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California was such a nice interlude. I spent a wonderful evening at the Davis farmer’s market, drinking wine and hanging out with friends. We visited Emeryville and another friend whom I hadn’t seen for a while, wandered another farmer’s market (where I may have found a cure for my acne–I have to give it another week to make sure), took pictures on her deck with a beautiful view of the water and met her wonderful new husband for the first time.
It was so nice to spend time with my best friend. I haven’t seen her for months and well…she was in medical school, so in a way it’s like I haven’t seen her for years. She took all 3 days off that I was there and we had a wonderful time together. We wandered, we gazed, we shopped, we jumped in the cold pool after a hot day. It was super.
Coming back to Libraryland was hard after 3 such spectacular days off. The weather here in Seattle has been very nice, which has helped. I have been riding my bike as often as possible, practicing my zen meditation to try not to be annoyed with the Green Lake riders and drivers. My second Teen Advisory meeting went very well, as did my first school visit this academic year. I went to a meeting to go over the strategic plan that is being developed, and that actually left me optimistic about the future of our library system.
What am I reading? I finished Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier, which is one of the books I picked up because I didn’t have anything interesting come in and I found it wonderful. There is so much going on in this book and it all comes down to the main character, Dimple, figuring herself out. At the end of Junior year, Dimple is a ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) who has a best friend who is blonde, beautiful and enigmatic. Dimple would do anything to have her self confidence and poise. As the summer goes on, she loses her friend for a while, but she finds herself. Finally embracing both sides of her American and East Indian heritage and culture. A very good add to your reader’s advisory list, almost everyone will feel some sort of affinity with the characters.
Now I am working on Will Grayson Will Grayson by a couple of my favorite (somewhat) reality fiction authors, John Green and David Levithan. It is different, it is interesting, it is captivating. More later.
I finished Monsters of Men and I loved it. So nice to have so many good books right now. Todd and Viola find themselves separated by necessity and responsibility. They must stop the war that the Mayor wants badly and keep the Mistresses from making things worse. Another several shiploads of colonizers are asleep just beyond the atmosphere, adding pressure to end things swiftly, but what is the right thing to do? There is always more to the conflict than meets the eye and Todd and Viola have to wade through the mess to get to the best answers. Sorry that all sounds so vague, but if you have read the other two books, you know how involved this story is and how easy it would be for me to give away some part that you should find out for yourself. Let me just say that this book was just as satisfying as the other two, although I found the ending a little too pat.
Had a wonderful, if too short, weekend off. Two of my brothers graduated and I got to be there for one of them. I have such talented siblings. It was nice to spend time with my family and to take a trip with the Mister and the Offspring. Totally missed the sun here in Seattle–it was patchy in Spokane–but at least it is supposed to get nice again tomorrow. I am going on a visit to a high school tomorrow with some colleagues and I might see a couple of my teen volunteers there. They are really doing a nice job for the library and one of them helped out at an author visit over the weekend while I was away.
One of my volunteers at University is applying for jobs with the library and I have been helping him with interview tips and letter editing. He is a great kid too, graduating this year and going to the local university next year. I hope all his hard work pans out and he gets a student position. He gave me chocolates from Frans to thank me and I dutifully shared them with my coworkers (although they seem to be not taking any because they are my treat). Help me eat the chocolate! Please! :) And I can verify that they are really good.
The Offspring turns 16 today. I can barely believe it. I took him up to school this morning after getting him breakfast and chocolate milk. That is our biweekly tradition, really. I am taking him shopping in a couple weeks for most of his present. We got to celebrate over the weekend with family and it was wonderful.
What am I reading? I keep skipping around right now. I am still enjoying This Book is Overdue but am also listening to book 4 of the Bloody Jack series: In the Belly of the Bloodhound. I super love this series and think about it when I am not listening to it. The reader does a wonderful job in the audio version, doing all the voices, and there are many with a ton of different accents, with skill. In this book, Jacky has returned to Boston to outrun a price on her head and goes back to the Lawson Peabody School for more lady learning. On the day of a scheduled outing, she and her entire school are kidnapped and only Jacky Faber can get them out of it. The details of the time are well researched and described, making the series a good read for those who like historical fiction, but also scratch the adventure itch for those who are Harry Potter lovers. Give them a read!
The library is super busy lately. Storytime started back up this week and there have been tons of cute preschoolers and older children (as opposed to the not so cute ones) in asking for all sorts of fun books–trains, spies, and flowers. The children that come into my new branch seem so much better behaved and happy than those at other branches I’ve worked at. I want to know the parent’s secrets. There are still screamers, but not as many and the parents seem to have a clue that screaming children don’t mix very well with the library.
I am interviewing for new teen volunteers. The girl that I interviewed yesterday (girl! thrilling! I could only get boys at my old branch–parents wouldn’t let girls volunteer there because it was a “bad” neighborhood), is super responsible and seems like a good fit. I hope she doesn’t overwhelm herself, since she is a senior, working on her senior project and working. I have added a few things to the volunteer list, like monthly blog posts and a monthly group meeting. My old volunteers balked at doing these things, but it is interesting how if that is the initial expectation, they don’t bat an eyelash. I am pretty flexible on schedules, since I know how busy high school can be.
I have also been handed a new opportunity at my branch. I will be the Teaching Center Lead–we are one of the branches that have a computer lab and will be teaching computer classes. It will be my job to schedule those classes and oversee the instructors. The only downside to this is it makes me feel that I should relinquish my position on the blog board. I am part time and with this added responsibility, I don’t think I will have the time to give enough attention to Push to Talk and still be able to do programming.
What am I reading? The Man Who Ate the World by Jay Rayner that was recommended by my friend. I just started though, so I don’t have anything for you yet.
I just finished Secret Son by Laila Lalami, which I really enjoyed. This is the upcoming Seattle Reads book and I read it so that I can introduce the book and our related programs to the book group. I don’t always like the Seattle Reads titles, but this one I did. Youssef is a nineteen year old boy who has been fed on dreams of a father that never was. His life changes dramatically when his mother finally tells him truth of his past. With that secret bursting in his chest, knowing that Moroccan society will not forgive him for his bastard birth, Youssef attempts to find out who he is and what he should do with his life. There is an unexpected twist at the end that really makes it worth reading.
Lots of stuff coming up for life and for work. The Mister and I are taking another vacation next week and this time we are actually going somewhere. We are driving to California to do some wine tasting and visit friends around San Francisco. Other fun things will be done like visiting breweries, going skiing (which I also got to do today!) and seeing my sister’s new house.
But before we do that, I have to host 4 school visits with catalog and database instruction with 7th and 8th grade language arts classes. I am actually looking forward to this–kids are on their best behavior when they come with their teacher, and I know a lot of the students this year since they have been coming into the library to use the computers and play Magic, the Gathering. I had no idea anyone played that anymore! I have been slowly cultivating a relationship with these students since September, whenever I actually work at the branch. I am really sad there won’t be a teen librarian there to continue it, but I am glad that the staff I leave behind will be on the right page.
Well, I don’t want to blather on like I did last time, so I won’t tell you about the Union meeting I went to. Maybe later, maybe not. (and I am tired and listing to one side from skiing)
What am I reading? Hold Still by Nina La Cour. I finished Leviathan on Friday night and stayed up a bit too late doing so. Look here for a cool book trailer and let’s just say that I loved it. Hold Still is quite good so far and does a great job of capturing how a teen might deal with the suicide death of someone close to her.