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With our busy lifestyles, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to just sit and read.  If you’ve got a stack of unread books and feel like getting out more, you can take care of both situations with Dublin’s Silent Book Club!

On the third Tuesday of the month, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, the library hosts an adult quiet reading hour. We’ll be setting up a room with a few comfortable chairs, closing the door, and giving you space to escape into a good book. Even though we call it a book club, we’re not discussing or reading the same book. It’s just a way to schedule some reading time and be around others who appreciate and share a passion for reading.

If you’re feeling social, you can come early and join us for our Readers’ Round Table. From 2:00 – 3:00 pm on the third Tuesday of the month, we spend time talking about the books we’re reading and enjoying. Share your latest find, or find a new author to try! While these two programs happen on the same day, you do not need to attend one to come to the other. Pick what feels right for you.

At last month’s Readers’ Round Table one participant recommended the book The Widow of the South, by Robert Hicks. She admitted it was slow to start, but full of detail about life in the South during the Civil War. The characters come to life as you get into it. You learn some history and get some romance. It’s also about how the main character’s home gets taken over by the Confederacy and turned into a hospital.

This prompted another participant to recommend the PBS television series Mercy Street, a somewhat gritty but captivating show about a family-owned hotel turned into an army hospital in Union-occupied Virginia. There’s a mix of interesting characters and perspectives including the Boston widow newly arrived as a nurse, a free black man with untapped medical skills, and a Southern belle whose entitled world has been utterly shaken. Find the DVDs for both seasons at the library.

What new book or show might you discover next? Join us on October 17 to find out!

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Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a new movie, currently out in theaters: Dunkirk. As mentioned, the movie is still currently in theaters, so there are no copies available at the library at this time.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Neha H., Teen Reviewer

Name of Movie: Dunkirk

Release Date: July 13, 2017

MPAA Rating: PG-13

My rating: 3 stars

Genre: Drama, suspense, thriller

Acclaimed director Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated WWII thriller, Dunkirk, is a complex and harrowing tour de force, full of concrete details and visceral thrills. The film is based on the evacuation of 330,000 Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in May 1940 after the German advance into France. As with his other films, Nolan deliberately experiments with time in Dunkirk; the narrative is told through three parallel storylines on land, sea, and air which eventually merge.

Dunkirk features the perspectives of several figures with critical roles in the evacuations, including a young British soldier (Fionn Whitehead), a civilian boat captain (Mark Rylance), a British officer suffering from PTSD (Cillian Murphy), two RAF pilots (Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden), and a naval officer (Kenneth Branagh). These perspectives are intricately interwoven amidst the intense action sequences; however, this can all be confusing to viewers unfamiliar with “Nolan Time”. The frequent explosions, along with Hans Zimmer’s forceful score, drowns out the minimal dialogue, making the film difficult to follow.

Nolan’s repeated attempts to disrupt the natural rhythm of the film with his time-bending tricks leave it feeling somewhat hollow and disjointed. Although Dunkirk is undoubtedly technologically well-crafted and visually impressive, its lack of emotional resonance and a cohesive storyline mars the spectacle.

 

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a new movie, currently out in theaters: Marvel’s Spider-man: Homecoming. As mentioned, the movie is still currently in theaters, so there are no copies available at the library at this time.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Neha H., Teen Reviewer

Name of Movie: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Release Date: July 7, 2017

MPAA Rating: PG-13

My rating: 4 stars

Genre: Action, superhero, fantasy

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a surprisingly refreshing reboot of one of Marvel’s most enduringly popular characters. Set a few months after his debut in Captain America: Civil War, 15-year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) struggles to navigate the challenges of high school in his hometown of Queens, New York, as he gradually comes to terms with his newfound identity as Spider-Man. Ever-convinced of his abilities, Peter is desperate to prove himself to be more than just your “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man”, much to the chagrin of his hawk-eyed mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). His opportunity finally arrives in the form of the evil Vulture (Michael Keaton), who threatens everything Peter holds dear.

The film actively avoids delving into Spider-Man’s traditional origin story; it focuses on achieving a balance between fast-paced CGI action sequences and warm-hearted scenes of regular high school life. Director Jon Watts manages to breathe new life into a franchise on the verge of exhaustion, shifting towards a primarily teenage demographic in an effort to make Spider-Man more relatable to that age group. The cast brings diversity and incredible charisma to the narrative. Newcomer Tom Holland, in particular, delivers a breakout performance in his double identity as the awkward adolescent turned crime-fighting webslinger, Peter Parker. The film isn’t altogether perfect: there are a few weak points in the plot, especially during the exposition. However, despite initially being met with skepticism, Spider-Man: Homecoming succeeds in recapturing the youthful appeal of this beloved character, making it an enjoyable and entertaining film.

 

Calling all teens! Did you know that there are weekly book-related contests at the Dublin Library this summer? Stop by the teen area each week (Monday afternoon through the following Monday morning) and fill out an entry form with your answers to the week’s contest. Last week we had book title anagrams up on the board, and this week (June 19th – June 26th in the morning) we have a character matching game. Match the character names to the book cover to which the characters’ belong. We’ll pick on lucky entry from those that guess all the characters correctly.

In addition, we will save all correct entry forms each week to enter into a grand prize drawing. The grand prize winner will be announced the first week of August. These contests are open for teens ages 13-18. These programs are sponsored with the generous support of the Dublin Friends of the Library.

Teen Book Talk features reviews by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of another movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The DVD is now available to place on hold at the library (there is currently quite a long hold list!)

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Neha H., Teen Reviewer

Name of Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Release Date: November 18, 2016

MPAA Rating : PG-13

My rating : 4 stars

Genre : Fantasy, action, thriller

Set roughly seventy years before the timeline of the Ha rry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first entry in a five-part series of prequels that will focus on the events leading up to the climactic duel between Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore. With a screenplay penned by J.K. Rowling, F anta stic Beasts is directed by David Yates, and produced by David Heyman and Steve Kloves — all of whom worked on the original Harry Potter film ser ies. The film follows the adventures of British magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), after he arrives in 1920s New York City with a briefcase filled with magical creatures.

Newt finds himself directly in the midst of the sudden chaos and turmoil that wreak havoc on New York streets; the mayhem gradually reveals the longstanding tension and deep distrust between the American magical community and the “No-Majs” (non-magical people, the equivalent of Muggles). Although Newt evidently prefers the company of the beloved creatures he carries with him, he encounters demoted Auror Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), her Legilimens sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), and Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj (Dan Fogler), all of whom help him in his quest to save the American Wizarding World from total anarchy.

Each of the actors deliver superb performances; Oscar-winner Redmayne, in particular, perfectly captures the charisma and charm of Newt. While not quite as emotionally powerful and gripping as on the page, Rowling’s talent still shines through her screenwriting; she expertly conveys the developing relationships between the characters through memorable lines of dialogue.

The thrilling, fast-paced action sequences are supplemented by a lilting score courtesy of James Newton Howard ( The Hunger Games, T he Dark Knight, Maleficent), who incorporates snippets of John Williams’ classic “Hedwig’s Theme” along with refreshingly original elements. However, a few scenes in the middle of the film seem a bit too drawn out, and the magical creatures — which were promoted as the core of Fantastic Beasts — are quickly forgotten in the midst of the action. Nevertheless, Fantastic Beasts makes for an entertaining fantasy adventure sure to enchant audiences; moreover, its underlying commentary about the dangers of intolerance and paranoia is just as riveting as it is deeply unsettling.

Looking for a fun art activity to entertain your kids? This project is easy, requires only a few supplies, and will entertain kids for quite a while.

You will need:

paper (we used construction paper, but cardstock would work as well)

an aluminum tray (like a disposable roasting pan) that is slightly larger than your paper

craft sand in various colors (you can buy online or at some craft stores; call first to ensure they have it in stock)

white glue

newspaper (or something to cover your work surface)

optional: glitter, a pencil, paper plates or empty salt shakers

Project Notes: this project is a lot of fun, but it can get very messy! You may want to try this outside, if there’s a sheltered spot that’s not too windy. If you choose to try it inside, you might want to cover your work surface with newspaper or place mats of some kind.

Directions:

Step 1: Start with one piece of paper. You can draw out a pattern, picture or just random lines using your pencil. (Or you can skip this step altogether and just use the glue to draw patterns.)

Step 2: Place the paper into the tray. Take out your sand and either pour a little bit of each color onto a paper plate (I’ve found that it is easier for little hands to have one plate for each color of sand, instead of sharing plates with multiple colors of sand), or adding colored sand to salt shakers (I would use cheap and small salt shakers from a dollar store, if you choose to go this route).

Step 3: Trace over the pencil lines with the glue. If you skipped drawing on the paper, use the glue to create patterns or random lines directly onto the paper.

Step 3: While the glue is still wet, sprinkle craft sand over the glue. You can mix the colors together, or you can cover different areas of the glue with one particular color (for example, if you drew a flower, you might add pink sand to the petals, and green sand to the stem/leaves). If your kids are using the sand off of the plates, this is a good exercise for practicing fine motor skills (pinching the sand between fingers is great practice!) Salt shakers work will for little hands too, and can help with hand/eye coordination in using the salt shakers to add sand to the paper.

Step 4: Once you’ve covered all of your glue with sand, shake the excess sand off of the paper and into the tray. You’ll end up with all the sand colors mixed together, but you can always use the rainbow sand to decorate a new glue picture (this looks really pretty on random abstract glue lines!) If you really want the colors of sand to stay separated, you can dump the excess sand off of the paper before adding a new color. Store sand in ziplock bags for limited mess. Optional: Use glitter in place of one color of sand to add a sparkly pop to your artwork!

Step 5: Set aside to dry. This type of art project will not last for a long time, unless you want to seal it. You’d need to buy Modge Podge or another type of sealant in order to keep the sand from drying out and falling off of the page. They do look pretty while they last, and kids have a blast working on their art. This project kept my toddlers and preschoolers entertained for more than 30 minutes at a time. A great way to “save” these types of projects is to take a photograph.

 

 

Teen Book Talk features reviews by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a movie, Beauty and the Beast. This is a review of the newly-released live action film, not the animated version.

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Siri P., Teen Reviewer

Name of Movie: Beauty and the Beast 2017

Release Date: March 17, 2017

MPAA Rating: PG

My Rating: 5 Stars

Beauty and the Beast 2017, starring Emma Watson, is the latest version of the previous Disney movie. It was released on March 17 and I watched it the day it was released. It is rated is PG, recommending parental guidance. The movie setting takes place in a small village and a large castle. In short words, Beauty and the Beast is about a young and alluring women who has a heart that is made of kindness and how she gets in the hands of a beast. I would like to recognize Dan Stevens (the beast) for his acting skills. This movie is full of humor, suspense, romance, and galore! I give it 5 stars!

The plot has a shocking twist to it so if you are a Disney fan, you should still see this version, even after viewing the animated versions. Unlike some other movies, it is not predictable at all!

If you are completely new to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, I very much suggest you watch it. This movie is well-written and you do not need to watch the previous version to understand it.

This movie is interesting for adults, teens, and younger children, so feel free to bring your family! I want to let you know that it has some violence, but overall, it contributes to the suspense and intensity of the plot. The beast may look frightening at first to your younger siblings. However, I took my younger sister and her friends (aged 5-8) to watch the movie at the theater and they simply loved it.

Is this a typical “Happily Ever After” movie? Many people in the audience were in tears – and no, I will not tell you if it was tears in sadness or happiness…

If you are the type of person who stays up all night watching Disney movies, Moana is another PG movie that is also highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

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