Book Hunters

Book Hunters in Brief #93: Further Reading for Gulf Coast Reads

There's a feeling that all readers know when they the last words on the last page of a good book. Actually, I don't think it's a feeling; it is many feelings all swirling together: exhilaration, satisfaction, contentment, pride, but also hunger for the next book and a twinge of doubt that they'll ever find another that will give such pleasure.

Book Hunters in Brief #91: Talk Like a Pirate Day!

As day jobs go, we suppose you could do worse than sailing the bounding main with an eye peeled for booty-laden schooners. If only it had a better dental plan and less of that whole walking the plank thing...

Be that as it may, tomorrow is Talk Like a Pirate Day and Book Hunters have dug up some treasures for the whole family.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 @ HCPL

In any direction you wander on the cultural landscape of this country, you won't go very far before you see the ways--large and small--that people of Hispanic descent have transformed it. This week Book Hunters in Brief offers some reading recommendations written by Hispanic authors. Some are old favorites; others are new voices, still others are ones you might have missed.

Book Hunters in Brief #89: Library Adventures for Library Card Sign Up Month

The uninformed would say that "library adventures" is an oxymoron, and as is so often the case, the uninformed would be wrong. Libraries are perfect settings for adventures. They are mazes full of mazes; chockablock with arcane clues, secret passageways as well as trap doors. Libraries are the original Choose Your Own Adventure game. Every book is a portal to another dimension, a rabbit hole, and a bottomless box of strange magic.

Book Hunters in Brief #88: Bookworms

As you might guess, the love of books and reading is what drives many librarians to do what they do (well...that and dreams of unimaginable wealth and power). This week, Book Hunters in Brief salutes the mighty bookworm in celebration of National Literacy Month. Here are some great books about readers and reading:

Book Hunters in Brief #87: Better on Audio

For some, the notion that an audiobook could offer a more satisfying experience than the print version is sacrilegious, if not actual grounds for divorce, institutionalization and/or immediate revocation of membership in the Tuesday Night Book & Chardonnay-Tasting Club. But there are any number of valid reasons that an audiobook could be better: an exceptional performance by a voice actor, for instance, or a lyrical text written more for the ear than the eye, or just a book of particularly dense prose. I, for one, might have actually passed sophomore Am. Lit.

Book Hunters in Brief #86: Elvis!

If you weren't in front of the family Magnavox on that night in September of 1956 when Elvis appeared on Ed Sullivan, and changed American music--and maybe the world--forever, you can't imagine how large he came to loom in American popular culture. Granted, it was a different kind of big than we have nowadays. Not a bigger big, just a different kind. There are probably a dozen or more people walking around today who are more famous than Elvis ever was. Heck, a portly guy in highwater sansabelts and white socks got a gazillion hits worldwide on YouTube for a song no one understood about a place and lifestyle very few outside of Korea had ever heard of.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that there is a difference, culturally speaking, between "big" and "massive."

Book Hunters in Brief #82: Pluto!

Pluto was my favorite planet even before it was demoted to a planetoid by some heartless poindexter with an ax to grind. I mean, the ninth planet always seemed like my kind of place: cold and dark, with very little in the way of tourism and telemarketing. The fact that it is by all accounts completely devoid of Kardashians is, for me, just icing on that little ball of ice. Pluto's downgrade just solidified my affections. It's not often a person like me can relate to a heavenly body of any sort, but when Pluto was kicked off the team because it was too small, too slow, and not good-looking enough. I, like a lot of people, knew exactly how it felt.

Book Hunters in Brief #80: Historical Fiction for the 4th of July

This being Houston, Texas, it's been hot since about Valentine's Day, but for me it's not really summer until the fireworks go up on the Fourth of July. That's when "It's too dang hot" becomes an acceptable excuse for avoiding any number of unpleasant chores, and doing any at all besides sipping tall cool drinks, your feet resting on a 20,000 BTU AC while you methodically work down through a big stack of books is not only ill-advised--it's very nearly insane.

Book Hunters in Brief #79: Harry Potter's First Publication Anniversary

A lot of us grew up with Harry Potter--literally. That was part J.K. Rowling's genius; her character's aged in a fairly good facsimile of real time right along with her target audience. Another part of her genius was not just the originality and charm of the world she imagined, but it's completeness. We stepped into the world of Harry Potter and it was both strange and oddly familiar--much like the world we live in--only more full of possibilities, more morally well-defined, more fun.

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