Monday night is Oscar night, and we at the Portland Public Library would like to use this event as an excuse to recommend some of our favorite films. Let’s skip the monologue, which isn’t that funny anyway, and get right to it.
Category: BEST KARAOKE SCENE
Winner: Double Happiness
Category: BEST ADAPTATION OF A JANE AUSTEN NOVELLA
Winner: Whit Stillman, Love and Friendship
Presenter: Emily R
Category: BEST DINOSAUR ON DINOSAUR VIOLENCE
Winner: Jurassic World
Category: BEST MOVIE STARRING THE MOON
Winner: Moon Man
“Moon Man is out of this world! The man in the moon is so beloved we had to get a copy for Children’s and Adult.”
Presenter: Emily R
Category: BEST JOB EXPLAINING WHY MATH IS IMPORTANT
Winner: Hidden Figures
Category: MOST PREPOSTEROUS ESCAPE PLAN WHICH WOULDN’T WORK EVEN IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, WHICH, HELLO, IT ISN’T
Winner: The Green Inferno
“And by the way, what do you think happens when cannibals get the munchies?”
Presenter: Emily R
Category: MOST SIZZLING HOMOEROTIC SUBTEXT
Winner: Captain America: Civil War
Category: BEST SCREENWRITING ON LOVE, LOSS, AND CANNED PINEAPPLE EXPIRATION DATES
Winner: Chungking Express
“This classic film from favorite director Wong Kar-Wai is not only a thoughtfully, beautifully-lit meditation on canned pineapple and grief. Two love stories told in two parts. Although the canned pineapple is moodily addressed by a lovesick young cop in the first half of the film, my favorite is the second half, with a knockout performance from a delightful Faye Wong, a Cantonese cover version of the Cranberries’ “Dreams,” over-the-top repetitions of “California Dreamin’,” a boarding pass inked on a napkin, true love, and…just pure joy.”
Category: BEST COMING OF AGE STORY
Winner: The Fits
Presenter: Emily R
Category: BEST DEPICTION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF ANIMAL COMPANIONSHIP
Category: GERMAN FILM THAT MOST REMINDS US OF A COEN BROTHERS MOVIE
Winner: We Monsters
Presenter: Emily R
Category: BEST DEPLOYMENT OF A SULLEN AND JADED TEENAGE CHARACTER THAT RECOGNIZES ITS OWN INCORPORATION OF SAID CHARACTER
Presenter: Emily R
Category: BEST SUPPORTING CHARACTER WHOSE STORYLINE MAKES THE WHOLE MOVIE WORTHWHILE
Winner: Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman
Presenter: Emily R
Category: BEST DEMONSTRATION OF SUPPORTIVE SELF-CARE AMONG CHARACTERS
Winner: Ghostbusters: Answer the Call
Category: BEST PORTRAYAL OF AN ARTISTE
Winner: Jude Law as Thomas Wolfe in Genius
That’s all for this year. Stop by the Library and tell us about your favorite movies, and watch this space for more recommendations throughout the year.
Thanks to all our presenters. See you at the after party.
On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the Maine InfoNet Download Library will move to a brand new eBook and eAudiobook platform called cloudLibrary. This will replace the Overdrive platform.
We’re positive PPL patrons will enjoy the cloudLibrary platform. Its easy-to-use interface makes it simple to download titles, save reads for later, and even sync activity across multiple devices.
This transition will offer Maine readers a bigger selection of eBooks and eAudiobooks, including most of the digital titles already in our collection. As an additional benefit, the checkout period has been extended from 2 weeks to 3 weeks!
There is no cost to library users. All you need to get started is an active library card.
The cloudLibrary app is compatible with the following devices: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android Phones, Android Tablets, NOOK Tablets, NOOK eReaders, Kobo eReaders and Kindle Fires.
Amazon has declined to make the cloudLibrary app available through its proprietary app store. Please check these detailed instructions for using the Kindle Fire and the Kindle HD.
The Maine State Library’s FAQ is very helpful resource, but here are answers to questions you may have:
- Our current system, managed by Overdrive, will be turned off on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. CloudLibrary will be launched the very next day, Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
- With this transition to cloudLibrary, the Download Library will continue to offer readers nearly all the current collection of over 10,000 digital titles, plus new titles and additional copies of popular titles.
- Significant cost savings due to the change in platforms will allow us to purchase more content, reducing the wait times for popular titles.
- Checkouts that exist in Overdrive on February 28 will not transfer to the new system. What exactly happens to an active checkout at the time of switchover will depend on a patron’s specific device and how it checks back (or doesn’t) to see if the item’s license is still valid in cloudLibrary.
- Holds will not transfer to the new system. You should place a new hold in the cloudLibrary by downloading the app and logging in on March 1.
- Patron requests to purchase a specific title will not transfer to the new system. You may want to place your new request in cloudLibrary on March 1.
- Users of Kindle devices should be advised that the Kindle Fire (2nd generation or newer) works with the cloudLibrary, but e-ink Kindles do not.
The cloudLibrary support site has a downloadable cloudLibrary User Guide, provides how-to videos, and is a useful spot for other help topics. Of course, PPL’s staff is ready to help with any questions once we make the change. We are excited about the new platform and the expanded options it will provide for our patrons.
Love IS my favorite thing! Emma Chichester-Clark looks at love from a dog’s eye view and finds out that love is unconditional. No matter what Plum does he is still loved by his family. Today, and everyday, it is important to remember that love is the foundation. Love this book!
Rose Ann’s Pick
The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessy is my pick: it’s the story of a twelve year old boy, Shane, who was born a girl. He is now living with his mother in a new city, new school and new friends. His parents have divorced and not everyone knows his past. Shane has a best friend, there’s a girl he likes, and he’s the star pitcher for the baseball team. He wants to share his story, but there is fear there as well. He wants to be honest but stay true to himself. “You might lose some of them” is a quote from the book that describes what might happen if and when if he tells others. When a slip about his old school is mentioned, where he attended as a girl and where his Dad still lives, Shane begins to be bullied. The Other Boy shares the emotional struggles and issues that Shane deals with and the search for the happiness and future he wants. It’s a story of devotion, understanding, acceptance and love: the love of a parent, child, friend and oneself. The book’s writing was lovely, and it made me think and touched my heart. You will find it on the shelves for middle school readers but I recommend it for adults as well.
Monsoon Wedding is the story of an Indian father named Lalit (Naseeruddin Shah) who is preparing for his daughter Aditi’s (Vasundhara Das) upcoming wedding. Aditi is still in love with her boss and does not want to go through with the arranged marriage to groom Hemant (Parvin Dabas), but feels she has no choice. As family members from all over the world come to celebrate the wedding conflicts begin to surface, including a painful secret from the past. The wedding planner P.K. Dubey (Vijay Raaz) also begins to fall in love with the family servant Alice (Neha Dubey). Monsoon Wedding is a beautiful film filled with love, betrayal, loyalty, and forgiveness.
Loving Frank is a ten-year-old novel by Nancy Horan. It explores the private life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is a story of a beautiful but complicated love story. Regardless of if it is true or not, it’s true in describing how complicated life, feelings and following your star might be. The story grabs you and you read on, wanting to know what happens next. The characters are not always likable, but always human. A good book to keep you company while you wait for spring to come.
Author bell hooks’ classic All About Love: New Visions continues to inspire. How to love? She observes: “To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than a feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner automatically assumes accountability and responsibility.” For hooks, love is a choice and a practice that involves awareness, openness, honesty, and work: “How different things might be if, rather than saying ‘I think I’m in love,’ we were saying ‘I’ve connected with someone in a way that makes me think I’m on the way to knowing love.’ Or if instead of saying ‘I am in love’ we say ‘I am loving’ or ‘I will love.’” hooks also looks frankly and thoughtfully at challenges to love. Her visions expand beyond romantic love to speak to the practice of love in our country and our culture, describing and calling for a love ethic that could transform our communities and society: “Embracing love ethic means that we utilize all dimensions of love—’care, commitment, trust, responsibility, respect and knowledge’—in our everyday lives.”
It may sound simplistic, but I believe that food is love. Planning it, making it, sharing it: love, love, love.
My mother soothed skinned knees, mended bruised feelings, celebrated special occasions and interrupted everyday monotony with hot cocoa and cinnamon toast, hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies, hot cocoa and peanut butter sandwiches … you get the picture. Hot cocoa, stirred on the stovetop, figured prominently in my experience of maternal love.
In the 1970’s, my father, always an enthusiastic consumer of whatever was served to him, nudged awake his own dormant penchant for cooking, along with a fondness for gadgets of the craft. He bought a food dehydrator into which anything moist was loaded then desiccated and made into other things, most of them edible. He bought 50 lb sacks of wheat berries and ground them in his electric stone grinding mill. Coffee can sized tins of yeast made their way into our cupboard. Bread was baked in great quantities. “Great quantities “ is a phrase that we used often to describe his production, so it was no surprise, and a bit of a relief, when he found a volunteer gig cooking on weekends in an ecumenical retreat house near our home. He could indulge his compulsion to cook lots of good food, enough to feed a few or dozens of people, without turning his wife and three daughters into dumpling-shaped gluttons. He could spread his love of food and his need to nurture around. His bounty and his sweet nature found a second home in the friary’s big kitchen, while still keeping his family hip deep in bread. Everyone wins.
How lovely to feel loved by two such lovely people! How could I not associate food with love? Indeed, how could I not think that food is love made visible, made bite-size? And how absolutely wonderful that food is necessary for life, not to be denied lest we perish! How sweet to prepare some dish or other for another and feel not only my own love but the love of those who have done the same for me over the years. Generations of love, sustaining love, love without end. On a plate. Ready to share.
So, how about a cookbook or three?
Beard on Bread by James Beard. Great recipes. Try the pita bread. Oh, yes, try the pita bread.
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. So many things to love in this one, but I’m pushing the Chard and Onion Omelet (Trouchia). Bake some sweet potatoes, nothing added. Really pretty. Really delicious.
And finally, this one is especially for Dad, who would love that its execution requires a gadget. Grab your ice cream freezer.
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. Oh, my goodness, this is a collection that makes me very happy. What is a meal without desert? Well, it’s fine, of course, but how about some ice cream to round things out? May I press you to make a batch of “Ben’s Chocolate?” You will not be disappointed.
So love, love, love. Sharing makes it better.