Kanopy Movie Spotlight: The Most Dangerous Game

By Krystal Stanich,

The Most Dangerous Game (1932) is based upon a famous short story by Richard Connell. It follows a big game hunter, Bob Rainsford (Joel McCrea), who becomes shipwrecked on a remote island. There he finds the mansion of Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks). He is made welcome and meets two other survivors of a previous shipwreck. They are brother and sister Martin and Eve Towbridge, played by Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. Much to their fear and disgust, they soon learn that Zaroff hunts human quarry and find themselves being hunted by the insane Zaroff.

Using the same jungle set constructed for King Kong (1933), The Most Dangerous Game was a place-holder to keep key cast and crew available during Kong’s long production schedule. This included actors Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong, as well as music composer Max Steiner. Though by modern standards it’s technically primitive, The Most Dangerous Game is still well worth checking out. The strong story and no holds barred action continue to make the film solid entertainment after nearly 90 years.

-AV Staff Member, Josh D.

Staff Movie Night Pick: MARX BROTHERS DOUBLE FEATURE

By Krystal Stanich,

Staff Movie Picks

Duck Soup and Monkey Business are two classics from the legendary comedy team, The Marx Brothers. These films were made during the team’s “golden period,” which ran from The Cocoanuts, their first comedy at Paramount, to A Day at the Races, their second comedy at Metro Goldwyn Mayer. 
Let’s kick off with Duck Soup, directed by Leo McCarey. His credits include Make Way for Tomorrow, Going My Way, and The Bells of St. Mary’s. It is a political satire in which Groucho is Rufus T. Firefly, the ruler of Freedonia who declares war on Sylvania over the love of Mrs. Teasdale. Duck Soup was the Marx Brothers’ last comedy for Paramount before moving to MGM. Some critics and historians consider Duck Soup to be the team’s greatest comedy, while others argue in favor of A Night at the Opera, the Marx Brothers’ first feature for MGM. 
Next, let’s talk about some Monkey Business, directed by Norman Z. McLeod. He went on to direct the acclaimed W.C. Fields comedy It’s a Gift. Monkey Business was the Marx Brothers’ third film and marked a turning point in which they really  hit their stride. Their first two features were adaptations of their vaudeville stage plays. Monkey Business was written for the movies, fast paced and hilarious. Long-time fans and newcomers are sure to enjoy both films and we recommend making it a double feature movie night.Let us know what you think of these movies!

-AV Staff Member, Josh D.

Christmas Open House

By Krystal Stanich,

What does The Nutcracker, Santa, and an Arctic fox all have in common? They are going to be at this year’s Christmas Open House on Saturday, December 7th! Join us from 10am to 4pm for a full day of events!

We’ll kick off  at 10am with the Muncie Ballet Studio performing a preview of their upcoming Nutcracker Performance at Cornerstone Center for the Arts in Muncie. You don’t want to miss this–the kids look adorable in their costumes! Registration is available if you’d like to take part of the craft after the show.

After the show, run upstairs to hear library staff do a reading of The Night Before Christmas at the main fireplace (by the Information Desk) at 11:30. We also have a LIVE TRAIN DISPLAY happening in front of the AV area, also on the second floor. The train display is up from 10-2, so you should have plenty of time to marvel at the intricate railways!

At 12pm, Santa will arrive in all his holiday glory to meet little ones by the main fireplace. Due to a few too many cookies last year, Mrs. Claus has informed us that Santa isn’t to arrive DOWN the fireplace this year, but will just meet us there in front of it. This is a perfect photo opportunity, so don’t forget your cameras!

Santa seems to be a popular guy around this time, so make sure to swing by the Friends of the Library cookie and punch station downstairs for sustenance before coming up and waiting in line–they’ll be set up in front of the auditorium from 12-2!

Have a favorite Christmas song? Then swing by the Main Circulation Desk from 1-4pm and request it from DJ Euil! If you ask nicely, he may even play it twice!

The Raintree Children’s Choir performs at 1:30. If you’ve been at the library on a Monday evening any time in the last six months, you’d have heard how fantastic these kids are as they practiced… so make sure you get registered! This is always a packed concert, so registration is ABSOLUTELY required for this one. This is a ticketed event, so once you register online, you can swing by and grab your ticket from Krystal before the show.

And last, but most assuredly not least, we have our LIVE ARCTIC FOX animal program from 3-4pm in the library’s auditorium. Hedgehog Hannah is bringing not only an Arctic Fox (whose name, by the way, is JON SNOW! Jon Snow is attending the Christmas Open House!), but is bringing eleven of his animal friends to amaze and astound us. The kids aren’t going to be the only ones excited for this program. I know a few library staff members (I won’t mention names) who are beside themselves excited to meet Jon Snow.

Hope to see you all there!

Krystal

 

 

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

By Krystal Stanich,

THE EGG-SHAPED TIMER was on the welcome mat when she came home” (Pg 1, Sentence 1).

Goodreads Synopsis: Love hurts…Makani Young thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.
Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

Krystal’s Review:

The fact that this book was written by the same author as Anna and the French Kiss is mind boggling. Stephanie Perkins is an amazing author for being able to cross genres as far as she has. As the October Forever YA: Adult Book Club selection, this book forced me WAY out of my comfort zone. Gory, gruesome, brutal: all the synonyms to make me say, “Ewww…”. In fact, I literally said that word out loud while reading this book. I then had to explain to the person giving me a questioning look that the scene I was reading was particularly gross, and proceeded to read the part out loud about ears being cut off. Yeah…still grosses me out just thinking about it.

This book is basically a YA book adaptation of the movie Scream. One fascinating aspect of the book is that you find out, and the whole town finds out, who the killer is about midway through. My “whodunit” theories were cut short, and predictably wrong. I’m just terrible at figuring out who the killer is. I’m giving this one three out of five stars. The killer’s motives just felt flat to me, and the way the book finished left me unsatisfied. I liked it, and it was plenty creepy–definitely a  good book to get you in the Halloween mood!  Although, maybe leave the lights on and make sure all the doors and windows are firmly shut and locked. I left a kitchen drawer open this morning and had a: “was that my forgetfulness, or is there a killer in the house?” moment.

If you’ve read the book, or want to hear more about it, join the Forever YA: Adult Book Club discussion on October 28th at Applebee’s,6pm.

 

Running with Lions by Julian Winters

By Krystal Stanich,

“Bloomington High School Lions’ star goalie, Sebastian Hughes, should be excited about his senior year: His teammates are amazing and he’s got a coach who doesn’t ask anyone to hide their sexuality. But when his estranged childhood best friend Emir Shah shows up to summer training camp, Sebastian realizes the team’s success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates him. Determined to reconnect with Emir for the sake of the Lions, he sets out to regain Emir’s trust. But to Sebastian’s surprise, sweaty days on the pitch, wandering the town’s streets, and bonding on the weekends sparks more than just friendship between them” (Goodreads synopsis).

Krystal’s Review: This book reminded me of the movie She’s the Man…and I L.O.V.E that movie. Probably my favorite Amanda Bynes movie of all time. Both are full of adorable awkwardness, feature nondiscrimination (be it gender, sexual orientation, or religious), and show that sports teams are a type of family.  The Lions are an all boys soccer team built up around the idea that who you’re attracted to doesn’t matter–how well you play the game does (think of that speech Coach Dinklage gives at the end of She’s the Man–“We do not discriminate!”). One player is Muslim and multiple players are LGBTQIA+–including the main character, Sebastian. Actually, now that I think of it, Sebastian is the name of Viola’s twin brother in She’s the Man…coincidence? Hmmmm…

For all it’s lightheartedness, one thing that struck me during the book is Sebastian’s body-image issues. As a popular, athletic boy, you wouldn’t think that he would have those insecurities. I know that our society doesn’t highlight that “jocks” have body insecurities, so this book was refreshing for that aspect. Sebastian used to be bullied for his weight, and the mental damage is still there. One scene particularly highlights these insecurities.Sebastian’s having a rough day and staring into a mirror:

“His eyes spot how soft the skin around his belly is. His shaky hands grab at it. Christ. The familiar sting at the corner of his eyes only exacerbates his hyperventilating. A balloon is expanding in his chest. Every word in his head is ‘Bastian the Trashcan’ in those haunting bullies’ voices. Why?” (194-195).

I loved that Winters wrote such a multifaceted main character–almost as if he was an actual teen boy.

Read this book if you like: Odd One Out by Nic Stone, I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver, and Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

 

 

 

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

By Krystal Stanich,

“Maybe today will be different” ( Bloodwitch, Page 1, Sentence 1).

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.
High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past” (Goodreads synopsis).

Krystal’s Review:

I love, love, LOVE this series. Just to be clear, this is the THIRD book in the series, but there is a prequel story that came out between this and the second book!

For current YA fantasy series, I think I may only love Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series more. Dennard’s world building is phenomenal, her characters are fierce (particularly the female ones), and her action scenes leave you biting your finger nails wondering what’s going to happen next. With Dennard’s books, you literally have no clue how she’s going to twist the plot. If you are a fan of Lord of the Rings, I think you’d love this book. Dennard has weaved together such an intricate plot, I almost suspect she’s a threadwitch herself.

This book hits all the notes of an epic fantasy novel–her action scenes are perfectly timed, the language is so vibrant that you can almost see the world shimmering just beyond the pages, and you get swept along on each character’s adventure. Just as a warning, this book is STRESSFUL to read. I was an anxious mess every time a set of characters would have to run for their lives (and it happened a LOT).

Read this series if you like high fantasy series like: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Remnant Chronicles by Mary Pearson, and the Lotus War Trilogy by Jay Kristoff.

 

Wildcard by Marie Lu

By Krystal Stanich,

“In my dream, I’m with Hideo” (Wildcard, Pg 1, Sentence 1).

“Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.
Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?” (Goodreads synopsis)

Krystal’s Review:

This is the sequel to Marie Lu’s Warcrossand I loved it just as much! Lu manages to mix the perfect amount of action, friendship, and romance. The fast-paced plot made it (just like the first book) impossible to put down. Between battling in virtual reality games, dodging IRL bullets, and running from an all powerful AI, your adrenaline will be spiking nearly as much as Emika’s.

Emika and Hideo are both still madly in love with each other, but Emika’s unshakeable belief that taking away the world’s free will is wrong definitely places a barrier in them getting back together. I typically hate sequels where the protagonists broke up in the previous book because they are usually SO ANGSTY. However, due to Emika’s constant life-threatening situations, she doesn’t have all that much time for dwelling on her feelings–so not enough angst to annoy me. Although Emika and Hideo’s relationship is a huge part of the story, I love that the whole plot is based on brotherly love: “Everything I’ve ever done was for you,” Hideo replies” (Wildcard, pg 314). My heart broke quite a few times for Hideo — Lu pulls no punches when it comes to gut-wrenching plot twists.

We are introduced to a new character, Jax. Jax is my favorite, hands down. She is an assassin who works with Zero and saved Emika’s life the first time she met her. She then promptly shot Emika with a tranquilizer when she figured Emika wouldn’t go with her quietly. Over the course of the book, Jax saves Emika numerous times, and turns out to be a fabulous ally. If Marie Lu decides to write a story that is all about Jax, I’ll read it in an instant! Jax is smart, loyal, and kicks major butt!

This book is awesome, you guys. Read it, (but read Warcross first)!

Your Teen Librarian,

Krystal

Ps. You might like this book if you like: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, Epic by Conor Kostick, or The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore.

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

By Krystal Stanich,

“The end of our final winter break seems almost like the beginning of a victory lap” (Autoboyography, Pg 1, Sentence 1).

“Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah. But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity. It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him” (Goodreads synopsis). 

Krystal’s Review:

I LOVED this book. Like, I would rate this book a 5/5. This book is about love, family, best friends, faith, and acceptance. I really enjoy books that broaden my horizons, and this one did so by focusing on the Mormon faith. I didn’t realize going into this book that I had ZERO knowledge of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints beyond a WRONG stereotype that Mormons believe in polygamy. This book taught me a lot about LDS–I had no clue the faith believes in a two year mission, relies heavily on public service, and does not, in fact, believe in polygamy (it was banned in 1890).

The main character, Tanner,  is quite possibly the most honest teenager I’ve ever encountered in a book. The fact that he’s so in touch with his feelings, and communicates them so well…I’m still in awe. The writing in this novel is just beautiful. For example, Tanner says: “I don’t actually care if you break my heart, Sebastian. I went into this knowing it could happen and I gave it to you anyway.” And then he tells Autumn, “I’m describing how my heart beats.” Tanner never hesitates–that sort of emotional bravery is beyond my realm of understanding.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but whenever a completely MORTIFYING event happened to Tanner, he handled it with so much more composure than I did. There were multiple times when I shut off the audiobook and literally screamed; I don’t handle embarrassing situations very well. Another coping mechanism I used was turning the volume up and down until the scene passed. Yep, I’m incredibly mature like that. There were a few scenes where I thought I was going to die. I haven’t had these sorts of reactions to a book since reading Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun. So basically what I’m trying to say is… there are a ton of cringe-inducing moments in the book–you’ve been warned.

Read this book if you like: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, or The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

Happy reading!

Krystal

 

 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

By Krystal Stanich,

“You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise in which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.” (Frankenstein, Page 1, Sentence 1)

“At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein” (Goodreads synopsis).

Krystal’s Review:

To the modern ear, Mary Shelley’s writing can seem old-fashioned, but the compelling story line makes it a worthwhile read. I read this book in college, and all I remember from it was three things: that I sided with the monster, that it was written during a writing contest between Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron, and that Lake Geneva in Switzerland was on my bucket list of places to visit. Rereading it, I found there are so many different subjects to discuss: nature vs. nurture, transcendentalism, and the ethical problems of scientific advancement.

Victor Frankenstein is the actual WORST. I still side with the monster: evil isn’t made, it’s created. At the end of his tale, Victor says: “During these last days I have been occupied in examining my past conduct; nor do I find it blameable” (268). Ummm…what? Excuse me while I go nominate you for worst father figure of the year. The monster entreats Frankenstein to create him a companion (which is incidentally what our captivated captain is also seeking), and says: “I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity: but am I not alone, miserably alone? (114) Okay, Frankenstein, I get your moral dilemma of not wanting to risk creating another creature…I really do, but there was a third option–you be the monster’s companion! I realize the monster wanted a different type of love, but I’m pretty sure he would’ve accepted this substitute; any love or kindness would have been enough.

Both Frankenstein and the monster seek out nature to sooth their souls. The monster says, “My spirits were elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the present was tranquil, and the future gilded by bright rays of hope, and anticipations of joy” (134). The importance of relationships to the psyche is stressed in this novel, but so too is the need for self-reflection and the need to get away from other people and just be; Frankenstein constantly throws off his companions to go find peace of mind in the wild.

We really hope that everybody reads this book and joins us during the month of October for our Frankenstein-themed events for adults.

October 1st Let’s Talk Frankenstein

October 9th Frankenstein’s Leadership Monster

October 16th Frankenstein’s Monster Makeup

October 23rd Frankenstein & Jurassic Park

Don’t forget to sign up on Beanstack to be eligible for the $100, $50, or $25 Walmart gift cards!

Krystal

 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

By Krystal Stanich,

“I shouldn’t have come to this party” (The Hate U Give, Pg. 1, Sentence 1).

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed” (Goodreads Synopsis).

Krystal’s Review:

This book starts off like the Alessia Cara song “Here”. Starr is at a party she doesn’t want to be at–and it changes her life forever. Starr, Khalil, and Natasha were childhood best friends “Tighter than the inside of Voldemort’s nose”, and Natasha was shot and killed during a drive by when they were ten. Then Khalil gets killed when a police officer pulls them over and mistakes a hair brush for a gun. As the last of the trio, and the sole witness to Khalil’s shooting, Starr has to make a lot of choices about what’s more important– speaking out, or staying quiet and keeping herself and her family safe.

This is probably the best YA book of 2017… this book is like the Hamilton of YA books. Angie Thomas covers themes of police shootings, systemic racism, and interracial relationships– and still manages to make you laugh. This is possibly the hardest book I’ve ever had to try to review because there are so many aspects to the book that demand attention. As such, and because I couldn’t possibly write a better review, take a look at this review of the book by The Atlantic.

I recommend (times a thousand) that EVERYBODY read this book–no matter your personal  preference.

Title read-a-likes include: The Truth of Right Now by Kara Corthron, All American Boys by Jason Reynolds, and Dear Martin by Nic Stone.

Read this book.

Krystal

 

 

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

By Krystal Stanich,

“Seven hundred and thirty-three days after my mom died, forty-five days after my dad eloped with a stranger he met on the Internet, thirty days after we then up and moved to California, and only seven days after starting as a junior at a brand-new school where I know approximately no one, an email arrives” (Tell Me Three Things, Page 1, Sentence 1).

“Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help? It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son. (Goodreads synopsis).”

Krystal’s Review:

I loved this book—I couldn’t put it down. It was like reading a hybrid of A Cinderella Story mixed with Faking It. Jessie is a girl after my own heart. She loves books, is honest (if a tad more outspoken than I could ever dream to be), and isn’t afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right. Favorite moments in the book: when Jessie finally tells her dad how she’s feeling, every interaction between Theo (Jessie’s new step-brother) and Jessie, and Jessie’s reaction when she realizes who it is that has been messaging her—Jessie wasn’t the only one with a goofy smile.

Although this book deals with the grief of losing someone important to you, it doesn’t have the heavy feeling of typical grief-stricken teen books. This book is loaded with witty banter, which probably helps keep it on the lighter side. Also… spoiler alert…this book has a happy ending. If you are one of those people who likes weeping your heart out and being punched in the gut at the ending, then this book isn’t for you. This book delivers smiles, winces of sympathy, and tons of truth about being a teenager.

Title read-a-likes include:

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han, and One of those hideous books where the mother dies by Sonya Sones.

Krystal

Prizes! Winter Reading Prizes!

By Krystal Stanich,

Brrr…it’s cold out there! Looks like Winter…Reading is upon us! This year’s Winter Reading is January 12th-February 25th, and is open to all ages: Children from Newborn-Grade 6, Teens in Grades 7-12, and Adults Ages 18 & Up. Children register in the Children’s Department, and Adults and Teens register at the Main Circulation Desk. Oh, and did we mention prizes? Children have a chance to win one of two gift baskets filled with goodies, Teens have a chance to win an Instax 9 Mini Camera, and Adults have a chance to win a Keurig beverage machine.

Adults and Teens: every book you read and library program you attend during Winter Reading counts as an entry for the prize–all you have to do is fill out a review slip with the book or library program title and a few sentences about what you liked or didn’t like about it. Simple as that! The more books you read and programs you attend, the more chances you’ll have to win!

Bonus: Winter Reading Roundtables for Adults (just come and talk about whatever you’re reading, and enjoy light refreshments) at 6pm on January 9th and February 6th count as triple entries. Also, don’t miss the all-ages program “Black History of Henry County” at 6pm on February 27th–one lucky attendee wins a door prize!

Happy reading!

Krystal