« Previous Entries
» Next Entries

January 2009

The Archives




  • Books, Grimm

    Neil Gaiman loves librarians*

    27.01.09 | Permalink | Comment?

    book coverLibrarians, teachers and other brains of note have awarded Neil Gaiman the Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book. So what is the Newbery Medal? Well, it’s the most prestigious children’s fiction award given in the United States. That is to say that The Graveyard Book is top dog in the USA in 2009. Mr Gaiman was suitably delighted, as he recounts in his blog. If you’re interested in details and stuff you could visit the unexciting Newbery Medal home page, otherwise reserve The Graveyard Book so you can sample some quality writing.

    And the Printz** goes to:

    Melina Marchetta (of Looking for Alibrandi fame), for On the Jellicoe Road, which I haven’t stuck in any lists or said anything nice about, for shame. For punishment I shall read and review it. Aussie aussie aussie, oi oi oi.

    *see the tags on his blog post for verification.

    ** The Printz Award, like the Newbery Medal, is given by the American Library Association, this time for Young Adult Literature.


  • Jack, Music, New, Playlists

    Six new CDs

    26.01.09 | Permalink | Comment?

    The YA music collection has some new CDs. Six of them in fact. Here they are …

    First is Beyonce’s new album I Am… Sasha Fierce, which sees her alter ego Sasha Fierce get one of the two discs all to herself. It reminds me of the time Outkast split Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in half, only a bit weirder.

    The Flying Club Cup by Beirut is next for a bit of meaningful-core indie folk. These guys were critical darlings in 2007 and for good reason, a wee gem says I.

    Hilary Duff is back with The Best Of Hilary Duff. Now you can listen to all her best songs all at once, without changing discs. This copy even comes with some exclusive bonus tracks for the Australian/NZ release.

    Have you guys heard of High School Musical? Apparently it’s quite a big deal. Anyway, we have High School Musical 3 – Senior Year  and judging by the way they’re jumping about on the cover in graduation robes it looks as though it might be the last one. hop aboard now I guess.

    On Day & Age The Killers ask the question; are we human or are we dancers? I think I’m a dancer. This the the fourth release from the Las Vegas foursome and it finds them shooting for even more chart success.

    We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings is the last on the pile. They were at the Big Day Out the other week, did anyone see them? They make indie-pop to dance to.


    23/1/2009


  • Internet, Isn't that cool?, Science!, Simon, Space: The Final Frontier

    Linkity-Link-Link

    25.01.09 | Permalink | Comment?

    Some neat and interesting websites. For the weekend! Or week. Whatever.


  • Books, Grimm, Top 10

    Top 10: love and mush late addition

    23.01.09 | Permalink | Comment?

    I’ve been instructed by Kym, YA romance book expert, that I really must put Bloom by Elizabeth Scott on the list. Something else on the list has to go, no arguments. I thought I’m not going to be a pushover and do exactly what she says, so I’ll just have it as a late addition, a number 11 or perhaps a 10 and three quarters or whatever.

    book coverSo, to Bloom, which is news to me. If you’re into Sarah Dessen or Deb Caletti you might like Elizabeth Scott (apparently, so says Google Books). Like Macy in The Truth About Forever, Lauren is in a solid relationship with Dave, and the arrival of Evan causes her to rethink her life and her impulse to do the “right thing” in the quest for being perfect. I’m thinking that, like Robert Frost (‘The Road Not Taken’), she’ll “take the road less traveled by” and that “will make all the difference.”


  • Comics, Giant Squid, Grimm, Internet

    Become a Garfield Illustrator

    23.01.09 | Permalink | Comment?

    This Digital Inspiration blog post entitled, informatively, Create your own Garfield Comic Strip, will introduce you to the wonderful world of, well, creating your own Garfield comic strip. In summary, you can download this application and drag and drop (so you can do it if you can’t draw) and hey presto! I guess it’s similar to creating your own giant squid (mine has now swum 180 kilometres and most recently beat up a diver).


  • Books, Grimm, Top 10

    Top 10: love and mush

    21.01.09 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    This is hardly my area of expertise, I must say. Still, boldly going…

    1. book coverNick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. Written by two popular authors – he did Nick, she did Norah – and now a major motion film (as they say), Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist begins with Nick asking Norah to pretend to be his girlfriend when his ex shows up and he is girlfriend-less (for shame!). Little do they know…
    2. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte. As irritating as I found this for the most part, it’s got some great, all-consuming lines in it, like “Nelly, I am Heathcliff, he’s always, always in my mind,” which I remember from revising for an end of year exam. Wuthering Heights, next to Romeo and Juliet, is probably the great love story in English literature (go on, argue!).
    3. book coverAn Abundance of Katherines, by John Green. Colin Singleton (chic geek) has a thing for Katherines, being he loves them and they dump him. On top of this he’s just finished high school and he’s worried he may be a mere prodigy and not a genius (there’s a subtle and important difference). Can his Katherine theorem prove his genius, and can he find non-Katherine love and contentment? Youbethecan (I realise this is giving the game away, but trust me, after two sentences you’ll realise this isn’t a tear jerker).
    4. book coverThe Loser’s Guide to Life and Love, A E Cannon. A romantic comedy featuring a cast of quirky characters involved in a love quadrangle, which seems intriguing.
    5. Forever, Judy Blume. For posterity, more than anything else. This book has been banned so much it’s not funny, which goes to show just how effective banning books is (it’s still around, see, and people are still reading it).
    6. New Moon, Stephenie Meyer. Why not Twilight? Kym asked me. Wellll basically because New Moon has the added interest of Bella’s relationship with Jacob. By the way, the library now has Bestseller copies of the book available, so look out for those. $5.00 for one week really isn’t all that bad.
    7. book coverA Certain Slant of Light, Laura Whitcomb plus I Heart You, You Haunt Me, Lisa Schroeder. Romance doesn’t die when you do. In A Certain Slant of Light the enterprising ghosts find bodies to inhabit – in the nicest possible way – in order to spend quality time together. I Heart You, You Haunt Me is sadder, in that only one is a ghost, plus Ava, who thought that she and Jackson would be together forever. Interestingly, this is a novel in verse.
    8. book coverBoy Meets Boy, David Levithan again, this time his first novel. Boy Meets Boy is set in a community – Gr8 Up-High School – where there aren’t prejudicial distinctions, which makes for a cast of colourful characters.
    9. The Changeover, Margaret Mahy. It’s mostly a supernatural thriller, about Laura’s quest to rid her brother Jacko of an evil spirit, but The Changeover‘s most interesting relationship is between Laura and the magnetic and enigmatic (ha!) Sorry Carlisle.
    10. book coverThe Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen. This grabbed me: Macy’s going to spend summer sitting on the library information desk. As a some-time information desk sitter I have nothing but the profoundest sympathy for Macy. For that reason this book ends up on my list. Plus it was recommended by book expert Kym. The love interest here may or may not be called Wes (don’t want to give too much away).

    Mwah.


  • Edna Welthorpe, Internet, Music

    Big Day In

    16.01.09 | Permalink | Comment?

    If you wanted to go to the Big Day Out but can’t, you can watch it instead via this live stream. You won’t get sunburnt and you won’t need to go to Auckland.


  • Books, New, Simon

    Exsanguinating Rita

    16.01.09 | Permalink | Comment?

    We’ve ordered in the first of the Vamps series of books, which are about a group of girls who study at the exclusive Bathory Academy in New York. They are, of course, vampires, and the series is a mashup between the Gossip Girl series and the Twilight series. It may one day be turned into a television series.

    You can place your reserve here.

    See also the Vampire Academy series, which we have, and is sort of similar, I guess.


  • Internet, Prudence, Space: The Final Frontier

    People look like ants

    15.01.09 | Permalink | Comment?

    These photos of the Earth taken from space are amazing. And so beautiful! More may be found at NASA’s Earth Observatory site.

    Related: International Year of Astronomy ’09.


  • Books, Fantasy, Horror, New, Simon

    “New books,” he said.

    15.01.09 | Permalink | Comment?

    Kiss My Math : Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss, by Danica McKellar (335 pages) – This is a user-friendly guide to algebra (or pre-algebra, but I think we just have algebra here). It’s written by Danica McKellar, who is not only a math genius but also an actress from the telly.

    Love You Two, by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli (298 pages) – Pina reads an email from her mother that she shouldn’t have seen, and quickly her life – which was pretty idyllic – unravels. She runs away to stay with her uncle in another city, and discovers another, unexpected world.

    Jackdaw Summer, by David Almond (219 pages) – David Almond is an award-winning UK writer, whose YA books are critically acclaimed. This one seems to get lots of good reviews. Its blurb isn’t easily summarised, however, so I can’t go into details. Involves feral children.

    The Big Splash, by Jack D. Ferraiolo (277 pages) – Matt Stevens is a seventh-grade private eye who has reluctantly taken a job from Vincent “Vinny Biggs” Biggio, kingpin of the school. The book is written like a hard-boiled detective story; it’s endlessly entertaining.

    First sentences: ‘He approached me as I made my way into the caf for lunch. He was small and wiry, with a face that would’ve been more at home on a rodent.

    Jack Flint and the Spellbinder’s Curse, by Joe Donnelly (328 pages) – This follows on from Jack Flint and the Redthorn Sword. Jack and his friends must battle to save the land of Eirinn from an eternal winter, all the while searching for his father.

    First sentence: ‘Corriwen Redthorn had vanished.

    Out of my Depth, by Helen Bailey (291 pages) – Synopsis swiped from Amazon (I’m lazy): ‘Electra’s totally out of her depth. Freak Boy’s dad wants to know whether he’s being bullied. Sorrel’s interrogating Electra about Lucy’s private life. Even her dad is cross-examining her about her mum’s love-life, over his Deep Pan Super Supreme. And all Electra can think is, How far can you get a piece of melted cheese to stretch without it breaking?’

    First sentence: ‘Dad puts down his knife and fork and leans across the table towards me.

    Love (And Other Uses for Duct Tape), by Carrie Jones (284 pages) – This is the follow-up to Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend. Belle is in her last few months of High School and all her friends keep changing who they are. And to make matters worse her seizures are returning.

    First sentences: ‘“So.” Em flips back her hair, slams herself into the seat next to me at the cafeteria. “How’s the problem?”

    Soulless, by Christopher Golden (310 pages) – Three mediums attempt to contact the dead on live television, and instead of the usual TV seance, they awaken all the dead in and around Manhatten. The dead ain’t the friendly kind, either. ‘A cozy horror tale’, according to Amazon.

    First sentence: ‘Curtains of punishing rain fell upon the sea of dark umbrellas populating the Manhatten sidewalks, commuters hurrying to get to work on time.

    The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, by E. L. Konisburg (227 pages) – Amedeo and William find themselves working on a garage sale for Amedeo’s neighbour, eccentric Mrs Zender, whose every possession has a story. One item – a painting – has a story about a secret going back to Nazi Germany.

    First sentence: ‘In the late afternoon on the second Friday in September, Amedeo Kaplan stepped down from the school bus into a cloud of winged insects.

    In brief:

    Surf Sisters, by Laurine Croasdale (226 pages)
    A Perfect Ten, by Chris Higgins (266 pages)


« Previous Entries
» Next Entries