Author: Melissa Rhoades

When murder smells like honeysuckle: The allure of film noir

Posted in Explore and Discover on October 30, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades In adolescence, my impulse towards mysteries and thrillers was satisfied by Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mystery! on PBS. But these days when I get the urge, I’m more likely to pick up a film noir or some of the hardboiled fiction that inspired it. Less cozy and more convoluted, film […]

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And Now for Something Completely Different: Monty Python’s entertainment legacy

Posted in Explore and Discover, Uncategorized on August 21, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades If you’ve never experienced Monty Python, you’ve missed a big part of comedy history. The group played an integral role in the evolution of sketch humor. In fact, their influence is so massive that The Atlantic magazine called them “The Beatles of Comedy” in 2013. Like the Beatles, Monty Python’s influence extends […]

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From the Library of Things: Machine sewing at your fingertips

Posted in Explore and Discover on April 2, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades Did you know you can borrow a sewing machine from the Library District? Our Library of Things now offers two Elna eXplore 320 sewing machines to check out for up to seven days at a time. One is available for pick up at the Spokane Valley Library and the other can be […]

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Independent spirit: Films that offer fresh perspectives

Posted in Explore and Discover on January 9, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades Independence is a major theme in the American consciousness. We’re taught from an early age to admire historic figures that bucked the system in order to forge new paths. Most of us like to consider ourselves independent, too. Yet most Americans don’t watch independent films. This is a shame since indie movies […]

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Cozy up to slow reading this winter

Posted in Explore and Discover on November 27, 2018 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades One specific morning in fourth grade still stands out in my memory. I arrived early to class, sat at my desk, and opened a novel I was midway through. I don’t remember now what book it was, but I do remember becoming completely engrossed, sinking into the world on the page. Which […]

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Banning books silences stories: Reading a banned book celebrates your intellectual freedom

Posted in Explore and Discover, Parents and Teachers on September 18, 2018 at 6:00 am

by Melissa Rhoades Banned Books Week is September 23–29 this year. Did you know that at least 23 of the 100 books on PBS’s 2018 Great American Read book list have been banned or threatened with a ban in the United States? That means almost one-fourth of America’s “most loved” novels (as determined by popular […]

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Road trip! The quintessential American vacation

Posted in Explore and Discover on July 3, 2018 at 6:00 am

by Melissa Rhoades Have you heard of Horatio Nelson Jackson? This under-celebrated trailblazer was the first person to drive an automobile across the U.S. In 1903, ten years before Ford Motor Company began mass producing cars, Jackson left San Francisco in a two-cylinder Winton with a mechanic as his travel companion and a $50 bet […]

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Bicentennial of a Monster’s Birth

Posted in Explore and Discover on April 17, 2018 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades On January 1, 1818, the debut novel of a 20-year-old woman was anonymously published in London. Within five years, a second edition was released and a play based on the book premiered. The novel and its spin-offs remained a hit, and in 1910, Edison Studios created the first movie based on Mary […]

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St. Pancras Station sparks imaginations

Posted in Explore and Discover on February 13, 2018 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades What do filmmaker Christopher Nolan, the Spice Girls, and science-fiction author Douglas Adams have in common? They all found artistic inspiration in a building long considered an eyesore—a building I fell in love with at first sight. Ever since borrowing books about castles as a grade schooler, I’ve been fascinated with buil […]

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Job seekers: Get an advantage with WorkSource Spokane

Posted in Business and Careers on November 28, 2017 at 6:00 am

by Melissa Rhoades At the end of 2015, right after Christmas, the entire department where I worked at a local company was laid off—not the happiest New Year’s surprise. The change was big and sudden, and one I hadn’t planned for. After over a decade at the same company, I didn’t know how the job-search […]

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