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The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club Summer Reads: Leviathan Wakes, The Gunslinger, and The Hobbit

6 Sep

The Hoboken Public Library Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club read some great books over the summer that I wanted to share with our blog readers. (Click here to find out what else they’ve read.)  The group meets one Monday each month to discuss a Science Fiction or Fantasy book picked by group members.  New members are always welcome.  Before the book discussion we also watch either a film adaptation or a movie in a similar genre to the work being read which allows those who are SciFi or Fantasy fans but might be busy to read this month’s selection to still participate in the group.  I hope you will check out some of these books and films and consider joining us in September when we will discuss The Stepford Wives by Ira Levine on September 25 at 6 PM with a movie screening at 4 PM.

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

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Several members of the group were fans of TV series The Expanse and wanted to read Leviathan Wakes, which the series the show is based on for our June Pick.  Corey is actually the pseudonym of two authors and the book series started out as first a story line for a video game and then a table top game created by Ty Franck before the collaboration between Daniel Abraham and Franck led to the books.  Interestingly Ty Franck worked for a while as an assistant to George R.R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones, a previous book club pickLeviathan Wakes is set in a future where space travel is common, but faster than light travel has not yet been reached leading people to inhabit Earth, Mars, and an Asteroid Belt, but not yet to have moved beyond our Solar System.  The book has elements of science fiction, horror, and mystery.  It received a very positive response from the group members, several of who braved a severe thunderstorm to get to the discussion.  It was so popular that we may read another of the books in the series in the future.  We complimented the book with a screening of Wall-E, an animated favorite of one of our group members, which has an important environmental message.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

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In July, the group wanted to read The Gunslinger the first in the Dark Tower series before the movie adaptation came out in theaters at the beginning of August.  I’m not always a huge fan of King’s, but I was intrigued by some of the other group members’ enthusiasm and the fact that the idea of the Dark Tower was partially inspired by Robert Browning’s poem “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.” I appreciate taking part in the group since it pushes me to read outside of my comfort zone sometimes.  The book is a mix of fantasy, horror, western, and mystery and is set in a post-apocalyptic world where Roland, the last gunslinger, is attempting to stop the mysterious and powerful sorcerer, the Man in Black.  The group watched a preview the movie studio had put online and discussed the casting (general consensus was we like the choice of casting Idris Elba for the role of Roland, but were less sure about Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black).  I will be interested to hear what the group members think of it once they see the whole film.

Before the book discussion we watched the 1973 movie Westworld, Michael Crichton’s directorial debut.  Before this I had only seen one episode of the recent TV series which was based on the movie.  The movie immediately felt a lot lighter than the TV series and everyone praised the excellent performance by Yul Brynner.  You can also borrow the sequel to the film Futureworld and the TV Series Beyond Future World from the Hoboken Public Library.

The Hobbit by ‎J. R. R. Tolkien

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You may remember back in January I wrote a blog celebrating that this year was 125th Anniversary of Tolkien’s birth.  We decided to read The Hobbit for our August book.  It was probably about 30 years since I had last read the book as a child and I feel like the book not only held up for me, but I also enjoyed the story even more than when I had first read it.  The other group members seemed to have similar positive experiences upon their rereads.  One of the group was even inspired to reread the books in the Lord of the Ring Trilogy.  The group watched the first in the Peter Jackson trilogy based on the book which many members felt was the best of the three recent adaptations; many of the group members would have preferred that less had been added to the original text to pad out the movies.

If you are interested in other genres, the library has two additional book discussion groups you can join.  Our Lady Memoir Book Club at Little City Books will meet Wednesday September 20 at 7 PM to discuss Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling.  The Mile Square City Readers Book Club takes a page from Oprah’s Book Club this month, and will discuss Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers on Tuesday September 19 at 6:30 PM.  In the fall we are also planning to start a Creative Writer’s group.  The Hoboken Public Library is your source for great books and conversation!

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

Jump into Spring with Bunnies Max & Ruby at the Hoboken Public Library

26 Apr

I brought my son home from the hospital on Easter and perhaps because of this bunnies have always been a favorite of his.  And if like him your little one is a fan of bunnies then they will love Rosemary Wells’s brother/sister rabbit duo Max & Ruby.

And we have big news: Wells will be here at the Library on Saturday June 10! There will be  a program for kids, plus one for adults about encouraging children to read as part of our 2017 Hoboken Library Fair. Stay tuned for more details about time and other specifics. Till then consider borrowing some of these books and videos.

Print Picture Books

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Max & Ruby’s Treasure Hunt

A rainy day doesn’t stop the bunny siblings’ fun, when Grandma creates a treasure hunt for them in Max & Ruby’s Treasure Hunt.

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Max’s Bunny Business
In Max’s Bunny Business, little brother Max causes trouble when his sister and friend decide to have a lemonade stand.

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Max & Ruby at the Warthogs’ Wedding
Max is the ring bear for the Warthogs’ wedding; of course he loses the ring. Can he and Ruby find it in time?

DVDs

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Max & Ruby: Everybunny Loves Spring!
This is the perfect time to borrow the DVD Everybunny Loves Spring and enjoy some spring adventures with Max and Ruby.

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Max & Ruby: Bunny Party
Ruby and Max each think they know the perfect cake for grandma. Will she get Ruby’s Angel Surprise Cake or Max’s Earthworm Cake? I know which one I’d want if I were attending the Bunny Party.

Streaming Videos from Hoopla

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Max & Ruby Seasons 1-5
With Hoopla, you can watch episodes of season one through five of the popular cartoon, Max & Ruby, based on Wells’ characters. Hoboken library patrons have 20 Hoopla checkouts per month–perfect for family binge watching on a rainy weekend.

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A Visit With Rosemary Wells
If you can’t wait till June, then right now you can borrow A Visit With Rosemary Wells to get insight from Rosemary Wells about her life and inspiration for some of her stories.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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