Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vacation Haul

Well, I'm over budget. Shame on me. Over budget by $11.56. See what loosing focus will do? Anyway, here's what I scored over the mini-vacation/long weekend.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (trade paperback = used at $4.75)
This is on my to-do list based on some reviews I saw. Right now it's a low priority.

Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer (slightly large mass market = new at $7.95)
I keep seeing this one in the library and wanted to start the series but they didn't have the first one (this one). So I bought it. The lady in the toy/book store said it was good.

The Peshwar Lancers by S. M. Stirling (mass market = used at $2.50)
Steve Stirling. Need I say more?

The Year the Cloud Fell by Kurt R. A. Giambastiani (mass market = used at $2.50)
KRAG. Need I say more? I'll be including this one in a giveaway at some point in the future.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (mass market = new at $7.99)
I bought this one based on how I feel about the first book. In other words, I might be hooked.

Deader Still by Anton Strout (mass market = new at $7.99)
I feel ashamed I didn't buy this during the first week. But I bought it so Anton will be happy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crusade by Taylor Anderson (review)

Title: Crusade
Author: Taylor Anderson
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 380
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F And
ISBN: 978-0-451-46230-5
Cost: $23.95

Now, his first book, Into the Storm, was okay. Clearly not in the league of S. M. Stirling*, but decent enough to read the next book in the series.

His second book follows much in the same vein, but shows some signs of improvement. There are certain aspects that I still don't much like (especially the pacing), but Anderson seems to have gotten better at his craft. The characters are developing (slowly) and the action has certainly picked up a notch (and far outpaces the first book). Anderson shows clearly he knows about battle at sea and on land. His Grik bad guys and Cat-Monkey (or Monkey-Cat) good guys make for an interesting twist on the "normal" alternate-history genre.

What I noticed most about this installment was the humor (it's getting better and is well placed) and the dialogue. Certain characters seem to have these two or three page speeches throughout the book with big blocks of action surrounding it. While certain books couldn't support this style, Anderson does well with it.

* You may notice I've made several references to S. M. Stirling when I talk about Anderson's work. There are many reasons for that. Primary among them is the blurb Stirling did for the cover. It was a big reason I started the series. Second, Stirling writes in the same alternate-history genre and does well. Finally, I'm a fan of the genre and Stirling. So he's a good yardstick for me to compare others to.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Into the Storm by Taylor Anderson (review)

Title: Into the Storm
Author: Taylor Anderson
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 386
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F And
ISBN: 978-0-451-46207-7
Cost: $23.95

I finished Into the Storm about a year ago and the easiest way I can describe it is:

Imagine Kurt R. A. Giambastiani met S. M. Stirling. They concoct a story. They invite Robert Jordan to tell it.

Yep, that's right, Giambastiani's dinosaurs, Stirling's alternate history, and Jordan's pacing. Now, if anyone understood that, congratulations. You're one of about five people in the world to get it. For everyone else, keep reading.

Giambastiani wrote a series (The Fallen Cloud Saga) that tells the story of General George Armstrong Custer (and his son) in an alternate version of the US. One where the natives (i.e. Indians) ride dinosaurs. Sounds odd, I know, but if you haven't read it, give it a shot.

Stirling wrote (and still is writing) a series about The Change. It starts with Nantucket getting "zapped" back in time. The rest of the world (the one we know) suffers a change in physics resulting in guns, cars, and pretty much anything modern not working. Great series. Another must read.

Jordan wrote (and Sanderson will finish) the Wheel of Time series. A simple story of a young man destined to save the world and go crazy in the process. And by simple, I mean one of the most long and drawn our series of all time. Well, until Martin and a few others came along.

So, dinosaurs, alternate history, and slow pacing. That's the gist of this story. But don't get me wrong, I liked it. The chapters are massive. And by massive, I mean this average-sized book had seven chapters. Yeah. And there were times when the story plodded along as slow as an ancient turtle. But there's a gem in there. The gem is the overall story. Right now, we just get to brush the dirt and grime off the outside edge.

What sets Anderson apart from these well-established authors is his own little twist. Sure, Stirling alters time and Giambastiani adds dinosaurs, but Anderson combines them. And yet, that isn't his twist. His twist is the water. The Navy crew that goes back in time learns that the water isn't safe. Not even shallow water. It's like an ocean full of salt-water piranhas and worse. Yes, worse. And land isn't much better. You've got all those lizard/dinosaurs to worry about.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry (review)

Title: The Lace Reader
Author: Brunonia Barry
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 390
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F Bar
ISBN: 978-0-06-162476-6
Cost: $24.95

Brunonia Barry has written what I can only describe as the equivalent of a lace novel. Some readers will see the patterns early on while others will only see a nice piece of art. I happen to fall into the latter category.

The book is, simply put, a chick-lit novel. While that is not a category I would usually use to label a novel, it seems to fit best, no matter how sexist it sounds.The main character, Towner, has lived a hard life and returns home when her aunt dies. She has to face those she left behind, the labels others have placed on her, and new challenges. All while recovering from surgery. Salem, as in the home of the burned witches, also plays a character of sorts in the book. We see how it has become a center for tourism based on its past. It is also a gateway to other smaller, subset communities. My favorite being the social community of crazy people.

The plot was confusing at times but had some solid pieces to anchor the reader. Being a guy, I think I had a harder time than a woman would in following the story and the emotions. The best comparison I can make is The Lace Reader is like The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants. Only with lace readers and witches in New England instead of pants-wearing teenage girls traveling the world.

The marketing was outstanding for this novel. I may not know all that goes into marketing a new novel from a debut author, but the publishers have impressed me. By using social and viral advertising, and awesome prizes, they've done well in getting the word out. Having a starred review from Publishers Weekly didn't hurt either.

My bottom line is this. I enjoyed the book. Even if it wasn't my cup of tea (or piece of lace), I still found it entertaining. I especially liked the ending when the pattern was finally revealed for the novice lace reader I am.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

To be an author's friend or their beta reader?

So I was reading a nice, mushy post by Ebenstone and I was wondering, what would I rather be, an author's friend or their beta reader?

And that is the question I will pose to you, the reader. Would you rather be a friend or a beta? Each is not mutually exclusive, you could be both of course. But if you had to choose, which one would be best?

I have mixed emotions about both. My immediate thought is I would want to be an author's friend. I mean, you get all the benefits, right? You can brag to your friends that you know a famous author. You get free books to read. You get signed books. You get author swag. You might even get some invites to conventions or book signings.

But then I think to myself, that's not really a friend. That's a leech or hyena, someone living off the scraps of the big whale (the author in this case). So I then revert to wanting to be a beta reader. You still get to read the books before they come out and may even get a mention of thanks in the book.

After mulling this over for a day or so, I think I'd rather be an author's friend. But only if I can be a true friend. Not that hyena that looks for the droppings left behind, but a friend. And that's where John (aka Ebenstone) comes in. I consider him a friend. Granted, he may fall into that "internet friend" category as I've never seen him face to face or even heard his voice. But I still call him a friend. And when he gets published, I'd love to get all those goodies up above. But I won't expect them. With John, I'm lucky. I get to be both a friend and a beta.

Which brings me to another aspect of the question. John is unpublished but does write well. But would things be different if the author in question were published? Say, Carolyn Anderson. Or a New York Times Bestseller? Like, oh, Patrick Rothfuss. What if the author was working in a genre you didn't really like, but was still a bestseller? Like, Ann Brashares.

So, which would you rather be, an author's friend or their beta reader?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

GIVEAWAY - The Final Warning by James Patterson

Title: The Final Warning
Author: James Patterson
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 256
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-316-00286-8
Cost: $0

I have a copy of James Patterson's The Final Warning (a Maximum Ride novel) to giveaway. This is a "Special Teacher's Edition" as it was given to my wife (a teacher). The reverse of the dust cover has an educator's guide with discussion questions.

Just send me an email with your name and address to with the subject line of The Final Warning Giveaway by the end of the month (that's April 30th at midnight) and I'll randomly choose a winner.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Life, Death, and the Mysteries Between Them

I picked up two books this weekend. The first I scored at the local used bookshop. The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove (for $1.50). I have the first of his Atlantis series already but haven't found the time to give it a go yet. When I get to either of them, it will be my first reading of Turtledove. I hear he's good.

The second is The Lost City of Z by David Grann (for $15.99). I've heard good things about this book as well and, well, we'll see. Costco had it at a reasonable price and I wanted a book. Sometimes I feel like a junky when I see books. I just want to buy them all.

The poll is dead. I've given up on trying to get others to vote and it appears I don't have enough visitors to make it worth my time. I may put one up here and there, but until then, consider the polling monster dead.

Also dead is the code for my LibraryDad Reading Fund. I have no idea why, but it just doesn't like me. So I'll keep it simple and use text only. Dreaded HTML code kills me sometimes.

Mysteries Between Them
LOST. I've been a LOST fan since this past summer. On a whim I started watching the episodes online. I've been hooked like a damn fish ever since. I live for Wednesday nights. And on those nights when there's no new episode? I feel like that junky again. Somewhere between my birthday and Christmas I need to decide if I want a BluRay player and LOST on BluRay or if I want a new mattress to sleep on. Decisions decisions.

But I did have a moment to give birth to a theory about LOST. Radzinsky goes nutty in the Swan (aka the Hatch), right? Could he have gone nutty because he was hiding in the Swan station after the Purge? We know the Swan was out of bounds for Dharma, but could he have used it as a redoubt of sorts to try to save himself? And did he use the relay tower to broadcast the serial numbers in hopes of finding help from other Dharma folk? Anyway, there's my crackpot theory for the week.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Combat and Survival - Volume 15

Title: Combat and Survival (Volume 15)
Author: H. S. Stuttman, Inc. Publishers
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 60
Genre: Non-Fiction
Dewey Decimal: 355.5 Com
ISBN: 0-87475-560-3
Cost: $0

I think I enjoyed the combat medic section in this part just a little less than the last installment. Maybe it was the blood that made me queasy, but I think it was the ingenious methods of operating a vehicular checkpoint as well as the forward observation post. Simply amazing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Why so few posts lately?

Well, things are a bit busy in the LibraryDad household. Tax season has ended, I start school soon, and there's a vacation around the corner. And I've drastically scaled back on the news reports to try to focus more on reviews and interviews. But I'll still do the news (catch the rhyme?).

So, stick around, I have some giveaways coming up soon as well as interviews and reviews. Just need to work out all the final details before I give you the details.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nunsense II at the Riverside Center Dinner Theater (review)

Title: Nunsense II: The second coming...
Book, Music, Lyrics: Dan Goggin
Producer: Rollin E. Wehman
Direction and Musical Staging: Vilma Gil
Genre: Musical
Cost: $48.75 (includes meal, does not include bar bill or tip)

This was the last production in the Riverside's 11th season and it was a good one. In fact, with the exception of maybe one or two productions, I've never been disappointed in their shows. It's like each has its own shade of greatness, some just aren't as vibrant as others.

Starting with the meal, the staff at Riverside feeds you well. I had the herb-crusted Tilapia only because the pork chop was marinated in soy sauce (something I don't really like). But the pork chops I saw were more like pork steaks that stood two inches tall. LibraryMom ordered the rotisseries chicken but it was a bit too spicy for her so she ended up eating some regular chicken nuggets. No word on how the garlic alfredo tasted.

The dessert on the menu, chocolate cake, was out so we had an Irish cream pie thing that was light, fluffy, and clearly went too fast. The show drink, the "Bad Habit," was a mix of raspberry and caramel with some vanilla ice cream. A nice combination.

The show had a returning cast member of note, Sister Mary Paul (aka Sister Amnesia) played by Heather McIntosh. Her previous performance in Nunsense was great and her return was nearly as good. And that pretty much sums up the play too. It was almost as good as the first one. But those were some big shoes to fill. And besides, it's so hard to say no to a great cast and crew that entertains and feeds you.

And the best part of the whole evening? I got to celebrate LibraryMom's birthday (the news about an upcoming mystery theater came in a close second though).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Combat and Survival - Volume 14

Title: Combat and Survival (Volume 14)
Author: H. S. Stuttman, Inc. Publishers
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 60
Genre: Non-Fiction
Dewey Decimal: 355.5 Com
ISBN: 0-87475-560-3
Cost: $0

From hand signals to infantry movement to combat medicine, this series just doesn't get old. Sure, some of the reviews/overviews of the weapons, vehicles, and aircraft in every book do get a bit repetitious. And the "personal stories" from combat veterans on campaign are certainly outdated. But it's just good, old-fashioned, military data that you get to download into your brain.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reading Update

Sorry, no news report this week. I'm sure you're already familiar with the e-book boycott at Amazon as well as the numerous WaldenBooks closing up shop. If not, get out there and read the news.

Instead, I'll grace you with a bit of a reading update.

The Bible - 2 Kings 9
A Midwife's Tale - page 147
Maelstrom - page 194
On the Oceans of Eternity - about 9 hours left
A Game of Thrones - page 164

So I'm making progress across all books and feel good about A Game of Thrones so far. I'm taking my time to immerse myself in the book. I'll stop reading to check out the map or the list of houses in the back, and so far, it's been worth my time. And of course, I'm following along with the re-read here as well. And with that, I bid you a pleasant weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stalking S. M. Stirling

Author S. M. Stirling has risen again to the top of my favorites list this past year. One could argue that he never left, but with a short hiatus between the original Nantucket series and the newer Emberverse series, he had dropped off my radar.

I first fell in love with his work when I started reading Island in the Sea of Time a few years after it came out. I finished the series happy, but let down as there was nothing new to occupy me. I went on to discover and enjoy other great authors like Kurt R. A. Giambastiani, Jack DuBrul, and Robert Jordan (yes, I was late to the Wheel of Time party, so sue me).

When I saw Conquistador come out in 2003, I was excited to see something new from him on the shelves. While I knew he had a back list I could have read, the spacey sci-fi stuff didn't interest me (Draka, The General, and T2 series namely). I nearly got into the Peshwar Lancers series, but the blurbs didn't sound very exciting. Conquistador sounded much more exciting.

Unfortunately for me, it was a bit of a let down.

So clearly when the Nantucket series reappeared with Dies the Fire, I was stoked. It was like hearing Star Wars was going to be in the theater again. And ever since, I've been swept back into the Change and the events that happened after. I've gone back to the original series to catch up on the characters involved and I am still happy with every book in the series. There are favorites, sure, but every book together makes one of the finest series I've seen in ages.

With all the ooey-gooey praise aside, I'd really like to interview Mr. Stirling. There are questions I have, some serious but most are silly. I've looked for previous interviews from the man himself himself but have come up with precious little. Which means my first question would be, why don't you do more interviews? As you can see in the list below, there isn't much to go on.

My other questions would be, well, I haven't decided yet. Silly questions are easy, but trying to think of something to ask an author that rarely gives interviews is a bit daunting. But if you know Mr. Stirling (or you are Mr. Stirling), I think I'd be willing to give it a shot. After all, what can I lose?

2008 - December - Dani Kollin
2008 - September - The Dragon Page
2008 - May - Peter Hodges (Part One and Part Two)
2007 - August -
2006 - January - Locus Magazine
2002 - February - SF Crowsnest

2008 - April - Robert J. Sawyer
2007 - December - American Heritage

Stirling's Amazon Blog
Stirling's Sigma Bio
Stirling's appearance at The Poisoned Pen

Note: You may notice that one particular website is missing from this plethora of stalking. That would be the main source of information on anything Stirling; It isn't missing because I don't like, it's missing because I'm assuming (dangerous word there) that those familiar with Stirling are also familiar with his site.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Survive! by Les Stroud (review)

Title: Survive!
Author: Les Stroud
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 373
Genre: Non-Fiction
Dewey Decimal:
ISBN: 978-0-06-137351-0
Cost: $19.95

Musician. Author. Filmmaker. Survivalist. Les Stroud is all of these and more. On his television series, Survivorman, he shows his audience how to survive in the wilds of the world. It could be the sub-zero temps of the Arctic or the deadly heat of the African desert. Where he goes doesn't matter, it's how he shows you to survive that always makes an impression on me.

Spending a week anywhere with little to no survival gear is scary enough. But Stroud shows his dedication to the craft of survival and film making by doing it all alone. You'd think it's hard enough to survive out there, but he's also filming. Which means for each shot he needs to lug cameras around. Then go back and pick them up when he's done.

His book shows the same dedication to his craft. He spends the time to cover the basics of what you need to know but he'll also give you some specifics. Many readers out there may think this book is geared for the beginner, but I say those experienced with survival need to read it too. Not only is there a chance to learn something, but the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) rule needs to be reinforced whenever possible.

Stroud includes photos and diagrams where needed as well as quick tips. There are checklists at the back that cover survival kits from personal to vehicle and in between. And while the MacGyverisms are entertaining, the Fire Starter pages at the end still give me a chuckle. After all, the book needs to help you survive, right?

And in breaking Les Stroud news, he appears to now have a Video Blog on his site. One of his entries even includes a teaser for a new series he's working on.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda (review)

Title: Never Have Your Dog Stuffed
Author: Alan Alda
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 224
Genre: Biography
Dewey Decimal: B Alda
ISBN: 1-4000-6409-0
Cost: $0

I checked out this book on a whim of sorts. I knew it was out there and vaguely recall hearing a positive review on the radio or newspaper or somewhere that piqued my interest. Once I started reading the book, I was disappointed that I hadn't started this book back when I had first heard about it.

I grew up watching Alan Alda on M*A*S*H. My dad and I would eat dinner and watch the antics of those crazy doctors in Korea (years later I'd realize that Radar looks startlingly like my dad). So I was familiar with his work in that and I've seen him in a few movies and a few episodes of Scientific American Frontiers. And that voice, that character, that personality shows in those works as well as this book.

But what was shocking to me was how much I got sucked in to this work. Clearly it's outside of the genres I usually haunt and yet I was repeatedly pulled back to this book. In fact, it was good enough, that I could actually read while the TV was on. I could actually ignore the TV. Wow. There were other profound learnings in the book as well, and most helped explain how Alda became who he is. And with that, I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes form the book: Moderation in all things, including moderation.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Against The Tide Of Years by S. M. Stirling (review)

Title: Against The Tide Of Years
Author: S. M. Stirling
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 454
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F Sti
ISBN: 0-451-45743-9
Cost: $6.99

Stirling takes a step back in time with his Nantucket series and brings the reader along. As a long-time reader of his work, I'm now able to see how this novel struggles to compare to his more recent work. In fact, I would say at some points it doesn't really compare at all, and that's a shame.

For first time readers of Stirling, they may start with or go back to the Nantucket series and become disappointed with the second book in the series. It has a bit of the sophomoric slump seen in other trilogies and even in movies, but the true story killer here is history. Specifically the amount of historical research included in the story makes the reader lose a bit of faith.

But hark, there is hope on the horizon. The battle between the Alston and the Nantucket survivors and Walker and his minions of evil is brewing. Parallelling our own Revolutionary War, the two forces have minor skirmishes here and there that snowball into a full on battle (which I'm sure we'll see in the third book of the series, On The Oceans Of Eternity). How the battle will turn out, I can't remember, but I'll get there soon.

In Tide of Years, Stirling's depth of history is nice, but without some European and Arabian geography, I was a bit lost at times. I knew where some of the bases were, but it wasn't until the end that it finally struck me that Troy was in the area of Greece. Such a "duh" moment. But after looking at the maps and getting a better view of the world, it clicked a little better while reading.

One character that is notably missing from most of the reading is Alice Hong. I love to hate her and kind of missed her. There are several new characters, but I didn't really latch on one in particular. Although Captain O'Rourke and Dr. Clemens did stick in my brain a little more than others.

In the end, this was a book that bridged the strong start of the series and the big battle in the last book. Unfortunately, it was a bit drowned in historical references and military warfare. Stirling kept my attention when I originally read the book, but after reading his newer novels and listening to this again, it just wasn't up there at the top where I know he can be.

Note: This is the new version of the cover art. The older version looked like this:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Weekend News

While very technical in reading, the concept is, well, about time. An RFID reader at the library. I'm not sure how many libraries are already using them, but it would make serious sense to start investing in it (as the cartoon above makes that very clear).

Reviewers are starting to prefer e-galleys (or #digiarcs if you prefer). And they are using their muscle to show it. Personally, I'm happy with any galley ("e" or print) I get my grubby hands on. And it's not just reviewers either. Author Tobias Buckell weighs in on e-galleys (or digi-arcs) and how much easier they are for him (to promote his own work and to read/review others).

And what's this? Scribd, the free file-sharing site, has illegal copies of popular books? Why am I not surprised. Makes me wonder if signing up for the site is really worth it.

And speaking of e-books, Yen raises many common questions (and concerns) in one place. She sums up nicely how I feel, even though my priorities are a bit different.

Random House has a free PDF version of their Dramatis Personae for the new Star Wars series, Fate of the Jedi. The PDF also contains Chapter 5 of Aaron Allston's Outcast, the first book in the series. Better yet, it's legal.

Publishers Weekly talks Twitter and the new wave media form of mixed media books. I think this is a mix of the actual storyline and viral marketing (like Orbit Books' two YouTube videos, Towards Lights and Rooftop). We've seen television shows do "webisodes" online and include extra content in expanded or enhanced episodes (like ABC's LOST). So why not do it with books?

The local library is still looking for a Director.

Tantor Media gets a nice write-up on Library Journal. I've long been a fan of audio books and have been a member of Audible for over a year now. Tantor does wonderful work and has great talent (like Todd McLaren, Kate Reading, and others).

Costco is giving away 50 copies of Long Lost by Harlen Coben. Each copy will come with a signed bookplate but it is limited to Costco members only. Also in the April 2009 issue of the Costco Connection is an article by Paul Lima, Writing a Book? The article gives some tips on getting published, but appears to mostly focus on using print on demand (POD).

Don't forget, Library Week (April 12-18) is coming up!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe (review)

Title: The Sword-Edged Blonde
Author: Alex Bledsoe
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 320
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F Ble
ISBN: 978-0-7653-6203-2
Cost: $6.99

I had heard about Bledsoe's debut via Fantasy Debut and finally decided to experience the world of this guy named Eddie LaCrosse for myself. But when I went to the store to find a copy, I went home empty handed. Mr. Bledsoe was kind enough to send me a galley copy, sign it, and do an interview. I felt blessed.

And when I moved into the world of Eddie LaCrosse, I didn't quite know what to think. I knew before hand it was a blend of fantasy and mystery and the LaCrosse character was a swordsman and detective of sorts. By the time I finished, that's exactly what I got.

The weak point of the novel for me was the world-building. But it's one of those weaknesses that you don't really pay attention to that much. There are references to places, lands, kingdoms, rivers, etc. and at times you're pulled out the story and tempted to look at a map. Not having one, you are resigned to get back into the story with a little haze as to where LaCrosse is going (geographically). But I've always been a big map person. I like to see where people go. I grew up reading maps on family trips and reading maps in books.

One other main point of the novel that was a little weak, but pleasantly so, was religion. I suppose this could fall under world-building, but the religion of worshiping Epona, the horse goddess, is prominent. When those scenes came about, I was reminded of S. M. Stirling's Emberverse series as well as comforted that the religion wasn't such an overwhelming character that it stole the show from Eddie and other humans. But I did get a little attached to Lola by the end.

The strong point of the novel is clearly Eddie LaCrosse. Maybe it's because I'm nearly my own middle age, or maybe it's because he's such the troubled hero, he's very realistic. He's a bit rough around the edges, rough in his actions, and rough when speaking, but hiding behind that is a brilliant mind driven by a tortured soul.

A very enjoyable novel in the end, and a fast read. I kept putting it down to go read something else and I was continually drawn back to it. While not a high fantasy or epic fantasy novel, the story is very character driven and has enough action to keep you interested (although some of the action scenes seemed a little too campy when compared to other scenes). Some of the scenes jump back and forth, but it's done artfully enough that you don't lose your mind and can still follow along. And the twists at the end were quite entertaining (and a bit romantic).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Library Gary Report For March 25th

Title: Cinco Monitos Sin Nada Que Hacer/Five Little Monkeys With Nothing To Do
Author: Eileen Christelow
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 13
Genre: Board Book
Dewey Decimal: Board Book 589
ISBN: 978-0-618-89423-9
Cost: $0

This bilingual board book is about the five little monkeys with apparently nothing to do. As I'm sure you can guess, they get into a little trouble. Most interesting to me though, is how she made the dust. By using the contents of her pencil sharpener! How smart.

Title: Max Counts His Chickens
Author: Rosemary Wells
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 14
Genre: Easy Reader
Dewey Decimal: E Wel
ISBN: 978-0-670-06222-5
Cost: $0

As any parent with young kids knows, Max and Ruby are bunnies. In this story, they're visited by the Easter Bunny, which I first thought was an older version of Max. Turns out the Easter Bunny leaves marshmallow chicks behind (as in Peeps). Is that a subtle reference to chickens laying eggs and the Easter Bunny leaving humans eggs? I don't know, but the story was pretty straight forward. And enjoyable. Just be careful of that last page, it's a little tricky.

Title: Danitra Brown Leaves Town
Author: Nikki Grimes
Illustrator: Floyd Cooper
Pages: 12
Genre: Easy Reader
Dewey Decimal: E Gri
ISBN: 978-0-688-13156-5
Cost: $0

Wonderful artwork and poetry. I didn't read this particular story so I can't tell you much about it. But I vaguely recall reading a previous Danitra book and it was good. Poetry isn't really my favorite thing, but it was still a decent read.

During Storytime, Library Gary and Elizabeth also worked on a craft. In the photo at the top, you'll see a cherry tree made with popcorn.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NEW POLL - Which debut should I read next?

Take a second to vote in the poll to the right!

  1. Across the Face of the World by Russell Kirkpatrick
  2. Elom by William H. Drinkard
  3. Lamentation by Ken Scholes
  4. The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark
  5. The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald
  6. The Way of the Shadows by Brent Weeks