8 Awesome Media (From the Library) I’m Enjoying Right Now


Hello, little guy! It’s the sweetie man coming! ~Wikus van de Merwe

And I do have sweeties to give...trust me

Ever since I started linking to other blogs more and more, the most miraculous thing has happened. I’ve found more and more topics to write about based on what others have written. Take this post for example, written by the very talented Ellie Ann. It made me not only want to read more classics (every library worker says this), but create lists of my own. So, for today, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
 
When it comes to reading, music, and movies, I’m the ultimate sponge. If it looks interesting, I’ll ingest it. Sure, the aftertaste may be bad, but I’ll not have lost anything since the item came from the library. (Well, there’s time, I suppose.) Let this post also serve as a not-so-subtle reminder that your local public library is free and they have all kinds of awesome stuff. If you think all they have are labyrinths of dusty old books, think again. Libraries are the perfect marriage of 19th-century classicism and 21st-century technology. It’s almost, you know, like steampunk come to life (which is one guess I have as to why the subculture is so popular among libraries.)
 
This is simply a hits list of items I’m either taking in right now or have enjoyed in the past weeks. I’ve noted the format of each and provided a link for my readers to check them out if they so desire. Remember…these all came from a library. Chances are, if you’re near a library of a decent size, you’ll be able to enjoy them free as well.
 
#1. For the Win by Cory Doctorow (CD audio book)
 

I picked up this book because I’d put my writing into one of those “which famous author does your work resemble?” apps. I couldn’t have chosen a better writing role model. Doctorow’s book, advertised as a young adult novel, is much more: the perfect dystopian novel for the Occupy crowd AND the Ayn Rand disciples. If I were teaching a 10th-grade English class, this might be a book I assigned. It covers everything from economic theory to chaos and game theory to the exploitation of workers in third-world nightmares. It’s one of those books we should read before it gets permanently banned. It’s that subversive.

#2. Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson (hard copy book)

Another story I thought I knew by heart…and yet Swanson puts a fresh spin on things. On a recent visit to the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield, IL, my interest in this classic American tragedy was re-ignited. It’s a story with so many twists and turns and betrayals that it just had to be true. Perfect for the true-crime junkie, the history buff, or for those looking to understand the madness behind the Lincoln assassination. Fast-paced and cinematic in its detail.

#3. The Lord of the Rings Symphony by Howard Shore (digital download)

Even if you’re not a fan of Peter Jackson’s towering trilogy (and if you’re not, I pity you, fool), the Oscar-winning score has to be one of the great musical achievements of the past decade. Majestic, inspiring, and the perfect backdrop to inspire good writing. It brings me literally to tears. That’s how good it is.

#4. Rango soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and John Powell (CD)

Can’t pick a more radically different suite of music from LoTR…but that’s OK. I’ve long been a fan of Zimmer, and Powell has become a favorite ever since Chicken Run. This loopy CD, despite its short length, is a loving tribute to all the old Sergio Leone westerns with a modern twist. Los Lobos provide the voice of the Greek chorus of mariachi owls…for a bonus. And look out for that wacky bluegrass arrangement of “Ride of the Valkyries!”

#5. Battlestar Galactica: The Original Series (DVD box set)

You wanna know why I never got around to watching the original BSG? ‘Cause I thought it was just a cheesy, low-budget Star Wars ripoff. (It kind of is, but that’s not the point.) Considering when it was made, the series is fun, action-packed, and a total blast to watch. Even I, as a die-hard Dwight Schultz fan, have to admit that Dirk Benedict is smokin’ hot here. When it comes to late ’70s cheese, it doesn’t get any better than this.

#6. The People vs. George Lucas (DVD)

I feel like I’m getting older when some of the fangirlish things I used to do no longer apply. This snarky, witty documentary pulled me back into it all, at least for 90 minutes. Sure, on the surface it’s about what a hardcore bunch Star Wars are as a whole, but it also examines a number of important points about artistic integrity and movies as history. I don’t know about you, but I’m keeping my uncut copies of Star Wars as permanent mementos.

#7. Harry Potter: From Page to Screen (hard copy book)

Perfect example of a book I really want, but can’t afford on my salary. That’s one reason I love the library. I can check out books as awesome as this, which is every film junkie, cosplayer, and re-enactor’s wet dream. Literally everything you ever wanted to know about the Harry Potter films, from concept art to costume design to scripts. Now, if only I could get a book like this about The A-Team.

#8. Starting Out in Chinese (Playaway)

If you’re like me, you may be relatively new to the world of Playaways. These ingenious little gadgets, as I describe them to patrons, are self-contained iPods for books. Each holds a single book and requires only headphones and a battery. Much more portable than the CD book, long the gold standard in the industry. If you’re a gym rat like me, and want to learn a new language, this is the perfect solution. Yīzhǒng yǔyán yǒngyuǎn bùgòu!

So, if you haven’t been to the library for a while and think it’s dusty and boring, I hope I’ve convinced you otherwise (hey, this is all job security for me…I’m not doing this purely altruistically! Just kidding.)

Here’s some possible savings to build your own awesome media library: Buy.com coupon code

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to click “Like” and subscribe if you haven’t already! Don’t forget: you still have time to enter the Super Bowl contest for a chance to win a prize…

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on January 19, 2012.

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