Thursday, December 20, 2012

Young Adult Reading

As some of you may or may not know, I am still technically a student trying to get his library degree. I am currently taking a class in Young Adult Literature and Materials and I had to read over 20 books in about 5 weeks. No small task to be sure, but it did give me an opportunity to start reading recreationally again. I would like to take moment to talk about some of the books that really stood out to me.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
About: Sam LaCroix is a slacker, a skater, and college drop out. He works at a Plumpy's flipping burgers for a living. The job sucks, but he's determined to enjoy himself. But a little bit of fast food mischief leads to a busted tail light and caused Sam to have a chance meeting with Douglas. Douglas is a powerful necromancer and one evil dude. He seems to think Sam is too, and he's not happy about having any competition. This is all news to Sam, but Douglas makes him an offer: Learn to control his powers or die by his hand. Sam's life becomes flooded with the supernatural which doesn't make his decision any easier, but he's only got a week to figure it out.
My Thoughts: I found it incredibly hard not to laugh through this whole book. It paints itself as kind of a Comedy/Horror, but really its not much of the latter. Almost every scene in the book has some funny dialog exchange or ridiculous situation. I can best describe it as like watching a great B movie. Everyone in the book seems realize how ridiculous the situation is, so all the reactions are overblown and just as goofy. I laughed pretty much the whole way through it, it had some cool action moments, and even a few spots to tug at your heart strings. This was easily my favorite book of the project and I'm hoping this one gets picked up for a movie.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
About: Jacob's grandfather used to tell him stories of a place where children with superhuman abilities resided. Jacob took them as truth as a child, but start to pull away as he grew older and matured. But when Jacob turned 16 his grandfather was murdered by what seemed to be a monster. Nobody believes him. Overcome with grief, he tries to solve his grandfathers dying wish and find the home of peculiar children in the hopes of proving if the stories he had been told as a child were true, and hopefully solve the reason behind his grandfather's murder.

My Thoughts: I put this one off to the side a couple of times. By cover alone and blurb on the inside cover I was pretty much convinced I wasn't going to like this book. Oh how wrong I was. The book is full of interesting and fun characters, and has a interesting mix of emotional themes. There are points of mystery, action, romance, comedy all through out the book. It was just one of those stories where I genuinely sympathized with the protagonist, and fell in love with pretty much all of the characters. I couldn't put this one down and pretty much cover to covered it in a few hours. 

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
About: Ai Ling is a girl with troubles. On the day of her first betrothal... and rejection, she discovers that she has the ability to connect with someones spirit which allows her to hear their thoughts and dreams. Her troubles don't end there though, as he father goes missing.  She take off for the emperors palace to find him, and learns that she is tasked by the divines to put an end to an evil that has lived on for more than 2 centuries. On her travels she meets Chen Yong, a man on a quest for his own father who's fate seems intertwined with her own, all they while battling demons on each step of the way.

My Thoughts: Another one I was just ready to write off on because of its cover. Mine was different than the image presented and the blurb made me thing this was just a run of the mill coming of age tale of a girl in China. So I was pleasantly surprised when within a few chapters Ai Ling is fending off demons with a magic pendant and a dagger.  This story spans across all sorts of ancient Chinese mythology featuring demons, dragons, goddesses, and a giant monster constructed out of corpses. There is a lot of adventuring and action in the book so it provided to be anything but a dull read. If you are a fan of fantasy or mythology I would suggest giving this one a try.

That's all I have for now, I will be sure to make sure to post again with others from this project as there were many of them that I enjoyed reading. Each of these are the start of a series, and hopefully will have sequels in the near future. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

We love Star Wars!

October 6 was the first ever STAR WARS READS DAY.  We celebrated with costumes, light sabers, treats, and a Star Wars storytime.........

Darth Maul!

Star Wars fans.

Making light sabers.

And Yoda origami!

Even Spiderman came.

The Force was with us.

Light Saber snacks, Wookie Cookies, and Yoda Soda.

Star Wars storytime.
We can't wait till next year! May the Force be with you!

Friday, September 7, 2012

More Vacation Reading

I am going on vacation - again!!  And, as always, I have a couple of books to take along.   My 'to-be-read' list is smaller for this trip.  Here are the books I'm taking to the beach with me...

1.  A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin.  I took this on my last vacation and didn't get to it.  This time it is on the top of the pile!!  I have to read this before I watch season 2 of Game of Thrones.

2.  Chez Moi by Agnes Desarthe.  This is about a woman who wants to changer her life -- by opening a restaurant in Paris.  It sounds good and is small, so it will fit in my carry-on suitcase.

3..  Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg.  This is the book for the September meeting of Let's Talk About It, the book club that meets at the Library.

I might throw in a couple of other books; maybe a mystery or two.   Watch this space to see what  books I actually finish!

Let's Talk About It...

This book discussion group has been meeting at the Library for at least 10 years.  We meet on the 4th Monday of the month (execpt for May and December) at 7:00pm in the Community Room.  The group is led by a 'benevolent dictator'...I get to pick the books!  I try to pick books that you that you wouldn't choose yourself.

The books are available for a month prior to the meeting.  You can pick a copy up at the Circulation Desk.  If all of the copies are checked, we can order a copy from another library.

Please join us, we would love to have you.  If you have any questions, call Jane at the Library at 440-256-7323.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cookbook Club

Last night the Library's Cookbook Club had its third meeting. We meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 PM.

The first book we cooked from was How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. We liked beginning with this book because it had recipes for all types of foods and meals and lots of practical kitchen tips.

Our second book was Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. The recipes in this book use vegetable purees to make the dishes healthful, a good trick for parents of picky eaters. However, we decided we all love vegetables and need no tricks!

For our third meeting, we chose recipes from Southern Living Homestyle Cookbook, our favorite so far. This book had so many appetizing recipes. It is definitely worth checking out.


Cookbook Club will meet again on September 25 with dishes from Michael Symon's Live To Cook. Request this book today if you would like to join us!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Reading Ends

Summer is coming to an end and we celebrated our Summer Reading Program "Reading is Soooo Delicious" with a party on July 28 with games, activities, and cake, all of which you can see below. Thank you to everyone who participated. We hope you had a summer full of good reads and will keep reading right into Fall.

Sack Races

Chalk Drawings

Hula Hoops


Face Painting


Cake made by Mrs. Maisel! It was SOOOO delicious!

And everyone took home a book to keep!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Video Games are Back!

Heya KPLer's!

Many you were asking when the video games would be coming back? I'm happy to let you know that we got in a brand new bunch
of them, and as KPL's resident gamer I'd like to tell you which gems jumped out to me in this collection. So without further ado...

Tetris Evolution (XBox 360)

One For the Family
- What's not to love about Tetris? The famous russian puzzler on the Xbox 360 gets a sleek HD gloss over and an updated chill version of its noteable theme song as you play. The traditional Tetris gameplay is there, but what makes this worth picking up is all the nifty variations to the game it contains.

There are up to 8 different game modes such as Marathon, Race, Hotline, and Eraser allows you to switch up the dynamic of the game, and if you have multiple controllers, you can play all of the modes up to 4 players at a time. There may not be a lot of new innovation to Tetris but it doesn't need to. If you love this classic puzzler, then you'll love this cleaned up version of it.

Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of two worlds (PS3)

A Superstar Smash-up
- This long awaited sequel to the popular Marvel vs Capcom franchise boasts an impressive character list of 36 playable characters with 18 from each universe. Select your favorite team of three from the likes of Ryu from Street Fighter, Dante from Devil May Cry, or Chris Redfield from Resident Evil, and have them go against your fantasy version of the avengers with originals like Iron Man, X-men like Storm, or the outrageously silly Deadpool.

This version features simplified controls and has an extensive tutorial for new players to get up to speed with their favorite characters, but the game features all sorts of intricacies for the experienced player to harness their craft and play on a very competitive level. With a 3 on 3 tag system the combat is constantly fast and frantic, and each character has number of super moves to trounce your opponent in style. If you enjoy this one, know there is an newer version with even more characters to use. I personally have played this one a lot.

Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360)

Not One for the Kiddos
- Walk the path of Dante in this faithful recreation of the famous poem.... Well, except Dante wasn't a religious crusader... And his girlfriend wasn't kidnapped by the devil... and he didn't thrash his enemies with the scythe of the Grim Reaper.. Well, Ok. This game has about as much in common with Dante's famous poem as Edward from Twilight has with Romeo, but I guess to drive a plot it's as good as anything else.

The game is a shameless God of War rip off to say the least. The same controls of light attack, heavy, and ranged. There are a handful of puzzles to solve. There are a handful of good voice actors outside of a lot of terrible ones. Despite all that though, the game's familiarity is actually its saving grace because its executed well and is very fun to play. A number of the levels and monsters in this game have some very innovative and cool looking design to them, so its easy to keep playing to see what crazy thing you will see next.

The biggest problem, however, is as I eluded to at the start: This game is NOT FOR KIDS, in any way. I'd argue its not suitable for anyone under 17. The game is incredibly violent as you can imagine from the box alone, the game shows a LOT of exposed skin in all the wrong places, and some of the monsters and enemies have things so graphic I can't even describe them on this blog. The game is pretty good, but be warned. Games like this are why there are ESRB ratings at the bottom of the case.

So that's all I have for now, There are some other honorable mentions such as Super Smash Brothers for the Wii, Final Fantasy 13 for the PS3, and the Half-life 2: Orange Box for XB360. Come and take a look at what else we have in right by our circ desk next time you come in!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Not All E-books Available Through Libraries

If you're an e-book reader and use CLEVNET's emedia you may not always find the e-books you're looking for. Some publishers do not allow library lending through OverDrive, a library e-book distributor.

OverDrive -- a Cleveland, Ohio company -- provides digital content and rights protection to schools, libraries, publishers, and retailers. The CLEVNET Consortium uses OverDrive to provide patrons with access to e-books. Some member libraries purchase additional e-books and make them available to their patrons. At this time, Kirtland Public Library card holders only have access to the e-books available via CLEVNET.

Publishers who do not allow library lending through OverDrive include MacMillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Penguin. E-books published by these companies will not be available through CLEVNET.

HarperCollins allows twenty-six checkouts per copy and Random House offers e-books for library lending at high fees. Other publishers working with OverDrive are BBC Audiobooks America, Harlequin, and Bloomsbury.

There are still many titles available through CLEVNET e-media. See the help page to learn more about using OverDrive, specific devices, and downloading.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Vacation Reading Part 2

Well I am back at work from my 2 week vacation.  During the first week I stayed home and volunteered at a children's camp my church sponsors.  During the second week I was relaxing on a small island in the Georgian Bay in Canada.  If you guessed that I read more while I was lolling on the deck in Canada, you guessed wrong!  I actually read more while I was at home.  After all day at camp, I was too tired to do anything else but read!

So...Here are the books I read on my Summer Vacation.

1.  A Bad Day for Mercy by Sophie Littlefield
Stella Hardesty is a smart, funny, feisty widow living in Missouri.  She has a little sewing shop that keeps her busy and a quiet little side business helping out women in abusive relationships.  Stella has a heart of gold and some of the funniest lines ever -- she tells it like it is!

2.  Fire In the Hole by Elmore Leonard
Had to read this short story collection because the title story is about US Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder.  If you have seen the TV series "Justified" you know who I'm talking about.  This story was excellent, as were all the others.  Leonard has an excellent way with words -- and creates interesting characters.  (This book was on my list for vacation)

3.  The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
I read Jo Nesbo because he is Norwegian and so am I.  This mystery in this novel takes place in present day Oslo, and on the German/Russian front line during WWII.  The story involves Norwegian soldiers who fought for the Germans against the Russians during WWII.  (this was on my list for vacation) 

4.  The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian
(this was published very recently and I was pleasantly surprised to get it!)  This a story of  the Armenian genocide by the Turks that took place in 1915.  Elizabeth Endicott, a proper Bostonian young lady, and her farther arrive in Aleppo, Syria to help provide food and medical care to Armenian refugees who have survived the desert march out of Turkey.  While there, Elizabeth meets and falls in love with Aram, an Armenian engineer who's wife and infant daughter were murdered during the diaspora.  Aram & Elizabeth's story is told by their granddaughter who discovered it quite by accident -- she had never been told about the events of 1915.  Elizabeth and Aram are based on the author's own grandparents.  This is a great story and the only book I read while I was away.

A confession -- I tried to read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and had to put it down.  It took too much concentration!  What I read was very good and I will certainly try this again!

I wanted to read A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin too.  I thought I had my son's copy at home, but when I went to pack it,  I discovered I had returned it to him. I think I will get this in CD format and listen to it while I am painting trim in my house and/or knitting!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Double Book Review: Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

by Rosamund Lupton
Crown Publishers, April 2012

Gina and Jamie both read this suspense thriller about a mother and daughter trying to investigate school fire arson while outside their injured bodies.

Gina's Review:
I loved this book and recommend it to everyone. It was beautifully written, suspenseful, and emotional. I enjoyed the unusual perspective of the narrator being in a coma, yet able to "see" what was happening. I was caught up in her frustration of not being able to communicate what she saw to her husband and son, and of not knowing who set the fire and why. The portrayal of the family dealing with this tragedy was moving. The mystery kept me guessing until the end.

Jamie's Review:
I found this book difficult to enjoy because the suspense and mystery surrounding the fire competed with the emotional side of the book. As a result, I felt like the book was fighting between two genres. I liked the idea of the mother and daughter having an out-of-body experience together, but this concept was not emphasized as much as it could have been due to the mystery. I thought the whodunnit mystery upstaged the relationship between the narrating mother and the other characters as well as the author's literary writing style. However, I would try the first book by this author just to see how she approaches a different story idea.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Books for Summer Vacation

I'm going on vacation for two weeks.  These are the books I'm planning on reading:

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (2nd in the Song of Ice and Fire series). Throughout Westeros, the cold winds are rising. From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding lands of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms stake their claims through tempest, turmoil and war. As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky - a comet the colour of blood and flame - five factions struggle for control of a divided land. Brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Against a backdrop of incest, fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory is measured in blood.

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo.  A recovering alcoholic recently reassigned to the Norwegian Security Service, Insp. Harry Hole begins tracking Sverre Olsen, a vicious neo-Nazi who escaped prosecution on a technicality. But what starts as a quest to put Olsen behind bars soon explodes into a race to prevent an assassination. As Hole struggles to stay one step ahead of Olsen and his gang of skinheads, Nesbø takes the reader back to WWII, as Norwegians fighting for Hitler wage a losing battle on the Eastern front. When the two story lines finally collide, it's up to Hole to stop a man hell-bent on carrying out the deadly plan he hatched half a century ago in the trenches. Perfectly paced and painfully suspenseful, this crime novel illuminates not only Norway's alleged Nazi ties but also its present skinhead subculture.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.  Assuming the power recently lost by the disgraced Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell counsels a mercurial Henry VIII on the latter's efforts to marry Anne Boleyn against the wishes of Rome, a successful endeavor that comes with a dangeous price.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher's soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three year custody battle between daughter Zoe's maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver. This is for my book discussion group -- meeting on July 30th at the Library.

I will let you know how I liked them when I get back. What are you reading this summer?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Edible Bugs!

Our Summer Reading Program, Edible Bugs, was a great success.

Ms. Beth began with a buggy story time:

Followed by bug BINGO in which players won a book to take home and keep!

Next, we made Edible Bugs out of cookie wafers, pretzel sticks, frosting, and candy.

Here are some of them:

And of course there was ice cream:

Did you really think we were going to eat BUGS? Gross!

Check out the books Ms. Beth read:

Wombat Stew by Pamela Lofts

Monday, July 9, 2012


Welcome to the Kirtland Public Library Blog where we will feature book reviews and recommendations, Library events, and some surprises.

Meet our contributors:

Jane loves to read just about everything, especially mysteries and thrillers (but no horror, please). Her dream vacation destination is the San Juan Islands, the perfect place to catch up on summer reading.

Gina is a fan of suspense. She is always checking out books and awaiting the newest cliff-hanger. While she waits, she dreams of visiting Greece.

Beth's favorite books are sci-fi and fantasy and books from the middle school section of our Library. She would like to visit New Zealand, Nepal, and Tibet. She secretly wants to do magic.

Jamie mostly reads fantasy, sci-fi, and literary fiction. Her dream vacation is a cabin in the woods with a fireplace and a stack of books. She has a very long to-read list.

Chris is a reader of fantasy and graphic novels. Someday he would like to visit Tokyo and Australia. Until then, he travels the printed page.

Check back for more......

See you at the Library.