Classics

Lord of the Flies

In researching for a book entitled Humankind: A Hopeful History (due out this June), historian and author, Rutger Bregman came across a story of some schoolboys who were shipwrecked just like the fictional characters in William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies. The boys set off in a stolen boat from the island of Tonga and after getting caught up in a storm, they ended up shipwrecked on the island of Ata.  Unlike the boys in the fictional story, all six of these boys survived.  You can read the real boys’ story in this article, also written by Rutger Bregman, entitled “The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months”.  There is a follow up article interviewing one of the boys who is now a 73 year old; it’s entitled “The ‘real Lord of the Flies’: a survivor’s story of shipwreck and salvation”.  If you’ve never read the Lord of the Flies novel, it is available as an Ebook and and Eaudiobook through our library catalog.  If you are interested in other stories of shipwrecks (real and fictional), we have some of those as well. You can also read a blog post from earlier this week about Recently Discovered Shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. If you need help accessing the resources mentioned in this post, or you have any other questions, please Ask a Librarian for help. 

Boat, Sea, Sky, Landscape, Nature, Beach, Sand, Old


What’s Going On? Marvin Gaye’s Classic Album Revisited On His Birthday

What’s Going On- Marvin Gaye – 1970

Marvin Gaye’s quintessential album looked at the forces shaping American culture and himself at the beginning of the 1970s. It records Marvin as he soulfully and eloquently sings about a country affected by the Vietnam War, division, drug addiction, poverty, and racial discrimination. Much like the 1970s, the country is divided as ever over politics and the handling of the Coronavirus. Albums like this remind us to think, and ask ourselves and others, “What’s Going On?”.

Stream the 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition of What’s Going on by Marvin Gaye for FREE on Hoopla by clicking here.

Reading Time

In this time of social distancing, we are all finding ways to fill our time and finding that we now have time for things that we never did before. My teenage daughter took it upon herself to organize our home office. My mom’s neighbor spent 2 ½ hours organizing his light bulbs! Yes, these are strange times.

Perhaps now is the perfect time to tackle that doorstopper on your reading list. Have you always wanted to read War and Peace or Moby Dick? Or maybe you’d like to re-read the whole Harry Potter series. How long will it take? There are tools available to help you answer that question.

At Readinglength.com you can enter the name of a book and it will tell you how many hours it takes the average reader to finish that book. It will also direct you to some tests for you to calculate your personal reading speed and allow you to enter your own wpm (words per minute), allowing you to see how long it will take you to read the book you’ve chosen.

How many books can you read in a year? A pretty good test of this is demonstrated in this Mental Floss article. Read the short excerpt and answer 3 multiple-choice questions. You’ll find out how long it will take you to read War and Peace or the entire Harry Potter series. It will then tell you how many books you can read in a year by devoting say 30 minutes per day to reading. The results will amaze you.

Do you need some books to put this new knowledge into action? The MVCC Library provides access to tons of ebooks. Use the library catalog to search for a title, author, or topic. Then use the limiters to the left of your results to see the ebooks. And just in case you were wondering, we do have War and Peace, Moby Dick and the Harry Potter series available in ebook form.

More E-Resources – Books and Art Images

In addition to the E-Resources you can find in the Moraine Valley library catalog (see previous blog post), this article will link you to 25 different pages with free books available in the public domain.

Looking for art images? Through the Moraine Valley library, you have access to the Oxford Art Online database and the Saskia Art Images Collection database. To access these, you will need to log in with your MV user name and password. Also, the Paris Museum has given unrestricted use to over 100,000 images on their collections website.

18 years ago a cinematic adventure began…

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Bilbo Baggins, “The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien

On December 10, 2001, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released in theaters. It would go on to win Oscars in Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, Best Music, and Best Visual Effects.

During the holiday break if you want to experience a different world for the first time or 100th time pick up The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy or the book trilogy here at the library.

Artist: Zaki Hamdani

The Fellowship of the Ring

The Two Towers

The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings (book)

Make it a Hobbit to Look for the Science

I said “peaceful” Bilbo!

November 11th marks the 65th anniversary of the publication of The Two Towers, the second book in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Central to the story are the Hobbits, peaceful, large-footed people of short stature that love the comforts of home.

Most people accept that Middle Earth and its inhabitants are fantasy, but there’s some scientific evidence that hobbit-like people might have been real. In 2003 scientists discovered a hominin, or species related to humans, that was small in stature. Named Homo floreisiensis and nicknamed “the hobbit”, whether or not this fossil find is a distinct species has been hotly debated among scientists since its discovery.

There’s also some evidence that a volcano was partially responsible for the disappearance of the species and that Komodo dragons might have seen them as prey. Where have I heard a story like this before?

Mixing science and literature? It brings tears to my eyes!

Scientists have found evidence that H. floreisiensis created and used tools, but there’s no word of any gold rings found at any of the archaeological sites. If there were, the find would be precious...

Check out some of the other ways science honors Tolkien’s works. Feeling nostalgic for the films? We’ve got them! Want to research our human relatives? Try our Science databases!

1984

This year marks the 70th anniversary of George Orwell’s novel, 1984.

Numerous scholars, historians and journalists note that many of the literary components of 1984 (setting, plot, theme, characters, etc.) mirror life in 2019.

This is a novel that spotlights the evil of governments that allow their citizens no freedom of individual thought. It includes an intricate plot, unusual characters and a theme that guarantees its readers an understanding that fake news, double speak and the erosion of freedom of speech are not new phenomenons.

Check out the MVCC catalog for more information.

Fun Fact-Check out 1984 Apple Super Bowl commercial.

PBS’s Masterpiece Les Miserables Adaptation

Last Sunday (4/14) PBS’s Masterpiece premiered a new adaptation (non-musical) of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. It continues this Sunday for the next five weeks.

 

 

 

“Les Miserables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.”–Signet Classics edition back cover.

This BBC adaptation is by Andrew Davies, directed by Tom Shankland, and stars Dominic West (The Affair) as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo (best known for playing civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma) as police inspector Javert, Lily Collins as Fantine, and Oscar winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite) as Madame Thénardier.

Check out PBS’s official site for Les Miserables, and check out our library catalog for Victor Hugo’s novel and other resources.

New to the Collection: To Kill a Mockingbird Graphic Novel

If you watched PBS’ “The Great American Read” last year, you will know that the #1 novel voted on by viewers as America’s best-loved novel was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. If you didn’t watch the limited series, the premise was for viewer’s to vote for their favorite novels from a list of 100 “best-loved,” resulting in the #1 American pick.

Whether you’ve read Lee’s novel prior or not, new to our collection is a graphic novel adaptation by Fred Fordham. Fordham notes, “This adaptation…does not seek to reinvent Harper Lee’s story and characters. The text is, as far as has been possible, directly taken from the novel. Where I have made changes, they have been for the sole purpose of best representing the story and sentiment of Lee’s original work in this medium.” So if you’re looking for a refreshingly new take on the novel, check the graphic version out!

To Kill a Mockingbird in MVCC’s library collection:

And check out the full results of “The Great American Read” at PBS’ website:  https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/results/

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