Friday, October 28, 2011

This Is Halloween

I finally made it to LACMA's Tim Burton exhibit, which was all the awesome that I was expecting. No one is allowed to take a camera into the exhibit, but people are permitted to take a photo of the entrance, which is suitably twisted.

I am a huge Tim Burton fan, although I acknowledge that his work has been uneven (Planet of the Apes, anyone?). But in the spirit of Halloween, I thought I'd share some Tim Burton love.

First of all, Cakewrecks recently highlighted Tim Burton themed cakes that you just have to see to believe.

Secondly, I stumbled upon the original version of The Nightmare Before Christmas poem, narrated by Christopher Lee, and here for you to enjoy:



Finally, here's a sneak peek at Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, which releases next year. (Yes, I have ridiculously high expectations.)



Bonus video: And because it's Halloween, I have to include Neil Gaiman's (why isn't Tim Burton directing The Graveyard Book?) pitch for All Hallow's Read.



Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Between Shades of Gray Book Review

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: March 22, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0399254123

344 pp.

Reading copy purchased at SCBWI conference

I've read several really awesome books this year because of the Debut Author Challenge, but none have affected me as deeply as Between Shades of Gray.

Lina is a fifteen year old art student in Lithuania during the outbreak of World War II. One night, she's rounded up along with her mother and younger brother and sent to a work camp in Russia. It's a harrowing story full of hardship and tragedy, but there is also kindness, hope, and even romance.

Ruta Sepetys created a story inspired by her own family history and shined a light on a dark corner of our shared human history. It is a powerful read and, believe me, you will need some Kleenex handy.

I would recommend Between Shades of Gray to readers who enjoyed Witness by Karen Hesse or Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan.

Bonus Video: Ruta Sepetys shares how she researched the novel

Friday, October 14, 2011

Men of the Stacks

I've mentioned the website Hot Guys Reading Books before, which pretty much delivers what it says it does.

Now there's another website you need to check out: Men of the Stacks.

It gives "sexy librarian" a new meaning as male librarians get their very own pin-up calendar!

There are a couple of beefcakey shots (Mr. January is a yowza), but most are of fully clothed cute guy librarians.

 All proceeds from the calendar go to the It Gets Better Project, the brainchild of author Dan Savage to help LGBTQ teens who are bullied.

You may have seen one of the It Gets Better videos. Everyone from celebrities to politicians to CEOs to ordinary people have taped messages of support to LGBTQ teens to let them know that they are important and loved and awesome things wait for them.

One of my favorite It Gets Better videos is from Tim Gunn:



Consider buying the Men of the Stacks 2012 calendar as a Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus present!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Debut Author Challenge - September Update (plus bonus video)

September went by in a flash, but I stayed on course and read Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard. I also read half of the remarkably fun How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen, and I hope I get to finish that soon. And I've started Rupta Sepetys' Between Shades of Gray, a heart-wrenching story about Stalin's forced deportation of a Lithuanian girl and her family to Siberia.

On the non-debut side, I'm reading Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes, a nonficiton book about the annexation of Hawaii. Sarah Vowell has a quirky style that I love and is best shown here:


The books on my current reading list continues grow, but I'm not really complaining. What's on your reading list for October?

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