Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tomorrow Is Frankenstein Friday!

Tomorrow is Frankenstein Friday! It happens each year on the last Friday in October. Start off by looking for either of these two fun books by Adam Rex, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich: And Other Stories You're Sure to Like, Because They're All about Monsters, and Some of Them Are Also about Food... [J 811.6 REX] and Frankenstein Takes the Cake: Which Is Full of Funny Stuff Like Rotting Heads and Giant Gorillas and Zombies Dressed as Little Girls and Edgar Allan Poe... [J 811.6 REX]. These are fun to both read and view! Take a look!

From Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

From Frankenstein Takes the Cake

Then watch one of the Frankenstein films found in the Frankenstein: Complete Legacy Collection [DVD FRA] or, for a lighter-hearted movie, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello meet Frankenstein [DVD ABB].

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

The Gunfight at the O.K Corral is a film [DVD GUN] from 1957 that stars Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. But, did you realize that it is based, not on a work of fiction, but on a real incident that happened on this day in 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona. The Earp brothers, Virgil, Wyatt, and Morgan, along with gambler, Doc Holliday, attempted to disarm the Clanton and Mclaury brothers. A quick round of gunfire (reported to have lasted a mere 30 seconds) resulted in one Clanton, and two McLaury deaths, and two Earp brothers wounded. The story of the gunfight and subsequent trial, in which the Earps and Holliday were acquitted of murder, became a legendary story of the "Wild West."

Besides the movie, we have several novels that were inspired by the gunfight, including Mary Doria Russell's Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral [F RUS, also eBook and eAudiobook]. Epitaph is #2 in a series by Russell, book one is Doc [F RUS, also eBook and eAudiobook]>

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween Is Almost Here!

How about putting together a little Halloween treat for you family? There are probably a thousand online sites where you can find fun Halloween recipes. My Honey's Place is a blog that has links to "Halloween Recipes Galore." I personally love the jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers from Everyday Jenny. I wish someone would make some for me...

You'll also find recipes scattered throughout our cookbook collection, as well as in these:

Drummond, Ree. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations. [641.568 DRU]

Holiday Food Fun--Creative Ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas & More. [641.568 HOL]

Lovén, Zazel. Country Living Handmade Halloween: Ideas for a Happy, Haunted Celebration. [745.5941 LOV]

Maggipinto, Donata. Halloween Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family. [641.568 MAG]

Monroe, Lucy. Creepy Cuisine. [J 641.568 MON]

Monday, October 24, 2016

An Isabella Stewart Gardner Exhibit

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston currently is showing a collection of Italian Renaissance Books. Physically, these books are very different from the ones we read today, and I'm not just talking about the differences between standard print books and eBooks. Medieval books were illuminated, that is, the words were supplemented with decorations, from fanciful initial fonts, to borders, marginalia, and hand-painted illustrations. Color was used and may have included gold or silver leaf. The Gardner exhibition of Renaissance books represents the period of transition from one-of-a-kind illuminated animal skin books to paper books created on a printing press.

The exhibit is part of a Boston-wide project, Beyond Words 2016. You can see examples of the illuminated manuscripts found in the collections of the participating institutions by clicking here.

Learn more about illuminated manuscripts from the National Gallery of Art. If you'd like to try your hand a illuminating a manuscript, start off by doing a quote. Look for Paint Your Own Illuminated Letters by Stefan Oliver [745.67 OLI] and you'll be on your way!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Poetry Friday--Happy Birthday, Samuel Taylor Coleridge!

Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born on this day in 1772. He is known for poems such as "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Khan," works you probably studied in high school. (More of his poetry can be found in Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Poems [821 COL].)

Courtesy National Portrait Gallery.

Coleridge is an often quoted philosopher, too. Here are a few sample quotes, all relating to poetry:

No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher.


The proper and immediate object of science is the acquirement, or communication, of truth; the proper and immediate object of poetry is the communication of immediate pleasure.


In philosophy equally as in poetry it is the highest and most useful prerogative of genius to produce the strongest impressions of novelty...


Not the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power, and claims the name of essential poetry.


Our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colours of imagination.


I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order; poetry = the best words in their best order.


Poetry is certainly something more than good sense, but it must be good sense at all events; just as a palace is more than a house, but it must be a house, at least.


I take unceasing delight in Chaucer. His manly cheerfulness is especially delicious to me in my old age. How exquisitely tender he is, and yet how perfectly free from the least touch of sickly melancholy or morbid drooping! The sympathy of the poet with the subjects of his poetry is particularly remarkable in Shakspeare and Chaucer; but what the first effects by a strong act of imagination and mental metamorphosis, the last does without any effort, merely by the inborn kindly joyousness of his nature. How well we seem to know Chaucer! How absolutely nothing do we know of Shakspeare!

You can draw your own conclusions, but for me, I think Coleridge was saying that poetry should be able to reveal its writer, yet still give lasting pleasure by appealing to what is basic to the individuals reading it. What do you take away from these quotes?

Ponder what he was saying, but then visit this week's Round-Up being held at The Miss Rumphius Effect where you'll find more poetry to bring you pleasure.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Ties between Humans and Animals

Those who dismiss animals as being on the earth merely to provide food, entertain, or to perform other services for humans, are selling them short. Animals may feel emotion, sense things (earthquakes), and help us to be kind. Case in point is this story from Australia about the impact on a family of rescuing a young magpie. Please take a few minutes to view, and read through, the slideshow. I think you'll be glad you did!

Photo by Cameron Bloom.

Stories about the bonds between humans and animals are a staple of novels and children's books. Reports of the intellectual and emotional lives of animals are less common, but are increasing in popularity. Here are a few:

Coren, Stanley. The Pawprints of History: Dogs and the Course of Human Events. [636.7 COR]

Facklam, Margery. What Does the Crow Know?: The Mysteries of Animal Intelligence. [J 591.51 FAC]

Montgomery, Sy. The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. [594.56 MON, also AB/CD 594.56 MON]

Morell, Virginia. Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures. [591.513 MOR]

Pepperberg, Irene M. Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process. [636.6865 PEP]

Yoerg, Sonja. Clever As a Fox: What Animal Intelligence Can Teach Us about Ourselves. [591.5 YOE]

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

National Day of Writing

The National Council of Teachers of English has declared tomorrow to be "National Day of Writing."
Every October 20, NCTE celebrates the importance, joy, and evolution of writing through a tweetup, using the hashtag #WhyIWrite and events hosted by thousands of educators across the country.

Last year there were more than 60,000+ tweets with a reach of millions of people.

Writing, besides being useful for communication, also can be an act of creativity, or can function as a form of therapy for those who may be having problems. There is so much good that can come of writing. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. So why wait until tomorrow. Start today with one of these:

Coman, Carolyn. Writing Stories: Ideas, Exercises, and Encouragement for Teachers and Writers of All Ages. [808 COM]

Women on Writing: From Inspiration to Publication. [808 WOM]

Writing: How to Express Yourself with Passion and Practice. [J 808 WRI]

Here's a site that can help almost any writer improve his/her work: Hemingway Editor. It "makes your writing bold and clear."