January 30th, 2013

It’s Tudor Time!

I like to be engrossed—that feeling of being lost in your reading and immune to the real world.  Lately I’ve been living in the world of Henry VIII.  I never cared much about British history and I don’t much care about Kate and the Prince, but I’ve become engrossed in Henry’s world thanks to Hillary Mantel’s books, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (both available at CCPL).

These books are turning me into an anglophile.  I’m fascinated by the politics.  What will Henry do to end his marriage to his latest wife?  And how will Thomas Cromwell, who has to be the greatest “administrative assistant” in the history of the world, manage it all?  The relationships between all the characters are real and complex.  The period of history comes alive as told from the Cromwells perspective.  I’ve learned about the 15th century world with its conflicts between the established church and the royal rulers and what life at court was really like.  What would it have been like not to be able to read the Bible in English, a controversial  issue of the day?  The language and images are so resonant and beautiful that I’m listening to the works now for the second time and I’ve reserved the books for further study.

And that’s still not enough to quench my passion.  I’m watching the Showtime series, The Tudors (also available on DVD at the library) to get an even better sense of the costumes and settings.  King Henry, played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, is virile and young and compares to the historical images of Henry VIII like young Elvis compares to old Elvis.  (Rhys-Myers actually played Elvis in a TV movie!)   The accent is on the romance and the drama, but it helps to add definition to the characters I’ve been introduced to in the books.

The library also has some fascinating nonfiction that lays out the family tree and puts the Tudors’ reign in a larger perspective.  A quick search in our catalog of “Henry VIII” brings up a great selection of books, CD Books and DVDs about Henry and his many wives.  So my winter’s reading and viewing is all arranged!  And I’ll be waiting for Mantel’s third book in the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, to be published.  Maybe it’s time to plan a trip to England in the spring!

What period of history do you enjoy reading about most?


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January 23rd, 2013

CCPL Teens Making a National Impact

Teens' Top TenDid you know Cecil County Public Library has had a book discussion for teens for over 20 years? Called Book Hook, our teen book discussions are unique groups that give middle and high schoolers opportunities to discuss Young Adult literature and interact with peers. CCPL is proud to announce this vibrant group has been awarded a great opportunity to take their love of lit to the next level.

YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, organizes a yearly “Teens’ Top Ten” award. All teens can vote to create 10 favorites from a list of 25 YA books each year. How do they create that list of the top 25 Young Adult books in the nation? Teen book groups across the U.S. are chosen to serve on the nomination committee and CCPL’s Book Hook group has been chosen! For the next 2 years, members of our Book Hook group will receive Advanced Readers’ Copies (ARCs) of Young Adult books they can read, review and keep! CCPL teens will read extensively throughout the year and is 1 of only 16 groups that nominate the 25 books that make up the Teens’ Top Ten list.

Even if you are not participating in our Book Hook group, you can still make your voice heard! All teens can vote to narrow down the list of 25 to the top 10 in the nation. The top 25 will be announced on April 18th, “Celebrate Teen Lit Day.” Voting for the top 10 is open August 15 through September 15 and the winners are announced during Teen Read Week (October 13-19, 2013).

Thanks to the dedication of the library, our Friends organization, and Cecil County teens, we will be a part of this national effort to choose the best YA books of the year!

For more info and to vote on your favorites in August and September, check out the YALSA page and CCPL’s teen page.

What’s your favorite YA book or author?


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