I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!
This article in the Guardian really spoke to me. If you’re a librarian or if you love libraries you’ll probably enjoy it as well. I particularly love this bit.
“The only regret I have about my long career in public libraries is that I have not been able to convince more librarians that they should be less book-focused and more people-focused; that they should look outward to the community rather than inward to the library; that they should get rid of desks and counters and do more active roving inside the library and outside in the community; that they should put less emphasis on the excellence of the collection and more on providing books that people actually want to read; and, most important of all, that libraries should be community-led and based on the needs of the public they serve.”
So excited! Check out the review of the book here.
I received Victoria through Netgalley. If you don’t belong to that website you should go there now and sign up. I requested it because I read and really liked The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. Her books covers are absolutely gorgeous, no? I saw the real book at B&N the other day and there’s a little blurb under the author’s name that says “Author of the New York Times bestseller The American Heiress and creator / writer of the Masterpiece presentation on PBS.” I thought they were referring to The American Heiress being a Masterpiece presentation but after a bit of Googling it would seem that Victoria is actually the one being put on PBS so I’m glad I finished and enjoyed it! It’s unfortunate that the timeslot is on Sundays when football is also on. I will probably have to watch it after the fact.
So, the book. Victoria is made queen almost immediately. Perhaps on page 30. The rest of the book is about her trying to make her way through all the pomp and circumstance that being a queen requires. This is a time when only men are in the court, in places of power and definitely only men have ruled the country. She is an anomaly. She enlists the help of the, at the time, Prime Minister Lord Melbourne. What follows is how her years as queen play out. There’s also a lot of her blossoming love with Albert. Most everything I knew about Victoria going into this was about her and Albert’s love. I heard a fact once that after he died she laid out a new set of his clothes every night before she went to bed. As if he would wake up the next day and put them on and everything would be fine. She also wore black for the entirety of her life after his death. Amazing.
For the last few years, I can’t remember how many, NPR has done this virtual concierge of their best book suggestions for the year. I like it, but I’m a list person so some part of me misses the basic list. See for yourself and you can how you feel. Please note, there are way more in this concierge thing than on a regular best of 2016 list because of the algorithm they have to choose different topics. 309 books!
I looked at them all. Because, why not? I have read, 11 of them. To completion! I have tried to read, or almost finished as I like to call it in Goodreads, 13 of them. That’s 8% – rounding up. Haha. Let’s include one more layer. There are 24 of them I have checked out and brought to my house but never opened, or only read the first few pages. That puts me up to 15% so I feel a bit better. Anything above 10% and I’m golden. Who can really compete with NPR?
Best of lists are coming out. School Library Journal has theirs up! Check it out for all your holiday shopping needs. Books they have on their list that I agree with are as follows..
Flora and the Peacocks. I love Flora & all her books.
Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cueves illustrated by Erin Stead which I read but didn’t review.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo. I can’t say I loved this one but, here it is.
The Best Man by Richard Peck. NEED TO READ THIS! It’s on lists galore.
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry. I checked this out awhile ago, probably 6+ months ago, when someone at my old job suggested it. It takes place in 1241. Making that time period into a “best book” takes work, so I have no doubt it is amazing.
The Lie Tree Frances Hardinge by and Scythe by Neal Shusterman are books that were also on the Publisher’s Weekly best books of 2016 list (as was The Best Man). So they must be good. I’ve checked out both. My husband started reading Scythe, and he never reads. Take that as a glowing review!
Just in time for Christmas! The New York Public Library has selected and made lists for the most remarkable books of 2016. Check them out, they’re legit.
Best books for Kids 2016
Best books for Teens 2016
I don’t get the obsession. I tried. I read all of book one and even checked out book two in preparation for my excitement. But it never came. It’s not exciting. I wanted to like it, I really did. Maybe it’s because it’s a translation? I have no idea. There was so much buzz around this author because of her presumed outing recently (she writes under a pseudonym) and I really wanted to know what all of the fuss was about. But honestly, I don’t care. And I won’t continue the series.
More buzz from just two days ago. How?