Thursday, July 29, 2010

By Popular Demand!

Or rather one friend made a request, we now have a complete list of all the books we've reviewed and the places we've blogged about on a wiki. Please wander at will over and check it out, there will be a permanent link to it on the right-side of the blog or you can bookmark it:

I'm guessing eventually it will become better organized, but for now it's just a list.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

C.H.E.R.U.B.: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore

CHERUB is an unknown adjunct to M15 - founded during WWII it has successfully ended wars, stopped terrorists, and saved lives. The organization sends its undercover operatives where others cannot go, they have the ability to gain trust and get away when no one else can: CHERUB's operatives are children. Ages ten to seventeen all CHERUB operatives are fluent in several languages, black belts in multiple fighting styles, and have the knowledge to survive in the wildest of environments. The newest recruit is twelve year old James, he has anger management issues and a fear of water. Growing up with no one to trust except for his nine year old sister, James has some troubles trusting his fellow recruits and being molded into a CHERUB spy. Though after one hundred days of brutal basic training, James learns to take his punches and use his talents effectively. It's a good thing too, as James is being sent off to spy on a possible terrorist group with plans to unleash a deadly poison on the public.

The Toymaker by Jeremy de Quidt

Mathias does not know that soon he is going to be running for his life after being tortured and beaten. Mathias has not met the only two people that he can trust in the world. Mathias does not realize that he is going to have the capability of taking down an empire. All Mathias knows is that his grandfather had a secret, and that secret is now his whether he wants it or not.

First off I would like to say that the cover that I have posted is not the one I had. This book was originally published in the UK in 2008, and is finally making its way to America with a different cover. I found the cover that I had a better representation of the book, but I couldn't find a free-standing image. But here's a link to it in case you want to see what it's going to look like for its Aug. 10 release.

On with the actual review:

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bronwyn Alessia St. Vincent Clare, better known as Bryn, has grown up as part of a werewolf pack after her parents were brutally murdered by something called the Rabid. Bryn grows up feeling like she's always needing to keep herself apart from the pack, after all she's human not Were, and therefore fights against the dominance games, rules, and expectations that seem to follow her everywhere. Her rebellion ends when she meets Chase, the boy who was bit and survived. Soon Bryn is consumed with seeing Chase again and is willing to put herself at the mercy of Pack laws in order to talk to Chase about his attacker, someone he calls Prancer and she knows as the Rabid. Bryn doesn't realize that everything that she worked so hard to stay away from is exactly what she'll be turning into.

I know, I know, not another lame werewolf/vampire romance (except this one doesn't have vampires). But honestly this one was kind of awesome! I wouldn't go so far as to say it was perfection, but highly enjoyable. I think I needed a little break from all the action books I found myself reading recently. The whole romance thing was mostly downplayed which I appreciated, and Bryn herself is pretty dubious of the whole "love at first sight" shenanigans. I think this mostly comes out of the fact that Jennifer Lynn Barnes had a really solid werewolf mythology and well-developed main characters. Nice. It got a little slow and inner-monologuey in the middle, but otherwise it all comes together for a rather lovely, fluffy, fast, summer read.

Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta Crum

Thomas has a little problem. As in he's short, wee, petite; which is unfortunate considering he's a squire of the realm and it's difficult to be taken seriously as a squire let alone a knight when everyone thinks he's seven instead of fourteen. He does have some things going for him though - he's fast, brave, and he has a big heart. Surprisingly Thomas is knighted, and sent off on his first quest to save the princess from the dreaded dragon queen on the Barren Island (everyone taller is fighting in the war). So off 'Sir' Thomas goes with his trusty sword (that he loses), his jerkin (which is stolen), and his donkey Bartholomew (that he gives away). Perhaps Thomas got himself into a predicament in which he won't survive...

Monday, July 26, 2010

AGTO Day Seven: The End

We had the rest of Saturday free, until the farewell dinner in the evening. I did all my Oxford shopping (so many t-shirts with "Oxford University" in some form or the other to buy), and then went over to St. Mary's. I climb the tower (127 steps) to get a lovely aerial view of Oxford. I would suggest, if you ever decided to climb the tower at St. Mary's, that you not do it right after you've done all your Oxford shopping. The tower stairway is very skinny. Actually, I ended up climbing onto a lip by a window so people coming down could get buy. There is no passing possible on the stairs. Here are some overlooking Oxford pictures:

AGTO Day Seven: The Final Seminar

Saturday was the last meeting of my Literature and the Fantastic seminar. The week went really fast. And on this, the last day, we talked about some more modern fantasy books, beginning, of course, with Twilight. And as I expected, people had a lot of things to say about Twilight. Not everyone had read them, but everyone had heard of them. We did some discussion on the passivity of the main female character, and also why the books are so popular.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

AGTO Day Six: All the Other Stuff

Friday was a very exciting day indeed, because Friday, instead of having our usual afternoon speaker, we went to the Bodleian Library. I was incredibly excited about this. My department head had gone last summer, and said it was amazing. And it sure was. My group also had a fabulous guide, Marie, who told us all kinds of fabulous stories. The picture to the left is what it looks like from the outside. Well, that's one of the buildings. It looks like a castle, right?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

AGTO Day Six: The Seminar

Friday was the Harry Potter day, but we actually spent almost an hour discussing an extra reading Maria had given us. It's called "The Problem of Susan," and it's from a short story collection by Neil Gaiman. Maria wasn't sure what the book was called, and neither am I. If you do, let me know. So this was a really weird story. Very sexual, and it's not totally clear what's going on and, more importantly, why. Personally, I'd read it, thought, "Huh, that was weird," and moved on. Some people were really stuck on it though, and it was quite the interesting discussion trying to figure out what on Earth was going on in the story, and whose dreams were who, and what was the whole Mary Poppins thing about? I can't really talk much about it in a way that will make sense unless you've read the weirdness, so if you have, or do, let me know and let's talk. Because man, that was weird. What was he trying to say about C. S. Lewis?

AGTO Day Five: Everything Else

Thursday was another day with three speakers, so it was quite busy. Thursday was also the first day it rained. We had no rain during the day all week. I guess Oxford felt like it needed to make up for that. It started raining a little bit as I walked back from Pitt Rivers, but I had a rain jacket and it wasn't that bad, so I went out. I was halfway down the block before it started pouring, and then, thundering, which I'm told does not happen very often here. I was huddling under a hedge with several other people, who seemed to think it would let up in a minute, as that's what the weather usually does, but it didn't. When there was a huge thunderclap right over my head, I made a run for it back to the college to hang up my clothes to dry and wait for it to stop. Which of course it did, but by then it was time for the first speaker.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

AGTO Day Five: The Seminar

Today (it's Thursday, I'm actually managing to write about something on the day it happened) Philip Pullman was the topic of discussion. Now, I am a big fan of Philip Pullman. I like the His Dark Materials series a lot. I read it at a time when I was getting board with fantasy. Fantasy is very formulaic, it's essentially the hero's journey. Unlikely hero, quest, blah blah blah. And I was feeling like I hadn't read any really original fantasy in a while. And then there was Philip Pullman with this fabulously original series and I loved it.

AGTO Day Four: All the Other Stuff

Wednesday was a packed day, we had three lectures instead of two. The first one was with former Poet Laureate of Britain, Sir Andrew Motion. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1999, and it's usually a position that last the person's life, which is why it's usually given when the person is older. They're moving away from that now, and having terms like the U.S. Sir Andrew said he would do it for ten years, because he felt that anything he could do could be done in ten years, and if he hadn't done it by then he probably wasn't going to.

AGTO Day Four: The Seminar

Wednesday was the C. S. Lewis focused day. Since we were going out to The Kilns, we only had about an hour for discussion, which was a shame since we'd had some really interesting reading the night before. If you have the time, I would suggest reading "Prisoner of Narnia," by Adam Gopnik from The New Yorker. It was really interesting. I didn't know very much about Lewis' early life, and the article talked about that as well as his writing. We also read Lewis' "Of This and Other Worlds."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AFTO Day Three: Everything Else

After the Tolkien-filled morning I got lunch next door to The Eagle and Child because it was way too hot in there to eat. Also, the weather continues to be lovely. Sunny and in the low 70s and only raining late in the evening. Thanks Oxford.

The first lecture for the day was called "A Pilgrim in Search of Learning" and was given by G. H. L. Le May, a historian. He was delightful. He was like your great-uncle who've you've taken out to lunch and say, "Tell me about the old days," and then he talks for three hours. I would totally take Mr. Le May to lunch. He talked about his personal experience at Oxford. He came to Oxford from South Africa, and before he came he liked every subject with the exception of history. He was in the process of getting a law degree from a university in South Africa, when he met a history professor who made him completely rethink history.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blog Recommendation: Stacked

A great librarian and ex-colleague Janssen had a blog recommendation so, trusting her judgment I followed the white rabbit down the link hole. It lead me to Stacked: Librarians, Reviews, Mayhem. You know a blog is going to be amazing when it opens with this. Let the brilliant hilarity ensue.

AGTO Day Three: The Seminar

Don't you wish you were here too? Look at it! It's like out of a...well, fantasy book. The mixture of new and old. Amazing. Anyway. Today we started off discussing Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories." We didn't read the whole thing, just excerpts. Some people had very strong reactions to it, thinking he sounded like a pompous elitist. I wouldn't go that far, but Tolkien certainly had very particular ideas on what fantasy was.

AGTO Day Two: All the Other Stuff

The seminar was great, but that was just the beginning of the day. We're scheduled pretty heavily, and there's hardly any free time at all. We get some time for lunch, and then it's right into the speakers. The first was Tony Benn, a politician and a self declared socialist. His topic was "The US and UK: A Special Relationship." Mr. Benn said that it isn't really a special relationship to the US, but the UK thinks of it as special. He talked about the issues of the world being split up into the haves and the have nots, and how it's important for politicians to seek justice. A "special" relationship, he was careful to point out, does not mean always agreeing with each other, which is what's been happening lately. He was not a fan of Tony Blair, and didn't like that Blair went along with everything Bush did. He was very interesting. Sometimes got a little off topic, and didn't always answer questions directly, but the man is 86, so I think we can be understanding.

Then we had tea, of course, because it was 4:00 and that's what one does at 4:00. Immediately following tea was another speaker. Professor Valentine Cunningham was to give a talk on the Oxford system. I have to be honest, I completely zoned out during this one. It had the potential to be really interesting, but it was all over the place. Really rambley. And he did not have the excuse of being 86.

Then there was another three course dinner. Eating a three course meal is exhausting. Dinner was followed by what was being called "Circuit Training." It was a bunch of different games that we rotated around and competed at by team. It was kind of cheesy, and a lot of people skipped out to wander around Oxford, which I understand, we have so little free time. But those of us that went had a lot of fun and got to know each other better as we competed at Twister and anagrams and charades and giant Connect Four among other things.

Then we went to the pub. Because, much like 4:00 tea, that's what one does. Again, I didn't stay out to long as I was pretty tired, but then we I got back, I couldn't fall sleep for hours. I guess I'm not quite adjusted to Oxford time yet.

AGTO Day Two: The Seminar

On Monday, after a hearty English breakfast, the seminars began. Literature and the Fantastic is being lead by Maria Cecire, a Rhodes Scholar whose doctorate is in connecting classic texts to children's fantasy literature. The seminar will be mostly discussion based, starting with Tolkien and Lewis, then moving to Pullman and then to more contemporary authors like J.K. Rowling and yes, there will be talk of Twilight.

Maria gave us a packet of the facsimile of the original Lewis Carroll manuscript (just the first few pages) which was then called Alice's Adventures Under Ground. It is written in his own hand with his own illustrations. We talked about things that struck us, and how Alice's voice is mature for child, which makes sense since Victorian children were expected to be little adults, but she still acts like a child, not thinking, just dashing ahead. We looked at how Lewis Carroll was playing with words, physics, and twisting everyday school lesson for the amusement of the Liddells, who he was telling the story for.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Arianna Goes to Oxford Day One

So. The Mansfield College Internet is not a fan of the computer I have. At first it wouldn't connect at all, now it connects some of the time. So I'm probably not going to be able to post at frequently as I was planning. But I'll do what I can! Things seems to be in order at the moment, so here we go!

So I had this whole plan that seemed like such a good idea at the time. My night flight, sleeping on the plane, getting into Heathrow in the morning ready to go. It all fell apart when the sleeping on the plane did not go well. Not well at all. I don't even really have a good sense of how much I was able to sleep. But it was not much. When I got into London at 9:00 in the morning I was exhausted with a whole day in front of me before the chance of sweet, sweet sleep.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's Kind of a Funny Story

I read Ned Vizzini's bitingly lovely semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel about teenage depression last year, and, I have to say, it easily became one of my favorite YA novels. The last passage is just so spot-on...gah. I just think it's wonderful. I read it in a weekend and cannot recommend it enough. In terms of realistically capturing what it feels like to be a teen and depressed, I'm going to go out a limb and say that few, if any, writers do that better than Mr. Vizzini. The heart of this story rings so true, and the heavier passages are so brilliantly tempered with heartbreaking levity, that it really stands up as an excellent read. Okay. Enough of my prattling.

The point of the post is to share with you the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of It's Kind of a Funny Story, slated for release this September.

The film stars Keir Gilchrist as protagonist Craig, with a (surprisingly awesome) supporting cast featuring Zach Galifianakis as Bobby, Emma Roberts as Noelle (who is, disappointingly, NOT suffering externally the way she does in the book. Ah, well), Aasif Mandvi, Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan, Lauren Graham, and others who are equally excellent. As the resident Wandering Librarian with a film degree, I'm likely going to frequently lament film adaptations of books, and poor casting choices of characters. Not here--I really like the look of this!

Check out the trailer. Is anyone else as excited about this as I am?

Dear Everyone: I apologize for being a slacker.

So I am aware that I have been neglecting my duties to share the library goings-on I've experienced in what I like to call "the off-season." It's summer vacation, right? Well, Anna so beautifully reminded me this weekend that a Wandering Librarian never rests! She's right, too. In reality, I've been reading "grown-up" books, which is a nice change from the sixth-grade-and-younger reading that usually consumes me (speaking of younger readers and being "consumed"...good lookin' at you, Gooney Bird Greene).

I'll be up and running at full-capacity tomorrow. In the meantime, the Old Spice Guy talks about libraries in a semi-genius social web ad campaign. Ah, to have the resources and cultural importance to pull something like that off...the possibilities...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Arianna Goes to Oxford: The Departure

So I'm sitting in the airport, at the gate. It took me less than thirty minutes to get through check-in, so now I'm just hanging out. Soonish I will be in the glorious UK! Yay! I have an overnight flight, so I'll be getting in the morning London time. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep on the plane. Then I'll catch a bus to Oxford. Stay tuned for exciting updates about fantasy literature!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Review of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

In case you're just joining us: Bella and Edward have a love like no other love that has every been loved before. They are so in love (how in love are they?), they're so in love that Bella has been begging Edward to vampify her since the first book, er, movie. That way they can be 2gether 4eva 4L. When we last left our heroes, Edward had just returned to Forks after Bella saved him from sparkling himself to death after Edward had left Bella for her own good which sent her into deep depression for like six months. Ahh, young love.

Today's the day

For Twilight! The ladies and I are gearing up for the awesome horrible-ness that is the the Twilight Saga: Eclipse movie. Check back later for our review...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

OK, so I'm going to preface my summary with the fact that I've just spent 15 minutes trying to write two sentences summing up the brilliant beginning of Andrew Smith's book. It is a seemingly impossible task for me. There's too much. Not just plot but character details. It is more or less impossible to completely encompass this book concisely and not give some vital detail away. So I'm going to take the easy way out and give you the summary off of

"Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.

There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.

Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.

Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.

But it’s not."


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bone: Tall Tales by Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegoski

Smiley Bone is "leading" a camping trip with the Bone Scouts. The scouts ask for a campfire story, and Smiley tells them tales of Big Johnson Bone, who founded Boneville.

This is a typical Bone graphic novel, but it's separate from the Bone cousin wandering in the woods series. Big Johnson Bone is a Davy Crockeresq character, who goes on adventures and fights bears and saves small woodland creatures from harm all the while telling tales of his heroics. We also see the first fight with the rat creatures and learn why they don't have long, rat-like tails. Lots of fun. The lovers of Bone will enjoy this companion graphic.

Bone: Tall Tales is available in August.

Sleepless by Cyn Balog

Eron has been a Sandman for almost 100 years. Now he will have a chance to once again become human. But Eron is concerned about his replacement, Griffin. One of Eron's charges, Julia, was Griffin's girlfriend when he was alive. And Griffin is having a hard time letting go. A really, really hard time. Eron is not supposed to have contact with the people that were his charges when he becomes human, but he is worried about Julia. Not only that, but if Griffin can't fulfill his duties as Sandman, then Eron won't get another chance to be human for another 100 years.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings

Natalie O'Reilly was born without irises, making her susceptible to juvenile glaucoma, which destroyed her vision. For years now, Natalie's eyesight has slowly worsened, first losing her ability to see color, and then her field of vision shrinking to a small circle. She is now a high school sophomore, and her doctor has told her to prepare herself to lose her sight completely. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind in Baltimore, to learn Braille and how to use a cane, among other things. Natalie resists; she doesn't need these skills, she's not blind. But Natalie's resistance to learning how to be independent as a person without vision is only making her more and more scared of the world.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

The sequel to Shiver, Grace and Sam are now oh so happy because Sam is "cured" of his turning in to a wolf every time it gets cold and now they can be 2 getha 4 eva. Or will they? Things are still not sunshine and lollipops in Mercy Falls. Grace and Isabella find a dead wolf, and something isn't quite right with it. Sam is concerned about the new wolves Beck brought back from Canada, especially about Cole, who wanted to be a wolf to escape from something. And then there's Grace, who starts getting severe headaches that seem to foreshadow something dastardly. WILL THEY SURVIVE?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess

London has been abandoned by the rest of the world. For generations now, London has been ruled by two warring gang lords, the Volsons, controlled by Val and his four children, and their rival, Conor. Now, Val plans to marry off his only daughter to Conor to form a treaty between the two. Val dreams that with the humans united, they will be able to break through the circle of halfman that surround London and move out into the world. At first, it seems that the treaty might actually work, but there's always the danger of betrayal...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Arianna Goes to Oxford

Very exciting news! In a little over a week I will be jetting off for Oxford (the one in England, not the one in Mississippi) to take part in a fantasy literature teaching seminar. And yes, I think it will be a fabulous as it sounds. The seminar is through Oxbridge Academic, and seminars take place in Oxford, Cambridge, Paris and Barcelona. Thanks to a fellowship from Oxbridge, and professional development support from my school and the independent school association, CLA, I am able to take part in this fabulous opportunity.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


If you're around my age, you have no doubt also dealt with this troubling question: which is better? The Baby-Sitter's Club or Sweet Valley High? BuzzFeed is going with The Baby-Sitter's Club.

For the Percy Jackson fans out there, Adidas has made a Hermes shoe. From Inspiration for Youth Advocates blog.

How Should Schools Handle Cyberbullying? From The New York Times.

Also at war, who's more popular, Harry Potter or Twilight? On Twitter, Harry Potter is winning.

In other Harry Potter news, trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is up! So excited!

In other Twilight news, this kid is awesome. Author Michelle Pan on her book, Why Bella Should Have Dumped Edward. From I Heart Daily.

Transforming Teens Spaces @ ALA Annual Conference. From YPulse.

Students Not Being Encouraged to Use Technology. From the Journal.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

In this alternate WWI steampunk trilogy the Darwinists (Britain, Russia) whose warships are made of fabricated animals, and the Clankers (Germany, Austria-Hungry) who use metal and steam for their machines, are moving closer to all out war.

When last we left our heroes, Deryn, who has disguised herself as a boy in order to join the British Royal Air Force and is going by Dylan, and Alek, the prince of Austria-Hungary whose parent's assassination set in motion the start of World War I, were aboard the air ship Leviathan heading toward Istanbul (not Constantinople).

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Now that no one can blame me for being a shlub...

I am in MN visiting family now and will be heading over to SD tomorrow for a week. I will be disconnected for an entire week, and am hoping to do some more reading and spend a whole bunch of time with my adorable nephew. When I get back I hope to see many new posts by Arianna, Alana, and Jamie, then I won't make them look bad with my many book reviews and waxing poetic on the wonders of the Black Hills. The gauntlet has been thrown ladies. Hard. On the ground. Now pick it up.

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia lives in a perfect Society. Her government makes sure that life is lived optimally, pre-planning everything from birth to death so that everyone can have the best life that they can have. Cassia is seventeen and everything is about to change for her. She is being matched to her optimal spouse, she is about to be assigned to her career, and her grandfather is turning eighty and going to die. The happiest night of her life is when the cracks start to show. She is matched to her best friend Xander, but later a different face, an acquaintance named Ky, is shown as her true match. Her grandfather shows her banned poems before his death, poems that make her wish that she could create instead of organize. Cassia's life is crumbling as she has to decide whether freedom of choice is worth the safety of everyone she loves. Her family is being watched, the Society seems to be pushing measures of equality further than are comfortable, and as Cassia starts to fall in love there are whispers of dissent.

When I started reading this I was strongly reminded of The Giver by Lois Lowry: sorting children into proscribed paths, pills to keep the masses calm, and how the the need for choice and independence of mind will eventually buck under a dictatorial government. Unfortunately the similarities ended there. There were good points, I enjoyed Cassia's interactions with her family and the burgeoning realization that she needed more out of life than what she was receiving. But I felt that the romance side was rather weak, which unfortunate as this is essentially a romance in the trappings of a Utopian dystopia.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Tessa Gray is sixteen and heading to Victorian England to meet her brother after the death of her aunt and guardian. Once she arrives, she is kidnapped from the docks, the life of her beloved brother is threatened, and Tessa is tortured until she can control a power she never knew she had: the ability to transform into another person and retain their thoughts and emotions. She soon learns that her abilities are to be harnessed by the evil Magister and it is only by marrying him that she can save her brother. At her darkest hour she is rescued and introduced to the world of demons, angels, Downworlders and Shadowhunters. It is in the safety of the Institute that Tessa tries to understand this new culture with the help of dark Will, gentle Jem, self-absorbed Jessamine, motherly Charlotte, and absent-minded Henry; but is distracted by anxiety for her brother and the growing attraction she has for Jem and Will. Unfortunately her own emotions and confusion must be put aside as the Magister sets a trap and all that Tessa holds dear is put at risk.

Falling In by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Falling In is the not so quintessential story of a girl that doesn't fit in. Isabelle Bean ponders the beauty of dirt, doesn't like to shop with her mother, considers spilled jam beauty marks, feels like she is always precariously standing on the edge of something new, and hears a consistent buzzing noise rising from the floor. Isabelle isn't crazy, it turns out she belongs in a different world! It is in this new world where she is able to make friends and understand that her daydreaming can be an asset. But she is soon given the difficult task of helping the people there overcome their fears and push herself to learn new skills to save children.

13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison

Thirteen year old Tanya has grown up being able to see faeries. She is able to pass off their tricks as clumsiness, practical jokes, and bad luck, until her mother fed up with her misbehavior sends her to her grandmother's estate. That's right; not a house, cabin, shack, or apartment, but the large estate and manor that Tanya and her mother usually vacation at for a week during the summer. To say that Tanya and her grandmother have a disconnected relationship is an understatement, and the prospect of living with a woman who views with seeming disgust for unnumbered days is not a prospect that Tanya looks forward to. This is especially clear to Tanya as the faeries are become more malicious, the disappearance of a girl fifty years ago is related to her own family, and the only person to help her is weirdo Fabian the caretaker's son.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett on audio book

It's the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. Aibileen is a black maid working for a white women raising her children. Minny is a black maid who is having difficulty finding a job despite being the best cook around since she has a habit of telling people what she thinks. Skeeter is a 23 year-old white women who has just finished college and is finding she isn't fitting in so well in Jackson. These three women come together on a project that is putting them all in danger.

Audio books can be tricky. A bad audio book can totally ruin the story. Last summer, I attempted to listen to Ender's Game on audio book. It was awful. I didn't make it through it, and thought that Ender's Game wasn't good, and not only not good, but boring. Luckily, everyone I mentioned this to said, "What? Are you crazy? Ender's Game is awesome." So I finally read it myself. And it turns out that Ender's Game is, in fact, awesome. It was just that terrible audio book.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Book Cart Drill Team

The no doubt much anticipated Book Cart Drill Team video!

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Usually I start off with a summary of the book. The problem is, this is the third book in the trilogy, and I don't want to give ANYTHING away if case you haven't read any of them because they're so freaking good. So good! So I think what I'll do is give a general summary of the series, how about that? And then I'll gush some more because they're SO FREAKING GOOD.

In book One of the Chaos Walking series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, we are introduced to a new world. A relatively small colony of humans have come to the planet, and before the start of the book, there was a war with the indigenous species that the humans refer to as the Spackle. The Spackle have no spoken language, they communicate entirely through thoughts. The human men find, much to their horror, that not long after living on this new planet, their thoughts are being broad casted too. The humans refer to this as "Noise." Human women do not have Noise.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Now, I Know What You're Thinking...

You're thinking, "Why haven't the Wandering Librarians wandered themselves over to a movie theater and seen The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and told me all about it so that I don't actually have to go?" Legit question. The reason being that Anna is away, and it is very important that we all go see it together in a large group. For moral support and so we can make snarky comments to each other. But never fear, we WILL be seeing it and telling you ALL about it. Just not for a couple weeks. Hang in there!
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