Monthly Archives: June 2012

Dear Reader: Farewell to The Master

While I was away at BEA, Ray Bradbury died at the age of 91. Ray Bradbury was not the first science fiction author I have read, but he is the one that made the biggest impact on my life. I first read his story “All Summer in a Day” in a collection of short stories edited by Isaac Asimov called Tomorrow’s Children, which I read in high school. This made such an impression on me, that I sought out other works by Bradbury. In college, I read Fahrenheit 451, and decided to become a librarian, to champion literacy, books, and reading. I refuse to own a wall-mounted TV, due to this book. Then came The Martian Chronicles, a collection of short stories around the theme of exploring and colonizing Mars; The Illustrated Man; R is for Rocket; S is for Space; Dandelion Wine; and many more. I own most of his books and have read them over and over, especially some of his short stories. Two years ago, while attending The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, my friends and I saw a show based on three Bradbury stories, done with music, mime, and puppets. Mr. Bradbury was especially prescient, foreseeing the invention of the iPod, ATMs, interactive devices, and other things we now take for granted, as can be seen in this illustration: Bradbury Graphic. I recommend that you try a Bradbury story or book. Ask me to suggest some.
BTW, tomorrow is the official start of the Summer Reading Program. There will be prize drawings for teens and tweens (2 each week), adults (one per week), plus prizes for the top boy and girl reader in each grade, plus the top family of readers (at least one adult in the family must register along with the kids). Go to Dream Big – Read! to register. There is also a staff reading contest going on. Top prize: a parking space near the door for a month.

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Dear Reader: I went to the BEA…

…and all I got was two boxes of galleys, ARCs, and other free forthcoming books. Some highlights:
The Twelve, by Justin Cronin (Ballantine, 10/12); sequel to The Passage, which was very popular with us apocalypse-novel readers. I’m already 2/3rds of the way through it.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, by Cathrynne Valente (Macmillan, 10/12); sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland…, a favorite with all of the Plumb Library staff.
The Last Dragonslayer, by Jasper Fforde (Harcourt, 9/12). Fforde writes the Thursday Next series; this is his new YA book.
Albert of Adelaide, by Howard Anderson (Twelve Books, 7/12). A platypus escapes from the Adelaide Zoo in Australia, and embarks on a journey through the outback in search of “Old Australia”. Think Watership Down with platypus, kangaroos, and wallabees.
We Sinners, by Hannon Pylvainen (Holt, 8/12). Two members of a conservative religious family break away.
Survivors: The Empty City, by Erin Hunter (Harper, 8/12). Hunter has done series with cats; now it’s time for dogs to rule the wild.
Princess Academy: The Palace of Stone, by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury, 8/12). Sequel to The Princess Academy.
The End of Men and the Rise of Women, by Hanna Rosin (Riverhead, 9/12). The author, a senior editor at The Atlantic, and founder of Slate’s DoubleX podcast, reveals that women are ahead of men in almost every area of life.
The Art Forger, by B. A. Shapiro (Algonquin, 10/12). This debut novel is based on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery.
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin, 8/12). The author of last year’s hit West of Here is back with an entirely different novel.
Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, by Susan Elia Macneal (Bantam, 10/12), sequel to Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. Maggie Hope, now tutor to the young Princess Elizabeth, gets involved with MI-5.
Ruins of Lace, by Iris Anthony (Soucebooks, 10/12). The mad passion for lace has infiltrated France, pulling soldier and courtier alike into its web.
Wilderness, by Lance Weller (Bloomsbury, 9/12). Veteran of the Civil War, Abel lives by himself with his loyal dog in the mountains of Washington State.

There are many more, and they’ll be on display starting next week. How can you get your hands on them? There are three ways:
1. You can sign up for the Adult, or Teen/Tween section of the summer reading program. You can earn a raffle ticket for each hour that you log for reading time. These books are part of the prizes available.
2. You can join the July Cafe Parlez book discussion group. We usually hold a trivia quiz. All attendees get to chose a book.
3. You can make notes, and wait until they are published for real.

You can also borrow some now, but only if you write a review for the blog.

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Dear Reader: Off to BEA!

I’m off this week, attending the Book Expo America conference in New York City. If you want to live vicariously through my experiences, click on the link above and watch some of the streaming videos. I’ll try to blog during the week, too. I’ll be coming back with lots of ARCs (Advanced Reader Copy) and other goodies. Some of the ARCs I’ll be looking for will be Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night, new books by Barbara Kingsolver, Mary Kay Andrews, and Debbie Macomber, The Twelve, sequel to Passage by Justin Cronin, and some new titles like Tigers in Red Weather, Wlderness, and Splendors and Glooms.

Oprah is bringing back her Book Club. Click on this link for more information: Oprah’s Book Club.

Someone called and asked us if we stock Fifty Shades of Gray and its sequels. They had heard that libraries were banning this book. While I don’t think this is a great work of literature (re: my opinion of Twilight, and Flowers in the Attic), I recognize that others want to read these books. All libraries in SAILS have copies (some have multiple copies), and there are over 1000 people on the waiting list for the first title alone. Sure it’s erotica, but we have other titles in the library that are also erotica. The library system in Florida that pulled Fifty Shades of Gray from their shelves were shamed by fellow librarians into bringing them back. So, yes, we have them, but the list is huge, and you’ll wait a while. Do remember, though, that the Rochester copies will jump through the list and fill the Rochester holds first. So while you may be #822 on the overall list, you may be #3 on the Rochester list. Despair not!

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