Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chance's Corner: Horror Movies

Do you feel that creeping shiver running down your spine? The haunting season is upon us!

It's my favorite time of the year, when the air is chilled to perfection and the fall colors are bright and crisp. It's also a perfect time, and a reasonable excuse, to watch my favorite horror movies. As I always say, "Play those spooky movies, fright boy!"

Wait, what? You haven't seen a good horror flick in awhile? Well, have no fear (yet), we've got you covered with our specially selected horror films!

  • Jaws
    • Often credited as the first summer blockbuster, Jaws kept people out of the water and made Steven Spielberg the man we all know him as today... a legend. PS: Don't let the PG rating fool you.
  • Friday the 13th
    • Friday the 13th is one of the quintessential slasher flicks that has spawned numerous sequels... some less necessary than others (I'm looking at you Jason X (Jason in Space). The plot is the basic setup, campers go out in the woods, they do "stuff", and they die horrible deaths. The ending will give you a real jolt.
  • Alien
    • The tagline is: "In space no one can hear you scream." That's a perfect reflection of the isolation and claustrophobia packed into Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror masterpiece. My favorite part is when Sigourney Weaver is running around, covered in sweat, with strobes flashing, steam spewing, and alarms blaring a five-minute countdown to self-destruction.

  • Halloween
    • This is it. This is the movie. Always imitated, often copied, Halloween set the slasher genre on fire. The film score by itself is just enough to give anyone chills. That's powerful.
  • Oculus
    • I half expected this to be something that's been done before and mediocre, but I was wrong. Completely. Totally. The constant interplay between the past and present, reality and the surreal, reveals a well-developed story that manipulates you just as much as it manipulates the characters. As reality does start to set in, it's all the more horrifying.
  • The Babadook
    • With quick style and an eerie, emotional performance by Essie Davis, The Babadook is one of the scariest films in recent years.
  • The Shining
    • Tracking shots. Yelping, wailing music. Twins. It's hard to look away from this hypnotic piece of Stanley Kubrick genius often shadowed in conspiracy and myth.
  • The Conjuring
    • While the ending delivers the obligatory exorcism, every second before it crackles with tension and delivers scares that rightfully earned an R rating. 
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
    • Not as true as it seems, but still a classic about a family of demented cannibals who manage to spill some of Marilyn Burns' real blood.
  • Psycho
    • It's a tale of a boy and his mother, and it's also the tale of why you should always lock the bathroom door while showering!
  • The Birds
    • Based off true events (yes!) and Daphne du Maurier's short story, The Birds is a tale of man against nature... and man doesn't necessarily win.

Can't handle a good scare? Don't worry, we have some more kid-friendly flicks you may enjoy.
  • Casper
    • While it won't be winning any awards, Casper is still a fun little flick about a friendly ghost and his crude ghost uncles learning to accept the new "fleshies" that have moved in.
  • Hocus Pocus
    • Backed by a massive cult following, Hocus Pocus is an absolute must-see family fright flick! Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy chew up the scenery as wickedly funny witch sisters bound and determined to live past sunrise... otherwise it's curtains. They evaporate! They cease to exist! Dost thou comprehend?
  • The Addams Family
    • They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether... terrific! If you like your humor a little on the dark side, then this movie is for you. 
Come check this wonderful films out at the Franklin County Library before your worst nightmare comes true... the movie already being checked out!!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Julie's Journal : Narrative Nonfiction

Narrative nonfiction, often also referred to as creative nonfiction, is a literary term for a text that presents a true story written in a style more closely associated with fiction. The writer pays close attention to elements of plot structure, character development and themes to make the story as compelling as possible.*

Examples of authors of narrative nonfiction are Erik Larson, David McCullough, Laura Hillenbrand, and Bill Bryson.  The books are meticulously researched and factual, but read like fiction.

I have been reading One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson.  The summer of 1927 was a time of so many important events, it's hard to believe they were all happening at one time.  It was the summer of Babe Ruth's neck and neck home run race with Lou Gehrig (Ruth won with a record 60 home runs).  It was the year of the first real talking movie picture.  Television was invented.  Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic in his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis.  Al Capone was at the height of his reign over Chicago.  Bombings of public officials were rampant, blamed mostly on Italian anarchists.  I found it interesting that the "car bomb" was preceded by the "wagon bomb".  The Model T was the most popular car in America.  Work on Mount Rushmore started.  The Mississippi flooded, leaving an area the size of Scotland under water.  There were several high profile murders and executions.  Bryson's writing is quick and humorous, and very clever.  I read several parts of the book out loud to my husband.  I wanted to share with him the fascinating pieces of history I had never heard and the author's quick wit.

I brought several narrative nonfiction books down from upstairs and created a display just past Lisa's office.  Come in and pick one out to try!

*Read more :

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Monday, September 28, 2015

Need Stress Relief? Try Coloring!

Have you heard about the new trend of adult coloring?  Lately it has been all over the news.  Adults everywhere are finding relaxation in coloring.  Studies have even shown that coloring uses both sides of the brain and results in stress relief and lower blood pressure. has a huge selection of coloring books, as does Hobby Lobby and Michaels.  Some of our favorites are by Johanna Basford. 

As you can see, the pictures are quite intricate.  The pictures can take several days to color if you are only working on them a few minutes at a time.

Franklin County Library hosted a coloring party on September 10th during the lunch hour and again on September 15th in the evening.

We had about 15 people attend each event and have agreed to make it a monthly coloring club.  Beginning October 8th, Coloring with Friends will meet every 2nd Thursday of the month from 11:30 - 1:30 and again at 5:30.  Everyone is encouraged to attend either or both sessions!  We are displaying our finished creations in the display case downstairs!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chance's Corner: A Separate Peace

School's been back in session for a few weeks, and we all know what that means... assigned reading, or as some like to call it forced reading. Lord knows I've called it forced reading many a time, but in my later years in high school I stumbled upon an assigned book written by John Knowles called A Separate Peace. I hem-hawed around with it at first because it didn't sound like much, but I finally broke down and cracked it open. I finished it that day.
Set during World War II, Gene and Phineas (Finny) are friends and roommates at a prep school called Devon. Gene is introverted and academic, while Finny is carefree and athletic. Their differences set off a friendly rivalry, which progressively gets more serious for Gene due to increasing jealousy. This ultimately culminates in an event that effects both boys -- one emotionally and the other physically -- for the rest of their lives.
A Separate Peace is a tale of lost innocence, or as the back of the book perfectly describes, a "parable of the dark side of humanity." The war rages on overseas, and it rages in Gene's heart with jealousy, envy and regret. He lashes out at someone he loves because he found good in them, a good that he wishes he could be, a good that he desires to destroy.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because the story is relatable, and Knowles' style of writing is very lyrical. The imagery he conjures of the students and of Devon are very dreamy. It's a very easy and emotionally engaging read.

A Separate Peace was recently featured on the Franklin County Library's Instagram for #firstlinefriday (at my request), and is available to check out at our library!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Poet's Perch: A Leaf Treader by Robert Frost

A Leaf Treader

I have been treading on leaves all day until I am autumn-tired.
God knows all the color and forms of leaves I have trodden on and mired.
Perhaps I have put forth too much strength and been too fierce from fear.
I have safely trodden under foot the leaves of another year.

All summer long they were overhead more lifted up than I;
To come to their final place in earth they had to pass me by.
All summer long I thought I heard them threatening under their breath.
And when they came it seemed with a will to carry me with them to death.

They spoke to the fugitive in my heart as if it were leaves to leaf;
They tapped at my eyelids and touched my lips with an invitation to grief.
But it was no reason I had to go because they had to go.
Now up, my knee, to keep on top of another year of snow.

Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Marvelous Mondays are back!

Yesterday we kicked off another year of Marvelous Mondays with Whirlybirds!

We learned about airflow with this simple activity.  Marvelous Mondays are every Monday that school is in session at 4:15.  We will conduct a science experiment or activity.  We hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Chance's Corner - Mad Max: Fury Road Movie Review

Ideas seem to be running short in Hollywood these days. Movies are being remade, redone, or completely reimagined. Mad Max: Fury Road falls in the midst of this "re-" craze, but it is strong enough to stand on its own.
As usual, the world of Mad Max is in post-apocalyptic chaos. Oil reserves have dried up in Australia, and people have branched off into eclectic tribes/gangs. Max, once a cop struggling to maintain order, is now a drifter, reluctantly helping others that may or may not be able to help him in return.
Tom Hardy's Max, however, is merely a secondary character in Fury Road. He grumbles maybe 20 or so legible words in all and mainly serves as a walking blood bag. The real star of the show is clearly Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa. She's a strong, independent woman who can drive, shoot and kill at will, all in order to protect a band of female prisoners from the evil, perverted clutches of a tyrannical ruler called Immortan Joe and his sickly War Boys.
Fury Road is purely a chase film from beginning to end, or as director George Miller calls it "a western on wheels". It wouldn't be a Mad Max movie without an assortment of awesome, bizarre cars crashing and exploding. The violence also returns to its original, brutal roots. Absolutely no one is safe from death.

Overall, this movie is a very-rare example of a redo worth watching. Honestly, if Max wasn't even involved, it'd be a proper standalone film in its own right.

Mad Max: Fury Road is now available the Franklin County Library and is rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images.



Friday, September 4, 2015

Honoring our Law Enforcement

Today the Law Enforcement and Emergency Services of Mt. Vernon and Franklin County honored Officer Darren Goforth of Houston and other fallen officers.  They drove slowly from the sheriff's office to the square and around it with their lights flashing.  They stopped in front of the courthouse for a brief ceremony.

It was quiet an impressive site!  Franklin County Library supports our Law Enforcement!

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's almost Fall!

Here at Franklin County Library we are looking forward to Fall.  The few rainy, cool days we've had in the last couple of weeks have made us long for the pleasures of Fall - cool days, crisp nights, hot cider and hot chocolate, cozy fires, sweaters and jackets. 

Along those lines, Christian has been working on our Fall bulletin board.

She is much more artistic than the rest of us, and she put a lot of thought, effort and detail into the bulletin board.  It's very colorful and fun!  We've told her that from now on, whether she is working for us or not, she has to come and put together our bulletin boards!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Julie's Journal : Book Challenges Update

Back in January with I put up several challenges that I was going to try to complete this year.  I wanted to complete a Classics challenge, a To-Be-Read (TBR) challenge, and an A-Z challenge.  The original post can be read here

I'm happy to say that I have completed the A-Z challenge!

I enjoyed some books more than others.  Some I read just because I wanted to and others I read just to fill in a letter.  X was the hardest letter to find.

I'm still working on both the TBR challenge and the Classics Challenge.  I need some help coming up with a forgotten classic.  According to the guidelines of the challenge, a forgotten classic has less than 1000 ratings on Goodreads.  I also need a classic play that is easy to read.  I am NOT a Shakespeare buff!  If you have any ideas, let me know.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Stuff!

Chance is hard at work today putting in new books, movies, and an audio.

Silver Linings - Audio by Debbie Macomber
Disney's Short Films Collection
The Best of Me
One Upon a Time : Season 4
Avatar the Last Airbender : Book 1 Water Volume 3
The Giver
Patty's Pantry : Family Recipes
Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood
The Education of Ivy Blake by Ellen Airgood
Friction by Sandra Brown
Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

Monday, August 17, 2015

Julie's Journal : Vacation Week

Last week was my husband Jason's last week of summer vacation and, as usual, I took it off with him.

When I left here Friday evening, I went home and didn't leave again until Monday afternoon!  I like being at home!  I was able to start and finish several projects that I had been wanting to do, including making a new batch of Goat's Milk Soap.  I've learned a new technique for soap making that I think works better than the first few batches I made.  This batch is Anise scented, and my whole house smells wonderful from it.  I don't have a picture of the soap, but below is a picture of the goat that gave the milk for the soap. 

Her name is Patches. 

We took off Thursday for a "mini" vacation.  We visited Jason's grandmother in Carrollton, then went to Glen Rose to spend the night.  Friday morning we visited Fossil Rim.  If you've never been to Fossil Rim, I highly recommend it.  It is a drive-thru safari.  We were able to feed ostriches, wildebeests, zebra, giraffes, and several different kind of deer.  The animals come right up to your car.   

This deer is shedding the velvet off his antlers.  It looks painful, but it is perfectly natural.  We saw several rubbing against trees.  In a couple of days his antlers will be dry and hard. 

This is an Aoudad, a type of sheep from North Africa.

This elk stuck his head as far into the truck as his antlers would let him.

Although my pictures were not very good, we enjoyed the scenery as well.  It is very different than flat East Texas!

Later that day we made our way back into the Metroplex and attended a Texas Rangers Game.  Jason was interested in the game, but I enjoy people watching more than anything.  It was Star Wars night, so Darth Vader and other characters from the movies were walking around talking to people.  We stayed for Star Wars themed fireworks after the game, too. 

After that it was back home for a couple more days before we both went back to work this morning.  It was nice to get away for a little while, but just as nice to come back home! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Poet's Perch : Trees by Joyce Kilmer


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer