Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ramp up the Vamp Factor

I've been reading my butt off and been a selfish brat by not sharing. Here's my latest "shoveitinthefaceofeveryoneiknow" books, The Society of S by Susan Hubbard. It's the latest in vampire fiction. If you are going to ALA, you've been forewarned. Les, this means you.

Ariella knows there is something different about her, her father and her lifestyle, but it’s not until she meets her best friend Kathleen that she begins to question her differences. Her father slowly unravels the truth of Ari’s birth and the mystery of her mother’s disappearance at Ari’s birth.

Ari's new found knowledge of her heritage leads to a tragic event that has Ari doubting her father. She steals in the middle of the night and leaves a note that only reads "south." Along the way, Ari begins to understand her heritage and how it may impact those around her, for good and for bad. The journey to find her mother will bring up more questions about Ariella and what her future will bring than she can answer. An unexpected phone call from her best friend's brother has Ariella demanding, and receiving, the truth about her family and their heritage.

The voice of the narrator and the storyline will keep adult and teen readers captivated as the plot unfolds at a leisurely, yet utterly compelling, pace. Lyrical writing reminiscent of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Schlock the Vote: WSMD?

It's been a crappy day.

My cold isn't completely gone. I snapped at a friend via email (who likely needed it 'cuz she's always snapping at me). Got to work in time to give everyone breaks THEN go on the desk myself. Received a phone call to come home ASAP and wait for AC guy. Received another phone call that Security guy would be here when I got home. Snapped at a staff member who can't seem to master the concept of timesheets and lunch. Snapped at a staff member who conveniently forgot where the keys go (she only uses the damn things every bloody morning). Had to cancel two meetings (hmmm. probably not a bad thing). Caught bus early (which is not necessarily a good thing since it came TOO early and I was lucky enough to be there today but wasn't yesterday so I called the busdriver a dick today for being early yesterday and making me miss it and stand out in the pouring rain. grrr). Get home to find Security guy leaving. I wasn't needed at home immediately after all. So now I am missing a meeting with the Ambassador from Mali to the U.S. BIGflippin GRRRRRRRR.....

So. Now you get to vote: What Should Marian Do?

1. Get drunk and read books for Alex Awards?

2. Get drunk and do housework?

3. Get drunk and play on the internets all afternoon?

4. Get drunk and phone friends to come over and catch up?

5. Get drunk and catch up on episodes of Lost?

6. Get drunk.

7. Stay sober and do any of the above?

Polls close at midnight tonight. Every vote counts so vote early, and often! Just like the dead do in Chicago.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tempest in Pacific Northwest

I admit to being a big fan of Miranda Beverly-Whittemore's after her first novel The Effects of Light. I told everyone I knew about that book after I reviewed it for Booklist. I'm happy to say she didn't disappoint me with her sophomore effort, Set Me Free, and I'm eagerly awaiting the third.

Loosely using Shakespeare's The Tempest as a frame, this story is about the journey of one man to another and one daughter to another. Elliot, an educated, well-meaning Easterner with a mysterious past, moves to a desolate Indian reservation in the Pacific Northwest to open a school. His best friend and worst enemy is Cal Fleecing, a native Neige Courant, who is hiding his own past.

Elliott summons his ex-wife, Helen, a renowned Broadway theater director to stage a production of The Tempest in hopes of securing joint support from a wealthy day school in Portland, Oregeon upon approval of the tribal elders. Amelia, Elliott's daughter, has just returned from the white children's boarding school with a terrible secret about her departure. Everyone is hiding something from their pasts--ancient and recent. A tragic fire flushes out the truth for all as they gather to help a fatally injured member of their family.

All the subplots are woven well together and dovetail nicely in the midst of a surprising and logical ending. Characters are fully realized; pace is a combination of leisurely and swift. The literary references to other works are a particular delight to me and will be to those who are widely read, particularly in the classics.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

On the radio

Recently I was invited to fill in for a regular guest on KCUR's Walt Bodine Show as one of the Book Doctors. I've been trying to get on this show for years and a good friend at the library where I work did some of his PR magic and found me a spot (shout out to HF). I was only able to do two shows. I thought I was okay the first time, but did very well the second time. Listen for yourselves.

On the March 12 show I talked up Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill; Relative Danger by Charles Benoit; and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

On the May 17 show I waxed poetic about Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas (one of my favorite authors); Acceptance by Susan Coll; Still Water Saints by Alex Espinoza (a first novel with lyrical writing) and commented on a caller's recent read, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (another favorite).

Listen. Read. Send comments. Either to me or the authors. We love feedback.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shook THAT off

Ah, it feels better to lose the gravity boots, heavy eyeliner, superhero cape, and beehive hairdo and go back to being Marian(super)Librarian, instead of Zelda Pinwheel (very bitchy alter-ego trotted out for sales people and nasty maitre d's), Ab Ovu Usque Ad Mala (Sapphic Amazonian babe who likes to taunt MySpacers), and the Goddess of Snark (the weekend smartass).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's better when you're unprepared

Since I goofed off last night and attended TWO meetings before 9 am today, I was wholly unprepared for my stint on the Walt Bodine Show's Book Doctors segment.

Whenever I feel I'm not ready for something I decide to wing it, and usually do better than if I'd prepared. But you be the judge.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bad dress rehersal

So today is the day that I've been dreading for the last month. The first program in a series called Eclectic Eats that I planned and organized with my buddy, Paul, who is a logistical genius and a worrier nonpareil. I don't bother worrying anymore. Paul is doing enough for the both of us to last the next two years.

And the day starts off with a wallop. It's raining like a mutha. Clem goes tearing downstairs to see if the basement is leaking. Again. My cat pees on my newly acquired vintage cardigan sweater AND the clothes I was going to wear to work. I miss my bus. I forget to do my makeup. I forget to apply my de-frizz. I forget that I only have my beat-up babyish maryjanes in my desk at work and I can't wear those with bare legs which means I have to put on the spare pair of stockings I keep in my desk and the elastic is shot and where the hell am I supposed to put my underwear since I can't wear it now?! (Male people from work may not read that last line). I stuff it in my left Chuck Taylor.

I have a plethora of email to read since I didn't make it into work yesterday (hit a deer on my way back from Emporia. Do. Not. Ask.) When I do read it I learn that poor Paul is going into battle, yet AGAIN, with everyone under the sun about the room set up.

The sound guy is being "artistic" which demands a whole new set up. We spend the afternoon having multiple meetings about the set up, the food, the sound, the video, the centerpieces, and the promotional materials for the Young Friends of the Library. I discover my color printer isn't working and I can't make the copies I need. I forgot to arrange for centerpieces and cobble something together at the last minute. The soundnvideo guy is late and a bit of a squirrel. A nice squirrel, but a squirrel all the same.

I finally give up and go with it, deciding that the event is going to happen no matter what. Paul insists on wearing out his shoe leather by wearing a small trench in the floor. I tug on my stockings and we both wonder where the speaker-chefs are and at that moment, my phone vibrates. Which dislodges my stockings. This is getting embarrassing. And now it's show time.

When we open the doors, we have ten people in a room set up for 120. One of our speakers is late and my microphone won't work. Our CEO shows up and Paul and I start to get nervous that we are about to bomb; the flop sweat breaks out. The music isn't on and we can't find the CDs.

And then, everything comes together. The last speaker shows up in a crowd of about 90 other people. The music is playing under the crowd buzz. My microphone gets juiced, I make a joke about sound checks, and Paul's boss grins at me from the back of the room. I'm doing it right.

Paul gives me a thumbs up and a "you rock" wink and I'm off to the races introducing the speakers, handing off the mike, moving through the crowd and greeting the attendees. All I can think about is getting to the back of the room and getting my own drink.

Paul's boss follows me outside and tells me, "We're done. This is perfect. The CEO is thrilled. We can have anything we want in the morning. You two have done excellent work. Post mortem on Thursday. Be there."

And all Paul and I want is a place to sit and breathe and clink glasses. We'll think about the great performance tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Performance Evaluation

I must not be the suk. Friends and family are glad I do what I do for a living. An old high school buddy has taken one of my latest favorite books with him on vacation. He's threatened to kick my ass AND the ass of the author's famous dad if he doesn't like it, but I know he will.

My mom, who listens when I tell her why she likes the books she does, discovered one of my favorite authors and is hooked. She couldn't wait for this author's latest book to come off hold, so she's reading something else and can't believe what she's been missing.

Two friends from my newest book group sat around with me in my library's cafe this weekend and jabbered about all things biblio. Victoria and I talked Crista into trying Barbara Kingsolver, Crista talked Victoria into an Australian debut novel and Victoria reminded me why I should go back and give The Club Dumas a spin. Both of them are glad to have found this new gabfest and we're going to be a tight group, I can tell.

When the work day has been cruddy, I just have to talk about reading with some friends, family, heck, strangers even. And it's all good all over again. I am lucky.