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A Festival of Films

Have you done the International Film Festival before? If not, then maybe this is the year! There’s a fabulous aray of films, including some cherry picked here:

From Up on Poppy Hill – if you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli then you might like to see their latest on the big screen at the Embassy. To get prepared, you could also do a Studio Ghibli retrospective, including My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle.

Lore – this is based on one of the stories in The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert, in which Lore and her brothers and sisters travel 900 kilometres across post-war Germany to safety (they hope) in Hamburg.

I Wish – set in Japan, where Koichi’s family is disrupted by the separation of his parents, and he finds himself at opposite ends of the country to his brother Ryu. Koichi believes there’s magic in the new bullet train service that might reunite them (and so a plan is hatched!).

Farewell, My Queen – the last days of Marie-Antoinette (as opposed to the first days, as in the movie Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst). This is also based on the novel (same name) by Chantal Thomas.

There are many many more! Have a look at the website for more (or come into a library and pick up a brochure).

You can also keep up to date with new DVDs added to the library’s collection with this RSS feed here.

Most Wanted: July 2012

This month sees not much change in the most requested items: the queue for The Hunger Games is now only about three months long (!), and lots of people are keen to read all about One Direction (see also Dare to Dream).

1. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [no change]
3. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [no change]
4. City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare [no change]
5. Insurgent, Veronica Roth [no change]
6. Rapture, Lauren Kate (on order) [up 1]
7. Fear, Michael Grant [down 1]
8. Reached, Ally Condy (on order) [up 1]
9. Inheritance, Christopher Paolini [up 1]
10. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [new]

Divergent procrastinations

Veronica Roth‘s Divergent trilogy is super popular at the moment. While you’re waiting in the queue for Insurgent, here’s some stuff to read or do:

– Read Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story on the Divergent Facebook page (it’s one of the tabs). Although I wouldn’t do this if you’ve not read Divergent yet. It is, as the title suggests, Four talking about his first meeting with Tris. Ah.

– An interview on goodreads.com. Here Veronica Roth talks about interesting things like how her dystopian society of factions started out as a utopia, and what authors and ideas have influenced her.

– Do a faction quiz, to find out where you’d end up.

– Visit a fan site for much info, like Divergent Lexicon, Divergent Fans, Divergentish (fan art), the Factionless livejournal community.

It’s like a growing internet phenomenon.

Most Wanted: May 2012

The wait for The Hunger Games is approximately six weeks, due to crazy popularity. But! This is not so bad! You could be living in Auckland, where the queues have reached epic lengths. While you wait you can spend some time uncovering the next big thing – and then write us a review!

1. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [no change]
3. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [no change]
4. City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare (on order) [no change]
5. Insurgent, Veronica Roth (on order) [up 5]
6. Fear, Michael Grant [up 3]
7. The World of the Hunger Games, Kate Egan [no change]
8. The Prisoner, Robert Muchamore [down 2]
9. Mastiff, Tamora Pierce [down 1]
10. Destined, Aprilynne Pike (one order) [new]

Most Wanted: March 2012

There are now 170 people in the queue for The Hunger Games, but don’t fear! If you really need to read it, there are bestseller copies available at the central library for $5.00 for one week (check on the red shelves on the ground floor the next time you come in – you might strike it lucky). In the mean time, go see the movie! Then write us a review!

1. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [no change]
3. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [no change]
4. City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare (on order) [up 2]
5. Inheritance, Christopher Paolini [down 1]
6. Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare [down 1]
7. The Prisoner, Robert Muchamore [up 1]
8. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore [down 1]
9. Mastiff, Tamora Pierce (on order) [no change]
10. The Hunger Games: the Official Illustrated Movie Companion, Kate Egan (on order) [new]

Waiting on Wednesday

Here are some interesting titles we’ve ordered recently.

15 Days Without a Head, Dave Cousins. Laurence lives with his six year old brother Jay, and his alcoholic mother. One day his mother doesn’t come home from work, and Laurence is left to care for himself and his brother, fearing that their predicament will be discovered, and they will be separated. Happily, Laurence discovers a friend in Mina, who is keen to help him track down his mum. The author’s blog is here.

Starters, Lissa Price. Years ago (although still in the future) a killer bug (deliberately spread) wiped out anyone who was not vaccinated against it. Those who were were the very old and the very young. Callie and her younger brother have no grandparents to look after them, so they live life by their wits, on the run. Things seem to be looking up when they come across Prime Destinations, a group run by The Old Man: a potential income source. Prime Destinations organises for teenagers rent their bodies out to the older people who’d like to be young again (yes, we know, yuck, can you imagine?), using neurochip technology. When it’s Callie’s turn her neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in her wealthy renter’s life.

Department 19: The Rising, Will Hill. The sequel to Department 19, which people said some touchingly lovely things about (such as “…plenty of high-octane action, groovy specialized vampire-fighting equipment, buckets of gore, intriguing historical side trips and even a little romance…” (from Amazon) which, let’s face it, if you were an author you’d be happy with).

There is an active Facebook page (Department 19 exists!) with interactive elements. And a book trailer:

Top 10: Tearjerkers

Do you like a really good sad story? We do. Here’s some.

  1. The Fault in our Stars, John Green. Not wanting to give too much away: here’s an excellent reader review.
  2. Before I Die, Jenny Downham. Tessa is terminally ill. Deciding to make the most of the time she’s got left, she creates a List of Things to Do, but not of the “book appointment at the dentist” and “flea the cat” variety.
  3. Looking for Alaska, John Green. John Green, king of the weepies apparently. Looking for Alaska was his first novel, and it promptly won a very prestigious award. The chapters in the first half count down ominously (like, “one hundred thirty-six days before”), but you’re still not prepared for day 0.
  4. If I Stay, Gayle Forman. Mia and her family are in a truly horrific car accident, which only Mia survives – just. Hovering in a coma in hospital, she must choose between fighting for her life and letting go to be with her family.
  5. The Outsiders, S E Hinton. Stay gold, Ponyboy. This is a classic story of gang rivalry. Ponyboy is a Greaser, from the wrong side of the tracks: the Socs are from the right side, and they know it. The rivalry between the two is heated, and boils over into an act of violence that changes everything.
  6. Th1rteen R3asons Why, Jay Asher. Clay receives thirteen cassette tapes in the post from a classmate who recently killed herself. These tapes send him on a heartbreaking tour around town, as Hannah describes events that led up to her decision to end her life.
  7. Sweethearts, Sara Zarr. Once upon a time Jennifer and Cameron were best friends and social outcasts, until Cameron and his family leave town suddenly. Now, years later, Jennifer has transformed into Jenna, one of the popular girls in school. When Cameron makes a surprise reappearance Jenna’s life is turned on its head.
  8. The Sky is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson. Lennie is withdrawn and reserved. Her sister, Bailey, was the opposite: a shining light until her sudden death. The Sky is Everywhere captures Lennie’s passage through grief and self-discovery as she confronts her life of confusing relationships in the wake of personal tragedy.
  9. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak. In World War 2 Germany, Death narrates the story Liesel, a young girl with an irresistible urge to steal books. There are sad bits of course.
  10. Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson. This one is in the children’s fiction collection, but it’s a real howling sad story, so it’s here, in this list. Then you can graduate to the movie, with a large box of tissues.

Most Wanted: February 2012

After a summer holiday Most Wanted is back with the 10 most reserved Young Adult items. Not surprisingly there’s a super long waiting queue for The Hunger Games (not seen since the heady days of Breaking Dawn). The film opens on 22 March, which is v. soon!

1. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
4. Inheritance, Christopher Paolini
5. Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare
6. City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare (on order)
7. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore
8. Prisoner, Robert Muchamore (on order)
9. Mastiff, Tamora Pierce (on order)
10. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Jennifer E. Smith

Super Sleuths

The Edgar Awards are given annually for excellent pieces of fiction in the mystery genre. There’s a young adult category! So, if you like a good mystery, Edgar says these are top in 2012*:

Shelter, Harlan Coben

The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson

The Silence of Murder, Dandi Daley Mackall

The Girl is Murder, Kathryn Miller Haines

Kill You Last, Todd Strasser

* winners will be announced in April.

Top 10: Victoriana

Queen VictoriaThe nineteenth century: mystery, adventure, magic, the supernatural, orphans, the industrial age of machinery and steam; all good stuff. Here’s a selection of fiction set in Victorian times (strictly speaking 1837 to 1901), mostly in London.

  1. The Hunchback Assignments, by Arthur Slade. Steampunk mystery! The catalogue says: “In Victorian London, fourteen-year-old Modo, a shape-changing hunchback, becomes a secret agent for the Permanent Association, which strives to protect the world from the evil machinations of the Clockwork Guild.”
  2. Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare. Speaking of steampunk, Cassandra Clare brings her world of shadowhunters and Magnus Bane to 19th century London, complete with automatons.
  3. The Agency series, Y S Lee. Speaking of mystery. Mary Quinn is an orphan rescued from death by hanging and set to work for a detective agency (masquerading as Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls) as an undercover agent, investigating mysterious deaths. Which is a much better fate.
  4. The Monstrumologist, Rick Yancey. The monstrumologist is Doctor Pellinore Warthrop, and 12 year old Will Henry is his apprentice. Together they hunt and study monsters, epic and mythic and horrible. The sequel is The Curse of the Wendigo and – stop press! – The Isle of Blood has recently arrived.
  5. Everlasting, Angie Frazier. Described as part romance, part adventure, Everlasting tells the story of Camille, who travels from San Francisco to Australia on her father’s ship, only to have the ship founder, and to discover a letter from her supposedly dead mother (complete with treasure map to a magic stone that holds the secret to immortality). The first mate is where the romance comes in.
  6. A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray. A fantastical, magical adventure story (again, with some romance), in which Gemma Doyle arrives in England after the violent death of her mother in India, and becomes aware of a frightening and wonderful spiritual realm, and her own considerable magical power.
  7. Whisper My Name, Jane Eagland. Set in 1885, Whisper my name is a Victorian mystery with a backdrop of séances and mediums – the author says on her website: “A fascination with the world of Victorian spiritualism, the British in India, nineteenth century theatre and science all form part of the mix.”
  8. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens. It wouldn’t do not to include the king of Victorian fiction.
  9. Bewitching Season, Marissa Doyle. More intrigue: “In 1837, as seventeen-year-old twins, Persephone and Penelope, are starting their first London Season they find that their beloved governess, who has taught them everything they know about magic, has disappeared.” (catalogue)
  10. Folly, Marthe Jocelyn. “In a parallel narrative set in late nineteenth-century England, teenaged country girl Mary Finn relates the unhappy conclusion to her experiences as a young servant in an aristocratic London household while, years later, young James Nelligan describes how he comes to leave his beloved foster family to live and be educated at London’s famous Foundling Hospital.” (catalogue)

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