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Summer ! Being outside ! Cook-outs !

 And all hail to Marjorie Standish and her down-home Maine recipes.  Marjorie was a local resident who was the longtime food columnist for the Maine Sunday Telegram.  Her two books of collected recipes – Cooking Down East and Keep Cooking – The Maine Way – are both available to borrow from the Gardiner Public Library.

Check out her delicious and classic recipes for:
                Melt-in-your-mouth blueberry cake
                Baked beans
                Barbecued chicken
                Dilled string beans
                Dump bars
                Baked stuffed lobster
Now those would make a great cookout meal !


Acting for the stage is very different from acting for the screen. The stage actor’s performance must reach not only the audience in the front row, but also the audience in the very last row. Consequently gestures and vocals must be a bit more exaggerated in order to translate to the entire audience. Film acting can involve anything from a long shot with the actor at a distance to an extreme close up where we may only see the actor’s eyes or mouth.

Many stage plays have been adapted to film. It is the screen version that most of us are familiar with. Unfortunately the stage performances are so ephemeral that we can only imagine the impact that the original actors made on their audiences.

Here are just some plays that became famous films and the stars who shone in the original play in comparison to those who made the film famous.


The Lion in Winter 
Rosemary Harris                          Katharine Hepburn
Robert Preston                              Peter O’Toole

Wait until Dark 
Lee Remick                                  Audrey Hepburn
Robert Duvall                               Alan Arkin

        Cherry Jones                                 Meryl Streep
Brian F. O’Byrne                           Philip Seymour Hoffman

        Anthony Quale                              Laurence Olivier
Keith Baxter                                  Michael Caine

A Streetcar Named Desire
Jessica Tandy                                 Vivien Leigh
Marlon Brando                               Marlon Brando

          Tim Curry                                      Tom Hulce
Ian McKellen                                 F. Murray Abraham

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Uta Hagen                                    Elizabeth Taylor
George Hill                                   Richard Burton
Melinda Dillon                              Sandy Dennis
George Grizzard                           George Segal

Driving Miss Daisy 
           Dana Ivey                                     Jessica Tandy
Morgan Freeman                          Morgan Freeman

And in a long series of morphing, the short story “I Am a Camera” by Christopher Isherwood became the play “ I Am a Camera” and then the movie “I Am a Camera” (both starring Julie Harris) which then became the musical “Cabaret” and then finally emerged as the movie “Cabaret” starring Liza Minnelli. Phew.


Books I just couldn’t put down….

We have all had them in our hands.  We have all had trouble putting them down.  They are books that get us so wrapped up in them that we just can’t put them downuntil we finish!  Here are a few that had me in their hooks.  What books did the same to you?

10 strangers invited to an isolated island and then stranded there.  One killer slowly eliminating them one by one.  I got so wild by the fifth murder that I couldn’t stand it anymore and flipped to the end.  I will never do that again.  Although doing so did not ruin the suspense for me as there was another trick up the author’s sleeve at the end, it did teach me to trust the author and enjoy the experience as it unfolds.
King’s first novel about the telepathic teen who is shunned and bullied at school and has to deal with one of those mothers-from-hell at home.  Carrie’s revenge at the oh my god how could this be happening senior prom made me race on until I could finish to find out exactly how it was going to end.
Fellow staff members pestered me to read the first novel of this series as they each finished and raved about it.  Didn’t sound like my type of book, but they kept after me until I took it on vacation one year.  I couldn’t get past the first 75 pages.  Shortly afterwards, the book hit the big time and had a huge reserve list of people waiting to read it.  I tried it again the next year on vacation.  Let me tell you, get past page 90 and you will see what everyone was talking about.  It’s a great time travel book.
Before slasher movies, before everything had to be described or shown in gory detail, there was the terror of what was not seen and only imagined.  Four strangers take up residence in a “haunted house” in order to study what may be the cause of the house’s reputation.  There are two particular events that happen in this book that still give me the shudders…one of them making me be sure that my hand or foot is never protruding from my covers anymore.
The first in a series of books featuring a cast of characters living in a large rental in San Francisco in the 1970s as cultural and sexual change swept the nation.  All were under the care of the mysterious Mrs. Anna Madrigal, the landlady of the building, who guided each of them as if they were her children.  I became so enamored of this series and the characters that for years I did not read the sixth book which was supposed to be the last because I didn’t want it all to end and have to say goodbye to the characters.  The author continued the series after a 17 year gap and came back with 3 more books.  This time I went ahead and finished the series.  What a gift.
By the way, aside from Outlander which hasn’t been completed yet, all of these page-turners were made into excellent movies.  But as usual, go with the original movie and notthe re-make.
Scott Handville, Assistant Library Director

Movies for New Year’s Eve!

Ah, New Year’s Eve!  The promise of a fresh start in a new year!  There are many movies we can think of right off that deal with the Christmas holiday season, but how well has Hollywood dealt with the holiday of New Year’s?  Quick – what movie comes to mind when I say “Happy New Year!“?  Not much comes to mind, does it?

So, in the spirit of the holiday, here are a few movies that have New Year’s as the background for important plot lines:
Poseidon Adventure (1972)At midnight on New Year‘s Eve, the SS Poseidon is struck by a 90-foot tidal wave and is capsized.
The Godfather, Part II (1974) – Michael confronts his brother, Fredo, as a traitor on New Year’s Eve.
Sunset Boulevard (1950)  Gloria Swanson hosts the strangest New Year’s Eve party imaginable for her old Hollywood fogies.
Ocean’s Eleven (1960)  Danny Ocean and his friend Jimmy Foster recruit their buddies to rob four of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas on New Year‘s Eve.
After the Thin Man (1936)  A New Year’s Eve dinner brings murder.
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)  Ah, romance !
While you were sleeping (1995)  Who wouldn’t want to spend New Year’s Eve with Sandra Bullock?
When Harry met Sally (1989)  “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Diner (1982)  One of the guys is set to marry his fiancé on New Year’s Eve IF she can pass his sports quiz thus proving herself (at least in his mind) a perfect match.
Scott Handville, Assistant Director

Off on a trip . . .

When I set off on a vacation, particularly to a place I have never been to before, I enjoy borrowing travel books so I can have the lay of the land and major “hot spots” already in my mind.  The library has many volumes of travel books such as Fodor’s, Frommer’s, and Idiot’s Guides to help you plan and think about your trip way before you actually arrive and begin to make those decisions on the spur of the moment.

I was saved during my first trip to Disney World by these guides.  Without them I would have had no idea where to begin – from which hotel to stay at to which restaurant I might enjoy trying to which theme ride should be tops on my list.  I think I would have literally been wandering around for hours without a real goal just trying to make a decision.
If a trip is in your future – whether it be a cruise, a business trip, a trip to Gettysburg or to Disney World – stop by and borrow a travel guide.  It will make your trip so much easier.
BTW, my top picks for theme rides at Disney are Soarin’, any of the 3D movies, World Showcase Pavilions, Tower of Terror , and Expedition Everest.
Scott Handville, Assistant Director

Loving the movies……..

One of my favorite “reference books” is VideoHounds’ Golden Movie Retriever.  This book rates movies on DVD from a high of four bones to a low of no bones which merits a “Woof!”.  The index is great for accessing movies by actor, director, awards, and even category.  Looking for a movie that deals with Mistaken Identity?  How about Invasion of the Body Snatchers or  Seconds?   VideoHound has 4 columns of titles to keep you busy there.  Want to see something about a wedding from hell?  Head right to that category and see what’s available.  There you will find among others Niagarastarring Marilyn Monroe.  You can even get as narrow a search as Zombie soldiers, such as They Saved Hitler’s Brain.

While browsing through this book, keep in mind that through the Minerva system you have accesses to all other participating libraries and so can have almost any movie you can think of .
From VideoHound:
Niagara (1952)   During their honeymoon in Niagara Falls, a scheming wife (Monroe) plans to kill her crazed war-vet husband.  Little does she know that he is plotting to double-cross her.  Steamy, quasi-Hitchcockian mystery ably directed with interesting performances.
Seconds (1966)   An aging banker is frantic to escape his dead-end existence and accepts an invitation from a mysterious organization to give him a second change at life.  Through surgery, his is transformed into a handsome artist (Rock Hudson) with a new identity.  Uncomfortably living in Malibu, he soon finds out all his new neighbors are also “seconds” who are afraid he’ll betray their secrets.  He decides he wants out of his new arrangement and back to his former life but it comes at a very high price.  Eerie film manages to (mostly) overcome its plot problems, with a fine performance by Hudson.
And a small film that is a personal favorite of mine:
Strangers in Good Company (1991)  A loving metaphor to growing older.  Director Scott uses non-actors for every role in this quiet little film about a bus-load of elderly women lost in the Canadian wilderness.  They wait for rescue without histrionics, using the opportunity instead to get to know each other and nature.  Beautifully made, intelligent, uncommon and worthwhile.
Scott Handville, Assistant Director

Minerva Tips

Secret Hint –  If you are reserving an extremely popular title on Minerva, look for and reserve the large print copy.  Chances are that it will have fewer reserves on it, and you will therefore get it faster.

 A couple of examples would be The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins – 237 holds on the regular print copy, compared to 20 holds on the large print copy.
 Or . . .
Guilty Wives by James Patterson – 129 holds on the regular print and 20 on the large print edition.