Ten recaps already! omg.
Kind 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 labyrinth 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.)
My weekly summary of blog, books, and life.
Also 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…)
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.
Well, between the Discworld con and annoying obligations like the paying day-job, this has been a slow blog week. Nonetheless —
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.
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.
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?
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.)
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?