Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Your Christmas!

Grinch-like characters are often the center of holiday stories. Often these grumpy characters find some redemptive quality that changes his/her perspective on Christmas as well as mankind. The original Grinch was from the lively imagination of Dr. Seuss and was first published in the 1956 children's book How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The 1966 animated special is a long standing tradition in many households; a show that brought us the classic Christmas song, "You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch." In 2000, Ron Howard directed a full length feature film version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch.

The Whos in Whoville didn’t let the Grinch steal their Christmas. They showed the Grinch that “Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....” You can celebrate “Grinchmas” with 25 days of doing good deeds. There are many fun ideas at Home for the Who-lidays. Maybe your heart will “grow three sizes”.

The Grinch wasn’t the original grouchy character in a Christmas story. Who can forget the ever familiar “Bah Humbug!” uttered by Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens? Many sources credit the Dickens tale with reviving the Christmas spirit through generosity and family celebrations. It is also credited with making the phrase “Merry Christmas” popular. In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge also had a life changing experience after visits from three Christmas spirits. He goes from “Bah Humbug!” to “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. “― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

You might start the tradition of reading a version of this tale to the family as you snuggle down in your new Christmas pajamas. Or your whole family can enjoy Jonathan Winters as he brings the characters to life in the NPR production on CD.


Many versions of The Christmas Carol are also available on film. Some try to stay true to the Dickens story. Such as:

A Christmas Carol (1951)

A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol (1999)

Christmas Carol: the Movie (2001)

Less traditional but fun movie adaptations are can also be found.

Mickey's Christmas Carol

The Smurfs. A Christmas Carol

A Flintstones Christmas Carol

A Sesame Street Christmas Carol

Thomas' Christmas Carol

Not only did Jim Carrey play that “mean one Mr. Grinch” but he also played the miserly Scrooge in Disney’s 2009 version of The Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Carol (2010)
If you are a mystery lover, a fun twist on Dickens tale can be found in Leslie Meier’s book, Christmas Carol Murder: a Lucy Stone Mystery

The one exception to a character changing for the better was Mr. Potter in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. This 1946 Christmas classic was based off the short story "The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Tale" by Philip Van Doren Stern. Mr. Potter never seems to change his hard heart. But he couldn’t keep a good guy like George Baily down. When George Bailey, the main character, falls on hard times he needs reminded that “Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?” – Clarence (the angel)

James Stewart, the down to earth actor, was a natural to portray George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life. Another natural fit was “girl next door” actress, Donna Reed portraying his wife Mary. Lionel Barrymore, who had portrayed Mr. Scrooge on a radio broadcast, portrayed believable villain, Mr. Potter. Lovers of this movie might be surprised to find that it was not initially a box office success. It has since become a staple in many households during the Christmas season with yearly airings on TV. You and your family might enjoy the 60th anniversary DVD that has special features including “The Making of It’s a Wonderful Life” 

Children might enjoy the picture book with a slightly different tale. George and Mary Baileys son Tommy gets some help from Arthur, an angel in training in It's a Wonderful Life for Kids

You can find the TV airing times and dates for How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life as well as many of your favorite Christmas movies and shows at Countdown Until Christmas.

If you want to snuggle up with a good book check out Goodreads' Christmas book lists for an extensive list of Christmas books for all ages. Then bring your Christmas book wish list to the library.

“And it was always said of him (Scrooge), that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thanksgiving Tips and Entertainment

Thanksgiving-the national holiday of giving thanks or for many people a day of food, family, football, and shopping planning.

Luckily, the library is as diverse as your holiday and we have the resources that are just right for you.

Start off your feast planning with the Betty Crocker Complete Thanksgiving Cookbook: All You Need to Cook a Foolproof Dinner or add some holiday flare from the craft queen Martha Stewart with this DVD version of Martha's Classic Thanksgiving.

Not interested in watching the football game? How about an inspirational movie based on true events such as The Blind Side? Already seen the movie? Then try the book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and debate with your family on which version is better…*hint* It’s usually the book but we may be biased!

Now for the entertainment, The Treasury of Family Games has ideas for all ages of your family from board game strategy, active racing to burn off those holiday calories, to simple card games.

For the shopping enthusiast & penny pincher, you can’t go wrong with 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget.

Let’s not forget the sounds of the season, Thanksgiving Songs That Tickle Your Funny Bone   will get your bodies moving & grooving to the Thanksgiving beat.

If just the thought of all the work that goes into the holiday season stresses you out then might we suggest escaping from reality and curling up with a good mystery novel like A Fatal Feast.

If you are still looking for ideas and guidance just stop into one of our branches or call a librarian and we will find selections tailored for you and your family.

For more Feast & decorating ideas don’t forget to check out pinterest.
The library will be closed November 26 & 27th for Thanksgiving and we will reopen Saturday, November 28th at 9am. But don’t fret our digital services are open 24/7! Overdrive, Hoopla, Freegal, Zinio, Etc...





Wednesday, October 28, 2015

November is National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This is an annual event that encourages people to write a novel between November 1 and November 30. Many bestselling novels began as part of National Novel Writing Month. These include Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen .

The web-based nonprofit NaNoWriMo (http://nanowrimo.org) was created to help aspiring novelists meet the goal of writing 50,000 words, which is the minimum length for a novel. Its objective is to help writers produce a workable rough draft rather than publication ready story. Participation is free. Users need only to register for an account. Then beginning mid-month, they can start uploading their text to verify the word count. Novels can be written in any language and any genre with any theme whatsoever. Quite simply, if you believe you’re writing a novel, then so does NaNoWriMo. It offers the support of an online community in addition to writing resources and pep talks from established authors.

KHCPL is a 2015 NaNoWriMo Come Write In! Center. KHCPL South will host a NaNoWriMo Come Write In! workshop from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. every Sunday in November. Meet with other writers. Swap ideas. Get inspired. Or simply write.

KHCPL also offers free Wi-Fi, quiet study rooms, and public access computers. Our collection contains both books to help you hone your writer skills and conduct research.

Writers’ Manuals in KHCPL’s Collection include:

Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
On Writing by Stephen King 
Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin 
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg 
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury 

Indiana’s own Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., offers this sage advice for writing:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things – reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them–in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

The genre-defying storyteller Neil Gaiman offers these rules for writing:

1. Write.
2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
3. Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you've never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
5. Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
7. Laugh at your own jokes.
8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

The charmingly irascible Patrick Rothfuss explains his one true rule of writing:

1. Yay, Verily. You Must Sit Down and Write.
1a. Thou shalt not go see a movie instead. Or watch reality TV. Thou shalt write. No. Stop. You don’t need to clean out the fridge right now. Neither dost thou need to sort the recycling. I’m not even kidding. Go and write.
1b. Thou shalt not just think about writing. Seriously. That is not writing. The worst unpublished novel of all-time is better than the brilliant idea you have in your head. Why? Because the worst novel ever is written down. That means it’s a book, while your idea is just an idle fancy. My dog used to dream about chasing rabbits; she didn’t write a novel about chasing rabbits. There is a difference.
1c. Thou shalt not read, either. I know it’s book-related, but it’s not actually writing. Yes, even if it’s a book about how to write. Yes, even if you’re doing research. You can research later. Sit. Down. Write.

So I say unto you: You don’t have to start entirely from scratch. (But you can’t count previously written words in your word count. Obviously.)

So I say unto you: Revise sometimes.

So I say unto you: Follow your enthusiasm.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

All Hallows Read: Read a Scary Book this Halloween

All Hallows Read was started by author Neil Gaiman (author of The Graveyard Book, Violent Cases, Coraline, and many more) in 2010 as an idea to start a literary Halloween tradition of giving someone a scary book.  We @khcpl have decided to take this idea to another level and include reading a scary book and recommending a scary book to your friends.

Too scared to pick out a book? Deciding on which book to pick could possibly be more daunting than actually reading the book. Listed below are a few staff recommendations along with the recommended reading level.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
The Historian by Elizabth Kostova
The House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill
A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick
Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Young Adult
Amity by Micol Ostow
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto
The Infects by Sean Beaudoin
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
The Monstrumologist by Willian James Henry; edited by Rick Yancey
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Survive the Night by Danielle Vega
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
Jr. High
Coraline by Neil Gailman
Dead City by James Ponti
Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
Mountain of Bones by Christopher Krovatin
The Nightmarys by Dan Poblocki
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill
Wolven by Di Toft

Juvenile Fiction
The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden by Emma Trevayne
Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andres Beaty
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Dare to be Scared: Thirteen Stories to Chill and Thrill by Robert San Souci
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost by Cornelia Funke
Into the Killing Seas by Michael Spradlin
The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant
Mothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes
The Witches by Roald Dahl

Middle Readers
Bunnicula by James Howe
Cat and Mouse in a Haunted House (Geronimo Stilton series)
Ghost Eye by Marion Bauer
A Haunted Halloween by Ray O’Ryan
Horrible Harry and the Hallway Bully by Suzy Kline
Mrs. Patty is Batty by Dan Gutman
The Onts by Dan Greenburg
The Red Ghost by Marion Bauer
Rise of the Balloon Goons by Troy Cummings
Sadie’s Story by Christine Heppermann

Easy Readers
EEK! Stories of Make You Shriek by Jennifer Dussling
A Ghost on the Track by Reverend W. Awdry
Grandmas Trick-or-Treat by Emily McCully
Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish
I Spy a Skeleton by Jean Marzollo
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
Minnie and Moo and the Haunted Sweater by Denys Cazet
Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt by Marjorie Sharmat
This Book is Haunted by Joanne Rocklin
Witches Four by Marc Brown

Picture Books
The Berenstain Bears Go on a Ghost Walk by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean (Pete the Cat)
It’s Raining Bats and Frogs by Rebecca Colby
Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane
Minerva Louise on Halloween by Janet Stoeke
Monster Mash by David Catrow
Ollie’s Halloween by Olivier Dunrea
Otter Loves Halloween! By Sam Garton
Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas
Turkey Trick or Treat by Wendi Silvano

Check out the library's Halloween Pinterest board to find creepy costumes, freaky foods, and many other Halloween related ideas.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


September kicks off the football season. Are you ready? Huddle up and let KHCPL help you suit up for some fun, food and football.

Can’t go to the game? What’s more fun than a Sunday afternoon tailgate party? Recruit your friends for a day of fun, food, and football. Don’t be a rookie when it comes to good food. The Food Network has some great recipes on-line and on their Pinterest Board. Also check out the books The Deen bros. get fired up : grilling, tailgating, picnicking, and more and Good housekeeping the great potluck cookbook : our favorite recipes for carry-in suppers, brunch buffets, tailgate parties & more!

Once your pregame warm up is underway, show your team spirit with a variety of options. 100 things Colts fans should know & do before they die and the Indianapolis Colts: the complete illustrated history should keep you in the game.

Not a football fan, but don’t want to stay on the sidelines? Check out The chicks guide to football : a complete guide to tight ends or Football for dummies. Both titles should keep you in the game.

Don’t get caught in an illegal motion and forget the kids. While reading the defense, they can also catch up on their favorite team with The Indianapolis Colts (Stewart, Mark)Meet the Colts (Kennedy, Mike)  and Indianapolis Colts (Peloza, Brian). And of course, no roster is complete without a little Andrew Luck (Hoblin, Paul).

On a more serious note, check out the emotional biographies by coaches Chuck Pagano (Sidelined: overcoming odds through unity, passion, and perseverance)  and Tony Dungy (Quiet strength: a memoir: the principles, practices & priorities of a winning life).  Both titles will certainly put the game in perspective.

Not much of a player, but want to watch from the sidelines? Keep your eye on the ball via social media:
Twitter - Official Twitter of the Indianapolis Colts.
Facebook – Indianapolis Colts Fans
Pinterest - Check out the official Indianapolis Colts Pinterest Page inflated with all types of topics from crafts to fashion.
Stay connected w/ the Colts app free from iTunes, Android or the BlackBerry Store.

The only thing left to do is to wait for the coin toss!