Blog

Marie

This is the story of young Allan Quatermain. He's in love with his childhood French language classmate Marie. But there's a problem. He's English and she's a Boer. It's something like Romeo and Juliet set against the backdrop of the Cape Frontier Wars in Africa. And another complication: Marie has a cousin that wants her for himself.

The characters in this book include actual historical figures and participate in some historical events of the war including the Weenan massacre. There's plenty of drama with a racial "I like you but stay away from my daughter" plot and plenty of exciting and sometimes distressing action with Boers and Zulus. Marie's family dislike any English but have to depend on Allan. He's a smart tactician and the best marksman on the continent.

Check out Marie (1912) by H. Rider Haggard today. Shelly Frasier does well with French, English, American, and Dutch accents. Visit Hoopla to listen to the audiobook or read the ebook.

Steven Universe

This animated show is about a boy named Steven and his family, the Crystal Gems. The Crystal Gems consist of Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, who are magical beings who can shapeshift, fight, and protect the planet of Earth. Steven is just a normal boy though, who can use some powers like the Crystal Gems but not consistently. Steven wants to go on the adventures and the Gems just want to keep him safe, leading to fun misadventures.

The story is a fun and exciting one with a nice art style that continues to evolve and grow as Steven does. Binge watch season 1 (2013-2015) of Steven Universe on Hoopla today.



The Lost Continent

It's the 22nd century and the Pan American Navy aero-submarine Coldwater is in trouble. Coldwater's antiquated engines, anti-gravity screens, and communications have all failed. The vessel heads for the English coast for repairs. Devastating war has left Europe a forbidden zone for 200 years. Nevertheless, Lieutenant Turck and a few crewmen use a small boat to find food and fresh water ashore. Instead, they find civilization living in primitive camps and wild beasts, descendants of escaped zoo animals, prowling free.

This is classic Edgar Rice Burroughs. What makes this edition special is the narrator. Finn J. D. John teaches New Media Communications at Oregon State University. He begins The Lost Continent (1916, originally titled Beyond Thirty) with a foreword that sets the background for the book and a thumbnail biography of Burroughs. His organization, Pulp-Lit Productions, features annotated editions of Blackwood, Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Lovecraft, and Seabury Quinn.

Visit Hoopla to listen to the audiobook or read the ebook today.



Adventure Time Season 1

The TV show Adventure Time features Finn, the only human boy in the land of Ooo. Joined by his best friend Jake, a magical stretchy dog, they go on adventures in their magical world. They rescue princesses and stop the Ice King when he tries to stir up trouble. The adventures are fun with a lot of creativity packed into the world and characters. The world of Adventure Time is rather deep with a haunting backstory built into its happy-go-lucky world, making it a surprising and worthwhile watch.

Start watching season 1 (2010) of Adventure Time (TV-PG) on Hoopla today. Then, keep going—there are four seasons available to binge instantly.



The Bourne Identity

A man is pulled from the ocean by a fishing boat. He is riddled with bullet holes but somehow still alive. He has no recollection of who he is or what he was doing, yet he has advanced combat skills and can speak several languages. A laser projector found with him gives the only clue: a safe deposit box number in Zurich. After he goes to the bank to retrieve the contents of the box, very dangerous people begin trying to kill him, and he expertly evades them. Can he remember who he is before it is too late?

The Bourne Identity (2002, PG-13) is the first action-packed movie in the Bourne series starring Matt Damon (and based on the novel of the same name by Robert Ludlum). Watch the entire series by checking out "The Bourne Series" binge box, which includes The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy, and Jason Bourne.



The Legend of Korra

In this sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender, follow the story of Korra, the next avatar. At a young age, Korra mastered fire, water, and earth bending, but needs to master air bending if she wants to be the full-fledged avatar. In order to do so she travels to Republic City where she will learn air bending from Tenzin, Aang's son. However, Republic City is struggling with its own issues, the Equalists who want to make benders and non-benders equal. Korra must help maintain balance in the city while mastering her training.

If you enjoyed the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, then Legend of Korra (2012 - 14) is a great sequel to keep you satisfied. Check out the dvds. You can also read the comics on Hoopla.


Samurai Jack

Jack, a young prince of the emperor, is sent to fight the demon Aku. As he is about to emerge victorious, he is sent to the future by Aku and is trapped there. Now he must find a way to return to the past while surviving in a future that is ruled by Aku. Samurai Jack (2001, rated TV-14) has a great story filled with memorable characters and settings. It is always interesting to see how Jack will solve various issues that the natives of the future have.

Check out season 1 of Samurai Jack on Hoopla today.


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Suzanne Collins' latest novel is a prequel to her well-known trilogy, The Hunger Games, which were also made into feature films. Not having read the books in some time, I started Hunger Games #0 without any expectations, simply following along with the story and characters and trying to piece everything together with the original trilogy.

While I feel that The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020) is not necessary in the grand scheme of things, Part 3 and the epilogue do provide a few big revelations to explain what transpires over the 60-year period before Katniss Everdeen finds herself wrapped up in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in Book #1: The Hunger Games (2008).

Read the ebook or listen to the audiobook on Overdrive. The audiobook is also available to check out today on Hoopla.


Die Hard

John McClane (Bruce Willis), currently separated from his wife, is an NYPD cop invited to her company Christmas party in a Los Angeles skyscraper. When terrorists seize the building and a group of hostages, McClane is their only chance of escape. Die Hard (1988, R) sets the standard for action/hostage movies and catapulted Willis into becoming an action hero movie megastar. Also starring Alan Rickman as his nemesis. Get the "Die Hard Collection" binge box to watch the entire series. It is also featured in the "Christmas Gone Wrong" binge box.


Key & Peele. Season 1

Key & Peele is a sketch comedy show starringyou guessed itKey and Peele (aka Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele), two comedic geniuses who combined their talents to create a memorable show. Their sketches range from relationships, to wacky characters, and they even sometime tackle systematic racism from everyday life. The episodes usually contain several sketches. If a comparison could be made, it is similar to the Chapelle Show in style. Both comedians featured are very funny. Key & Peele (2012, TV-14) is worth a look if you want to look at society from an exaggerated point of view.

Watch Season 1 of Key & Peele on Hoopla today.


LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special

In true LEGO fashion, the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020, TV-G) combines adventure, humor, and fun for kids and adults alike. Star Wars fans will appreciate the time hops between all of the franchise's major moments. We go on this "Life Day" journey with Rey and BB-8 to learn from some of the best and most powerful Jedi masters and meet lots of other favorite characters along the way. With nods to the live-action Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), life-long followers will have some extra Easter Eggs to look forward to.

Check out the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special on one of our Rokus with Disney+.



 



The Great Alaskan Race

I highly recommend the movie, The Great Alaskan Race (2019, rated PG). It is the heroic true story of a race against time during an arctic blizzard. In 1925, there was a diphtheria epidemic that made all the children of Nome, Alaska, deathly ill. The town desperately needed the anti-toxin serum to stop this epidemic. This is the story of the Serum Run.

Twenty brave mushers and 150 courageous dogs traveled 700 miles through -80 temperatures to bring the serum back to Nome to save the children. What should have taken 25 days to travel by dogsled was done in a record of 5.5 days by these heroic mushers and dogs. This proved that anything was possible with hope and courage. The Iditarod Race is done in remembrance of the 1925 Serum Run.

Watch The Great Alaskan Race on Hoopla today or check out the Dvd.



Lost in Shangri-La

In May 1945, a plane took off from an American military base on the perimeter of Netherlands New Guinea en route to buzz the interior. Recently, they had discovered a civilization lost to time that had not had contact with the outside world in thousands of years. To boost morale, one of the officer's greenlighted this sightseeing tour, loaded up the plane with curious personnel, and embarked. Unfortunately, after dipping low into a valley, the plane failed to climb over the next ridge and crashed. Only two men and a woman survived. Injured and surrounded by unfriendly natives, they were stranded. This is the true-life story of the daring rescue mission to extract them from the land that time forgot.

Check out Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II (2011) by Mitchell Zuckoff today. Find the ebook and audiobook on Overdrive. Also browse of list of True Adventure titles.

Apollo 13

"Houston, we have a problem." In April 1970, three astronauts were headed for the moon when an oxygen tank exploded, affecting life support and propulsion. With an all-star cast, Apollo 13 (1995, PG) puts you right there in the lunar module as well as in the room at Houston flight control as the engineers work frantically to bring these men home alive. Apollo 13 was directed by Ron Howard and stars Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, and Gary Sinise.

Fans of Apollo 13 may also enjoy The Martian with Matt Damon. Apollo 13 is available as a DVD as a part of the Binge Box called "Never Travel with Tom Hanks," which includes three other movies: Cast Away, Captain Phillips, and Sully.


Ready Player One

In the year 2045, the real world is so dismal that everyone escapes by spending as much time as possible in a virtual reality universe known as the OASIS. When the creator of this universe dies, he bequeaths his vast fortune and rights to the OASIS to the first person who can find three eggs hidden in the game itself. In order to find these eggs, the gunters (short for "egg hunters") must learn everything they can about 1980s pop culture, especially about how to play the video games of the time.

Wade Watts, an indigent teen living in a stacked trailer park, is determined to be the winner of the contest. Standing in his way is IOI, Innovative Online Industries, a corrupt corporation that will stop at nothing to take control of the OASIS. This sci-fi thriller is exciting right until the end, and especially appealing to anyone who grew up in the 1980s.

Borrow Ready Player One (2011) instantly on Overdrive—both the ebook and audiobook are available.

And stay tuned: Ernest Cline's sequel Ready Player Two will be released November 24.