Kimberly C's blog

The Hills are Alive...

music  notesIn 2004, the American Film Institute released a new list in their 100 Years series, this one celebrating iconic songs in movies. I have confessed my love for movie musicals many times on this blog, but there is something to be said for that one song that can define an entire movie. What would Dirty Dancing be without that final performance to (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life? How many of us still passionately sing along with Celine Dion and think of Jack and Rose when My Heart Will Go On plays on the radio? And is a Bond movie really complete without a new, killer theme song?

When AFI first released the 100 Years...100 Songs list, my college roommate and I were obsessed. It was our goal to collect all 100 songs and put them in one playlist and, by the end of the year, we had almost succeeded! Below, I have listed some of my favorite movie songs. Browse the entire list and let me know if your favorite song was included!

Space: The Final Frontier

full moonWe all know about fashion trends, but how often do we give thought to movie trends? One of this year’s most popular trends is movies set in space. This summer saw the release of a number of movies that fit this theme (e.g., Star Trek: Into Darkness and Elysium), and the trend continues with some of this fall’s most anticipated movies. Earlier this month, Gravity opened to high critical and popular acclaim and continues to smash box office records. And on November 1, Ender’s Game, based on the Orson Scott Card novel of the same name, hits theaters with a science fiction twist on the space trend. Whether the movie is a more realistic portrayal of space and mankind in space (e.g.,  Apollo 13) or a science fiction adventure that only tangentially reflects reality (e.g., Star Wars and Star Trek), it always manages to capture the imagination of Earthbound movie goers.

If you can’t make it to the theater this month, or want to see more cinematic adventures in space, browse the HCPL catalog and request a movie today!

The Post-Apocalyptic World

wastelandThis month, Harris County Public Library, along with other libraries in the Greater Houston area, celebrates Gulf Coast Reads 2013. This year’s novel is The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. The Dog Stars follows the struggles of a man and his dog, taking refuge in a Colorado airport hanger after a flu pandemic wipes out most of the world’s population.

Novels depicting the world after apocalyptic events have always been prevelent, and television and movies are no different. Perhaps it is the conflicting emotions of the story that pull in readers and viewers: a fierce desire to survive and build a new civilization despite loneliness in the face of total devestation. The recent rise in popularity of books and movies about dystopian civilizations (e.g., The Hunger Games) feed this same desire to see a small group of people struggling together to overcome seemingly hopeless situations. Or maybe viewers just want to leave theaters knowing that no matter what happens, humanity will survive.

If you’re in the mood for a post-apocalyptic thriller this weekend, browse the HCPL catalog and request a movie or television show today!

Lone Star College-Tomball 25th Anniversary

doorsdoors

Creative staff at the Lone Star College-Tomball Community Library are participating in a door decorating contest to kick off the Lone Star College-Tomball 25th Anniversary celebrations. Departments from all over campus have their creative juices flowing. Thanks to the library staff listed below for their creativity and hard work on this project. Our doors look awesome, so make sure you stop by the library and take a look! 

First Floor Doors (HCPL Library Staff): Brenda Maynard, Leah Curry, Krystal Schroeder, and Katherine C. Green

Second Floor Doors (LSC Library Staff): Pamela Shafer, Bobbye Silva, Alpana Sarangapani, Jill Moore, Christopher Grawl, Stephanie Riceman, Marilyn Howe, Vicki Bradley, Natalie Armantrout, and Christina Wilcher

For more pictures of our decorated doors, check out the library's Flickr page!

 

65th Primetime Emmy Awards

Emmy StatuetteLast night, the recipients of the Primetime Emmys were announced in a live telecast and, like many people, I tuned in to see what surprises were in store. Most awards shows are generally a mix of the expected and the unexpected, and this year’s Emmys were no different. Although the big winners of the night (Modern Family, Breaking Bad and Behind the Candelabra) were no surprise, the acting awards seemed to break every expectation. Even the winning actors often seemed surprised when their names were read! (Case in point: Merritt Wever’s four-word speech after her shocking, but deserved, win for her work in Nurse Jackie.)

Unlike most awards shows, last nights Emmys also had a more solemn tone than usual. In addition to the In Memoriam segment, the Emmys featured extended, more personal tributes to five industry greats who passed away this year. These, along with a somber tribute to Liberace and a segment on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy contributed to the reflective feel of the Emmys. Fortunately, host Neil Patrick Harris was always there to lighten the mood with a witty aside or glitzy song and dance number. Overall, the Emmys may have verged on the depressing, but the excitement of the winners made it fun to watch.

If you missed the Emmys last night, check out a partial list of winners below and a complete list at the official Emmys website.

The Return of Fall TV

tvTo some people, the end of summer means the beginning of a new school year. To others, it means a slow drop in temperatures to something slightly more bearable. For me, the end of summer means the return of my favorite fall television shows. The steady rise in popularity of off-season TV means that, more often now, there are plenty of shows to keep viewers occupied during the summer months. However, my favorite TV shows are still the network dramas and sitcoms that air September to May.

There are always plenty of new TV shows ready to hook viewers and become a vital part of the weekly lineup, and this year is no different. But fall TV is more than trying out new shows. It’s about finally getting answers to last season’s cliffhangers and discovering more about favorite characters. That connection with TV characters and that willingness to set aside time each week to escape into someone else’s imagination is why so many shows come back season after season with familiar faces and fresh ideas.

If you’re out of the TV loop, or just want to catch up on previous seasons of current TV, browse the HCPL catalog and see what we have to offer! And if you’re still trying to prep the DVR for the upcoming seasons, check out this handy guide to all the primetime network shows.

Fall TV Picks:

Battle of the Books Champions

After weeks of intense voting, the Battle of the Books has reached an end and the champions have been named! There were some close weeks throughout the tournament, but the final votes were decisive. Here are the winners, as chosen by library customers this summer:

LOTRhunger gamesharry potter

Adult Fiction: The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Young Adult Fiction: The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

Children’s Fiction: Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling)

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all the loyal customers who tirelessly voted week after week. Did your favorite book win? Let us know in the comments!

Back to School

lockersAlong with the continued blistering heat, August brings with it the end of lazy summer days and the beginning of a new school year. But if movies have taught us anything, it’s that locker-lined high school hallways are teeming with drama, comedy and romance worth watching. Whether the story is about teenage love or social status, cut-throat sports or academia, the high school years have provided many popular movie topics. Even when these movies don’t seem anything like our own experiences, there are enough similarities to bring back memories of carefree teenage years and the feeling of being on top of the world.

Teen Summer Writing Contest Winners

writingOn Tuesday, the winners of the Fifth Annual Teen Summer Writing Contest were announced at a reception held at the Tomball Library. Mary Lindsey, a local author of popular YA novels, was on hand to offer some motivational words on writing and hand out the awards. Hosted in conjunction with the Barbara Bush Branch Library, the Writing Contest was a huge success. Poems and short stories were submitted by teens from both branches, various other HCPL branches, and several states across the country. Thanks to all the teens who wrote and submitted fantastic entries!

Congratulations to all our winners for their outstanding poems and short stories!

Battle of the Books: Final Showdown

hunger gamesAfter a long summer of intense voting, it’s finally here: the last Battle of the Books showdown! For the next two weeks (that’s right, two!), cast your ballot for your favorite books in the following match-ups:

In adult fiction, The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien) will battle with The Help (Kathryn Stockett).

In YA fiction, The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) will battle with Eragon (Christopher Paolini).

In children’s fiction, Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling) will battle with Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White).

Which book do you think should be crowned the Ultimate Battle of the Books Champion? Stop by the library by Saturday, August 24 to cast your vote!

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