From Page to Screen: The Martian

As a general rule, space travel has never interested me. It’s nothing personal against outer space–even as a kid, it never captivated me. I was always more interested in history and foreign countries than the outer reaches of the galaxy.

Likewise, science fiction that is about outer space is rarely something I read. I prefer my science fiction dystopian.

Nevertheless, I have been curious about the popularity of both the book and film versions of The Martian and decided, in the name of broadening my horizons (aka doing my part to build a better world), to give them both a try.

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Oddly-Specific Genres: Imagining a Better World

You may have heard, we’re Building a Better World at libraries all over the country this summer.  We’re trying to build one here in Berryville too.  But before you build it, you’ve got to dream it!  So dreaming of new and better worlds is what we’re all about this June.

Fantasy authors have been building imaginary new worlds in their writing for years.  Read on and you may just find a new world worth exploring!  Or at least ideas of things we may want to start doing (or avoid doing) in our real world. . . .

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Published This Year

This is it.  Believe it or not, you have made it to the last post of the 2016 Library Challenge.

If you’ve been participating in the challenge or following along with the blog, you know we have taken quite the journey this year, working our way through a range of interesting challenges, everything from romance to nonfiction to badly-reviewed books.

The only one left is a book published in the last year. So, without further ado, let’s take our last romp of the year with a round-up of some recent releases that have received positive reviews.

As always, if you’re interested, please visit our online library catalog for more information on any of the books.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book of Short Stories

Don’t feel like you have the emotional energy to devote to an entire novel?

Still looking for something different but the nonfiction post from last week isn’t really your thing?

Try a short story collection!

Personally, I love a good short story. This may be a form of heresy to many readers, but if I had to pick between a good short story and a good novel, I’d pick the short story just about every time.

To that end, here are a few short story collections released in the last year or so!

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2016 Library Challenge: A Graphic Novel

Confession: I used to avoid graphic novels.

I didn’t have anything against them, per se. I mean, I liked fiction and I liked art, but the combination of the two of them just never occurred to me as something I’d want to read.

I changed my mind about graphic novels after reading Art Spiegelman’s classic Maus and also Gris Grimly’s adaptation of Frankenstein.

It’s still not a genre I read widely in, admittedly, but now, whenever I hear that a book is a graphic novel, my first instinct is no longer to automatically assume it won’t be for me.

To that end, if you were like me a few years ago and think graphic novels aren’t your thing, here are some recommendations that illustrate the great variety within the genre.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book with a One Word Title

Off the top of your head, name a one word book title.

No cheating with Google or peeking at the nearest shelf of books!

I only torture you with this test because it actually took me an embarrassing amount of time to think of one word book titles when I first looked at the list of book challenges. My mind just completely blanked out and only could summon up very lengthy book titles.

If you are afflicted by a similar form of selective memory, don’t despair!

I’ve rounded up a selection of one word titles from recent books. As always, for more information on any of the books mentioned below, just follow this link to our online library catalog.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Trilogy

Have you been looking for a new series lately? I don’t know about you, but I’ve always enjoyed reading a good trilogy. There’s something so appealing about finishing a book you really enjoyed and knowing that you still get to spend more time with the characters in subsequent adventures but also knowing that you’re not indefinitely tied to reading an unknown number of books because there is a definitive end in sight.

To that end, below is a listing of trilogies, both old and new, that you might enjoy reading. Don’t forget you can always learn more about any of the books mentioned on our online library catalog!

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