I’m Not There is an artistic rendering of Bob Dylan’s life in movie form. Director Todd Haynes has six different actors play the part of Bob Dylan as he transitions through different incarnations. Dylan is portrayed as a lover/imitator of Woody Guthrie, a folk singer, an artist playing electric guitar, an actor, a poet, and an outlaw. The result is a stunning and thought-provoking film. In order to understand the subtlety and depth of this film, it helps to know a little about Dylan’s life beyond his song writing. All of the actors who play Dylan give great performances, but Kate Blanchett’s Dylan blew me away. There are funny moments - look for David Cross as Alan Ginsberg - as well as surreal moments - Kate Blanchett’s Dylan tied to a balloon in a dream sequence and Richard Gere’s Bob Dylan’s strange scene when the animals from the local zoo are roaming free behind him. I’m Not There is a great movie for artists, lovers of Bob Dylan, and anyone who wants to watch a stimulating and creative film. Enjoy!
The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag is the second in Bradley’s enchanting Flavia de Luce mysteries. Eleven-year-old British girl Flavia de Luce loves chemistry and puts her knowledge to good use in helping the police solve crimes in her small English village immediately following World War II. The secondary characters are also quite eccentric. Flavia is a precocious, bored young lady who takes charge of the situation when a traveling puppeteer is murdered in the local church. The series starts with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
Fredrik Welin, a surgeon whose career ended due to a tragic mistake, has isolated himself on an island north of Sweden. He thinks he is set for the remainder of his life, adhering only to the self-imposed ritual of plunging himself in the nearby icy waters to remind himself he’s alive. His world is blown apart by the unannounced arrival of an ex-love who wants to bring Fredrik back into the living by sharing a secret from their past. Three other women arrive to confront him about the past and before he knows it, he has worked his way back into life, with all of its complications, warmth, and frustrating intimacies. Don’t miss this delightful book, which Library Journal calls, “nothing short of brilliant.”
Since having to put my well-loved, almost 15-year-old shepherd/lab mix Debo down last month I have been reflecting on dogs and what they mean in our lives. We got Debo from the shelter and it was estimated that she was 8 weeks old. Even in that small amount of time, something had happened in her short life to make her frightened and aggressive. We worked with her – even visited with a doggie psychiatrist – and by the time she was about 7, she was a really good dog. I grew up in a family of dog lovers and was introduced early to Ben Hur Lampman’s essay entitled “Where to Bury a Dog” from his book How Could I be Forgetting. The text is easily found on the internet. Lampman tells us the best place to bury a dog is in your heart.
The following titles are stories of shelter dogs who, like Debo, have “landed on their feet”.
Do you want to laugh? Check out one of the following items and have some hearty belly laughs.
It’s Bad For Ya by George Carlin George Carlin is 70 in this comedy special but you would never know it if he did not tell you. He pokes fun at death, raising children, and religion just for starters. If you like irreverent comedy, this DVD/CD is for you.
Standup Comic by Woody Allen You probably know Woody Allen best for his films but his standup is funny too. Listen to this CD and find out why Allen was writing jokes for Sid Caesar at age 23.
Do You Believe in Gosh? by Mitch Hedberg If you have not heard of Mitch Hedberg you should check out this CD. Hedberg’s comedy is quirky, off-beat and delivered with a casual relaxed attitude. Enjoy the laughs.
Hilarious by C. K. Louis You might already know Louis C.K. from his show Louie on FX, but his standup is also really good. Listen to this CD and find out for yourself.
New York writer Elizabeth Cline routinely shopped trendy discount stores such as H&M and Forever 21, and the big box discounters: Target and Walmart. She purchased a new article of clothing at least once a week. After losing her job, she was forced to confront her spending habits. She then realized her clothes habit was way over the top. This book explores our obsession with fashion, particularly cheap clothing, and asks why we are willing to put up with poor quality and what these throwaway duds are doing to our society and to our environment.
Many of us, now that we’re “older”, are trying to fill in gaps from our reading past. Maybe we just read the Cliff Notes version in school, or maybe we missed important books entirely. Certain novels come up in conversation and we can’t remember much about them, even if read back in high school. It leaves us with a nagging feeling of incompleteness.
Eleanor Gehres’ book helps us fill in the gap. She has created a 150-title guide that can be used to find interesting and important American literature. Entries are organized by decade and come with short plot descriptions and reasons why they are included. Here you’ll find J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Jack London’s Call of the Wild, and Lost Horizons by James Hilton. Both obscure and famous novels are covered, but all are recommended by Gehre, a Denver librarian. It’s a great way to find some good reads!
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is a teen title in our Lucky Day collection that adults may also enjoy!
I really enjoyed Stiefvater’s books Shiver, Linger and Forever about the werewolves of Mercy Falls. I also enjoyed her stand-alone title, The Scorpio Races. However, I like The Raven Boys, the first book of her new series, just as much as her previous books or even more. Have you read it yet? What do you think?
I was interested by the push and pull of Blue’s feelings about the boys attending Aglionby, the nearby private school for the wealthy. I was intrigued by the whole idea of ley lines and waking a sleeping king. The characters and the suspense kept me reading! Now I have to wait for the second book…
Ever want to know more about the history of the town or neighborhood you live in? Your local Jefferson County Library is a great place to start.
The Jefferson County Historic Collection at Standley Lake is home to countless historical maps from the last 100 years from around the county as well as priceless historical documents and one-off publications, such as a 1983 volume titled Grandview Streetcape Project and Notorious Jefferson County: Frontier Murder & Mayhem. Other interesting documents to look at are the old Sanborn fire insurance maps of the area. The Golden library, for example, has a map of the area from 1886 that details not only what structures were in place at the time, but their uses and sometimes ownership.
And here at the Arvada Library, we have a sizeable collection of materials about our town, neighborhoods and Jefferson County as a whole. Wonder what Arva-Pride is and why it’s plastered on the side of that old building downtown? Want to follow the trail of Lewis Ralston that led him to pan for gold in what is now Ralston Creek? We’ve got you covered.
Data like this can lead to new understandings of our past. For example, check out how the Whistler Museum in Whistler, British Columbia has combined their historic archives and vintage maps with modern – and free – technology to create some pretty amazing point-of-view experiences into a nearly 90-year-old mountaineering excursion:
Getting to Know the Authors: An interview with Eowyn Ivey
The Standley Lake Library book group will discuss Eowyn Ivey’s debut novel The Snow Child on December 13 at 6:30 p.m.
The New York Times bestseller is a novel about the magic and mystery of a child made out of snow, and how she changes the lives of Jack and Mabel, homesteaders in the Alaskan wilderness.
We recently had the chance to ask Eowyn some questions about her novel:
JCPL: What can you tell us about your writing process? How did you go about writing The Snow Child? Would you do the same for your next project?
EI: We had a new baby in the house when I was writing The Snow Child, and my husband and I were both working, so I was left with a sliver of time after both our daughters went to bed. I would retreat to the walk-in closet that I had converted into an office and write for an hour or two each night. My mom is a poet and we arranged to share our work each week -- I would give her a new chapter, and she would give me a new poem. Because these were first drafts, we mostly gave positive feedback to each other keep the momentum going. As for my next novel, I am trying to spend time here and there working on it, but my schedule is very different now with book publicity and travel. The basic approach remains the same, however -- I have to carve out that time and just write.
JCPL: Do you think people have taken meanings from The Snow Child that you didn't put there?
EI: Definitely. But that's one of the wonderful aspects of novels. We all bring our own experience and knowledge to the page when we read. In some cases, readers have shed light on interpretations of the story that I was not consciously aware of as I wrote, but were perhaps part of my subconscious process. In other situations, readers take away meanings that I don't necessarily agree with, but that doesn't mean they are wrong. A writer is only half of the process. And I love to think that readers can discuss and find new meaning in my story.
JCPL: What is your favorite "guilty pleasure" book to read?
EI: Stephen King. And the only reason his books are a "guilty pleasure" is because I become so absorbed by his storytelling that I can do nothing but read. I started Under the Dome one evening, and then spent the entire next day reading it. When my husband came home, I said "Sorry, can't fix dinner or help with the kids" and pointed at the book. I finished it that night. Typically when I read my favorite authors, like Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich, Toni Morrison or Annie Proulx, I savor their work over a week or so. But Stephen King is my excuse to devour 1,000 pages in a day.
JCPL: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
EI: Just to say thank you. I have been touched by the emails and letters I've received, and am so grateful to the book clubs, librarians, and booksellers who have helped spread word about the book.