From Page to Projector: ‘If I Stay’

if i stayWith Hollywood targeting the young female demographic in recent years, it seems that the young-adult novel has become a treasure trove of adaptation ideas. The most recent book to get the big-screen callup is “If I Stay,” published in 2009 and written by Gayle Forman. It’s a story about a cello prodigy named Mia who is trying out for Juilliard and trying to work out the future of her relationship with Adam, the leader of a rising punk rock band.

The story begins with Mia and her family getting into a horrible car crash, leaving Mia comatose and her parents and little brother dead. Mia has an out-of-body experience which allows her to witness everything that happens around her, from doctors performing her surgery to her friends and loved ones coming to the hospital to offer whatever emotional support they can. Throughout the ordeal, the book flashes back to various points in Mia’s life, mostly focusing on her relationship with Adam and with music in general. She is faced with a choice, as introduced to her by one of her nurses: to come to as an orphan and deal with the pain, or to pass on and never see her dreams realized and leave Adam.

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Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers seeks new members in September

The Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers welcomes visitors and is seeking new members, according to a news release. The group will meet 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library, 16 N. Walnut St., Mechanicsburg.

Donna and Brenda Gladfelter will speak on life in pre-Civil War America, according to the release. Published and unpublished writers are welcome to attend. For details, call Beth Batoha at 717-795-0874. For more about the group, visit

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Comic Book Wednesday: ‘Cat Getting Out of a Bag
and other observations’

catgetIf you didn’t already know by your Facebook or Instagram feeds, yesterday was National Dog Day.

We are a ways off from National Cat Day (Oct. 29), but since my husband and I are a cat-only household — for now — I picked up “Cat Getting Out of a Bag and other observations” by Jeffrey Brown.

Brown illustrates one of his cats, Misty, getting into all types of trouble and doing typical cat things, such as sharpening paws, going to the vet and playing with toys. He also shows weird traits and habits cats can have, such as needing the light on in order to use the litter box or how they interact with an owner on a day-to-day basis.

Brown’s book is perfect for cat lovers, as it brings back a bit of nostalgia about your cat. Just looking at the great drawings made me remember how sweet and affectionate my cat (Maggie May) was this morning — and how feisty she will be when I get home tonight to play.

It is a great coffee-table book, with its hard binding and etched letters and drawings in the cover. Pick it up on Amazon or at your local comic book shop.

Comic Book Wednesday is a new feature that will showcase a variety of visually based books that fit into this wide category, to give a taste of this other form of reading.

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Cassandre Bolan, M.A. Stone to sign books at Irvin’s Books

Cassandre Bolan of Carlisle recently won the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest. She’ll be signing books from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 6 at Irvin’s Books on White Street in West York.

Bolan is getting ready to launch a new personal art series that shakes up gender archetypes in mythology to take the science fiction and fantasy industry by storm.  She is excited about painting strong female characters and hopes to take on more work like this from clients in the future, according to a news release.

Bolan will be joined by M.A. Stone, who will be signing copies of “Riveted” and “There Goes The Neighborhood.”

You can see Bolan’s work here.

Read more about M.A. Stone here.

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Meet the Author: Don Gogniat



Don Gogniat, 68, of Spring Garden Township recently released his travel book, “Crossroads: Becoming a Geographer, Ten Joyful Travel Tips that will change the way you see your world.”

“First and foremost, Crossroads is a ‘how to travel’ book.  Its major premise is: travel molds you into the person you will become.  If this is true (and I hope you will see that it is), how to get the most out of any travel experience is important.  The book is particularly useful for college students planning an international academic adventure/program abroad,” Gogniat wrote via our local author web form.

061“Crossroads combines ten joyful travel tips with personal short stories to illustrate the significance of each tip,” Gogniat said, “The tips and stories allow the reader to see the world just a little differently no matter what new environment he or she may be experiencing. Also, it contains short lessons in finding ways to appreciate what you are looking at – a primer in cultural geography.”

Interested readers and travelers can find the book on Amazon.

“I have shared these travel tips with thousands of college students and they seem to respond well to the importance of these ideas for better appreciating the places they visit,” Gogniat said.

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BAM bestsellers for the week of Aug. 24.

1.       If I Stay by Gayle Forman

2.       Sixth Extinction by James Rollins

3.       Where She Went by Gayle Forman

4.       Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

5.       City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare


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On the Shelves: ‘One Book, Your Vote’ underway until Aug. 31

By Deb Sullivan
York County Libraries

Code Name Verity high resWhat do you want to read and discuss in early 2015? That’s what One Book, One Community organizers want to know as they put their top five picks to a public vote this month. “One Book, Your Vote” is underway and continues until August 31st at eighty libraries in six counties: Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York; Isaac’s Deli and Restaurant locations; and online at The book rising to the top will be the 12th selected title for One Book, One Community program. The goal of the annual initiative is to get community members reading the same book at the same time and then gathering to talk about the book.

According to Karen Hostetter, York County Libraries’ liaison to the One Book, One Community steering committee, this year’s book selection Ready Player One Paperback Jacket Imagecommittee started with a list of over 100 books suggested by readers on the website. The group, made up of community members and librarians, ran the titles through their selection cr


iteria, read like crazy, and then narrowed the field to five titles representing a variety of genres. The idea is to get people reading books they might not otherwise read. Now here is the counter-intuitive part. For the “One Book, Your Vote” process, the committees don’t want you to read the books first according to Hostetter. They want you to read the book descriptions, pick the one that interests you most, and then cast your vote.

The books on the 2015 ballot include the following titles:

rosie project tp“Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein
Two female pilots get caught up in a world of espionage and the underground resistance movement during WWII. History, Mystery

“The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion
The unlikely pairing of a scientist and a free spirit tests the limits of spousal suitability. Romance, Humor

“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline
Wade is playing the ultimate video game and the future of the world just may depend on the outcome. Pop Culture, Adventure

“Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline
A foster teen finds similarities with an elderly widow who was sent to a new life on a train OrphanTrain_coverhighrsJPGmany years before. Intertwining stories, present and past

“You Know When the Men Are Gone” by Siobhan Fallon
Loosely connected short stories set on a U.S. army base and in homes of families left behind while soldiers are deployed. Realistic Fiction, Military Families

The winning title will be revealed in late October on “The main reading happens in January and February,” says Hostetter, who notes that most of the programs and book discussions are held in February which has dual notoriety as ”Book Lovers Month” and “Library Lovers Month.

Past selections
Have you read all of the past One Book, One Community picks? They are available to borrow at York County Libraries and libraries across the region.

2014 “The Worst Hard Time” Timothy Egan
2013 “The Cellist of Sarajevo” Steven Galloway
2012 “Zeitoun” Dave Eggers
2011 “The Help” Kathryn Stockett
2010 “The Book Thief” Markus Zusak
2009 “The People of the Book” Geraldine Brooks
2008 “The Grace that Keeps this World” Tom Bailey
2007 “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” Mark Haddon
2006 “The Kite Runner” Khaled Hosseini
2005 “The White” Deborah Larsen
2004 “Rocket Boys” Homer Hickam, Jr.

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From Page to Projector: ‘The Giver’

giverYoung-adult adaptations are all over the Hollywood landscape as of late. It seems like every other month, there’s a new teen book being made into an epic-looking movie. This month, there have been two, the first being a young-adult novel that fans have wanted to see get the big-screen bump for decades.

“The Giver” was written by Lois Lowry and published in 1993. It was met with great acclaim, winning the 1994 Newberry Medal for outstanding children’s literature. It tells the story of 12-year-old Jonas, who lives in a utopian society in which everyone’s lives are monitored and cared for. Children are placed into family units once they turn 1 and are gradually trained to function in the community. At Jonas’ job-placement ceremony, he is given the noble position of the community’s new Receiver of Memories, meaning he will soon be the only one in the society to remember civilizations past in order to provide wisdom to the Council of Elders should they need it.

In his training with the old Receiver, who now goes by The Giver, Jonas opens his eyes to all the things the perfect society thought made living in harmony too dangerous: emotion, weather, music, love, even color. Eventually, Jonas’ training leads him to discover the truth behind the society’s protocol of ridding itself of those too old to contribute, those who can’t find a place and infants who don’t meet qualifications. He and The Giver agree that it’s time to let the memories back to everyone. Jonas escapes in the dead of night with Gabriel, an unadjusted toddler who was due for “release,” and flees, thinking the memories would return to all if there was no Receiver to hold them all in.

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Review: ‘The Singular Pilgrim’ by Rosemary Mahoney

51j39Zx8dYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I don’t read large books, because it takes me forever to even finish reading one book. But there was a particular reason I picked up this 400-page beast by Rosemary Mahoney: I have been struggling with my spirituality.

“The Singular Pilgrim: Travels on Sacred Ground” is Mahoney’s account as she struggles with spirituality and tries to find it at some of the holiest places on the planet. The author ventures to Walsingham, U.K.; Lourdes, France; El Camino De Santiago, France and Spain; Varanasi, India; The Holy Land; and Saint Patrick’s Purgatory, Lough Derg, Ireland.

At each location, Mahoney slowly reveals parts of herself and why she doubted her upbringing.

In Lourdes, we find out that her mother had polio as a child, resulting in a paralyzed leg. In Varanasi, we learn about death and its significance.

In the Holy Land, Mahoney seeks out places where Jesus performed miracles and did the majority of his work, not just the place he was born or other traditional places in Christian theology. However, she learns that these places aren’t as honored as the more popular ones. And in Saint Patrick’s Purgatory, we feel Mahoney’s heartache as she suffers through a terrible breakup.

At first, I thought Mahoney was being sarcastic about Catholicism, judging those who are faithful including her mother. As the book progresses, she sheds layers away that show her humanity, her love for others and her true struggle with her religious beliefs. She seems rough and tough on the exterior, expecting too much from so little, like expecting answers without opening her heart. But we all struggle with this, wanting the burden to be lifted so we could “see the light.” Mahoney meets others who prove, instead, that these crosses are supposed to bring us closer, and not drive us away, from spirituality.

She also sheds light onto religious prejudices within the countries and religious areas. I don’t know if it amazed her as much as it amazes me — the strife, judgement and pain over areas of pilgrimage to a loving and accepting God.

“The Singular Pilgrim” has a lot of facts and history but also emotional and spiritual insight. Mahoney never tells anyone how to be spiritual. She just shares her struggles and journeys.

This book made me want to back my backpack and head back to Europe for a pilgrimage (I had just been there for my honeymoon.) Even more, it made me question my spirituality and opened up my eyes, heart and soul.

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