Let me tell you, as a 90s child, I have been thoroughly enjoying the Disney movie remakes! However, I was incredibly skeptical of the 2019 Lion King remake. Very rarely am I ever impressed by computer animation, and watching an entire film made up of computer generated animals sounded awful. But, the film was great. It took me a while to get used to the animals because there was something a little too real about them. But a few moments into the movie I was hooked. The new film followed the old film storyline pretty closely, which was nice. I really loved the new personalities of Timon and Pumbaa. Made for some laugh out loud moments. And, the soundtrack was great as well!
Here’s a book for my fellow 90s kids. I don’t read many celebrity biographies. I am not crazy about celebrities. I am skeptical that they’re always trying to sell their brand or product and they’ll tailor their biography around the aforementioned. I have, however, read all the books put out by the cast of the television show Full House. I just love that show! And while I enjoyed most of the biographies, Barber’s was the best. Barber is real, honest and funny. She also writes well, which helps! I plowed through the book in two sittings. It felt like talking with a close, down-to-earth friend. Kudos to her for keeping it real throughout the whole book. No subject was off limits yet, she remained respectful while sharing very personal stories about her relationships. She shares lots of inside information about her acting days on set and also her personal journey with anxiety. Kudos to her. – Kristin
My Lady’s Choosing
by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris
In honor of Valentine’s Day I thought I would mix it up by trying something completely different. By different I mean a choose-your-own-romance novel that resembles Jane Austen on steroids. Normally I am not enraptured by this sort of work, but what I found interesting was the format. Typically narratives with branching pathways are reserved for adventure tales and not deciding who the heroine rides off into the sunset with. Essentially it takes a staple of childhood and updates it for a more mature audience and it proves to be fun.
There are four main love interest options (a few more if you count some of the side characters that are thrown in here and there.) You are the plucky but poor attendant of a noblewoman until your life takes a turn for the better and you are freed from her service. There’s the bitingly witty Sir Benedict Granville, the absurdly manly horseman Captain Angus McTaggert, the bad boy Lord Garraway Craven, and the charming explorer Lady Evangeline. Each plot line has their own little intrigue to entice the reader. The path you choose depends largely on whether you’re into Darcy and Elizabeth style banter, teaching war orphans, being a governess to the children of a house with a dark secret, or egyptology.
While this book is not going to win any awards based on literary merit, it’s short and sweet. Like a lot of choose-your-own books and games, the decisions that you make are often reflective of you as a person. When I read My Lady’s Choosing, I was specifically aiming to go to Egypt with Lady Evangeline and found myself ending up with an outcome that was completely unexpected. –Katie
My name is Jackie Katz. I have been married to the love of my life, Steve, for 35 years!! We were engaged after dating for only 5 days. I look forward to our weekends and spending time together. I enjoy knitting, reading, working in my garden, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. I have three grown sons that make me proud every day. They live in New York City and Southern California. Our time together is the highlight of my life!
Steve and I moved to Rhode Island from California ten years ago. We love living in beautiful Bristol. I love the four seasons and the calm and quiet of living in a small town. My favorite season is fall. I actually love winter and even enjoy a massive snow storm.
Libraries have always been my happy place. I have worked in academic libraries for over 25 years. I worked in an elementary school library for 18 years in California. When we moved to Rhode Island I worked in the Portsmouth High School Library. I currently work in the Main Library at Rogers Williams University. I love working with our students, faculty, and staff to help them with their research, studies, and library needs.
I am honored to be one of the newer Board of Trustee members. I am excited to help continue making Rogers Free Library the heart and soul of Bristol. I enjoy spending Thursday evenings doing my Mrs. Katz and Her Hats Storytime in the children’s room. Interacting with the children and their families warms my heart and reminds me how important libraries are to our families as well as our community.
I admire an author who writes a children’s book that works both as a great read-aloud while also appealing to youngsters just graduating from the easier beginning reader books. Local author Jamie Michalak has one such book with Frank and Bean.
In less than 50 pages and four short chapters we meet Frank, an introverted fellow who craves the peace and quiet required to write in his secret notebook, and Bean, who arrives on the scene with seemingly every instrument known to man. Not surprisingly, Frank (who if you haven’t already guessed is a frankfurter), is not happy about the intrusion. Bean (yes, the musical fruit) honks and toots and vrooms, loudly. (He’s also brought his motorcycle.) This is not auspicious for a workable relationship. And yet.
Bean is on a quest. And it turns out that Frank has the poetry that Bean is seeking to turn his (loud) musical musings into song. The humorous illustrations of Bob Kolar enhance this humorous yet warm story of the beginnings of friendship.
A sure winner with a gentle message.
By Nancy Kellner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dread Nation is a historical fiction novel – featuring zombies. Yes, zombies were quite popular about a decade ago and got pretty played out, but now they’re back and I’m not bored by them. Ireland brought them into the story in a unique way and made me curious about how they came to be. They were not the focus of the story, so she let the characters and plot shine first then the creepy undead shamble along behind.
Our main character was born to the lady of a plantation, but she was brought up loved and educated. She is a strong, learned woman of colour – even if she is not treated that way by the people of the time. Despite the fact that this is historical fiction, it’s so poignant in our current climate and should make readers…
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Long after I watched it, I still think about The Florida Project from 2017 staring Willem Dafoe. The small budget sleeper which received many acting nominations and awards for Dafoe was recognized by both the National Board of Review and American Film Institute as one of the top 10 films of the year in 2017.
Set in Florida the story centers on six year old Moonee who with her mother lives at the Magic Castle, a faded pink stucco two story motel located along a busy freeway. Without helicoptering parents to squash their freedom Moonee and her friends from the motel are free to roam which also means there is no one to protect them when their curiosity and creativity can have dangerous results. A visually captivating film, the single shot of a sign advertising the proximity of Walt Disney World to Magic Castle is not lost on the viewer.
Dafoe with his weathered face has seen many lives pass thru the motel he manages which serves as housing for poor single mothers who resort to any way to make the rent money from reselling fake Disney World tickets to prostitution. Meanwhile the looming threat is family services will discover these desperate acts by Moonee’s mother and she will lose her daughter to foster care. Dafoe is the stability in the lives of the motel residents both children and adults. But for how long can he protect the children and their mothers from making bad choices. As consequences unfold the viewer is left to wonder what truly would be the best outcome for Moonee.
Question(s): I want to bring my laptop or tablet down to the library. Does the library have Wi-Fi? Is there a password? Do I need to be a member of the library to access it?
Answer: Yes, the library does have Wi-Fi. No password required. Our Wi-Fi is accessible on every level of the library including meeting spaces! All are welcome to access it!
Remember the good old days, when adult education was available at the local high school? It was so nice to select from a class list and learn something new! It seems nowadays, we are on our own when it comes to learning new skills. You might hear, “Oh just go on Youtube” when you ask your peers about how to learn Photoshop or Excel. But that doesn’t work for all of us. Well, fear not, the library has got you covered.
We now offer Lynda.com, free online classes. Learn Excel or Adobe Illustrator. Take a course on business writing or small business management. Not ready for that level? For those looking for something a bit lighter, there are even courses on cartoon drawing and comic book lettering! Visit our website for more information! Happy learning!
by Stephen King
Ah, Stephen King, my old friend. It’s been a long time since I read anything by the Meryl Streep of horror and I went into this book hopeful and thinking, “It’s going to be traumatic X-Men. I’m definitely going to like it.” To reiterate, it was a very enjoyable experience starting with the punchy cover art of a child in a boxcar, meant to simulate his own bedroom (this is relevant to the narrative and not just for looks).
The novel starts out with twelve year-old Luke Ellis minding his own business and kicking back to have pizza with his parents while he decides whether he wants to go to MIT and Emerson, prematurely, now that he has surpassed the educational capacity of his elite private school. Besides his intellect, what makes Luke special is that he can move objects with his mind. Nothing major, but he does make pizza pans shake and other unusual disturbances that could attract unwanted attention.
One night he is stolen away from his home by a team of expert kidnappers and taken to The Institute where there are other children with similar powers. Some have telekinesis and some have telepathy, but all of them are being experimented on. Luke and his friends are determined to escape and uncover the secrets of this strange and highly secretive facility. Along the way, Luke befriends a number of his fellow inmates and forms an unshakable bond that will last, no matter where they go after their time at The Institute has come to an end.
What really impressed me about King’s latest venture into a coming-of-age story is, that he managed to pull off a really fantastic ending and some truly heartbreaking and horrifying twists. Stephen King is not generally known for having very good conclusions (I’m looking at you, IT), but in this one, everything was wrapped up in a very sensible and satisfying fashion.
The only major criticism I have for this book is that Luke does not sound at all like a child. His dialogue comes across as something that was written by someone who has not encountered someone in their early adolescence in a long time. Since this title has been branded as having cross-market appeal and can be targeted toward young adult and adult audiences, that could be a stumbling point. That may not be a dealbreaker for most people, but I found that some of those choices took me out of what was happening in the narrative because of the way something was said. It felt inauthentic. For an actual teenager, this may cause them to laugh out loud and hit the shelves to find something else. – Katie