Monday, April 2, 2012

Goodreads and Two Reviews

So I signed up for Goodreads the other day... can you say new website obsession? I love having somewhere that I can see and keep record of the books I've read (or want to read), as well as what I thought of them. Yeah... I know I'm late to jump on the Goodreads train... but it's still an awesome website, and if you haven't checked it out, you should!

I also finished two books over the weekend. One was good, and the other was really good. The first was The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez, the second - I've Got Your Number, Sophie Kinsella's newest book.

The Pregnancy Project is about a story you may have heard about in the news... Gaby, having been told her whole life that she was going to go the same way as the rest of her family and wind up a teen parent. So instead, she decided to fight the stereotype and fake her own pregnancy for six months, experiencing along the way the heartbreaking responses of her family, peers, etc. Her story was definitely interesting and inspiring, and I would recommend it if you're into reading memoirs, etc. Also, if you have a teenage daughter, it's a good book to read as well, to provide an honest look at the subject of teenage pregnancy.

I've Got Your Number was just... adorable. A true chick flick in literary form. I seriously hope someone picks this book up as a movie because it would be so cute. The story follows Poppy Wyatt, a well-meaning, always looking out for others, physiotherapist who is engaged to Magnus Tavish, a scholar from an intimidating family of scholars. The story begins when Poppy loses her engagement ring, a family heirloom, and then proceeds to have her cellphone nicked. She lucks out and finds a cellphone in the trash and assumes ownership of it, soon entangling herself in the life of super businessman Sam Roxton. It's a classic Kinsella storyline, but the writing is fantastic, and you'll find yourself getting wrapped up in Poppy's story and relationships. Definitely recommended if you're into Chick Lit!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

So as many of you probably know, the short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won an Oscar last night. Like most of the shorts, I had never heard of it, but luckily one of the people I follow on Twitter posted a link sharing it. I watched it today... and wow. It's pretty awesome, and the Oscar was so well-deserved. As a librarian and lover of books, I had a special appreciation for the film... It really portrays how wonderful books are... the joy that they can bring to everyone.

So here's the link for it: Go! Watch it! And grab a tissue if you're one to cry at things. You won't regret it!

On a somewhat related note, today was early-release for the schools in our area. I was shelving over in children's when a mom came up to me with her young daughter who was probably 5-6. She said to me, "I'll be honest with you... I haven't been in a library since I was a kid. But my daughter had a librarian visit her class today, and she begged me to bring her." She then asked me about the kids' section and how things were set up.

My heart smiled at that... I applaud the mom for taking those first steps in getting her daughter to appreciate libraries and reading, and I hope that the little girl does develop a love of reading!

That's all for today... Let me know what you think of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oopsie Daisies!

So Tuesday night when I was at work, we had a Daisy Troop touring the library. Our supervisor was leading the tour, taking them around to the different sections of the library before bringing them in the back. I was working in the bomb room at the time, and when the tour reached me, I ran around to the lobby and threw some heavier books into the bookdrop so they would get the full effect of what it's like in there when books are returned. Then they were allowed to take turns checking in books on the RFID reader we have before continuing on their way. They seemed to be excited about the whole thing, which was really cute.

Once they had left and finished their tour, my supervisor came back to the bomb room. She let out a huge sigh of relief (I guess they had been a little loud and crazy), and asked me if I wanted to hear a funny tour story. I, of course, said yes.

Apparently, when she had taken them back to where the crates were for the books that are being sent to other branches, she was greeted with this:

Yes, my friends, that is one of like... 3 Parental Advisory books we have in our ENTIRE collection right on top. And being little girls, they started to giggle and point, at which point my supervisor was like, Ooookaaay, time to go this way! Whoops!

Monday, January 23, 2012

And the Tool of the Year Award Goes to...

Hello readers, if any of you are still out there. :)

I'm going to get straight to the point of this post... because people are ridiculous. And some people should not be allowed to have children.

A couple of months ago, this taller, middle-aged gentleman was sitting in the kids' area with his daughter who was about 3, and a baby in a baby carrier. He was well-dressed and groomed (unlike many patrons of our library), but also looked harried and uncomfortable. As I shelved, I was coming up with potential life stories for him. I kind of felt sorry for the guy because he just couldn't seem to handle his kids, and I thought maybe he was a single dad, or he just had them for the weekend or something.

Then he and the baby carrier baby disappeared, and his 3 year old was just hanging out at a kid computer by herself. I figured he had gone somewhere else in the library (parents do that all the time, they go get on an adult computer or spread out at a table somewhere), so I didn't really think much of it. A few minutes later, I noticed she was looking around for him. Then she came up to me and asked me to help find her Daddy.

I nodded and she took my hand and we started walking around the library. He wasn't anywhere.
I told her to go sit back down at the computer and that I would find him for her. On my way to find my supervisor (S) for her help, I saw that dad was out in the parking lot, on the phone and smoking a cigarette. I told S the situation, and where the dad was, and she marched right out into the parking lot to get him.

When he came back into the library, he went pretty leisurely over to the kiddie computers, and I heard him say to his daughter, "I told you I was going out to feed your sister." Seriously, guy? She's THREE. You don't leave your 3 year old in a public space alone so you can go have a smoke and take a phone call AND use the excuse that you're feeding the baby.

So. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I come out from the back of the library, and a couple of my co-workers are at the help desk talking about some sketchy guy in the library. I turn around to see who they're talking about, and it's the dad, so I throw in my experience with him. Which isn't unique it seems like (he brought the baby carrier to the desk once and asked if the librarians could watch his kid... WHO DOES THAT) He apparently has three adorable children, and a wife. One of his daughters, she's about 2 perhaps, was wearing sock-monkey footie pajamas and had been running around all happy-like, like happy 2-year-olds do.

A few minutes later, we're at the desk, and we see happy 2-year-old run across the front of the library and out the doors into the parking lot. I start to go after her, as does another one of my co-workers, and we look around for Mr. Clueless. He's glancing around for her, and I look at him and inform him that "She just ran out the door" with a little louder than library level voice, and a point towards the doors. He uttered a curse word to himself and ran out the door.

My angry co-worker by this time had grabbed a sheet with our child supervision policy that says children must remain within sight and hearing distance of their parent/guardian at all times. She walked up to him as he walked inside and he made some comment about her (the kid) being fast and she escaped before he noticed. She held up the piece of paper and tried to hand it to him. He shrugged her off and laughed, so she replied, "You need to take this and read it." And that was that.

A few days later, one of our volunteers came into the back looking worried and troubled. She spoke to one of my co-workers, and I found out that some library patron had said lewd things to her while she was shelving and that he was basically following her around. And I bet you can guess who it was.

And that, my dear readers, is why he wins the Tool of the Year Award.

Friday, October 7, 2011

James, 3rd Grade Boy Genius

So yesterday I was shelving in children's. There were two younger boys who decided it would be a good idea to start running around and playing tag, so I asked them to stop running. One of the boy's mothers promptly appeared and chastised her son for running ("Were you running? We don't run in the library!"), and made him stay with her for the rest of their visit. The other boy had no parent in sight.

I continued shelving, and every once in a while I'd hear rapid footsteps. At one point I peeked around a shelf, just in time to see him halt to a walk, and he said "I'm not running..." in that sing-songy mocking voice that just drives you crazy.

Then, I was at the dvds, and he came over to me. This is the conversation that ensued:

Boy: "So, what? Are you just doing some work?"

Me: "Yes, that's what I'm doing."

Boy: *Pauses* "Do you know who I am?" (in that tone of voice and hand gestures that insinuate that I should indeed know who he is because is all-mighty and important)

Me: "No, who are you?"

Boy: "I'm James, 3rd grade boy genius."

Me: *trying not to laugh* "3rd grade, huh? That's a good grade."

Boy: *nods and walks off*

I just about died. When this kid grows up... he's going to be terrible.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Shel Silverstein!! (Except not Really)

So I get an email every day from NPR called The Writer's Almanac. It gives a poem and then several "this day in history" type things. Today, it said that it was Shel Silverstein's birthday. That he was born on this day in 1932. So I was like, ooh, I like him, I need to do a blog post because he's an author (one of my favorites) to celebrate! Then I went to Wikipedia. And it said that his birthday was 9/25/1930. Uh... what? Further checking says that his birthday was indeed on 9/25, so I went to my Writer's Almanac from 9/25... and surprise! It was his birthday then, too! NPR fail. But... this means we should celebrate Shel Silverstein's birthday once a week apparently. :)

This is the biography NPR sent out today:

The award-winning cartoonist, poet, essayist, journalist, and composer Shel Silverstein (books by this author) was born on this day in Chicago, Illinois, in 1932. He is perhaps best known for The Giving Tree, a book that blurs the line between children's fantasy and adult philosophy, and the 1981 poetry collection A Light in the Attic, which held its place on the New York TimesBestsellers List for more than two years.

Silverstein grew up in a small Midwestern town where, by the age of 12 or 14, he was a lousy baseball player and a flop with girls, but good at drawing and writing. He would later declare that he had been lucky to be relatively unaware of other cartoonists and writers so that instead of copying he developed his own cockeyed style and view of the world. And it turned out to be fortunate that the girls did not want him, because art and writing became his focus, instead of the usual adolescent pursuits.

After high school, Silverstein studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and then Roosevelt University but dropped out in 1953 to join the Army. He served at several American military bases overseas and began producing a series of military-themed cartoons that, following his return to Chicago, would be published as his first book, Take Ten.

Back in Chicago, Silverstein started submitting cartoons to various magazines, eventually attracting the attention of the editors of Playboy, who hired him in 1957 as one of their leading cartoonists and sent him to far-flung locations to produce Around the World, an illustrated travel journal that included trips to Japan, Russia, and Africa, as well as the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, the White Sox training camp, and a nudist colony.

Critics have referred to Shel Silverstein as a Renaissance man — a designation that seems rather appropriate when one considers a record of his work. Not only did he illustrate his own essays and poems, he also produced a large number of plays and comedic stage shows, played numerous instruments and composed dozens of pop and country-western songs, including most of the songs recorded by the rock band Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. He recorded numerous albums and performed on the Dr. Demento radio show. Silverstein composed Johnny Cash's Grammy-winning single "A Boy Named Sue" and in 2002 was posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. His book of children's poetry Where the Sidewalk Ends is one of the best-selling volumes of poetry of all time.

Silverstein believed that written works needed to be read on paper, that there was a correct paper for every particular work, and would select the type, size, shape, color, and quality of paper for his books, refusing to authorize paperback editions for most on the grounds that the work would be diminished. In a 1963 interview in the humor magazine The Aardvark, Silverstein explained that "Craftsmanship is something that's really going out now. The young people have no patience with craftsmanship any more. They think, therefore they am [sic]. It's not enough. You don't think, therefore you are. You do, therefore you are, or else you aren't."

In celebration of his Un-Birthday... here are a few awesome things from Shel Silverstein:

My favorite cover of my favorite song of his:

Another awesome, well-known song he wrote:

And my favorite poem:

"Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony"

There was a girl named Abigail
Who was taking a drive
Through the country
With her parents
When she spied a beautiful sad-eyed
Grey and white pony.
And next to it was a sign
That said,
“Oh,” said Abigail,
“May I have that pony?
May I please?”
And her parents said,
“No you may not.”
And Abigail said,
“But I MUST have that pony.”
And her parents said,
“Well, you can have a nice butter pecan
Ice cream cone when we get home.”
And Abigail said,
“I don’t want a butter pecan
Ice cream cone,
And her parents said,
“Be quiet and stop nagging—
You’re not getting that pony.”
And Abigail began to cry and said,
“If I don’t get that pony I’ll die.”
And her parents said, “You won’t die.
No child ever died yet from not getting a pony.”
And Abigail felt so bad
That when she got home she went to bed,
And she couldn’t eat,
And she couldn’t sleep,
And her heart was broken,
And she DID die—
All because of a pony
That her parents wouldn’t buy.

- A Light in the Attic

And, because it's worth mentioning... The Giving Tree is one of the best children's books ever written. What were your favorite Shel Silverstein works?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mini Update

Things are back in swing at the library with school being back and the after school special has returned. Luckily, since today was Friday and we close at 3, most of the kids didn't show, but the other afternoons have been full of misbehaving and/or loud adolescents.

There have, of course, been a few cute kids that haven't fit into the above category. My favorite was yesterday. I was shelving in children's, and this little girl (maybe 7 or so) came up to me.

Girl: "So.... where do you guys keep the good chapter books here?"
Me: "Well, that depends on what you mean by good."
Girl: "Ummm.... books about butterflies. Or insects."

So, if you're looking for a good chapter book, pick one about butterflies or insects!