Monday, October 24, 2016

For my 9th Graders this week


First, I'll read excerpts from a few books, and then...

we'll watch some creepy book trailers:

Alice in Zombieland

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 

Dorothy Must Die

Dragons in the Stacks--October

This is our NHS Library's October newsletter. Please take a look!

Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Monday. What are YOU reading?

I just finished listening to Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper on audible.

Y'all.  This book.
I absolutely loved the duel settings of modern day and WWII, as Laurel attempts to solve the mysteries of her mother's past. Gorgeous.  It was a lovely LONG listen--so not for a quick road trip, but certainly worth the investment of time

My high school faculty book club is reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  First, his name is pronounced ooh-vuh, which through me for a quick minute (yes, I'm listening to this one, too, and SO grateful because otherwise, I would still be calling this man by the wrong name) but I am really enjoying this book.  Ove is a curmudgeon of the first order.  Everything has a place and should by god be there.  While most folks would overlook him as a bitter old grump, the new young family next door finds a way to connect and bring out the best in him.  I have laughed right out loud at this one, and have also found it to be a lovely, poignant story.

You know you have a winner when your high school students start passing around the picture book in the before-school crowd.  I heard the "you've gotta read this one right now" whispered from person to person as it made the rounds.  #allthefeels

What are YOU reading?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Winning at F-A-I-L

I have the most amazing job in the universe.
And yesterday was just awful.
This does not make me love my job any less. Saying this does not make me a negative person.
It's just the real honest-to-gosh truth of my day.
Today will be better.

I believe in putting positivity out into the world.
I also believe in being real.  These are NOT mutually exclusive things.
I think it is especially important in this age of Instagram moments and Pinterest and look-at-how-awesome-this-is social media that we also remember to share our first attempt at learning moments.
Yeah, that spells F-A-I-L.

The problem is not with failing and acknowledging our fail----this is not a negative, folks.
The problem would be STAYING in that place.

Everything in the world (just about) that could go south yesterday, did indeed go south.
I want to share that with you for two reasons. One, I sorta need to vent/examine/feel my feelings so I can move forward and begin to see the humor in the sheer craptastic-ness of it, and two, I need you to know that I'm not winning all the time, and that is OKAY.

No one is winning all the time.
NO one is winning all the time.

Winning all the time doesn't happen.  It isn't real.  It is a facade.
However, when all everyone does is acknowledge only our winning moments it can SEEM like everyone else is winning all the time.  Except you.

Don't believe it, folks.
It isn't true.  That isn't how life works.
Not one of us can do everything in superhero mode all the time.

And that is okay.
And you are okay.
And I am okay.
And WE are okay.

It isn't negative to say,
         look--I'm struggling.
         hey, this didn't go so great.
         I tried, but I didn't love the way it went down.
It is real. 
Fail Forward.

That is one of the most positive things you can do.
I promise.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dragons in the Stacks newsletter

Here's our new library newsletter!  This one will be digital, heavy on pics & vids and light on paragraphs.  I'd love it if you'd take a look!

Be sure to follow the link to see the freshman orientation video.  The kids had a great time working on teams to complete their scavenger hunt to become more acquainted with our library.

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's Monday, what are YOU reading?

It has been a wonderful, fast & furious entry into the new school year.  I'm finally collected enough to start writing again (or doing anything other than merely surviving the day!) and just in time for this week's What are you Reading post!

I just finished listening to The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I was completely swept up in the gorgeously written historical fiction/mystery/magical fairy tale of a story.  Utterly delicious. Perfect for filling these weeks of rain we've had in east Texas lately.  I loved it so much that I've downloaded another Kate Morton book, The Secret Keeper.  I'll keep you posted on that one.

I now belong to 2 book clubs (for grown folks, that is) and Anne Tyler's Vinegar Girl was the selection for the first meeting of my newest one.  I am an Anne Tyler fan---her ability to make characters come to life is just beautiful, and she is a master at showcasing the ordinary life in a way that shines a light on its specialness. Vinegar Girl is interesting in that it is a part of the new Hogarth Press which has modern authors creating modern retellings of Shakespeare's work.  Vinegar Girl is Tyler's twist on The Taming of the Shrew.

The book club had mixed reviews on this one, but I liked it.  Not loved it---but definitely liked it.  I suppose my reasons are a bit shrewish, too---if shrewish means being a bit cantankerous rather than the screaming banshee that initially comes to mind.

I like that it is a love story with two brilliant socially awkward people.  I like that our main character, Kate, is completely herself (wouldn't it be utterly delicious to live life in such a way that you were always your most real self?) I liked its quirkiness and its imperfect characters.  And also, I feel like I should reread the original just to compare the two.

I hope the beginning of the school year is treating you well and make sure you are making time to read!

Monday, July 11, 2016

It's MONDAY! What are YOU reading?

Lately, I've been obsessed with the Weetzie Bat series by Francesca Lia Block.
I read Weetzie Bat during National Readathon Day after having it suggested to me by a wonderful brilliant English teacher friend but just got to the others this week.  I read Pink Smog, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat & the Goat Guys, and Missing Angel Juan and might have stayed up until about 3:00 am finishing them up. I will definitely finish out this series.  These are quirky, dreamy magical realism about teens figuring out how they fit into their world.  Lush and gorgeous for those days when you just need to be swept away.

I've just started Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker for a summer book club. I've finished "phase one" and I have much to ponder.  This is not escapism--it is a hard look at reality and what it truly means to love the least of us. I look forward to discussing this book later in the week.  This is one that I will need to read slowly and carefully and take time to consider thoughtfully.  So far, it seems totally worth it. 

What are YOU reading?