Archive | Aimee Harris RSS feed for this section

What All the Hoopla was about for our Patrons in 2020

30 Dec

Twenty-twenty has been an interesting year to say the least.  Our staff has recommended a variety of resources to help get through what was a tough time for most of us.  I wanted to end the year and take a look back at what our patrons have been enjoying during this unprecedented time by looking at the top check outs we have had in Hoopla. They included everything from a bestselling thriller The Last Flight to classics like Little Women.

Top ebooks for Adults
We ran a short story book discussion of stories from Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman throughout the early months of the pandemic on Discord.  We appreciated everyone who joined us for some great conversation and helped make the ebook the most checked out of 2020. 

Also popular this year with our patrons was The Alice Network, Keeper of Lost Things, and The Last Flight

The most popular digital audiobook was Unfu*k Yourself.

Top Children’s Books
When during the previous election our library held a Kid’s Pick for Story Book Characters for President there was no controversy, Pete the Cat won by a landslide.  And kids clearly would reelect him again this year, since the most popular kid’s book from Hoopla for 2020 was Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party by Kimberly and James Dean. 

Also popular were Dragons Love Tacos, How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow, Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Popular books for teens included Monday’s Not Coming, Little Women, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and Hunger Games.

Popular Television Shows
Mystery series are always an enjoyable distraction from what is going on in the world and in 2020 they saw lots of viewership. The most popular this year for patrons and also a staff favorite was Death in Paradise with the most popular episode being Season 1 Episode 6.  Also popular with our mystery loving fans were Mr. Mercedes, Queens of Mystery, My Life is Murder, and Agatha Raisin.

Kids enjoyed lots of cartoons including The Amazing World of Gumball, The Loud House, Bubble Guppies, and We Bare Bears.

Popular Movies
Popular movies tended to be comedies and romances this year.  The hilarious, What We Do in the Shadows, a mockumentary about vampire roommates took top spot. 

Other popular films were Love on the Rise, Sliding Doors, and The Joy Luck Club.

We hope in 2021 you continue to enjoy a variety of ebooks and streaming media from Hoopla and our other great eresources; our virtual library is there for you 24/7.  Happy New Year from all of our staff; we hope it will be a better one for you all!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

Captivating Visual Dystopias: Paradise Hills and Equals

9 Dec

Recently I watched two dystopian films, Paradise Hills and Equals, that were visually enthralling with their use of color and visual metaphors. 

Paradise Hills
Paradise Hills (2019) starts with vibrant floral hues and then ends in darkness as the characters discover the truth about the facilities on a remote island that is supposed to turn the daughters of Uppers (the wealthy elite) into perfect ladies.  While the story is derivative of other feminist works such as The Stepford Wives, it use of colors and visuals is stunning and had me enthralled by this dark whimsical futuristic fairy-tale.  Emma Roberts stars as Uma and the film also features a stellar Awkwafina as Yu.  Mila Jovovich plays the mysterious Duchess who runs the facility.  The outfits the girls wear reminded me of Alice in Wonderland mixed with Clockwork Orange with the look of a whimsical white dress made out of a straitjacket.  Being oneself and speaking your mind are ideals for us all and yet too often women are still made to feel that good girls should just stay quiet and look pretty. You can borrow it on DVD from BCCLS libraries or stream it on Kanopy.

Equals
The 2016 film, Equals also use color to effect in this case primarily a lack of colors with only white being prominently featured in costuming.  Peoples’ dress and mannerisms are solely utilitarian in Equals.  The story draws its inspiration from 1984, but focuses primarily on the suppression of emotions and a forbidden love story between Nia (Kristen Stewart) and Silas (Nicholas Hoult).  It is considered a serious medical condition if people encounter Switched on Syndrome (SOS) and begin to have emotional responses to things.  As with Paradise Hills the story works best in its visuals.  The main characters work for a division that must illustrate news stories of outside conflicts, which unlike the world around them often appear in vivid color.  The film moved at a slow pace at time lingering over visual metaphors like Nia and Silas briefly holding hands, this like the monotone deliveries from the actors captures life in a world where along with negative emotions, feelings of happiness and joy are also suppressed. It is available to stream from Hoopla or to borrow on DVD from BCCLS Libraries.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

%d bloggers like this: