Tiny Beautiful Things bookjacketI’m sort of in love with Cheryl Strayed. I’ve read and listened to her books. I watched the movie based on her book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and now I listen to the Dear Sugar podcast she does with Steve Almond every single week.I think that the best way to experience Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar is on audiobook, read by Strayed herself. This book is a compilation of letters and and her answers when she was the advice columnist at The Rumpus. The advice to her letter-writers and the personal stories she shares are simply beautiful when you can hear them in her voice.

I like her so much because she truly knows how to get to the heart of an issue but she does it with so much compassion and with the understanding that humans have oh so many foibles. We’re just not perfect creatures that make the best decisions sometimes. We don’t always have the perspective to look at our issues. Cheryl has made her share of mistakes (see Wild) but she also knows how to help us figure out better ways of being in the world.

Brave Enough bookjacketHer latest book, Brave Enough, is a collection of her wise words. It’s inspiring. Cheryl has gathered up some of her most thoughtful and insightful words and packaged them all up in a lovely volume. I think it will make a splendid gift book both for yourself and for your loved ones - though when I give it to my friends and family, I’ll pair it with Tiny Beautiful Things and Wild.

I now have something more Cheryl Strayed-like to look forward to - Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern are collaborating on an HBO-sponsored project to produce a series based on Tiny Beautiful Things. Cheryl Strayed’s husband, Brian Lindstrom (a hugely talented filmmaker-if you haven’t seen his documentary, Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse, please watch it soon.) will be doing the TV adaptation. The series will “explore love, loss, lust and life through the eyes of a Portland family who live by the mantra that the truth will never kill you.” I can’t wait!

November is Native American History month, and one way you can celebrate American Indians this month, and throughout the year, is by diversifying your reading and research. Did your teacher assign you an author biography? Why not select a Native author for your report, and read one of their books while you are gathering facts about their life. Here are five great authors to get you started:

  • Sherman Alexie is Spokane/Coeur d'Alene and was Multnomah County Library’s 2013 Everybody Reads author. If you type his name in the search box on the library's homepage you will find both facts about him and booklists featuring his work. Alexie writes for both adult and young adult readers.

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  • Tim Tingle is Choctaw and writes children’s and young adult books. Many of his books for children are folk tales because Tingle is also a storyteller. In this interview he speaks about the historical perspective of Native American storytelling.

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  • Cynthia Leitich Smith is Muscogee Creek. She is the author of fiction for children and young adults, and her work includes thevery popular supernatural series Tantalize. She is also an avid blogger interviewing other authors, reviewing new books, and giving away advanced review copies!

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  • Joseph Bruchac is Abenaki and is the author of short stories, novels, and poetry. He is a prolific author, writing for all ages across many genres.

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If you are looking for more Native authors or book titles that properly represent the Native Nations in the United States visit American Indians in Children’s Literature . This great resource is written and curated by Debbie Reese, teacher, who is tribally enrolled at Nambe Pueblo in northern New Mexico.

Still need more information? Ask a librarian

My love of football began early in high school when my then favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, were rivals of the Dallas Cowboys who were my friend, Cheri’s, main football squeeze.  I won’t date myself by mentioning who the quarterbacks were, but they both were really good!  I also enjoyed going to high school football games.  Although I attended an all-girls school, our brother school had a team, and my friends and I knew some of the players and cheerleaders.  Don’t ask me if they were any good – it was mostly a social event where the action was as much in the stands as on the field! 

Not only do I like watching football, but my enjoyment of the sport extends to books as well. There are plenty of them out there that feature teens, and here are a couple I’ve read in the past month.

I love a goMuckers book jacketod underdog story, and the Muckers in Sandra Neil Wallace’s novel sure fit that description. It’s 1950 and the mines in Hatley, Arizona are running out of ore.  Layoffs are happening right and left and, as a result, the high school is closing down. This is the Hatley Muckers’ final opportunity to win the Northern title, go to the state championship and bring football glory back to the town.  Quarterback Red O’Sullivan and wingback Cruz Villaneuva are going to work their guts out to make it happen.Dairy Queen book jacket

Because I’m a female who likes football, I was really pleased when Dairy Queen came out a number of years ago.  I’ve been meaning to read it forever and finally got around to it in October.  D.J. is a girl in a family of boys – a family that loves, loves, loves football and has produced some darn good players.  Things are in a bit of an upheaval though, and D.J. is left to manage the family’s dairy farm one summer when her father is injured.  When Brian, the quarterback from the rival high school shows up to help out, D.J. is  miffed. Brian seems lazy and cocky and much more trouble than he’s worth. It turns out that Brian needs her help as much as she needs his though – help in the form of training for the next football season.  And exactly how is THAT going to work?

For more stories of teens on the gridiron, check out this list.

Mt Hood Winding home on the north bound #12, just at sunset, the bus is topping the viaduct before the 4900 block stop, when it happens... the Willamette Valley opens up all the way to the Cascades foothills, the river throws back glints of gold, and like a blueberry on top-majestic Mt.  Hood, blue and white in the receding light, dominates the scene. I hope I never fail to stop and look at this sight. It hits me then, this is home. I am a Portlandian.

I may not be one of your exalted (and rarely seen) ones: born, bred, never left, and never will. I am but one of thousands who through curiosity, family ties or sheer dumb luck ended up on the western edge of U.S. civilization. So it is time to bid a fond farewell to the southwest of desert dirt and endless sky which nurtured me. Time to embrace gray days, craft beer, thrifting and the new holy trinity: coffee shop next to sushi bar next to Thai restaurant as my new reality. Goodbye dust, oh no wait, dusty furniture is as much a fixture of NW life as it is in New Mexico. Go figure with all this rain.

Here, however is a list with no mystery. All but the first three are Southwest Books of the year Award Winners. The books run the whole gamut of what makes New Mexico a fascinating place to be and to be from. Native American art, the spirit life of the land, the kooks who find shelter in this forbidding and fascinating landscape will absorb you, astound you, but never bore 

White Sands


Adios! The Land of Enchantment. 


Multnomah County Library's Lucky Day service includes books for kids, teens and adults.  Lucky Day copies are available for spontaneous use and are not subject to hold queues.  Nobody can place holds on these items; it's first come, first served.  That means you might not have to wait at all for the most popular new titles!  You never know what you might find at your neighborhood library - it just might be your Lucky Day!

Image of Symphony for the City of the DeadI have a never-ending fascination with stories and accounts of the human response to war and political oppression. I also have an obsession with stories of survival against overwhelming odds. And on top of all that, I have a deep love for classical music. So, what happens when I find a book that combines all three of these elements? It's a book that I'm going to rip through pretty quickly.

Born during the waning years of the Russian Empire, Dmitri Shostakovich's life would span most of the Soviet Union era. Through the years, he managed to escape imprisonment or death during Stalin's Great Purge of the 1930s, the Nazi Blitzkrieg of the 1940s, and the continued repression of post-war USSR. In M.T. Anderson's book Symphony for the City of the Dead, the author relates the story of this remarkable composer's life, focusing on the composition of his seventh symphony and the attempt to smuggle the work to the West for publication and performance.

Living in Leningrad during nearly two and a half years of siege by German forces, Shostakovich and his family endured continuous shelling, starvation, and sub-freezingImage of Dimitri Shostakovich temperatures in this city where mass death was part of everyday life. So it was amazing that he could complete this massive work at all under such conditions. Even more amazing was that the finished work was transferred to microfilm and safely transported by truck through the war-torn USSR, then by airplane to Egypt, western Africa, and Brazil, finally ending up in Washington, D.C. It would soon become a symbol of resistance to violence and oppression and a testimony to the human spirit.

A room full of excited elementary school-age kids got a sneak peak at Multnomah County Library’s new Discovery Kits on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Troutdale Library.

These hands-on projects are geared toward K-5 kids and their families, with interactive building projects that explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) ideas. “My son really wants to figure out how things work” so these kits are a perfect fit, said Sadie, whose twin 5-year-old boys were immersed in building robots.

The new Programming and Coding kit helps kids learn the basics of coding by drawing paths with markers that a programmable robot will follow. At Tuesday’s Science Squad, the kids wasted no time figuring out the patterns and colors needed to make a working path. And when the robot stopped moving, problem-solving kicked in organically, and the kids adjusted their “coding” by drawing thicker lines — all without a computer.

Building on success

The Discovery Kits project is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to our library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support. And now the project is expanding from a successful pilot in 2013 that brought 30 kits to Troutdale, Hollywood and Midland libraries. With the addition of five new kit themes, the project is growing to North Portland, Rockwood and Belmont libraries, with a total of 120 kits in circulation.

The most exciting thing about the new kits? “They have circuitry and little robots!” said librarian Violeta Garza, who led the Science Squad meeting. “It’s not something you normally find at a library” And with support from The Library Foundation, Violeta added, the project has support to engage more young people in STEM learning.

Science for everyone

Each kit contains games, hands-on activities, books and suggestions for school-age families to bring STEM concepts into home learning and play. No special science background or equipment is required. Many of the materials include instructions in Spanish, other languages and pictures. And the kits aren’t just for use at the library. As of Nov. 6, the Discovery Kits can be checked out and placed on hold at any Multnomah County Library location.

Multnomah County Library offers STEM programs for all ages, from nature-themed storytimes to activities at Rockwood Library makerspace to adult computer classes and more.

Science Squad next meets Nov. 17 at Troutdale Library. Registration is required.


The Bridge Over the River Kwai book jacketI often hear people say, “Oh, you should read the book. It’s so much better than the movie.” Is that always true? Filmmakers often Bridge on the River Kwai dvd coveradapt novels, but what they do with them, well; let’s just say the results can be mixed. It’s understandable. A novel is usually a singular effort that essentially has unlimited space and time whereas a movie is a collaboration with many limitations such as budget and run-time. Compromises are often the result and, if you love a book, the film may seem hollow.  I found myself pondering this question recently and thought I would revisit some of my favorite war movies based on novels. I experienced a revelation about the difference between text and film—namely that there is no definitive answer. I chose war movies because they are often broad is scope, very dramatic, but also lend themselves well to the visual medium of film. So, here’s some of what I discovered in my little personal exploration:

The Bridge Over the River Kwai: This is the perfect example of the movie far exceeding the book. The novel by Pierre Boulle is significantly different from the film. Honestly, the book feels dated in its Eurocentrism and writing style whereas the movie possesses superb performances by the leads, especially Alec Guinness who won an Oscar. You can safely skip this book and just enjoy the movie.

The Bridges at Toko-Ri: James Michener writes about an American pilot during the Korean War who weighs his sense of duty against his devotion to his family during a war largely unknown at home. The film follows the novel very closely so the difference comes down to taste. The book is exciting and well-written, whereas the movie, made with the cooperation of the U.S. Navy, possesses some thrilling flying scenes and solid performances. Both are worth your time.

Catch-22: Joseph Heller’s classic novel is a complex, scathing satire of war. The movie tries to capture that anti-war sentiment. I love this book, so maybe it colors my perception, but I found the film unsatisfying. There are many funny moments, strong performances and seeing all those airplanes satisfies my personal aviation obsession, but in their effort to capture as much of the book as possible, the filmmakers give us a hodgepodge of scenes and characters that are not fully developed. Unless you’ve read the book, a lot of the movie may not make much sense. In this case, at least read the book first. You don’t need to see the movie. 

There are plenty of war films based on novels out there. Here is a modest list you can explore and answer the question for yourself, “Is the book really better than the movie?”

We could sit and analyze it for a long time -- we could get really microscopic about it--but let's just admit that little, teeny tiny things are infinitely engrossing, and often adorable. Teeny-tiny cute! Teeny-tiny kittens...awww! Minature houses, miniature cupcakes...perfection! Eensy weensy characters having adventures? Bring it on!

For whatever reason, stories about microscopic worlds have always been appealing to kids. Maybe you were a fan of The Littles back in the day. Or maybe you go back, back to the days of The Borrowers. Would kids today love those stories? Yes, I think they would. If you have a beginning reader you'd like to introduce to the world of all things small, you might start with James to the Rescue, by Elise Broach, the story of a beetle family living in a house.

What does a beetle family like best of all? Going collecting! But collecting is dangerous work in a world that is so much bigger than you. When Uncle Albert gets hurt on a hunting expedition, it's up to Marvin, boy beetle, to enlist his human friend James to come to the rescue. Kids who are just getting started with longer chapter books will enjoy this story of suspense, resourcefulness and friendship.

If your young reader enjoys James to the Rescue, here's a very small door (in the form of a list ) into the world of all things small.

In July the CDC reported high levels of heroin use, up 63% in the last ten years.  Why is that?  Because people who become addicted to prescription pain killers find that heroin does the same job for less money.

Being an illegal drug, many addicts end up in jail.  But some places are trying different approaches.  Seattle is offering the LEAD – Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion – program to offer homeless drug addicts access to treatment, housing, and job training.  Massachusetts distributes Narcan, a nasal spray that stops a heroin overdose, to anyone who thinks they may need it to save a loved one or friend or client.   In Oregon, doctors are looking to turn off the spigot at the source and reduce opiod prescriptions for chronic pain.  Although maybe these more compassionate approaches are coming because heroin addicts tend to be white.

S.P.Q.R.: A History of Rome

by Mary Beard

Cambridge classisist Mary Beard presents the rise of Rome from a lowly village to an imperial city spreading its power from Syria to Spain by 63 BCE. Destined to be a standard work.

Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber, and the Golden Age of the New Yorker

by Thomas Vinciguerra

The author revisits the early years of the New Yorker with stories of the colorful characters that made the New Yorker prestigious.

The Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words

by Randall Munroe

For anyone who has ever wondered how things work and why, the author humorously provides simple explanations for some of the world's most interesting things. Enjoy!

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World

by Bill Nye

Bill Nye, the Science Guy, enthusiastically brings his scientific curiousity and optimism to the issue of global warming and presents possibilities for a cleaner future.

Forget raindrops and whiskers,  holing up with a good read has always been of my favorite things.

As a quiet and curious, kid, reading was my escape. These days I crack a book for a "few chapters" and find myself reluctantly setting it aside after realizing that it's one AM. The brief moment of contentment between the book hitting the nightstand and turning off the light reminds me why I read.

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It also makes me think of the books that kept me awake when I was younger, as well as a some recent reads that my ten year old self would have devoured until bedtime. These stories about adventure, unlikely companions, and some wackiness are great for reading together or curling up alone in a favorite spot.

My all time favorite? The Westing Game . For more, check out this list or ask me for a recommendation!


The Elephant's Journey bookjacketElephants...who doesn't love these magnificent intelligent animals? They have been roaming the planet forever and have often been the center of our attention, for good or for bad.

You can see these peculiar protagonist of the animal kingdom in Africa, Asia, and in national parks,  not to mention in circuses, zoos, palaces, and out working the fields. But to see them from a different viewpoint, here are some books that honor the elephant.

The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago presents the enchanting narration of Solomon, an Asian elephant, his keeper, and a cortege of people who in 1551 traveled from Lisbon to Vienna when the King of Portugal gave him as a wedding present to the Archduke Maximilian.

Still Life With Elephants by Judy Reene Singer tells us the hilarious story of a horse trainer who goes to Zimbabwe to rescue injured elephants right after she finds out that her husband's lover is pregnant. This revealing trip to Africa makes her confront a series of life challenges, including having to train an elephant and solving her relationship issues.

Michael Morpugo's children's book An Elephant in the Garden portrays Marlene, an elephant who is saved by her zoo keeper at the end of the Nazi regime 1945, when the Russian army invades Dresden and people have fled the city.

I'm sure these noble and wise animals will continue to inspire us even in times when their existance is so adversly affected.

Check out the list below for some related reading suggestions. 


I’m not going to read Go Set a Watchman. I love To Kill a Mockingbird too much to risk it, and I tend to always believe Fresh Air book reviewer Maureen Corrigan, who says Watchman is a mess. But luckily, all of the recent talk about Harper Lee reminded me that To Kill a Mockingbird would be a good book to share with my son. My son is eleven, and he still likes me to read out loud to him, although I have the bittersweet feeling it could end at any moment.  Mockingbird wound up being a rich, intense experience for my family because we had it with us when we went camping at Lake Olallie in the Cascades. There was enough sun for us to get out for a long hike on Saturday, but it rained a lot. Happily, we’d reserved a cozy little yurt, complete with a propane heater. Rain sounds lovely pattering on the roof of a yurt.

And fortunately for us, there was no Internet service there. What we had instead was Monopoly, Yahtzee, Backgammon and To Kill a Mockingbird. My teenage daughter and my husband wound up listening to the book too. And it was great. I’m assuming you know the story, if not from the book, then from the excellent 1962 Gregory Peck movie, right? But maybe you’ve forgotten what a vivid character Scout is and how funny the dialogue is?

This was an unbeatable family read that opened up ways to talk to my kids about racism, right and wrong and how people behave in groups. If you haven't read To Kill a Mockingbird since high school, think about reading it again, and I'd urge those of you who are parents to look for opportunities to read it with your kids, even if it takes an off-the-grid excursion into the mountains to make it happen. 

Artistic EKG reading.The open enrollment period for 2016 health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016. If you want coverage that starts January 1, 2016, you will need to enroll by December 15, 2015. Do you have questions, or are you overwhelmed by the process? Here are some ways to get help:

Make an appointment at your library. The Central, Belmont, Gresham, Holgate, Kenton and Midland libraries are partnering with the Multnomah County Health Department to answer your questions about the application and enrollment process. Interpreters are available upon request. Check out the dates and registration info.

Find help in your neighborhood, in your language. Type in your zip code and preferred language and the website will help you find a local certified insurance agent or community partner who can help you with the enrollment process. Nonprofit organization Project Access NOW is holding many local healthcare enrollment events in English, Spanish, Russian and Somali (and Vietnamese by appoinment); here is the full schedule (pdf).

Find answers online or by phone. has a quick guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace and a Get Answers page with a lot of information; they also have coverage information specifically for self-employed people, people with disabilities, veterans, retirees, and many others. You can contact by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). For reminders and updates, you can read the blog or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace also offers general information for consumers through a local service center, which can be reached by calling 1-855-268-3767 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or emailing

If you need more resources, you can always contact a librarian!

LEGOland FloridaLEGOs. You probably played with them when you were little, and maybe, like me, you still have a stash of LEGOs that you pull out when the mood strikes. Or maybe you're a parent who is intimately familiar with the excruciating pain of stepping barefoot on a LEGO, cursing the day that you ever let those tiny instruments of torture into your home. No matter what your opinion is of this classic toy, you have probably clicked a few of those bricks together at some point in your life.
Last November I was lucky enough to visit LEGOland in Tampa, Florida. I was completely in awe of the creativity and skill that went into building everything out of LEGOs. Buildings, bridges and boats, animals, Star Wars scenes and full sized characters, a full sized car, all built with LEGOs. What can be build with those bricks is only limited by your imagination (and access to vast supply of LEGOs). 

A couple of months ago I wrote about how I had just started reading and appreciating manga. Well, my first touch of manga fever has become an acute case of manga-itis that has taken over my reading life. Biweekly trips to the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Beaverton have served only to further my new obsession. Pursuing their manga shelves provides regular inspiration for my “must read” list. Given my love for horror films and graphic novels it should come as no surprise that the manga that I have been most drawn to falls within the horror and supernatural genre. 

Seraph of the End book jacketSeraph of the End is set in a world that is ruled by vampires. After a mysterious virus kills all humans over the age of 13, vampires come out from the shadows to take over. Intent on avenging the deaths of his friends and family, a young, angry and impulsive Yuichiro joins the Japanese Imperial Army. Yuichiro is anxious to earn his demon weapon and start battling vampires, but first he has to take on a most difficult task, make friends with his fellow vampire slayers.

Tokyo Ghoul book jacketToyko Ghoul is a series that was first released in the U.S. this year. I was first drawn in by how beautifully illustrated this manga is but the story has made me want more.The plot centers around Ken Kaneki a shy, book loving college student who enjoys hanging out with his best friend Hide. After a violent encounter, Ken finds himself in the hospital with a new kidney, a kidney that once belonged to a ghoul. Now half-human and half-ghoul, Ken must learn how to straddle the thin line between the human world and the vicious underground world of the ghouls. 

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service book jacketAdapted and published in English by local darlings Dark Horse Comics, The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service is a horror manga that I am in love with but that I recommend with a bit of caution. Some of the stories are quite gruesome. This series follows the adventures of five recent graduates from a Buddhist college who find that their special skills do not translate to employment. So what are a hacker, a dowser, an embalming specialist, a medium and a psychic to do? Carry out the wishes of the dead, of course. 

Kitaro book jacketThe last title that has sparked my manga loving heart is KitaroThe series was first published in the 1960s, but an English translation collection of the Kitaro episodes was published in 2013. The main character, Kitaro, appears to be at first glance a normal young boy, but he is really a 350-year-old yokai (supernatural monster). His hair serves as an antenna directing him towards paranormal activity, he has one eye and his yokai father lives in his other eye socket, he has jet powered sandals and he can seamlessly blend into his surroundings. In each episode Kitaro and his father cleverly battle criminals and malevolent yokai with the purpose of keeping humans safe. Kitaro is a wonderful melding of horror and whimsy where the good guy always wins.


Esther Stutzman, storytellerStorytelling is an ancient art form of connecting cultures, passing down customs, and preserving history. Religious leaders share spiritual stories with their congregation; politicians share historical moments with their constituents; grandparents share traditions with their grandchildren. For historians, it was a way for us to make sense of and explained events of the past.

Stories have been told and retold, passing down from generations to another, as myths, legends, ghost stories, epic adventures, fables, and fairy tales. Oral tradition is part of every culture throughout history and it continues to be a part of our community today.

Tellabation!™ is a night of storytelling celebrated world-wide during the month of November. Throughout the county, you can find storytelling performances and workshops celebrating our oral history.  

Multnomah County Library offers storytelling programs for Native American Heritage Month in November, as well as for other communities all year long. Can’t go to one of our events at the library? You can find other Tellabration events at Portland Storyteller's Guild and City Club of Portland.  

Chances are you’ve thrown up at least once in your life, a biological process called vomiting, regurgitation, and a whole bunch of slang nicknames. But what is it, exactly?

In humans regurgitation happens for a variety of reasons: a case of the stomach “flu” and food poisoning can look a lot alike. Or maybe your brain and your eyes can’t agree and you’re motion sick. Or you might even have a food allergy, or something completely different.


It’s fun to know that a lot of animals besides humans regurgitate and some animals do it as a normal, healthy part of their behavior. Some birds do it to get rid of the things they eat they can’t digest like bones or fur. Some animals called ruminants swallow and regurgitate their food several times to help with digestion. Animals such as wolves partially digest food and then bring it back up to feed babies too small to digest their own food fully. Bees regurgitate from a special stomach used to make honey. But animals can get sick, too, so it’s always good to check with the veterinarian if your pet starts throwing up.


There are some things you can do to limit your possibilities for throwing up. Take this quiz to see if your handwashing game is strong, one of the best ways to prevent stomach viruses.  Find out different causes of food poisoning and play this game or this game to figure out how to beat food poisoning.


And you can always contact a librarian for even more info!

Zardoz dvd coverAh, Zardoz (1974). A film venerated on local heavy rock t-shirts and adult soapbox derby cars alike (I saw one on Mt. Tabor)! There’s even a Zardoz belt buckle on Etsy, if you should feel so inclined. Why yes, that is Sean Connery in the thigh-high boots, orange loincloth, and thick ‘70s stache. He plays Zed, a Brutal Exterminator, whose band of thuggish horsemen terrorize other Brutals and take their grain. They offer it to their god, Zardoz, a giant flying stone head who vomits guns at them in return. But Zed is not your average brute, and one day he hitches a ride in the old stony noggin. He inadvertently kills his God… and discovers who’s really Sean Connery in Zardozpulling the strings. This is what happens when you make a lot of money off Deliverance, and then try too hard to make intelligent SF full of Big Concepts and Existential Themes. If you have somehow missed this up till now, well, it’s time for you to ride with the Brutals.

Next, The Visitor (1979). I’m telling you, this is worth setting up a Hoopla account for. I saw this at the Hollywood theater about a year The Visitor movie posterago and laughed all the way through. It’s about a little girl who’s the spawn of a cosmic power known as Sateen. She has telekinetic powers, a pet hawk, and can shoot lasers out of her eyes. This leads to a priceless ice skating scene where she uses her powers for ill… very ill (move over, Tonya Harding!) An awkward peroxide-blond Christ figure warns us of Sateen’s evil and sends a Visitor to combat the ancient menace and prevent it from fathering more children and taking over the world. Somehow Lance Henriksen, Shelley Winters, John Huston, Sam Peckinpah, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar all got themselves mixed up in this debacle. It’s their loss, and our gain.. oh is it ever.

It’s hard to do justice to the sheer wacked majesty of these films with the written word… instead, feast your eyes upon the trailers (note that both films have some edgy moments):

And if you just can’t get enough, try these.