30 March 2009

YA Lit:: We'll miss ya, Minx

Wait, WHAT???

I honestly had no idea.

Today I finished reading Mariko Tamaki's wonderful graphic novel Emiko Superstar, which I gleefully put on my Goodreads. I do love to see the list add up. :D Then, in reading others' reviews of this wonderful volume, I found out that Minx-- the lovable girl-powah graphic novels line from DC Comics -- bit the dust. And not even recently. This was last fall.


Was it the economy? Was it the storylines that were relatively clean (read: low on parental piss-off factor)? Was it the "rumor" that girls don't read comics?

It wasn't for lack of hype. The New York Times was a fan. They got accomplished, award-winning authors like Tamaki, Cecil Castellucci, and Andi Watson to write the stories. And the books themselves were pretty well-received.


Guys, tell us these things. If sales were so murderously disappointing, then let librarians in on the secret. We'll buy those copies off you. Okay, maybe not all of them, but I do think we could rise as one and slay the rumors that these inspiring and enjoyable comics weren't good enough.


29 March 2009

Road Map:: Seguin and Corpus Christi, TX

a) Seguin - Guadalupe County Public Library
Seguin, TX (06.06.08)

Scandalous, I know. Showing that much skin in a library pic. You know what's even more shocking? The fact that, at the time of this visit, MySpace was not allowed on *any* of the computers. Yup, it's blocked completely, as if all patrons were still in high school. Granted, I don't know the story that goes with this decision, but I don't understand why they couldn't provide even one computer for this. Surely it's not a bandwidth issue.

They did, however, have a copy of Yasmina Khadra's The Swallows of Kabul. It's easily the most depressing book I've ever read. Easily. I had to read a chapter a week, it made me so emotional. And yet it has one of my favorite quotes:

"In love, even beasts are divine."

b) Corpus Christi Public Library
Corpus Christi, TX (06.20.08)

Believe it or not, this was my first trip to Corpus, home of Selena and the beach. I was surprised to find that the library does not have a teen librarian at all, and I'm sure that hasn't changed, given the current economic depression. The staff was uber friendly and helpful, though.

c) Cafe Maya Restaurant

This is the first time I sneak a restaurant experience into my jumpy entries, but oh!

The margaritas!

The salsa!
The chips and salsa!

My svelte Mexican figure! (Ha ha. :D)

And I couldn't leave Corpus Christi without a Facebook profile pic of me and the water.
Libr'ry roads, take me home.

28 March 2009

Random:: Twitter teachings in YA lit

Remember those books you used to read as a kid about the ghosts of decades past? A book on the 60s would make sure to mention JFK, Twiggy, and the Beatles. The 80s? The Brat Pack, Reaganomics, and Boy George.

Speaking of, what are we calling this decade? We're months away from 2010, which will probably be fashioned after the Roaring Twenties . Will they be the Tantalizing Tens (if the economy magically ameliorates)? Toasty Tens (if global warming continues doing its thang)? And will this current decade be known as the aughts? According to Urban Dictionary-- and we all know they are an impeccable and infallible source, ha ha-- this is so.

But I digress.

This is for the history books / decade celebrations. March of 2009 is, like, the month of Twitter. I'd heard of Twitter as early as 2006 or 2007 and mostly resisted it, until I realized it's chock full of info goodies that any librarian would gasp over. Now, though, it's out of frikkin' proportion. I've heard the words Twitter and tweets in the media as often as audiences woot for Stephen Colbert.

So, behold! Things I would have never, ever, EVER known had it not been for Twitter, thereby not making it the Devil's Spawn.
  • @maureenjohnson. This woman thinks in Twitter status updates. Seriously. Check her out.
  • @mitaliperkins. I've met Mitali so I know how gracious she is. Even better, she posted an awesome Twitter list of YA authors. Much needed!
  • @realjohngreen. He wonders if, now that he has more Twitter friends than Facebook friends, Twitter is taking over. Oh, Real John Green. Yes, gauchos will soon be texting haiku to their Twitter. It's here and not going away.
  • @halseanderson. As I type this, Laurie Halse Anderson is an hour's drive away signing books in Austin. Curses! Had I known about it, I would have made the effort to go. Although now that I know about it and can't do anything, I'm a tad disillusioned.
  • @hopelarson. She loves to tweet about food. So she's talented, adorable, *and* a foodie. Amazing in more ways than one.
  • @rclementmoore. I've heard of the Printz. I've heard of the Pura Belpre. The RITA is relatively new to me. Congrats to Rosemary Clement-Moore, who is a finalist in the YA romance category. RITA is sponsored by the Romance Writers of America, and I'm thrilled that such an organization is keeping track of YA romances!
And oh, we're just getting started! Alas, I have to be logging off. My friend's tweets are encouraging me to take part in Earth hour.


22 March 2009

YA Lit:: 999 Reading Challenge Part Quatre

It's only been a couple of weeks or so since my last update but I want to *slay* this challenge. The more I think about it, the more likely I am to, you know, do it. The more I post about it... you get the point.

Plus, I'm beginning to see the dangers of the list I created, in terms of overlapping. Technically I've read graphic novels (category 3) that are also award-winners (category 2). Some non-fiction books (category 8) are books I never thought I'd read (category 9). Does that mean each book can only apply to one category, or shall I apply some cheating rules here?

Would that make me a naughty librarian?

As usual, new entries are in italics.
  • 9 teen books with multicultural characters
    ~The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas
  • 9 teen award-winners
    ~Japan Ai: A Tall Girl's Adventures in Japan by Aimee Major Steinberger
    [YALSA's 2009 Great Graphic Novels for Teens]
  • 9 graphic novels (non-manga)
    ~The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci
    ~Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci
    ~Skim by Mariko Tamaki
    ~Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
    ~Watchmen by Alan Moore
    ~Awkward and Definition by Ariel Schrag
  • 9 blogs
    ~YALSA blog
    ~The YA YA YAs

  • 9 webcomics*
  • 9 Overdrive audiobooks
    ~Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
    ~Something Rotten by Alan M. Gratz
    ~The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
  • 9 picture books
    ~Dad Runs Away with the Circus by Etgar Keret
    ~Chester by Melanie Watt
    ~Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt
    ~A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker

    ~Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
    ~The Cat's Tale by Doris Orgel
    ~When Randolph Turned Rotten by Charise Mericle Harper
  • 9 non-fiction books
    ~Obama: The Historic Journey by The New York Times
  • 9 titles I never thought I'd read
    ~The Coffee Trader by David Liss
* So I put webcomics on here to kind of kick start me into the regular perusal of such jewels. Well, it hasn't worked. I love webcomics but they don't keep my interest over a period of time. I'll tell you what I *do* enjoy, though. Podcasts. Next time, I think I'll have a new category: "webcomics and podcasts." Why the hell not?

And to welcome my podcast category, voila! Here's a comic by Greg Williams of the Tampa Tribune doing a pretty amazing job of capturing the essence of Chuck and Josh of the How Stuff Works podcast.


21 March 2009

Road Map:: Small-town Texas

I know.

I know you see the date on these pictures. They were taken in June last year and they're just now going up. I know. I've been trying to spread out the love, keep some pix just in case I go through a dry library spell, but this is just ridiculous.

In any case, here are some pictures of what appears to be a leisurely drive down Texas roads. Though, of course, it wasn't. We were moving from Pennsylvania, this was our second day driving, and we were exhausted. And even then, we stop for library pictures.

Speaking of Pennsylvania, my homegirl from Bethlehem visited me in SA once and said she couldn't take the skyline. There aren't mountains to fill up the view so the sky just looks too big. Well, miluv, here ya go:

She's right. That's a whole lot of sky. But not as threatening as going from Pittsburgh-level sunshine (2 on a scale from 1 to 10) to San Antonio-level sunshine (152 on a scale from 1 to 10).

In any case, on to some small-town Texas libraries.

a) J.B. Nickells Memorial Library
Luling, TX (06.06.08)

b) Tri-Community Library
Prairie Lea, TX (06.06.08)

Do you *see* those summer hours? They're only open twice a week. Wow. Voici my anime trapezoid mouth of alarm.

And the thing is, this was last summer. The climate for libraries is getting worse. My library system is no longer hiring and I feel so fortunate that I was able to sneak in less than a year before this unfortunate decision.

16 March 2009

Road Map:: Carnegie in Texas

a) Carnegie Memorial Library
Lake Charles, TX (06.06.08)

And so I put on my San Antonio Spurs shirt as we entered Texas through Louisiana.

Seeing Carnegie libraries in Texas makes me ecstatic because they're not as common as they are in, say, Pennsylvania. Yeah!

Road Map:: More Louisiana love

a) State Library of Louisiana
Baton Rouge, LA (06.05.08)

Occasionally we park illegally to get the right library pic. This was one of those cases. Luckily we haven't had the cops come after us-- for parking anyway. More on our getting-surrounded-by-cop-cars story later.

b) West Baton Rouge Parish Library
Baton Rouge, LA (06.05.08)

Dang. That's a lot of CliffsNotes.

12 March 2009

Random:: Twitter posse

I'm on Justina Chen Headley's Twitter Mosaic.

Guess which one is me... Hint: I'm towards the very bottom and I have bright green hair. :D

Random:: Nothing in particular...

Mind if I share my racing thoughts?
summer reading oh my GOD and i'm totally in love with rilo kiley more than ever and i need to finish this book before tonight but i haven't even touched it even though i've been really enjoying it plus i have a downloaded book that i've been meaning to listen to but i'm also all over my podcasts and oh i wanted to check out the how stuff works blog. or blah-oog, as i like to call them. and we've done the best that we could to advertise this author visit and i really REALLY hope it pays off especially the workshop and i hope she's not disappointed and did i mention that i've also been enamoured with cat power again? but mostly rilo kiley. something about them. i need to read and watch. maybe i'll just do what i want to do and pet the cat in the closest resemblance of peace i can muster?
Lately it feels like my brain is doing this ALL. the. TIME. I'm exhausted.

So instead of letting my mind wander the way Elizabeth did in Eat Pray Love--wait, they're making a movie of it? And Julia Roberts is going to be in it? Quoi??? Ugh. Um yeah, instead of doing that, let me wander around online and catch up on my blogs and everything... Oh! Well I *have* to try this:

::Cinco cosas I'm addicted to::
  1. Being a teen librarian. Sometimes it feels like I have a decent grasp on my profession but other times I feel like I've only barely scratched the surface. So I do what I can to catch up. And I absolutely love it. Most of the time.
  2. Visiting libraries when I travel. I mean, have you *seen* my jumpies? Ha ha.
  3. Watching TV when it's not actually on TV. Whether it's borrowing DVDs from the library (Ugly Betty, The Office, Freaks and Geeks) or letting Hulu do the work (Daily Show, Colbert Report, Dollhouse), there's nothing better than snuggling with husband in the evening and going PLOP.
  4. Sticking to my "non-diet" diet. I'm doing well so far but if I even get slightly distracted, I'm toast. :D
  5. Finding a slash. I'm a librarian, right? Sometimes that doesn't feel like enough. What about "librarian/linguist"? Or "librarian/weaver of non-descript awesomeness." Something!

04 March 2009

YA Lit:: 2009 Tayshas Reading List

When the idea of becoming a librarian was barely a twinkle in my eye, I remember having a conversation with a young adult librarian. She told me she was on a reading committee and received boxes of books on a near constant basis. How glamorous!

Seriously, Perez Hilton can have his funky hair and his celebrity sightings. I'd rather be in my grotty capris at home, dreaming about boxes of free books. (Some of which I wouldn't actually read to the end, but still.)

So I asked her, with *such* glee: "Are you on the Printz committee?" She said no, she was on the Tayshas committee. I didn't even know how to spell that when she said it.

They basically compile a reading list of various current books for Texas high school students. Out of the 69 books on this year's list, I've only read 4. Four! Ah, the shame.

These include:

Alexie, Sherman. Flight.
Friedman, Aimee. Breaking Up.
Green, John. Paper Towns.
Kim, Derek Kirk. Good as Lily.

Wow. Does this mean I need to get cracking?

YA Lit:: 999 Reading Challenge Part Trois

Just a wee update, now that we're in the beginning of March. New additions in italics. :D
  • 9 teen books with multicultural characters
    ~The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas
  • 9 teen award-winners
  • 9 graphic novels (non-manga)
    ~The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci
    ~Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci
    ~Skim by Mariko Tamaki
    ~Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
  • 9 blogs
  • 9 webcomics
  • 9 Overdrive audiobooks
    ~Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
    ~Something Rotten by Alan M. Gratz
  • 9 picture books
    ~Dad Runs Away with the Circus by Etgar Keret
    ~Chester by Melanie Watt
    ~Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt
  • 9 non-fiction books
    ~Obama: The Historic Journey by The New York Times
  • 9 titles I never thought I'd read
    ~The Coffee Trader by David Liss
I don't have very long to really get cracking!