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The Hopeful Librarian now has its own domain! Come on over to www.TheHopefulLibrarian.com for all the book reviews and news you’ve been getting from here, all at a shiny new address.

Be sure to update your bookmarks, RSS feeds, and subscriptions.

 

Tuesday Recap (#10)

Let Me In by John Ajvide LindqvistTen recaps already! omg.

Reviewed this week: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper, The Zombie Autopsies by Steven C. Schlozman, “Good Girls Go to Heaven” by Seanan MacGuire.

Room by Emma DonoghueKind of a negative week for books this week. Sorry about that, next week will be better.

Also read: Room by Emma Donoghue, Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (both of which were much, much better than the books I reviewed this week – reviews coming soon!)

In the world: The reason I’m so behind on book reviews is that I spent the weekend with my little sister (who just turned 23). I haven’t seen her since Christmas, so she came up for the weekend and we were going nonstop, to the zoo, to the movies, to the House on the Rock.

…Have you ever seen the House on the Rock, Faithful Readers? It is a thing of glory. I can’t show you any pictures because pictures do not do it justice. It’s a American Gods by Neil Gaimanlabyrinth of a place, a kind of not-museum, a collection of wonderful things. The original House was built by Alex Jordan in the 50’s as a kind of screw you to Frank Lloyd Wright, whose Taliesin is just a few miles down the road. I think it was meant to be a summer home, but, well…he didn’t stop. Now it’s a massive collection of THINGS, featuring the largest carousel in the world (and not one horse’s head); a huge collection of calliopes, player pianos, and self-playing orchestras; thousands of Tiffany-style lamps; and my absolute favorite, the Organ Room, which contains not only many, many organs but a timpani tree, the largest wooden clock I’ve ever seen, and an incredible inspiration for the steampunk aesthetic. The House was famously featured in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, when Shadow and Mr. Wednesday go there to summon the gods. If you’re ever in Wisconsin, check it out, it’s always worth a trip. (They say it’s a three hour tour all the way through; I’ve never done it in less than four. Wear good shoes, bring a bottle of water, and don’t try to take pictures. It’s the lighting that does it, and you just can’t capture that.)

Tuesday Recap (#9)

My weekly summary of blog, books, and life.

Reviewed: Embassytown by China Miéville, The Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear, “White Charles” by Sarah Monette

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John BellairsAlso read: The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs. This was a re-read for me – I’d stashed the book in my desk at work in case I finished whatever I’d brought with me to read on breaks. I love this series; I love all of John Bellairs’s books. Forget Goosebumps, these were the creepy books I loved as a kid. And you know, they’re still kind of creepy, with their old-fashioned magic and ghosts and zombies, their heavy Catholic flavor, and their really wonderful villains. I love all the characters — I love how Lewis is terrified and still determined to prove himself, and I love how Uncle Jonathan doesn’t quite know how to take care of him but tries anyway. And I love Mrs. Zimmerman and her love of purple. If she wants to be a witch with a purple dress and a purple cape and a glowing purple wand, she will be, and she will still kick your ass.

I might have to find the rest of this series and re-read it all, I think. (Oh woe, oh hardship…)

Fallen Grace by Mary HooperAlso also read: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper, which I’ll be reviewing later this week.

In Other News: Although it’s not my job on the line, the Borders closing has encouraged me to step up the job search. Doesn’t hurt that there are more public library jobs being posted now than for the past three months together. Onward and upward, I suppose.

Tuesday Recap (#8)

Well, between the Discworld con and annoying obligations like the paying day-job, this has been a slow blog week. Nonetheless —

Reviewed: The Price of Spring by Daniel Abraham (which finishes off the Long Price Quartet); “The Prince & The Sea” by Emily Carroll

Discussing: genre favorites in the first monthly Meet & Greet, which is a roaring success. Thank you everyone for stopping by — and if you haven’t yet, we’re still listening!

And don’t forget: my Discworld con report. I cannot express how much fun I had. Fans are My People, and hanging out with a thousand of them all weekend was amazing.

In other blog news: The migration has begun! That’s right, I took the plunge and purchased my own domain. WordPress is a great application — but wordpress.com only provides a fraction of the features and options available, and I’m enough of a tech nerd to want a bigger sandbox to play in. Your part in the migration, dear readers, will be very small: update your links and your RSS feeds and you will be all taken care of. I’m setting August 1st as the tentative date upon which theHopefulLibrarian.com will be fully up and running.

Meet & Greet: What’s your favorite genre?

As I was thinking about ways to add to my blog, I thought about what I like in the blogs I read. And one of the things I like the most is when there’s a good group of commenters, a sense of community, a feeling that this isn’t just a place for one person to pontificate but for a bunch of people to hang out. So, I figured, what better way to encourage that than to stage a meet & greet?

So, everybody out there, drop in and say hello! Introduce yourself, post a link to your blog if you have one, or post a link to anything else you want to if you don’t. I know you’re out there… Rather than put all the pressure on you, though, I thought I’d offer a topic of discussion to get things going. If this goes well, I’d like to make this a monthly feature, so we always have something new to discuss.

Posting my list of summer anthro reads made me think once again about my ongoing complaint that “popular anthropology” doesn’t really exist any more. It’s definitely a topic, and sometimes people write about it, but it’s not the kind of genre they print on book jackets and shelve all together in the store. So I’d like to know — What is your favorite genre? And is it something you can always find, like epic fantasy or Edwardian romance, or something you have to put together on your own, like popular anthropology or  clockpunk or historical gay naval officer romance?

Tuesday Recap (#7)

My weekly summary of my blog activity.

It’s been a busy week! Aside from all the blogging I’ve been doing, I spent the weekend helping out a friend run her booth at a festival — and this week I’ll be with her again for the North American Discworld Convention! If you’ll be there, drop me a note, I’d love to meet people in person. I’ll be at the Ravenworks booth most of the time, but I hope to be able to pop out for the Good Omens panel and Sir Terry’s readings, if possible. And yes, of course I’ll report back!

Also Read: Dead by Sunset by Ann Rule. I love Ann Rule books. I am fascinated by true crime stories — I think it’s part of my general anthropological interest. In order to understand something well, you have to understand its failure state, and well, there isn’t much more of a failure state than the kind of people who show up in true crime stories. But Ann Rule is my favorite true crime writer, because of her unrelenting empathy. She never blames the victims for what happened to them, and she does her best to show you how they ended up in such a position. She even does a fairly decent job of treating the murderers as human beings, trying to understand why they might have turned out as they did. I’ve read plenty of true crime that can’t do either, and it bothers me. I’ll stick to Ann Rule, for the most part.

Reviewed: An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham; Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy.

Also Posted: A couple of summer reading lists, for fantasy novels and for popular anthropology. Hey, I’m doing my best to get everyone else obsessed with my favorite things, too!

New Feature: I also posted the first of a new feature, Saturday Shorts, where I’ll link to short stories found across the internet. I started out with an old favorite, Lois McMaster Bujold’s “The Mountains of Mourning,” but next week I’ll start in with new fiction. New! Free! What could be better than that?

 

Tuesday Recap (#6)

My weekly review.

Abandoned: The Unremembered by Peter Orullian. I really wanted to like this, but thirty pages in it was wall-to-wall Extruded Fantasy Product, and the writing was not spectacular. I need either ideas or writing to keep me going at that point, so I gave in. Alas.

Also Read: An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham, which I’ll be reviewing tomorrow. (A preview: OMGWTFBBQ. Also, the library cannot get me The Price of Spring fast enough. This is why I’m afraid of buying an ereader – if I’d had one available when I’d finished that book at one in the morning, I’d have bought the next one and dug in immediately.)

Reviewed: The Last Unicorn graphic novel adaptation (Hot Off the Press); The Mad Bomber of New York by Michael M. Greenburg (Hot Off the Press). It’s a new books week!

We also talked about ereaders – and in the comments, the benefits of paper books. You can’t line a room with ebooks, after all.

In the wider world: Bookshelves of Doom over at Kirkus is asking for your recs for YA noir. As a massive noir fan, I am all about this idea, but I can’t comment there since I don’t have a Facebook account. I’ve read You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin, and a friend recced me Nickel Plated by Aric Davis – got any other YA noir reads?

Tuesday Review (#5)

My weekly review and recap.

Also Read: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. #4 – The Dagger Affair by David McDaniel. You know how some days you just don’t want to read any of the books you’re currently reading? I had one of those on Saturday and grabbed this out of my TBR stack to take to work. I picked up a stash of these old TV tie-ins at a used bookstore a couple of years ago, and they’re wonderful brain candy. This one was actually surprisingly good – all the characters were solid, including the creepy, creepy Thrush San Fransisco couple, and the plot carried itself along at a good clip. The ending fell apart a little, but then, it’s not like you’re afraid Napoleon or Illya are going to die or anything. It reminded me of the best episodes of season one and two, which is all I can ask for from a tie-in novel.

Also also read:The Devil in Gaylord’s Creek” by Sarah Monette, available free online at Fantasy Magazine. (Monette is one of my favorite authors; expect to see a link here every time she has a new story up somewhere.) This is a great short about loss and devastation and monsters – go, read.

Reviewed: Libra by Don DeLillo (New to Me), Rope of Thorns by Gemma Files (Hot Off the Press), Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell (New to Me). It was a finishing week.

In the rest of the world: I am horribly, horribly sad that I am not able to attend the American Library Association conference this year in New Orleans. Exciting stuff is happening – 3M is unveiling their new digital library platform (a competitor to Overdrive, at last!), the director of the Wikimedia Foundation will be speaking (I can’t wait to see all the tweets from that program), and of course all those free books I’m missing out on!… (I’m consoling myself with egalleys from Net Galley). If you’re also a librarian, or you’re just interested in what libraries do, track the #ala11 tag on Twitter and elsewhere June 23-28 and see what all the fuss is about.

The Tuesday Review (#4)

The weekly recap, books and more.

Also Read: Medieval Gentlewoman by ffiona Swabey. This book was perfect for what I wanted it to be – I’m thinking about writing a novel set in either a historical or a fantasy universe based around a young widow who’s the head of a household, and I needed some more background on just what sort of things she’d be responsible for. Medieval Gentlewoman is a sort of pseudo-biography of a widowed head of household, a description of how late medieval manors and estates worked and how women held positions of responsibility even though they tend to vanish in traditional history. It was pretty dry going, though, and I wouldn’t recommend it for someone looking for some fun history reading.

Also also read: Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders, available online at Tor.com. A wonderful short story about potential and futures and certainty. I loved it, you should give it a try.

Reviewed: A Betrayal in Winter by Daniel Abraham (New To Me), Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Previously On)

Blog News: I’ve decided to categorize my reviews: you can find them by in the sidebar on the right, under the green folder icon. We’ll now be seeing:

  • Hot Off the Press: Early reviews & reviews of new books, for definitions of new that equal “released within the last year”
  • New To Me: Reviews of books I’ve just read that are older than a year, whether that means “a year and five days” or “several centuries old”
  • Previously On: Reviews and ramblings about old favorites, for when I’m in the middle of reading too many books and haven’t finished one to review
  • Other Stories: Occasional reviews of storytelling in non-book form, be it movies or music or video games

In the Wider World: Hopeful Librarian is still hopeful, although library jobs are still thin on the ground. If anybody out there needs a highly-motivated, well-read reference librarian, give me a yell.

The Tuesday Review (#3)

My weekly book-and-life recap for all my lovely followers. <3

Also Read: A Betrayal in Winter by Daniel Abraham, which I will be reviewing properly later in the week.

Reviewed: Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers

Introduced: Actually, I introduced quite a few things this week. I told you about The List, the behemoth that continually feeds my reading habit; I participated for the first time in the Friday Book Blogger Hop; and I started a new set of categories for my reviews. (You can see them in the sidebar over there. There’s one more, too, that hasn’t made an appearance yet; I’m hoping it will arrive this weekend.)

Elsewhere: You can find me now on Twitter! Follow me @jenemoore for updates on blog posts, Goodreads, and Echo Bazaar, plus the occasional random trivia.

That’s all I’ve got this week, folks. It’s been a crazy time here at Chez Hopeful, between the heat and the summer rush at work. What have you all been doing this week?

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