Sunday, November 16, 2008

Suggestion Taken

I read the book suggested by my daughter, her fiance, and friend.
Fall on Your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald
A family saga set on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia that spanned 3 generations. It was more tragic than happy -more a reflection of the hard life that existed for many during the early 20th century. Struggles included racism, war, prohibition, and just growing up. There was also family issues and human drama including abuse and incest. Many many secrets. But all in all, through all the hardships and despair, there was a thread of hope that could not be extinguished. It was the one redeeming point in the whole story.
I'm still not sure I liked it but I did respect the writing and admire the writer's ability to convey such images in so few words.
And I will recommend it where I can can because it does make one think.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Banned Books Week

The American Library Association has named this Banned Books Week -

They want to highlight intellectual freedom and the right to read. As a librarian I feel pretty strongly that you should be able to read pretty much what you want to. As a parent, I have held different opinions. Perhaps I've become more enlightened.

I was asked to read and comment on a banned book for another blog and decided to post it here as well. You can read others comments at if you'd like to see what others are talking about.

I read Chris Crutcher’s Athletic Shorts. 6 short stories published in 1991 that have won the School Library Journal Best Book of the Year Award as well as the American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults Award.

The book has been banned for homosexuality and offensive language. It has been on the Top Ten List of Banned Books for the past 10 years.

Yes, the book uses language that is normally considered offensive. But it is also the language you hear everyday in the hallways of almost every high school in this country. That’s why kids like the book-it’s real; real stuff that happens to real people, just like them. Chris Crutcher gets that. He has coached high school teams. He has and still is, I believe, counseling troubled teen-agers so he knows what he’s talking about. Teen readers respect that.

What I liked about the stories is that each one had a moment that offered hope or redemption to at least one of the characters. And it’s done so well, some kids may not even notice. Kids can see that over done story and won’t read it or tell their friends about it. In Athletic Shorts, they just might see themselves.

Yes, we need to make sure what our kids read has some kind of value-even if it is just entertainment value. But is also our job as parents, educators, librarians, and citizens to have free access. If we don’t want our kids reading something, then it is our responsibility to monitor said kid and also to teach them to make those decisions. Reading is such an individual occupation that what I like, you may not and vice versa. However, it is not my responsibility to tell you what you can or cannot read. It should not be up to one individual to decide whether a book is acceptable to a whole community. So we have Banned Books Week to remind us of that.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


One of the toughest things for a bibliophile is that age old question-What do I read next?
One of the books the "kids" recommended this summer(Margaret Atwood, The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, or Fall on Your Knees by MacDonald?)
OR should I catch up one of my series-Edna Buchanan, Louise Penney, Cordelia Frances Biddle or....
OR should I re-read next month's book club selection or read ahead?
OR finally re-read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett that I have been meaning to read all summer (I know, it's fall already)
OR Oprah just announced her next book...

OR what do YOU think I should read next?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I just finished Michael Koryta's newest novel, Envy the Night. ( It is amazing, fabulous, hard to put down, suspensefull, all of the above. He has written a book so tightly crafted, it is just wonderful. It's the story a young man who returns to a childhood spot to extract revenge on a man who he believes betrayed his father. You'll have to read it yourself if you want to find out if he did.

I really like Michael's works. With each new novel, he just gets better and better. His plots are often complex and compelling. The books are always readable (even when you have to put it down for a while because he has built the suspense to a fever pitch and you need to breath a minute before you can finish.) And he's a nice guy too. I've met him at library events and book signings and he's okay. And much better looking than his picture on the book cover suggests.

So go out and buy a copy of Envy the Night. You'll want to own it-it's that good. Then tell all your friends and tell them to buy a copy. You won't want to share.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Book Heaven

Yep-That's where I was this weekend. It was "Mystery Comes to Michigan" at my library this weekend. % fabulous authors came to discuss their books and writing and stuff. They were a lot of fun. And they all have websites so check out Suzanne Arruda's Jade Cameron series, Cordelia Frances Biddle's site for Martha Beale and more, Chris Grabenstien's for mayhem at the Jersey shore, Kathryn Miller Haines' for her take on World War II New York, and Peter Leonard's new Michigan crime fiction.
I learned alot and had lots of fun. Thanks to some great people.

Then if that wasn't enough, the next day was the Kerrytown Bookfest. A whole day of books and authors. I got to see "my" authors interacting on different panels and I got to see some old favorites (Big shout out to Beverly Jenkins) and I met some new authors. Great, a longer TBR pile. *sigh* the trails of being a bibliophile. I'll have to tell you more about Kerrytown before the event next year. It's a great way to spend a Sunday and a fun city to spend it in.

Gotta go and look up some things and place holds on all those books I didn't buy.

Monday, July 21, 2008


It's been awhile since I've posted- What can I say? I've been busy. Working (2 jobs-one full-time and one all the time), reading, and meeting authors!

It's got to be one of the highlights of my job. And they are most often fabulous people. I so admire what they do. As you know, I have a hard time keeping this up, I can't imagine trying to write X number of words everyday. But I'd like to thank Maris Soule and Kathe Koja for coming out to the Romeo District Library. It was great to host you and to meet you. Maris came for National LIbrary Week and Kathe came at my co-worker's Marissa's request- for the young adult Summer Reading Program. Lots of fun.

AND I'm getting ready for 5 more authors in September. In conjunction with the Kerrytown Book Festival we at the Romeo District Library are hosting a 4th annual Mystery Comes to Michigan. Keep posted as I add more about that.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was always one of my favorite reads as a child. I mean not just the Wizard, but also Ozma of Oz, Return to Oz, The Patchwork Girl and so on for all 14 volumes. After reading There's No Place Like Home by Cecelia Ahern, I want to reread all of them.
Ms. Ahern set her modern fairy tale in Ireland where the heroine, Sandy Shortt, found a parallel world much like Dorothy did in her adventures with the Wizard. Only being a modern tale, Sandy had to find her own way back. I won't spoil the book for you- you'll have to read it yourself, but I will tell you I enjoyed it. I really expected a frothy bit of chick lit but it was an interesting tale that made you think. The author's first book was written while she was still in university and has since been made into a sappy Hollywood romance (maybe I'm not being fair to it as I haven't seen it-just the reports of my university age daughter who laughed and cried throughout.) P.S. I Love You was well received and is still being widely read.
I had a love/hate relationship with the classic Wizard of Oz movie-loved the Good Witch Glinda, was terrified of the Wicked Witch of the West. And who can blame me-she was pretty scary, especially if you're under the age of 5. I'm so glad she no longer does.
And there is really is no place like home, no matter how old you are or where you live.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's Been a while

I know, I know, it's been a while since I've posted. And not because I haven't been reading-I've been busy. Life happens.
But I have read some amazing books over the past few months and here are a few of my favorites.
I just finished The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. It was first published in 2001 but was re-released as a paperback in time for the movie release. Great historical novel of Mary and Anne Boleyn of the Merry Wives of Windsor Henry the 8th Anne Boleyn. Great historical that was easy to read and gave life to those ladies and the life of the Royal Court.
The Collectors by David Baldacci - The second of the Camel Club novels by Baldacci . Action, conspiracy theories, and Washington politics all rolled up in one exciting novel. An interesting novel about what happens when a CIA operative (and former assassin) goes rogue.
Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup-Billed as a biography, this is a touching story of how a woman becomes an ordained minister after her husband dies. But the parish she serves is very wide reaching as she is a chaplin for the Maine Warden Services. So it part love story (the life with her husband who died in the line of duty as a Maine State Policeman) and part coming of age story. I say this becasue sometimes the path we choose as young paople is very different than the path we end up on as fully grown adults. Read the book and see if I'm not right.