Posted in Adult, Biography & Memoir, eBooks & eAudio, Graphic Novels & Memoirs, Horror, Science, Science Fiction

A Dive into the Reading Pile

My social life has taken a pretty sharp decline since I’ve gone into quarantine. Being home more has given me a bit of a push to reevaluate my reading pile. I’ve sifted through the books that have piled up around my home to find some that I thought others might be interested in as well.

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A Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer was one of the authors that I read for a few classes at university. He’s a writer that can take relatively dry science topics, like evolution, and make them engaging for every degree of reader. Near the end of my undergraduate education, I found an interest in virus-host coevolution and tried to find books on viruses. I stupidly didn’t take a microbiology class due to initially thinking microbes were boring. I need to note that this particular book has been in my pile for a few years, but it has taken on new relevance.

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Posted in Adult, Contemporary, eBooks & eAudio, Fiction, Horror

Modern Classics: Jane Austen

Known for expressing her wit and social commentary through her characters, Jane Austen is a staple of classrooms and beloved by many. But for readers new to Austen, the language can feel challenging and lots of sneaky jokes get lost along the way. (Consider: a character preaching about the importance of frugality while renting the carriage equivalent of an Audi.) Modern retellings can reframe those jokes in a way that doesn’t require extensive knowledge of 1800s British customs, or offer a fresh take for those who know Austen’s works well. For longtime Austen fans and newcomers alike, here are 6 adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels.

The Austen Project:
Emma by Alexander McCall Smith & Eligble by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Austen Project brings Jane Austen into the present day. Eligible imagines Elizabeth as a writer for a magazine and Jane as a yoga instructor in New York. After their father has a health scare, the daughters return to their childhood city of Cincinnati to find the home in disrepair and a mother determined to marry off Jane before her 40th birthday.

In Emma, the titular character returns home from university to start her career in interior design. While she plans to get her business off the ground, she uses her free time to offer guidance to those she deems less wise in the ways of the world than she is – and she includes nearly everyone in Highbury in that tally.

Two other adaptations in the series, Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid and Sense and Sensibility have been released as well.

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Posted in Adult, eBooks & eAudio, Fantasy, Games, Graphic Novels & Memoirs, Horror

Insert Coin to Continue

The last few weeks have been good for gaming, but even I can get burned out after a few days. Sometimes, you get caught up in the story or world you were playing in, though. This week I found a few books that are set in some favorite videogame worlds.

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The Infernal City (Libby/Monarch)

This novel is set after the Oblivion Crisis. Though I feel like to fully enjoy it, you need to have played The Elder Scrolls III, or at least The Elder Scrolls Online. The novel visits places in Morrowind like Vivec City and mentions the fall of the Ministry of Truth. That may not be as much of an issue for other people as it would be for me, though.

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Posted in Adult, Fantasy, Graphic Novels & Memoirs, Horror, Science Fiction, Teen & Young Adult

I Have Issues

I spend too much time talking about movies and games, so this month I am doing something different. I go through bouts where I get absorbed into comic series. This month I thought I would share some of my favorites. The items in this blog post will take you to the first volume of the series in Mead’s collection.

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The Black Monday Murders

The Black Monday Murders is a blend of noir mystery and occult horror. The gist of the series’ story is that bankers are being murdered in horrific, cult-like ways. As Detective Dumas follows the clues, he discovers that there is a world of magic schools hidden behind international banking. The premise tickles my fancy, but what has stuck with me is the use of color and shadow. The art is surreal at times, but somehow the color and shadow ground it. I feel like this one, in particular, is the hidden-ish gem of this blog post, but I have to do my due diligence to mention this series is on hiatus. The artist and co-creator, Tomm Coker, had to step away due to some health concerns, so this series currently stops after volume two.

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Posted in Fantasy, Games, Horror, Science Fiction, Top 5

Looking Back at the 2010s

An era has come to an end. Goodbye, 2010s. Hello, 2020. I figured for this month’s blog post that I’d look back and share some of my favorite games of the decade.

Minecraft (PS4/Xbox One)

As a freshman in college, I had been reading about this new game that people were amazed by. You could build anything you could imagine they said! There was just one catch. Everything was made of cubes. I decided I would look into this Minecraft. It was the first game I ever bought that was in an incomplete state. When I bought it, there was only the one mode that would later be called Creative Mode. I didn’t play it too much in that state. Eventually, I would play the new Hardcore Mode, usually dying from falling into lava, and then for a bit on private servers.

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Posted in Contemporary, Fantasy, Film, Horror

The Weather Outside is Frightful

I love Christmas, but usually, by this time of the year, I’m done with all the cute and cuddly stuff. Or at least that’s my excuse for why most of my favorite Christmas movies are spooky. If you’re looking for a festive movie that’s lower in sugary sweetness, give these a shot.

Krampus

From the opening montage alone, Krampus won my heart. Seeing people deck each over a toy during Black Friday sets the tone of Krampus. This is a movie that borrows the moralistic slasher rules of older horror movies, like Friday the 13th, and applies that framework to Christmas. Being greedy and only wanting presents? Watch out for Krampus. Bullying your cousin? Watch out for Krampus. It’s refreshing to have a Christmas movie that brings up that the holiday isn’t very jolly anymore and gives us a better reason than coal to be good.

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Posted in Film, Horror, Science Fiction

Oops. One of These Days I’ll Watch That…

I consider myself a movie fan, but there are just so many movies released every year! There are quite a few movies that I keep meaning to watch, but I just haven’t gotten around to them. Here are the top five I feel the guiltiest about not having seen.

The Terminator

With the new Terminator movie coming out, I felt it would be appropriate to mention how I haven’t seen the original Terminator. It sounds like a sci-fi action movie that I would like, but I tend to not rush after time travel movies. I have seen Terminator 2 and Terminator Genisys, though. I’m aware one of those is way better than the other. The 11th Doctor deserved better than that movie.

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Posted in Adult, Fiction, Horror

My Coworker Aleah Picks Some Horror Books!

It’s almost time for Halloween, which means there should probably be a post about horror books. But there’s a problem – I don’t really read horror books! (The last one I can remember reading is Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas, which I did enjoy… but it’s just not my genre.)

So instead, I decided to ask my coworker Aleah because she reads a lot of horror books! Below are five picks from her – books that she’s read and enjoyed, books that she thinks you should check out for a spooky, scary Halloween read.

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The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

“From a master of the short story, a collection that includes stories never before in print, never published in America, never collected and brand new- with the magnificent bones of interstitial autobiographical comments on when, why and how Stephen King came to write each story” – from the publisher

Why you should read it: Each story was different and had its own creepy twist to it. And it’s Stephen King! His short story books are always the best.

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Posted in Adult, Games, Horror, New & Upcoming, Science Fiction, Teen & Young Adult, Top 5

Leaves are Changing, Games are Falling

At Mead Library, we’re constantly adding to the videogame collection. A few games are coming out this fall that I’m looking forward to. There are links for both PS4 and Xbox One versions next to the game titles, except Nintendo Switch games or exclusives.

The Outer Worlds (PS4/Xbox)

ESRB Rating: Mature

I’m a huge fan of the Fallout series. My favorite is Fallout: New Vegas so I was excited when I heard that Obsidian is developing another RPG in that vein. The retro-futuristic art style and dark sense of humor have me hopeful that this will be the spiritual successor to New Vegas that I’ve been waiting for.

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