Book title trivia: here we find similarities between the titles of a heart-warming picture book and a raving bestseller with a stylish black cover: The short second life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer and The short and incredibly happy life of Riley by Colin Thompson (a bit of a librarians’ favourite, this; well worth a read). Is it just the titles that are similar?
The first book delves into the back story of a minor character in Eclipse, the second delves into the wisdom to be gained by examining a small character.
Riley appears in both, although with slightly different personalities and agendas: Riley the rat is out to prove to people that the simple life is best, Riley the vampire is out to establish an army of rabid newbies hungry for blood ~ Bree is a bit mousy, and actually isn’t up for all the cutthroat violence. Riley is at pains to point out that life in a cutthroat society is not going to make you happy ~ People are scared by both vampires and rats, particularly the idea of a swarming army of the things.
In summary: The short and incredibly… is not the second Eclipse novella, but do read both!
Jump, Elisa Carbone (255 pages) – “a high-adrenaline love story”. P K and Critter both love rock climbing. P K is desperate to leave town, and her parents, and Critter comes along for the ride and they rock-climb their way out west (States), until the police eventually show up and decisions have to be made.
First sentence: Things I know to be true: 1 I am not my body.
The Princess and the Bear and The Princess and the Snowbird, Mette Ivie Harrison – magical, time travelling and shape-shifting books (the first in the series being The Princess and the Hound) with a hint of historical romance.
First sentence for the bear: Long ago, there lived a wild cat that was the sleekest, fastest, and bravest of its kind.
And the snowbird: Thousands of years ago, before humans ruled the world, the snowbirds flew above the earth and watched over the flow of the first, pure aur-magic, spreading the power to all, and making sure that every creature had a share.
Fallen Grace, Mary Hooper (294 pages) – Google Books says “A stunning evocation of life in Victorian London, with vivid and accurate depictions, ranging from the deprivation that the truly poor suffered to the unthinking luxuries enjoyed by the rich: all bound up with a pacy and thrilling plot, as Grace races to unravel the fraud about to be perpetrated against her and her sister.”
First sentence: Grace, holding on tightly to her precious burden, found the station entrance without much difficulty.
Illyria, Elizabeth Hand (135 pages) – Madeline and Rogan, who are cousins, have an intense passion for each other and for the stage. A “creepy”, spooky short novel about a forbidden love, and the winner of the World Fantasy Award.
First sentence: Rogan and I were cousins; our fathers were identical twins.
The Karma Club, Jessica Brody (258 pages) – when Maddy’s boyfriend is caught cheating on her with the perfect girl, and they become the hot new couple, Maddy and her other friends form The Karma Club, “to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind.” High jinks ensue, but also a right mess.
First sentence: I can tell you right now, it’s all Karma’s fault.
My Double Life, Janette Rallison (265 pages) – Lexi discovers that she is a dead ringer for a famous rock star, so she gets paid to be her body double. This might sound like an ideal sort of job, but really life isn’t like that, it’s much more complicated.
First sentence: I didn’t want to write this.
Classic (An It Girl novel – 227 pages) – the latest in the Jenny Humphrey series, where she’s trying to work out why her new boyfriend Isaac is acting “skittish”, and all other sorts of intrigue is going on, which you get at exclusive academies.
First sentence: The cold February wind whipped across the snow-covered Waverly Academy fields, cutting right through Easy Walsh’s thick Patagonia jacket.
Jealousy, Lili St Crow (A Strange Angels novel – 316 pages) – Dru has made it to her exclusive academy equivalent (the Schola Prima, a djamphir training facility). Sergej still wants to suck her blood, or tear her “to shreds”, Graves and Christophe still hate each other and now there’s Anna, who wants to show Dru who’s on top, and who’s after Christophe.
First sentence: I am lying in a narrow single bed in a room no bigger than a closet, in a tiny apartment.
The Thin Executioner, Darren Shan (483 pages) – inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and therefore a road trip type adventure book with horror twists, The Thin Executioner sees Jebel Rum travelling to the home of a fire god in order to get inhuman powers that will make him the most lethal human ever (the thin executioner), taking with him his human slave sacrifice. Things may well get dodgy along the way.
First sentence: The executioner swung his axe – thwack! – and another head went rolling into the dust.
The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya, Nagaru Tangigawa (210 pages) – a novel speckled with manga illustrations. Haruhi is the ringleader of her school’s S.O.S. Brigade, who must keep her from getting bored, because when she gets bored bad things happen and she actually has the power to destroy the world.
First (fabulous) sentence: Looking back, the memorable inauguration of the SOS Brigade, which had left me, not Haruhi, in a state of melancholy, had been back in the beginning of spring, and the incident involving the production of the independent film, which, naturally, had forced me, not Haruhi, to sigh, had technically happened in autumn if you go by the calendar.
Lost for Words, Alice Kuipers (210 pages) – the story of Sophie, who wants to forget the difficult, tragic past but is haunted by it as she struggles to make sense of her life, her friendships and her future.
First sentence: I look at the words, black like inky spiders, and watch the webs they weave.
Divided Souls, Gabriella Poole (A Darke Academy book – 298 pages) – Cassie – new to the academy – is enjoying Istanbul, but she is also torn between old and new loves. She must also choose between old friends and the Few, plus there is a killer on the hunt.
First sentence: This was no chore.
The Demon’s Covenant, Sarah Rees Brennan (440 pages) – a follow up to The Demon’s Lexicon, which got good reviews. Mae’s brother Jamie has started showing magical abilities, and Gerald (an unlikely name for a power-hungry magician?) is after him for his coven.
First sentence: “Any minute now,” Rachel said, “something terrible is going to happen to us.”
Mistwood, Leah Cypress (304 pages) – this intriguing blurb here: “The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes.”
First sentence: She knew every inch of the forest, every narrow path that twisted and wound its way beneath the silver branches.
Folly, Marthe Jocelyn (246 pages) – cool cover. A tale set in Victorian London about three lives intertwined; a somewhat innocent if commonsensical country girl, a heartthrob cad and a young orphan boy. Sounds entertaining.
First sentence: I began excceeding ignorant, apart from what a girl can learn through family mayhem, a dead mother, a grim stepmother, and a sorrowful parting from home.
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, Morgan Matson (343 pages) – Amy’s mother wants her to drive the family car from California to Connecticut (aka a very long way), but she’s not been able to get herself to since her dad died. Roger comes to her rescue, a friend of the family (friends of the family not usually being romantic possibilities, specially not ones called Roger), and so they set off and on the way Amy learns “sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.” Another road trip!
First sentence(ish): I sat on the front steps of my house and watched the beige Subaru station wagon swing too quickly around the cul-de-sac.
Free as a Bird, Gina McMurchy-Barber (160 pages) – Ruby Jean has Down syndrome and when her grandmother dies she’s sent to Woodlands School, originally opened in the 19th century as a lunatic assylum. There she learns to survive the horrors of life.
First sentence: My name’s Ruby Jean Sharp an I growed up in Woodlands School.
We’ve also got: new The Vampire Diaries books with the TV tie-in covers (look out for The Struggle at your library). Cirque Du Freak manga.
If not, here’s your big chance! Next week is Library Week, which means you get to blind date a book. Excitement. Think of it as a practice run.
Starting from Monday and for one week only at the central library (and other participating library branches) there will be a collection of brown paper packages tied up with, um, coloured rubber bands. On these packages will be a short description, and inside will be the mystery blind date book. All you have to do is read the descriptions, find one that grabs your attention, take the package to the issues desk with your library card (to be issued), then take it home, unwrap, read and (with a bit of luck) enjoy. It might be the start of a beautiful friendship.
More on Library Week: this year’s theme is “Ask me, you might be surprised.” (We’re thinking pleasantly surprised.) This means if you’ve got a burning issue you want to know more about, or a question, or an assignment you’re struggling to find information on, don’t forget to come into the library and ask a librarian. We’re better than google.
There are also Library Week competitions we mentioned here.
From the newsdesk:
If you have an iPhone and you’re into Choose Your Own Adventures (or you were when you were a kid), then you might be very pleased to hear that you can get a CYO iPhone app. Most excellent. We of course have heaps of the old fashioned book-thingies in the library. How very luddite of us.
More on book covers – people are getting sick of pink! (After all, thanks to paranormal romances, black is the new pink.) Not sick of pink cars, though: pink cars are handy to have if you don’t want your car stolen.
For Artemis Fowl fans: Eoin Colfer is definitely winding up the happenings of the teenage evil genius, apparently (maybe because things got kissy with Holly?). The latest (and second to last) in the series, Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex is available for borrowing now.
There having been six-ish short months between the movies New Moon and Eclipse, we were surprised to hear that the world will wait one whole year between Breaking Dawn 1 and Breaking Dawn 2. How will the world cope? In the mean time, The short second life of Bree Tanner gets a thumbs up from our buyers/reviewers (reserve a copy, it’s a quick read so you might not have to wait too long).
More on the City Of books by Cassandra Clare: having originally thought that these were a trilogy, and that she’d moved on to the Infernal Devices trilogy (the first of which, Clockwork Angel, is due out in a couple of months)… and then that she was writing just one more City Of book (City of Fallen Angels, April 2011), … we were surprised (but not too much) to hear that, actually, now Clary and Jace and co will be going strong for a few years yet: there’s more, or more more – two more to be exact.
Some additions to the lookalike bookcovers collection: we thought Possessed by Kate Cann looked a little bit similar to some of the other covers we’ve done a spotlight on recently, like Blackbox, for example (see this post here):
Possessed, like its thriller-like lookalikes, is tense and a bit spooky (there may be ghosts? Anyway, there’s a disturbing manor house).
Here’s also more grass, with a couple of sporty inclusions (see the others here):
My personal favourite is the Julie Anne Peters one – why sit on grass when you can sit on a lovely fold out chair on grass? So comfortable.
Now we’re going looking for shoes, or something.
We Hear The Dead, by Dianne K. Salerni (422 pages) – The Fox sisters – Maggie and Kate – became famous in the 19th century for their ability to communicate with the spirits of the dead. Of course, they were really faking it! But as their fame increased, the burden of lies becomes a, well, burden. A true story!
First lines: ‘My earliest memories always include Kate. With three years between us, there must have been a time when she was a toddling child in infant’s clothes and I an independent youngster, but I do not remember this.’
Restoring Harmony, by Joelle Anthony (307 pages) – It is 2041; oil, food, and law and order are all in short supply. Sixteen-year-old Molly must leave the safety of her remote farm in Canada and travel through the U.S., which has fallen into chaos. Also, there is romance.
First line: ‘When the plane’s engine took on a whining roar, my grip tightened on my fiddle case.‘
Tell Us We’re Home, by Marina Budhos (297 pages) – Three best friends – Jaya, Maria, and Lola – are all daughters of maids and nannies. They go to the same school as their mothers’ employers’ kids, and when Jaya’s mother is accused of stealing, things turn nasty.
First line: ‘Meadowbrook, New Jersey, looks like it’s right out of an old-time postcard.‘
Whisper, by Phoebe Kitanidis (281 pages) – Joy and her sister, Jessica, can hear ‘Whispers’, or the thoughts of other people. Joy uses her ability to make people happy, whereas Jessica uses her power to make others miserable. Joy hears Jessica thinking about ending it all and - being the nice sister! - she sets out to save her from herself. Also, there might be romance.
First lines: ‘My sister showed me how to Hear a Whisper when I was three. “All you have to do,” she said, “is touch somebody else, and if you don’t Hear one right away, just hold on.“‘
The Water Seeker, by Kimberly Willis Holt (309 pages) – Amos, born in 1833, is the son of a trapper and dowser (someone who tries to locate water with sticks). His mother dies in childbirth, which is only the beginning of a hard life ‘filled with losses, adversity, and adventure’. And finding water!
First lines: ‘Jake Kincaid was known as the dowser. With a forked branch, he’d made his way from the Arkansas Territory to Missouri, stopping at farms to find water for new well.‘
Oracle : Ancient Greece, An Acrobat Brother and a Sister with the Gift of Truth, by Jackie French (342 pages) – Thetis can only tell the truth, and after she and her brother, Nikko, awe the Mycenaean court, Thetis puts a damper on things when she tells the King something about his future he doesn’t want to hear. She’s sent to Delphi, and Nikko and the horse dance, Euridice, travel across Greece to find her.
First line: ‘The wind smelled of rock and ice the night their father took Nikko’s sister out to die.‘
Somebody Everybody Listens To : A Novel, by Suzanne Supplee (245 pages) – Retta Lee Jones leaves high school dreaming of becoming a country music star. She has the name for it, I guess! She goes to Nashville, and begins to ‘forge her own path’.
First line: ‘Even on graduation day, the Starling High School gymnasium smelled just like it always did – a combination of old sweat and dust masked somewhat by cherry-scented disenfectant and floor polish.’
Zen and Xander Undone, by Amy Kathleen Ryan (212 pages) – Zen and Xander are sisters; Zen is a karate blackbelt, and Xander is a scientific genius, who is going off the tracks a bit and Zen can only protect her for so long. Their mother died a year ago! And they go on a road trip to try to solve a mystery.
First lines: ‘My sister, Xander, causes a scandel practically everywhere she goes. Even funeral receptions, I now know.‘
Fen Runners, by John Gordon (136 pages) – A long time ago, when Jenny’s grandfather was a boy, he fell through the ice and into the icey black water of the fens. He returned without a skate and with nightmares of something down there. Now Jenny too feels haunted, and when her friend Kit feels a presence there they decide to unravel the (frankly quite spooky!) mystery.
First line: ‘They stood with their toes curled over the edge of the bridge and looked briefly into the distance.‘
Crown of Acorns, by Catherine Fisher (281 pages) – No synopsis seems to be available, so here’s what the back cover says: ‘Who can escape their past, in a place where it curves and comes up behind you? The Circle is the oldest magic. Three lives exho in a ring of stone …’
First lines: ‘Stop now. To go further is dangerous. The circle is the oldest magic. If you enter it it will enfold you.‘
Fifteen Candles : an Amigas novel, by Veronica Chambers (187 pages) – This is the first in a new series written by Veronica Chambers, created by Jane Startz, and inspired by Jennifer Lopez. It is set in Miami and is ‘a warm celebration of Latin culture, especially the traditional quinceañera,’ (a kind of big coming-of-age party for girls).
First line: ‘Alicia Cruz has the good fortune of being born into wealth, but not spoiled by it.‘
Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater (362 pages) – The much-awaited follow-up to Shiver; ‘As Grace hides the vast depth of her love for Sam from her parents and Sam struggles to release his werewolf past and claim a human future, a new wolf named Cole wins Isabel’s heart but his own past threatens to destroy the whole pack.’
First line: ‘This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.‘
Here are the New Magazines for the week fortnight month! This is the best new books post ever!
Entertainment Weekly #1112 – Ryan Reynolds is as GREEN LANTERN | Tron! | Thor! | New Buffy?!
Transworld Skateboarding August 2010 – Cab backtail bigspin | Frontside feeble | Fakie hardflip! | Cab to backside lipslide! | Backside tailslide frontside shove-it out!
XBox 360 : Official Australian Magazine #56 – Gears of War 3 | The Force Unleashed 2 | a whole lot of other games reviewed/previewed
Playstation August 2010 – Grand Turismo 5 | 18 page E3 coverage | games reviewed/previewed
Girlfriend August 2010 – ‘The pretty myth’ | Can you spot a bully? | ‘What his gaming style says about him’
Creme September 2010 – 10 ways to boots your self-confidence and happiness | What does your hair say about you?
Seventeen August 2010 – Fitness insert, ‘Get your best body’ | Ultimate jeans guide | Dude drama
And also a book for fashion lovers. We’ve recently ordered the following selection of non-supernatural romance titles:
Some other (pretty serious) fiction:
Behind You and From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun both by Jacqueline Woodson. Behind You is the sequel to If You Come Softly: 15 year old Miah has died, and his girlfriend, best friend, and parents are coming to terms. Melanin Sun is a 14 year old whose mother drops a bombshell: she’s in love with a woman.
Tweaked by Katherine Holubitsky. Gord’s brother is a drug addict whose troubles are destroying their family.
I know It’s Over by C.K. Martin. Sixteen-year-old Nick comes to terms with the idea of being a father when his temporarily-estranged girlfriend announces she is pregnant.
Juggling Fire by Joanne Bell. Rachel’s father disappears in the Yukon wilderness (Northern Canada), so she confronts danger (there be bears in Canada!) and loneliness as she hikes, trying to find clues as to what happened.
Other by Karen Kincy. Okay, we told an untruth: one supernatural romance (although possibly more supernatural thriller, maybe?). Stephanie says: “she can change into a bird!”
Not much to report this month, except to point out the titles everyone is waiting patiently for: Shadow Wave, Mockingjay, The Clockwork Angel, Crescendo, Last Sacrifice… lots of good books still to come this year. Maybe you should reserve a copy if you’re hoping to read one of those; everyone else seems to have! Enjoy your reading.
1. Shadow Wave, Robert Muchamore [up 6]
2. Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Stephenie Meyer [down 1]
3. Glee: The Music, Volume 3, CD [no change]
4. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
5. Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare [up 1]
6. Last Sacrifice, Richelle Mead [up 4]
7. Twilight, Stephenie Meyer [down 3]
8. Spirit Bound, Richelle Mead [down 6]
8. Crescendo, Becca Fitzpatrick [new order]
8. Fang, James Patterson [down 3]
9. Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer [no change]
10. Burned, A House of Night Novel, P. C. Cast [down 4]
10. Brigands M. C., Robert Muchamore [down 3]
10. Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer [back again]
As you well know, one of the roles of the average library is to store information so you can get your hands on when you need it. But information comes in a variety of formats today, and not all of it is displayed using words.
There’s a growing trend to display information using graphics like this site or this site (or just google search for Information Graphics). An modern-day mash up of information, data, statistics and graphic design that’s used in school atlasses, newspapers and magazines. I’m hooked, are you?
(PS if you happen to click on the infographic below you’ll be whisked away to a visualization of how the US libraries stack up in 2010, just in case you’re interested)
Teenagers these days, they get up to all sorts when you’re not looking. Not only is everyone here being very sneaky, but these book covers are mostly purple, except for the green one.
Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials, Rosalind Wiseman – maintaining your nice girl image, frenemies, bullies in the lacrosse team, romance. High school is a delicate balancing act.
The Unwritten Rule, Elizabeth Scott – love triangle, shouldn’t date your best friend’s boyfriend story #1.
Something Like Fate, Susane Colasanti – love triangle, shouldn’t date your best friend’s boyfriend story #2. (You really shouldn’t.)
Lost It, Kristen Tracy – we think they’re trying to find it under whatever that green thing is. The School Library Journal called this one “hilarious and poignant”, which sounds like a thumbs up.