The Bestest in the Barn

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

It's been a really long time since I've posted to this blog. I've been using my Shelfari and Library thing accounts and most recently my Ning page to review and discuss the books I read. But I would like to take part in the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, so post I must. I was looking over the list of 2010 Debut authors and I realized how many of those books I had read this past year. Not all, by any means--but a lot. Maybe with a committment like the challenge in hand I'll read even more this coming year! Here's hoping.

Friday, August 31, 2007

A Book To Check Out...

"In the Name Of God" by Paula Jolin is a very interesting book. It is the story of Nadia, a seventeen-year-old girl who lives in Syria. Nadia is hijabi and very resentful of the influence the Western world has had on some of her cousins. Her religion is very important to her and she is critical of others who don't seem to give Islam equal weight. I really enjoyed seeing life through Nadia's eyes. And it broke my heart to watch her travel the path from devout Muslim to fundamentalism, and to ultimately get involved with radicals-people who had violence in mind. One reviewer of this book described Nadia as a sympathetic and likeable character and I'm afraid I would have to disagree. Her belief that hers is the only path leads her to be harsh and judgemental of others. (She reminded me of several Christians I know) She puts the worst interpretation on the behavior of others, she rarely has a kind word to say of anyone else, she eavesdrops, she spies, she schemes, she lies-not, I think, a sympathetic or a likeable character. But a fascinating one. And one that, in spite of everything, you care a great deal about. She is, after all a teenager. And like teenagers everywhere, she's trying to find her path. She's full of spirit and zeal and passion. She's just so very real. And above all, a dreamer. This book is well worth the read. Check it out!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

You've Got To Read...

When 15-year-old Tamar's grandfather kills himself, she is devastated. She adored her grandfather and for a time cannot even bring herself to open the box he left her. When she does she finds that he left her a mystery to solve. Inside the box are clues that take her on a journey of discovery that will take her to the river that bears her name and take the reader 51 years into the past. The book moves between 1995 England and 1941 Nazi occupied Holland where we meet another Tamar, a Dutch resistance fighter. This book is billed as a novel of "Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal" and delivers on all counts. It is on of the most powerful books I have read in a long time. One of those wonderful books that stay with the reader long after you close the book. Trust me, this is one that is NOT to be missed.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Final Thoughts

Okay, maybe I'm not finished. I'm supposed to make a wrap-up post refecting on why this project was important. This is difficult, mainly because I'm actually doing it at work where there are a hundred distractions. I do believe this was a valuable and worthwhile project. Libraries need to keep current and be aware of trends and technologies. Now, I know we only skimmed the surface of what's out there, but at least we got a nice overview. The 23 Things page has some wonderful links on it that we can continue to visit and explore and I would love to continue to explore the Web 2.0 award nominated websites further. What this project did was give us some tools to work with. What we do with them from here is up to us.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Wizard Animation

Week 9 Thing 23

Drum roll please, This is my last "Thing". Wow! Looking back over the weeks of this program, I think we have covered a lot of ground. Some of it has been pure fun, some, not so much. But I have learned a lot. Picking out a favorite thing is not so easy. My first impulse is to say Library Thing. I have visited that site on a daily basis since I set up my account there, adding new books as I make my way through the HUGE pile I have to read. What a fantastic resource that will be for me. My own personal virtual library that travels with me wherever I am. I enjoyed my visit to YouTube and think I might try to visit more frequently in the future. In the past, I have only dropped by very irregularly. I loved learning about Zoho and think I will use that frequently. will come in handy to keep my bookmarks portable. I love my Meez and had a great time playing around on that site with my son the other day. Finally, I got to teach HIM something techie! Flickr was a blast and I had the time of my life with the image generators. The big surprise? I love blogging! I plan to continue with heavy emphasis on Juvenile and YA book reviews. But I really think what I liked best was just the whole experience. Yes, it was summer, and the timing was kind of bad, and everything was crazy and, who in the heck came up with 23 things anyway? What's wrong with 10? Or 15? And, blah, blah, blah. But still... It was kind of fun to have a new "assignment" to look forward to every week and new websites to explore. I can't say I loved every technology I learned about, but I certainly enjoyed learning .

Week 9 Thing 22

Well this assignment was certainly a snap! I chose Overdrive since that's who we have our audio books with. I took the tutorial and it was very clear and easy to follow. And, it turns out, completely unnecessary, because when I went to our library's audio books page, I didn't need to use any of the things I learned in the tutorial. For a change I had ALL of the accounts and software I needed already! How about that? All I had to to was sign in with the library card number I already have memorized, choose a book, check it out, and download it. I checked out "The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders" by Jack Prelutsky. So easy a, um, children's librarian could do it! Too bad I can't listen to the book I checked out since I don't have any techie toys. So I just wandered over to Audiobooks For Free from Project Gutenberg and it was even easier there. Okay, I DID have to create ANOTHER account, but after that, no problem. I downloaded two poems there, "If" by Rudyard Kipling and "Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll. For both, I had the option to get the item free or to pay a fee for better quality or zipped files. Depending on the item you choose, you even get to choose the size of the file you download. Then, it was just a right click and, hey presto, right there on my desktop. A simple matter of clicking on the play button. Not all of the titles I thought I would find were here, but many were. And I'm sure new things are being added all the time. What a wonderful idea! And Overdrive was very easy to use too. I've had training on the product, but doing is better. I should be in a better position to help patrons now. Now all I need is my very own techie toy.