Sunday, May 17, 2009


Lilacs are probably my favorite flower. I've loved them since I was a kid and we had a huge lilac bush in front of our house. I love the color and the scent, and the fact that they mean I've survived the winter.

When we moved into our house 2 years ago one of the best surprises was the lilac bush right outside our bedroom window. If the weather is warm enough we can open the windows at night and have the subtle scent of lilacs wafting in.

Well, the lilacs have finally bloomed, but unfortunately it is a bit too cold to have the windows open at night, so I brought a few in and put them on my coffee table. It may prove to be a bit much, but I plan to enjoy them as much as possible.

Friday, May 08, 2009

100 Books in 2009

Since 2003 I have been keeping a list of Children's and Young Adult Books I read. There are no annotations, just title, author, and an asterisk if I really liked the book. No picture books, just novels and non-fiction. In 2003 and 2004 I read 107 books each. The number decreased to 86 in 2005, 54 in 2006, and 63 in 2007. Last year was an abysmal 44. I realized that part of that was due to the fact that in my new job I also need to read a lot of adult books since I do Readers' Advisory for all ages, plus I'm in charge of the Adult Book Discussion group. When I thought back of the adult books I read, I realized there were at least 40, bringing my 2008 total up to 84.

So, I decided that I would also keep track of all Adult Books I read, also. In addition I set a goal for myself to read 100 books this year.

As of today, I've read 22 Adult Books and 23 Children/YA books, for a total of 45 book so far in 2009.

Here are a couple of highlights:
Ron McLarty - The Memory of Running and Art in America
McLarty is an actor and frequent Books on Tape narrator. The Memory of Running was the first book produced as an audiobook before being published. Both novels are incredible stories of human interaction with rich characterization. McLarty also has a novel entitled Traveler, which I read last year. I highly recommend him, and if possible suggest you get the audiobooks. They are true treasures.

Linda Buckley-Archer - Gideon the Cutpurse (also published in America as The Time Travelers)
I'll be the first to admit I'm not a big fan of fantasy, and time-travel books just confuse me way too much (I only made it through the first 50 pages of The Time-Traveler's Wife). But Buckely-Archer's novel of 2 preteens, Peter and Kate who find themselves in 1763 London due to an accident at the lab where Kate's physicist Dad works, is a page-turner. There are 2 stories here - Peter and Kate's adventures in London, where they must find the mysterious Tar Man who has stolen their time machine, and their parent's in London who are trying to discover where their kids are. Peter and Kate are assisted by Gideon, a reformed thief who now works for a wealthy family. Not only must Peter and Kate find the Tar Man, but the must be sure not to say too much about themselves or the future, or risk changing the future. Their parents, on the other hand must deal with a police detective who is trying to learn the truth. Oh, and the kids also discover that they can "blur" themselves, meaning they disappear from the past and return to the present in ghostly form. It's all greatly exciting, and since it's part of a trilogy you will eagerly look forward to the next book, which I am currently reading. The second book is called The Time Thief, and the 3rd book is due this fall.

There have been other gems this year, and I'm glad I set this goal. It's helped to focus my reading and I hope will make me a better librarian.