Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

« July 2015 | Main | September 2015 »

August 2015

Sequels, Prequels, and Parodies

August 20, 2015 | Kate | Comments (0)

Have you ever fallen so in love with a character that you don't want your book to end? If you're lucky, you're reading Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series which includes 54 books plus short stories, not to mention all the movies plus a comic book series; or J.D. Robb's In Death series including 40 novels, 11 novellas, a crossover novel between J.D. Robb and Nora Roberts (actually the same person!) with another novel coming out in September (Devoted in Death - put a hold on it now!) and another novella in November.

But most books are not part of endless series like this, so we have to say goodbye to our favourite characters when we turn the last page. Until the recent release of Go Set A Watchman, fans of Scout and Atticus Finch had to be content with just reading To Kill a Mockingbird over and over again. And maybe watching the movie.

 Go set a watchman - harper lee     To kill a mockingbird - harper lee     To kill a mocking bird - movie

So here are some short lists of books and movies that expand on beloved stories...you can decide whether or not they do justice to the originals!

Book Sequels That Maybe Weren't Entirely Necessary

The starlight barking      Messenger - lois lowry      As time goes by - a novel of casablanca - michael walsh

 

 





 

 

 

 

 

 

The Starlight Barking by Dodie Smith

Yes, Disney's 101 Dalmatians was based on a book, and while both the animated and live-action movies have sequels, neither were based on this book sequel written by the original author. Maybe because it was too weird. In this book, the dogs wake up to find that every other living thing on the planet is asleep, and the dogs can now communicate telepathically and fly. While they're enjoying their new powers, they get a visit from an alien dog who wants to talk to them about nuclear war. Unfortunately this book doesn't circulate, so you'll have to visit the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books or North York Central Library's reference collection to take a look.

Messenger by Lois Lowry

I don't want to imply that this wasn't a great addition to the world of The Giver, but here's the thing: one of the wonderful things about The Giver is the ambiguous ending. The fate of the main character could be good or bad, depending on your interpretation, and that (to me) was one of the most interesting parts of the book. It was like Inception before Inception! Having sequels removes the ambiguity of the ending, because now we know for sure what happened to Jonas.

As Time Goes By by Michael Walsh

This one is interesting as it's a book sequel to a movie that wasn't based on a book. As Time Goes By picks up where Casablanca left off, following the characters after the events of the movie and filling in some of their backstories. This one's on the list because, honestly, Casablanca has such a classic ending! Why mess with a good thing? On the other hand, if you can't stand the idea of Rick and Ilsa being apart, pick up this book.

Parodies and Spoofs

Pride and prejudice and zombies - seth grahame-smith

     The wind done gone - alice randall      William shakespeare's star wars-verily a new hope - ian doescher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

This book is pretty much exactly what the title says. Grahame-Smith basically just re-wrote Pride and Prejudice and added zombie scenes. It's silly and hilarious, so don't expect anything too serious and you'll love it. Of course if zombies aren't your style, you can check out any number of Pride and Prejudice parodies and homages; see this list from Goodreads! And if you like the mythical monsters thing, you can check out Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter or Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters!

The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall

This biting satire is the story of the classic Gone With the Wind from the perspective of one of Scarlett O'Hara's slaves, Cynara. This book provides a great counterpoint for those who feel that the portrayal of slaves and slavery in Gone With the Wind was too simplified, negative, or damaging.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher

I'm sure you've always wondered, what if Shakespeare had written Star Wars? Well, now you have the answer! Doescher recreates the action, excitement, and classic lines written by George Lucas in the iambic pentameter of The Bard, giving us great lines like "True it is,/ That these are not the droids for which thou search'st", and some hilarious asides from R2D2. He gave the Shakespeare treatment to both trilogies, with the 6th (Tragedy of the Sith's Revenge) coming out in September.

Film Sequels With Very Dedicated Actors

 
Wall street money never sleeps      Tron legacy     The odd couple II

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

The original Wall Street movie came out in 1987, telling the story of Gordon Gekko and the cutthroat world of the stock market and insider trading. 23 years later, in 2010, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was released, with Michael Douglas reprising his role as Gekko. He's older and apparently wiser, having reformed after a stint in prison for insider trading.

Tron: Legacy

The original Tron came out in 1982, and was one of the first movies to make use of computer animation. Watching it today, the movie looks like a strange mix of dated and awe-inspiring. You can see how it developed into a cult classic! In 2010, 28 years after the original, Tron: Legacy came out with both Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprising their roles of Flynn and Alan/Tron. The new movie follows Flynn's son as he investigates a pager message 20 years after his father's mysterious disappearance.

The Odd Couple II

The Odd Couple is a classic film from 1968 with a simple premise: two men with completely opposite personalities try to live together. Much of this film's charm comes from the chemistry between Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon as slobby Oscar and fastidious Felix. With a whopping 30 years between movies, both Matthau and Lemmon return in The Odd Couple II in 1998 - one of the longest gaps between sequels where actors reprise their roles!

The Record-Breakers

Fantasia and fantasia 2000            Bambi 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gap between the release of Fantasia in 1940 and Fantasia 2000 (actually released on the last day of 1999) is almost 60 years, making it the longest gap between original and sequel which were both released in theatres. The honour of longest gap overall goes to Bambi and Bambi II (a direct-to-video release), released in 1942 and 2006 respectively, for a gap of 64 years! 

Snapshots in History: August 12: Remembering the IBM 5150 and Where We Came From…

August 13, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

 

 

 

 

On August 12 and beyond, take a moment to remember the debut of the International Business Machines (IBM) personal computer (PC), in fact the IBM PC model 5150, onto the consumer market on August 12, 1981. Although the Apple 2, the Commodore PET, the Osborne 1, and the Tandy TRS-80 preceded the IBM 5150, the IBM 5150, in conjunction with MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System), was seen as popularizing the idea of a personal computer in most homes.  Over the last few years, a debate has been occurring over whether the personal computer is obsolete and has been superseded by mobile devices.

Writing in 2011 around the thirtieth (30th) anniversary of the IBM 5150, Mark Dean, Chief Technology Officer of IBM Middle East and Africa, helped design the IBM 5150 but has “moved beyond the PC”. Dr. Dean saw the PC as no longer being on computing’s cutting edge and joining other items seen as obsolete including the typewriter, vinyl records and incandescent light bulbs. He used a tablet in 2011 but saw innovation occurring primarily in social spaces where people and ideas come together rather than through the devices themselves. IBM sold its PC division in 2005 to Lenovo and Dean saw IBM being on the leading edge of the “post-PC era.” Apple’s Steve Jobs referred to the iPhone, iPod, and iPad as “post-PC devices” at the unveiling of the iPad 2 in March, 2011.

Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President – Corporate Communications, saw things differently as the “PC-plus era” where some 400 million personal computers will be sold in the coming year but Microsoft’s software dovetails with various evolutionary devices, including the Windows PC, the Windows Phone platform, and the Xbox. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have already taken on tasks that were previously the sole purview of PCs such as document creation/editing, email, and internet browsing.

What were others saying in 2011? Ed Oswald, writing on PCWorld, cited his agreement with both Dean and Jobs and emphasized the growing importance of the server and cloud computing and the reduced significance of personal computers. Kevin C. Tofel, writing on GigaOm, stated his concurrence with Dean on the importance of mobile social networks and consumer interaction reducing the PC influence, and pointed to the continuing trend of smartphone sales beginning to outpace PC sales at the end of 2010/beginning of 2011. Joel Santo Domingo, writing on PCMag.com, offered six reasons why the predicted demise of the PC has been great exaggerated, including: simple ergonomics; large screens/HDTV; storage; number crunching (i.e. working on spreadsheets is better suited to PCs); dings and dents on mobile devices (with less likelihood of accidents with PCs); and, separate keyboard.

Fast forward to 2015. The website SmartInsights.com reported in a July 2015 update for the United States of America (USA) that mobile digital media time was 51% of the total so far in 2015 compared to 42% digital media time for desktops/laptops and 7% for other connected devices. Contrast these numbers with 2008 when desktop/laptop digital media time comprised 80% of the American total compared to 12% for mobile devices and 9% for other connected devices.

Within the mobile device spectrum, Ben Taylor, writing on PCWorld.com on February 26, 2015, listed five (5) ways in which the smartphone has been outperforming the tablet: Larger smartphone sizes provides a better option for reading; the best apps are available through smartphones not tablets; smartphones tend to have better battery life than tablets; smartphones generally have better cameras than tablets; and, tablets have an identity crisis in the web experience in which users on many web sites must choose between the classic, desktop view or the mobile view that is better suited to smartphones.

Consider the following titles as examples for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

Books:

The computer Computer a history of the information machine third edition The connected Apple family discover the rich Apple ecosystem of the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and AppleTV Working with an Android 4.4 tablet for seniors suitable for tablets from different manufacturers Android tips and tricks My Samsung Galaxy S5 for seniors IPhone portable genius second edition





IPhone 5s and iPhone 5c portable genius IPhone for seniors in easy steps IPhone All-in-One For Dummies 4th edition The third screen the ultimate guide to mobile marketing revised and updated edition



The mobile application hacker's handbook



eBooks:

IPhone 5s and iPhone 5c portable genius IPhone portable genius second edition IPhone All-in-One For Dummies 4th edition Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for dummies


TD Summer Reading Club Halftime!

August 10, 2015 | Kate | Comments (0)

We're into August and more than half-way through the TD Summer Reading Club! Here's a little bit about how we've been doing at the Albert Campbell Branch.

I'm sure you all know how the TD SRC works by now, but in case you don't, here's a recap - read a book, answer a question, get a sticker. Here at Albert Campbell, you can find out what question you have to answer by throwing these:

Src dice
Dice lovingly and painstakingly hand-crafted by Yours Truly!

Here's where they can typically be found, because it's way more fun to roll them on the ground!

Src dice on the floor
Special thanks to my foot model!

July has been a good month for book reporting. Lots of kids are coming in to roll the dice and tell us about their books, and we've also had some great written book reports that we've displayed for all to see!

Src book reviews

And it's not just book reporting here at Albert Campbell; we also have programs every day of the week!

Mondays and Saturdays: Family storytimes at 10am

Tuesdays: Senior TD Summer Reading Club activities at 2pm

Wednesdays: Junior TD Summer Reading Club activities at 2pm

Thursdays: Fun Family Films at 2pm and Pyjama Time stories at 7pm

Fridays: Board games and Lego at 2pm

Phew! If that's not enough, you can join us on Wednesday, August 26th at 7pm for our TD Summer Reading Club finale, a puppet show with The Purple Pirate!

I'll leave you with a couple photos of the awesome things that are being created during our Lego and board games program - hopefully you'll be inspired to come in and add your own creation!

Lego Lego3

Pre-Election Reads: Stephen Harper

August 5, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Canada has a federal election scheduled for October 19, 2015. While some voters may have already decided which political party and leader to support, others have not and may be seeking information and research to help them to make a personal, informed decision.  Toronto Public Library can help those individuals in a non-partisan way by providing access to collection items available for borrowing (or using) with a valid Toronto Public Library card. So let us continue…

Stephen Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and the sixth in terms of length of time of service in office after William Lyon Mackenzie King, Sir John A. Macdonald, Pierre Trudeau, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and Jean Chrétien. Stephen Harper assumed office as Prime Minister on February 6, 2006 as head of a minority Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) government, following victory in the January 23, 2006 federal election. Stephen Harper won a stronger minority government following the October 14, 2008 federal election . However, the Prime Minister fought the combined opposition parties’ attempts to topple the Harper government by forming a coalition minority government with support from the Bloc Québécois by successfully obtaining a prorogation of Parliament from then-Governor General Michaëlle Jean from December 4, 2008 to January 26, 2009. The CPC government survived a confidence shortly afterwards with support from the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC).

Stephen Harper requested and received a second prorogation of Parliament from the Governor-General from December 30, 2009 to March 3, 2010, citing the importance of the government’s economic plan and coinciding with the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler. Public protests were organized in January 2010 in opposition to the prorogation of the Canadian Parliament. However, on March 25, 2011, the Harper government was defeated on a landmark vote of no-confidence by 156 to 145 on the basis of contempt of Parliament, the first such occurrence in any Parliament of a British Commonwealth of Nations country. The subsequent May 2, 2011 federal election resulted in a majority government victory for Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada with 166 out of 308 House of Commons seats won with 39.62% of the popular vote.

Stephen Harper was born and grew up in Toronto, Ontario, graduating from Richview Collegiate Institute in 1978. Following a move to Alberta, Stephen Harper enrolled at the University of Calgary and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and later a master’s degree in economics in 1993. Dissatisfaction with the National Energy Program (NEP) under the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau led to Stephen Harper severing ties with the Young Liberal Club. He became chief aide to Progressive Conservative MP James Hawkes but dissatisfaction with the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney led to Stephen Harper joining the Reform Party of Canada. In the November 21, 1988 federal election, Stephen Harper lost against incumbent Calgary West MP James Hawkes but bested Hawkes in the October 25, 1993 federal election and served as a Reform Party of Canada MP for one term, resigning his seat in January 1997, prior to the June 2, 1997 federal election, following a difficult relationship with Reform Party leader Preston Manning. Stephen Harper became vice-president and subsequently president of the conservative think tank National Citizens’ Coalition (NCC). Following the re-election of Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government in the November 27, 2000 federal election, Stephen Harper re-entered the political arena by challenging and defeating Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day for the leadership on March 20, 2002, won a subsequent by-election in Calgary Southwest and became Leader of the Opposition in May 2002. Stephen Harper won the leadership of the new Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) on March 20, 2004 and led the CPC to official opposition status against Paul Martin’s minority Liberal government, following the June 28, 2004 federal election.

 

Given Stephen Harper’s tenure as Prime Minister, much has been written about him, his government, and its policies. Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

 

Books:

 

Stephen Harper

Read an excerpt from The Globe of Mail of John Ibbitson’s new biography Stephen Harper.

Read Bruce Campion-Smith’s overview in The Toronto Star.

 

Dismantling Canada Stephen Harper's new conservative agenda

Read the book review in Quill and Quire.

 

Party of one Stephen Harper and Canada's radical makeover

Read the book review in Foreign Policy Journal.

Read the book review in The Globe and Mail.

Read the book review in The Toronto Star.

 

Harperism how Stephen Harper and his think tank colleagues have transformed Canada

Read the book review in the Literary Review of Canada.

Read the book review in Quill and Quire.

Read Andrew Coyne’s comments on the book in The National Post.

 

The longer I'm Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006-

Read the book review in the Literary Review of Canada.

Read the book review in Quill and Quire.

Read the book review in The Toronto Star.

 

Harper's team behind the scenes in the Conservative rise to power

Read the book review in the Literary Review of Canada.

Read the book review from Policy Options.

Read the book review in Quill and Quire.

 

 

eBooks:

 

Stephen Harper Dismantling Canada Stephen Harper's new conservative agenda Party of one Stephen Harper and Canada's radical makeover The longer I'm Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006-




In his spare time, Stephen Harper, an avid hockey fan and historian, wrote and published A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey . (See: Recent Prime Ministerial Writings on Hockey History and Foreign Policy ).

 

As part of making an informed decision in federal election 2015, citizens should avail themselves of information from the media (newspapers, radio, television, online etc.) as the election campaign unfolds. To help with that, Toronto Public Library cardholders can also access the following databases online in seeking information from magazine and newspaper sources:

Canada in Context

Full-text articles, videos, audio files, vetted web sites etc. on a broad range of topics, people, places and events.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA)

Full-text business and general interest articles from popular, academic and business periodicals.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies

Full text articles from major Canadian newspapers and television news transcripts.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

 

Access Online

 

Canadian Newsstand TorStar

Full text of newspapers published by Torstar Media Group including Toronto Star and several Toronto community newspapers.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

 

Access Online

 

Canadian Periodical Index (CPI.Q)

Articles from general, academic and business magazines. Index from 1988, full text from 1995.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

 

(See also: Pick a PM: Prime Ministerial Biographies and Memoirs )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Elizabeth May )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Thomas Mulcair )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Justin Trudeau )

Ribfests and Ribs Recipes

August 4, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Summertime is the time for people who like to eat spare ribs and enjoy the summer weather too! Whether you enjoyed the Toronto Ribfest in late June and early July, or more recently attended the Scarborough Ribfest at Thomson Memorial Park, you might be one of those people who would like to duplicate the experience at home with delicious spare ribs. If you have never cooked or barbecued ribs before, sure you might be able to find some good recipes on the Internet but please do not forget to consider borrowing some titles from Toronto Public Library collections as you search for that perfect ribs recipe (or for other grilling recipes if spare ribs are not your first choice):

Books:

America's Best Bbq 100 Recipes from America's Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants The kamado smoker & grill cookbook delicious recipes and hands-on techniques for mastering the world's best barbecue The big flavor grill no marinade, no hassle recipes for delicious steaks, chicken, ribs, chops, vegetables, shrimp, and fish 100 grilling recipes you can't live without The best ribs ever 100 killer recipes including slaws, baked beans & finger-lickin' sauces Grilling surf and turf 140 savory recipes for sizzle on the grill Ribs, chops, steaks, & wings irresistible recipes for the grill, stovetop, and oven Chez Jacques traditions and rituals of a cook with 100 recipes

eBooks:

America's best BBQ 100 recipes from America's best smokehouses pits shacks rib joints roadhouses and restaurants Bobby Flay's Throwdown! more than 100 recipes from Food Network's ultimate cooking challenge

Pre-Election Reads: Thomas Mulcair

August 4, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Canada has a federal election scheduled for October 19, 2015. While some voters may have already decided which political party and leader to support, others have not and may be seeking information and research to help them to make a personal, informed decision.  Toronto Public Library can help those individuals in a non-partisan way by providing access to collection items available for borrowing (or using) with a valid Toronto Public Library card. So let us continue…

Thomas “Tom” Mulcair is the current leader (since March 24, 2012) of the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) and Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons of the 41st Parliament of Canada.  Mulcair was elected the Member of Parliament in a by-election for the electoral district of Outremont on September 17, 2007 and was subsequently re-elected in the 2008 and 2011 general elections. Mulcair served as a co-Deputy Leader of the NDP and became Opposition House Leader following the 2011 general election. Following the death of Jack Layton in August 2011, Mulcair contested the leadership of the NDP, winning the position on the fourth ballot in March 2012.

Thomas Mulcair graduated from McGill University in 1977 with degrees in common law and civil law. After being called to the Bar of Québec in 1979, Mulcair worked for the provincial Ministry of Justice in the Legislative Affairs Branch and subsequently in the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Superior Council of the French Language. In 1983, Mulcair became Legal Affairs Director at Alliance Québec. After going into private practice in 1985, Thomas Mulcair became the reviser of Manitoba statutes following the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in the Manitoba Language Rights case. Serving as President of the Office des professions du Québec from 1987-1993, he argued for transparency in disciplinary hearings and facilitated dealing with cases involving alleged sexual abuse of patients.   

Prior to federal politics, Thomas Mulcair also served in Québec provincial politics as the Member of the National Assembly for Chomedey for the Québec Liberal Party, winning election in the 1994 provincial election and re-election in the 1998 and 2003 provincial elections. Following the 2003 Québec provincial election, Premier Jean Charest appointed Mulcair as Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks. Québec’s National Assembly unanimously passed Mulcair’s Sustainable Development Plan in April 2006. As part of the plan, Thomas Mulcair had included an amendment to the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms for the right to live in a healthy environment respecting biodiversity.

 

Thomas Mulcair’s autobiography Strength of Conviction was just released so consider borrowing the title from Toronto Public Library collections:

Book:

Strength of Conviction

 

Ce livre est également publié en français:

Le Courage De Ses Convictions . Placer une cale de demander une copie de ce titre - ici.

 

eBook:

Strength of Conviction

 

 

Ce livre est également publié en français:

Le Courage De Ses Convictions . Placer une cale de demander une copie de ce titre - ici.

 

Read an excerpt from the book courtesy of NOW Toronto.

Read Margaret Wente’s review in The Globe and Mail.

Read Mark Kennedy’s overview in The Calgary Herald.

Read Jen Gerson’s review in The National Post.

 

As part of making an informed decision in federal election 2015, citizens should avail themselves of information from the media (newspapers, radio, television, online etc.) as the election campaign unfolds. To help with that, Toronto Public Library cardholders can also access the following databases online in seeking information from magazine and newspaper sources:

Canada in Context

Full-text articles, videos, audio files, vetted web sites etc. on a broad range of topics, people, places and events.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA)

Full-text business and general interest articles from popular, academic and business periodicals.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies

Full text articles from major Canadian newspapers and television news transcripts.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

 

Access Online

 

Canadian Newsstand TorStar

Full text of newspapers published by Torstar Media Group including Toronto Star and several Toronto community newspapers.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

 

Access Online

 

Canadian Periodical Index (CPI.Q)

Articles from general, academic and business magazines. Index from 1988, full text from 1995.

Available anywhere.

Sign in with library card.

Access Online

 

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Stephen Harper )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Elizabeth May )

(See also: Pre-Election Reads: Justin Trudeau )

The Albert Campbell District Blog is an online resource and place where you can access information related to the Albert Campbell, Eglinton Square, McGregor Park, and Kennedy Eglinton branches. It will feature reading recommendations, information on new titles and resources in the branches, special events and programs, as well as other information of interest to you. We encourage you to make this blog an interactive space by replying and commenting on posts and by subscribing to the RSS feature which allows you to receive blog updates without having to search for them.