You just gotta start writing……

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Monks Cove Bourne

Blogging is a fine art, rather discipline.  Reading is a fine pleasure, rather a finest pleasure.  So all the books that I haven’t been writing about have been read but not reviewed.  But here’s a somewhat new one….What would a combination of Twilight, Harry Potter, The Bartimaeus Trilogy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (with a little ‘Holy Grail-like’ object thrown in) be like?  It might be like City of Bones by Cassandra Clarke, a cool dark story of demons, ‘Shadowhunters’ and other worldly creatures heading towards the ultimate confrontation.  Cary (Clarissa) is a 15 year old (really, almost 16) girl who ‘sees’ things when others don’t, like people slaying weird creatures and, well, weird and truly icky creatures.  Her mother disappears under dark circumstances.  She finds out she’s the daughter of a ‘Shadowhunter’ mother and a former husband of her mom is the brilliant and ghastly planner of the end of the ‘Downworlders’ (fairy folk and such) and all things magical.  Powers, runes, ‘glamour’ (sorry for all the single quotes) and characters that are individually charming, powerful, evil, good and in-between.  Not exceptionally well-written (but very readable) and  not entirely a new story device, the author still hits on a good story image that will take more books to reveal the ultimate picture.  Older read.  And, as I mentioned…demons and magic.  So if you rather not think about things unseen or that raise the hairs on the back of your neck, there are lots of other choices for you.

PS:  City of Bones is also funny.  The sequel is entitled  City of Ashes.

WHERE TO FIND GOOD STORIES…..

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Best place, of course, is WORD OF MOUTH.  These are the books your friends say you gotta read (or listen to).  Next, try some LISTS.  Lists can be your friends, too, like NOVELIST and its inclusive category of Award Winners List.  Novelist is a library-subscribed database, maybe not all inclusive, but certainly a great starting point for finding SOMETHING TO READ.  Go to the library main page and click on Novelist to start.  I’ve included some good websites on this blog, but believe me there are more out there.  I often just go to AMAZON to look for quick reviews and you’ll find more LISTS there, too.  I do like TEENREADS.COM a lot for current and upcoming releases.  The AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S ‘YALSA’ (Young Adult Librarians) is also something you can look at without joining.  PUBLISHERS also have some great ‘I love what we’re publishing’ sites that can direct you you to their featured authors.  Well, this is a QUICK entry into the blog.  Oops, almost forgot….if you have an author you enjoy reading, go to the AUTHOR WEBSITE….often, the author will say who they LOVE TO READ and steer you onto more good stories and books.  GOOD LUCK!  LOVE THE BOOK!  (and don’t forget you can DOWNLOAD AUDIO BOOKS through the OCLN catalog… FREE! MP3s the best bet…take the book with you on that bus ride…)

SPEAK OF THE DEVIL… I get Kristen Cashore’s blog regularly and in the newest, yes, she makes RECOMMENDATIONS  of her favorite books/authors.  This girl is a reading FIEND (in a nice way).  She also must be very savvy in the ways of blogging as you get the full complement of video/audio/highlights accoutrements.  Just fun.  Try it.

PS:  Do check out the websites to the side.  Hmmmmm, I think I need to go to James Patterson’s or Anthony Horowitz’s sites.  GUYS READ, TOO. Oh, that reminds me of another site….http://www.guysread.com, you choose what level you need to see….John Scieczka’s offering with other Guy authors to all those guys out there who read (REAL BOOKS).

Newbery Award…..

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Newberry 2009

Newbery 2009

Anita Silvey, former editor of the esteemed Horn Book, recently wrote a scathing article about the Newbery Awards.  Recent choices seem to be, shall we say, hmmm not really the material she thinks makes a Newbery book.  How about Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, this year’s award winner?  I hope everyone reads this one, adult, teen, younger reader. It’s much more than just a scary story.  And, like Gaiman’s Coraline has one of the best villains you could imagine.  The American Library Association has a whole list of awards it hands out…this year’s Printz Award (realistic teen fiction)Marlena Marchetta’s Jellico Road for instance.  We all have our favorite books.  You choose your award winner and start spreading the word.  Be sure to back it up with more than just, ‘Oh, it was just SO interesting.’  By the way, what is YOUR award winner?

The reviews have started….

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You will notice off to the right a new ‘PAGES’ – Book Reviews. Click on that for the book reviews of new titles coming into the Teen Reads.  Please comment, too.  The main purpose of this blog is to introduce the titles that are now appearing on your local library’s shelves.  I can’t read them all, but will dutifully do my best.  I always take constructive criticism, feedback and cookies when appropriate.  Anyway, let’s see how this works.  TTFN

After the deluge….

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mural-project-2008-library-061The next books to mini-review will be The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecelia Galante, Breathe: a Ghost Story by Cliff McNish and Out of Reachby V.M. Jones.  Young Adult literature runs the gamut from flirty fun (Gossip Girls), to amazing otherworldly  stories (Libba Bray’s ‘The Rebels’ trilogy) to fall down flat cheeky, subtle humor (Godless by Pete Hautman) to Holocast depth (The Boy in Striped Pajamas or The Book Thief) to thriller/suspense (The Graveyard Book) to . . .  on and on and on.  Anything adult literature has, YA does it with less words and still packs a wallop.  I have just been ‘weeding’ – the library term for sending books out to pasture – and it is a sad thing when great stories are no longer read and have passed out of contemporary interest.  But there is always good literature/storytelling coming along so I shouldn’t feel too bad.  Every book has its reader, right?  So, if you read this, keep looking and don’t forget to hit the Teen Reads area for some of the best reads.

Welcome, here’s the first ‘book bite.’

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As a first post, I will keep this brief…fantasy, future shock or dark thriller, choose any or all:

  • Graceling –  Kristin Cashore (fantasy thriller)
  • The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins (future shock)
  • The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman (dark thriller)

I read The Hunger Games first, then Graceling, then The Graveyard Book.  These books make one hungry to read more of their ilk (That’s a fun little word for ‘their kind.’)  I’ll be listing new acquisitions on this blog and doing some reviews.  You as reader are most welcome to recommend books and submit comments/reviews.  Kathy Johnson Young Adult Librarian

Check out the websites listed on the blog.  More later.