Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Militant Recommender

I take home the Library Review journals every week and read through them to put in book orders. I put in for a LOT of books over the years. Lots of great reviews but the trick is to convince patrons to try new authors so I am constantly recommending. When you know a patron pretty well...you'll know what books to recommend to them. It's a fine art, getting people to try your favorite titles so they won't just sit there on the shelf with just their spines showing susceptible to weeding. I have a special shelf where I put my real favorites and then the Adult Floor staff have two small bookshelves on a table with a mix of all our favorites. Many patrons go right to these areas and it always makes you happy to see those titles get a chance to go out there and entertain someone new! I just did this new Cafepress design based on all this:

Click here to see all the gifty things with this design!

Now, I'll list 18 of my most frequent recommendations below:
1. June Bug by Chris Fabry
2. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
3.The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
4. My Abandonment by Peter Rock
5. The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff
6. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by  Jacqueline Kelly
7. Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring
8. Miss Harper Can Do It by Jane Berentsen
9. Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
10. The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant (I wrote about her "Glass Demon in my previous post, so I'm recommending that, now, too!)
11.Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
12. In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard
13. The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
14.  A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
15. The Summer Book by Tove Janssen
16. Selected Work of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
17. The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman.
18. In the Woods by Tana French
Gad, I could just keep going with these!
These are not counting series I recommend like the Hunger Games and the Forest of Hands and Teeth and Louise Rennisen's Georgia books. All terrific!
I am also loving "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern, which is brand new and magical. I like different takes on circuses and carnivals like "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Ray Bradbury and "The Circus of the Earth and of the Air" by Brooke Stevens.
Not to mention that this is Banned Book Week. Lots of recommendations, there, but you can find those lists all over.  So, happy reading, everyone!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Two of My Favorite (New!) Things

I saw a movie, recently, on Netflix that I fell in love with. "Dear Lemon Lima". Can you call a movie adorable? This movie is adorable. It has heart. It is charming and funny and poignant. You want to hug the filmmaker for making something so perfect right down to its quirky, catchy score and animated titles. The story revolves around Vanessa a girl living in Fairbanks, Alaska, who has been dumped by the love of her life, Philip, a boy from a wealthier background. He still wants to mentor her, though, and his family has helped get her into a private school through a scholarship based on her Eskimo-ish background (the father she never knew). All the actors involved in this are fresh and funny as are the characters they portray. I loved it so much I bought the DVD and downloaded the soundtrack from Amazon. Check it out on Netflix.

My other favorite something is the book "The Glass Demon" by Helen Grant. I loved Ms. Grant's first book: "The Vanishing of Katharina Linden" the story of a 10 year old German girl who sets out to solve the mystery of a missing neighborhood girl, the latest in a series of girls who've gone missing over the years.  It was a book I couldn't put down. Her latest, "The Glass Demon" is even better, if that's possible.
The Glass Demon 's protagonist is 17 year old Linn Fox who, together with her sister, fashionista step-mother and little brother are  whisked away to a run down castle in the woods in a rural part of Germany by their father,  a medieval arts professor with Indiana Jones aspirations and good looks, who is on the trail of a series of cursed stained-glass windows thought to have been destroyed 200 years ago but that could make his career if he could locate them.
Linn, the most fluent in German of her family, is finding that there may be something to that cursed glass legend after all, and it might be up to her to protect her family as the warnings keep piling up on their doorstep. This is a riveting modern gothic story that will keep you up reading till the last page.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


It's been a while since I posted because it's been all about the garden lately with harvest and what not...but that doesn't mean there haven't been other things going on. A couple of months ago cartooning friend, Patricia Storms, e-mailed me to ask if the Guardian newspaper in the UK was a client of mine. They weren't. I would love them to be a client, but they were presently not. Then she sent me a link. She recognized my work. And it was being used. On the Guardian's website on their book review page. They were using the girl (above) from my Reading Revolutionary design, minus the text. This design has been on the Six Chix blog, been used by libraries all over with my permission including being featured on the ALA website and in my cafepress store.  I was reallllllly surprised that a big and reputable company would do something like use an artist's work without permission and paying for that use.
I posted about it on the Wisenheimer a great cartoon board I belong to, and people gave me some good suggestions, but the best was from Matthew Buck, who runs the Bloghorn blog for the UK Professional Cartoonists' Organisation, who contacted me with a name that eventually led to another name that eventually led to me getting paid. Matthew wrote about it here, so I'll let you follow that link for more details. Thank you, Matthew for helping me resolve this!