Library Journal’s BookSmack has issued the beginning of their Book Blitz lists. It looks like the Reviews site has been updated. Nice look. These are the folks who know what people like to read. They look for titles that satisfy. How do they decide? Eight different library journal editors get together and hash out the top ten lists. Apparently they’ve learned how to build a consensus (something other folks might want to work on). First lists out are the all important fiction lists, then Dec. 1st we’ll get the Core Nonfiction, How-To, Graphic Novels and YA lit for Adults lists.
Look to see what you’ve already read, what you missed, or what might make that perfect want on your Christmas list.
I just checked out from my library. Anderton, Jo. Debris. Angry Robot. (Veiled Worlds Trilogy, Bk. 1). ISBN 9780857661548. pap. $7.99.
Set in a world where mental powers construct fabulous works of engineering and architecture, this series opener revolves around a young woman who can use her abilities to destroy and build. An accomplished debut reminiscent of the visionary works of China Miéville. (LJ 10/15/11)
Happy Holiday reading.
Chances are very good that someone you know will receive an e-reader this holiday. That is, if they didn’t already get one last holiday, or for their birthday, or for Valentine’s Day, or for an anniversary.
That someone could even be you, and that e-reader could be something specifically designed for reading books, or it could be a tablet computer that does a dozen other things. And don’t forget that smart phone in your pocket. It will probably let you read e-books and listen to audio books as well.
While many e-readers and tablets are designed to make it easy to buy books online, did you know you may also be able to borrow e-books from your local public library? That’s right. You can get them at your library for no extra charge. Your tax dollars are already supporting your local library, so why not take advantage of their e-book offerings?
An article in USA Today Wednesday highlighted this increasingly common public library service. It even offers a link to a series of lessons on how to “cope with the technical peculiarities of library e-books.” (Note: the lessons are Windows-centric, but even if you’re an Apple fan boy or girl, there’s good information here.)
So which Oklahoma public libraries offer e-books and audio books through their websites for check out? According to information from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, seven of the state’s eight library systems offer the service. Here they are:
- Chickasaw Regional Library System serving Atoka, Carter, Johnston, Love and Murray counties;
- Eastern Oklahoma District Library System serving Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, McIntosh, Muskogee and Sequoyah counties;
- Metropolitan Library System serving Oklahoma County;
- Pioneer Library System serving Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties;
- Southeastern Public Library System of Oklahoma serving Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain and Pittsburg counties;
- Tulsa City-County Library System serving Tulsa County; and,
- Western Plains Library System serving Custer, Dewey, Roger Mills and Washita counties.
The Chickasaw system gets its downloadable e-book and audio book service through the OK Virtual Library, a consortium of public libraries in the state that have joined together to offer digital collections. You’ll also find 16 additional municipal libraries—from Miami to Guymon, Stillwater to Mustang, Enid to Duncan—that offer electronic and audio books through the OK Virtual Library. They offer books in ePub, Kindle, and audio formats. Plus, the list of participating libraries is growing!
(Update 11/18/11: Stillwater Public Library, which coordinates OK Virtual Library, has announced that six additional municipal libraries will “go live” with e-book and audio book downloads on November 28. Those libraries are in Ada, Alva, Durant, Marlow, Pryor and Vinita. So that brings the total to 22 municipal libraries with the service.)
If you don’t see your local library listed, check with the staff and see if they are planning the service in the future. With so many e-readers under the tree this year, it’s only a matter of time before you can “check-out” a digital book at your library.
Literary Kitty is so mad at me and Kitty! He’s been bringing in site suggestions for weeks, and we haven’t been able to get to them because we’ve been running around organizing events, dealing with staff shortages, and putting out fires. (I am happy to report that no books were burned during this flurry of activity.)
Anyway, it’s time to get back on track and make nice with our favorite literate feline.
First up: Vulpes Libris, simply described as “a collective of bibliophiles writing about books.” What kind of books, you ask? We’ll let the site tell you:
With a range of reviewers of such diverse interests, there is very little that Vulpes Libris is not interested in. We cover everything: from picture books to literary fiction; from chicklit and thrillers to works of philosophy and political writings – you name it, we write about it.”
Sounds like Okie Read’s mantra. If it’s between two covers, has printed pages, and we like it, we’ll tell you about it.
Yep, you’ll find it all on Vulpes Libris. Reviews of non-fiction works, adult novels, children’s books, fantasy, and even… gasp!… “serious” literature. Plus there are fun posts like Books: Does Size Matter, and essays of interest, like Steve Jobs: Shedding a tear for someone I didn’t know. The site even has posts celebrating the International Year of Astronomy. And don’t tell Literary Kitty, but we especially enjoyed an entry titled: Dogs in Literature. (We suspect our four-pawed friend dropped the site off because he was especially smitten with this post.)
So there you have it. Many mea culpas to LK, and many happy reads to our Okie Reads family.
I. Can’t. Wait.
Internet Movie Database page on The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games Trilogy fansite
Other Okie Reads posts related to the trilogy:
• End Game
As professional consumers, Americans know that few things are as advertised. Take the Rapture in Tom Perrotta’s new novel, The Leftovers. The people who populate Earth in Perrotta’s latest aren’t even sure if the sudden departure of millions of fellow human beings *is* the rapture. It appears to be more of a random harvest, taking both believer and non-believer, the secular and the spiritual. Meanwhile, many God-fearing believers who banked on being taken up find themselves left behind.
Better to call it a “rapture-like” event, or simply the “sudden departure.”
The unknown quality of the tragedy only adds to the author’s exploration of how people deal with loss. How many of us have cried “Why?!” to heaven in Job-like despair? It’s horrible, but there are no answers, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
And so… we go on living, searching for something that will help us put all these pieces back into some comprehensible shape. And that is what The Leftovers is all about.
It’s the story of the Garvey family of Mapleton, Massachusetts. None of the Garveys have departed, but they must now survive in this strange, new world:
• Father Kevin is serving as the town’s new mayor, trying to speed the healing process in his community.
• Mother Laurie abandons her family to join a cult called the Guilty Remnant, whose members take a vow of silence, wear white robes, and follow people around and stare at them so as to be a constant reminder that the world is ending and we better be ready. (Oh, and they are required to always be smoking when they’re out in public, to emphasize the fact that the end is near, so, like, “why worry about lung cancer?”)
• Teenage daughter Jill, a witness to the disappearance of a friend, is reeling from the departure.
• Son Tom is following the prophet Holy Wayne, who apparently has the ability to absorb the pain of others for a brief time.
It’s also the story of Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family to the departure. Her pain and guilt are palpable.
As I followed these characters on their journey, I was treated to an inside look into the Guilty Remnant, the fall of Holy Wayne, the cruelty of fanaticism, the odd and surprising connections that operate around us, and—ultimately—the harvest of hope that I immediately recognized as grounded and true, for it’s the harvest that has kept mankind going since our beginnings. It’s the one that says, “Here. Look what I’ve found.” There is a reason to go on. There is a reason to live.
Perrotta has a way with words. Beyond the story of these lost souls, readers are treated to a dose of writing that rings as true as that final harvest.
If you haven’t read Perrotta before, you may be familiar with two movies adapted from his novels: Election, a dark and hilarious work about an ambitious and insufferable high school girl and the male teacher who tries to get in her way; and Little Children, a trip through suburbia accompanied by pedophilia, infidelity, and redemption.
Before we get into further discussion, take a look at the video, and then we’ll talk!
So, what do you think? Is it great to see a baby interacting with an iPad, or do you worry that she won’t understand how to use print material when she’s older? Did Steve Jobs really code her OS? The author of a short post on American Editor finds it worrisome for another reason:
It symbolizes the problem I see with the future of language and the acceptance of Twitter-speak/spelling as the norm.”
Me thinks these people doth protest too much.
Here’s a story: my colleague and friend Sadie has a young son named Fox who recently put his hand on his father’s laptop screen. He stretched his fingers wide and said “bigger!” When the image on the screen didn’t respond, he looked at his dad quizzically as if to say: “What kind of crappy technology is this?!”
So Fox knows how touch screens are supposed to work. But, of course, he also knows how books and magazines work. (I mean, his mom’s a librarian. Hello?!) And I’m sure he’s figured out that all screens don’t incorporate touch technology. It’s the same with my grandnephew and grandniece. Put an iPod Touch in their hands, and they’re all over it. Put a book in their hands, and they can turn pages and read the printed word.
Young children are remarkable creatures. They are born to investigate and explore the world around them, whether they come across a rock or an iPad. More importantly, we remain learners throughout our lives. When you were growing up, did you really expect to see the day when you could pull up information, watch videos, play music and make phone calls on a device smaller than a portable transistor radio? And yet, chances are you’ve mastered that device well enough to find it remarkably useful.
Some academicians believe we are moving toward a post literate world; but, honestly, I don’t see this video as Exhibit One in any future investigation exploring why the human race has lost the ability to read.
It’s all good, people. So calm down.
Now, Siri? Now, that’s something we really have to worry about!
One of the great things about working with librarians is meeting local authors. I’ve met a slew, and I can tell you that Oklahoma authors are really good folk! One of my author friends has released a new book, and I’m here to tell you about it…
When Molly debuted her web page, it described her as an “Oklahoma award winning children’s author.” These days, the page says she writes for “adults and young readers.” Molly is indeed branching out with this new novel aimed at adult readers, but she continues to write about subjects that are deeply personal for her.
For example, her wish to educate and enlighten today’s children about the watershed World War II era in America led to a trilogy of children’s books. Two of them won Oklahoma Book Awards for childrens/young adult literature: The Rachel Resistance and Simon Says. Her love for a friend named Billie Letts led to the publication of You’ve Got Mail, Billie Letts.
Molly has recently experienced the deaths and illnesses of loved ones—a strange affair we must all traverse unless we check out of this life early—and these experiences have inspired Marilyn and Me, a road-trip novel unlike any other road-trip novel you may have come across.
When Lydia Patterson and her best friend Marilyn both lose their husbands in the same week, Lydia is suddenly thrust into the role of only caregiver for Marilyn, who is in stage four of early-onset Alzheimer’s. At the same time, the rattling of chain bookstores forces the closing of the independent Book Nook where Lydia has worked for most of her adult life. Her judgment impaired by grief, Lydia decides to fulfill a promise made long ago to take Marilyn on a road trip. On the first day out, a blind cat who also turns out to be pregnant crawls into Marilyn’s lap and heart causing her to speak for the first time in two years and leaving Lydia with some tough choices.
If you know Molly, you know how important family and friends are to her. You also know she can be nostalgic and sentimental, but that any potential sappiness is more than sufficiently tempered with an enthusiasm for life and discovery. She writes like she lives, with an observant eye that can’t help but focus on the rewards of this spiritual and bodily journey we are on.
Molly knows it’s the journey that’s important. And what you discover along the way.