Friday, January 12, 2018

New Years Resolutions 2018

It's time! How did my New Years Resolutions from last year go? And what am I planning for next year?
Last year, I said:

In 2017 I'm hoping to:
  • Read at least 15 novel-length books.
  • Thin out my personal bookshelves. I have a lot of "tsundoko," books I've purchased and let pile up unread. I'll be gifting a lot of these to Little Free Libraries this year.
  • Continue blogging once a week.
  • And my big, non-book related goal is to lose weight and stay in shape!

How'd I do? I read 21 books! I've kind of been beating myself up for not reading more. But, I exceeded my (admittedly low) goal, so that's something.
I have thinned out a large number of books. But, I've been gifted or purchased a lot of new books this past year, too. Doesn't feel like I made progress, but at least the piles of books all around my house aren't getting worse.
Continue blogging? Yikes. I fell down pretty hard on this one. I've been fairly pressed for free time. Sometimes, I didn't feel like I had a quality post to add. Other times, I had a post all planned, and never published it. A few times, I had a seasonal post which - by the time I had the free time to put it up, was already kind of out of date. In addition, I had almost all of my blog images hosted on Photobucket, so things are looking pretty poorly around here, lately. I'm working on fixing old posts. Slowly, but surely.
Lose weight? Oh no. Let's just say there's a reason why people make that resolution every year.

Okay, onwards!
Goals for 2018 include:
  • Spend less time on social media, pointlessly lurking, clicking and scrolling, and more time actually reading books. Really wondering how much of my To Be Read pile I can knock out!
  • I want to read at least 50 books this year!
  • I'd like to walk three miles a day. This isn't too outrageous of a goal, as I have to walk a lot in my job, so with a bit more effort, I should make three miles a day, easily.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Read in 2017

Let's take a look back at what I read last year!

1. The Unwanted - Lisa McMann
2. Holding on to Zoe - George Ella Lyon
3. The Accidental Abduction - Darcie Wild
4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School - Jeff Kinney
5. Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice - Curtis Sittenfeld
6. March: Book One - John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell
7. March: Book Two - John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell
8. The Sound of Gravel - Ruth Wariner
9. March: Book Three - John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell
10. Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Brawsome Bagpipes - Alan Dapre
11. Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Bash Crash Ding - Alan Dapre
12. Leaving Fishers - Margaret Peterson Haddix
13. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down - Jeff Kinney
14. A Fierce and Subtle Poison - Samantha Mabry
15. Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities - Ryan Gravel
16. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? - Roz Chast
17. Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm - Forrest Pritchard
18. Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America - Rich Benjamin
19. Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France - Craig Carlson
20. No One is Coming to Save Us - Stephanie Powell Watts
21.Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer

It doesn't feel like I read as much in 2017, but there's a pretty diverse mix of titles - some middle grade, a few YA, some adult non-fiction, some graphic novels.

picture credit: Jeune fille lisant, Charles Chaplin 1857

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hurricane display 2017

We've had a lot of requests this week for books about hurricanes - mostly from parents who'd like to explain what's going on in the news to their children. So, I decided to put together a hurricane display. To be totally honest, it initially felt a bit... macabre? But, people have been asking, so following Ranganathan's Fourth Law: Save the Time of the Reader, I put together some titles. And the feedback has been really nice, people appreciate it. 

Our top two shelves feature, of course, books on hurricanes and extreme weather.


Dewey Call Numbers:

On the bottom shelf, I thought of the wisdom of Mr. Rogers who would say, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers!"

Coast Guard/Rescue/Emergency/Police/Fire fighters/Paramedics

Dewey Call Numbers:
362.18, 363.286, 363.34, 628.9, 629.133, 629.225

I remember when I was in Austin, TX, during Hurricane Katrina, we offered free library cards for evacuees. Having access to library computers was a lifeline for many during that time.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Kiss in Time review

A Kiss in Time
by Alex Flinn
April 2009

First line: "If I hear one more syllable about spindles, I shall surely die!"

Princess Talia from the kingdom of Euphrasia is somewhat of a drama queen. All her life, she's been incredibly sheltered, because everyone knows that she's been cursed to fall asleep after pricking her finger on a spindle. Under guard at all times, and not allowed to leave the palace, her only way of rebelling is to speak rudely to all of her servants. In a way, she really can't help it when she is finally tricked into touching a spindle - she's never seen one before and doesn't know what to avoid!

Three hundred years later... spoiled rich kid Jack is thoroughly bored with his all-expenses paid European vacation. While trying to avoid a tour of yet another museum, he breaks the curse and awakens Talia quite by accident. Figuring it will make his ex-girlfriend Amber jealous, he brings Talia back with him to Miami.

One of the aspects to the Sleeping Beauty story which always had me wondering was... how does the princess adjust to the world after she wakes up? Imperious, haughty, totally unprepared for American informality and lack of respect for inherited titles, Talia really struggles to get along, although her mean-girl spirit serves her well when dealing with the popular girls in an American high school. Any and all technology is completely foreign to her, and she has several humorous misunderstandings concerning taking Jack's cell phone messages. To be honest, I found both Talia and Jack difficult to like. Like a lot of Flinn's characters, Talia is a spoiled brat who takes the long way around to finally getting over herself.

Even though I found the main characters a bit trying at times, I think teens who feel stifled by rules, full of energy, ready to get on with their lives and stop being told what to do at every turn by "grown-ups" will find them relate-able. I'll recommend this to anyone who enjoys fairytale retellings.

Compare to:
Spindle's End - Robin McKinley
Wisdom's Kiss - Catherine Gilbert Murdock
A Long, Long Sleep - Anna Sheehan
Briar Rose - Jane Yolen

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Read in June

Last month I read the following:

1. Leaving Fishers - Margaret Peterson Haddix

picture credit: Little Girl Reading Book, 1899

Friday, June 23, 2017

Boyfriends with Girlfriends review

Boyfriends with Girlfriends
by Alex Sanchez
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
April 2011

First line: "Lance tapped the beat of A Chorus Line's 'What I Did for Love' on Allie's bedroom door. 'Hi, it's me!'"

In this contemporary ensemble story, four high school friends; gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning, wrestle with their identities. Lance is comfortably out of the closet and is blessed with a very supportive family. His best friend Allie is straight. He brings her along on a group date to meet Sergio, a new guy that he's interested in. As far as Lance is concerned, Sergio's insistence that he is bisexual is only a minor hitch - surely Sergio will come "all the way" out of the closet, soon, right? In the meantime, Allie is intrigued by Sergio's best friend Kimiko. Allie's been dating lovable yet lunk-headed athlete Chip for some time. Allie's always liked manga, and she and bookish tomboy Kimiko connect right away. Allie and Kimiko do end up kissing, which has Allie wondering maybe she's not so straight after all? Kimiko's disapproving Asian mother is the main reason why Kimiko decides to remain in the closet for now.

I wished that the characters had been more distinctly drawn. Each of the four teens are somewhat socially awkward, and of course spend a lot of time thinking about their sexuality. All of them have a constant, restless scheming quality, "How can I tell if so-and-so likes me?" "If I say such-and-such thing, will that impress the person I have a crush on?" "How far can I get so-and-so to go with me? How far do I want them to?" After a while, the characters collective angst becomes exhausting; 
many of the characters' inner monologues felt repetitive and forced. Still, the book is notable for its frank discussion of teen sexuality and inclusiveness of several different orientations.

Compare to:
Geography Club - Brent Hartinger
Everything Leads to You - Nina LaCour
Pink - Lili Wilkinson
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom - Emily Franklin

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Pride display

I put together this display in our YA area for Pride Month. I was glad we have such a nice selection of titles!


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