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why we have book embargoes. August 15, 2010

Posted by Katie in shoptalk.

Obviously, if you haven’t heard by now, copies of “Mockingjay” have been spotted on bookshelves, and in libraries, and the feverish tweets of “OMG, I HAVE IT” have started.

But the official release date of August 24th is nine days away.

I spent the greater part of my day driving to four different bookstores in the area looking for a copy of the book on shelf.

Not because I needed to have the book first, not because I am dying to know what happens next (although…), not because I was planning on reading it today.

But because I am very afraid of logging onto Twitter sometime this week and seeing a tweet very much like this one, “OMG _____ DIES. (pg. 33)” or “Katniss chooses _________. (pg. 300)”

Book embargoes are in place so that fans of high-profile books (Harry Potter, Twilight, and now The Hunger Games) get to experience reading the books at the same time and so spoilers are not leaked. Book embargoes create the possibility of equal access.

I am particularly upset to hear that libraries are breaking embargo and releasing their copies to the public ahead of time. (I have already checked my library’s system and so far, none are checked out.)

While I don’t begrudge the people who have managed to obtain their copies of “Mockingjay” beforehand, I am nervous on the Internet now.

The only way to protect myself right now is either to log off the Internet until I’ve read the book (impossible as a librarian), or to get a copy. Neither options are feasible.

So, I will wait until the 24th and hope that my experience will not be tainted by someone else’s.


still swamped! June 20, 2010

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I don’t know how else to word how truly busy public librarians are during the summer other than to point you towards this fabulous post written by Abby (the) Librarian.

Just this past week alone, I ran our weekly movie day, a grade-school mural painting program, Teen Book Club, a Bubble Party for our 3-7 year-olds, a family program with fish crafts, a packed storytime, and our weekly Wii gaming day. Our Saturday storytime didn’t happen (mostly because Illinois was racked with power outages this weekend), and I will be adding a second storytime program because this week’s was so packed.

We love seeing our kids and teens on a regular, daily basis — but it is truly exhausting.

Things should settle down this week. (We have likely gotten most of the sign-ups out of the way, and our teen volunteers have all have a full week of training/working.)

Look for my portion of Nerds Heart YA results this week, and a lot of reviews that I’ve been holding until the books were released to the public!

a flurry of announcements. April 14, 2010

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In lieu of an apology post for not updating more recently, I’ll just run down a catch-up of what’s been going on in my life/blog these past few weeks!

Nerds Heart YA

I’m really excited to be a bracket judge this year for “Nerds Heart YA.” This is a bracket-style competition to recognize under-appreciated/unknown YA books released the previous year. For this year, the books nominated (nominations are over) had to feature characters or were penned by authors in the following categories: Person(s) of Color (POC), GLBT, Disability/Mental Illness, Religious Lifestyle, or Lower Socioeconomic Status. Stay tuned here for my post or check out Nerds Heart YA for more info.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon

I completely slacked this time on the 24-hour read-a-thon. Didn’t post my start post, had to work during the time, wound up having to go car shopping right after work, and only put away four books. Thanks, as always, to the organizers of the event and to the cheerleaders who still commented even though my blog looked a bit dead!

Read: “The Sky Is Everywhere” by Jandy Nelson, “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” by Judy Blume, “The Daughters” by Joanna Philbin, and “The Reckoning” by Kelley Armstrong. Page count: 1103. Reviews to come.

John Green and David Levithan

Last Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of going and seeing both authors on the release day of “Will Grayson, Will Grayson.” It was a great signing — John and David both read from WGWG, answered questions, and talked about the process of writing the book. I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt. And it is definitely worth noting that there was a Stormtrooper in attendance. Also worth noting was meeting up with Drea and Kristen — it is always awesome to see friends!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Yes, that is a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” feltboard. I made that at work this past week for my Eric Carle preschool program next month. I just had to show it off!

National Poetry Month

And my attempt at celebrating National Poetry Month at my Teen Book Display!

So, all in all, a busy few weeks at work (we were on spring break too!), but I should be back into the blogging swing now.

march madness. March 1, 2010

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I’m about to embark on one of the craziest things I’ve ever decided to do. I’m going to be posting every day in March on the blog, my own special version of March Madness. Five out of the seven posts (weekly) will be reviews.

Reasons why I’m doing this:

1. I’m posting reviews of books I read in October. That is horribly behind.
2. I’m behind on posting ARC reviews. Some of the books are already out now.
3. I’m going to BEA and ALA this year which will make my ARC reading load even heavier. It would be nice to have a clean slate before going to the conferences.

But, to ensure that I actually stick with this instead of just saying I’m going to post…I told my sister that she would be allowed to punish me Vlogbrothers style if I didn’t post every day.

(Some of the punishments have been really funny…waxing legs, staying in Target for fifteen hours straight. Other have been gross — like eating a blenderized Happy Meal.)

My reward if I do it? A clean review slate and a Flip Video Camera.

A win-win situation if you ask me. Others have called me crazy for trying this. I think this is absolutely doable.

Either way, stay tuned…this month will be crazy!

hunger games 3 title & cover! February 10, 2010

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At the end of a wonderfully eventful day (Library Snapshot Day in Illinois and an Ally Carter signing in Naperville), I cannot believe the news that was just put out. And yes, I’m sure you’ll see thousands of posts on this but I cannot help myself…

Courtesy of Scholastic!


August 24th cannot come fast enough.

top ten of 2009. January 3, 2010

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Okay, I know that I’m ridiculously late in posting these — and that you’ve probably read a THOUSAND posts like this. But I wanted to wait until I had no other chance of finishing a book in 2009 before making my top ten list. Not limited to books published in 2009, but limited to books actually published. So, here it is…alphabetically!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
Before I started this book, I couldn’t stop petting it. After I finished it, I literally had trouble picking up a book to follow it. This world is magical, unique, and unbelievably real to me. I am literally waiting on pins and needles for the sequel. If you want to see me babble more incoherently on my love for this book: my review.

Fire by Kristin Cashore.
I loved “Graceling” and didn’t really see how I could ever love a sequel as much as I loved the first book. “Fire” bowled me over. The new depths to Cashore’s writing truly threw me for a loop and made me re-think the term “sophomore slump.” My review.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown.
The mark of a great book for me is when little details nag at me, when the book has literally bleed into my everyday thoughts. This book is that book for me. “Hate List” was not an easy novel to read. It was a hard, painful subject and I had to put the book down to take a break. Except that I didn’t want to take a break and picked it up again and again until I finished it. You can skip my review, and just read the book. Seriously.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
I was so sick of the buzz for this book, I picked it up to shut everyone up for yelling at me to read it. I formally apologized to my co-workers in my review — they were right. And not to increase the buzz, but this book and this series and author are *amazing.* I would literally sell my first-born child (who does not exist) for the third book right now in my hands.

Looking for Alaska by John Green.
This year, I have found there are reasons why people nag us to finish certain books — these books steal our breath away from us. My teens nagged me for this one. It was my one shame as a teen librarian that I hadn’t read a John Green book, but had instead watched almost every vlog multiple times. I fixed that this year. And I’m so glad that I did. However, I read this one before I had a blog, so I have no review to share with you!

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr.
This novel is gorgeously written, completely relatable, and one of the books I would have related to most in high school. I want to re-read this one almost every time my eyes pass over it in my bookcase. This was the book that I literally couldn’t cut from my list of finalists because I have loved it even more in retrospect. Check out my review.

Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle.
Another book from before I started a blog — this book is like the epitome of realistic fiction for me. Especially because it was a book about sisters. (And my sister is my best friend in the whole world.) But! It was true to how sisters are, in my experience. Not always friends, very complicated relationships. And I seriously love the cover.

The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore.
A quiet, supernatural build-up. I loved this book. This is older YA at perfection, in my opinion. I love booktalking this book and seeing my older girls argue about snatching it out of my hands. I am perfectly happy with how it ended, but I would also love a sequel. When I closed this one, I picked it up and re-read the last few hundred pages or so all over again. And here’s my review.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
It’s hard to even talk about how much this book has changed the teens in my library. We talk a lot about why people commit suicide in Teen Book Club because it happens in their lives, it happens in the books they read. This book calls attention to the fact that it’s not always a giant event — it’s sometimes a bunch of small things. But Hannah isn’t excused from her decision, and no one preaches about how suicide is wrong. It’s an issue book without having a moral, a perfectly drawn conclusion. Another book from before I started my blog, perhaps I will have to review it at some point.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.
This cover is absolutely perfect and is my favorite cover of 2009. This book is embedded in all of my favorite memories of this year — starting my blog, ALA, reviewing, talking to my teens, and sharing books with them. The story is just a great read and I’m so glad I bought it on an impulse buy. Check out my review.

I am so excited for the books that have just come out and for the books that are coming. I hope I can read just as many amazing books this upcoming year.

Happy new year, all!

monthly round-up: december. January 2, 2010

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Books Read:

  • “Fade Out” by Rachel Caine.
  • “What I Wore to Save the World” by Maryrose Wood.
  • “Dragonfly” by Julia Golding.
  • “Shadowland” by Alyson Noel.
  • “Betrayals” by Lili St. Crow.
  • “The Dark Divine” by Bree Despain.
  • “Darklight” by Lesley Livingston.
  • “Some Girls Are” by Courtney Summers.
  • “Tangled” by Carolyn Mackler.

This month, I signed up for the Debut Author Challenge, hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren (1), once again had my weekly In My Mailbox posts (1, 2, 3, 4), and posted some reviews (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

I also announced my participation in Bloggiesta, hosted by Natasha of Maw Books Blog (1).

A pretty slow month in December again. Thanks all for sticking around!

bloggiesta (take two)! December 26, 2009

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It’s Bloggiesta time — mark your calendars for January 8th-10th! I am so excited that Natasha from Maw Books Blog is hosting another Bloggiesta — you have no idea.

[For those who are new to Bloggiesta, you can find a wonderful information post here at Maw Books Blog. Or the quick summary: it’s a ton of bloggers working to make their blog better while in good company.]

And now, I present a half-thought-out list of things I intend to do during that weekend:

  • Make a Blogaversary button and link it up in the sidebar.
  • Update my challenges section. I have four challenges I haven’t updated over there and a couple of posts to link up.
  • Awards — several of you fabulous people have passed on blogger awards to me and I absolutely fail at putting them up/acknowledging that I’ve received them. I’ll fix that.
  • Information about “Where I Read.”
  • Need to update my sidebar buttons.
  • Cross-posting reviews to Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Amazon.com.
  • Creating book review templates for all of the books that I’ve read, but don’t have templates for.
  • Doing my monthly round-ups for September, October, November, and December. I’ve been lax about these!
  • Going back through my ARC reviews and linking up my library catalog if they received the book by now.
  • Making a Twitter button.
  • Moving my blogroll to its own page; making sure links are still correct and working; double-checking Bloglines vs. blogroll to add/delete bloggers.
  • Schedule posts for as often as I can.
  • Update my lists on Twitter/clean out followers for spambots.
  • Run my 2009 statistics & make post. Make reading goals.
  • Get a better subscribe link right up in the blog.
  • Make a “my posts elsewhere” area to link where I’ve guest blogger, interviewed, and what weeks I’ve participated in.
  • Double check my publication dates area for accuracy. Add any other reads I’ve wishlist-ed on Goodreads.
  • Make a “contact me” page with email, links to social networking tools, etc.
  • Clean up tags.
  • Update my Debut Author Challenge reading list.

And that’s only off the top of my head! I can’t imagine what the list will look like after I start jumping into challenges…

Make sure to sign up if you’d like to participate! Or mark the weekend down if you want to cheer me on! (Because I’ll need it!)

blog-keeping and catch-up. December 2, 2009

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So! A very happy fun announcement, catch-up, everything but the kitchen sink post!


  • I won NaNoWriMo for the eighth go-round. This was the closest I’ve come to not winning — I crossed 50k just ten minutes ahead of the deadline. I had to bribe myself using Maureen Johnson and John Green YouTube videos to write the last 3k in the last hour.
  • Today, I’m guest-blogging over at Book Blather, Drea’s blog. She’s celebrating her blogoversary and the holidays by having guest posts for most of the month. You can read my blog post here.
  • Karin from Karin’s Book Nook just got back from NCTE and ALAN (two awesome conference for teachers and librarians alike), and somehow managed to snag a copy of “Linger” by Maggie Stiefvater. But lucky for us, Karin’s sharing in a contest to win an autographed copy of Linger!


Okay, seems like a much smaller list that I originally thought, but I’m sure it’s going to take the majority of my day. And my lunch break will not be enough to get this done, so expect many posts in the next few days for catch-up.

Thanks for sticking around, even throughout the craziness of NaNo. 😀

monthly round-up: november. December 1, 2009

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Books Read:

  • “Splendor” by Anna Godbersen.
  • “Deadly Little Lies” by Laurie Faria Stolarz.
  • “Stacey’s Book” by Ann M. Martin. (Re-read — no review)
  • “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg.

Okay, so you can already see that it was a very, very quiet month for reading, but that’s NaNoWriMo’s fault. Haha.

Still managed to post a couple of “Where I Read” features (1, 2), some reviews (1, 2, 3, 4), and did my weekly In My Mailbox posts (1, 2, 3, 4).

Two very special events — Mandy from Edge of Seventeen and I had a book review and discussion of the first Sweet Valley High book, Double Love (1) and wrote a post for My Friend Amy‘s Babysitters Club Week (1).

I’ll be back to normal posting in December until I’m sure the holidays will take me away from the Internet for a few days.