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Weekly Shhhout-Out

Roaming librarians file dispatches from the world of information.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Clash of Kings Over a Game of Thrones

Clash of Kings book cover Game of Thrones book cover

Has the end of the second season of Game of Thrones, based on the book A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, left you with a void like me?  The show is based on his series Song of Fire and Ice.  I've read both A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings and agree that George R. R. Martin is the American Tolkien.  While the story overall would probably be categorized as fantasy it is much more.  The series is set in a medival King Arthur-esqe type landscape of kings, queens, knights, and dragons. It is a realm once united by seven kingdoms that crumbles as various factions vie to be the King or the Queen.  It's an epic tale of love, family, ambition, honor, murder, greed, and sacrifice.  There are characters you love and characters you love to hate. Which makes me think of other fantasy books with kings & queens, and maybe a dragon or two, I've enjoyed over the years which might help while away the time until next season.

Children's Fantasy Series

Prydain Chronicles: Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper to a prophetic pig, sets out on a hazardous mission to save Prydain from the forces of evil.

Chronicles of Narnia: An adventure story about kids who enter the magical world of Narnia, a land of talking animals and mythical creatures.

Septimus Heap:  After learning that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, pursued by agents of those who killed her mother ten years earlier.

The Underland Chronicles: When Gregor and his sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

The Blue Sword: Harry Crewe, a Homelander orphan girl who becomes heir to the Blue Sword that no woman has wielded since the Lady Aerin herself bore it into battle. (Prequel) The Hero and the Crown.

Young Adult Fantasy Series

Inheritance Cycle: In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.

Adult Fantasy Series

Lord of the Rings: A hobbit named Frodo Baggins is given a ring of unspeakable evil.  He and his companions, including hobbits, a dwarf, an elf, and a human, go on a quest to destroy the one ring.

Historical Fiction Books & History Databases

If you are looking for historical fiction books with British battles for the throne you can try some of Shakespeare's history plays or books like Philippa Gregory's (author of The Other Boleyn Girl) The Tudor or the Cousins' War series.

If you have a more informational historical bent about kings & queens who vied for the throne you can try our History in Context-World or History Reference Center databases.

If You Like Game of Thrones....

I wanted to find some books I haven't read that are like the Game of Thrones so I used the NoveList Plus database to search for Game of Thrones and then selected Title Read-alikes, Author Read-alikes, and Series Read-alikes.  I found some good suggestions like the Wind Through the Keyhole, Phantom, Robert Jordan, J. Gregory Keyes, the Acacia Trilogy, and the Alchymist's Legacy.

As King Henry IV says in Shakespeare's play Henry IV Part II: "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown."

Henry IV Part II 

Susan M.

CATEGORIES: Fantasy , History , Children's Books , Susan M.
POSTED: 10:44:00 AM |

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June Swoon or Fly High Through July?

For the first time in many years, baseball fans throughout Maryland and the DC Metro Area are finally getting a taste of what it feels like to have a winning team.  As of this writing, the Washington Nationals lead the National League East while the Balitmore Orioles are just a game out of first in the American League East.  While many are optimistic about the prospect of October baseball in our area, those who have been here before will tell you it'll take until after the All-Star break in mid-July until playoff fever can really set in.  Plenty of other teams have been here only to hit the proverbial June swoon, sinking in the standings and never recovering.  Others have hung in there until All-Star Game only to come back afterwards, unable to regain a footing.

If you haven't been to see either team yet, treat yourself to an evening at the ballpark.  You can see both teams go head-to-head in Baltimore the weekend of June 22-24 in round two of "the Battle of the Beltways."  If you can't make it in person, check out the teams from the comfort of your own living room on MASN, MASN2, or DC50 (check your local listings).  Not quite ready for the Majors?  There is plenty of Minor League fun to be had in our area as well.  The Frederick Keys and Bowie Baysox (Class A and Class AA affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles, respectively) as well as the Hagerstown Suns (Class AAA affiliate of the Washington Nationals offer tons of fun for the whole family.  Even closer to home are the local teams of the Cal Ripken Collegiate League (Bethesda Big Train, Rockville Express, and Silver Spring/Takoma Park Thunderbolts, among others).

You can also get in the mood by checking out several baseball related titles at your local MCPL branch. 


All the Stars Came Out that Night                   King of the Mound                   Calico Joe    


For some mood music, check out our newest digital music resource, Freegal, and download some selections from the album Take Me Out to the Ballgame: America's Favorite Pastime in Song.  (Freegal also has songs from current artists including Adele and Gavin DeGraw.)

Chris Chris B.

CATEGORIES: Chris B. , Sports , Baseball , Music
POSTED: 3:10:00 PM |

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Summer is for Projects

What will your project be? Will you plant a garden? 




Or will this be the summer you learn to bake bread?

How about keeping a Summer Journal?

This is a great project for adults and kids and it involves one of my favorite things - book arts!

  My favorite Muse for making books is Susan Kapuchinski Gaylord, who not only makes beautiful books filled with art and power, but cherishes the Earth while doing so. Her website and blog are inspirational.

 She uses materials like cardboard cut from a cereal box, brown paper from a grocery bag and endless reams of paper, printed on one side only, that every office and most homes produce. With markers, a glue stick and a rubber band and a twig picked up out-of-doors to bind it, a summer journal is produced.

What subject can you think of for journaling? Travel, visitors, recipes, poetry and leaf prints have all made appearances. How about songs, new words, book reviews (Hello, Summer Reading Club!) or photographs you've taken, to name only four!

Like wood warming you twice, summer journaling fills in quiet hours now, and recalls them later. Take a step back from the warm-weather hustle and enjoy this summer, your way.

Jan D.

CATEGORIES: Children , Crafts , Jan D.
POSTED: 10:00:00 AM |
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Last edited: 11/6/2007