Friday, November 30, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Twilight

A couple of weekends ago I made a journey with my mother to the closest theater for the final installment of The Twilight Saga.  It felt wrong not writing about it at all, so better late than never.

What can I say about Twilight?  It's not quality literature; there's much in it that gives a bad name to teenage female heroines; and the ending was terribly disappointing.  But (and there is most definitely a but), Stephanie Meyer, like J.K. Rowling, changed YA literature forever.  Teens (both boys and girls) came in droves to libraries and bookstores for the books.  Adults followed not long after, then adults and teens were reading together.  And they didn't stop there.  They came back for other vampire stories, werewolf stories, love stories.  And they're still returning, enjoying brand new stories, starting brand new series.

So what if it's not quality literature.  People are reading, and isn't that all that matters?

Now for the movie.  My love for Lee Pace now has no bounds.  The baby was ridiculous.  Bella was still annoyingly moody.  And Jasper still cracked me up (and not on purpose).  But DUDE, for a brief moment I got the ending I wanted: pure chaos, blood and death.  No, I'm not a morbid individual, but I never understood why you get everyone together for the ultimate battle and no one dies!  And one last thing...did anyone else think the ending credits looked like a really long "In Memorium"? 

So thank you Stephanie Meyer, but so long Twilight.  I will be stuck with your legacy (both good and bad) forever.

P.S. - Quick note about the bad.  We have a patron with the book covers of each of the books tattooed down her arm.  Creepy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Sister Lives On the Mantelpiece

By Annabel Pitcher
http://www.annabelpitcher.com/
3 / 5 Gnomes
A summary is 10 words or less:  An uber-sad story about a tragic, dysfunctional family and Spiderman.

To ten-year-old Jamie, his family has fallen apart because of the loss of someone he barely remembers: his sister Rose, who died five years ago in a terrorist bombing. To his father, life is impossible to make sense of when he lives in a world that could so cruelly take away a ten-year-old girl. To Rose's surviving fifteen year old twin, Jas, everyday she lives in Rose's ever present shadow, forever feeling the loss like a limb, but unable to be seen for herself alone.

Told with warmth and humor, this powerful novel is a sophisticated take on one family's struggle to make sense of the loss that's torn them apart... and their discovery of what it means to stay together. 


~Amazon Description~

Let's talk for a minute.  I consider myself a pretty open reader.  I like to try new things, experience different points of view, be taken to exotic locations, experience without having to experience.  I like different.  I like funny, smart, and yes, I like to cry.  I actually like the occasional blubber, but dear heavens this was a hard book.

It was so hard that I have to skip "The Awesome", "Not So Awesome" portion of my usual reviews because I'm still trying to figure out how I feel.  It's as if time has stopped for Jamie and Jas.  The loss of their sister was horribly tragic, but they also lost their parents that day as well.  Their mother abandons them, and their father drinks himself into oblivion.  The "new start" he promises brings more hardship in a strange town.

In summary, the book is more depressing than the title would suggest, and that's pretty much as depressing as it gets.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the sliver of hope you're left with at the ending isn't quite enough to leave you feeling good, relieved that the family has taken a step in the right direction.  That's why I think I'm still thinking, trying to wrap my emotions around what I just read.  Death, abandonment, alcoholism, racism, bullying...it was filled cover to cover with really hard stuff.

On a happy note, Sunya, Jamie's only school friend, is the most awesome part of the entire book.  She's rambunctious, courageous, and a prankster genius.  Her superhero strength carries Jamie throughout the book until he's able to stand on his own two feet.  I loved her loyalty and perseverance, and wish she was my friend too!

If you're looking for a book that makes you think, makes you cry, and endears you to the courage of young children, check out My Sister Lives On the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Falling Kingdoms
By Morgan Rhodes

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?


~Barnes and Nobel Description~

Ok...so I saw the cover first and fell in love, but I'm a HUGE fan of epic like fantasies, so this definitely made my list of books I really siked to add to my book shelf.
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For 2013

Top Ten Tuesday
Top 10 Most Anticipated Books For 2013
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)
 Can't wait !!!!!

1) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
(February 2013)

2) Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
(February 2013)

 3) Mind Games by Kiersten White
(February 2013)

4) The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
(June 2013)

5) Just One Day by Gayle Foreman
(January 2013)
6) Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
(May 2013)

7) Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
(March 2013)

8) The Girl With the Iron Touch by Kady Cross
(May 2013)

9)  The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
(May 2013)

10) Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
(May 2013)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Q & A: The Librarian Way - Teen Film Festival

Hosting A Teen Film Festival

 
Do you have teens in your community who are busy creating content for the internet?  Do your local high schools have media classes and opportunities for teens to make films and videos?  Consider starting a teen film festival to showcase the talents of the youth in your city/town/region.

This week we're giving you a quick rundown on starting a cooperative teen film festival.  We'll give you a heads up on how we started, what we do, and where we're going.

An additional tip (after you've watched the video of course!), it should come as no surprise that school teachers and media specialists are incredibly busy.  Success in promoting in schools really comes down to making it as easy as possible for the school staff to relay information.  Each year I create media packets for every high school in the area.  The packet includes guidelines, entry forms, blank DVDs, posters, brochures, bookmarks, and school announcements.  It's really just a film festival in a box.  We also have staff in contact with each representative to make sure they receive extra items if needed and can answer any and all questions as quickly as possible.  If you're thinking of starting a cooperative program with a school, definitely keep ease and time in mind.

If you want more information, I'd be happy to email you a handout I created when Julia and I presented on our festival at a local conference.  And don't forget to check back to http://www.greenwoodlibrary.us/teenfilmfestival.asp soon to view this year's entries.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Raven Boys

By Maggie Stiefvater
http://maggiestiefvater.com/
4 / 5 Gnomes
A Summary in 10 Words or Less: The Raven Boys: The worst chastity belt ever and the search for a king.

Richard "Dick" Gansey has it all: family money, good looks, devoted friends. But he's on a quest for much more: Glendower, a legendary Welsh king.

Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. Surrounded by the Raven Boys — the rich boys at prestigious Aglionby Academy — she never thought this prediction would be a problem. When Gansey and his Raven Boys enter her life, however, she's not so sure.

~Description from maggiestiefvater.com~

First things first - I'm writing this Thursday evening, which is technically still Thanksgiving, so Happy Thanksgiving!

And this was an awesome book!  My adoration for Maggie Stiefvater keeps growing!  So much in fact that I've added the Shiver series to my 2013 must-finish series list (and I'm sooo over werewolves!).

The Awesome

1) I have my reservations about psychics.  Why mess with something you don't understand that could potentially bring trouble?  Is it real?  I don't know, but I have absolutely no desire to find out.  But I would love to live in the Sargent household.  Those are some seriously awesome ladies.  Not only do they have these wicked powers, but they are strong willed, outspoken, and sassy.  Loved them all, especially Calla who was particularly surly.

2) The boys.  I adored them all.  Sure, Ronan is troubled (and more angsty than HP in book 5), but he's loyal and tender in his own way.  (And I LOVED the raven reveal at the end!).  Adam is so much more than he allows himself to believe, which I see so much of in the teens that walk through my door every day.  He's proud, but ambitious and determined which kind of broke my heart a little.  And Gansey.  I admit it, I was crushin' a little bit on Gansey.  Despite the money and entitlement, his first thought is of his friends and what he can do to make their lives better.  Loyal to a fault.

3) Poor Blue with the most deplorable future, but that was probably the best part of the book!  Here are these wonderful boys that she's instantly attached to, and she can't be with any of them.  

The Not So Awesome

1) The typical...it's book one in a series.

2) A couple of fairly important characters are missing for huge gaps of time, almost to the point that you forget that their relevant.  It all comes together in the end, but I had completely forgotten about them by the end that I had to go back and refresh.

My Nook decided to lock and not unlock in a very crucial portion of the book which almost brought me to tears!  It was a Thanksgiving miracle when he it decided to cooperate this morning.  I really enjoyed Stiefvater's latest novel (even if it is a series starter...).  If you like supernatural elements, filled with ancient stories, mysterious happenings, and a bit of a love story, definitely give The Raven Boys a read.  (And if you haven't yet, READ SCORPIO RACES!!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waffle Wednesday: Shaman King Vol. 1

By Hiroyuki Takei 

When he takes a shortcut through a cemetery, Manta Oyamada meets a strange kid with headphones — surrounded by ghosts. The kid is the teenage shaman Yoh Asakura. Tapping the supernatural swordfighting powers of samurai ghost Admidamaru, Yoh fights Bokuto no Ryu, a sword-wielding gang member. But an even more dangerous opponent is stalking Yoh and Manta — a Chinese shaman who wants to possess Amidamaru.
 
~Amazon Description~
I almost liked this one.  Really.  I thought I might like it.  This shaman kid, Yoh, is pretty cool.  He can embody the souls of the dearly departed which comes in handy when big bad guys are after you.  Especially when the soul possessing you is some legendary samurai guy with a giant, lethal sword. And this shaman kid seems to be using his powers for good.  He's letting some finish, what seems to be, their unfinished business, and he takes care of those in need, but my goodness, what is up with his sidekick Manta?  That boy is annoying.  The art, the reactions, the words are all over the top, kind of drives me crazy.  Maybe Yoh will ditch him in later volumes.  We shall see I suppose...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top 10 Books/Authors I'm Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday
Top 10 Books/Authors I'm Thankful For
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

This is kind of a weird list.  Am I thankful for a particular book or author?  I don't know.  I'm more thankful for parents who instilled in me a love of reading of all types, recreational, educational.  And I'm thankful for a job that allows the inner geek in me to drool over books day in and day out.  No worries though, I'm sure I can come up with some kind of a list...

1) Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events) I thought college might have ruined me be for life.  I truly, deeply enjoyed studying history, but being assigned ten (+) books to read a semester almost put me off the written word forever.  Enter Lemony Snicket my last year.  Stolen minutes with the Baudelaire children made me remember why I love to get caught up in a book.  Thank you Mr. Snicket.

2) J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter series) There is something to be said about an author that can get you completely invested in a story.  I laughed; I cried; I gasped in horror; and I dreamed of a world where magic existed and boarding schools were enjoyable and inviting.  As much as I hate series, I'm still hurting a little over the loss of that world, those dreams.  Thank you Ms. Rowling.

3) Libba Bray (Going Bovine, Beauty Queens) Jennifer over at Reading Rants said it best, "Sometimes you read a book and you say, “That’s my book.” It seems like the author wrote it just for you, that everything in it was created for your amusement and suspense and pleasure. It is intimate and wonderful and you want to tell everyone you know about it and keep it all to yourself at the same time."  That's Libba Bray for me.  No one particular book, but them all wrapped up in a nice, hilarious, insightful little package.  She has such a strong voice that kicks me in my core, and I genuinely enjoy reading every sing word she writes.  Thank you Ms. Bray.

4)  John Green (The Fault in Our Stars, An Abundance of Katherines) Thank goodness for John Green and those like him.  Thank goodness for authors who believe that teens are intelligent and thoughtful young adults who are capable of understanding and appreciating intelligent and thoughtful literature.  Thank you Mr. Green.

5) C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) I don't know what to say about Narnia.  I dream for two things.  1) To finally receive my letter to Hogwarts.  And 2) That somewhere there is a wardrobe just waiting to take me to Narnia.

6) A Wrinkle In Time (by Madeleine L'Engle) So many years ago, my father put this book in my hands and told me to read it.  I have read it at least once every year since then.  I probably relate more to Meg than any author literary character I have been introduced to through all my reading.  She's shy, awkward, uncertain, and deems herself unworthy, so many of the same feelings I feel everyday.  Just a beautiful book about love, courage, and friendship.

7) Alice in Wonerland (by Lewis Carroll) Surprise, surprise.  I love the possibility of Wonderland.  I love imagination and chaos.  Every time I get lost in a book I find myself in some sort of Wonderland, an unknown world full of mystery and curiosity.

8) Code Name Verity (by Elizabeth Wein) One of my recent reads that has stayed with me for days and days.  There were several moments when I truly thought my heart was being ripped out of my chest.  I love books that make you think, make you wonder, make you hope, and this book did all of that so beautifully that I've recommended it to strangers I've passed on the street.  Okay...not the street, but definitely people minding their own business in book stores.

9) The Hollow Kingdom (by Clare B. Dunkle) Another book I stumbled upon in college that helped me escape my senior thesis.  Goblin kings, fairies, unexpected love, everything I absolutely adore, and one I return to from time to time.
10) America (by George Brown Tindall) Probably not a conventional choice, but the last on my list all the same.  Accessible, enjoyable history.  Not my favorite of the 10 (+) books a semester, but the only one I kept and return to from time to time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I had this idea...

Four years ago I had this idea.  Actually, the idea started before that, but it was four years ago that I thought this idea might just work. 

I'd better start at the beginning.  I work with teenagers.  I never had aspirations of working with today's youth.  In fact, if someone had told me ten years ago that I would be working with teens, I would have died laughing.  I hadn't been a particularly great teen, and I most certainly don't look back on my teen years with romantic nostalgia.  I was shy.  I was awkward.  And I could never quite find a way to fit into my own skin.  But like all teens, I grew up and figured a few things out along the way.  

Then I started working at a local high school.  It took two months for the teens to identify me as an employee and not a student.  Then it happened; my office became a hangout for making it through study hall, lunch, passing periods.  And as I sat there every day and listened to their drama, helping with homework, I realized teenagers were absolutely amazing creatures.  They are talented, ambitious, passionate, resilient, and creative.  And I loved working with them.  So here I am, a teen librarian in a position whereI get to learn, laugh, grow, and create right along with them.

Back to my idea...along with a love of books, I have a love for digital media, videos in-particular.  I love the process of creating, starting with research and writing all the way to editing and sharing your final project.  And I was meeting teens who loved the process as well.  So why not give them a platform to share their creations with the community.

A teen film festival would not only support student filmmakers, but it would provide a perfect opportunity to build a working relationship with the local school system.  So I wrote a proposal and approached the high school media specialist (hint, hint:  you might have seen her in a video or two).

Fast forward four years...last Thursday was our 4th Annual Teen Film Festival, and what started out as a festival with a library system and two schools, has become a county(+) event with the help of a second library system.  There is nothing like watching the light of possibility and accomplishment shine in a teens eyes.  I get to see it every single day.  I get to be inspired every single day.  I get to work with truly amazing individuals that push me outside of my comfort zone and help me make my ideas come true.

In a week where giving thanks is on our minds, I wanted to take my own minute to thank my mentors, co-workers, and friends that make getting up and going to work every day a pleasure and an honor.  I have learned that if you approach every situation, every idea, every possibility with a servant's heart, amazing things can happen.

We'll be sharing more about the Teen Film Festival in the next installment of Q & A: The Librarian Way, but for today, thank to the wonderful ladies who helped, once again, create a truly remarkable event that put the creative, talented, ambitious, passionate teens in our community in the spotlight.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Code Name Verity

By Elizabeth Wein
http://www.elizabethwein.com/
Book Trailer by EgmontVideos
5 / 5 Gnomes

A review in 10 words or less: "Two girls, one amazing story, and a search for truth."
 

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 


~Amazon Description~

This review is so very hard to write because writing anything can give the story away, and it would just be a complete shame if you, wonderful review reader, had this book spoiled in any way, shape, or form.  I've mentioned before that I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction (despite being a history major and lover of all things history related).  It's rare that I can be completely swept up into a book, but this one...this one has stayed with me for days.

The Awesome

The audiobook was AMAZING.  I'm not really an audiobook connoisseur.  I dabble occasionally, but it has to be a spectacular reader for me to stick it out for the length of nine CDs.  Code Name Verity is read by two exceptionally talented readers.  The first half of the book is told through Verity's eyes.  You can hear Verity's stubbornness, courage, and emotion in every word.  And Maddie, more rural and unpolished is beautifully depicted in the second half.  I can't say enough good things about the readers, and to be honest, I'm not sure if the book would have had the same effect if I had read it on my own.  Plus...I'm a sucker for accents, and I got an English and Scottish accent throughout the story, so it was double the fun.

Verity and Maddie just might be my new favorite duo.  IT IS SO HARD NOT TO GIVE ANYTHING AWAY!!  Verity had me hook, line, and sinker.  I believed every word she said in the first half of the book, which made for some amazing moments of realization in the second.  Brilliant.  Wein is a master suspense builder, and she brings such a fresh voice to a topic that's been written about in fiction in abundance.  Nazis, British airmen, revolutionaries...it's not new, but Wein makes it new.  She also makes it terrifying and compassionate as well which is amazing as well.

The Not So Awesome

I can't really think of anything...honestly.  There were a few points toward the end where it felt like time skipped in the story and I thought I had missed a whole CD, but in time, everything was explained.  My only complaint is my own.  And it's a complaint that's hard to explain other then that I like to know how things are spelled.  I hear names, places, and with audiobooks, you only get the sound of the name.  For some reason, I like to have a visual of the word as well.  Don't know why...maybe that's weird.

If you are a lover of good books, great books, heartbreaking books, and books with truly amazing female characters, you must read Code Name Verity.  Better yet, listen to it and get fully entrenched in the story.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waffle Wednesdays: Hetalia Season One

By Hidekaz Himaruya

Forget everything you learned in history class, and imagine all the nations of the world as cute guys hanging out on a wildly inappropriate reality show. Now, toss in every stereotype ever and prepare to pledge allegiance to your favorite superpower in Hetalia Axis Powers!

Maybe you'll surrender to Italy's charms. He's a sweetie who's always got a noodle in his mouth and he's BFF with blue-eyed Germany and shy Japan. Sounds nice, right? Of course, their friendship sort of causes World War II, but is that really such a big deal? Not if it means those adorable allies France, America, and England will be stormin' the beach!

~Amazon Description~

PASTA!

Imagine countries were embodied as people.  Now imagine that all of the countries are a little insane (especially Italy).  Keep imagining...we're not done yet...imagine that every minute and a half or so these full grown countries become tiny children with really whiny voices, but hidden within all of the chaos is actually bits and pieces of real history. Apparently that's Hetalia.  Crazy...but surprisingly fun.  

The teens in my library's Manga Club are head over heels for Hetalia.  They have each taken ownership of a country, even naming me Finland, and quote it incessantly.  In fact, we've had to "ban" all things Hetalia until our designated Hetalia day.  After much begging and pleading (and a "super-sized" wink, wink grant) I broke down and bought the complete series for the library.  And of course I had to sneak it home first before the kids get their hands on it (librarian perks!).  

I only have one thing to say...bring on World War III.  It's almost wildly inappropriate and way over the top, but so much fun.  The all-over-the-place emotions of the characters fits perfectly with my manga crew, and I totally understand why they love it so much.  I just hope they don't use it as an actual history lesson.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Splintered

Photobucket By A.G. Howard
http://anita-authoraghoward.blogspot.com/
Netgalley ARC
Released January 2013
4.5 / 5 Gnomes

A review in 10 words or less:  Alyssa meets Mothra and things get curiouser and curiouser.

 

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

~Amazon Description~

“Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”  ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I love all things Alice.  I love journeys with chaos, imagination, and just a whole lot of madness.  I really love Jim Dale's audiobooks reading of the story.  When Ashely at Book Nerd suggested Howard's debut, I moved it up on my priority list and devoured it whole.


The Awesome

While the idea of using dead bugs in artistic mosaics totally creeps me out, Howard does such an amazing job describing each picture, each bug so beautifully that I wish I had one hanging in my house somewhere.  Alyssa's creative side reaches from head to toe and out her fingertips all throughout the story in dark and beautiful ways.

Totally swoonworthy boys makes this books pretty darn awesome (if you like that thing of course..which I COMPLETELY do.)  Jeb is the boy next door.  Literally.  He's sensitive, thoughtful, also artistic, and somewhat of a bad boy all wrapped up in an adorable package.  His loyalty and genuine affection for Alyssa in Wonderland and beyond make him one of the most awesome parts of the book.

Then Morpheus.  How I wish I didn't like you Morpheus? You are deceitful, manipulative, and sometimes just downright mean...(and now like a silly girl who shouldn't like the bad boy but does...) BUT you're patient and also loyal.  You're powerful, and beautiful, and mesmerizing.  And you're a moth which ups your awesome scale.


Howard completely turns Wonderland upside down.  Forget the images Disney has implanted in your mind, including Tim Burton's warped version.  This Wonderland is grotesque and terrifying.  It is the epitome of chaos and madness.  And it is so real in the hands of Howard.  The story is complicated.  Not only is their a lot of world building (despite the backbone of the original Alice), three different generations weave their way into the story in an intricate way that takes time and precision.  Howard walked a fine line between old Alice and her own creation, and she did it well.  Really well.

The Not So Awesome

It was maybe a little predictable.  Love triangles usually are.  And because the story has familiar characters, you already have a general sense of how they will react to certain situations.

Oh...and I smell a sequel.

So the book was pretty much AWESOME.  In case you can't tell, I rather enjoyed it.  And I needed a book I rather enjoyed.  It was funny, and lovey, and weird, just how I like my escape books.  Can't wait to hear more from A.G. Howard. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Q & A: The Librarian Way: NaNoWriMo

How can you promote National Novel Writing Month in your library?


In my Friday morning filming fog, I left out some really easy ideas we've picked up from the NaNoWriMo website to use in our library.  Super easy cheap ideas too!  Sorry!

Write-Ins - Julia had mentioned making your space comfortable and inviting for NaNo authors.  Write-ins are a great way to bring authors to your library during the month.  At my library, every Tuesday night we reserve some study tables, fill a pot full of coffee, and invite our NaNo authors to write, share, and give each other pep talks.  We are fortunate that we have a few laptops in the building to loan out if needed, and we keep in touch with everyone as they come in.  Situated in a well-seen area of the building, we have a board charting everyone's progress.  Easy, cheap.

The National Novel Writing site has tons of ideas and suggestions for hosting events at your library.  And they have some free goodies and prizes you can purchase to round out your program.

Oh...and as promised...here's a link to our NaNo promo video from a few years ago!  Bonus points if you can name the movie that offered the inspiration!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waffle Wednesdays: The Earl & the Fairy (again...) Vol. 3



Story & Art by Ayuko
A review in 10 words or less: The Fogman will get ya if ya don’t watch out!

Lydia and Edgar have returned to London after their adventure on the Isle of Manan. But life in the capital is no respite for the weary travelers. A being called the Fogman stalks the night streets, snatching children all around town. And it may have something to do with Edgar’s dark past…

~Amazon Description~

I’m not sure about this Lydia, or this story to tell you the truth.  There is a WHOLE lot of “I like you…I hate you…I like you…I hate you” going on and it’s kind of driving me crazy.  I’m definitely ready to step away from The Early & the Fairy next week for something new.  The search for the sword has stalled as Lydia and the Earl settle into life in the city.  Lydia likes being near her father, but misses the peacefulness of the countryside and detests being Edgar’s arm candy.  When a young baroness goes missing, Edgar enlists the help of Lydia, the fairy doctor, to sniff out the culprit, but what she finds is a terribly annoying girl who might have ties to Edgar’s past.

I’m still waiting for a slew of fairies and for Lydia to actually do something.  And while Edgar is appearing more trustworthy, he always seems to have another agenda.

On a manga sidenote:  My library’s Teen Manga Club is obsessed with Hetalia, and I recently purchased the anime for their viewing pleasure.  This weekend will be a Hetalia marathon!  Do you have a favorite anime I should check-out??

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top 10 Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island

Top Ten Tuesday
Top 10 Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island
(Feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish)

Oh, to be deserted on a tropical island, preferably Jack Sparrow's rum-laden island, with a stack of good books and tons of suntan lotion.  Sounds really nice as fall starts to creep toward winter and life at work gets busier and busier.  So what ten books would I like to take with me on my island getaway?

1) Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Just in case the island is not, in fact, deserted,
and is instead the center of a giant conspiracy and I need
to be prepared to receive a ship full of reality
TV pirates.  Just in case.
2) An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Because it is a necessity to have at least one
John Green book to keep me laughing.
3) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
For a little bit of digital adventure when things get really boring,
and I really start to miss my iPod.


4) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
To warm my heart when I get sad.


5) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A familiar favorite about humanity and courage.


6) The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Since I might be in for the long haul, a long story to keep me occupied.


7) Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
If Brian can survive the Canadian wilderness,
maybe I'll be able to hang in there on my island until help comes.




8) Pirates! by Celia Rees
For a little historical fiction flavor.

 9) 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Because Johnson makes me laugh and this will have to
do if I don't have access to her tweets.



 10) Moon Over Manifest - Clare Vanderpool
To laugh, to cry, to grow.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Q & A: Library Shorts Episode 3

Emily's 3 Nonsense Tips for Completing NaNoWriMo

Year One: I wrote a rather ridiculous story about a girl who spends most of her life daydreaming that life is a movie.  From Annie to Star Wars, Kendall, my rather unwitting heroine, found herself in a cross roads from childhood into adulthood.  It was awful.  Actually, who knows if it was awful or not, I've never let anyone read it.

Year Two:  I thought a fantasy would be easy.  SO NOT EASY.  Even though you can make up your own nonsensical land, making up that many details is exhausting.  I totally had a renewed appreciation for Tolkien, Lewis, Martin, and Rowling.  Creating your own world takes a wicked imagination.  So, in year two, Juna, the child of prophecy, must defeat the ancient Evil to bring peace back to the land of Aladaar.  Again, very bad.

Now to year three, which I'm sooo going to fail, Adelaide Banister lives in an oppressive world (I apparently have a thing for tyranny!) and must work with the owner of the Emporium of Dreams and Lost Treasures to give the people of her town hope.  We'll see how this goes.

Check out our Q & A: The Librarian Way next week for tips on promoting and fostering a National Novel Writing Month in your library.
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