Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week 11 Prompt

Ebooks and audiobooks are a part of our landscape. What does the change in medium mean for appeal factors?

Image result for kindle logoI love Ebooks and Audiobooks, this is how I get my reading in as a full time teacher, Mom of two and a grad student. If it wasn't for these options I wouldn't be able to keep up with my favorite authors or make progress on my very long To Read list.

If you can't hold a book and feel the physical weight of it in your hands, how does that affect your knowledge of the genre? How about readers being able to change the font, line spacing, and color of text - how does that affect pacing and tone?

I have a Kindle Paperwhite and know of people that use a Nook. I prefer Kindle over Nook because I have an Amazon account and they work well together. I first went with Ebooks in 2011 because of the cheaper cost and I am running out of room for books in my house! (I am horrible at returning books to the library and always end up with fines) This is actually my third Kindle, I think they are very user friendly and recommend them to everyone.

I like the portability of my Kindle, I always carry a book with me just in case I have the opportunity to read. My Kindle is much easier to carry with me everywhere and it stays charged for a long time. I don’t particularly miss the feel of holding a physical book though I know some people do. I don’t have a problem seeing close up but I know some people do, so the ability to change  the font style and size enables the reader not to have to purchase or check out a large print book.

How about audiobooks? Track length, narrator choice, is there music?  
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I have listened to audiobooks for many years, I have books on cassette and cd. I have used Audible to purchase audiobooks for a couple years now. I typically listen to audiobooks while driving in the car, I drive 30 minutes to work five days a week. Audible is a subscription service run through Amazon, I pay a monthly fee that gives me a book credit, I save money by using this service versus paying per book. The narrator can make or break a story. Jim Dale and Gerard Doyle are my favorite narrators, Jim Dale narrated Harry Potter and Gerard Doyle narrated The Hunger Games among many others. In a series I find it much easier to follow the characters and more enjoyable when the same person narrates the entire series. I also prefer to have one narrator versus a male and female narrator switching back and forth between characters.
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The nice thing about both formats is my local library uses Overdrive, a service that allows you to check out Ebooks and audiobooks. This service comes with my library card. There is usually a waiting list for the more popular items so it requires patience, but the savings do add up and its a great option when trying out new authors.

Western Annotation - The Revenant


Title: The Revenant
Author: Michael Punke
Publisher: Picador
Date Published: January 6th, 2015
Pages: 272
Time Period: 1820s

The Revenant is based on a true life story of trapper Hugh Glass. Set in the 1820s this is a story of revenge, betrayal and retribution. Working as a scout for a trapping expedition Glass encounters a grizzly bear and it looks as though he will not survive his wounds. Against all odds Glass survives but the lengths to which he goes to accomplish this are true examples of perseverance and revenge. 
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The Revenant was made into a movie and debuted in 2015. The movie starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Will Poulter. IMDB gave the movie 8/10 stars and earned a 76/100 from Metacritic. 
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Westerns take place in the American West and descriptions of the landscape are of vital importance to the story. This genre focuses more on action and description than dialogue. This is a story of good vs. evil and at times forgiveness. Vengeance and resolution are key themes in a western and the main character, a male, is bigger than life. 
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Image result for the revenantI chose this book because I had heard of the movie and that it was quite successful. I did not have high expectations for this genre. I enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape immensely and wish I could have seen it unspoiled as Hugh Glass and Jim Bridger did. I appreciated the historical references as I don't know a lot about this time period. This book really helps you get a sense of the rough lifestyle the trappers endured. I don't think this genre is growing, I think die hard fans are keeping it alive.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Historical Fiction Annotation

The Secret Wife
By: Gill Paul
Published: August 25, 2016
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 417
Genre: Historical Fiction
Period: WW1 and Present

This novel is a blend of two stories from very different eras and how they are connected. The story during the WW1 era focuses on Dmitri Malama and Duchess Tatiana and their forbidden romance. We eventually come to understand their connection to the main character, Kitty. The present day portion focuses on Kitty as she learns of her husband’s infidelity and flees to a cabin she recently inherited from a relative she knew nothing about. Kitty restores the cabin and searches for information about her great grandfather and what caused him to live in this secluded cabin estranged from family.

This historical fiction novel focuses on Duchess Tatiana and the rest of the royal family. Due to the many theories about whether all members of the family truly died; there is a dedicated following already in place for this story. The story provides a wealth of information about life in Russia, the royal family, and other historic events. The author did a wonderful job including these in the story without including too much information. The novel flows at a leisurely pace following the main characters lives.

These historical fiction novels feature the Romanov Family.
This Nonfiction choice provides a very close look at the Romanov Family.
These Historical Fiction choices are written in a similar style to that of the author.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Book Club Experience

Book Club

I am part of a book club at my school that consists of 8-10 female teachers. The school librarian organized this at the beginning of the year. At our first meeting, we discussed what type of books we wanted to read and we agreed that we wanted to choose books that were made into a movie, books that were not overly depressing, and books that were realistic. We communicate through email and the librarian will send out a google form for us to choose our top picks for our next book.

Image result for best exotic marigold hotelThe first book that was read is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach. Some teachers used paperbacks provided by the library and others used e-readers. The group was given a month to read the book prior to meeting to discuss it and watch the movie. We met in the library after school, the librarian had provided snacks and arranged the comfy chairs in front of a projector screen we could watch the movie on. The atmosphere was one of friends talking and relaxing together away from the stress of teaching.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

All attendees were excited to discuss the book and watch the movie. The librarian asked some probing questions about topics addressed in the book and everyone had the chance to respond and talk about their opinions. One member did dominate much of the conversation and one did not speak much, the librarian did a good job of moderating and trying to give everyone a chance to participate. Considering that all of the members work together and know each other pretty well everyone felt comfortable enough to give their honest opinions about the book and movie.

We watched the movie as a group and enjoyed it immensely. After the movie, most of the discussion revolved around the major differences in the book and the movie and everyone’s opinion on this. We thought there were many significant changes from the book to the movie, but that the changes made the movie work. The movie was nominated for many awards and was considered a box office hit.

I had seen the movie before reading the book and found the book hard to get into because I was constantly comparing it to the movie and thus did not finish it. I found all of the different characters interesting and their backstories were provided in the book giving you more insight to each of them. I loved the movie and some of my favorite actors star in it such as Maggie Smith and Judi Denche. I decided in the future to always try to read the book before watching the movie.

I have also joined the RW Book Club on Facebook, this is Reese Witherspoon’s book club that takes place on Facebook and Instagram. The discussion takes place on Facebook and the books are announced on Instagram. We are currently reading: The Dry by Jane Harper & The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. The discussions have not taken place yet, but the club members are very active and post frequently about what they are reading, looking for recommendations, and news about other books.

We are doing a March book exchange and all members that want to participate can. The theme of this exchange is "green." You may interpret this however you'd like (cover is green, the book is about money or flowers, etc). One of the admins of the group is organizing it and will send out who you are sending a book to on March 15th and all books need to be sent by March 31st.

I can’t wait to be a librarian full time and get to participate in more book clubs or help with one.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Special Topics Paper - Reader's Advisory For Teens

Social Media is a great tool to use in Reader's Advisory for Teens. Here are some ideas on how social media platforms can be used to provide book recommendations for teens.

Reader's Advisory for Teens

Booktalks are a great way to to promote reading to teens. Many social media platforms now allow videos to be posted including: Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. When creating a booktalk to post on social media, the librarian needs to keep in mind the time constraints of each platform, for example Snapchat videos are limited to ten seconds. Snapchat also allows the user to add filters that pertain to the setting or content of the book. Videos could be created for new items in the Teen Section, Read-alikes, and other items the library is currently promoting.
Image result for booksnapsA book snap is a picture of text from a book that is focusing on a quote or idea in the text with emojis, text or other content added to illustrate the point. The book snaps are typically shared on Snapchat and Twitter.  The librarian can share quotes or highlights from the book they are reading or promoting and post it to the social media app. Book snaps could also be used to share what the librarian is currently reading by posting a picture of the book cover with a few words about the book or with the words, currently reading. Book snaps of a book cover could be shared on all social media platforms. Sharing what one is currently reading or has read recently is a great way to get teenagers talking about books.
There are multiple websites available that will allow a patron to get a reading recommendation, Goodreads and Library Thing are among some of the popular websites. The teen librarian could create a profile on these sites to promote what they are currently reading and assist teen patrons in doing so as well. Posting links to these accounts on the library website and social media platforms will allow the library to reach more users. Goodreads allows a user to add friends and follow what they are reading and make recommendations to others as well.

Image result for book infographicInfographics are graphic visual representations of information and have become very popular. There are many free programs that allow you to create these, such as: Piktochart, Canva and Venngage. This is a great way to recommend books through the use of Read-alikes or specific topics.  For example an infographic could be made about what to read if you like the tv series The Walking Dead. These posters could then be displayed at the library in the teen section or shared on the library’s social media platforms.

Works Cited

Brown, David W. "How Young Adult Fiction Came of Age." The Atlantic. N.p., 01 Aug. 2011. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.
Burgess, Dave. "#BookSnaps!!" Blog post. Teach Like a Pirate. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.
Graves, Alanna. "How To Use Snapchat for Readers' Advisory." School Library Journal(2016): n. pag. Web.
Thorton-Verma, Henrietta, and Meredith Schwartz. "The State of Readers' Advisory."Library Journal 03 Feb. 2014: n. pag. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Women's Lit Annotation - Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Title: Big Little Lies
Genre: Women's Relationships
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Number of Pages: 460
Geographical Setting: Australia
Time Period: Present

  Big Little Lies tell the story of three women at very pivotal points in their lives. Madeline, a mother of three, is funny, passionate, and brutally honest. She is struggling with her ex-husband and his wife living in the same community, they both have a child in the same kindergarten class and their daughter from their marriage likes his new wife better than her. Celeste is beautiful, it's all anyone notices about her. Her, her husband and their twin boys are the envy of everyone, they seem to have it all but at what price? Jane is a young, single mother who is new to town. Madeline and Celeste quickly bring Jane into their little group and try to protect her from the other Kindergarten moms. This book explores the relationships between these women, ex-husbands and much more.

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Davitt Award for Best Adult Novel (2015), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction (2014)

Image may contain: 1 person, text, closeup and outdoorThis book is a great example of Women's Literature with its focus on the relationship between three women all at a different place in their lives. The book alternates between narration from all three characters points of view. This provides a unique look at each of their personal struggles and how friendships are more important than ever.  None of the women's lives are perfect, they each struggle with something, this is a great example that no one's life is perfect even though it may appear so on the outside.

Image may contain: 1 person, text and closeupHBO has made a miniseries consisting of seven episodes that started airing on February 19, 2017. Reese Witherspoon stars as Madeline, Nicole Kidman plays Celeste, and Shailene Woodley is Jane. HBO describes the series as a dark comedy and drama.

Read a Likes:

Each of these novels explores relationships and real life issues.

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Wonder By P.J. Palacio

If you were to ask me some of my favorite books of all time, this would definitely be in my top 5! I won't describe what I look like. ...