Melinda

  •  What to Read Next

    There’s no wrong way to pick which book to read, but it can be so hard to choose! Sometimes I look at my (very long) to-read list and get overwhelmed by all the equally wonderful-looking options. Other times I get hit with reader’s block and I just can’t want to decide what to read. I love recommendations from friends and librarians (hint, hint), but sometimes I know what I’m looking for…or at least I’ll know it when I find it. Whenever you find yourself wondering, “what next?”, we’ve got plenty of ways to help you out.

    BOOKLISTS

    You’ve probably seen our brightly colored booklists around the library already. These helpful guides can be found around the reference desks and on special book displays. Besides our annual “Best Of” lists for both fiction and nonfiction, we have lists for all sorts of genres, alternate formats (like audio books and documentaries), grade-levels, and more for all ages. We review our booklists each year to keep them fresh and up to date. If you don’t see one that strikes your fancy, just ask a Librarian and they will show you the booklists that aren’t on display – yes, we’ve got that many. If you’re browsing from home, all of our booklists can be found online (http://www.provolibrary.com/booklists), too! Here are some of our MVPs:

    Librarian Favorites – With a version for adult and young adult readers, this list is great for suggestions across all genres, whether you want fiction or nonfiction. All titles included on this list are actual favorites of the librarian who suggested them. Yep, that means we read it and loved it. If you’re open to options across genres but want a personal endorsement too, this is the booklist for you.

    Clean Reads – This list includes titles without graphic violence, language, or adult content – the key word being “graphic.” Books on this list may have an expletive or two, some violence or sexual references, but not in explicit, gory detail. Also available in young adult and adult versions, this list is great for readers looking for a great book on the lighter side of things.

    BOOK BLOGS

    Obviously, you already know about this blog, but did you know we have two other blogs dedicated to recommending books to you? The Library Staff Reviews blog features both nonfiction and fiction books from the Adult and Young Adult collections that we librarians are reading. You can browse through the posts or use the “Labels” links on the right-side menu to see posts sorted by tags like Staff Picks, Clean Reads, Romance, Graphic Novels, and SCI-FI.

    For recommendations from the Children’s collection, head to the Children’s Book Reviews blog. You’ll see posts of individual titles plus posts listing several books related to our displays. Like the Library Staff Reviews blog, you’ll also find labels on the right-side menu if you want to look for posts on specific topics. We only post reviews of books that we’d actually recommend to you, so any title you find on these blogs is a winner as far as we’re concerned!

    LIBRARIANS

    You’ll hear us librarian say it again and again: we love giving you recommendations! Come on up to a reference desk (we’re really nice, I swear) and tell us you need help choosing a book. Better yet, ask us what tricks we use to help people decide what to read! While we often can suggest a book off the top of our head, we also use our booklists, the library blogs, and other resources like Novelist Plus (it’s so cool!) to pick something out for you. We’re happy to share all our tricks and tips with you!

    If you don’t have time to stop and chat, you can fill out a Personalized Reading Recommendation request online. Once you fill out the questionnaire, a librarian will use your answers and email you a list of 3-5 books tailored to your preferences! 

    That’s enough from me – it’s time for you to find out what’s next! Be sure to tell us if a booklist ,blog post, or recommendation helped you find an amazing book!

  •  dance movies

    February 24th is National Dance Day! Whether you’ve got two left feet or you’re the twinkle toes of your squad, you can celebrate with these great dance flicks this weekend: 

    2.23 The Red ShoesTHE RED SHOES
    Directed by by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
    (1948)

    THE RED SHOES is the Mother of All Dance Films. Gorgeously filmed, this movie tells the tale of a talented ballerina torn between her love of ballet and love for a gifted composer, as her unyielding mentor will not allow her both. Nominated for five Oscars, winning the award for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction, this film broke ground in film editing and cinematography. This wasn’t the first film to feature dancing, musical films having hit the scene decades before, but it was the first to of what today we call a dance film. While it only had a limited release in the United States, its success is linked to movie studios’ revamping the then-stale musical film genre, which had exploded in the 1920s and with the exception of some major hits (thanks Ginger and Fred), had exhausted audience interest with formulaic, unoriginal productions. Think of some classic musical films right now. Chances are, most of the ones springing to mind feature fabulous dancing and were made post-THE RED SHOES.

     

    2.23 Step UpSTEP UP
    Directed by Anne Fletcher
    (2006) 

    After a dry spell in the 90s, dance movies made their way back to the box office with offerings like CENTER STAGE, SAVE THE LAST DANCE, SHALL WE DANCE (see Honorable Mentions below). But 2006, ah, that was the year that heralded the dance movie renaissance – and the arrival of Channing Tatum. Tatum and his wife Jenna met starring in this story of a street-smart boy and a high-achieving girl brought together by chance when her dance partner gets injured, and how dance brings them together. STEP UP combines classic dance/musical film elements with timeless coming-of-age themes creating a movie that’s entertaining and has got some meat. Sure, it’s still another teen movie that spawned a multitude of sequels, each more corny and ill-conceived than the last (plot wise only, the dancing is still TOP NOTCH), but STEP UP will make your heart dance – and the rest of you, too.  

     

    2.23 Strictly BallroomSTRICTLY BALLROOM
    Directed by Baz Luhrmann
    (1993) 

    The first of Baz Luhrmann’s “red curtain trilogy,” STRICTLY BALLROOM is strictly delightful. Watch Scott, a champion ballroom dancer, defy convention and take the Australian Pan Pacific Championship by storm with the help of a new, less experienced partner. Although a lighter, more heartwarming offering than his later films ROMEO + JULIET  and MOULIN ROUGE, this film has all the trademarks of Luhrmann’s signature style. With fantastic acting, vibrant colors, stunning editing, and incredible music, STRICTLY BALLROOM is a veritable feast of entertainment.  

     

    2.23 FootlooseFOOTLOOSE
    Directed by Herbert Ross
    (1984) 

    Don’t worry, I could never forget this masterpiece. I mean, you gotta cut loose. The one and only Kevin Bacon stars in this dance/musical flick as a city-boy suddenly stuck in a small town where dancing has been – gasp – banned!  It’s the age-old struggle of young versus old, and extreme protective measures actually encouraging the very behavior they meant to avoid. You might notice some familiar sights while you watch, since FOOTLOOSE was filmed right here in Utah County! After watching, take a pilgrimage and visit all the sites. Locations include the Lehi Roller Mills, Springville and Payson’s high schools, and most memorably, Geneva Steel as the stage for the best anger-dance montage in movie history. And if you’re so inclined, do a double feature and compare the original to the 2011 remake.  

     

    2.23 Take the LeadTAKE THE LEAD
    Directed by Liz Friedlander
    (2006) 

    Antonio Banderas teaching teens to do ballroom? Yes please! Better yet, TAKE THE LEAD is based on the true story of dance teacher Pierre Dulaine, who saw an opportunity to help at-risk teens learn trust, confidence, and teamwork using ballroom dance. While it plays out like many classroom parables, I love that this film stresses that trusting and respectful relationships contribute to fulfillment and success. You’ll love the characters, the dancing (Jenna Dewan Tatum wowing us again), the warm fuzzy-feels – everything. Like I said earlier, 2006 was the great year of dance movies, so don’t miss this. And if you find yourself needing more, check out the documentary MAD HOT BALLROOM, about participants in Pierre Dulaine’s dance program for fifth graders in New York City.  

     

    Honorable Mentions:

    LEAP 

    SAVE THE LAST DANCE 

    SHALL WE DANCE   

    Available at Orem Public Library:

    CENTER STAGE   

    BILLY ELLIOT

    BLACK SWAN

    FLASHDANCE

  •  re reads 1

    As much as I enjoy discovering a new book or author, re-reading an old favorite is like sitting down with a dear friend for a long-overdue visit. For this Friday Faves, I wanted to share the top five stand-alone titles that I love to re-read. Happy Reading (and rereading)!

    The Red TentTHE RED TENT
    by Anita Diamant
    (1998)

    This reimagining brings the ancient account of the Book of Genesis to life through the eyes of Jacob’s only daughter, Dinah. In a family of a dozen sons, Dinah is sole heiress to the traditions and knowledge of her mothers. Honest and genuine as she shares her epic journey, you’ll feel as though Dinah were a life-long friend.

     

     

    Till We Have FacesTILL WE HAVE FACES: A MYTH RETOLD
    by C.S. Lewis
    (1985)

    Few books have affected me as much as this gorgeous retelling of the Psyche and Cupid myth. The story centers on Orual, the infamously ugly eldest sister of Psyche, whose astounding beauty earns her the wrath of the goddess Ungit. Lewis’ take on this age-old story explores love in all its forms – familial and romantic, possessive and selfless, destructive and nurturing – as Orual grapples with the divine for understanding and justice.  

     

     

    The Two Princesses of BamarreTHE TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE
    by Gail Carson Levine
    (2001)

    You’ve probably heard of ELLA ENCHANTED (another great one to re-read), but you may not have heard of this charming tale. These two sisters couldn’t be more different; Addie is fearful and shy, while brave Meryl longs for adventure. Their world is turned upside down when Meryl contracts the mortal plague known as Gray Death. Desperate to save her sister, Addie takes up a quest to cure the incurable. Can she face her fears – not to mention monsters and other dangers – before it’s too late?  

     

    Good OmensGOOD OMENS: THE NICE AND ACCURATE PROPHECIES OF AGNES NUTTER, WITCH
    by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    (1990)

    In short, this is one of the most hilarious books ever written. The End Times are upon us, but never fear, Arizaphale and Crowley are on the case. You’ve definitely heard of them, if not by name; you know, that angel with the flaming sword at the gate of Eden and that demon, aka “the serpent,” who tempted Eve? That’s them. They’ve been living among us a long time and quite like things as they are. All they have to do to stop the Apocalypse and dodge the forces of both Good and Evil and find the Antichrist - but that darn kid isn’t where he should be…  

     

    The Importance of Being EarnestTHE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
    by Oscar Wilde
    (1895)

    If you’ve never experienced the unparalleled wit and sass of Oscar Wilde, start with this side-splitting play. John has invented a younger brother named Ernest, a debt-ridden scoundrel, to use as an excuse (and alias) to go to London whenever he likes. Complications arise when he falls for the lovely Gwendolyn, cousin to his friend Algernon, and wants to propose – but her mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell, will have none of it. Mistaken identity, romance, family secrets, stress eating – this play has it all. When you’re finished reading, check out the delightful film adaptation starring Collin Firth, Rupert Everett, Frances O’Conner, Judy Dench, and Reese Witherspoon. 

  •  Graphic Novels you Can Give Without Worry 1

    Books make the best Christmas gifts! Alright, sure, I am a little biased, but I firmly believe there is a book for everyone, even for the pickiest of readers.  Last month, I wrote a post singing the praises of graphic novels and why you should read them. All those reasons also apply to why graphic novels make great gifts!

    Last year, we published a list of well-reviewed, clean graphic novels that make great gifts for anyone on your list. We’ve had such great feedback about last year’s suggestions, so here is an updated edition including some newer releases that have hit the shelves since then.

    12.7 Rebel LadiesBRAZEN: REBEL LADIES WHO ROCKED THE WORLD
    By Penelope Bagieu
    (2018) 

    With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Penelope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.

     

    12.7 The Prince and the DressmakerTHE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER
    By Jen Wang
    (2018) 

    Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride--or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. Sebastian's secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances--one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone's secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend?

     

    12.7 SheetsSHEETS
    By Brenna Thummler
    (2018) 

    Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen-year-old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she's worked for.

     

    12.7 ApolloAPOLLO
    By Matt Fitch
    (2018) 

    In 1969, humankind set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins carried the fire for all the world. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, the three boarded a rocket and flew through the void, just to know that we could. In Apollo, Matt Fitch, Chris Baker, and Mike Collins unpack the urban legends, the gossip, and the speculation to reveal a remarkable true story about life, death, dreams, and the reality of humanity's greatest exploratory achievement

     

    12.7 The Gigantic Beard that was EvilTHE GIGANTIC BEARD THAT WAS EVIL
    By Stephen Collins
    (2013) 

    On the buttoned-down island of Here, all is well. By which we mean: orderly, neat, contained, and, moreover, beardless. Or at least it is until one famous day, when Dave, bald but for a single hair, finds himself assailed by a terrifying, unstoppable... monster*! (*beard) Where did it come from? How should the islanders deal with it? And what, most importantly, are they going to do with Dave? 

     

    Happy gift-giving! If you missed last year’s list, check it out here.

  • not original

    Unless you live off-grid, it’s no news to you how sequels, spin-offs, remakes, and reboots seem to dominate the box office, TV schedules, and even bookshelves. According to an article written in June 2015, only 39% of the high-grossing films released between 2005 and 2014 were fully original, non-derivative content. Three years later, it seems like the trend has only grown. But I’m not here to bash remakes, adaptations, spin-offs, etc. because if truth be told, there are plenty of great ones that deserve to be celebrated. 

    I’ll share some of my favorites from the library’s shelves with you in a series of posts, of which this is the first. Today’s list will focus on movies whose plots are actually adapted from/inspired by classic literature - and you may not have even noticed: 

    10.10 10 Things I Hate About You10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
    Directed by Gil Junger
    (1999) 

    Adapted from William Shakespeare’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.
    Starring Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt.

    This modern take on Shakespeare is anything but a bland teen rom-com. Along with the mishaps of teenage romance, this film offers much more, exploring coming-of-age themes such as forming identity, evaluating priorities, navigating social and familial expectations, reputation/image, and the importance of self-respect. Oh, and Heath Ledger does a musical number, in case you still needed persuasion. 

    10.10 CluelessCLUELESS
    Directed by Amy Heckerling
    (1995) 

    Adapted from Jane Austen’s EMMA.
    Starring Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, and Paul Rudd. 

    Really! Austen gets a 90’s makeover in this film, where the English countryside society is swapped for the 90210 – Beverly Hills, that is. And for those of you who have a hard time liking the meddling Emma in the original story, her antics are more endearing coming from a pampered 16-year-old. Which of us didn’t think we knew everything at that age, right? Despite the peak 90’s styles, tech, and culture, the movie still holds up; you’ll envy Cher’s closet-organizing software - I sure do! And then there’s the question of how Paul Rudd hasn’t seemed to age since 1995…  

    10.10 O Brother Where Are ThouO BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
    Directed by Joel Coen
    (2001) 

    Adapted from Homer’s THE ODYSSEY.
    Starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson (all with honey-sweet southern drawls).

    Mythical adventure gets down-to-earth in this adaptation of Homer’s epic poem. Hilarity ensues as three jailbirds in in 1930’s Mississippi dodge the law, unsavory folk, and more as they seek “The Treasure.” This is one of my all-time favorites for several reasons; you’ve got loveable scamps on a passionate quest, rich historical setting, flawless soundtrack (featuring the stars themselves), and laughs galore. It pulls you in so well you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time. Homer even gets credited as co-writer! 

    10.10 Shes the ManSHE’S THE MAN
    Directed by Andy Fickman
    (2006) 

    Adapted from William Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT.
    Starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum.

    I make no apologies for including another Shakespeare play on this list, particularly when Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum are involved. Bynes is at the top of her game in this hilarious tale of love triangles (seriously there’s about five…five and a half…I tried to chart it out once, it’s a mess) and mistaken identities. While definitely a comedy, there’s also a good dose of warm fuzzies with themes of going after your dreams and being yourself. 

    10.10 The Scarlet PimpernelTHE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
    Directed by Clive Donner
    (1982)

    Adapted from Baroness Emmuska Orczy’s THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL and ELDORADO.
    Starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Sir Ian McKellen. 

    I know this may seem like a stretch, but hear me out – this movie totally belongs on this list. The reason I’m including it here is…drumroll please…The Scarlet Pimpernel is not just a book, it’s a series! Okay, that is a bit of a stretch, but I for one had no idea there was a whole series of the Scarlet Pimpernel’s adventures. This film version is based on two books in the expansive series written by the Baroness, mostly drawing from the book Eldorado rather than The Scarlet Pimpernel. Mainly though, this made the list because it is a great flick; it’s just plain fun and ever so quotable. “Sink me,” I love it so!  

    What titles would you have put on this list? Stay tuned for more adaptations and remakes worth your time!

     

  • Headphones freegal music listening

    We library staff have been working hard to make sure you know all the great services you can access with your library card. If you visited us in the last few weeks, I bet you heard us talking about Freegal Music, a downloadable streaming music service. Freegal Music gives you access to millions of songs (and even music videos!), with five hours of AD-FREE streaming per day and three FREE downloads per week. Use online or by mobile app, with no extra software or subscription needed. And for those of you already enjoying this awesome service, Freegal just got a makeover on April 4th, making it even easier to use!

    To get started:

    1. Access Freegal Music online via the link above, the Digital Services page of the Provo City Library website, or by installing the Freegal Music mobile app onto your device. It’s free!

    2. Sign in with your library card number and PIN

    3. Browse and search for music!

    4. Enjoy 5 hours of ad-free streaming daily and 3 downloads weekly 

    Like many of you, music played (ha! accidental pun but I’m keeping it) a large role in my family’s culture. Both my parents adore music and many of us kids play instruments and sing. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in the high school’s auditorium, watching my siblings perform in concerts and musicals and of shivering on icy metal bleachers for marching band half-time shows. Calling shotgun was a more extreme sport than even our most grueling nerf battles, since the coveted seat also came with radio station/cassette tape/cd selection powers. You’d think that this would make long car trips torturous, with six kids vying for musical control, but funnily enough it wasn’t a problem. Despite the wide range of tastes in our family of eight, we all agree: our road trip tunes were awesome. Even now, if we hear one of our family favorites, we’ll burst into song. Memories like that make life special, don’t they?

    With spring cleaning, summer road trips and barbecues on the horizon, there’s plenty of occasion to bring more music into your life. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming either - between Freegal Music for tunes on the go and our collection of cd’s at the library, you’ll never lack for the perfect soundtrack.

  •  Graphic Novels1 updated

    It may surprise you to hear that despite my great interest and enthusiasm for graphic novels and comics, I actually haven’t read very many yet! But like many good things – ice cream, cozy blankets, mountains, label makers – you don’t need to have tried them all to know how wonderful a medium it is. But, because I’m so in love with graphic novels, I want to read more of them. Come New Year’s, as I pondered my 2019 reading goals (the only New Year’s resolution I bother to make), I had a thought. A bold, possibly (probably) crazy thought.

    What if I read every graphic novel in the library?

    So I did the math. And realized just how many graphic novels we have at the library.

    math meme

    I realized this really was a crazy idea. Unless…

    Good Idea

    Parameters! Yes! Setting some guidelines wouldn’t hurt; sure, it might change the idea a bit, but realistic goals are good goals.After a few minutes, my crazy idea evolved into a legend of a goal. Drumroll, please:

    READ GOAL 2019

    Yes, I cut back on my original idea by focusing on just the Graphic Novel section in the adult collection of the library. It may seem like a lot, excluding books found in the Juvenile Comics, Young Adult Comics, and Overdrive collections. But with approximately 805 titles (and counting) in the Graphic Novel section alone, I’d say I have my work cut out for me. And to ensure success, I decided to share my goal with you, dear readers! It begins! Stay tuned for updates on my progress or decent into madness, whatever the case may be.

    Have you made any reading goals for 2019? Do you think I’m going to lose my mind attempting mine? Comment and let us know

  • Graphic Novels

    It’s okay to have a favorite genre. It’s okay to be afraid to branch out. Though a rare event, I know how bitterly disappointing it is to try a new book and hate it. Such travesty I would not wish upon my worst enemy! (Kidding, I would, #slytherin). That said, I wouldn’t be doing due diligence as a librarian if I didn’t give you a helpful nudge out of your reading rut.  

    May I suggest reading graphic novels?

    “Graphic novels aren’t real books.”

    “Those are just for kids, people should grow out of that.”

    “What’s to read? They’re just pictures with blurbs”

    “I’m not into superheroes or that Japanese stuff.”

    If you had any of these thoughts, please allow me to meme at you for a moment.

    2gzi50

    Don’t be afraid. I’m here to guide you.

    Graphic novels are certainly real books, with character development, rich plotlines, exploratory themes, symbols, morals – you name it, they’ve got it. They aren’t just for kids, though there are titles written for all audiences. And there’s plenty of graphic novels written in all styles and genres, not just superhero comics or “that Japanese stuff” - or as it’s actually called, manga. And sure, you’re allowed to read what you already know you love (that’s one of the joys of reading!), but you’re missing out if you wave off this versatile, engaging medium.

    That’s right, graphic novels are a medium of storytelling, not a genre. Understanding this concept breaks many of the misconceptions I mentioned above. The visual component of graphic novels is part of the storytelling. And I don’t mean just the illustrations, but all its facets:  style, color, division of space on the page, panel shapes, panel borders, speech bubbles, captions, and more! Like other novelists write books in verse, prose, letters, journal entries, and more, graphic novel artists use visual elements to best present the story. It’s fascinating to see how different artists employ visual techniques in their story telling!

    Just like traditional novels, graphic novels cross all genres. It’s one of the beauties of the medium! With that said, that can make it hard to know where to start. Here are some suggestions for you:

    Genre: Memoir

    I could really go on and on about graphic memoirs, but I’ll let you explore this past blog post. My first non-manga, non-superhero graphic novel was MAUS, a popular, compelling read that introduces many people to the world of graphic novels. If you want something with a lighter tone, anything by Lucy Knisley (author of RELISH: MY LIFE IN THE KITCHEN) is an excellent choice. Her friendly, relatable tone and use of light, pastel color palette make her books, especially this one, a great choice for the shy newcomer.

    11.2 MausMAUS I
    by Art Spiegelman
    (1980)

     

    11.2 RelishRELISH: MY LIFE IN THE KITCHEN
    by Lucy Knisley
    (2013)

     

    Genre: Classics

    11.2 MetamorphosisMETAMORPHOSIS
    by Kafka 
    (2003)

    Kafka’s tales lend themselves so very well to visual interpretation. Acclaimed graphic artist Peter Kuper presents a kinetic illustrated adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. Kuper's electric drawings--where American cartooning meets German expressionism--bring Kafka's prose to vivid life, reviving the original story's humor and poignancy in a way that will surprise and delight readers of Kafka and graphic novels alike.

     

    Genre: Magical Realism

    11.2 I Kill GiantsI KILL GIANTS
    by Joe Kelly
    (2008)

     

    Genre: Mystery

    11.2 Girl Over ParisGIRL OVER PARIS
    by Kate Leth
    (2016)

     

    Hopefully I’ve shown you how graphic novels would be a great addition to your to-read list! If you’re interested in reading more, check out this blog post that provides some fun fact and additional reading about graphic novels. And if you want a personalized recommendation, please come see us at the Reference Desk!

     
  • Worst Moms

    Not to brag, but I won the cosmic lottery when it comes to moms. My mom is the actual best mother in the history of the known universe. But even with such cause to celebrate her magnificence, I find the Hallmarky saccharine brand of hoopla just, well, gross. If you’re as #done with consumerist schmaltz as I am and looking for a new angle of mother appreciation (or want to feel better about your own mothering), check out these books featuring my picks for top five worst moms in literature:

    5.30 Pride and Prejudice5) Mrs. Bennet

    PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
    By Jane Austen
    (1813)

    Trying  to get five daughters married off before your husband dies and leaves you all penniless would be enough stress to drive anyone to the brink, and I sympathize, truly, but not enough to overlook the hot mess of a mother that is Mrs. Bennet. Mrs. Bennet lacks tact, maturity, and indeed any sense of shame. It’s not like she doesn’t know how to behave, she just doesn’t much care. You think she would, you know, being so worried about her daughters’ futures, but alas, no such luck.

    Yikes Level: PERMANENT HAND-SHAPED BRUISE ON MY FOREHEAD FROM FACEPALMING

     

    5.30 A Game of Thrones4) Cersei Lannister

    SONG OF ICE AND FIRE SERIES (Game of Thrones)
    By George R.R. Martin
    (1996 - present)

    In this series, bad dads outnumber the bad moms by a LOT, but what few there are sure go for gold. First there’s Cersei, the queen, a spoiled, entitled, scheming woman who cares for no one but her children. Unfortunately that motherly love doesn’t do much good in the way of actual parenting; her eldest son is, in a word, monstrous. Maybe he’s born that way or maybe it’s parenting, but we’ll never know, since Cersei refuses to think ill of her precious princeling.

    Yikes Level: LOSE YOUR VOICE SCREAMING “SHAME!”

     

    5.30 Carrie3) Margaret White

    CARRIE
    By Stephen King
    (1974)

    The sins of the fathers – or mother in this case – don’t rest upon the child’s head but they sure can make an impact. Margaret is a glaring advertisement for therapy and forgiving yourself. Consumed with guilt after becoming pregnant at age 17, Margaret takes everything to the fanatic extreme – with a capital F E. Poor Carrie is basically set up for failure between her mother’s abuse and bullying at school.

    Yikes Level: ALL THE YIKES

     

    5.30 Coraline2) The Other Mother

    CORALINE
    By Neil Gaiman
    (2002)

    No, I’m not mom-shaming Coraline’s actual mother. The “other mother” through the portal in the wall is the one you should watch out for. That manipulative, murderous, child-snatching monster is the stuff of nightmares.

    Yikes Level: MOM CAN I SLEEP IN YOUR ROOM TONIGHT

     

    5.30 Harry Potter1) Petunia Dursley

    HARRY POTTER SERIES
    By J. K. Rowling
    (1997-2007)

    Petunia Dursely, nee Evans, would make this list for her loving but appalling parenting of her own son, but what secures her the top spot on this list is her neglect of Harry. There’s no excuse to treat a child like that, period, and when you’re spoiling your own son to disgusting excess in the very same house, that compounds the horribleness by the power of hypocrisy. If you can’t put aside old offences when your newly orphaned infant nephew, the child of your only, once-cherished sister arrives at your doorstep, are you even human?

    Yikes Level: THE DEVIL HIMSELF WOULD CRY

     

    Honorable Mentions: Queen Gertrude, HAMLET;  Lysa Arryn, SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (GAME OF THRONES) SERIES; “Evil Step-Mother”, (looking at you, fairy tales!).  A moment of silence please for all the Cinderellas , Snow Whites, and others in all their incarnations who’ve suffered at the hands of the dreaded “ Evil Step-mother”.

    Phew! What a list. Stay tuned for next month, when I’ll be putting literature’s dads on blast.

    Blogger’s Note: Hopefully I’ve been clear in my writing that this post is meant to be humorous, and not at all suggesting that abuse in any form is funny. The reality is that Mother’s Day isn’t a happy occasion for everyone. Many of us in our human family do suffer at the hands of those that should love and care for them best. Some of us have lost mothers. To all of us, no matter our situation, I hope we all can think of a person or two who have given motherly care to us through the years, no matter what name or label applies.