Posted in DIY & How To, Fantasy, Nonfiction, Science Fiction

You Find a +1 Spatula

Sometimes you want to game. Sometimes you want to eat. Why not take those two things and smash them together? Now you can! Today’s blog post is a collection of geeky cookbooks. I’ve included the descriptions from our catalog under each listing.

Heroes’ Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook by Kyle Newman

“From the D&D experts behind Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana comes a cookbook that invites fantasy lovers to learn about their favorite fictional cultures through their unique cuisines and lifestyles. 80 recipes inspired by the magical world of Dungeons & Dragons–perfect for a solo quest or a feast shared with fellow adventurers.”

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Posted in Adult, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, New & Upcoming, Romance, Science Fiction, Thrillers

Library Reads: March 2022

What are librarians reading in March? This month’s picks include the story of a delivery boy thrown into an inter-dimensional Jurassic Park, a twisted horror tale set deep in the Mojave Desert, and a thriller about a family forced into Witness Protection.

Top Pick: Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Meddy Chan is getting married, and the wedding planners are perfect–until Meddy overhears the wedding photographer talking about murdering someone at the reception. Her aunties spring into action, setting into motion a series of madcap misadventures intended to save Meddy’s special day. A charming combo of close-knit family, humor, and light mystery. — LibraryReads review by Nanette Donohue, Champaign Public Library

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Posted in Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Nonfiction, Thrillers

While You Wait II: The Paris Apartment and From Strength to Strength

I’m back with two more popular upcoming books, one in fiction and one in non-fiction! They both have waitlists, of course – but I’ve included a few similar titles that you could grab while you wait!

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up—to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? —he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

Continue reading “While You Wait II: The Paris Apartment and From Strength to Strength”
Posted in Adult, Film, Staff Picks, Teen & Young Adult

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You

Cinema has been taking a cue from literature since Georges Méliès adapted The Brothers Grimm and Shakespeare for film as early as 1899. Film as a medium expanded the narrative potential and, much like photography, changed art and our collective perception forever. For better or worse, we have been steeped in and obsessed by screen adaptations of the written word ever since. 

Screen adaptations have also enriched us with the classic and endless argument: WAS THE BOOK BETTER. Short answer, in general, is “yes”. My go-to example that demonstrates the rule is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The film version won five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director in 1976. Objectively, a Very Good Film. In fact Ken Kesey, the author, famously hated the film for the same reason I felt underwhelmed. Milos Foreman chose not to narrate the story from Chief Bromden’s point of view. However, the absence of Bromden’s narration, inner life, and hallucinations were impossible to depict on-screen with the technology available at the time, thus creating a very different tale than Kesey intended, indeed. 

Below, I listed several upcoming book-to-screen adaptations that I am particularly excited about, whether they will outshine their source material or not:

Westerners have collectively lost their shit over Agatha Christie adaptations for the better part of a century now. Reboots can be infuriating, but Christie’s work begs to be told again and again. Lately, Kenneth Branagh has been taking his turn at the helm of good ship Hercule Poirot. Starting with 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, Branagh seems to be having a great time starring as Poirot as well as directing the pictures. I’m a David Suchet stan, so while I don’t mind the occasional Peter Ustinov or Kenneth Branagh portrayal, I tend to prefer the PBS version of the funny little Belgian. Will still be watching the ever-lovin’ heck out of this, however mind you. (In theaters now).

This film was supposed to come out in 2019, but got pushed back to 2020 and then SOMETHING happened and it’s still waiting to be released. The screen adaptation stars Ben Affleck, while not a personal favorite, he does excel at playing the oily love interest who may not have his partner’s best interest in his heart ala Gone Girl. Perhaps you saw Ana de Armas in the delightful Knives Out. I adore her and think she’ll shine in this adaptation. (Hulu March 18th, 2022).

I started listening to this book earlier in the week. Got to say, I am hooked. Give me a juicy story about horrible people being horrible to each other and I am IN. Throw in an insane power imbalance, sexual politics, and what I believe is turning into a revenge plot and I’m as happy as can be. I’m going to risk it and say that this is going to make for one hell of a TV adaptation. (Netflix April 15, 2022)

That’s right, it’s time for another ‘Salem’s Lot adaptation. The 1979 version is still a lot of creepy fun, but looks pretty terrible. The 2004 adaptation looks great but never quite ascends to the creep level present in 1979. I’m excited for this redo for one because vampires are fun and gross and two, I promised a friend I would finally read something by Stephen King. I read ‘Salem’s Lot, almost entirely enjoyed it, and now look forward to a new take on an old tale. (In theaters September 9th, 2022).

I listed four projects I am personally excited for, but that is not to say there aren’t tons and tons of additional book-to-screen adaptations slated for 2022. Check out a longer list HERE. Did you notice that Denis Villeneuve is on board to direct Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendesvouz with Rama when he finishes up with the Dune sequel? I wish I cared about Dune, but I just don’t. Rama, now that is a story I would love to see writ large at the multi-plex. What about you? What adaptation are you most excited about? What is your historic favorite? We won’t ask Kesey tho, he’s bitter about it.

Posted in Uncategorized

Gaming in a Winter Wonderland

The weather has been less than predictable lately. That’s not too unusual for Midwestern winters. But that means I don’t get out much lately, not that I need to with so many new games. Here’s a sample of the games to look forward to in 2022. Under each listing, you’ll find the game’s description from our catalog.

Elden Ring (PS4/PS5/Xbox)

“The Golden Order has been broken. Rise, Tarnished, and be guided by grace to brandish the power of the Elden Ring and become an Elden Lord in the Lands Between. ELDEN RING, developed by FromSoftware Inc. and produced by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc., is a fantasy action-RPG and FromSoftware’s largest game to date, set within a world full of mystery and peril. A NEW FANTASY WORLD – Journey through the Lands Between, a new fantasy world created by Hidetaka Miyazaki, creator of the influential DARK SOULS video game series, and George R. R. Martin, author of The New York Times best-selling fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Unravel the mysteries of the Elden Ring’s power. Encounter adversaries with profound backgrounds, characters with their own unique motivations for helping or hindering your progress, and fearsome creatures. WORLD EXPLORATION IN THE LANDS BETWEEN – ELDEN RING features vast fantastical landscapes and shadowy, complex dungeons that are connected seamlessly. Traverse the breathtaking world on foot or on horseback, alone or online with other players, and fully immerse yourself in the grassy plains, suffocating swamps, spiraling mountains, foreboding castles and other sites of grandeur on a scale never seen before in a FromSoftware title. GENRE-DEFINING GAMEPLAY – Create your character in FromSoftware’s refined action-RPG and define your playstyle by experimenting with a wide variety of weapons, magical abilities, and skills found throughout the world. Charge into battle, pick off enemies one-by-one using stealth, or even call upon allies for aid. Many options are at your disposal as you decide how to approach exploration and combat.”

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Posted in Adult, Award Winners, Contemporary, Fiction, Historical, Mystery, New & Upcoming, Romance, Thrillers

LibraryReads Picks: February 2022

Every month, librarians from across the country pick the 10 upcoming releases they’re most excited to read. This month’s picks include a thriller set in Paris, a story about “the other woman” in Agatha Christie’s marriage, two queer romances, and a mystery revolving around the theft of a Stradivarius violin.

Top Pick: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Foley hits it out of the ballpark with this solid thriller set in a Paris apartment
building. Jess goes looking for her brother, but finds only the smell of bleach
and a broken St. Christopher medal lodged in the floorboards. Written in short
chapters with multiple points of view and delicious secrets dropped along
the way, this gripping, wild ride is impossible to put down. If you like
Liane Moriarty or Ruth Ware, pick this one up. —LibraryReads review by Douglas Beatty, Baltimore County Public Library

Continue reading “LibraryReads Picks: February 2022”
Posted in Adult, Biography & Memoir, Fiction, Mystery, Nonfiction

While You Wait: The Maid and Enough Already

Two of the most popular upcoming books are the novel The Maid by Nita Prose and the memoir Enough Already by Valerie Bertinelli. You can check them out below – but while you’re waiting (because they do both have waitlists), also check out a couple of similar books that you might enjoy!

The Maid by Nita Prose

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself very dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect.

Continue reading “While You Wait: The Maid and Enough Already”
Posted in Award Winners, Fiction, Kids 0-5, Kids 5-12, Nonfiction, Teen & Young Adult, Uncategorized

Children’s Award Books 2022

The American Library Association recently announced the winners of the 2022 Youth Media Awards. Materials for children and teens were selected by committees of literature and media specialists under different categories for their excellence. I’ve listed some of these remarkable award winners below with their publisher’s summary, and also included links to our catalog so you can reserve your copies today! Scroll to the end of the post for a link to the full list of this year’s award recipients.

John Newbery Medal

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
Continue reading “Children’s Award Books 2022”
Posted in Adult, Bookish Bingo, Teen & Young Adult

Presenting: Mead Bookish Bingo Reading Challenge 2022

Do not eat these chips fam

New year, new books, amiright? While I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, I love to make a reading resolution. There are many ways to go about resolving to read. Personally, I’m a Goodreads Book Challenge kinda gal. All one needs to do is pick a number and try to read that many books in a calendar year. For those who crave more structure, Mead’s Bookish Bingo Challenge is a great way to get creative with your reading list and get out of a reading rut. Mead’s reading challenge is a good fit for people who struggle with deciding what to read next or for people who enjoy reading books that might fall outside of their comfort zone. Here’s how to play Mead’s Bookish Bingo Challenge 2022: Print a bingo card HERE or come into Mead and pick one up at the first or second floor desk. One title can be used to cross off one square. Once you complete your Bingo – down, across or diagonal – please submit your card to publicservices@meadpl.org or in-person at Mead Public Library to receive a small prize and an additional entry in the Summer Library Program drawing for your first Bingo. If you complete the Bingo card, and submit it by December 31, 2022, you will be entered into an additional drawing for a surprise gift. 

I present to you Mead’s Bookish Bingo Challenge 2022 card:

Pretty sweet, huh?

Key of Terms BIPOC = Black, Indigenous and People of Color LGBTQIA+ = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Intersexed, Agender, Asexual, and Ally community STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Check back with the Mead Blog throughout the year to get suggestions and encouragement on how to complete a square. Do you like the idea of a reading challenge, but aren’t too crazy about the one we provided? Please take a moment to check out the intense array of reading challenges found throughout the internet HERE and HERE.

As always, we are eager to help you connect with the library material you need, from bingo square to book report. Reach out via call, chat, email, or in-person for book picks, research help, etc. Let’s make it a great year of reading and meeting our goals, perhaps at the same time!

Posted in Adult, Fiction, Mystery, New & Upcoming, Romance, Science Fiction

LibraryReads Picks: January 2022

Looking for a good book to tide you through the coldest months? Here are 10 books coming out this month that librarians are especially excited to pick up.

Top Pick: The Maid by Nita Prose

A socially awkward hotel maid finds herself at the center of a murder investigation when she discovers a wealthy hotel guest dead in his bed one day.

Molly loves her job, loved her recently deceased grandmother, and cherishes the way the rules of her work let her blend in with others. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection. But Molly’s orderly life is turned on its head the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself very dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s odd demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect and she finds herself in a web of subtext and nuance she has no idea how to untangle.

What to read while you wait:
The Lazarus Hotel: another locked room mystery set in an upscale hotel
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: about an isolated young woman and the friendships she develops after she and a coworker help save an elderly man who collapses
Pretty as a Picture: a locked room mystery with a protagonist who also just wants to do her job

Continue reading “LibraryReads Picks: January 2022”