Grimm on Film - new versions from Germany

Snow WhiteDuring Culture Night 2012 the Goethe-Institut Irland gave Dubliners the opportunity to see new film versions of Grimms' Fairy Tales - shot on location in Germany in old castles, monasteries and forts and starring well known German film and television actors. Now, both Rathmines Library and Cabra Library can offer the same opportunity to their patrons with screenings of three of the most well-known titles during the mid-term break, between Tuesday 30th October and Friday 2nd November.

The films follow the original stories as collected by the Brothers Grimm and retain many elements that have been lost in up-dated or shortened versions - for example, the Wicked Queen in Schneewitchen (or Snow White as it is known in English) tries to kill Snow White three times, first with a belt that tightens around her waist, next with a poisoned comb for her hair, before hitting on the (almost) successful plan of tempting her with a poisoned apple. The real castle setting in Dornroschen (Sleeping Beauty) lends an authenticity to the tale - which turns it into a charming love story. In Rapunzel, there is plenty of background on how the young girl with the fabulously long hair came to be shut up in the tower - though the film doesn't quite go into how she notices her dress getting tighter after the secret visits from the Prince, as told in the original story. Perhaps he was bringing her chocolates?

Fab Four for Phizzfest!

No, it's not a Beatles tribute band - but I couldn't resist the alliterative headline - the 'Fab Four' are four fabulous Irish writers for children and young people; Pauline McLynn, Conor Kostick, Brian Gallagher and Anna Carey, all appearing in the Phibsboro' area during Phizzfest, the voluntary community arts festival running 1st - 9th September 2012.

Cabra Teen Book Club on TV3

On the 6th June last, TV3 visited Cabra Library where they filmed the teen book club discussing 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins! The five minute piece was broadcast on Tuesday, 26th June on Ireland AM at approximately 9.20am.

Cabra Library Teen Book Club

The Reading Room - what would you put in?

Have you ever speculated which books you would bring with you to a desert island? (I've always thought that should be 'deserted' not 'desert' but perhaps it's an obscure grammar point I don't get?) As part of the Re Think + Re Act Exhibition, Pivot Dublin have set up a Reading Room in Filmbase in Temple Bar, Dublin. They invited readers in Dublin to submit their favourite book to be displayed in the Reading Room during the exhibition. 

My choice? 

Calling All Nerdfighters - Don't Forget to be Awesome

Looking for Alaska  'It always shocked me when I realised that I wasn't the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things' - the words of a character in John Green's young adult novel 'Looking for Alaska' - but surely the words every reader has said or thought at some time after reading a particularly well written book - the kind of book that brings an understanding of the thoughts and motivations of another human being, albeit a made up one, directly into the mind and heart of the reader.  

If you haven't heard of John Green, you are probably not a teenager who spends hours on Youtube following vloggers (video bloggers). John and his brother Hank Green are among the elite of vloggers who broadcast their thoughts and doings to thousands of people. They have their own Youtube channel 'Vlogbrothers', their catchcall is DFTBA or  'Don't forget to be awesome' and they often refer to themselves and their fans as Nerdfighters. It's a space where 'nerdy' people, who are into books and / or science and never want to let go of their fourteen-year-old selves can hang out and be the coolest people on the planet.

Jobs for the girls!

Dublin City of Science 2012 logoInternational Women's Day logoApart from a little maths, the nearest thing to science I ever studied in school was Domestic Science. While knowing how to cook and sew is undoubtedly very useful, I am painfully aware that huge swathes of knowledge are beyond my comprehension and always will be.

There is always a chance I can answer a literature question on University Challenge, maybe even the odd music or film question, but science subjects are a complete mystery. Don't even understand the questions most of the time.

Yes, my knowledge of science is based entirely on what I have learned from watching 'The Big Bang Theory' - and while I have great sympathy for that cat in the box, I'm not sure I really get it.

Happy Valentine's and Romantic Reading!

The Next Always

Being the day that's in it, I thought I might throw a glance as to what titles classified as 'romantic fiction' featured amongst the most borrowed fiction titles (from our branch libraries, that is) during the month of January. And in doing so I was somewhat amazed that so few romance titles seemed to feature amongst the most borrowed, crime novels appearing to dominate the list in fact. But maybe that is not such a surprise, crime novels have always been hugely popular, while romance novels might be said to have a niche audience. And why so, or am I wrong?? Are we all not romantics at heart?!

Time and Tide

Anyways, while I wondered whether or not we might have seen the demise of romantic fiction to some degree, I came across this article in the Telegraph newspaper, 'Romance is a closed book: now we’re all losers in love', whose author also seems to think that crime has very much knocked romantic fiction down the pecking order. But as the author states, "feasting on felony and felony alone is not the healthiest diet", so with those words of wisdom, let me champion some romantic fiction titles that might rekindle your interest (and mine!) in the world of romance!

Picks of 2011, Children's and Teen

There are no cats in the bookPart 3 of my three part comments on my own reading during 2011.  Non-Fiction was the first in the series with Adult Fiction second. This is my Children's and Young Adult or Teen reads.  Some great fantasy is being published in the Teen section and I do enjoy the reads.

I read a lot of books over the last year, approximately 290 of which I noted from the library.

Of all the books I read from the library some stood out, I couldn't pick a small number but I'm going to put them into themes and pick the best of that theme.  Sometimes it's hard to pick just one, the first listed is my favourite, the rest are in no particular order.  This isn't a definitive list, it's a list of books that are readable alone or are the start of a series, that I read during 2011, that stood out above the others and that I would recommend to others.

Graffiti - Art or Vandalism?

Graffiti posterUsing a variety of drama and visual arts programmes, young people from many areas of Dublin City will work with professional artists and writers to explore the question ‘Graffiti – Art or Vandalism?’.

This programme of activities, presented by Dublin City Public Libraries, is aimed at educating children, whilst encouraging them to comment creatively on the social conditions in which they find themselves.

Seventeen libraries will participate in this ambitious public programme throughout the Autumn / Winter of 2011 and Spring 2012, using a broad range of learning strategies to deliver this very important message.

A Winning Night at Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards

     Irish Book Awards  Ireland's 'glitterati' came out in force last night at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards Ceremony in the Concert Hall of the RDS. In a night when Seamus Heaney received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by fellow poet Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, it would be easier to say who wasn't there, than who was - even former US President Bill Clinton appeared in a pre-recorded tribute to 'one of the world's favourite poets'.

The Irish Book Award winners are voted on by the public and the various categories were hotly contested. All winning and shortlisted books are available to borrow from Dublin City Public Libraries. Winners on the night were;