Star Wars Mania!

Working as a public librarian I see all the wonderful Star Wars material that comes through the library. From musical CD's to the movie DVD's to William Shakespeare's Star Wars Collection, I have seen it all!! One of the collection librarians at HCPLC put together this wonderful sampling of materials available through my library system! If you don't live in Tampa you can check with your local system about the availability of the titles, or request an ILL! I have already placed a hold on the John Williams CD so you'll have to wait for me to finish listening to that one with the #TampaTrio Cool  Or if your library subscribes to Hoopla you can get it RIGHT AWAY by clicking HERE



John Williams & The Boston Pops Orchestra

Travel through the cosmos with over two hours of space-themed music from the Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by the original Star Wars soundtrack composer, John Williams. Contains the music from the original Star Wars trilogy as well as other intergalactic music, ranging from the themes of Alien and Star Trek to Battlestar Galactica and Gustav Holst's The Planets.
John Williams

The music that John Williams has created for the Star Wars franchise has become just as iconic as the films themselves. The Academy Award winner returns to a galaxy far, far away with another epic score.



George Lucas' prequel to his world famous franchise, in which we discover the origins of Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi and the rivalry between them.


Ten years after the Trade Federation's hostilities against Naboo, Queen Padme Amidala has traded in her crown for a seat on the Galactic Senate. An assassination attempt on Padme brings Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi back into her life.


Torn between loyalty to his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the seductive powers of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker ultimately turns his back on the Jedi, thus completing his journey to the dark side and his transformation into Darth Vader.


Luke Skywalker, with his new allies, attempts to rescue rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the Empire. The conclusion is culminated as the Rebels make an attack on the Empire’s most powerful and ominous weapon, the Death Star.


Fleeing the evil Galactic Empire, the rebels abandon their new base on Hoth. Princess Leia, Han Solo, R2-D2 and C-3PO escape in the damaged Millennium Falcon. Later, on Bespin, they are captured by Darth Vader. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker follows Ben Kenobi's posthumous command and receives Jedi training by Yoda on Dagobah.


Darth Vader and the Empire are building a new, indestructible Death Star. Meanwhile, Han Solo has been imprisoned, and Luke Skywalker has sent R2D2 and C3PO to try and free him. Princess Leia, disguised as a bounty hunter, and Chewbacca go along as well. The final battle takes place on the moon of Endor, with its natural inhabitants, the Ewoks, lending a hand to the rebels.




By Alan Dean Foster

Set years after Return of the Jedi, this stunning new action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters.

By Ian Doescher

Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas's epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. Includes William Shakespeare's Star Wars; The Empire Striketh Back; and The Jedi Doth Return.

By Chris Taylor

How did a few notes scribbled on a legal pad in 1973 by George Lucas turn into a four billion dollar franchise? Taylor unearths the stories that have gone into the making of the legend, and describes how and why Star Wars has been such an astonishing success. He traces the history of the series from its difficult birth through four drafts, a disastrous first cut, and many sequels and spin-offs. It's the saga of how a young filmmaker's idea became such an immense, transformative cultural force.

What I've Been Reading

I haven't blogged about my current reads in over a month!! And I've certainly read a lot over the past 34 days.

Since my last post November 6, I've read:

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer

The Nightingale

The Night Circus

Serafina and the Black Cloak


and I'm currently reading Wildflower by Drew Barrymore. I love it when audio books are narrated by the author.

Cover art 

I also read quite a bit of Norse Mythology to help Haley with her National History Day project.

Of all the books I read this month, two really stand out; The Nightingale and The Night Circus. I loved them both so much and they are so different! But at the core they are both about the power of love.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead."

I loved this book! The imagery was amazing and I felt transported. I wanted to become a Reveur. The illusions that Celia and Marco created were awe-inspiring. The scene where Celia and Marco disappear into a sea of ink on a boat with sails made of books. “Only the ship is made of books, its sails thousands of overlapping pages, and the sea it floats upon is dark black ink.” I loved this imagery. And Celia's dresses sound just amazing! You can view the fan trailer for the potential movie below.


And now...The Nightingale. Sigh. So many feels.

"In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gaetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women."
Having recently read All the Light We Cannot See I wasn't sure that I would like The Nightingale.  I'm so glad I gave it a chance. I actually enjoyed it more than All the Light.
This map features some of the locations featured in this remarkable tale of war time France. Touraine is in the Loire Valley where Carriveau is located in the novel.
Be prepared to weep when you read this book. What these women went through, what they suffered, what they saw. The brutality of it all and the unfairness of their situation – grabs you by the throat and never lets you go.
What the novel excels at is the stark portrayal of the decisions these women faced on a daily basis. Imagine having a Nazi soldier take over your home? Your children starving because of the rations, the inability to do and go where you want? The fear and the not knowing. The Nazis do everything to break the spirit of the French people and the death camps are in full operation. These scenes are amongst the most heartbreaking I’ve ever read.
I can't imagine the courage that these women had. They were so brave. I try to imagine a 20something ME leading downed RAF men through the Pyrenees Mountains like Isabelle did and I can't even.....
Though the cold winters, ice, snow. Minimal food. Ill fitting shoes. Not enough clothing. Hardly any sleep.
The Nightingale left me in tears. Sobbing. Gut wrenching. A must read.
What have you been reading lately?

Take Your Child to Work Day 2015

This is a guest post by my 11 year old daughter, Haley. Last year I was working full time as a lifestyle blogger and Haley was able to come with me to Lowry Park Zoo. You can read her recap about last year's experience HERE. But this year...this year I'm working full-time as a senior level librarian with Tampa-Hillsborough Public Libraries, so in 2015, Haley got to spend the day with me seeing what it's like to work as a librarian.

Guest post by Haley Hodges, age 11.

Take your child to work day is a great day to spend time with your parents. I learned that working full-time and having a family is REALLY HARD and very time challenging. But there are also a lot of benefits.

One way that it's challenging is that my mom has so many things to do during the day. Her morning starts early when she has to not only get herself ready for work, but get me, my sister, and my brother ready for school. She makes our breakfast, makes sure our homework is signed and completed, and that we have everything we need for our day.

And then she drives us to school, and then she has to drive to work.

I never realized that there was SO MUCH traffic in Tampa in the morning. My mom loves to listen to audiobooks, so we listened to one of her stories on the way down to visit with the bookmobile.


I loved meeting all my mama's staff, but once they left for the day we drove down to another library for mama to work.

That is another challenging aspect of my mama's job. She moves around a lot to help out at different libraries.

At the Bloomingdale Library they had a gift bag ready for me! It had bookmarks, coloring pages, crayons, pencils, and the COOLEST USB that you wear on your wrist like a bracelet. That thing is AWESOME!!

My mama has to do a lot at the library. She works the reference desk, helps people with computers, had to unload books, process books, put books in order, it was a lot of work.

My favorite part of the day was working on the reference desk.

I really liked being able to watch my mama in action, answering the phone, helping people find the answers to all sorts of questions, teaching people how to use the computer and printers.

My least favorite part, which started off really fun, was processing the book returns and delivery. Every book has to be checked in, and if the book is on hold, a special sticker is printed up and it goes on the book spine label and then we have to put the books in alphabetical order by patron last name, and then those have to go on a special "holds" shelf out on the public floor. It was a lot of work, and after an hour or so my brain really started to spin. I didn't want to do that anymore.

And then at the end of the day, we still had an hour or so drive home where my mom still had to cook dinner, check homework, and get everything ready for the next day.

She told me that she normally tries to go to the gym on her lunch break so she can get in her run. My mama really seems like she can do it all.

The benefits to working as a librarian are that you get to help people all day long. I like helping people, and I know that my mom does, too.

I thought Bring Your Child to Work Day was very fun. But I'm not sure I want to be a librarian when I grow up.