Sunday, July 27, 2014

Interview 5- Children's Librarian Sara C.

It's been a while since I've done an interview. I chose Sara C. because 1. She's my best friend, 2. She's been a children's librarian for years, and 3. She said, 'yes' to being interviewed.

I've known Sara for 10+ years. She's been my best friend for probably all those years. We volunteered at the public library in our home town in the summer's growing up, which is how we met. We went to junior college together and then eventually worked together (in different departments) at the library. She's a country girl and funny and just plain fun.


1. Tell me 6 things about yourself. I'm creative and love to craft.  I always have a book or a book app with me.  I hated to read when I was younger.  I love the beach, but love the mountains just as much.  I love being outdoors camping, hiking, biking, swimming.  I want to travel the world and visit different places.

2. How long have you been involved with the library? I started volunteering in middle school for the summer reading program. My senior year in high school I got a job as a page.  Then Hurricane Katrina hit and I lost that job, but when they reopened I got a full time job as a Youth Services Clerk and have slowly moved up.

3. What's your job title? And what does that entail? Youth Service Library Assistant I (aka Library Lady, Ms. Sara, and more).  In my job I order materials, plan programs, and work with the kids in the library.  I have planned college workshops for teens, holiday programs for school age, and I even work with preschoolers doing story time at day cares and other libraries.  I'm also there to help with homework, readers advisory, or working with organization to promote reading.

4. What do you like most about your job? Least? I think planning programs is the best part of my job.  I love working with kids of all ages and I have fun doing it.  I love coming up with programs for summer or Teen Read Week.  My least favorite part of my job is sometimes the children.  I mean, if they are disruptive or have behavior problems.

5. Why do you think children's and YA books are important? I think these books are important in teaching our youth even if it's just a fiction book.  It can  teach politics, how to be a good friend, how to step up in tough situations.  I also think these books are important to help them stretch there imagination.  
6. Top 5 favorite authors? Recommend a couple books by them too please.
John Green- Paper Towns, Fault in Our Stars, and Looking for Alaska
Maureen Johnson - Name of the Star, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Girl at Sea  
Ally Carter - Gallagher Girl Series or Heist Society Series
Sophia Kinsella- Undomesticated Goddess, Can You Keep a Secret?
Janet Evanovich - Stephanie Plum Series
7. How do you feel about graphic novels? I think graphic novels are great books.  I mean I have found so many kids that now come into the library just to check out my collection of manga, anime, or graphic novels.  I love how they are remaking some of the classic books in graphic novel format also.  I find most of my reluctant readers love them.

8. In your opinion,  what do you think is the future for libraries and librarians? I think libraries are going to be around for years to come.  I know most people are saying that is not true, but I believe libraries will survive.  I don't think people truly understand what happens in libraries.  I mean people use the free internet computers to look for jobs, do school work, or when they are just passing through on vacation.  Some people cannot afford technology, there computers or printers at home break, or they just need to print information out and they are away from home.  In my library I see a lot people who cannot afford to go out and buy books, computers, or e readers. These are just a few reasons that why I think we will stick around for years to come.

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

It took me 3 attempts to finally sit down and read this Sparks book. Why? I don't know. I just expected it to be like all his other books, which I love. I love Nicholas Sparks. I have a signed copy of one of his books. I think he does romance like no other author. But there was something about this book that made me keep putting it off. But I'm glad I read it in the end. It was really good.

The Longest Ride is about life...the longest ride of all. I think once I read that line I went, "Ohhh nice, Nicholas, That's brilliant." It opens up with Ira, an old man stuck in a snow bank in his car. He starts telling his story from the beginning which honestly, was a tough part for me..the first chapter really made me want to stop..but then you meet Sophia and Luke. That's when the book gets interesting. And romantic. Not that Ira and his wife's love story wasn't interesting it was..even funny. Ira and his wife are funny together- she's dead but he's hallucinating her as he slowly dies his car being buried alive- it's not as bad as it sounds but still, pretty bad. In a previous post, I mentioned that I LOVE twists. And boy! does ole Nicky Sparks pull a doozy of a one in this book. But it's not until the end of the story really. I loved this love story. Like I said, Nicholas Sparks does love like no other. Luke is a bull rider- a dangerous and potentially hazardous to your health job. Sophia is a beautiful college student who just broke up with her horrible no-good boyfriend. Luke isn't what she was expecting and Luke is definitely not what Sophia was expecting. But they work. They are beautiful together. Kinda makes you want to go find your own cowboy. Their love is fast and true- but the important things is, it's real. Sophia's roomate is annoying little bitch who tries to ruin Sophia's chances at true love. I'm so glad Sophia doesn't listen to her but to her heart. Luke is a cowboy, a quiet cowboy who is tough and rugged and pure country. He's what all ladies want and so few find. A romantic but tough. True tough, not fake tough like some men act. He was hurt, almost killed, 1.5 years ago and his riding bulls could kill him. You think he's crazy and that he has to walk away for his sake and for the sake of his relationship with his Mom and Sophia. But he's a man.
In the end, it all works out though. Plus the amazing twist that ties Ira into Luke and Sophia's love story. It's a great one. One that made go, "No Way!" and laugh. It's unexpected but you know it's so out there that you're like, 'They deserve this though.' I think this is one of my top 5 favorite Nicky Sparks books. Keep 'em coming Mr. Sparks!

5 out of 5! Love that makes you swoon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Let me tell you why I chose this book- my research paper for grad school is about challenged books, specifically dealing with controversial content. Duh, you say. That's why all books are challenged- because something in them is controversial. Well, yes. I say, Duh, back to you. I know. My research entails 11 years of complaints dealing with the top 10 books (ALA compiles this each year) and the reasons given for the challenges. While doing this research I decided that perhaps it would be interesting to read the books that were on the list or I cam across in my research to see if I agreed with the reasons. One of the newspaper articles I found and that I used in my paper refers to Picoult's book, Nineteen Minutes, and it's inappropriate material for 14 year old students. So, I borrowed a copy from the library....

Nineteen Minutes is about how long it takes for something to happen..."In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game.." That's how Picoult starts off this book. Catchy, isn't it? I've never thought about how long it takes to do something..not really. It took Peter Houghton only 19 minutes to seriously change his life, and the lives of so many others. It's a subject that no one wants to think about and no parent wants to even imagine. A school shooting. Caused by the acts of bullying, adults not caring and overlooking, and a kid who'd had enough. But, is it their fault or his? I know, I know. He pulled the trigger..repeatedly. But, is it ALL his fault? Can't some of the blame be put on those who bullied him his whole life, his parents who didn't 'see' him and compared him to his now dead brother. The book is very interesting from the beginning. It captures your attention with a suicide note. You think, Oh, man. Then Picoult pieces the characters together. From the very beginning of the how the mom's met, to how the best friends Peter and Josie became strangers. It makes you think of what would you do in this situation. How would you react if your child was the murderer; what if your child was the victim; what if your child was the victim and the murderer? It's one of those books you don't forget. As a parent to a toddler it definitely made me think- She's not going to school, ever. But that's not reasonable or practical.
Picoult likes to throw in some plot twists. Like, Josie. The character Josie- I hated. I wished she had died. She's that- bitchy. I hate ruining books for people so I'll just say, She gets what she deserves. The characters I liked the best were- the detective, Patrick. He seemed to be, real. He was portrayed as a good detective and a great man. And he had a bit of a Law & Order detective vibe too. I also liked Peter's lawyer, Jordan. He was good. He had the hardest job of the whole book. Drawing you in to Peter's story. And he does it. He does it so well that you think he's going to win. He doesn't. I'll tell you that. Peter doesn't get off from the charges legally but, in another way, a more morbid way..he does.
I recommend this book. It was great from beginning to end. I think it's a good learning tool for high school students. It would give them an opening for talking about bullying, school shootings, sex, abuse, and so many more topics.

5 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July Update

Gosh, I suck at life right least blog wise. I've been working my ass off on my graduate research paper and I finally finished. I'm turning it in this weekend, the draft anyways. I will OFFICIALLY be DONE July 28. Say a prayer for me. I am praying that I do well on this paper. I have worked so hard on this for the last 4 or 5 months. I've put in sooo many hours and lost a lot of sleep for this. I passed my comprehensive exam which is half of what I need to graduate. The other half, well more than half, is this research paper. I've never been so stressed out in my life. I would work on it during my daughter's nap time and late late at night. I think the average I stayed up is until 3am. I plan on reading a few books the next few days too. I have missed reading sooo sooo much. I feel like my brain is goo.
My daughter will turn 2 in a couple weeks. I cannot believe this! I feel like she should still be that little baby I brought home from the hospital. It's amazing how much she's grown. She has A LOT of personality too. She loves to take walks, anything with fish, splashing around in water, and taking laundry basket rides. She's so funny. I told her she was my best friend the other day and she looked at me and said, 'Yes Mama'. I gave her a big hug and kiss and she then said, "NO!". She's a character. I'm enjoying my moments with her now because she is growing up wayyy to fast.
I'm excited for the next chapter in my life once this grad school chapter is officially closed. I plan on really buckling down and losing weight. I'm too embarrassed to admit how much I weigh but trust me, I can stand to lose a ton of weight. I would love to blame it on the pregnancy, which was now 2 years ago, but that's just a lame excuse. It's really because I'm lazy and hate hate hate to workout. I hate getting up in the morning. I hate sweating. I just hate it all. The thing is though, I know I need to. My husband knows, my friends know- but they are so kind and don't say anything, even if I think they're embarrassed by my fat ass. It's time. I'm doing the old fashioned way- hard work and eating healthy. Diets have never worked for me. And I know that once I lose the weight on a diet I'll just go back to my old ways once I'm done. So transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is what I plan on doing. It'll be hard, VERY hard, but I'm passed ready. It's important that I'm around for a long time because 1. I plan on seeing my daughter grow up, and 2. no other hussy is taking my man, I'll cut you.
So that's pretty much where I am in life. Waiting for this grad school stuff to finally be done. Transitioning into a healthier lifestyle for the better of me and my family, and watching, with a few tears in my eyes, my daughter grow up. Hopefully soon I'll have a few book reviews and a couple interviews for you to read too. Have a great week and weekend.
Grab a book and READ.