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April 2009

The Archives

  • DVDs, New, Sci Fi, Simon

    New DVDs

    23.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on New DVDs

    Only three new DVDs this week, but they will be popular.

    High School Musical 3 : Senior Year (G) – this is the ‘extended edition’, which means that it has bloopers, deleted scenes, extra scenes, a sing-along, and much more. It had a higher budget than the previous HSM films, so has more oomph as well.

    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (M) – This is actually based on the fourth book in the series, although it does use bits from the second and third books as well. Stars Ugly Betty, a Gilmore Girl, a Gossip Girl, and Joan, from Arcadia.

    Ben 10 Alien Force : Vol 2 (PG) – episodes six to nine of the pretty cool animated series.

  • Books, Espionage, Horror, New, Simon

    New Books

    23.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Books

    It’s time to list the new YA books that are in this week! (Among them are a bunch of new Naruto comics, but I won’t write them up.)

    Robert Pattinson : True Love Never Dies, by Josie Rusher (62 pages) – This is a biography of the Twilight actor whose angular cheekbones and floppy hair have charmed fans all over the world. This book is full of photographs, and interesting facts – he doesn’t like ugg boots, for example.

    If you like this book you will like this: the newest promotional poster for New Moon. Link sent in by a reader thanks!

    Living Dead Girl, by Elizabeth Scott (170 pages) –  This rather grim tale is about Alice, who is abducted by someone when 10-years-old and held captive for years. Has an edge-of-your-seat ending.

    First sentence: ‘This is how things look: Shady Pines Apartments, four shabby buildings tucked off the road near the highway.

    Colony, by J. A. Henderson (371 pages) – Thirty years ago a military research facility was destroyed by ants. The two survivors carry with them something terrible, something that becomes evident when their kids are hounded by the military.

    First sentence: ‘The Mojave Desert: California, 1980 – The teenager woke up on the floor in the back of a bouncing jeep.’

    Solace of the Road, by Siobhan Dowd (260 pages) Holly is sick and tired of her foster-child-life and all it entails. So she dons a blond wig, calls herself Solace, and heads off through Ireland to find her mother. ‘Bittersweet, gritty, and laced with humour,’ the back cover says.

    First sentence: ‘I breezed down the line of cars, so cool you’d never have known I was looking for a way to board the boat.

    Cruel Summer, by Alyson Noel (229 pages) – Colby Cavendish ditches her dorky image and her dorky best friend and dreams of a summer spent larking it up on the beach. But! Her parents send her to spend summer in Greece with her aunt. Which sounds great to me, but Colby isn’t having any of it. Until she meets Yanni, that is. Yannniiii.

    First sentences: ‘“Dear Aunt Tally, when I asked my mom for your e-mail address, she just laughed and told me you didn’t have one. But I know she’s just joking – right?”

    Auslander, by Paul Dowswell (295 pages) – Peter’s parents are killed and he is sent to an orphanage. Because of his blue eyes and blond hair he fulfills the Nazi ideal, and is quickly adopted. However, Peter doesn’t want to be a Nazi, and is going to take the most dangerous risk he could take in 1943 Berlin.

    First sentence: ‘Piotr Bruck shivered in the cold as he waited with twenty or so other naked boys in the long draughty corridor.

    Princess Ben : Being a Wholly Truthful Account of Her Various Discoveries and Misadventures, Recounted to the Best of Her Recollection, in Four Parts, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (344 pages) – A long title which doesn’t tell you all – Princess Ben, held by the nasty Queen Sophia, learns the magical arts and saves the kingdom!

    First sentence: ‘How many times I have wondered what my fate might have been had I accompanied my parents that rainy spring morning.

    The Nest, by Paul Jennings (247 pages) – This is Paul Jennings’ first book for older readers; you may be familiar with his many Unmentionable and Wicked books for kids. The Nest is similarly chilling – ‘dark, tense, and ultimately uplifting.’

    First sentence: ‘Charlie’s on the stage trying to raise money to bring some Somali kids from Melborne to the snowfields.

    If I Stay, by Gayle Forman (209 pages) – ‘Life is wonderful for seventeen-year-old Mia, a talented cellist with family, friends and boyfriend. But life can change in an instant – a terrible car accident and everything is different.’ (Lifted freely from the catalogue.)

    First sentence: ‘Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.

    Fireworks : Four Summer Stories, by Niki Burnham, Erin Haft, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle – This book contain four long-ish short stories about summer. Winter is about to kick in here, so perhaps this could be read indoors in front of the heater and you could pretend?

    First sentence: ‘The sun is delicious on my skin as I drift lazily in my cousin Porter Ann’s pool.

    Perfect Fifths, by Megan McCafferty – This is the fifth and final Jessica Darling book. Jessica and Marcus randomly bump into one another at an airport and stuff happens (according to someone who read it as soon as it arrived (I won’t name names)). It’s partly written from Marcus’ perspective. [This book contains, like, more than 50 haiku.]

    First sentence: ‘When Jessica Darling blindly collides into Marcus Flutie on this crisp, unclouded January morning, she can’t remember the last time she had imagined where she would be  – and where he would be – at the moment of their inevitable collision.

    The Princess Plot, by Kirsten Boie (422 pages) – Jenna auditions for a part in a film about a princess, and much to her shock is given a part. She is flown to Scandia, where she discovers she’s the spitting image of the real Princess of Scandia who has gone missing. Intrigue ensues! Translated from German.

    First sentence: ‘Scandia was in mourning.

    Mad Dog Moonlight, by Pauline Fisk (246 pages)
    Handcuffs, by Bethany Griffin (307 pages)
    Earthless Trees : Short Stories by Young Refugees in New Zealand (131 pages)
    Bedlam, by Ally Kennen (265 pages)
    Before Midnight : A Retelling of Cinderella, by Cameron Dokey (193 pages)

  • Books, Grimm, Top 10

    Top 10: books with maps and road trips

    23.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Top 10: books with maps and road trips

    Road trips are like a story waiting to be written: generally people embark on road trips in search of something (peace and quiet, enlightenment, the truth about yourself, someone), which is very classical and quest-like.

    Maps usually suggest “fantasy” because of the whole alternate world thing needing explaining. I stuck the two together (road trips and maps) partly because my list of books with maps reached 5 and would go no further (for, like, two months), and partly because there is actually a natural connection (partly being quests are a big part of fantasy literature and partly in the form of the book Paper Towns).

    1. book coverPaper Towns, John Green – Paper Towns has both a road trip and maps. At least, maps are mentioned. Paper towns are towns that appear on maps but otherwise don’t exist; the product of overly hopeful developers or something. Quentin’s always had a thing for Margo Roth Spiegelman. After she enlists his help for a crazy, infatuating night of getting even-type pranks he’s determined to find her after she disappears. Cue the road trip, which involves one of the funniest scenes ever: “’Bro, I think I need another bottle.’”
    2. An Abundance of Katherines, John Green. He likes road trips obviously. That’s okay, because I like his books.
    3. book coverStolen Car, Patrick Jones – your classic road trip plot structure: it’s got unhappiness with current situation in tablespoonfuls, a pinch of revenge, and the call of the open road (to be undertaken with a best friend).
    4. Solace of the Road, Siobhan Dowd – Holly’s life involves foster parents and social workers, until she becomes Solace – complete with blonde wig – and hits the road in search of her Mam. Siobhan Dowd produced a prolific amount of excellent YA novels before she died in 2007, in fact so prolific that they’re still being published nearly two years later.
    5. Rose by any other name, Maureen McCarthy – a road trip with your mum: not quite traditional, and not what Rose has in mind. Family tension, anyone? But seriously, this is a story of restoring relationships and yourself, set to the backdrop of the Australian coastline.
    6. The Lord of the Rings, J R R Tolkien – the archetypal fantasy map book (have you ever noticed how much other fantasy maps look like Tolkien’s?), plus Frodo goes on a trip that sometimes involves roads (ones where it’s best not to be on them).
    7. Finnikin of the Rock, Melina Marchetta. This one has a map but maybe doesn’t really need one, it’s also a road trip, but in the medieval sort of sense (car-less). It’s very good.
    8. Dreamhunter, Elizabeth Knox – this is one book that really does need its maps. The maps, however, will only make sense if you’ve read a bit of the story already, so my advice: ignore the maps, read 50 to 100 pages then look at them. Dreamhunter and Dreamquake are truly excellent books: highly original fantasy (which is what fantasy should be, by name, but so often isn’t).
    9. The Chronicles of Prydain, Lloyd Alexander – if you haven’t read these then you should: Taran, assistant pig-keeper at Caer Dallben dreams of better things than minding the oracular pig Hen Wen (it’s dull and not at all heroic, see), but he has no idea that being a pig-keeper will naturally progress into something a good deal more interesting, challenging and perilous. Lloyd Alexander won the Newbery Medal in 1969 for The High King, the fifth in the series.
    10. The Adventures of Milo and Otis (children’s DVD) – don’t laugh; this is a classic road-trip type plot, involving unlikely travelling companions (kind of like Thelma and Louise but minus the car and the feminist overtones). If you’ve forgotten, Milo is the kitten and Otis is the puppy.

  • Jack, Music, New

    Hey, we have some new music.

    23.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Hey, we have some new music.

    The first new CD is Crusty Demons: Unleash Hell 2009. It seems they’ve soundtracked the unleashing of said hell with “34 adrenalin fueled rock hits from 1994-2007” that are all keeping in line with their brand of motorcycle trickery. Includes System Of A Down, Korn, Fall Out Boy and other similar acts.

    Brandy’s fifth album Human came out last year, but it’s new to the library. It’s more chart-friendly R&B from the consistent songstress. For fans of Beyonce etc.

    Local lads Kora have just popped out with a live EP called  Kora! Kora! Kora! : Cabaret Voltaire sessions. If you liked these songs on the albums, you’ll want the live versions too.

    All of these and lots more are now available for issuing. Sorry, no playlist again 🙁


  • Grimm, Isn't that cool?

    A Classic Reworking of a Classic

    22.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on A Classic Reworking of a Classic

    book coverThis is such a good idea I’m really quite dark I didn’t think of it myself. How to make Jane Austen better? Add zombies! But of course. With Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith has created a whole new genre (I guess you could call it B Grade Horror Movie Treatment of Classic Novels, or Classic Novel Mash Ups), which is not easy in the 21st Century.

    I have reserved it myself, since I had to study Pride and Prejudice and I wasn’t a fan of Mr Darcy, so this is therapy. I have it on good authority that the books are actually in the central library building, so it won’t be long until they’re circulating happily; Mr Darcy, Elizabeth, Jane, the immensely irritating Lydia, and zombies!

    Reserve it now (there’s a queue, but why wouldn’t there be?). 

    Hot news is that Seth Grahame-Smith is going to apply the same treatment to Abraham Lincoln in a story about the great US president and his escapades as a top vampire hunter (you didn’t know that about Abraham Lincoln, did you?).

  • Edna Welthorpe, Isn't that cool?

    More Vampire stuff

    22.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on More Vampire stuff

    The Vampire Diaries are to be made into a television pilot, which is good news for fans of the books and fans of vampires. And fans of television, too. And fans of Ian Somerhalder, also, who has been cast as the vamp Damon.

    The original four-volume Vampire Diaries series has been around since the ’90s, and are still popular. A new trilogy has just begun with the first new book, Nightfall. All are available from your local library, probably.

  • DVDs, Library, Movies, New, Simon

    Twilight DVD all go!

    22.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Twilight DVD all go!

    The library now has Twilight on DVD. If the book’s popularity is anything to go by, the reservation queue for the DVD will quickly become huge. Here are some links to the catalogue entries; the YA copy is 50c for a YA cardholder, but the adult copy is the full $4 charge. There will also be ‘Select‘ copies, which cost $4, are issued for 3 days, but are available directly from the shelf (when not taken) as they can’t be reserved.

    Twilight DVD – YA Copies
    Twilight DVD – Adult Copies

    We will be getting more copies soon. The film is rated M for supernatural themes and violence. The official trailer is after the Read more …

    Read more…

  • Happenings, Simon, Space: The Final Frontier

    The mighty rings of Saturn

    22.04.09 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    NASA has released some amazing photos taken by the Cassini spaceship, which has just flown by Saturn and its moons.

    You can see these massive photos here. Don’t forget that it’s the International Year of Astronomy, and there are events happening all year.

  • Internet, Isn't that cool?, Movies, Simon

    HP and the 1/2 BP

    21.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on HP and the 1/2 BP

    The latest and last trailer for the next Harry Potter film – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – has been released. Watch it below! Now doesn’t that look good.

    Can’t remember the story? Here’s the book. We also carry all the other Harry Potter films on DVD.

  • Internet, Simon, Study

    More Parkour (on wheels)

    21.04.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on More Parkour (on wheels)

    As readers of this blog know, I really like parkour/free-running. (Previous posts.) And you should too. After the ‘more’ there’s an incredible Youtube clip of someone riding a bike up, down, and over all things urban. (It’s really called freestyle BMX.) Enjoy, and don’t try any stunts yourself

    Read more…

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