Fixed Navigation Bar

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Traveling Time and Time Again

In the world of Doctor Who, Dec.  25 is usually marked by two major events: an alien invasion of London and the annual holiday special.  After celebrating the 50th anniversary of the BBC science fiction show earlier this year, fans are anxiously awaiting Peter Capaldi‘s debut this Christmas as the latest Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.  Viewers can rely on one constant as the new Doctor begins his tenure in the TARDIS, a time-traveling spaceship disguised as a blue British police box.  The TARDIS doesn’t always take the Doctor where he wants to go. But it does take him exactly where he needs to be to save humanity and the universe time and time again.

If you’re finding it hard to wait for the next installment of Doctor Who, consider opening up one of these alternatives for an adventure through time and space of your own.  And if your travels take you to London this holiday season, don’t forget:  Keep your eyes on the sky and watch out for aliens.
In Jasper Fforde’s lighthearted novel The Eyre Affair, Thursday Next, a special operative in literary detection, faces a seemingly all-powerful enemy when both timelines and storylines begin to break down in an alternate reality 1980s London.

The Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Doomsday Book by Connie Willis takes a deeper look at the complications of time travel as a 21st century history student is mistakenly stranded in 1348 Europe during the ravages of the Black Plague. 
In the conspiracy-filled Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, Professor Brendan Doyle’s ill-fated trip to 1810 England leaves him trapped with an eccentric cast of Egyptian magicians, werewolves, gypsies and literary heroes of the age.

Teens might like to travel with seventh-grader Martin Conway in London Calling by Edward Bloor as his antique radio transports him to the bombing of London in 1940 and to the aid of a young boy in desperate need of help.
The dark and doom laden The Cure by Sonia Levitin makes Gemm 16884 choose between being “recycled” in the present year of 2407 or taking a painful “cure” by experiencing the world of Strasbourg in 1348. 

For those who need a dose of the real thing, get your fix here with novels inspired by the classic TV show.

- Rebecca A. Wolff, Centreville Regional Library

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Time for Reading

I have been drafting blog posts for About Books for more than eight years. During that time, I’ve searched for the best lists from authors, readers and others in a wide variety of genres and shared their recommendations.  Now that I am about to retire, I thought I would share with you my favorite authors and recent books that I hope to immediately read in my expanded leisure hours. There will be many, many others.

Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
And the Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hosseini

The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne

-         Pat Bangs, Fairfax County Public Library