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  • thanksgiving cookiesWith its tradition of big meals and family gatherings, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is also the most overlooked of the fall holidays, stuck in between the fun of Halloween and the cheer of Christmas. No sooner has the Halloween candy been eaten, than we are skipping ahead and preparing for Christmas, with only a meal and shopping to celebrate Thanksgiving. Even Hollywood seems to have bypassed Thanksgiving for the more obvious Christmas plots. Thanksgiving movies may be few and far between, but there are still enough to remind us what the holiday is really about: food, family, thankfulness, and pie. Always pie.

    If you are in the mood for a Thanksgiving movie this season, browse the HCPL catalog and request one today!

  • tv remoteIt’s no secret that I love TV. I eagerly anticipate new episodes of my favorite TV shows each week and despair when they go on hiatus. Season premieres are cause for celebration, while season finales are crushing. But I have noticed that there are some shows that are simply better when watched all at once. I confess to collecting all the episodes in one season of some shows (Game of Thrones & Downton Abbey) on my DVR to watch one after another over a long weekend. This does, unfortunately, leave room for potential spoilers, but at least I don’t spend the days in between episodes in a state of cliffhanger-induced anxiety.

    But there is something to be said about waiting until the series finale airs before tackling a whole TV show from start to finish. About building a pillow fortress on the couch, putting on comfy clothes, collecting tasty snacks and settling in for a no holds barred TV marathon. It’s sometimes my favorite way to experience a new TV show. With the last season of Breaking Bad in the bag and the DVDs set to release in a few weeks, I am looking forward to an epic marathon of what, I’ve been promised, is a spectacular show. No spoilers, please!

    If you’re in the mood to take a break from family (or gather family together!) and marathon a TV show this holiday season, check out the list of great shows to watch from beginning to end!

  • music  notesIn 2004, the American Film Institute released a new list in their 100 Years series, this one celebrating iconic songs in movies. I have confessed my love for movie musicals many times on this blog, but there is something to be said for that one song that can define an entire movie. What would Dirty Dancing be without that final performance to (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life? How many of us still passionately sing along with Celine Dion and think of Jack and Rose when My Heart Will Go On plays on the radio? And is a Bond movie really complete without a new, killer theme song?

    When AFI first released the 100 Years...100 Songs list, my college roommate and I were obsessed. It was our goal to collect all 100 songs and put them in one playlist and, by the end of the year, we had almost succeeded! Below, I have listed some of my favorite movie songs. Browse the entire list and let me know if your favorite song was included!

  • When I was very young, I knew of only two witches in TV or movies.  Actually, the same movie: The Wizard of Oz.  There was lovely Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, who had a lilting voice and traveled in a bubble.  And there was the hideous (and green!) Wicked Witch of the West.  I loved Glinda.  I was terrified of the Wicked Witch, especially when she’d laugh in that ear-splitting shriek.  But there was one thing that made her a little less frightening: she was in Oz.  And Oz was a magical place.  Not just an ordinary neighborhood such as where I lived.

  • full moonWe all know about fashion trends, but how often do we give thought to movie trends? One of this year’s most popular trends is movies set in space. This summer saw the release of a number of movies that fit this theme (e.g., Star Trek: Into Darkness and Elysium), and the trend continues with some of this fall’s most anticipated movies. Earlier this month, Gravity opened to high critical and popular acclaim and continues to smash box office records. And on November 1, Ender’s Game, based on the Orson Scott Card novel of the same name, hits theaters with a science fiction twist on the space trend. Whether the movie is a more realistic portrayal of space and mankind in space (e.g.,  Apollo 13) or a science fiction adventure that only tangentially reflects reality (e.g., Star Wars and Star Trek), it always manages to capture the imagination of Earthbound movie goers.

    If you can’t make it to the theater this month, or want to see more cinematic adventures in space, browse the HCPL catalog and request a movie today!

  • wastelandThis month, Harris County Public Library, along with other libraries in the Greater Houston area, celebrates Gulf Coast Reads 2013. This year’s novel is The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. The Dog Stars follows the struggles of a man and his dog, taking refuge in a Colorado airport hanger after a flu pandemic wipes out most of the world’s population.

    Novels depicting the world after apocalyptic events have always been prevelent, and television and movies are no different. Perhaps it is the conflicting emotions of the story that pull in readers and viewers: a fierce desire to survive and build a new civilization despite loneliness in the face of total devestation. The recent rise in popularity of books and movies about dystopian civilizations (e.g., The Hunger Games) feed this same desire to see a small group of people struggling together to overcome seemingly hopeless situations. Or maybe viewers just want to leave theaters knowing that no matter what happens, humanity will survive.

    If you’re in the mood for a post-apocalyptic thriller this weekend, browse the HCPL catalog and request a movie or television show today!