For those intrepid few who wish to step outside the graphic novel circle, there is also anime. Anime, if you aren’t familiar with it, is the name for Japanese animated programs. They’re not exactly like the cartoons you’ll find on Saturday morning television, although they are becoming more prevalent in the U.S., especially the Toon Network and Adult Swim. Anime typically has a continuing storyline, usually of a season or two, about 12-13 episodes per season. Some however, like Bleach, go on for what seems like forever.
A couple recently added anime titles are among my favorites, and they couldn’t be more different. The first is Samurai Champloo, which literally means Samurai Mash-up. Set in the Edo period of feudal Japan, it’s the story of Fuu, a young girl looking for the samurai who smells of sunflowers, possibly her father. On her journey she brings two very different samurai: Mugen, a wild child with a crazy, mixed up samurai style, and Jin, a traditional samurai, more reserved, but just as deadly with a sword. When they’re not trying to kill each other, they help Fuu in her search throughout Japan. The show is a crazy blend of modern and historical references. It’s like nothing you’ve seen before. I absolutely love it!
The second anime is a modern slice-of-life school story. Bamboo Blade tells the story of a high school kendo club and it’s coach, Kojiro (who seems to be perpetually starving and broke), as he tries to assemble a winning kendo team. When he meets Tamaki it seems he may be off to a good start. Tamaki is a crazy-good kendo enthusiast who makes grown men cry with her skills. Outside of kendo, her only other fascination is an anime called Blade Braver (think Mighty Morphin Power Rangers). As the anime progresses, you’ll see the players perfect their skills (or try to) as they go from tournament to tournament. Some will actually surprise you. I’ve watched the entire series at least twice, and I enjoy it more and more with each viewing.
Both series are welcome additions to anyone interested in manga or graphic novels who wish to try something new. Give them a try. You might just like it.
Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess (and Ambassador of Anime)
Ventura County Library's Summer Reading Program “Reading is so Delicious” has a new format this year.
Children just need to read 5 hours to complete the reading program and earn a prize.
You can get a copy of the reading log from the library, on our website, from the newspaper or at certain local businesses. Color in one strawberry for each hour you read or are read a library book. Once you have completed the five hours, bring the form to your library and pick out your prize. You will also get a chance to win your very own Nook HD at the end of the summer. Participants up to grade 12 can enter once a week for the Nook HD, up to twelve times during the summer.
Ventura County has numerous opportunities for residents to get out and walk. From downtown walking tours to hiking trails, there is something for almost everyone. The Los Padres National Forest, which covers a good portion of northern Ventura County, has many trail heads that start close to Highway 33. Whether you want an easy day hike or a more strenuous backpacking adventure, Foster Library can help you find your way.
Another great cookbook for the “Dish” to run through his vigorous test and evaluation, the title is “The Passionate Vegetable”, by Suzanne Landry. The great thing about this book is that I have met the author and she will be at the Topping Room for a book signing, Saturday June 1st, at 5:00 pm. I met Suzanne just before Christmas of last year, I was very impressed with her book and she seemed interested in doing a book signing at E.P. Foster library. We decided to get the event together when I got back from England.
Well now it’s almost June and I have tried out one of Suzanne’s healthy and delicious recipes. Let me backtrack about the book a bit. The book is gorgeous, the photography is top notch, and it is packed with recipes and nutritional information. The beginning of the book has a note to Suzanne’s readers; it is a gentle way of encouraging her readers to give a healthier diet a chance. Quite frankly this book is a bit of a wakeup call for me, let’s face it I’ve been heavy on the chocolate and light on the vegetables of late. I will purchase a signed copy from Suzanne at the book signing, this you can be assured of.
Now to the recipe I prepared and the reason I prepared it. The Melt-in-Your-Mouth-Granola was the recipe I prepared, after two days hiking in the Eastern Sierra and eating some of the yuckiest store bought trail snacks, I decided it was high time the “Dish” made some yummy healthy trail snacks of his own, and that’s what I did. The granola was a breeze to make and the taste is out of this world, some baggies of this stuff are going on my next hike in June. This book has so much care and love put into it and valuable nutritional information it would be a great loss not to have “The Passionate Vegetable” on your kitchen bookshelf. See you June 1st!!
****** David’s Dish
Check out the book at Foster Library, or put a hold on it - we will send it to you!
If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking.
6/1 Book Appetit
Meet local author Suzanne Landry and learn how to cook healthy meals that will satisfy every craving. Sample her fare and walk away with plenty of great cooking tips.
Local writers Es and Les Cole will share their stories on travel and writing. Both published authors, they will cover topics from self publishing to honing your craft. Join us for a brief talk and plenty of Q & A.
If you’re looking for something unique in your comics, look no further than Leo Geo and his miraculous journey through the center of the earth by Jon Chad. This is not your average graphic novel and its not read in the usual way. Trust me when I say you have to read it to believe it.
It’s the story of Leo, who travels through the center of the earth, and then some, encountering strange creatures and teaching the reader about geology along the way. Now, I’m pretty sure there are no temples built in the inner core of the earth, nor are there any alien beings plotting to come to the surface to attack us (unless, of course, you’re a fan of Doctor Who), but Leo Geo certainly makes it look like a possibility. It’s a fun adventure, and you just might learn a thing or two.
So, if you’re ready for that trip to the center of the earth, Leo Geo is waiting for you.
Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess
E. P. Foster Library needs Teen volunteers to help with our Summer Reading Program which runs from June 12th to August 14th.
Summer Volunteers are only needed :
- Tuesday mornings with crafts at 10:30 am
- Wednesday afternoons from 2pm - 5pm to prep for our shows.
Don’t forget to check with your schools that summer volunteer hours will count towards your required community service in the fall! To see our summer show schedule check out the calendar. For more information on volunteer training call (805)648-2716 ask for Star or Jane!
The Ventura County Library offers Big Library Read May 15th through June 1st. Libraries worldwide spotlight one title for library patrons to read simultaneously, creating a global “library book club”.
The Four Corners of the Sky is master storyteller Michael Malone’s novel of love, secrets, and the mysterious bonds of families. Malone brings characters to life as only he can, exploring the questions that defy easy answers: Is love a choice or a calling? Why do the ties of family bind so tightly? And is forgiveness a gift to others… or a gift we give ourselves?
This program is sponsored by OverDrive and Sourcebooks, Inc. and brought to you by Ventura County Library. Enjoy!