What I’m Reading [1]

Posted 19 April, 2015 in Blog Features, What I'm Reading / 0 Comments
What I’m Reading [1]

I haven’t done anything like this in a while. I used to participate in those weekly memes where everyone talked about what they were reading or planned to read. I wasn’t as into the memes about new books because I just don’t buy new books that often (I’m a serious library user). Since I’ve been at my new job, I’ve had less time for blogging. It’s not a huge deal; it’s just a reality. What suffers the most, I think, are my reviews. I have to be in a good head space to write reviews. I need have time to really sit down and think about the books and time to write (and hopefully edit) the reviews. All this takes time, so I’ve gotten to where I just don’t write reviews for some things. I either feel like I don’t have anything to say about a book or I’ve waited too long to write the review that I can’t even remember enough to write a good one. I have so many drafts sitting there, but I don’t think I’ll write most of them. Instead, I thought it would be nice to start this little feature. I’ll just share some new books I’ve picked up (even those from the library), some books I’ve recently read but haven’t reviewed, and some books I’m thinking of reading next. New to Me I’m working on choosing the books for our library reading assignment next year. Something they’ve tried to do in the past is […]

This Week in the Library [6]

Posted 18 April, 2015 in Librarian Speak, Weekly Reflections / 0 Comments
This Week in the Library [6]

It’s been a couple of weeks because I had a super busy weekend last week and I wasn’t feeling so hot on Sunday (the only day I had nothing going on). This week wasn’t much better, but I have way more time for blogging and reading this weekend. It’s only been a week, but it feels like years since I’ve had some time to just relax and do what I want. Monday I spent a good chunk of my time on Monday weeding. I finally finished the 300s and 400s. Check out all those books I pulled and piled on top of the shelves (all our book carts are full or being used). Now, it’s time to tackle the 500s, but I saved that for next week. First we have to get some of the current books we’ve pulled withdrawn and disowned. I also did a little logistics work in preparation for possibly rearranging some of our shelving and furniture. I shut myself up in the office at one point to make a tutorial for the faculty about logging in to their Google Apps accounts and viewing shared documents and calendars. We haven’t really taken the time to give them a good workshop with their Google Apps accounts. Hopefully, that’s something we can do next year. Tuesday The English department just picked out their summer reading titles, so it’s time for me to make sure we have copies available for our students. I started by ordering ebook copies. I’m trying […]

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Posted 16 April, 2015 in Reviews, Top Picks / 0 Comments
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon isn’t into drama, and he’s not too worried about coming out. Why does he have to come out, anyway? Why doesn’t everyone have to come out, even straight people? When the wrong person finds out about his attraction to other boys (one boy, in particular), he realizes the decision might not be his anymore. That is unless he helps his blackmailer hook up with one of his cute girl friends. THIS BOOK! Seriously, this is one of my favorite books of the year, so far. It’s cute, it’s fun, and it’s real. It has all the elements I look for in a book personally and many of the ones I look for professionally. Okay, so it’s about a gay boy. That might turn some of my students off. There will be some of my kids who have religious convictions that make them feel uncomfortable with the subject. I’ll still be recommending it to them because Simon is so down to earth and relatable. He’s one of the most realistic gay boys I’ve read in fiction. Seriously, the difference between him and the guy sitting feet away from me playing video games is that he likes boys (also, he’s not crazy about video games). That’s pretty much the difference between gay and straight men. There will be some boys who think they can’t relate to a gay boy because they’re not gay. I will still recommend this book because it’s about so much more than being gay or coming out. […]

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Posted 3 April, 2015 in Audiobooks, Reviews, Top Picks / 0 Comments
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing centers on two teenage boys who attempt to kiss for 32 hours to set a new Guinness World Record. Their kiss is partly a political statement they’re inspired to perform after their friend, Tariq, is jumped one night. It’s not only about Harry and Craig’s kiss, though. The story also follows several other boys. Peter and Neil have been together for a year, even though Neil’s family never talks about it. Avery and Ryan only met the night before at a gay prom, but immediately hit it off.  Cooper feels completely and utterly alone. No one knows that he’s gay until his father reads a chat session with another guy on his laptop. All these stories and perspectives are narrated by the a generation of gay men who lived in a different time, when AIDS was a terror that seemed to pick them off one by one. Levithan starts this one off strong. I was tearing up within the first thirty minutes of listening, but it wasn’t a completely sad cry. There are so many equally beautiful and sad moments in this book. The Greek Chorus narration was what first set me off. They’re like guardian angels for all the boys in the book. They also delivered a balanced view of historical and contemporary issues and perspectives. There is some tangential material about the history of gay life and more introspective material about the realities of relationships and falling in love, both universally and as a gay boy or man. It […]

Holy Crap, I’m Mr. Darcy!

Posted 29 March, 2015 in Bookish Thoughts / 2 Comments
Holy Crap, I’m Mr. Darcy!

You know those quizzes you can take to see which Austen character you are? The options are always the ladies in Austen’s books: Marianne, Elinor, Elizabeth, Emma, Fanny, Anne or Catherine. I’ve actually never taken one of those quizzes. The reason I’ve never taken one of those quizzes is that I don’t think I identify well with any of Austen’s heroines. Honestly, I hadn’t thought much about who I relate to in Austen’s books until recently. Even though I love Austen’s books, I also love reading some of the fanfiction about her characters. For the past year or so, I’ve enjoyed Abigail Reynolds’ books particularly. She writes variations on Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. They’re sort of “what if” books. For example, what if Mr. Bennett became ill while Elizabeth was at Hunsford and she had to go home to be with her family as he dies. They’re usually things like that: events that change the story completely, but she still manages to get the characters into similar situations as those in the original. Some are better than others. Sometimes they get a little too out of character. I know a lot of Austen purists hate them. I’m not going to go into too much detail about them, though. I was reading one earlier this year (I can’t remember which one; they tend to run together), and there was a lot of discussion of Darcy’s personality and character. It suddenly occurred to me that Fitzwilliam Darcy is the most relatable character for me […]