especially if you like frenetic place, and neither is it a new installment of the Robert Downey Jr. version that leaves me underwhelmed. I’m talking here about an Ian McKellen – of Gandolf fame – Holmes, who is offering his charming “gravitas” to the role. I’m hoping for great things!

MV5BMTg5MjE0Njk0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTgwMjQ4NTE@._V1_SX214_AL_Mr. Holmes based on the books by Arthur Conan Doyle
(Starring Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada)
“A new twist on the world’s most famous detective. 1947, an aging Sherlock Holmes returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love — before it’s too late.”

519-o3RWj3L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir by Stephen Elliott
(Starring Amber Heard, James Franco, Christian Slater)
“Part memoir, part true-crime expose, this book balances two distinct stories: that of the Adderall-addicted author Stephen Elliot and his estranged relationship with his father; and coverage of the trial of computer programmer Hans Reiser, who was accused of killing his mail-order Russian bride/ex-wife, Nina. Ultimately, this novel explores the reality of addiction, the mind of a narcissistic killer, and what it means to really get to know your true self.”

1405885413062The Martian by Andy Weir
(Starring Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, and Matt Damon)
“For fans of this year’s Gravity, Andy Weir’s tale of astronaut Mark Watney, who becomes the first person to walk on Mars and likely the first to die, is for you. The book chronicles his struggle to survive as he’s stranded on the deserted planet for over a year.”

41bWDtBLTLLFrankenstein by Mary Shelley
(Starring Andrew Scott, Daniel Radcliffe, and James McAvoy)
“It’d be good to brush up on the classic Frankenstein tale before watching this contemporary film adaptation that’s told from the perspective of the hunchbacked young assistant, Igor. Here, we get an inside look at the dark origins of the conflicted young man and the early beginnings of his friendship with the young medical student, Viktor Von Frankenstein. Definitely a book (and movie) to enjoy with the lights on.” Note: The movie will be titled Victor Frankenstein.

81sc7DMQEVL._SL1500_Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
(Starring Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Nicholas Hoult)
“(This) year’s Gone Girl, this dark novel follows the story of Libby Day, whose mother and sisters were murdered in ‘The Satan Sacrifice’ of Kansas when she was just 7 years old. Day testified against her 15-year-old brother and is responsible for putting him in prison for life. Now, 24 years later, a secret society obsessed with absolving her brother of the crime hires Day to reconnect with the individuals associated with the crime and unearth what really happened.”

sand-1517641-1Cell by Stephen King
(Starring Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, and Isabelle Fuhrman)
The Walking Dead enthusiasts will be sucked into this horror/sci-fi tale where a signal transmitted through cell phones wipes the brains of millions of people around the world, turning them into animalistic zombies. We follow along as Clayton Riddel, a comic book artist who wasn’t affected by the plague, struggles to survive as he searches for his estranged wife and young son.”

 

MV5BNTUzNzczODQ1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDkxNzgxNjE@._V1_SX214_AL_The Secret in their Eyes by Eduardo Sacheri
(Starring Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Dean Norris)
“A tight-knit team of FBI investigators, along with their District Attorney supervisor, is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered.”

black-mass-book-cover1Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill
(Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Johnny Depp, and Joel Edgerton)
“This true-crime novel tells the story of South Boston brothers, Jim “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious gangster, and Billy Bulger, a political bigwig and president of the state Senate. When their childhood friend and now FBI agent, John Connolly, returns to Boston in the ’70s to take down the Italian Mafia, Whitey gets pulled into being an informant in exchange for protection. But things quickly spiral out of control when Whitey starts manipulating Connolly and a group of corrupt FBI agents, leading to one of the worst scandals in FBI history.”

86236Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
(Starring Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella)
“In the not too distant future, two young women who live in a remote ancient forest discover the world around them is on the bring of an apocalypse. Informed only by rumor, they fight intruders, disease, loneliness & starvation.”

missperegrine_334x518Miss Peregrine’s Home for Unusual Children by Ransom Riggs
(Starring Evan Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Asa Butterfield – 2016 release)
“Teenager Jacob follows clues that take him to a mysterious island, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores the abandoned bedrooms and hallways, he discovers that its former occupants were far more than peculiar; they possessed incredible powers. And they may still be alive.”

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Room by Emma Donoghue 
(Starring Brie Larson, William H. Macy, Jacob Tremblay – release TBA)
About a kidnapped woman living in captivity in a small room with her 5-year-old son. “Though the story’s chilling circumstances reflects the horrors endured by tabloid-famous abductees, Donoghue avoids all sensationalism. Instead, she gracefully distills what it means to be a mother – and what it’s like for a child whose entire world measures just 11 x 11.”

– Lyle

Books turning into Movies in 2015

Watching your favourite book as a movie is like watching your child turn into something you weren’t expecting. You want to hold on to what was, but you know you have to let what “is” be free.

Recently I watched the Danish film adaptation of Jussi Adler-Olsen’s crime-thriller The Keeper of Lost Causes. The movie is actually quite good, but I first cringed when I saw the film version of my favourite character, Carl Morck the bumbling, wildly sarcastic cop who solves cold cases. My imagination of who he  needed to be was retooled when I saw him on the screen – he wasn’t as funny and awkward as I thought he was. But he was still Carl, a newly reimagined character who had more subtle contours in his personality. I learned to like the new Carl, and that made all the difference. By the way, I recommend the movie (but only if you like subtitles)!

Here are some notable books being made into (hopefully) interesting movies this year:

Serena-Ron-Rash

Serena: “Newlyweds George and Serena move from Boston to North Carolina in 1929 to start a timber business. The pair are ruthless in building their empire, and when Serena finds out that she can’t have children, she sets out to kill George’s illegitimate son.” Based on the novel from noted Southern author Ron Rash.

Zookeeper-Wife-Diane-Ackerman

The Zookeeper’s Wife: “This true story follows the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, who helped to save hundreds of people from the Nazis in World War II by smuggling them into empty cages.” Based on the novel by Diane Ackerman.

Walk-Woods-Bill-Bryson A Walk in the Woods: “The humorous memoir follows an Iowa-born man who returns to America after 20 years in England to walk the Appalachian Trail.” Based on the memoir by Bill Bryson.

 

Silence-Shusaku-Endo

Silence: “Set in 17th-century Japan, the book follows the story of Jesuits who are trying to bring Christianity into Japan.” Based on the book by Shusaku Endu.

 

Secret-Eyes-Eduardo-Sacheri
The Secret in Their Eyes: “An M15 agent trying to solve a murder works for the FBI and uncovers a terrifying new truth.” Based on the book by Eduardo Sacheri.

 

Room-Emma-Donoghue

Room: “A 5-year-old boy grows up in a small shed, which becomes the only world he knows because his mother hides the truth — they’re being held captive.” Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue.

 

Miss-Peregrine-Home-Peculiar-Children-Ransom-Riggs
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: “In this YA novel, a teenager named Jacob explores the ruins of a strange house on an island near Wales.” Based on the book by Ransom Riggs. The movie may be delayed until 2016.

Martian-Andy-WeirThe Martian: “Astronaut Mark Watney gets stranded on Mars and must survive alone while NASA tries to rescue him in this sci-fi novel.” Based on the fantastic novel, in more ways than one, by Andy Weir.

 

Hologram-King-Dave-Eggers
A Hologram for the King: “A struggling businessman heads to Saudi Arabia for a fight to save his finances, hoping to steer clear of foreclosure and pay his daughter’s college tuition.” Based on the book by Dave Eggers.

Frankenstein-Mary-Shelley
Frankenstein (Movie title is ‘Victor Frankenstein’): “Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Victor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.”  Note that Igor is not actually in the original novel but a welcome addition in the early movie versions.

Far-From-Madding-Crowd-Thomas-Hardy
Far from the Madding Crowd: “A young woman named Bathsheba Everdene has to deal with the difficult, sometimes tragic consequences of being in a relationship with three different suitors at the same time.” Based on the novel by Thomas Hardy.

Dark-Places-Gillian-FlynnDark Places: “This thriller from the author of Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn) tells the story of Libby Day, whose mother and sisters were murdered at the family’s farmhouse when she was only seven. Her testimony sent her older brother, Ben, to prison for life, and 25 years later, Libby decides to meet with the Kill Club, a group of crime enthusiasts who investigate the case and force her to rethink what really happened.”

Book-Common-Prayer-Joan-Didion
A Book of Common Prayer: “An American woman travels to Central America to reunite with her fugitive daughter. The country is on the brink of a violent revolution, and she is anything but prepared for what she sees.” Based on the novel by Joan Didion.

Black-Mass-Dick-Lehr-Gerard-ONeill
Black Mass: “The true crime novel follows the infamous mobster Whitey Bulger, the head of the Irish mob in the ’70s, and his relationship with childhood friend John Connolly, who grew up to work for the FBI.” Based on the novel by Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill.

Secret-Scripture-Sebastian-Barry
The Secret Scripture: “A 100-year-old mental patient, Roseanne McNulty investigates her past and unearths some troubling memories.” Based on the novel by Sebastian Barry.

More movie-based-on-book descriptions at PopSugar.

– Lyle

It’s Getting Better All the Time

EnigmaIn a pivotal scene in the movie The Imitation Game actor Benedict Cumberbatch (playing mathematician/proto-computer scientist Alan Turing) gets punched in the face by an angry colleague.  He explains that although the violent act was a useless action, “violence makes you feel good”.  The movie is based on Andrew Hodges’ book Alan Turing, the Enigma: The Book That Inspired the Film ‘The Imitation Game’ (first published in 1983, reprinted 2014).  Although the movie is the tracing of the historic and transformative World War II code breaking work completed by top-secret British Intelligence personnel, it also focuses on Turing’s belief that the “cracking” of the German codes could not be unravelled by any one human mind but only through rigid statistical analysis and mechanical computation. His device known as the “Turing Machine” was a prototype of what was to bec0me the computer.

AngelsThe other fascinating parallel in the movie is Turing the outsider, the outcast, the nonconformist – the easy target to be bullied as well as a victim of violence. In many ways this observation of violence, an action that is often useless and almost always destructive, is at the heart of Steven Pinker’s, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.  Pinker’s position is human nature has not changed, but rather, what has changed is human institutions like government, literacy, economic and cultural exchange between societies which have moderated the “natural impulse” to violence. As a biologist he is committed to grounding human actions to natural biological processes; this could be found in earlier works such as The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature and The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language.

The spread of manners, etiquette, literacy and commerce in addition to how they have shaped “human progress” was not invented or discovered by biologists. Many of these insights have been documented by historians and others in the humanities in the movement known as Modernism.  Examples include Niall Ferguson’s Civilization: The West and the Rest Felipe Fernandez-Armesto’s Millennium: [A History of Our Last Thousand Years] and Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age

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Secular

 

 

 

 

FieldsA different perspective of our historical and contemporary legacy of violence could be found in Karen Armstrong’s latest book Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence.  Armstrong notes when you break down and assess examples of violence in history, it is not religion per se but political dogma that lies underneath the true source of conflict. By way of contrast to Pinker is the viewpoint that it is not necessarily the forces of impersonal government and business tempering the violent impulses clans, tribes, or warlords have but the politics of domination, humiliation, and the blind will for power that drives humans to violence. These are universal and timeless themes, whether discussing the Peloponnesian War or dealing with modern terrorism.  It is not a question of “civilizing” or “conquering” but of continually questioning and talking, and at all cost holding back the desire for violence just because “it makes us feel good”.

Phil D.

Tech Tips & News for April

Phew, it’s been a busy few months around here! First we launched our RBDigital/Zinio eMagazines collection, and now we’re launching two new library services – a new library catalogue interface and a new streaming/download service for movies, music and audiobooks.  On top of that, we’re keeping tabs on new updates to existing services like OverDrive to make sure that you have the best patron experience possible. Here’s a run-down of all the recent developments in the “online” part of Winnipeg Public Library’s services:

A New Search Interface

We’ve been quite busy putting the finishing touches on our new library catalogue. If you haven’t explored it yet, there’s never been a better time, because starting today (April 22, 2014) all of our website links are set to direct you to the new site instead of the old one. If you’re curious about the new site and would like a guided tour, we’ve got that covered! Our quick visual catalogue tour covers all the basics of the new search interface. For those among us who like digging into the “how does it work” details, there’s also an extensive help document that covers all the functions and options of the catalogue/account system. As with any new product roll-out, there are bound to be kinks found and adaptations to be made after the launch. At WPL, we’re proud of our customer-driven focus and as such, welcome any feedback that you might have on the new search interface. If there’s a function that you think is missing, or would like to see added, let us know; if it’s not something that can be added at this time, we’ll try to add it in future upgrades!

What’s all the Hoopla? New Video and Music Streaming Service

banner-no-textOn April 14, Winnipeg Public Library joined forces with hoopla, an innovative new service that partners with local public libraries to bring you thousands of movies, television, music, and audiobook titles for free. All you need is your library card; enter your barcode and PIN (last four digits of your phone number) and you’ll be able to register for a hoopla digital account.

Your hoopla account allows you to borrow 10 digital items per month, and the choices range from movies and TV episodes to music (all genres, including popular chart-toppers) and audiobooks. You borrow the items for a period of time, and during that time you get to listen to them or watch them on your computer any time you want, as much as you want. If you’re planning on watching your movies/TV on a computer, you’ll need to install the Widevine plugin in your browser, as the service uses it to stream the content. You can also install the hoopla app on your mobile device and save your content for offline viewing/listening, so you can take your content with you wherever you go during your lending period. That means you can check out a movie, save it on your iPad and watch it on the plane or on your road trip!

For more details, check out our FAQ page.

Changes to the OverDrive Media Console App

OverDrive Account Screenshot

OverDrive Account splash screen on Android

In mid-April, OverDrive released the latest update to their OverDrive Media Console App for iPad/iPhone and Android. The new version includes a stronger integration of the “OverDrive Account” feature, something that hasn’t been pushed heavily by the app before. Regular users of the app might be surprised to be asked to “sign in” the first time they open the app after installing the update, and that’s because the “sign-in” process is not connected to any library account you’ve created before. An “OverDrive Account” is separate from your Library account (you sign up using an email address and new password) and is designed to allow users to sync their reading progress across several devices. The sign-up has actually been available for over a year now, but has remained hidden as a option in the Settings menu that most people chose to ignore, unless they were specifically looking for ways to read titles on more than one device.

OverDrive Account Screenshot

OverDrive Account splash screen on an iPhone

Now, the app has been modified to put the account sign up on the splash screen, making it look like a required step. It’s not; you can skip it and never be asked to sign up again, just by tapping the “Do this later” option that appears under the Sign in /Sign Up buttons on the splash screen. If you do want to sign up for the OverDrive Account, though, tap the Sign up button and you’ll be taken to a page where you can enter your email address and a new password, which will be stored on the OverDrive cloud server and will allow your reading progress to be updated on all the devices that you use to read your books. That means that if you have an iPad and an iPhone both running OverDrive, you can start reading on the larger screen at breakfast, then leave for work and pick up where you left off reading while you’re riding the bus. Signing in to your OverDrive Account on a new device will also take care of the “Adobe ID” authorization on the new device, as that info is stored in your cloud account. If there are questions or issues, please send them to us as we’re always happy to offer help/troubleshooting tips. Happy eReading! – Sophie

January is (unofficial) Jane Eyre month

And we’re back! Across the city, winter programming for adults and kids is getting under way. (I can’t pass up the chance to specifically mention our Skywalk series of talks and concerts, our free Folk Fest concerts, and our variety of movie screenings).

Here at Millennium, this means the return of our popular From Page to Stage series with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. This series offers casual talks about the process of turning a book into a play.  They are currently mounting an adaptation of the beloved classic Jane Eyre and we thought we’d have some talks about that!

**Important note: it was necessary to switch the dates for these programs after the newsletter went to print, so the details in the newsletter are no longer accurate.

Jane Eyre

Tuesday, January 21, 12:10 pm: Vanessa Warne (Associate Professor and Graduate Chair in the Department of English, Film and Theatre at the University of Manitoba) will discuss the novel and what may explain it’s continuing popularity.

Tuesday, January 28, 12:10 pm: The two leads in RMTC’s new production, Jennifer Dzialoszynski (Jane Eyre) and Tim Campbell (Edward Rochester), will discuss playing the classic romantic couple.

Tim Campbell and Jennifer Dzialoszynski in MTC's Jane Eyre. Photo by Bruce Monk

Tim Campbell and Jennifer Dzialoszynski in MTC’s Jane Eyre. Photo by Bruce Monk

In excitement and anticipation of all this, and because this is what we do, we put together a list of related books (and movies) that you might enjoy. Some are inspired by the Jane Eyre story, some are inspired by the author of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë, and her remarkable novelist sisters, and some offer a little more information about the life and times of both the fictional, and the very real, characters.

Explore more of the Jane Eyre story

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
The remarkable, dark, and compelling story of Antoinette Cosway, Creole heiress from the West Indies, who becomes the first Mrs. Edward Rochestor and brings ruin to Thornfield Hall.

FlightThe Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesay
An intelligent and passionate orphan triumphs over misfortune and a largely uncaring world. Gemma Hardy is Jane Eyre set in Scotland and the Orkney Islands in the 1950s and 60s, with more than enough originality to make the familiar story new again.

Jane Eyre (1944 film adaptation)
With Aldous Huxley collaborating on the screenplay, and Orson Welles influencing the script and the filming (and starring as Rochester), this dark and moody adaptation is still thought of as one of the best.

Jane Eyre (2011 film adaptation)
Cary Fukunaga directs a popular and lauded adaptation, with Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester and Mia Wasikowska as what some consider the best Jane yet.

Explore the Brontës – fiction inspired by Charlotte and her sisters

BecomingBecoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler
A vision of what life could have been like in the secluded Brontë home, from the thoughts of the Brontë patriarch to the family nurse, from boarding school deaths to the genesis of the Jane Eyre character, and the interrelationship between life and fiction.

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë by Syrie James
This fictional diary turns Charlotte into a romantic protagonist in her own right. The setting is the moody moors of Yorkshire. Charlotte and her sisters are desperately trying to handle their peculiar father, who is slowly losing his eyesight, and a brother with a drug problem. The plot thickens with the introduction of Arthur Nicholls, a mysterious, and intriguing, new neighbor.

Explore the Brontës – what we really know about them

LifeThe Life of Charlotte Brontë Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
The official biography of Charlotte by a fellow female Victorian novelist, who also happened to be her friend, and so had access to personal letters, interviews, and her own observations.

The Brontë Myth by Lucasta Miller
The Brontës have inspired more works (biographies, plays, movies, and novels) than they themselves produced, and have reached what could be argued is cult status. This work tracks the different ways they have been and continue to be portrayed and analyzed, whether romantic, feminist, Marxist, or postfeminist.

VictorianThe Victorian House: Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed by Judith Flanders
Running water, stoves, flush toilets – even toilet paper – arrived slowly throughout the century, and only to the prosperous. See the not-too-charming manual labour behind the outward elegance, with a room by room tour of everyday life in a Victorian home; From childbirth in the master bedroom, through the scullery, kitchen, and dining room (cleaning, dining and entertaining) and upwards, ending in the sickroom and death.

And on that cheerful note – hope you find something you enjoy!