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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

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Science Fiction Parody and Humor TV Shows

23 Jan

Ghosted and the Orville both debuted last year and the Hoboken Public Library recently got their first seasons on DVD.  They parody popular classic Science Fiction TV shows, but even while they skewer conventions and plot lines, they still manage to send lots of love to the shows they are poking fun at.  I’ve also listed a few of my older comedy science fiction favorites that are worth checking out.

Ghosted
ghosted
I was a fan of the The X-Files as a teen, so I was interested to check out GhostedGhosted stars Craig Robinson and Adam Scott in a half hour comedy about a skeptical former security guard and a brilliant true believer who must solve paranormal incidents involving aliens, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures for a secret Government Agency.  Having been cancelled after its first season, it didn’t find the audience of the long running X-Files which it parodied, but it is still a fun way to spend some time binging on a snowy winter day.

The Orville
orville
The Orville, according to my husband, feels like every episode is one of the funny episodes you would get each season of a Star Trek series and considering the hilarious “The Trouble with Tribbles” often gets ranked as one Trek fan’s favorite episodes of all times, this could mean it is definitely worth checking out if you are a Trekie.  I thought it captured more of the feel of the old TV shows than the new streaming series which has more in common with the recent Star Trek movie reboots.  The great banter between Captain Ed Mercer and his first officer and ex-wife are just one of the reasons to tune in.  I recommend this highly, even if like me you are not usually a fan of star and creator Seth MacFarlane’s work.

Red Dwarf
red dwarf
My father, who is a Science Fiction fan, encouraged me to check out the BBC show Red Dwarf , which centers around a motley starship crew including the last living human who wakes from stasis in the far future, a hologram of his former bunkmate, a humanoid creature who evolved from his pet cat, and the ship’s computer AI.  The series first aired in 1988 and has evolved over the years.  Lister and Rimmer are the Odd Couple in Space.  Check it out and see why the show has developed a cult following.

Lexx
lexx

Lexx is a Canadian series focusing on the powerful starship Lexx, which can destroy worlds, and its crew.  The story takes them to a number of unusual planets and even an alternative version of our own.  Lexx moves between a more serious tone and at times has broader farce towards the end of its run, but on the whole the humor is much darker than the others on this list.

Mystery Science Theater 3000
mst3k

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is based on the idea that some movies are so bad they are good.  This cult classic stars a man trapped in space with only his robot companions to keep to keep him company while they watch horrible movies as part of mad scientists’ nefarious experiments.  The funny dialogue between the actors adds laughs to some truly bad films.  Definitely worth revisiting older episodes or checking out the new reboot.  Hoopla lets you decide who you think is funniest Joel, Mike, or the newest star Jonah.  You can also borrow episodes from BCCLS libraries including HPL.

If you are a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, you can join me for screenings of Science Fiction and Fantasy movies we show one Monday each month at 4 PM; in February our screening will be on February 25.  At 6:15 PM on Feb 25, there will also be a discussion of  the magical novel, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab; it was suggested by one of our group members and though I’m only a third of the way through I already want to read the other two in the series.  You can stop by the reference desk for a print copy. Borrow an ebook copy from eLibraryNJ or digital audiobook copy from Hoopla, who also has the comic series.  Don’t have an ereader of your own; HPL residents can check out ereaders with all of our book discussion books and more downloaded on them.  Email hplwriters @ gmal.com for more information about the group.  You can sign up for the library’s enewsletter to stay up to date on all the library’s fun and informative programs.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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