eli-wallach

Most remembered for playing hard-boiled characters in classic westerns The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and The Magnificent Seven, Wallach was much more than just a gritty character actor. He could play sensitive, as well as tough, sweet and compassionate, as well was strong and fearless. In later years, he turned to television and prize smaller roles in films such as The Godfather, Part III, The Holiday and, most recently, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Surprisingly, he was never nominated for an Oscar, so the Academy rectified that in in 2010 when they gave Wallach an honorary Oscar “for a lifetime’s worth of indelible screen characters.”

Check out these Eli Wallach movies at the Niles Public Library:

The Associate

Baby Doll

The Brain

The Executioner’s Song

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michael-jackson

It’s hard to believe that Michael Jackson, The King of Pop, passed away 5 years ago today.

I remember being shell-shocked when I read the breaking news online. He was an amazing performer who had many fans around the world. One of the best ways to keep his legacy alive is by listening to his music. If I had to choose one favorite Michael Jackson album it would be Thriller. Everything from the iconic music videos to the amazing songs on the album make it one for the books.

What’s your favorite Michael Jackson album? Can’t choose one? Maybe we can help below…

Check out these Michael Jackson albums at the Niles Public Library:

Xscape (2014)

Bad 25 (2012)

Michael (2010)

This Is It (2009)

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books-movies-1

To read or to watch? That is the question!

There’s a constant battle between book-lovers and movie-lovers about whether a book is better than the movie or vice versa. Personally, I prefer to watch the movie over reading the book (don’t tell any of my co-workers) because I’m more attracted to visuals instead of just reading about the story.

The listicle below is Part 1 of 2 about books you didn’t realize were actually movies, too. The great part is the Niles Public Library has many formats of the title for you to enjoy.

Check out these books, DVDs, Blu-rays, and Audiobooks at the Niles Public Library:

The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith (Babe): Book | DVD | Blu-ray

127 Hours by Aron Ralston: Book | DVD

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings: Book | Blu-ray

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick: Book | DVD | Blu-ray

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her-dvd

Set in the near future (specific year unnamed), Theodore is a sad sack. His marriage just broke up, he does not want to go out or do things, like hang out with friends, and his day job is writing personal letters (love letters, thank you letters, etc.) for other people who are just as pathetic as he is. So, what does he do to try to change things up some in his life: he buys a new computer with a personal, talking, interactive, emotive operating system (OS). And this OS changes his life.

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hawks

In light of our beloved reigning champ Chicago Blackhawks being knocked out of the nail-biting Stanley Cup Western Conference Semi-Final two weeks ago and the crowning of the current Stanley Cup champs LA Kings awarded last weekend, hockey season is officially over.

Still depressed about what could’ve been? You’re not alone.

After the devastating loss in Game 7 of our series against the seemingly indomitable LA Kings, I was recently told that it’s “just a game”. But is it? Like so many sports, we watch it because of our passion for the sport. Like baseball, it’s a national past time that has grown through generations. It rallies people together and brings them closer than ever. It’s a chance to bring unprecedented revenue to a city crowned undisputed champion for that year or season if you will. Finally, it brings an unlimited amount of tourism to our city. And who wouldn’t want that?

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rubydee

Known for her ground-breaking activism during the Civil Rights era, as well as her equally radical acting career, Ruby Dee died at the age of 91. She was one of the first black actresses to make her mark on Hollywood, along side her husband of over 55 years, Ozzie Davis. In the beginning of her career, as well as working with Davis, she often worked with Sidney Poitier, and later in life, she worked twice with Spike Lee and received her only Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor, in 2007′s American Gangster, directed by Ridley Scott.

Check out these Ruby Dee movies at the Niles Public Library:

America

American Gangster (also on Blu-ray)

Betty and Coretta

Decoration Day

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maya

Maya Angelou has been a creative force to be reckoned with for decades. She was a poet, an activist, an author, a playwright, an actor, a film director, a professor, an inspirational speaker and a strong, fierce presence in the American cultural landscape. She was chosen by Bill Clinton to recite her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at his inauguration in 1993. She has honorary degrees from too many institutions to name and she has written seven autobiographical books on her life and work. Maya Angelou will be missed more than we know.

Check out these Maya Angelou movies at the Niles Public Library:

African American Lives 2 (Nonfiction)

As Seen Through These Eyes (Nonfiction)

Down in the Delta

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dramas2

The first part of this blog series featured Character Driven Procedural TV shows, and today I’ll focus on Plot Driven Procedural TV shows.

If you have flipped through the channels, you may have noticed already that the vast majority of plot driven procedurals are crime dramas. They are easy to follow and do not require viewers to make an appointment with their TV sets as is the case with serial dramas. Viewers can jump in at any point in the series to sample the type of show that they’d be watching. With any type of narrative, they have a beginning, middle, and end. Most if not all of the crime dramas close their case at the end and give viewers a sense of comfort or closure. They’re made to be fun and escapist entertainment. Once an episode ends, the same type of format starts all over again the following week: the crime is committed, the investigators are brought in and by episode’s end, the perpetrator is discovered and captured. And by then, you’ll have known the who, what, why and how of the crime. This explains why procedurals are the most popular format in TV today.

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dramas1

Television is a vast wasteland. With so many shows on right now, how do you know which one to choose from? Dramas and comedies are the most popular forms of genre. But within the context of dramas, what is the right show for you? This blog series is a handy guide to some of the most popular dramas (divided into subcategories: Character Driven Procedural, Plot Driven Procedural, Serial Dramas and Supernatural Dramas) currently airing today, some of which are based on ratings, others based on my recommendations. All of which are available either at the Niles Library (click on the link to access online catalog) or as interlibrary loan.

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Doctorwho_01

The much beloved British television series Doctor Who has been with us for 50 years. Debuting in 1963, this science fiction show about a time traveling alien ran for 26 seasons before ending in 1989. Reborn in 2005, the series is as popular as ever. The eighth season of the new series begins this fall, starring Peter Capaldi as the 12th version of the title character.

Originally conceived as a program to teach kids about science, Doctor Who has grown into an international geek culture juggernaut. In case you’ve never seen an episode, the lovably goofy and absurd Doctor looks human, but is really the last living Time Lord from the destroyed planet Gallifrey. He travels through both time and space in the TARDIS (a ship that looks like an old-fashioned British police emergency call box) but that is “bigger on the inside.” The Doctor looks great for his age (which fluctuates constantly from all that time travel, but is at least 1000 years) because any time his body is destroyed he simply regenerates in a new one. He loves earth and humans (and, hey, constant space and time travel must get lonely) so he is always recruiting a human companion or two to journey with him.

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