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Happy Star Wars Day, enjoy #maythe4th for #rwpchat #starwarsday

May 4, 2016

4 May is Star Wars Day. Say #maythe4th if you are wondering why.

Music (although not quite a #songread) is a powerful part of Star Wars…and is powerfully evocative of memories of watching Star Wars.  You can explore Star Wars on twitter, instagram, and more.

There is lots of wonderful reading in the Wookieepedia, and suggestions on Goodreads too.  If you are bold enough for William Shakespeare meets Star Wars, try this series by Ian Doescher, and the Star Wars sonnet generator.  Enjoy #maythefourth.
Fitting for today. Some spray paint stenciling from the weekend. (Not my stencil, just my sprayin') #atat #maythefourth #art #stencil

It is May and it is time for #songread as part of #rwpchat

May 1, 2016

ironmaiden

#songread

Whether the power of the riff compels you, twisting & shouting in sympathy for the devil is your thing or you prefer the hills to be alive with the sound of music, this month’s theme of #songread (spinal) taps into the great convergence of music and reading. From the plethora of genres and sub-genres of music styles a wealth of lyrical poetry has been generated, as well as the ones we will blame on the rain.

#songreads opens exploration of the evolution of the musical landscape from indigenous traditions, through the great composers and into the modern era when science & technology have increasingly shaped the sounds we listen to as well as the way we listen to, record & access music.

Biographies of people such as Led Zeppelin’s manager, Peter Grant (Peter Grant: the man who Led Zeppelin by Chris Welch) take us behind the scenes with rock gods and chart the evolution of the business of music.

Titles like Daniel Mason’s “Piano Tuner” & Steven Galloway’s “Cellist of Sarajevo” take us into historical and conflict situations through stories of music.

An investigation of an instrument such as in “Theremin: ether music & espionage” by Albert Glinsky opens the ideas of engineering & invention as well as the emotion & mood which music conveys. The theremin, as well as synthesisers like the famous Moog, earned renown as the spooky backdrop to countless horror/sci-fi movies and television shows.

Telegraph Avenue” by Michael Chabon & “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby highlight the music shop culture of hunters & collectors. The seekers of that elusive musical diamond, maybe even Neil.

Electronic music is an important part of the gaming experience as well as the boom in music as a game (Guitar Hero, DJ Hero) and easily accessible software such as Garage Band on the Apple platform also being relevant to the #songread discussion. Jason Newsted, ex-Metallica bassist, produced his recent album on an iPad with this software!

Magazines of all kinds, from big names like Rolling Stone, Spin & Mojo to favourite out-of-print titles and fanzines, are a vital part of youthful musical exploration and taste development for many people.

Watching is often as important as listening. Live concert films (Woodstock, Sunbury), epic events like the Eurovision Song Contest, modern song and dance competition shows, classic movies (Blues Brothers, Grease & The Rocky Horror Picture Show) as well as composed movie scores and soundtracks all contribute to the Soundgarden of #songread and the quest for musical Nirvana.

There will be a twitter discussion on 31 May starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST. Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags #songread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #songread, so others can join in the conversation too.

Read on you crazy diamonds!!!

Our mate Bill

April 29, 2016

shakespeare5

April 2016 was #bardread. As many around the world commemorated the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, we celebrated “all things Bill”. We put forward our favourite plays, from the delightful to the macabre, recalled great film adaptations and debated who might make a list of the best Shakespearian actors.

Shakespeare continues to maintain a firm hold on our imagination: he is at once great literature and popular culture.

The fact that his works are still going strong after 400 years, and indeed remain a perpetual source of inspiration for new work. He challenges as well as entertains us. We quote him daily (“neither a borrower or a lender be” / “we have seen better days” / “mum’s the word” / “all of a sudden” / and dozens more. . .). He is the Great Bard, an extraordinary figure that we can turn to for advice on, and insight into, all manner of issues. He is also a faithful companion, our mate Bill. Always there.

Appropriately for Shakespeare, our twitter discussion for #bardread was huge. Here’s a selection on our storify board.

join the #bardread discussion today for #rwpchat #shakespeare400

April 26, 2016

There will be a twitter discussion, today 26 April, starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST (UK). Note this is a staggered discussion.

Please use the tags #bardread and #rwpchat as you discuss your reading, watching, and playing that is your experience of #bardread, so that others can join in the conversation too.

2016 is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, so this month we are celebrating all things Shakespeare – the fact that his works are still going strong after 400 years, and indeed remain a perpetual source of inspiration for new work.

A timeline of Shakespeare's plays at the Globe Theatre

A timeline of Shakespeare’s plays at the Globe Theatre – photographed by Dysanovic

When we think of Shakespeare do we think of Elizabethan times, the Globe Theatre, conspiracies, modern retellings (books, movies, songs, and plays), the many works inspired by his plays and sonnets, or the new words he coined and left behind?

Curious to know more about this man, you can go in search of Shakespeare, the Globe Theatre, or explore Shakespeare; or even explore more of the times in which he wrote and performed.

There have been many many works (books, movies, songs, and plays) inspired by Shakespeare – whether a reworking of an original play or sonnet, or the exploration of a character or idea.

He drank and saw the spider by Alex Bledsoe is a compassionate retelling of The winter’s tale, Wyrd sisters from Terry Pratchett retells Macbeth, and Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel shows the plays of Shakespeare lasting when not much else does. If you have not yet discovered William Shakespeare’s Star wars series, a joy awaits you. Try out the William Shakespeare Star Wars sonnet generator. There are ever growing lists of novels inspired by Shakespeare and films and even more films. Doctor Who meets with Shakespeare and JK Rowling allusions are included as well. Star Trek and science fiction are also heavily influenced. The Will Speak machine in some of Jasper Fforde’s writing are just some of the allusions to Shakespeare (if you want to see a comprehensive list for The Eyre affair, follow this link). Goodreads has a delightful list of Shakespeare retellings.

While some films are quite obviously inspired by Shakespeare, have you stopped to consider West Side Story, The Lion King, 10 Things I Hate About You, A Thousand Acres, My Own Private Idaho, Big Business, and Forbidden Planet as reworkings of Shakespeare? What about Kiss Me Kate, Deliver Us From Eva, Were The World Mine, Get Over It, or She’s The Man? Gnomeo and Juliet anyone?

Have you ever wondered that Sons of Anarchy so closely resembles some key elements of Hamlet? Even Doctor Who visits Shakespeare on more than one occasion (okay, there are aliens and monsters involved).

Then there is the music inspired by Shakespeare. Songs which capture the heart and imagination.

 

But perhaps what sets Shakespeare above all others is the legacy of words he has gifted to the modern world. Do you know these everyday phrases that came from the bard? Or these?

Do you ever think woe is me? Are you stony hearted? Have you been on a wild goose chase? Do you wonder what’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet? Do things vanish into thin air or do you wear your heart on your sleeve? Do you ever think we few, we happy few, we band of brothers? Or do you give short shrift to these ideas?

Are you ready for a sea change? Or would that be without rhyme nor reason or it is the be all and end all? Thinking about all that is going on, we have seen better days. But there is no need to get up in arms as truth will out. Can you have too much of a good thing? What things do set your teeth on edge?

Hopefully you are not yet ready to shuffle off this mortal coil, or is that a foregone conclusion? Should you stiffen the sinews or send him packing? It could be high time to avoid the green eyed monster, and say good riddance to foul play. In the twinkling of an eye, as good luck would have it, and sharing the milk of human kindness it is such stuff as dreams are made on.

Indeed, the game is up for star crossed lovers because the course of true love never did run smooth.

If you are as dead as a doornail, as merry as the day is long, as pure as the driven snow, in a pickle or in stitches, or the game is afoot you can thank Shakespeare for these and many other phrases.

You can be eaten out of house and home, or brevity is the soul of wit, but screw your courage to the sticking-place come what come may. But, for my own part, it was Greek to me and comparisons are odorous but you may want to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war or dash to pieces. Do not forget that discretion is the better part of valour. And you can always chant double, double toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron bubble

Are you interested in fair play, do you have your heart’s content or are you the be all and end all, or exceedingly well read, fancy free or do you fight fire with fire for ever and a day? These household words, while hot-blooded all of a sudden have gone to all corners of the world, and thereby hangs a tale, but it is all one to me. Beware the ides of March, for I bear a charmed life. Lie low or run like the Dickens. Love is blind but not lily-livered. It can make your hair stand on end. It is a sorry sight, but at least all’s well that ends well, unless you lay it on with a trowel. More fool you if you are hoist by your own petard. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, if not the primrose path or the crack of doom. Screw your courage to the sticking place I have not slept one wink and I will wear my heart upon my sleeve. It beggar’d all description for the night owl but it is meat and drink to me. No more cakes and ale? But neither a borrower nor a lender be and do not makes Much Ado about Nothing. Now is the winter of our discontent, but oh, that way madness lies so once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. To be or not to be, that is the question

We may have gotten a little carried away there, please forgive us, but do celebrate with us the wonder and delight that is Shakespeare!

 

 

A #bardread visit to Stratford-upon-Avon

April 22, 2016

This month’s theme is #bardread. How about visiting the house in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon where William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 to see where the story began? We joined visitors from all over the world that had come to see the birthplace of the world’s greatest dramatist. Our knowledgeable guide, wearing period costume, told us what life would have been like in Shakespeare’s time. We followed him through the timbered rooms, ducking to avoid the low lintels over the doors.

We then walked along a footpath, for just over a mile, to reach Anne Hathaway’s family home in the hamlet of Shottery. It is a lovely half-timbered thatched cottage surrounded by beautiful gardens. It was a sunny day so we took time to admire the colourful flowers in the borders and walk through the willow arbour to see the giant willow sculptures.

Our next stop was the site of New Place where we saw the stunning knot garden. Shakespeare bought New Place in 1597 and lived there with his wife Anne Hathaway for nineteen years until his death in 1616. At the moment New Place is undergoing restoration and is scheduled to re-open in July 2016 and will be at the centre of the worldwide celebration of his legacy.

We thought we had stepped back in time when we visited Mary Arden’s House, the farmhouse where Shakespeare’s mother grew up. We were greeted by the delicious smells of cooking as a guide dressed in period costume prepared food over the fire in the kitchen. We learnt that the family would have eaten food from wooden plates called trenchers. We then had the opportunity to try the skills and crafts from that time.

A visit to Stratford-upon-Avon would not be complete without seeing one of Shakespeare’s plays performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The grade II listed theatre contains several of the original art deco features of the 1932 Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. It is located on Waterside next to the River Avon and can seat 1,040 people.

Why not share your thoughts about Shakespeare during our live Twitter chat on Tuesday 26 April using the tags #bardread and #rwpchat so others can join in the conversation.

Monique (Surrey Libraries)

April is #bardread to celebrate all things to do with Shakespeare #rwpchat #shakespeare400

April 1, 2016

#bardread

2016 is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, so this month we are celebrating all things Shakespeare – the fact that his works are still going strong after 400 years, and indeed remain a perpetual source of inspiration for new work.

A timeline of Shakespeare's plays at the Globe Theatre

A timeline of Shakespeare’s plays at the Globe Theatre – photographed by Dysanovic

When we think of Shakespeare do we think of Elizabethan times, the Globe Theatre, conspiracies, modern retellings (books, movies, songs, and plays), the many works inspired by his plays and sonnets, or the new words he coined and left behind?

Curious to know more about this man, you can go in search of Shakespeare, the Globe Theatre, or explore Shakespeare; or even explore more of the times in which he wrote and performed.

There have been many many works (books, movies, songs, and plays) inspired by Shakespeare – whether a reworking of an original play or sonnet, or the exploration of a character or idea.

He drank and saw the spider by Alex Bledsoe is a compassionate retelling of The winter’s tale, Wyrd sisters from Terry Pratchett retells Macbeth, and Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel shows the plays of Shakespeare lasting when not much else does. If you have not yet discovered William Shakespeare’s Star wars series, a joy awaits you. Try out the William Shakespeare Star Wars sonnet generator. There are ever growing lists of novels inspired by Shakespeare and films and even more films. Doctor Who meets with Shakespeare and JK Rowling allusions are included as well. Star Trek and science fiction are also heavily influenced. The Will Speak machine in some of Jasper Fforde’s writing are just some of the allusions to Shakespeare (if you want to see a comprehensive list for The Eyre affair, follow this link). Goodreads has a delightful list of Shakespeare retellings.

While some films are quite obviously inspired by Shakespeare, have you stopped to consider West Side Story, The Lion King, 10 Things I Hate About You, A Thousand Acres, My Own Private Idaho, Big Business, and Forbidden Planet as reworkings of Shakespeare? What about Kiss Me Kate, Deliver Us From Eva, Were The World Mine, Get Over It, or She’s The Man? Gnomeo and Juliet anyone?

Have you ever wondered that Sons of Anarchy so closely resembles some key elements of Hamlet? Even Doctor Who visits Shakespeare on more than one occasion (okay, there are aliens and monsters involved).

Then there is the music inspired by Shakespeare. Songs which capture the heart and imagination.

 

But perhaps what sets Shakespeare above all others is the legacy of words he has gifted to the modern world. Do you know these everyday phrases that came from the bard? Or these?

Do you ever think woe is me? Are you stony hearted? Have you been on a wild goose chase? Do you wonder what’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet? Do things vanish into thin air or do you wear your heart on your sleeve? Do you ever think we few, we happy few, we band of brothers? Or do you give short shrift to these ideas?

Are you ready for a sea change? Or would that be without rhyme nor reason or it is the be all and end all? Thinking about all that is going on, we have seen better days. But there is no need to get up in arms as truth will out. Can you have too much of a good thing? What things do set your teeth on edge?

Hopefully you are not yet ready to shuffle off this mortal coil, or is that a foregone conclusion? Should you stiffen the sinews or send him packing? It could be high time to avoid the green eyed monster, and say good riddance to foul play. In the twinkling of an eye, as good luck would have it, and sharing the milk of human kindness it is such stuff as dreams are made on.

Indeed, the game is up for star crossed lovers because the course of true love never did run smooth.

If you are as dead as a doornail, as merry as the day is long, as pure as the driven snow, in a pickle or in stitches, or the game is afoot you can thank Shakespeare for these and many other phrases.

You can be eaten out of house and home, or brevity is the soul of wit, but screw your courage to the sticking-place come what come may. But, for my own part, it was Greek to me and comparisons are odorous but you may want to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war or dash to pieces. Do not forget that discretion is the better part of valour. And you can always chant double, double toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron bubble

Are you interested in fair play, do you have your heart’s content or are you the be all and end all, or exceedingly well read, fancy free or do you fight fire with fire for ever and a day? These household words, while hot-blooded all of a sudden have gone to all corners of the world, and thereby hangs a tale, but it is all one to me. Beware the ides of March, for I bear a charmed life. Lie low or run like the Dickens. Love is blind but not lily-livered. It can make your hair stand on end. It is a sorry sight, but at least all’s well that ends well, unless you lay it on with a trowel. More fool you if you are hoist by your own petard. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, if not the primrose path or the crack of doom. Screw your courage to the sticking place I have not slept one wink and I will wear my heart upon my sleeve. It beggar’d all description for the night owl but it is meat and drink to me. No more cakes and ale? But neither a borrower nor a lender be and do not makes Much Ado about Nothing. Now is the winter of our discontent, but oh, that way madness lies so once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. To be or not to be, that is the question

We may have gotten a little carried away there, please forgive us, but do celebrate with us the wonder and delight that is Shakespeare!

 

There will be a twitter discussion on 26 April starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST (UK). Note this is a staggered discussion.

Please use the tags #bardread and #rwpchat as you discuss your reading, watching, and playing that is your experience of #bardread, so that others can join in the conversation too.

 

catch up on the #redread discussion for #rwpchat

March 31, 2016

#redread proved a popular display theme with several libraries sharing their #redread ideas, with these being just two of the examples.
#redread promotion for #rwpchat in in Wentworth Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Untitled

You can look at the storify of the discussion here, and rebelmouse is looking red with the discussion too.

The #redread discussion included Mars, politics, crime, cooking and Game of Thrones.

Next month, as part of #shakespeare400 be ready for all things Shakespeare and Shakespeare inspired with #bardread

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