Aurora Public Library Blog

Welcome to Aurora Public Library’s Blog. A place where our library staff share their thoughts, insider knowledge and overall love of all things book and community.

Feel free to comment on posts, re-blog and enjoy. To ensure a civil and focused discussion, comments will be held for a brief period before being published.



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Baseball diamond title photo
Post by Zach S.

With opening day over and the warm days of spring setting in, it’s time to get ready for a season filled with all things baseball! Whether you’re a lifetime fan who can name batting averages from memory or simply enjoy the foot long hot dogs at a game, we can all enjoy these fun baseball crafts, recipes and movies together.

We’ll start things off with my personal favorite – a baseball piñata! While it is a little more involved, it will certainly be the hit of your party. This craft comes from Easy Crafts For Kids.

Materials:Baseball pinata
• Bowl
• Water
• Newspaper
• White Paint
• Red Marker
• Balloon
• Pin
• Glue
• Scissors
• Candy (wrapped)

Step 1:
Blow up a balloon. Make it about the size of a softball.
Cut out strips of newspaper. You want these strips to be about an inch width and a few inches long.
Mix your paper mache mixture - 3/4 glue 1/4 water.

Step 2:
Dip a piece of newspaper in the glue mixture, coating it completely. Take off the excess with your fingers.
Cover your balloon in moistened pieces of newspaper.
Make sure to leave a small area around the balloon end. This will allow you to pop the balloon and fill it with candy.

Step 3:
Once the balloon is covered, place it in the sink to dry.
Once it is partially dry add another layer of paper. This time use white paper so it is easier to paint the ball afterwards.
This can take up to 24 hours depending on your region and temperatures.

Step 4:
Once dry fill it with candy and cover the hole up with some white paper (covered in your glue mixture). Allow to dry.
Paint the balloon white. Allow to dry.

Step 5:
Draw on stitching with a red marker. This will be one large oval around the baseball - adding V marks around it.

************************************

I think it’s time for a snack to refuel after that project. How about baseball rice-krispie treats? This recipe comes to us from Domestically Speaking.

Rice krispie baseballs
1. Make a batch of classic rice krispie treats but instead of putting them in a pan, put them in a cookie sheet with sides. This will make the rice krispie treats thinner for cutting. 

2. Let them set up for about 30 minutes before using a round cookie cutter.

3. Melt some white chocolate in a glass pie pan.

4. Dip one side into the white chocolate.

5. Use a spoon to add some more white chocolate to the dipped tops and then smooth them with an off-set spatula.

6. Once they set up (about 30 minutes) use a red gel cake decorating tube to make the baseball stitching.
 
************************************
 
Now that we’re refueled and full of sugar, let’s get one more craft in before we’re done. Fingerprint baseballs! This craft comes from Crafty Morning and is a great one for the younger kids.
Fingerprint baseball
Materials:

Fingerprint baseball• White paper
• Red washable paint
• Scissors
• Red Marker

1. Start by drawing a circle onto a piece of paper and having the kids cut it out.

2. Take a red marker and draw two curved lines.

3. Have the kids dip their pointer finger in the red washable paint and make laces on the baseball. Let it dry and you’re done!
 



************************************
Top your busy day off with a baseball movie night! Check out this list of baseball themed movies from 3 Boys and a Dog. Stop into your Aurora Public Library to check out some of the movies below on DVD.


 "The Perfect Game"
DVD @ APL
 DVD cover  "Million Dollar Arm"   DVD cover
 "The Sandlot"
DVD @ APL
 DVD cover "A Mile in His Shoes"
 DVD cover
 "Rookie of the Year"
DVD @ APL
 DVD cover "Season of Miracles"
DVD @ APL
 DVD cover
"The Final Season"  DVD cover "Angels in the Outfield"
DVD @ APL
 DVD cover
"Everyone's Hero"

 DVD cover



Hopefully these activities help you get your baseball season off to a great start! For any baseball books, movies, or other resources, stop into your Aurora Public Library branch and chat with us!

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Apr 11, 2018 at 8:42 AM
  

Title image

Post by Laura R.

I grew up in the mountains of Northwest Colorado, in a log house in the middle of about seven acres of woods. I ran around barefoot in my favorite purple-flower dress every summer, on the trails beaten down by our horses. It was seemingly quiet at our house—so different from the Denver street I live on now—but my mom would often tell me to sit on the back porch and close my eyes and listen. She’d tell me to try to pick out as many different sounds as I could: the wind swishing through the pines, the creaks of their trunks as if they were talking to each other, the birdsong, squirrels chittering, branches falling, twigs cracking.
When my family went camping, I’d go on expeditions with my older sister, my mom, and my aunt. My sister and I splashed in creeks, picked wild flowers, and made mud piles. Sometimes I went walking alone. I’d look for special plants or creatures, like mushrooms or rose hips or bluebells or lizards. It was always a scavenger hunt. Each snail shell, each pine cone, each green rock or piece of mica felt like a discovery, a magical token that could protect or empower me.

Around that time, I started going to the library, and I see now how the magic of the forest was similar to the magic I found in the troves of books there. The silence, the sense that I was an adventurer about to discover something fascinating and beautiful, the time I spent alone dreaming—it was the same. I became obsessed with magical creatures, which I probably learned about from books. I loved stories about unicorns, fairies, magic, secrets. Of course I was sure there were fairies in the brambles behind our house. I felt them and their magic in the cool air in the evening, in the way the aspen leaves quivered, in the sarvis berries, in the rain. I felt it shoot up my spine when the wind started up before a storm and the clouds got dark and purple. Fairies just made sense.

My mother and aunt were the ones who taught me how to make fairy houses. We had a special place about a mile’s walk from our most frequented campsite. We called it Circle-of-Trees. I’d learned in books that one sign that fairies have visited are fairy rings—perfect circles of toadstools or moss. Well, we’d found a fairy circle made of lodgepole pine, a magic grove. We made fairy houses here as gifts to our tiny friends. First we gathered everything we needed: straight twigs of similar sizes, small pebbles for the walkway, pieces of bark for the door and roof, moss for the garden, flower petals for decoration. I remember my mother’s hand guiding mine as I stacked the twigs in a criss-cross pattern, building the walls. It was slow work and it took patience, but I knew it was worth it. It was for them.

I’m all grown up now. I still look to the natural world for the quiet and the green smell and the breeze and the stillness. I still believe in fairies. I work at a library, and I make sure to remind myself often how magical these places were for me as a child. I hope with abandon that some of the children that come here feel that magic too when they crack a book.

If you’re craving more magic in your life, come visit Aurora Public Library on April 12th to build your very own garden fairy house. And if you or a child you know is interested in fairies, check out some of the following books from APL, including the new story Backyard Fairies by Phoebe Wahl, which sparked this blog post.
Backyard Fairies book cover
Backyard Fairies by Phoebe Wahl
Fairy Houses All Year: A Four-Season Handbook by Liza Gardner Walsh
Fairies: An Introduction Into the History and Mystery of Their Magical Realm by Ralph Harvey
Fairies by Virginia Loh-Hagan.
The Book of Fairies selected and illustrated by Michael Hague
Forest Fairy Crafts by Lenka Vodicka-Paredes

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Apr 09, 2018 at 4:11 PM
  

Missing the movies

Post by Elizabeth B. 

Hello, dear friends and patrons! Have you been enjoying all of these excellent new movies? I have. So far this spring, I’ve been to the theater four times. That may not sound like a lot to you, but considering that I average maybe two movie trips a year, I’m alarmingly ahead of schedule. And so I’m discovering for the first time the problem with finding new favorite movies while they’re still in theaters: You can’t re-watch them five times in a row. I guess you can, if you’re willing to sacrifice your paycheck to the popcorn stand! But, as your friendly neighborhood librarian, I’m here to help you satisfy your cravings on the cheap. Here’s a list of books that make great companions for the latest, greatest blockbusters: 

If you liked "Black Panther":  

Try "Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi! 

I know. You were expecting me to recommend the Black Panther comics, right? Yes, the latest comic books by Roxane Gay, Nnedi Okorafor, and Ta Nehisi-Coates are excellent, and you should definitely read them! But just telling you the names of the comics felt like cheating. 

"Children of Blood and Bone" starts with a staff fight worthy of the Dora Milaje, and it just gets more intense from there. Follow headstrong Zélie and compassionate Princess Amari as they try to restore magic and freedom to their kingdom, while rule-following Prince Iman endeavors to stop them. This story is steeped in Yoruba mythology, tackles oppression in between epic action scenes, and is being made into a movie!  

Other Options: Check out Alaya Dawn Johnson’s "The Summer Prince" for stylish technology worthy of Shuri’s lab and "Between the World and Me" by Ta Nehisi-Coates for the first book in T’Challa’s and Nakia’s new book club that I just made up, “Bringing Wakandan Justice to the World.” 

If you liked "A Wrinkle in Time": 

Try "Akata Witch and Akata Warrior" by Nnedi Okorafor! Sunny, like Meg Murry, is a brilliant misfit who faces bullying at school and struggles to find acceptance. When her friends drag her into a world full of magic, Sunny discovers that her weaknesses are actually part of what make her magical. Nnedi Okorafor’s emphasis on smarts and self-love match perfectly with A Wrinkle in Time’s clever protagonist, and these mischievous teens will endear themselves to you just like Meg, Charles, and Calvin.  

Other Options: "The Binti" novels, also by Nnedi Okorafor, are adult sci-fi full of math-y, interplanetary goodness! If you prefer magic spells to mathematical equations, check out Tahereh Mafi’s "Furthermore", about an outcast girl who must save her father in a strange fantasy land. 

If you liked "Love, Simon":  

Try All Out: "The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages", ed. by Saundra Mitchell.

There’s a scene in Love, Simon where our narrator imagines what the world would be like if straight wasn’t the default. In "All Out", Simon wouldn’t have to imagine: these stories present a range of queer stories: lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender teenagers, from the 1300s to 1999. Sure, Simon couldn’t write emails to any of them, but at least he could have new stories to reimagine. 

Other Options: Did you spot Adam Silvera’s "More Happy Than Not" tucked into the corner of Simon’s bookshelf? You and Simon can read the same books! Of course, Simon will probably read even more great books in Becky Albertalli’s upcoming sequel to her movie-inspiring novel. "Leah on the Offbeat" focuses on Simon’s best friend Leah: her sexuality, her family, her friends, and her amazing artistic talents. It comes out on April 24. 

If you liked "Ready, Player One":  

Try "Warcross" by Marie Lu! Like Ready, Player One’s hero, hacker Emika Chen spends her days plugged into a virtual reality video game. Unlike Wade, though, Emika’s not there for fun or puzzle-solving: she’s a bounty hunter who’s desperately trying to make ends meet. When Emika gets offered a job as an undercover spy, complete with money and fame, she takes it, but her new position plunges her into a dangerous conflict about the video game’s future. 

Other Options: If you like 80’s nostalgia more than video games, Brian K. Vaughan’s "Paper Girls" might be for you. This comic about four teens who get swept up into a time-traveling alien invasion has all of the action and wonder of a Steven Spielberg movie.  

Now it's your turn! What movies have you loved lately? Post your suggested book companion in the comments. 
Happy reading! 

Posted by behrhart@auroragov.org  On Apr 04, 2018 at 4:10 PM 2 Comments
  

April New Releases Banner
Post by Kristin S.

It's the start of April which means it's time for some new releases and bestsellers! Whether you are out in the sunshine enjoying the tulips or huddled inside from a sudden day of snow or rain, spring into a new book or DVD! (pun intended)

Books that recently premiered on the New York Times Bestseller List:

New Fiction

 

Accidental Heroes by Danielle Steel

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

Strangers pull together to avert a disaster involving two flights from New York to San Francisco.

 

The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Detectives Havers and Lynley investigate the death of a deacon accused of a serious crime in a historic medieval town in England.

 

The Rising Sea by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A scientific team searches the globe for the threat causing sea levels to rise at an alarming rate.

 

The Bishop's Pawn by Steve Berry

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Cotton Malone discovers revelations about the day the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

 

The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

Nola Brown, a painter and trained soldier, discovers a military secret that traces back to Harry Houdini.

 

The Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

The 27th book in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series.

 

Covert Game by Christine Feehan

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

Gino Mazza must save an artificial intelligence expert who tampered with a crime lord's computer network.

 

Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

An incident in her Manhattan neighborhood forces Nora Nolan to reckon with aspects of her life.

 

Fifty Fifty by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Detective Harriet Blue tries to clear her brother's name and save a small Australian town from being massacred.

 

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

After waking up next to a dead man in a hotel room in Dubai, a binge drinker pieces together the previous night's events.

 

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The fifth book in the Alpha and Omega series. Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham answer a call of distress.

 

The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

A mute janitor working in an aerospace research center develops a relationship with an amphibious man from the Amazon.

 

Caribbean Rim by Randy Wayne White

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print]

The 25th book in the Doc Ford series. The marine biologist searches for a state agency official and rare Spanish coins.

 

The Kremlin Conspiracy by Joel C. Rosenberg

Borrow: [Print]

A Secret Service agent and a Russian lawyer cross paths as a nuclear war threatens.

 

Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

After her husband disappears, Hannah Swensen Barton searches for a killer while trying to fulfill holiday baking orders.

 

The Hush by John Hart

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Johnny Merrimon fights to keep the 6,000 acres of once-sacred land in North Carolina he inherited.

 

Agent in Place by Mark Greaney

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

The seventh book in the Gray Man series. Court Gentry gets the chance to end a brutal dictatorship.


New Nonfiction

 

Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn

Borrow: [Print

Details of the 2016 presidential election, with an emphasis on Russia's possible involvement.

 

Secret Empires by Peter Schweizer

Borrow: [Print]

The author of “Clinton Cash” describes what some politicians might do to enrich themselves while in office.

 

In the Shadow of Statues by Mitch Landrieu

Borrow: [Print] [eBook

A memoir by the mayor who called for the removal of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans.

 

The Triumph of Christianity by Bart D. Ehrman

Borrow: [Print]

The religious studies professor explores how a new religion came to influence Western society.

 

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The late true-crime journalist's search for the serial murderer and rapist known as "the Golden State Killer."

 

Educated by Tara Westover

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The daughter of survivalists, who is kept out of school, educates herself enough to leave home for university.

 

The Age of Eisenhower by William I. Hitchcock

Borrow: [Print]

A history of the 34th president of the United States, who faced bitter partisanship.

 

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

An insider look at the Bachelor franchise and its effect on society.

 

Unmasked by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Borrow: [Print]

A memoir by the musical theater composer and impresario, whose works include “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats” and “Evita.”

 

The Future of Humanity by Michio Kaku

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The physicist describes how humans might develop civilization in outer space and possibly become immortal.

 

Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

An argument for taking on risk.

 

Time Pieces by John Banville

Borrow: [Print] [eAudiobook]

A memoir based on the author's experiences and imaginings of Dublin.

 

All the Pieces Matter by Jonathan Abrams

Borrow: [Print]

An oral history of the creation and development of the series "The Wire."

   

Common Good by Robert B. Reich

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

A case for strengthening public morality in the United States. 

 DVDs - New Arrivals:

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Borrow: [DVD]

The Star Wars saga continues in The Last Jedi as the heroes and galactic legends go on an epic adventure unlocking mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.

 

The Shape of Water

Borrow: [DVD]

From master storyteller Guillermo del Toro comes an otherworldly fairy tale set in 1960s America where a woman's life is changed forever after she discovers a secret experiment.

 

Justice League

Borrow: [DVD]

Inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne joins forces with his new ally, Diana Prince, and goes to battle with a greater enemy.

 

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Borrow: [DVD]

In this fun comedic adventure, 4 teens get sucked into the video game world of Jumanji and have to finish the dangerous game to escape.

 

I, Tonya

Borrow: [DVD]

Based on the unbelievable but true events, I, Tonya is a dark comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history.

 

Ferdinand

Borrow: [DVD]

After he's mistaken as a dangerous beast and torn from his home, a peace-loving bull named Ferdinand rallies a misfit team of friends for an epic adventure to return to his family.

 

Acts of Violence

Borrow: [DVD]

Detective Avery (Bruce Willis) uncovers a human-trafficking syndicate and fights the corrupt bureaucracy that has been protecting it.

 

Downsizing

Borrow: [DVD]

When scientists find a way to shrink humans to five inches tall, Paul and his wife decide to get small and live large in a luxurious downsized community. With endless possibilities in the tiny world, Paul realizes we are meant for something bigger.

 

Pitch Perfect 3

Borrow: [DVD]

Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, all the Bellas return in the final chapter in the beloved series.

 

Small Town Crime

Borrow: [DVD]

John Hawkes leads an all-star cast in this gritty, darkly comic thriller about a disgraced ex-cop taking one last shot at redemption by trying to solve a murder case.

 

DVDs - Coming Soon: 

 

The Greatest Showman

Borrow: [DVD]*

Hugh Jackman stars in this bold and original musical - inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum - celebrating the birth of show business and dreams coming to life.

 

The Post

Borrow: [DVD]*

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep team for the first time in this exhilarating true story about how the Washington Post exposed a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades.

 

Paddington 2

Borrow: [DVD]*

Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt's 100th birthday. Hilarity ensues when the gift is stolen.

 

Sweet Virginia

Borrow: [DVD]*

The Walking Dead's Jon Bernthal stars in this neo-noir crime thriller where hitman and troubled small-town motel owner collide in an unsettling tale of sex and violence.

 

All the Money in the World

Borrow: [DVD]*

After the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, in a race against time, his mother works to convince his wealthy grandfather to pay the ransom. Inspired by historical events. Certain scenes, characters and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes.

 

12 Strong

Borrow: [DVD]*

Weeks after 9/11, U.S. Special Forces go to Afghanistan ordered to take the city of Mazar Sharif. To survive, the U.S. must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghan horse soldiers

 

Hostiles

Borrow: [DVD]*

In 1892, a legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.

 

Forever My Girl

Borrow: [DVD]*

A country music super-star returns to his hometown after leaving his love behind 8 years ago.

 

The Commuter

Borrow: [DVD]*

Liam Neeson stars as a man who gets caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home and works against the clock to stop a deadly attack to save the lives of his fellow train passengers.

 

Father Figures

Borrow: [DVD]*

Upon learning that their mother has been lying to them for years about their allegedly deceased father, two fraternal twin brothers hit the road in order to find him.

 

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Borrow: [DVD]*

In the epic Maze Runner conclusion, Thomas leads the Gladers on their final mission - they must break into the legendary Last City, which turns out to be the deadliest maze of all!

 

Proud Mary

Borrow: [DVD]*

Mary is a hit woman working for an organized crime family, whose life is turned around when she meets a boy during a professional hit.

 

Den of Thieves

Borrow: [DVD]*

A gritty Los Angeles crime saga which follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff's Dept. and the state's most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of downtown Los Angeles.

 

Beast of Burden

Borrow: [DVD]*

Pilot Sean Haggerty (Daniel Radcliffe) must deliver cocaine across the US-Mexico border for his final run as a smuggler to save his wife

 *Caution: Once DVDs are released, the links above may stop working. Please visit our catalog at AuroraLibrary.org to find them, if inactive. 

Sources: The New York Times, Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon, Goodreads, EarlyWord, Novelist, DVDs Release Date

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Apr 04, 2018 at 3:10 PM
  

Lost Lenore

Post by Tessy W. 

Mild Spoilers Ahead  

Stumbling across the dramatic cover, a scarlet wing on a field of black, the title embolden on the side, I was intrigued.

"Why haven't I heard of this series before?" I asked myself, excited by the possibility of an undiscovered story.

A dystopian sci-fi, "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown has an interesting plot summary. In a socially stratified society based on colors, the main character, Darrow, is a Red. Tolling under the surface of Mars in the hope that one day their decedents will gain a habitable planet, the Red's are subservient to an upper class of Golds. When Darrow finds out otherwise, that Mars has been habitable for generations, he seeks bloody vengeance as he aims to infiltrate the golden upper class to eliminate his enemies. 

With the promise of complex politics and societal upheaval with a brooding hero who would risk becoming the very thing he hated to reach his goal, I downloaded the eBook via Overdrive immediately.

For a purported young adult series edging into adult fiction, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that Darrow was married at the beginning of the novel.

I should have been suspicious.

But I was too fascinated by the idea of a main character already taken, side-stepping the standard young adult love plot. With his clever red-headed wife, Eo, who was as political as Darrow was tenacious, I was flipping pages at light speed at the prospect of a power couple waging guerilla warfare against an unscrupulous upper class.  As Darrow's character became fleshed out, theRed Rising worldbuilding of the cramped subterranean caverns beneath the Martian surface expanded. Lit by flickering holoCan screens full of propaganda espousing brave pioneers, dusted, desperate people toiling in the mines to free the helium-3 that would terraform the planet, and the heavy pulse of the drills vibrating through my imagination, built itself into a fascinating world. Then, I started to notice that Eo's character wasn't keeping pace.

"Oh no," I whispered, hands stilling.

Eo is murdered on page forty-five. Thus spurring Darrow's long (four books with the fifth coming later this year) and bloody vengeance.

There are various names for this overarching phenomenon: "The Lost Lenore", "Stuffed in the Fridge", "I Let Gwen Stacy Die", or "Disposable Women".  As storytelling patterns, these tropes center around the death of a character in the name of moving the plot forward for the main character, with the variations centering on the manner of death and how relevant the killed-off character was to the protagonist.

Eo is a Lost Lenore. To be a Lost Lenore, you must do more for the story dead, then alive. Your memory spurs the hero to greater adventures, to deeper emotional depths, but you however, will always be a ghost, reduced to whatever characteristics the main character chooses to remember. 2

The trouble with these plot devices are their frequency, and their targets. 

It only took a few descriptions of Eo's beauty and her fragility, her descriptor as "the spirit of her people",3 coupled with the overarching revenge plot-line to make me suspicious enough to search for spoilers. Because inevitably, in a world where female protagonists are still an exciting novelty, we have male heroes with female supporting characters, and they will die first.

I only had to flip a few chapters forward before my foresight was rewarded. Darrow is devastated, and then swiftly ensnared by the machinations of the main plot line, haunted by his dead wife and spurred by the injustice of her death.

The Red Rising Saga is a popular series. Reviewers and Goodreads alike are exultant with their praise for Darrow's characterization and the fast-paced action of "Man vs. Society".

But I put the book down.

The media we consume has been improving in its representation of diverse characters. I can find books with interesting female protagonists of color or movies featuring complex LGBTQ characters. They aren't always easy to find, but I no longer have to resist the urge to edit all of the pronouns in a five hundred page novel or dismiss an author's character description in favor of my own.

So when I'm faced with a book that is taking a few steps backward in our cultural evolvement of storytelling, I don't have to read it.

 

Looking for sci-fi/fantasy? Try a few from my bookshelf (in no particular order)!

 

References
Brown, P. (2014). Red Rising. New York: Del Rey.
TV Tropes. (2018). The Lost Lenore - TV Tropes. [online] Available at: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheLostLenore [Accessed 14 Feb. 2018].
Brown, P. (2014). Red Rising. New York: Del Rey, p.15.

Posted by behrhart@auroragov.org  On Mar 20, 2018 at 10:34 AM
  
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