Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson

This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All

Marilyn Johnson

SUMMARY: In a world suffering from an overload of information, librarians are the capable guides who willingly and freely offer their expertise to the populace daily in a variety of traditional and unexpected venues. Marilyn Johnson’s newest book supports this statement through an exploration of a diverse sampling of the fantastic, fun, brave, and bizarre people who make up the field.

ONESMARTCUPCAKE THINKS: Since I decided that library science was my chosen career and destiny, my friends constantly send me varied links about libraries and librarians. This book was one of these many links and it caught my eye immediately. I finally got my paws on it last week and speed through it with great relish.

Johnson has a fun and very readable writing style. I feel that her quirky but well-researched approach to this topic works very well in producing a book appealing to the average reader as well as the library and information professional. Johnson’s examples run the gamut of librarians and cybrarians, ranging from blunt bloggers to social activists to tattooed children’s librarians and beyond.

In this book, Johnson has managed to capture the passion, humor, and commitment of modern librarians. She illustrates the many facets of this quickly evolving profession and makes a convincing case for its continued relevance and necessity. However, despite her obvious admiration for librarians and their diverse sub-cultures, Johnson maintains a sense of balance and a critical eye. The result is a frank but inspiring exploration of librarians, cybrarians, and their key place in modern society. I really enjoyed this book both for its subject matter and Johnson’s fun but informative style. Her previous book, The Dead Beat, deals with the fascinating world of obituaries and I can’t wait to track down a copy and check it out.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1:
The Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan

SUMMARY: Percy Jackson is one unlucky sixth-grader. Or so it seems. Trouble follows Percy like an extra shadow; when the novel opens, our hero is on the verge of being kicked out of boarding school. Again. The strange occurrences that usually surround him have increased and both his best friend and his Latin teacher seem to be hiding something from him. Soon, his usual daily struggles with ADHD and dyslexia become the least of his problems. It turns out Percy isn’t actually a bad kid; he doesn’t quite fit in because he’s actually half Greek god and half human. A whole new world opens up to Percy as he finds himself thrust into an adventure of mythical proportions.

ONESMARTCUPCAKE THINKS: I was latecomer to this awesome book. I was invited to join a Classics department trip to go see the movie and went on a whim. While I found the movie entertaining, my overall impression was that behind the fun film was a better and even more fun book. Turns out my instincts were right.

I guess I should state first that I am a total Greek mythology dork so I’m a sucker for books that use it as a jumping off point. However, the quality of these books ranges from awesome to mediocre or even terrible. Riordan has produced one of the good ones. The Lightning Thief is a humorous and rollicking adventure that combines great reinterpretations of Greek mythology and a quest for identity and self-discovery. Percy makes an excellent protagonist and narrator with his sarcastic tone, sense of humor, and earnest desire to do the right thing. Over the course of the novel, Percy begins to see himself in new ways; he realizes that his differences make him special instead of stupid.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were fresh and funny and the plot moved along at good clip. Riordan’s blending of Greek mythology and modern American culture is inventive. Also, I have to note the hilarious chapter titles. How could I resist a book in which the first chapter is titled “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-algebra Teacher”? I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of this fabulous fantasy series and once you start, you will find yourself equally addicted.


Monday, May 24, 2010


Greetings to the blogosphere! I’ve been waiting about a year to begin a blog focused on books, baking, and the library life. Now that I’m officially enrolled in graduate studies in library science and I have a little more free time to catch up on my reading, I’m finally doing it. But so that you know what you’re getting into, let me give you a little preview of what will be on this blog:

- Book Reviews and Book Lists. I read a variety of genres but here the content will be primarily YA and tween lit as that is my current passions and obsession. However, some adult fiction and non-fiction will likely sneak in as well from time to time.

- Library News and Explorations. I’ll be posting about my experiences as a library volunteer, employee, intern, and grad student. Additionally, I plan to write commentary on the library world and the larger world of YA/ teen media.

- Recipes and Kitchen Adventures. This won’t be a regular feature but I do want to share my experiments in making desserts and, less often, ‘real’ food.

Occasionally my other obsessions (television, movies, and the internet) will also pop up in the form of reviews or comments.

Since I’m just getting started, posting might be a little slow for the next few weeks but don’t be discouraged! Come back soon for some book reviews of both YA lit and general fiction as well as some kitchen fun!