Here is what I picked for this month, including short reviews:
Looking for Alaska
by John Green, performed by Jeff Woodman
“Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the Great Perhaps. Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps. Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green’s arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.”
I remember reading Looking for Alaska back while I was in high school, and in fact, a majority of it during my Junior Prom. Ever since my first reading of John Green’s first publication it has been placed on my favorites shelf, and subject to some re-reading here and there. But this time, I’m re-reading it in preparation for CCL’s first D.F.T.B.A. Book Club meeting** and reading it as a (somewhat) more mature adult is a lot different than when I read it in high school. Looking for Alaska is a great coming-of age novel perfect for anyone. John Green, as usual, really drives home the idea that you can have a great story without the sappy, happily-ever-after ending. Personally, I think that’s what I enjoy most about John Green’s writing– his realistic portrayal of life. There are moments in Looking for Alaska that will leave you crying, on the edge of your seat, laughing out loud, or even cringing out of second-hand embarrassment. John Green is a phenomenal writer and achieves the perfect pace that makes you want to keep reading.
**If you are interested in John Green’s Looking for Alaska, or involved in the Nerdfighter community, join Chester County Library for our first D.F.T.B.A.* (*Don’t Forget to Be Awesome) Book Club. Check out our events page for more information!
dir. J.J. Abrams; feat. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoë Saldana, and Simon Pegg
“On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien vessel. He was searching for Ambassador Spock, who is a child on Vulcan, disdained by his neighbors for his half-human nature. Twenty years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker. He is inspired by Capt. Christopher Pike to fulfill his potential in Starfleet, even though he annoys his instructors. Suddenly, there is an emergency on Vulcan when the Romulan Nero comes from the future to take revenge on the Federation. The newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Uhura, Sulu, Chekov and even Kirk himself thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will travel to the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever.”
Upon leaving the theater, I wanted to staff pick Star Trek: Beyond, the new film in J.J. Abram’s Star Trek franchise, but, alas, I have to wait until it’s out on DVD. That won’t stop me, however, from recommending the first in the series. Released in 2009, Star Trek is a reboot (of sorts) of the original television series with William Shantor and Leonard Nimoy. I feel as though Abrams and everyone involved did the series justice and, perhaps, beyond. The writing is certainly clever, in the original Star Trek fashion, the humor always finds itself in the right place at the right time, and the cinematography, as always with Abrams, is simply beautiful. The reboot series sparked a quirky bond between my mother and I. She, who adores the original Shatnor Star Trek, and I, who adores Chris Pine (although Karl Urban as Bones is admittedly my favorite character), have come together to binge watch any Star Trek we can get our hands on. Needless to say, for me it’s amusing hearing my mom talking about the days she remembers watching it back in the late sixties when she was just a child; yet, it still is something I never would have imagined my mom and I having in common. Whether you have or have not seen the original Star Trek T.V. series or the movies, still give “the newer” version a shot. I can guarantee you will become curious about anything Star Trek.
All images and summaries taken from catalog.ccls.org.