Sunday, December 19, 2010


Last night I went to see Tron Legacy, a sequel to a movie that came out almost 20 years ago and used to be in high rotation on The Disney Channel.  Then, today as I was reading Don't You Forget About Me, one of the authors mentioned the much talked about idea of a John Hughes teen movie sequel.  All of this got me thinking about sequels to movies we loved as children, and sequels to movies that just had no place with having a sequel. Sometimes, these sequels work, sometimes they go horribly wrong *cough*The Matrix*cough*.

Tron Legacy was pretty darn awesome.  It needed some more editing, and was a bit slow in parts, but at least it made sense and had some real soul to it.  Growing up in the 80's I was well aware of the first Tron movie, although I was not a big fan.  I didn't dislike it, just wasn't a big fan.  So, I may be more forgiving of the sequel then someone who is a big fan of the movie.  All in all though, it was a sequel that can mostly stand on its own, and adds to an already established story.

Then, along the lines of sequels that should have never been is Clerks 2.  Really, who heard of that movie the first time and thought "Yeah this is going to work!"  I certainly didn't.  But, as info kept coming about the movie I did get more excited about it.  I was at the theatre opening weekend ready to enjoy more Randell and Dante time.  And you know what?  The movie was AWESOME!  I laughed, I cried, I almost threw up.  Seriously, it was just all levels of awesome rolled into some awesome sauce and put on an awesome bun.  I never thought it could be that successful though.  I was pleasantly surprised.

This brings me to the essay in Don't You Forget About Me, and the talk of any number of John Hughes sequels (Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris....).  I really don't think any of those sequels would work.  I don't want to see Samantha Baker older and not married to Jake Ryan, and I am not sure I want to see her older and married to Jake Ryan.  I don't want to know for sure what happened to Ducky, or if John Bender made a life of crime or turned himself around, if Allison ended up ODing in her 20's, if Bryan ended up actually killing himself in college due to stress put on him by his parents.  I just don't want to know.  Why?  John Hughes teen movies are all about the moment and the possibility of the future.  I don't want to know why Ducky is happy, I just want to pretend that he is.  I want to think that he found a girl he could be devoted to, who was just as much in love with him, and that he continued to be his Classic Soul loving, quirky self, on into his adult life.

Maybe I don't want to know for sure what happened to John Hughes characters because I don't want to know exactly what has happened to me.  I don't want to think that my life is set, that I can't still change, that I don't still have that magical possibility that is at the end of Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Best of 2010

While it isn't exactly the end of the year yet, I am going to put out my list for the best books that I read in 2010.  Actually, since I didn't do a best of list last year, I am going to cheat just a tiny little bit and go back to Dec. 2009 and include a book I read in there too.  But, in this list you will notice one very conspicious book missing...or maybe you won't, but I am going to mention it later anyways.

So, in no particular order, here are the books that I thought were the best of what I read last year:

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-wiener by Ursula Vernon
Don't You Forget About Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Hughes
It's a Book by Lane Smith
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
Carter Finally Gets it by Brent Crawford
Night by Elie Wiesel
Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Oh and I forgot to mention that which I left off the list.  In a previous blog post I reviewed Mockingjay, the conclusion to my much MUCH loved Hunger Games storyline.  Well, I still hate the book, so it does not make my best of list for 2010, although I have seen it on many other "best of" lists.

So, what about you guys?  What were your favorite books of 2010?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

It's the holiday season again and to celebrate I decided to read the latest offering from co-authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.  This book is set in NYC during Christmas-time.   It's protagonists are Lily, a Christmas loving girl, and Dash aka Snarly.  One day, while in his favorite bookstore, Dash finds a red notebook with Lily's first dare to him.  He accepts the dare in the notebook and so starts his and Lily's adventures.

As with the author's first two co-authored books (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List) the book is told in alternating chapters by the male and the female main characters.  So, we really get to know both Dash and Lily from their own perspectives and from each other's perspectives.

I liked this book even more than Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.  I am not sure if is because of the holiday time, or because I related that much to Lily, but I just could not put this book down.  In Lily I've found another literary soul mate.  The first being Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables.  Lily describes the moment she realized she was the "weird girl" in class, and I knew exactly what she was talking about.  She loves animals, loves the holidays, and just wants to believe.  There was just a connection between me and that character that I couldn't get over.  I was walking around my boyfriend's apartment with my nose in the book.

I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to read more by these co-authors.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1

Word of warning....THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!  But seriously folks, if you haven't read this book (it's been out three years now) you kinda are asking to be spoiled.  For goodness sake, RIP Dobby is trending in twitter right now.  So, if you have not read the last Harry Potter book, get off my blog and go read it.

Ok, with that out of the a good little book-nerd I was at a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1.  Aka the longest book related movie title since Precious:  Based on the novel Push by Sapphire.

The final book in this series has been broken up to make two movies.  I am sure this was just a marketing ploy, but I don't care!  Cause finally we are going to get a Harry Potter movie that doesn't feel overly rushed.  Well, you know, except for The Half-Blood Prince movie that dragged so badly I thought I was going to die of old age in the theater while Harry and Ginnie batted their eyelashes back and forth at one another and Hermione and Ron sulked about each other the whole movie.

I will readily admit that this is probably the only book in the series I have not reread.  So, I will not be as super snarky about this movie as I have been with previous movies.  I am not sure of all the specifics of the story, and did not worry as much about if the movie was directly following the plot.  I also was not shocked by some of the deaths that I knew were coming.  And yes, there is lots of lots of death.  The word is in the title people, it's happening.  Voldemort is all up on his power and is ready to rip through the magical world and take over.  He's kill people, for realz.

Some of the deaths were really upsetting.  Dobby's death in particular actually did make me tear up in the theater.  They cut down on some of the camping, and the just plain exposition that's in the novel that makes the last book in the series drag.  A lot of stuff does happen that can be kind of confusing.  And I would say that if you haven't read the book you'd probably be slightly confused.  But, on a whole I seriously enjoyed this movie MUCH more than the last movie.  I was so excited to really enjoy a Harry Potter movie again.  Maybe if I plead enough they can remake the 6th one before the kids get too old?

I am now really looking forward to the last movie in the series.  Although I know that it will make me cry.  One of my super ultimate favorite people dies.  RIP to Fred in the next movie.  I dunno how George makes it without him.  I will say though that I can't wait to see the finale Snape reveal.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill

This novel is verse is set during the Salem Witch Trials and deals with the girls who accused the women and men in the town of Witchcraft.

I hate to do it, but I give up.  I am 100 pages into this book,and it is seriously dragging.  I sort of like a few characters, but not enough to keep reading about them.  I find the time period fascinating, but honestly this book is just kind of boring.

I've heard mention of this being on some short lists for things like the Printz and stuff, to which I think that I either should NEVER ever serve on an awards committee like that, or that I seriously NEED to be on one of those committees.

I did serve on an awards committee once before, and seriously the amount of reading required is insane.  But, I dunno, I still tend to be kind of outspoken about what I think when awards time comes around, and usually, the books I love get the shaft.  We'll see what happens this year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hunger by Jackie Kessler

Lisabeth is anorexic.  She doesn't want to admit how deeply she's gone, and how badly the disease has taken its toll on her relationship with her friends, family, and boyfriend.  One night she decides to end it all, and before she can finish downing her pills Death delivers her an option, she can continue to live if she takes on the mantel of the fourth horsemen of the Apocalypse.  She must become Famine.

Once again, I really was excited for the premise of this book, and I couldn't wait to read it.  I also love the cover, but I really though this book did not completely live up to its potential.  I don't think there was enough lead up for Lisa and her situation.  I also think that the characters were kind of simple.  The end did get pretty awesome though, and the dedication after the story, the fact that Lisa was sort of a based on a real person that the author knew at one point in time, that was amazingly touching. 

I do think that many teen girls will be able to relate to Lisa.  I can really see where she is coming from with her eating disorder, and I can even see part of her issues reflected in my normal thinking.  So, I can see how this book would be good for girls with anorexia and other eating disorders.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Griffin thought he'd scored the mother-load; an unattended Escalade with the keys in the ignition?  Awesome!  Unfortunately for Griffin, he doesn't realize that Cheyenne is in the back seat of the car he is stealing until it is too late.  Now he hasn't just stolen a car, he's also kidnapped a girl.  Kidnapped a blind, sick, teenage daughter of Nike's president none-the-less.  Now Griffin must protect Cheyenne from his father's criminal friends while she is held hostage for ransom.  All the while Cheyenne is struggling to find a way to escape and save her life.

This novel is told in alternating voices between Cheyenne and Griffin.  The concept is extremely interesting and I could not wait to read this book.  I even wrote to the publisher in hopes of getting an ARC.  Maybe I got my hopes up too high or something, but I just didn't find this book to be as exceptional as many others did.  I really liked Griffin's character, but the tension never really got there for me.  Also, the ending seemed rushed and just too easy.  I really had to suspend belief a few times with this book, and I don't know why but it didn't sit well with me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More Halloween!

It's been awhile.  I have to admit, I've totally gone off the rails with my challenge to myself.  I haven't been able to keep up with the level of horror movies I usually like to watch.  I blame lots of things, school is a favorite for me to blame.  I do have an update of some movies I've watched though, so here goes.

Dance of the Dead.  Now, I showed this movie (or tried to show it) to two friends.  Both of them were men.  There are zombies in this movie.  ZOMBIES!  But, neither man I showed this too seemed to enthused with it.  I guess the teenagers in the movie trumped the awesomeness of the zombies.  That was a little lesson for me to learn, because I *like* teenagers.  I think that makes me an oddity amongst the adult world.  I totally relate to one of the main female characters in this movie.  She's complete type A, control freak, and is pissed at those zombies for messing up her prom and her prom dress.

Because he hadn't seen it, I introduced my friend to Zombieland.  Yes, for a girl who is scared of zombies I watch a heck of a lot of zombie movies.  Zombieland is just awesome though and Tallahassee is my hero.  Nuff said.

I am pretty sure I watched Paranormal Activity.  But, I was not paying attention/not impressed/and super bored.

I also watched a couple of episodes of Tales from the Crypt.  I used to watch that show on occasion, the few times I actually had HBO, but didn't watch it faithfully.  I enjoyed the first episode called Only Skin Deep.  It was nice and freaky.  The second episode I watched (I think it was called Three's a Crowd) was just upsetting, not scary.

Not sure how much more watching I will do, because I am going to NEW YORK CITY! for Halloween!!!  I can't wait!  :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

White Zombie isn't just the name of an awesome band.

As the title suggests, White Zombie is not just the name of an awesome band, it is also the name of a super awesome black and white horror movie!  White Zombie was made in 1932 using a many left over sets from Frankenstein and Dracula.  It stars Bella Lugosi as 'Murder' Legendre, who is a Haitian voodoo master.  Legendre is contracted by a man (Charles Beaumont) to turn the woman he loves into a zombie so that he can steal her away from her husband-to-be (Neil).  Beaumont does not like his zombie-fied woman since she kind of lacks a soul now, and wants her to be turned back into the loving person she used to be. Legendre decides that Beaumont can basically go screw himself, and works on turning him into a zombie too.  All the while, Neil is working to save his bride from being a zombie.

Honestly, the movie could have had almost any plot.  I didn't care. Bella Lugosi is awesome with his super creepy eyes, and Madeline Parker (who plays the woman who is turned into the zombie) is beautiful.  Plus, the sets are great, and Parker is dressed in the super awesome early 30's fashion.  That, and the fun plot, made this a short and enjoyable movie.  I'd definitely recommend it to any fan of black and white horror movies.

This past weekend I also re-watched The Sixth Sense.  I had forgotten how nicely atmospheric that movie was.  And how much fun an M. Night Shyamalan was before he got to be so M. Night Shyamalanish.  The Sixth Sense is just a good movie.

I've also re-watched Dolls in this past week.  Dolls is a movie about some crazy toy makers who lure people into their house and turn them into dolls, trapping their souls in the tiny little bodies forever!  But, these serial killers have a soft spot for children and adults who still act like children.  So *SPOILER!* the nice young girl who survives the movie makes plans to come and visit the people who have imprisoned her father and step-mother's souls in the bodies of living dolls next summer.  You know, before the girl goes off to live a happy life with her mother not caring what the hell happened to her father who disappeared in the middle of the night.  Nicest. Serial. Killers.  Ever.  The girl likes these crazies so much she leaves her teddy bear with them.  Yeah.

This week I am going to make some time for Slumber Party Massacre, and who knows what else.  Maybe I should dig out my copy of The Fog for I love me some John Carpenter goodness.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another 31 Days of Halloween Update

Time for an update on my progress with the 31 Days of Halloween!  Here are the new movies I've watched:  The House on Sorority Row and The Last House on the Left.  I've also re-watched Shawn of the Dead, and a lot more Supernatural.

I was not impressed with either Sorority Row, or The Last House on the Left.  The House on Sorority Row basically came across as a really, really, embarrassingly, bad rip off of Black Christmas.  I mean the remake of Black Christmas was not as bad of a remake of the movie Black Christmas as The House on Sorority Row.  I did recognize someone from the movie though, an actress I am very jealous of because she got to play the love interest of Scott Bakula's character in Necessary Roughness.  Once I realized this, I spent a good majority of the movie replaying Necessary Roughness in my head.  Sinbad included, I much prefer Necessary Roughness to The House on Sorority Row.

I choose to watch The Last House on the left for a few reasons.  1- it was on a list of 100 greatest horror movies that my friend had sent me, 2- it was on Netflix instant, and 3- it was unrated so I was sure it'd be awesome and horrible!  I mean I've heard that this is a terrifying movie.  And I'd agree.  It's very terrifying...if you are scared of 70's fashion and banjo music.  This was the most tame unrated movie I've ever seen, and the most docile "terrifying" movie I've ever encountered in my entire life.  It was so bad that afterwards, to work through my unstated blood lust, I watched clips from Audition and the Saw movies.  I sunk to the level of SAW 3 & 4!  It was a new low.

To make up for these terrible, horrible, very bad movies (not to steal your line there Judy Voirst!) I re-watched Shawn of the Dead, and remembered once again why it is so awesome.  Seriously, this is such a good movie that I am not even scared by the zombies.  This movie is so great that a guy who was chatting with me online got instantly blocked when he told me how much he hated this movie (well also he was trying to stalk me and find out where I lived, but a good portion of the blocking came from his dislike of Shawn of The Dead).

We'll see what Netflix instant has in store for me next.  Netflix instant, if you are listening!  PLEASE find a way to add Sleepaway Camp and The Slumber Part Massacre to instant!  I do not have the money to by the DVDs right now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dragonbreath Curse of the Were-Weiner by Ursula Vernon

This review is based on an Advanced Reader's Copy that I recieved from the publisher.

I've been aware of, but have never read any of the books in the Dragonbreath series. I got this advanced copy and couldn't wait to read it, the cover itself is adorable, and the story seemed like it would be fun. This book completely exceeded my expectations.

The writing was smart, the humor was great and quick, the main characters were adorable, and the art was just right. I continued to quote pieces of this book to the person who was in the room with me. I thin he actually got to the point where he really did not want to hear anymore about the were-weiner, or for little Danny Dragon. I'm not sure why he didn't want to hear it anymore, because seriously, this book is just that awesome, and the jokes never get old.

After finishing this volume I actually sought the first two out at Barnes and Noble. I've read about 80 pages of the first volume in the series and can't wait to finish it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

31 Days of Halloween update

So, last year I kept you all up to date much better than I have this year when it comes to my 31 Days of Halloween. Honestly, my only excuse is that this year I have somewhat of a social life, so I haven't had as much time to make note of the movies and shows I've been watching. To make up for that fact though, I am now writing a super awesome note of the horror movies and shows that I've watched this year so far.

I've been lazy in many ways including not posting notes. I've been using Supernatural to meet the requirements of my challenge to myself. This includes the first season of the show, and the new season. I have to say, that the first season (to me) is still the best. I love Cas and everything, he is the super awesome, but I miss the original premise of the show. That said, I do like this season. Dean is domestic and all, but I think (except for the whole angel aspect) that this season is a bit more pure to the show's roots. Plus, the end of the second episode, that was just awesome.

Onto new movies that I've watched this year. Just an FYI, this is my first year doing this challenge mostly alone, and honestly, I am a big ol chicken. So, I am not watching the uber scary, or the uber zombie, movies by myself. Also, so not going to be watching Quarantine, The Descent, or Human Centipede alone (the last one I wouldn't watch EVER), so the newer ones may come across as rather lame and/or tame. But, that's just how I roll, so deal with it! :P

New this year (so far) has been The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Terror Train, and MST3K: Zombie Nightmare.

The Haunting of Molly Hartley got turned off after half an hour. It was a boring ol snooze fest that looked like nothing more than a promo for 90210 on the CW. Seriously, had I had insomnia I would have used this movie to put me to sleep. I'd not suggest anyone else watch this movie.

MST3K: Zombie Nightmare, yeah, ok I said no zombie movies, but seriously this was an MST3K movie, so it really wasn't scary. Plus, this movie had Adam West in it. ADAM FREAKING WEST! How can you not watch a movie with Adam West? This movie is about some dude that gets killed by some pseudo high school kids, then gets resurrected by Voodoo Tina Turner ala Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. He starts getting revenge, and well, honestly there really is no point in explaining the plot because the whole reason to watch this movie is the MST3K commentary. But, again, this movie had a zombie in it, so it qualifies as a horror movie for me.

Terror Train is my third new movie. If you know much about me you know that I love John Carpenter. Now, this movie was not made by him, but it stars one of his favorite ingenues, Jamie Lee Curtis. I will say that basically the movie is Prom Night on a train, except with more trading of romantic partners. Also, the end is pretty awesome. This is one that I'd recommend, especially if you like that 80's cheesy horror movie. Also, added bonus because Ellis from Die Hard. He's as much a complete jackass in this movie as he is in Die Hard, so that's just awesome.

I've re-watched some favorites including Halloween, Sometimes They Come Back, and Black Christmas.

I'm always on the look out for suggestions, so feel free to comment and give me more movies to watch!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Grace was raised to be an Angel.  Not the kind of Angel that you and I know, but one that will bring honor to the People when she dies by suicide bomb.  But, just before she is to fulfil that destiny, Grace realizes that she wants to live.  She turns her back on the way of life in which she was raised, and ends up on a train bound for possible freedom.  Traveling with the mysterious Kerr, Grace must consider the life she was raised for, and what life, freedom, and faith really mean to her.

I love Elizabeth Scott's books, but I will admit I was a bit worried about reading this one.  It sounded like it would be very political, and I will say that my politics don't always resonate with the rest of the literary world.  That said, I think this book handled a very delicate subject amazingly well.  Grace and Kerr are both characters who are sympathetic even when they should not be.  They are survivors, who have survived on the death of others.  The subject matter is a political one, but is handled without politics in this novel.  Neither Grace nor Kerr are from any real countries that we know of today.  The struggles they face though are real, and relevant.

This novel will introduce teens to concepts they might not have thought of, and it does so in a straightforward way that will speak to teens, and keep their interest.  This book may be a bit different than Scott's normal work, but her writing style is still very present, and fans of her books (especially Living Dead Girl) should give this one a chance.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

31 Days of Halloween

I am love Halloween!  I love it so much in fact that I watch a horror or Halloween movie, or horror/Halloween themed TV show every night during the month of October!  So, I am always looking for suggestions, although a lot of them this year are going to be seen through Netflix instant.  I some Netflix movies at home, I just keep forgetting to send them back and/or may have lost them..

I'm very excited about the upcoming month.  There's Halloween, a friend from out of town is going to visit and we are going to go on a wine tour, and I am going on a trip to NYC!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Banned Books Week

Ok, yes everyone is doing it, so I am hopping on the bandwagon and blogging about Banned Books Week.  I think so far my favorite blog coverage of the week has been over at Forever Young Adult.  I mean the coverage has included a Golden Girls photo with The Hunger Games proudly displayed.  Also, the Forever YA folks have explained to us why some of the most banned books need to be banned by sharing their experiences of how banned books have ruined their lives.

In all seriousness though.  This is a week when people recognize the books that make a few select people so uncomfortable that those people feel the need to tell *everyone* that the book should not be read.  These people are not content with choosing not to read it themselves, or deciding that (within their right to do so) their children should not read the book, no instead they decide they know what is best for everyone and decide that no one should read the book.

One book that has come under fire this year (like so many other years) is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  This book has come to the attention again of someone who has decided that due to the "sexual content" of the book that it must be banned.  Now, and I admit this may make me a bad librarian, when I read Speak I almost found it to be, boring?  I actually found the movie to be a bit better, and I found the book to be subtle, almost slow, quiet.  But, I think that kind of goes along with what the book is about.  I've seen Laurie Halse Anderson speak (and actually met her at ALA in Chicago!  She liked my tattoos), and she has said the book is not about rape, it's about depression.  The depression does come about because of rape, but it's still about depression, and I agree with her.

I also think that this book is important.  Did I love it?  Not really.  Do I respect it?  Hell yes.  I've been depressed, I've been through rough times, hell who hasn't.  This book has touched so many young people, it's made them realize that they are not alone.  And you know what?  That's what books are supposed to do.  We may not have to go through exactly what the main character of a book goes through, and we may never want to, but we can relate to the characters.  Did I grow up in the Victorian era and marry the boy whom I broke a slate over his head cause he called me "carrots"?  No.  But, I always related to Anne Shirley because she was different, smart, not what people wanted her to be, but still loved.  I'm still that way and I am 30 years old.  I am sure my parents (especially my dad) would not choose to have a daughter with tattoos and pink hair, but that is who I am and they love me for it.

I will always think that parents should be involved in the books that their kids read.  I fully support any parent's right to decide that his or her child should not read a specific book, for whatever reason.  I do not support people who go out of their way though, and try to deny everyone, the right to read books that are important, and meaningful, no matter what they are.  Because you never know what will touch someone else.  You never know what will speak to someone.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

This review is based on an Advanced Reader's Copy that I received in the mail.

Have you ever fallen in love at first sight?  Had memories of a past life?  Known all about and longed to visit a place you've never seen?  Well, then you might have had a past life.

The Eternal Ones centers around the character of Haven Moore.  A young woman who grew up in a small town in Tennessee, but has always longed to go to New York and search out her lost love, Ethan.  Haven believes that in a past life she (as Constance) and Ethan were meant to be together, but died before their time, and now she must seek out Ethan so that their love can be rightfully lived.

But, what Haven finds isn't only love.  There's deceit, a murder mystery, and not everything in NYC is always as it seems.  Now Haven isn't sure if that man she believes is Ethan is the love of her life, or a killer from her past who is ready to end her life again.

I have to say, I was not really looking forward to this book.  I've had about enough of the paranormal romance, and I thought that this sounded a little cheesy.  I'm really glad I put those feelings aside though because I enjoyed this book so much.  I will say that some of the obsessive love that Haven feels towards her "Ethan" might reinforce a somewhat unhealthy view of love that many teenagers already have.  That's just a small hit against this entertaining story.  I was totally drawn into Haven's love, but also could relate to her feelings of betrayal.  The end of the book got a little over the top, and the big bad is almost maybe a little too grand for this story.  But, I think that teens will love it anyways, and probably won't have a problem with the big bad.

I have to say, one quote from the book (and this may differ slightly from the published version) really resonated with me:
"Love and faith go hand in hand.  You can't have one without the other.  And, as well all know, taking that leap isn't always safe.  Sometimes you judge poorly, and you land right on your face.  But unless you make the jump, you'll never know what's on the other side."

As someone whose had her heart stomped on a number of times (like I am sure we all have), I can really relate to that quote.  If you love someone, you have to have faith in them.  It's dangerous, it's scary, it might get you hurt, but if you never take the risk you'll never known what you might end up with.

I can't wait for the library's copy of this book to be in, and processed, so I can start checking it out to my teens.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book Club attendance

One area I've had trouble with at the library is book club attendance.  We'll have teens show up one month, and then not be back the next.  Since one of the main points of our book club is that we give teens books to keep, it's very hard on our budget to give out books, but get no return on the investment.  So, I started thinking of ways I could get the teens to come every month, or almost every month at least.

Then it came to me!  Last spring we as a book club went to see the Percy Jackson movie.  The teens had a great time, and did ask to do something like that again.  I decided that I would hand out punch cards to the teens in the book club.  Every meeting they come to, they get a "punch" (or really more a date on the card).  After 6 punches the teen earns the right to attend a movie outing with the library Teen Book Club.

We've just launched this plan today, and I am hoping that it works well.  I really enjoyed the movie outing last time around, and I'd love to do something like it again.  Now all I have to do is see what movies are coming out next spring that I'd be able to take my teens to.

I'll update later on the success (or possible failure) of my program.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

John Hughes

On my way to work this morning, my mind drifted off thinking about the beautiful sunshine out and how the day was all fresh with possibility, and how I am kinda anxious with a sorta new boyfriend, and all this kind of stuff makes me feel younger, almost like a teen again.  And whenever I think of those teen years, I can't help but think of a man who helped shape them: John Hughes.  Now, I never met him, sent him a fan letter, nothing.  But, I grew up on his movies.

The first time I can think of hearing a Beatles' song was on Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  I had a crush on Wyatt on Weird Science.  I remember standing with my friend (and our baby-sitter) in the cold to watch Home Alone.  Christmas Vacation is a staple in my family during the holidays.

The movie where I really clicked with Hughes though is The Breakfast Club.  I still remember the very first time I watched it, and how much that movie instantly mattered to me.  My friends and I spent a good amount of time in my parents' basement as teens.  I guess we were the "Foreman House" per say, except my friends and I didn't sit around a table and smoke pot, we mostly sat around the TV and drank our selves high on sugared up pop.  The basement is also where the computer was, and on the night I first saw The Breakfast Club I was working on a big assignment that I'd of course put off until the very last minute.

I know I had the TV on for background noise, and movies were playing on TBS I believe.  I heard the opening music, and of course the speech, and I was hooked into The Breakfast Club.  I was riveted as the characters each entered the Saturday detention on their own, with their own problems, and in their own world.  I believed them as they slowly started to open up and become vulnerable with one another.  I ached to have something like that happen to me, and at the end of the movie I cried.  The next day I told my boyfriend that he *had* to watch this movie!  And I've since re-watched The Breakfast Club a number of times, although none will be as important to me as that first time on TV even with all the "bad" parts taken out.

Since his death, I've heard many actors say that John Hughes never fully grew up.  That he always could relate to the children and teens he worked with.  And I think that comes through in his movies.  I think the reason his movies resonate so well with me, and many others, is that they speak to that child/tween/teen that's still in all of us.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Books I can't wait to read

I've been on a bit of a roll here with my blog lately with my blog, and I figured I'd try to keep it up.  Today I thought I'd write about books that I am looking forward to reading.

New books are exciting.  One of the best parts of my job is getting to order new books every month.  When they come in, I get all excited and I love being able to interact with them, and yes smell them.  And I love looking online to see what new and exciting books are coming out.  Here are some of the books that have either pretty recently come out, or are coming out soon, that I can't wait to read.  Some of the summaries come from, since they were already typed up and succinct, I decided not to retype them.

1.  Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan

Finn and Chloe have it all figured out. Their school guidance counselor has told everyone that it's not enough to get good grades or do community service anymore - kids like that are everywhere, and colleges are bored of them. So what do you do? Chloe decides they should get attention another way. She and Finn will stage her own disappearance - and then Finn will be the only who finds and saves her. What college wouldn't want them after that kind of attention? It seems like a good plan -- until things start going very wrong.

2.  Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Sixteen year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of a car while her mom fills her prescription at the pharmacy. Before Cheyenne realizes what's happening, their car is being stolen--with her inside! Griffin hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne, all he needed to do was steal a car for the others. But once Griffin's dad finds out that Cheyenne’s father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes—now there’s a reason to keep her. What Griffin doesn’t know is that Cheyenne is not only sick with pneumonia, she is blind. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare, and if she does, at what price?

These first two I've wanted to read ever since I read early reviews of them.  They just sounds so interesting and thrilling.  One of the patrons at my library did read and enjoy Accomplice, so that makes me want to read it even more.

3.  Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The sequel to Beautiful Creatures.  I enjoyed the first book, especially loving the atmosphere and the secondary character Uncle Macon.  I'm exited to see what happens next.

4.  Grace by Elizabeth Scott

I love Elizabeth Scott's books, and I am always looking forward to any new ones being published.  So, like many of my patrons, I can't wait to read Grace!

What books are you looking forward to, and what books should I be reading? 

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It's not the most glamorous job in the library, but weeding the collection is very important.  I admit, I tend to be a bit lax when it comes to weeding, and I usually only do it when one of the pages is at me, practically in tears, because the shelves are too full and she can no longer fit even one more book on them.

I've attended a few conferences where weeding has been a topic of discussion, and I've learned a lot from other librarians on the topic.  I've mixed that knowledge, and just my own bit of insight, and come up with a way that I think works well for weeding the YA section at my library.

First of all, there are some books that are just never going to get weeded while I am in control.  I don't care how dated the cover of Losing Joe's Place is, I loved that book when I was in middle school and as long as the pages are still sticking in the book, I refuse to remove it from my shelves.  Also, while not many teens are all hip on the Dumas work of art The Count of Monte Cristo they are going to have to pry that book out of my cold dead hands to remove it from my YA section.

That said, here is my advice when it comes to weeding in the library.  First of all, you have to know your section.  I run the teen section, so most of my weeding advice has been developed for a YA section.  Teens have the attention span of a gnat.  Honestly, if something is blinking, swearing, screaming out music, or flashing them, they probably don't care about it.  So, if a book hasn't checked out in 3-5 years from a YA section, then it needs to GTFO, or have a really good reason to be on the shelf.  A few years ago I found a book in the YA section that hadn't checked out in my entire LIFETIME.  Yes, the last time it had checked out was pre-1979.  Just today I pulled one book from the shelf that hadn't checked out since I've been able to drive.  Yeah, that stuff needs to go.

Second, while teens aren't as bad as us old folks, and their eyesight probably isn't failing them as quickly (although they are increasingly losing their hearing) as it is us more mature individuals, teens are not going to take the time to squint and barely be able to make out the title on a spine that is sun bleached/bent all to hell/dirty/has cloudy laminate/any other thing that is obscuring the title.  So, if you as a librarian can not clearly read the title, trust me a patron isn't going to even bother with that book.

Third, and this is a big one for me, the smell test.  Seriously, if I open a book and it smells like it's been in someone's grandma's basement for a few decades, I take that crap out of my collection.  Now, I may order a new, and not so smelly, copy, but I am not going to force my patrons to put up with someone that makes me feel like I am going to have an asthma & allergy attack.

Finally, and this should be obvious, but multiple copies!  Yes, Twilight is the haps now, and Harry Potter was HUGE a while ago.  But, if you have a book and there is not a HUGE demand for that title, and it is not part of a school required reading list, there really isn't a reason to have more than a couple of copies on hand at anytime.  Especially if your library is part of any sort of group that can inter-library loan.

Remember, shelf space is important.  Overly crowded shelves are actually a deterrent to patrons.  So, get rid of those old, dusty, non-circulating, smelly, hard to read, and multiple copied, books, and give the other books room to breathe!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Favorite Picture Books

A co-worker is currently taking a Children's Literature course.  Of course, like most Children's Lit courses, her first assignment is to bring in a favorite picture book.  While she was searching through the library's collection, and telling my boss and me about the assignment, I started thinking back to some of my favorite picture books.  It's been like two decades since I read some of these books, but they've stuck with me through the years.  Here's a run down of some of my favorite picture books.

1. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack

My mother likes to tell me that I always giggled with my father tried to pronounce the name of the river in this book.  Apparently the name Yangtze River was a bit of a mouthful for my poor dad.

I know I had this book read to me over and over as a kid, and I remember loving that little yellow duck.  This book was one of the first things I looked for when I started working at my library.

2.  Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Seriously, the expression says it all.  As an adult I have some days that are terrible, horrible, no good, and all around very bad days, and I always think of Alexander on those days.  For granted, I've never gone to bed with gum in my mouth and ended up with gum in my hair.  Nor have I ever lost out on the coolest pair of sneakers to one of my siblings (mostly because I was an only child), but I was always able to relate to Alexander and his horrible day.

3.  A Bargain for Frances by Russel Hoban

Who can forget Frances, and how she learns not to let her friends screw her over?  Seriously, this is a lesson I need to be reminded of very often, and I should probably buy myself a copy of this book and read it at least once a week.

4.  Serendipity books

All of these books taught a lesson, or had a moral.  But, they were still awesomely illustrated and fun.  I've included a book from the series that I loved when I was younger, that's come under fire since I was a child.  Catundra is a fat and mean cat, who as he works on improving himself physically, also improves himself spiritually.

Yes, we need to love children, and our families unconditionally, and too many people these days have "body image" issues.  But, truth be told, being physically fit is good for you.  And being able to be proud of yourself for losing weight, and being healthy, is a good thing.  So the haters can keep on hating, but I love Catundra, and many other of the saccharine-sweet books brought to use by the most rockin purple dragon thing ever (Barney can suck it!).

5.  Helga's Dowry by Tomie dePaola

This is the first picture book that I read to myself.  I remember sitting in the elementary school library and reading through this book mentally thinking "WTF is a dowry??"  The fact that this book made me think, made me question, and made me learn, along with the fact that the book is written by the awesome Tomie dePaola made me remember this book.

6.  Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Now this isn't a book I read as a child, but instead it's one I was introduced to while working here at the library, and I couldn't help it, I fell in love.  The Pigeon, he is teh awesome.  I even now am the proud owner of a stuffed pigeon, his name is Pidgey.  The pigeon has many adventures, over multiple books, and he has taught me that there are still great picture books being published every year, and that a great picture book will appeal to the child that's still inside every adult.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Machete: a review

I. love. horror. movies.  Srsly love them.  In October, in celebration of Halloween, I watch a horror movie or Halloween themed show or movie every night for the entire month.

Now, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with Machete?  Well, those of you that are familiar with the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino collaboration Grindhouse, would know that Machete is based off of a "fake" movie trailer that was shown between the two main features:  Planet Terror and Death Proof.

So, I, being the horror movie and Robert Rodriguez fan that I am, have known about, and been anticipating Machete for awhile now.  Then I found out through the blogosphere, and elsewhere, that Rodriquez was going to take his fun, campy, movie concept and make it a mouthpiece for the illegal alien situation.  That pissed me off.  Not gonna lie.  I get it, movie makers are allowed to be political, everyone's allowed to be political, blah blah blah.

It was with much trepidation that I agreed to go see Machete with my boyfriend last weekend.  I have to say that I am glad I went.  Yes, there was some political crap in there, but the movie was so over the top that the "political" message wasn't really anything that anyone could have been very offended by.  Also, there was lots of fun blood and guts to get in the way of said political message.  Dude uses a weed whacker at one point in time as a weapon.

There are also lots of fun little Rodriquez-y things in the movie that fans of his will recognize.  Someone loses an eye, one of the kids from Spy Kids has a supporting role, things like that.  And, while I loved Planet Terror, I think in some ways this is a much more successful homage to his roots.  I could still see hints of El Mariachi in this movie, even though Machete obviously had a MUCH bigger budget, and you know was shot in English and all.

In the end, I was very impressed with the movie, and enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Little Things

"My outlook is that little things are the trip. I’m very happy with very little. Maybe that’s why I have so much."
- Linda McCartney

I am not sure when, how, or where I came across this quote.  Maybe it was back in middle school when we were doing a calligraphy project.  Who knows.  What I do know, is that like many a song lyric, and other random pop culture worthless-ness, this quote has stuck with me.

In this world that is full of crap so much of the time, full of things that dissappoint (like a certain third book in a triology that shall remain nameless, and the movie Phenomenon), it's sometimes important to really enjoy the little things.  Now, for granted I am going to come across as some Tony Robbins/hippie mix that's all sunshine and rainbows, but I guess I'll just have to live with that.

For example, today I was driving downtown, the window was open, the music was playing, and the sun was on my skin.  It was awesome.  Also, coming home from work today I realized that I enjoyed coming home to my house.  I've done lots of work on it this summer, and now it is almost like living in a new place, a place that feels more like "home" than the house I've been in for the past 7 years.  

So, I guess I am advocating that people listen to the late Linda McCartney's words and appreciate the little things.  :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


In this episode, I will try to explain my reasons for loving Glee.

Yeah, I know, pretty much anyone that would be reading my blog probably knows I love Glee.  Hell, most of you also probably love Glee (the whole 1 of you that might be out there).  But, and this may come as a shock, there are actually people out there that don't dig the show.  So, I've found myself in a position of trying to explain what it is that I love about the know besides Kurt being teh awesome, Brittany and her inane comments, and Puck being the most dudalicious bad ass GLEE CLUB member ever!

The thing that really gets me about Glee, the thing that makes me keep coming back, and the thing that has made me cry multiple times over the first season (aside from the introduction of Sue's sister), is the relationship Will Shuster has with the students in his Glee Club.  You see that relationship from the very first episode.  During "Don't Stop Believing" we see Shue go into the auditorium and look on the stage to watch the kids that HE inspired, trying to make something of themselves.  In that moment, he realizes he's done something good, and could be doing something great.

In the last episode, the Glee Club students sing "To Sir, With Love" to Shue, and again, I got all teary eyed.  While this may lead you to believe I am nothing but a big cry baby (which could very well be true), but I digress.  The thing that made me choke up was the fact that these characters were telling their teacher, their mentor, that no matter  how long of a time they have together, that he has influenced them in a way that will be with them the rest of their lives.

Why does this make me love Glee?  Well, because I want to be Shue!  I mean I don't want to be a man who is making a bunch of teenagers prance around a stage and sing.  I want to be someone who affects the teens, or anyone, that I work with that way.  I think it's especially poinent to me because I do work with teens.  I know I won't have a huge impact on every teen that walks through this door, or even on a majority of them, but I want to know that with at least a few of them, I've influenced them in a (hopefully positive!) way that will stick with them the rest of their lives.

That's why I love the show, because I see myself reflected in the characters, especially in Shue.  I hate to admit that I relate to the "adult" on a show, but I really do.  And hell, maybe one day my teens at the library will sing "To Sir, With Love" to me....or then again maybe not.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


While one of the bloggers at Forever Young Adult has pretty much said everything I'd want to say about Mockingjay, I thought I would post about it here anyways.  It's not really fair to review a book unless you've read the whole thing, but you know what?  I don't really care.

As has been mentioned before, I have a love of The Hunger Games that may border slightly on obsession, and I was all a twitter to have Mockingjay come out.  I even dragged my ass to Meijer at 1:30 am release day to see if I could purchase a copy.  No such luck for me.  I did eventually get my hands on the coveted book and started reading.  But, something was amiss about Mockingjay.  It was just different.  Some other librarians had said that they thought it started slowly, and I do know that even people who love The Hunger Games said that started slowly for them, so I worked on sticking with it.

Then, last Sunday, I really got time to sit and dig my teeth into Mockingjay.  I was going along with it, and then I just started to come across passages that made me go, eh?  I started reading some of the stuff out loud to my boyfriend, and outright complaining to him about what was happening in the story.  Then, it happened, I broke down and looked up spoilers online to see what happened in the book.

NOTE here be spoilers!

WTF Gale!?  Ok, so the whole point of the series, or the start of it at least, is that Katniss wants to save her younger sister from going into the Hunger Games, she wants her sister to live.  And in the end, her sister dies because of Gale?  Yeah, thanks, but no.  I get it, everyone was Team Peeta, and I get it, war sucks blah blah blah.  But seriously?  Oh, and Finnick, the person who gets built up to have lots of sympathy, he dies?  Thanks for that one.

Now, I can deal with the death of favorite characters.  In Harry Potter, it's sort of the right thing that Fred dies in the end (even though I luvs me some Weasley twins!), and actually I cried for George.  But, the end fits.  Mockingjay just felt like, a different world, with different characters.  I missed the awesome BFF Gale who reminded me of my best guy friend growing up, and I am mad at Collins for taking that character away from me (or trying to, I've decided to ignore her ending and make up my own).

I'll always love The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire.  I'll always root for Katniss, and cry when Rue dies.  But, Mockingjay was a bit let down for me, and I'm sorry that an amazing series ended on such a sour note.  At least I got out before I couldn't make up my own fan fiction version in my head.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Mockingjay thing

I am sure many, if not all, if you who would read this know about The Hunger Games, and it's third and final installment that just came out:  Mockingjay.  Any of you that know me, know that I LOVE The Hunger Games, in fact, one of my tattoos is slightly based on the cover of that book.

So, why is it taking me so long to get done with Mockingjay?  I know many librarians, authors, and other readers went through that book within a day of it being released, but I've been working on it for more than a week now.

I think my problem with this book, much like the problem I had with Deathly Hallows (the last Harry Potter book), is that I don't want my experience with these characters to end.  I want to know what happens, but I am going to miss them and their adventures once I finish that last page.  So, while I want to fly through the book, I am stopped by the fact that I also *don't* want to know.  

Does anyone else feel like this?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dark Song by Gail Giles

This review is based on an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of the book Dark Song by Gail Giles.

Ames has grown up in privilege.  She's gone to fancy schools, and never wanted for anything.  She thinks her family is perfect, and her father is her hero.  Then...her family starts to change.  Her father isn't going into work like he used to, and Ames's friends are starting to talk.  Soon, her world is turned upside down.  Ames learns that her perfect family isn't so perfect, and that her father is far from being a hero.

After Ames's family is forced to move from Colorado to Texas, Ames meets a boy, Marc, and she becomes increasingly alienated from her family and remaining friends, and ever more dependent on Marc for love and affection.  But Marc is dark, that darkness attracts Ames, but will it also force her to do the unthinkable?

I really enjoy Gail Giles's work.  I was thrilled to get this book in the mail, and couldn't wait to read it.  Also, the cover is just awesome.

Ames was a character that I think a lot of teens will be able to relate to.  She feels betrayed by her family, and is drawn to someone that makes her feel rebellious, but also someone she feels she can trust.  I would have liked to have gotten to know Ames before the downfall of her family a bit more.  We get a glimpse, but it mostly feels like a set up for what is to come.

I had a hard time not reading this book, and went through it pretty quickly.  I am sure that teens will love it, and it continues Giles's tradition of gritty realistic fiction.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Social networking and the library

If you are a librarian you hear it over and over again, social networking *is* where the library world needs to focus.  As a librarian I'm surprised to realize just how much I use social networking to do my job.
I obviously blog (since you are reading my blog) but I also use twitter, facebook, and myspace.  Some teens have my email address and have emailed me or IMed me via google talk, and I've gotten text messages from teens about events and books (although text might not be considered social networking, but for the purpose of this blog I am going to lump it in).

Facebook is the social networking site I use the most, and the one through which most of my library-related communication is also focused.  It really isn't a big deal for me to log onto my facebook in the morning and have a teen IM me about a book that he or she wants, or a program that's coming up that day.  My library recently launched an AniManga club, and one of the patrons who attended ended up making a facebook event for the next meeting.  I use facebook messages to talk to patrons, and even other staff that I might need to get a hold of.  The teens at the library sometimes IM me just to say hi or chat a bit.  I've even used facebook to keep up with librarian friends that I've met who live across the state from me.

If you'd told me when I first signed up to facebook/myspace/twitter, et. all that I'd be using these sites to be a librarian who was almost always available, I'd have been surprised.  When I first signed up to those sites it was mostly to reconnect with old friends, or keep up with new ones that I've met.  Now I can't imagine doing my job without the use of these sites.

I will admit, that having such open access to my social networking profiles does make it so I need to be careful of what content I post on there, but that's not always such a downside.  It's probably best that I not post on the Internet anything that I wouldn't want getting around the library because you never know what might come back and bite you in the butt one day.

So yes when they tell you at those conferences that social networking is important to your library; listen up.  Social networking can be one of the easiest ways to communicate with patrons and build relationships in the library.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I was recently kind of challenged by someone to read a classic that I've never read; The Little Prince.  This is a book I've meant to read, and heard a lot about, but I just never seemed to "get around to it."  So, with the extra incentive of a challenge thrown down I decided to check the book out from my library and give it a go.

For those of you that don't know The Little Prince is the story of a little prince who leaves his planet and explores the universe.  He is found on Earth by a pilot whose plane has crashed in the desert.  I will say that I was prepared not to like the book because it is so hyped by people, and I often don't like things that are overly hyped *cough*Avatar*cough*.  But, to my astonishment I did find The Little Prince to be charming and enjoyable.  Some of it was a little too precocious, but I think that many of us could do to be reminded of the simple joys and thoughts of childhood, and how loving a single rose can make all the difference to a little prince.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

This review contains mild spoilers.

This book centers around Valerie whose boyfriend opened up fire on their high school, taking out people that were include on Val and his "Hate List".

The story is told with back story telling about the shooting, and a current narrative talking about Valerie trying to get on with her life, fit back into the school, and deal with the love she still has for a boy who killed so many, and then himself.

I had a hard time putting this book down, and I really sympathized with Valerie. There were parts of the book that I found to be a bit much. The father moving onto a new life, with his girlfriend wasn't really needed. And the end was a little too kumbaya for me. I think the book could have done well without the very last chapter.

That said, this is Val's story. One in which she deals with left over guilt, and the fact that she still loves someone who turned out to be a monster. Readers will want to know if Val is able to move on with her life, and how she does it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blood Feud: The Drake Chronicles Book 2

I was sent an ARC of this book, and I've heard nothing but great things about the first book in this new series, so I decided to read this right away.

Blood Feud is the second in the Drake Chronicles series.  The Drakes are a family of vampires.  That said, this book is much more "Buffy" than Twilight.  It's full of action, and humor, with some romance.  This volume deals with Isabeau, a Hound princess vampire who was created during the French Revolution and left in a coffin for 200 years, and Logan Drake (the frock coat wearing brother of the Drake clan).  Told in alternating view points we find out about a new plot to kidnap Logan's sister, and usurp the Drake family to rule the vampire clans.

I liked the touch of historical fiction in here, and the action was strong.  Isabeau was a bit annoying at times, and Logan was a bit too interested in his clothes for my taste.  The humor is what really kept me going though.  There were times when I had to read parts of this out loud just to share the lines with whomever was near me.

View the Goodreads page for this book

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Fat Lit"

There has been a discussion this week about "Fat Lit".  Books about teens who are overweight and about them being accepted or ok with their bodies (I deleted the email with the actual definition of what this is about exactly).  This discussion included mention of the Fat Acceptance Movement, and other movements that are similar.

The thing is, I guess I just don't like the name "Fat Lit" or "Fat Acceptance Movement".  Now, I am a person who would be considered fat, so I am coming at this from a different perspective than many people would, but the names just bother me.  I think the reason they bother me is that the word fat implies someone who is unhealthy.  When looking up information on the Fat Acceptance Movement I saw mention of the idea of health at every size.  I think I'd rather get behind that movement.

I do respect what the Fat Acceptance Movement is doing, especially when it comes to focusing on health issues.  For years I had what my doctors (note the plural) always called heartburn.  They said it was because I was overweight, and I had to just lose weight to stop suffering.  So, I've worked hard and lost weight.  The heartburn got worse.  It turns out that my gallbladder was the problem.  This past year I had it out and I feel great.  So, I spent over a decade of my life suffering all because the doctors saw me as "fat" and diagnosed me based only on that.

That said, I think encouraging people to be complacent with being fat isn't a good thing.  I'd rather see movements of the understanding that "healthy body size" means different things to different people.  I am 5'2" and a good weight for me is around 150 lbs.  That is in the obese category for someone my height, but that weight fits well on me.  I weigh a good amount more than that now and I ride my bike to work (when it is warm), go to the gym 4-5 times a week, and am very active.

I'd rather a healthy idea get promoted, and supported, rather than an idea that is unhealthy and could almost do as much damage as the idea it is trying to combat.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Maze of Bones: 39 Clues Book 1

My time spent in the gym has been wonderful for me in more than one way.  After exhausting many movies via my iPod, and getting tired of listening to the same music over and over again, I decided to venture into the world of audiobooks for my gym visits.  After much frustration with my iPod, multiple starts, skipping around within the book, and finally forcing my iPod to let me listen to the book in order, I was able to enjoy the first book in the extremely popular 39 Clues series.

The narrator of this audiobook was pretty good, and reminded me a bit of the man who does the Artemis Fowl audiobooks.  As for the story, well it centers around two siblings, Dan and Amy Cahill who are on a race to solve the mystery set out by their dearly departed great aunt Grace.  The series is written by a host of successful authors, this one by Rick Riordan of Percy Jackson fame, and this book introduces us to Dan, Amy, and many others of the "famous" Cahill family.

The action was pretty fast paced, Dan and Amy's au pair is awesomely funny, and I can see why the books are popular.  That said, I was a little let down by the book.  I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as awesome as I had hoped.  Maybe that's because I bought too much into the hype?  Who knows.  I will most likely listen to more books in the series, or read them myself whenever I can make find some time to actually sit down and read.  In the end, I would be sure to suggest this book to anyone looking for an exciting adventure that their upper elementary or middle school child would enjoy.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Weight loss irks

Ok, I have been inundated with the Biggest Loser and all these other weight loss shows and topics on news sites and the T.V.  While I know many people love The Biggest Loser, and it is inspirational to many people, I just don't like it.  I have seen parts of the show, but the parts I saw I didn't enjoy and I have chosen not to continue watching.  I did look online to see how long the people on The Biggest Loser have to lose their weight because I was curious and sure enough I saw people on yahoo telling someone how to lose up to 15 lbs a week.

Which brings me to the reason I am blogging.  People giving specific (and often full of BS) weight loss online.  Yes, you can find good suggestions for almost anything online, but people need to be very careful what they follow based on advice they "found online".  For granted, I am about to dispense with some weight loss advice, so I am kind of doing exactly what I tell people not to do lol.  Honestly though, life-long weight loss isn't a game or a show.

In the past year I've lost almost 90 lbs (and I am still working on losing more).  Basically, what I've done (besides respecting my weight allergy) is balance healthy eating with working out.  I make substitutions when I can, like yogurt based salad dressing or low-fat cottage cheese for higher fat versions.  Also, I eat food I enjoy, but balance it out with healthier things.  I love pizza, and a local place makes gluten- free pizza.  I still let myself have pizza, I just don't have it often.  And I work out.

If someone wants to lose weight, he or she should do some research, probably talk to his or her doctor, and decide on something that he or she can live with for the rest of her life.  The best bet is probably not to find some weirdo on yahoo telling you how to lose 15 lbs a week by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

When bad covers happen to good books.

I just have to wonder how some covers make it onto books, and why the publishers think these books will appeal to librarians let alone teens whom are going to read and/or purchase the book.  You would think publishers would want to maximize the potential of a book and give it a great cover so that it would pump up sales.  I know, as a librarian, the cover a book can give me pause as to deciding if I will purchase it or not.
Sometimes the covers look dated already, sometimes the colors are off, sometimes the picture is too flat.  Sometimes it is a mix of all of those and more.
Here are some book covers that just leave me thinking, why?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Lighting Thief and more YA movie news.

Saw the Lightning Thief last night.  It had some really fun parts but on a whole was kind of meh.  The boy who plays Percy Jackson was really awesome though, and I love seeing Sean Bean in almost anything.  The most upsetting thing about the movie though was seeing Pierce Brosnan's hairy upper arms.  Yuck!  Also, I do not see how this movie got a PG rating, but Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was saddled with a PG-13 back in 1984.  I am glad that this movie has added more interest for the books in my library, but I just wish it had been higher quality.  The sad thing is that I still think I enjoyed this movie more than I liked Avatar.

Also, in other YA news I've heard that they have optioned rights a movie version of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, and also the book Heist Society by Ally Carter.

I am also looking forward to Beastly starring Vanessa Hudgens.  I haven't read that book (although I'd love to if I could find some time!)  and am somewhat excited by the news that the Stephanie Plum movie is finally in the works with Katherine Heigl set to star.  I think I may be about the last woman on Earth to have read the Stephanie Plum books, but I did read and enjoy the first one and can't wait to read the second one!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Good Day

Today was a really good day.  Not because anything great happened, but because it just was.

I got back on track with my diet and ate both healthy food, and very tasty food.  That makes me feel good about myself and hopeful about this coming year.

For those that don't know, in this past year I lost about 80 lbs.  I worked hard, watched what I ate, and avoided foods I was allergic to.  I walked home from work a few times a week, then when more of the weight came off I got a bike and started biking to work a few times a week.  I walked to the gym, and pretty much anywhere else I could walk.

Today was the first day, since the surgery, that I've really felt like I've gotten back on the track I was on to work on losing more weight.  I have a healthy goal in my head and I am on my way there.  And I can't wait for the warm weather so I can get back outside!