Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Book Giveaways and Stuff

Lots of Book Giveaways. Check it out

Win a copy of Darkness Splintered: http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com/2013/11/darkness-splintered-by-keri-arthur.html Win a copy of Rule/posters: http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com/2013/11/rule-2-copiesposters-giveaway.html

Dystopian-book of your choice-Giveaway: http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com/2013/11/dystopian-giveaway-hop.html

Win a Champion by Marie Lu Poster and Tattoos: http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com/2013/11/champion-poster-and-tattoo-giveaway.html

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Strangelets by Michael Gagnon

I just ordered this book after reading a review by Naomi Bates.

Come in and check it out.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb

Read the review of this phenomenal book under our Book Review section.

Moonbird by Phillip Hoose

Check out the review of the amazing journey of Moonbird
in our Book Review section. A must read.

Monday, September 9, 2013

5th Wave

J Blakeson Set for THE 5TH WAVE
movie news | 04 Sep 2013 | 0 comments

Filmmaker eyes alien invasion thriller.
London based writer/director J Blakeson (‘The Disappearance of Alice Creed’) has reportedly entered into talks with Sony Pictures to step behind the camera for the sci-fi feature ‘The 5th Wave.’

Based on Rick Yancey’s young adult sci-fi novel of the same name, the film centres on Cassie, a 16 year-old girl searching for her brother after an alien invasion. As she wanders through the wasteland of post-invasion Ohio, she is helped by a beguiling and mysterious boy who might be an alien in disguise.

Screenwriter/producer/director Susannah Grant (‘The Soloist,’ ‘Catch And Release,’ ‘Erin Brockovich’) is on board to pen the script, with Tobey Maguire, Graham King, Tim Headington, Denis O’Sullivan and Matt Plouffe producing.


Monday, August 19, 2013

How I Live Now movie trailer

Here’s the trailer for the upcoming movie. I don’t know when it releases in the US.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Iron Chef 2013

Check out the slideshow for our Iron Chef Night

View slideshow

Book the Size of a Ladybug

The University of Iowa library contains more than 4,000 miniature books, all measuring fewer than three inches in either height, width, or both. Three inches is not a lot for a book, but three inches is outright capacious when compared with a little red bug of a book, one of the smallest objects in the entire collection, measuring 0.138 inches square and 0.04 inches thick.

Based on the cover, library staff assumed the little book was a Bible, or at least some part of one, and a photograph taken through a magnifying glass and cleaned up on Photoshop confirmed this suspicion. But everything else about it was unknown. Librarian Colleen Theisen, who found it in a box marked "microminiatures," calls it the "most perplexing" of the miniature collection: a book so small it could not be read by the naked eye. What was it? Who made it and when? Whatever clues its text contained were locked between its tiny binding.

On Monday Theisen highlighted the mysterious book on the Tumblr and Facebook page of the library's special collections division, which brought the volume to the attention of Giselle Simón, the library's conservator. Simon suggested putting the library's new microscope to use.
viewing.jpg Colleen Theisen

Theisen, with the help of Candida Pagan, a student in the university's Center for the Book, carefully cracked open the pages and put it under the microscope. Sure enough, there was the publisher's imprint: Toppan Printing Co., LTD. (The page was, Theisen writes in a post about the discovery, a bit damaged from earlier attempts to read it.)
toppan.jpgColleen Theisen

Working backward, Theisen was able to piece together more about the book's provenance. It had originally been part of a two-book set, sold at the World's Fair in New York in 1965. At the time, they tiny book was thought to be (and marketed as) the world's smallest book, though that record has since been broken. The "larger" sibling book (measuring a hefty 1 3/8" by 1 3/8" and thus still, technically, a miniature) was also part of the library's collection, though somehow over the years the two items had been separated.

Both books contain the exact same content, the text of Chapter 1 of the King James version of Genesis, but the larger book's font is at 10 times the size. The tiny little one had once been inside a case, to be worn as a charm or attached to a set of keys. It makes sense that people would find meaning in an unreadable book this way, Theisen muses -- more like a cross than a book, a little piece of your faith to always have by your side (this was, after all, long before the age of Bible apps).
Small_mini_books.jpgThe two books have already "been reunited and they will be cataloged together," Theisen writes. (Colleen Theisen)

microscope3.jpgThe text under the microscope (Colleen Theisen)

But it's not as though people need a reason to make a book so tiny it can't properly function as a book, at least not in the normal sense of a book as something you read. "People have loved miniature books for a long, long time," Theisen told me. In fact, the library recently acquired one from the 15th century -- the earliest days of European printing. And what's not to love? "They're cute; they're adorable; there's just something enchanting about something so small."
IMG_1705-650.jpgThe shelves of the library's miniature book collection (Colleen Theisen)

H/t Sarah Werner

Monday, August 5, 2013

How Do They Choose Book Covers

Check out how book covers are chosen and made.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Elusion Targeted for Feature

Upcoming Young Adult Sci-Fi Novel Elusion Targeted for Feature
Source: Deadline , Claudia Gabel
July 30, 2013

11 0

Although the first book in the planned two-book series won't be published until March 2014, Deadline is reporting that Silver Reel and FlynnPictureCo. have secured the big screen rights to the forthcoming Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam. The young adult sci-fi tale is officially described as follows:

Soon, Elusion will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, a visor, and a wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications�or consequences�of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father's unexpected death, Regan can't bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion�accusations that it's addictive and dangerous�Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty . . . a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Claudia Bluemhuber and Beau Flynn are attached to produce.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Check out the review of Enclave by Ann Aguirre under Book Reviews

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Frisbee Fun July 2013

Check out the great time Teens and Tweens had with twice Frisbee World Champ Todd Brodeur whose message--"with persistence and practice you can do anything" inspired us all.

View slideshow

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Nazi Hunters by Bascomb

Coming in August

Richie's Picks: THE NAZI HUNTERS: HOW A TEAM OF SPIES AND SURVIVORS CAPTURED THE WORLD'S MOST NOTORIOUS NAZI by Neal Bascomb, Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, September 2013, 256p., ISBN: 978-0-545-43099-9

"But if you only have love for your own race

Then you only leave space to discriminate

And to discriminate only generates hate

And when you hate you're bound to get irate, yeah

Madness is what you demonstrate

And that's exactly how anger works and operates

Man you gotta have love just to set it straight

Take control of your mind and meditate

Let your soul gravitate to the love y'all"

-- will.i.am, et al. "Where is the Love?"

Approximately six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

"The long-term after-effects of Holocaust traumatization are far-reaching. More than half a century after the war, the Holocaust continues to make its presence felt on survivor families and others in a variety of ways. Like an atom bomb that disperses its radioactive fallout in distant places, often a long time after the actual explosion, the Holocaust continues to contaminate everyone who was exposed to it in one way or another. When retiring from work or experiencing deteriorating health, terrifying nightmares and flashbacks reappear in aging survivors who over the years had kept themselves excessively busy in order to repress their painful memories. Survivors who were children during the war continue to struggle with their basic insecurities and prolonged mourning for parents they hardly or ever knew."

-- from "The Long-term Psychological Effects and Treatment of Holocaust Trauma" (2001) by clinical psychologist Natan P.F. Kellermann, PhD.

Growing up in Commack, on Long Island, I had a lot of friends who were Jewish. So many had lost -- a decade before we were born -- distant- or not-so-distant relatives in the Nazi death camps. Our community was also home to Jews who were among the survivors of the Holocaust.

Adolf Eichmann organized and oversaw the movement of millions of Jews to the death camps where they were systematically murdered. He was very good at organizing and overseeing these tasks. Clearly, he did not learn that one must not to do to someone that which you wouldn't want done to you...or your mother...or your daughter. If there is a lesson for the world in the life of Adolf Eichmann, it is that one cannot justify morally unjustifiable behavior through claims of having merely been following orders.

"The agents had mentally prepared themselves for the risks of holing up at the house -- possibly even having to face an assault from the police or from Eichmann's sons and associates if they were located. But not one of them had anticipated the soul-hollowing effect of inhabiting the same space as Adolf Eichmann."

THE NAZI HUNTERS by Neal Bascomb is an adaptation for young people of Bascomb's book about the locating, surveillance, capture, and bringing to justice of Adolf Eichmann, who had succeeded in changing his identity and escaping to Argentina at the end of WWII. It is an oft-tense spy thriller of a true story. Pretty much all of those involved in tracking him down, capturing him, and getting him from Argentina to Israel for trial, had deep emotional involvement in the mission, having lost distant- or not-so-distant relatives in the Holocaust thanks, in large part, to Eichmann.

Six million Jews murdered remains a difficult number to get my head around. That is the equivalent of 15 Woodstock audiences. Or, out here in California where I live now, it is the number of people who collectively live in San Francisco plus Oakland plus San Jose plus San Mateo County plus the rest of Alameda County plus Contra Costa County plus Marin County plus Sonoma County (my county).

It took a lot of organizing to kill that many people. Eichmann got it done. It took a lot of work to catch up with Eichmann. Fifteen years after the war, the people we meet in this book got it done. The capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann helped educate the modern world about what had taken place under Hitler.

Now, two-thirds of a century after the end of that war, I continue to hope for the discovery of an avenue to lasting peace and harmony in the Middle East. I'm hoping that, someday soon, someone can get it done, and I can write about those people, too.

"If you never know truth

Then you never know love

Where's the love y'all?"

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com
Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/ http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/partingtonr/partingtonr.php

Friday, July 5, 2013


She woke up in a sea of dead people, clinging to a piece of debris. The only survivor of Flight 121, she was rescued and taken to California. She can't remember her name, where she lives....nothing.

They dubbed this beautiful girl Violet because of her eyes. When Violet is finally released from the hospital, Social Services puts her in the care of a foster family, remote from all cameras and hubbub. Nothing seems to jog her memory...until she meets Lyzender.

Jessica Brody writes an incomparable science fiction book blended with a sense of mystery. The more you read, the deeper the intrigue becomes, and that is what compels the reader forward.

Summer Writing Contest


Monday, July 1, 2013

Libba Bray on Writing Despair


On Writing Despair (Juicebox Mix)

June 18, 2013 by libbabray

Hi, kids. Y’all gather ‘round. Mama wants to talk to you about writing despair today.

Everybody got a juice box, a snack, and a lovey to hold on to? Everybody found a comfy chair? Got your laminated list of “Inspirational quotes from writers!” which you culled from the Internet?

Well, Look. At. You.

Okay, let’s get started.


Sorry. Mama’s a little hair-trigger today, kids. Sip your juice box. Doom goes better with juice.

Oh, lambs. I try to laugh at life. I do. When the cat pooped all over the white bedspread, did I fall apart or make a cat-fur purse as a warning to the other one? No. I did not. I said, “Hahaha! How very Geoffrey Rush in ‘Quills’ of you, Little Squeak. Your protest is noted.” And then I burned the bedding. When the basement flooded and the ShopVac became my best friend, did I curse the rainy skies and crumbling New York City infrastructure? Well, yes. Yes, I did. But I did it with a laugh and a twinkle and online shopping. Because I’m a survivor.

But sometimes, kids? (Sigh.) Sometimes, a girl just needs to eat buttercream frosting right out the can on her front stoop wearing the same pajamas she’s had on for three days straight while shouting, “Whaddayoo looking at? You never seen a serious writer at work before? I’M ON A DEADLINE HERE! MOVE IT ALONG, SPARKY! And your little dog, too.”

The writer’s life is so misunderstood.

But let’s talk for a moment about despair. That’s what you came for, right? (Unless it’s the cursing, in which case, stick around.)

For the past several months, I’ve been hard at work on DIVINERS #2. Every morning, I wake up and say, “Today, it will start to make sense. Today, I will make the story bend to my will.” And then I dance to “Cool” from West Side Story. As one does.

But you know what, my little doves? Sometimes the writing does not want to play your little reindeer games. Sometimes, the writing is for shit. And no matter what you do, no matter how hard you go at it, no matter how many different times you rewrite or wholesale reimagine scenes, you just can’t crack the code of your book. It’s like trying to predict what toddlers will do. Still, you keep trying, because this is the gig. As I always say, if you’re swimming and you get tired, nobody says, “Well, just stop swimming then.” That would be bad advice.

When Them Old, I-Can’t-Write-This-Novel Blues have their claws in me, I tend to think it’s because I haven’t learned the magic writing solution yet. If only I could change my process, I think, this madness would all go away and I could watch something cheesy on Netflix, like “Satan’s Reform Driving School” or the Paducah Dinner Theatre’s musical production of Beckett’s “Happy Days” using finger puppets.

I can sense some of you out there nodding along, giving up the chuckles: “Riiiight. The ‘Just Change Your Process, Luke’ Solution. We’ve all been there. I give you five minutes before you cry and try to alphabetize your spice cabinet.” *

Talk to five different writers and you’ll probably get five different answers about how the writing process goes down for them. There are “pantsers” and “plotters” and everything in between.

Me? My brain seems to work in a chaotic, symphonic fashion. I swear to you that I am incapable of linear thought. This is the bane of my existence, y’all—like I’m an IKEA chair missing the little L wrench that puts it all together. I just know that I don’t instinctively say, “Hat goes on last.” No. Left to my own devices I say, “I’m supposed to remember something about hats here. Hats remind me of Victorian gentlemen, which makes me think about the struggles between the English and the Welsh, which makes me think about that amazing John Cale song, Buffalo Ballet, which makes me think about the American West and America as a concept and also trains and smoke and the insubstantiality of both smoke and the American Dream and dammit, I’m not wearing any pants, am I?”

While it may be interesting to think about all of those things, it’s not particularly helpful if what you want to do is write a fairly coherent book and deliver it on time. Or leave the house wearing pants.

{Pour Mama some of that apple juice, will ya? And hand over that Hostess Sno*Ball so nobody gets hurt.}

For me, writing a book is ugly-messy, with lots of off-road driving, dead ends, false plot lines, crazy ideas that go nowhere, and many scenes that just have to be thrown away as I revise. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a generous amount of self-loathing attached to my method that no self-help book seems to address. Like my process is the filthy, shit-covered kid holding road kill by the tail while everyone else is clean and pressed and lined up neatly for the class photo. My method is an ass, frankly, and I’m thinking of not inviting it to Thanksgiving dinner this year.

I know what you’re thinking: Why don’t you just outline?

Oh, you. You are a clever one. Come on over here and let me SLAP THAT CLEVER RIGHT OUT OF YOU!

Why don’t I “just” outline? Because I can’t.

Oh, believe me, I’ve tried.

Many, many, many times.

No. Zip it. Put your hand down. Put. Your. Hand. Down.

Don’t make me turn this blog around because I will.

You want to hear about outlining? People, let me tell you a never-give-up story as meaningful as Jesus turning water into wine even though not one of those sorry-assed Cana wedding feasters put a little something-something in the Lord’s tip jar…

Despite knowing that I DO NOT HAVE the outlining gene, that I am a hands-on, dive-deep, I-will-find-the-story-as-I-go writer, I still foolishly think an outline will solve all of my problems just the way I thought if my mom let me buy Love’s Baby Soft cologne from the drugstore back in eighth grade, it would take care of my dateless problem.** When I hear other writers I admire talk about their outlining, I sit slack-jawed as if they are demi-gods bringing fire back from the mountain. I want to be them. Desperately. I want to sit at that hip table in the cafeteria and soak up their organizational, linear cool. I want to believe that I am a writer different from the writer I actually am. Like I want to believe that I can wear skinny jeans. And so I make the attempt with every single book I write.

{Who’s got a hanky? Mama needs a hanky. This part’s sad, kids. For Chrissakes, look away. Give a woman her dignity.}

Here’s the ugly truth, y’all: For DIVINERS #2, I have ten different outlines dated at points throughout the last year. There is one called “Microplot” done at Holly Black’s house in July 2012. There’s one called “Big Bad” which is, predictably, the scary supernatural storyline. It’s mostly a series of questions like an elaborate game of Who Knew?: “Can the ghost cross water?” “Is there more than one spirit?” “What happens if X meets Y?” “What are the rules of this supernatural world?” “What’s something that’s as creepy as dolls? Answer: Nothing. Well, maybe Ted Cruz.” There’s an outline called “Character Threads” and one called “Alternate Threads” and one called “Backstories” and one called “Series overview.” There’s an outline called “New Outline” and one called “Yet Another Outline” and one called “Help Me, Baby Jesus” that makes it all the way to Chapter 29 before it devolves into scribbles down the page—thoughts and snatches of random dialogue and notes like, “Need to make up some cool ghost hunting equipment here.”

All of the outlines end this way, abandoned in some terrifying, Guillermo Del Toro-style orphanage of incomplete organizational tools where bad things will come out of the closet to gobble them up. War is hell; so is outlining.

I cannot outline because at some point, my mind rebels. It smokes a cigarette and looks all Bruce Willis and says, “You know what, Sport-o? This whole thing will work better if you just let me play it my way. Don’t make me paint the lines on the road. Let me find the road, ya dig? Let me decide if this is really the road I’m driving or not. Yippee-Ki-Yi-Yay, Mofos.” And then my mind puts on a leather jacket and fist pumps the sky in a vaguely 80’s-era Judd Nelson gesture. My mind’s got some issues.

{More juice! Gimme the whole box, kid, and stop your sniveling. There’s no sniveling in writing. We go straight to existential dread and body-wracking sobs. Go big or go home.}

So, after six novels, five plays, and many short stories, I know this about myself. And yet, I can’t accept it.

Inherently, I feel that I must be dumb and wrong. That if I were just better at this writing thing, it would be easier. It is my fault. I am a fraud. Real writers don’t struggle this much and they don’t blow through deadlines. This is the bad song playing in my head. Thom Yorke sings it with XL falsetto pain.

So I try again. Because I’m a goddamned optimist, kids. And don’t you forget it.

I write the same scene ten different ways, trying to find the way that works best. Often, I go back and rewrite an existing scene because I’ve come at it from the wrong emotional angle or because I’ve come to know more about the characters and the choices they would make or the words they would speak or the feelings they would have. Sometimes I find what I’m after. Sometimes I don’t and that scene is thrown out like acid-washed jeans after a ‘90s theme party.

To date, I’ve thrown out thirty-nine scenes in DIVINERS #2. THIRTY-NINE SCENES! People, I can’t even count that high! Somebody had to count it for me!

Some of those scenes are only a few paragraphs long, sketches begun that I realized weren’t quite right: “Huh. Now that I’ve got the supernatural llamas on the ship, I’m not quite sure what to do with them after the demonic limbo contest.” But quite a few are many, many pages long. They’re complete scenes crafted with blood, sweat, and tears over time. Precious, precious time. But still, they are wrong, and they must die. Like my dreams.

{Here, squirt the cheese right into my mouth, like this. Listen, kid, you just worry about the cheese. I’ll worry about my cholesterol. Yeah, I know I smell like your grandpa smelled when the catheter broke. Can we not mention that?}

Can I tell you a story? A sad one? Okay. Snuggle up. About two months ago, I realized that maybe I was maybe a little too close to the novel to see it clearly. Sometimes I tell myself little fibs to get by: “You deserve a Frappuccino.” “Fox is bringing back ‘Firefly.’” “They never made ‘Jaws 3.’” “Maybe the novel doesn’t suck; maybe you’re just too close to it.”

It passes the time between leg waxes.

So I asked two of my good writer buddies, writers I trust implicitly, to read the first three hundred pages. As delicately, but honestly, as possible, they confirmed what I felt in my gut: The novel was a stone-cold mess. Kids, I don’t think there’s anything more disheartening than working your everloving ass off on a book that you just know in your gut isn’t working. It’s like trying to find a taffeta bridesmaid’s dress you can wear again.

I thanked them, then I went for a walk, blasting Green Day on my iPod. I hit the drums very, very hard. It’s possible I might have drawn a mustache on a few of my author photos. But then—then I sat down and started in again. Because you can’t stop swimming, right? Right.

{I love it when you agree with me. You know, you really are very nice people. I feel like I could talk to you about anything. Here, have some squeezy cheese. Open wide—Mama’s sharing mood may not last.}

My Spidey senses began a-tinglin’ like that time I accidentally sat on the electric blanket with the short in it at my Aunt Esther’s house. Maybe I’d finally found my answer! I pursued this new idea, crafting a brand-new opening, threading it through additional scenes. Then I watched in soul-sucking horror as that fell apart, too.

This happened six more times.

I don’t like to tell you bad stories like this. But pain is how we learn.

In the solitude of my writer’s cave, which has all the charm of an Eastern Bloc apartment building circa 1971, I sat with my laptop, some index cards, two blank sheets of paper, and a water bottle. {Hydration: It’s important.}

I tried organizing scenes on notecards.

I wrote out emotional arcs on paper.

I tried writing scenes that come later in the book, hoping that the deeper emotional wounds of those scenes would lead me in a circuitous route back to what was wrong with the first three hundred pages.

When that didn’t work, I went back to the beginning and wrote my sixth new opening chapter, carefully crafting it to set up the reworked plot so that it could segue seamlessly into the new, restructured second chapter, which had previously been the tenth chapter. (I have shuffled chapters like someone running a shell game on 42nd Street.) I snapped the new chapter in place, read it over and felt my stomach knot up as I realized it simply wasn’t going to work. I tried shifting Chapter Two into Chapter One’s position. I tried rethinking the rules of my world in such a way that it would allow me to try yet a third way to open the book. I rewrote the old Chapter Two (now Chapter One) without its related follow-up scene to see if splitting the action made more sense. It didn’t. In fact, I’m not even sure this paragraph makes sense. It makes my head ache, that’s for sure. You know what? I’m going to look at videos of Stevie Nicks to make myself feel better.

{Stevie doesn’t care if I finish this book or how hard it is. She wrote “Landslide” which is awesome. She can coast and do the witch dance forever. I wish I were Stevie. “Oh mirror in the sky…what is love…can the child within my heart be sacrificed to the goat gods in exchange for a working plot…”}

Despite all that effort, my book was still nowhere. I was stuck. Hopelessly stuck. Forlornly, impossibly, despairingly stuck. Trying-to-explain-evolution-at-the-Creationist Museum stuck. I could feel that awful ballooning in my throat that signals the onset of an ugly cry, and as I have some modicum of public restraint (shocking though that may be to some of you…), I decided to bid goodbye to the writing cave and head home.

So that’s where I am—lost, frustrated, terrified, and still facing a countdown clock whose every tick-tock reverberates inside my head like the drums coming for The Master.

One of the wonderful parts of writing a series is that you really get to immerse yourself in the world you’re creating. You get to spend a great deal of time digging into your characters, getting to know their wounds and strengths, reaching greater understanding over time. As someone who really enjoys the serial as a form, this is terribly exciting and addictive.

The negative aspect is that series, by their very nature, require stringent scheduling. Anyone who has ever waited five years for the next installment of a beloved series can understand how that feels. We want it NOW. (I know I do.) But sometimes, the novel isn’t cooperative with your time frame. And then the panic starts.

To date, I have blown through two deadlines. This does not make me feel good. I am a punctual person, and the thought that I am holding up other people makes me feel really awful. And when your reason is that you simply can’t seem to “fix” your story, somehow, that feels doubly awful. Because then the bad thoughts creep in: What if I can’t write it? What if I’m just not good enough/smart enough/fast enough/clever enough? Dumb. Messy. Wrong. Slow. Fraud. Hack.

The bad thoughts are paralyzing. They lock up your thinking. And so much of writing is thinking. Thinking takes TIME. Thinking forces you to question everything you take for granted, to get past what feels too easy, too pat in order to get down to what feels real and right and true for your story. They don’t tell you this on the Internet, and I think that is just mean. {You’re mean, Internet! Go away until I need to Google weird shit again.}

They don’t tell you just how much time you’ll spend with your palms pressed against your head screwing up a perfectly good hair day as you mentally spin out a series of chess moves. They don’t tell you that you’ll be sitting in a restaurant smiling politely at your dinner companions nodding along as you pretend to listen while secretly asking yourself, “Does that thing I’m doing with the dog in Chapter Three really work?”

I don’t know, kids. I don’t know.

Well, peeps. Sun’s getting low in the sky. Or else that glaucoma’s come for me at last. This has been real. I’m so glad we had this time together to talk despair. Thanks for the juice and the cheese. And, uh, yeah. Novel writing is hard. Deadlines suck but are necessary. Tip your waitress. Stay in school….stop looking at me with those big, baby animal eyes. What else ya want from me?

Oh. Right.

I think this is the part where I’m supposed to buck up and tell you something inspiring, like, “Hey, at least I’m not digging ditches,” or, “Somehow it’ll work out. It always does.” And it’s true: I’m not digging ditches. And it probably will work out. Or I’ll ask Barry Lyga to bring me the cyanide caplet as part of that blood pact we swore to each other during the dark days writing our last books.

But I can’t tell you how or when this will happen. I can’t tell you why I can’t seem to break through to the other side of this story, why it’s so elusive right now. I can only try to be patient with myself, to remember how much I love writing and all the reasons why this particular series is so meaningful to me and to remind myself that I am working on something that’s really challenging me and forcing me to push into unfamiliar territory as a writer, to adapt and grow and learn new skills. And that it feels really scary because it IS scary.

I only know not to stop swimming.

Now, pick up your damn juice boxes and get back to work. Mama’s got an idea for that demonic llama cruise ship…

* This actually happened during a bad writing spell. But at least afterwards, I knew where to find the cinnamon. Next to the cardamom but before the cumin.

** It didn’t. Not even a little bit.

"The Young World" to be a Movie

Warner Bros. Picks Up Film Rights to Chris Weitz's The Young World

Source: The Hollywood Reporter
June 29, 2013

Warner Bros. Pictures has bought the film rights to Chris Weitz's young adult novel "The Young World," says The Hollywood Reporter. Weitz (Twilight: New Moon, The Golden Compass, About a Boy) will produce, direct and adapt his book for the big screen. The book, which is the first of a trilogy, is described as follows:

The Young World is the gripping first installment of a trilogy set in the not-so-distant future in a post-apocalyptic New York City following the catastrophic destruction of the world as we know it. An unknown trauma has left every child and adult on earth dead, but, for unknown reasons, teenagers are spared. Anyone between the onset of puberty and the age of twenty-one are in a world with no authority figures. And while that world would normally be a teenager’s fantasy, this world has no heat, running water, television, videogames, phones, or Internet. Teenagers are the heirs to a world brought back to the Stone Age, and now they must learn to master it in order to survive.

Depth of Field will produce, along with Andrew Miano.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guest Book Review Night Circus

2) The Night Circus:

This was a better read than Team Human... probably because it showed more effort. The author obviously loves both circuses and the act of writing; the descriptions of the circus fall into that rare category of compelling and not overdone, and I came out of it craving chocolate-drizzled popcorn. The plot itself is interesting, as it covers a somewhat-fantastic wager between two larger-than-human men who use the circus as the chessboard and two young people as the playing pieces. There is the mandatory starcrossed-lovers angle, but as the book jumps back and forth over decades, I was okay with what turned out to be a lengthy-in-real-time romance. I appreciated that the book was set approximately 150-110 years ago, as that formed my perspective of the circus and the characters. I don't think it would work at all if set more recently.
I also liked the magical elements, although the author could have contrasted the two schools of though more clearly. Basically, one man wagered on natural talent and the other believed that anyone can reach a high level of skill; the former teaches his daughter through tough love and a disdain for traditional styles, while the latter picks an orphan boy and makes him read all the lore he can find. Clear enough, but I didn't actually see many differences in how the boy and girl practiced magic. So, without giving away the details of the contest, I would have to say I don't think either should have won, if winning was meant to prove either mentor's theory correct.
The ending is set in the present, and it made me afraid that the entire book was a lengthy advertisement for a real circus (the narrator is given a business card with the email address for the owner of the circus). I'm sure if one starts up based on the book's success, it would be fun to go to, but there's no way it could measure up to the fictional one. If nothing else, most of the non-magical stunts and rooms are illegal (too likely that a customer would die/be injured).

By Rebecca Hoyt

Guest Book Review Team Human

1) Team Human:
I said a little about this before, but basically it's a obvious Take That at the entire Twilight/Anne Rice/True Blood/Laurell Hamilton genre of sexy vampires that are worth giving up mortality for. I liked some of the background details involved in the everybody-knows-about-vampires universe (vampires have constitutional rights! there are legal procedures that must be followed when turning minors!), and the background mystery involving the principal (hint: not everyone successfully transitions into vampirism - those who fail either die outright or become zombies).
The main character was fun, although she was absurdly bad at solving mysteries when she claimed to be skilled at doing so, and I liked her love interest (a human boy raised by vampires - his "mom" is also great as one of the examples of a well-done secondary character who defies her species stereotypes). I didn't care for her friend who wants to turn the moment she meets the Edward-alike at school. Technically, that was the point of the book; people who want to become vampires tend to be weird, because anyone who would want to give up the ability to eat chocolate, go out in the sun, and have a sense of humor, among other drawbacks, has to be off the rails. Her friend was not a terrible person, but both her and her vampire squeeze were simply dull, self-involved dramatic types. Again, a Take That at Twilight. Also, her mother was clearly depicted as being a terrible parent for allowing her daughter to turn at age 17, given the high risk of death (technically, it's certain death, and possible resurrection with a sober and distant personality - like being a mere shadow of your past human self), so at least there's that antidote to other fictional parents.
Unfortunately, I don't think that most of the target audience will understand or like this book - perhaps one or the other, but not both. Kids that already don't like vampire stories will not pick it up, and those who loved Twilight may be hurt by the implication that they are stupid for liking it. The handful that get past that, and end up realizing that committing suicide for love is crazy, will make the book worth writing, though.

By Rebecca Hoyt

Creative Writing Contest Deadline

May 10th is the deadline for the Creative Writing Contest.

If you need a form or extension, email me at vfisher@biblio.org.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

John Green Interview

John Green was adorable on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night. It was a fun interview. Here’s a link to the episode. Skip to about 27 minutes in. And be sure to watch till the very end!


The episode is also up at Hulu and the Late Late Show site.

Dotti Enderle


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

YoYo Day at New Milford Public Library

What do you get when you mix a kid named Howard Ho and that simple mechanical toy called a yo-yo?

On a recent Saturday afternoon at New Milford Public

Library you got Yo-Yo Day.

Read more:

TLT: Teen Librarian's Toolbox: Steampunk 101 with author Suzanne Lazear

TLT: Teen Librarian's Toolbox: Steampunk 101 with author Suzanne Lazear: Steampunk has been around for decades, but has really gained popularity in the past few years. But what exactly is that Steampunk stuff anyway?

Imagine a world where steam and natural gas, not coal and electricity, are the primary power sources. Steampunk transports us to a place abounding with airships, gas lamps, gears, cogs, and brass goggles and populated with mad scientists, philosophers, adventurers, and air pirates. Steampunk stories are filled with exploration, optimism, curiosity, technology, and rebellion. They boldly go new places, explore and invent new things, and ponder the what ifs and never wases of technology and history. HG Wells and Jules Verne are huge inspirations for Steampunk. Examples include League of Extraordinary Gentleman and Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker.
It seems to me that by its very nature Steampunk is a genre meant to challenge itself. Lately, Steampunk has grown from its SciFi roots to really cross genres and boundaries. We have paranormal Steampunk, like the popular Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger and God Save the Queen by Kate Locke. We have “steamypunk.” We have clockpunk with steampunkatude. We have steampunk retellings of classic stories, like Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. In YA especially, there’s a whole crop of steampunk mashups, where authors explore the breadths and depths of steampunk to the very limit, sometimes creating something new altogether. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013


RED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today.

Today’s RED Hearts post is from RED author Carey Dunne, 23, in NYC who extols the many virtues of the public library:

Libraries get a bad rap. They’re dismissed as fusty nerd havens or avoided in post-traumatic student disorder as exam study hellholes.

Unfortunately, it is not well known that they are actually fun, and also, cool.

I love libraries: They are cathedrals of free knowledge. I got my first library card when I was five, from the New York Public Library on 42nd Street. White marble lions sit guarding this library, with Lego lion replicas just past the entrance. (Amazon.com is not guarded by lions, and also does not have a big ceiling painted with cherubs.) I knew that cards of this size and shape were important objects usually meant only for grown-ups. I flashed it at all who walked by on my way home, so they would see that I held the key to infinite wisdom and power.

Most public libraries also have various free programs, say, an anime club for teens, story readings for kids and film screenings. Libraries also happen to be the best places to get new releases of DVDs -- you don’t have to buy them or wait months for them to be available on Netflix.

In the tradition of great storytelling, we present some of the Coolest Fictional Libraries:

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer: At the Sunnydale High School Library, Giles, like many librarians, is only disguised as a fuddy-duddy. In truth, he possesses ancient mystical wisdom. Buffy goes to him for vampire-slaying guidance and books about werewolves and demon eggs. The library is her main hang, aside from the cemetery.

In The Breakfast Club: Being stuck in the library goes from punishment to party.

In The Music Man: Marian, and the song about loving her madly, is proof that “librarian” is one of the world’s most desirable jobs.

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Hermione Granger’s discovery of gillyweed in the “restricted section” means that Harry Potter would have died in book four if it weren’t for libraries.

In Party Girl: I mean, this is the story of a broke dance club queen (Parker Posey) who discovers the seductive allure of the Dewey Decimal System. If you’re not convinced, watch Posey dancing epically on library tables:

Three whispered cheers for libraries.

RED Hearts guest poster Carey Dunne is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is out in paperback.

Fault in Our Stars Movie

Josh Boone to Direct The Fault In Our Stars
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
February 19, 2013

Fox 2000's adaptation of John Green's bestselling novel The Fault In Our Stars has found a director in Josh Boone, the man behind the upcoming Writers (formerly Stuck In Love), says a story at The Hollywood Reporter.

The script, by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, made 2012's "Black List" of unproduced screenplays with the following official log line:

Based on the eponymous novel by John Green, a teenage girl stricken with cancer falls for a boy in her support group and the two form a bond as they deal with their illnesses.

The trade also makes note of Shailene Woodley's rumored involvement with the project. While she's not signed on as of yet, the Amazing Spider-Man 2 star is said to be in the running for the female lead.

Read more at http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=100565#76BwphBoiMAxbtUX.99

Dotti Enderle


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Win Some Free Books

Finally a new giveaway for the new year! I have three sets of advance reader copies, all being published this year. Sets from left to right include:

Altered by Jennifer Rush (Published Jan. 1st) and The dead and buried by Kim Harrington (Published Jan. 1st)
Courage has no color, the true story of the Triple Nickles: America's first Black paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone (Published Jan. 22nd) and Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz (Published March 2013)
Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass by Meg Medina (Published March 26th) and Plague in the mirror by Deborah Noyes (Published July 9th)

Entering is easy with the Rafflecopter form. All that is mandatory is the first question, after that, whatever optional tasks you take on, you gain extra entries. And, you can enter every day! The giveaway will run through January 27th and the three winners will be announced right here on this entry on February 1st. Good luck everyone!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Feeling Lucky--Win a Guitar or a Passal of Books

The first, which ends this Friday, is sponsored by SOHO Teen, a new imprint- come on over and enter to win a passel of books: http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2013/01/soho-teen-giveaway.html

The second, which ends February 15, is by Egmond USA and Luna Guitars, and you can win a signed copy of Guitar Notes AND a travel guitar and case (and it's beautiful): http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2013/01/win-signed-copy-of-guitar-notes-and.html

Friday, January 4, 2013

Calibre Anyone?

Every heard of a free app called Calibre.

I personally, don't have an e reader and actually like holding a book in my hands,
but for those of you who think you are stuck with one company's catalog , might have an alternative.

A free app called Calibre will convert any ebook into another ebook format.
One glitch, however. Evidentally it can't convert copyrighted books and doesn't even try. And copyrighted books are mostly what we all want to read.

Sooooo, it's not a solution but an alternative.