Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap into Books Giveaway Hop

Since this is my very first hop, I have decided to giveaway a few awesome book! You will have the chance to win a FREE hardback copy of ...

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899.
Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone--from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud--threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent. (From Goodreads!)

Good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer

288 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Random House Publishing Group

     In An Available Man, Edward Schuyler is a sixty-two year old middle school teacher and an avid birdwatcher who is dealing with the death of his beloved wife, Bee. Though his world has stopped with Bee’s death, the rest of the world is still carrying on. According to his friends and even his children it is time for Edward to move on and find a new love.  Edward is finding out that being a widow means that you are quite a catch and he must suffer through endless matching making schemes. His stepchildren even put a newspaper personal ad out for him. Suddenly, Edward is swarmed with women.  To most men, this seems like a dream come true, but Edward is still dealing with the fact that he is an available man. In this tender and witty novel, Edward must learn to not only to accept his new single status, but also that it is ok for him to move on.
   Though this sounds like a real downer of a book, author Hilma Wolitzer creates a warm and humorous setting that leaves you feeling anything but sad. As Edward deals with the new stream of women in his life, children who mean well, nosy friends, and an old flame that resurface you began to understand his process of letting go and dealing with Bee’s death. There is one woman that I was waiting for her to go all Fatal Attraction on poor Edward. I just knew she was crazy and kept waiting for her to show her true colors. The women that come into Edward’s life, not just from a romantic angle, will have you cracking up to no end. Though Edward has his ups and downs with these women his story wraps up nicely by the end of the novel. This isn’t an impossibly long read, but you want to take your time so you understand the beauty of Wolitzer’s writing style.

Why did I check this book out? I routed a hold on this book to another library. When I checked the book in it told me that it was on hold for another librarian that I use to work with.  I had always thought this girl had style and a sense of confidence that I envied, so I thought I would see what she was reading.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Jodhaa Akbar

Sometimes on gloomy days, like today, it is best to curl up on the couch with a great book…or a great movie! Sometimes you just want to watch an awesome movie that captures your heart and leaves you on the edge of your seat. Well have I got a movie for you!
 Jodhaa Akbar, a 2008 Bollywood blockbuster, will have you falling in love with this historical couple. Already a classic, this powerful love story of a marriage for alliance will sweep you into a foreign realm. Set in the sixteenth century, this sweeping saga takes place in the Mughal Empire. Muslim Emperor Akbar enters into an arranged marriage with Hindu princess Jodhaa. As their love grows, they spread a message of religious tolerance throughout their empire. This Bollywood movie is a clean family film that the whole family will enjoy with the beautiful scenery and dazzling costume designs.  I cannot express how much I loved this movie. I have always been a huge fan of Bollywood movies, but this story of love, tolerance, betrayal, and culture made me want to do something I never do…spend money to buy this movie.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan by Seth Rudestsky

My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan by Seth Rudestsky
Random House, Jan. 2012.
288 pages

Justin Goldblatt is tired of being the unpopular kid in high school. Sure there are about six kids that he is more popular than, but Justin dreams of being the guy that everyone wants to be. So he devises a plan. First he needs to get Chuck the quarterback to notice him. With a quarterback as a boyfriend, Justin will be unstoppable. Too bad is plan is destined to fail.

  My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan is the first novel by Seth Rudestsky, who is a Broadway actor and SiriusXM radio host. The one thing that really irked me about Rudestsky’s writing style was his tendency to insert absolutely random pieces of information that did nothing for the story. His writing didn’t really have a style to it. It lacked feeling. I wasn’t invested in the storyline and I felt like I needed adderall to keep up with his writing. I would end up skimming 10 to 15 pages, because I knew that I would still be able to keep up with the storyline. The premise behind the storyline is interesting, especially when Justin has to pretend to be the boyfriend of Becky, the most popular girl in school. Now add in the fact that Becky is the secret girlfriend of Chuck, the object of Justin's affection, and you have a recipe for disaster for poor Justin. The two supporting characters of Spencer and Becky did help keep the story grounded, but the main character of Justin was more annoying than relatable

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

    If I ever decide to write author John Green a letter, I am pretty sure it
would go something like this, “Dear John Green….Thanks for ripping out my
heart with The Fault In Our Stars. I laughed, cried, then cried some more.
But it was a pleasure to have my heart ripped out by such an awesome

Sound a little extreme? Well this is an extreme book. Extremely Awesome. I have been dreading reading this book because of personal happenings in my life right now. All I could think was "A cancer book is really the last thing I need to read right now" and so for a whole month this book sat on my floor. I knew I would eventually have to buckle down because a certain PeachELibrarian had picked it for our book group pick. So I decided to tackle my personal stuff and ready this cancer book and boy am I glad that I did. I was crying by page 12, but I am so glad I read this book.

   Hazel Grace Lancaster is anything but ordinary. Actually she probably
wishes she was ordinary. Because ordinary kids don’t get cancer and they
certainly don’t have to tote around oxygen tanks. Enter Augustus Waters, a
witty terribly handsome one-legged cancer survivor. Hazel doesn’t stand a
chance and neither does the reader. Together they chase a recluse author, battle cancer, help a blind kid, and discover how fantastic living can be.  It is impossible not to fall in love with Hazel and Augustus’ epic love story.

John Green has written a superb book. I do not think I cannot stress the intensity and power that he has packed into a mere 318 pages. Yes it is a cancer book and cancer books are generally sad, but The Fault in Our Stars goes well beyond your average ‘cancer story’.This book is a force of emotions to be reckoned with.  Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Group!

Hello All,

     So I have forgotten to mention some pretty awesome news. I was allowed to take over for my library's book group. I have actually belonged to this book group for over a year. There are usually about 9 to 10 people there on average. I have always liked it because they read things that I would never really pick up (but then again I rarely pick up anything outside of YA).

    So how did I become in charge of the book group? Well, the head of the Adult Department runs the book group, but they have recently retired. For one month it was passed off to another librarian in Adult, but no one really wanted it. So the Director asked me if I would like to take over. She said that she had gotten permission from my department head. Since the book group belongs to the Adult Dept. and I am in Circ, my dept. head had to approve me using my time for something that is technically belongs to Adult. The former head of Adult had mentioned that he was going to nominate me to take over the book group since I already belong to the group. I am very excited about this awesome opportunity.

   So this all happened about a month ago. The first meeting that I was officially in charge happened on Valentine's Day. I didn’t schedule that day. Since the group meets at a standard day of the month, I was pretty much stuck with that day. Since I knew it was going to be difficult to get new people there on Valentine's Day I threw myself into promoting my first program!

What I did:
 - Signage. First I created some pretty nifty signs in publisher using the cover of the current book we were reading. The sign included the when, where, and other important information. I gave these signs to the Adult Department to showcase
 - Web. Next I asked our webmaster, who is a genius, to place the event on the library website. She created a pretty snazzy banner and placed it front and center on the website. She also placed the information on the blog and FB.
 - Newspaper. I invited two local newspapers to come to our Feb 14th meeting (it was too late to advertize in the paper) so I suggested they could come write and discuss this great and FREE opportunity that is available. I also submitted event listings for the rest of the book group meetings
 - Word of mouth. I told everyone I could about this book group meeting.

So Feb. 14th has come and gone, so how did it go? I am very happy to report that we had an unprecedented 14 people come to the book group! 5 brand new people. 2 heard about the event from the website, 1 from one of the Adult librarians, 1 was a coworker that I convinced to come, and the last person was my best friend who I 'convinced' to come or she would die. My director was stoked and everyone at my library was super proud of me. We ran out of chairs and name tags!

What book did we read? Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. We checked out a book kit from another library for this book. The book kit included 10 paperbacks, information on the author, and a list of discussion questions. I probably won't be doing this again. This is a great resource, but I do not like relying on people to be responsible. One of the members could not be there, so I have to wait almost a week before I could turn the kit back in (several days overdue)

I also brought several copies of the next month's read for patrons to check out right there. This went over very well and I plan to do this again.

Also, I got permission from my director to make the book group year round. Previously, they met from Sept to May, which is pretty rare in library book groups. From what I understand, the Adult staff had too much going on to keep this program up and running during the summer. Don't know if that is true or not but I plan to make this group a success. Several people have mentioned having a separate daytime group or a separate nonfiction group. I really like the idea of a daytime group, but I don't want to push my luck. I have to remember that my job is actually in Circ and not Adult. Maybe one day I can try. I really like planning programs.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

All The Broken Pieces By Ann E. Burg

Matt Pin is a troubled child. No, he doesn't get into fights. No, he doesn't do drugs. He does his homework, cleans his room, and is trying out for the baseball team. But none of these things can erase the horrors that Matt saw when he was a child in Vietnam. Though it has been two years since he was airlifted out of the war torn country, Matt cannot let go of the family he left there and the horrors that he witnessed.

The number one reason I picked up this book is because it is written in verse. I absolutely love the format of verse because you have to take more away from the small amount that is given . And it can be a quick read (well...its true). Anyways, All the Broken Pieces has been in my Goodreads TBR stack for a while. I knew it was a verse book, but the cover has put me off for a while. Call me un-American but I really don't want to read about baseball...but this is about anything but baseball! From what I remember, I added this title because it was on a verse list. I have no idea it was about the Vietnam war. And boy was this book powerful.

The imagery that Burg describes through verse left me haunted after reading this book. She doesn't weigh you down through the whole story with heavy descriptions but the looming feeling that there is something horrible in Matt's past is present throughout the entire story. Just like in Breaking Stalin's Nose, I think the author gives enough for children to understand the horrific acts during this time, but at the same times doesn't overwhelm them. Unlike Insides Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, Matt's story mainly focuses on dealing with the life he left in Vietnam.  Though he does deal with bullies and learning to fit in, his story takes place two years after he has been in the United States. I am glad that I picked up All the Broken Pieces, because not only did I learn more about the adopted children of the Vietnam war, but because Burg's writing and story has encouraged me to seek out more materials about this subject matter. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin

      Ten-year-old Sasha Zaichik knows how perfect life is. He is lucky enough to live in the U.S.S.R with his father, who has the privilege of working for Stalin’s secret police. Sasha has been studying night and day to become a Soviet Young Pioneer, a youth organization dedicated to Stalin’s word and the spread of Communism.
     Suddenly on the eve before his induction into the Young Pioneers, police burst into Sasha’s apartment and arrest his father! Everywhere Sasha turns to for help, he is cast aside and left to fend for himself. Sasha knows that once Stalin hears of this grave mistake everything will be straightened out! This harrowing night begins Sasha’s two day journey, where he begins to see the real truth behind the Soviet Union.

    Eugene Yelchin, author of Breaking Stalin’s Nose, lived in the Soviet
Union before moving to the United States. Though he has worked as an
illustrator and artist for years this is Yelchin’s first novel. A combination of text and illustrations,  this 2012 Newbery Honor book showcases Sasha's perilous journey to free his father.  
His use of beautiful and dynamic black and white illustrations helps add a higher
level of intensity to Sasha’s plight. The imagery is not graphic, but young readers
will still be able to understand the seriousness of the situation. At only 140 pages,
Breaking Stalin’s Nose is a great way to introduce children to the horrors of this
period in history. This is not a story with a happy ending, but one of truth. This story will have you on the edge of your seats. You want Sasha to discover whats really going on, but you know that once he does this little boy will never be the same.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Giveaway! Thank you to my subscribers!

As a thank you to my subscribers I am doing another book giveaway!

This one will be a lot simpler than last time. All you need to do is subscribe to this blog and leave a comment letting me know that you are now following me! If you have been following me already, still leave a comment. 

The book giveaway will run until February 29th! A winner will be chosen at random and I will contact you then.

So what is the book? Well I won't keep you in suspense like last time!
The prize is a paperback copy of
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson


Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald

From the moment seventeen-year old Sadie saw Garrett Delaney she knew that they were perfect for each other. How couple they possibly not be together? Fast forward two years and Sadie and Garrett are inseparable...as best friends. They share everything together...movies, music, and clothing styles. Only problem is that Sadie is still madly in love with Garrett. Too bad he is so busy dating every other girl but Sadie to notice. Now Garrett is off to writers camp for six weeks and Sadie is left at home. Will this be the opportunity she needs to get over Garrett? Or will the six weeks apart make him realize that she is the one for him? 

In Getting Over Garrett Delaney, Sadie starts to realize there is more to life than Garrett. She ventures out and makes new friends, while connecting with old ones. She begins to learn relationship lessons that many girls in their twenties and thirties are still learning. Getting Over Garrett Delaney is a great reminder of how often anyone can get so caught up with the person they are infatuated with that they forget about everything else in life. Abby McDonald paints a funny story with some unique characters and some hard truths. Sadie has to take a hard look at herself and realize the person she has become might not be the person she wants to be.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

oooh look at these bullets!

I will be posting any bad covers that wander across me desk. This one is awesome because its a photographed that has been "brushstroked". epically bad. I hope the awesomeness of this can be seen through the crappy cell phone pix

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blackout by John Rocco

Sometimes your family is just too busy. Too busy with work, friends, and
other things. Too busy to play a simple board game.

Every once in a while, we all need a friendly reminder that we are never too busy for our family. How would you and your family react to a blackout? Absolutely no technology at all. No television! No Internet! No phone!

In John Rocco’s Blackout, which won a Caldecott Honor for 2012, one family learns that a city wide blackout is probably the best thing that has happened to them.Instead of moping around, they reconnect with each other and also their community. Whether its shadow puppets, board games, or dancing in the
streets, John Rocco reminds us that it is important to step away from technology and focus on the simple joys of life

Check out the book trailer for Blackout and be sure to checkout Blackout.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

“This is the box, Ed. Inside is everything. This is it, Ed. The whole
story of why we broke up."

In Why We Broke Up, Min Green explains to her completely different ex-boyfriend the moments that led to their break up. As Min makes her way through a keepsake box, she reveals the start of the relationship, how they fell in love, and the heartbreak that was unavoidable. The mundane objects in Min’s box all represent a moment that made Min questioned the romance of such a dissimilar couple.

 A Printz honor for excellence in Young Adult Literature, Why We Broke Up will send you back in time to when you felt that first pang of love and the earth-shattering pain of your first breakup. We have all been there and we go through it with Min as she re-hatches what exactly went wrong for the basketball team co-captain and classic film connoisseur couple.

Author Daniel Handler, from the famed Lemony Snicket series, weaves a tale of love and heartbreak that we have all known. This book made me laugh, cry, and want to scream at the extreme use of fragmented and run-on sentences. About forty or so pages into Min’s story I was sure Handler had set me up for a disastrous storyline, but I stuck with it and am I glad I did. The feeling of nostalgia that haunts this book cannot be denied. A tale of first love and heartache is one that anyone can relate to. We might not all have Min’s story, but we have all felt her pain.

Be sure to check out the back cover as some of today's most popular authors share their first love/first heartbreak stories.
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