Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy etc.

My house is full of 3-year-old.  Here's what I remember from the last 2 months.

Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism, by Richard C. Longworth.    This was assigned/suggested reading for a community class thingy I'm doing.  I couldn't get in to it, and that's only partly because I'm not really interested.  The writer doesn't help by making it interesting or anything.  Nonfiction at its scariest.

Poop Happened!: A History of the World from the Bottom Up, by Sarah Albee.    Finally finished the nonfiction I promoted to my middle schoolers.  The book is good: very informative, engaging, not too difficult, and funny.  I definitely recommend it for libraries serving grades 5-9.

Out of the Woods: Stories, by Chris Offutt.  I forget how exactly I stumbled upon this book; I think I was testing out our catalog, trying to see the specificity of place names included in the records.  This book returned the short story "Moscow, Idaho," which is the name of a town in Idaho, not too far from where I used to live across the border in Washington.  Anyway, I picked it because of the setting.
I'm not really a short-stories kind of girl, but I tried a few in here.  They were pretty nondescript, I thought: not engaging or surprising, they didn't make me think or even feel, they were like historical events being related and not much more. 

SuperSwing Golf, (Wii) by Tecmo.    The kids totally didn't like this.  We ended up playing the generic Wii sports for most of the time.  The kids didn't really like it last year either, but, a different time of year and a different group of kids, I thought it was worth a second try.  I guess not.

My Name is Mary Sutter, by Robin Oliveira.    Historical fiction has been calling out to me.  This was a really good book, even though it didn't go where I expected.  I really like the main character-- she wasn't a today sort of feminist living 200 years ago, like some female-main-character-historical-fiction can be.  I know this book was very popular and circ'ed pretty well at our library.  I definitely think it's worth the hype.

Best of the Brain from Scientific American: Mind, Matter, and Tomorrow's Brain, edited by Floyd E. Bloom.    This looked really interesting, but I'd already read the first essay and the second one totally bored me, so I quit.  Darn.

Every Tenant's Legal Guide, by Janet Portman and Marcia Stewart.    We had been having some problems with a neighbor and our landlord, so I checked out this book for some suggestions.  In the two public libraries I've worked in, the DIY legal section always gets a ton of use, and this is one of the better books I've seen in there.  The laws were presented clearly and the step-by-step-to-get-things-done suggestions are great; the examples of letters/forms was the most helpful for us, and in fact finally prompted action out of our resident manager.

Oh, the Places You'll Go!, by Dr. Seuss.    This story came to mind when we started talking about plans for the 2011 Summer Reading Program (back in October... yes, I know).  The YA theme is "You Are Here" and the Children's theme is  "One World-- Many Stories."  I'm thinking of decorating the ceiling in the YA Room like road or one of the other scenes.
Seuss = great story.

Savage Lands, by Clare Clark.    This was weird.  The biggest turn-off for me was the strange lack of names.  Key people weren't named for a long time after their introductions; people were reintroduced later in time in a different setting under a different name.  This confused me.  I also thought the story a little melodramatic and bleak.  I was hoping for something that felt more real.  I can't recommend it as a good read.

Chrome Hounds (XBox), by Sega.  I spent a considerable amount of time looking for 2-4 player 1st person shooter games rated T (or lower) and owned by my library.  (lol, I actually typo'ed "pwned."  geek giggle!)  Turns out there aren't too many.  This is one of the few, the proud, and the boys were totally digging it. 

The Dress Lodger, by Sheri Holman. I think I read some really good reviews for this book, and I tried picking it up a few different times and just couldn't get in to it.  The way the author/narrator addresses the reader totally doesn't work, but since it's the first thing the reader reads,it doesn't bode well.  Also, even after half a dozen chapters, I don't know who the main character is and where I should invest my emotions.

The Mysteries Within: A Surgeon Reflects on Medical Myths, by Sherwin B. Nuland.  This is an old book I came across while weeding my 600s; I read the first few pages in the stacks and it totally grabbed me, but it's not really that good.  The author kind of flits around and by the second chapter, I was never again as interested as I was on page 2.

Out of the Dawn Light, by Alys Clare.  I read this because I ordered a later book in the series, which looked interesting.  I actually checked out a few historical fiction mysteries at the same time as this one.  Whatever the quality of the third book, this wasn't very spectacular.  It didn't really hold my interest, although I powered through it in the name of completing an additional mystery this year.  I felt like the plot wasn't very well set up and the mystery wasn't very mysterious.

Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables, by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.    I heard a couple of these shorty-short stories at a literacy event and got a kick out of them, so I checked out the book.  The stories are short, good for an older audience, but I don't know if the book will circulate much-- it really needs a reader old enough to get puns, and readers that age may be turned off by the picture book format.  The art was awesome, though.

Turn! Turn! Turn!, by Pete Seeger and Wendy Anderson Halperin.    My husband checked this out to read to our son.  It was read to him a few times by both of us and I think he is intrigued by the idea.  The art is no good: you have to turn the book every which way to see part of each page and you can't really look at the illustrations as a whole because they are based on different versions of "up."

There are more but blogger still limits me to 20 labels in the tag box.  Grr.

1 comment:

:) said...

interesting blog