Teen Grand Opening

The Rogers Free Library celebrated the opening of its new Teen Space Sunday, February 23, with a ribbon cutting and open house. Doing the honors were (from left) Aditi Mehta, Shivani Mehta, Isabella McAdam and Dylan Barone. The space – ideal for studying, gaming, crafting and socializing – was designed and furnished with input from teens. 

The $325,000 Library renovation also included an additional 24-seat conference room for community use and quiet study spaces on the Library’s third floor. The six-month building project was handled by Middletown-based JPS Construction and Design.

The space renovation came about as a response to the public’s input during the Strategic Planning process.  The  greater Bristol community requested meeting space and a more teen friendly space. A grant from the Friends of the Rogers Free Library, a 501(c)(3) foundation, funded the project. The Friends support many of the library programs, including children’s reading programs and Lynda.com, which makes more than 14,000 video courses available to Library patrons.

 

Staff Review – Little Women

Sometimes, I am so grateful for movies. I know some of us loathe the fact that books are frequently made into movies. I get it. But for me, it is incentive to pick up (or revisit) a book. And in this case, the book is Little Women.

My friend and I went to the theater to see the latest release of Little Women directed by Greta Geriwig, starring Emma Watson (of Harry Potter) and Saoirse Ronan (of Brooklyn). I was skeptical, as Little Women has been adapted several times and my loyalty remains to the 1933 version starring Katharine Hepburn. But I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this latest version was, even though there was a change at the end (which was quite satisfactory).

That got me thinking about the book. I remember reading it for school and I just loathed it, probably because I had to analyze it so much in class. As is the case with most novels I read in school. But let me tell you, I have enjoyed it immensely as an adult. I forgot how absolutely charming the girls were. As an adult I recognize and understand the themes and empathize with every character. What strikes me though, is how Alcott was able to develop such strong characters at such young ages!  And all of them are likable in their own way.  I laughed, I cried and I rejoiced for all the girls throughout the book.  How perfect! Makes me wish I had a sister! Well, not when they burn my written pages. Please do borrow Little Women from us today!

-Kristin

 

Staff Review – The Hollywood Book Club

The Hollywood Book Club: reading with the stars
By Steven Rea

Once in a while, I need a quick and easy read. This was the perfect one for me.  Hollywood Book Club is a good book for folks who still dream of old Hollywood and black & white pictures.  Every page features a photograph of a movie star with a book in their hands. The opposite page includes a brief passage about the celebrity’s filmography along with the title of the book they are reading in the photograph. It was a neat little book!

 

Staff Review – Clockwork Angel

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Clockwork Angel
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Clockwork Angel is the first book in the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. It is set in Victorian London and has an air of steampunk – although it is not explicitly that genre. There are clockwork creations and automatons, a Shadowhunter inventor that tinkers with gears and wires, but the overall setting is not one of steam powered air machines and gear-covered outfits. As a fan of the steampunk genre and aesthetic, I quite enjoyed the subtle notes of it in this series.
The clockwork automatons are intriguing, as they are made from neither Heaven nor Hell and thus the Shadowhunters have no experience dealing with them. They create a unique foe to fight against and are a greater mystery – as our heroes do not know who truly created them, or their nefarious purpose.

Each chapter is…

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Staff Review – Where’d You Go, Bernadette

 

Where’d You Go Bernadette?
By Maria Semple 

Bernadette Fox is a MacArthur Grant winning architect first, a mother to a 15 year-old daughter, and a wife I guess. This was one of those books that really just hit me at exactly the right time. I picked this book up because a patron recommended it to me and I had also seen the trailer for the movie. I found myself completely engrossed in the character’s little domestic squabbles because it was so funny. It also probably helps that I too fantasize about buying a quirky old house and then disappearing  into a thicket of blackberries. 

Bernadette’s daughter Bee has earned herself the reward of her choice because she’s been pulling in top notch grades and she decides she would like for the whole family to take a trip to Antarctica and as the title suggests, Bernadette vanishes before the family finishes zipping their parkas into their luggage. This is primarily because her husband, Elgin Branch, is seeking involuntary commitment because she has just gone far too cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs for his liking. 

This novel is written in an epistolary style (mostly in the form of emails) and I think that lends itself well to the content. The characters are so self-involved and ridiculous that it is a delight to watch them muddle their lives in such style. It was a very quick read and some marvelous hijinks ensue, but what I really wanted to delve into was the way that Semple portrays the struggles that Bernadette faces as a woman in a male-dominated field. Her one and only completed project, the Twenty Mile House, was a residence that she built using recycled and locally sourced materials before eco-consciousness was even a thing. When her house is purchased by wasteful male architect that she had some battles with over discarded fixtures, she decides she would rather destroy her noteworthy creation rather than see it in the hands of a gnat. 

All creators have been known to have artistic hissy fits from time to time, but Bernadette Fox takes this to the extreme and develops agoraphobia and what many around her consider an obstinate and abrasive personality. She’s essentially a female Howard Roark, but instead of being praised for her genius she’s branded antisocial and therefore a target for everyone in her community. Truly Bernadette’s major fault is that she demands excellence from everyone around her and most people to not measure up to her standards. As Whitney Cummings put it, “For a girl to get called crazy, we just have to send you two text messages in a row.” – Katie

 

Staff Review – The Lion King

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!