Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I've been away... very busy with family vacations & an upcoming wedding.

So, what is new in my world of books?

Well I'm reading Jennifer Weiner's newest "Fly Away Home." I'm only about 30 pages into it...so far so good! I enjoy her novels. They are true to heart I think... you really get a sense of the character's whole world; her characters always seem very real to me.

Also, I've dived into one of Anne Bronte's novels...but I think that is for another post.

A few semesters ago...actually probably 2 years ago I had to read a Sherlock Holmes novel (Hound of the Baskervilles) for school. My father is an avid Holmes fan. He loves the stuff. He will read the same novels and short stories over and over again. We all have given up on trying to introduce him to new authors, new characters.

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed Hound, it was excellent. Anyone who is a Holmes fan to any degree should read that novel (if your Holmesian and you haven't, shame on you!) From there, I went on to read another short story (Silver Blaze) per my father's instruction.

Just last week I asked him to recommend a few other short stories to me, which were his favorite?

And this leads us to my point... I think you can see into someone, learn something of them by knowing what their favorite readings are. Yes, of course you won't be able to read everything that someone else enjoys...and you shouldn't. You should read what you like because YOU LIKE IT, not because someone else does or because they recommended it to you.

However, this is my father. In 30 years, he may not be here...I will be able to know which stories were his favorite...why he loved Holmes. (This makes me wonder...why does he love Holmes? I don't know...this worries me, and I shall have to ask. ) Reading these same favorites allows my father & I to share something. Reading the same book or story with someone is a unique way of sharing something, I think.

Do you remember what your last love's favorite novel was? You know their favorite band probably? Why not what they read? 100 years ago ...Elizabeth would have know Darcy's favorite. (And if you don't get the reference.... geewillakers you better get reading)

Do you have a fond memory of a parent reading to you as a child? Or some other shared reading moment?



Monday, July 12, 2010

Jay Leno's Library Card?

A library is a very busy place.

In May of this year, the Los Angeles Public Library faced severe budget cuts. Jay Leno commented on his show that these cuts would effect all of 9 people.

To be blunt, what a jerk.

An LAPL Librarian remarked that these cuts were no laughing matter & that nearly 17 million people use the LAPL.

I learned about this incident in the most recent issue of American Libraries.

Maybe if Jay Leno went to a library to do some research to back up his comments, he would found out how many people work at the LAPL's; how many people use them.. depend on them.

Not everyone is middle or upper class and has cable television and internet in their homes. Not everyone can afford to go to the movies to see every new blockbuster hit. Not everyone chooses to, or can afford even if they wanted to, purchase every book they'd like to read.

Jay Leno, go get a library card, open your eyes, & LEARN something about the COMMUNITY CENTER you are about to mock. In my eyes, your stupidity is the only thing worth mocking.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Living in Books

At work today a library patron mentioned her anticipation about a certain novel, "The Passage" by Justin Cronin. I remarked about the size of it...the number of pages, it is just a hugely long book. She went on to say that she loved that!

"When a good well written long novel ends .." it made her sad, she "lived with those characters."

I thought this was amazing. Lovely. I completely agree. I still am daunted by 1,039,808 paged books (exaggeration) but I too love that connection that comes with characters, with their world.

How often I pick up a book and am enthralled.

When I finish a good book, I am sadden by the end of the journey. I often long for an author to pick up a new novel with former characters from a previous novel. Think of how the release of the last "Harry Potter" book effected it's followers. (The books are a million times better than the movies...but that is another blog post.)

I too feel such a connection to the characters & to their world...I wonder if there is a technical term for this feeling? This phenomenon? Yes, phenomenon. The deep connections that readers have with their favorite, or even just much enjoyed novels, is something amazing. What an awful aawful world we would live in without that spectacle.

How do you feel when you finish a book?



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book's choice

Everyone has different tastes in books. Working in a public library has made me become the personal librarian for a lot of my friends. Some of them read more than others. Often I'll recommend books I've read & like, or loved to them. Sometimes one friend will enjoy a certain book I did, then not enjoy a similar one.

The characteristics of the books A & B may be similar enough...but person 1, who enjoyed book A might not enjoy book B, despite the similarities.

Why? If they are all alike?

Well, they aren't really alike enough I guess. Or is it timing?

Have you ever picked up a book, put it down because it doesn't interest you...only to pick it back up months or years later?

The years part hasn't happened to me...mostly because I'm not old enough...the books I would have been reading 10 years would never appeal to me now. However, I have tried to read books that didn't work out at the time, only to work out later on.

So what does timing have to do with it? Do we choose the books? Or do the books choose us?

I often find traces of my own current life drama (lets face it, we all have a little bit of drama...it may be very different from our neighbor's...but it is there) in the book I am reading. Is this a coincidence? If so, of what sort? Do I see the similiarity between my life and those of the characters I'm reading about because I'm looking for it? Or is there some Librarian Reader's Adviosry God (L-RAG, I like it) who brings certain books to certain people at certain times? There is something comforting in that... that we are reading these books to learn, to see, to hope, to experience a life that can influence ours in some way, even if it is fictionalized.

I feel quite confident in my own reading choices. I would like to think it is in my own hands...but, I don't know...maybe not. What do you think? Is there an L-RAG following you through your public library's stacks?



p.s. I would totally be an L-RAG in another life if I could.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Character Characteristics

I'm about 3/4 of the way through Nicholas Sparks' "The Last Song." It is the first NS book I've read, and I can see why he has a extensive amount of avid followers. I'm glad I've read one of his books, as I can add him to my repertoire of experience, but I don't think I'll be reading anymore of his novels. Why? Don't know... perhaps I've heard that they are all much alike. If you've read one, have you read them all?

Also, since the movie of this book has come out it is difficult for me to not picture Miley Cryus as the female lead, Ronnie. That is something my book club often discusses... what their visions of certain characters are.

I recently read "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by David Levithan & John Green. Loved this book ! It was exceptional. Poignant, funny, true to the times...it discusses social class structures that exist in high school. Friendship, love, all the standard themes of YA novels. But this novel is unique in many ways, the story line for one (two random strangers meet and they have the same name) and also the accurate-ness (?) of the plot & the characters. It all is so real. Some of the main characters are homosexual and it brings an honest portrayal of these young people. It truly shows how they have the same problems with love, friends, fitting in, that all young people do.

To my point though...a few of my friends have read this book. Through brief discussion of the book it came out that we all pictured one character African American, even though there no where in the story does it mention his skin color. Myself, after realizing this depiction was of my own creating and not because of any indication in the story I was...surprised, shocked. Why did I think this? I am not racist, or prejudice on any level. Shortly there after I began, unintentionally, to picture this young man as white.

Are we prejudice without meaning to be? Do our thoughts think themselves? There must be some reasoning behind this coincidence...after all it wasn't just me, it was other readers as well. Does it have something to do with nature? I'm not sure...

What are you experiences with picturing characters and landscapes as you read?



p.s. David Levithan is one of my favorite authors. Check him out! http://www.davidlevithan.com/

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Well, here we go. This is my first blog post ever. I'm not sure exactly how this how blogging thing will work out. It is odd the way in which I feel I fit into this technology revolution we all hear so much about. I just recently finished my Masters in Library and Information Science. Yet, I'm still unsure of exactly how an RSS feed works! I feel that because I'm young enough, and part of this technologically based generation, I should be a bit more up on modern technology than I am. Not to say that I'm inept...far from it actually.

Any who, I just finished reading a YA (young adult) book called "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman. It was enjoyable. I can honestly say this is the first book I read in a bit where I was not able to predict the end. I didn't know what was going to happen til the last few pages. It was a quick read and raised interesting questions. It is about a young girl who is in a car accident and her spirit must decide whether to live or die. Crazy concept huh?

There are obviously extenuating circumstances that make her decision interesting/extra difficult. What would you do? Do you believe your pure will to live is what decides a coma victim's fate...or is entirely up to the doctors? Or luck?

p.s love that my blog (!!) has spell check!