Monday, September 28, 2009

Finished Another Book

Sometimes I read like a fanatic one or two books a week. Other times it takes me several weeks to get through one book. It is lack of time during those periods, but also lack of interest. I start reading magazines, journals or the Internet and lose my interest in reading a book. There are so many books out there that when I start one that is bores me, then I get bogged down and can't read any book.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day finishing the People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. It tells the story of the 500 year old Sarajevo Haggadah. Most of the work is fiction and goes from the present to the past in alternating chapters detailing the journey of the Haggadah from its origins until today. There really is a Sarajevo Haggadah, but the characters in the story are fictional, and Ms. Brooks fabricates the origin of the Hebrew codex. It makes for a fascinating "what if" story. I really like the way the Christians, Jews, and Muslims aid each other through the time periods that the author describes. She also describes the hateful actions that the different religious groups inflicting on each other. So you get an interesting picture presented.

Next on my to read list is Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table by Sara Roahen. The author is a transplant from the midwest, and she came to New Orleans to write about food. I used to read her weekly column in Gambit. Her take on the local cuisine is from the outside in, as a native I am anxious to read her viewpoint on New Orleans' indigenous food. This book was selected as the 2009 One Book One new Orleans selection. To find out more about this program go here--> http://www.onebookoneneworleans.com/?page_id=21/

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Lunch Time in the Library


Lunch time Readers


6th graders visit the library at lunch to find some peace and quiet.



Students now have a 55 minute lunch period.
Lots of time to hang out with friends and find a good book.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reading an Adult Book

Every now and then, I have to stop and read a book that other adults are reading. My husband, Steve had read The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks on a vacation. He liked it, and I have heard good things from others as well. I have barely gotten into it, but it is very readable. I look forward to having time to immerse myself in the story.

Today was the second meeting of the year for Bookmarked. That is my high school library book group. We meet weekly during lunch. Today we tried to decide on a book, author, or genre that everyone will read. That was difficult since the students all have different interests. Some like fantasy, others realistic fiction, etc. We decided that everyone would read a romance. It can be in any genre. On October 12th we will present the books to the group. The idea is to convince others to read a book outside their comfort zone. This has worked in the past, so I am optimistic.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Love it, Love it, Love it!

I didn't get up on Saturday morning until I finished Catching Fire. This is the sequel to Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The King Arthur archetype story with a boy who unwittingly comes of age to be a leader is turned upside down with the creation of Katniss. She is desperate to save those she loves, but discovers in this sequel that she has become a symbol as a savior for the oppressed in the Districts surrounding the Capitol. No longer do her actions affect just those she loves, they affect all the peoples in her world. This is a heavy burden that she must carry. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment to find resolution.

My new favorite series.
 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Should Have Happened Sooner

Some of you have heard this story, I apologize for repeating it. Anyway, I was working on finalizing a grant yesterday and couldn't decide whether to include any quotes about the library from the students. I chose not to add any and submitted the grant. About 20 minutes later during lunch, I heard something that would have been perfect to add to the grant.

One of our new sixth graders was looking for books on dragons. He knew just what he wanted but couldn't find the books on the shelf. I couldn't help him because I was too busy checking out books for the other students. When it was time for him to return to class, I asked him to wait so I could find the books that he wanted. The three books were available. As he walked out the door with his treasures in hand he said, "boy, I love this school." That made my day!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lunch Time Readers

The lunch period is always an active one in the Patrick Taylor Library. Here are some candid shots of students who enjoy finding graphic novels on the library shelves.

Stayed Up to Finish _Knife of Never Letting Go_

This was a gripping story. The premise was spectacular, in my mind anyway. However, the violence was front and center. Todd was faced with choices that would mean life and death for him and his traveling companion, Viola. Some of the events were so gruesome that it was difficult to keep reading. Then at the end the author leaves you hanging from your fingertips. Lucky for me, the sequel is due out next week.

As soon as I finished this book, I began to search the web to read what others were saying about it. This book is not for everyone, but most reviewers seemed to rate it quite favorably. Some even suggested to wait until the sequel was out before reading this one because of the cliffhanger ending.  I may have to visit a local bookstore to purchase The Ask and the Answer as soon as it becomes available.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Reading on the Web

I thought about going to the public library today to check out a book by Eudora Welty. Book group is next week, so I thought that I should read something by Welty so that I could contribute to the discussion. I never made it to the library, but I have found some of her short stories on Google Books. So far I have read three stories online.

I don't think that I would want to read a whole novel with a computer sitting on my lap, but reading the short stories on the laptop is pretty easy. By using the Web as my source for text, I found out some interesting info. I did not know that the early email program, Eudora was named after Eudora Welty. The author of the program read Welty's short story called, Why I live at the P.O. It tells the story of a woman who got so mad with her family that she decided to move into the post office where she worked. When it was time to give a name to his computer program the author remembered the story and chose Eudora and gave it the following motto: Bringing the P.O. to where you live. I would never have known that if I had not read it online.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Author Suzanne Collins Talks About Her New Book

One of my favorite titles of last year was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Catching Fire, the sequel is on its way to school as I write this. I have already had students ask to be put on hold for the sequel.

Anyway, there have been reviews in Time and EW of both books. Both publications seem to focus on the violence to children. This is a story about characters, and the violence is to give the characters rationale for their actions.

Click below to listen to the author talk about the series.
Suzanne Collins | Borders Media

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Succumbed to the Pages of a Brand New Book

I need to be reading a book for my adult book group. We are suppose to read anything by Eudora Welty. That is all well and good. I liked Eudora Welty when I read her 35 years ago. It is just that there are too many new books to read.

I just started Patrick Ness' book, The Knife of Never Letting Go. One of my big readers at school said that she could not get into it because the protagonist speaks in a dialect. It had gotten rave reviews, so I decided that I had to see what all the fuss was about. I am sucked in. It reminds me of one of my last year's favorites, Unwind by Neal Shusterman. I am not a big sci fi reader, but I like the characters of Todd and the girl (no name yet). I imagine that when I finish it I will be anxiously awaiting the sequel.

Just to give you a bit of info on the story. Todd lives in a small town where all the females have died off. He lives with two men who raised him after his parents die. Everyone in town can hear everyone else's thoughts. It is called noise. I loved the story about school. Todd says that school was offered for only a very short time. Since everyone could hear everyone else, all the students cheated because they could hear how their classmates answered the questions on the test.

More later as I get into the book.
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