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APRIL 3, 2013
New Library Blog location

Starting today, we'll be blogging from the new jeffcolibrary.org. You can keep following this blog here:

 

http://jeffcolibrary.org/books-movies-music/books-and-beyond-blog

 

We hope to see you there. Thanks for reading!

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posted by Sean, Standley Lake Library

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APRIL 1, 2013
A Book We Love: The Hobbit

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien

How to keep the Greatest Adventure Going!

The U.S. theatrical release in December 2012 of the first of Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation of The Hobbit makes this a good time to celebrate this wonderful book. Since it was first published in 1937, a variety of adaptations and interpretations have come about. Here are a few notable titles to check out!

Books:

Exploring J. R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit By Corey Olsen (also known as the Tolkien Professor)
The Complete Guide to Middle-earth: From the Hobbit through the Lord of the Rings and Beyond By Robert Foster.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie Storybook By Kempshall, Paddy

CDs, DVDs and More!

The Hobbit. An Unexpected Journey: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD) by Howard Shore
The hobbit (DVD) animated 1977 film by Jules Bass
Or check out various sound recordings of the book: Book on Disc, Playaway or downloadable audiobook

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posted by Jill, Arvada Library

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MARCH 27, 2013
Books into Movies/Television: Nordic Crime Fiction

If you are a fan of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, try some of these Nordic Crime novels that have been made into movies:

HeadhuntersJo Nesbo
Headhunters
- Book
Headhunters - Movie 

 
 

smilla's sense of snowPeter Hoeg
Smilla’s Sense of Snow
- Book
Smilla's Sense of Snow - Movie




WallanderHenning Mankell 
Kurt Wallander - Books
Wallandertelevision series
Henning Mankell’s fictional detective character Kurt Wallander is the main character in the BBC drama Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. Plus, I just discovered Henning Mankell is Ingmar Bergman’s son-in-law, wow!

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posted by Jill, Arvada Library

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MARCH 25, 2013
A Book We Love: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

A Book We Love: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Barbara Pym, who wrote mostly in the 1950s, has been described as the most underrated author in the English language. Her books fell into obscurity before being resurrected in 1977. Today there is a Barbara Pym Society that holds international conferences about her works and her life; books and articles have been published as well—and yet she is still not well known.

Excellent Women is a good introduction to Barbara Pym’s works. Mildred Lansbury is in her 30s, unmarried (in 1950s London that makes her a veritable spinster), and has a tendency to get involved in other people’s affairs. Mildred is also an excellent observer, offering witty, perceptive comments about herself and about the people she meets. Like Jane Austen before her, Barbara Pym creates a character-driven world with Mildred as entertaining tour guide. There are deeper themes here too, as Mildred ponders gender roles, societal expectations, and her own place. Excellent Women

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posted by Ros, Evergreen Library

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MARCH 22, 2013
Getting to know the author: An interview with Sean Eads

SurvivorsThe Survivors by Sean Eads has just been short-listed in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror category by Lambda Literary! Why are we so excited? Sean is also a librarian at Standley Lake Library. His novel, narrated by journalist Craig Mencken, tells the story of an invasion by rude aliens.

 

The Survivors is laugh-out-loud funny at the start but quickly becomes very dark. Did you always know that the story would go in that direction?
Yes, I knew the story would take a dark turn as it attempted to imagine how the peculiar alien invasion might go. I wanted the story throughout to constantly move between uneasy humor and violence as a way to keep readers interested and guessing.

How did you find Craig Mencken’s voice?
His voice is, in part, a parody of the voice David Sedaris uses when narrating many of his essays. I’d been re-reading Me Talk Pretty One Day at around the time I got the idea for The Survivors, and started thinking what a Sedaris-esque “character” might be like as a war correspondent in an alien invasion. While the story ended up being a bit different from that initial intention, I think some of that origin still comes through in how my narrator speaks.

This is your first novel to be published in print. What else have you had published?
My latest short story, “To Bie or Not to Bie,” came out in Shock Totem. It involves zombies and a young troupe of Shakespearian actors. I have two more stories coming out in separate anthologies this year. One is called “The Oven,” and examines how the Ginger Bread Man would react in a world overrun by the living dead. The other involves Oscar Wilde battling zombies during the 1900 Paris Olympics. I have a science fiction/mystery story called “The Seer” coming out soon. I’ve also tried my hand at a thriller novel called Trigger Point, which was released in 2012 in e-book format.

Describe your writing space.
My writing space is wherever I happen to be when I have a moment to write. At home, it’s pretty much in front of a computer with a lot of dirty dishes stacked up around my keyboard. But I can write anywhere—a park, a laundromat; it doesn’t matter. I have actually written in the bathtub before, but that was messy. I don’t need a room with a view, complete silence, or anything like that.

You work full time at JCPL. When do find time to write?
Having no social life helps. I’m usually up in the early morning staffing AskColorado, the state’s live virtual reference service, and I’ll be working on a story in-between helping patrons. I generally write a couple of hours after work as well. I used to be very disciplined about writing for three hours every day, but in the past couple of years I’ve found myself becoming more of a “burst” writer, pumping out large amounts of words in a short time, then going at a more relaxed pace for a week or two. I love writing and it really never comes down to finding time. I just do it.

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posted by Susannah, Standley Lake Library

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MARCH 20, 2013
What We’re Reading this Month

The World to Come by Dara Horn

Attending a singles gathering at a New York art museum leads to trouble for television quiz-show writer Benjamin Ziskind. Not romantic trouble, at least not at first, but legal trouble:  when Benjamin sees a Marc Chagall painting he’s convinced once belonged to his family, he picks it off the wall and takes it home. In a deftly woven story, author Dara Horn delves into the painting’s history, starting with a Russian Orphanage in the 1920s to the Vietnam War to see how the painting changed hands over generations. If you enjoy charming literary fiction that explores questions of moral responsibility and love, then don’t miss this title.

world to come

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posted by Bonnie, Lakewood Library

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MARCH 18, 2013
A Book We Love: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Barbara Pym, who wrote mostly in the 1950s, has been described as the most underrated author in the English language. Her books fell into obscurity before being resurrected in 1977. Today there is a Barbara Pym Society that holds international conferences about her works and her life; books and articles have been published as well—and yet she is still not well known.

Excellent Women is a good introduction to Barbara Pym’s works. Mildred Lansbury is in her 30s, unmarried (in 1950s London that makes her a veritable spinster), and has a tendency to get involved in other people’s affairs. Mildred is also an excellent observer, offering witty, perceptive comments about herself and about the people she meets. Like Jane Austen before her, Barbara Pym creates a character-driven world with Mildred as entertaining tour guide. There are deeper themes here too, as Mildred ponders gender roles, societal expectations, and her own place.

Excellent Women

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posted by Ros, Evergreen Library

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MARCH 15, 2013
Read ‘em in order!

“What number is this in the series?”

That’s a question we get quite often at the information desks. Information about books in a series can be found in many places – our catalog is great – but I have my favorite place to look. Another library system, the Kent (Michigan) Library District, keeps a database of all things series. In the past, they published a book every year called “What’s Next” but now it is only online. You can search by author, series title, or book title, and there are lots of ways to limit. I love being able to type in “Patterson” and then pick James Patterson and then quickly see a list of every series he has written. So easy!

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posted by Joanna, Standley Lake Library

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MARCH 13, 2013
Science Fiction for Thriller Readers

I almost always walk on by any science fiction, even if it’s a shiny new volume. But every once and a while I accidently find one that reads like a thriller, my favorite genre.

The very first book I read with a genuine science fiction label was recommended to me by a fellow thriller reader. It was Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H. F. Saint, 1987. The reviews were all really good, so I gave it a try. I absolutely loved it - the humor, the unusual viewpoint, the “science” of how invisibility might actually work (or not).

Next I came across one of Michael Crichton’s first books, The Andromeda Strain, 1969. This book develops at lightning speed, and continues the same pace as it hurtles to the conclusion, a precursor of the future sci-fi/thrillers from this author such as Jurassic Park, and Timeline.

Douglas Preston, who writes mysteries with Lincoln Child, has written several sci-fi/thrillers.  My favorite is Blasphemy. It is the story of scientists vs. a televangelist, and neither one is really innocent. Also check out Lincoln Child’s standalone titles in the same genre: Terminal Freeze, and Deep Storm.

My favorite title of all time though, is The Link by Walt Becker.  My teenage son and a few of his friends still talk about it as the best book they ever read, even now into their late 20s.  While I wouldn’t go that far, any title that is so fast-paced as to get teen boys to read and discuss a book that isn’t required, is a winner.  Paleontologist Samantha Colby finds bones that could be the "missing link." She also finds a map that leads her to an abandoned alien bunker in South America that is storing an advanced weapons system.  It has it all: aliens, the CIA, and a love triangle. So the next time you see a science fiction label on a book, pick it up and give it a try, even if you are a thriller reader, you just might like it.

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posted by Carol, Arvada Library

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MARCH 11, 2013
A DVD We Love: The Way

The Way 

A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the "El Camino de Santiago" pilgrimage trail from France to Spain. Knowing there is no longer any chance at reconciliation due to his passing, as a tribute to his son, he decides to finish the journey for him. Along the way, he meets and travels with three other pilgrims whose stories and outlooks on life all have their effects on each other. A powerful, moving, and occasionally humorous film about family, friends, and life choices. Beautiful cinematography as well. Starts Martin Sheen (father) and Emilio Estevez (son), real-life father and son.

The Way DVD

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posted by Jayne, Golden Library

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MARCH 8, 2013
Caring for our aging parents and ourselves

Many of us are facing the conundrum of caring for our aging parents. Some of us are in the sandwich generation – we still have children and teens at home and we are caring for aging parents as well. And some of our parents are far away in another state or city. There are new realities and limitations to navigate as we proceed on this path and we are proceeding as we ourselves are aging. It is a daunting task and fraught with twists and turns along the way. We want the best for our parents and want to continue being with them and taking them special places. And we wonder, are we doing this special trip or event for Mom & Dad or because we can’t bear knowing that they are no longer able to enjoy such an outing. Here are a few resources to help you.

Another country: the emotional terrain of our eldersAnother Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of our Elders by Mary Pipher  
This exploration into the period of transition which marks the beginnings of old age offers a compassionate view of ways to build communication between generations. Pipher examines the trials of aging in contemporary America--for all those involved. The miniature biographies, told with respect and empathy, reveal not only a complicated reality but diverse possibilities as we all age. We hope this “field guide” to a foreign landscape will be a help and a resource.


story of my father

Story of my Father by Sue Miller  
“This is the hardest lesson... for a caregiver: you can never do enough to make a difference in the course of the disease," Miller writes in this thoughtful remembrance of her relationship with her father as he succumbs to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease.




 
a bittersweet seasonA Bittersweet Season: Caring for our Aging Parents and Ourselves by Jane Gross 
In telling the story of her own struggle to learn how to care for her aging and ailing mother, this New York Times journalist offers helpful insights and advice to other caregivers who feel overwhelmed. She offers advice for those already caring for their aging and dying parents and issues a wake-up call to those who think they are prepared should the time come. Gross debunks misconceptions about assisted-living facilities and offers eye-opening anecdotes about Medicare and Medicaid, including how her own upper-middle-class mother ended up on Medicaid and virtually penniless due to health-care costs. This is a well-researched and thought provoking resource for end of life care.

caring for your aging parents

Caring for Your Aging Parents: An Emotional Guide to Nurturing Your Loved Ones While Taking Care of Yourself by Raeann Berman 
This book contains much needed direction to lots of resources for aging individuals that family members can use. The authors talk about specifics (finding living arrangements, dealing with memory loss, conversations to have with aging parents while it is still possible to have them) and then give suggestions as to how to proceed. And for us who are in the middle of this wild ride, they give ideas for the caregiver to stay healthy and well.

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posted by Christina, Lakewood Library

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MARCH 6, 2013
A Book We Love: The Diviners

The Diviners by Libba Bray

DivinersSeventeen year old Evie O'Neill is sooo bored living in a small town in Ohio in the 1920’s. She is sure life is passing her by, so she spends her time defying her parents, drinking bathtub gin, and generally causing havoc. As punishment, her parents decide to send her to live with her Uncle Will, who is the curator of a folklore and occult museum known by all as The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. Evie is thrilled with her “exile” to Uncle Will’s in New York City, and soon finds herself hanging out with a Ziegfeld girl, her piano player roommate, a pickpocket, and her best friend Mable. When Uncle Will is called upon to help with a series of occult related murders, Evie worms her way into the investigation. She soon finds that she knows more than she can say, without giving away her “special” supernatural talent. As she tries to help, she meets other 17-year-olds who all seem to have talents as well, and together they work to save the future from a great evil trying to come back from the past.

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posted by Carol, Arvada Library

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MARCH 4, 2013
While you’re waiting for Downton Abbey

downton abbey coverWhere are you on the hold list for Downton Abbey, season 1, 2, or 3? Here are some suggestions for British drama to tide you over until it’s ready! Feel free to chime in with your own ideas, too.

 

 



The Cazalets

Coming Home 

The Forsyte Saga 

The Pallisers 

Upstairs Downstairs

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posted by Emily, Columbine Library

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MARCH 1, 2013
A Book We Love: The Old Buzzard had it Coming

The Old Buzzard Had it Coming by Doris Casey

An ugly abusive drunk is murdered, and Alafair Tucker is an Oklahoma farm mother who discovers an ability to figure out "whodunit," just when her family needs her help the most.

This is the first book in a series of historical fiction novels by Casey set in Oklahoma in the years between 1912 and 1920. Her work paints a vivid picture of farm life in this era, while entertaining us with a mystery that needs untangling. The characters are homespun and hard-working, and some of Alafair’s favorite farm recipes are also included.

Jacket for The old buzzard had it coming

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posted by Joanna, Standley Lake Library

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FEBRUARY 27, 2013
March Madness Book Sale at Standley Lake Library
March Madness isn’t just about college basketball. It’s also the month when the Standley Lake library holds its annual super-awesome book sale.
 
This year the March Madness sale is taking place March 8th – 10th, 10AM-4:30 each day.
 
The sale presents a major opportunity for people to find incredible deals. With over 7,000 books, CDS, and DVDS, you’re guaranteed to find a great selection at the following unbeatable prices:
 
Hardbacks - $1
Childrens books - $.50 – 1
Audiobooks - $1-3
Nonfiction - $1 – 2.50
 
There’ll be some specially priced like-new items. Best of all, Sunday is Bag Day. Fill a grocery bag full with books and get them all for just $6.
 
As with the yearly Whale of a Sale event, the money made at March Madness goes toward the library Foundation, which in turn uses it to support library programming. Funds generated by the sale help purchase the new books awarded to children and teens at the end of the library’s Summer Reading Club. Last year almost 15,000 children and teens met the requirements needed to earn a free book.
 
JCPL would not be able to provide that many new books to the kids and teens without the support of the Foundation, and the Foundation wouldn’t be able to do it without the support the public provides through our booksales. So come to Standley Lake on March 8th – 10th and get some great books while supporting a worthy cause.

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posted by Sean, Standley Lake Library

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FEBRUARY 27, 2013
Aloysius Pendergast

Two GravesSpecial Agent Aloysius Pendergast is one of the most interesting characters in suspense fiction today.  He is the creation of co-authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  These authors have written 12 novels in which Pendergast appears.  Aloysius X. Pendergast is a Special Agent of the FBI from New Orleans.  He is described as corpse pale, with white blonde hair, silver eyes, is fairly tall, but has a slight frame.   He wears only black suits, and drives a pair of 1959 Silver Rolls Royces.  He is in the FBI but only takes a salary of $1 per year, as he comes from old Louisiana money. He has been in the Special Forces, holds a double doctorate from Oxford, and is also an expert in the eastern art of Chongg Ran. A master of disguise, Pendergast has the ability to solve puzzles that rivals Sherlock Holmes.
We met him first in Relic ,1995, followed by Reliquary, 1997, both set in the New York Museum of Natural History. The newest Pendergast book is Two Graves, 2012, which moves from New York’s Dakota building to the jungles of Brazil. The books often have a supernatural aspect to them and are always page turners. So pick up the first Pendergast and enjoy!

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posted by Carol, Arvada Library

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FEBRUARY 26, 2013
A Book We Love: The Leisure Seeker

The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian The Leisure Seeker

In 2008, John and Ella Robina abandon their adult children in Detroit for one last trip across the country in their 1978 Leisure Seeker motorhome.  Big deal, you say. Well, John has Alzheimer’s disease and Ella has terminal cancer and they are determined to enjoy every last minute of their life together.  They decide to stick to the old Route 66 to keep off of the scary interstate highway system. Filled with memories of their lives together and some humorous moments, The Leisure Seeker turned out to be much more serious than I expected. Lots of end of life issues are pondered in this unique novel.

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posted by Marie, Columbine Library

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FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Flashback: September 1957

Elizabeth and Hazel:  Two Women of Little RockElizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock.  New Haven: Yale University Press, c2011.

In the iconic photograph, the young black woman in dark glasses averts her gaze while clutching a stack of folders.  A crowd appears behind her, the camera focusing on the jeering face of a young white woman.  Elizabeth and Hazel is the fascinating story of what happened to these two high school students - Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Massey - after this photo was snapped in 1957. 

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posted by Emily, Columbine Library

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FEBRUARY 20, 2013
A Book We Love: The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans: a Novel by M. L. StedmanThe Light Between Oceans

In the aftermath World War I, Tom Sherbourne is still recovering psychologically from the war when he takes the job as lighthouse keeper on tiny Janus Island off the coast of Australia.  He hopes the solitude and steady job will help him recover from the devastating memories of the wounded, the dying and the killing.
He never expected a young woman from the mainland town to be attracted to him, let alone want to marry him. Tom and Isabel are deeply in love when they marry and settle on the remote island.  Life goes relatively well until she suffers 2 miscarriages and then a still born birth. Shortly after, a boat washes up on the shore and inside it Tom and Isabel find a baby girl and a dead man.  Undone from her losses, she begs Tom to let her have time with the baby before they notify the authorities.  Against his better judgment, he relents but this decision and subsequent actions will lead to a family and to a love that he never knew he could feel. It will also lead to his downfall and ruin.  This first novel brilliantly persuades us to suspend any simple judgments of how a good man could make such a wrong decision.
 

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posted by Judy, Belmar Library

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FEBRUARY 15, 2013
Westerns on Screen

If you like watching westerns, you might try some of the following DVDs: The Outlaw Josie Wales

The Outlaw Josey Wales
The Outlaw Josey Wales stars Clint Eastwood as Josey Wales.  Josey refuses to surrender to Union soldiers after the war.  He returns home to find his family murdered and that is where his quest for revenge begins.  This is one of my favorite westerns because Clint Eastwood gives a great performance as Josey Wales. 

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid 
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid stars James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan.  Pat Garrett is the new lawman in town and he is in charge of capturing Billy the Kid, his former partner in crime.  Who will win – the lawman, backed by cattle interests, or the outlaw, backed by the people?  Watch the DVD to find out!

3:10 to Yuma
Russell Crowe and Christian Bale star in this newest version of 3:10 to Yuma.  Daniel Evans, a small farmer, is struggling to keep his land when he gets a chance to make $200 transporting the famous outlaw, Ben Wade, to justice.  After losing a great deal of confidence and part of his leg in the Civil War, Daniel Evans is struggling to redeem himself in the eyes of his teenage son.  Is Daniel able to save his land and restore the image his son has of him?  I guess you will have to watch 3:10 to Yuma to find out!   

The Professionals
In The Professionals, a rich Texan rancher hires four mercenaries to rescue his wife from a revolutionary in Mexico.  However, not everything is as it seems, as the mercenaries soon find out.  The Professionals was made in 1966 and although it has it serious moments, it is a fun and lighthearted western.  Jack Palance gives a great performance, along with Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin.

 

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posted by Sunshine, Columbine Library

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FEBRUARY 13, 2013
A Book We Love: The Mouse That Roared

The Mouse That Roared by Leonard Wibberley

The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a tiny nation forgotten by the world, struggles to cope with a financial crisis and with the modern world. The humorous novels chronicling the Duchy of Grand Fenwick’s inventive solutions and international misadventures were written during the frigid depths of the Cold War.  The “Mouse” novels brought the welcome release of laughter to readers who were themselves trying to cope with frightening times. These satiric novels offer new generations of readers insightful, humorous views of life in a time of fear and international intrigue that still ring true today.

Leonard Wibberley, a prolific 20th century Irish author, spent much of his writing life in the United States and his 100 works included fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, short stories, articles and screenplays.  Wibberley is perhaps best known for his book The Mouse that Roared, the first in the satiric “Mouse” series. The book was later made into a motion picture starring Peter Sellers and Jean Seberg.

In addition to printed books available for checkout from JCPL, some of Wibberley’s short stories and articles are available for reading online through JCPL’s Ebscohost database.

Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, children of Leonard, are also writers, and some of their works are available through JCPL.

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posted by Jo, Golden Library

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