Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian

Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian
by Scott Douglas

So, I stumbled upon this book a while ago and placed a request for it through our nifty inter-library loan system and received it, and finished it quickly, last week. Little did I know that one of the new Green Valley Library staff members was featured in it...

Scott Douglas started out as a library shelver/page in a small Anaheim, California library and this book is a tale of his experiences through shelverdom through library school and his time with an MLS (Master's in Library Science). The chapters are all uniquely started with a "book title" and Dewey Decimal Number, ranging from people wanting to kill him to finding the love of his life. Throughout this time, you learn to enjoy the cast of library regulars, ranging from the crazies to the kind old ladies who give you treats whenever they come in.

Overall, it's a great read and quite insightful. Quiet, Please definitely trumps the earlier published Freaks, Geeks, and Oddballs by Don Borchert... and I'm not just saying that because I know someone who knows the author. Oh right, you probably want to know the mysterious Green Valley staffer who worked side by side with Mr. Douglas, don't you? You'll have to make an educated guess. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Alchemyst

The Alchemyst: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
by Michael Scott

I read a lot of YA/J and that's because I love the fantasy genre. With a lot of "adult" fantasy books, they're huge tomes and remind me too much of the classics, but when they're written for the younger crowd, the authors pump out some great stuff and this is a perfect example of that.

Sophie and Josh, fraternal twins, are spending their summer in California while their parents are on an archaeological dig in Montana, I think. Sophie finds a job at a coffee shop and Josh goes to work for an elderly couple that own a bookstore: Nick and Perry Fleming. Everything goes swimmingly until one afternoon, a mysterious man enters the bookstore and nothing ever remains the same for them.

We soon discover that Nick and Perry are a bit older than they look. They're actually about 500 years old, being Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. Nicholas is an alchemyst and has been keeping himself and his wife alive by creating doses of an immortality potion. That's only the beginning of this adventure though.

I don't want to reveal too much more about this first volume of a proposed nine-book series, two of which are already out and the third one is due in May. If you enjoy history or mythology at all, or even if you like a quick-paced read, I suggest you to give this one a shot. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

So, I love to read classics every now and then and have never read Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles. One day Seth and I happened to turn to PBS and were caught up in the middle of this awesome Masterpiece Theater movie. And I had to figure out what it was. As soon as I found out it was a book I had to turn it off. When I tried to read the book though, I had so much going on I couldn't get into it. BUT! Our great Overdrive audio books has had some books added it looks like and there it was.

I honestly really loved this book. It was one of the few that I purposely did more cleaning just so I had an excuse to listen to. It was narrated by Ralph Cosham and I really enjoyed his voice and storytelling. He also has narrated Four Feathers which looks like it was recently added to Overdrive too!

The story seems modern enough to have kept my interest, and Tess through all her hardships was easy to relate to, and feel bad for. I spent the entire story rooting for her and hoping she gets what she wants. The end was so unexpected from other stories involving a loving couple, and was not the sort of happy eneding you may find in books written at this time period. Hardy's moral conclusion was actually what should have happened, even though it left me wanting more of the story!