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Archive for January, 2008

Paul MuniThis handsome man on the left is Paul Muni (in case you weren’t aware), and his picture is adorning this page because today I’ve decided we need a little digression into classic film history. By the by, I’m crazy about classic films and if you are too, you might want to check out the TCM classic movies site. It’s packed with information, photos, clips and more—really great stuff! (Do I sound like a commercial?)

Okay, enough of that. Let’s chat a little about Paul Muni, shall we? He is one of my absolutely favorite actors—ever. He didn’t make too many films, but those he did were consistently excellent. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang and Scarface (both 1932) are probably his best known films. If you’ve never seen this “original” Scarface, directed by Howard Hawks (who we’ll have to chat about sometime too), you really should try to track down a copy of it. Other Muni films not to miss: The Life of Emil Zola (1937) and Juarez (1939).

Juarez also has Bette Davis in it; she gives an amazing performance. It’s interesting though, that she and Paul Muni have no scenes together in this movie. Too bad. They were really great together in Bordertown (1935); kind of a lost gem of a movie. I don’t want to give the plot away—so I won’t, but a huge chunk of this movie was incorporated five years later into the (also very good) movie, They Drive by Night (1940), with Ida Lupino, who very handily steals the show from Humphrey Bogart and George Raft. (This sentence is way too long; I hope you paused to take a breath if you were reading aloud.) If you ever have the chance, compare the performances of Ida Lupino in this movie and Bette Davis in Bordertown. Very interesting!

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Pooh Day!

Book JacketYes, today is Pooh Day, aka the birth anniversary of Alan Alexander Milne, the author who created Winnie the Pooh.

Learn more about Milne and explore all things Pooh at the Just-Pooh website.

Alternatively, check out what Winnie the Pooh materials we have here at the
Alameda County Library
.

And just for fun, some random wisdom from Pooh:

Before beginning a Hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.

When late morning rolls around and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, don’t worry; you’re probably just a little eleven o’clockish.

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Volunteers Wanted

Booklegger Logo

Become a Booklegger

Are you interested in sharing books and a love of reading with students in the Fremont Unified School District? If you just answered yes, you should consider becoming a Booklegger. For more information, come to one of the upcoming orientation meetings. The meeting will last about one hour and will:

  • Introduce the project staff
  • Demonstrate Booklegging
  • Describe the training program
  • Give an idea of the time involved in being a Booklegger

Orientation Meetings

When: Wednesay January 30, 2-3 p.m. or 7-8 p.m.
Where: Fremont Main Library, Conference Room A

Spring 2008 Training Dates

When: The following Tuesday mornings from 9:15-11:15 a.m.
February 5 and 26; March 4, 11, 18 and 25; April 1 and 8
Where: Fremont Main Library, Conference Room A

For more information, please call 510-745-1421 or 510-745-1409 and ask for Gail Orwig or Karen Pacheco.

You might also want to look at Booklegger FAQs.

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Thursday 13 #2

For this week’s Thursday Thirteen I offer you Thirteen SciFi/Fantasy Books that have been filmed. I’m always interested in books that are making the transition to film, so if you encounter any information on the topic, please let me know.

I have linked the title of the book to the listing for the film on the IMDB. (In some cases I had to chose one version of a film to link to when there have been multiples.) I also linked to the book and/or film if it is in the Alameda County Library system so that you may place a hold on the item if you want to. The opinions of the films and books that are included in this list are my own snarky opinions and not the official stance of the Fremont Libraries. Just so you know.

1. Dune – Frank Herbert (This book has been filmed a couple of times. I still haven’t seen the new mini-series that the Sci Fi Channel put out, but the one with Kyle MacLachlan had several different versions. A couple of those versions are a bit…gross, actually. This is the only book of the series that I have read. [The Book, The Film, The Miniseries]

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (Douglas Adams provided the world with a number of different versions of this story. Reportedly, he liked to change it a little each time he gave us a new version. There have been a book, radio series, mini-series, and a film. I’m sure that I’m missing an iteration in there somewhere. This is not a mere work of literature. It has become a cultural phenomenon. Do you know where your towel is?) [The Book, The Mini-Series, The Film]

3. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick (The film version of this book is better know as Blade Runner. I love the film, but I haven’t read the book yet. The film contains my favorite film quote ever. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…”) [The Book, The Film]

4. Contact – Carl Sagan (Why haven’t I read this book yet? I loved the film, and I used to obsessively watch Cosmos as a kid. Hmm… Perhaps this is another of those mysteries of life.) [The Book, The Film]

5. Stardust – Neil Gaiman (I loved this film, and not just a little bit. De Niro’s performance was priceless. As is usually the case, the book and the film are a wee bit different from each other. I have a friend who likes the film better than the book.) [The Book, The Film]

6. K-Pax – Gene Brewer (I don’t have too much to say about this one, except that Kevin Spacey did a good job in the film.) [The Book, The Film]

7. The People: No Different Flesh – Zenna Henderson (The People appeared as a TV film back in 1972. It isn’t available in either DVD or VHS, sadly. To see this one you’ll have to set your Tivo or monitor the late night movies. That’s what I did anyway. The film was okay, but Zenna Henderson’s books are fabulous. I own the compilation of her stories about “The People” called Ingathering. I need to go back and re-read it now.) [The Book]

8. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K. LeGuin (This book is the first in a series of excellent books. Well, I’m not that fond of Tehanu, but still… The film was a bit regretable and sort of combined the first two books in the series. If you have a choice between the two, read the book.) [The Book]

9. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman (The book has been out for a while, and the film has not yet arrived on DVD. I haven’t yet seen the film, but the trailers were breathtaking effects-wise. Both the book and its film are controversial. Kinda makes you want to see the film/read the book when you hear that, doesn’t it?) [The Book]

10. Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett (Strangely, my library has the filmed version of this, but not the book. This film first appeared on British television back in 1997. Hey, it has Christopher Lee as the voice of Death. How can you go wrong with that?) [The Film]

11. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke (“I’m sorry Dave. I can’t do that.” Actually, what I remember best about the film is the bone flying up into the air and becoming a space ship. Yes. I haven’t seen it for about 18 years. I should probably see it again one of these days. I’m also amused that it is now 2008, and we still don’t have quite that level of space travel.) [The Book, The Film]

12. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien (I loved both the book and the film on this one. I’m completely biased. No point in arguing about it. I have two copies of the book, and both versions of the film.) [The Book, The Animated Film, The Film]

13. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling (This is my favorite of the Harry Potter books. As near as I can figure, it’s due to the change of pace that this book represents. All of the others are Harry vs. Voldemort in one form or other. This one is different. Well, that and I like Sirius Black. I wish that the film could have been a bit longer. It felt rushed. Not as much as the next one did, but there you are.) [The Book, The Film]

Do you have a favorite SciFi/Fantasy Book that has been made into a film?

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According to Chase’s Calendar of Events (2008) and the folks over at the Official DragonKeeper Chronicles website today is Appreciate a Dragon Day. Apparently, you are encouraged “to choose a favorite dragon from literature and then share that dragon in some art form.” Since one of the purposes of this day is to encourage literacy, I would imagine that you can also celebrate by reading about dragons.

Here are a few celebratory suggestions to get you started:

* Make a dragon out of an egg carton.

* Stage a dragon parade.

* Model a fiery, flying dragon.

Some books with Dragons:

* The Dragonriders of Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey

* Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paolini

* The Pit Dragon Trilogy by Jane Yolen

If you would like to appreciate dragons by reading about them, why not see what materials on the topic exist in the Alameda County Library.

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Knit One, Purl Two On Wednesday

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Knit One, Purl Two: A Monthly Drop-In Knitting Circle

Please join us for an informal knitting circle on the third Wednesday of every month. We will be meeting at the Fremont Main Library in the Van Doorn Room (to the left in the Lobby as you enter the building) from 7-8pm. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Never knitted before? Just bring some knitting needles and yarn, and we’ll get you started.

Join us for conversation, and fun with the fiber arts!

Dates for 2008: 1/16, 2/20, 3/19, 4/16, 5/21, 6/18, 7/16, 8/20, 9/17, 10/15, 11/19, 12/17.

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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is headed for the big screen.

If you are familiar with this book, you may be asking yourself who could possibly undertake this transformation. Well, I have the answer that you are seeking. The producer, director, and co-author of the script is none other than Peter Jackson. Yes, Peter Jackson who did Heavenly Creatures and The Lord of the Rings. This should be…interesting. The cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, and Susan Sarandon and is currently in production. It is due in US theaters on 13 March 2009.

I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on this one.

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According to Chase’s Calendar of Events (2008), today is officially Penguin Awareness Day!

As near as I can tell, you are supposed to celebrate the day by being aware of Penguins. To assist with your Penguin Awareness, I shall provide you with a number of different options:

* The Penguin Cam from Jenkinson’s Aquarium of Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.

* The Penguin Cam from the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan.

* The Penguins’ Rock Cam at the Tennessee Aquarium.

* Do you want to read about Penguins? Check out what the Alameda County Library has on this topic.

* Would you prefer to read about Penguins online? See what the folks from Sea World have to say about these fascinating creatures.

* If you wish to celebrate today by coloring pictures of Penguins, the Tennessee Aquarium can help you with that, too.

Have fun celebrating!

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In the Fukaya Room at the Fremont Main Library
Saturday, January 12, 2008 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Gene Luen Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comic industry award, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comic work. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan’s Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim) and The Rosary Comic Book. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second, was the 2007 Printz Award winner as well as being a National Book Award finalist, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Editor’s Choice for 2006, a PW Best Book of the Year, and #1 on Amazon.com’s list of Best Comics and Graphic Novels of the Year.

Gene lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Theresa, their son, Kolbe and teaches computer science at a Roman Catholic high school. His next book, Three Angels, is forthcoming from First Second Books in Spring 2008.

Join us for this opportunity to see and hear Gene Luen Yang at the Fremont Main Library in the Fukaya Room, Saturday, January 12th.

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Hello, and welcome to our first Thursday Thirteen here at Fremont Libraries. For our first outing, I offer you thirteen people who have portrayed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Obviously, there are many more actors than a mere thirteen who have played him since Doyle’s books were first published, but that list would be longer than two thirteens. I have linked each actor below to one listing on the IMDB, so that you can do further research if you so desire.

13 People Who Have Played Sherlock Holmes

1. William Gillette (1916)
2. Basil Rathbone (1946)
3. Alan Wheatley (1951)
4. Peter Cushing (1968)
5. Stewart Granger (1972)
6. Peter Cook (1978)
7. Jeremy Brett (1984)
8. Nicholas Rowe (1985)
9. Charlton Heston (1991)
10. Matt Frewer (2001)
11. Richard Roxburgh (2003)
12. Rupert Everett (2004)
13. Jonthan Pryce (2007)

Pssst! If you are interested in reading any books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go here to check out Alameda County Library’s selection.

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