Tuesday, April 08, 2014

dry spell

This past week I have hit a bit of a dry spell.  I have several books going right now, but can’t seem to really get into any of them.  This happens from time to time.  My theory is because sometimes my brain gets a little overwhelmed with all the written text I’ve consumed and goes on a mini-vacation.  

Sounds legit, right?

One of the books I was listening to was Scowler by Daniel Kraus.  I’m at least 75% through the book.  The narration is fantastic, and the writing is well-crafted.  The story, though?  It’s freakin’ me out, man.  I last listened to the audiobook during a recent morning commute to work.  I started the book and then within 30 seconds stopped it.  I even said aloud – to myself, as no one else was in the car with me – “I can’t do this. I can’t listen to anymore. Nope. Not happening."

Scowler was the 2014 winner and the last of the Odyssey honors and winners I haven’t listened to– until next January. 

So…that one is on hiatus.  The hubby downloaded it from my Audible.com account.   I told him to listen to the story and let me know what he thinks.  Specifically, if he thinks I can listen to the rest. 

Then I was listening to Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi.  Again, fantastic narration.  The story had potential to be a lot of fun.  But the tale has too many issues for my like.  Seriously.  It is more of an issue novel than a fun zombie story.   Illegal immigration. Unsafe practices in the food industry. Corporation cover-ups. Corporation bullying. Racism.  All wrapped in a book for middle schoolers.  I have nothing against adding one or two to a story, but when you get that much going on in a short novel it takes away from the rest of the story.  

The third audiobook I’ve been listening to has been a backup audiobook.  It’s an adult non-fiction book about food and kitchen science.  Interesting enough, but easy to set aside.

Have I mentioned how lost I feel when I have no audiobooks to listen to during my commute?  It forces me to listen to the radio.  Commercials annoy me.  If I am going to hear someone talk, I want it to be a great story I can read with my ears!

I have two Audible credits to spend. Soon I will have four.  The hubby would be more than happy to spend them for me, and I might share the wealth, but first I want to find something worth using at least one of them. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The dry spell also encompasses print versions, but not to the point that I have completely set aside all of the books I’ve been reading.  I’m not certain, but I think that would be a sign of impending doom.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

March Reads

Wow!  In March I managed to read 85 books!  The complete list is below.  The titles in bold text are the ones I gave 5 stars to on my GoodReads account. 

March reads

Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli
Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash by Monica Brown
How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens
Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems
Animal ABC by Marcus Pfister
Thank You, Mama by Kate Banks
What Noise Does a Rabbit Make? by Carrie Weston
Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too!) by Leslie Kimmelman
Splat the Cat: A Whale of a Tale by Rob Scotton
Spring Song by Barbara Seuling
Piggy Bunny by Rachel Vail
I See Spring by Charles Ghigna
EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help from a Hen by Judy Sierra
Wake Up! Rupert! by Mike Twohy
The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty, Thomas Docherty
Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd
Olivia Goes to the Library by Lauren Forte
Robot, Go Bot! by Dana Meachen Rau
Buddy and the Bunnies In Don't Play with Your Food by Bob Shea
Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood
1 2 3, Little Donkey by Rindert Kromhout
Nest by Jorey Hurley
Baby Penguins Love their Mama by Melissa Guion
Yes, Let's by Galen Goodwin Longstreth
The Lonely Hat Maker by Andy Prahin
And the Cars Go... by William Bee
Cub's Big World by Sarah L.Thomson
Love Monster by Rachel Bright
Sparky! by Jenny Offill
Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth
Standing In for Lincoln Green by David Mackintosh
Rock-a-Bye Room by Susan Meyers
You Are My Little Pumpkin Pie by Amy E. Sklansky
Bye-Bye Baby Brother! by Sheena Dempsey
V Is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind by Ruby Roth
Peanut and Fifi Have a Ball by Randall de Sève
The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb
Once Upon a Memory by Nina Laden
No! by Tracey Corderoy
Mo's Mustache by Ben Clanton
Santiago Stays by Angela N. Dominguez
Foxy in Love by Emma Dodd
17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore by Jenny Offill
I'm Not Reading! by Jonathan Allen
Dogs of War by Sheila Keenan
Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington
Red Is Best by Kathy Stinson
Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Warthogs Paint: A Messy Color Book by Pamela Duncan Edwards
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins
A Book of Babies by Il Sung Na
Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
You Make Me Smile by Layn Marlow
A Mammoth in the Fridge by Micha'l Escoffier
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jane Cabrera
Jack & the Hungry Giant Eat Right with My Plate by Loreen Leedy
Mr. King's Castle by Geneviève Côté
Giddy-Up, Daddy! by Troy Cummings
My Grandpa by Marta Altés
Big Snow by Jonathan Bean
Patch by David Slonim
Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson
Little Naomi, Little Chick by Avirama Golan
Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Peek-a-Moo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell
Puss Jekyll Cat Hyde by Joyce Dunbar
Wash-a-Bye Bear by Thomas Docherty
No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart
What's Your Favorite Animal? by Eric Carle
Dog Loves Counting by Louise Yates
Peek-a-Boo Bunny by Holly Surplice
The Tiny King by Tarō Miura
Toddler World by Katie Saunders
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book group rocks

This past Sunday was book group night.  Have I mentioned how much I love my book group?  If I haven’t, then let me tell you.  I love this group a lot!  Not only because we discuss books, but also because it is made up of some wonderful friends and colleagues. 

Due to our busy schedules, we don’t meet every month, though we do try.  What we read varies, but is always a book – or few – written for youth.  Usually we are reading the same title, but the past two meetings we changed it up a bit. In January, we each choose two books from the 2014 Morris and YALSA Non-fiction finalists.  This past meeting we each choose two books from the 2014 Sibert/YALSA Non-fiction and Newbery/Printz winners and honors (one each non-fiction and fiction title).  Even though we hadn’t all read the same books, we still had a lively discussion about the titles we did read. Since I enjoyed this new format, we are doing it again in April.  One of our members really wants to further discuss Morris finalist Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn so we are going to read that and another book (or few) from the Newbery/Printz and Sibert/YALSA nonfiction 2014 lists.

Book group is about more than just what we’ve read.  Since we work at different library systems, it is a chance for us to gather and discuss issues and successes in our libraries.  We also talk about what is going on in our lives, just as you would expect when friends gather.  We joke around about how much time we spend on discussing books, but really, book group is about more than just talking about the books.  I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Here’s the list of books we’ve been concentrating on the past few months.  The ones with an asterisk are the ones I have read so far.

Printz: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick (Winner)*
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (Honor)*
Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal (Honor)
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (Honor)
Navigating Early by Claire Vanderpool (Honor)*

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (Winner)
Doll Bones by Holly Black (Honor)*
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes (Honor)
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake (Honor)
Paperboy by Vince Vawter (Honor)

YALSA Non-Fiction:
The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb (Winner)
Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone (Finalist)*
Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd (Finalist)
Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War II by Martin W. Sandler (Finalist)*
The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson (Finalist)

Parrots over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth (Winner)*
A Splash of Red by Jen Bryant (Honor)*
Look Up! Bird-watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate (Honor)* Locomotive by Brian Floca (Honor)*
The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, eccentric genius by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan (Honor)*

2014 Morris: Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets Evan Roskos (Winner)*
Charm & Strange Stephanie Kuehn (Finalist)*
Sex & Violence Carrie Mesrobian (Finalist)
Belle Epoque Elizabeth Ross (Finalist)
In the Shadow of Blackbirds Cat Winters (Finalist)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Where are you, Spring?

I recently decided I couldn't take any more snow.  Since I have no control over the weather, I did the only thing I could do.  I switched our winter themed bulletin board to a spring one. 

I feel a little happier already.  Now if only the snowy weather would go away until December!

Want to make your own birds?  Click here for the templates in all three sizes.  Note: The templates are just for the bird's bodies - not the wings, tails, etc.

The idea for this board came from here

Friday, March 07, 2014

February reads

As February is a short month, it isn't surprising that I read a few less books than January.  Sixty-eight titles still isn't too shabby! Here are the books I finished in February:

Freight Train by Crews, Donald
There is a Bird on Your Head! by Willems, Mo
The Perfect Nest by Friend, Catherine
Sylvie by Sattler, Jennifer Gordon
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Roth, Susan L.
Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Cate, Annette LeBlanc
Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Cronn-Mills, Kirstin
I am Not Going to Get Up Today! by Seuss, Dr.
McElligot's Pool by Seuss, Dr.
Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! by Seuss, Dr.
Flowers and Showers: A Spring Counting Book by Davis, Rebecca Fjelland
Let's Look at Spring by Schuette, Sarah L.
Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons by Na, Il Sung
Spring Is Here by Hillenbrand, Will
And Then It's Spring by Fogliano, Julie
Exclamation Mark by Rosenthal, Amy Krouse
Chicken Dance by Sauer, Tammi
Bawk & Roll by Sauer, Tammi
March (Book One) by Lewis, John Robert
Two Boys Kissing by Levithan, David
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Harper, Molly
The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Greenberg, Jan
Will & Whit by Gulledge, Laura Lee
Locomotive by Floca, Brian
Ick! Yuck! Eew!: Our Gross American History by Huey, Lois Miner
Midwinterblood by Sedgwick, Marcus
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Shen, Prudence
Dark Bites by Kenyon, Sherrilyn
The Table Sets Itself by Clanton, Ben
Ollie and Claire by Haber, Tiffany Strelitz
Ten Birds Meet a Monster by Young, Cybèle
Farmers' Market Day by Trent, Shanda
Hello, Mama Wallaroo by Lunde, Darrin
Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue by Stoop, Naoko
City Cat by Banks, Kate
Ike's Incredible Ink by Farley, Brianne
A Moose That Says Moo by Hamburg, Jennifer
Hedgehog's Magic Tricks by Paul, Ruth
Someone's Sleepy by Rose, Deborah Lee
Here Comes Firefighter Hippo by London, Jonathan
Better Nate Than Ever by Federle, Tim
Me First! by Escoffier, Michaël
Bits & Pieces by Schachner, Judy
Little You by Camp, Richard Van
Flora and the Flamingo by Idle, Molly
Piggies in the Kitchen by Meadows, Michelle
Show Me a Story!: Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with  of the World's Most Celebrated Illustrators by Marcus, Leonard S.
Peppa Pig and the Muddy Puddles
The Big Bad Wolf Goes on Vacation by Perret, Delphine
Tea Party Rules by Dyckman, Ame
Dinosaur Kisses by Stein, David Ezra
Daisy Gets Lost by Raschka, Chris
Time-Out for Sophie by Wells, Rosemary
Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise by Blackaby, Susan
Ghost in the House by Paquette, Ammi-Joan
The Deep Deep Puddle by Parker, Mary Jessie
Mama Hen's Big Day by Latter, Jill
Piggies in Pajamas Meadows, Michelle
The Green Bath by Mahy, Margaret
Windblown by Manceau, Édouard
You Were the First by MacLachlan, Patricia
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters by Campbell, K.G.
Rain! by Ashman, Linda
Friends by Carle, Eric
Ten Birds by Amman, Jurg
Never Turn Away by Driscoll, Maureen
Creepy Carrots! by Reynolds, Aaron
To Win His Wayward Wife by Gordon, Rose

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Stinky books

A couple weeks ago a book I had placed on hold arrived at my library.  I was excited to read it, as I’ve enjoyed the series so far. Even though the book is well over 800 pages, I knew it wouldn’t take more than a few days to read, as I doubted I would put it down for long.

When I came home from work that evening, I settled in and started to read the book.  I didn’t get more than a couple of pages though, as I was put off by the smell of stale cigarette smoke.  Ugh.  After a couple of pages I set the book aside.  A few days later I tried again, but didn’t get far.  The hubby was home, so I asked him to take a sniff.  He didn’t notice the stench, which surprised me. 

In the end, I only read sixteen pages before I brought it back to work.  I asked a couple of coworkers if they noticed the odor.  They did – even the one who was getting over a bad cold. 

Often when books are returned with an added scent we will try to salvage them.  We place a dryer sheet in between the pages and put the book in an airtight bag for several days.  I tried this trick with my book, leaving it sit in a bag over the weekend.  Sadly, when I checked the book a few days later I could still detect the stench.  I knew it would distract me too much while reading it, so I placed a hold on another copy and cleared the stinky one from my record.

So now I wait.  Of the three copies our system has of that title, one is checked out to another patron, one has been lost and paid for by a patron, and the third is too smelly for my likes.  Here’s hoping the copy that is checked out is returned early!  I really want to read that book!!