Tag Archives: Flowers in the Attic

This weekend was a pane

Standard

On Saturday, a young patron broke one of the glass windows in our early literacy room. I was in Teens at the time – so no pinning it on me! – and heard a massive crash as the glass broke and went everywhere. Luckily, the little boy was the only one hurt, and just received some shallow cuts and scratches; nothing serious.

But it’s interesting how that incident shaped the entire weekend. 

For instance, most immediately, an ambulance came, the custodians cleaned up the glass, facilities sanitized the area, and then the custodians put a wooden board in place of the pane. The rest of the day the children’s section was closed, as all the cleanup efforts continued, and we made signs saying we were closed, and put barriers in front of the doors, and explained the situation to patrons. If anyone wanted a book, we could either pull it for them if they knew what they wanted, and hand it to them outside, but if they didn’t know what they wanted, we couldn’t let them inside to use the catalog computers or to browse.

On Sunday, we opened at 1, and I was the only person there at 9. (On Sundays, I may have mentioned, you can work the whole day, or just 5 hours. I like working all day, making the Sunday money and taking care of loads of projects.) I spent much of the morning on my hands and knees in the area surrounding the room, checking for glass shards – I found a few big ones – and inspecting the toys and books inside the room. We kept it closed for the day, and today we had another vacuuming before we opened. So it’s good to go.

The moral of the story, chickadees, is: be flexible!

I have a BOATLOAD of links for you all today. Lots of Birthday Twin news and lots of good reading lists.

Taking the top spot: some wise words from the late, great, inimitable Dr. Maya Angelou.

Some authors’ summer beach reads.

Five books to read this month – and one of them I just finished. You’ll have to see which one in What’s Annabelle Reading.

Booooooooo.

And in other lack of diversity news…

Bad, bad, bad, badbadbad.

I’m still not going to see The Giver.

Oh, my ovaries!

Apparently Jason Segel is writing a book.

But his cover won’t be as good as NPH’s, that’s for sure.

Women winners! Hooray!

I’ve never been a fan of postmodernism, but these are pretty cool.

Great quotes about books by authors. 

Queen Victoria’s bookplate, just because.

I sent this to Mama Bear with the subject line “WANT.” Her response: “NEED!”

It really irks me when people won’t read YA just because it’s YA. (coughcough Mama Bear coughcough) But there are lots of books crossing over – beyond all of those dystopic books you’re being inundated with (and which, incidentally, are on the wane). Here are 10 to read.

Clever!

Want to have a little cry? Go ahead, have a little cry.

I love Harry Potter a lot, but maybe not this much. Still, cute.

Like I ever need another reason to move to London.

To this day, I can’t see the cover of Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain without hearing James Earl Jones’ voice.

Sister A and I had a great chat about Lifetime’s horribly wonderful (or wonderfully horrible?) Flowers in the Attic movie right after we watched it. The sequel, Petals on the Wind, aired this weekend, and it was even worse (better?) than FitA!

From Friend J: a rather rude reaction to Llama, LlamaNot the book, the character.

From SIster A:

More about Birthday Twin and his legion of fans. (Also a shoutout to Lizzie Skurnick!) 

Keep your eyes peeled for these future best-sellers.

From Friend D:

We need to talk about slut-shaming.

How TFIOS – and seriously, chickadees, if I have to spell that out for you at this point, you just haven’t been reading closely enough – became a cult sensation.

I love it when authors practice what they preach.

From Mama Bear:

The best summer reads for 2014. Start your list now!

Behind the scenes with John Green.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I finished an advance readers’ copy of The QuickI saw that the blurb on the back included the words “Victorian London,” so I was sold, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. It’s a big, sprawling, well-paced debut novel about one of London’s most mysterious clubs. Nicely Gothic.

Advertisements

A Unicorn Farting Rainbows

Standard

I love my job, and I love the good challenges it presents – working with patrons, planning programs and activities, but life in general, I know, is not always a unicorn farting rainbows. And so it is with one’s job.

I feel sad when children are witnesses to their parents’ bad behavior (the mother who cussed me out because I politely asked her to leave the area because she had kept falling asleep). I feel sad when one of my “good” teens – whose greatest sin in the Teen section in the past has been trying to get attention – shows signs of being on drugs. I feel frustrated when a program I plan doesn’t get the turnout I wanted. I feel uncomfortable and embarrassed with Mr. Creepy comes over and asks me to lunch (a first for me, but my boss asked me to write up an incident report to demonstrate that I’m yet another staff member who has been made uncomfortable by his overtures).

But it’s so, so great to see the regulars who enjoy the library, the first-timers who come to my branch and marvel at the depth and breadth of our resources, the patrons who thank me when I’m able to dig out a book that will help them with lessons or homework or whatever.

It’s not always a unicorn farting rainbows.

In other news, tomorrow is Staff Day – the library is closed for the day, and all of the staff has training and fun activities and workshops. Should be a good time!

Now, on to links.

This could be really, really good, particularly with Spielberg at the helm.

And speaking of more movie adaptations….

And one more

Are library jokes really that funny?

The answer is: because teenage girls have money to spend.

We have more resources than you would think!

We just celebrated WS’s 450th birthday/deathday. Here are some fun facts I bet you didn’t know…

Not to say Dickens is predictable, but…

You’re so nasty, Encyclopedia Brown!

We finished our YA weeding, so I can understand why people are pissy at the librarians. But let the patrons try to weed!

Scandals in Stoneybrook...

More BSC hilarity.

I loved this book as a teen and loved it; truthfulness be damned.

Get ready for the Flowers in the Attic sequel on Lifetime!

From Mama Bear:

So pretty!

Blah blah blah Common Core blah blah.

They’re not on their damn deathbeds!

FINALLY.

From Friend D:

When sci-fi hits close to home.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I forgot to mention this, but I have my book club on Wednesday and read A Thousand Acres for it. Phenomenal. Gorgeously crafted. The parallels to King Lear are thoughtful and well-done. I just finished a Victorian murder mystery – my kind of book! Oh, and I love, love, love Mary Roach – she’s like a scientific Bill Bryson. This was her bodily functions book. Advice: don’t read it while you’re eating.

Happy April Fool’s!

Standard

I got taken down a few times today by April Fool’s jokes. I did – not gonna lie. I’m not particularly gullible, generally, but I’d just forgotten what today is and fell for some good April Fool’s trickery. (My favorite was Netflix streaming, which advertised a movie, “Rotisserie Chicken”: apparently 96 minutes of watching a chicken bake. Mmmmm.)

So I am not without my own tricks up my sleeve. At my Pre-Library Job (technically, there were many jobs before I started at the library, but I mean the most immediate one), I printed out an official-looking notice to post on the copier, which read that users would not have to type in their department codes to make copies; that a voice-recognition software had been installed that morning, so they would have to speak their codes out loud.

I thought it was hilarious; not everyone did.

Because I

am clearly not inventive, I decided to use the same type of prank for April Fool’s Day in the Teen section. I put our library logo on a piece of paper, prominently displayed on the sign-in computer, which said that users didn’t need to type their library number anymore to sign up for a computer, but could instead merely speak their number out loud and then the system would assign them to a computer. 

I’ve only had one person catch on so far – one of our regulars – but I think I may have had two of our staff fall for it! Hee! I love April Fool’s Day.

Lots of really amazing links today:

THIS IS POSSIBLY THE BEST NEWS EVER. (When I sent the link to Mama Bear, she replied, “Well…it is interesting news, but perhaps not THE BEST EVER!” To which I responded, “We clearly have different ideas of what the best news ever is. This is it.”)

Lifetime’s Flowers in the Attic sequel, Petals on the Wind, is coming out in May. That is really soon.

There is an Eric Carle Museum, and I haven’t been there yet. This is a good reason for me – or anyone – to go.

What a-hole came up with this?

From Friend D: Rape culture and the Divergent movie.

Some bad-ass female authors from Friend P.

From Friend S (and Buzzfeed): Children’s books retold for adults. Uncomfortably true!

The following are from Mama Bear: Lies, all lies!

44. How did you do?

HILARIOUS. Don’t cross Anne!

Books to read in April.

Good advice from my Birthday Twin.

Finally, from Mama Bear, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is going to be a trilogy!

Friend R, who works at the University of Maryland, sent me this. So much fun. (Sister A’s alma mater did the same thing a few years ago.)

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I read Amelia Gray’s Threats and hated it. I have to care about the characters, and I just didn’t see why I should care about any of them in the book. There were no answers, either. Then I picked up a book that is just so me… I’m a dork. 

As you know, I subscribed to Lizzie Skurnick’s subscription service, and I caught up on two of hers, A Long Day in November and Secret Lives, both quick reads.

Lots of little things

Standard

My darling readers, I’ve been neglecting you. Tsk tsk. Bad Annabelle. Well, lucky you, you get an update and a boatload of links – how does that sound?

It’s been a quiet bit of time at the library. Yesterday I took a “See Something, Do Something” training, which was taught by some of our security officers. Much of what was taught I already knew – how to write an incident report (since I’ve gotten quite good at those), how to work with difficult patrons) – but other things, as in what to do during an earthquake, a tornado, or even an active shooter situation. I sincerely hope I never have to use any of them, but these are important things to know. 

Lately I’ve been working on adding lots of material to the website: an entry about the STEAM program I’ll be teaching next week, etc. 

Lots of meetings next week, and two storytimes, too. It’s going to be a busy end of February.

Today’s good feeling: a mom came in and needed a book for her son that the catalog said was checked out. I found it for her, brought it to her, and you would have thought I’d given her a million dollars. She was very happy. And that makes me happy.

Who wants links? I do, I do!

James Patterson wants independent bookstores to succeed, and he’s giving a lot of dough to make that happen. Excitingly, one of my favorite hometown bookstores has been given one of his grants

This makes me really flipping mad.

Sometimes it’s fun to get really sucked into a big doorstop of a book. Here are some chunky ones worth your time.

Lady characters who really should have their own series.

Happy birthday, Harriet M. Welsch! (Don’t forget the M.)

I could have written this, but I didn’t.

Congratulations to my Birthday Twin, John Green! 

Who decides what becomes a classic? Who gets to make that decision? How does it happen? If they could, some authors would add their favorites to the list of classics.

Alternatively, what books are past their primes?

So they’re making a Flowers in the Attic sequel – here’s some casting news.

The end of a long legal battle for Harper Lee.

I love punctuation. I’ve made some enemies over it in my time, even. But you can’t mess with the semicolon.

Enough with all the shoulds, already!

A very well-thought out list that parents should read.

What are the top 100 books at the Harvard Book Store? Take a look; some might surprise you.

I love Buzzfeed, and I like the Murakami books I’ve read, but this quiz went over my head.

For the record, it’s JOHNS Hopkins University, but despite that egregious error, this is an okay read.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I was desperate for something to read, so I grabbed up Gone Girl, which I’d really liked before when I read it, and I remember how clever it was. Then, one of my e-books came in, so I read that: The Bling Ring, about a group of teens who burglarized celebrities’ homes in LA. (It was made into a movie with Emma Watson.) It was an easy, quick, fluffy read.

Classics vs. Updates

Standard

With an off-day today I have lots of time and also the realization that guilt isn’t the best reason for me to update my blog. I have to have things to say, which is why I’ve waited a few days.

Thinking about adaptations also has me thinking about classics. (They’re related in my head, I promise.) Our series section just got a fabulous influx of original Nancy Drews and Hardy boys. You know which ones – bound in yellow and blue with the pen-and-ink cover drawings. Remember those? Don’t they look all nice lined up on our cart? And did I mention we got the whole series? I really geeked out about that.

Image

In this next picture you can see our Nancy Drew collection – there are about a billion spinoffs (that might be a slight exaggeration), modernized.

Image

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew for younger readers, The Nancy Drew Diaries,  a continuation of the series, the Nancy Drew Notebooks, tie-ins with the Hardy Boys series … you get the picture. I’ll be interested to see, as part of my work on the series, which ones are the most popular – will the classics be as interesting as the new ones? Will they circulate? Time will tell.

I’m very excited about Saturday, which is our Chinese New Year party, and Sunday, when I’ll be having my program for teens on resume/cover letter/job applications. I just hope we have a lot of attendees for both of them.

Now, chickadees, some links!

If you’re interested in reading some good recaps of Flowers in the Attic and Sherlock, here they are.

What would have happened to Harry and the gang if Voldemort had won the Battle of Hogwarts?

I got The Capitol from The Hunger Games. This means I like good food and fashion (guilty as charged, Your Honor).

An interesting article about “the Starbucks effect.” Working at a main branch, I definitely see it: people treating the library as a “third place,” aside from home and work. I love it.

I have a particular interest in intellectual property and the public domain – more about that in my next post, based on what I’m reading now – so this article about Norway really intrigued me.

What can you do with an old card catalog? Lots of things! I even have a pair of friends getting married later this year – congrats, J&E! – who are interested in working one into their decorations.

This is from Friend D, and though it sounds silly – fairies? – never underestimate the importance of culture and fairy tales in a society.

From Mama Bear, and the folks at Flavorwire, 25 YA novels everyone should read. It’s a solid list of new, old, fantasy, reality, scifi, etc., but I am quite irritated that the book that started it all, The Outsiders, is not included.

Also from Mama Bear: Woo hoo!

Finally, two pictures from the set of The Giver. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

It’s been a while since an installation of What’s Annabelle Reading, because I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on one book, which was worth it. I love both fiction and non-fiction about royalty, and The Heir Apparent, a biography of Edward VII, did not disappoint. 

Next, I’d seen that The Shining Girls was available for download immediately from my library, so I checked it out because I heard it was one of the big books of the summer. But it was a huge letdown. Basically, it’s a story about a time-traveling serial killer out to murder a certain group of girls in various eras of American history. But we never find out why these girls are so important to the killer or what it means to him that they “shine.” So, meh. 

On literary adaptations, bad and good

Standard

I’m taking a slight detour from my usual library-related posts to play the lit-lover card and discuss literary adaptations. There were two on this weekend that I made a point of watching – nay, raced to my sofa and planted myself there – that deserve specific discussion.

Saturday night was Lifetime’s premiere of Flowers in the Attic.  Now, let’s be honest, FitA is not the greatest novel ever written. It’s really not even good. Okay, it’s a piece of crap. But for a lot of women my age and a bit older (30s – 40s), it’s a seminal part of our teenage years. (Along with these, too.) So there was much excitement among other women my age when Lifetime announced their remake, and my Facebook feed came pretty close to blowing up as the airdate approached. That evening so many of us were liveblogging/tweeting/FBing it, and sharing in it together. (I called Sister A about 20 minutes before showtime to make sure she was on her couch and ready. She was about to call me for the same reason.)

But as we all knew it would be, it was crap. But it was great crap. It kept the campiness of the book intact and everyone committed to their parts – Kiernan Shipka was great, and Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn was quite evil (not evil enough), and Heather Graham was predictably terrible – and it was just fun enough to be fulfilling and still terrible and at least marginally enjoyable.

On the other side of the spectrum was Sunday night’s return of Sherlock. This show has been a critical darling – a brainy, updated take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, and the return was anticipated by some seriously hard-core fans, including myself. (It couldn’t be more opposite from FitA in so many ways, including the fact that the general consensus was that Sherlock was a knock out of the park.) Clever, well-written, beautifully acted, and full of surprises, it was just great. My apartment full of friends just squealed and loved it the whole time. 

Mark Gatiss wrote a smart episode that didn’t really answer our questions, but it didn’t matter, because it was just nonstop action awesome cleverness from start to finish. (Does it matter how Sherlock survived?) I’m not going to write any more on it, because the internet only exists so you can go read more on Sherlock.

So, two big adaptations, both anticipated, both not the first of their kind (the FitA one didn’t even touch on incest, and there are too many adaptations of Sherlock Holmes to mention, though my favorite is any with Jeremy Brett).

How did they differ? Why was I desperate to watch both? Why were both so, so, so popular among such disparate groups? Both books are loved for very different reasons and have their own enthusiastic fanbases – my grandfather was a lifelong member of this group – and both recent adaptations have spawned new fans of the original texts. Maybe we just love seeing if the screen can deliver what we’ve pictured in our heads. Can adaptations ever be as good as the books? Can anything top our imaginations? Will Harry and Hermione be just as we thought? Will Smaug be as evil? Will Augustus’ and Hazel’s love affair live up to how we’ve built it up? Maybe that anticipation is part of the fun, too, as is discussing it afterward. It’s all a new dimension.

I don’t think there are a whole lot of people who were equally excited for Flowers in the Attic and Sherlock. I’m just weird enough to span both groups.

And now some links.

From Friend D, the origin of some great insults.

Also from Mental Floss, more librarian tattoos. So fun.

Some of these would be really fabulous.

Interested in more pictures from the set of The Fault in Our Stars? Of course you are.

Yes to all of these.

I’m outgoing, but also an introvert, as I may have mentioned. Sometimes people can’t live up to books.

Tuesday links

Standard

I was off today, so I don’t have anything really exciting to say. I just have some links. Sorry. In other news, the snot is gone.

(Also, a reminder that the Lifetime Flowers in the Attic movie is on on Saturday night. Who’s coming over?)

I’d be lying if I said this didn’t make me wildly jealous.

Another blog entry from author Jill Morrow on authors who hated the movie versions of their books.

How do you feel about books written about TV series that you love? When I was in seventh grade, I was a huge, HUGE Star Trek: The Next Generation fan. And I read a lot of the books, too. Now as a Whovian, I’m not sure I’d like to read books based on the show, because: canon. And canon is sacred.

From Mama Bear, sort of along the same topic, how does fan fiction fit in? When there’s a huge fanbase to a show, and fanfic or slashfic arises, as it will, what’s the line? Want to start writing fanfic? Here’s a writing prompt for you. Aaaaand: go!

I won’t pretend to know a lot about poetry or anything, but the fiction list is very strong.

If I’ve read them all, am I just a perfect person? I would say yes. (Sadly, I have not, but I would like to.)

From Friend D, this would be an excellent Beowulf 101.

Finally, in reference to the above-mentioned Flowers in the Attic movie – here is a drinking game. You will be plastered before the incest even happens. (Did you know they’re already planning a sequel?)

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I’m actually pausing in between essays in my latest Malcolm Gladwell to read an e-book that landed on my Kindle. And as per the rules, I don’t write about it till I’ve finished it. So there. You’ll just have to wait.