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“I’d Rather Be at Pemberley” April 29, 2013

Posted by CCLD in Recommendations.
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I saw these words on the back of a T-shirt from across a crowded room.   For a moment I couldn’t figure out what they could mean although considering what a big fan I am of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice I’m surprised I had to think about it at all.

Pemberley is the home of Mr. D’Arcy the love (and hate) interest of Miss Elizabeth Bennett in Austen’s 1813 classic novel where love must triumph over scheming relatives, class status and of course pride and prejudice.  For 200 years now readers have been fascinated by the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. D’Arcy – so much so that they have taken on a life of their own in countless additional books, movies and even a TV series.

Little did I know when I first stumbled upon it the wealth of fiction and movies about these beloved characters.  Permberley Shades: Pride and Prejudice Continues (D. Bonavia-Hunt),  Mr. D’Arcy Takes a Wife ( Linda Berdoll) and Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam. D’Arcy  (Sharon Lathan) all attempt to answer the question of what happens next for the couple.  And this is only the beginning.

Browsing through the mystery section of the library one day I stumbled across a series by Carrie Bebris called The Mr. and Mrs. D’Arcy Mysteries.  Set after their marriage and weaving in other Jane Austen novels there are four books where the couple (mostly Elizabeth) solves mysteries – with a little mystical twist.  Another mystery adaptation is P.D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley where the couple has to solve a murder while dealing with various guests and relatives – what fun.

But D’Arcy and Elizabeth are not the only ones who get some attention.  There are books featuring the supporting characters such as Elizabeth’s sister’s in Colleen McCullough’s Independence of Miss Mary Bennett  and Lydia Bennett’s Story: A Sequal to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Odiwe.   Georgianna D’Arcy is not to be forgotten either, she grows up and looks for love in C. Allyn Pierson’s Mr. D’Arcy’s Little Sister

Other author’s look to the future, Mr D’Arcy’s Daughter (Rebecca Ann Collins) and The Ladies of Longbourn (Rebecca Ann Collins) to name two.  There is also the classic retelling of the original tale by Seth Grahame Smith in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – yup I said zombies.  Apparently there’s also a little ninja action thrown in for good measure.

But let us not forget the movies and small screen adaptations and there have been many.  My favorite will always be the A&E mini-series starring Colin Firth as Mr. D’Arcy although many people will argue that the Kiera Knightly’s version released in the theatre a few years ago is better.  There is even a Bollywood interpretation, which I like, called Bride and Prejudice (they worked in some great dance numbers) and a TV series called Lost in Austen when a modern-day girl trades places with Elizabeth Bennett.

I think it is safe to say that these characters resonate with us.  If you haven’t read the original give it a try and then go see what might happen next – you’ll have a lot of options!

Ann Cady
Chemung County Library District Board

Glass April 22, 2013

Posted by poppendeckc in Uncategorized.
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Glass. It is a wonder of invention. Its origin is in nature, deep inside the earth’s mantle, and perfected through volcanic catastrophes. Its beauty was conquered by the Egyptians, who found the way to make glass, and cherished it more than gems.

Throughout history, glass has been treasured. It has been made into vessels for precious liquids such as wine and perfume, windows stained with color that tell stories or ward off dark spirits, beads and imitation jewels for all states of adornment. It boosted visual acuity (and still does). Empires were bought and sold with it.

In modern times it provides shade from electric bulbs (also made of glass), transistor connections and stuff I don’t understand. Sheets of glass offer barriers to nature for our homes and businesses, and become artificial homes for plants grown out of their habitats. Glass is celebrated as art. The sea transforms the shards of glass it ingests into precious prizes, presenting lucky finds along the shore for beachcombers.

Now glass is so common that we don’t give it a second thought. All glass containers we discard with no conscience today would have been greatly coveted centuries ago. So many colors of glass are unremarkable in our throwaway culture, but think of the struggle to find a way to color glass when no formulae existed!

It feels solid, yet is considered a liquid. Add lead in some alchemical magic spell, and it becomes crystal, the most sparkling, light-reflecting and beautiful of all glasses.

Anyone who has seen me in the course of a workday knows I pile on glass/crystal nuggets with great joy and even greater abandon. I love glass. It is magical.

We are very lucky to have a famous glass museum within a quick drive to visit, marvel, and expand our wonder of glass. Take the time to reflect (no pun intended) on the qualities of glass in and around your world!

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
CCLD, Horseheads

Turn YOUR World Upside Down and Tell Us about it at CCLD’s Online Book Club! April 8, 2013

Posted by metzgerd in Recommendations.
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MatchedWhen you are having difficulty drawing or painting from a photograph, it sometimes helps to turn your photo reference upside down so you can “see” the shapes and colors in a fresh way. Reading Dystopian Fiction does that for me. It turns my worldview, my assumptions about our culture, and how to live life, upside down so I can think and perceive from a new angle, without the distortion imposed by familiarity.

I recently finished The Matched trilogy by Allie Condie. This series, at its core, is about choices:  who we love, how we live, risk versus safety, and the cost of giving up, or keeping, our creativity and freedom.  With its lyrical writing, love triangle, (Xander/Cassia/Ky), and the questions above lived out by Cassia, the Matched trilogy has much to offer for teens and adults. The audio books are also well done and made my commutes to work an otherworldly adventure. (Wait, …was that a stop sign back there?)

A 24/7 book club!

These are the books that leave you dying to discuss them …..even if it is 3a.m. when you finish reading! Now, you CAN do that, with our CCLD online book club!

Or, go to the CCLD library home page (www.ccld.lib.ny.us) and click on “join our online book club”

Go to the Teen thread to talk about dystopian fiction, check out this month’s reading challenge under the thread of that name, see what’s new in fiction and discuss!  With this 24/7 CCLD book club, I love that I can finally be part of a book group and talk to my bookworm friends despite my crazy work schedule.  I’m sure many of you can relate. Sign in, (it is FREE), check us out, and tell us what books are turning YOUR world upside down!

Try these other dystopian reads (they are good in audio, too!): 

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

Divergent (Veronica Roth)

Legend (Marie Lu)

Delirium (Lauren Oliver)

Doris Jean Metzger, MLIS
Van Etten Library

Find your next favorite book with Novelist April 1, 2013

Posted by roganp in Recommendations, Reference, Technology.
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One of the lovely parts of the traditional librarian’s job was what we call “Readers Advisory”. We would read (not at work but at home) a variety of fiction and nonfiction books so we could suggest books to our patrons. We used to make up lists of books in different genres such as thrillers, cozy mysteries, recent biographies, etc. and have the lists available in the fiction section and at the reference desk. We no longer have the staff to do that and we read reviews at night, instead of books. Technology has taken over every part of our lives and we now have a database called Novelist that we use at the reference desk to find a book for a patron who says they have read everything by a certain author and want a suggestion for a similar book or author to read next.

You can find your next good read by using Novelist too!  It is available, with your library card, from home or wherever you access the Internet.  Start by visiting our website: http://ccld.lib.ny.us.  Near the top of the page, you will see a ribbon that starts with “about us”, “find materials”, and then “online research”.  If you hold your mouse over “online research”, another menu will open.  Click on the first option, “databases”.  From the databases page, under the “literature” heading, you will find Novelist.  Click on the link for Novelist, enter your library card number on the page that appears, and you will be in the database.  To find books or authors similar to others you like, start by typing the name of a book or author into the search box at the top of the page.  From the search results, click on the desired author or title.  On the right hand side of the screen you should see a list of “read-alikes from Novelist”.  For authors, if you read the description Novelist provides of the writer, it even suggests what book to try first.  Under the list of “read-alikes” on the right side, Novelist describes genre, pace, tone, storyline, etc. of the selected author or book and will allow you to search for additional read-alike authors or titles, by selecting the box next to what you like about that author or book and clicking the nearby “search” button.

I use Novelist to find more books for my husband as well as patrons at the reference desk. He thinks it’s because I’m a librarian that I can always find him something good to read. But anyone can now do it by going to Novelist. Try it and let me know what you think.

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

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