Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On Holiday

The blog will be taking a long holiday from today until December 28th... ish. I'm off getting hitched to the love of my life (and his beard).

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season full of warmth, love, and lots of reading.


Sunday, December 07, 2014

What I Read This Week:

This post covers the past two weeks. The Fiance and I traveled to Austin, TX to visit his folks for Thanksgiving. Between the 6 hours of flight time and additional hours waiting in the airport, I made a rather large dent in some of my reading. I may not be a fan of flying, but I do enjoy the chance to read uninterrupted for a long stretch of time.


One last note: This post will also be the last WIRTW until I return from our honeymoon. 6 days to go. Eep!

  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, August 2014 - (This was a replacement issue for the one I missed during the move.) The cover story on Scotland's stone builders was utterly fascinating. I had not idea any of that existed. I read the hunger in America story was not surprising at all, and that fact made me sad. To round out this issue, I enjoyed the brief pieces on Jane Goodall's apes and the tunnels of World War I.
    • National Geographic, December 2014 - I read this on the airplane heading to Texas. The stories on the Joy of Food, Holy Lands walk, and Patagonian cowboys provided a nice mix of informative and easy-reading.... anything to distract me from the fact that I was on an airplane.
    • The Atlantic, December 2014 - I also read this on the airplane to Texas... and also coming back from Texas because it was a great issue and I read it cover-to-cover. The piece I found most interesting was the one on the Jesus' wife fragment. I also thought the articles on midlife crises and strict schools were informative. As for lighter articles, the science of hit songs made me want to turn on Pandora and the short snippet on airport bartenders had me looking at DCA's terminal bar a bit differently.
    • Washingtonian, December 2014 - This was mostly a flip-through airplane read for me. That said, I did take the time to read the articles on football helmets and relaxation in DC. I also enjoyed
      some of the things listed in the tastiest dishes and gift guides.
    • Cooking Light, November 2014 - It's a good thing I read this issue after Thanksgiving or I might have commandeered my future in-laws kitchen. There were so many tasty looking morsels on these pages. I pulled a new polenta recipe to try since I have a bag of that already in our pantry cabinet. The surprising thing about this issue was that included two full-length articles that only felt tangentially related to food. The first was on how to spice up your cooking when you feel out of love with. The second was a very touching story about her mother and her preemie twins. Definitely worth reading both.
  • Books
    • I'm almost a third of the way through The Mammoth Hunters. This door-stopper of a
      book shall be joining us on the honeymoon. There is a beach to be read on!

Friday, December 05, 2014

The Friday Find: Card

Do not under any circumstances give this card to a random librarian. They will not like it. Do, however, give it to someone you know and love.


Grab it on Etsy.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Links and Stuff: December 4, 2014

This will be the last Links and Stuff until 2015.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Friday Find: A Free Elf

Genius!

Given all the random socks I find in the dryers of our apartment building, I feel the need make one of these...

Hat tip to this blogger.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Links and Stuff: November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book 14: The Man Who Found Time

TITLE: The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of Earth's Antiquity
AUTHOR: Jack Repcheck
STARTED: August 31, 2014
FINISHED: September 15, 2014
PAGES: 247
GENRE: Non-Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: Before there was science, there was the Bible.

SUMMARY: [From BN] There are three men whose life’s work helped free science from the strait-jacket of religion. Two of the three—Nicolaus Copernicus and Charles Darwin—are widely heralded for their breakthroughs. The third, James Hutton, is comparatively unknown, yet he profoundly changed our understanding of the earth, its age, and its dynamic forces. A Scottish gentleman farmer, Hutton’s observations on his small tract of land led him to a theory that directly contradicted biblical claims that the Earth was only 6,000 years old. This expertly crafted narrative tells the story not only of Hutton, but also of Scotland and the Scottish Enlightenment, including many of the greatest thinkers of the age, such as David Hume and Adam Smith.

THOUGHTS: This book was surprisingly readable. The Man Who Found Time is the biography of James Hutton, a forward-thinker who pushed science past the boundaries of biblical time. This could have been very dry text, but it read like fiction. I love it when that happens. I learned quite a bit about how the study of the earth progressed, and how other thinkers began to build on Hutton's work. My main criticism of this book is that it spends so much time talking about things other than Hutton. The book is readable because it goes into the history of Scotland, earth studies, and scientific reasoning... but Hutton doesn't really come along until almost half-way through the text. That felt odd to me. 

RATING:6/10 [Good]

YouTube Tuesday: When The Reader is Away


Sunday, November 23, 2014

What I Read This Week: November 23, 2014

Is it time to stuff my face with stuffing yet? The Fiance and I traveling to his parents new home in Austin, Texas. I have never been to Texas. I have been warned that the food is very good and served in plentiful quantities. Good thing the weather will be good enough that I can workout outside... otherwise I might not fit into my wedding dress. Who was silly enough to plan a wedding two weeks after Thanksgiving? This girl. This girl was that silly.

  • Magazines
    • Real Simple, October 2014 - I enjoyed the organizing tips, I only wish I had a house in which is use most of them. The rest of the issue was a flip through for me, but the story about an organ donor and his family was quite moving.
    • National Geographic, November 2014 - This issue was very informative. The cover story on zombie bugs was fascinating and icky. I cringed looking at most of the pictures. The other feature story on the sherpa deaths on Mount Everest was more than a little moving. Finally, the meat industry in America, we have a lot to learn.
  • Books
    • Well, I couldn't stay away. The next book in the earth's children series by Jean M. Auel, The Mammoth Hunters, arrived in my mailbox. I started reading it this week. So far, so good... but I'm only a few chapters in.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Friday Find: Comfy

It is the season of snuggles! Of burrowing under covers! Of plowing through a stack of books while drinking hot cocoa and ignoring the weather outside! I think we should all buy these to celebrate this seasons.


If you are interested, these PJ pants are on Amazon.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What I Read This Week: November 16, 2014

Less then one month until the wedding. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! It's cool. I'm good. Thank goodness for to do lists and all the very helpful people in my life.
  • Work
    • American Libraries, November/December 2014 - I think the most interesting piece in this issue was the brief article about how the Ferguson library acted as a safe haven during the protest. There were also good articles about the challenges with library budgets, homeless populations in libraries, and dog therapy.
  • Magazines
    • Washingtonian, November 2014 - This issue was kind of a downer. The main article was all about how expensive it is to live in DC. Yeah. There was also a feature piece on a woman searching for her long lost dog. At least the restaurant reviews and design sections were fun to read. 
  • Books
    • No book this week. Gasp! I'm trying to get through my backlog of magazines. The next book in Auel's Earth's Children series arrived in my mailbox. I am likely to start that soon. I guess I should have something to read over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

What I Read This Week: November 9, 2014

Oh, it's just over a month to the wedding. Don't mind me as I sit over here making lists and trying not to hyperventilate. Actually, that's being dramatic. We're actually in pretty darn good shape. The major things are done, we just need to make a few things in terms of decor and guest needs, but none of those should be all that difficult. (Fingers crossed.)
  • Work
    • How much can you read about OCLC's batchloading process? A lot, apparently. I also read VIVA's reclamation task force report because you can never be too informed.
  • Magazines
    • The Atlantic, November 2014 - NPR hosted the author of the cover story about why kids sext - so I had sort of "read" this article before I actually read it. Still interesting but not entirely surprising. The piece on drones gave me a few gift ideas. Shh... don't tell anyone. And, lastly, I heart the piece on the urban suburbs... probably because it centered on my geographic area.
    • Washingtonian, October 2014 - I like this issue because much of it focused on home design and I got to look at a lot of pretty pictures. Same goes for the DC style pages - now I can dress like Olivia Pope. In terms of  informative content, I managed to read the piece on Muriel Bowser the day before the election. Win.
  • Books
    • I finished The Valley of Horses. Is the next book in the series here yet? No? pout. I don't plan on starting a new book until the honeymoon because I have a backlog of magazines and blogs to read. I reserve the right to go back on that decision. 

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Friday Find: Arrangement

This is a long image. Hang with me. I'll see you at the bottom.


If you've got books at home, you likely use them as decor. I thought this was a pretty good graphic explaining a way to style your books and assorted knick-knacks. I found this guy on Pinterest, but it links from this awesome page.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Links and Stuff: November 6, 2014

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Book 13: Written in My Own Heart's Blood

TITLE: Written in My Own Heart's Blood
AUTHOR: Diana Gabaldon
STARTED: June 28, 2014
FINISHED: August 30, 2014
PAGES: 825
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: Ian Murray stood with a stone in his hand, eyeing the ground he'd chosen.

SUMMARY: [From BN.com]  1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.

The Frasers can only be thankful that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in twentieth-century Scotland. Or not. In fact, Brianna is  searching for her own son, who was kidnapped by a man determined to learn her family’s secrets. Her husband, Roger, has ventured into the past in search of the missing boy . . . never suspecting that the object of his quest has not left the present. Now, with Roger out of the way, the kidnapper can focus on his true target: Brianna herself.

THOUGHTS: It has been over two months since I completed this book, and I am still ruminating on it. This book was, in my opinion, the weakest in the Outlander series. It was, even for all its action and plot points, slow moving. But that slow pace did not, in any way, ruin my enjoyment. Reading Written in My Own Heart's Blood felt like resuming a conversation with a good friend you see once a year. You talk late into the night and enjoy every moment, but nothing earth-shattering happens. Yes, even with all the THINGS that do happen in this novel, it read like comfort food.

This book picks up right where the last one left off. It did not feel like I actually waited years for this book to com out. The conversation with the characters started anew, and each page was simply spending time with a friend. The last chapter leaves me anticipating the next book, and I assume I will pick-up the conversation right where I left off.

At this point, the Outlander series is not longer a book to me. It's a friend I get to catch-up with every few years.

RATING:7/10 [Very Good]

Sunday, November 02, 2014

What I Read This Week: November 2, 2014

Wedding stuff and watching sports on TV. That is now my life. I'm kind of okay with it. Also eating.
  • Work
    • I flipped through the Fall/Winter 2015 Catalog for ALA editions. I saved a few books to my professional reading board on Pinterest. They were mainly about management and social media.
    • I finished reading the manual of OCLC's batchloading. It was dense. I took notes.
  • Books
    • I am so close to finishing The Valley of Horses that I am going to have to determine whether or not it's worth it to pick up another book before the wedding. I am leaning toward no.
  • Other

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Friday Find: Library Wear

It's too late to use as a part of a Halloween costume, but this skirt rules.


Hat Tip to Lady KS for finding this on Etsy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Variations on a Theme: Hallow-eve

It's the eve of Halloween. Hallow-eve? Just go with it. So here are a list of spooky reads to give you goosebumps and shivers.


The Raven
Edgar Allen Poe

Originally published in 1845, the poem is narrated by a melancholy scholar brooding over Lenore, a woman he loved who is now lost to him. One bleak December at midnight, a raven with fiery eyes visits the scholar and perches above his chamber door. Struggling to understand the meaning of the word his winged visitant repeats -- "Nevermore!" -- the narrator descends by stages into madness. Illustrator Ryan Price's exquisitely grim illustrations suggest a background story shaped by the narrator's guilt, embodied in the terrifying figure of the raven. Price's drypoint technique, with its rich blacks and feathery lines, perfectly captures the nightmarish atmosphere of this
unforgettable poem.

Psycho

Robert Bloch

Robert Bloch's Psycho captivated a nation when it appeared in 1959. The story was all too real-indeed this classic was inspired by the real-life story of Ed Gein, a psychotic murderer who led a dual life. Alfred Hitchcock too was captivated, and turned the book into one of the most-loved classic films of all time the year after it was released. Norman Bates loves his Mother. She has been dead for the past twenty years, or so people think. Norman knows better though. He has lived with Mother ever since leaving the hospital in the old house up on the hill above the Bates motel. One night Norman spies on a beautiful woman that checks into the hotel as she undresses. Norman can't help but spy on her. Mother is there though. She is there to protect Norman from his filthy thoughts. She is there to protect him with her butcher knife.

William Peter Blatty

Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist, one of the most controversial novels ever written, went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying. Two years after its publication, The Exorcist was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations. On opening day of the film, lines of the novel’s fans stretched around city blocks. In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater. In Kansas City, police used tear gas to disperse an impatient crowd who tried to force their way into a cinema. The three major television networks carried footage of these events; CBS’s Walter Cronkite devoted almost ten minutes to the story. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a true landmark.

Ira Levin

In 1967, when Rosemary's Baby was first published, Ira Levin's masterpiece gave horror an innocent new face. It startled critics, stunned readers with its unique and deceptively calm voice, and caused a worldwide sensation. It found fear where we never thought to look before, and dared to bring it into the sunlight. To this day, Rosemary's Baby is as disquieting as shattering glass in an empty basement, and as unsettling as the cry of a newborn coming from behind a newly plastered wall. 

Jay Anson

The shocking true story of an American dream that turned into a nightmare beyond imagining... In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their new home on suburban Long Island. George and Kathleen Lutz knew that one year earlier, Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers, and sisters in the house, but the property - complete with boathouse and swimming pool - and the price had been too good to pass up. Twenty-eight days later, the entire Lutz family fled in terror... 



Washington Irving

The first great American man of letters, Washington Irving became an international celebrity almost overnight upon publication of The Sketch Book in 1820, which included the short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.” These two tales remain his crowning achievement, but in addition to being a writer of short stories, Irving was also an acclaimed essayist, travel writer, biographer, and historian. This volume showcases Irving’s best work across a variety of genres, including whimsical newspaper articles about New York society, the theater, and contemporary fashions; charming travel pieces that evocatively weave together history and legend; humorous stories and satirical essays from The Sketch-Book and its sequel Bracebridge Hall, and excerpts from A History of New York, considered the first great American book of comic literature. The author’s success enabled him to earn a living by writing alone, unheard of for an American at that time. Irving’s energetic, often tongue-in-cheek prose style, together with his ability to blend roguish satire, pathos, and picturesque description, had a profound influence upon the popular culture of his day. His writings have become a cornerstone in the foundation of the American literary tradition.

Other Hallow-eve Reads
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
Pandemic - Scott Siegler

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
The Pit and the Pendulum - Edgar Allen Poe
The Reapers are the Angels - Alden Bell
Rooms - Lauren Oliver
The Shining - Stephen King
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
The Vanishing - Wendy Webb
 

Links and Stuff: October 30, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

What I Read This Week: October 26, 2014

It's full on fall now. Aw yeah! I love breaking out the boots and sweaters... and accidentally wearing purple tights when I mean to wear brown. Best of all, at night, I love cracking the window to the autumn breeze and snuggling deep under the covers with a book.
  • Work
    • In preparation for our embedded librarian meeting, I read "Not At Your Service: Building Genuine Faculty-Librarian Partnerships." Twas a good article.
  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, October 2014 -  Dinosaur noises! The cover story about the large, swimming meat-eater was pretty awesome. I also enjoyed the article on GMO crops. I don't know much about them, so this article was quite informative.
  • Books
    • Dare I say that I might be nearing the end of The Valley of Horses? I think I do. This book is such a comfort food read to me that I already ordered the next book in the series. More please!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Links and Stuff: October 23, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What I Read This Week: October 19, 2014

Hey, look! There are words here. They contain no important information.
  • Magazines
  • Books
    • I am still working my way through The Valley of Horses. I'm about 2/3rds done and our leads still have not met. Interesting...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Noble

I'm just going to leave this here.

Hat tip.

The Friday Find: Sock It To Me

When I was growing up, I always said that, no matter how old I got, I would never give up fun socks. Well, I traded in fun sock for tights, but the spirit of the idea still exists. This pair of socks would make my middle-school self pretty darn giddy.

I found these on ModCloth.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No Read-a-Thon For Me

It was a tough choice, but I've opted not to participate in read-a-thon this October. There is just too much going on. As restful as read-a-thon could be, the idea of sleeping in trumps all at this point. I hope to return for the next read-a-thon in the spring.

Best of reading to everyone who is partaking on Saturday! I'm with you in spirit.

Why I Love... Randomness

Not every book I read is a deliberate choice. Sometimes, I find books simply by chance. Something random will jump out at me from the bookstore or library shelf and scream "Read me."

For example, in preparation for a read-a-thon a year or so ago, I was perusing the YA section of the library. As I was browsing the shelves, I found a book that was clearly misshelved. Being the librarian that I am, I pulled this book from the stacks with the intent to deliver it to a reshelving cart. Instead, I got distracted by the pretty cover and decided to read the back summary. This is how I discovered The School of Essential Ingredients - one of my favorite books.

That is not the only book I've discovered randomly, but it is the first story that comes to mind. Random encounters on the metro or while reading book lists have also brought me to stories I ended up loving or, at the very least, enjoying for a time. When you're a reader, you're always on the lookout for a new title to try. Sometimes, the best titles find you.

Serendipity can be awesome sometimes.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What I Read This Week: October 12, 2014

Twas bachelorette party weekend. Thank goodness it's a three day weekend. I want more sleep. Speaking of sleep, I need to stop watching sports until midnight. It's thrown off my reading groove... not to mention making it harder to get out of of bed in the morning.

The list this week is paltry due to wedding things and hockey games. (Go Caps!) I also debating whether or not I can do Read-a-Thon this coming Saturday. Might have to make a last minute call on that...
  • Books
    • Still at it with The Valley of Horses. I want to spend several hours in a row with it (cause I have a feeling it's about to get good), but I have not yet found the time. (This is a pro in read-a-thon's favor.)

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Friday Find: Squee or Eek?

Now this is some graffiti I can get behind. If you give a mouse a book...


I found this image here.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

What I Read This Week: October 5, 2014

The Fiance's birthday was this week. We celebrated with hockey and friends. Not too shabby of a way to welcome fall if you ask me.
  • Work
    • American Libraries, September/October 2014 - Oh design issue, how I love your pretty pretty pictures. I was also pleasantly surprised to see our library's consortium featured in this issue. Go WRLC!
    • American Libraries, September/October 2014 Digital Supplement -  Mostly a skim issue for me, but I love anything that talks about school librarians encouraging reading, research, and life-long learning in kids.
  • Books
    • Still working my way through The Valley of Horses. I shall be reading this book for-evah.

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Friday Find: Snitch

Who needs a golden snitch necklace? Everyone - cause this things is a beauty with a bonus of being work appropriate.

Grab this fella here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Why I Love... My Grandmother's House

My grandmother taught in elementary schools for over 30 years. When I was a small kid, I discovered her personal collection of children's books. It was tucked away in a corner of a guest bedroom, behind a rocking chair. I used to sequester myself in that corner, hiding behind the chair, and read through her stash of books. Even when I had read all the books, I would go back again and again. 

The only specific books I remember from that collection are King Bidgood's in the Bathtub and The Jolly Postman's Book and Other People's Letters. Despite remembering just two titles, I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I think of the time I spent hiding away reading for hours. I would usually tuck myself in that corner after going for a swim in the pool. My hair would slowly dry as I flipped through each book, completely absorbed in the words on the page. 

I'm 30 now, and that hazy sense of sun and the lingering aroma of my grandmother's house is one of my favorite feelings from childhood.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What I Read This Week: September 28, 2014

This week I realized that we're essentially two months out from the wedding and still have a "To Do" list the length of me. Queue panic attack. I'm sure everyone who has gotten married has hit that point. Now I understand why people have been telling us to elope. Maybe part of the reasons newlyweds are so happy is because they don't have to plan a wedding anymore.
  • Work
    • American Libraries: International Digital Edition, August 2014 -  I mostly skimmed this issue, but it was nice to get a taste of what other librarians are doing abroad. We once had a librarian from German visit us and it was fascinating to hear how her institution operated.
  • Magazines
    • Real Simple, August 2014 - This was my replacement issue. Woot. I probably could have skipped it. There were some useful laundry trips and no cook meal ideas, but otherwise it was just a flip through issue.
  • Books
    • I'm about a hundred pages into The Valley of Horses. It's a slow paced but an enjoyable read so far. My guess, this will be the last book I read before the wedding.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Variations on a Theme: Banned Books

It's Banned Books Week. Every year, hundreds of books are challenged for their content. I'm always befuddled by literary censorship, probably because I'm of the opinion, "You're reading? Good!" I don't care what people read or why, as long as they are reading. I'm lucky, that I've never been in a situation where I could not access a book, but others are not so lucky. For this month's Variations on a Theme, I'm highlighting my favorite banned books. I have read all of these and loved each and every one.


The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival. [My reviews]
The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini

Amir and Hassan are childhood friends in the alleys and orchards of Kabul in the sunny days before the invasion of the Soviet army and Afghanistan’s decent into fanaticism. Both motherless, they grow up as close as brothers, but their fates, they know, are to be different. Amir’s father is a wealthy merchant; Hassan’s father is his manservant. Amir belongs to the ruling caste of Pashtuns, Hassan to the despised Hazaras. This fragile idyll is broken by the mounting ethnic, religious, and political tensions that begin to tear Afghanistan apart. An unspeakable assault on Hassan by a gang of local boys tears the friends apart; Amir has witnessed his friend’s torment, but is too afraid to intercede. Plunged into self-loathing, Amir conspires to have Hassan and his father turned out of the household. When the Soviets invade Afghanistan, Amir and his father flee to San Francisco, leaving Hassan and his father to a pitiless fate. Only years later will Amir have an opportunity to redeem himself by returning to Afghanistan to begin to repay the debt long owed to the man who should have been his brother. [My Review]

Harry Potter (series)
J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter. Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. [My reviews]


The Giver
Lois Lowry

The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.[My review]


The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood

It is the world of the near future, and Offred is a Handmaid in the home of the Commander and his wife. She is allowed out once a day to the food market, she is not permitted to read, and she is hoping the Commander makes her pregnant, because she is only valued if her ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she was an independent woman, had a job of her own, a husband and child. But all of that is gone now...everything has changed.


Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell

ince its original publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and one of the bestselling novels of all time—has been heralded by readers everywhere as The Great American Novel. Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction. This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.


More Banned Books
In place of my usual link list, I would like to redirect you to ALA's annual list of most challenged books.