December 7th, 2011

Books That Inspired Great TV

When I read a book, I don’t really “see” much. Characters are just vague outlines in my imagination, like people seen at a distance without my glasses. Their words are spoken in my voice, making some scenarios a little awkward. Descriptions of beautiful vistas? Consider them instantly forgotten. Perish the thought of having to imagine what a fantastical creature looks like, even with a long string of adjectives to guide me.

This problem makes Fantasy an untouchable genre. Science Fiction is a considerable struggle as well. Remove the setting descriptions in Westerns and it’s just a bunch of faceless cowboys with nondescript guns and war cries that sound a lot like my “ack! a spider!” shriek.

I don’t like being confined to a few genres, particularly because I help people find their next favorite book. So I cheat a little. Watching movies and TV shows based on books helps me see the scenery, hear the characters, and experience the story more fully before I read the book. This ruins things for people with a rich visual mindscape. (You can easily pick them out of a crowd because they say things like, “I can’t believe they casted so-in-so in that movie. He doesn’t look at ALL how he’s supposed to look.”) To them, I tip my hat.

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Check out this list of TV shows based on books and make your own comparisons!

•    Bones (FOX): Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs
•    Christy (CBS): Christy by Catherine Marshall
•    Dexter (Showtime): Dexter Morgan series by Jeffry Lindsay
•    The Dresden Files (Syfy): The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
•    Flashforward (ABC): Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
•    Game of Thrones (HBO): A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin
•    Friday Night Lights (NBC): Friday Night Lights: a Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger
•    Gossip Girl (The CW): Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar
•    The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (BBC): Inspector Lynley series by Elizabeth George
•    Rizzoli & Isles (TNT): Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series by Tess Gerritsen
•    Kitchen Confidential (FOX): Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain
•    Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family): Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard
•    True Blood (HBO): Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries by Charlaine Harris
•    The Vampire Diaries (The CW): Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith
•    The Walking Dead (AMC): The Walking Dead graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman

For a list of books that inspired movies, click here.

When you read, do you “see” anything? What’s your favorite book/film/TV show adaptation?


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November 22nd, 2011

Crafting the Perfect Holiday

Christmas Display 2011_1A few days ago I started working on the decorations we will use for our holiday book display at the Elkton Central Library this year.  I am decoupaging old book pages on to a Styrofoam tree.  Will it be a success? I’m not sure at this point.  For me the joy of creating is not really being sure what you will end up with and the pleasure I receive when it turns out, hopefully, better than expected.  The other nice thing about it is that I’m recycling old books and flower pots!

Everyone is looking for ways to save money during the holidays.  One of the ways I save (and recycle) is by making my own gifts for relatives and friends out of vintage paper and fabric.  They appreciate the thought, love and effort put into the gifts, and I enjoy making them.  It, however, is not a pretty sight at my house during the “creative process.”  When an idea strikes me, I rip through the boxes and boxes of vintage paper and fabric I collect until just the right pieces come together.

The library has a wide assortment of craft books from Scherenschnitte (Papercutting) to rug hooking and many dedicated just to holiday crafts. Two of my particular favorites are Sara Toliver’s Vintage Christmas Crafts and Terry Taylor’s Altered Art.  I love the vintage quality of these two books and have made shadow boxes as gifts using ideas from both of them.  Happily, these shadow boxes have become treasured gifts, prized by the recipients.

vintage xmas gifts bookHere is a list of some other craft books available at the library that might inspire you to “craft” the perfect holiday this year.  In December all the Cecil County Public Libraries will host holiday craft programs for all ages and open houses with music and food.  We invite you to join us in celebrating the holidays.  And now is the time to check out those craft books!

What will you be crafting for the holidays?


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