On Sunday, March 2, 2014 we held our 10th Annual Oscar Night Party. It was a roaring success. We had almost 70 attendees, all of whom enjoyed the show and winning the fantastic door prizes.

As for the Oscar winners, there were very little surprises over-all. At our Year in Movies: 2013 program on February 25, 2014, I announced the top picks, based on previous award wins. Seven of the top eight on that list ended up winning Oscars, the only non-winner being Chiwetel Ejiofor for “12 Years a Slave”. And I was also off some with my picks. I picked six of the eight top winners, being only wrong with American Hustle for both Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Here are the Top Winners:

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winterreadingwrap

Ever wonder what books Library staff and patrons are reading and loving? Check out a few of the many books that garnered 5-Star reviews during our Winter Reading Club, which just ended. More than 120 teen and adult participants read and reviewed a total of 627 books including fantasy, horror, realistic fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, essays, young adult literature and graphic novels.

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jp2

You’ve got to hand it to best-selling author James Patterson: he is doing his part to get young people to read. He’d already put $1.5 million into student scholarships and essay competitions, then set aside $1 million to help independent bookstores.

Now he is bankrolling the 2-million-hits-per-month website ReadKiddoRead.com, which profiles high-interest books. Asked about what’s at stake, Patterson minces no words: “I’m here to save lives.”

Strong words. But Patterson should know: he is a one-man publishing empire, author of youth and young adult classics such as Maximum Ride, Alex Cross and, most recently, Treasure Hunters and Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. He knows his audience — and is alarmed. “There are…millions of kids in this country who’ve never read a book they like,” he told Kirkus magazine.

Patterson knows what dangers loom for those who hate to read: “[I]t’s going to be hellish…to get through high school, and…[get] jobs and a life that has some satisfaction.”

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mother

In What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most, novelist Elizabeth Benedict decided to ask other contemporary women authors to write about gifts from their own mothers. She was pleased to note that almost without exception the gifts were not of high monetary value. Ann Hood wrote of her own mother giving her the confidence to trust her own personal taste even if it wasn’t the same as her mom’s. Mary Gordon wrote of how her working-class mother took a day off work to take Mary on a boat ride around the New York Harbor, showing Mary that she could dream of other places and other opportunities in the world.

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oscar

On Tuesday, February 25, we had the program The Year in Movies: 2013. It was an encapsulation of the films of 2013 and a little bit of an Oscar preview. Here is a wrap-up of the program:

Based on awards already won, here are the front runners for the Oscars on Sunday, March 2:

BEST PICTURE: “12 Years a Slave”

BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón - “Gravity”

LEAD ACTOR: Chiwetel Ejiofor - “12 Years a Slave”

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nikita

If you have followed this blog series up to this point, then you have probably wondered what that one show was that was canceled in December. It’s time for the reveal…And that 2nd spot belongs to NIKITA!

This sleek and action-packed thriller had it all: Attractive characters, engaging plots (including the subplots), a well thought out and densely plotted seasonal arcs, and lastly, the action itself.

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Sid

Known mostly for his 1950s TV show, Your Show of Shows, Caesar was a comic genius.

Your Show of Shows was so successful and so influential, all of the comedy writers wanted to work for Caesar. And they did…Caesar was known for giving a plethora of comedians and comedy writers their start in show business…including Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen. Later, Caesar worked in some movies, including two for former comedy writer Brooks…Silent Movie and History of the World, Part I. He became known with a more modern generation as “Coach Calhoun” in the two Grease movies.

Check out these Sid Caesar movies at the Niles Public Library:

The Busy Body

The Cheap Detective

Grease 2

Grease

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Ramis, who was a comedy movie institution, hailed from Chicago, to which he always remained loyal. He filmed his revered and quintessential film, Groundhog Day, in Woodstock, IL and lived in the Chicagoland area all of his life. Known to most for his acting work in the Ghostbusters films, Ramis’ true calling was as a comedy writer and director…which is where he made his biggest mark in cinema. His early film relationship with fellow Chicagoland native Bill Murray produced such iconic films as Caddyshack, Meatballs and Stripes, in addition to the above-mentioned Groundhog Day. Ramis will be truly missed in the film world and the comedy world.

Check out these Harold Ramis movies at the Niles Public Library:

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angel

Inching closer to the top show, the third spot goes to…ANGEL.

Spun off from the popular cult seriesBuffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel followed the adventures of the vampire with a soul. His mission was to help the helpless in the dank, seedy city of Los Angeles, an area I am quite familiar with. Along with battling actual monstrous demons and vampires, the titular character must also contend with his personal demons as well, repenting all the horrible crimes he committed during his reign prior to the events of BuffyAlong for the ride are a couple of allies, which expands as the series progresses. One of them being Cordelia Chase, the shallow, vain, self centered popular girl from the parent series.

Why should you watch this show?

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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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