Although zombies have a long history of appearances in religion and folklore, interest in them as villains in horror films is largely confined to the second half of the 20th century. The explosion in zombie popularity is based on a characterization established by a single film and the fact that the original characterization of the zombi in African folklore and religion, as well as in earlier films, is dramatically different from that of the popular characterization from the 1960s onward. To understand zombies in both their original context and in the role they have come to take in popular culture requires an understanding of two divergent traditions.
The image of a cursed soul doomed to become a werewolf at the rising of a full moon is one of the most iconic concepts in horror. Unlike Dracula or the Mummy, the notion of a “wolf man” or “werewolf” was not cemented by one single actor, author, book, or horror series. It is instead a truly ancient concept dating back to the pre-literate sagas and legends told by Europeans centuries ago.
Louisa May Alcott did not write because she had the need to get the stories out. Louisa May wrote for one reason: she wanted her family to be rich.
When Frank McCourt passed in 2009, he left behind memoirs filled with anguish, love, and dark merriment. Personal experiences are what this Irish-American author took and shaped into works of sorrowful beauty.
Congratulations to the winners of the 21st Annual Teen Art Show! The 11th and 12th graders were judged by Johnny Johnson, a local artist with an international reputation for excellence, and 11th and 12th graders judged the 9th and 10th graders.
Chris Glover, the Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s (CRRL) Assistant Director for Technology, is the winner of the first Public Library Innovator Award given by the Virginia Library Association. This award recognizes public librarians or public library project teams who have made an outstanding contribution to advance the mission of a public library in Virginia through an innovative project, program, or service.
I recently had to get 12 stitches in my leg. It was mesmerizing to watch! But for some reason, nobody wanted to see the pictures I took of the bloody gash or the resulting row of neat black stitches.
I grew up with a nurse mom and a nuclear physicist dad, so our dinnertime conversations were often scientific discourse about what happened in surgery or the emergency room. I didn't realize that this wasn't normal until I horrified some of my playmates with stories they found unbearably gruesome.
In college, I was a serials check-in clerk for the medical library and was fascinated by some of the medical journals. I couldn't wait to look at the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report!
If you find medical history fascinating, look at some of the books on my Medical Mysteries and Maladies booklist.
I was looking at some new picture books recently, and there were two very cute books in the pile featuring cats. It got me thinking about a conversation I had a while ago with a fellow librarian who is a cat lover. She was expressing her disappointment because she felt that cats were underrepresented in children’s picture books. Books featuring dogs seem plentiful, but books with cats are a little harder to find. I don’t know what this means: do people in general really prefer dogs over cats, or is it just children’s book authors and publishers who seem to favor dogs?
I certainly do not want to get in the middle of the perennial cats vs. dogs debate, but I do want to let cat lovers know: do not despair! There is a wide variety of delightful picture books featuring cats, and I have pulled together a list of some of my favorites. Some are funny; some are sweet; some have outstanding illustrations; and all feature cats. As I thought about this topic, it got me thinking that because there is a day for everything, surely there must a National Cat Day, and there is! Feline fans, celebrate your cuddly companions any day, but on October 29, National Cat Day, I suggest you make a special point of grabbing one of these books about cats and inviting a child to enjoy a story with you.