Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When You Reach Me by, Rebecca Stead~~Review

When You Reach Me by, Rebecca Stead

I am so glad this won the Newberry for 2010, which is what prompted me to read this. It’s actually hard to review without giving away the story. So I will just say this is a great coming-of age story, a great friendship story, a great mother daughter story with a dash of time travel and books about books thrown in for good measure. I would recommend this book to anyone from 9 years old and up. Our protagonist Melanie is a great character whose favorite book is A Wrinkle in Time and we learn the story of that book throughout the story. I am embarrassed to admit that I have never read A Wrinkle in Time and it has now earned a spot at the top of my TBR pile.
Get this book for your kids and yourself you'll see why it deserved to win the Newberry!If you have read and enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time Read this book!
4 1/2 Stars

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday~~When You Reach Me by,Rebecca Stead

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

When You Reach Me by, Rebecca Stead-Newberry Medal Winner 2010- Page60-
This is hard.Harder than I expected, even with your help.But I have been practicing, and my preparations go well.I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own.
I ask two favors.
First, you must write me a letter...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Library CLOSED

The Library will be CLOSED today Due to the Storm...All fines will be forgiven if your books were due today!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Glass Castle by, Jeannette Walls ~~Review

The Glass Castle by, Jeannette Walls
This was a sad but at times humorous story of a family called the Walls. They lived a fairly nomadic life at times always moving from town to town when things would get “hot”. They were a very poor family with 4 kids a father who was an alcoholic and a mother who as she called it was addicted to adventure. Jeannette Walls paints a picture of a family that had many hardships but to me it seemed like they weren’t short on love even though she does describe her mother as somewhat unloving who always said she would be a great artist if she hadn’t had kids. The dad is a dreamer always looking for a get rich quick scheme but he doesn’t depend on other people(Other than his children) for that he plans on inventing the next great thing saying he’s got plans for this and that but those plans never come to fruition because he’s always drinking.
Jeannette tells this story of her life in a matter of fact way and I liked that there wasn’t much poor me in this book, just this is the way it was. Despite their upbringing the Walls kids were all extremely intelligent reading at a very young age. Their parents taught them a lot and gave them a good education despite everything, in the sense that they were very book smart. But they did go hungry for the better part of their young lives and even when her parents were working the money vanished as fast as it came in with nothing going to clothing for the kids or food, it seemed when either parent was working which wasn’t often they would have food for less than a week then go hungry again.
I would have actually liked to have seen some pictures but she does explain why there weren’t any but I was curious about her mother’s art work. These parents I think did what they could with what capacity they had. I truly believe her father loved her and I was actually sad when he died in my mind he was a character. I like that Jeannette doesn’t make excuses for them just tells it like it is or was.
I really liked this book and would recommend it!
4 Stars

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Best YA Books You Haven’t Read

This idea was sent to me from Kelly over at YAnnabe Blog I thought it was a great idea so I thought I'd Play along!Thanks so much for this Kelly .

After the kid lit award announcements on Monday, I daydreamed about how those authors’ lives will never be the same. Their winning books will forever more sport a shiny badge, reserving them a spot on crowded bookstore shelves. And other books the authors write? “By Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead” certainly won’t hurt sales.

But the flip side of all this is that many wonderful books get published every year without registering a ripple, let alone a splash. And in the YA world specifically, the vast majority of great books don’t approach anywhere NEAR the fervor of Twil—er, The-Series-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. The Cybils help spread the love a little. As does the Nerds Heart YA tourney.

Even so, this is the fate of most great YA books:

1.Get published.
2.Get read by a few people that year, maybe a few more the next.
3.Get dumped on the bargain rack at the bookstore and start the descent into obsolescence.
It’s a damn shame, and we’re here to fix it.

Nobody Expects the Unsung YA Heroes Blog Blitz!
I teamed up with about 40 other bloggers to pick our favorite unsung YA heroes. These are YA books we love and think deserve more attention from the world of YA readers.

But how are we achieving this?

Today and tomorrow, you’ll find our picks on our blogs. Check out our lists! We bet you’ll find a few new-to-you titles you’re interested in reading. But we’re also secretly hoping you’ll think about your own unsung YA heroes and put together your own list. Because we’d really like to see it so we can read your favorites too. You’ll find links to all the lists and instructions for making your own at the end of this post.
Tomorrow, check back on my blog for a round-up uber-list of the titles that were most common across all our Unsung YA Heroes picks.
If you’re on Twitter, you can follow all the Unsung YA Heroes scuttlebutt by watching the #unsungYA tag.
Here's My List
1) Century by, Sarah Singleton 48 members on LibraryThing-
This is a book about 2 sisters who live in a world of night where all colors are muted into blacks & grey . But one sister may have discovered a way to bring color and life back into their world. This is a spooky and really good novel.

2) Boots and the Seven Leaguers: A Rock-and-Troll Novel & Pay the Piper: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale 55 and 127 members respectively on LibraryThing-
Boots and the Seven Leaguers is about a troll named Gog who has no luck. He has an annoying smart little brother and a best friend named Pook who is a pookah (Notoriously mischievous beings).The biggest band around is coming to his town and he hasn’t got tickets, but with the help of his friends they come up with a plan, that yep you guessed it went wrong, now his little brother has been stolen.
This book carried a great message, that you don’t need fancy magic or a load of brains to be a hero. I recommend this book to all kids who are looking for something funny and adventurous and who knows what it’s like having pesky siblings and friends who get you in all kinds of trouble.(by, Sarah Schuster-abridged) Pay the Piper is the second book in the series this is a good fun series of unrelated yet similar stories.

3) Singing the Dogstar Blues 90 members on LibraryThing-
Singing the Dogstar Blues is set in futuristic times when spaceships and time travel are the norm. Joss Aaronson is the daughter of a famous news reporter and an unknown sperm donor. She loves music, and she's a student at the Centre for Neo-Historical Studies. When the Chorians, a race of aliens from the Sirius-B star, request that one of their young ones come and study time-travel at the University, Joss agrees to be its partner. Joss finds out that her partner, Mavkel, lost his birth-pair in a terrible accident and is getting sick because of it. The only way to save Mavkel's life is to pair with it, or join their minds. To do that, Joss has to find her mysterious father because to join she has to know her bloodlines. The only way to find her father is to jump back in time, which is forbidden for first year students....
This is a short novel that's a mix of science fiction, mystery, and adventure. It's suspenseful and makes you want to turn to the last page to see what happens. I thought this was a great book, so I gave it 4 stars!!!(by,Goose)
4) Spellfall by, Katherine Roberts 107 members on LibraryThing
This was a good book.Natakie is a normal girl, so she thinks. Her father has been drunk since the death
Of her mother, she has a stepmother who treats her well but a stepbrother who does not.
She finds a spell laying on the ground and things get very bad for her from there.
She is kidnapped by an evil Caster,Hawk who is trying to exact his revenge for being banished from
Eathhaven.She soon finds out her mother was a Spell Lady and it’s up to her to stop Hawk.
She gets help from unlikely people, and as her stepmother says crisis brings a family closer.
I'm looking forward to reading other books by this author.

5) The Light of the Oracle by, Victoria Hanley 109 members on LibraryThing
It’s been awhile since I read this one but I remember liking it very much. From back cover-Whispers stirred in Bryn’s ears. One word was clear, spoken in a voice that rang through her mind like a bell. Prophecy.

6) Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic Book) by, Patricia Wrede 217 members on LibraryThing
This book is kind of Harry Potter meets Little House on the Prairie, What a great concept!I did enjoy this book it’s the first in a series and I am hoping the next 2 books will have a little more meat to it now that we know the characters. This one was defiantly introducing the characters and with some excitement at the end.Ms.Wrede is a good writer and I have enjoyed her other books so I know this series will be good overall. I also have some theories about certain characters that I will be curious to find out if I am right about.

7) Waiting for Normal by, Leslie Connor 279 members on LibraryThing
This is a great book I see why it won awards! Addie is a young girl hoping for a normal life, but with a mother (mommers) who is an all or nothing type of person normal isn't likely to happen. This book shows that heroes are everyday people who care about each other. The characters in this book are compelling and real. Addie is the true hero in this book though through it all she keeps a positive attitude even when left alone for days on end. I highly recommend this book!!!!
ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2009) School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2008)
8) The Society of S: A Novel by Susan Hubbard 329 members on LibraryThing
I enjoyed this book. Was a very different vampire story than Twilight. Even though the heroine is a young girl it doesn't have the teen angst which I found refreshing. Am defiantly looking forward to the next book!
9) Elsewhere & Neverwhere by, Will Shetterly have 348 & 266 respectively members on LibraryThing
Elsewhere- When Ron runs away, he ends up in Bordertown, a grim city that lies between the real world and the world of faerie, a place where elf and human gangs stalk the streets side by side, and where magic works better than technology. If the city doesn't kill him, it just may teach him what it is to be human.
Neverwhere- In the sequel to Elsewhere, winner of the Minnesota Book Award, Will Shetterly continues the adventures of Wolfboy. Ron's quest is to break the curse that has turned him into a werewolf; but there's a more dangerous game that that being played on the Border. The true Prince of Elfland is missing,fled across the order and into Bordertown. many are those who would find this Prince, some to guard the Power of Faerie, and some to take possession of it.
Ron is about to get caught in the crossfire--and he my just decide that being a werewolf isn't so bad after all...when you consider the alternatives.

10) Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman by, Eleanor Updale 408 members on LibraryThing
When a petty thief falls though a glass roof in his attempt to escape from the police, what should have been the death of him marks the beginning of a while new life. After his broken body is reconstructed by an ambitious young doctor, he is released from prison, and--with the help of Victorian London's extensive sewer system--he becomes the most elusive burglar in the city. He adopts a dual existence as a respectable, wealthy gentleman named Montmorency, and his degenerate servant Scarper. But Montmorency must always be on guard. The smallest mistake could reveal his secret and ruin both his lives. Fans of Pullman and Lemony Snicket will love this mystery story.
Make Your Own List!
If You’re on LibraryThing

1.Visit your LibraryThing catalog.
2.Click the Rating column to sort by that column, which will put the 5 stars first.
3.Click the Edit sort order button, which is in the toolbar that’s right under the tabs at the top—the toolbar with the A, B, C,… buttons. The Edit sort order button is the one with two blue arrows.
4.Under Subsort by, select total members and click the Up button next to it.
5.Click the Sort button.
6.If you want, use the Search your library box in the upper right corner to narrow your search, such as to a YA tag you use.
7.In your catalog, start at the top with your 5 stars and look for any titles that have less than 500 members. To see number of members, look in the rightmost column and check the number next to the little person icon.
8.Record any titles with less than 500 members, and keep going til you’re happy with your list!
If You’re Not
If you use Goodreads or some other book-tracking site, they probably have an export feature. So use that, then create a free account on LibraryThing, import your information, and follow the instructions above.

If you’re not in the book-tracking habit, haven’t you realized by now all the fun that can be had by joining a site like LibraryThing? I’m sure you will discover an awesome feature or two that you can exploit in your book-related endeavors.

But if you’re really not in the mood to join, you’ll have to search titles one-by-one:

1.Visit the LibraryThing Search page.
2.In Works, enter a title you think might be lesser known.
3.Click the Search button. Don’t stop when you get the search results! That will show you only how many actual copies members have claimed, not everyone who’s added the title to their catalog (such as to a wish list or a to-be-read list).
4.Click the appropriate search result. If there are multiple results for the title, just click one. They’ll all get you to the same place.
5.On the work page, look for the table right under the title and author’s name. The first column is titled Members. Look at the number in that table cell. If it’s below 500, the book isn’t well known, so add it to your list.
6.Rinse, repeat, lather.
For the Geekiest of Us
This post is already approaching the realm of novella, but I know you might be wondering a few things.

Why LibraryThing? Why not Goodreads, Shelfari, etc?
LibraryThing makes it easy to see the “other members” stat right from your catalog. Goodreads has a “num ratings” stat, but it shows just the number of ratings for a specific edition of a title. The LibraryThing member count includes every edition of the title. I’m not familiar with Shelfari or any other sites, and in the interest of time I went with what I know.

Why 500 or less members?
Completely arbitrary, but we needed some sort of cutoff to use as a guideline. Some of us even included titles with a few more members, so it really was just a guideline. For comparison, the first book of the Twilight series has 25,974 members and The Hunger Games has 3,929 members.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday~~The Glass Castle by, Jeannette Walls

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Glass Castle by, Jeannette Walls-pg.41-We laughed about all the kids who believed in the Santa myth and got nothing for christmas but a bunch of cheap plastic toys."Years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten," Dad said," you'll still have your stars."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cry Wolf by, Patricia Briggs ~~Review

Cry Wolf by, Patricia Briggs
This was the start of a new series in The World of the Marrok featuring Charles & Anna well actually the start is in the book of short stories On the Prowl. Charles is Bran’s (The Marrok’s) son and enforcer/hitman who in the 2 centuries he’s lived has never been mated, until he meets Anna –in the short story The Alpha & Omega. Anna is an Omega wolf who was attacked and changes then abused by the Chicago pack that Charles rescued her from.
Cry Wolf starts out with Charles & Anna going back to Montana and getting to know each other because their wolves have already decided they are mated. But trouble is brewing in the mountains surrounding the pack’s home and Bran has no choice but to send Charles to investigate
I love Patricia Briggs writing she has created a wonderful world in the World of the Marrok that started for me in Moon Called a Mercy Thompson story. This one is different because our heroine in this is Anna who is deeply damaged by the events in Chicago after she was forcibly changed.
I am looking forward to more of Charles & Anna’s story and how they deal with the past and future. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading the next book in this series.
4 Stars

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Oh, where to begin? After all, this name has spawned 56 short stories and 4 novels from the original author, countless others who’ve attempted to write their own Holmes, over 200 actors having played the detective since his premiere in 1897 and now, at last, the latest movie adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr. (Holmes), Jude Law (Watson), Rachel McAdams (Irene Adler), and Mark Strong (Lord Blackwood) with direction and production courtesy of Guy Ritchie.
One of the most commonly used words I’ve found to describe this film is “action-packed” or “action-oriented.” Now, many a Sherlockian will find themselves in fear that the film has been dumbed down in regards to story, character development, and detective work taking a backseat to the things that go boom. Fortunately, it’s not the case as I found the action and intelligence to complement each other quite well, much like Holmes and Watson do. Together, Downey Jr. and Law have created a new version of the original dynamic duo that entertains and instills a deep sense of camaraderie far beyond the previous conception of the hero and his sidekick. RDJ is an entertaining, original, and clever Holmes and is an inspired choice as the world’s greatest detective. Law delivers as Watson and provides a superb foil to Holmes. The chemistry between the two is immediate, and it’s for that main reason that the movie works so well.
The action is satisfying save for one occurrence of extended slow-motion. The acting was spot on for the most part and well cast. The story, while not overtly complicated, was engaging and intriguing with more than a few references and quotes straight from Doyle’s stories. The setting is wonderfully executed; London is a sprawling city that serves as an ideal vessel for Holmes’ ventures. Finally, the ending leaves the door open for multiple sequels with the inclusion of Professor Moriarty, Holmes’ most worthy adversary which I look forward to expectantly. Guy Ritchie has delivered an encouraging start to what will hopefully become a very successful franchise and earns 4 stars for its efforts. ****

Review by Alisa Heskin

I’ve found that there is a certain difficulty in using an established character, let alone an iconic one at that, because there’s already a certain amount of expectations because of what’s previously been done. However, Sherlock Holmes is a contradicting character, both vague and defined and, therefore, is open to a wider differentiation of how the character is handled and those surrounding him and I believe that the filmmakers use this to their full advantage.

Upcoming Classes @ the Library

January 19 & 21: Microsoft Access
Cost is $40 per person; 10 slots available

Designed for individuals who are comfortable using the computer and want to learn how to create and use databases

February 23 & 25: MS PowerPoint
Cost is $30 per person; 10 slots available

Designed for individuals who are comfortable using the computer and want to learn how to create and run a slide show or presentation

March 16 & 18: Microsoft Excel II
Cost is $40 per person; 10 slots available

Designed for individuals who have basic knowledge of Excel

Call Susie at 947-5540 to register.

All classes are held from 6:30 – 8:30 pm each night at New Rockford Public Library

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale Jr. with Stan Redding

"Catch Me If You Can." The title conveys perfectly the tone of the novel I had the pleasure of reading. It’s taunting yet playful, light-hearted and diabolically clever. It’s the story of one Frank Abagnale Jr., a con artist who stole millions of dollars, posed as an airline pilot, a doctor for under a year, and a lawyer all the while being wanted in 26+ countries…all before he was 21. Impressive, no? Yeah, I know. He’s a criminal, tsk tsk, shame on him and what not. However, I can’t help but feel some sort of affection towards a criminal such as he. After all, in the grand scheme of things, there is evil out there much worse than a check fraud.

Anyway, that’s beside the point. If a reader can’t appreciate the sheer genius behind his stint, I’m not sure how to respond. For example, a fake check had his real name and address on the back (since of course he was using an alias). He cashes the check then realizes the mistake afterwards. His plan was to go back and state that the “paycheck” had been in a mistaken amount and he should never have cashed it and can he please have it back please? However, the FBI had already been notified of the fake check and was on their way. Instead of bailing out right there and then, he poses as an FBI agent, makes a copy of the front of the check to maintain his facade (the side without the writing) and departs with the incriminating check as “evidence.” Five minutes later, a very frustrated, very real FBI agent walks in the bank.

It’s an addicting thrill ride to read and I found it very difficult to put down. It’s a quick read because of this, and I was sad to see it end. The commentary and narration is entertaining and has the quality of letting you in on the joke so I found myself elated when he pulled off a risky stunt and panicked when the FBI showed up to spoil the fun. Of course, what fun would it be without an adversary? The real irony is that Abagnale Jr. has made millions designing security protocol for checks, banks, and the like. If a truly fun read is what you seek, then look no further. 4 stars. ****

Review by Alisa Heskin

Also check out the movie adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio who does a solid job as the mastermind himself.
As it were, it seems that White Collar, a new original on USA, has taken a similar premise from Catch Me If You Can.

Teaser Tuesday~~The Shadow of the Wind by, Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Shadow of the Wind by, Carlos Ruiz Zafon- Page 5-"This place is a mystery. A sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it & the soul of those who read it & lived it & dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down it's pages, it's spirit grows & strengthens. In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader's hands, a new spirit..."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Review of Wicked Lovely by, Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely by, Melissa Marr
From Book Cover- Aislinn has always seen faeries.Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world.When the rules that have kept Aislinn safe from them stop working, everything is suddenly on the line:her freedom; her best friend Seth; her life;everything.

At first I felt this book was predictable I felt like I’d read it before. Until the last hundred pages or so.
I like how she wrapped the story up *No Spoilers*.
Aislinn was a strong heroine that knows her own mind and fights for what she wants. I liked all the characters; I’d have to say that after Aislinn my favorite characters were Donia & Seth.
I did feel at times the story was rushed especially the scenes with Grama *Again No Spoilers *.I would have liked a little more information there and wish Grama would have had a bigger role in the story.
These were definitely not cute cuddly faeries I thought the author did a good job at creating the Faire World.
All in all a good first book and I do plan to read the next book in this series.
3 ½ Stars

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teaser Tuesday~~Wicked Lovely by, Melissa Marr

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Wicked Lovely by, Melssa Marr Page 41-"It's your staff,your binding,your treachery that started this game.You knew what would happen to the mortals when they took your chill.Mortals aren't made for--"