Monday, November 27, 2006

Cybils Nominations: Fantasy/Science Fiction

Looking for a childrens/young adult science fiction or fantasy book? Take a peak a the Cybils Nominations: Fantasy / Science Fiction list.

Bold = I read it
Italics = I want to read it
If it's not marked.... well, I only have so much time! But if I get a good review, or it makes it the Cybils shortlist, I'll add it to my pile of TBR (to be read.)

Abadazad: The Road to Inconceivable
by J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Ploog

Agent Boo: The Littlest Agent
by Alex De Campi

Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher, The
by Bill Harley
Peachtree Publishers

by Chris Abouzeid
Penguin: Dutton

Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony
by Eoin Colfer
Hyperion: Miramax

by Terie Garrison

Avielle of Rhia
by Dia Calhoun
Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books

Beast of Noor, The
by Janet Lee Carey
Simon & Schuster: Atheneum

Beasts of Clawstone Castle, The
by Eva Ibbotson
Penguin: Dutton

Beka Cooper: Terrier
by Tamora Pierce
Random House

Bella at Midnight
by Diane Stanley

Blue Bloods
by Melissa de la Cruz

Book of Story Beginnings, The
by Kristin Kladstrup

by Serena Robar
Penguin: Berkley

by Delia Sherman
Penguin: Viking Juvenile

Charlie Bone And The Hidden King
by Jenny Nimmo

by Catherine Fisher
HarperCollins: Greenwillow

Darkling Plain, A
by Philip Reeve
HarperCollins: Eos

Death of a Ghost
by Charles Butler

by Maureen Johnson
Penguin: Razorbill

Dream Spinner
by Bonnie Dobkin

Endymion Spring
by Matthew Skelton
RandomHouse: Delacorte

by Christopher Golden and Ford Lytle Gilmore
Penguin: Razorbill

Erec Rex: The Dragon’s Eye
by Kaza Kingsley
Firelight Press

Evil Star
by Anthony Horowitz

Eye Pocket: The Fantastic Society of Peculiar Adventurers, The
by E.J. Crow
DNA Press

by Brandon Mull
Shadow Mountain

by Gail Carson Levine

Fetch, The
by Chris Humphreys
RandomHouse: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Floating Island, The
by Elizabeth Haydon
Tor: Starscape

Gideon: The Cutpurse
by Linda Buckley-Archer
Simon & Schuster

Gilda Joyce, and the Ladies of the Lake
by Jennifer Allison
Penguin: Dutton

by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
RandomHouse: Delacorte

Good Fairies of New York, The
by Martin Millar
Soft Skull

by Lois Lowry
Houghton Mifflin: Walter Lorraine Books

by Anthony McGowan
Simon & Schuster

Here Be Monsters
by Alan Snow
Simon & Schuster: Atheneum

Here, There Be Dragons
by James A. Owen
Simon Simon S&Samp;amp; Schuster Schuster: Simon & Schuster

High School Bites: The Lucy Chronicles
by Liza Conrad
NAL Trade

by Nina Wright

Horns & Wrinkles
by Joseph Helgerson
Houghton Mifflin

Horse Passages
by Jennifer Macaire
Medallion Press

Into the Woods
by Lyn Gardner
David Fickling Books

King of Attolia, The
by Megan Whalen Turner
HarperCollins: Greenwillow

by Philip Reeve

Last Days, The
by Scott Westerfield
Penguin: Razorbill

Last Dragon, The
by Silvana de Mari
Hyperion: Miramax

Last of the Wilds
by Trudi Canavan
HarperCollins: Eos

Legend of Zoey, The
by Candie Moonshower
RandomHouse: Delacorte

Life As We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Harcourt Children’s Books

London Calling
by Edward Bloor
RandomHouse: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Looking Glass Wars, The
by Frank Beddor
Penguin: Dial

Lurkers, The
by Charles Butler
Usborne Publishing Ltd

Magic Lessons
by Justine Larbalestier
Penguin: Razorbill

Monster Blood Tattoo: The Foundling
by DM Cornish
Penguin: Putnam

New Moon
by Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown (Hachette)

Peter Pan in Scarlet
by Geraldine McCaughrean
Simon & Schuster: Margaret K. McElderry

Pinhoe Egg, The
by Diana Wynne Jones
HarperCollins: Greenwillow

Privilege of the Sword
by Ellen Kushner
RandomHouse: Bantam Dell

Prophet of Yonwood, The
by Jeanne Duprau
Random House

Ptolemy’s Gate
by Jonathan Stroud
Hyperion: Miramax

by Melanie Gideon
Penguin: Razorbill

Quest of the Dragon Stone
by Ami Blackford
Red Cygnet Press

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Burning Bridge, The
by John Flanagan
Penguin: Philomel

River Secrets
by Shannon Hale

by Jason Hightman
HarperCollins: Eos

Sea of Monsters
by Rick Riordan
Hyperion: Miramax

Septimus Heap #2: Flyte
by Angie Sage
HarperCollins: Katherine Tegen Books

Shadow in the Deep
by L.B. Graham
P & R Publishing

Shadow Thieves, The
by Anne Ursu
Simon & Schuster: Atheneum

Silver City
by Cliff McNish
Carolrhoda Books

Sir Thursday
by Garth Nix

Sisters Grimm: The Problem Child
by Michael Buckley

Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1, The
by PJ Haarsma

Stones of Abraxas
by K Osborn Sullivan

Summer King, The
by O.R. Melling
Amulet Books

Sword of Anton
by Gene Del Vecchio
Pelican Publishing Company

Temping Fate
by Esther Friesner
Penguin: Dutton

Tide Knot, The
by Helen Dunmore

Travels of Thelonious
by Susan Schade and Jon Buller
Simon & Schuster: Simon & Schuster

by Penni Russon
HarperCollins: Greenwillow

by Ursula Le Guin
Harcourt Children’s Books

by Joseph Bruchac
Penguin: Dial

Wall and the Wing, The
by Laura Ruby
HarperCollins: Eos

by Terry Pratchett

by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Idylls Press

Wuthering High
by Cara Lockwood

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

JHunt Awards

JHunt season is about begin!

Adbooks is an online YA literature discussion group, and every year, survivor-like, they hash out a list of books, voting off titles, until one survives.

This year's short list:

Clay David Almond
The Pox Party M.T. Anderson
This Is All Aidan Chambers
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs Jack Gantos
An Abundance of Katherines John Green
Surrender Sonya Hartnett
Dairy Queen Catherine Murdock
Ptolemy's Gate Jonathan Stroud
The King of Attolia Megan Whalen Turner
The Rules of Survival Nancy Werlin
The Book Thief Markus Zusak

Every year I make it a point to read each and every book on the list and to take part in what is always a fun discussion, spirited and lively. So far, I have only two books left to read: Clay and The Rules of Survival.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Phew! Summer is a really busy time for librarians. I have found it difficult to find the time to blog. I am squeezing some reading and movie watching in, though. And the point of this blog was to hear from library people out there in Libraryland, so please send your To Read/To Watch/To Hear lists to: - Thanks!

I heard an interview with writer Katharine Weber on NPR, about her new novel Triangle, and immediately reserved a copy from our library. Although the book is a novel, Weber's real life grandmother worked at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory two years before the terrible fire on March 25, 1911. This book is about the fictional last survivior of the fire and a pushy scholar who questions the survivor's version of events.

The book sounds unique and intriguing for several reasons. The author started writing it just before September 11th. Both catastrophes involved people facing the decision to jump or burn, and the author noted in the interview that although 90 years elapsed between the two tragedies, very little really happened in terms of building safety. I think this could be one of those books that helps us to absorb and comprehend the events of 9/11, via an event that has nothing directly to do with what happened that day.

Also the book is about how we create history, and what gets remembered. Esther Gottesfeld, the survivor, tells her story several times throughout the book, in different settings and at different stages of her life, and the story changes with the different tellings. That stuff just fascinates me, and I think it is an important point about history that we need to re-learn all the time - memory is unreliable, and we bring our own history to the table when we retell a story.

The book is also a mystery, because apparently, Esther is hiding something - I can't imagine what, but I really want to find out!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What I Picked Up At ALA And Why, Part 2

This post was made possible by the wonderful US Post Office, who even tho the envelope ripped apart, sealed it up & delivered it to me. Yay!


Babymouse: Rock Star by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm (and click over to the cover photo, because a punked out Babymouse is AWESOME. I may have to buy Queen Lucy her first pair of Doc Martens. )

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga, because I gave my BEA copy to a kid at my mom's school; they loved it, but didn't return it.

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems, signed, for Queen Lucy.

Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce, which I wanted because his Millions rocked.

Candy Darlings by Christine Walde because I liked the cover. I do judge books by the cover.

Incantation by Alice Hoffman, because it is by Alice Hoffman. (Yep, once I find an author I trust to tell a good story, I go to them again and again, not even bothering to find out the plot.)

Goy Crazy by Melissa Schorr because it sounds so politically incorrect.

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr, because I've been reading her blog for over a year so cannot wait to read this! So yes, blogging as an author can help you.

and drumroll please for:

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Words fail. Neil Gaiman, people!!! Signed my book which meant I was there and saw him and spoke with him!!!

Life, it is good.

(Cross posted at Tea Cozy.)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What I Picked Up At ALA And Why

This is about 2/3 of the items I picked up. Sadly, one envelope has yet to arrive. Most of these are young adult or children's titles.

Three most important missing items:
a signed Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems for my six year old niece; I complimented him on You Can Never Find A Rickshaw When It Monsoons and mentioned my review blog and he said he read it and to rock on!
a signed Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, who when he saw my name spelled it aloud as "L I Zed" which I thought was way cool;
and an ARC of Sara Zarr's Story of a Girl. Which was my "must, must, must" get book of the conference as I've been reading Sara Zarr's blog and enjoying the process to publication.

What came home, in envelope number one and my bag. Considering I'd been to BEA, I tried to be choosy about what I took. Unless noted, they are ARCs:
The Killer's Tears by Anne-Laure Bondoux, because it had a blurb from David Almond;
The Intruders, because it looks like a great haunted house story;
Diva: A Novel by Alex Flinn, because it's Alex Flinn and because I believe it's a companion of sorts to Breathing Underwater;
Gideon: The Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer because I was attracted by the packaging (the paperback ARC is in a box with a cutout to show part of the ARC cover);
Theodora Twist by Melissa Senate, because I'm quite hooked on the "what if Lindsay Lohan was a real person" books;
A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park, as I said below, I've wanted to read this since last year;
Caddy Ever After, because I adore the Casson family and if Hilary McKay wrote the phone book, I'd read it;
The Pinhole Egg by Diana Wynne Jones; me: "is that a new Diana Wynne Jones book?" in total disbelief; the kind publisher people at Greenwillow Books/ HarperCollins kindly said yes AND it's a Chrestomanci book AND gave me a copy;
Corbenic, when I saw it was by Catherine Fisher, I grabbed it, as I've wanted to read this since early May;
Give Me Liberty by L.M. Elliot, which at first I didn't want because recently I've been burned by bad historical fiction but then I saw that it was by the same author as Annie, Between the States so knew it would be good;
The Melting Season by Celeste Conway, because it's about ballet (or at least a ballet student, and who doesn't love The Turning Point and Billy Elliott and Center Stage and that episode of Angel);
Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy because I liked the title and the cover;
The Pull of the Ocean by Jean-Claude Mourlevat, because it sounded different (a modern reinterpretation of Tom Thumb); and
The Wave Walkers: The Pirate Curse by Kai Meyer because pirates. Who can say no to pirates?

Signed copies:
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. TLS was at the author dinner I attended that was given by Little, Brown; he was cool, did a great reading, and is a candidate for Fuse No. 8's Hot Men series (alas, quite married, not single);
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, with illustrations that I just want to cut out of the book and frame;
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, a copy for me and a copy for a friend (I also told David that I own his 10 Things I Hate About You, which I think I need to attempt to get signed by DL);
What Happened to Cass McBride by Gail Giles, another author I met at the Little, Brown dinner, and this book is so good I had nightmares;
The Geography of Girlhood by Kirsten Smith, another author met at the Little, Brown dinner, who was amazing and cool and funny, and is also a screenwriter including the screenwriter for 10 Things I Hate About You. This book (like Gail Giles') technically shouldn't be on this list as I read copies of both on the plane going down to New Orleans, but hello, signed copies! I had to brag;
Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key by Jack Gantos, who was extremely funny at the Booklist program;
Everlost by Neal Shusterman, and by the way, what is it with authors, being funny and cute? Is it a new rule? (and yes, Jack Gantos was also cute. As I said, it seems like all the authors are cute.)
And finally, Book Club by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum. I'm kicking myself for not getting the shirt, "What happens in storytime stays in storytime."

Some of this was crossposted to Tea Cozy.

Guest List: Janie Hermann

Your are not alone Liz -- I too am excited about having a bit of time to catch up on my reading during my travels to and from New Orleans (I could not get a direct flight and so I have layovers in Chicago each way, how ironic is that?).

Here is what is I have packed for my NOLA excursion:

Blue Water by A. Manette Ansay simply because I have read and loved everything she has written ever since I met her during a visit to Sewanee back in 1996. I know she won’t disappoint me and is my “sure bet” for the trip.

A Land of Sheltered Promise by Jane Kirkpatrick based purely upon the recommendation of a patron. It is not my “usual read”, but I am making a renewed effort in pushing myself to expand my reading list beyond my own preferences in order to provide better reader’s advisory. My resolution is to read something new from every genre at least a few times per year (so if anyone can recommend some recent Science Fiction for me I would appreciate it as I have probably read less than a dozen SciFi books in my lifetime).

I am also taking the ARC’s of Meg Cabot’s Queen of Babble and Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan. Great minds think alike -- I also want to be able to ditch the book and not cart it home again once done so I chose these because they are ARCs that I have been wanting to read for a few weeks now just never had time. The first because I am curious to see how Meg Cabot’s writing style translates from a YA to adult audience and the other because of the influence of several reviews I read last week (and also because I loved Shteyngart’s The Russian Debutante's Handbook ).

I also have several magazines at the ready, both professional and mass media, including the last three issues of People magazine for unwinding at the end of busy conference days -- when I am too tired to really read and just need to escape in to pop culture for bit.

Janie Hermann, Technology Training Librarian, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Airplane Reading

How sick am I, that the reason I'm excited about a plane trip to New Orleans is that I can catch up on reading? And it's a bit odd that I'm bringing books to ALA; isn't that like coals to Newcastle?

It's a little ARC heavy because I want to be able to leave the book behind after I've read it. (If I love the book, I can always buy the real one.) They are all YA.

My plane reading:

The Geography of Girlhood by Kirsten Smith. Because the New York Times reviewed it (and in true fashion, picked a reviewer who would be anti YA. And being a YA lover, I want to read it to see how wrong the NYT reviewer was. See, I have lost faith with the NYT but I still allow it to influence me.) (But to be fair to the NYT and it's reviewers, the next week the NYT surprised the heck out of me by having Tanya Lee Stone, an awesome YA writer, review a YA book.) And because Kirsten Smith will be at ALA.

What Happened to Cass McBride by Gail Giles. Because Gail is a very cool writer, I love her other work, and she'll be at ALA. This one's an ARC.

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith. ARC picked up at BEA; love CLS's blog and website, and since I've been following the publication process I have to read the finished (or nearly finished) product (so yes, having a blog and website does increase interest in books.) Plus vampires!

Monster Blood Tattoo by DM Cornish. ARC that Penguin sent me. I love the cover (and yes, I judge the book by the cover.)

Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson. ARC. Because it's turn of the century; because it's about immigrants; because its about labor issues, and the older I get the more I value unions; because it's by one of the greatest writers ever.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Our Second Guest Post!

I have ONLY REVOLUTIONS from Mark Danielewski on hold (NYP at this point). I'll probably buy a copy as well for myself, but this way I can read it first and make sure. I share collection development for fiction with a lot of different people, so someone else ordered this book. I checked our catalog and ordered HOUSE OF LEAVES so that when people read this book, they'd have the earlier book from Danielewski to read as well.

John KlimaTeen Librarian/Systems AdministratorFranklin Township Public Library

Our First Guest Post!

It's all about the Guest Posts here at Librarian's Most Wanted (actually, we may have to rename this blog "Librarians' Most Wanted" - unless we are using "Librarian" in a generic, all-encompassing sense, Hmmm...)

Anyhow, here is our first Guest Post, from the eminent Sophie Brookover, an official Mover & Shaker. Welcome, Sophie!

Yummy Yummy, by The Wiggles -- Entry #4,985,933,324 in the endless parade of kiddie music I'm experimenting with. Mostly, my daughter listens to whatever my husband & I like, so she's been on a fairly steady diet of Johnny Cash, Velvet Underground, Belle & Sebastian, and Bjork for the last 9 months, but we cede the point that eventually, she'll want her own stuff. So I'm previewing the Wiggles for her.

Good Night & Good Luck -- We downgraded our Netflix plan to the cheapest one available, so we're using the library's DVD collection like mad. Free = good. Added bonus: Clooney! Mmmm, Cloooooney.

I Hate Myself and Want to Die, by Tom Reynolds -- subtitled "The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard", and yet promising chuckles galore between the covers, this is a must read for any music-a-holic. Bonus trivia, courtesy of Marcus: the title is apparently one that Kurt Cobain wanted to use for Nirvana's album In Utero.

Gilmore Girls: Complete 5th Season -- I'm 11th in line for this, so we're netflixing what we can while we wait.

The Stolen Child, by Keith Donohue -- I heard a piece about this on NPR and it sounds right up my alley -- fantasy, child-swapping, grief, longing, tinges of magical realism. Yum!

At my bedside

I've got a lot of books next to my bed. I have a small bookcase there, crammed full of books I intend to read. I never seem to get to them, though, because I keep checking more books out of the library. Here is a sampling of the books in the pile closest to the bed:

Secret Lives of the U.S.Presidents by Cormac O'Brien - full of irreverent, gossipy, but true facts about our Chief Executives. This book is definitely for adults and maybe mature teens. It's got sex and profanity, but it also sneaks in some education along the way.

Alternatives to Sex by Stephen McCauley - this novel got an excellent review in Entertainment Weekly. The author also wrote something called "The Object of My Affection" - am I mistaken, or was a Jennifer Aniston movie made of that (help me out, Pop librarians!)? This book is set in Cambridge, MA, where I lived one summer. It's nice to revisit Boston in a literary way.

The Tween Years and Raising a Thinking Preteen - okay, I have an 8 year old son and I am trying to figure out what is going on in his head!!!

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner - part of a series that is highly recommended by our own Liz B. I am intrigued by the notion of having a book boyfriend - Liz says the main character of this book is a prime candidate.

A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children, compiled by Caroline Kennedy. I confess, some nights I am too tired to read much to my older child. Poetry is great for those times - short and sweet and lyrical and fun. Some poems are just perfect for that before sleep drowsy state. This book is a gem - full of wonderful illustrations and poems that can have many meanings for adults and children at the the same time.

Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews, edited by Jonathan Cott. I approach this volume with trepidation, because I think Bob has an innate dislike of journalists and likes to mess with their heads. So I know enough not to take his words at face value. But I admit to being a Dylan fan and wanting to know more about the "real" Bob, so I am hoping for a little insight into that. Also, I am sure reading this book will be an interesting way to tour the many phases of Bob - young angry pill-popping Bob, post motorcycle crash Bob, Rolling Thunder Bob, Born Again Bob, post-Born Again Bob, never ending tour Bob, has been Bob, resurrected legend Bob, etc.

Susan Sontag: The Making of an Icon by Carl Rollyson and Lisa Paddock. I picked this up at a bookstore in Greenwich Village with an offbeat inventory and cheap prices. (Of course, I forgot the name - I will try to track it down). The authors live in Cape May County, NJ! I don't know much about Sontag at all, but feel like I should. So the books sits nearby, waiting.

drinkology - Wine: A Guide to the Grape by James Waller - This beautifully designed, compact little tome was a Christmas present. The book is supposed to be an unpretentious guide for people who like wine but lack the time and obsessive compulsion to study the grape, and who do not want to make fools of themselves in front of more sophisticated friends or in wine shop.

Friday, June 16, 2006

48 Hour Book Challenge

I'll be participating in the MotherReader 48 Hour Book Challenge this weekend.

I've decided to read those books that have made their way home from the library and are piled dangerously high on my nightstand. I have no idea how many I will be able to get to, but at least the pile will shorter.

In no particular order:

Striking back : the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's deadly response by Aaron J. Klein. When the movie Munich came out I was interested in the real story, so I put in an ILL request for this title; I believe I read about it in Publisher's Weekly.

In the coils of the snake by Clare Dunkle. Third in a trilogy that I've really enjoyed; but there are some weird romantic themes if you read it too seriously, in that the goblin kings kidnap their wives. Not as twisted as marrying the person who cuts off your hand, but close.

Avalon High by Meg Cabot. Cause Meg Cabot is awesome. Plus King Arthur references!

Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel; sequel to Airborn. The first was a top-rate adventure story, with pirates, crash landings, and battles.

Just listen : a novel by Sarah Dessen. Cause it's Sarah Dessen. There's some authors you trust to always deliver.

War for the Oaks (explained below)

The wolves of Willoughby Chase (explained below; see, I am literally going thru the entire stack of library books!)

A princess of Roumania (explained below)

Amazing grace by Megan Shull, recommended by Little Willow.

Photo by Brady : a picture of the Civil War by Jennifer Armstrong. From ALSC's Notable Children's Book List.

Fables : march of the wooden soldiers by Bill Willingham. At BEA, I got a signed copy of Fables: Legends In Exile. I know, how cool is that? And Bill Willingham was very, very nice. And that was when I realized that I wasn't current in my Fables reading. For those who don't know it, this is an amazing Graphic Novel that has the members of Fabletown living right in New York, trying to pass as regular people instead of Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, etc. This is not a cutesy kid book; this is hard-edged and funny and grown up.

The sphere of secrets by Catherine Fisher. Book 2 of the Oracle Prophecies, a super cool series set in an world that similar to ancient Egypt; also, the gods are real, which reminds me of David Eddings' Belgariad books.

Mara, daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. This title was mentioned on a discussion list, and as soon as they described the plot I realized that this was a solved stumper! I read this book as a kid, loved it, and had no idea the title or author. Happy day to get this one solved. Now, if you know the one about a group of kids who are at some kind of camp, probably in or near mountains, and one goes all sort of Messiah-ish but in a feel good peacenik 1960s way, forming an Eden like place of peace and happiness until he angry materialistic parents show up, please email me. It was published sometime before 1984.

Permanent Rose by Hilary McKay. It's McKay, it's the Casson family. Based on this, it appears that I have a thing for authors and series.

The red judge by Pauline Fisk. Took it out because of the Booklist review; in particular, that it involves Welsh mythology.

Sir Thursday by Garth Nix. I love, love, love Nix; and his Keys of the Kingdom series is spectacular. (This is the 4th book in that series.) Yes, you have to start at the beginning, with Mister Monday. My Tea Cozy review is here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Waiting for a Book That Does Not Exist [Yet]

The New York Times has a weekly column in its Sunday Style section entitled "Modern Love". It features a different writer each week. I must admit that as a working mother my opportunities to read the Sunday Times are few and far between, but on special occasions, like Mother's Day or something, I will buy it, or when he's trying to be nice, my husband will grab it for me.

The May 14 installment really gripped me. Entitled "A Winter of Discontent, Then Along Comes Baby", [registration required] this essay is amazingly well written. I would dare to say it's actually poetic. It talks about motherhood in such a sophisticated way, honoring it, warts and all, in a way I think I rarely see. So the writer is Katherine Ozment, and her little blurb says she is working on a collection of essays about motherhood. (Let me just say I love books of essays and seek them out whenever I can. One of my absolute favorite books is Lucy Grealy's "As Seen on TV: Provocations") I checked amazon and can find no sign of her or her book. In the meantime, I will keep waiting and watching for it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I Eat to Read

I have been eating in front of ( and sometimes on) books for as long as I can remember. So I guess my fondness for books that revolve around food evolved naturally. I am currently waiting for a crop of new books related to food. I'm not sure that I will read all of them, but they all sound intriguing right now:

Two for the Road: Our Love Affair with American Food by Jane and Michael Stern.
This husband and wife team first caught my attention with their book Sixties People. It described the different stereotypes people fell into during that decade - the 1960's equivalents of jocks and stoners. The pictures were great and I was enamored of the concept for a very beautifully designed book. They also did the Encyclopedia of Bad Taste. But they are best known for their books about road food - no-name joints on America's Blue Highways that serve down home cooking that puts chain restaurants to shame. This new one looks like a memoir that tells of their funny experiences on the road. Jane also wrote a wonderful personal account of her mid-life crisis called Ambulance Girl, so I am sure this new one will be entertaining.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. This looks like an updated telling of Much Depends on Dinner - a book that explains where exactly our food comes from. It has all sorts of political implications these days. I am a little worried that this will put me off Chicken McNuggets for my kids forever.

I caught the tail end of the Diane Rehm Show on NPR, and her interview with Molly O'Neill, a former food columnist for the New York Times magazine and author of three cookbooks. O'Neill has written a memoir called Mostly True: A Memoir of Family, Food, and Baseball, about her family, which includes former New York Yankees outfielder Paul O'Neill. Her family sounds larger than life. This story just seems to capture many elements of the best of American culture. O'Neill sounded pretty grounded and interesting on the radio. One caller asked whether it is dangerous to invest so much emotion and meaning into food, and isn't that contributing to the epidemic of obesity today. O'Neill basically agreed with the caller and said that she and her brothers have to exercise now like crazy to eat the way they like to eat. I love that candor!

One more - Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I also heard this writer on NPR and was a little put off by the author using food to mend her broken heart. But then I read what Bookslut had to say and decided to see what the fuss is about. Bookslut is an irreverent blog about all things literary. The Bookslut has very strong opinions on books. So if she is passionately defending it, it is worth a look.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My Holds List: Without Rhyme But With Reason

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken Every now and then I like to revisit a childhood favorite. I haven't read this since I was in about 5th grade, and at the time saw it as "real" and a great Gothic adventure. I didn't realize it was an alternate 18th century.

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull . I was reading the short story collection Faery Reel and noted that one of the authors said this was a favorite. Did I mark down which author? Nope.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. I just finished Hale's The Princess Academy and loved it, which means I will now OD on her books. But confession: as I was cleaning out a closet I found my own copy of The Goose Girl which I bought and forgot about it. (Yes, I do have that many books.) So this will go off my hold list and my copy onto the To Be Read pile.

A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park. This title and cover intrigued me when it came out last year, but I forgot about it until I saw it on someones summer reading list and went, hey, I wanted to read it.

Howl's Moving Castle (DVD). I never read the book; but the movie, despite being way different from the book, got great reviews. I should put the book on hold.

It Runs In The Family (DVD) I like Michael & Kirk Douglas.

Jeremiah. The complete first season, Disc 1. I don't get Showtime so couldn't watch it on TV, but I like Luke Perry and can't resist any story that's about people surviving after the world as we know it is destroyed.

Junebug (DVD). Working my way thru nominated Oscar films (this was nominated, right?)

Labyrinth (DVD). David Bowie!!!

March of the Penguins (DVD). See Junebug.

Mimus by Lilli Thal. One of the discussion books for Adbooks.


So, Chris emails me the other day with an idea for a new blog.

A new blog? Chris has the On The Spectrum/ ASD Blog; I have A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy; and I contribute to Pop Goes the Library.

Is she nuts?

Then Chris explains. A blog not about reviews, but, rather, about those things in our holds list. Not what we think about the books we've read; but rather, what inspires us to say, this book, that DVD.

Cool, I thought.

So here we are. Let us know what you think. We plan to post our holds lists, annotated to say "why". We'll probably add a few more contributors and have some special guests add their lists.