Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holds are in the House!

For those of you unfamiliar with "holds", it is something we're very proud of here in Montana! Librarians get very excited by large amounts of books, you know. Sitting at your home computer, you can place a book in Missoula on hold, whether it is sitting on their shelf or checked out already. When that hold becomes available and it's your turn, the book is shipped up economically via the bus (we receive 12-16 crates daily, not to mention our normal crates between branches). You can then be notified via a phone call or email that your hold has arrived. This picture documents our unofficial record number of holds waiting to be picked up at the Main Library in Kalispell. For those of you that use holds, give yourself a pat on the back and happy reading!

Monday, November 17, 2008

teen books: Paranoid Park

I recently read an article by a 13 year old boy about what kinds of books boys want to read, and why the teen books for boys often fall flat. He writes:

"Another giant, oily blemish on the face of teenage literature (that was entirely intentional) is whatever urge compels writers to clumsily smash morals about fairness or honor or other cornball crap onto otherwise fine stories. Do you not think we get enough of that in our parents' and teachers' constant attempts to shove the importance of justice and integrity down our throats? We get it. I assure you, it makes no difference in our behavior at all."

Okay, so I recently read a really great book that would appeal to those who share Max's opinions: Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson. So scary, so real, so devoid of phony moralizing. The unnamed narrator is a skater kid who accidentally gets involved in a fight in which someone dies a rather gruesome death. So begins the most horrible, lonely odyssey of his life. Absolutely shocking, unstoppable page turning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

check it out! movies

This oppressive early darkness and cloud cover (I was reading a novel this week that mentioned "the sky lay like a coffin lid over the city." I can relate!) sends me right to the couch and the DVD player. I've watched two very interesting new releases over the past week: The Edge of Heaven (116 min., in English, German, and Turkish w/ English subtitles, not rated) and The Visitor (104 min., in English, Arabic, and French w/English subtitles, rated R).

The Visitor takes place in New York City and deals with a widowed professor who's life collides with a young couple from Africa, living in the US illegally. It's a poignant film about different cultures, post 9/11 fear, and the power of the human spirit. The Edge of Heaven deals with immigrants also, but this time Turks and Germans living uneasily in today's Europe; and explores the "vagaries of human relationships across all borders, national and personal."

Both films are well worth the watch, bestowing a wonderful distraction from the sudden approach of early winter. And both are available from your Flathead County Library.