Last fall I went to my first college football game. Nothing big like Notre Dame or Ohio State but a Division 1 game featuring The University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Needless to say it, was a fun and great experience hanging out with some buddies and enjoying a Bearcat victory. Then all of the sudden, about midway through the first quarter, one of those dance music songs started playing during a timeout. You know, they do that sometimes to get people off their butts and shaking them in some way. I ignored it like all those other tunes because quite frankly I can’t dance and don’t want to. You will not see me doing the YMCA on the Jumbotron during a TV timeout at any sporting event. I am actually there for the game and not the music and dancing. But then I noticed everybody riding the pony during this song and thought, that’s a new one. I dismissed it and, quite frankly forgot it altogether.
So quietly this song, “Gangnam Style” (which I found out later is what it’s called from a coworker), is taking over my subconscious. It has now permeated through everything – MLB, NFL, Cyclones hockey, the library! – and is taking over my life. I find myself just randomly dancing “Gangnam Style.” If you don’t believe me, ask my family or even my coworkers. The song is stuck in my head forever, just like that classic, timeless Rebecca Black song, “Friday.”
The real question about this Korean music sensation is, is this only a Macarena-type fad, or is it here to stay like the YMCA or the Chicken Dance? It’s hard to say but the YouTube video has over a billion views - that’s ONE BILLION – and if my information is correct, it is the first video to do so. I guess 1 billion people can’t be wrong. I say, long live PSY and “Gangnam Style.” I’m actually doing it right now and I’m terrible at it.
A book for Young Adults that is a little bit fairytale with a hint of dystopia, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. is an excellent fantasy.
Celaena, a former Assassin serving time in a death camp, is offered a way out of the prison if she can win a contest and become the “King’s Champion”. As much as she hates the evil ruler of the country, King of Adarlan, she cannot turn down a chance to escape the sentence of eventually dying in the salt mines.
She soon finds out that winning the contest is not going to be easy, as other contestants are being brutally murdered one by one. Her captors, Dorian, the Crown Prince, and Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, are becoming her friends and complicating matters further by perhaps being more than friends. Throne of glass is a fast paced story that will keep you guessing.
Just because it’s a teen book, don’t think that you’ll be bored as an adult. Harry Potter and the Hunger Games proved that books written for a young adult audience can have a big crossover appeal, so check out one (or more!) of these titles:
Escaping a brutal arranged marriage into the sanctuary of a convent of assassin nuns who serve ancient gods, 17-year-old Ismae learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts and a violent destiny that requires her to destroy the lives of others at the high court of Brittany. 100,000 first printing.
A centuries-long war between daimons and witches sets the stage for three teens caught up in a deadly struggle for power and autonomy in the exotic and otherworldly Carnival of Souls, the mercantile center of the daimon dimension. 200,000 first printing.
Her happy life shattered by a nightmarish evening that leaves a friend in a catatonic state, another dead and her boyfriend accused of murder, Nora resolves to prove her boyfriend’s innocence and follows a violent trail to Prague, where she discovers a mysterious manuscript that purportedly offers the secret to ultimate knowledge and the ability to communicate with the divine. By the author of the Skinned trilogy.
Developing her mother’s clairvoyant powers for seeing visions of people who are about to die, Blue is drawn into the life of rich private school boy, Gansey, who has involved three of his classmates in a quest that Blue believes will end with her involvement in Gansey’s death. By the best-selling author of the Shiver trilogy. 150,000 first printing.
When Cinder, a gifted cyborg with a mysterious past, becomes entangled with the handsome Prince Kai, she finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle to save humankind from a deadly plague and ruthless lunar beings.
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few more years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis, but when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at the Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. By the award-winning author of Looking for Alaska.
Waking up in the body of a different person every day and struggling to pass through each experience without raising alarm, “A” endures a lonely existence before falling in love with a girl named Rhiannon, with whom he endeavors to reunite.
Unable to forget ghost Anna Korlov’s sacrificial disappearance into a Hell portal, ghost hunter Cas Lowood endures a nightmarish existence and believes he sees Anna’s tortured soul everywhere before resolving to save her. By the author of Anna Dressed in Blood.
The long-awaited sequel to the best-selling futuristic thriller Unwind finds Connor, Lev, Risa and Cam’s fates inextricably bound as the morality of the practice of “unwinding” is finally called into question.
A sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone finds Karou struggling to come to terms with her nature while pursuing revenge for her people. By the National Book Award finalist author of Lips Touch: Three Times. 250,000 first printing.
Appearing before the Crown Prince after a year of hard labor in the salt mines, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is offered her freedom in exchange for representing the throne during a competition to find a new royal assassin, a challenge that is marked by grueling training and the murders of fellow contestants.
After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive “the cure”–an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love–but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters, and although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.
Battling aliens, space pirates, and competitors, Prince Khemri meets a young woman, named Raine, and learns more than he expected about the hidden workings of a vast, intergalactic Empire, and about himself.
In the new book from Ned Vizzini, The Other Normals, we discover the world of Creatures and Caverns, an RPG (roll playing game, for those of you not in the know) with magical beings who carry out adventures set throughout Earth’s history. Perry Eckert is a geeky 15 year old who is obsessed with C&C. Suffice it to say, he doesn’t exactly have a social life and he’s interacted with girls about as much as he has with his divorced parents. Finally, Perry’s parents decide to take matters into their own hands and send him to summer camp to force him to interact with other people. Perry is prepared to spend the summer in misery when he spots a creature running into the woods, a creature that looks eerily familiar.
Perry is plunged into the world of C&C in ways he could never have imagined and forced to socialize in ways his parents could never have imagined. He must decide if he is going to become the hero and save the girl or continue to play his game alone.
This book is amazing. The language is a bit strong, but it’s funny, its engaging, it grabs you and will not let go. The chapters are short and the action is furious. A great read for anyone who likes D&D or RPGs or just a good adventure.
If you’re a reader of young adult books and love apps, check out YALSA’s Teen Book Finder app. This free app puts YALSA’s awards and lists on the smartphones of teens, parents, library staff, educators, and anyone who loves YA literature.
A homepage featuring three titles, which are refreshed daily
Ability to search for books by author, title, award/list year, genre, by award, and by booklist
A Find It! Button powered by the OCLC WorldCat Search API that shows libraries that own the book
A Favorites button to create an individualized booklist
The ability to share books from the Teen Book Finder on Facebook and Twitter
Visit the App Store to download the app for your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad. Android users should look for an app later in 2012. The app is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.
Matt knows deep down that he’s supposed to be a drummer. He NEEDS to drum, but The Man keeps putting him down. First his parents make him figure out a way to pay for the drum set himself, then The Man steals half of his paycheck from his crap job for TAXES and then his band teacher schedules a mandatory performance on the day of the big Battle of the Bands. Will Matt figure out a way to defy The Man and win the girl, or will The Man keep him down?
This book, Matthew Meets the Man, is hilarious. I have never laughed so hard in my life. Travis Nichols writes 14 perfectly. The illustrations (in true Diary of a Wimpy Kid style) keep the story light and moving, it is fast-paced and written perfectly. This is a must read for 14 year-olds or just 14 year-olds at heart!
Come share your music and library memories from 1967 to the present on Saturday, August 11, 2012 when the Bethel Branch Library will officially celebrate its 45th Anniversary. Bring the family for fun activities from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Kids can see dog tricks performed by Oliver the Bassett hound, make a craft and have their face painted. All ages are welcome to listen to music by the Daniel Patrick Family Singers, meet Browser the library’s mascot, check out library and local history displays, enter contests to win prizes, mingle with local and library dignitaries and enjoy refreshments.
Take a “Step Back in Time with Stories of Bethel Library’s Past” on Tuesday, August 7, 6:30-7:45 p.m. and share your library memories with our panel of guest speakers including former and current Bethel library staff, “Worldwalker” author Steven Newman, Walter Carter from the Bethel Historical Museum and Bethel library volunteers and patrons.
What music were you listening to in 1967 in Bethel, Ohio? We want to know!
This past weekend I wanted to be a good library worker and familiarize myself with the more popular items that the friendly library has to offer. Just to let you know, I have a strong reluctance toward anything popular. I like to tread my own path, so to speak. It’s an affliction I have suffered with my whole life. I deal with it.
As you may or may not have heard, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, is the big thing right now. But, that is not the popular task that I took on, that would be too big of a step for this rebel. Moreover, the hold list for those books are astronomical, but I highly recommend them nonetheless. Other people seem to like them.
The popular thing I decided to take on was Harry Potter. I know what you are saying “Harry Potter? that was so five years ago.” I am taking baby steps here so cut me a break. Plus, the series sold like half a billion books worldwide and is the best selling book series in history, at least according to good old Wikipedia.
And of course I took the shortcut and watched the movies. That’s why they make movies, so I don’t have to read the books, right? Anyway, some of those books are fairly large and I would probably need more than a weekend to read them all. Plus bonus, you can check the Harry Potter movies and books from the library right now if you want! Because they are available, no wait list.
Needless to say I was entertained. So much so, I may even read the books.
The excitement and hype is really building for the Hunger Games Movie release March 23, 2012. After practically devouring the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, I find myself looking for other dystopian type books to hold me over until the movie comes out in March.
Matched by Ally Condie was a good read for my dystopian mood. The book begins with Cassia looking forward to attending her “Match Banquet”. An event when seventeen year olds find out whom the Society has chosen for them to marry and be their lifelong partner. When a technical glitch occurs and another young man flashes on her matching screen before the Society choice appears, Cassia begins for the first time in her life to question the Society decisions. If a mistake could be made by them, would it be so bad for Cassia to make some choices of her own? Could she pick a better career choice, a place to live, even a future spouse?
Cassia soon learns that freedom of choice has no place in the Society. Mistakes in the eyes of the government are not easily forgiven, and perfection and freedom are not always the same. But Cassia seems to be drawn down a path that she can’t abandon, no matter what cost to her and her family.
Crossed, the second book in the Matched series is now available, and on my “Next Read” list.
Did you ever have a passing daydream when you were a kid, that your “real” parents are royalty and so you are a prince or princess of some distant land? Meghan Chase, age 17, finds herself in the middle of that daydream when she learns that her father is Oberon, the Summer King of Faery. Only it turns out to be more of a nightmare when her brother is kidnapped and taken to Nevernever and she must journey there to rescue him. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, brings Faery to life with a fantasy that has not only action and adventure, but a little “non-sickening” romance as well. Meghan finds that Faery is a place where a Summer princess needs to be careful about falling in love with a Winter Prince because the Courts definately don’t mingle with each other. Meghan is a likable and engaging heroine and it’s easy to get caught up in the story.
It turns out that Meghan’s adventures don’t conclude at the end of The Iron King, but continue in the rest of the Iron Fey Series, including The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen.
The Iron Knight will be coming soon, so once you get caught up on these fun and “not your average fairytales” you will want to get on the hold list for this new additon to the “Iron Fey” Series.