That moment when all the things you’ve requested comes in at once… yup. I have to pick up 10 things from the library today. Here we go!

What I’m picking up:
Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
The nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Ms. Marvel Vol II
Bitch Planet Vol I
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
The Princess Bride (Illustrated edition) by S. Morgenstern
The Easy Vegan Cookbook by Kathy Hester

This doesn’t include the movies and TV series I have to pick up and already have at home!

What are you picking up today? How should I prioritize my list? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!


All Day With Dat Playaway

I’m sure you’ve noticed (or maybe you haven’t) that I’ve recently picked up Playaway and have been experimenting with this. If you do NOT know what a Playaway is, stay tuned because I’m going to tell you in the next sentence. A Playaway is like an audiobook, but instead of having discs you have a little device that kind of looks like an MP3 player that allows you to plug in your headphones and listen (much like a REAL MP3 player). You can pause, play (obviously), rewind, skip tracks, and control the volume as well! It requires a battery, but you just have to ask when you’re checking out (huzzah for libraries), and they’ll be happy to give yuh one.

I work in an office and for those 8 hours I’m typing on a keyboard when I could be reading a book. I could be opening up my mind to beautiful and wonderful worlds while I’m staring at a screen and dealing with Excel files. I could travel to distant lands and meet new people all without leaving the confines of my work station (it’s not really a cubicle…not really). Boom. Decided. I’m going to get a Playaway and increase my bookage. One book for reading at home. One book for my communte. One book for while I’m working.

My first experience with a Playaway was when I read You’re a Badass. This was the perfect book to listen to while I’m working. I was able to snag the ideas and quotes without having to be fully invested. It was awesome. And yes, I am a badass.

My second Playaway was a little rough. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk was a book that I just didn’t “get”. I wasn’t sure, and still am not sure, if it’s because of the content or because I was super intense in my work. (Heck yes more Excel files!) I just felt really lost and there was a definite disconnect.

Third and final (as of now) attempt at a Playaway was listening to Life After Life. This puppy was even rougher. This book was definitely a literary book and I just felt lost at times. Way more so than my second attempt. The book was great, but I was so distracted and didn’t feel the same emotions that other reviews had felt.

I came up with a solution. It’s not the Playaway’s fault. The Playaway is doing its job perfectly, it’s me. (It’s not you; it’s me.) I’m doing this while working. I’m doing this while I have problems at work that actually require me to use my full attention and block out everything else. I’m doing this … the wrong way.

My super-skinny-runs-for-fun-vegan-roommate listens to Playaways while she’s getting ready for work or while she’s cleaning her room. Goodness me! I could do this. I don’t need to use that many brain cells to get ready for work. (Push button for coffee.) Boom. I don’t need to pour over insane details while cleaning my room. (Socks go in the drawer.) Boom. I need to change my activity in order for me to completely enjoy the book as it should be. ORRRR I need to find a book that doesn’t require me to be fully immersed (sorry Sincero).

Yes. I think I’ll try both just to see what happens. All right. It’s decided. I’ll try this again and let you know if anything has changed.

Your turn! Have you tried out a Playaway? What are you doing when you’re listening and what types of books are you listening to? Have you wanted to try this out why or why not? Let me know in the comments below.

Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my bibliophile beasties!

Book ‘im, Danno: Why I Go To The Library

Photo Cred:
I like big books and I cannot lie. I also like checking books out from the library, like, a lot. In fact, I just returned four books and three CDs earlier today. (Actually, yesterday by the time this blog goes up.) There are a ton of book lovers that buy a load of books and make their own library. Just go on Youtube and type in “book haul”; the result will astound you. I’m definitely not hating on any of those, but I cannot afford to get mountains of books at a drop of a hat. A lot of them bargain buy on Amazon, and Book Depository, and others… (wow, brain fart).

I’m here to tell you why I go to the libraries. Not in any particular order, here they are:

1. It’s free. Need I say more? You don’t need to pay for a card. You don’t need to pay for checking anything out. However, be careful of fines, and remember you can re-new.

2. You can renew. While most libraries give you a movie for one week, magazines and CDs and non-fiction movies and TV show DVDs for two weeks, books and audiobooks and playaways for three weeks, you can call or go in and get your material renewed if you know it’s going to be late. It takes minimum effort, and you’ll get double the original time!

3. Wide selection. There’s a huge selection of new books, movies, CDs, audiobooks, and playaways. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m Indie or hipster or whatever and claim the library won’t have what I’m looking for because it’s new and no one’s heard of it and it’s totally not mainstream. Let me tell you something – they have it. They’re on top of it. They got your back hipsters and mainstreamers.

4. Holds. You can go online, call, or even show up in person and put whatever your little heart desires on hold. And they HOLD it for you. If someone has it already checked out, place a hold and hop in line to get it next. The awesome thing is you can place a hold for things that aren’t even out yet! Real life example here: I heard that the gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is coming out with a book in 2015. My Sunny-loving self went on my libraries website and placed a hold. Guess what. I’m number one, so when it comes in I’ll be the first kid on my block with the shiny new book.

5. Rating. You can rate the books you read and even write reviews on the website.

6. Reactionary. These libraries know, man. If you start requesting things that they don’t have, they’ll know that whatever you selected must be popular (cuz you’re such a trend-setter) and they’ll probably order a copy or two for the collection. They’ll probably order other things that are similar to what you requested since there is obviously a demand for it.

7. ILL. Let’s say you want something, but the librarian or assistant sees that the library does not have it in the collection. Something super cool that they can do is request the material from surrounding libraries! It’ll be sent to your library, and they’ll call you when it’s in.

8. Book discussions. While you may have noticed that I love to write about books, you might not know that I love to talk about books too. So does the library. They’re not all the books that you see Oprah pick out. They’re not all those light mystery novels you see your grandma read. They do ones like Orange is the New Black and Kill Shakespeare and other awesome books.

9. Helpful. The people working there are all willing to help you find just what you’re looking for even if you aren’t. If you come in with an author you like, or a genre, or even a book that you really enjoyed, they’ll find something that you’ll enjoy based on those minimal requirements.

10. It’s free. Just to re-iterate, if you don’t get fines, everything is absolutely free. Even with fines, a lot of libraries let you get away with under $5.

Boom. Find your local library and become the best patron ever. All you’ll need, at least in my experience, is a photo ID and mail to prove your residency. What are you waiting for? Get out there!

Until next time!

Going Clubbin’ Tonight: My Take On Book Clubs

Until lately I have never been part of a book club. I highly enjoy talking about something I’ve just read. I geek out over all different types of books and wait for others to read it, so we can geek out together, but it’s never been an official book club. I’ve never even gone to a book discussion, like through the library. The only book talks I’ve ever been to have been mandated by college, high school, middle school, and elementary school. Other than that, it was all me, myself, and I.

In March, my friend and I decided to grab a bunch of our reader friends and make the love for reading official. We decided to have a book club. The first book club meeting was to be at 11:00 am, some day in April, at a coffee shop (cliche), and our first book was to be The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to go into detail about this book here. This post is solely about my first experience in a book club.

This book was one I hadn’t heard of previously, but after I started reading it, I saw it everywhere. It was in stores, people were talking about it, it was in libraries. It just exploded like uncovered soup in the microwave. I got this book as an audio from the library. It was a mistake. I read it super early because I wanted to make sure I would have time to finish. It was a mistake.

The mistakes I made and why they’re mistakes: 1. Audiobook. This is a mistake because when I do audiobooks I do them in the car. This means I’m not 100% focused at all times as to what is going on. This also means that I’m not taking notes or remembering key points and/or questions I want to ask. 2. Reading too early. I read this as soon it was decided to be the book for the month. It was a mistake because I couldn’t remember a lot of details. I was good on the major points of the book, but little things were fuzzy. Since I didn’t take any notes, it wasn’t helpful.

So I stroll into the coffee shop early because I want to get some blogging done. (At the time, I was working on Kicking Ass and Taking Names.) I went up to the counter, ordered my medium iced soy vanilla latte and got to blogging. After awhile people trickled in and we got down to business. I wasn’t really sure how this meeting would go. Is it going to be like college where I need to ask really deep questions, link other books I’ve read, and go into detail about how it’s against the feminist movement? Is it going to be simply saying whether I liked or disliked the book and then we go our separate ways? It was both.

We each said whether or not we liked the book and stated why. We talked about the fluffier subjects first, but somehow managed to sneak in talks about the changing healthcare system. I was worried that I would be left out, having not taken any notes. I wasn’t. Two of the four of us took notes, but they weren’t really used. We didn’t get into details like On page 48, when she mentions her anxiety of the cat, what do you think she was really saying? (This is a completely made up example. You can quote me on that.) It was a cool vibe going on. I’m not sure if it was the latte or the company, or the fact that we’re talking about books, but I was definitely digging the book club.

After talking about the material, we moved on to talk and plan when the next one would be. We made a facebook event and invited more people to this one. The book of choice was One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. The next discussion would be over brunch. We also have the idea of doing a “Young at Heart” month featuring a YA book. We’re going to do a graphic novel month. The ideas kept pouring out and I kept growing in excitement.

Book Clubs are my thing.

While I won’t be able to make the newest one, (Elegance of the Hedgehog) I will definitely continue to read this book and keep accepting those book club events. I’m pumped. The reading community is a great one to be a part of!

So what about you? Are you part of a book club or are you a hermit (not necessarily a bad thing)? Do you want to be in/start a book club and are unsure on how to go about it? What has been your favorite book discussion and why? Let me know in the comments below! Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time!

YA Books That Aren’t Just For Teens And New Adult Book List

As promised my blog post Hot Debut Novels Book List, here is the list of YA (Young Adult) books that have adult appeal and an emerging genre, New Adult. This list is not something I came up with myself. It’s something I got from attending the Reaching Forward Conference. (You can read about my experience there in my blog post.) Again, like the previous Reaching Forward list, each bullet has a link. The link leads directly to the authors’ page on goodreads. This makes it easier for you to add these awesome books to your “To Read” list, as well as read a little blurb about what each book is about. I also put in a few notes that I hastily scribbled during the session. Bare with my as I try to read them. So, without further ado: here’s the list.

Not Just For Teens: YA and New Adult Books for Adults according to Lynnane Pearson

Phew that was a lot of figuring out what my notes said, linking, and formatting. This is it! The list of YA books with adult appeal and New Adult books. Check them out and remember to keep reading. That being said, this wraps up the Reaching Forward Conference Series.
What’s coming up next? A new series! My year in books. My goal on goodreads is to read 50 books this year. Stay tuned and I’ll give you the skinny of each book including how many stars, what I thought of it and if you should read it or not!
Until next time my bibliophiles!

Hot Debut Novels Book List

So, no one commented to say that they were interested in the list of “Hot Debut” novels or “YA/New Adult” books from my previous post (Reaching Forward Conference Review And Free Stuff Brag). Too bad. I’m going to post them anyway. Each title below is a link that goes to goodreads. There you can see the description of the book (and gives you easy access to add it to your “to read” list). If you have no idea what goodreads is or don’t think it’s your thing, check out my other blog post: Great Reads And Horrible Reads On Goodreads. Without further ado, here’s the list.

Hot Debut List According To Lynnanne Pearson

Well, there you have it. The list of hot debut novels I got from my session at the Reaching Forward Library Conference. Still to come is the list of YA books and New Adult books to check out (from the same conference), and that will be the end of my Reaching Forward stint.

Until next time darlings – Keep reading!

Reaching Forward Conference Review And Free Stuff Brag

Reaching Forward Blog
On Friday, May 9 I attended a Library Conference called Reaching Forward. This is a huge deal for me to nerd out with other book lovers and not-quite-librarians, like myself. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but this conference definitely is not it. For good, I should add. It exceeded my expectations for good. Here’s a walk-through of my day.

I was supposed to be at the house of one of my co-workers and then all four of us would go together. The conference doors open at 8, so we were to meet at 7:30 to give us enough time. Silly me was thinking that early morning traffic is non-existent when I, myself, am not going to regular work. Mistake. There was traffic, of course. Everyone was going super slower than usual too on account of rain. (HOLY CRAP! What’s this stuff that’s falling from the sky? I need to go at least 10mph under the speed limit just to be safe. – All drivers everywhere) Off to a great start, I got there late. We zoomed to the conference and made it in plenty of time. On our arrival we were given a messenger bag and led into a big ballroom to get our breakfast. (I snagged up a mini bagel, mini apple danish, and the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life!) Sitting down, I went through my loot. 🙂 Best part about conference is the free loot (and all the experience, of course). In the bag was: 1. Lanyard for our badges. 2. Reaching Forward pin. 3. Pen. 4. Pad of paper. 5. Chapstick. 6. Leather portfolio, complete with notebook pad. I was giddy.

After a speech explaining the growth each year, and that this is the 25th anniversary, we were off to our first session. I went to “Passionate Promise: Storytelling for Young Adults”, with Janice Del Negro as the speaker. It was actually really cool. Talked about how to be a storyteller with the older, moody adolescents and how to keep them engaged. I went to this session with a co-worker and we decided to do a scary storytelling program in October for Halloween. I’m pumped.

With my new pumped energy, I saunter on over to the next session. (I did some in-between stuff that I’ll talk about later.) This session was called “The Next Big Thing: Hot Debut Novels” and had Lynnane Pearson from Skokie Public Library as a speaker. Every time she said “debut” I cringed a bit. She added the “t” sound at the end and it just hit me up the side of the head every time. In this session, she went through a ton of books in different genres that were the first books from an author. The coolest part was that she had giveaways of either early release copies of books she talked about or books that recently were out on the market. (I got Invisible City by Julia Dahl.) Boo-yah. More free stuff. (Loving this convention more and more.) This session basically was me writing down all the books she said, so I can add them to my goodreads “To Read” shelf.

With my new-book glow, I headed back to the ballroom for lunch. Lunch is an understatement. It was more of a feast. Salad, bread, chicken kabob, carrots and green beans, rice, cheesecake, chocolate cake, chocolate covered strawberries, and the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life. Award were presented. Speeches were given. Fire alarms went off. (This really happened. It only lasted about two minutes and we didn’t get a chance to leave before it was resolved. Yes, I shoved the rest of the cake in my face. I wasn’t about to leave that alone.) So, now that I’m nice and ready for a nap, it’s off to the third session.

“Not Just For Teens: YA and New Adult Books for Adults”, speaker Lynnanne Pearson, talked about young adult books that had adult appeal as well. There were a few that I had already read like the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, Antigoddess, and the Cinder series. Pearson also discussed a new upcoming genre called New Adult. Basically, she described it as young adult books, but with more sex. The examples she gave makes me think that I’ll pass on this one. They all seemed like the O.C. (TV show) or (I don’t even know) trashy novels. Not my thing.

With session four came “Effective Latino Engagement Techniques” with Elizabeth Stearns from Waukegan Public Library. The library I work at is in an area where a huge chunk of the population is Latino, so all my co-workers and I went to this one. Stearns explained how she got her community, which is mostly Mexican population, involved in the library. She talked about everything from getting volunteers to talk about their experiences around the neighborhoods, to having classes dedicated to the needs of the Patrons (ie. English classes).

Ok. Now that the learning part is out of the way, here’s the fun stuff. I didn’t just bolt to each session after one ended. There were a ton of different vendors set up that you could peruse. I got to pet a snake, turtle, and dragon-looking guy. I talked to a college about their online MLS program. Tried samples of different chocolates. Got a kitty bag. (Bag with a kitty on it, not a bag for a kitty that I don’t even have.) Looked at bats. Got our pictures taken in a photo booth. There was basically a ton of different places you could support and even have come in and do a program at the library.

So, how is this applicable to you? If your company has a convention or training or anything of that sort – go to it! Just do it. You might get free stuff. You’re getting paid to not work, and just have fun. You can network with other companies or others that are interested in the same things you are. You get to bond with your current co-workers. You’ll learn new things about your field or even about yourself. SO GO!

Alright, that about wraps it up. If you want me to post the huge list of debut novels and the YA/new adult books, leave me a comment. (Warning: there’s a ton and it will probably end up being a bonus post later in the week.)

Until later; Keep rockin!