Thursday, November 23, 2017

Muppet King Arthur (Muppet Graphic Novels) #BookReview

muppet-king-arthur by Christopher Jimenez

Bibliographic Info

Title: Muppet King Arthur
Author: Paul Benjamin; Dave Alvarez; Patrick Storck; James Silvani
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA : Boom Studios, 2010.
Edition/Format: Print book : Graphic : Fiction : Juvenile audience
Genre/Form: Graphic novels, Fiction, Juvenile works, Juvenile fiction
Material Type: Fiction, Graphic, Juvenile audience
Document Type: eBook
All Authors / Contributors: Paul Benjamin; Dave Alvarez; Patrick Storck; James Silvani
ISBN: 1608865568 9781608865567 9781608865550 160886555X
OCLC Number: 875958645
Description: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations
Responsibility: writers Paul Benjamin and Patrick Storck ; artists Dave Alvarez (issue 1) ; James Silvani (issues 2-4).
Arthur, -- King -- Juvenile fiction.
Arthur, -- King.
Muppets (Fictitious characters) -- Juvenile fiction.


I love The Muppets. I love everything Muppets. Real quick: Muppet Movie, Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets From Space, The Muppets; all classics. The latest Muppet movie sucked. I saw it, I enjoyed it for what it was... but it was not a classic.

So I was browsing Hoopla again, looking at whatever they had and I saw this Muppet King Arthur graphic novel. I knew that I had to experience the graphic novel series. So I borrowed this from my public library and downloaded the ebook to my phone.

NOTE: The bibliographic info is for the physical edition. I got lazy and didn't locate the e-edition. But don't worry, you can use this info to get it yourself, no problem!


Of course, our lovable green frog friend is the protagonist of this story. Arthur is propelled onto the throne when, as a squire tasked with fetching a sword for Sam of Eagle, the lady of the lake directs him to Excalibur. Arthur the Frog pulls the sword from the stone and is destined to rule all of England.

Sam of Eagle is the main antagonist who is determined to follow the American Democratic process rather than some mystic monarchy. So Arthur is aided by Merlin to assemble his knights by hosting a talent show. They proceed to battle Sam of Eagle, go on a quest and bring civility to England.

As a big fan of the franchise, my expectations might have been too high. I felt that the jokes got a little annoying. I know, the jokes are corny and they are supposed to be corny. But it just felt a little more forced than farce and that is an easy pitfall for this kind of humor.

It was an entertaining read for an afternoon or two, but it's not exactly a "must-add" to my library.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

1776 #bookreview

Bibliographic Info

From WorldCat
Title: 1776
Author: David G McCullough; Recorded Books, LLC.
Publisher: Prince Frederick, Md. : Recorded Books ; [Prince Frederick, Md.] : [Distributed by] OneClick Digital, 2011, ℗2005.
Edition/Format: eAudiobook : English : Unabridged
Material Type: Audio book, etc., Sound recording, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File, Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: David G McCullough; Recorded Books, LLC.
ISBN: 9781449869854 1449869858
OCLC Number: 867115097
Performer(s): Narrated by the author.
Subjects: United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783.


Honestly, who hasn't read 1776 by David McCullough? More than that, who hasn't read something by the great biographer? You know, he also wrote about John Adams and The American Spirit... Well, me; sadly, shockingly even! (Although I did watch the John Adams miniseries with Paul Giamatti on Amazon Prime. It is excellent and I heartily recommend it.) This has been on my reading list for far too long and as I browsed my public library's Hoopla offerings, I saw 1776 and decided to check it out and give it a listen.

As Liaison to the History department, I feel I should at least be familiar with the accessible popular biographies of authors like Chernow & McCullough, even if they are somewhat looked down on by serious academics. At least they provide a baseline of general knowledge that can be improved. But alas, there's only a limited number of hours in the day.


It took a while for me to get into this audio title. I like to read history books on the page (physical or digital) so I can dwell on the details. I found myself wanting to dig into certain phrases when the narrator, David McCullough himself, kept moving on. That is no fault of the writer, it is a personal preference of the reader. Still, it is something of which to beware.

On the subject of the audiobook. While McCullough absolutely did a marvelous job of researching and writing, I did not particularly like his reading of the text. It also threw me when some random lady read random chapters. I assume this is because McCullough read the book initially, and then for the unabridged portions someone else took over. Her voice wasn't bad, it was just a jarring transition at times.

1776 covers the first year of the American Revolution (duh, it's in the title). David McCullough includes details from the highest ranks to the lowest. Eventually, though, he focuses more on General Washingon's tactical decisions which allow the Americans to survive that first year of the war when their cause could have been squashed if the British had made different decisions.

I heartily endorse this book for anyone interested in Early American History. It is eminently accessible and audiobooks are a really convenient medium.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope #bookreview

Bibliographic Info 

From WorldCat
TitleWilliam Shakespeare's Star Wars: verily, a new hope.
Author:  Ian Doescher; Daniel Davis; Jonathan Davis, (Narrator); January LaVoy; Marc Thompson;
Publisher:  New York : Books on Tape, 2013.
Edition/Format:  Audiobook : Fiction : English
Genre/Form:  Adaptations, Parodies, imitations, etc
Material Type:  Fiction, Audio book, etc.
Document Type:  Sound Recording
ISBN:  9780804191807 0804191808
OCLC Number:  869549899
Duration: 3 hr., 29 min.
Performer(s): Read by Daniel Davis, Jonathan Davis, January LaVoy and Marc Thompson.
Shakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616 -- Parodies, imitations, etc.
Star wars (Motion picture) -- Adaptations.
Star Wars fiction.


Being a good librarian who's always looking to improve, I attended the American Library Association's (ALA) Annual conference last summer (2017) in Chicago. It was an absolute blast! It was also my first ALA Annual since I didn't exactly have the means to attend before this past summer. While I heard my colleagues tell stories of the grand buffet of books to be consumed, I really was not ready for it.

Some of these stories include an instance when a colleague packed boxes for the books they intended to pick up at the conference. These boxes were not going to fly back with her, they were headed back to Miami via the UPS store. Now that's what I call planning for a conference.

Opening night at the exhibition hall is like turning children loose in a candy store or turning teenagers loose at a Cici's pizza. Free books for librarians, uh-YES! As luck would have it, I saw this set of William Shakespeare's Star Wars audiobooks as I was about to plunge into the children's section. I probably tripped a few fellow bibliophiles and momentarily lost a colleague, but I scored this impressive tome.

It was not until later on that I inspected the cover at my hostel. (Yes, I stayed in a hostel in Chicago for 5 days this past summer.) This was not just a single title, but a trilogy--the original (IV, V & VI) Trilogy at that! What a score! Three titles in one relatively compact case. I knew this would be awesome!


If the first thing that popped into your mind was, Wow! The Star Wars saga set to glorious iambic pentameter, sweet! You will NOT be disappointed by this audiobook. Ian Doescher marvelously converts the movie script into about 3,000 lines of Shakespearian verse and language, the chorus, fie and anon included.

Verily, a new hope is presented on five discs, representing the 5 acts of the play, naturally. Doescher also claims that Shakespeare and George Lucas are connected by Joseph Campbell. Lucas claims that he rewrote the Star Wars screenplay to align with Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces, making Star Wars one of the first motion pictures to do so explicitly. Many of Campbell's archetypes ( a term actually coined by Carl Jung when he wrote about the Collective Unconscious) are clear in Shakespeare's plays. Well, more accurately, these archetypes are seen in most good literature from all over.

So there you have it! Shakespeare leads to Campbell then leads to Star Wars. Sort of... It's fun anyways!

It is fun to change the format of a beloved work and see to what kinds of interpretations it leads. When a film is represented as a novel, details must be added. When the format changes to a graphic novel, image stills take the lead. It is fascinating to observe the details required to transpose the movie into a play. But when you think about it, a screenplay is very similar to a play. So what we are reading (or hearing) is the script itself.

There are a few interpretive licenses taken with character development. I felt that Leia took on a bit of a flattened role. C3PO received a bit of an insult to his intelligence. And R2D2 received more credit for its role in orchestrating the entire saga.

Notwithstanding, this is an excellent piece to add to any Star Wars fanatic's library; particularly a literary fan. I can't wait to listen to The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Return.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Facebook for News. A Rant

A Little Rant

Do you go to Facebook for news? One of the big stories that keeps clogging my email feeds is the controversy that Facebook is now engulfed in regarding fake news that influenced this years election. Never mind the whole "Silicon Valley is Anti-Trump" line that would actually imply that they would have used their influence to push the election in the other direction if that's what they intended to do.

Here's the thing, why would you go to Facebook for news? I understand that the sharing of links can be helpful. I also understand that trending topics can help keep people informed of what others are saying and doing, but c'mon, man! Facebook for news?

I don't even trust that my friend's photos aren't doctored/filtered/posed to high heavens. Why would you trust Facebook friends for news during an election when so many emotions run high and everyone is divided into one of two camps. (Although you could argue for four camps: 1) For Him, 2) For Her, 3) Against Him, 4) Against Her) Everybody is pushing some agenda.

Curated Content

Is Facebook to blame? We are more likely to blame. Remember that Facebook is a business. While I don't understand everything about how it works, I know that they sell advertisements curated to your interests.

Their algorithm is not something I claim to know, but I do know that I get ads based on my posts, my searches and my friend's activity--particularly friends I interact with a lot. It makes sense that my news feed reflects the views of my peeps.

I repeat, Facebook is a social network, not a non-partisan news outlet. People share what they want and it's up to users to determine whether this content is legitimate or not. I, for one, do not want Facebook to determine what news links should or should not be shared.

More importantly, people need to be aware of who is curating the content for them and whether or not their friends are giving them a balanced view of the world. The best article I have read regarding this election was posted on Facebook by a friend. The article described the phenomenon of living in a social media echo-chamber. That's a real problem. When your echo chamber is limited to your own views, it does not reflect the world at large.

Read this: Dear Democrats, Read This If You Do Not Understand Why Trump Won and be educated.
Good day.
Rant over.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Whiteboard Wisdom #1

Here's something I'd like to try. I'll review my whiteboard every Friday and post a pic of the weekly quote on Instagram. Then I'll follow up with a Monday post. I'll use the hashtag #whiteboardwisdom on the pic. Feel free to join the conversation with your own words of whiteboard wisdom!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Month in the Library Life

I haven't been posting much on blogger, but I have on Instagram! Here's a month of work in a few pictures. Enjoy!

Good morning @fiuinstagram

A photo posted by Christopher Jimenez (@cjmnz8) on

Not the best shot...but still, see the paw, fear the claw, #amiright

A photo posted by Christopher Jimenez (@cjmnz8) on

Just playing a little with #adobespark

A video posted by Christopher Jimenez (@cjmnz8) on

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A New Job!!

Moving Along

I have an old announcement to make: I have taken a new position with the Florida International University Libraries. I am the new Web Services Librarian with the Information & Research Services Department.

I say this is an old announcement because if you know me personally, you already know this info. It has also been updated on all my Social Media profiles, so if you're following me then this might be old news. But it is news I am still super excited about.

Here's a picture of my office decor:

A few tchotchkes have been set up in the office. I might be official now... #fiulibraries #librarylife

A photo posted by Christopher Jimenez (@cjmnz8) on

Here's an interesting little factoid: FIU was recently named the second-best place to work in Florida behind Publix by Forbes Magazine.

A History Lesson

While I am new to the position, I am not new to FIU Libraries.

My first gig was in a computer lab in the Reference department (before its name was changed to I&RS). I also worked in the Juvenile Collection/Curriculum Lab. After a few organizational changes I ended up working full-time for the Division of IT at FIU—that's how I was able to put myself through graduate school (that & my wife who also worked at FIU which brought income and a discount for Family health coverage).

It was at FIU that I decided to become a librarian. I observed the librarians in Reference. I was impressed with their vast knowledge (especially at the age of 19, but still, it's vast). I knew that this was something I wanted to do some day.

All in all, I spent nine (9) working years at FIU before leaving for Fort Myers. And now I am back! And FIU has welcomed me back with wide open arms. (In my two weeks on the job, I've been officially welcomed 3 times in front of various groups and countless times on a personal level.)

Where I Was

By definition, no two places could possibly be exactly the same. There are a lot of differences between the Fort Myers Beach Free Public Library and the Florida International University Libraries. In fact, they are completely different from one another. Just the sheer size of each institution can account for these differences.

Please note that I do not intend to disparage FMBPL. Though I am not happy with how I was treated on the way out, I am grateful for the opportunity they afforded me when nobody else offered me employment. I worked hard for them and feel like my contributions both technically and pedagogically left the place better and more enriched than when I started. I certainly am a better librarian today than I was on day 1.

I suppose the takeaway here is that work environment is a critical part of the job search. You can make more money, but if the environment does not suit your disposition then it may not be a good fit. You may not be happy if going to work is a drag. When I took the position at FMB, I knew the Public library was not my first choice. I respect the public library. I believe it is a critical component of civic health. I also now know that it is not somewhere that I fit in, personally.

Where I Am Headed

I will be taking the year to get acclimated to my new position. It is new on many levels, not the least of which being university faculty as opposed to staff and the different responsibilities related to that position. During this period of time, I will be welcoming my third child into this world.

Sometime in 2017, I plan to begin my Ph.D. That will probably keep me occupied well into 2019/2020. By then, I'll have to figure out my future once again.

Of course, these are my plans and they are always subject to change...
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