Thursday, July 21, 2011

The next Harry Potter

For years people have been predicting what would be the next Harry Potter.  With the final movie from the franchise in theaters now, here's a look at some of the series that have been called its successor--and whether they have lived up to the hype (courtesy of Atlantic magazine).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Why Librarians 'Need to Be More Like Lady Gaga'

Gwyneth Anne Jones, a teacher-librarian in Laurel, Md., who writes the Daring Librarian Blog, says that librarians need to be more like Lady Gaga than Lady Bird Johnson.  We need to establish a clear, pervasive, vibrant, and involved presence in our community, and on the web. The more visible librarians are the less likely that they’ll be taken away.  Good point.  

Monday, July 4, 2011

American Library Association Meeting, New Orleans

As you can see from the photos, I had a great time in New Orleans at the ALA Meeting. It was wonderful to get a chance to meet some folks face to face whose books I've enjoyed reading for years and to get to know some new authors.  New Orleans was an attraction itself, the Scholarship Bash held at the World War II Museum was a rousing good time, and the Newbery, Caldecot, Wilder Award Banquet was a glittering affair.   

Me with Daniel Handler, aka, Lemony Snicket
He's signing a copy of his new Young Adult book for me "Why We Broke Up"

Me with Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee, and Tony Fucile
Kate's book that she signed for me is "Bink & Gollie"

Me and Harlan Coben
He's signing his new YA book "Shelter"

Jeff Kinney, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" author, gave a nice presentation

Cassandra Clare, author of the hot YA trilogy "Mortal Instruments"

Mary Kay Andrews, author of Little Bitty Lies, Hissy Fit, and Savannah Blues

Authors Brandon Sanderson and Nnedi Okorafor
Brandon signed copies of his book "The Way of Kings" (he is also completing Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series); Nnedi signed copies of her books "Akata Witch" and "Who Fears Death".

Steve Hamilton, author of Edgar Award Winner for Best Novel of the Year for his YA book "The Lock Artist"

Alden Bell, author of "The Reapers are the Angels"

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Serpent in the Thorns by Jeri Westerson

I love Jeri Westerson's Crispin Guest novels.  She really makes me feel like I am right in the middle of the medieval atmosphere she has created, London in 1384, experiencing the sights and sounds along with her hero, the Tracker, Crispin Guest.

The thing I love about Crispin is that he operates within this historical framework while maintaining personal integrity, his own moral compass, and a sense of humor that never seems to desert him no matter the circumstances.  And the circumstances have not been the best for Crispin since he was banished from court, stripped of his title and his land, losing his money and position in the process, and forced to survive by his wits and skill as the "Tracker".

In this second book in the series, a simpleminded tavern girl shows up at his door in the Shambles asking for his help.  A body was found in her room with an arrow protruding from the man and she must have killed him.  The man was a courier from the French king transporting a relic to England.  Crispin is drawn into the events and they quickly spiral out of control to the point where Crispin is implicated in the murder.  With time running out he has to unravel the conspiracy behind the murder and save his country and himself in the process.  How he manages to do this is a reader's delight in the hands of the skillful Westerson.  This book is pure fun and one of my favorite reads of the past few months.  I highly recommend it.  I can't wait to tackle "The Demon's Parchment" [Book 3], and the 4th installment, "Troubled Bones", which is due out in October.

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