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Hey guys, the Librarian here. Since the calendar tells me it’s December 31st, and a brand new year is fixing to begin, I think a little reflection is in order …

2013 has been an amazing year for me! I got my dream job, and have been able to learn so much. Plus I get to write for you guys, and share all my zany YA passions — I am literally being paid to write about stuff I love. Does it get better than that?!

Speaking of books, I have read a lot of books this year too. Goodreads tells me I’ve hit 83 (out of my goal of 100). Not too shabby — and I’ve got one in progress, we’ll see if I manage to finish it tonight. I’m happy with what I’ve read this year, and that’s the important thing.

As I look forward to 2014, I’m excited to see where the year’s going to take me. What new reads I’ll discover … what new experiences await … the totally awesomeness of Summer Reading (the 2nd year it’s much less terrifying to think about planning than the 1st!) … 2013 was pretty incredible, and I have high hopes that 2014 will be even better.

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, and that 2014 begins with sparkles and smiles.

I picked an Elf, of course

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of the fairy tale. And the Disney movie. Therefore it should be no surprise that I am very much looking forward to catching FROZEN in theatres soon. Meanwhile, the happy people at The Hub have posted a neat write-up/review of the movie, while also looking at the original fairy tale.

And, oh happy day, there are also a few book suggestions for variations of “The Snow Queen” … I’d like to add my current read to their list:

Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce

Okay, I for one am entirely psyched about THE SCORPIO RACES! I fell head-over-heels for that book, entirely unexpectedly, and am very interested to see it play out on the big screen …

Which movies are you looking forward to?

Hi guys! The Librarian here, with some thoughts, some rambles, and a desire to know what you think about …

… your reading selection. Do you like series? Trilogies? Stand-alone books? A little mix of everything? Or have you even thought about it before? haha …

One of the cool parts of my job is getting to order new books, and as I’ve mentioned before, I *love* ordering new books and seeing their shiny jackets and fresh pages arrive, straight from cataloging. The tricky part is keeping up with what books are already here, so I can make sure I’m ordering the right thing. For instance — if a new release I’ve seen in a journal or online is book 6 in a series, and I don’t have books 1-5, then ordering book 6 would be kind of silly. Likewise, if I do have a series started, I want to make sure I’m getting the next book (or filling in the occasional hole). Needless to say, the whole series thing can add up to a LOT of books really fast. So I’ve got to keep a balance in my ordering.

Trilogies are a little easier: there’s only three books! When The Bitter Kingdom came out, I went on and ordered the entire trilogy, since I knew they’d be popular with my readers. Trilogies are nice. They’re compact, but still more detailed and/or expansive than a stand-alone. Plus they look pretty, in little clusters, on the shelves.

Stand-alones are awesome, and rather underrated. These are the books you can just pick up and read straight away, once it catches your eye on the shelf, without worrying about reading the books that come before or after. They’re the “movie” of the reading world, whereas trilogies are “miniseries” and series are “television series”. You read, you enjoy, you don’t have to worry. The only downer is when you get really attached to characters, and there’s no more of their story.

Which do you prefer? I’ve always been a fan of the stand-alone, but I’m getting sucked into the trilogy camp. You can blame - er, thank - Beth Revis for that. There are a couple series that keep catching my eye, but as my poor To Read list gets longer and longer, the idea of tacking on a whole series is … daunting. Shoot, some of the trilogies are even making me second guess (yes, my list is that bad. I need help.)

Tell me your thoughts … Do you love being able to pick up a random book and just read? Or do you like tracking your progress through a set of books? 

And while we’re talking about it … What are your favorite series or trilogies?

Hey, guys! No, I haven’t fallen off the planet. I’m actually here, in the background working on all kinds of cool things for the future, and yes, even some Summer Reading ideas! The Librarian and I will be creating a whopper of a Summer Reading Program next year.

Nevertheless, it’s important for me to chat a bit about what’s coming and something a little new in the TeenZone.

First, clear your calendar for Thursday November 14th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. We’ll be doing some very interesting ‘spray bleach’ crafts, where you can create a nifty design on your dark colored t-shirt, and wear when you go to catch the upcoming release of Catching Fire, the following week.

What is a spray bleach craft you ask? Basically, we’ll create templates of various symbols from the Hunger Games Trilogy. Then we’ll attach them to your shirt, and spray with different solutions of bleach. Creating a rough and District-like look. We’ll also have the Button Maker out, to adorn your jackets and school bags with your very own Hunger Games themed design.

Also, don’t forget to come by and check out our Intermediate Series display. Grab one of your favorites, try a new series or get caught up with back volumes. The word intermediate means that these series are written for ages ten to fourteen, but everything on the cart is pure awesomeness for any age.

Be sure to grab a bookmark, which also lists some other great series, and check out the TeenZone Reader’s Advisory notebook, with the Dystopian List from last month in it.

Talk to you guys really soon.

Dave

 

Hey guys, the Librarian here! I know, I know, on a Wednesday! What is the world coming to? (I planned to posted Friday, but I’ll be meeting with Dave and some other cool peoples to talk about Middle Grade books and programming).

Anywhosers. Today I’m all abuzz about new books … some that are already out and I just have to sit down and read (easier said than done - I should take a picture of my To Read stacks (yes, plural) one day), and others are still forthcoming … Thought I’d share some of them with you guys, and see what you think.

Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #2)

Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 2) * Shannon Messenger
I absolutely loved Keeper of the Lost Cities, and have been waiting for this sequel for a year. Literally a year. Now I’m just waiting on Amazon to deliver my preorder. And I might need to go back and reread Keeper, to make sure I’m remembering all the awesome correctly. Because seriously, you guys: It’s awesome. It’s technically Middle Grades, but it’s about Elves. Need I say more?

Just One Year (Just One Day, #2)

Just One Year * Gayle Foreman
I finally gave in to all the buzz over the summer and read Just One Day. Um, amazing. Allyson’s story, her journey to find herself, is one I could definitely relate to. And I’m very, very interested to find out what happened during the year she and Willem were apart - to hear his side of the story. Releases next week!

Aquifer

Aquifer * Jonathan Friesen
This is one I learned about via Library Journal’s SummerTeen webconference, and promptly ordered for the library. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the name “Luca” (thanks to this series), but this sounds pretty cool. Not something I’d normally pick up necessarily, but cool nonetheless. Look forward to giving it a read.

Of Beast and Beauty

Of Beast and Beauty * Stacey Jay
You may or may not have realized I’m a fairy tale nut, and “Beauty and the Beast” is my favorite. This retelling sounds … different. A little weird. (Okay, so maybe a lot weird, compared to other things I read). I kept up with Jay’s writing and publishing process (via her blog) through the journey, so I’m really interested in seeing how it plays out. I’ve heard from a patron that it’s good - not super paranormal romance-y (yay!). Definitely on my list to read soon.

VIII

VIII * H.M. Castor
Look at that cover, and tell me you don’t want to know what he’s thinking. As a former History major, I have a major weakness for historical fiction. Normally I don’t read much about Henry VIII and his … interesting court though, because of all the drama. This however, promises to be a new take on things.

Shadows

Shadows * Robin McKinley
Some books you read because of who wrote them. McKinley stole a high, high ranking on my “Favorites” list when she broke my heart with Pegasus. Since then, I’ve read several of her backlist titles, enjoying them all, and plan to read more while awaiting the sequel (and hopefully the recovery of my heart). This is a new release, and sounds intriguing. McKinley is a master of fantasy and world-building, so this should be beautifully written if nothing else.

So there’s a peek at some of the new books catching my eye and begging to be read … What do you think? Have you read any? Do you want to? (I sure hope so!) What books are you excited about?

Hey, hey, hey!

Have you missed me? I missed you guys, lost in the whirlwind of summer transitions. But it’s fall (and football season!), and things are beginning to settle into a smoother routine. Which means …. I can give you a Librarian-original Friday List! Woot!

Today’s list is going to be entirely random. Comprised of things I find interesting at the moment. Because on Friday, random is definitely the way to go.

New Books!
Who doesn’t get excited about new books? I’ve been ordering away, carefully selecting titles that are catching some attention as well as those that just look awesome to me. If I think they’re great, I feel like you will too. Of course, with every new book that comes in here at Archdale, my To Read list gets longer and longer and longer … I have an overwhelming compulsion to read. every. book. Clearly, this isn’t possible. But I’m doing my level best.

For your viewing pleasure, a small sampling of our new books … Love the purple dots! That’s how you know they’re fresh.

Football
Here’s a factoid you may not have realized: I am a football nut. I love it. So, so much. I count down the days until football season begins, every summer, and then ignore how short that season actually is. Thankfully, this year I’ll have the Olympics to cheer me up after the Superbowl. (I’m also an Olympics nut). Also, this month’s YA display in Archdale is football books, it seemed a fitting selection.

Disney Movies
Have you seen the buzz about The Little Mermaid? Apparently they’re bringing it back to the big screen, in select cities, with the ability to hook up your iPad and interact with the movie. I’m not sure how I feel about that … tablet glow in a dark theatre is distracting. And whatever happened to watching a movie for the sake of watching a movie? Is this a generation gap-thing?
I remember when The Little Mermaid first came out — that’s the first movie I remember seeing on the big screen. I’ve been a Disney girl for most of my life, and while I loved the movies as a kid, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gained a new appreciation - and greater love - for them. Sometimes, you just need a dose of Disney.

Pizza
Does this need any further elaboration? Friday and weekends are absolutely designed for pizza.

Guppies
You know, the fish? I have 8 currently, and will be adding a few more females to even out the ratio (5 dudes and 3 girls … yeah, it needs some work). Guppies are such fun little fish, and this is the first time I’ve had fancy guppies. I’m fascinated by the colors and fins … cannot wait to see what kind of cute little baby guppies I end up with!

Hobbits
… and Dragons too, actually. I read The Silmarillion in August, and fell deeper in love with Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Especially the Elves. (Yes, the Librarian is a happy geek … you should have figured this out, but if you missed it: I am!). I’m going to be rereading through The Hobbit and LOTR very soon, and look forward to seeing what gains new meaning with the backdrop and history I’ve just read.
And, you know, the movie comes out in what — 3 months? Totally early enough to start getting excited and ready!

Anywhosers … There’s a Librarian’s Friday List! What’s got you excited this Friday?

Hey guys, remember me? Sorry it’s been a hop and a skip since I’ve stopped by for a chat, but let’s just say the summer has been interesting.

I hope y’all have been having fun and taking part in Summer Reading activities … I’ve seen some great reviews turned in as entries in the big summer-long giveaway, so I know y’all are reading good stuff this summer. As things start to wind down and wrap up, Dave and I are starting to figure out what we liked/didn’t like, what worked/didn’t work, and what we want to do next year — let us know what YOU think! Trust me, we want to know! Drop us an email, a comment here, something in the Ask box, write a letter, just let us know what you’re thinking. :o)

Now then … Here’s a little peek at what I’ve been doing …

Last week, The School Library Journal and a over a dozen publishers had a big online conference for teen librarians, featuring panels and chats with hot YA authors, so we could learn more about current trends and upcoming releases. It was so much fun!

Here’s a shot of my set-up during the keynote address by Tamora Pierce, long-time favorite author of the first fantasy I read and loved. (If you haven’t read her “Protector of the Small” Quartet, I strongly recommend it … I may, or may not, have a poster of that series behind me in my office. I admit nothing). Through this event, I discovered some new authors (with great senses of humor!), and have a nice little list of titles I want to purchase for the Library. My personal To Read list may have expanded too — just another job hazard.

Speaking of expanding To Read lists, these little beauties just arrived, courtesy of Disney Hyperion:

I am beyond excited about scoring the ARC of These Broken Stars, and Beta looks pretty cool too. I think y’all will like them too, from a quick glance-through.

In other realms … I’m reading a lot, ordering new stuff (new Archdale YA will have purple dots on the spines! Consider it a scavenger hunt, of sorts), making lists and plans and “in my wildest dreams I wish this could happen”-brainstorms … Did I mention the reading?

What’s new with y’all? What are you reading? Have you done everything you wanted to this summer? What will you carry into the fall?

Hey Guys!

I’ve been rather silent lately. Sorry for that. No offense at all. Been covered over with TeenZone Summer reading registrations and reviews, program prep and the ever-challenging poster making stress. All good things to be busy with, as it means, you guys are READING! Woot!

Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of reading myself, lately. I’m trying to stay on top of what you guys want here, at your library, and that requires a lot of review reading.

Today, as I was scanning the New York Times Book Review insert, I happened to notice that John Green is on the Young Adult Bestseller List, no less than four (4) times! That’s got to be an amazing feeling.

I mean, you know how I feel about John Green, (go here if you’ve forgotten http://altzbreview.tumblr.com/post/46446271734/looking-for-alaska-by-john-green) and so you know that I’m not at all surprised by this huge dose of awesomeness.

For me though, since John and I are basically the same age, ( I’m a tick or so older than him, actually) It’s amazing to think that he’s written that much work down already, and that work is sheer, unadulterated WOW.

It’s really great for me, as a contemporary, who works in a field where I get to keep up with my favorite authors to know how much influence my generation is having on you guys, and how wonderful we have become as story tellers.

So, Summer Reading is chucking along nicely, and we’ve had a proper good time with it, thus far. The Librarian and I have already begun to discuss things we liked and didn’t like. We need to hear about things you liked and what worked and didn’t work this year, in your opinion.

We can’t make Summer Reading rock, without your input. So here’s your chance. Reply to this message, and/or come to the library, and talk to us openly about how you felt about this Summer Reading program. We will take your comments and ideas into consideration as we plan to make next summer even more chock full of awesomeness.

Keep reading guys, I’ve got some reviews on the way, and hopefully, you’ll be hearing from Lauren and the Librarian soon too! (Of course!)

Dave