Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Aza is mostly a normal girl, until she gets caught up in her own mind. When she eats, she starts to think about digestion, and all the different things in her body that help her digest, to the point where it doesn't feel like she's real, so she has to break that skin, so she can make sure she is real, until it might get infected, so she has to make sure she gets out all the infection, and then she needs to sterilize it and get a band-aid on it right away.

Daisy, her best friend, is desperate to solve the disappearance of Russell Pickett, missing CEO billionaire, where information regarding his disappearance is worth $100,000. And his son just happens to be an old friend of Aza's. Daisy thinks that the two of them can work together to solve the crime, and get the money. Aza isn't so sure, but is willing to try.

Romance, mystery, friendship and life all happen, but Aza and her spirals are the main attraction here. The world, from Aza's point of view is not clear or easy. Things like first kisses or just being their for a friend becomes catastrophic events, and although she is supported by great friends and family, Aza finds her self moving farther and farther into her own mind.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of John Green's. Looking for Alaska came out about the time I became a librarian, and I've read every book as it was published. Before TFiOS, I was even able to hear him speak and get books signed at a couple of library workshops. That being said, I loved Turtles All the Way Down in a way that I don't feel I can do the book justice. There are been better reviews out there*, and if you are a fan of John Green, you are going to read this.

For those of you just reading John Green for the first time, I hope you find Turtles All the Way Down to be as wonderful as I did.

I'll see you @ the library,

*In a VlogBrothers Video, John shares a couple of his favorite reviews, here they are for you: Slate, Vox, and The New York Times

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bookish Distractions: October 18

It's mid-week, I'm trying to review Turtles All the Way Down for you (Quick 6 word review: Loved it, Loved it. Loved it), and here are some Bookish Distractions, while you wait!

Hogwarts House Reading Lists! Right now Book Riot has Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, and you know I'll post updates for the remaining two houses. No matter what house you belong to, there are some really great reads!

Do you buy books from Amazon? If yes, you need to read this article from LifeHacker. I kind of knew some of this form working in a bookstore way back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Here's an easy solution: come to the library for your books! We always buy from the publisher, and it helps the library too!

Because we are counting down the days to Halloween, and spooky books are on the mind, here is a list of the best YA Horror books according to Good Reads, over on Bustle. Or you can kick it old school, and check out some GooseBumps books that are still scary, thanks to Buzzfeed.

Having a Halloween Party, here are some cool DIY crafts and snacks you can make. I'm all for the Brain Cake, and if I had time, I'd totally make some of the candles! (Mental Floss)

And finally, for your laugh of the week, a few librarians did their own take of a Kardashian photo shoot. I'd be much better at Keeping Up with the Librarians...(Buzzfeed)

I'll see you @ the library!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bookish Distractions: All the Way Down

I promise I am reading Turtles All the Way Down for you right now. Not like what I say is going to
make or break the book for you. But are we really reading anything else? On to the other things you can read while taking breaks from the newest John Green Book:

If you are waiting patiently on the list for TAtWD (is it safe to call it that yet?) Read this interview where John Green talks about the inspiration for the book. There is also a link to the actual interview, so those of you not on a work computer, check it out! (Buzzfeed)

If you just want a good cry, like The Fault in Our Stars, here is a list from Epic Reads all about books that will make you cry, ugly like. I trust this list, because the books I have read, have made me ugly cry.

Now that it's October, here is a list of super scary horror books for those of you who don't like to sleep. Or for those of you that like that kind of thing. Whatever. I'm going to read some of these book that will make me laugh. (Book Riot and Epic Reads)

Did you read and love Dumplin' by Julie Murphy? Even though it's not here, I LOVED Dumplin' and there is a companion book coming out! Check here for the cover and an excerpt! (Barnes and Noble)

And because I love quizzes, can you guess who wrote the book with the "A" title? I got 90%. I always get those Russian Authors confused! (Mental Floss)

I'll see you @ the library!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Haunted Gingerbread Houses: October 12th

Back by popular demand we are making Haunted Gingerbread Houses!

We'll have all the things you need to make a haunted creation, from graham crackers, frosting to all the candy to make a spook-ookie creation! We'll also be playing a nightmarish  movie that shares a theme with our very own Haunted Gingerbread Houses (think one part Halloween one part Christmas).

Here are the major details you need to know: Haunted Gingerbread Houses is for teens and tweens, so those of you in grades 4-12. We'll be in the constitution room on October 12th from 6:30-8 PM!

I'll see you @ the library!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

October 10, 2017: YA Books Galore

So every now and then a ton of great books come out around the same time. However, October 10, 2017 might go down in YA publishing history. You guys, ALL the books come out on this day. Not that this fall hasn't seen a run of awesome releases, or this summer was legendary for building TBR lists. Here are just SOME of the books coming out on October 10, 2017:

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green: He won a Printz award for his first novel Looking for Alaska. He scored an honor for his second book An Abundance of Katherines. He wrote two more awesome books. Then he hit the bigger big time with epic tear-jerker The Fault in Our Stars. Then he did a whole bunch of awesome stuff (seriously, he works on all kinds of Awesome Stuff). Now he has a new book out. So, if you aren't a fan, that's fine. But if you are a fan you either have a maybe signed copy pre-ordered or are already on the wait list.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater: I've never been shy about my love of Maggie Stiefvater. However if you've never read any of the stories of dangerous water horses, private school boys (and a girl) who look for long lost kings, werewolves in love, among other things. Here is a family story drenched in magical realism, that I can not wait to pick up.

The Gate Keepers by Jen Lancaster: First time YA author, but New York Times Best Selling Author of memoirs and grown up fiction. Why should you be excited about this book? It's about (fictional) North Shore, Illinois, the most perfect town, not quite shocked by the death of a popular kid. If you aren't familiar with Jen's wit and way with words, check out the first chapter over at Bustle!

If that's not enough to keep you busy this October, here are some more great books coming out! (Book Riot)

I guess you know what I'll be reading!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Random Fandom: My Little Pony: Thursday October 5

It's a Pony Party! That's right in celebration/ preparation for the My Little Pony Movie we are having a PARTY! We've been working like Apple Jack, researching like Twilight Sparkle, so we can celebrate like Pinkie Pie! 

This Thursday, October 5th, from 6:30-8 PM we are celebrating the Ponies! This is for those fans in grades 4-12. Don't be Fluttershy, we'll have games for your inner Rainbow Dash, and be as generous as Rarity. We will have trivia and pony crafts and games. You won't want to miss out!

I'll see you @ the library,

PS- Just a heads us, this event is just for Teens and Tweens, or those of you in grades 12-18! Younger kids have a chance to celebrate ponies later this month, and sorry adults, this one is just for the kids!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bookish Distractions:

Hey it's time for some Bookish Distractions!

I get it summer reading is over, and you are BUSY with school and everything. However you may have a minute or two to check out something new! Here's Book Riot with some debut novels you may have missed. I love checking out books by first time writers, in fact some of my favorite books of the year were debuts (See Serpent King by Jeff Zetner).

Have you fell into the well of library Instagram accounts? Here is Buzzfeed's list of book pictures to infuriate you and some to relax you. Personally, books arranged by color are pretty, but infuriating as a librarian. How on earth do you remember if it's in the blue or red section? Also well loved personal books are just fine by me! (PS- The library is on Instagram! @westallis_library)

If you like John Green, Vlogbrothers, and Nerdfighters., then maybe you'd like to check out Hank Green's first book coming out next year? So it says it's for Adults, not teens, but if you love the first three things, is it being published for adults going to stop you from reading it? (Entertainment Weekly)

And while we are talking about the Green Brothers, here's an excerpt from Turtles All the Way Down. (Buzzfeed)

Finally, banned book week is September 24-30th this year, and I hope you get the change by reading what you you want to read! Here is a bit more information on what Banned Book Week is and why it's important, and some of the most challenged books from 2016. Believe it or not, 8 of the top 10 books are found in the Children's or Teen areas in the library.

I'll see you @ the library!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Friday Fun: September 22, 3:30-5:30 PM

What are you doing Friday? How about hangout out at the library for our first Friday Fun of the fall, September 22nd from 3:30-5:30 PM!

What is Friday Fun? It's time where we open the library Constitution Room for teens (those of you ages 12-18, or in grades 6-12) and you just hang out! We'll have games, including the Wii, snacks and even some coloring sheets. Bring your friends and hang out @ the library!

I'll see you @ the library!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Save These Books!

As the dust of Summer Reading settles, I go through all the books in the Teen Collection to see what is being checked out and what is not. Getting rid of the books you aren't checking out and reading helps make space for all the AWESOME new books that are coming out.

However, there  are always a few books on the list that just break my heart, whether for personal (the book that I loved) or professional (it won ALL the awards) reasons. So this fall I invite you to save a book!

Here are some books that I will be sad to see go:

Carter Finally Gets it by Brent Crawford: This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. It is suffering from a case of "got rebound-itus" and is sadly out of print, and I highly recommend not eating Taco Bell while reading this book. It's about Carter, and his first year of High School as he tries to, well, get it.

Fat Cat by Robin Brande: This book is for those of you who are doing Paleo, or your friends, which is kind of like Cat's senior project for science. She decides to eat like a caveman for a year and measure the changes in her body, which was a bit more revolutionary in 2009. Still this is a fun realistic read, and I remember loving it when I read it!

Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller: The year is 1909, and Victoria "Vicky" Darling has everything she wants, until she is sent home to London, and forced to enter "society" to cover up her scandal. What she doesn't realize is that history is happening all round her, including the Woman's Suffrage movement. This is a great historical fiction book that kind of un-romanticizes a time that's easy to imagine as glamorous.

Save a Book @ your Library!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Teen Summer Reading Wrap Up!

School is in session, Labor Day weekend is a memory, and here are some Teen Summer Reading statistics!

Thank you to all 164 of you who signed up for Teen Summer Reading this summer! We tried something new with on-line registration, and while there were some bugs, it really worked well!

85 of you turned in at least one reading log, and the first 50 took home a Wisconsin State Fair ticket! I hope you were able to enjoy a cream puff, and check out some of the animal barns, at least that's what I like to do at the fair!

We had 199 entries into the grand prize drawing, meaning almost all of you turned in more than one reading log! Winners were contacted yesterday, and I left a lot of messages, so be sure to check your voice mail!

Thanks again for reading with us! Keep checking back here for more awesome programs, and reading contests @ the library!