Saturday, May 28, 2011

3 Books On a Desert Island

I think it's good to be prepared for potentially disastrous 'worst case scenario' types of events. Because of this, I sometimes like to consider what I would do in certain survival situations. One I've been considering this morning is the old 'desert island' scenario.

Imagine, if you will, that you have become marooned on a desert island by yourself. I'm no fool; I know the first thing you're going to do is look for food, water, and shelter and make sure there are no pirates around. That's exactly what I'd do. But we're going to fast forward past that part.

In this scenario you've been on the island for a few months. You haven't quite gone this crazy yet, but you're getting really lonely and bored. Luckily for you, a water proof unlocked suitcase washes up on the beach (I know, this IS a very realistic and highly probable scenario; it could easily happen to any of us). You open the case and notice three books inside!

My question to all of you is which three books would you hope to find when opening the case? They can be any books you'd like and you can choose them for any reason. Click on the comments if you want to see which three I'd pick and to share your own choices!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

MMORPG Anticipation

I have a long history with MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games).

My first was the now laughably archaic Neverwinter Nights on AOL.

I dabble in lots of different video games for the console or PC. Turn based historical simulations, solo rpgs, first person shooters and real time strategy are all styles that I enjoy.

However, nothing beats exploring a massive online world with other players and right now I am anxiously anticipating a new online rpg that is on the horizon.

Bioware is an extremely well respected gaming company that has a unblemished record of creating outstanding games. The Baldur's Gate series, Neverwinter Nights I and II, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I and II, and Dragon Age I and II are all Bioware homeruns.

Bioware is now working on a mmorpg in the Star War universe. It is called Star Wars: The Old Republic.

No matter which side of the Force you fall on, there is something for you.

Create a Jedi.

Or maybe a Sith Inquisitor is more your style.

MMORPGs sure have come a long way!

See you around the galaxy.
Nate - Snohomish Library

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: I, Q

Have you ever had a friend you could trust to recommend books to you and never steer you wrong? I was visiting the Freeland Library last week, and both librarians working there recommended I,Q: Independence Hall by Roland Smith. I always like hearing what the other librarians have enjoyed reading, and these two have given me many good suggestions in the past. The book was on the shelf, so I took it home.

I sat down, started reading, and before I knew it I had read almost 100 pages! I love it when a book pulls me in like that.

It's a hard story to summarize without giving anything away - there are rock stars, spies, terrorists, evasive maneuvers, rogue agents, card tricks, and McDonald's hamburgers eaten on the sly. Definitely a page turner. Book two in the series is on its way and I can't wait to read it!

Check out the book trailer, then check out the book!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Teen Review of the Week: A Voice in the Wind

Here's a belated TRW as I got sick and shirked my duties. Sorry all! I'll return you to your regularly scheduled TRW on Sunday.

A Voice In The Wind by Francine Rivers


This is now my most favorite book! Set in Rome, this book is about a captured Christian named Hadassah, and a parallel story about a captured Germanic gladiator named Atretes. Hadassah's master is a 16-year old aristocrat girl named Julia. She falls in love with her Julia's brother, Marcus. A tale of faith, love, murder, and real Rome.

My Thoughts:

I loved seeing both Atretes and Marcus change from "animals" into real men. What an affect women can have on them, seriously!

Sentimental fiction, Christian Fiction, Rome

--RH, grade 9, Edmonds Library

If you'd like a chance at being the Teen Review of the Week, be sure to submit your reviews! I'll be sending RH a free copy of the new Amy Goldman Koss title The Not So Great Depression.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Look at Katniss!

I still think she's a little too old, but man, what a little hair dye and costume does! What do you all think?

Full Entertainment Weekly article.

via Hollywood Reporter

Fave Reads This Week

Need something to read? Here are two books I really enjoyed.

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) - Lauren DeStefano

Dystopian future? Check. Incurable virus? Check. Forced polygamy? Check. Accept my new life? Never.

In a dystopian future, sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped by the Gatherers to become a bride. Against her will, she becomes part of a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape...

Intrigued? Click here to request this book.

Darkness Becomes Her - Kelly Keaton

Greek mythology enthusiasts, here's one for you!

Set in New 2 (post disaster New Orleans), this dystopian & paranormal novel is filled with a mix of gods and monsters. Born with teal eyes and silver hair, and having bounced around foster care, Ari is seeking an understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search leads her to New 2, where she quickly makes friends with other misfits, becomes embroiled in local politics and is forced to fight for her survival (against a goddess!).

Sound awesome? Click here to request this book.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It’s looking Grimm out there

I was watching Tangled last Friday and realized that as the giant wheel of trends turns seems we have come back to Fairy Tales. Yay! While I've never been a big fan of faeries (spiteful, vain creatures), I love fairy tales. While I especially like the trauma-inducing dark and twisted originals, I'm also mushy enough to appreciate the Disney spins. Here are some recently published titles that feature some of the lesser known tales:

Cloaked by Alex Flinn. 2011.
In the vein of "Beastly" comes Flinn's next fairy tale retelling--an edgy, fast-paced romantic adventure with elements of The Shoemaker and the Elves, The Frog Prince, and more! Seventeen-year-old Johnny is approached at his family's struggling shoe repair shop in a Miami, Florida, hotel by Alorian Princess Victoriana, who asks him to find her brother who was turned into a frog.

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. 2010.
In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman. 2010.
New York high school student Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the "New-York Circulating Material Repository," and when she gains coveted access to its Grimm Collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a series of frightening adventures involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.

There are also two TV shows scheduled for the fall. NBC has scheduled Grimm (from Buffy writers; filmed in Portland), which is described as “a dark but fantastical cop drama about a world in which characters inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales exist.” Meanwhile, ABC will offer Once Upon a Time, “a modern-day take on fairy tales, with a female protagonist who comes from a unique background, the series will be set in a small town in Maine and will feature an ensemble cast.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

YALSA's Teen Top Ten Nominees for 2011

YALSA has announced the 2011 Teen Top Teen nominations. You have all summer to read these books before voting on your favorites August 22-September 16, 2011.

This year is special for us, as one of the Teen Top Teen book groups is stationed at our own Mukilteo Library, lead by the fabulous Kathleen.

To make it easy for you to get these books, you can find them here, linked into the catalog, for easy reservations :)

(Not that I get to vote, but) so far I've read Before I Fall, Mockingjay, Matched, Sister's Red, and The Sky is Everywhere and they were all GREAT.

Which ones have you read?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What Kind of Reader Are You?

I'm going to oversimplify things a bit by asserting that there are only two types of readers. Allow me to set the stage: The other night I was lying in bed and having trouble going to sleep. After finishing the book I was reading I was still unable to drift off, and mired in a state of half-crazed sleep deprivation. Under these circumstances I obviously experienced a brilliant epiphany - I decided that there are two types of readers in the world: Those who prefer the first line of a book, and those who prefer the last.

First liners appreciate how important the initial words are to the reader. They set the tone for the entire book. They can pull you into a story, or they can make you turn up your nose and move on to something else. The first line can be a lot like the smell wafting off of the Thanksgiving turkey that you waited ever-so-patiently on as it FINALLY arrives on the table.

Readers who favor the final line understand that the entire plot and purpose of a book can be summed up perfectly in just a few words when a good closing line is written by a skilled author. It's an author's last, best chance to tell the reader EXACTLY what they were trying to say. Last liners want closure, but aren't afraid to be challenged by the author to think a little more about what they just read.

Not sure which sounds more like you? I've made a little quiz that features 5 famous first lines and 5 famous last lines from classic books there's a good chance many of you have read before. See if you can identify the book or the author from the line. If you score higher in one of the sections, you might have the answer to whether you're a 'first liner' or a 'last liner'.

*Check out the comments section for the answers; I didn't want to put any spoilers in the post.

5 Famous First Lines

1. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

2. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."

3. "Call me Ishmael. "

4. "All children, except one, grow up."

5. "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

5 Famous Last Lines

1. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

2. “He loved Big Brother.”

3. “He would be there all night, and he will be there when Jem waked up in the morning.”

4. "But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing. "

5. "He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance. "

When you check out the answers, let me know if you're a first liner or a last liner. I'm a last liner myself, but I'm curious to see what the majority of you consider yourselves.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Listen to This!

Until recently, I never listened to audio books. I found them boring and tedious to listen to. This may stem from a bad book (I won't name names because it was quite popular at the time) during a cross-country road trip. A long commute and an epic to-read pile has since changed this, along with the discovery that a good narrator totally makes the book.

Case in point: Have you read Swim the Fly by Don Calame yet? Or the sequel Beat The Band? Both books are absolutely hilarious.

In Swim the Fly, best friends Matt, Coop, and Sean have one goal this summer: to see a girl naked. Their mission is not quite as easy as it sounds, especially since none of them have actually even dated a girl before. Meanwhile, Matt has to master the 100-yard butterfly in order to impress Kelly West, a popular girl with a meat-head boyfriend.

In Beat the Band the boys are back with another slapstick adventure. Coop has been paired with "Hot-Dog Helen" for a semester-long health project. The only way to save his reputation is to have his band win the school's Battle of the Band competition. Too bad his band (comprised of Matt and Sean) totally sucks, but a little help from his dad and new lead singer might be enough to win.

I listened to both of these on audio during my commute and on more than one occasion nearly got into an accident because I was laughing so hard. On second thought, maybe you shouldn't listen to these while on the road.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ali Marcus - Live in Concert!

Interested in an afternoon of fun, FREE entertainment? Look no further than the Oak Harbor Library this Saturday, May 14th. Anacortes based musician Ali Marcus will be here to play her special blend of folk inspired original tunes at 2:00 pm.

If the weather is good - let's hope - we'll hold the show outside.

Even if you don't live in Oak Harbor grab your friends and take a road trip for an afternoon of great music. Spring finally seems to be here and it's time to get out of the house!

What's your favorite road trip music?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Give a Book, Get a Book

Ballou Senior High School in Washington DC has over 1,200 students. In a count earlier this year the school library only had 1,150 books in it. That's less than one book per student. The American Library Association recommends that there be 11 books per student in a school library. That's a pretty huge disparity.

Because of this, GuysLitWire has decided that their annual book fair will benefit Ballou. You can get in on the action by checking out the full post at GuysLitWire, and following the instructions to buy books through Powell's to donate to BSHS.

Similarly, KidEquip has partnered with The Giving Effect where people can donate 10 of their own gently-used books and get free postage to send to low-income and at-risk kids in the Detroit Metro area. So if you have books laying about that would be good for any child from birth to age 12, check out all of the details here.

Or, search The Giving Effect database for a local cause, and find out what you can do to help your community.

Give to any of these efforts, or spread the word about them, and tell me what you did in the comments. Every single one of the commenters will win a NEW book to keep for themselves, from us. So, when you comment, tell me what your favorite book is, and I'll try my best to match a freebie with your tastes.

Only students ages 12-18 or in grades 6-12 who can pick their winnings up at one of the 21 Sno-Isle Libraries are eligible for free books.