Category Archives: Bookish News

Noteworthy Links #5

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Forbes ranked the 15 richest fictional characters, and you can bet to see some familiar names on that list from Chuck Bass to Jay Gatsby. Who is the number 1 richest fictional character, you ask? Follow the link to find out!

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Home libraries make kids smarter (stating the obvious much?) Miller-McCune posted a great article about the benefits of encouraging literacy as early as possible in children.

This effect holds true regardless of a nation’s wealth, culture or political system, but its intensity varies from country to country. In China, a child whose parents own 500 books will average 6.6 more years of education than a comparable child from a bookless home. In the U.S., the figure is 2.4 years — which is still highly significant when you consider it’s the difference between two years of college and a full four-year degree.

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If you’ve ever accrued overdue fines from your local library, worry no more! You are just following in the footsteps of one our most heroic forefathers: George Washington. He apparently owes $300,000 for having never returned 2 library books! What did he borrow?

According to a ledger found in 1934, Washington borrowed the “Law of Nations,” a treatise on international relations, and Vol. 12 of the “Commons Debates,” which contained transcripts of debates from Britain’s House of Commons, on October 5, 1789.

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For fans of fashion and books, Marc Jacobs has plans to go into the bookstore business in New York’s West Village. The original bookshop Biography Book Shop is relocating and now Jacobs will be taking over the location. I love the name that’s been twittered around the web “Book Marc”

but now it seems Jacobs is retaining the library feel of the space, making it into his local empire’s first bookstore.

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ALA is out with its top 10 of the most challenged books of 2009:

There isn’t really anything new on the list (nothing that hasn’t been there before). I do however think the reasoning for #5 is amusing.

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

Seriously? Sexually explicit? Did they read the same book that I did?

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Don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, what’s wrong with you? You stand in the minority, and these 25 insane book covers prove it!

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Nostradamus makes history again as his Prophecies is the first French book to be archived by Google Books.

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This is a movie of a super-cool “painting” hanging in the basement of the British Library, in London. The author has done many such paintings, but this is the best (and all the others are very similar). It’s called “Paradoxymoron”, by Patrick Hughes

This is so awesome. I think its well worth a trip to London to visit the British Library (among other things)

Noteworthy Links #4

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The 2010 LA Times Book Festival will be gracing the UCLA campus next weekend, April 24th & 25th. General attendance is free, parking is $10 and doors open at 10am. Check out the full A-Z list of authors here to look for your favorites!!

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Neil Gaiman talks libraries for National Library Week. If you missed his interview, you can find it archived at NPR here.

You can also read his interview with Kate Pritchard at Bookpage.

A snippet of the interview:

KP: Do you have a favorite library?

NG: My very favorite library of all is fictional, because it’s the one that I made up in The Sandman. That’s the library of all the books that people dreamed of writing but never wrote, all the sequels that never happened, all that kind of thing.

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Catch up on your favorite author interviews and giveaways with Book Club Girl.

The next interview will be with Todd Johnson of The Sweet By & By on Friday April 26th at 4p.

She is also hosting a giveaway for book club members in honor of Rebecca Wells newest novel The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder. You can find all the rules and information here.

The first 25 clubs to sign up will receive a Randazzo’s King Cake to enjoy during their Calla Lily discussion!

For those of you wondering what a King Cake is:

Sent directly to your book group from New Orleans’ own Randazzo’s Camellia Street Bakery, this King Cake is adorned with their famous gooey frosting and topped with purple, yellow and green sprinkles, and includes a unique Randazzo’s Mardi Gras theme bag, stuffed with beads, doubloons, the history of Mardi Gras and the king cake, a 2010 commemorative 11x 16 color poster, a beautiful feather mask, and a kings crown! What better way to jazz up your book club night!

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Not really book related, but its close enough for me. Polyvore is an awesome fashion website with adorable themed outfits. Its Anthro meets a library.  I just love their photo compilations of various styles.

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For those who want the book feel, but can’t afford all the merchandize… this might solve a few of your problems.

Noteworthy Links #3

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Do you have an interesting story about books you’d like to share? Send me an e-mail with links to your favorite news blurbs about anything bookish!

Save Libraries is a grassroots effort to compile information about libraries in need of our support. Save Libraries will aggregate information about current advocacy efforts, archive advocacy efforts, and provide links to resources for libraries facing cuts.

A very informative and useful website for anyone concerned about the state of libraries across the nation. You can check in daily for the latest batch updates on budget cuts, news links and much, much more. I highly recommend visiting this website and putting in your two cents on how valuable libraries are to you.

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Perhaps the greatest endorsement for libraries and librarians. In a most surprising interview, Rolling Stone’s guitarist Keith Richards reveals that had he not gone into Rock n’ Roll he’d be a librarian!

He is in fact an avid bookworm who has taken great pride in developing libraries inside his homes in Sussex and Connecticut.


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Sad times for school libraries is evidenced in this Google map tracking school library closures across the nation.

This map marks the cities, towns, communities, and states that have made the decision to either eliminate certified school library positions (indicated in blue) or require one school librarian to work with two (2) or more school library programs throughout the week (indicated in red).

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On the 20th anniversary of the publication of The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien talks with the San Francisco Chronicle about his views on life, war and family. You can read the interview here.

Matt Steinglass of the New York Times discusses what its like reading Tim O’Brien in Hanoi.

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Are you a fan of judging a book by its cover? This New York Times article takes an interesting look at how e-readers are making it harder and harder to accidentally come across that next perfect read.

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Don’t like your parents? Well neither do the authors of teen and children’s literature. This essay looks through a number of popular, classic and contemporary books and examines the role of the parents. Titles discussed include Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, Twilight, and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.

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Noteworthy Links #2

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Do you have an interesting story about books you’d like to share? Send me an e-mail with links to your favorite news blurbs about anything bookish!

A very funny meme on NPR’s Monkey See Blog: How 10 Movies Would Be Different if They Came from Nicholas Sparks Novels. Movies listed include: The Karate Kid, Inglorious Bastards, and The Breakfast Club.

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Number the Stars by Lois Lowry may be caught in the middle of an international brouhaha between the US and Turkey. You can read the full article here.

The book has been banned by the Turkish Department of Education on what seems to be little to no evidence.

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The latest (and scariest) book trend: Reality TV stars cashing in on their 15 minutes of fame via publishing deals. Actually, the reality stars of Bravo’s The Real Housewive’s of New York City have taken their sass to the bookstores. How to Be a Jewish Mother by Jill Zarin is only the fourth book to be published by a New York Housewife, two books belong to Bethany Frankel.  Zarin is the third housewife of New York to publish a book, the first being Bethany Frankel with her Skinny Girl cookbook, followed by the Countess and her book of etiquette for the modern woman. Look for another book by Alex McCord and husband Simon van Kempen to also be released in April.

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Going to Book Expo America this year? Make sure to wake up bright and early to catch Jon Stewart at the Author Breakfast as he Emcee’s the event and introduces Condoleezza Rice Thursday May 27th.

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For those who cried themselves to sleep upon hearing that Stephanie Meyer negated all hope of publishing Midnight Sun (the 5th of the Twilight Saga). Well dry your tears and get your wallet ready, because The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: an Eclipse Novella is set to go on sale Saturday June 5th. The best reason to buy the book?

One dollar for each copy sold from the first printing will be donated to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.

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Wishing you all a Hoppity Easter (via my local Safeway store)

Hoppity Easter Greetings!

Noteworthy Links #1

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Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin has been adapted into a musical production – Read more at SFgate.

created with veterans of “Avenue Q” and members of the rock band Scissor Sisters – will receive its world premiere in the American Conservatory Theater’s 2010-11 season.

I reviewed this title sometime last year, you can read my review here. Its a delightful ode to San Fransisco. The characters are creative, funny and loveable and the mentions of the city make any local’s heart melt.

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The Northern California Book Award Nominees are listed here. The Nor Cal Book Awards have highlighted some of the finest and most popular authors of our time; Michael Chabon, David Eggers, etc. I’m happy to announce that the winners will be announced at the San Francisco Public Library from 1p-2:30p on April 18th.

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Sid Fleischman, author of many beloved children’s books, including one of my favorites: The Whipping Boy, passed away at age 90. The New York Times has written a great mini bio of his life and career as an author. You should definitely stop by to check it out.

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Out of Print Clothing – great presents for the book lover in your life (or even just for yourself!)

Our shirts feature iconic and often out of print book covers. Some are classics, some are just curious enough to make great t-shirts, but all are striking works of art.

I like this one the best:

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Giveaways and other book blogger blurbs

** Check out Caribous Mom to enter a giveaway for the Patrick Taylor Irish Country series. The drawing takes place Tuesday March 30th, so make sure to get your name in there now!

** Check out an awesome 2.5 minute clip of the goings-on at an Amazon Warehouse over at Letters on Pages.  On a personal note, I think tours of any kind are awesome!

** Wonders and Marvels is hosting a giveaway for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The last day to enter is TODAY before midnight. Better get your name on the list pronto.

** Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is coming up quickly on April 10th this year. Do you have your books ready? I think I may actually be able to participate in this one, although I do have to go to a cousin’s engagement party that evening…but I’ll be reading before and afterwards!

Read, Remember, Recommend

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Just this morning I received a really wonderful email about my blog from Sourcebooks Inc. My blog will be featured in one of their upcoming titles: Read, Remember, Recommend: A Reading Journal for Book Lovers by Rachelle Rogers Knight.  You can check out her blog at I’m not sure if there is a blurb associated with my blog, or if I’m just listed along with a number of other book blogs, but just that I made it into a published book is really amazing. I’ve been on cloud 9 all day today.

Read, Remember,  Recommend Reading Journal

The book won’t be released until April 1st, so I have to wait another 2 weeks before I can actually see my blog in print!! I’m very curious to see what other book bloggers were selected.  According to the table of contents, there are 10 pages of book blogs listed at the back under a section called Loaner Lists. The rest of the book is a compilation of international award winning titles, book lists, book clubs, etc. It seems like a pretty complete guide for librarians looking for books to order, or readers looking for books to add to their to-be-read list.

=) Whoo hoo!!

Books in the news

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I don’t know if its because I’ve upped the number of hours I listen to NPR each week, but I’ve been hearing more and more news talks about books, so I thought I would share some of the more interesting (to me at least) blurbs.

1. The Phone Booth Library in Britain. Read the full article at

One of Britain’s few remaining traditional red phone booths has been recycled into one of the country’s smallest lending libraries – stocking 100 books. Villagers from Westbury-sub-Mendip in Somerset can use the library around the clock, selecting books, DVDs and CDs. Users simply stock it with a book they have read, swapping it for one they have not. Marco Werman speaks with local resident Janet Fisher about the unusual library.

This is such a cool idea! Its very creative and quaint. The phone booth currently holds 150 books, all supplied by people living in the neighborhood.

sustainable design, green design, recycled materials, phone box library, westbury sub mendip, public space, urban design

2. Goodbye Kirkus reviews: Full article at the New York Times

The book industry, beleaguered by a battery of dispiriting news about lackluster sales and online price wars, got another taste of the apocalypse on Thursday with the news that Kirkus Reviews, the venerable prepublication review journal, was closing.

Kirkus books is highly used by librarians and booksellers in regards of deciding what books to purchase. Their reviews were terse, direct and quite blunt. Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist (in addition to School Library Journal and Library Journal) make up the primary sources for librarian’s when picking and choosing what books to purchase, or what books to recommend to inquiring minds.

Stacey McGill – Babysitter’s Club Spotlight

Stacey McGill

Anastasia Elizabeth McGill

Stacey McGill 

Position: Treasurer

Best Friend: Claudia Kishi

Appearance: slender, blonde hair (sometimes permed)

Stacey first moved to Stonybrook, Connecticut when her dad was transferred for his job. Stacey became fast friends with Claudia due to their love of fashion and boys. Stacey quickly became the club treasurer due to her love of math and science and became a part of the SMS Mathletes Club. Stacey is also known for her struggles with type 1 diabetes, an illness that has put her in the hospital quite a few times.

In book #13, Goodbye, Stacey, Goodbye Stacey moved back to New York with her parents when her father was transferred again. She became an honorary member of the BSC, even though she no longer lived in Stonybrook. A few books later in the series, Stacey dealt with a tough divorce battle between her parents and had to make the tough choice of staying in New York with her dad or moving back to Stonybrook with her mom. Book #28 #28 Welcome Back, Stacey!, reunites Stacey back into the BSC group when she chooses to live with her mom. In book #83, Stacey vs. The BCS, Stacey battles with the rest of the club members as they start to seem immature to her. Stacey slowly begins to grow apart from the girls and seemingly leaves the club. It is right around here where I had stopped following the series.

Stacey and Mary Ann were always my favorites of the BSC girls. Mary Ann was the girl I could most relate to, the shy, quiet bookish girl. Stacey was the girl I wanted to be. The girl who dated the older boys, who joined the cheerleading squad, wore the cool clothes and was good with math. Stacey was a good role model for me growing up, giving me something to aspire to. Mary Ann was a great role model, because I could identify with her character the most and could feel more comfortable in my own skin after reading a few of her books.

I started reading the BSC when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I don’t remember which exactly. Although I couldn’t relate to 12 and 13 year old girl drama at the time, the characters and their stories engrossed me in every way. My sister was a member of the monthly BSC book club, but I was the one who read through all the books. I bought as many as I could from the Scholastic book orders to keep the series going when my parents ended the subscription, I once received a BSC book for free because they mailed an extra and my teacher knew I loved the series (it also just happened to be a Stacey book).

I’m sad that these books are slowly filtering out of the library system. Although new graphic novel renditions are taking their spots, its just not the same. I hope you enjoyed my character spotlight of Stacey. I’d love to hear what you think. Who is your favorite BSC member? What is your favorite book of the series?

Go here for the complete Babysitter’s Club Series Catalog

If Stacey is your favorite, then make sure to reread all your favorite Stacey Books:

Stacey Book Catalogue via
Meet Stacey

#3 The Truth About Stacey: The truth about Stacey is that she has diabetes.
#8 Boy-Crazy Stacey: Who need baby-sitting when there are boys around!
#13 Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye: Stacey McGill is moving back to New York!
#18 Stacey’s Mistake: The Baby-sitters are way out of place in the big city.
#28 Welcome Back, Stacey!: Stacey’s parents have been fighting a lot lately. Even so, she’s still not prepared for the terrible news: her parents are getting divorced.
#35 Stacey and Mystery of Stoneybrook: Can Stacey solve the haunted house mystery?
#43 Stacey’s Emergency: Stacey just can’t win.
#51 Stacey’s Ex-Best Friend: Stacey doesn’t want to lose her childhood friend. But Laine’s growing up way too fast for Stacey.
#58 Stacey’s Choice: Since Stacey’s parents got divorced it hasn’t been easy. They each need her – badly. How will Stacey ever choose between her mom and her dad…again?
#65 Stacey’s Big Crush: He’s smart. He’s handsome. He’s 22!
#70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders: The cheerleaders have asked Stacey to try out for the squad!
#76 Stacey’s Lie: When Stacey’s father asks her to take a vacation with him, she knows just where to go: Fire Island. It’s close to New York City, and it’s where her boyfriend’s family is vacationing too!
#83 Stacey vs. the BSC: The Baby-sitters Club. They’re the best friends Stacey’s ever had. But lately , they seem kind of immature to her.
#87 Stacey and the Bad Girls: Stacey enjoys hanging out with Jacqui, Sheila, and the other girls. They’re fun. A little wild even. But how much can Stacey trust them?
#94 Stacey McGill, Super Sitter: Stacey’s going to make a small fortune as a super sitter. But is it worth it?
#99 Stacey’s Broken Heart: Will Stacey and Robert be together forever?
#111 Stacey’s Secret Friend
#119 Stacey’s Ex-Boyfriend
#124 Stacey MacGill… Matchmaker
#130 Stacey’s Movie


#1 Stacey and the Missing Ring: Stacey has to find that ring – or business is over for the Baby-sitters Club!
#10 Stacey and the Mystery Money: Counterfeit money is showing up in Stoneybrook – and someone gave Stacey a fake ten dollar bill.
#14 Stacey and the Mystery at the Mall: Is it safe to shop at Washington Mall anymore?
#18 Stacey and the Mystery at the Empty House: While the Johanssens are away, Stacey’s in charge of walking their dog, Carrot, and watching their house.
#22 Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade: SMS hasn’t had a Mischief Night Masquerade in twenty-eight years. Stacey can’t wait to get involved.
#33 Stacey and the Stolen Hearts

Portrait Collection

Stacy’s Book: This is my life – welcome to it.

Babysitter’s Club week on the blog-o-sphere

For those of us who grew up with the Babysitter’s club, now is your chance to visit that long-last era of your life and reunite with the best friends you always wished you had. All this week, various blogs will feature special character spotlights and ruminations on one of the most beloved series of our youth.

Make sure to check in regularly at My Friend Amy’s blog for a daily dose of BSC reviews, character spotlights and more! She’s the host of this fun tribute, so make sure to tell her how thrilled you are she’s doing this.

I’ve noticed the sad decline of the BSC series on the library shelves, and it seems to be spreading nationwide. While the Boxcar Children series is still running strong, most libraries have already deleted almost all of their copies, due to condition and lack of circulation. I loved this series. My sister signed up for the monthly BSC book club, but I was the one who read all the books. Even going into the BSC Little Sister series with Karen. I ordered all the books from the Scholastic book orders we got in elementary schools (who doesn’t love those?). I have almost all the mysteries, all the vacation books and I’ve seen both movies and all the TV shows. I’m glad this week gives me a chance to travel back into a time of my life that really helped shape my future. Although the classics are out of circulation, you can catch the girls in a graphic novel format, and keep the stories going.


HFS – a cover story

The various shades of Her Fearful Symmetry.

Through a series of events, I somehow ended up with 3 versions of the newest Audrey Niffenegger book, Her Fearful Symmetry. One copy is an ARC that I found at the library. The second copy is one that I had pre-ordered from and lastly, the third copy is the signed copy that I won from a Twitter drawing run by Scribner Books. Each copy has a different cover and a different feel to it.


I’ve said it before, I am one of those shameless readers that picks out books based on their cover art. I have to admit that the blue and black covers definitely catch my eye and I think the black cover just makes the book seem much more creepy. I haven’t been able to find any information on the black cover, ie, if its the European cover or not. The only other cover art I’ve seen besides the blue cover is this one, and that’s been on online reviews:

I went into The Time Traveler’s Wife not knowing a single thing about the book or the author.

I bought it on a whim from Border’s Express because they had a buy 2 get 1 free sale and I wanted to read Life of Pi (which I never did finish, but that’s a story for another post).

At the time I started reading TTW, my boyfriend and I had just begun the first leg of our 2 year long-distance relationship and I could relate very much with the Claire and Henry. Unsure of my future with the man I loved, unsure of when I would see him, or for how long. 6.5 years after our first date, he proposed and now I know what our future is. TTW hit me in a way that very few books do, and even though my relationship has progressed, I don’t feel that I’ve outgrown the book.

Her Fearful Symmetry is the November pick for my book club. I want to read it right now, but at the same time, I don’t. It seems like everyone really loves this book, they say its better than her first. I’m very wary, but I should just open up the book and get it over with right? Putting it off will only make me expect that much more out of it, I think.

Are there any books you put off reading because of all the hype surrounding its release? How does the hype effect your reaction to the book?