Ages 18+.

DVD Bits - Ballykissangel

Ballykissangel. Catholic. Northern Ireland. Priest, Veteranarian, farmer, land developer, teacher, guard and the Pub. BBC Northern Ireland produced this 5 season series based on a small rural town in Ireland, and you probably never heard of it. If you liked Northern Exposure try this. The series is one hour segments of characters in the community and we have all five seasons of the series in the Library. Hollywood video can't even brag this.

".....of clay and wattles made...."

Today, June 13 is the birthday of Irish poet, William Butler Yeats who was born in Dublin in 1865. Although brought up in a Protestant family, he was not pro-British. Yeats as a young man was more interested in mysticism than politics and his early poetry reflects involvement with some teachers of the occult at that time. But after meeting and falling in love with Irish nationalist, Maud Gonne, Yeats became a spokesman for Irish independence, becoming a senator in the Irish Parliament in his later years. He was also a strong supporter of theater, co-founding the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1923. As a lyrical poet, Yeats was able to evoke the magic of place as in one of his most famous poems, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

When you are a French Film luvr, as I am, you are usually an Audrey Tautou luvr as well. Audrey is a wonderful actress that posts high in my "A2-C2" actress list. This "A2-C2" categorization means Audrey embodies the characteristics of being attractive, adorable, charming, and classic. In the movie, He Loves Me, He loves me not Tatou plays a character, Angelique, that is reminiscent of Glenn Close's character, Alex, in Fatal Attration. Instead of one climactic rabbit boiling scene in this film, the climax unfolds slowly as a series of seemingly innocent events. What REALLY is, is not what you were lead to think it was. Yes, it is all very sneaky, sneaky...but, we are misled so well. Misled so cleverly actually, that I had to go back into the film to verify that I saw what I actually thought I saw. Let's just say the love affair in this film between the two main characters is not based in reality, but pure fantasy. Feel the chill when you notice the pharmaceutical collage in the shape of Angelique's love interest in the final scene! The official FFG rating of this movie is a 9.

Portrait of a great photographer

First time novelist Emily Mitchell in her book Last Summer of the World, presents a compelling portrait of photographer Edward Steichen. She focuses on the period in which Steichen was a photographer on airborne reconnaissance missions during World War I. His pictures presented the horrors of war and are described in detail. A major part of the story takes place in France including a visit to sculptor Auguste Rodin. Also described is his stormy marriage to Clara, rocked by an affair. In this powerful narrative, Mitchell skillfully combines fact and fiction to create a profile of a visionary whose ego complicated the lives of others.

Meeting the reclusive J.D. Salinger

What would it be like to meet the author of The Catcher in the Rye, someone who avoids the public eye at all costs? In this NPR article, a Wisconsin author describes a trip he took to meet J. D. Salinger, and his sucess at meeting a man of many written, but few spoken, words.

The Rabbi’s Cat

In 1930s Algeria, the Rabbi’s cat has gained the ability to speak (by means of a murderous act) and wishes to have a Bar Mitzvah and study the kabbalah. The cat expresses his impertinent opinions about Judaism until he breaks another commandment and loses the ability to talk to humans. This is a beautiful and sad story wonderfully told through Joann Sfar’s expressive illustrations. Sfar is the French cartoonist behind the Little Vampire series. You can visit his website here (if you can’t read French just click on the pictures to explore). The Rabbi’s Cat won a 2006 Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material.

This is l33t

Looking for something l33t to read? Try MegaTokyo Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, and Vol. 4. MegaTokyo is webcomic by Fred Gallapher, who will be judging the upcoming Manga Drawing Contest hosted by the library. The story revolves around two friend Piro and Largo who find themselves stuck in Japan, trying to earn enough money to buy plane tickets back to the USA. Piro manages to get himself a job using his Japanese and fanboy skills. Largo on the otherhand, tries to defend himself from 3vil using his l33t skilz.

Saul Bellow Remembered

On this Suday, June 10, Nobel Prize winning author Saul Bellow would have been 92. Born in Lachine, Canada, Bellow broke from the literati in writing picaresque novels like The Adventures of Augie Marsh in which the title character says about himself: "...I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent." Bellow glorified the urban anti-hero who questioned the morals of his society but like Herzog, one of his most lovable characters, with a humorous deadpan look at his own foibles.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #70

If you had missed the first Baby Shark in this gritty 1950s Texas noir crime series, (I did!) you can catch up with the new Baby Shark's Beaumont Blues*, by Robert Fate.

Baby Shark begins with young Kristin Van Dijk, a young pool player, ganged raped and forced to watch her father’s murder, and ends with Kristin finally getting her sweet revenge, Rambo style.

In this second in the series, Kristen is now a licensed PI in the Dallas area, and is hired to investigate the disappearance of a Texas oil heiress. She never counts on coming across a truckload of cash in the process, and that the runaway heiress is a witness to a double murder. Now, you think the bad guys are going to leave her along?

“Fate's witty dialog, colorful characters, and nonstop action make this pulp-style piece sparkle”. You can’t go wrong with this one. A hot summer read.

* = Starred Review

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #69

In this About a Boy meets The Nanny Diaries, first-time novelist Holly Peterson hits the mark.

Manny (a nanny of the male persuasion) is the only thing that stands between busy Upper East Side TV producer Jamie Whitfield and a nervous breakdown. Between her high-powered and emotional distant lawyer husband, 9 year-old holy-terror of a son Dylan, and baby Gracie, she is in constant overdrive. She needs a nanny and better yet, a strong male presence in Dylan’s life.

The answer to her prayers arrives neatly packaged as Peter Bailey – a warm, sensitive, 29 year-old Internet entrepreneur waiting on funding. Things work out a lot better than she could have hoped for but she had not anticipated that “the help” will save her in more ways than one.

Smart, sexy, amusing and “a fabulous sharp skewering of the silly-rich in New York”, while it is not great literature, you will be entertained.

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