Monthly Archives: April 2015

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

I tried to read this book. Somewhere it was compared to The Night Circus. Which I loooove. Perhaps in lieu of the book I will watch the series.

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What’s on my holds list?

I follow a lot of blogs. And the Nerdy Book Club blog had a post recently with blog post suggestions0. Sometimes I run out of ideas. Okay, a lot of times I run out of ideas. One of their suggestions was to write about what’s on your holds list. I have a lot of things on hold right now so I figured that would be a good one (and an easy one).

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China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan (June 2015). The second book in a hilarious series. Crazy Rich Asians was one of the best audiobooks to listen to.

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Spinster by Kate Bolick. I heard about this book through an NPR interview and it struck a chord. I always thought I would be married at 25 with kids before 30. I don’t want kids anymore and I wasn’t married til I was 28 so I feel for this girl when she says her life hasn’t turned out the way she thought.

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Heroic Measures by Jill Ciment. This book has been made into a movie with Diane Keaton (who I looove) and Morgan Freeman. It’s called 5 Flights Up and it came to my attention through a post on Barkpost. They play concerned pup parents who are selling their apartment in NYC. I love pups and I love NYC so I thought this would be a great book.

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Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson

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This is one of the most gorgeous books ever. I adore it. I’m going to buy it. At first when I started reading it I was marking the pages and recipes I wanted to try. But then halfway through I realized almost all the pages were marked.

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost four years and I’m still not very good at it. I like carbs. So I’m always encouraged by good vegetarian cookbooks. Some of them are above my cooking intelligence. This one is simple and yummy. I love it all. Especially the drinks. They all look so refreshing.

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Most of the book’s 100 wholly vegetarian recipes call for only three or four ingredients and require very few steps, resulting in dishes that are fresh, wholesome, delicious, and stunning.

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When Googling it on Amazon I found on the author is also a wonderful illustrator which I sort of knew because half of the book is done in her illustrations. But she’s painted some wonderful additions to go with her cookbook including notebooks, paper placemats, calendar and meal planning shopping list.

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YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten

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Reading Shame

In the Sunday Book Review portion of the NYT there was an article titled “Is there Anything One Should Feel Ashamed of Reading?” While I want the answer to be a resounding no, I must admit that I don’t read certain things because of a stigma. Perhaps not because I would be ashamed but because there’s definitely a, “you’re reading that?” kind of attitude to certain genres. Like romance. Or hard core sci-fi. Romance is expected if you’re an older single woman. Sci-fi is expected if you’re a nerdy looking middle aged man. We just don’t typically associate those genres outside a certain stereotype of reader. Which is sad. So perhaps I’ll pick up one of those books soon just so I can feel vindicated in not being ashamed about anything I read. I have seen some great reviews lately of an old cult class, Duke & I by Julia Quinn.

“No one should be ashamed, ever, of anything at all, right? Not now, not today.”

That being said, I think kids are most definitely struck with a certain shame when reading. One of the guys writing this column describes his feelings about this when he was young.

“Back in fourth grade I did something similar when, enthralled by Little Men, I moved on to Little Women. Because the title made it sound like a girls’ book, I covered my copy with a brown paper wrapper, not realizing that this probably made Little Women seem even more embarrassing.”

If we stop shaming kids for reading certain kinds of books then we wouldn’t have this problem as adults. We could read whatever we want and become better for it. Better yet, stop caring about what other people are reading and just read what you want. All of it! All the time! YAY BOOKS!

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The Boston Globe: Picture book Picks

Every Monday the Boston Globe** does Picture Book Picks and lists some of the best picture books being published. We, at my new library, order them. Some of the new ones just came in from the PBP a few weeks ago so I thought I’d tell you about them since they were pretty cute.

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Orion and the Dark written & illustrated by Emma Tarlett

Orion is afraid of the dark. He’s done everything he can think of to avoid this fear (i.e. eating lots of carrots to improve his night vision, dressing like an owl since they’re awake during darkness & seem to like it, painting his room with glow-in-the-dark paint…) but nothing seems to work. Then one night the Dark comes to him, says hello and invites him on an adventure to investigate whether or not the Dark is scary. They go see what the sounds are that seem scary but aren’t. They go into the sky where there is no light and Orion realizes the Dark can be fun. How he gets to this realization I’m not sure. And I also think that if reading this to a child who is genuinely afraid of the dark you may not alleviate their fear. Unless the Dark comes to visit them also, these are not practical things you could put in to practice to show them the dark is not scary. However, it’s still a cute story and the illustrations are great. Best for a one-on-one reading due to the small vignettes (like what he tries in order to avoid his fear).

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Marilyn’s Monster written by Michelle Knudsen illustrated by Matt Phelan

Michelle Knudsen is the author of the ever popular Library Lion. Matt Phelan is the illustrator (and writer in the case of these ->) of many wonderful books including Bluffton and Around the World, both of which I’ve read but apparently never reviewed. Ugh! He makes beautiful pictures so the combination of these two people has made a wonderful book about a girl named Marilyn who lives in a world where every child has their own monster. Oh what a world. Marilyn does not have her monster yet. The monster is meant to arrive when you least expect it, on the playground, in school or anywhere you could imagine. But hers never comes. She’s tired of seeing all her friends with their monsters and decides to take matters into her own hands and go looking for her monster. “That’s not the way it works,” says her brother. “Maybe my monster is different,” she responds. And so her monster is and there’s nothing wrong with being different! Cute cute book. Would definitely work for story time or group readings along with one-on-ones.

**The woman doing these reviews is Nicole Lamy. There is nothing of note in her Boston Globe description that includes Children’s services.

 

 

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