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Anonymous Movie

For a club event, the English Club hosted a movie night with the new movie Anonymous and discussed it afterwards. I must say that the movie is very intriguing and I recommend it to literature and history buffs alike.

Anonymous is about the authorship debate on who really wrote the works attributed to Shakespeare. The movie explores the theory that the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, was the real writer of the Shakespeare plays and poetry. Anonymous examines why Edward de Vere let William Shakespeare take the credit for his work. Interestingly, William Shakespeare is portrayed as a fool and an unsuccessful playwright until he gets his hands on de Vere’s work, at which point he becomes famous. In the meantime, de Vere, the true genius, stays in the shadows as Shakespeare gets all of the attention and credit.

The plot of Anonymous has many twists and one cannot foresee where it is going. One such twist is de Vere’s peculiar relationship with Queen Elizabeth I.

I enjoyed watching the movie and entertaining the idea that the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s works. However, the movie was a bit over-the-top when it came to dramatic scenes and was not convincing in its argument.

On a side note: Rhys Ifans, who plays Edward de Vere in the movie, does a spectacular job. For anyone who has seen Notting Hill, it comes as a shock that the same person who plays a nobleman in Anonymous also played the goofy flat-mate (Spike) in Notting Hill.

I hope everyone had a great holiday break! Now that I am back in the groove of things at school, I can continue blogging. A book that I really wanted to read over break was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, as I heard many great things about it. I finally finished the book (the whole series, actually) this week. I highly recommend the series. It’s  fascinating with many plot twists. So I don’t give too many spoilers away, I’m only going to blog about the first book for now.

The Hunger Games is about a sixteen year old girl named Katniss Everdeen who lives in District 12 of Panem. The book is futuristic, and Panem is made up of what used to be North America. There are twelve districts in Panem, along with the Capitol. The Capitol is the head of the districts and forces two tributes (a boy and a girl) from each district to fight in the Hunger Games every year. In the Hunger Games, the tributes are put into an arena with limited resources and forced to fight to the death. The last tribute left alive wins the Games and is treated as a celebrity for the rest of their lives.

In the book, the main character, Katniss, takes the place of her sister in the Games. Once she is in the arena, she has to choose if she wants to form alliances with those she knows will eventually die- whether at her hand or someone elses’- or if she is going to fight alone. Katniss must also fight to win the attention of the viewers of the Games, in hopes that they can send her supplies in the arena. Not only does she have to fight the other tributes, but the Games are designed with other horrors in them, as Katniss soon finds out.

I cannot stress how incredible this book is! I’ll admit that, at first, a book about kids forced to fight to death in an arena doesn’t sound like the best reading material. However, as the book is in the point of view of one of the tributes that is forced to fight, (Katniss) one gets to experience what Katniss thinks and feels about the Games. Katniss is not a blood-thirsty person; she doesn’t want to fight and kill anyone- it is only out of necessity that she does so. Through the Games, Katniss learns how much she resents the Capitol and how they treat the twelve districts of Panem. Suzanne Collins is an amazing author who twists the plot in unexpected places and makes the book hard to put down.

 

As I stated previously in my blog, I am in the book club at Viterbo. For book club, I recently finished The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls. I highly recommend the book. The author manages to tell her moving memoir in a funny, sometimes hilarious, way. Even when she is describing how horrible her living conditions are or how poorly she is treated, the author manages to look on the bright side, per se, and lighten the mood. I have to admit that when I first looked at the book, I did not think that it would be very good, as it looked like it would be a depressing book. I was proven wrong. The memoir is about Jeannette Walls’ life of growing up in a dysfunctional family. Her dad drinks a lot and cannot keep a job, and her mother rarely works, but instead paints. Her paintings, however, do not provide much of an income to the family. Due to their shortage on money and the fact that Jeannette’s dad cannot keep a job, the Walls family moves around a lot. (It also seems that Jeannette’s parents like the freedom of moving around and not living in one place too long.) Because of their lack of money and the fact that they move around a lot, Jeannette and her siblings learn to survive with what they have around them. The author manages to be serious yet funny at the same time as she describes the corners the family cuts to save money. Although her dad drinks a lot, he still manages to be a good father at times and forges a special connection with Jeannette.

This book was so good that I could not put it down, and managed to read it in just two days. Once again, I highly recommend this book.

Although it is not extensively advertised, Viterbo has a book club. I know that UWL has a book club as well. Many of the people who I have talked to claim that they do not participate in book clubs on the grounds that they do not have the time to read the “assigned” books. However,  I feel that participating in book clubs is beneficial. Reading for fun or for a club gives students and others a chance to relax their minds from their hectic lives. Even if a person has ten minutes free, reading a book can help a person “get away” into the world of a book, no matter if it is a science fiction book or poetry. I only had time to read about half of the book assigned for the last meeting of book club, but it was a great book and gave a different perspective on the hardships of life. (I read “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette  Walls, I highly recommend it.) While reading in general is beneficial, book clubs offer a place to talk about what you have read. You are also given the chance to hear others’ thoughts and ideas on the book you read. Book club is also nice as it provides a list of books to read if you are a person like me and have a hard time picking out a good book. If you feel you can spare a few minutes each day, grab a book and read! If you have a little more time, and do not mind setting aside about an hour or so a month to meet with others, join a book club and snatch the opportunity to share your ideas with others while exploring different worlds!

On October 31, my boss Sue from the Viterbo library retired. I have worked in Viterbo’s library the past two summers and will miss her greatly. Sue was an amazing boss. She was kind and helpful to patrons, staff, and students. I cannot describe how much I enjoyed working for Sue. She always made work fun, interesting,  and enjoyable. Sue was very good at teaching, too, as she taught me all I needed to know about working in the library. Sue was not just a good boss, she was and is a great person. Sue always has a smile on her face and works to make people happy, whether it is giving people treats, or saying kind words to them. Sue genuinely cares. Sue worked at the Viterbo library many years and will now be able to relax during a well-deserved retirement. I am dedicating this blog post to the best boss I ever had and  a great person.

You will be missed Sue!

From,

One of Your “Cookie Monsters”, Kim

Today I participated in a test run of a QR code tour in the Murphy library.  In short, it was a tour of the library with the use of an ipod. Each person in our test group was given an ipod along with a map of the library. The map showed the locations of QR codes (barcodes) around the library. We then followed the map and scanned the barcodes around the library  as we found them. When the QR code was scanned, useful information about the library popped up, corresponding to where we were. This exercize was very informative, especially to a student like me who hasn’t spent a lot of time in the Murphy library. The QR code tour will hopefully be useful to students that cannnot go on a traditional tour of the library. The tour was also quite fun and reminded me of a treasure hunt.

Yesterday I took a unique tour of the Special Collections section of the Murphy Library. There are many remarkable items in Special Collections. For example, the Special Collections section of the Murphy Library is internationally known for their vast steamboat collection. In fact, the walls are decorated with pictures and paintings of steamboats. One of the most interesting items in Special Collections is a Facsimile Edition of the Gutenberg Bible. According to the information displayed with the Bible, the edition Special Collections has on display is one of only 1,000 copies. Probably my favorite item in Special Collections is a book from 1518, a revised edition of the works of Saint Athanasius. The book was printed with a printing press and is written in Latin. The John Eliot collection is also noteworthy. The John Eliot collection consists of signed photographs of celebrities who stayed at the Stoddard Hotel. A signed photograph of John F. Kennedy along with a letter written by him is in the collection. There are an immense number of different items in Special Collections. There are tax rolls, letters, photographs, old atlases, yearbooks, city maps, books, newspapers, and oral records along with many other items. Special Collections is a great place to go if you need any information about past residents, workers, and buildings in the La Crosse area, as well as information on the history of buildings still standing today.

 

 

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