Saturday, March 21, 2015

Books On Film | Insurgent & The Prone Gunman


This weekend the film adaptation of Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the second book in the Divergent trilogy, will be released. The film adaptation of the first book, Divergent, was released last year and I fully expect the third film to be adapted next year.
As war surges in the dystopian society around her, sixteen-year-old Divergent Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

The film adaption of French crime novelist's Jean-Patrick Manchette's book The Prone Gunman, titled The Gunman and starring Sean Penn, will also be released this weekend.
Martin Terrier is a hired killer who wants out of the game so he can settle down and marry his childhood sweetheart. After all, that's why he took up this profession! But "the company" won't let him go: they have other plans. Once again, the gunman must assume the prone firing position. A tour de force, this violent tale shatters as many illusions about life and politics as it does bodies.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Award-Winning Reads | And the award goes to . . .

Award-Winning Reads | And the award goes to . . .

And the award goes to . . .

You! Yes, you! If you've read this far in my blog, then you're already a winner in my book *wink, wink*

Okay, before you roll your eyes at my attempt at "winning" you over, let me introduce myself and my, ahem, intentions.

Hello there! My name is Raquelle and I'll be sharing my thoughts on award-winning books, movies, music, etc. (but, to be honest, they'll mostly be about books). I'll explain what I appreciate about some familiar favorites, but also hopefully acquaint you with some new titles to love. And who doesn't want more to love? 

Speaking of something new (which can be borrowed, and has a little bit of blue,) and before I get on with my regularly scheduled reviews, I would like to present to you: 

Newbery in a Box! 

According to the American Library Association (ALA), the organization who designates these medals and honors, the Newbery Medal is awarded annually to "the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."
File:Newbery Medal.jpg
This is a logo for Newbery Medal.Claiming fair use, this photo is being used for informational purposes only, to illustrate what the award looks like.

If you want to share your love of award-winning books with others, you can check out a box of 30 copies of a Newbery Award winner, an audiobook version, and a laminated list of discussion questions for an entire class, group of friends, or book club. For a good time, check out these kits for 6 fun-filled weeks!

Till next time, have a good reading! And I mean, really good, like, award-winning good *wink, wink*


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Learning | Marginalia

Let's explore the subject of writing in books. Not writing books; taking a physical copy of a published work, and marking it in some way.  

Most of us have put our name on the flyleaf of a book we own; when I was a new reader and writer, I think I did that to every book I owned. I was proud of owning the books, but probably even more proud that I could express myself (in a very small way) in writing.

When I was older, I would underline (I'm not sure I was aware of highlighters yet, if they had been invented) important passages in books I was reading for English classes. (I'm not talking about school-owned books; I'm remembering the paperback copies of classic books, which I purchased.)

In tenth grade, my best friend, Roberta and I took this to a whole new level. That year, we had the same English teacher, Ms. Newman, but I was in the second period class, and Roberta was in the third period class. (Or maybe it was the other way around. We often mix ourselves up with each  other.)  

It was the year we read Julius Caesar.
Each of us had a paperback copy of the play. We were discussing it every day in class for what seemed like forever. Maybe it was a month? A few weeks? I don't know. I started out the usual way, underlining important phrases and noting important thoughts in the margins. 

Then, I think I started putting thought bubbles on the illustrations.  Two centurions were standing right next two each other, and I made one say,"Don't I know you from junior high school?"  

It was an inside joke.  I had recently been in a crowd at Mardi Gras, and I had heard one drag queen say that to another. They were both so heavily made up and gorgeously costumed, I wondered how the one guy had even recognized the other.  So the drawing of these centurions holding spears, wearing armor and helmets, struck me as a depiction of a similar situation.
Roman augur,
Image from page 246 of "The standard edition of the pictorial Shakspere" (1846)
From Internet Archive Book Images' photostream on
No known copyright restrictions.

Roberta and I started exchanging our copies of Julius Caesar, as one of us ascended the stairs, and the other descended.  

Those Julius Caesars filled up with drawings, thought bubbles, fake footnotes at other comments. One of the real footnotes contained the phrase,"Elizabethan audiences delighted in such puns."  So we looked for more puns in the play, and added more footnotes. 
Just imagine the thought bubbles that could be added to this picture, or maybe a funny caption.
Image from page 237 of "Julius Caesar and the foundation of the Roman imperial system" (1894),
from Internet Archive Book Images' photostream on No known copyright restrictions.

True to form, we keep forgetting where those Julius Caesars are, but we still occasionally get together and read them and laugh our heads off.

Today's word is marginalia. It simply means notes in the margin or margins of a book. That makes sense.  But I just had to look up the origin of the word margin, while I was at it. It comes from Latin, as many book terms do, and it originally meant the edge of a sea or lake. I like that. It makes me want to compare discovering marginalia in books to finding things washed up on the beach.

There's a new book out called Letter to a Future Lover: Marginalia, Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries. 
Author Ander Monson has gathered examples of all sorts of books that have been marked up in one way or another. This book is loaded with Monson's essays on a wide range of subjects, including errata, permanence, time, computer punch cards, and a dead poet. It's one of those books that are wonderful to open at any random page, and find a gem.

Have fun with marginalia! But, whatever you do, don't write in a book that belongs to somebody else, without their permission. And NEVER write in a library book. Please.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Just Life| Free Library Programs

Your local library is a treasure trove of free services and programs.

For example, here are some free programs offered at Troke Library:
  • Free homework help for students K-5th grade on Tues, Wed, & Thurs from 4-6pm.
  • Free Math help for students 6th-12th grade on Tues, Wed, & Thurs from 4-6pm.
  • Free Storytime on Tuesdays at 10:15am.
  • Free computer classes on Fridays at 3pm.
  • Family game night on Thursday, March 26th at 6pm.

We have many many fun and educational programs at our library branches. 

To learn more about these free programs, just visit our library website at  and then find " News & Events" and click on " Events Calendar".

Below are a few pictures of these fun programs offered at Troke Library.

Free Acrylic Painting class at Troke Library

Puppet show at the Troke Library

Stockton Ports players are doing storytime at Troke Library

Halloween Arts& Crafts at Troke Library

Snake anyone?

Kids were able to touch this tarantula at Troke Library.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha