Monday, September 28, 2009

L'Shana Tova

I'm watching Yom Kippur Services online since I'm off of work today and Josh didn't love the services we went to last year. I am actually really enjoying these. They remind me a lot of the temple I grew up going to. But wow, my grandparents would be so confused by this!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Busy Busy

I've been spending most of my blogging time on my work blog, The Wild Rumpus. Plus, I'm picking up some more programs at work. But I am slowly making it through the pile of ARCs from ALA and I'll try to at least comment on them as I go.

I just finished Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri. One of our teen volunteers read it before me and she recommended it. I found it a bit hard to get into and slow in parts. Attractive cover, but not really as suspenseful or as funny as I was hoping. Oh well.

Now I am working on Capt. Hook by J.V.. Hart. It's not a new release but somehow I missed it when it came out. Well, I'm loving it so far. It's my lunch time reading so it's going a bit slowly but it feels more like I'm savoring it than plodding through.

Oh and in the car I'm listening to Dairy Queen. Another amazing book I seemed to have missed. I am almost done and I've already got The Off Season on CD checked out. And I have the ARC for the third book. So I'll be posting more about that when I'm done.

Wow, I better get reading now!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Toaster Envy

Our current toaster tends to burn things and the crumb tray is crap. It just drops crumbs all over the counter and attracts mice. So I'm looking into getting a new one. Since the one we currently have was a cheapy Target purchase, I'm contemplating splurging on a nicer toaster. I'm loving the design of this Bodum toaster but it is rather expensive.

Any recommendation?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More fun things to do with old books...

Another cool use for discarded books! At the library the teens will be making journals from the horrible fairy tale books I weeded last month. I want to make one and then I want this headboard.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Get well Stella!

My favorite baby is in the hospital with a nasty virus that's keeping her dehydrated and in need of an IV. We visited her last night and in case you've never been to a children's hospital, let me assure you it is one of the saddest things around. Poor little munchkin, feel better!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Mystery Solved

I forgot to mention that I figured out what caused those strange bruises. It was climbing in and out of the window that leads to our roof. We've put some tomatoes and herbs out there and you have to climb out the window in order to water them. Sadly, I am so wimpy that this causes me to bruise. How does one toughen up one's skin?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

For a much better review than I could write...

of the Coraline musical check out Elizabeth Bird's review. Yeah, pretty much what she said. I'm in total agreement about the actress that played Coraline. However I did wish that the Other Mother was a little more menacing and a little less campy and while I agree that for the most part the staging was done well, there were a couple of instances (like the final attempt to get back the key and get through the door) where I thought that I would have done things differently. (Ha, that just shows that I think I'm an expert on EVERYTHING!)

Oh and I have a better celebrity sighting. Though we had none at the theater, the next day we did see Tim Robbins on the street!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coraline Musical

I saw the Coraline musical in NYC this past weekend. I enjoyed it and thought it was a good mix of creepiness and humor. However, like the Coraline graphic novel and (though I haven't seen it, I imagine) the movie, it wasn't as amazing as I imagined it in my head. I've mentioned before that that's the problem with loving a book so much; no one else has the exact same vision as I do. Still I would highly recommend seeing it if you can. Just be aware, with some very interesting casting choices and music by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, it is not your typical musical theater!

I know someday we will look back in shame...

Thanks for the link Erin. And thank you for this post Libba Bray. So eloquent it made me a bit teary reading it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Last night as I was getting ready for bed I looked down and found long purple bruises streaking down the back of my leg. I guess someone must be beating me in my sleep, I joked to Josh. But this morning there's more bruises and then there's the case of my mysteriously skinned elbow. So what's going on? I think it's the yoga I've started doing. No, I'm not doing yoga on a bed of nails either. I am simply the worlds biggest klutz. Seriously, I once cut myself on a piece of chocolate. So skinning my elbow while getting into downward dog, isn't really as odd as it sounds. I am tempted to use this as an excuse not to exercise, but I guess the elliptical machine can't really hurt me. Oh wait, I once got my foot stuck between the pedals of one of those things! Hmmmmm....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Coraline, the Musical

I really, really, really wish I could see this!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here a Blog, There a Blog...

I've been keeping busy at the library, working on a new blog for the youth services department: The Wild Rumpus. Check it out and please let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

And the winner in the Battle of the Books is...

The Hunger Games! Lois Lowry's explanation is pretty funny. You can read it on the SLJ BoB site and read all the reactions. I guess this means I have to read The Hunger Games . Not that I didn't want to read before. I'm just lazy. I should read Kingdom on the Waves too.

Alas, this mean that I did not win the bracket at work. It also means that I will be baking chocolate cupcakes with whipped cream frosting (preferably pink) and sprinkles for the co-worker who correctly called the winner. Of course she had to pick chocolate! It's going to be hard not to eat one!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Australia here I come!

It is just not my day and while my reasons for having these petty, negative emotions are pretty silly, I can't help it. I'm stuck. I'm having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

To fight the Monday blahs...

I learned how to score a final four bracket. Now I can actually keep score at work as we follow SLJ's Battle of the Books. So far I'm in the lead, though that is bound to change since Frankie is out of the running. I'm thinking I'll bake cupcakes for everyone at the end and the winner gets to take the extra cupcakes home. Unless it's me. I'm trying to do the whole healthy eating and exercising thing again after the long sluggish winter I've had. So no cupcakes for me!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Battle of the Books Update

Well, I'm out of the running now. We Are the Ship beat out The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks and I had Frankie pegged as the winner of it all. I got too cocky. I was so sure Rachel Cohn would pick Frankie. Still I've picked all the other winners so far. I think I should get credit for that.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SLJ's Battle of the Kid's Books

The battle has finally begun. Check it out over at School Library Journal's Battle of the Books blog. At work we've all filled out our brackets and I'm happy to say that I've predicted the first four winners correctly! Go me!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

For my fantasy library...

(yes I'm nerdy enough to have a fantasy library) another cool bookshelf.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I can't get enough Twilight snark...

and it makes me even happier in comic form. So awesome.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reactions to the Wild Things Trailer

Slate's XX Factor on the realease of the Where the Wild Things Are movie.

Part of me is in agreement with the XX Factor posting. But then, part of me is really excited to see how this experiment turns out. There are many children's book that I never want to see translated to film. That's one reason I still haven't seen Bridge to Terabithia. I'm not sure why I'm cautiously at peace with CGI Wild Things. But that's the best way to describe it for now.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

First week impressions...

The new job is going really well so far. Cherry Hill has such a beautiful library. It's huge and nice and new. The whole top floor is reserved for youth services and there's a giant story and craft room. Plus, I love that I get to do collection development again. I've really missed that part of being a librarian since my last job centralized the whole process. There's just something really fun about buying books.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm sensing a theme here...

2009 may be the year of the dead best-friend. Dear friends of mine, please don't worry. I'm not planning on offing anyone! I love you all and want you all safe and sound. I'm merely speaking of a pattern I'm seeing in the world of YA publishing. I just finished Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and this is the third book I've read this month about a self-destructing girl with a tragically dead best-friend. First there was You Know Where to Find Me and after that, Love You Hate You Miss You.

I find this theme troublesome. I know that self-destruction has teen-appeal. I remember my friends and I passing Go Ask Alice around in middle school. I'm glad that these books are at least better written and less sensational than Go Ask Alice. Still, I'm much more at ease with Frankie Landau-Banks style narcissism than I am with these pill-popping cutters. I worry that if the plots of these three books are so similar, is the message being sent that all teen girls are ticking suicidal time bombs? This is not really a new thing though. There have always been books like this. Maybe I've just managed to coincidentally pick up three in a row. I think the rest of my ARC pile is historical fiction and fantasy though. So hopefully there will be no more dead girls for a while.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I just finished Need by Carrie Jones and I wish I hadn't bothered. It's a poorly written rip off of Wicked Lovely. Bah.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The reviews are coming in for Coraline

There's a review up over on Slate. I am cautious. I'll have to see it before I make any judgments but this worries me:
It's impossible to get into just why and how Coraline's last third falls apart without giving away too much of the story. But it's not revealing to say that Coraline's enchantment with the alternate universe needed a more gradual rate of decay for the shift to be convincing.
I was discussing with Josh about this earlier. I said that the previews made me think that Coraline's initial foray into the Other Mother's world is too pleasant in the movie. Josh argued that that's true to the book; Coraline likes it there at first. I don't know. I felt like from the very beginning, the Other Mother's universe was slightly threatening and sinister. I guess that speaks to the genius that is Neil Gaiman. He manages to create a world that is both delightful and full of unease.

Can you tell I'm ecstatic he won the Newbery?

Sometimes I miss Miami

But today I'm left shaking my head over the ongoing battle between the school board and the courts over Vamos a Cuba.

This article is interesting because it points out several of the passages that opponents of the book object to. Some of the points seem validly inaccurate. For example:
A page that describes paintings on rocks in a Cuban valley, which the book says were ''made by people who lived in Cuba about 1,000 years ago.'' Opponents said the paintings were made in the 1960s.
Others seem, well, nit picky.
A section on food mentions white rice as the most common food and arroz con pollo as a favorite dish, but does not discuss Cuba's shortages and strict rationing.
I'm ambivalent about the book's value. No, what worries me is something else. Do you know how much has been spent on this legal battle? Over $250,000!

I'm on the YALSA Intellectual Freedom committee. Our committee is presenting a program at ALA's Annual Conference in Chicago titled "Walk the Line: The Fine Line Between Selection and Censorship." So, I've been thinking a lot about the difference between selection and self-censorship and I think the thing about self-censorship is that it comes from a place of fear. And it's really easy to say that everyone should just be fearless and not worry but $250,000 is a lot of money to spend over one book. This has become a battle between organizations with major cash flow. Librarians still lose their jobs defending intellectual freedom. It does happen. There are scary groups out there with lots of money behind them. They can afford prolonged legal battles. So for me being on the IF committee is about all fighting that fear while at the same time making sure people are aware that there is reason to be afraid!

City of Glass

I'm forcing myself to put down City of Glass for just a moment to post about it. OK, I'm on the epilogue so really I'm done but I couldn't put it down before. Even if the plot is predictable, even if the snappy dialogue sometimes makes me roll my eyes, this book is totally addictive. If nothing else, Cassandra Clare has got pacing down pat. I don't care that this is total wish fulfillment. I don't want to stop.

And now I must get back to that epilogue...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

What I'm doing with my last few days of free time...

is making my way through all the ARCs I brought back from ALA midwinter. So far I've finished a collection called Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr and You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn and I'm starting City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. I was thinking about re-posting my Goodreads reviews up on this blog but that's kind of repetitive and I can sum up my thoughts in just a few sentences. Geektastic was a little uneven but overall AWESOME. Highly recommeded for anyone who is a self-described geek, which is most everyone I know. Fragile Eternity was a great set up for the next book but not a very good stand alone novel. You Know Where to Find Me was neither as heart breaking nor as good as I hoped it would be. But it wasn't bad. Just not remarkable. I think City of Glass will be a fun read though. Cassandra Clare isn't the most brilliant writer I've ever read but this series is addictive. Then, after this it's either the new E. Lockhart or Need by Carrie Jones. And I have a whole giant box of books still in the mail. I better get busy!

New Job!

All that finger crossing paid off because I got the job! Yay for being a full-time employed children's librarian!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Stephen King, you better watch your back

I am worried that you may be jumped in an alley by an angry gang of 15 year old girls and their mothers for this.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

2nd Interview

I made it through round two of the interview process for this youth services job. I think it went well but I am awful at judging how interviews went. Anyway, fingers are still crossed!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Rabbit at Rest

I been so immersed in the world of kid-lit this past week I didn't hear about the passing of John Updike until now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ALA Youth Media Awards

There were many great things about ALA midwinter but being in the room when they announced the Caldecott and Newbery was just the coolest experience. The link to all the award winners is here. I don't think there's much point in re-listing all the winners. I'll just stick to commenting about the ones I've read.

As far as the Newbery goes, I'm overjoyed that Neil Gaiman won The Graveyard Book. And it's not just because I love his work and treasure my signed copy of Coraline. I cried at the end of The Graveyard Book partially because it was a bitter sweet ending, but also because I didn't want it to end. I was a bit surprised that After Tupac & D Foster won a Newbery Honor. I thought that it had some major flaws. I did love the gay brother in that book though. He was such a compelling character that I was almost willing to overlook the fact that the book had no plot.

I actually have not read the Caldecott winner but I really enjoyed A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever and I'm glad Marla Frazee at least got an Honor award for it. It is a great example of a picture book where the illustrations are an integral part of the story.

The only award I tried to call ahead of time was the Prinz. I predicted Tender Morsels would take it. I personally would have picked the The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by my new favorite author, E. Lockhart, but I didn't think the committee would find it "literary" enough. Tender Morsels is definitely more "literary" but a much more difficult and in some ways "unlovable" book. Well, it turned out I was was pretty close. Frankie and Tender Morsels both came away with Honors and Jellicoe Road, a book I've yet to read, won the prize.

Someday maybe (in my dreams) I'll have the privilege of sitting on an awards committee but until then being this close to the action was pretty cool. And even if Denver was a freezing puddle of snow and slush, I'm really glad I went. I met some awesome people, worked on my committee (YALSA Intellectual Freedom!), and had a really good time!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh little bean, I'll miss you so...

Today is my last day as Stella's nanny. I'm sad and I'm going to miss her terribly. She's starting to be really fun. We are finally at the point where we play and interact most of the day. But I think she's going to get a lot out of playing with other babies in daycare. And now I have to figure out what to do next. I plan to spend the next week really delving into what my options are. I am hoping I get the job I interviewed for but I want to come up with a plan for if I don't. I can try babysitting for another family. I've been notified of another family with a 6 month old who needs a nanny but the truth is I'm a bit bored staying home all day with a little baby. I'm having such fun with Stella now but I remember how monotonous my days were when she was just a little bit smaller. If I do babysit I think I want to do so for toddlers rather than infants. I'm also thinking of going back to school to get my school media certification. But at least for a week I'm taking a break and getting some house cleaning and organizing done. And then, I'm off to ALA midwinter in Denver. Hey, maybe a job prospect will come out of that!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fingers Crossed

I had a job interview on Tuesday for a youth services librarian position. I'm not sure how the interview went. It was hard to tell if they liked me or not. The library is pretty awesome though so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and so should you!