Thursday, March 25, 2010

New films from the Philippines

We have over 70 Tagalog films in the library (as well as Tagalog-language books and music CDs), but it's been a little while since we've added any new movies to this collection.  Here are 3 brand-new feature films from the Philippines:
Dobol Trobol starring Vic Sotto and Dolphy.  "Dobol Trobo is a hilarious comedy about a passionate cook named Mac (Dolphy) who strikes up a very unlikely and riotous friendship with his happy go lucky co-worker Arthur (Vic Sotto). As both hit the bumpy road of their misadventures, the side-splitting companionship they've found might be what matters the most." - from the publisher.
My Bestfriend's Girlfriend starring Richard Gutierrez and Marian Rivera.  "After an awkward yet memorable encounter at a stag party, Evo (Richard Gutierrez) and Grace (Marian Rivera) thought they would never see each other again. Little did they know that Grace is actually the girlfriend of Evo's best friend, Mark (JC De Vera). As the arrogant player that he is, Evo takes advantage of what happened at the party to make Grace agree to his demands. He forces Grace to pretend as his girlfriend to make Isabel (Ehra Madrigal), his ex-girlfriend jealous. But as the game of love ensues, Evo and Grace find themselves trapped in their own love spell." - from the publisher.
When I Met U starring Richard Gutierrez and KC Concepcion.  "Jenny (KC Concepcion), a mall promodizer (sic), hitches a ride on a seaplane with stuggling pilot, Benjie (Richard Gutierrez), to attend a wedding in Palawan. On the way to the wedding, Benjie and Jenny find themselves not getting along. But when the aircraft crashes into an isolated island, the two are forced to deal with each other... As their friendship deepens despite their romantic trappins (sic), the two are confronted with their growing love for each other." - from the publisher

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The lost books of the Odyssey

When reading Zachary Mason's debut novel The Lost Books of the Odyssey, don't try too hard; much like swimming in a strong current, it's best to just relax and let the words take you where they will. Don't look for a chronological story line or consistency from chapter to chapter, just enjoy the prose.
Mason has taken the bare skeleton of Homer's Odyssey - Odysseus, king of tiny Ithaca; overbearing Agamemnon; a pointless war; a wife and son left behind - and crafted dozens of fragmented stories that reimagine the way in which Troy fell, how Odysseus found his way back to Ithaca and what happened when he arrived.
The most interesting of these tales are the ones that play with the motivations and behavior of the characters: Penelope becomes a half-feral queen who drags the palace into licentiousness during Odysseus' absence; Paris is actually Death, and the goddess Athena contrives with Odysseus to destroy the kingdom of Death on earth; Odysseus is not a clever warrior, but is instead a wily coward who sneaks off the battlefield and disguises himself as a wandering bard who eventually creates the legend of Odysseus through his songs.
Each chapter is a little tale onto itself, and the language is almost hypnotic. Fortunately, we also have this as an audiobook, and the narrator - Simon Vance - has a wonderful, expressive voice (you may know him from the Patrick O'Brian series, or The Girl Who Played With Fire). This book can be nibbled at in small pieces, as each chapter gives you something to think about. And you don't even have to be a scholar of Homer to appreciate the stories....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You're the coolest parent ever!

We're all about helping people at the library, and with our latest book we can help you:

1. Spend quality time with your child

2. Make a toy that is free of cadmium, lead and pthalates

3. Save a whole bunch of money

Build Your Own Paper Robots: 100s of mecha model designs on CD to print out and assemble, by Julius Perdana and Josh Buczynski, is like paper dolls on steroids. My sister used to collect paper dolls when she was young, and I remember helping her cut out tiny little purses, feathered hats and high-heel shoes. After about an hour, you would find yourself going cross-eyed. So my advice about this new book is: pace yourself.

That being said, Paper Robots is really cool. The simple way to build these robots is to pop the CD into your computer, pick a template and print out the pieces on a color printer. Cut them out, follow assembly instructions, and you've got a 3-D robot model.

If you're really creative (and you have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements), you can actually color the different pieces of the robots in your computer and print out a completely custom product. You can even paint your own camouflage robots! Some card-stock paper, a little white glue, some rubber bands and coffee stirrers, and you've got yourself a bot.

The authors have even included a file for a cyberport and a cool urban backdrop for your new toys. If you remember many happy days in your childhood putting together little airplane or battleship models, then you can pass that fun onto your kids and grandkids. You might need their young eyes and nimble fingers to put these things together, anyway.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More resources available through the Hobbies & Crafts database!

In case you haven't had a chance to browse through our Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center, you might want to give it a try. There are hundreds of topics listed, with diagrams, full-colored pictures, and patterns. So if you're interested in knitting, quilting, fly-tying, beading, woodworking, cross-stitch or sewing, you can find lots of great ideas. The editors of this resource recently announced that they are adding a large number of books to the database. Looking over this list of titles will give you a really good picture of just how varied and useful this service is:
  • Advanced Fly Fishing: Freshwater & Saltwater Strategies
    Art of Fly Tying: More Than 200 Classic & New Patterns
    Baby Quilts: 15 Original Designs for Every Nursery Decor
    BabyKnits Hats & Booties: 15 Matching Sets for Noggins & Tootsies
    Bead Knitted Bags: 10 Projects for Beaders & Knitters
    Bedrooms for Cool Kids
    Bowhunter's Guide to Accurate Shooting
    Button Jewelry & Accessories
    Catching Panfish: Tactics for Sunfish, Crappies, Yellow Perch & White Bass
    Complete Guide to Freshwater Fishing
    Complete Photo Guide to Curtains & Draperies: Do-It-Yourself Window Treatments
    Complete Photo Guide to Fly Fishing: 300 Strategies, Techniques & Insights
    Complete Photo Guide to Fly Tying: 300 Tips, Techniques & Methods
    Complete Photo Guide to Sewing
    Complete Photo Guide to Slipcovers
    Complete Photo Guide to Window Top Treatments
    Complete Photo Guide to Window Treatments
    Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Cake Decorating
    Contemporary Papier Mache: Colorful Sculpture, Jewelry & Home Accessories
    Craft the Perfect Frame
    Crafting With Copper: 25 Creative Projects for Home & Garden
    Crafting Wood Logic Puzzles: 18 Three-Dimensional Games for the Hands & Mind
    Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski: 65 Sparkling Designs with Crystal Beads & Stones
    Creative Bows Made Easy: Perfect Bows for All Your Crafts & Giftwrap
    Creative Costumes & Halloween D├ęcor: 50 Projects to Sew & Craft
    Creative Floral Arranging: How to Decorate with Fresh, Dried & Silk Flowers
    Creative Window Treatments
    Crochet Kid Stuff: 20 Fun Projects
    Designer Bead Embroidery
    Dog Training: Retrievers & Pointing Dogs
    Easy Singer Style Pattern-Free Fashions & Accessories
    Easy Singer Style Pattern-Free Home Accents
    Easy Wood Furniture Projects
    Embellished Applique for Artful Accessories
    Embroidery to Embellish Everything: 30 New Hand-Stitched Designs
    Exploring Textile Arts
    Fabric Art Workshop: Exploring Techniques & Materials for Fabric Artists & Quilters
    Fabulous Faux Florals: 50 Easy, Extraordinary Projects with Silk Flowers & Permanent Botanicals
    Fashion T-Shirts: Easy-Sew Projects for Fun Fashion
    Faux Florals for All Occasions: 35 Faux Floral Arrangements for Contemporary Living
    Faux Florals for Your Wedding
    Favors with Flair: 75 Easy Designs for Weddings, Parties & Events
    Felt Inlays: Making Textured & Patterned Felt for 23 Creative Projects
    Fishing North America
    Fly Fishing for Beginners
    Greeting Cards in Stitches
    Handcrafted Pillows
    Handcrafted Weddings
    Handmade Photo Albums: Complete Instructions for Making 18 Fun & Creative Designs
    Home Decor Sewing 101: A Beginner's Guide to Sewing for the Home
    Hooked Bags: 20 Easy Crochet Projects
    Hooked for Toddlers: 20 Easy Crochet Projects
    Hooked Hats: 15 Easy Crochet Projects
    Hooked Scarves: 20 Easy Crochet Projects
    Hooked Throws: 20 Easy Crochet Projects
    Hooking Mats & Rugs: 33 New Designs from an Old Tradition
    How to Think Like a Survivor: A Guide for Wilderness Emergencies
    Inshore Salt Water Fishing
    Jewelry & Accessories from Everyday Objects
    Kids Gone Campin': The Young Camper's Guide to Having More Fun Outdoors
    Kids Gone Fishin'
    Knits for Men: 20 Sweaters, Vests & Accessories
    Knitting Cuff to Cuff: A Dozen Designs for Sideways-Knit Garments
    Knitting Saddle Style: A Dozen Designs for Saddle-Shoulder Garments
    Largemouth Bass
    Little Bead Boxes: 12 Miniature Boxes Built with Beads
    Making Mosaics
    Memory Quilts: 20 Heartwarming Projects with Special Techniques
    New Punchneedle Embroidery: Basics & Finishing Techniques Plus 20 Original Designs
    New Quilting by Machine
    New Sewing Essentials
    New Step-by-Step Home Decorating Projects
    No-Sew Fabric Decor: Transform Your Home without Sewing a Stitch
    Offshore Salt Water Fishing
    Orvis Beginner's Guide to Birdwatching
    Outdoor Guide to Using Your GPS
    Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns
    Plus Size Crochet: Fashions That Fit & Flatter
    Quick & Clever Fleece: 20 Easy-Sew Projects
    Quick & Easy Sewing with Your Serger
    Quick & Easy Window Treatments
    Quilting Bible: The Complete Photo Guide to Machine Quilting
    Quilts in Bloom: A Garden of Inspiring Quilts & Techniques with Floral Designs
    Ready, Set, Bead: Learn to Bead with 20 Hot Projects
    Ready, Set, Knit: Learn to Knit with 20 Hot Projects
    Scarves & Shawls for Yarn Lovers: Knitting with Simple Patterns & Amazing Yarns
    Sew Gifty: 25 Easy Projects for All Occasions
    Sewing from Square One: Turn Simple Fabric Squares into 20 Projects
    Singer Simple Decorative Machine Stitching
    Singer Simple Home Decor Handbook: Essential Machine-Side Tips & Techniques
    Singer Simple Mending & Repair: Essential Machine-Side Tips & Techniques
    Singer Simple Sewing Guide: Essential Machine-Side Tips & Techniques
    Singer Upholstery Basics Plus: Complete Step-by-Step Photo Guide
    Small Loom & Freeform Weaving: Five Ways to Weave
    Start to Quilt: All the Basics Plus Learn-to-Quilt Projects
    Start to Sew: All the Basics Plus Learn-to-Sew Projects
    Successful Walleye Fishing
    Suddenly a Centerpiece: Assemble These Clever Table Designs in No Time at All
    Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket
    Ultralight Fishing
    Veiled in Beauty: Creating Headpieces & Veils for the Bride
    Waterfowl Hunting: Ducks & Geese of North America
    When Quilt Designers Think Small: Innovative Quilt Projects to Wear, Give or Decorate Your Home
    Whitetail Hunting
    Wild & Wonderful Fleece Animals: With Full Size Patterns for 20 Cuddly Critters
    Windows With Style: Do-It-Yourself Window Treatments
    Wool Pets: Making 20 Figures with Wool Roving & a Barbed Needle
    Wreaths & Wall Flowers

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy B-day, Dr. Seuss!

Today is the 106th birthday of the king of children's books: Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel). School libraries and Children's libraries all over the country are hosting giggling crowds of pajama-wearing kids for story times and meals of green eggs and ham.
The libraries for grown-ups don't usually get to join in the fun, but in honor of his birthday (and the fact that the only poetry I can recite from memory comes from Dr. Seuss books), I would like to draw your attention to The Seuss, the Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss: a visual biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel, by Charles D. Cohen.
Long before he penned his first children's book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss worked as a cartoonist for popular magazines and advertising agencies. He had a long-standing relationship with the weekly magazine Judge, and his ad campaigns for Flit and Standard Oil made him well known.
Like any adult, however, there are aspects of his life that are somewhat controversial. His editorial cartoons frequently reflect the racial stereotypes of the time, with quite unflattering portrayals of blacks, Jews and Japanese-Americans. Did his attitudes change in later years? Did he redeem himself with his later books about bigotry (The Sneetches) and ecological consciousness (The Lorax)? You'll have to read the book to find out........