on the SHELF: Johannes Cabal the Necromancer

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer

by

Jonathan L. Howard

First Impression: entertaining, bitingly hilarious, delightful.

The cover of another in this series caught my eye on the way back from the restroom (I find MANY books while scanning the shelves on my way to and from the restroom). Fortunately, something alerted me to the fact that it was part of a series, as I despise reading them out of order. I’m reading this one on my NOOK. Mr. Howard writes in my favorite sassy British style: lovely turns of phrase, stinging set downs and intelligent stiff-upper-lip-ness. I’m already excited for the next one.

 

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on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby


on the SHELF: Fashionable SelbyDudes, this book is so stinkin’ beautiful! My goodness! If your mojo needs a kick in the groin (is my mojo is male??) this will more than do the job. If you’re anything like me, you will want to run to the nearest hardware, fabric, craft, stationary every kind of store to stock up on cool tools and supplies.

Just look at all of the cool folks, and their amazing AMAZING workspaces, included in this dense beauty.

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On the Shelf: OCD, the Dude and Me

OCD-the-Dude-and-MeI think I’ve made it pretty clear, here. I like books.

NO!

I LOVE BOOKS!!

I’ve always loved books and escaping into them. I love to judge them by their covers and stand in the aisle at a bookstore or library and read the first few lines to see if I’m captured. If I’m taken away by that first thought, feeling or action.

So, it’s a bit unusual that my career as a librarian has, thus far, involved very little contact with books. I could bore you to death with chat about how the role of libraries, and therefore librarians, has changed. But I mostly want to talk about the book in the post title.

OCD, the Dude & Me is told in one of my favorite formats: diary style. I loved it while reading Bridget Jones and Georgia Nicholson and Adrian Mole and this work makes it extra special by including essays, letters and emails. Veerry Cool!

The story centers around Danielle, who, it will come as no shock (I mean, it’s in the title), suffers from OCD.  Learning about disorders and the way the mind works absolutely fascinates me, but that is not really what this book is about. It’s about the life of a troubled girl, her daily struggles to get s**t right and her slow transformation back into the person she once was. It’s equal parts sad and heartbreaking and funny and real.

It’s a beautifully unique coming of age tale with a Dude based story line. How could I NOT love that?!?!

I won’t ruin the plot (HATE THAT) but I will tell you that Danielle learns to “abide” and thrive and feel hope where there was once none. If you like YA books, grab this one (from your local library. GO GET A CARD!) and read it on the train so you can snort and get dirty looks from your fellow strap hangers 😀

Also, watch this awesome celebration of ladies who like to read!!

on the Shelf: All There Is

I volunteer at StoryCorps once a month and today was my January date. I missed out on a volunteer gathering (fucking migraines) in Decemeber so I hadn’t been by the office for a bit. Apparently the volunteers were given a gift.

A copy of this book:

It is SO beautiful! Though I enjoy listening to people speaking their stories out loud, I will always, always connect to the written word, more. Essentially making this book perfect for a sap like me, lol.

I mean, I BAWLED my face off at my volunteer training. It was this love story that did me in:

It was terribly embarrassing to cry in a room full of strangers. Like really, really cry. At least I wasn’t the only one. And, I did warn them that there was a chance it could happen after the first emotional story we listened to. But I was not prepared for my reaction to Annie and Danny’s amazing love for one another.

I feel so fortunate to have a chance to work with the StoryCorps staff and assist in preserving the amazing oral histories they record!

Some about laughs, some about love, some about loss,
and most of them a combination of all three.

on the Shelf: The Night Circus & Little Bee

In a protest against boring textbook reading, I thrust all library science related texts to one side and did some REAL reading. During a library visit with the kiddies I spotted two books that I had previously placed on hold and never made it the branch to pick up:

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Two powerful stories that could not possibly be more different from one another.

The Night Circus is very difficult to sum up. Calling it a love story seems ludicrous when the story contains so much more. But, saying that it is about magic without mentioning love seems dishonest and misleading. Little Bee is also a sort of love story. Though giving a potential reader that information alone would lead them to a great shock. Both stories are equally about loss, hopelessness and hope.

I read into the small hours with both books, which led to that hangover like feeling each morning. I couldn’t help it. I absolutely craved to know what would happen next. The writing in both stories, though very (very) different in each, is so very beautiful. Descriptive but not unnecessarily so. Musical while staying true to the story each one is striving to tell. Emotional. Clear. And unique, too.

I have to say that both began strong but seemed to lose me a bit towards the end. Maybe I was expecting too much after becoming so emotionally invested in (and damn curious about) the outcomes. I am planning to reread them both. Which is my favorite thing to do when a book challenges me or makes me fall in love with it. I prefer to know very little about a book before I read, so I will not give true summaries here in case any of you feel the same. I do heartily recommend them both.

The Night Circus to escape this world

and Little Bee to wake up to it.

on the Shelf: A Drowned Maiden’s Hair

Friends, I have already broken my “no personal reading when assigned reading is to be done” rule. I don’t know why I bother trying to limit myself. I love books and reading too much to ever stick to it.

Instead of trying to catch up on sleep last night, I was reading. I found this on a trip to the library with the kiddies. My oldest son loves the Mouse and Mole series and the branch had the rest of the books available. I will have to buy these for him, as he is already dreading taking them back.

Anyway, we were waiting for someone to finish in the restroom, which is right by the YA section. I picked up The 39 Clues Book One: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan* who also wrote the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This book was right near it. The title and unique cover drew me in. I’m so glad I checked it out.

A Drowned Maidens Hair

A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A feisty orphan is taken in by a household of mysterious ladies in this intriguing, engaging novel.

Maud Flynn is known at the orphanage for her impertinence, so when the charming Miss Hyacinth and her sister choose Maud to take home with them, the girl is as baffled as anyone. As the mystery gradually unfolds, Maud’s intelligence and daring join forces with her compassion and conscience to help her find her way in this lively, atmospheric gothic tale.

Maud will win you over! Don’t read a more thorough description of the book as it will spoil the plot entirely! If you have a soft spot for YA books and orphans who are lovable despite being sarcastic and plain, just trust me and read this book.

* I really respect and admire Mr. Riordan for both his rapid output and the vast amount of research that must go into creating them. From reading his personal blog, he also seems like an incredibly kind person.