Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom (2004)

The Last Kingdom

Confession: When I was a child, I was pretty blasé about learning the Easter bunny and Santa weren’t real. I was more angry at feeling like I had been lied to than sad because I had had my suspicions for quite some time .

However, learning as a teenager that Vikings didn’t really wear horned helmets was extremely upsetting to me. As in, it motivated me to try to debunk this theory, only for me to realize that no self-respecting historian believes they wore these helmets.

fake Viking helmet

As someone who doesn’t often wear hats but loves historically-quirky headgear and also has a collection of strange historical hats (it’s a long story), I was inconsolable.

Helmets aside, I’ve always thought Vikings were fascinating.  I like reading and watching things about Vikings, but I also tend to procrastinate on watching them or reading them. For example, I own all seasons of the show The Vikings and still have never watched it. I think my hesitance is borne out of fear of being disappointed again about them. (I really cannot overemphasize how attached I was to those fake helmets as a child.)

However, I recently overcame my very neurotic complex about this issue and read Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom, which transports readers back to 9th century England, when England was not a united country and was at the mercy of the feared Vikings, who were descending on the country from their native Denmark. Fortunately, this book did not disappoint me.

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2016 Library Challenge–A Book Set In A School

Believe it or not, school started here in the Ozarks a couple of weeks ago!  With all the kiddos out the door early these days, what better time to catch up on a few good reads?

These books set in schools are entertaining and can help you remember what it is really like for students in your life who are having to get up early, navigate the confusing social hierarchy that is a cafeteria, or worry about homework. It’s a win-win situation, really.

And, if you’re participating in the 2016 library challenge, this list will help you pick a book to fill in one more of those blanks!

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Based on a True Story

August 2016--Based on True Story

“Based on a True Story” – words that stop you in your tracks or make you want to run?

If you, like me, think those words on the cover of a book are magical, how do you feel if a few days or weeks later, you learn that, though it is based on a true story, the author has taken a bit of creative license with his or her book? Are you okay with the author making changes? Or is that a deal breaker for you as a reader?

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Based on a Television Show

How much television do you watch?

Now, be honest.

I saw you trying to shave hours off of how much time you spend glued to your TV every day!

But, seriously, if anything, this is a safe space to confess because I watch unholy amounts of television myself and, therefore, cannot judge you.

I like to think I watch a pretty broad range of stuff, but upon reflection, I’ve realized that I tend to return to the same general categories of shows–comedies about terrible people, dramas about terrible people, crime procedurals, period dramas, dramas about Machiavellian political intrigue, and–my personal favorite–period dramas about Machiavellian political intrigue.

But as much as I like television,  I like reading more. And the 2016 Library Challenge is generous enough to combine two of my favorite things. So, if you’re participating in the challenge and need a book to fulfill this challenge, look no further. And if you’re not participating in the challenge but need something to occupy your time while your favorite TV show is on hiatus, you might find your answer here too.

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Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible

Eligible

Channeling my inner Jane Austen here: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a reader in possession of a retelling of a classic story has one of two reactions, joy at revisiting a tale that is both familiar and new or complete, unmitigated horror at the desecration of a favorite book.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate just a little, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that people tend to either really like contemporary updated versions of old favorites or the very idea is repellent to them. Personally, I like when a classic is effectively brought into a different time and place because I like spotting all of the allusions and seeing what the author changed and what he or she didn’t and pondering why. With all of that in mind,  I approached Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest book Eligible with a great deal of curiosity.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Turned Into A Movie

This month, our theme at the library is “The Book Is Better,” and to that end, we’re highlighting books that have been adapted into films, as well as other forms of adaptation, all month long. We have a display at the front of the library of a wide range of books and their accompanying movies. Here, though, I thought it would be a great time to highlight books that have been adapted into films that are being released later this year. All of the film versions of these books don’t come out until September or later, so you’ll have plenty of time to read the books beforehand. As we all know, the book is almost always better, so it’s also almost always best to read the book first!

 As always, our online library catalog is where you can learn more about each item and place holds.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (2016)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

HARRY POTTER IS BACK (just in case you haven’t heard! 🙂  For all who spent their eleventh birthday wondering where your Hogwarts acceptance letter was and have spent the last nine years wondering where Harry and company were now, the wait is over.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is now not just a play in London but a book/script you can read wherever you happen to be. (Even here in Berryville, Arkansas – visit our online library catalog to learn more and place a hold!)

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