Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Queen of Hearts

* Royal Spyness Book 8 *
Georgie's still in Kent when a car comes barreling up the driveway in the middle of the afternoon. It's her mother and she's on her way to America for a quickie divorce. She would like her daughter's company.

On the boat there, a priceless ruby's stolen causing Darcy to show himself to Lady Georgiana. He's been chasing a jewel thief through England and now across the pond.

Aboard ship, Lady Georgiana and her mother meed several prominent people including a famous Hollywood actress and her producer boyfriend. When he makes an offer to her mother to make her a star, a plan's hatched. They install a look-alike in Reno to make the divorce legal and then Lady Georgiana and her mother head to Hollywood.

Hollywood isn't as glamorous as it seems; secrets lurk everywhere. The group takes a break from filming and head to the producer's castle for the weekend. During the first night, the host is found bludgeoned to death in the library. The murderer must be one of the them and still in the castle.
My Thoughts: I'm a huge fan of the series and I loved seeing old Hollywood and some familiar faces among the characters along with the behind the scenes look at the movies. It was also fascinating to see the differences between the Americans and the English mannerisms; how they treated the maids, their thoughts on familiarity, their thoughts on romantic relationships.  Lady Georigiana has always been up for an adventure, which I admire about her. She's also calm, cool, and collected when an incident occurs.  Everyone has secrets, but the very rich seem to have a few more and Georgie is very good at figuring them out, should the need arise.  

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library

Friday, August 29, 2014

SummerTime Book Review: Art of Lainey

Books perfect for the beach or to read by the pool

Lainey's boyfriend of two years breaks up with her in the middle of her work shift - in public and with no warning. She's devastated. She doesn't know who she is anymore without him. Now she's determined to win him back.

Her second best friend brings up the Art of War as a solution to her problems. Together the two of them pour over the ancient test looking for a battle plan. When they find one, it's time to put the plan into motion.

Lainey and her co-worker agree to fake-date each other to woo back their exes with jealousy. Micah's different than Lainey - they never really talked before, but soon she's starting figuring him out.

As the summer progresses, she learns a little more about herself and who she wants to be. 
 My Thoughts: Even though this book was predictable, it was a really enjoyable read. I liked the two friends pouring over the book, looking for a way to make a battle plan. I love it when books talk about other books (and bonus - this one was a summer reading book!)  I loved the friendship moments - even the hard ones like the conversation about "making" someone. I love how YA novels are the perfect ways to explore friendships and discovering yourself. I love how Lainey took a long look at herself after her relationship ended and realized that along the way, she lost her self and put the relationship first. I think that happens a lot and like how the author talked about it and acknowledged it - along with the shallowness of her thoughts the past few year. Plus, I loved Micah's sister - she was sweet, smart, and sassy. A fantastic debut novel that puts Paula Stokes on my must watch list.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Librarian's Job is Never Done: What happens after the Summer Reading Program

Last year, I did a post for the YALSA blog on this subject. This year, Abby the Librarian inspired me to take another look at the time after the summer reading program and in gearing back up for the school year. While in some ways, it's relaxing because the several programs a week is over, I'm not sitting around waiting for something to happen. It's busy.

In August:

After the finale, there is lots of clean-up involved with the prizes and the program itself

This year's prize closet
1. Prizes: What went over best that I need to purchase more for next year (Headphones), what prizes didn't go (DVDs).
2. I need to find a location to store the leftover prizes
3. Sort the books for other places (I give the high school ARCs to Erin who works with me, but also works as a Math teacher as the local Technical High School. She takes some for her library classroom. And I give the full books that we already have in the collection to another Librarian who works at the Reference desk during some shifts while her main job is the Librarian at the same Technical High School. And others I keep to use next year.) I should add that all the books have been from BEA, conferences, or review books form this blog.
4. Summer Reading Report - I need to gather up the STATs from the current year and compare them.
5. After looking at the STATs, I brainstorm ways to make next year's summer better (Tweak the finale - it was too long this year and there wasn't enough food - is just one of the ideas)
6. Share the STATs with people my bosses and with the schools

Then there are the specific year to year tasks
1. Getting ready to move my collection into a new space (My collection has been split over the summer during the construction time at my library - which has made summer better and worse in some ways)
2. Helping to plan the second NFA Expo coming up in October (more on this later)
3. Working on the NERTCL social media (I'm one of two representatives for Connecticut)
4. Creating YA Book Brochures for important teen social issues for those embarrassed to ask about topics and some topics that are generic so people don't have to be embarrassed looking that rack of brochures. (Right now I have Body Image, Cutting, Bullies, Life After High School, Death, Drugs, Alcohol, Depression, Poverty/ Homelessness, Suicide, Dating Violence, and Faith)

Then there are the day to day tasks
1. Ordering books for fall now that I have a new budget for the year
2. Figuring out fall programs
3. Gearing up for Round Tables (This year, I'm co-chairing two: a YA one and a Marketing one)
4. Helping last minute readers find a book for summer reading
5. Keeping up to date on our social media sites
6. Answering Reference/Computer help questions
7. Helping out in the library as needed at other desks.

Coming up in September:
As the teens and kids head back to school, I have lots of projects on my place.

1. Move into my new room
2. Get my office settled
3. Decorate both my office and the Teen Area
4. Inventory (weeding and collection development too)
5. Finally change my new books to old (I ran out space in my old room on the shelves and kept too many books at new for spacing reasons)
6. Hang up a slotted shelf on the wall for the newly printed Teen Brochures
7. Talk with school librarians on ways to Collaborate this year
8. Make some PSA for the NFA Book Expo
9. Host some programs in the new YA Room
10. Create some videos about the construction project for our Grand Opening in October to show off our renovated spaces.

What are you up to this fall in your library/job?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's on my Hold List (89)

My Librarian friend Jess from I Read to Relax came up with a great idea.  It's to highlight the books on hold at the library. I usually have 20-40 items checked out at the library and another 20 items on hold. 

I read lots of series books and love them. 

Maid of Deception: Loved the first book, can't wait to read more of this series.

Flashpoint: Still enjoying this series - and it was a popular series this summer at the library

Sealed with a Lie: I love a good spy book and the first one was great and this one is set in Europe.

What books are you waiting to read?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Do Not Own

This week's topic is Books  I Really Want To Read But Don't Own Yet. This one is hard for me because most of the books I read are library books or review books. So here are some that the library consortium doesn't own and neither do I.

Secret Agent Josephine in Paris
Pansy at the PalacePansy in Paris: A Mystery at the Museum
Castle: Unholy StormCastle: A Calm Before Storm
F this Test: Even More of the Very Best Totally Wrong Test AnswersSuri's Burn Book: Well-Dressed Commentary from Hollywood's Little Sweetheart
Soul Mates: You Had Me at Hello Little Gift Book
Model Undercover: Paris
Taste of Home Soups: 380 Heartwarming Family Favorites

It's a random selection. What about you? What do you want to read, but can't get your hands on?

Tween Tuesday Review: X Why Z Animals

Kids ask questions about animals and the editors answer.

The Set-Up
The book's broken up into sections:
Sea Animals
and even Dinosaurs

Each 2 page spread contains two or three questions, pictures of each animal asked about, and a fun fact. 

My Thoughts:
The pictures are fantastic (Even though some like bats and snakes I wasn't eager to see)
The information's great and memorable 
Did you know that dogs can move each nostril separately, or that crabs breathe through their knees, or that the T-Rex name means Tyrant Lizard King in Greek?
The Q and A set up works really well - providing short and to the point information.

This book is perfect for kids who are curious and for those who love animals. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Sent for Review

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Bridge From Me to You

Lauren's new to town, she just moved in with her aunt, uncle, and two cousins. Lauren's trying to put her past behind her and move on, but she can't move on if she can't find a place to call home.

Colby lives in the same small town, but has visions of escaping.  He doesn't want to be known for his football skills. In fact, he doesn't even want to play football in college.

Can the two of the figure out a way to belong?
My Thoughts: I really love the dual perspective of this book and how Lauren's voice is in verse while Colby is in prose. The combination works really well. I love the small town which has virtually no secrets, as gossip spreads like wildfire. Although I like how Colby and Lauren can confide in each other. The accident that rocked everyone's world made the future a harder place to find --with secret wishes and then guilt. The themes of friendship and family were woven in nicely to this book, but the important piece for both characters was finding yourself, letting others in, and living for the day and not for the future. Stop waiting and live the you want now. It's easier said than done, but good advice. A fabulous book of small town life and characters with big dreams. 

Cover Thoughts: I love the wrap-around cover - especially the football field and the bridge. I wish they had combined the two to make guys pick up the book too.

Source: My Library 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Grace Against the Clock

* Book 5 in the Manor House Mystery Series *
The Manor's hosting a fundraiser for the town clock, which desperately needs fixing.  When Dr. Leland Keay disappears right before his keynote speech, Grace knows something is wrong.

When he turns up dead, she believes it wasn't from natural causes. She can't let the matter rest, especially since the crime happened at the manor and on her watch.  Can she uncover the events of that night that will lead her to the truth?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed that latest installment of this series. I love learning more about the manor and the people who work there - mainly Francis and Bennett. I love how Francis is warming up to Grace.  I liked the moments between Hilary and Grace and how they've been working together restoring her house. I loved the discovery of the secret passageway and learning more about the history of the house (and the town). The attempted sleuthing, uncover details about the house, friendship, and romance certainly make a winning combination.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library