Saturday, March 31, 2012

Librarian's Pick of the Week: Prom and Prejudice

Title: Prom and Prejudice
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
High School, Dating

From the much-buzzed-about author of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB (already blurbed by Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle, and Jen Calonita), a prom-season delight of Jane Austen proportions. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date. After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn't interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be - especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London. Lizzie is happy about her friend's burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles's friend, Will Darcy, who's snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn't seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it's because her family doesn't have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk - so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

Eulberg retells Jane Austen's still popular tale of class, love, and danger both emotional and physical. Setting this version in a contemporary Connecticut school for the socially elite, and casting Lizzie Bennett as a scholarship student and musical prodigy, Eulberg's story unfolds along lines predictable both from the original plot and the spate of recent mean rich girls novels. That said, this version does justice to Austen and shows up the utter silliness of kids rich in material and designer brand name goods, the moodiness of some males (not often mined in YA literature), and the ways truth can be hidden by both outright lying (on the part of Wick, the villain of the piece) and shyness (both Lizzie's and Darcy's). This makes, in all, a fairly delightful blend of past and present value systems and social expectations. For those who haven't read the original, that will be the obvious next stop; for those who have, there's fun to be had in forecasting how Eulberg will rescript each upcoming scene. - Booklist

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Snow Art

Umm... wow... Artist Simon Beck creates his geometric art pieces by trudging along the frozen lakes of Savoie, France, in snowshoes. He works 5-9 hours a day making these patterns that are usually the size of three soccer fields. Holy smokes! He says that "'The main reason for making them was because I can no longer run properly due to problems with my feet, so plodding about on level snow is the least painful way of getting exercise. Gradually, the reason has become photographing them, and I am considering buying a better camera.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

How incredible is this?! This is a short called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg. They defined their short as "inspired in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, "Morris Lessmore" is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor." Reminds me of the magic of being a librarian.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Librarian's Pick of the Week: Incarceron

Title: Incarceron
Author: Catherine Fisher
Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy
Published: 2007
Age: 13+

Synopsis:  A thrilling, high-concept fantasy for fans of Garth Nix and Nancy Farmer. Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside- she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison, and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don't realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know.

Review: The vast prison Incarceron, made of metal and cutting-edge technology, was designed as a grand experiment: all undesirables would be sealed inside and given everything for a model utopia. But the experiment failed as Incarceron grew self-aware and tyrannical, resources dwindled, and prisoners divided into factions. Centuries later, prisoners exist under Incarceron's watchful eyes with one belief: no one from Outside enters, no one from Inside escapes. Finn, however, believes he's from Outside, and after he finds a crystal key that opens any door, he embarks on a journey to escape. Outside Incarceron, Claudia, the warden's daughter, is also looking for escape, from an arranged marriage and from her role in a plot to end Protocol, which forces inhabitants to live according to seventeenth-century norms. When she too finds a crystal key, she comes into communication with Finn, who she believes is the true prince of the Realm. This gripping futuristic fantasy has breathless pacing, an intelligent story line, and superb detail in rendering both of the stagnating environments. Fisher's characters are emotionally resonant, flawed, determined, and plagued by metaphysical questions. With some well-timed shocking twists and a killer ending, this is a must-have. - Booklist

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Trailer: Reckless

Have you ever seen a book trailer that just reminds you how long you've been meaning to read a book? I just watched this book trailer for Reckless by Cornelia Funke, and made me want to read the book even more!

For those of you unfamiliar with the book, here's the synopsis: "Jacob and Will Reckless have looked out for each other ever since their father disappeared, but when Jacob discovers a magical mirror that transports him to a warring world populated by witches, giants, and ogres, he keeps it to himself until Will follows him one day, with dire consequences."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Arrivals!!

March 1st - March 16th

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Edible Spray Paint!?

Yes, you read that right! The Deli Garage Food Cooperative from Germany has created a safe, edible spray paint for when your lunch is just a tad boring.

This is their product description: Fine silver cutlery, gold-plated cups - there are some things in life you just can't see enough of. As of now, the same applies to a good steak with Food Finish, the most stylish way to refine your culinary creations. Food Finish is as easy to use as the result is beautiful: off with the lid and on with the spray. Food Finish chrome-plates and gold-coats everything and anything in the kitchen that fits under its spray nozzle. It is completely harmless and tasteless.

Would you try it?
Ess-Lack Food Finish, € 24,80

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Librarian's Pick of the Week: The Old Country

Title: The Old Country
Author: Mordicai Gerstein
Fantasy, War
Published: 2005

From the winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal comes a memorable new work, a novel of singular insight and imagination that transports readers to the Old Country, where "all the fairy tales come from, where there was magic -- and there was war." There, Gisella stares a moment too long into the eyes of a fox, and she and the fox exchange shapes. Gisella's quest to get her girl-body back takes her on a journey across a war-ravaged country that has lost its shape. She encounters magic, bloodshed, and questions of power and justice -- until finally, looking into the eyes of the fox once more, she faces a strange and startling choice about her own nature. Part adventure story and part fable; exciting, beautifully told, rich in humor and wisdom, The Old Country is the work of an artist and storyteller at the height of his powers.

Framed as an elderly immigrant's story, this overly ambitious tale transpires in a war-torn Balkanesque country in which various factions fight for possession of the land while everyone wishes to oust the Crags. When her brother is conscripted and goes off to war, young Gisella is left to hunt for and kill a chicken-stealing fox that has terrorized her family. However, a trial is held among the forest animals and the fox is exonerated for her "crimes." In spite of her lifelong warnings, Gisella looks too long into its eyes and she and the fox trade shapes. War separates the humans from the now fox-girl and her animal companions, but they are reunited in prison. A shape-shifting woodland sprite and an enigmatic "owl person" appear to explain the human ravages on the magical world at a "crossroads," where animals can communicate with humans. Through them, Gerstein explores whether evil is inherent in the world, the costs of war, and the existence of magic. Elements of fantasy and traditional literature are threaded through the realistic and semi-historical horrors of war. This pastiche of theme and genre, tone and voice confuses readers' expectations and ultimately dilutes the story's power. Humor follows horror. Buffoonish royalty is overthrown by covetous generals, Gisella's blinded brother recovers his sight via some gruesome magic and leads the fight for a Crag homeland, and the baffling outcome of the fox/girl body swap may put off readers as well. This is a challenging burgoo of a novel and a rambling character-ridden tale that may have a difficult time finding and holding an audience. - School Library Journal

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Young on the Inside

Elderly people always say that no matter how old they get, they always think of themselves as young and are often surprised when they look in the mirror and find they are not in fact 17-year old girls or 24-year old boys. This portrait series by Tom Hussey is meant to capture how we continue to remain ourselves, even as our bodies age. Sad, huh?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Preview: Reached

The new cover for the third installment of Ally Condie's "Matched" trilogy has been released! It's called Reached and it's not due out for another eight months, November 13th to be exact. But we can still be excited about the cover, right?

For those of you who missed the first one, here is what Matched is about: "Cassia has always had complete trust in the Society to make decisions for her, but when she is being paired with her ideal mate, a second face flashes on the screen, and Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility as she tries to decide which man she truly loves.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Librarian's Pick of the Week: A Great and Terrible Beauty

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Genre:Historical Fiction
Age: 13+

Synopsis:  It's 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence's most powerful girls--and their foray into the spiritual world--lead to?

Review: "An interesting combination of fantasy, light horror, and historical fiction, with a dash of romance thrown in for good measure. On her 16th birthday, Gemma Doyle fights with her mother. She wants to leave India where her family is living, runs off when her mother refuses to send her to London to school, has a dreadful vision and witnesses her mother's death. Two months later, Gemma is enrolled in London's Spence School, still troubled by visions, and unable to share her grief and guilt over her loss. She gradually learns to control her vision and enter the "realms" where magical powers can make anything happen and where her mother waits to instruct her. Gradually she and her new friends learn about the Order, an ancient group of women who maintained the realms and regulated their power, and how two students unleashed an evil creature from the realms by killing a Gypsy girl. Gemma uncovers her mother's connection to those events and learns what she now must do. The fantasy element is obvious, and the boarding-school setting gives a glimpse into a time when girls were taught gentility and the importance of appearances. The author also makes a point about the position of women in Victorian society. Bray's characters are types-Felicity, clever and powerful; Ann, plain and timid; Pippa, beautiful and occasionally thoughtless; Gemma, spirited and chafing under society's rules-but not offensively so, and they do change as the story progresses. The ending leaves open the likelihood of a sequel. Recommend this to fantasy fans who also like Sherlock Holmes or Mary Russell." - Booklist

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


How neat are these long exposure shots of gold fireflies in Japan during a thunderstorm!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Librarian's Pick of the Week: Elixer

Title: Elixer
Author: Hilary Duff
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2011
Age: 13+

Synopsis: Clea Raymond is a talented photojournalist and the daughter of high-profile parents. Usually she's in total control of her camera, but after Clea's father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, eerie, shadowy images of a strange and handsome young man begin to appear in Clea's photos--a man she has never seen in her life. When Clea suddenly encounters this man in person she is stunned--and feels an immediate and powerful connection. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father's disappearance and discover the centuries-old truth behind their intense bond. Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fate, together they race against time to unravel their past in order to save their future--and their lives.

Review: "Seventeen-year-old Clea, the daughter of a senator and a famed surgeon, is a paparazzi magnet, photojournalist, and world traveler. Things change when she notices a handsome, timeless young man in her vacation pictures. Even more unsettling, in some photos he seems to float, and the specter soon haunts her dreams as well. Vivid visions of past lives with this man make Clea curious and lead her to the jungles of Brazil, where her father has gone missing while on a search for the elixir of life. Whether readers are drawn to this because of Duff's Lizzie McGuire fame or are taken in by the surprisingly solid premise, they may be disappointed by the authors' execution. The love between Clea and her mystery man, Sage, never quite reaches believability, and overall, the story reads like a friend's hasty rehashing of a movie plot. The abridged nature of the narration also suffers from more telling than showing. However, with its paranormal-romance angle and celebrity coauthor, this title will still be in demand." - Booklist

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Arrivals!

February 1st - February 29th

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