Thursday, December 22, 2011

Think before you link

I've been thinking about linking. No, really.
In my last post, all the links of titles go to where you can buy the book, browse similar titles, etc. Today I was thinking that I should really link to where you can buy books online from independent bookstores.
Then today, in a post unrelated to linking, librarian of awesome Andy Woodworth put the following note at the bottom of his blog post:
"Note: I’ve decided from now on to use links to LibraryThing rather than Amazon or WorldCat. In doing so, I’d like to urge my fellow bloggers to link to sites like LibraryThing rather than those sites when mentioning books."
AHA! I am not the only one thinking about linking. I usually just link to Amazon out of habit. WorldCat, the epic library catalog of everywhere, is awesome too because you can punch in your zip code and find a library near you that has the book you're looking for. But LibraryThing is a different animal altogether. It's a social "hey what are you reading" type of site, and since libraries are social "hey what are you reading" types of institutions, I think I will follow Andy's lead. And also, my personal LibraryThing is over there ----> showing you what I've read. I recently started adding all of the books that I've read since 2001 which just existed in my old blue notebook labeled BOOKS. I started in January of 2001 as my New Year's resolution and I think it might be the only resolution I've ever kept.
So hurrah for LibraryThing! And since it's so close to the New Year, why don't you start your own as your resolution?

Ex libris,


Photo from Flickr user Etrusia UK, used under a Creative Commons license

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Best of the Year from SLJ

I read lots of book reviews for children and teens. As I approached the children's desk this evening, I noticed the latest School Library Journal sitting there. It's the December issue sporting the "Best of 2011" lists. I am not going reprint the lists here, rather, I will make note of books on the lists that I have read and what I thought. It's SLJ through the Marissa filter.

1. A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
This is a sweet wordless picture book about a dog named Daisy and her beloved red ball. But what happens when the ball is no longer? I liked this book because I'm a dog lover, so it turned me into mush. Also, the artwork is very dynamic and Daisy is an expressive pup. Such a simple concept beautifully rendered.

2. Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
This is Hubbard's debut novel, but you wouldn't know that by reading it. Set at a boys' boarding school, 16-year-old Alex must make tough decisions about friendship, loyalty, and the truth in the wake of a friend's death. I felt it was very A Separate Peace meets Dead Poets' Society. Nice job.

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This is a poignant tale of a boy, Conor, dealing with grief and feeling invisible. At night, he is visited by a monster in the form of a tree who will tell him three tales, and then Conor must tell one of his own-- the truth. This book got a lot of buzz, and I enjoyed it. The illustrations are haunting.

4. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
This book left ME wonderstruck, so much so that I bought two copies to give as gifts this Christmas. Parallel stories intertwine about museums, deafness, and family. Selznick is a master, and his drawings are amazing. LOVED this one.

5. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I feel like Stiefvater really hit her stride with this one. I liked her Wolves of Mercy Falls series and her faerie books, but this is her best so far, for me. Featuring deadly, carnivorous water horses, a tiny windswept island, two teenagers fighting to win what they want the most, plenty of action, and a dab of romance, this grabbed me and didn't let go.

6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Holy smokes (and bones). I finished this book a couple days ago and it was so so so good. A new twist in the paranormal genre: angels and demons. Angels, you scoff? BADASS angels. Demons, you whine? Surprisingly TENDER demons. Karou is a 17-year-old art student in Prague (note to self: GO TO PRAGUE) who, in her spare time, runs errands for a demon named Brimstone. On one of these errands, she meets Akiva, an angel who tries to kill her. However, she finds herself strangely drawn to him, and when the truth about Karou's heritage is revealed, you will be amazed. This book unfolds slowly, but oh so satisfyingly.

7. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman
Who knew that nature is full of spirals? When I saw this title, the only spiral I could think of was a snail's shell. But there are so many more, and they each have a specific purpose. The illustrations in this are gorgeous and the back matter explains in detail the animals and plants featured in the book. Lovely.


Ex libris,


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Poor neglected blog.

It has been awhile. I read somewhere that some ridiculous percentage of blogs are abandoned after a few posts. It's sad. I have joined and am posting on DNBRD lately. And there's the 1001 Books too. So I am around on the web, and I really don't want to let go of this blog just yet. So hang in there, blog!

Ex libris,


Monday, August 22, 2011

Of the Book, By the Book, For the Book

I took a course in History of the Book this summer, and it was breathtaking. No other way to describe it. Handling old books, learning about how things were printed, seeing treasures from centuries was awesome. Then in July, my aunt Marcy suggested I read People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. It centers around a book conservator who has been invited to work on a Haggadah (special book recited at the Seder meal in the Jewish tradition) that was thought to be lost. The history of this particular book is traced through artifacts that the rare book conservator finds in its binding. There is a twist at the end, too. I highly recommend it!

Ex libris,