Book Buzz: Books in Bloom 2019

The 14th annual Books in Bloom literary festival is going to be May 19, 12-5 pm, at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. You’ll have the chance to mingle with authors, listen to them give talks, and even get your books signed by them. This year’s authors include Brooks Blevins (whom I really enjoyed meeting back in 2016 when he was last at Books in Blooms), Jeffrey Deaver, and Chris Bohjalian.

Here are a few newer books you might want to check out in the weeks leading up to Books in Bloom, so you can already start researching which talks to attend and which authors to meet.

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TV Review: To Walk Invisible (2017)

To Walk Invisible

I usually am up-to-date on my Masterpiece Theater viewing, but I missed this biopic about the Brontë sisters when it first aired a couple of years ago. Fortunately, Mary-Esther suggested it to me, and I’m glad she did! It’s a well-acted, well-made dramatization of one of the most famous literary families in history.

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Old Favorites: Shakespearean Reduxes

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2019, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

Nobody really knows when William Shakespeare was born, but April 23 is commonly accepted as his birthday due to his baptism date. That makes today his 455th birthday (maybe, probably).

Now I like Shakespeare as much as the next former English major, even though I kind of hold him responsible for breaking my left ankle five years ago–that’s a long story, but he’s as guilty as, well, any number of his murderous characters.

My personal favorite Shakespeare plays include Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, Richard III, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night.

As much as I enjoy the Bard of Avon, I also enjoy a good Shakespeare retelling. I’m not usually a fan of reworkings of pre-existing content. Anyone who has ever had to listen to me complain about the amount of sequels and remakes that flood the movie market every year knows this. But Shakespeare himself was reworking well-known stories, so there seems something so fitting in borrowing his plots and characters and reworking them for different times and places.

If you want to celebrate Shakespeare with any number of his classic plays or filmed versions of them, go for it! We have plenty of that in our system. But we also have some more unusual ways to celebrate his work. . . .

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Mary Doria Russell’s Doc (2011)

Doc

Doc Holliday probably needs no introduction. He’s one of the more mythic figures of the American West–the well-educated, consumptive, Georgia-born dandy, dentist, and gambler/gunfighter who tag-teamed with the Earp Brothers for the Gunfight at the OK Corral in the Arizona boomtown of Tombstone.

Most pop culture depictions of Holliday offer the legend called Doc. Though Mary Doria Russell chose that nickname as the title for her book, her focus is much more on the John Henry Holliday lurking underneath the legend.

This book was suggested to me by Leslie, one of my undergraduate English professors. Last year, she recommended The Hunting Accident to me, and recently, she asked me if I was familiar with Russell’s work. I quickly remedied that oversight, and I am so glad I did. Thanks for the wonderful recommendation, Leslie!

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Book Buzz: Canadian Ennui, Heartwarming Memoirs, and Canadian Murders, Eh

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For April, we’re looking at a modern literary tale of family life in rural Newfoundland, a charming memoir about familial culture clashes, and a new book in a long-running Canadian murder mystery series.

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What’s Happening . . . at the Berryville Library

 

Nano camp experiment 1.jpg
Berryville Library Nano Camp, spring break 2019

Collaborative sticker paintings of Van Gogh’s Starry Night?

Spring break camp devoted to nanotechnology for the tweens and teens?

Presentations on historic events?

Free tax-related printing?

Where’s all this happening in Berryville?

At the Berryville Public Library–and that’s not an April Fool’s Joke. 🙂

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Predator (1987)

Predator

Usually, I try to focus on newer movies and TV shows for my reviews, but while I was researching potential things to write about, I came across last year’s The Predator, a remake of the classic 1980s action/sci fi film Predator.

Now, if I were a fair-minded person, which I often claim to be, I would have given The Predator a chance.

However, I’m not really that fair-minded. Ever since I heard they were working on this remake, I just couldn’t get over the fact that there was no reason to remake the movie. I’d have been much happier if they’d just re-released the original in theater.

Because if you’re looking for a veneer of outrageous, over-the-top 80s action overlaying a far more complex science fiction tale, then you can’t do better than Predator.

So, for that reason, this week I’m reviewing the original (and best) Predator.

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