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Meet me at the Renaissance Faire: Books and More for Ren Faire Fans of all Ages!

25 Sep

Now that summer has come to an end, I am looking forward to the cooler autumn day and one of my favorite outings to do with family and friends-heading to the Renaissance Faire, where jousts are recreated, giant turkey legs are devoured, and many attendees enjoy participating in period garb.  For my fellow faire fans, I hope you enjoy your visits and check out some of the items available to our Hoboken patrons.

For Kids and Teens

All’s Faire in Middle School
by Victoria Jamieson
All's Faire in Middle School
Imogene is a homeschooled eleven year old whose parents work at a Renaissance Faire, who must now make the transition to a public middle school.  This graphic novel of a would-be knight-in-training battling the “dragons” of middle school is a good read for tweens looking to fight for their place in a frequently less than chivalrous world.

Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself
by Kris Bordessa and Shawn Braley

Great Medieval Projects

Image from Hoopladigital.com

My son loves stories of knights and wizards. If your child too is enamored with fantasy or tales from the middle ages than they may enjoy Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself which includes activities geared towards kids ages 9 to 12. Besides the fun hands on activities children are also provided with historically accurate information that will give them an understanding of the period that laid the foundation for the renaissance.

My Faire Lady
by Laura Wettersten
My Faire Lady
In My Faire Lady, Rowena gets a surprising summer job after her boyfriend cheats on her and she wants an excuse to get out of town.  New experiences and new romance blossom for her at the Ren Faire.

For Adults

American Princess

American Princess

Image from Hoopladigital.com

In American Princess, an Upper East Side “Princess” dream wedding is derailed when she catches her husband cheating on her.  In her escape from her wedding venue, she stumbles on a Renaissance Festival whose staff take her in and provide her with a job and a family while her ego and psyche heal.   I missed the show when it premiered at the beginning of the summer so was happy when I saw it available from Hoopla.  I found it delightfully funny.  The creator based it on her own experience working at a Renaissance Faire.  It is rated MA and has bawdy humor on occasion so is recommended only for adult viewers.

Hard Day’s Knight
by Katie MacAlister
Hard Day's Knight
Another fun romance choice available from Hoopla is the audiobook of Katie MacAlister’s Hard Day’s Knight read by Karen White, where Pepper Marsh is looking for her prince at Ontario’s Renaissance Faire.  Walker McPahil rescues her from being trampled, but can she break through the armor around his heart?  This title is also available in print and large print from BCCLS libraries.

Ren Faire Romance Series
by A.J. Marcus
Jouster's Lance
In Ren Faire Romance, a series from Dreamspinner Press (who specializes in LGBTQ fiction),  A.J. Marcus’s characters find the men of their dreams amongst the jousters, falconers, and archers at Renaissance Festivals.  Part one begins with the Jouster’s Lance.

Looking for great music to listen to on your way to a Renaissance Faire?  Check out my previous blog post.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

Celebrate International Tabletop Gaming Day: Books, Movies, and More that will get you Gaming!

29 May

June 1st is International Tabletop Gaming Day. With our modern world where technology feels like it can isolate as well as connect us, now seems the perfect time to gather round and spend time bonding with family and friends while gaming.

Role Playing Games: Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons Art
One of my favorite bonding activities as a kid was playing Dungeons and Dragons with my dad and my sister on the weekends. It was like getting to take part in some of my favorite fantasy novels. I’ve been brushing up on the basics and look forward to playing the game with my son and husband. In the Elfish Gene: Dungeons and Dragons and Growing Up Strange, Mark Barrowcliff looks back at his own youth and his role playing experiences; you can borrow it from Hoopla.

If you are interested in playing D&D yourself, BCCLS libraries have you covered with  Guides and Monster Manuals. Plus you can borrow items looking back on D&D’s history such as Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History which looks at the evolving artwork associated with the game. You can also borrow the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series (sweet Saturday Morning Nostalgia) on DVD. A few BCCLS Libraries also have the live action film adaptation, but like many critics and fans, I found the movie disappointing and not an accurate representation of the game.

Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy: Raiding the Temple of Wisdom edited by Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox contains essays on different philosophical concepts that can be understood through and about the game including topics like ethics, morality, and metaphysical questions on topics like the boundary between magic and science. The final section focuses on game theory. If you enjoy this pop culture take on philosophy you can checkout others in the series which uses everything Monty Python to Zelda to deepen our understanding of the things we love and the world around us.

If you’ve never played an RPG before you can get insight (and entertainment) from the many web series that are now online such as the extremely popular Critical Role featuring the high fantasy of Dungeon and Dragons.  Sirens of the Realm is a lot of fun; imagine if the Go-Go’s  or the Bangles were fantasy bards. My current personal favorite is the urban fantasy of Vampire The Masquerade: LA Nights; its third season starts streaming on Twitch on June 1, but you can watch previous episodes from season one and two on YouTube; watch the first episode now.

If you like D&D than you should love the book we are reading for our next Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Group here at the library, Nicholas Eames’s Kings of the Wyld!  Eames even drew some inspiration from the game.  Stop by the Reference Desk to pick up a copy or Hoboken Residents checkout an ebook version from eLibraryNJ; join us for the discussion on June 17 at 6 PM.  Before hand we will be watching episodes of a fun classic fantasy series starting at 4 PM.

Board Games: Clue and Monopoly
clue Monopoly
Lacking the competitive gene, unlike my younger sister a Monopoly fanatic, I wasn’t as much of a board game fan as a kid. There were a few exceptions though and my hands down favorite game was always Clue. I’ve always loved mysteries even at a young age and Clue for me was less about winning than getting to play detective and figure out which of the characters was guilty.  Now I enjoy playing board games with my son, many of which I’m pleased to see now are more about team work than winning.

My sister and I both loved the Clue movie adaptation which we watched probably about 50 times at least; you can borrow it on DVD from BCCLS Libraries. When it was shown in the theaters it had one of three different endings; you can view them all. You can also borrow a Clue comic book adaptation from Hoopla.

If you are more a Monopoly fan you can check out the Emmy Award winning documentary, Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story on DVD or streaming from Kanopy.

During the Teen Department’s Games in the Garden event, our beautiful garden space is open to teens every Thursday from 4 PM-5 PM where they can play a variety of our board games.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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