Saturday, December 25, 2010

What to do????

I really wanted a Kindle for Christmas and I got one. I also promised myself to not buy books and use the library more.
What do I do?
I love the Kindle.
I love books.

Here are libraries I can now reach out to via my Kindle...
New York Public Library
Fairfax County Library
Los Angeles Public Library (although I am not very sure about the ability to download to the Kindle)

I also found out the entire works of Shakespeare are $3 on Kindle.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Returning Books

I've officially turned my child into a bibliophile.
We were returning the 17 books he had checked out a few weeks ago (and we have read all of them at least twice) and picking up one book on hold for me. He COULD NOT LEAVE without checking out a book.
He ran for Field, asked for a Christmas book, and then...picked out "When Cows Come Home for the Holidays" It's a great and fantastic book. Funny and about the holiday spirit. We were laughing out loud reading it.

Wylie also had two doctor's appointments yesterday. Dentist and Pediatrician. He was really good at both. He also received two vaccines and a blood draw. The later hurt a great deal and required him to hold his arm incredibly still. Remember he's 4, because I don't think I hold my arm as still as he did. HE HOWLED AND CRIED. Why am I telling you this here?

I offered Wylie as a reward/consolation for being so brave a trip to the BOOKSTORE (yup buying a book) and picking out a book. He looked at me in the midst of his tears and sadness and said "Could we go borrow from the library?" My kid offered the chance to buy a book. He wants to borrow from the library.
I love him.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hunger Games-Susan Collins

I liked this book.
I would recommend this book.
It is receiving lots and lots of word of mouth press.

How much did I like it?
I stayed up way too late several nights as I was sucked in to the story and wanted to find a spot where I was comfortable leaving the main character. The story is well written, the characters well developed and enough left out that you aren't quite sure what to make of them at times. It is part love story, part survival story, part political commentary.

It is a trilogy which means there are two more parts of the story to read and to fully understand the main character Katniss' motivation and ultimately what happens to her. You finish the first book hoping for change and resolution but are offered none. I like that.

I have one huge problem with this book:

About 1/3 of the way into the book I realized I had read something VERY similar years ago. There were parts of the story that felt WAY TOO FAMILIAR. I can't say that the Susan Collins totally ripped off other writers work but I'm having some serious concerns. I believe that while she wrote a good and compelling book she took far too much from other books and by changing a word here and there is not acceptable. Here are my concerns:

Plot Synopses


The Hunger Games takes place in an unidentified future time period after the destruction of North America in a nation known as Panem. Panem consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts. It is stated that District 12 is located in the coal-rich region Appalachia

As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol, every year one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected at random and forced to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised event where the participants, or "tributes", must fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena until only one remains.

Battle Royale

Battle Royale, a high-octane thriller about senseless youth violence, is one of Japan's best-selling - and most controversial - novels. As part of a ruthless program by the totalitarian government, ninth-grade students are taken to a small isolated island with a map, food, and various weapons. Forced to wear special collars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one "winner" remains. The elimination contest becomes the ultimate in must-see reality television. A Japanese pulp classic available in English for the first time, Battle Royale is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world.

The Long Walk

One hundred teenage boys participate in an annual walking contest called "The Long Walk," which is the "national sport. The event is run by a character known as "The Major," who is implied to have much power, stemming from a possible military or fascist state system. The Major appears at the beginning of the Walk to encourage the boys and start them on their way, and then occasionally thereafter. There are no stops, rest periods, or established finish line, and the Walk does not pause for any reason (including bad weather or darkness); it ends only when one Walker is left alive.

Items almost photo identical in each book.

1. Post-apocolyptic country—Run by totalitarian or fascist type government

2. Teenage or young participants—Forced to participate by lottery or volunteer in order to save their immediate family and region

3. Only one winner -the rest are dead-killed by their peers, killed by the government or from the event itself.

4. Intercession by family not allowed—No communication with outside world, no sympathy from the government, the government interacts to make the event more interesting.

5. Told from the survivor/winner voice

Slight differences between Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.

1. Battle Royale is Japanese-

2. Battle Royale participants wear collars not chips in their body

3. Battle Royale participants are semi armed going in.

Slight differences between The Long Walk and The Hunger Games.

1. The Long Walk is not a fight but a survival to the end.

2. It is a Major not the Gamemakers that sets the rules and can be upset at the littlest thing and change the rules to fit his needs.

3. The participants are “volunteers” and in some cases more prepared than others. The “Careers” are very similar in hunger games.

I now have to read Stephen King's "The Long Walk" again.
I have to read Battle Royale by Koushun Takami again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Art at the Library

So in reviewing what is happening at our local library I came across many art related exhibits, projects and demonstrations conducted at local libraries throughout the nation. This is how the library brings more than just books to the community.

Raynham Public Library-Massachusetts
Quilt Display for the month of December: Here

Kealakekua Public Library-Hawaii
Sakura Ensemble: Here

Oakridge Library-Tennessee
Display of local artists work: Here

Sacramento Public Libraries team up with an art museum
Crocker for Kids: Here

Our local library in Playa Vista had cupcake decorating for teens this week. For the younger children there are crayons and coloring pages set out for each season and holiday along with the books that offer more information on the season or holiday.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

P.D. James

I'm still in love with this author. "Shroud for a Nightengale" was perfect. I thought I had figured out PD James' method of defining the murderer. I was wrong.
I had ideas about the murderer in this one. I was right but I was also very wrong.
There were 2 when in fact you thought there would only be one.

There were oddities that were there mostly to confuse and distract.

It was a wonderful read.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pirate Books

Wylie has a love of pirates. We have started amassing a pirate book library of our own due to his love of pirates.
Karen came into town for a brief visit last night and brought Wylie a pirate book. The book is part of a series of books called Barefoot Books. Wylie brought the book to dinner and then wanted to read the whole thing cover to cover last night. A book that inspires that kind of interest is the best!

I like the philosophy of the company "Live Barefoot". The are about giving children the knowledge to explore and the ability to imagine.

Explore. Imagine. Create. Connect. Give Back. That’s what Barefoot Books is all about. It’s exploring other cultures, our planet, ourselves. It’s making time for make-believe and letting imaginations run wild and free. Most of all, it’s about using the power of stories to nourish the creative spark in everyone and strengthen connections with family, the global community, and the earth.