Wednesday, December 23, 2009



The Mentor Public Library has acquired 5 copies of the New Moon original motion picture soundtrack.
New Moon mania has arrived at my home. My daughter wore the Edward T-shirt she received on her birthday and attended the midnight premiere. She also received for her 18th birthday the New Moon CD. She still continues to nag me about reading the Stephenie Meyer books. I keep planning on reading them, but Life gets in the way. I should really take the time and read them because it is something my daughter wants to share with me. I did see tAdd Imagehe Twilight movie with her and was surprised that I liked it. Saw it twice actually.
Before I bought the New Moon CD I listened to some of the songs on the soundtrack. I am NOT a fan of Meet me on Equinox by Death Cab for Cutie. This monotonous tune and its chorus “ Everything, Everything Ends” made me wish the song ended quicker than the almost 4 minutes of playtime. I think this song is reminiscent of David Bowies’ songs from the 70s. I wasn’t a fan of those either.
However, the catchy beat of Violet Hour by Sea Wolf and the haunting melody of Slow Life by Grizzly Bear were very unique. My favorite song on the soundtrack was by an artist, fairly new to the scene, Anya Marina. Her husky, raspy whispery voice in Satellite Heart is the perfect accompaniment to the low-key, simple guitar licks. Her lyrics are about love, loneliness and loyalty. You really feel her sadness, but it sounds like the guy is not worth all the anguish.
Satellite Heartby Anya Marina
So pretty/so smartSuch a waste of a young heart!What a pity / what a shamWhat’s the matter with you, man?
Don’t you see it’s wrong/ can’t you get it right?Out of mind and outta sightCall on all your girls, don’t forget the boysPut a lid on all that noise!
I’m a satellite heart/ lost in the darkI’m spun out so far/ you stop, I startBut I’ll be true to you
I hear you’re living out of state, running in a whole new sceneThey say i haven’t slept in weeks, you’re the only thing i see
I’m a satellite heart/ lost in the darkI’m spun out so far/ you stop, I startBut I’ll be true to youI’m a satellite heart/ lost in the darkI’m spun out so far/ you stop I startBut I’ll be true to you no matter what you do/ yeah I’ll be true to you…Oooooooooo
Hey, check out her beautiful video of the song on http://www.newmoonthesoundtrack.com/. Anya Marina’s red, red lips match her red, red nails; a stark contrast to her bleached white hair against the backdrop of orange, red and yellow fall leaves. I just wished she would have cut those long, long bangs to reveal her pretty, pretty face.
Other sounds on the soundtrack are: Friends (Band of Skulls) -- Hearing damage (Thom Yorke) -- Possibility (Lykke Li) -- A white demon love song (The Killers) – I belong to you (New Moon remix) (Muse) -- Rosyln (Bon Iver & St. Vincent) -- Done all wrong (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) -- Monsters (Hurricane Bells) -- Shooting the moon (OK Go) -- No sound but the wind (Editors) -- New moon (the meadow) (Alexandre Desplat).
REMEMBER TO REQUEST A HOLD ON THIS SOUNDTRACK. It is sure to be a popular item among our collection.

Signing off,

Mrs. V

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Get a Clue into history by checking out the 39 Clues adventure series


For the past few months, I have had young and adult patrons asking for the 39 Clues adventure series books published by Scholastic. The demand has been so high, that I had to find out what the hoopla was all about. So I read the first book of the series, The Maze of Bones. It was published on September 2009 and written by Rick Riordan, author of the Lightning Thief.
The series, comprised of 10 books, are written by various authors to teach history along with the suspense of a worldwide treasure hunt. The intense hunt for clues is conducted by a brother-sister team against a slew of distant competitive cousins within four Cahill family branches: the Lucian, the Ekaterina, the Janus and the Tomas. The four branches are named after the original four children who founded them, and fight each other to find lost clues. Each branch is identified by branch names, and the curves and colors of their family crests.
In the 39 Clues: Maze of Bones brother and sister, Amy and Dan, lose their grandmother to cancer. She was the head of the world’s most powerful family, the Cahills. The siblings are all alone in the world, except for each other and their grandmother’s mangy cat.
Minutes before she died of cancer their grandmother Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her descendants an impossible decision: "You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue." Everyone from Ben Franklin, Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents, presumed dead.
The clues in Maze of Bones centers around the life and accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin. I learned about little known historical tidbits of Franklin by following along Amy and Dan’s research about him in order to obtain each clue. Before I knew it, the book was finished. I am now hooked and awaiting the second book to become available from the numerous holds placed on it.
Unfortunately I am too old to win the real treasure hunt and the $10,000 grand prize for young readers. The series combines the 39 Clues interactive website, online gaming, card collecting and activities to help children between the ages of six and 14 win prizes. Books must be purchased in order to collect the clue cards inside.
The 39 Clues card collecting:
At least 10 collectible cards will be released with this series. Every book will contain six. Cards are also available for purchase separately in Card Packs. It is possible to collect just the physical cards, but most people also keep virtual versions of the cards online, as part of their 39 Clues account. The clues can be found by reading the book or checking the site http://www.the39clues.com/.
Participants who find all of the 39 clues and become one of the top 39 point scorers can compete to win the $10,000 grand prize.
These books may potentially be turned into films. That is the rumor out on the street.
For now, checkout the rest of the series in our collection, Book 2: One False Note; Book 3: The Sword Thief; Book 4: Beyond the Grave; Book 5: The Black Circle; Book 6: In Too Deep. Future issues are Book 7: The Viper’s Nest- February 2, 2010; Book8: April 6, 2010; Book 9: June 8, 2010 and Book 10: September 1, 2010.
So start reading and follow the journey of Amy and Dan as they not only learn about the history of the world and their ancestors, but also their growing respect and understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This story is also about the values of respect, honor, courage and importance of family.
We would like to present a special Tween program based on these series, so any feedback or suggestions on what should be on the agenda would be helpful. I’m thinking of having our own historical treasure hunt.

Signing off,

Mrs. V

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Happings at MPL

Boo!


As Halloween approaches there are lots of fun things to at Mentor Public Library. Let's go in calendar order.

There is a party at the Reed House on Sunday October 25th. This one requires registration so call the Children's department. There is going to be a magic show, live music, and face painting. You can wear your costume if you like. All ages are welcome. (but you have to register.

On Monday the 26th there will be Pumpkin Painting at the Main branch from 3 to 5 pm. The first ten people to arrive will receive small pumpkins to paint. This program is for tweens and teens.

Also on Monday the 26th there is Spooktacular Stories by the Fire down at the LAke branch. This program is for people in grades K through 6 and again registration is required. Join them for tales and treats and hauntingly good time.

On Tuesday the 27th Pumpkin painting will be happening at the Lake Branch
from 3 to 5 pm. The first ten people to arrive will receive small pumpkins to paint. This program is for tweens and teens.

On Wednesday the 28th Headlands is hosting the pumpkin painting program
from 3 to 5 pm. The first ten people to arrive will receive small pumpkins to paint. This program is for tweens and teens.

Also on teh 28th the LAke branch will be crafting Skeletons in their Bones program. This prgram is for people grades 2 to 5 and no registration is needed. Just show on up between 4 and 5 pm.

On the 31st. (yes, on actual halloween) Headlands is hosting some Halloween Fun from 2 to 3 pm. People in grades K through 5 are welcome to attend. Wear you costumes and play some games, MAke some crafts.

We love Halloween, don't you?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Arrrr! Avast ye scurvy dogs!

So as we all know, September 19th is International Talk like a Pirate Day.

Huzzah! So to celebrate there will be a Walk-in Craft (meaning walk in anytime and walk out anytime) of designing your own Jolly Roger (pirate flag you landlubber!). And to make them seaworthy we will have laminating sessions at 3:30, 4, and 4:30.



Here’s a couple examples of what

you could do with a flag.








And if you ‘d like to learn a little more about pirates , you can always check out our pirates books…. Here and Here

Or the Official Talk like a pirate site…. There.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Few Notes on Dignity From Lynn Hawkins

Here at MPL we are big on kids, as they say. We have a consistently packed house for story times, terrific staff, an outstanding children's collection, and the very best original children's programming in the area—I daresay, in the state. And it is no accident. Dennis Heritage, Children's Services Manager, began his tenure with MPL on August 1, 1983. A Northeast Ohio native, he attended KSU on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, earning his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, as a history major. Dennis's background as a children's services librarian includes experience at Kent Free Library and Kanawha County Public Library in Charleston, West Virginia. He also served as Assistant Head of Circulation at Kent Free Library. On his last date at Kent Free Library, the Director received a petition from 75 parents requesting that he stay at the Kent Free Library.
So why am I writing about this? Mr. Dennis will assume "unemployment with dignity," on November 1, 2009. Dennis finds the term "retirement" distasteful and prefers "unemployment with dignity." In our collective mind here at MPL, the dignity part kind of goes without saying, to wit: Employers of Dennis have noted "his sincere respect for each child, the refreshing dedication to the importance of books in a child's life and the top quality of his story times." A 1988 News Herald article deemed him "quite possibly the most patient man on the face of the earth", as they noted his task was "to teach children good listening habits, increase their vocabulary, and instill in their young minds an understanding of the importance and joys of reading." Some of Dennis's "firsts" at MPL include
1st regular story times for school age children (Book Break)1st evening story times1st story times for 2's (Toddler times)1st on staff Notary Public
He has written a children's book, which he will bring to press soon. He is a master of trivia, as well as an Abraham Lincoln aficionado. Most recently he has begun teaching Children's Literature at Lakeland Community College. On a personal note as his Director, I found him to be unfailingly loyal and dedicated to library services, and to the Mentor community and its children in particular. Through difficult budget years of reduced staffing and services, he was invariably among the very first to volunteer for unattractive shifts and in my six years with MPL I never once heard him complain. As he prepares to move on to realize his dreams to be a published children's author and travel to Europe, we know that Dennis has entertained and touched the lives of countless children over his 26 years with the library. As you are reading this, maybe you are one of them! He deserves a rest!
We will miss Mr. Dennis and hope to have him back for some "guest appearances." We are pleased to proclaim Wednesday, September 16, 2009 as "Mr. Dennis Day," and invite everyone to come by the library for a piece of cake and a farewell chat with Dennis. Dennis will spend the next two months turning the reins over to Amanda Densmore, who has been promoted to the position of Children's Services Manager. We are so pleased to have Amanda accept this position. Amanda is a very talented Reference Librarian at the Main Library and has a background in reference and reader's advisory. She is the author of the Mentor's Reader Blog. Amanda is enjoying her time in Children's Services and looks forward to meeting all of our parents and children! I predict that you will find her to be delightful and enthusiastic.
~Lynn Hawkins, Executive Director

Monday, July 13, 2009

BOOM!

Can you knock down all the points bloxes without letting the sheep fall?
I can’t. Keeping those sheep up there is difficult. Any suggestions?
Yes. The Mentor Public Library added a few more games to their ever growing (though slowly growing) collection. Boom Blox Party is for the Nintendo Wii and you get to throw, snap, fire, and other fun actions to knock down blox, beams, and yes, you can fling the characters around. (I know. I checked!)
The nice thing is you can start with the group game right off the bat. Just one little training session and you are set to go. There is a co-op mode and a versus mode for multi player games. I highly recommend Boom Blox party for any party. Rated for Cartoon violence anyone who can hold a Wii remote can manage to have fun with this game.

Put yourself on the holds list for Boom Blox here!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

With A summer of Creativity starting soon I thought I’d clue you in on what special programs are planned for the first week of Summer Reading.

Music Makin’ @ Main
Tuesday, June 16,
10-10:30 a.m. OR 10:45-11:15 a.m.

A special workshop for preschoolers ages 3-5 with singing, movement and instrument playing!
Registration begins Monday, June 1.

Paws to Read @ Lake
Wednesday, June 17
7-7:30 p.m. OR 7:30-8 p.m.

Read to a gentle dog who is licensed and trained to be a good listener.
Registration begins Wednesday, June 3.

Lunch & a Movie @ Main.
Thursdays at Noon:
June 18, July 2, July 16 & July 30

Bring your lunch & a drink and join us for a feature length movie. Popcorn provided! Children 8 & younger must be accompanied by an adult. It's a Disney movie about a dog. And a cat. And a hamster.
No registration is necessary!

Father’s Day Appreciation @ Headlands
Thursday, June 18, 4-4:45 p.m.

Children of all ages can show dad how much he’s appreciated with some great home made gifts!
Registration begins Monday, June 1.

Hot Off the Presses @ Main
Friday, June 19, 4-5 p.m.

Children ages 7 to 12 years old will create sculptures with newspaper using beads, feathers or paint.
Registration begins Monday, June 1.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Adventure: the pursuit of life -- Daniel Roy


Now that summer is here, bring on the adventures. Explore the Lagoons, learn how to canoe, play tennis, volleyball, digital art, or Scuba! Yes, all of these adventures and more can be found at the City of Mentor Parks and Recreation. So go and get your adventure on. But if you think it’s just too hot outside to do anything other than sweat perhaps you would like to cool down with one of these adventurous books?

Novels:
Artemis Fowl
Percy Jackson
Alex Rider Series
Graveyard Book

39 clues series
Princess Ben
Hunger Games

How about some books to cause some adventure? Here two great how to books.

The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Daring Book for Girls

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dust off the History Books


Why does it have to be so dull? I mean I sat through all those history class in grade school and high school. Yet, I can’t remember most of it. It’s just so Dusty. So when my sister told me she needed to brush up on her US History (because she just passed the Jeopardy audition.) I was at a loss of where she could go without falling asleep. Then suddenly I had the Answer.

She could Shmoop!

Do you shmoop?

You don’t!!! You haven’t even heard of it!!! My oh my.

Shmoop is US history without the dust. It covers other topics too but the history part…
My favorite section of the history review is the “why should I care?” part. It tells me exactly how those past events shape my life today. The timeline part is great too. Oh, and a test review section! I kinda feel like shmoop said “How can we get Amy to learn her history” and then stuck it up on the net.


Huzzah for Shmoop!


You should shmoop. Try it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To build Bridges, Cannonballs, and Tongues.

Addictive
Physics
Gravity
Collapse
Build
Gooey

A short list of words to describe the World of Goo.

You build towers and bridges with balls of Goo. Millions of Goo balls. But not all at once. And they come in various colors. And they each have their own laws of physics, personality and hey they might even be sleeping. And you have to take into account gravity and weight and the wind. And it’s a challenge. It reminds me of Portal. And that is a good thing. It was short, sweet, and had more to do with puzzle solving than button mashing. (not that there’s anything wrong with a good button masher.)

Oh, and I watched the whole credits for the world of Goo. No, not because my husband has finally convinced me all good little gamers sit through the entire credits. I sat through the credits because before I realized the game was over, so were the credits.

Yes. The world of Goo is made by the 2D Boy game studio. There are 2 boys making video games. And they rock at it. Three cheers for 2d Boys and their gooey goodness.


Take a look and become a follower of the Goo!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Babysitters Club gets Graphic

Mary Anne Saves the Day: a Graphic Novel by Raina Telgemeier

Day 13 of BEDA

I'm all for graphic novels, but this may be taking it one step too far.

The Babysitters Club series written by Ann Martin has now been adapted to graphic novels. I can't help but wonder, is it really necessary? Martin's books are mostly dialogue and scene development anyways, so I have admit I don't really know if there is a need for graphic art. She also keeps her chapters short and sweet, so again, not so complex we need detailed drawings to help crack the Babysitters code.

Let me know, am I over reacting? How do you feel about turning a series like this into graphic novels?

Divine iPod Intervention

Day 12 of BEDA

Sometimes you just know there's a greater power out there, and today it was ruling my iPod. Have you ever had one of those days where every song you listened to was part of a personal soundtrack?

Here are the songs and the quotes that mysteriously made it's way to my ears when I had my iPod set to random. Just in case you're building a soundtrack for yourself right now, check out these tunes:

No Doubt's "Hey Baby" from Rock Steady -
"With a stranger in my face who says he knows my mom. And went to my high school."

The Killers "All These Thing's That I've Done" from Hot Fuss -
"I've got soul but I'm not a soldier"

Chiodos "Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money" from Bone Palace Ballet -
"Your wearing your skin like its too tight"

T.I and Justin Timberlake "Dead and Gone" -
"That part of me left yesterday, the heart of me is strong today. No regrets, I'm blessed to say"

Red Hot Chili Peppers "Love Rollercoaster" from the Beavis and Butt-head do America Soundtrack -
"One, two. One, two, three. I've got a ticket so ride with me"

Trapt "Head Strong" from Trapt -
"Conclusions manifest, your first impression's got to be your very best."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Year the Swallows Came Early

Day 11 of BEDA.

The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice.

"Things that look just right come undone quicker then the last day of summer" - Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Occasionally you will read a book that not only speaks to your heart but gives you a shocking sense of clarity. I picked up this book because I was bored and it was short and I figured I needed to try to read something that wasn't fantasy for a change. It's good to live in the real world every now and then. It was almost as if fate drew me to this book, which is ironic because in a subtle way Fitzmaurice talks about fate. She shows that there are some parts of life that are unavoidable, but that doesn't mean there isn't a choice.

When Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson is betrayed by the person she trusts most in the world, she begins to see life from a new set of eyes, and those eyes are dark. She perfectly explains the aftershock of a tragedy when she says "there's no way to track time while trying to understand something completely different about a person you thought was someone else." Who hasn't felt that time stands still after huge shock or unexpected change? As the season progresses, Eleanor realizes that betrayals aren't always as black and white as they seem, and neither are her perceptions. The relateability of her struggle to find her place in this new world that fate and choice have created for her makes this a book a real page turner.

This is an amazing story about how one group of loved ones redefine what it means to be a family and having honest acceptance. One of the more powerful debut novels I've read in a long time, this is a book that can speak to any person in a period of change.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mixing up too much Sir Mixalot

Any one else getting tired of Sir Mixalot besides me? First, the song. Then, about six years later an episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel are singing the song to their daughter, Emma. Then last month a skit on SNL. Now the Burger King commercial. Seriously, enough already!

Actually, I don't really mind the Burger King one. It's pretty funny, which is why it's the video of the week (if you want to see it, just follow this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5X4TSbGreA). I guess I like it because it's back handedly making fun of SpongeBob even though it's promoting the show. I know I'm the only person in the world who feels this way, but I HATE SpongeBob Squarepants. Well, not him so much as that ridiculous squirrel in the astronaut suit. I have just one question, why is she wearing an astronaut suit when she's under water? If she needs to breathe, isn't a scuba mask a better choice? Seriously!

But really, let's let that trashy song of the 90's fade away. It lost it's luster with me about a decade ago. It's time to move on. Brittany Spears has made enough ridiculous songs this year alone for some good spoofs.

For all the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Fans...

The Frandidate by Jim Benton

This is a little shout out for all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans out there. (oh, and day 9 of BEDA. I didn't forget, I had technological issues this weekend!)

Meet Franny K. Stein, mad scientist, whose inventions for disaster end up being a disaster. With the same kind of humor you find in Kinney's books, this series is sure to entertain audiences of any age. Benton is a the bridge between the Captain Underpants books and the Wimpy Kid books. It may be a random blend, but it's a well constructed blend. I didn't know kids books could talk about politics and other social issues while still having weird cartoons and pictures every few pages. Now that I've read it, I can't imagine going back.

So if you're looking for a read-alike that doesn't feel like a copy cat, be sure to check out this series.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Step into the Enchanted Forrest

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede

Enter day 8 of BEDA and the Enchanted Forrest series, where wizards are wicked and dragons are your best friend.

It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan of stories that play off stuff we know and love. If it’s a fairy tale, all the better. This is a fantastically funny series that isn't afraid of teasing the expected plot line. Wrede is so clever when writing this collection. While the books are the best when read in order, each book is so entertaining you don’t need one to follow the other. But I want to tell you, read them in order. Each book is told through the viewpoint of a different member, working it's way through the generations.


Where women are kings, mirrors have attitude issues, and soapy water (with a little lemon) brings unexpected surprises, this series is sure to provide high class entertainment.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Love Being Haunted by the Black Ghosts

BEDA Day 7

I know the Twilight soundtrack has been out forever, but I can't seem to get it out of my CD player. Actually, I can't get off the third track. The Black Ghosts has this a-MAZE-ing song "Full Moon" that rocks my socks. I'm addicted to it so I figured, why not make it the song of the week?

I don't know why, but every time I hear this song the word "deconstructed" pops into my head. It isn't really deconstructed. It is a solid and well organized piece. I think what makes me think deconstruction is it's exposure of all its nuts and bolds. This band cleverly tears apart it's components and builds it back up piece by piece. For some reason hearing them lay those parts on top of each other makes the ending so much more powerful then the beginning even though it's basically the same thing. Oh, and to top it off, it has a killer base line. A good base line can make or break a song, and this is the perfect example of how much better the song is because of that line. And the ending has this random bell note that goes back to that deconstructed thing. That note is so unexpected, but after hearing it, you can't help but think it's necessary. If they were to take it out now, the song would be ruined.

Musical logistics not your thing? Don't worry lyric lovers, this song will be right up your alley. Seriously, check this out: "But I don't know where I am and I don't trust who I've been". Stellar.

Want to give it a listen? Check out the Twilight soundtrack today!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Under a Twilight umbrella

April showers may bring May flowers, but a Twilight umbrella is sure to bring fan obsession to a new level.

Starting April 11, for a mere $25 you can purchase your very own Twilight umbrella. That's right, Robert Pattinson will actually be able to protect you. I know it's not as steamy as when he sucked to venom out of Bella so she could remain human, but I'll take what I can get.

Actually, the company that is putting out the umbrella has a whole bunch of other Twilight goodness, including Edward dolls and life sized cut outs. Now that will warm the chill from any storm!

Get Teen Ink-ified

I know I'm only at day 5 of BEDA, but already I'm starting to get a little tapped out. Who knew 30 days of creative writing could be such a challenge? I know I can find something interesting to talk about for a month, but sometimes a girl needs some inspiration. So while trying to help myself out today, I visited one of my favorite websites, Teen Ink. To give you a feel for the vibe this site is offering, read their quote of the day by Jack London: "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club". Nice.

Teen Ink is a magazine where everything is teen made and teen produced. I've seen a few websites where the people who are reviewing books and music are teenagers, like I Heart Daily, but this is one of the few sites that I know of where the things they are reviewing are also created by teenagers. Seriously, everything. Including non-fiction books.
It's about time there was a sight out there that showed what teens are really capable of. What makes Teen Ink even better is that it's not new, they've been around since 1989. Kind of cool that the people who are writing for this magazine today weren't even born when the magazine was launched. It just goes to show that the voice of young people is strong, powerful and continually needs to be heard.
Speaking of being heard, you should read a poem that I found today, "Our Relationship Would Be Easier if You Would Just Play Nice," by Megan B. Gilford. Very powerful. Gilford's voice is fresh and fierce and knocks a lot of modern adult poets out of the water. Think your writing makes Gilford's look like child's play? This website also let's you know what you have to do for them to publish your work.
So if you're looking for a new magazine to follow, check out Teen Ink. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gossip Girl creating fashion designers?

Beda Day 4

So I'm sure you've heard the phrase "art imitating life" but what about the other way around?

Much like her character on Gossip Girl, Jenny Humphry, Taylor Momsen is apparently going to be launching her own fashion line in the very near future. I can't help but ask the question, if she wasn't one of the stars of a fashion forward TV show, would she even be interested in being a designer? And if her character didn't design such stellar stuff, would we be interested in her line? I'm the first to admit that I get a lot of my fashion advice from trash TV like everything on the CW and reality shows, but I don't for a second think that the actors are the people who make these decisions. It was really just a fluke that Sarah Jessica Parker had her own sense of style pre-SATC, and because of that I find myself going to the show stylist pages rather then the stars when I want to know what color is in or if I should wear headbands.

But who knows, maybe Taylor knows her stuff. I usually see her on the what to do lists instead of the what to don'ts. I guess it doesn't really matter whose making it as long as GG keeps showing it. Lets just hope Momsen doesn't become a funkified diva like Little J...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rapunzel's Revenge

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

Welcome to the Wild Wild West of Fairy Tales and day 3 of BEDA.

If you know me at all, you know there are three things that I love: music, fractured fairy tales, and Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby Ice Cream. And while I tend to go on and on about how great the ice cream is, (Come on! Peanut butter filled chocolate covered pretzels in chocolate ice cream! What's not to love?) nothing is more delicious then taking a story you know and love and changing it to something almost unrecognizable.

That's what we have with this stellar graphic novel. I've been having this long standing debate with friend of mine about whether or not graphic novels should be considered quality reading. She has some doubt. So all of you doubters out there, you need to check out this book. Forget everything you know about fair maidens waiting for a man to stumble against some random tower and save the day. This princess is the key to her own success.

Normally I hate westerns. There's something about all that sand and sun and sweat that instantly makes me head for the showers, and possibly the ice cream isle. But as soon as I saw Rapunzel lasso her braids around a tree in this book to plan her escape, my skin started crawling in the best way. That's right, a hair lasso. James Bond was never so clever. And while it is great to read about it, seeing it beautifully illustrated adds a level of cool that no regular book can.

So in some ways, graphic novels are the fractured fairy tales of the novel world. I'll never get enough of taking something expected and making it cooler. Now if only I could grow out my hair...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lemony Snicket-isms

Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid by Lemony Snicket

Day 2 of BEDA.

I love books that are supposed to impart some wonderful words of wisdom or some little anecdotes that are apparently there to make life wonderful. I love them because they are ludicrous. Lemony Snicket gets it right. Instead of writing about the wonderfulness that is right around the corner, he, in is very Snickety way, tells you how to push past the rubbish and keep on trucking. That life doesn't need to be a bed full of roses to get something good out of it. That's the sort of wisdom I can get behind.

Don't believe Snicket is an untapped source of wisdom? Check out this witticism:

"Having a personal philosophyis like having a pet marmoset,
because it may be very attractive when you acquire it,
but there may be situations when it will not come in handy at all."

Genius! So maybe it isn't a witticism, but I think it's safe to say a Snicketism.

30 days of blogging

I've been catching up on my favorite blogs when I saw the coolest thing from Maureen Johnson. She has committed to blogging every day in the month of April. How awesome is that? So, in a complete groupie movement, I decided I would be a follower and join the BEDA movement. So here it is:

THE RULES OF BLOG EVERY DAY APRIL (BEDA)
1. Blog every day in April.

THE BLOG EVERY DAY IN APRIL MANIFESTO:
I commit to this idea and am determined to create something EVERY DAY in April, including weekends. Every day, I will find something to say. I embrace the reality that there is always something to talk about, if you are willing to take the time to look for it. I, Tina H., from Mentor Public Library, promise to blog every day in April.

Now, in true Tina fashion, I started a little late, so I will actually blog every day until May 3. So I guess I'm taking the BEDAPTED challenge (Blog Every Day in April Plus Three Extra Days).

For information on my bogarted mission, visit: http://maureenjohnson.blogspot.com/2009/03/blog-every-day-april.html

The Reformed Vampire Support Group

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

No doubt about it, the best part about working for a library is seeing stuff before everybody else does. I'd like to say it's being around people, or the free exchange of information and technology, and while all that's well and good, it's really the new stuff. We get paid to be on the cutting edge. In fact, people ship us stuff early, before it's even officially on the market, before they even do the final spell check, so we can get a taste of what's hot before the riots start at the check out counters. Bet you didn't know being a librarian instantly makes you VIP.

I just finished the coolest book of 2009 because of this pseudo-celeb status; The Reformed Vampire Support Group. It's due to come out mid-April. If you think you know vampires, you need to read this book. While Twilight makes the land of the undead seem intriguing, stealth, and sexy, Jinks shows you the side of vampires that won't make it to the romance section. Senior citizen vampires with walkers, vampires with mothers, and vampires with anxiety disorders entertain you from cover to cover as these characters are brought together through group therapy to thwart their desire to kill. No vampire book is complete without a little lycanthrope, and the werewolves in this book are just as hilarious and demented as the blood suckers. Throw in a little accidental staking and a spontaneous road trip and you have a recipe for success, along with a new found thirst for mortality.

Ready for some therapy? Get on the request list today!

Seether crawls out from under the covers

This week I have been laid up with some HORRIBLE sinus disgustingness. (Oh, haven't you heard? When you're sick you can make up words). I don't know about the rest of you, but I hate being so sick that you can't do anything but watch daytime law shows who all have some sort of "shocking" DNA baby-momma-drama revelations. It causes a person's mind to wander in circles like a stationary bike.
Speaking of going around in circles, is anyone else a little done with the Flo Rida cover "Right Round"? It totally rips off that 80's song "You Spin Me Round" by Dead or Alive. Great groovin' tune, but really, who are you fooling? Nothing original there except the scandalous lyrics.

Don't me wrong, I love a good cover, but call it what it is; somone else's. I firmly believe you can make a remake special and sometimes re-doing something is neccessary. When I shoot pool I call it the red-head-re-do, which I suppose really only applies to me, but there people who can do it right. There are bands who really know how to apply a fresh sound. Take "Careless Whisper". Seether, who I have loved way before that Amy Lee girl ever did, recreated a George Michael classic. I sort of wish that I could have heard this version first because it is so, so good. I can actually see them never dancing again, just standing there like melancholy wall flowers *sigh*. Mediocre song retold by a fantastic artist = great cover.

Sometimes really great songs are redone by even better artists. There is nothing like a music icon paying homage to a not-so-distant masterpiece. Think about the Johnny Cash remake of the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt". If his version doesn't make your heart ache, then no loss ever will. And I will never forget when I went to a Motely Crew concert and they opened up their show with System of a Down's "Suite-Pee". Midgets and clowns never seemed so right.

So here's for not covering up the good stuff, but for reinventing it, making "Careless Whisper" the song of the week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It’s History, only not…..

April brings rain and history. Well, history in story form. It’s Historical fiction month here at MPL and of course we have suggestions for you. Did you really need to ask?


Novels:
Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson
The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbel Bartoletti
Miss Spitfire by Sarah Elizabeth Miller
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Al Capone Does my Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
In darkness, Death by Dorothy Hoobler
My brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier

Graphic Novels:

Maus : A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
Peace Maker by Nanae Chrono
Laika by Mick Abadzis
300 by Frank Miller
Ruse by Mark Waid
Samurai Champloo by Masaru Gotsubo

Friday, March 27, 2009

Steinbeck's Ghost

Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee

"Rule number one when saving the world: always have cookies" - Lewis Buzbee

Here is a very recent historical fiction novel that plays homage to a man who helped create public libraries in the United States: John Steinbeck. A few years ago, Salida Regional Library, the first public library system in America, almost had to shut it's doors forever because of financial problems. Sounds familiar, right? This book tells the story of how a community united together to fight against its destruction. The fight is led by a young man named Travis who had the courage to stand up for what is right. We see how one person really does have the ability to make life altering changes in his community, especially if we can push fear aside and take a chance. It's even more vital when the choice is not easy and the odds are stacked against you. After all, isn't that the truest definition of success?

Talk about your library lovers book.

White Lies never hurt any one

"Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies" - Fleetwood Mac

Finally, a band with class.

I was watching David Letterman the other night, when I saw the greatest band play. It was kismet. I was meant to see that performance. I never watch Dave; I'm a Jay/Jimmy/TMZ girl. But OMG! I may be flipping to CBS more often.

Usually I'm disappointed when a band gets some cred before they are even a blip on my radar, but not this time. Not only were the band members foxy, the music rocked. And the band rocked it out. I don't know what was better, the sultry Doors-ish sound they had, or the fact that everyone was wearing suits, even the drummer. It's nice to see a band that can class it up, both is artistic style and fashions style.

Normally I pick a song of the week, but White Lies is too good to be picky. I downloaded the album from iTunes, and it is one amazing song after another. So instead of a song of the week, I invite you to listen to the album of the week.

They are in a class all of their own.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

They say McDonald's are everywhere...

They say McDonald's are found everywhere in the world, and while that's true, when you look at their ad campaigns it's almost as if they are selling a different product. I'm sure by now everyone has seen the Filet-o-Fish commercial. For some reason it is a fan favorite, and I see that commercial more than I see my reflection. If you love that commercial and think the ad people know there stuff, then check out what McDonald's runs in Japan. Both are about the sandwich. Tell me, is it really the same?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UKLncvGxQ8

Standing at a creepy Crossroads

The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein

I'm a scaredy cat. A big, huge baby. I don't handle suspense well and am so the person who will flip to the end of the book early to see if a character is still around. Yeah, I know, ridiculous, but having that pit-in-the-bottom-of-your-stomach fear is a rush that I love to hate. It's my own personal horror-coaster.

So when I picked up Grabenstein's book and saw this creepy tree on the cover, of course I couldn't walk away. It was like the cover was calling to me. The tree reminded me of one outside my parents house on West 84th that would bang againsy my window for no apparent reason. That house was nuts, with cold pockets and creepy sounds everywhere. Possessed by the memory of that place, I flipped open the cover and the first sentence sent shivers down my spine: "Have you ever seen a face hidden in the bark of a tree and known that the man trapped inside wanted to hurt you?" Creep-py! And I hate to admit it, but yeah, I have felt that way. It's why I can't do haunted houses.

But wait, it gets better. The main character lives on West 84th. No need to do a double take. My old street. My old tree. The rest of the book was one random coincidence after another. Street names, store names, character names. All things from my past but with a crazed ghost floating around. I wanted to put it down, but I was so horrified I couldn't. This is a book about a haunting, and I think it's safe to say, it haunted me.

Want to be haunted? Check it out. Since all good ghost stories should be read out loud, be sure to get the audio.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Battling for Miss Independent

Ne-Yo or Kelly Clarkson.... Ne-Yo or Kelly Clarkson...

Yesterday I was cruising downtown to see the parade when the Ne-Yo, "Miss Independent" song came on. I really dig that song. I can't listen to it and not head groove a little. So while I'm rocking out St Paddy's style, I realized that the little computer on my car stereo said Kelly Clarkson, "Miss Independent". Weird, but I figured it was a glitch or something. Not exactly. That satellite link must have just been early because the very next song that came on was Kelly Clarkson's version of women who can do their own thing their own way, her "Miss Independent".

First off, who knew? Had it not been for my car stereo, I may have never noticed. Now that I have though, I have just one question. Why didn't the independent Clarkson get upset when Ne-Yo bogarted her song title? It seems a little shocking that a woman who wrote a song about standing up for herself and being her own person wouldn't want to stand up for her title. Now I'm not saying Ne-Yo stole anything. Miss Independent is a someone popular phrase, and the songs sound totally different. His is more fun, dancy, and appreciative, while hers is about angst, betrayal and despair. Not the same at all. But still. There's a lot to be said about a name.

So this week it is a battle of the Miss Independents for the song of the week. Give them a listen and let me know, which lady takes the cake?

Monday, March 16, 2009

You thought you knew suburbia...

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan

Missiles in every yard, an alien as a foreign exchange student, blind reindeer. Just your every day suburban neighborhood. It's the land of Make-Believe that would give Mr. Rogers a panic attack.
I'm not the biggest sci-fi gal. I'm more of a fantasy fan. But it is the flavor of the month, so I figured, why not, I'll give it a go. I love getting my flavor fix because I always find a treat I didn't expect. This author had me so enraptured by these short stories that as soon as I closed the book I was looking for Tan's earlier stuff. And the art! A-MAZE-ING! I keep going back to the story about the foreign exchange student...it sure would explain some things.

Want to enter Outer Suburbia? Check it out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dying for more Edward? Watch Twilight for free

So I'm a genius. Despite the fact that I have been counting down the days for the Twilight movie to be on DVD, I just realized today that I forgot to pre-order it. Stellar.

Luckily for me, on Wednesday, March 25, MPL is having a special screening of the movie at the Main Library. And it's free. I am so excited. Because as happy as I am to take the Cullen's home with me, I really, really, really like seeing Robert Pattinson's face projected on the big screen.

If you love all things Twilight as much as I do, stop by on March 25 at 6:30. There's no registration needed to get lost in this amazing movie. Again.

My sister said it best, "I really want Bella to be a vampire already!" Well I really just want to see this movie again!

An America Next Top Model shocker!

This past Wednesday most horrendous, unspeakable, and evil thing happened on America's Next Top Model. It was makeover day and *gasp* Tyra cut off the hair of one of the contestants! OMG!

Bleh! Every season it is the same thing. Tyra cuts someones hair off because she "loves their bone structure" and every year these girls are surprised and devastated that it happened. Have they never seen ANTM? It's the same every year. Two girls go short, two go blond, one goes red and white girls learn how painful it is to wear weaves.

I don't know, maybe it's because of my fabulous Jay Leno chin, but I dig short hair. I have never burst into tears because a cut wasn't quite what I expected. And let me tell you, I have had some wicked styles over the years. I want to be trendy, so I try the fads. My life is a 50/50 split of good cuts versus bad cuts. I should mention that I grew up during the days when perms were hot, so if that doesn't tell you about some of the disastrous photos that have been taken of me, I don't know what will. I would have killed to have a fashion icon like Tyra Banks tell me how I should style myself. She may be annoying, but she knows her stuff.

As much as I gripe about this episode every season, I do love it. It's the only time during the cycle that I look at those girls and think I've got more going on then they do. Talk about a shocker!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Falling into Garth Nix

The Fall by Garth Nix
Imagine that you live in a world completely encased in darkness because a magical Veil blocks out the sun. The world is so cold and destitute that the land is covered in ice. They only way to destroy the Veil is to dismantle the Keystones that keep it in place found at the top of a castle's towers. Oh yeah, and that castle has a room for people to be punished, called the Hall of Nightmares. Ever wonder it would be like to not be able to wake up from your worst dream? Talk about punishment.

If you think your life is rough, check out this series. The Seventh Tower books were recommended to me by a guy who knows the difference between good fantasy and a wonderfully consuming story. Nix creates a world so complex and intriguing that you actually get chills as you read them.

Want to climb the towers? Then check this series out.

One Tree Hill is not lying!

One Tree Hill has been playing the good stuff!

This past Friday was my birthday, so I treated myself right by catching up on some quality trash TV. You know, Gossip Girl, America's Next Top Model, Make Me a Supermodel and my new fave, One Tree Hill. I know OTH has been around for years, but I never was able to catch it. Once I checked out the boxed seasons sets I became obsessed, and now my TiVo is on overdrive.

Much like these other pseudo-soap operas, I think it's the music that takes it to the next level. I swear that once I heard Carolina Liar's "Show Me What I'm Looking For" come on into some unnecessarily dramatic scene with Payton, Lucas, and a doctors office, I got a little choked up. There may have been some tears, I'm not gonna lie. Good music will do that to you; it makes even the most ridiculous scene seem fantastic. Talk about knowing your audience!

So the song of the week is the song that had me reaching for the tissues.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Jimmy Fallon on Late Night

If you love SNL, then you are like me and are thrilled to see Jimmy Fallon taking over Conan O'Brien's place on Late Night. The video of the week is the opening segment of his first show, and I have to say, I love the classy funny vibe Jimmy's giving off.