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Showing posts from May, 2012

Reader's Corner - May 2012 Update

May has been a super busy month, so I haven't been able to get that much reading in.

I did finish The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which is remarkable and important and everyone should read it.

I started the YA mystery The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman, which has been enjoyable so far.

I also started A Study in Scarlet, the first of the Sherlock Holmes tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I never read any Sherlock before, but I've loved the many incarnations in films and television, especially the version portrayed by Jeremy Brett.

But, of course, the latest incarnation is the best. (No, Robert Downey, Jr., that isn't you.) I'm talking about the Steven Moffat produced Sherlock series on BBC and PBS. This is a modern, sexy, oh-so-smart adaptation of the detective in the deerstalker hat. Benedict Cumberbatch is spot-on as the brilliantly mercurial Sherlock Holmes, but it's Martin Freeman as the long-suffering Dr. John Watson that gives the show its humanity a…

Something Like Normal Book Review

Title:Something Like Normal
Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1599908441

224 pp.

ARC from publisher via Netgalley

Every once in awhile, I'll read a book that's so damn good, I wish I'd written it. Last year, that book was Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. This year, it's Something Like Normal by Trish Doller.

Something Like Normal centers on Travis, a 19-year-old Marine who's on leave from a tour in Afghanistan. He comes home to Florida to face a family that's falling apart, a girl who hates his guts, and post-traumatic stress from the ambush that killed his best friend.

Travis has a voice that's dead-on for a young guy who has lived through more than his years should allow. He's sarcastic, mad, sad, and as funny as hell. He's tries to do the right thing, but doesn't always succeed. He's one of the most well-rounded male characters I've read in YA literature.

It's a shame that the…

In Memory of Maurice Sendak

So much has already been written about the fearless brilliance of Maurice Sendak.

For example, Neil Gaiman wrote this heartfelt tribute about his hero. And he wrote another one, too.

Maurice Sendak seemed to care as much about fame as he did controversy. He did what he did and didn't care much what people thought about it, good or bad.

Lucky for us, his work was remarkable. Even iconic. And always honest. So honest that some people feel his books are dangerous, telling children things they shouldn't know. What Maurice Sendak realized was that children already know these things.

He was a picture book master that will never a equaled. He will be missed, but librarians, teachers, and parents will ensure that he is not forgotten.

Below are three videos that celebrate Maurice Sendak and his work. The first video is Part 1 of the interview Stephen Colbert did with Maurice Sendak. It is hilarious.

The second video is President Obama reading Where the Wild Things Are to a group of c…

ALA Summer Conference Isn't Just for Librarians

This summer, massive numbers of librarians (what's the collective noun for librarians? A catalog of librarians?) will congregate in Anaheim for the annual American Library Association summer conference. And I will be among them (at least for one day).

I've been encouraging my writer friends, especially children's writer friends, to go. They don't have to sit through seminars like Using Your Library to Crowdsource (I made that one up), but there are cool things for non-librarians.

For 25 buckeroos, non-ALA members can get an Exhibit Hall Pass. For people who love books, it's an exhibit hall of squee. Some of the authors currently scheduled to be there are Libba Bray, Daniel Handler, Paolo Bacigalupi, Marla Frazee, Mo Willems, Sherman Alexie, Jon Scieszka, Eve Bunting, Cornelia Funke, Jack Gantos, Brian Selznick, Maggie Stiefvater, David Shannon, and Patrick McDonnell. There are over 400 authors coming to the Exhibit Hall, so there's bound to be som…