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Finding Your Inner Sunshine: Unconditional

5 Sep

Unconditional
My last blog post was about dancing, and even though it seems at first it has nothing to do with this post – I feel that it is a perfect fit and segue to what this post is about.

Sometimes children’s books can teach even the well-seasoned adult something new. Now, I actually heard about this book from a movie. What intrigued me about the book was first, whether or not it actually existed and second, the struggle that the film portrayed that the person had creating this children’s book.

The movie, which was inspired by true events, is called Unconditional. Now, although the movie’s plot isn’t a direct storyline about the journey of the children’s book, it is the events in the movie to which give heed to the plot in the book itself. The book, Firebird: He Lived for the Sunshine, is mentioned in the beginning and end of the film and it is actually the turning point of the film. But what caught me was the fact that the book itself wasn’t featured in the film. So I did what any English major graduate would do and I looked it up. Low and behold, the book is now real (it is co-authored by Brent McCorkle, the film’s director and Amy Parker).

Fast forwarding to the end of the Firebird – without revealing spoilers – the last page reads, “He still loved to bask in the sunshine. But more importantly, knowing that the sun was always there, Firebird had learned to rejoice in the rain.” Now, the word dance comes back to us here – and whatever that means to you is also another kind of beauty. Recalling my last blog where I mention “even in the midst of the ugly, of the terrible and unrecognizable moments, there is always beauty living amongst it”, this also alludes how even in the rain there is still light surrounding us.

Of course the Unconditional is a lot more theatrical in its production and how it chooses to portray significant plot twists that may not be so pertinent to the children’s book. But in the end it’s evident that hope is something that is alive in us all and just like a rainy day may feel a little cloudy in your heart and mind, it doesn’t mean that hope/light doesn’t exist inside you.

So all in all, this combination of movie and book spiked an interest in me because of the rarity and reality of the conflict we deal with between the natural, tangible and the intangibility of life.

You can check out Unconditional from BCCLS libraries.  Several of Amy Parker’s inspirational books for children are also available from BCCLS libraries including Tiny Blessings for Giving Thanks and Tiny Blessings for Bedtime.

Written by:
Sherissa Hernandez
Adult Programming Assistant

Watch the Shows and Read the Books: Three Quirky Detective Series

22 Aug

Agatha Raisin, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games are three detective series which I had as much fun watching as I did reading.

Agatha Raisin
AgathaRaisin

I was curious to check out the Agatha Raisin series – since I am a fan of cozy mysteries – and I enjoyed several of M. C. Beaton’s novels, which the series is based on.  In the movie pilot The Quiche of Death, a London PR executive, Agatha Raisin, fulfills her lifelong dream of early retirement in a small village in the Cotswolds. When she enters the local quiche-baking competition in hopes of impressing her new neighbors she learns all is not as idyllic in the village as she expected. Raisin doesn’t so much solve crimes but rather comically stumbles into their solution. I recommend checking out the movie before the rest of the eight episode series since it sets up the relationship between the various characters.  You might also recognize star Ashley Jensen as the Scottish BFF/coworker, Christina, from Ugly Betty.  You can stream the first season on Hoopla which also offers audiobook versions of the novels.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
DirkGently
Douglas Adams is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series which I had written about in a previous post, but his equally quirky Dirk Gently series about a holistic detective is also worth checking out. Serving as a follow up to the books, two seasons of the Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency have recently been created.  What makes Dirk a holistic detective is that he solves mysteries by following the interconnectedness of all things, so rather than seeking clues, he waits for the clues to come to him.  In both seasons the episodes start with confusing storylines that don’t seem in anyway cohesive, but by the end all is revealed and the mystery is solved.  I enjoyed the quirky way everything was wrapped up.  This is a good choice for those who like not only humor with their mystery, but also a bit of fantasy too.

Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games
AC_CriminalGames
Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games is a series of French Movies available to stream with subtitles from Hoopla or on DVD.  It takes classic Christie story plots and transports them to 1950’s France and inserts new crime solvers.  If you are a Christie fan who is open to new interpretations of her work than they are a treat.  I watched the adaption of Sparkling Cyanide (also published as Remembered Death) in which a movie star seems to have committed suicide but Inspector Laurence suspects murder.  He is reluctantly assisted by up and coming reporter Alice Avril and his always loyal secretary Marlène. There is a bit more humor infused in the movies than the original books which I enjoyed.  I also found it a lot of fun to see new faces solving old crimes.

Written By:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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