Friday, May 21, 2010

A Slew of New Audiobooks for the Young Adult collection

The following new audio books are ready for check out :
An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
(humorous, contemporary fiction)
Dumped for the 19th time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate & former child prodigy Colin goes on a road trip to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.  (audiobook Parents Choice Award)
Another Faust, by Daniel and Dina Nayeri 
(dark, contemporary fantasy)
One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish, only to appear, 5 years later, with a strange & elegant governess.  Chilling, and wickedly satirical, this contemporary re-imagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption. 

 A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
(historical fiction)
Since its publication in 1960, A Separate Peace has been hailed as a modern classic. The story of two best friends attending an elite New Hampshire boarding school for boys during World War II.

(Native American, Montana, 1980s, family relationships)
Three generations of American Indian women successively tell their stories of hardships and angry secrets, while cognizant of family responsibilities, loyalty, and love.  (a Listen Up Editor's Choice award)

Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin
(nonfiction, race relations)
In 1959, Griffin--a white man--headed to New Orleans, darkened his skin, and immersed himself in black society. He then traveled through several states to chronicle the racism, segregation, and degrading living conditions of the period.  (a Listen Up Editor's Choice award)
Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson
(slavery, historical fiction)
The story of Isabel, a 13 year old African-American girl, who is sold to a cruel, loyalist family living in New York City at the start of the Revolutionary War.

Everlost, by Neal Shusterman
(supernatural, fantasy, adventure)
When Nick & Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up in Everlost, or limbo for lost souls, where although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at nothing - even skinjacking - to break free.

Newes From the Dead, by Mary Hooper  (historical fiction)
Based on the true story of Anne Green, a servant who survived a hanging in 1650 England only to awaken on the dissection table.
Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry
(adventure, pirates, humorous, fantasy)
Soon after Peter, an orphan, sets sail from England on the ship Never Land, he befriends and assists Molly, a young Starcatcher, whose mission is to guard a trunk of magical stardust from a greedy pirate and the native inhabitants of a remote island.

The Three Documents that Made America, Read by Terry Bregy, Sam Fink. (nonfiction, politics & government)  Declaration of Independence -- The Constitution of the United States -- The Bill of Rights and Additional Amendments.

(anorexia, contemporary fiction)
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest.

Hamilton-Wenham Public Library Complete Audiobooks List

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

eBooks for download using your library card

The Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, as a member of the 35 library Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC), recently expanded services, and now offers downloadable eBooks.  Best-sellers and classic titles (including a foreign language learning collection) are available 24/7 at:  MVLC OverDrive

The new eBook service, powered by OverDrive (a digital distributor of eBooks and audiobooks), is free for patrons with their library card. To get started downloading and reading the new eBooks, you must first download and install the Adobe® Digital Editions free software at: Digital Editions software

Then browse the eBook titles, add a title to your virtual bookbag, place a hold, or add the title to your wish list. eBook titles can be enjoyed immediately on your computer or transferred to a variety of mobile devices such as an iPod, Sony Reader, Nook, and many others. Titles automatically expire at the end of the lending period … or you can return eBooks early. There are no late fees. 


Following are two related articles from Publisher's Weekly:

Can You Survive a Benevolent Dictatorship?
The press loves the iPad, but beware Apple's attempt to shackle your readers to its hardware:
Cory Doctorow Apr 19, 2010 

(FYI - Cory Doctorow's 2008 Young Adult book Little Brother, is available in  audiobook format  or in print formatIt is Science Fiction set in San Francisco in the near future, about a terrorist  attack, the resulting police state, and computer hacking, with a dash of romance.  Highly recommend for science fiction fans, and technophiles.)

Enriched E-Books: Multimedia, Mystery, and 'Cathy's Book':   
Calvin Reid May 03, 2010  

Cathy's Book print format

Using an electronic reading device.

Have you used an eBook reader?  Recently it was my turn to try out the Barnes and Noble Nook that our Director, Jan Dempsey, purchased.  The Nook was passed to me just as I was leaving for a week of vacation on South Padre Island.  (Librarians have some job perks.)

On a scale of 1 to 10 for intuitive functionality, I give the Nook a 7, mainly because downloading an eBook from OverDrive to my computer, and then to the Nook was a bit bumpy and took some patient "try this and that" time.  Also, the control buttons, and the power on/off button are not as quickly understood as one might wish, and depending on the button are either not as responsive or too responsive to the touch. 

The Nook has its own rhythm to which you must adapt.  One staff person quickly brought it back to pass on to the next person because the electronic page turning was too intrusive into the reading experience.  It does take a while to become immersed enough in a story to ignore the Nook’s slight page turning pause.  There is no showing off the thick book you are reading since an electronic device will not divulge that information to your neighbor on the train or at the park.  Then again, you do gain a sense of privacy about what you are reading since there are no exposed covers.
The battery on the Nook lasts a long time.  I read all of The Help by Kathryn Stockett, 451 pages, without having to charge the battery.  The battery life is longer if you put the Nook in airplane mode, i.e., turn off the wireless.  The Nook comes with an AC adapter for USB 2.0 cable. This was a happy discovery since I forgot to bring my iPod charger.  The Nook adapter worked with the iPod cable so I was able to charge my iPod too.
The Nook has 2 gigs of internal storage, but has the possibility to expand  up to 16 gigs via an SD (secure digital) card. 2 gigs is about 1500 books.  The 6-inch eInk screen was easy on the eyes with the ability to enlarge or shrink the size of the letters.
On the whole the Nook was a good reading experience.  I'd like to try other devices like the Kindle and the iPad, and would eventually like to own an electronic reading device.  It was great for travel, and would be ideal for a college student short on living and backpack space, or for someone who moves house a lot. 
So, as one of my colleagues asked, "When do we get more devices for our electronic petting zoo?".
Reviews of the Nook: CNET Nook review 
Features of the Nook Barnes and Noble

Monday, May 3, 2010

Poetry Slam Wrap

On Friday night, April 30, 16 people (10 teens and 6 adults) entered the Library’s first poetry slam. Slam master emcee, Ian Chandler, a student in the creative writing program at Endicott College, ran the event with tact and charm, and entertained us with a few of his own poems (soon to be published on a new poetry page on this blog). Volunteer Judges, Barbara Mahoney, Rodd Stockwell, and Rebecca Shea, scored without tire, and with friendly ears. Thank you Judges! And, many thanks to the members of the Library’s teen advisory board, the Teen Think Tank, for making cookies and rice krispy treats, and for helping to plan the event. Thanks to Josh Hunt for being the scorekeeper, and to Christopher Stockwell for being the timekeeper. Thank you to Nathan and Jeffery Mente, and Nate Shepard for selling refreshments. Thank you Kyle Crosman for being the thumbs up/thumbs down judge on whether a poem kept to the disaster theme, and for bringing the music. 

Dan Sklar, a professor at Endicott College, was the winning adult entrant, and J.D. Debski was the winning teen entrant.  Both winners received gift certificates to a local bookstore, provided through funds from the Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Library.  The next Poetry Slam is penciled in the Library Calendar for Friday, October 1.

To see pictures from the Poetry Slam go to:  
Hamilton-Wenham Public Library Young Adult Facebook page 

Funds raised at the Teen Think Tank's refreshment table were sent to: Partners In Health for Haitian relief.