Janet G's blog


Attention all witches, wizards, and Muggles!  Have you heard about the Orlando theme park based on J. K. Rowling's best-selling books?  Progress on the 20 acre site has been a well kept secret, but recently Universal Studios launched a web site dedicated to promoting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  


Since 1982, many libraries in the United States have dedicated the last week of this month to recognize how fortunate we are to have the freedom to read. The American Library Association observes Banned Book Week from September 26th through October 3rd, 2009, and encourages us never to take for granted our freedom to enjoy literature, information, and ideas. 

Many of the books we're used to seeing on library book shelves were at one time considered unsuitable.  They were "challenged" based on political, religious, or sexual objections.  Sometimes books are challenged or banned because the cultural standards accepted when the book was written no longer seem appropriate.  


It's been a year since Hurricane Ike barreled through Texas, knocking out power to over 2 million people and causing billions of dollars worth of property damage in Harris County.  Except for the inconvenience of living without electricity for awhile, I and almost everyone I know were very fortunate, and made it through Ike relatively unscathed.  Spending the day before landfall immersed in utter dread turned out to be the worst part of my hurricane experience.  Why is it then, that I have absolutely no problem immersing myself in a book with disaster at its core, where doom is imminent? 


We are pleased celebrate the culture of people who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico,  and other Spanish-speaking nations during Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th to October 15th.  If you wish to expand your knowledge of Hispanic culture, here are some books you may enjoy.

 In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez


If you've never read The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, now is the perfect time to do so.  Why?  Because September is National Honey Month, in honor of the U S's 212,000 beekeepers and 2.41 million colonies of honeybees.    

¡Feliz Aniversario Paulo Coelho!

Today is the birthday of Paulo Coelho.  He was born on August 24, 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  A lyricist and novelist, Coelho is best known for writing The Alchemist 


The calendar says summer won't be over for another month, but many people will begin their new school year next week.  Since June the books have been practically flying off the library book shelves.  Lately I've noticed more high school and college students, racing around, earnestly attempting to complete assignments from their lists of recommended summer reading, lists which are largely comprised of classics.



There's something irresistibly intriguing about a diary.  It might contain a totally bland description of a humdrum day, BUT there's a chance that within those pages lies an extraordinary insight, strange confession, or shocking secret about the writer.  Do you read it and intrude on someone's private life and thoughts without their permission?  



Have you registered for ReaderNation yet?  This is Harris County Library's Summer Reading Program for adults, and it's not too late to sign up!  Registration closes at midnight on August 8, 2009.  Once you're registered, read and log 4 books in order to be eligible for great prizes from amazon.com.  

  • 1st prize $200 gift card 
  • 2nd prize $150 gift card
  • 3rd prize $100 gift card 

Each branch library will also select a winner from a random drawing of iReaders completing the program. The prize will be a $50.00 gift card, and the drawing will take place on or about August 17th. 


Does anyone else have as much trouble as I do, sticking with a series?  I don't know if it's because I'm easily bored, have a teeny tiny attention span, or if I'm just not acquainted with those that are well written (suggestions welcome).  For some reason I'm predisposed to pass on books if they're in a series.  Maybe I've seen one too many movies where the sequel and sequel's sequel are promoted and marketed and touted until I'm all steamed up and then I see the sequel and it's never as good as the original and I could just whistle Dixie.  

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