Linda Stevens's blog

Hot Off the Press in October

lady by midnightLibrarianship is not a profession that is generally associated with many perks.  We do have one, though, that is very exciting for us.  We get to read some new books before they have reached their release date.  We are passionate about this.  We sometimes riot at conferences over the latest pre-release that no one else has.  (A slight exaggeration, but only slight.)  I've been lucky enough to get a good batch recently, without resorting to violence, and I want to share them with you.

Talking the Talk

chasing magicHave you ever thought about how difficult it must be for an author to convey the sound and rhythm of a character's speech?  What a powerful tool that can be for a novel when conveyed correctly.  The other night I got up from reading a book to walk the dogs and realized I was speaking to my neighbor in a speech pattern not my own, but that of one of the characters in the book I was reading.  That's how you reel in a reader!

The Amazing Read: Summer Reading Challenge, Week 10

amazing readI'm back from last week's visit to another world.  I decided to visit Graphic Novel Land, and spent some time in the Sandman's dream world and the altered Victorian detective world of Ruse, which I found as a suggestion from another summer reader.  I enjoyed my time "out of this world" thoroughly.

We are now in the final week of The Amazing Read, so let's end on an inspirational note:  Read something that helps make you a better person.  You can take the spiritual or philosophical route, or pick something that will aid in self-improvement, like The Power of Habit.  You can focus on your professional life, with a book like The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.  Or, enhance your parenting skills with a book like Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success.  Improve your physical self with the latest yoga guide or stress management tool.  We all have something we could work on!  What are you reading?

We hope that you've all enjoyed The Amazing Read challenge and all of summer reading this year.  Don't forget to register for the program and record your titles by August 11th to be eligible for prizes.

Reading Romance Out Loud

romance audiosI am an avid audio book listener, but I don't usually listen to books from the romance genre.  The first reason is that I'm given to inappropriate giggling when hearing some chapters, rather than reading them, and that takes you right out of the story.  The second reason is that I think it is very hard to get the voices right for a romantic novel.  A recent experience I had listening to the latest by a favorite author made me recoil every time the narrator used a man's voice.  The voice she used for the hero reminded me of the millionaire on Gilligan's Island, who I'm sure was a very nice man, but not really the figure I wanted to imagine.

The Amazing Read: Summer Reading Challenge, Week 8

amazing readI could spend the whole summer exploring last week's challenge, but I'm learning to mix up my reading diet.  My funny read revisited some old friends, P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster and his butler Jeeves.  I chose Right Ho, Jeeves because it features my favorite of Bertie's silly friends, Gussie Fink-Nottle, and his hilarious prize-giving speech at Market Snodsbury grammar school.

This week we're going to be a bit more informative and challenge you to read something in the news.  It could be a book about the upcoming elections or the latest in true crime.  Or you could pick up Time or Newsweek to read about current world events.  It could be old news, like All the President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein, or fake news, like I am America by Stephen Colbert.  You could even read Bloggers Boot Camp and learn to create your own news. 

I'm going to start by reading the latest issue of Wired magazine at lunchtime.  What are you reading?

 

Summer Reading is Crafty Fun

cy clipboard craftkw figurineSummer Reading fun brings all sorts of creative craft opportunities to your local branch.  As you see here, Crosby teens are creating custom clipboards with help from Harris County Precinct 2, young Freeman customers are creating art from cardboard boxes, Kingwood teens are learning to paint figurines with help from Texas Battle Bunker, and Katy teens made self portraits in cupcake form.  Check out the events calendar to see what crafty fun is happening at your branch!

Have You Read the Latest in Romance?

into the dreamingTime for another update on the latest available by your favorites to hit the library catalog.  Even with a job that focuses so much on books, sometimes I forget to check for the latest releases.  Take a look through the new listings below and see if one of your favorites is yet to be read:

 Into the Dreaming by Karen Marie Moning    Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Samurai Game by Christine Feehan                Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

Summer Reading is for Babies, Too!

alise flemingMeet Alise, the youngest participant to complete the Summer Reading program at the Northwest Branch Library.  This seven-month-old is a regular at Baby Time and is a fan of Dr. Seuss books read to her by her mom, Shaneeca.  Her older sister is currently reading her way to completion of Summer Reading.  All children who read 10 books or log 500 minutes of reading get to pick out a paperback book from our special selections and she chose The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig.  Congratulations, Alise!

We Have a Winner at Parker Williams Branch Library

nook winnerCongratulations to Traci Patterson, winner of a Nook Simple Touch in the second 2012 Adult Summer Reading prize drawing!  Don't forget to register and keep reading this summer for your chance to win.

The Amazing Read: Summer Reading Challenge, Week 4

amazing readWe're almost at the halfway point for Summer Reading!  Last week, we did some homegrown Texas reading.  My choice was Texas Soundtrack: Texas Stories Inspired by Texas Music.  By eating ice cream while I read, I was able to achieve a trifecta of personal favorites.  I highly recommend this book, Texas music, and ice cream.

Since we went local last week, let's have a global challenge this week:  Read worldwide.  You can try a book by an author from another country, follow Bill Bryson or Rick Steves on their travels, spend time learning another language, or read about a culture different from your own.  I've downloaded the audio of Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo for my choice.  What are you reading?

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