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Black Cat Appreciation Day (feat. some library cats!)

Something you may not have known is that August 17th is Black Cat Appreciation Day. This is a day for us to let our appreciation be known for these demons in feline form, these bringers of bad luck, these companions of witches and evildoers, lest they bring their displeasure down upon us all!

Or not.

A black cat is lying curled around the right side of a large book. his teeth and front claws are wrapped around the top corner. The title of the book is Devastation: the world's worst natural disastersNow, black cats are definitely not harbingers of absolute devastation. In fact, they’re quite nice. Or at least I think so!

Black Cat Appreciation Day is here because apparently some people still believe these awful things about black cats. Or at least cat societies, shelters, and SPCAs have noticed that it often takes longer for black cats to be adopted than their more colourful counterparts.

A black cat curled in a ball on a white cushion. He is a black blob with a tail. All detail has disappeared into a void of black.Part of this could be that people still feel that there is something unlucky or uncanny about black cats. Or it could be that nowadays so many people fall in love with a picture of a cat they see on an adoption website, and black cats don’t always photograph too well. Look at this snoozy gentleman on the right. You can tell there’s a cat there, but all detail has disappeared into THE VOID of DARKNESS.

There are plenty of black cats who are not beings of evil both in the world and in fiction. Surely you all read Slinky Malinki (let’s not mention Scarface Claw) as children? And then there’s the black cat in Coraline, and the excellent Kaspar: Prince of Cats. You must remember Thackery Binks from Hocus Pocus as a black cat who definitely was NOT helping the witches. Or there’s Salem Saberhagen who hangs out with Sabrina Spellman and depending on your interpretation may be slightly evil but is still more loyal than you’d expect.

Anyway, as part of Black Cat Appreciation Day I’m going to highlight some of the black cats who belong to your librarians. There are a few out there, and they’re all excellent cats!

Two cats sitting on each knee of their owner. The left cat is white with black ears and a black splodge on her back. The right cat is black with a white chest and white whiskers. Both have yellow eyes.These two are Princess Holly (left and not as relevant to today’s theme but still an excellent cat) and Le Beau (right). Le Beau can most often be found making nests in the long grass in the garden. Is Le Beau a bird or a cat?

Well… cat, obviously. 

Shot from below, Oz is looking majestically off to the right. He has a bright blue bow around his neck that contrasts brilliantly with his sleek black fur.This is Oz. Oz is “a big ball of need”. If you are Oz’s owner, Oz will sit on you. If you are nearby, Oz will sit on you. If you have a lap, Oz will sit on you.

And doesn’t he look handsome with that blue bow around his neck? Definitely not a minion of devils and demons.

A black cat sitting on the edge of a table with a copy of Two Raw Sisters standing open in front of him to stop him moving any further forward. He has a small white patch under his chin, and a look of complete and utter betrayal in his golden eyes.This is Poot. Poot is obviously the best of the bunch because he is my cat and since I’m writing this I get to say what I like.

Poot is a distinguished gentleman of fourteen and is still super snuggly and, as demonstrated in this picture, may sometimes need a book barricade to stop him sitting uncomfortably close to you while you eat. It’s very hard not to give in to that look of betrayal though!

A black cat being held towards the camera. Her front paws rest on the wrist of the person holding her. Her yellow eyes are open very wide and her pupils are very round.This is Shavana. She’s not a huge fan of being held and prefers to come hang out with you only when she feels like it. She is a very respectable thirteen years old so I’d say she’s allowed to do what she wants.

Look how huge her eyes are! Maybe she’s watching some eldritch spirits pass by…

A dainty black cat lying on a platform. Her front paws are slightly hanging over the edge towards the camera and her pale yellow eyes are slightly downcast.This is Tove. She is eight and was named, of course, after Moomin creator Tove Jansson. As an extremely dainty and literary creature she could never ever be thought to be a bringer of bad luck. Look at those neat wee paws!

Do you ap-purr-eciate Tove?

A large white and grey spotted dog lies with his head cushioned on a large black cat.This is Wolfram, pictured here with Tama. As you can see, cats and dogs can definitely be friends, and Wolfram is a very patient cat and a very excellent pillow.

Also, can you see those kangaroo ears of his?

The last black cat on this list is in fact a black Kat. She is a very good girl so I don’t see why a difference of one letter should stop her being included here. I’m sure none of you will object!

So those are some of our black cats. They are all very excellent, very loved, and always very appreciated and I am very pleased to have been able to share them all with you.

I will leave you with one last picture of Poot snoozing in the sun with toe beans on display because, as I said, I’m the one writing this so I can do what I want.

Poot lies sleeping curled on his side on top of a newspaper in the sun. His head is resting on his front paws and his back paws with their toe beans are extended towards the camera.

Let’s Get Kawaii!

It is said that we all have an aesthetic, and while I would name my own personal aesthetic as “obnoxious toddler in an adult’s body” (rainbow tights, glitter shoes, anything a four year old would stamp their foot and demand), I am a HUGE fan of all things kawaii.  Kawaii is the Japanese culture of cuteness – it refers to items of all types that are cute, charming, vulnerable, shy and childlike.  Think creatures with big eyes, rainbow pastels, unicorns, glitter, adorable food, etc.

One of the things I love best about kawaii culture is that there is a strong element of creativity.  From styling your hair, outfits and make-up kawaii, to making food look kawaii and making your own art and crafts, there is something in kawaii culture for all skill levels and interests.

I’ve put together some books to guide you along the way and maybe teach you a new skill.

Kawaii resin & clay workshop : crafting super-cute charms, miniatures, figures, & more / Lee, Alex

“From Alex Lee of popular YouTube channel and Instagram account PolymomoTea, Kawaii Resin and Clay Workshop presents tutorials for creating adorable jewelry and gifts with resin and polymer clay.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pure invention : how Japan’s pop culture conquered the world / Alt, Matt

“Through the stories of an indelible group of artists, geniuses, and oddballs, Pure Invention reveals how Japanese ingenuity remade global culture and may have created modern life as we know it. It’s Japan’s world; we’re just gaming, texting, singing, and dreaming in it.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Kawaii crochet : 40 super cute crochet patterns for adorable amigurumi / Bradley, Melissa

“Hook up a rainbow kawaii goodness with this super-cute collection of 40 amigurumi patterns from modern crochet designer Yarn Blossom Boutique. From three adorable peas in a pod, to a winking fortune cookie, these 40 fun and easy amigurumi makes will bring the Japanese culture of cuteness into your hands and your heart.” (Catalogue)

The power of cute / May, Simon

“An exploration of cuteness and its immense hold on us, from emojis and fluffy puppies to its more uncanny, subversive expressions Cuteness has taken the planet by storm. Global sensations Hello Kitty and Pok mon, the works of artists Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum and E.T.–all reflect its gathering power. But what does “cute” mean, as a sensibility and style? Why is it so pervasive? Is it all infantile fluff, or is there something more uncanny and even menacing going on–in a lighthearted way? In The Power of Cute, Simon May provides nuanced and surprising answers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The super cute book of kawaii / Smith, Marceline

“The Japanese word kawaii means lovable or adorable. Welcoming a little kawaii into your life is like opening the window and letting a sparkling sunbeam in. Whenever you feel a little low turn to this squishy, padded-covered book. Find fun ideas to: make a cozy kawaii home; playful, confidence boosting styling and beauty tips; and recipes that will make your smile. This book includes 10 easy how-to projects to bring kawaii into your life. Here, you’ll also find a host of very special kawaii mascots that will always be ready to give you a hug when you need one: The Octonauts, Smiling Bear, Hello Kitty, Gudetama, Molang, Ricemonsters, Miffy the Rabbit, the Moomins, Donutella, Unicorno, Moofia and Pusheen. Escape into the magical world of kawaii.” (Catalogue)

Kawaii cakes : adorable & cute Japanese-inspired cakes & treats / Sear, Juliet

“Over 30 cute Japanese-inspired cakes, cookies, cupcakes, doughnuts, cake pops and more.

Kawaii Cakes is a baking and decorating book containing 30 recipes for cute Japanese-inspired cakes, cookies, cupcakes, donuts, cake pops, and more. Each design is super-quick, very cute, and really easy to make. Try a troll cookie, a unicorn cupcake, cute kitten donuts, bunny rabbit macaroons, and more. With easy step-by-step instructions on how to ice and decorate your creations to perfection, these are the perfect gift or dessert. From larger cakes to small cookies and cupcakes, there’s something to suit every occasion. And, best of all, these saccharine-sweet treats not only look amazing, they also taste delicious Fun, tasty, and super-kawaii, it’s time to get your bake on” (Catalogue)

Kawaii! : Japan’s culture of cute / Okazaki, Manami

“Showcasing Japan’s astonishingly varied culture of cute, this volume takes the reader on a dazzling and adorable visual journey through all things kawaii. Although some trace the phenomenon of kawaii as far back as Japan’s Taisho era, it emerged most visibly in the 1970s when schoolgirls began writing in big, bubbly letters complete with tiny hearts and stars. From cute handwriting came manga, Hello Kitty, and Harajuku, and the kawaii aesthetic now affects every aspect of Japanese life. As colorful as its subject matter, this book contains numerous interviews with illustrators, artists, fashion designers, and scholars. It traces the roots of the movement from sociological and anthropological perspectives and looks at kawaii’s darker side as it morphs into gothic and gloomy iterations. Best of all, it includes hundreds of colorful photographs that capture kawaii’s ubiquity: on the streets and inside homes, on lunchboxes and airplanes, in haute couture and street fashion, in caf s, museums, and hotels.” (Catalogue)

The little book of kawaii

“Introducing The Little Book of Kawaii, dedicated to all things kawaii. This new title will explain the Japanese subculture that has found its way into the designs and hearts of artists and people all over the globe. The book will cover “kawaii noir” the dark and sexy side of this existing subject, as well as food, fashion, toys, characters and pixel art. Through illustration, graphic design and photography, this book shows how this culture has made its impact on our lives.” (via Google Books)

Also, if you want to wander down the road of kawaii films, there’s no better place to start than Studio Ghibli.  My favourites include:

Life’s a zoo

This week, as a follow up to the previous post about magical animals, we have a post about regular ol’ animals. Except the one about a girl whose brain is put into a chimpanzee. That’s not necessarily a regular ol’ animal. But otherwise we’re featuring dogs, chimps and whales, just your usual backyard pets…

Syndetics book coverHalf brother / by Kenneth Oppel.
“Thirteen-year-old Ben Tomlin’s whole world is changing. His parents, research scientists, have moved them across Canada to be with their newest subject, Zan. Intending to prove that chimpanzees are capable of intelligent thought and communication, the Tomlins teach the baby chimp sign language and incorporate him into their daily lives. Thrust into a new school and, essentially, a new family, Ben is caught in a whirl of new emotions, especially when the lovely Jennifer comes onto the scene. Though Zan learns sign language relatively well, his animal instincts gradually become more pronounced and Ben and his parents must make some important decisions about the chimp’s future.” (School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverJamrach’s menagerie : a novel / by Carol Birch.
Jamrach’s Menagerie tells the story of a nineteenth-century street urchin named Jaffy Brown. Following an incident with an escaped tiger, Jaffy goes to work for Mr. Charles Jamrach, the famed importer of exotic animals, alongside Tim, a good but sometimes spitefully competitive boy. Mr. Jamrach recruits the two boys to capture a fabled dragon during the course of a three-year whaling expedi­tion. They even succeed in catching the reptilian beast. But when the ship’s whaling venture falls short of expecta­tions, the crew begins to regard the dragon—seething with feral power in its cage—as bad luck, a feeling that is cruelly reinforced when a violent storm sinks the ship. Drifting across an increasingly hallucinatory ocean, the sur­vivors, including Jaffy and Tim, are forced to confront their own place in the animal kingdom. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWolves, boys, & other things that might kill me / Kristen Chandler.
“The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ Carson can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she’s not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that they’re assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted… and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new light.” (Goodreads)

Syndetics book coverLost dogs / Garrett Carr.
“Ewan is back in the city for his father’s trial, while May has come to join a school for girls with special talents. Andrew wants only to keep them all out of trouble. But trouble is sure to find them. Crates of genetically engineered dogs are stacked down by the docks. They rattle their containers and smell of death. Vicious and unstoppable, they will soon be exported to fight in foreign wars. Unless someone releases them first.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThreatened / Eliot Schrefer.
“Luc lives with other young orphan boys under the roof of Monsieur Tatagani, an unscrupulous man who exploits his charges. Professor Abdul Mohammad, a prosperous-looking Arab, meets Luc and hires him as his assistant, taking him deep into the jungle to study chimpanzees. Luc discovers he has an interest and aptitude for the work, and he thrives under Prof’s tutelage. All too soon, though, Prof disappears under mysterious circumstances, and Luc must survive on his own. With only Prof’s tiny pet vervet for company, Luc watches and learns from the chimps.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverThe boy with the tiger’s heart / Linda Coggin.
“The wild is danger, the wild is fierce, the wild is freedom. Raised by dogs and feared by humans, Nona, suspected of murdering her guardian, must run from the authorities with the only poeple she can trust: a frightened boy called Caius, a mixed-up boy called Jay – and a bear by the name of Abel Dancer.” (Back cover)


Syndetics book coverEdge of nowhere / John Smelcer.
“Seth, an overweight teenager who is grieving over his mother’s death is washed overboard his father’s fishing boat during a torrential storm. He and his dog Tucker must make their way home from island to island along the Alaskan coast, and Seth gains new insights into himself, even as his father searches desperately for him. Based on true events, interwoven with Alutiiq myths.” (Syndetics summary)


Syndetics book coverSinging home the whale / Mandy Hager.
“Will Jackson is a city boy reluctantly staying with his uncle in small town New Zealand while he struggles to recover from a brutal attack and the aftermath of a humiliating Youtube clip gone viral. Will discovers an orphaned orca and they form a deep bond through music, but Will must rally to protect it from hostile locals, worried about the whale’s effect on the town’s salmon farms.” (Syndetics summary)


Syndetics book coverEva / Peter Dickinson.
“Following a terrible car crash, Eva, 14, awakens from a strange dream and finds herself in a hospital bed. Medical science, in this book’s future setting, has allowed doctors to pull her functioning brain from her crushed body and put it into the able body of a chimpanzee. With the aid of a voice synthesizer, she communicates with others and adjusts to her new body; because her father is a scientist who has always worked among the chimps (who have been crowded by the massive human population out of any semblance of a natural world, and into iron and steel jungles), Eva is comfortable with her new self. She takes on the issue of animal rights, setting up (with the help of others, of course) an elaborate scheme to release chimps back into the last of the wild.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe amazing Maurice and his educated rodents / Terry Pratchett.
“It’s time for the rats to tell their side of the Pied Piper story. Think rats can’t talk? These rats can, and not only that, they also read, disarm mousetraps, and concoct schemes with a genius cat known as the Amazing Maurice.” (Syndetics summary)

Magical menagerie

This week we have a list featuring animals – magical animals, to be precise. If you just want a taster, try a short story from the collection Unnatural Creatures curated by our fave Neil Gaiman. If you know what you’re in for, try the dark tale The Knife of Never Letting Go (Manchee the dog is the comic relief here) or perhaps an interpretation of the Grimm brothers fable The Goose Girl. Whatever you choose, expect a talking dog. Or bear. An animal will probably be able to talk.

Syndetics book coverDown the Mysterly River / Bill Willingham ; illustrations by Mark Buckingham.
“Max ‘the Wolf’ is a top notch Boy Scout, so it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat) – all of whom talk – and who are as clueless as Max. Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Armed with powerful blue swords and known as the Blue Cutters, these hunters capture and change the very essence of their prey. For what purpose, Max can’t guess. But unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he’s landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world…” (Goodreads)

Syndetics book coverUnnatural creatures / stories selected by Neil Gaiman with Maria Dahvana Headley ; illustrated by Briony Morrow-Cribbs.
The 16 short stories in this anthology contain accounts of delightfully fantastical creatures, ranging from the familiar (werewolves, mermaids, griffins, and unicorns) to the chillingly mysterious (an ever-expanding, flesh-eating blob; a strange bird that spurs unpredictable changes to its surroundings; and even Death herself). Classic science fiction and fantasy authors Anthony Boucher, Frank R. Stockton, Peter S. Beagle, E. Nesbit, and Diana Wynne Jones are represented, as are contemporary authors such as Nnedi Okorafor, E. Lily Yu, and Gaiman himself. Who would a griffin eat? What does a phoenix taste like? What happens when you question an invisible dragon? Why are there always too many coat hangers? All of these questions, and more, are answered here.” (School Library Journal)
Also available as an Overdrive eBook!

Syndetics book coverThe princess and the hound / Mette Ivie Harrison.
“He is a prince, heir to a kingdom threatened on all sides, possessor of the animal magic, which is forbidden by death in the land he’ll rule.She is a princess from a rival kingdom, the daughter her father never wanted, isolated from true human friendship but inseparable from her hound.Though they think they have little in common, each possesses a secret that must be hidden at all costs. Proud, stubborn, bound to marry for the good of their kingdoms, this prince and princess will steal “your” heart, but will they fall in love?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDarkwood / M.E. Breen.
“Darkness falls so quickly in Howland that the people there have no word for evening. One minute the sky is light, the next minute it is black. But darkness comes in other forms, too, and for thirteen-year-old Annie, the misery she endures in her Uncle’s household makes the black of night seem almost soothing. When Annie escapes, her route takes her first to a dangerous mine where a precious stone is being stolen by an enemy of the king, and later to the king’s own halls, where a figure from Annie’s past makes a startling appearance.” (Goodreads)

Syndetics book coverThe twyning / Terence Blacker.
“Thirteen-year-old Peter, who lives in a garbage dump with his younger friend Caz, scratches out a living catching rats for the local “sportsmen” and their dogs. He also works for Dr. Ross-Gibbon, a monomaniacal scientist who wants to wipe out all of the rats in London. Efren, an impulsive young rat living in the Kingdom of elderly King Tzuriel, is restless and has trouble following orders. When Peter captures the dying King for the doctor’s experiments, Efren reports this to his superiors, leading to outrage in the kingdom; matters worsen quickly after the doctor puts his deadly plan into action.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe knife of never letting go / Patrick Ness.
“Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?” (Goodreads)
We also have the Bolinda eAudiobook & Overdrive eBook versions.

Syndetics book coverWinter falls / Nicole Maggi.
“Alessia Jacobs is a typical sixteen-year-old, dying to get out of her small Maine town. Things look up when a new family comes to town. But as she begins to fall for the hot, mysterious son, Jonah, her life turns upside down.Weird visions of transforming into an otherworldly falcon are just the beginning. Soon she learns she’s part of the Benandanti, an ancient cult of warriors with the unique power to separate their souls from their bodies and take on the forms of magnificent animals. Suddenly forced to weigh choices a sixteen-year-old should never have to make, Alessia witnesses two worlds colliding with devastating consequences.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe goose girl / Shannon Hale.
“Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt’s guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani’s journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her. Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny.” (Syndetics summary)
Also available as an audiobook on CD and Overdrive ebook.

Syndetics book coverPom Poko [videorecording] / a film by Isao Takahata.
A community of magical shapeshifting raccoons desperately struggle to prevent their forest home from being destroyed by urban development.

Many Studio Ghibli movies contain magical animals of some find, including Nausica’a, Porco Rosso and Princess Mononoke. Because who doesn’t love a good Ghibli film? (Hint: they are all good.)

Syndetics book coverTender morsels / Margo Lanagan.
“Liga’s life is filled with dark hearts and foul deeds. So she chooses a protective path of natural magic to find a safe other-worldly place for herself and her two daughters. But when magicked bears and mischief men break the borders of their refuge the girls must face the truth, and engage with the appeal and risk of the real raw world.” (Syndetics summary)
Also available as an Overdrive ebook.

Cool dogs!

Have you seen Cool Dog Group on Facebook? It’s a place to post pictures of dogs doing cool things, like riding a skateboard, wearing a cap, or just bein’ cute. It’s a closed group but it has 30k+ members, so you can request to join to view more cool dogs! While you wait for membership approval, here’s a list of great books featuring cool dogs (dogs are inherently cool anyway, don’t you think?)

Syndetics book coverThe story of us / Deb Caletti.
“Eighteen-year-old Cricket’s mother has left a trail of broken relationships behind her, but this time she’s found a “good guy.” Cricket, however, fears that her mother won’t go through with her marriage plans. Indeed, the week leading up to the wedding, as family and friends arrive at a large coastal inn, is fraught with spoiled soon-to-be stepsisters, fighting dogs, and the sudden divorce of the groom’s parents. Complications arise for Cricket involving her own love life, her beloved dog Jupiter, and her mother’s reluctance to marry.” (adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverNotes from the dog / Gary Paulsen.
“Fifteen-year-old Finn is a loner, living with his dad and his amazing dog, Dylan. This summer he’s hoping for a job where he doesn’t have to talk to anyone except his pal Matthew. Then Johanna moves in next door. She’s 10 years older, cool, funny, and she treats Finn as an equal. Dylan loves her, too. Johanna’s dealing with breast cancer, and Matthew and Finn learn to care for her, emotionally and physically. When she hires Finn to create a garden, his gardening ideas backfire comically. But Johanna and the garden help Finn discover his talents for connecting with people.” (Goodreads)

Syndetics book coverLaika / Nick Abadzis.
“Laika was the abandoned puppy destined to become Earths first space traveler in the Soviets Sputnik program. This is her journey. Nick Abadzis masterfully blends fiction and fact in the intertwined stories of three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, once a political prisoner, now a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program, and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika’s health and life.” (adapted from Goodreads)

Syndetics book coverThe dust of 100 dogs / A.S. King.
“In the late 17th century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was slain and cursed with the dust of 100 dogs, dooming her to live 100 lives as a dog before returning to a human body–with her memories intact. When she finally returns to life as a human being and has only one thing on her mind–to recover the treasure she had buried in Jamaica three hundred years before.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSorta like a rockstar : a novel / by Matthew Quick.
“Although seventeen-year-old Amber Appleton is homeless, living in a school bus with her unfit mother, she is a relentless optimist who visits the elderly at a nursing home, teaches English to Korean Catholic women with the use of rhythm and blues music, and befriends a solitary Vietnam veteran and his dog, but eventually she experiences one burden more than she can bear.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy boyfriends’ dogs : the tales of Adam and Eve and Shirley / Dandi Daley Mackall
“On a stormy night in St. Louis, Bailey Daley finds refuge in an after-hours diner. Bailey, a girl with three dogs in tow, wearing a soaking-wet prom dress, obviously has a story to tell. See, she wants what every girl wants from her boyfriend: enthusiasm, loyalty, and unconditional love.” (Syndetics summary)


Syndetics book coverStay with me / Paul Griffin.
“Fifteen-year-olds Mack, a high school drop-out but a genius with dogs, and Cece, who hopes to use her intelligence to avoid a life like her mother’s, meet and fall in love at the restaurant where they both work, but when Mack lands in prison he pushes Cece away and only a one-eared pit-bull can keep them together.” (Syndetics)

Trailer Tuesday

Tuesday means trailers! The first is a good one. You will tear up! Awww. It is called Chimpanzee, and is due out next year. You can watch it after watching the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and be all, “eh, apes aren’t all bad.”

The video for Lady Gaga’s newest single, Judas,  is due out on the 5th (in the US, so the 6th here?). There is no trailer for it yet, as is so often the case, but she tweeted an image this morning. Sort of a trailer picture? Cast your eyes over it here!

Parodies/mashups of classic novels are all the rage these days, what with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or Sense and Sensibilities and Sea Monsters. The latest – The Meowmorphosis – is a mix of Kafka’s Metamorphosis and adorable kitties. If anything, hopefully, it will get people reading more Kafka, whose cheery books are guaranteed to lighten your day.

Sometimes people make their own trailers for things that don’t really exist. Like the romantic comedy version of The Shining, for instance. Very funny! Here’s one that is very new, and very sweet. When Kurt Met Blaine is sort of a Glee version of When Harry Met Sally (an old romantic classic). Oh also, SPOILER ALERT.

Also! Here’s the newest trailer for Immortals, which looks pretty good, right? It’s based on the classic story of Theseus, which can be obtained from your local library.

Slow Loris. Sloth.

Slow Loris.



Slow Loris (library book).


Justin Bieber has written an autobiography! Is there nothing he can’t turn his hand to? We will get it at the library, but it might be a while. (System upgrade, you see.)

Hello birdie

Landcare Research would like your help for the 2010 Garden Bird Survey. It takes an hour, and all you need to do is count the different bird species you see in your backyard, school, park, garden, or meadow (I think that covers it). It’s been going on for a few years now, and the results are used to find out if common bird populations are increasing or decreasing. SO if you want to do it you can go to this webpage and download an identification flyer with a recording form. Will house sparrows win for the fourth year running? Will silvereyes make a late resurgence?

Some penguins playing football

Someone points out that we (i.e., NZ) should do it with Kiwis.

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