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Ann Nordland - page 3

Ann Nordland has 41 articles published.

is a theater, film and sci-fi nerd who met her fabulous Australian husband while vacationing in Walt Disney World. She lives with him, their two perfect daughters, and the most lovable dog in the world in the Pacific Northwest.

Need some inspiration to help your youngster finish their summer reading?

in Non-Fiction by

You know the drill. It is two weeks until school starts and your young reader still hasn’t finished even one book. Even worse, your school requires that kids complete a certain amount of reading. For some children summertime reading is as simple as a trip to the library. For others, the mere word “reading” elicits groans. Parents stock their children’s shelves with good books. Librarians and teachers put together lists of books to make the process easier. But how do you get the reading done when nothing seems to appeal to the young reader? Well, I like the old adage: everyone is a reader; you just have to find something interesting to read. Think non-fiction! In my years working with…

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One down, five to go: Getting up close and personal with Monty Python

in Potpourri by

  It is easy to forget that the men who make up what began as Monty Python’s Flying Circus started out as writers.  John Cleese said as much when asked if “they ever made things up on stage.” “No, no,” responded Terry Jones immediately. “We aren’t improv actors. Everything is scripted.” “You see, we all started out as writers,” added Cleese. We were at an “add-on” Q&A session in a private room at the top of a bar in the O2, London’s rather amazing entertainment venue, following a performance of Monty Python Live (mostly). Originally meant as a meet-and-greet, the opening night enthusiasm had forced them to hire security and change it to strictly a Q&A session.  We lost the…

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Your cheat sheet for Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove

in Fiction by

For many readers, opening a Debbie Macomber book is like coming home. Her humor and gift for storytelling echo through her books. And that is exactly why fans everywhere are scrambling to watch Cedar Cove on the Hallmark Channel. With more than 170 million copies of her books in print world wide, 750 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list (eight of which have hit #1), a tea shop, a yarn store and a hit television series, she shows no signs of slowing down. Just this year she is releasing four books, including the recently released Blossom Street Brides, Love Letters: A Rose Harbor Novel, being released in August, and Mr. Miracle, out in October as both a novel…

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Betsy-Tacy: The most beloved book series you never heard of

in Non-Fiction by

“[As] far as I can tell, a young adult novel is a regular novel that people actually read.” – Stephen Colbert to author John Green on The Colbert Report, June 23, 2014 Ask Meg Cabot, Judy Blume or Anna Quindlen which authors inspired them and one of the answers might surprise you:  Maud Hart Lovelace. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace may just be the best book series you have never heard of. This series of 13 books spans children’s and young adult literature as the author relates her own, somewhat idyllic, life in the early 20th century, set in fictional Deep Valley, Minnesota. The books chronicle the instant lifelong friendship of three friends, Betsy, Tacy and Tib, from the moment Betsy…

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The New Adventures of Peter + Wendy updates a childhood favorite into modern, adult romcom

in Fiction by

What happens when you turn an iconic children’s story into a modern, adult romcom? You get The New Adventures of Peter + Wendy, a YouTube series as light and sparkling as a glass of champagne. This fun, flirty series takes place in magical Neverland, Ohio, founded by J.M. Barrie and famous for being the first place humans discovered fairies. Peter Pan is a comic book illustrator, John Darling is an aspiring editor of the local newspaper, Wendy is an advice columnist, and Michael is Peter’s pal. Tinkerbell is never seen, but works the camera, her conversation tinkling bells. Rounding out the cast is wealthy entrepreneur Lily Bagha. So, why Peter Pan?  Kyle Walters, co-creator and Peter Pan himself, took time…

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From book to vlog to book: The Emmy Award-winning Lizzie Bennet Diaries reveals secrets

in Fiction by

I confess it. I love film adaptions of classic novels. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, especially since there are plenty of bad ones. (I’m talking to you, 1940s MGM Studios.) But just like a great song can transcend genres, great stories will survive and even thrive in adaption to new formats. A couple of years ago, a transformative way of retelling the classics burst on the internet with the line, “My name is Lizzie Bennet, and this is my life.” The brainchild of Hank Green (who, with his brother, author John Green of The Fault In Our Stars fame, turned vlogging into a lifestyle), and Bernie Su, a writer, director and producer, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a…

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Fiction’s five most misunderstood mothers

in Fiction by

So maybe there was that incident with the apple. Or the embarrassment at the dance at Netherfield. And trying to rip Beowulf from stem to stern was probably a bit extreme. But really, aren’t some of fiction’s mothers just misunderstood? There are plenty of good mother role models: Marmee in Little Women. Mrs. Miniver. Mrs. Lancaster in The Fault In Our Stars. But are the “wicked” moms really so bad? Or are they victims of bad publicity? Maybe they just need a second look: Regina Mills, Mayor of Storybrooke, Maine a.k.a. Snow White’s Stepmother, aka Wicked Queen Once Upon A Time For a do-it-all modern mother, look no farther than Mayor Regina Mills. Regina might have a problem with jealousy,…

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May the Fourth be with you. Always.

in Fiction by

The excitement about a new “Star Wars” film has been building for months, reaching a fever pitch as casting started to leak. Carrie Fisher tweeted about it! Yes, Peter Mayhew will return as Chewbacca. It can’t be a Star Wars film without C-3PO and R2-D2. Then, just in time for Star Wars Day (May 4), the fandom exploded like the Death Star when producer J.J. Abrams tweeted a photo of the table read. Hans Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa are back! “Episode VII” is not a reboot but the promised continuation of the “Star Wars” saga as originally laid out by George Lucas almost forty years ago. It will tell the tale of the rebuilding of the Republic.…

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What would Jesus eat?

in Non-Fiction by

When my daughter was very young, she asked during one Easter dinner, “Did Jesus eat crescent rolls with his ham on Easter, too?” Around the world, Jews and Christians observe Passover or Easter with family and friends, sitting down and sharing a delicious meal that is always a big topic of conversation. In Christian homes someone inevitably asks, “What did Jesus eat?” Uncle Fred yawns, the kids run off to play, and the cousins debate whether or not the Last Supper was a Passover meal. I just figure, Passover or not, Jesus probably knew it was the last decent meal he’d have, and made it a good one. Sometimes I try to imagine what was on that table. Probably not…

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