Sullivan Free Library's Blog

August 4, 2010

Name That Book!

Filed under: Literature — Sullivan Free Library @ 5:22 pm
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Can you name this book by the cover alone?

A fun trivia quiz has been floating around Facebook and the internet, challenging  you to identify 24 books by a glimpse of their covers.  Some are easy; some are a bit trickier.  Give it a try and see how you do!  Feel free to share your results in the comment section below.


July 12, 2010

The Popularity of Vampires

Vampire fiction has been around for a long time–Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in 1897 and his famous Count was drawn from even earlier novels.

Anne Rice made vampires popular again in the 1970’s with her Interview with a Vampire series.  Casting Tom Cruise in the film version only added to their appeal.

The last decade  has seen a huge rise in the number of television shows and book series about corpses come to life to suck the blood of the living, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the infamous Twilight books and movies by young adult author Stephanie Meyer.  The HBO series True Blood is based on the novels of Charlaine Harris

Just what is the appeal?  I will admit to delving into romance novels once in awhile, but frankly, I like my sexy heroes to be….alive!  I’ve read Christopher Moore’s three books featuring vampires, but mostly because I love his twisted dark humor and would read anything he wrote.

Justin Cronin, author of  The Passage, one of the “must-read” books of the summer, summarizes the reason why he joined the rank of vampire authors in this interview:

Basically, Cronin says  the vampire story will never go away, because it asks an essential question: “What part of your humanity would you be trading away if you got to live forever? It’s ultimately a fable to reassure us that it’s better to be mortal.”

Librarian Karen Hilbert says, “In 2009 Romeo and Juliet would have no problem getting married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator. Love has no foil anymore (race, gender, religion, family feuds), therefore the only compelling modern day romance plot is if your intended is a monster literally.”  From: Why Are Vampires So Popular?: From Anne Rice to Charlaine Harris, the Undead Rule the Media

According to author J.R. Ward: “Vampires are this wonderful dangerous thing. It’s falling in love with something that is intrinsically deadly and dangerous and chooses to love you back.  From:  Vampire Romance Novels: Authors, Titles and Facts About Vampire Books

Whatever the reason, vampire fiction has people of all ages reading, and that can only be a good thing.   The following books are available through the Sullivan Free Libraries and the MidYork Library System.

Authors of Vampire Fiction

Keri Arthur                 Riley Jenson, Guardian series

L.A. Banks                   Vampire Huntress & Crimson Moon series

MaryJane Davidson  Undead series

Laurell Hamilton         Anita Blake, Vampire Slayer series

Charlaine Harris          Sookie Stackhouse series

Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark-Hunter series

Stephanie Meyer       Twilight, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Christopher Moore    Bloodsucking Fiends, You Bite, Love Sucks

July 2, 2010

Oprah’s “What to Read Next” Quiz

Filed under: Literature — Sullivan Free Library @ 3:52 pm
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If you are having trouble deciding what to read next this summer, Oprah has a solution.

On her website, you can take a quiz of ten questions  to help you determine what to read next:

Taking the quiz will result in a recommendation of one book that is right for you, plus a list of additional titles to consider.   I took the quiz twice, changing my answers slightly and ended up with 25 titles from which to choose.  Some I had already read and liked, so there’s a good chance I’ll like the others.

Being the self-proclaimed queen of book clubs, Oprah also offers many other reading resources, lists of “Five Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once”, “Books to Steal from Your Teenager” and “O’s Favorite Books of 2010”.  There are also Reader’s Guides for books that the magazine has recommended.

Chances are, whatever Oprah recommends will be available through one of the 43 libraries in the MidYork Library System.  If you have trouble locating a title, stop at your local branch and ask a librarian for help.

June 19, 2010

Fathers in Fiction

As we get ready to celebrate Father’s Day here in the US, it is a good time to remember some of the famous father figures, good and bad in fiction:

Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The perfect father, Atticus Finch was both gentle and stern.  He showed Jem and Scout how to be good people by example.

Archibold Craven in The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Poor tortured Mr. Craven, couldn’t let go of the past and let himself love his young son.  Thank goodness for cousin Mary who shows up and makes them all bond.

George Darling from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

The stressed-out-from-work father who tells Wendy she must grow up and stop believing in fairy tales, but by the ends, is a true believer himself.

Mr. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Poor  Mr. Bennet, who only wanted to be left alone with his books and papers but was always being hounded by the impossible-to-please Mrs. Bennet and five daughters.   But in the end, he was there for them all.

King Lear from King Lear by Shakespeare

Was a father ever more misguided than King Lear, who demanded to know which of his three daughters loved him best and started a chain of events that left him blind and alone?

Pap Finn from Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

One of the most unsympathetic father figures in literature, Huck’s father is a drunk who beats his son and disapproves his efforts to get an education.

Unnamed Father in The Road by Cormac McCarthy

A father and son struggle to survive in a post-apocolyptic world.  We never learn their names but the message is clear–a father will do anything to protect his child.

Pa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

In the height of the great depression, Pa Joad packs up his family and heads west, hoping to secure a better future for all of them.

Ted Kramer from Kramer vs Kramer by Avery Corman

Who can forget the scene from the movie starring Dustin Hoffman as he dashes from the playground to the emergency room, clutching his bleeding child to his chest?  This 1977 novel and subsequent movie changed the attitudes of the time toward fathers and custody and showed that it’s not only mothers who can nuture and care for children.

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