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Use Your Pencil Hugo- Bleak, Bizarre, Beautiful cont..

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Sometimes opening something has such a velvety quality, the unknownness of it so black, the mystery so tangible you can almost feel it; like rubbing paper between your fingers. Opening The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a novel in words and pictures is like that. And the adventure unfolds from there. The biggest discovery being how Brian Selznick has almost single handedly reinvented the form of the novel and what a book can be. The story is told in pictures and then in words, back and forth, never repeating scenes. Words and pictures move the story along sequentially; they are not meant to expand on one another nor elaborate. Yet enhance each other they do. Different in this way from a graphic novel, the pictures take up the whole page adding unimaginable layers of depth. Each speaks 1000 words or more, describing both setting and scene with lush pencil strokes, sturdy in execution yet exquisite in detail. It just makes me want to run my fingers over the page, flip them back and forth, back and forth... The quality of the paper is rich as well, reminding me of the the lushness of Vida Simone's art and the memory I have of a personal performance with miniature puppets she performed for me in my apartment (among others) as part of her show at The New Gallery years ago. Telling stories in her own personal way. Hugo Cabret does the same thing.

So flip through the pages I did! And discovered, much to my delight, that the individual sequences of images throughout the book act like mini flip books, animating individual scenes, imitating the earliest animations and stop motion film sequences of silent movies. This adds a physically tangible metaphor to the history of cinema that the book probes to a certain depth; satisfying in metaphor of not breadth. To this add steampunkish elements tying clockwork magicians to the mysteries of the human heart and human bonds. It's no wonder it won the Caldecott Medal in 2008.

Et tu parle Francais? Since the book does take place in Paris.. get the the French version here. The book has so many layers. Its very form is half of it! This leaves me wondering if a film on the book can truly do it justice. Yet the story is so strong in and of itself, and.. it does deal with the invention of cinema, so a film MUST have something to add to the discussion of itself... "Hugo" In theatres TODAY (November 23rd) you can watch the trailer here. One thing I don't doubt= I am excited to see it!

I'm even more excited to read and experience Selznick's next adventure in the re-invention of the novel = Wonderstruck. Here he talks about how he wanted to tell 2 stories. One about Rose, set in the past, told in pictures and one about Ben, set in the present, told in words. At some point the stories meet in the middle and either a puzzle is solved and/or a new mystery evolves. See the website here.

Let the mysteries begin. Perhaps all is not lost to e-books and cyberspace. Selznick has given us something in these books akin to the realization that the specialness of a handwritten letter or home made card can never equal an email or Facebook Message. So go ahead - use you pencil!

POETRY SLAM! OBOC & The Calgary Spoken Word Society Team Up Sat 2-3:30

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

This Saturday get ready for a special Second Saturday Slam. This month One Book One Calgary teams up with the Calgary Spoken Word Festival 's crew to deliver a slam with a twist. Come enjoy, compete and/or listen and judge. Bring some of your poems that explore some of the rich themes in Canadian author Steven Galloway's novel "The Cellist of Sarajevo". This could be something related to music or art, the enduring power of the human spirit, diversity, or war and peace. Contestants will be chosen on a first come first serve basis. AND CSWF always offers really valuable and encouraging feedback. I've learned a lot as a poet in the ones I've attended (yes I DID dare to read some of my poems in public - therefore... I dare you!). Thanks to Sheri - D Wilson, Andre Prefotaine, Jen Kunlire and others!!!

And by the way if you haven't checked out the poetry of these guys and gals - they are fantastic!

The OBOC website also has some great books on it as well as book lists. My favourite being the ones that relate to the Human Spirit and Art and Music. Additional suggestions for great verse novels would be Orchards by Holly Thompson and Roses and Bones which includes Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block.

And as a side note - For the whole month of November we have a cool painted piano that you can see inside of downstairs on the main floor of the library! Come play a tune on your way up or down to the John Dutton Theatre.

Halloween for Scaredy Cats*- aka Bleak, Bizarre & Beautiful Continued.

by Adrienne - 4 Comment(s)

So it's a well known fact that I DON'T do horror! No books, no movies, no tapes (especially NOT of The Ring..), no campfires ghost stories, no nothing, - etc, etc. add into infinitum. It's not so much what the actual books and movies do themselves to creep me out.. but what my imagination does to itself afterwards... for like 6 months, or a year, or however long it takes to make me sleep NOT at night & behave like jitter bug all day. Call me a wimp. I Don't care. I know there are others out there like me. As they say "You are Not Alone..." . So... If you are looking for someone to recommend you the most gruesome, fearsome, awesomest scares... that would NOT be me. Hence the title "Halloween for Scaredy Cats"

I DO however love weird, strange and slightly scary things, like pet vampires, spider fairies, and Harry Potter. The Wikkeling by Steve Arnston falls into this category. Scary - but not, the illustrations however are cool and strange enough for all. A mix of twisted B/W silhouettes ala Arthur Rackham and detailed pencil/watercolour collages in the vien of Tony Diterlizzi (Spiderwick), illustrator Daniela Jaqlenka Terrazinni does a good job of making the book absolutely intriguing.

Speaking on DiTerlizzi his black line ink drawing in Mary Botham-Howitt's 1829 poem "The Spider and the Fly" are definitely shall we say... juicy.

And Vampires? Well if you like Vampires you might actually hate this book. but if you can twist your head around a Vampire being CUTE, yes as in cuddly, then Hipira - a collaboration of Katsuhiro Otomo & Shinji Kimura (who collaborated on Steamboy) is for you. Funny and visually delightful especially if you like square spirals, square spirals, square spirals, square...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! * this blog is dedicated to all my fellow scardy cats out there - I know you're there ;)-

Bleak, Bizarre, Beautiful

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Fall is a Beautiful, Bleak, Bizarre and Bountiful season. Things start falling apart and looking strange, half eaten, fiery and orange. You can smell the death and decay, feel the sting of the wind, and the wind of things slowly but surely changing into the mood for Halloween. Crisp fall leaves fall down making us cold and wanting to snuggle up with a good cozy book. It is a suitable time to explore the bizarre. We have some amazing YA Graphic Novels (aka comic books) that have beautiful art and strange stories. So much so they are more like ART novels. The black ink drawing's in Salem Brownstone could be compared to Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations of Salome by Oscar Wilde. An unusual story involving an unexpected inheritance, a contortionist, the circus and Salem's mission to battle out evil using his amoeba like familiar and a crystal ball to restore the balance of good in the world. The black and white graphic detail is stunning. More like Art Nouveau gone comic book.

For Bizarre/Strange Steampunk is the New Black with Tim Burton's new Alice in Wonderland movie being exemplary of this style. We have a new cool graphic novel inspired by the movie, the dvd, blu-ray, 2 movie book (s), and the CD. Avril Lavigne who composed the title track Alice on this album: Almost Alice is playing in Calgary at the Saddledome tonight! (October 11th). Rounding this out are 3 YA Graphic Novels that are definetly NOT childish: Alice in Wonderland (based on the new film), Wonderland (a fun re-imagining) and Hatter M, vol.1: The Looking Glass Wars (a little bit like Mad Hatter Karate!).

Alice is considered to be the first book that was written not as a moral tale for children but with the specific enjoyment of it's audience in mind. Technically classified as Non-sense Literature and having never lost it's grip on our imaginations, these books do much more than entertain. When our lives are turned upside down,

when we fall through the rabbit hole, when we enter the matrix: they are tales of survival in strange and bizarre circumstances. They stretch our minds and imaginations, enabling us to conjure solutions to the strange sudden bizarre and REAL events of our lives - like your grandfather dying, suddenly growing pubic hair (how weird was that!), moving to a new house, having sex for the first time, finding out you have an unknown sibling, accidentally being pregnant, being kicked out of your house, etc. etc., etc. At the library we have 11 illustrated versions of Wonderland, two of my favourite being Ralph Steadman's which isalso very Art nouveau/Aubrey Beardsley-ish and Robert Ingpen's 2009 edition illustrated with finely detailed pencil/watercolour illustrations from unusual perspectives. This is my favourite Alice to date.

Paul Stewart's Edge Chronicle's illustrated by Christopher Riddell are also fantastically strang. Riddell's The Emporer of Absurdia definitely falls into Dr. Suess territory both in terms of graphic illustration and imagination. There are even echos of Dali. Fine line work and stunning hat collections!

Shaun Tan has written some great books for down days. These include The Red Tree, The Arrival (a YA graphic novel) and The Lost Thing expanded as Lost & Found and recently made into a short animated film. Watch the Trailer here! The Lost Thing reflects on the doldrums of conformity and things that just don't quite fit in - highlighting the importance and value of the weird and the wonderful. Happy Fall!

..... to be contiued (we have such a beautiful, bleak & bizarre collection you can look forward to more!)

On the Bus? Bored? School Trip?= Audio Book

by Adrienne Adams - 0 Comment(s)

Going on a school trip? Bored? Get sick reading on the bus? Many of your favourite books are now being produced as Audio Books & Book CD's. Play them in the car while going to Vegas with friends or family. Down load one of our E-Books sound recordings from Overdrive on our e-library and listen on your i-pod while biking around the river or play a book cd on a cd-walkman while on the bus to school. In fact sitting outside sun-tanning while sipping virgin margaritas listening to an Audio Book might just have become one of my favourite weekend pastimes. Especially if they could get Leonard Cohen to do the voice... One of my favourites recently has been Wildwood Dancing by Juliette Marillier narrated by Kim Mai Guest. Kim's soft voice is intruiguing and one of the great things about listening to her describe all the beautiful Romanian worlds like "Piscu Dracuili", from Transalvania, is that I didn't have to guess at the correct pronounciation everytime. On CPL's Overdrive you can listen to an audio sample - giving you a chance to decide whether not the book interests you. You can also search for other audio books narrated by the same narrator (from other authors). Sometimes the author narrates their own book - most times not. Cybele's Secret - a companion novel to Wildwood Dancing is also available on Audio Book - I read this one just to compare - and I admit you can probably read faster than most people can speak... however can you read while baking, knitting, cycling, driving or drawing?

And there's some of your favourite titles! Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld won an award (Read by Alan Cumming). As did Will Grayson, Will Grayson which you'll like if you like Glee! (by John Green and David Leviathan) narrated by Macleod Andrews and Nick Podehl (both Odyssey Honor Audiobooks Award).

And of course there's the Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Colins- all three books are available on Audio and Book CD.

Others that have won awards include Alchmey and Meggy Swan (Karen Cushman, narrated by Katherine Kellgren), The Knife of Never Letting Go (Patrick Ness, Mp3 narrated by Nick Podehl), and Revolution (Jennifer Donnelly, narrated by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering). (Also Odyssey Honor Audies)

Mirror Mask - by Neil Gaiman Narrated by Stephanie Leonidas was quite enchanting and highlights the complexities of fighting with your mom...

I asked Alex what her Audiobook picks would be. She said, "If you'd rather listen to a book than read one, I highly recommend the mp3 copy of "An Abundance of Katherines" -- John Green's words hardly need someone to read them since they leap right off the page, but the narrator of this one does a great job anyways!

If you've never treated your ear canals to the audioCD of HARRY POTTER, you're in for a real surprise! Jim Dale has won TWO grammies and TEN Audies (Audio Awards) for his readings -- he has a different voice for every character and they're all phenomenal. I fall asleep to one of these books almost every night. I bet I could recite Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeby heart!!! There are also loads of audio books that are read by celebrities! Check out titles like "InkHeart", performed by Brendan Fraser and "Series of Unfortunate Events" read by the amazing Tim Curry!"

Personally though I think listening to Harry Potter before bed might explain some of the horrifically fantastic dreams Alex has reported having! Just saying... Those ones might be better for those long rides on the bus ;0)

Youth Read

by Jilliane Yawney - 0 Comment(s)

It’s that time again! That time of year where we Calgarians count ourselves lucky if we can milk a solid 8 weeks of sunshine out of our summer. That time where we laze around Prince’s Island Park trying not to get eaten alive by mosquitoes and geese. That time where we revel in the glory of reading books about… well… ANYTHING … as long as it’s not Polynomial Equations, Chemical Nomenclature, or (horror of horrors) Short Historical Fiction from the Canadian Prairies… Unless, you know, you’re into that sort of thing.

Whatever sort of thing you ARE into, Calgary Public Library is where it’s at. So... Gear up for this summer's YOUTH READ program! Full of challenges created by YOU, we have amped up all our Grand prizes, added new Weekly prizes, as well as ways to intereact with other teens, share your ideas, art, poetry writing and smarts! All this on top of your favourite activity - reading!

We’re running our YOUTH READ program from June 16th until August 31st, with contests, events, and some pretty sick prizes to be won all summer long!

*Go to the About This Contest page to learn how Youth Read works and be sure to check out our prizes. If your stymied about what to read, find out what others are reading. Challenges include: Cook/Invent a fabulous recipe, photograph it and submit it. Pick a celebrity & recommend a book they should read. Make a comic strip of a scene from your favourite book. Write a haiku book review of your favourite book and more!

So kick back, relax, and crack the spine of a new favourite, it’s time to YOUTH READ 2011!

Girl Reading in the Grass

DISCLAIMER: The creators of this site do not, in any way, recommend the cracking of book spines that have been borrowed from the Calgary Public Library. We also don’t recommend you crack the sides of your iPad or your e-Reader either. Or your own spine for that matter -- we can’t afford to pay your chiropractic bills… In fact, let’s just not crack any spines whatsoever. Instead, let’s kick back, relax, and gently-open-the-covers-of-a-well-loved-book or serenely-upload-the-WMA-files-of-an-e-book… it’s time to YOUTH READ 2011! (Yay.)

Divergent - "The new Hunger Games"

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

So you've read and own the entire Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins? The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld? And you're hungry for more? (Pardon my pun).

DivergentI am really excited by the buzz around a new series called Divergent by Veronica Roth - apparently worked on during college when she should have been doing her creative writing homework at Northwestern University, a choice, which has transformed her into a graduate and full time writer. I, for one, am really excited because everyone is abuzz about a new series called Divergent by Veronica Roth - apparently worked on during college when she should have been doing her creative writing homework @ Northwestern University - a choice - which has now transformed Veronica into a graduate and full time writer.

A Dystopian novel at it's best, the heroine Beatrice, lives in a society where ONE choice made at the age of 16 determines - your friends - your beliefs - and your loyalties FOREVER. The choice - which of the 5 factions: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Erudite (the intelligent)- to belong to, can seperate or unite you with you family, previous friends, schoolmates and former interests. One is not supposed to be "Divergent" (gifted in more than one faction). If one is - as Beatirce discovers, it can mean death. She makes a choice and renames herself Tris, joining her faction hiding a pretty big secret. Tris then discovers a growing conflict threatening to unravel her seemingly perfect society. Her secret may destroy her or help her save those she loves most...

The first book has just come out and hit CPL's library stacks. There will be two sequels books to follow.

I'm all in!FireGraceling

If you liked the Hunger games you might also check out Graceling by Kirstin Cashore and the companion novel Fire - both gripping all night reads. In Graceling if a person is born with 2 different coloured eyes they are "graced" with a special gift or ability that becomes aparrent as they mature. When Katsa discovers that she is graced with killing she becomes a pawn used by her uncle, the king. Katsa, however, has other ideas about how she wants to live her life and a gripping suspense/romance novel ensues.

And if you like Graceling you will also enjoy The Healer's Keep a companion novel to Vicoria Hanley's The Seer and the Sword

The Healer's Keep The Seer and the Sword

"The Giver" by Lois Lowry will also interest those who like Divergent as well as 1984 (George Orwell) and Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)(both found in our adult fiction collection)

The Giver 1984 Brave New World

Extra-Sensory In-vox-ication- Poetry and Music - How to Be Alone - Calgary Spoken Word Festival

by Adrienne Adams - 0 Comment(s)

NOT interested in dating? Ever wonder how to be alone? Into Spoken Word? Poetry Slammin? The Jams going on @ CPL every 2nd Saturday of the month. The next one is Saturday May 14th 2011. Wonder how all this could be related?

Tanya Davis' video "How to be Alone" went viral on the internet in 2010 watch it here check out her website here. She did an outstanding performance at Extra-Sensory In-vox-ication- Poetry and Music Event #3 on Wednesday March 30th at the Calgary Spoken Word Festival.

Also performing that night were Ian Ferrier, Louise Bernice Halfe - Sky Dancer, Tyler Perry and Robert Priest.

Robert Priest performed a VERY uh - short- poem - uh hum which surmised all of the word - "Brevity". Start. Finish. That's all folks. He is one on the writers in the FREE Online Words Aloud Study Guide for High School Drama, LA and Media Arts. Check it out and brush up on your slamin' skills!

The Golden Beret Award was given to Ian Ferrier from Montreal by last year's winner, Calgary's own Sarah Murphy.

The Spoken Word Festival continues in Banff this week if you want to go to the mountains and check out some rockin' poetry! - April 15th Student Speak check it out here.

April is National Poetry Month in Canada! Upcoming Poetry events in Calgary include:

April 11th 8pm - Salon: A Gathering of Word Artists - Cafe Koi 1011 1st SW - Come perform on the open mic!

It’s also time for Flywheel!

April 14th 7:30pm Pages Books on Kensington - 1135 Kensington Road NW

Join host Meghan Doraty for the April Flywheel Reading Series with readings from local poets Beth Langford, Stuart McKay and Juliet Burgess. Gayleen Froese will be launching her new book, Grayling Cross (NeWestPress).

April 20th 7-9pm - City of Poets: New Poetry Celebration in the John Dutton Theatre @ Central - Celebrate the launch of new books by Calgary poets Rosemary Griebel and Kirk Ramdath. Listen to readings from Calgary favourites Weyman Chan, Richard Harrison, Jen Kunlire, and Bob Stallworthy. Kirk Ramdath has been doing a lot to promote the spoken word scene in Calgary with his blog Passion Pitch and the FREE magazine WAX check it out here.


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