Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Celebrate Women's History Month


In 1987, the National Women’s History Project helped Congress to pass Pub. L. 100-9 to designate the entire month of March as “Women’s History Month.”  Today, I share with you some great female characters and authors you can check out at PWPL.

Captain Marvel
By Kelly Sue DeConnick, Dexter Soy, Emma Rios
YA Graphic Novels
 Carol Danvers starts her career off in the U.S. Air Force, but after her DNA is infused with Kree genes, she is given super powers. She made her debut as Ms. Marvel in 1977. In 2012, Danvers donned a new costume and became Captain Marvel, the cosmic avenger.  As Danvers comes to grips with her enhanced powers, she explores what comes with the long history of Captain Marvel. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s writing is top notch she truly understands the military aspects of Captain Marvel’s character.

The Galaxy Game
By Karen Lord
Sci-Fi Collection
Karen Lord is a phenomenal science fiction writer from the United Kingdom. Her work has been nominated for several major awards including the World Fantasy Award, John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, and others. Often compared to Ursula K. Le Guin and China Mieville, if you like space fantasy, you’ll love The Galaxy Game. Rafi, a teenager with psionic powers, attend Lyceum, a school for teens like him. At Lyceum, he meets two friends, Serendipity and Ntenman. Unlike Rafi, they come from communities where psionic powers are highly valued. At the school, students are seen as assets for good or bad, waiting to pick a side. Explore this far out world in The Galaxy Game.

Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness
By Jessie Close
Adult Non-Fiction Collection
 Sister of actress Glenn Close, Jessie Close has struggled with mental health issues her entire life. A childhood spent living in New York, Switzerland, Connecticut, Zaire, and Los Angeles only exacerbated her mental health issues. As an adult, Close’s life is difficult to manage, her mental health issues have led to substance abuse, failed marriage, and suicidal thoughts. With short essays from Glenn, this book provides helpful insight for people who support and live with someone with mental illness.

Evergreen
By Rebecca Rasmussen
Adult Fiction Collection
 Rebecca Rasmussen is a true Midwestern writer, even though she now resides in California. Her first book, The Bird Sisters takes place in in Spring Green, WI and Evergreen is set in the wilderness of Minnesota. A young couple moves into a rundown, wild haven in 1938 with their small child. However, when the husband must leave to care for his sick father, the unthinkable happens. A stranger arrives at the cabin and the mother becomes pregnant. Giving the baby girl up for adoption, years later, the son wishes to reunite the family. However, his sister may be too wild to ever integrate back into her birth family. If you are looking for a family drama about love and hope, Evergreen is a great pick for you.

She-Hulk volume 1: Law and Disorder
By Charles Soule
YA Graphic Novel Collection
 She-Hulk is an amazing, underrated comic book character. Jennifer Walters is a powerful attorney, putting villains away using the law. However, after a near fatal shooting, she must receive a blood transfusion from her cousin, the Hulk, Bruce Banner. Jennifer gets all the side effect of the Hulk, minus the rage, making her an even more powerful hero for justice.  In Charles Soule’s most recent iteration of this iconic superhero, She-Hulk, former member of the Avengers and Fantastic Four, attracts a new client at her own law firm, Kristoff Vernard, son of Victor von Doom! How will She-Hulk balance her skills as a lawyer and superhero to battle von Doom? What is inside the mysterious Blue File? You’ll have to read She-Hulk to find out.

Broken Monsters
By Lauren Beukes
Adult Mystery Collection
 Lauren Beukes is a break out author from South Africa and has written both novels and comic books. Her latest novel Broken Monsters has ties to the state of Michigan. Detroit detective Gabriella Versado is investigating a criminal who creates giant paintings in abandoned Detroit warehouses. The first body is discovered, but it is a gruesome sight, a body and deer fused together. But as Detective Versado becomes more obsessed with the case, we are introduce to her daughter Layla, Jonno a former writer and a homeless man named TK. Their separate narratives eventually come together to make one complete story. Beukes is a talented horror author who also has the ability to integrate humor into her tales. If Broken Monsters sounds appealing to you, check out Zoo City and The Shining Girls.

If you’d like to learn more about Women’s History Month, see Amelia Earhart’s Flight Suit, or would like information to use in a classroom or other education setting, I urge you to visit www.womenshistorymonth.gov.  

--Tracy Boehm, Technical Services Librarian

Monday, March 16, 2015

Garden Anticipation



Another morning of below zero temperatures plus seed catalogs filling the mailbox, have this gardener longing for spring. Peter White Public Library provides some fascinating reads to enjoy by a cozy fire during the remaining dark days until planting time.
For that no-man’s land between the sidewalk and the road, Hellstrip Gardening by Evelyn J. Hadden gives plenty of inspiration for ways to dress up that typically drab piece of real estate. Hadden provides solutions for dealing with poor dry soil, traffic, community covenants, utilities and other potential pitfalls. Attractive environmentally friendly designs for wildlife, water and labor conservation are well illustrated and suitable for various regions of the country, even our challenging climate. Find this book on the new nonfiction shelf under call number 635.9 HA.
To satisfy the restless green thumb and  help in garden planning, Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds published by Cool Spring Press may be the ticket. It is chock full of do it yourself projects for the yard that will double your growing space. Well-illustrated with clear directions, this book gives anyone handy with tools the inspiration to create an endless variety of garden accessories and aids to extend your growing season. New non-fiction: 681.7631 TR
An added bonus to any garden is the variety of birds, insects and creatures that the plantings attract. The Living Landscape by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy is a comprehensive guide to increasing the biodiversity of your piece of earth. This collaborative work between a landscape consultant and professor of ecology, describes the layers and relationships in any planting and how these interactions can be enhanced for the benefit of humans and wildlife. Full of gorgeous photos and charts of useful plants, this volume will help steer you toward a more sustainable garden philosophy. New non-fiction: 712.2 DA
Working toward a more sustainable planet is the focus of Oil and Honey by Bill McKibben. The book provides a unique blend of storytelling about the author’s work in the global climate fight plus the culture and development of local honey.  Author/activist McKibben shares his journey of civil disobedience in protest against the Keystone XL pipeline while highlighting small scale, local answers. An inspiring read by a man committed to the cause of finding the balance to help sustain our planet. New non-fiction: 363.7 MC
The Wealth of Nature by John Michael Greer provides an interesting new perspective on our economy. The author bases his thinking on the reality of today’s ecology rather than current politics and re-examines the meaning of wealth. Greer poses the concept of centering the study of economics on natural capital- raw materials that sustain human life-to move society toward a more ecologically sound relationship with our planet. Plenty of food for thought on public welfare vs. corporate profits in this age of declining abundance. New non-fiction: 338.0 GR
In the face of climate change, peak oil and looming economic crisis, Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone may be the book to encourage you. Subtitled “How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy,” this book helps readers strengthen their resolve to respond to challenges with resilience and power. A scholar of Buddhism, systems theory and ecology, author Macy joins forces with Johnstone, a physician focused on the psychology of behavior change, to create a collaborative model for communities of all sizes to work together to achieve the positive transformation of our world that we all envision. New non-fiction: 303.4 MA
To understand where we are heading it is important to comprehend where we have been. In Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy!) takes us on an empowering journey through the study of evolution and the way it has shaped our lives, believe it or not. With his trademark infectious enthusiasm, Nye explains how “evolution is one of the most important ideas in the history of science…and that it is also the most meaningful creation story that humans have ever found.” New non-fiction: 576.82 NY
Read on, keep learning, be inspired and hope for spring!
~Margaret Boyle, Programming Coordinator

Monday, March 9, 2015

DVD's to watch during the next big storm



Thankfully, March came in like a lamb in Marquette.  However, we all know it can turn into a lion with the blink of an eye.  Check out some of the new DVDs and Blu-ray movies available for the entire family at PWPL while you hunker down.
Guardians of the Galaxy (DVD & Blu-ray; PG-13; Chris Pratt; Zoe Saldana; Dave Bautista)This Marvel  film features brash adventurer Peter Quill who finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand-with the galaxy's fate in the balance.
George Gently Series 1-6 (DVD; NR: Martin Shaw)  - Bingewatch this BBC series based on the novels of Alan Hunter.  This crime drama set in the 1960s features Martin Shaw as Inspector George Gently, a by-the-book cop from London.  A theme Mad Men fans will recognize is that of an old school cop trying to come to terms with the changing times and the realization that the lines of cop and criminal can be blurred.
Begin Again (DVD; R; Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine) - British songwriter Gretta is adrift in Manhattan after getting dumped by her philandering rock star boyfriend. While playing at an open mic night at a local bar, she is discovered by struggling music producer Dan. Sensing her songwriting potential, Dan pushes Gretta to sign with him and record an ambitious outdoors album all across the city.
Get on Up:  The James Brown Story – (DVD & Blu-ray; PG-13; Chadwick Boseman, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer) - Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.
The Hundred-Foot Journey – (DVD & Blu-ray; PG; Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah) - Hassan is a culinary genius with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, his family settles in a quaint village in the south of France. They plan to open an Indian restaurant, that is, until Madame Mallory, the owner of a classical French restaurant, gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant so near her own escalate to all-out war; until Hassan's cooking talent and love for Mme. Mallory's assistant, Marguerite cannot be ignored.
American Girl Isabelle:  Dances Into The Spotlight – (DVD & Blu-ray; NR; Erin Pitt, Grace Davidson, Genneya Walton, Devyn Nekoda) -  The American Girl fan in your home will enjoy this film.  Nine-year-old Isabelle is an inspired dancer with a flair for fashion design. She's thrilled to be studying ballet at a prestigious performing arts school but her classmates are so talented, and she can't help feeling that she's always in the shadow of her 'perfect' older sister Jade. So when her idol, a famous ballerina, encourages her to audition for a professional ballet, Isabelle must find the strength to land the role.
Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy  - (DVD; NR; Animated) – Scooby-Doo and those meddling kids are back in this new movie.  Velma discovers she's inherited her great-great-uncle Dr. Von Dinkenstein's cursed castle in the terrifying town of Transylvania, Pennsylvania. Just when the gang persuades Velma to go claim her inheritance, the ghost of Dinkenstein Castle blows up the Mystery Machine as a warning! Now the crew must spring back into action, but this time it's personal!

--Heather Steltenpohl, Development Director

Monday, March 2, 2015

Magazines

This article is about what’s new, and not so new, at the library. Sometimes we need to put down our hardcover books and iPads and pick up something a little bit softer to read. I’m talking about magazines. The library has added several news magazines to the collection. Listed below are the titles of our newest magazines, and some not so new magazines that you might also enjoy reading.
Dwell (at home in the modern world). This new magazine helps you with both interior and exterior design ideas. It is devoted to modern architecture and design. This magazine has lots of pictures to help you see what the ideas they suggest may look like. There are also plenty of different designers and websites to help you get varied ideas.
HGTV Magazine is another new magazine. This has decorating designs with plenty of ideas, pictures, and insider secrets from your favorite contractors and designers you’ve seen on the HGTV channel. It also has real estate advice. Similar not so new magazines that can help you in this area are Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Old-House Journal and Victorian Homes. And if you are a little handy around the house you can also look at Family Handyman, Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, Wood, and Home Power magazines.
Garden Gate is another new magazine. It has a lot of information on how to take care of, or start, big and small gardens. It has valuable garden designs, plant recommendations, tips, and garden solutions. There is hands-on information in every issue, and also has lots of pictures. Some not so new magazines that can help you in this area are Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening, which have ideas on ornamental gardening and landscape design, practical gardening tips, and inspiring stories.
Food Network Magazine is another new magazine. It has wonderful recipes and lots and lots of pictures. It also has behind the scenes information and ideas from your favorite Food Network chefs for any occasion. Plus the section “You Asked…” where you can ask food questions and get helpful answers. Some not so new magazines are Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Taste Of Home, Vegetarian Times, VegNews, Weight Watchers, and Cooks Illustrated, which is dedicated to finding the best methods for preparing foolproof home-cooked meals, recipes that work, and great ideas and pictures of kitchen equipment.
Game Informer is also new to our collection. It has articles, news strategy, and reviews of video games and associated consoles. It is also a source for the latest in video game news, reviews, previews, podcasts, gamer culture and features about Mircosoft xBox360 and more.
More is another new magazine. It is for “women of style and substance.” It features articles on style, health, work, spirituality and relationships. When reading this magazine, you’ll feel like you are sitting around a circle with a bunch of trusted girlfriends, who understand who you are, where you are, and what you’re feeling. It also has articles from famous woman about how they have changed things in their lives.
Country Living – England is another one of our new magazines. It contains the latest news, events, food and drink, interiors, travel and property ideas for your home and garden. Our not so new magazines in this same area are Country Living and Southern Living, which have home and decorating ideas, food, entertaining, crafts DIY projects, outdoor living ideas and much, much more.
Dogster is our newest addition. Formerly “Dog Fancy.” It is a great magazine for anyone that shares their life with a dog. It contains articles from great writers, with breed information, adoption, food and health ideas, and points on how to interact with your dog, and so much more. It also has new topics with “Gotta-know,” a question and answer space for all the questions old and new dog owners may have. I hope you take a look at the new magazines in our collection, and at some of our not so new ones. You never know what you will find that pique your interest when you start looking around.
Arlette Dubord, Technical Services

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bollywood movies for check-out


Earlier this month we hosted our 12th annual Bollywood night at Peter White Public Library, an evening of film, dancing and dinner that celebrates Indian cinema. The library owns an impressive collection of Bollywood and Bollywood-inspired films available for check-out. If you haven’t seen a Bollywood film yet, know they are long and colorful, feature a romance punctuated with song and dance, and often offer an intermission half-way through.

Ek Tha Tiger (2012) is a romantic thriller that tells the story of the response of two intelligence organizations to a Trinity College scientist suspected of selling missile technology secrets to Pakistan. The Indian government sends a secret agent, codenamed Tiger, to find out about the professor's activities. Tiger falls in love with the professor's caretaker Zoya who is studying at a dance academy and together they embark on a roller-coaster journey that takes them from Ireland to India, Istanbul to Havana. The plot isn’t the most brilliant but the chemistry between the stars, the action scenes, including one in which our hero stops a runaway tram with only his jacket, are great fun. The dance scenes are set in Ireland and Cuba and reflect the cultures of these countries. The film ends with a hilarious chase that defies logic and matches anything James Bond could do.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) is an old-fashioned love story in which Samar, a fearless Indian army officer, diffuses bombs along the Kashmir border. Through flashbacks we see Samar fall in love with Meera, a young, religious Indian woman he met when he lived in London. In order to save Samar’s life after an accident, Meera offers up their relationship to God. Angry and disappointed, Samar returned to India and entered his risky profession as a challenge to Jesus. Ten years later, a bubbly Discovery Channel intern wants to do a story on “the man who cannot die” and falls for him. Plot twists and turns create a tension increased by the presence of two lovely and well-played heroines.

Veer-Zaara (2005) combines a plea for reconciliation between India and Pakistan with a classic love story. This film recounts the forbidden love between an Indian man and a Pakistani woman and the efforts of a Pakistani lawyer who tries to break the barriers separating the two.

3 Idiots (2009):  Two friends search for their long-lost university buddy, Rancho. The three met while studying at India’s most prestigious engineering university, a school very interested in its ranking, perhaps even more so than in providing a real education. Rancho is the school’s top student even though he prefers chasing one’s dreams to one’s grades. The three friends make life miserable for “Virus” the school’s dean. Then the dean’s beautiful daughter, a medical student, falls for Rancho. A comedy with something to say about education systems.

Lunchbox (2013):  This little love story revolves around a mistaken delivery by the Dabbawalas (lunchbox service) of Mumbai, world famous for their 99.999666% accuracy. The wrong delivery leads to slowly blossoming love between Saajan, a lonely widower close to retirement, and Ila, an unhappy housewife, as they exchange notes through the daily lunchbox.

Dhoom: 3 (2013):  To avenge his father's death, a swashbuckling circus entertainer (Aamir Khan) trained in magic and acrobatics turns thief to take down the Western Bank of Chicago which closed down his family’s Great Indian Circus for defaulting on its loans. It takes two police officers from Mumbai to solve Khan’s riddle. The plot is not the movie’s strong point; however, the dancing and acrobatics are amazing and the chase scenes through Chicago, styled after James Bond, are riveting, especially the Chicago River sequence.

Band Baaja Baaraat (Wedding Planner) (2010):  Shruti is a 20-something no-nonsense girl from a middle class Delhi household who planned out her whole life while still in college. Bittoo has no plans other than to have fun with his friends and stay out of his family’s sugar cane fields. He barely survives his college exams. They meet and, after a rough start, set up a wedding planning business together. When romance interrupts their business plans, they split up only to see their business start to fail. Will they save their romance or their business or both?
 
Bride & Prejudice (2004):  A modern retelling of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice in Bollywood style.  In Ammritsar, Mrs. Bakshi is eager to find suitable husbands for her four unmarried daughters. When the rich single gentlemen Balraj and Darcy come to visit, the Bakshis have high hopes, though circumstance and opinions threaten to get in the way of romance.

Bollywood movies and a small selection of art Indian cinema will be on display in the DVD section of Peter White Public Library through the end of February.


 ~Cathy Sullivan Seblonka, Collection Development/Reference Librarian