Famous actors, renowned directors, best-selling authors, and popular books…

Studios and production companies are gearing up for their big fall releases.  Grab the books before seeing the movies!  Look for these films in your local movie theatres and ask for the books at your local branch library!

(Based on The Family by Tonino Benacquista)
Starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer
A “dark comedy” about the Manzoni clan and the mob — 
a powerhouse cast in this one!


(Based on Great Expectations by Charles Dickens)
Starring Helen Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes
Bonham Carter, known for her eccentric characters, plays
Miss Havisham

(Based on Horns by Joe Hill )
Starring Daniel Radcliffe
Young Radcliffe (Harry Potter) grows a pair – of horns!  Hill is the son of Stephen King

(Based on Carrie by Stephen King )
Starring Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore
A faithful adaptation of King’s novel — and Moore will be a
chilling Margaret White

(Based on As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner)
Starring James Franco
Franco, last seen in “Oz the Great and Powerful”, also
directs this adaptation of Faulkner’s classic

(Based on The Lost Child of Philomena Lee)
Starring Judi Dench
The true story of an Irish woman’s 50-year quest to find the
son she put up for adoption – Dench was made for this role

(Based on Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card)
Starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford
A huge sci-fi release that has come under scrutiny because of
Card’s personal views on gays and same-sex marriage

(Based on Big Sur by Jack Kerouac)
Starring Kate Bosworth and Josh Lucas
This adaptation of Kerouac’s 1962 novel received
excellent reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival

(Based on The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort)
Starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Matthew McConaughey
Di Caprio, riding high after “The Great Gatsby”, teams with director Martin Scorsese yet again

(Based on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins)
Starring Jennifer Lawrence
Could be the biggest film of 2013 — and Lawrence recently won the
Academy Award for “Silver Linings Playbook”

(Based on Four Days in November by Vincent Bugliosi)
Starring Zac Efron and Paul Giamatti
Parkland Hospital in Dallas on November 22, 1963 –
enough said

(Based on Therese Raquin by Emile Zola) 
Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jessica Lange
Lange, one of our greatest living actresses, excels
in roles like this

(Based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien)
Starring Martin Freeman and Ian McKellan
The second installment of Tolkien’s classic — sure to be an enormous
box office success

(Based on Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup)
Starring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender
Producers are expecting this film to grab every major award; it’s being released
just in time for 2013 nominations

Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian



During his lifetime, The Great Gatsby brought F. Scott Fitzgerald only $8397.00 in royalties. Today the book is a staple in high school and university English classrooms and is widely regarded as one of the greatest 20th century American novels. On June 10, 2009, a first edition copy sold for $180,000.00 at Bonham’s in New York.

Scott, as he was called, was born on September 24, 1896, at 481 Laurel Avenue in St. Paul.  This Side of Paradise, his first novel,  was published to wide acclaim in March 1920.  The Beautiful and Damned followed in 1922, The Great Gatsby in 1925, and Tender is the Night in 1934. During the early 1930s, he was one of the highest-paid writers in America, earning $4000.00 per story from The Saturday Evening Post.

East Central Regional Library owns many of Fitzgerald’s works in various formats.  With Baz Luhrmann’s dazzling, ambitious, over-the-top adaptation of The Great Gatsby currently in theatres, there is a renewed interest in Fitzgerald, the Roaring Twenties, and the Jazz Age.  Check out the following, available through any ECRL branch library:

“Beautiful Fools” by R. Clifton Spargo
“Call Me Zelda” by Erika Robuck
“Gatsby’s Girl” by Caroline Preston
“The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain
“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway
“Tales of the Jazz Age” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Ann Fowler    


“A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway
“Everybody Was So Young” by Amanda Vaill
“Sometimes Madness is Wisdom” by Kendall Taylor
“Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Anything Goes” by Lucy Moore
“Fool for Love:  F. Scott Fitzgerald” by Scott Donaldson  
“Midnight in Paris” starring Owen Wilson
“The Moderns” starring Keith Carradine
“The Great Gatsby” starring Robert Redford
“The Sun Also Rises” starring Ava Gardner
“Chicago” starring Renee Zellweger
“Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” starring Essie Davis
If you haven’t read F. Scott Fitzgerald since high school, it may be time to revisit Nick Carroway, Daisy Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby. And perhaps ponder again the closing words of Fitzgerald’s most famous novel, which seem to whisper of the Jazz Age and the “Lost Generation” —–
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”
Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian


It was the largest and most luxurious ocean liner of its time.  Captained by Edward J. Smith, the RMS Titanic left Southhampton, England, for New York City on April 10, 1912.  Four days later, at 11:40 pm on April 14th, the ship struck on iceberg in the North Atlantic, south of Newfoundland, Canada.  In the early morning hours of April 15th, the Titanic broke in two and sank to the ocean floor.

1517 people perished.

April 15, 2012, is the 100th anniversary of a maritime disaster that continues to fascinate people around the world. 

East Central Regional Library has a wide variety of materials on the Titanic in various formats that can be requested and borrowed from your local branch library.

If you enjoy fiction, consider these novels, all published in 2012:

“By the Light of the Silvery Moon” by Tricia Goyer

“The Company of the Dead” by David Kowalski
“The Dressmaker” by Kate Alcott
“Echoes of Titanic” by Mindy Starns Clark
“Hearts that Survive” by Yvonne Lehman
“Promise Me This” by Cathy Golke

For nonfiction readers, the following 2012 titles should prove interesting:

“Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage” by Hugh Brewster
“Shadow of the Titanic” by Andrew Wilson
“Titanic:  Last Night of a Small Town” by John Welshman
“Titanic in Photographs” by Daniel Klistorner
“Titanic Tragedy” by John Maxtone-Graham
“Voyagers of the Titanic” by Richard Davenport-Hines

For film buffs, the library offers both feature films and documentaries:

“Titanic” starring Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck (1953)

“A Night to Remember” starring Kenneth More and Jill Dixon (1958)
“Titanic” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (1997)
“Titanic” starring Toby Jones and Linus Roache (2011)
“Titanic:  the Complete Story” (2011)
“Titanic:  100th Anniversary Collection” (2012)
“Titanic:  the Definitive Documentary Collection” (2012)

 These are only a few of the items you’ll find in the ECRL catalog.  For additional materials in various formats (for children, teens, and adults), access our homepage at www.ecrlib.org and click on “ECRL Catalog” on the upper left. 
And remember that library staff are always happy to assist with queries and suggestions!

Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian

Minnesota’s Own – JUDY GARLAND !

Eighty-nine years ago today, Frances Gumm was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  In 1935, she signed a seven-year contract with MGM, the biggest motion picture studio in Hollywood.  In 1939, she shot to international stardom as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”.

Frances Gumm was better known as JUDY GARLAND.

It was a rough and rocky road for the young girl who first entertained audiences at age two in her father’s theatre.  Musical hits like “Meet Me in St. Louis”, “The Harvey Girls” and “Easter Parade” kept her at the pinnacle of Hollywood stardom in the 1940s, even though she battled personal demons and drug addiction in her private life.  Today Garland is considered one of the great icons of 20th century American entertainment. 

The 36th Annual Judy Garland Festival will be held June 16-18  in Grand Rapids.  Her childhood home is a popular museum and can be visited. For additional information, call 1-800-664-5839 or visit the following website:  http://judynoplacelikehome.org

East Central Regional Library has a wide variety of materials pertaining to Garland that can be requested and checked out.

“Get Happy” by Gerald Clarke is the definitive biography, while “Me and My Shadows” by Lorna Luft is an enlightening, bittersweet memoir written by Judy’s second daughter.

If you enjoy musicals, look no further than our DVD collection.  “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944) is a gentle, nostalgic look at a Midwestern family during the 1904 World’s Fair.  Judy and Van Johnson play feuding music store clerks destined for romance “In the Good Old Summertime” (1949).  And in “A Star is Born” (1954), she gives the finest performance of her career as a young singer rising to stardom while her husband battles alcoholism.   Garland received her only Academy Award nomination as “Best Actress” for this film.

To find these materials — and more, including music CDs — visit the library’s homepage:  www.ecrlib.org and click on “ECRL Catalog” on the upper left.  Then enter “Judy Garland” as a keyword search.

Staff are always willing to help or make suggestions!

Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian


On the evening of March 7, 2010, the 82nd annual Academy Awards were presented at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was officially organized on May 4, 1927, but the first “Oscars” were not awarded until May 16, 1929. That evening, in the ballroom of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, “Wings” was named “Best Picture” of the year. Emil Jannings and Janet Gaynor took home the acting prizes.
Fast forward 81 years. On March 7th the following winners were announced:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz in “Inglorious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique in “Precious”
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker”

It was a night of firsts! Bullock, Waltz, and Mo’Nique were all first-time nominees, and Bigelow was the first woman in the history of the Academy Awards to receive the “Best Director” prize. Also, for the first time since 1943, ten films were nominated for “Best Picture”.
Here are some fascinating facts about the Oscars:
Most Awards (11): “Ben-Hur“, “Titanic”, and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Most Nominations (14): “All About Eve”, “Titanic”
Most Awards – Acting (4): Katharine Hepburn
Most Nominations – Acting (16): Meryl Streep

East Central Regional Library has many Oscar-winning films on DVD and more are being added to the collection on a regular basis. Check our catalog!
The best book ever written about the Academy Awards is probably “80 Years of the Oscar” by Robert Osborne. It’s located in the central reference collection at the Cambridge library for your enjoyment and perusal.
Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian