Saturday, January 28, 2012

Holy hell that's a scary mask, or, Movie Trailer: John Dies at the End

Okay - so...I read this book over the summer and I'm super excited for the movie. I was very excited when I found out that Don Coscarelli was making it and Paul Giamatti is going to be in it. Thought there's no release date yet right now it's premiering at Sundance (read a review here)

The book is about a loser guy and his friend who ingest a trippy drug called Soy Sauce which gives them crazy abilities. You don't really need me to tell you any more that that because you should just that it's ridiculous and awesome. But here's some random words that relate to the film: Meat Monster, Televangelist, Bob Marley, Jennifer Lopez, girl with one hand.

Here's the website, the Facebook and the IMDb.

Two cool links:

Hi there. So, this week I found two different cool and bookish girl approved links I'd like to share.
The first is: Book Mooch
This is a site where you can send your unwanted books out into the world to people who really want them and get ones you do want from others. It's free to join and free to ask for books from others. The only costs for you is the shipping to send your books out. Each member has an account gets and spends points by completing actions on the site. You can read all about it before you sign up.
I've just signed up so I can't report too much more on it, but it seems really cool to me. Just because I didn't like a book doesn't mean that it isn't going to be great for someone else. And in theory, I can get stuff I want for free. So...if you got lots of books on your shelf that you don't need to hang on to, then consider signing up.

The next one is Chapter One through the Washington Post. This site allows you to read the first chapter of lots of new books. It's got a nice assortment of fiction and non-fiction. It's pretty cool to be able to check something out before committing.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Quote of the day

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
~Ray Bradbury

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Review: Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford

  • Hardcover: 304 pages

  • Publisher: Hyperion Books CH (April 7, 2009)

  • ISBN: 1423112466

  • List Price: $6.40

  • I finished this book on January 17

Kayso, I'm giving this book as a selection for the Book Club I run at school because we will be meeting the author at the Teen Book Festival in May. I can't wait for them to read it because I know they will love it.
The story is about Carter, a brand new baby Freshman boy with ADD and a stutter. Our story starts during the summer right before school starts. Anyone who teaches high school knows that Freshmen are really 8th graders for a good portion of 9th grade. Carter, whose ADD makes it very hard to focus on anything, is definitely immature. He's part of the popular crew and he plays football, though he doesn't really like it. He goes to high school parties he doesn't really want to go to, and he tries like whoa to have sex with some girls. He makes a lot of mistakes. Many of them are embarrassing. He accidentally breaks some hearts and has his broken.
The book has many qualities you'd expect from a book told by a 14 year old boy. There are fart jokes (I don't care who you are, fart jokes are always hilarious) and many deep thoughts on the differences between girl boobs and lady boobs (boobs are pretty much the only thing Carter can focus on).
The author, Brent Crawford, also suffers from ADD. He presumably also once suffered from being a 14 year old boy. His writing style is real and engaging, even if the narrative seems on fast forward sometimes (much like the VHS tape that Carter buys in the book. Hint: it's porn). Crawford is also an actor, and apparently a jean aficionado - which is weird but kind of awesome.
The book goes from slapsticky to serious smoothly. The whole last fourth of it just tickled my high school nerd girl so hard, but I'll let you figure it out for yourself. I'll leave you with my favorite quote from Carter:

"I think when you tap into something that you really want to do, you have to fight for it, even if the fight is with yourself."

Soundtrack: Luck Be a Lady Tonight from Guys and Dolls
(You'll have to read the book to figure out why)


Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Importance of Writing Space

I wanted to share with you this cool link I found the other day, which is a blog where authors display their writing space. It's called Write Place, Write Time.
I think this is pretty cool. I found it while I was on A.S. King's website (she's too BA to even call her my girlfriend, but you know...I'd take her on a date if I could). Here's a link to her entry. Joe Hill, one of my favorites also had a recent entry complete with cute pictures of his corgi (Squee! That's my second most wanted breed of dog!)
Some of these authors have extremely fancy offices some of them have a crazy mess happening (I'm looking at you, Peter Straub).
This is also timely because I spent a good deal of yesterday futzing around with my desk and office area in order to make it more streamlined. I argued to myself that this was a good use of time (you know...instead of writing) because it would make the space more...inspiring...user friendly...etc. This is crap, of course. As an amateur writer with lofty hopes and dreams it's somehow very easy for me to fritter away time that could otherwise be spent on writing.
So...on to writing....

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and up
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (January 10, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0525478817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525478812
  • List Price: $17.99
  • I finished this book on January 11

Okay. Right off the bat I need to tell you that I'm a nerdfighter. What's that? One of John and Hank Green's legion of fans. Author John and his brother Hank have a wildly successful youtube channel full of videos to each other. Seriously, clicking that link will make you cooler/a better person/more attractive. Nerdfighters battle to decrease world-suck. The motto is DFTBA which stands for Don't Forget to Be Awesome. I may or may not have a shirt that says Keep Calm and DFTBA (spoiler: I do). I should also tell you that I would probably leave my boyfriend for an opportunity to have lunch with John Green. (Sorry, Boyfriend). In the words of one of my students: I want to marry his brain. He's definitely on my Wall of Boyfriends at work. Yeah, that's a thing.

Anyway, one thing Nerdfighters are is internet savvy. There are about 8000 online homes for TFiOS love right now, not to mention several different websites devoted to Nerdfighteria. Including: TFios homes - pictures of happy people with their brand new copies of the book. Oh, did I mention that John Green notably signed all the copies of the first run of this book, so those that pre-ordered got books signed by him in various colored sharpies? Because he did and that's awesome. It was also accidentally released early by a Barnes and Noble slip-up that involved sending out pre-orders early. John was understandably upset that the book might have jerks spoil it. But, because Nerdfighteria is awesome many people promised not to open or read the book before it's official release date on January 10. I didn't pre-order (not sure why, I would have liked a signed copy) but I went to the store after work on Jan 10. As you could see by the info up top, I finished it Jan 11. Whatever else he is: John Green is highly readable.

Anyway, having said all that I'm not sure how much I need to actually talk about the book here, because there's just so much about it elsewhere online. Either way, here's the review:

First off - it's a cancer book. When I found out about that way back when I was all sad trombone noise. I do not like to cry. Actually, it's kind of a miracle I like John Green at all since my tastes tend to run more toward body counts, boobs and blood, or at least magic. I don't like my entertainment to be too feelingsy. And I knew Green + cancer book would = lots of feelings. Hurty ones. So feelingsy in fact, that someone posted this....

Original image, of course, from Hyperbole and a Half

And here's the thing, I was right, but it makes you feel ALL the feelings - sadness, sure. But also happiness and hope. So that's nice.

Anyway, the book is about Hazel, a teen who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and has to lug around an oxygen tank and a lot of sarcasm everywhere she goes. At the beginning of the book she goes to a support group for cancer teens and meets the dreamy Augustus Waters who is recovering from osteosarcoma. There is much banter and falling in love. I mean, these two have a lot in common: cancer, statistically improbably names, and a love of witty repartee.

So Hazel introduces Gus to her favorite book An Imperial Affliction (which also has it's own tumblr). It's a book about cancer (naturally) and the thing Hazel wants most (well, besides you know, a cure for cancer) is to meet the author. Gus, (because, did I mention he was dreamy?) figures out a way to make that happen. There's a cancertastic trip to Amsterdam and a lot of talk about Swedish rap music. It's very romantic (not the Swedish rap music, that sounds like the Swedish chef plus the Natalie Portman SNL rap video - and oooh Gus tells Hazel that she looks like Natalie in V for Vendetta. Full Circle!) . That's all the plot info you get.

One thing I love about Green's writing is that he isn't afraid to use wonderful vocab words (if you've read all of John's books and never had to check a dictionary, I bow to you). His characters are also so damn smart and funny and make these wonderful references. The title in fact, is a Shakespeare reference. My teenage self was not nearly that brilliant. Hell, my adult self isn't.

My favorite John Green is still An Abundance of Katherines, because I like things a little more silly. But I am very happy with this little dose of life a la John Green.

So now: please enjoy some hideous Swedish hip hop.

Soundtrack: Afasi & Filthy - Glider

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quote of the day

"When writing a novel, a writer should create living people."
~Ernest Hemingway
I found this when I was looking for a quote for my writing board in our office. I put it on my cast list (upcoming post about that) and I like it. However, the problem is...half of my main characters are ghosts. Teehee!
Fun fact: Hemingway hated ghosts. And people looking at his neck.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Amazing Book video

Please enjoy this crazy cool stop animation video shared with me by the great and wonderful S.G.

Book Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Scholastic Audio Books; Unabridged edition (May 24, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0545315387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545315388
  • I finished listening to this audiobook on January 8

I feel like from the cover you could tell that I HAD to read this book. Also, I have a long history of loving Libba Bray. Here are my reviews of her awesome historical fiction/paranormal romance the Great and Terrible Beauty series, here, here and here. She also has a book about mad cow disease which is in my towering to be read pile.

The story is about what happens when an airplane full of teenage beauty queens crash lands on a Lost-like island. Long story short: shenanigans ensue. There is an evil corporation, a Sarah Palin type character named Ladybird Hope, reality tv show pirates and all sorts of other amazing things. Shockingly, the girls don't go all Lord of the Flies on it. Instead they learn to survive and actually turn pretty kick-ass. They find out that they are good at things other than being pretty. They find hallucinogenic fruit. All good things. To boot -the story is broken up by hilarious footnotes and commercials.

What makes this even better was the reading by author Libba Bray. She does a host of amazing voices, from pageant loving Miss Texas to Momo B. Chacha. Oh, what? I forgot to tell you about Momo B. Chacha? Okay, he's an Elvis obsessed dictator of the Republic of Chacha who is working on a secret arms deal and creepy relationship with Ladybird Hope. (I imagine Momo as looking like Kim Jong Il in an Elvis costume (which is, unbelievably, something you can google image search) If you're wondering what this all looks like, I've gotcha covered.

Young love

There are so many adorable characters and great subplots in this book it's hard to tell you about all of it's awesomeness. The book was feminist and awesome without being preachy. There was much laughing out loud by me in my car like a creep. I highly recommend it for girls, people who used to be girls, and people who know girls. One more thing: if you don't read it, you'll never know who General Goodtimes is.

Soundtrack: Killer Queen by Queen

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Finer Points of Fines

Holy crap, y'all. Okay, so I'm a junkie. And today, I'm reading and I see an article titled "Police enforcement of library lending leaves 5 year-old in tears." I reluctantly click to read the article while thinking "Oh hell, ladies...really?"
So yeah - basically the public library in Charlton Massachusetts sent a "friendly" police reminder to 13 local residents to remind them that their library books were overdue. Understandably said delinquent patrons were not impressed. take matters further into crazy town the library spokesperson told the paper that they felt that the police visits would be "be a kinder way, a friendly reminder saying 'Hey can you bring this back,' rather than sending a summons," because she is high. Holy crap. If you want to see the local news report complete with little girl saying "I was scared" click here. I can only assume that each of her adorable dimples is a coffin nail in someone's career.
You know what? I get it, it sucks when people don't bring things back. The library I work for charges 5cents per day per overdue item with a cap at $5. To be honest, this does not really entice many of our worst offenders to bring back anything. In our school the fines are meant to be a deterrent to overdues, and we are usually willing to let kids slide if they are polite. We are almost always willing to make a deal. We make it very clear to them that we'd rather have our books back then take their money. I understand that these people in Massachusetts want their stuff back, but this is insane. And now it's national news.
Here's the thing, folks - we have been having the "Are Libraries Dead?!" debate since I started grad school. Librarians, when you do things like this: things that make us look like nervous old biddies, things that make us look naggy and mean, things that make us look like relics YOU ARE KILLING US. I mean really.
Not to mention for all of us Stephen King fans out there this is conjuring up uncomfortable memories of The Library Policeman.
Not how I want to be thought of...

So please, librarians, I'm begging out the cause and don't do anything else that's going to get us put in the news for being nuts.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why I love the internet.

Okay - so, I think an important part of being a librarian is understanding technology. It's also important as a high school librarian to relate the student, to know what they're into.
This post is not about that. It's about my love for the internet. The internet has given us an absolutely insane amount of possibilities for both efficiency and screwing around. It is a big insane, frenetic, ever changing time suck. And it's impossible to explain to someone who thinks it's stupid why nayan cat is awesome and how happy autotuned crap makes me (my favorite autotune is of course, this one)
Now the reason I bring this up is because, as a nerdy blogging librarian I would be remiss if I didn't share with you my new favorite internet nonsense. Hey Girl, I Like The Library Too.
This is a chuck of awesome that consists of pictures of actor Ryan Gosling with lolcat captions about hitting on a librarian. And I effing love it. I love it so hard. I don't know how this stupid beautiful thing happened and I don't need to. I will just enjoy it.

Of course, now I have also discovered that there is a Ryan Gosling Reads Young Adult one too. Also fantastic.
Yes. Thank you Al Gore for inventing the internet so I can have this.
I would also like to mention that I had a pre-existing crush on my boyfriend Ryan Gosling ever since I discovered Dead Man's Bones - his weird/awesome band. You enjoy this nonsense I've shared with you. And this video...

You're welcome.

Book Review: The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media (October 15, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1440525889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440525889
  • List Price: $8.98
  • I finished this book on January 2

Okay, soooo...first off, thanks to my gorgeous and talented sissy for letting me borrow this even though it was a Christmas present and you clearly didn't want me to take it.

Alright, let's get down to business: the book. It's about...well....books. Okay, I've probably checked about 15 books on writing in the last couple of years. My favorite so far is Stephen King's On Writing and to be honest, it's only 50% about writing (the other 50% is memoiry. Yeah, that's a word). The other ones? Yeah...I'm not saying I didn't read them but...I didn't finish a single one. The closest I've ever gotten to finishing a book about writing was 90 Days to Your Novel of which I probably read 3/4. Why am I telling you this? Because you should know I read this whole book cover to cover. And that's got to say something.

The book has some slightly cheesy encouragement parts and a lot of stuff about how your story fits in the "Universal Story"

The Universal Story would be more fun if there was a luck dragon in it.

But aside from that stuff the book is a solid, step-by-step plot building guide. Alderson takes you from the general story stuff to the in depth: character development, transitions, themes, all the elements you need to develop a great story out of your ideas. As in all books about writing Alderson uses several examples from classic works and popular literature. Now...I read a lot, and I will tell you, it's pretty rare that one of these books references a book I have read. This one mentioned at least two or three I had read amongst the many I had not. Gold star for me.
I think this book's advice was particularly helpful for me because of where I am in the writing process - I have finished a first draft (which is mildly terrible) and am revising. I was able to take many of the suggestions and apply them to my story.
If you're a writer, I would wait to begin this book until you have some semblance of an idea to work with before starting. If you follow the steps in the book you will end up with a crazy thorough plot diagram that looks like a rainbow threw up post-it notes on a posterboard.

And really, if you have that many post-it notes you should be doing this...

In google stalking Mrs. Alderson (like ya do) I found her crazy involved website and a shit-ton of youtube videos she's posted on plotting if you're into that sort of thing. Though, curiously, I couldn't track down one novel she's written, so....weird.
Either way: I liked this. It definitely gave me stuff to think about while I'm revising. I'll probably be featuring different parts of the book as I apply them to my writing process

Monday, January 2, 2012

Booknerd is back beyotches!

Okay, clearly the blog has been on unofficial hiatus since August 2008. I've decided to dust her off and start her up again, because...well...I need to share my nerd with the world.
The blog started as a New Year's resolution back in 2007 as a way to document all the stuff I was reading. First post is here. I was in library school (yes, that's a thing) at the time and I was reading all kinds of stuff from Library textbooks (also a thing) to lots of YA to straight up trashy romance. The blog back then was pretty much straight book reviews, and then I expanded with some trailers and movie reviews and related nonsense.
Five years later I am an official librarian at a great high school that I am very lucky to work at. I am also a writer, working on my first YA novel. I still read a lot, tons of YA books, lots of Stephen King and no shortage of trashy romance novels either (don't judge me, it's called a guilty pleasure because it's pleasurable!).
Sooo...the point of the new and revamped booknerd blog is still to review books, but I'll also be writing about being a librarian, the writing process, and other nerd-tastic stuff.
Also...when I'm a shamefully famous published YA author you can be all "I knew her before she was mainstream..." etc. You'll love it.

Like this guy, only about me...whatever, you get the point.

Anyway, you're gonna love it.
Coming up next:
Book review: The Plot Whisper