TourofBooks

It seems almost everyone is compelled to close out the year with a list of Bests. Librarians are no exception, but this year we’re asking you to help us out.

What was the best book of 2013? We narrowed the field to 12 and fashioned the list into a bonafide Tournament of Books, starting on March 1.

The brackets will be posted on the Third Floor slatwall. Every week, paired books will go head to head. Our judges will select a winner to advance to the next round. Tournament books are available in multiple formats for your convenience.

Join in the fun by reading and voting for the best book. Ballots will also be on the Third Floor slatwall.

Here’s a list of this year’s Tournament of Book contenders vying to the title of 2013:

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oscar

If you feel as passionately about film and the Oscars as I do, join me (Cecilia, Adult Services Librarian) as I review and discuss the best and the worst of Hollywood on Thursday, February 25, 2014 at 7:30pm.

I will talk about the major films of 2013, what the critics thought, and even have some good tips on predicting Oscar winners. I will guess who I think will walk away with the Oscars come Sunday, March 2, 2014 or better yet…what long-shots I would love to see carry awards home.

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cosmos

In 1980, astrophysicist Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: a Personal Journey, opened with this line: “The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.” Sagan was the world’s most famous scientist during the golden age of solar system exploration. In Cosmos, he invited the world to delve into the history of human scientific discovery. He made the story of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution accessible, exciting, and even personal. To this day Cosmos is the most viewed documentary PBS has ever produced. It has been seen by more than 60 million people worldwide, and inspired a generation of young people to become scientists.

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taekwondo

Have you heard of the celebration of Korean culture in Skokie and Niles Township?

The Niles Public Library is partnering with the Skokie Public Library and other area organizations to host a variety of Korean events, featuring professional performers and artists as well as local talent. Last month we hosted one of the first programs for the community. It was about Tae Kwon Do, Korean-style presented by Tiger Martial Arts. It was a great success with more than 80 people in attendance.

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Schell

Of Austrian and Swiss heritage, Maximilian Schell won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in Judgment at Nuremberg, which as only his second Hollywood film. Never really becoming a megastar, Schell took smaller roles in a variety of interesting and artistic films, though he did get two more Oscar nominations, one for Julia (Best Supporting Actor) and one for The Man in the Glass Booth (Best Actor).

Check out these Maximilian Schell movies at the Niles Public Library:

Abraham

A Bridge Too Far (blu-ray)

The Brothers Bloom

Coast to Coast

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dbc

Much like several recent Oscar-winning and nominated films of the past years (Saving Private Ryan, The Hurt Locker, Amour), Dallas Buyers Club is not a movie I’m going to RUN out and re-watch. It’s a tough movie to watch…the subject matter is harsh, the characters are sad and highly flawed, the dialogue is filled with homosexual abuses. All that said, is this still a movie you should watch? Yes. One reason: the performances. This is not to say the story is not good. It is. And the entire film on the whole is worth watching. But, the focus here should be the performances, since I feel they make this hard movie well worth watching.

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blogart

Whether you love or hate Valentine’s Day may depend on your current relationship status; or perhaps on how much you enjoy shopping for (cards/candy/flowers/jewelry), securing (dinner/hotel) reservations and/or (concert/theater/movie/opera) tickets and complying with whatever other demands upon your (time/energy/wallet) that your significant other may make.

Love can be (complicated/difficult/messy/maddening), so it makes sense that a holiday celebrating it would follow suit. It seems that 90% of music deals with love or heartbreak, so when it comes to selecting a soundtrack for your (bliss/misery/indifference) there is plenty to choose from. My favorites all come from artists who excel at cramming every possible shade of (love/hate/confusion) into their songs. So whether you’re (alone and happy/alone and miserable/together and happy/together and miserable) this Valentine’s Day, here’s a dedication for you:

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shirley

Young Shirley Temple was one of the biggest, brightest stars in the 1930s. She even won a special “Juvenile Award” from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1934. Basically, she was the biggest LITTLE moviestar ever!

Then, she grew up! Hollywood, at first, did not know what to do with “teenage” Temple. But, eventually, she came into her own, easing successfully into young adult and even adult roles. She never came close to matching her level of childhood fame, but she still was able to work in Hollywood for years, until she decided to retire from entertainment and switched her focus to politics and ambassadorships.

Check out these Shirley Temple movies at the Niles Public Library:

The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer

Fort Apache

Heidi (J)

Hollywood Singing & Dancing: 1930s (791.4361 H746th)

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http://www.tv-wallpapers.net/posters/fringe_2008_463_wallpaper.jpg

Moving onto the 4th spot on the list…FRINGE.

While the series may have been popular amongst fans, Fringe did not garner enough viewers to warrant another season past its fifth and final one. Hence it is regarded as a “cult” series. Which basically means that there’s a large enough fan base that the show has spread beyond the medium which it was intended for.

The basic premise of the show involves members of the FBI “Fringe Division”: FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop, son of Walter Bishop, an unhinged scientist whose condition will be explained during the course of the first season, and his assistant Agent Astrid Farnsworth investigating cases such as genetic mutation, psychokinesis, and parallel universes, which are known as “fringe science”. Although the series bears similarities to a certain popular FOX show from the 90′s, it differs in that the strange occurrences and unknown events are possibly rooted in actual science, primarily in the field of genetics and physics. However, these theories are not accepted as mainstream science and are outside the norm of what is considered science.

Read Elbert’s 5th Spot On His List of Underrated Show Here!

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