Binge-worthy Literary Web Series

If you’ve been keeping up with YouTube in the past eight years, you might have noticed a growing trend in book adaptations. More and more, classic literature is being adapted are modernized as web series, typically available through video sites like YouTube.

The series tend to be shot vlog style, meaning they are presented as a video blog. Though the series still have actors, by mimicking the vlog formula, these adaptations tend to feel much more personal. The vlog setting, albeit fictional in this case, also functions on the idea that the characters are aware of their audience, and that other characters in the story are able to watch their videos.

Here are just a few literary web series that put fun new spins on classic tales!

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Feast of the Rings: Eat Your Way Through the Entire Trilogy

This past weekend, my friends and I sat down to accomplish what we considered to be one of the nerdiest things we had ever done: marathon the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended editions, of course) while eating all the foods from the series along with the characters. We can’t claim credit for the idea, as we were inspired by this Twitter thread. Here’s some ideas on how to hold your own food-filled Lord of the Rings marathon!

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Morbid Curiosity Reads

Ever wonder what it’s like to work in a morgue? Want to know what uses science has for human cadavers? You might have a case of what’s been dubbed “morbid curiosity,” or a fascination with the macabre. Inspired by this month’s Get Lit! Book Club pick, here are a few morbidly curious nonfiction titles that approach death from a unique, fresh perspective.

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Tips and Tricks for Ancestry.com Library Edition

 

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Looking to research your family tree, but not sure where to start? Want to find out who owned your house in the 1800’s? Ancestry.com is an expansive resource for genealogy and historical information, with over 20 billion records in its database, and about 2 million added each day.

Ancestry.com offers a special edition for library users, which can be instrumental in your genealogical research. Here are some quick tricks and tips to help get you started!

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The Great American Read @ SPL

Have you heard about The Great American Read?  This eight-part series from PBS explores the power of reading through the viewpoints of America’s Top 100 books.  They examine writer’s perspectives, reader’s receptions, and what these books say about diversity our nation.  At the end of the series, the results from a nationwide survey will be announced of what book wins the title of America’s best-loved book. The aim of the campaign is to get the country reading and talking about books – something we do here every day at the Sewickley Public Library!

We thought it would be fun to have our community vote for their favorite book from the Top 100 list of titles from The Great American Read.  Find the voting station set up in the library’s lobby where you can vote for your favorite book! Will it be Little Women? The DaVinci Code? Gone Girl? War and Peace? Come help us decide by casting your ballot anytime throughout the summer.  Voting will be open through Saturday, August 4th.  We will announce the winner on Monday, August 6th!

You can find more information about The Great American Read on the PBS website.  Or jump straight to the list of all 100 titles.

Happy voting!

 

Upcoming Movie Adaptations of Books

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Starring Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), this adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s national bestseller comes out on August 15, 2018. The movie follows Rachel Chu, an American woman who finds out her boyfriend secretly comes from an extremely wealthy and powerful family in Singapore. You can watch the trailer here!

 

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
This supernatural horror novel is coming to the big screen on August 31, 2018. From the director of 2015’s Academy Award-winning film Room and starring Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars) and Ruth Wilson (Jane Eyre), the film will tell the tale of a British doctor’s terrifying experience at a family’s countryside estate. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy
Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), and David Tennant (Doctor Who) are just a few of the talented actors in this film’s star studded cast. Saoirse Ronan stars as Mary Stuart opposite Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I. Written by the creator of Netflix’s House of Cards, the film is scheduled to be released on December 7, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
Coming to theaters September 28, 2018, this film tells the harrowing true story of Garrard Conley, who was outed as gay at age 19 and sent to a gay conversion therapy program by his parents. The movie stars Joel Edgerton (Red Sparrow), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), and Russell Crowe (Gladiator). You can watch the trailer here!

 

First man: the life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen
Ryan Gosling (La La Land) stars as Neil Armstrong in this biographical film about the first astronaut to walk on the moon. Directed by Damien Chazelle of La La Land and Whiplash, the movie is set to be released on October 12, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Cate Blanchett (Carol) stars as the titular Bernadette, who disappears and is pursued by her teenage daughter. The movie also features actors Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live, and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), and directed by Richard Linklater, director of the 2014 Best Picture Academy Award-winning movie Boyhood. The release date is set for October 19, 2018.

 

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
In this sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Claire Foy (The Crown) takes over the role of Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker who teams up with a journalist to investigate corrupt government. The movie comes out on November 9, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

The Black Hand by Stephan Talty
This movie follows a New York City detective as he goes up against the Italian mafia. The film is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), who also stars in the movie. No release date has been announced yet, but the movie is expected to hit theaters in 2019.

 

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Produced by Peter Jackson, director of the award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mortal Engines tells the tale of a post-apocalyptic future in which humans are forced to live in moving cities, and suffer under a corrupt government. The movie is set to be released on December 14, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Ophelia by Lisa Klein
In this reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) stars as Hamlet’s forbidden love, and stars Naomi Watts (The Glass Castle) and Tom Felton (Harry Potter). The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018, but is set to be released in theaters later this year.

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
From the producer of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, this movie tells the story of a British author, played by Lily James (Cinderella), who travels to the island of Guernsey at the end of World War II, where she meets a book club that began as an alibi during the island’s German occupation. Netflix has purchased the streaming rights to the film, which will be released through their service on August 10. You can watch the trailer here!

 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath’s famous novel is once again coming to the big screen, this time directed by Kirsten Dunst (Marie Antoinette). The movie tells the tale of Esther, played by Dakota Fanning (The Alienist), and her struggle with her mental health. No official release date has been announced, but the film is expected to hit theaters in 2018.

 

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
From the mind behind Mozart in the Jungle, Bel Canto tells the story of an opera star, played by Julianne Moore (Still Alice), and several other members of an embassy party as they are taken hostage by terrorists. The film also stars Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai), and is set for a September 2018 release.

 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel has been developed into a star-studded adaptation, with names such as Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story). The movie tells the tale of a young man living in Las Vegas with his deadbeat father, where he gets involved in the dangerous world of art forgery. The film is set to be released on October 11, 2019.

 

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Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Coming to Netflix on June 22 is the movie adaptation of Susannah Cahalan’s bestselling memoir, which tells the story of Cahalan’s struggle with a rare autoimmune disorder, which had been discovered only three years before she was diagnosed. The movie stars Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie), Tyler Perry (Acrimony), and Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix)

 

 

Honorable Mention: “Mary Shelley”

Currently in theaters, this movie tells the tale of literary legend Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein when she was just eighteen. Elle Fanning (The Neon Demon) stars in the titular role as the movie follows Shelley through her stay in Geneva, in which she wrote Frankenstein as a part of a competition to write the best horror story between herself, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron. Though it is not based on a book, the film tells the story of how one of fiction’s most famous monsters came to be. You can watch the trailer here!

New Music for Spring!

​Both Sides of the Sky by Jimi Hendrix
Little Dark Age by MGMT
Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest
There’s a Riot Going On by Yo La Tengo
Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt by Moby
Firepower  by Judas Priest
Dark Horse by Devin Dawson
Home State by Jordan Davis
American Utopia by David Byrne
I’ll Be Your Girl by The Decemberists
Sex & Cigarettes by Toni Braxton
Boarding House Reach by Jack White
Seasons Change by Scotty McCreery

Movies to Watch With Mom This Mother’s Day

Doesn’t matter what your mom is like, we have movies for all of the moms!

BraveBrave

Scottish princess Merida makes a decision which defies family custom and brings chaos to their kingdom. PG

Freaky Friday

An overworked mother and her daughter do not get along. When they switch bodies, each is forced to adapt to the other’s life for one freaky Friday. PG

Joy Luck Club

The stories of four native-born Chinese women and their American-born daughters, showing the influence each has on the others’ lives, and how they are the same and different. R

Mamma Mia!Mamma Mia!

After reading her mother’s diary, Sophie discovers she has three possible fathers, so she secretly invites them all to her wedding at her mother’s hotel on a Greek island. PG-13

Now and Then

Four girls vow to be friends forever & come together again after 20 years to lend support and help to each other. PG-13

Sister ActSister Act

A lounge singer witnesses a mob hit and must hide out until she can testify against the killers, so the police put her in the custody of a convent, where she soon begins to transform the sisters; Deloris returns to the order to teach music in their parochial school which is on the brink of closing. PG

Stepmom

Anna and Ben, the two children of Jackie and Luke, have to cope with the fact that their parents divoced and that there is a new woman in their father’s life: Isabel, a successful photographer. PG-13