In Theatres Now: Mad Max

Posted on May 29, 2015. Filed under: Library News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

mad max fury road

In theatres now is the thrilling, action-paced flick Mad Max: Fury Road. The film stars Charlize Theron as Furiosa and Tom Hardy as Max. This film has been receiving a lot of critical praise for its depiction of a strong female lead.

Here are some other films with strong female lead characters.

Put a hold on a copy today!





Buffy the Vampire Slayer

buffy the vampire slayer

Thelma and Louise

thelma and louise

Erin Brokovich

erin brokovich

9 to 5

9 to 5

Fried Green Tomatoes

fried green tomatoes

G.I. Jane

GI jane

Little Women

little women

The Hours the hours

Wendy and Lucy

wendy and lucy

Trouble with Angels

trouble with angels



The Heat

the heat









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Louisa May Alcott: Post #1

Posted on February 16, 2010. Filed under: Recommended Reading | Tags: , , |

Numbering this post #1 implies that there will be further posts on the topic of LMA, and that is my hope and intent.  I was one of the legions of young girls who were mesmerized by Alcott’s novels for children: Little Women; Little Men; Jo’s Boys; Eight Cousins; and Rose in Bloom.  I had my own copies of all these titles, gifts from my great-aunt Grace. I read and re-read them, particularly the tales of the March family.

Last summer, my husband and I spent two weeks in Massachusetts. I blogged some time ago about the public library in Provincetown, Cape Cod, and the Make Way for Ducklings statues in Boston. Now, I share what was my mecca: a visit to Orchard House in Concord, the home of the Alcott family.  Although LMA used Orchard House as the March family home in Little Women, the Alcotts did not move to the house until LMA was well into her twenties. During the years portrayed in Little Women, the Alcotts lived just up the road at Hillside — a house which Nathaniel Hawthorne bought from the Alcott family in 1852.  (The author Margaret Sidney lived there for a time, too. She was the author of another of my childhood favourites: The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.)

Orchard House, home of the Alcotts

The Orchard House tour began in the outbuilding up the hill: the former home of the Concord School of Philosophy, started by Louisa’s father, Bronson Alcott. The Alcott family counted as their neighbours and friends a remarkable number of literary luminaries: Ralph Waldo Emerson; Henry David Thoreau (Bronson helped him build his cabin on Walden Pond); and Nathaniel Hawthorne among them. Louisa grew up surrounded by great minds and great natural beauty. Concord is a picture-perfect small New England town.

Entering Orchard House, I found myself struck by sudden, sentimental tears, finding myself in the home of Little Women. Favourite plot elements came to life for me as we walked through the house: Bronson’s study; the dining room where the March sisters staged their theatrical evenings; “Amy’s” bedroom (with sketches done by the real Amy March, May Alcott) all over the walls; and Louisa’s bedroom, with the half-circle wooden desk surface — no bigger than 2 feet wide — at the window. The simple desk was made by Bronson, and it was here, looking out the window at the Lexington Road, that Louisa wrote Little Women. May’s decorative painted vines and flowers trail up the wall to amuse and inspire her older sister, on whom the support of the entire Alcott family fell.

Last month, I re-read Little Women (35 years or so since my last reading!) , having purchased a lovely facsimile edition of it and several other Alcott titles in the House’s fine gift shop.  Soon into the book, I realized something was amiss, so searched for and found the copy that I had read and re- read as a child. To my dismay, thinking myself such an Alcott aficionado, I realized that mine had been an abridged version!  How many others like me are out there, thinking that they’d read the real Little Women?

This past weekend, I finished reading the newest biography of Louisa: Louisa May Alcott: the woman behind Little Women, by Harriet Reisen. I recommend it to anyone who would wish to better understand the novels, and the unique and fascinating woman who wrote them.

And of course, if you ever find yourself near Concord, do not miss the opportunity to visit Orchard House and The Wayside (formerly Hillside), which is now a museum of the Abolitionist Movement.

Interesting facts:

May Alcott (“Amy”) taught art. One of her students was Daniel Chester French, who went on to sculpt the Lincoln Memorial.

Louisa volunteered as a hospital nurse during the Civil War, and contracted typhoid pneumonia, necessitating her return to Concord. As a precaution against infecting those around her, doctors ordered her luxuriant chestnut brown hair (which reached almost to her feet) cut off. LMA used this experience in Little Women, having Jo March sell her hair to buy her mother’s train fare to visit Mr. March, who was ill in a Union Army hospital.


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