Archives for posts with tag: Romance

AsYouWishPrincessBrideDeluxeEdToday’s featured titles come courtesy of the library’s High School Book Club.  At their last meeting, these awesome folks opted to read books which had been made into movies.  Their inspiration led me to a book which spawned a modern classic film then right to a book about the making of the film itself.

Chances are extremely high that you’ve seen Rob Reiner’s movie, The Princess Bride or, if you have not, that you have heard (or have quoted) a line from it.  (You haven’t?  Inconceivable!  Find a DVD and watch it now.  Enjoy amazing storytelling.  Borrow a copy from the library, a friend, a neighbor.  No excuses.)

But, have you read the book?  Yes, it’s a real book—not merely a narrative frame featuring Peter Falk.  Penned by Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman, the book version of The Princess Bride presumes its source material from the “great Florinese writer”, S. Morgenstern, teller of captivating tales.  “What’s it about?” you ask.  What’s in it?  “Fencing.  Fighting.  Torture.  Poison.  True Love.  Hate.  Revenge.  Giants.  Hunters.  Bad men. Good men.  Beautifulest Ladies.  Snakes.  Spiders.  Beasts of all natures and descriptions.  Pain.  Death.  Brave men.  Coward men.  Strongest men.  Chases.  Escapes.  Lies.  Truths.  Passion.  Miracles.”  Swashbuckling romance at its finest!

This is both a love letter to and a charming poke at classic tales of lands far away where true love blossoms amid the fight between Good and Evil.  Let’s not take valuable time with additional plot details.  Instead, think on this.  Whatever charm, wit, adventure, delight, satire, romance, truths, and great lines you may have found in the movie, you will find multiplied beyond compare in the book.  Goldman is a master storyteller on screen and in print.

In short, read it for goodness’ sake!  Or listen to it.  Lots of editions to choose from—for extra fun, try one with the introductions to the 25th anniversary and the 30th anniversary editions.  The library has a lovely illustrated version with all manner of maps and drawings.  The audiobook narrated by Rob Reiner is entertaining, rather like being read a bedtime story by your New York-accented dad.

Reiner and William Goldman created magic both on the page and on the movie set according to actor Cary Elwes in his book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of the Princess Bride.  Elwes, who played Westley in the film, offers an entertaining, behind-the-scenes glimpse of movie making from audition to premiere.  In some ways a typical Hollywood memoir, he moves beyond potential pitfalls and captures with delight the camaraderie that brought Goldman’s script to life.

Elwes’ self-effacing charm permeates the book.  His witty, respectful storytelling is generous and interesting.  Throughout As You Wish, he has sprinkled sidebars from other big names with the film—memories, stories, impressions from their points of view which round out the tale.  Give the book a try.  Better yet, listen to the audiobook.  Cary Elwes reads it, and his smooth, conversational delivery sounds like a friendly chat.  He is also an accomplished mimic, reading quotes from Reiner and the late Andre the Giant in voices you would swear were theirs.  Fans of The Princess Bride and movie buffs alike will enjoy either format.

The library’s Teen Department sponsors two book clubs which meet most months of the year.  Both groups are teen-driven; participants decide on a theme for the month then choose their own title that fits the theme.  Everyone may read a different book, but that’s what makes it fun!  At book club, we rant and rave and chat about our selections in addition to enjoying a dessert.  Both groups are free; neither require registration.

Middle School Book Club is open to grades 6-8.  Its next installment will be held from 6:00-7:00 pm, Monday, April 2, in Community Room East at the library.  Percy Jackson fans get ready because we’re reading books by Rick Riordan!

High School Book Club is open to grades 9-12 and will be held from 6:00-7:00 pm on Thursday, April 5, in Conference Room 1.  This month’s theme is comedy, so come prepared for laughs.

Interested in learning more about these or other Joplin Public Library services for teens?  Contact me at the Teen Department, 417-623-7953, ext. 1027.  Happy reading and have fun storming the castle!

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I became a fan of this series as soon as I picked up volume 1. “Saga” is the story of Marko and Alana, two soldiers whose cultures are at war with another. They fall in love and go on the run, and Alana later gives birth to the couple’s daughter. Their fledgling family is threatened by bounty hunters, assassins and soldiers.
In volumes 2 and 3, their journey continues as they encounter Marko’s family and search for a reclusive author who might have some answers for them. New characters are introduced, such as Marko’s former fiancée, and old ones’ roles are expanded – namely The Will, a mysterious bounty hunter and my favorite character thus far.
This science fiction/fantasy series has something for everyone. On the surface, there’s romance, monsters, violence, adventure. Beneath, there are meditations on family, child abuse, war and peace, and bigotry. The artwork is colorful and gorgeous, the writing sharp and witty. I look forward to more volumes in the “Saga” series.

The Midnight Sun Extreme Freeride Competition is being held in Yancy, Alaska. Snowboarders and skiers are everywhere and for the McKenna siblings it means their brother Reef is back. It is a rare chance to see the young brother who left home at 18 to ski the circuit.

The uneasy reunion is shattered when one of the competitors, Karli Davis, is murdered.  Reef McKenna, her sometimes boyfriend, is covered in her blood. In fact the first witnesses on the scene see him holding her dead body, the knife used to kill her in his hand.

So begins Shattered, Dani Pettrey’s second book in the Alaskan Courage series. The Christian romantic suspense series tells the stories of the McKenna siblings: Cole, Gage, Kayden, Piper, and Reef.

Even though Reef is the one booked on murder charges, this is not his story. It is the story of Piper who will stop at nothing to prove her brother innocent and Deputy Landon Grainger who wants the truth.

Landon considers the McKennas family and would like to assure them that he will prove Reef is innocent. However, he knows that sometimes those closest to you lie. He vows to continue the investigation even if it proves Reef guilty.

As Landon questions the other competitors and those closest to the victim, it becomes clear that Karli Davis had secrets and more enemies than friends. Against Landon’s wishes Piper is conducting her own investigation. But someone wants her to stop asking questions and she is run off the road by a mysterious dark SUV.

Who wants Piper stopped – someone with secrets to protect or the real killer? Even though she is not seriously hurt, Landon, whose feelings for Piper are far from brotherly, knows that to protect Piper and the McKenna family he needs to solve the case sooner rather than later.

To find the truth he needs to know more about the victim. Taking a leave of absence from the sheriff’s department Landon heads to Canada to see if he can uncover some of Karli’s secrets. At the airport he finds Piper packed and determined to go. They decide to join forces and head north into the rugged wild of British Columbia.

They soon discover that finding out anything about Karli Davis including her real name is not an easy task.  They travel deeper into the frigid north then to California and Oregon searching for clues. Along the way they find that they are not making the journey alone. A man has been shadowing their every move.

As they work closely together Piper begins to question what she feels for Landon. Does Landon dare hope that she is beginning to see him as a man and not a big brother? Can he keep her safe and move them toward the future he wants with her? Or will the mystery man who is following them keep them from the truth and their future?

This book is action packed with well-developed likeable characters.  Romance and faith are central themes but the characters and the action are what drive the story. Even though Landon and Piper get the most page time, the rest of the McKenna family is very much a part of the story.

I have not read the first in the series, Submerged, which the library has in the e-book format. I enjoyed this title but at times I felt there was some back-story missing. So if you want the whole McKenna experience, start with Submerged. After Shattered you can round out the experience with Stranded which is available on audio at the library.