Sunday, September 12, 2010

THIS BOOK IS OVERDUE: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson

Marilyn Johnson has written an amazing little book about librarians and their part in world peace.  

My friend Diane found this book in NYC one day and got it for me. Thank you Diane!

I have so many sticky notes in it it's ridiculous! 

Here's the Facebook page, too.

Here's a synopsis from our public library: Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us--neither the experts nor the hopelessly baffled--can get along without human help. And not just any help--we need librarians, who won't charge us by the question or roll their eyes, no matter what we ask. Who are they? What do they know? And how quickly can they save us from being buried by the digital age? This book is a romp through the ranks of information professionals and a revelation for readers burned out on the clichés and stereotyping of librarians. Here are bloggers, radicals and visionaries who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need.--From publisher description. 


Kept seeing FABLEHAVEN everywhere I went. Would pick it up and put it back down. Read a recommendation somewhere and thought, "Oh, yea, that's that book I keep passing up, maybe I should go get it at the library." So I did. Yay libraries!

I am on page 205 of the first book in the series with the same name, Fablehaven. It took until page 73 to get hooked. See if you can find the three little words that did it!

What an imagination this man has! I always wonder how an author's take on an old subject, in this case fairies, can possibly make it fresh and new. Well, he's done it, and more so. If you like fantasy books, especially about fairies, check it out.

Two other fairy series I'm crazy about: Victoria Hanley's (see earlier post) VIOLET WINGS and Herbie Brennan's FAERIE WARS.    


Here's hoping that 30 Second to Mars' song, Kings and Queens, is in the actual movie and not just the trailer of LEGENDS OF THE GUARDIANS.

Yes, it's a lame excuse for a picture of their lead singer, Jared Leto, but what the heck, it's MY blog!


THE BOOK WHISPER by Donalyn Miller

I found this book perusing one of several book blogs I visit. And BOY, am I glad I did!

This book is about a REAL TEACHER, Donalyn Miller, who gets fifth grade students in Texas to read 40 books a year...happily! But more importantly, most of them turn into life-long learners and life-long lovers of books!

If you want to see how she does it, GET THIS BOOK and give it to every teacher you know! Or at the very least, recommend it!

It's actually an age-old idea. She lets her students pick books THEY ARE  INTERESTED IN and then, gasp, she lets them read them in her CLASS!

She has step-by-step instructions and forms to photocopy that she uses to accomplish this.

You will thank me're VERY welcome!

Kathryn Lasky's series GUARDIANS OF GA'HOOLE

Just this morning, I finished THE CAPTURE, the first book in the series of GUARDIANS OF GA'HOOLE by Kathryn Lasky (click here to go to her REALLY cool website). Enchanting, thrilling, scary, and heart warming!

Star Wars came rushing to me with The Capture's themes of believing in the power of self and confidence, good versus evil, and ultimately, friendship. She does not shy away from the cruelty that is nature. She researched owls for a non-fiction book and then decided to write this series instead. Her depth of knowledge shines through the book without sounding "teachy". I now know how owls fly in total silence, not just why. She slyly uses several species of owls as the main characters. The littlest one has to depend on her smarts, the biggest of the owls is gruff but caring. But it's also full of surprising animals as friends of the owls, like the endearing nanny for the owlets being a blind snake, Mrs. Plithiver.

The first three books are being turned into the movie LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS coming out Sept. 24th. (Click on the website to see the trailer.) Which of course I always have mixed feelings about, because books, children's books in particular, haven't fared very well in movie form. At least in my opinion. For example, Rick Riordan's immensely popular Percy Jackson series based on mythology legends being thrown into the modern world. The movie's take of  THE LIGHTNING THIEF is the first book in the series. It was a disaster from beginning to end. BUT in my library it seems to be getting more kids, especially boys, interested in READING the series, so I can't complain too much.

An extra perk for me is that one of my favorite bands, 30 SECOND TO MARS, sings their song, KINGS AND QUEENS, in the LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS trailer. Jared Leto, from long ago tv show MY SO-CALLED LIFE fame, is the lead singer. Hubba, hubba! =)

If I've learned nothing else, the finishing of this book has reminded me to give a book a chance and to give it my full attention. This is partly my fault for reading several books at a time. I'll get caught up in a new book and put aside the other book. When I finally pick it up again, it could be days or even weeks, and I confess, sometimes months. At my advanced age, I sometimes can't remember what I had for breakfast, so remembering a book I started weeks they say.

So I abandoned THE CAPTURE for a while but I also had great incentive to get back to it. I picked it as the book to read as a whole school and then go to the movie when it comes out. Yep, two books to go until Sept. 24th...I best get on it.

But now that I finished THE CAPTURE, I can't WAIT to get to the next two: THE JOURNEY and THE RESCUE.

Here is a short synopsis from our public library of THE CAPTURE:  The reader is introduced to Soren, a barn owl and the centerpiece of the series. When Soren is pushed from his family's nest by his older brother, he is rescued from certain death on the forest floor by agents from a mysterious school for orphaned owls, St. Aggie's. When Soren arrives at St. Aggie's, he suspects there is more to the school than meets the eye. He and his new friend, the clever and scrappy Gylfie, find out that St. Aggie's is actually a training camp where the school's leader can groom young owls to help achieve her goal.

Catch ya later, I gotta go start THE JOURNEY.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Books and Emotions

Now that I'm back in school, I haven't had much time for my blog.

So...I've decided that I will add small bits and pieces at a time.

Every once in a while, my post is going to reflect a certain emotion to a certain book. 

First emotion...comfort.  

My very favorite comfort author is Alexander McCall Smith and his NO.1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY series. This man is a marvel with words. How he can so accurately write from a woman's point of view baffles me. But he is always right on. Precious Romatswe is one of those characters that seems so alive and real. Precious makes me honor my life and to be grateful. It's because of the way she lives her life, how she conducts herself, and how she makes other people feel. When I read these books, they comfort me and I am content. They never let me down...ever.

And for a double treat, try one in audio, with the gorgeous, lilting voice of Lissette Lecat. She IS Precious Romatswe.