Monday, December 31, 2012

The BEST books of 2012

Here is my list of the best books of 2012! To be fair, I clearly have not read every book published this year, so this is all my personal opinion based on what I read. That being said, I am in the book-suggesting business as part of my job, so I think I can say with confidence that you will like at least one of these books. Books labeled A are adult books, YA are for teens, and C are for children. That's not to say that there are rules-- you can read whatever you please. I'm just using the labels as a guideline so you know who the books are targeted toward.

The best book of 2012 was, without doubt, John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (YA). After I read it, I was so stunned and overwhelmed that I said out loud to no one, "I never have to read another book again. This is it." I could not pick up another book for a little while afterward because everything else seemed so trivial. I was so thrilled to meet John Green at BEA, and he continues to amaze me. So you have to read this one-- it's not optional.
And now, for the rest of the list:
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (YA) was actually published in the spring of 2011, but it won BOTH the Printz and Morris Award for 2012 and the paperback came out this summer, so I count it.
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (YA)
Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker (C)
The Diviners by Libba Bray (YA)
Wonder by R.J. Palacio (C)
Every Day by David Levithan (YA)
Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy (A)
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain (A)
The Nightmare by Lars Kepler (A)
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (A)
Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (YA)
The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian (A)
Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit by Tommy Greenwald (C)
Erebos by Ursula Poznanski (YA)
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (A)

Ex libris,


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Putting the "m" and "e" in committee!

A few weeks ago, I applied to be on the Nutmeg nominating committee for 2015. (I KNOW-- already?) For those of you not in the fine Nutmeg State, the Nutmeg award goes like this: the nominating committee of librarians and reading teachers read a LOT of books to be considered for the nomination. Then those books are narrowed down to ten by the committee. The noms are kept TOP SECRET until their announcement. Then kids and teens across the state read the Nutmeg noms and they can choose their favorite. The award itself is given to the book that gets the most votes from kids across the state.
I grew up with the Nutmeg award, and now that I am finished with grad school, I thought I'd go for the committee. I applied for the teen committee (grades 7 and 8) and the high school committee (grades 9-12). I found out on Thursday that I got picked to be on the teen committee! (I got some disappointing news on Wednesday, so this was a welcome invitation).
I work with children and teens, so the age level I'm reading for is quite good for any reader's advisory I may do at work since I am the "bridge" between the children's and teen departments. I already got a list of eight books (of which I already finished one-- BAM!) to read before the first meeting in February. These books are not necessarily ones I'd read myself (I tend to read YA and adult books) so I will be exposed to something new, plus I'll get to meet librarians and reading teachers and other rad bookish folks from across the state. The downside is I have to read something like 80 books in several months (and I average 50-70 a year) and I will have to set aside all other books in order to get through the pile. I apologize in advance to you, dear reader...and Netgalley, where I have galleys waiting for me. I can't really review the books I'm reading since ten of them will be the TOP SECRET nominees, so I will have to figure something out for the blog.

I will post a list of my top books from 2012 soon, so stay tuned for that at least...and I will blog about awesome library programs or something while I do the Nutmeg thing.

Ex libris,


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I grew up near and still live very close to Newtown, CT. I am so overwhelmed by the tragedy there, and last night I took a break from watching the news because I just couldn't see anymore. A friend of a friend of mine was killed during the shooting. I can't believe that a place I know well is on international news. I don't want to go into the debate of mental illness and gun control and whatnot, I just wanted to blog to say that we should all keep our loved ones close and remember what happened last week. Also, there are relief efforts and scholarship funds being set up, so check those out and determine their legitimacy before you donate. You may also go to the website of the Newtown Town Hall here and get the details of the fund set up by the United Way of Western Connecticut.

Ex libris,


Monday, December 3, 2012

Do you remember September?

It is a universal truth that I'm not the best blogger. I am busy or I forget. Looking at the blog archive, I realize I didn't post in September this year. I could be tricky and backdate this post, but let's pretend it's September. What was I doing in September?
I visited my Aunt Marcy in early September. In addition to being all-around cool, she's an author and illustrator. Her story "Runaway Blue" was in Highlights magazine in 2010 (alas, they used a different illustrator). She's going to hit it crazy big one day with her art and writing, I know it. If you are a publisher and you have somehow found this blog, contact her immediately (just click on her name). You won't be sorry!
I went to the Goshen Fair in Goshen, CT with my friend Andrea. I love fairs, but mostly to see the animals. I'm not big on rides, although the occasional Ferris Wheel is ok. I like the sheep best of all (see the fourth book in the list below).
Finally, here are the books I read or listened to in September (that is, I finished them in September): 
  Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy
  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel
  No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting by Anne L. Macdonald
  Erebos by Ursula Poznanski
  Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

There you have it! Our trip back to September is over. Now back to your regularly scheduled December.

Ex libris,


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

La crème de la crème

"La crème de la crème" means "the best of the best." I learned that from Judy Blume's Just As Long As We're Together, one of my favorite books from elementary school. (When the phrase first appears in the book, I believe someone is commenting on brownies at a bake sale, so at first I thought it meant delicious and fudgy, but it was later explained.) But what is "the best of the best"? As Rachel says in Just As Long As We're Together, "Best is best." Although Rachel may be right when it comes to friendships, I think there can definitely be more than one "best" when it comes to books. Apparently, so do all sorts of publishers, book reviewers, and websites. The fine folks at Random House collected the multitudinous "Best Books of 2012" lists on their Tumblr so you can choose "la crème de la crème." I will post my own "best" list from this year in the near future, but for now, you can see what the other professionals have to say. ;)

That cute sweater showed up a lot when I did an image search for "la crème de la crème" and is designed by Zoe Karssen. If you want to purchase it, you may click here. Note that I have no affiliation with Ms. Karssen. I just want that sweater and if you like my blog you can get me one.

Finally, someone remind me not to blog when I'm tired because I solicit sweater gifts, use words like "multitudinous," and use Judy Blume books as a lens through which to see the world. And I write sentences like that.

Ex libris,

sleepy Marissa

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My brilliant book reviewing career.

I read, on average, about 50-70 books a year. Reading has always been one of my favorite activities, in addition to binding my own books and any craft involving yarn (I just started spinning-- next step is sheep shearing school). I also enjoy the occasional bout of doing nothing, and I watch TV. So I'm quite pleased with my yearly book average. Then when I finished my Master's degree (huzzah!) I thought to myself, aha! Now I can continue working on the 1001 Books Project with my sister (she's in the C books, I'm still in the A books), and read more in general, and read galleys on Netgalley, and continue my TV-crafty-nothing-doing. I admit, I may have been overambitious in this quest. I know of several librarians who work at their day jobs, write reviews for major publications, serve on committees, present at conferences, and also seem to get their laundry done. And they usually have more familial obligations than I do (I have one dog). That being said, I am considering applying to be on the Nutmeg Book Award committee, which will kick my reading into super high gear. I think it will be quite cool to have a hand in the Nutmeg nominees. I may never be a professional book reviewer, but I can still be a good librarian.

Ex libris,


Monday, October 1, 2012

Every Day was new.

I hope I mentioned somewhere in this blog that I love David Levithan. I finished his latest, Every Day, weeks ago but it was late and I didn't get to write about it until now. I made some notes immediately after reading it. Here they are: "Stunning and heartbreaking. Unfair. Mind existing without body. Time Traveler's Wife-ish. Cried. Cried after I already cried. Doomed to wander forever? Wanted to make it last. Read the last third of the ARC in one go."
Every Day is the story of A, who wakes up in a different body every day of his life. It's clear that (he? she?) is used to this as it has been happening since (he? she?) was born. I'll refer to A as "he" from now on because he's a he when we first meet him. A wakes up in the body of a guy named Justin and spends the day with his girlfriend Rihannon. A is connected to Rihannon but is never the same person twice, so how can he make it work? Levithan explores the idea of being connected on a cerebral level, no matter what. A wakes up in bodies of those similar in age to himself, but sometimes he's a girl or a boy, popular or a loner, pretty or ugly. He's able to "access" key information about who he is that day in order to make it through, but he has no home for his soul. After meeting Rihannon, though, A wants to get to know her. He does all he can to get back to her (he wakes up in roughly the same geographical area as long as the body he's in doesn't travel). He meets her in many of his different forms in hopes that their connection can transcend the physical. But will Rihannon feel the same?

It blew my mind. Go read it.

Ex libris,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Woohoo for Katie Woo!

Katie Woo! Her name sounds like an exclamation! Katie Woo Rules the School, released yesterday from Capstone Young Readers, is refreshing. Maybe it's because I read a lot of YA books, but it was nice to step back into a linear storyline with a handful of characters, headed by the bespectacled first grader Katie Woo. This book is actually a collection of several shorter stories, almost episodes. I like that the stories address minor problems without a lot of fanfare and not to much adult interference. For example, Katie is picked on by the class bully in one of the stories. She handles it in her own way and resolves the problem-- no parent-teacher conference or class assembly on bullying needed. She's empowered, for a first grader.

Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammie Lyon, this early chapter book for kindergarteners and up is a nice new entry in this field which has been dominated by another bespectacled girl, Junie B. Jones, for some time now. Simultaneously available is Katie Woo and Friends and twenty-four Katie Woo paperbacks (as opposed to collections like this one). If you've burned through Junie B. but aren't quite ready for Ivy and Bean or (my favorite) Ramona, Katie Woo may be your go-to girl.

Ex libris,


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Diviners, OR, why Libba Bray is awesome

Libba Bray is astonishing. With the exception of her Gemma Doyle trilogy, her other books have been standalones that span all genres. Going Bovine, the only book I know of that combines mad cow disease and Don Quixote, won the Printz Award several years ago. And now, she writes her latest novel The Diviners.

It's the era of Prohibition and flappers, Ziegfeld girls and speakeasys. After a faux pas at home in Ohio, bubbly, "everything's jake" Evie O'Neill has arrived in New York to stay with her uncle Will. Will curates the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. When a peculiar murder with apparent occult ties occurs, the police call upon Will to help solve the crime. And that's where the easy explanation ends.

Evie helps her uncle untangle the complicated threads of a story tying together religion, the occult, and a sacred covenant made years before. At the same time, we learn about other characters on the fringes of Evie's story: Memphis, a numbers runner; Jericho, Will's assistant at the museum; Theta, a Ziegfeld girl; and Sam, a petty thief. As Evie's story continues, it is clear that all these characters have ties with something bigger than themselves. The something is a looming thing of nightmares and evil

I can't even elaborate on this story anymore without serious spoilers, and I can't fully explain the "something." The ARC that I got at BookExpo is 578 pages, and this is the first in a four-part series that I can only assume covers the stories of the other characters in Evie's story. The film rights have already been snapped up by Paramount (wise move!) via Fake Empire and this promises to be an epic, Roaring-Twenties adventure with layers of darkness and occultism.

I stayed up way too late as I got deeper and deeper into this story. The world building and historical imagery are impeccable. After watching Ken Burns' documentary Prohibition earlier this year, I was totally onboard with the time period. At first I didn't like Evie's "pos-i-tute-ly" flapper slang, but as the story built into this maelstrom of intrigue and horror, it became so secondary that I just sat up turning page after page. The story reads like a movie, and I can't wait to see how it translates into film. It's one book-to-film that I'm not dreading!

I do wonder how this book will be received by teens. There's plenty of plot and lots of characters to keep the story going (and Evie is seventeen in the story), but I wonder how the (grisly!) murders and the time period will resonate. The connection I draw is that each time period has an expected "apocalypse" and this story is what apocalypse looked like in the Twenties. The fact that it is a time before a lot of modern technology makes it all the more scary. Beyond the family, there isn't a global community with whom to share common experiences. Local papers are the time period's Facebook status, if you will, and not knowing is a fear in and of itself.

The Diviners will be published in September by Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers. Libba, thank you for being amazing and signing my ARC at BookExpo. Paramount and Fake Empire, thank you for seeing the amazing movie opportunity in this book.

Ex libris and everything's jake,


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Once I read a book and it was a gas...its title was Throne of Glass

I couldn't help referencing Blondie's "Heart of Glass" in the title of this post. Every time I've opened up the digital galley to read Throne of Glass, those catchy lines (the only ones I know) have skittered across my brain. "Da dada dada, and it was a gas...da dada dada, heart of glass."

Anyway, Throne of Glass was a gas-- an exciting fantasy with a beautiful and deadly heroine. Throw in a competition, a prince, and a unknown evil, and you've got a great escapist read.

Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien was her country Adarlan's most notorious assassin, until she got caught. Forced into slavery in a salt mine, she refuses to be broken. She remains as cunning and deadly as ever. When the Crown Prince of Adarlan arrives at the mine, she is surprised, especially when he reveals his intention. Celaena is to compete against other villains and soldiers in a competition. If she wins, she will be named King's Champion and be freed after a period of servitude. If she loses, it is back to the mine and certain death.

Wanting her freedom, Celeana agrees-- grudgingly-- to the deal. She is transported to the Glass Castle where she will train and compete under an assumed name. Despite her unbreakable spirit and prickly demeanor, she has caught the Crown Prince's eye and the eye of her trainer, the Captain of the Royal Guard. As training begins, a series of murders alarms castle residents. It appears to be an otherworldly force, but that is impossible because magic has disappeared from the kingdom. Or has it? Can Celaena figure out the force behind the murders and win the competition?

I was skeptical about this story, to be honest. Pretty girl assassin? Handsome prince? I was concerned that Celaena was going to be too frothy and the prince was going to be a doofus. But aha! I was wrong! What I liked a lot about Celaena is that she has an edge to her. She may look awesome in a ballgown, but you best make sure she doesn't have a knife strapped to her thigh. And the prince, Dorian, is handsome but has character to back it up. Their dialogue is well-crafted and snarky. I loved it.

Celaena is not transformed overnight. I tip my hat to Sarah Maas, the author, for developing all of the characters in this book in measured steps. All the parts of this book unfold in a wonderful way, and it is clearly first in a series that shows promise.

The blurb on Netgalley calls Throne of Glass "the teen girl version of Game of Thrones." I have only read the first in that series, but I like to think that Arya Stark would grow up to be like Celaena Sardothien-- crafty and quick with a sword.

This is a debut novel by Sarah Maas, but she's been writing this epic online for years. Congratulations on getting this book in print, Sarah, and I look forward to the next in the series! Throne of Glass will be published on August 7, 2012 by Bloomsbury Children's Books, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing. The digital galley was provided through Netgalley.

Ex libris,


Saturday, July 7, 2012

"Trash" into treasure

Junk-Box Jewelry is a way to justify saving stuff. I love saving stuff. I have old watch faces, extra buttons, and more bits of yarn than I know what to do with. I took a wire working course in January, so I was looking forward to see Sarah Drew's take on DIY jewelry.

This book is marketed toward teens who are beginner or intermediate jewelry makers. I would lean more toward intermediate because some of these projects seem pretty involved. This is definitely a plan-before-you-make book. I love the idea of using "junk" to make new things, but these projects require jewelry wire, clasps, and tools. Bead stringing this isn't. Some projects are easier, but I think there are more intermediate projects than beginner in this book.

I like a lot of the projects Sarah Drew shows, especially the "Beach Finds" chapter with sea glass, shells, and bits of plastic. Next time I go to Cape Cod, my eyes will be scanning the sand!

The projects are well-illustrated and clearly explained, which is much appreciated. However, some of the "teen language" Drew uses feels a little forced. When describing lobster clasps: "No, they don't taste good dipped in butter..." On how to find supplies: "Tell your folks you want to organize or clean up and you'll earn serious brownie points." It sounds intentionally trendy. Luckily, as the book continues, this "omg totally awesome" tone wanes, or maybe I just got used to it. It doesn't affect the instructions, which is good.

Hats off to Drew for indicating that an adult's help might be needed when it comes to using a Dremel tool. I would suggest a similar note in the "Selling Your Work" section in the back. Etsy and eBay are great resources, but a bank account has to be connected to PayPal to purchase items or receive payment.

This is a good choice for intermediate-level teen crafters who want to branch out from using store-bought supplies. This book was received for review through Netgalley. It was published by Zest Books on June 27, 2012 and is available for purchase.

Ex libris,


Friday, July 6, 2012

Two non-paranormal books that I really enjoyed.

 I recently finished two books that I really enjoyed. Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill was historical fiction and Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn was a mystery. Nary a ghoul in sight. I was happy to read some realistic books for myself and also to recommend to others who may be worn out from paranormal books or dystopias. I like those genres as much as the next person, but it's nice to read something different for a change!

Sisters of Glass snagged me with its beautiful cover, and then really snagged me with its subject matter-- glassblowing. For a long time it was my career ambition to be a glassblower. I took workshops and even interned for a glassblower in college. To be fair, the book is not just about glassblowing. It's also a story about family, love, and duty. Maria is the younger daughter of a glassblower, who has stipulated that she marry a nobleman. She'd rather work in the furnaces of the glass shop or sketch. Her older sister Giovanna is miffed that she was passed over for the betrothal, and Maria finds herself falling for a man she can't have.

The novel is written in non-rhyming verse, and most of it is quite lyrical and pretty. The atmosphere of Murano, the Venetian island where glass is produced, feels sort of mystical. The story follows a traditional arc and it was refreshing to read one point of view instead of many. As I was reading, I was concerned that Stephanie Hemphill would lose readers with the glassmaking terminology she uses, but behold! A glossary at the end. I'd recommend this to historical fiction fans and any teen interested in glassblowing (although I might've been the only one, and that was-- gulp-- fifteen years ago). For a different, much more complicated story set in France, try Daphne du Maurier's The Glass-Blowers.

Now, for something completely different: Tokyo Heist. This one got me from the art angle too-- it's about a stolen van Gogh painting. Violet arrives in Seattle to spend time with her dad. His employers have recently commissioned him to paint a mural in their office building in Japan. Unfortunately, they have also recently been burglarized and a van Gogh has gone missing. Violet goes to Japan with her dad so he can work on the mural and Violet tries to solve the mystery surrounding the painting and the gangsters who want it. This is a fast-paced mystery with international flavor.

Violet reads a lot of manga and is a budding artist herself, so at the same time her own story is going on, she's writing a manga story called Kimono Girl. I really liked the parallel stories of Violet and Kimono Girl. I know pretty much nothing about manga other than it's Japanese, but I still found it accessible in this story. There are Japanese words sprinkled throughout that can be figured out from context, and they are used purposefully. I really enjoyed this one.

Sisters of Glass was published under Random House's Knopf imprint in March of 2012 and is available now. Tokyo Heist was published under Penguin's Viking imprint in mid-June of 2012 and is also available now.

Ex libris,


Saturday, June 23, 2012


Nick and Maxine move into a new apartment with their parents. When they spot an old-fashioned house out the window, they have to visit. There they find Mrs. Noodlekugel, a kindly old woman with a talking cat, friendly mice, and superior baking skills. This is the whimsical premise to Daniel Pinkwater's Mrs. Noodlekugel.

This story is cheerful and sweet, evoking memories of other children's classics like Amelia Bedelia, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and even a little Hansel and Gretel minus the witchy component. The description of her house reminded me of Miss Honey's house in Roald Dahl's Matilda. Overall, this is a warm almost-fairytale. Nick and Maxine are sneaky only in that they go to visit Mrs. Noodlekugel when they're told not to and their parents exist in the background of the story. It's all about the magical world Mrs. Noodlekugel inhabits.

The dialogue in this story, if read aloud, sounds very stunted and weird: "She is nice," Maxine said. "We know she is nice." It's not the meatiest, most scintillating conversation. That being said, this is a beginning chapter book for early readers, and the repetition is useful. Read the same word enough times and you will learn it!

I love the illustrations drawn by Adam Stower. Although I felt the book could have ended less abruptly, Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice is slated for 2013. I'd give this to kids who are beyond Biscuit but still not quite ready for longer books.

This book was published by Candlewick Press and is available now.

Ex libris,


Thursday, June 21, 2012

A search for identity

You know the phrase "You've got a face for radio?" That's how Gabe feels about himself in Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. Gabe has a weekly late night radio show on a community station and develops quite a following. However, he is an outcast at school, because at school he's Elizabeth, a female-to-male transgender teenager. Gabe is struggling to find his identity and share it with others. His parents are not the most supportive, but luckily his friend Paige and next-door neighbor John are by his side.

As Gabe's senior year of high school winds down, he looks toward his future as a male. At the same time, some of his classmates and fans are making a connection that he is really Elizabeth, that "lesbo chick" from school. What happens when Gabe is confronted by peers who see him as an abomination?

When I read the description of this book on Netgalley, I wondered how the author could make Gabe's character relatable to non-transgender people. Instead of making the book all about Gabe's gender identity, Kirstin Cronn-Mills includes themes that everyone can relate to: being a teenager, conflicts with parents, trying to figure out "what's next," and how to find one's voice. I felt for Gabe because it's hard enough to go through all the regular teenage "stuff" without having to face the potential backlash from others for being transgendered. I felt that Gabe was authentic and likable and I liked how the different story lines came together but didn't tie up neatly, because when does life end up neatly?

The musical references in this book are amazing. Gabe is a total music nerd, and his neighbor John is even more so. I think the overarching theme of music is great, but I don't know if potential readers will identify with the idea of having a radio show. Do teenagers still listen to the radio? With MP3s and satellite radio pervasive, I hope that "community radio" is still relatable.

I think this book will appeal to teens facing gender transitions of their own, but I would also give it to anyone who is trying to figure out their identity. Honestly, I don't know how well it will circulate at the library, but I think it is important to have on the shelf. I also applaud Ms. Cronn-Mills for including resources and support groups in the back matter of her book.

This month's School Library Journal has a focus on serving LGBTQ teens with an extensive list of books, and I think Beautiful Music for Ugly Children fits neatly on it.

This book is being published by Flux Books in October.

Ex libris,


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reading out of genre

Horror has never been my genre, really. As a kid I was afraid of even pulling The Exorcist off the bookshelf in our library, and I tried Amityville Horror as a teenager but got so creeped out. I've read some Stephen King short horror stories, but even then I get the jibbilies (possessed trucks ominously circling a rest stop-- creepy!)

So, when I was sorting through some of the ARCs that my colleague brought back from BEA last week, I found myself strangely intrigued by Breed, which is, in fact, a horror novel. I started it that day (Thursday) and finished Sunday morning. I couldn't stop reading it because I had to know what would happen.

Before I give a synopsis, here are some tech specs, if you will: the book is published by Mullholland Books, a division of Little, Brown and Company. Their tagline is "you never know what's coming around the curve." That's exactly how I would describe this book.

Alex and Leslie have everything-- Alex is a successful lawyer, Leslie works at a publishing company, and they live a wealthy life in an old house that has been in Alex's family for years. (Un-spoiler: it's not a haunted house.) The only thing they don't have is a child, an heir to the family home. After many procedures, Leslie urges Alex to think about adoption, but he wants a child bred from his genetic material. The couple learn through the grapevine about a Slovenian doctor who is doing groundbreaking work in the field of fertility, so they go to visit him.

Leslie and Alex both receive a cocktail of genetic material drawn from a variety of sources and Leslie is almost instantly pregnant. She and Alex start exhibiting strange characteristics, though-- excess body hair, heightened sense of smell, and teeth that are just a little too big...and pointy.

Ten years later, their children start to notice the same weird things about their parents. Why do the children have to be locked in their rooms at night? Where do their pets keep disappearing to? They have to get out of the lovely home, now in disrepair with a basement of horrors. They try...but how can they escape? This book brings a whole new meaning to "My parents are going to kill me!"

There is a plenty left to the imagination as to what has happened in the intervening years. I like how Breed lets the reader fill in some of the terrifying blanks themselves. I also think the subject of infertility and gene therapy is a nice, timely twist. Should we be mixing cocktails of genes together, or let nature be? Interestingly, this article from Mental Floss showed up in my Twitter feed this week, and I felt the universe align a little bit.

So I read a horror novel! I had to find out what happened next. Thanks, Chase Novak and Mullholland Books, for the surprises around the curve. If you want to read an excerpt, you can find it at the book's website. You'll be able to read the whole thing in September, when it's published.

Ex libris,


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

B-E-A is R-A-D

I went to BookExpo America (BEA) for the first time today. It was amazing. So many people and authors and booooks. Highlights: author breakfast with John Green, Chris Colfer, Lois Lowry, and Khadir Nelson. John Green being totally sweet and signing 2 copies of TFiOS for me, one for me and one for the library. Maureen Johnson who is just as awesome and funny as I expected if not more so. Chris Colfer who was hilarious at the author breakfast and looked so overwhelmed at the signing-- we're not at McKinley anymore! And the epic Libba Bray, who is sweet and charming and rad.

People and books I missed go on the TO READ list. Also just signed up with Netgalley. Very tired but...

I totally love what I do.

Ex libris,


Monday, June 4, 2012

Looking into the future.

Yesterday, my library threw a shindig for our director who is retiring at the end of the month. It was such a party! Musicians, poems, speeches. I left feeling wowed. I hope that when I retire, I'm as highly regarded and have made as much a difference as Kathy has. TO THE STACKS, BATMAN!

Ex libris,


Sunday, June 3, 2012

A REAL librarian

I am a real librarian, friends. Graduation was a few weeks ago and I'm taking a break from my final paper to write this blog post. I will turn it in and the graduate school will issue my degree in August. It feels great and also weird. Going to school and working full-time is HARD, yo. But it was worth it because I'm doing what I love!
Next week is Art Adventures, a four-week mini art history and craft program. We're doing Mondrian first. I went to the art store on Friday morning and got all my supplies. I showed actual restraint and didn't buy anything for me, which is very hard at an art store.
I say this every time I blog, but now that school is pretty well done I hope to blog more. And read more. Quick book recommendation: The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour.

Ex libris,