Silent comedy uses visual humor to tell a story. In the early days of film, before there was sound, it was the most popular form of storytelling. Silent comedians such Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Harold Lloyd, and Buster Keaton entertained millions with an art form that was simple and universal. Visual humor goes far beyond pies in the face and slipping on a banana peel. These filmmakers developed the technique of using gags to reveal character and tell a story.
Now that we are moving into the second half of summer, it's the perfect time to encourage you to pick up a challenge card and join this year's adult summer reading club. We are fairly certain that the majority of readers have already completed challenges that fulfill our "Escape the Ordinary" theme. Why not win a prize for your efforts? Participants have until Aug. 30 to submit entries in exchange for raffle tickets for the opportunity to win great local prizes.
If you're enjoying the exhibition of drawings by Danielle Bursk and photographs by Allen Kesselaut in the second floor Reference Galley (a partnership with the Arts Council of Princeton), you might be interested to know that there's another gallery in the library, this one primarily for employees, but sometimes seen by wayward customers.
Now, more than ever, I find myself in a love-hate relationship with my smartphone. I love the convenience of reading a magazine, listening to an audiobook, playing a podcast, plugging in my headphones and enjoying music, or reading an ebook from the small electronic device I carry everywhere. At the touch of a fingertip I have available the world at large, together with the smaller universe of my own personal contacts. My camera is always with me. So useful. So many possibilities. So much potential for connected burnout.
Forty years ago the summer blockbuster, "Jaws" elicited fear in the hearts of thousands of moviegoers. Although it was a hit in the box office, the negative connotation that came with sharks after it was released was truly horrifying for the species. An apex predator that had been around for millions of years was now being sought out and killed because people assumed that they would get eaten should a shark be nearby.
I'm not sure why, but recently I've been reading much more nonfiction than fiction. It's not that there isn't any interesting fiction being written (one need only glance at the monthly LibraryReads lists to find a novel worth reading), but nonfiction just feels more necessary in our complicated world. As I was ordering books for the library that are coming out in the next few months, I noticed a few nonfiction selections that looked especially appealing.
Life is too short to read bad books. That's why if I start a book and don't like it, I just stop. There is an endless supply of books to read, so there is no need to limit my selection to the ones I have already begun. Many people are fast readers (not me), or just can't fathom putting a book down. But why keep reading a book you don't like?