Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2013
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Franny Banks is an aspiring actress in New York. By day, she’s a waitress, and at night, she’s taking acting classes and preparing for auditions. This novel is what most can assume to be a semi-autobiographical account of Lauren Graham’s experiences as a struggling actress before becoming a household name with her role on Gilmore Girls.
Overall, I liked Someday, Someday, Maybe. Although I can’t really call it a great piece of literature. Everything about this book is cliche and predictable. But I connected to Franny (the only likeable character in this book) and I was cheering for her. Her character is flawed, insecure and very impressionable. At times it was annoying and I wished for some character development, with any of the characters really. Everyone is so two-dimensional and fit exactly into the stereotypes that we non-actors cast onto people in the media industry.
But I swear, I liked the book! Its a good quick summer read. Its a beach read. Light and fluffy with a decent sense of humor for some good chuckles. I particularly liked the doodles and small bits of comedy in Franny’s planner, used to signify the start of each chapter. Its definitely something fans of Gilmore Girls will appreciate. Its no coincidence that Franny shares a very, very similar sense of humor as Lorelei Gilmore. Amy Sherman-Palladino would be proud to see the character re-emerge as a struggling actress in New York.
The friendly folks at Harper Collins have made a video recap of Neil Gaiman’s book tour across the US for The Ocean At the End of the Lane.
For librarians, teachers and parents, the new year doesn’t necessarily start in January. It starts in September when summer draws to a close and the new school year is on the horizon.
As a new mom & librarian, I am getting more and more excited for the days when I can take my little guy shopping for back to school supplies (my favorite part as a kid…dorkily enough), as well as taking him to school in general and watching him learn and grow with the world around him.
Lori at Reading Confetti has put together a wonderful collection of books with which to ring in each month. I can see many uses for this for library story times, for themed activities after school and on the weekends to reinforce the concepts in a fun way. This is a very thorough list and a great resource for parents and librarians in search of books to recommend or read to children.
The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age by Catherine Steiner-Adair
Genre: Non-fiction, Parenting
Publisher: Harper Collins
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In a world where a child’s playground is no longer just a playground, how do parents bridge the gaps between the digital and the real world for their children? That is the questions Catherine Steiner-Adair attempts to answer in her book. Each chapter is devoted to a specific age group, going up chronologically from birth to adulthood with examples and advice how to look for and deal with the pitfalls of technology and youth culture. Although most of her examples were the worst-case-scenario/horror story types, I felt that they did shed a lot of light on what the world of teens is like. When I was a teen, AOL discs still showed up regularly in the post, and people still used pagers. Now the Internet is accessible through phones, and as a result, this entirely new playground is unmonitored and devoid of rules of conduct. Each chapter follows the same formula. 1) lots and lots of examples of misuse of the Internet and how interpersonal relationships suffer. 2) solutions via case by case examples of families Steiner-Adair has worked with. For all of her examples of kids using the Internet as well as parental use of the Internet (screen free for the first 2 years of a baby’s life is the main theme of chapter 1), I felt that there was a major, major hole in the book. The one thing Steiner-Adair did not address that I think is highly relevant is parental use of the Internet to talk about their kids. I use Facebook and post pictures of my little on for family and friends, but what about the parental blogs that post all the mundane details with photos of their children? Everyone has the right to free speech, but I feel there should be some discussion of parents using their children for intended or sometimes unintended 15 minutes of fame. How will these children feel knowing their lives have written for the world to see? Would they want certain stories shared? Will they follow the cycle and share too much information about their lives and their kids? In a Facebook & Twitter friendly world where updates are sporadic, too detailed or sometimes made up just to get more “likes” and comments, what will children learn from parents who use those social media outlets in that manner? Does privacy even matter? Maybe that’s a topic for an entirely different book, but it is a topic I wish Steiner-Adair had touched upon.
I did learn a lot from this book and have taken many of Steiner-Adair’s advice to heart. With a little one at home, we live mostly screen free. We’ve canceled our cable connection so now we live in a Netflix only world, and even that is after the little guy is asleep. When we are with him, we are really with him, on the carpet lying on our stomachs playing with him, not checking our phones. The only times the phones come out are when we are taking pictures of him, and he has learned to pose for the camera. I also have a bevy of discussion topics for the future, particularly as the Internet keeps evolving over time. Who knows what type of technology will be around by the time my guy is able to interact with screens and digital devices. He reaches for our phones and cameras now, but we don’t let him play with them. Its toys, board books and his playmat. I want him to have a childhood like mine. A simple childhood full of imagination, books and creativity.