Thursday, December 29, 2011

Turn the Page

Still waiting for snow... probably won't see even one tiny crystal flake till Janus shows his baby face.  Meanwhile, let's count up the books from 2011.  This year I am weighing in at 141 total books read (131 young adult books, and 10 books from the adult collections), -- could still (probably will) squeeze one more title in before midnight this Saturday.  How do I know how many?  I track and tag what I read using LibraryThing. You could also keep track in your library account using the bookbags feature. 141 total books read in 2011, works out to two and a half books a week. Yay, kudos, tra-la-la for me.  Soooo, which ten from 2011 did I think were tops? :

Seven from the teen collection:

Three from the adult collection:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


It's winter, and I am wishing for a little snow to lighten the days.  Maybe you are too.  So, until we get some of the real thing, here are a few books for icy crystals by proxy. This chilly list is a mix of genres. Wintersmith; Stork; Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow; Snow-walker; and East; are fantasy stories.  Whiteout is a mystery.  The White Darkness, Trapped, Revolver, and Brian's Winter are suspenseful, survival, adventure stories. Let It Snow, is a romance. Emperors of the Ice is historical fiction, based on a true story. I have read and can recommend: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, and The White Darkness. I gave both books 4 stars. Trapped, while not a favorite of mine (I gave it 2 out of 5 stars), might appeal to those of you who enjoy survival stories.  I gave Stork, three and half out of five stars.  It is an urban fantasy that weaves Norse mythology into a small Minnesota town.  There is a sequel titled, Frost.

Brian's Winter, by Gary Paulsen, 1996. Instead of being rescued from a plane crash, as in the author's book Hatchet, this story portrays what would have happened to Brian had he been forced to survive a winter in the wilderness with only his survival pack and hatchet.
East, by Edith Pattou, 2003.  A young woman journeys to a distant castle on the back of a great white bear who is the victim of a cruel enchantment.

Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13, by Richard Farr, 2008.  Apsley Cherry-Garrard shares his adventures as the youngest member of Robert Scott's expedition to Antarctica in the early 20th century, during which he and Edward Wilson try to learn the evolutionary history of emperor penguins. Includes historical notes.
Let It Snow : Three Holiday Romances, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle, 2008. In three intertwining short stories, several high school couples experience the trials and tribulations along with the joys of romance during a Christmas Eve snowstorm in a small town.
Revolver, by Marcus Sedgwick, 2010.  Finland, 1910: Fifteen-year-old Sig is shocked to see a hole in the frozen lake outside his family's cabin and to find his father's corpse nearby.  Sig's sister and stepmother go for help, leaving Sig alone with Einar's body in the cabin. Soon after, an armed stranger barges in, demanding a share of Einar's stolen gold.

Snow-walker, by Catherine Fisher, 2004.  The snow-walker Gudrun came from the swirling mists and icy depths beyond the edge of the world to rule the Jarl's people with fear and sorcery, but a small band of outlaws will fight to the death to restore the land to its rightful leader.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, by Jessica Day George, 2008.  A girl travels east of the sun and west of the moon to free her beloved prince from a magic spell.

Stork, by Wendy Delsol, 2010.  After her parents' divorce, Katla and her mother move from Los Angeles to Norse Falls, Minnesota, where Kat immediately alienates two boys at her high school and, improbably, discovers a kinship with a mysterious group of elderly women--the Icelandic Stork Society--who "deliver souls."

Trapped, by Michael Northrop, 2011.  Seven high school students are stranded at their New England high school during a week-long blizzard that shuts down the power and heat, freezes the pipes, and leaves them wondering if they will survive.

The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCaughrean, 2007.  Taken to Antarctica by the man she thinks of as her uncle for what she believes to be a vacation, Symone--a troubled fourteen year old--discovers that he is dangerously obsessed with seeking Symme's Hole, an opening that supposedly leads into the center of a hollow Earth.

Whiteout, by Walter Sorrells, 2009. Sixteen-year-old Chass makes her way through a Minnesota blizzard, seeking not only the murderer of a beloved music teacher, but also something belonging to the killer who has been chasing her mother and herself around the country.

Wintersmith, by  Terry Pratchett, 2006.  When witch-in-training Tiffany Aching accidentally interrupts the Dance of the Seasons and awakens the interest of the elemental spirit of Winter, she requires the help of the six-inch-high, sword-wielding, sheep-stealing Wee Free Men to put the seasons aright.

Friday, December 9, 2011


The Library's teen advisory board met last Thursday, Dec. 1 (next meeting is in February), for pizza, and, well, to meet, and eat pizza. We talked about what the 2012 poetry contest theme might be (good ideas were generated), discussed movies, and books, ate pizza (Thank you, Friends of the Library!), and whether a homework/writing drop-in program was something people would come to here at the library (members all said no).  While we ate more pizza, eleven members of the TTT wrote down their favorite reads from 2011, which I have posted below (all linked to the online catalog, of course).  
To solidify that reading mood here is a video from...
Julian Smith, I'm Reading A Book:

TOP 44 READS OF 2011
Fiction : 
Young Samurai: Ring of Earth, by Chris Bradford 
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess 
Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll 
Hush, by Eishes Chayil
Nightshade, by Andrea Cremer
Elixir, by Hilary Duff
Hush Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick
Ranger's Apprentice series, by John Flanagan
Beastly , by Alex Flinn
Tyger, Tyger, by Kerstan Hamilton
Magic the Gathering : Lorwyn, by Cory J. Herndon
Seekers series, by Erin Hunter
Need, by Carrie Jones
Iron King, by Julie Kagawa
A Dragon's Awakening, by Aya Knight
The Power of Six, by Pittacus Lore
Pendragon series, by D.J. MacHale
Wildwood Dancing, by Juliet Marillier
The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie, by Jaclyn Moriarty
All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Remarque
Heroes of Olympus series, by Rick Riordan
Holes, by Louis Sachar
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
Skinjacker trilogy, by Neal Shusterman
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
Girl in Hyacinth Blue, by Susan Vreeland
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
Skin, by Adrienne Vrettos
Graphic Fiction and Manga :
 The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman
Naruto, by Masashi Kishimoto
Bleach, by Tite Kubo
Maximum Ride, by NaRae Lee
Death Note, by Tsugumi Ōba
One Piece, by Eiichiro Oda
American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
Graphic Format Biography :
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Smile, by Raina Telgemeier
Non-Fiction :
The Anthology of Rap, by Adam Bradley
The Book of Awesome, by Neil Pasricha


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beats On Order

A heavy carton arrived this week;  Prince, Amy Winehouse, Common, The Doors, Joan Jett, George Harrison, Eminem, Pearl Jam, Will Smith, and a crash of rappers jostled their way out of the box.  The Library's teen advisory board, the Teen Think Tank, helped me choose these books for the Young Adult non-fiction collection.  Funding was provided through the generosity of the Katlyn MacCready Bird Educational Fund.

Abba the Scrapbook, Jean-Marie Potiez, 2012. (on order, expect delivery in February)  Illustrated with unique photographs and rare memorabilia, ABBA The Scrapbook gives a history of one of the best-loved pop groups of all time: including their early days in Sweden; relationships within the band; the Eurovision victory; the1970s fashion and style of ABBA; and the eventual break-up of the group.

Amy Winehouse : The Biography : 1983-2011, by Chas Newkey-Burden, 2011.  A detailed biography of Winehouse's turbulent life and untimely death. Winehouse's blend of jazz, pop, and soul singing and songwriting brought her a host of awards--including two Ivor Novellos and five Grammys.

The Anthology of Rap, edited by Adam Bradley, Andrew DuBois ; foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; afterword by Chuck D and Common, 2010.  From the school yards of the South Bronx to the tops of the "Billboard" charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential cultural forces of our time. This anthology brings together more than 300 lyrics written over 30 years, from the "old school" to the present day.

The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years, by Greil Marcus, 2011.  There have been many books on the Doors. This is the first to bypass their myth, their mystique, and the death cult of both Jim Morrison and the era he was made to personify, and focus solely on the music.

The Way I Am, Eminem, 2008.  A rap artist shares his private reflections, drawings, handwritten lyrics, and never-before-seen photographs.

George Harrison : living in the material world, by Olivia Harrison; foreword by Martin Scorsese, 2011. Olivia Harrison reveals George's life through his archive of photographs, letters, diaries, & memorabilia; from his guitar-obsessed boyhood in Liverpool, to the Beatles years, to his days as an independent musician and bohemian squire.

Joan Jett, by Todd Oldham, 2010.  Rock-and-roll goddess, Joan Jett, started her first band, The Runaways, at age fifteen.  The book chronicles all aspects of her career and passions through images--from forming The Runaways to her years of touring with her band, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.

Ludacris, by PhilipWolny, 2009.
The rise of Christopher Bridges -- Hitting the big time -- Superstardom and beyond -- The actor, the mogul, the legacy.

One Day It'll All Make Sense: A Memoir, by Common with Adam Bradley, 2011.  The Grammy Award-winning recording artist and actor shares the story of his life, from his youth on Chicago's South side and rise in the hip-hop industry to his movie appearances and the lessons he has learned as a son and a father.

Pearl Jam Twenty, by Cameron Crowe, and Pearl Jam, 2011. Published in celebration of Pearl Jam's 20th anniversary and in conjunction with Crowe's documentary film and soundtrack of the same name.  Contains behind-the-scenes anecdotes, rare archival memorabilia, and the band's personal photos, tour notes, and drawings.

Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks, by Ronin Ro, 2011. In his 3 decades-long career, Prince has had nearly 30 albums hit the Billboard Top 100. He is the only artist since the Beatles to have a #1 song, movie, and album at the same time. "Prince" is the first book to give full treatment to this artist.
Queen: The Complete Works, Georg Purvis, 2012.  Queen's place in history as the greatest glam band of them all is rock solid.  A session-by-session, song-by-song, album-by-album, tour-by-tour record of the band's progress. 
Rihanna: Rebel Flower, by Chloe Govan, 2012.  An in-depth look at the life of one of pop music's international stars. The story of her transformation from schoolgirl Robyn Fenty to R&B artist. Features exclusive interviews with Rihanna's schoolfriends, producers, songwriters, video directors, journalists and many more.

Slipknot Unmasked....Again, by Joel McIver, 2012. The first edition of this book published in 2001 followed the band from their inception in Des Moines, Iowa in the mid-90s through to the release of their second album.  It's now a decade since the first volume appeared, and in that time Slipknot have evolved into a different band from the one that first emerged in1999.

Under the Ivy: The Life and Music of Kate Bush, by Graeme Thomson, 2012.  The first in-depth study of Bush's life and career. Features interviews with school friends, band mates, studio collaborators, former managers, producers, musicians, video directors, dance instructors and record company executives. Every aspect of her music is discussed from her albums to her solo live tour, her pre-teen poetry, and unreleased songs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The new sequels below are hot titles that are not sleeping on the shelf here.  However, if you request them now, you might just get a copy in time to see you through the Thanksgiving breakIf you haven't read the first title in the series, (lucky you) then you'll have even better luck in borrowing a copy.  All of these titles are fantasy, supernatural, or science fiction stories with varying (from tiny blip of a heartbeat to might as well call it a romance heart throb) proportions of romance running through them, except for Lola and the Boy Next Door, which is a romance set in present day San Francisco. Red ♥(s) after the author's name indicate how much romance is in the story on a scale of 1 (barely there) to 5 ♥♥♥♥♥(throbs galore).

Crossed, by Ally Condie. science fiction, dystopia, ♥♥♥
Sequel to Matched.
Cassia sacrifices everything and heads to the Outer Provinces in search of Ky, where she is confronted with shocking revelations about Society and the promise of rebellion.

Death Cure, by James Dashner. science fiction, dystopia,
Final Book in the Maze Runner trilogy.
As the third Trial draws to a close, Thomas and some of his cohorts manage to escape from WICKED, their memories having been restored, only to face new dangers as WICKED claims to be trying to protect the human race from the deadly FLARE virus.

Tiger's Voyage, by Colleen Houck. fantasy, ♥♥♥♥♥
Third book in the Tiger's Curse series.
After battling the villainous Lokesh, Kelsey and the Indian princes Ren and Kishan return to India, where Kelsey learns that Ren has amnesia, and five cunning dragons try to keep the trio from breaking the curse that binds them.
Silence, by Becca Fitzpatrick.
urban fantasy, supernatural, ♥♥♥♥
Third book in the Hush, Hush saga.
Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for -- and their love -- forever.

The Fox Inheritance, by Mary Peason.
science fiction, dystopia,
Second book in the Jenna Fox Chronicles.
260 years after an accident destroyed their bodies, 16 year old Locke, and 17 year old Kara, have been brought back to life in newly bioengineered bodies, with many questions about the world they find themselves in and more than two centuries of horrible memories of being trapped in a digital netherworld wondering what would become of them.

Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins.
realistic fiction, romance, ♥♥♥♥♥
Characters from Anna and the French Kiss appear in Lola and the Boy Next Door.
Budding costume designer Lola lives an extraordinary life in San Francisco with her two dads and beloved dog, dating a punk rocker, but when the Bell twins return to the house next door Lola recalls both the friendship-ending fight with Calliope, a figure skater, and the childhood crush she had on Cricket.

The Dark and Hollow Places, by Carrie Ryan.
fantasy, horror, dystopia, ♥♥♥
Book 3 in The Forest of Hands and Teeth series.
Alone and listening to the moaning of the Dark City dying around her, Annah wants to find her way back home, to her sister & family & their village in the Forest of Hands & Teeth.

Supernaturally, by Kierstan White.
urban fantasy, supernatural, ♥♥♥
Sequel to Paranormalcy.
Sixteen-year-old Evie thinks she has left the International Paranormal Containment Agency, and her own paranormal activities, behind her when she is recruited to help at the Agency, where she discovers more about the dark faerie prophecy that threatens her future.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


The last book of Christopher Paolini's, The Inheritance Cycle, was published this week.  Our copies arrived yesterday, and are already in circulation.  Currently, there is a very small wait list of Hamilton-Wenham patrons, and a very long list of patrons from other libraries in the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium.  Go to the online catalog to place your hold.


On Wednesday, February 1, 6:30pm to 8:00pm there will be a presentation for students and parents:
Demystifying the College Application Process
presented by Laine Averbeck, of College Concierge.
In concert with the above program, I am also in the process of scheduling, either for February or March, another college related workshop offered by: Jim Femia, a Certified College Planning Specialist and a member of the National Institute of Certified College Planners, which will cover the following topics:
  • How families of ALL income levels are receiving financial aid.
  • Why some families incorrectly assume they could never qualify for aid.
  • Which colleges give you the best financial aid packages…More gift aid and few loans.
  • Learn how to avoid costly mistakes on the FAFSA and CSS Profile
  • How some parents are sending their student to a private university for less than a state school.
  • How students can position themselves to be the best candidate and receive more FREE money and less loans. 
The date and time for this program will be posted here on the teen page, and on the Library's online calendar of events. 
During the February school break
the following two programs 
are scheduled on February 23rd. 
To attend either or both,  
please sign up at the Reference desk 
or call 978-468-5577 x14.