TV Roundup

I thought I’d share some thoughts on the shows I watch and their season finales:

Supernatural: I love the Winchester Brothers. I love their loyalty to one another, But, because of it, they sometimes make the stupidest life choices either. The choice by Dean to let Michael in is among that list. I mean, really? Did he really think Michael would let him take the wheel and just stay for the ride? They couldn’t find any other way to defeat Lucifer? I am sure it will make for an interesting Season 15, but ugh, stop it!

iZombie: You killed Levon? Why??? DH says they are setting it up for Liv & Major to reunite in the last season. I AM NOT HAVING IT. I don’t want them back together!! I like the direction with Major taking over FG and the implications behind the government taking away brain tubes.

Supergirl: I know it hasn’t ended yet, but if she leaves Earth for good, I will NOT be happy. I get that she wants to be with her miraculously survived Mom and all, but how can it be Supergirl without Supergirl actually being there? Does that mean Mon-El will hopefully go away and return to the future at least? Is Alex really going to quit the DEO? I have SO many questions!

Timeless: NBC CANNOT cancel this show. It’s just getting really good. How did Wyatt and Lucy travel within their own timeline? Why are they so badass? Does Flynn have a thing for Lucy? Again, I have many questions. Let’s hope the fans win once more and it gets renewed.

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The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she quietly slides out of bed and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police – she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home – Cassie begins to lie. Soon it’s too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai.

 

Review:

Cassandra was not an easy character to like. She is an admitted drunk who has a tendency to drink so much that she has often blackouts. That Bohjalian was able to have me feel some sort of empathy for her is a credit to his writing skill. The book is written in alternate chapters of Cassandra and the actual killer. Both women have their story to tell. I was concerned I would not be interested enough to read the entire story, as slow moving as it is, but the writing style kept me reading. This isn’t a book about big events and happenings (except the twist ending which I will discuss), but following the paths of these two women was fascinating.

It’s truly interesting to see that waking up next to a dead body isn’t enough for Cassie to change her ways. She has no true real friends, an estranged sister, and no love life save for the one night stands she has at home and abroad. She doesn’t socialize with her co-workers much and doesn’t seem to connect to anything except a group of cats at a shelter.

The killer is another fascinating character. Her back story interested me more than Cassandra’s. I wanted to know more and more about her as the book went on. She has an interesting moral code for someone who kills people and seeing what made her tick was really good.

I still don’t know what to think about the ending. I have some issues how things came to be and how it all ended. For a story fraught with dysfunction, the ending seemed a bit too neat and nice in my opinion. It didn’t seem super realistic to the characters. I knew some sort of arc was happening, but this was not the one I was expecting.

 

Being a Book Outlier

We’ve all been there, we’ve read a book that didn’t work for us but SO many people love with a fiery passion (For example, while I enjoyed the first three Harry Potter books, I did not have any desire to read past them. If you are a Potterhead, sorry about that).

When I see fellow book people raving about a specific book enough, I will usually get curious to check it out if it’s something I would normally read anyway. There are times when I’ve agreed with them, but it seems, more often than not, the book doesn’t wow or thrill me. There are even times when I can’t even finish the book. It’s at these times that I feel that something may be wrong with me as a reader. What are they seeing in this book that I am not? Is there something wrong with me that I am not enjoying the book?

I know that for every book, there is a reader, and not every book is for every person. I feel somehow left out of the “reading gang” when I don’t like a book many others do. Logically, that is ridiculous, and I know there are others like me out there, but I do feel it sometimes. I’ve been tempted to ask these people what they saw in the book, but I’ve been too afraid to admit I didn’t like it (book people can get pretty riled up over stuff sometimes). I know if I phrase the question right, I may be some insight into the book that makes me at least understand why they felt it was a good book, but I have yet to find the courage to ask the question.

Have you been a book outlier? What have you felt when you have been?

Importance of Mentorship

At my first library job, I had no idea what I was doing. I hadn’t worked in a public library before and felt lost. I was blessed that another librarian, John A., took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. I learned a lot working with him and try to still be like him today.

At my first full-time job, I didn’t have immediate mentors, but I found them. Again, they helped me navigate the world of children’s librarianship, something I knew very little about. At meetings, I met other librarians who I would contact with questions. Then I found social media. It’s been a great source for me, even now, 20 years into my career. I can ask any question and get an answer.

Recently, my job title was changed and I was once more lost in a new world. A librarian at another library has been an amazing mentor in this past year. I definitely would not know nearly as much about Local History without her.

Mentorship is so key in any job. If you don’t have a mentor in your building, go online and find one. No matter how long we are at this job, we will always need support and help. I’ve done what I can to pay it forward and mentor new librarians in any way that I can.

Long Way Down Intro

My library system and the neighboring system held our Annual Mock Printz today. I was given the honor of introducing Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds.

Here is my introduction:

Will has known about the rules ever since his childhood friend was killed on the playground, and he’s followed the first two: no crying, and no snitching. When his older brother, Shawn, is shot and killed while walking home from the store, Will knows he is expected to follow the final rule and avenge his brother’s death. He knows where Shawn keeps his gun, and he thinks he knows who the shooter is. Even if Will has never used a gun—never even held a gun before—rules are rules. But in the elevator on the way down, Will encounters family and friends who died playing by the rules, and now Will has to decide what he is going to do when the elevator reaches its final stop.

Kirkus wrote: Told in free-verse poems, this is a raw, powerful, and emotional depiction of urban violence. The structure of the novel heightens the tension, as each stop of the elevator brings a new challenge until the narrative arrives at its taut, ambiguous ending.

In an interview with NPR, Reynolds said, “What I wanted to do in telling a tale about gun violence is not create one-dimensional characters that fall into cliches, and so I think what we can do with devices, like using ghosts of the past, is we can create a space where the author doesn’t have to teach a lesson. Instead, it’s about us, thinking about those of our family members and our friends who we’ve already lost to this thing, and allow their haunting to be the thing that creates our psyche and our conscience.”

Though the setting of the book is an elevator, the stories the ghosts tell take you outside, into the gritty streets where violence is a daily event. Will’s voice & thoughts shine through the sparse writing. His grief is raw and palpable. As each ghost enters, Will begins to really think about what he is about to do. His desire to follow the rules vs. the pull of the ghosts is a raw battle throughout the novel, one with an open ending. The starkness of the book pulls the reader in immediately and the Will’s grief is heart wrenching.  My question for all of you is: you coming?

Complete Book Riot Reader Harder Challenge

As I am only 50 pages from finishing the last book of this challenge, I thought I would write all of them out for you (again):

Book about Sports: Undefeated by Steve Sheinkin

Debut Novel:  Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Book about Books: Books for Living by Will Schwalbe

Set in Central/South America written by Central/South American Author : Lost City Radio by Daniel Alacron

By an Immigrant with Immigration Narrative: Inside Out & Back Again by Thannha Lai

All-Ages Comic: BC Mambo by Erik Craddock

Published between 1900-1950: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Travel Memoir: Gutsy Girl by Caroline Paul

Book I’ve Read Before: One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

100 Miles of My Location: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

More than 5000 Miles from My Location: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

Fantasy Novel: Rosemary & Rue by Seanan McGuire

Book about Technology: Distraction Addiction by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Book about War: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

YA/Middle grade by author who identifies as LGBTQ+: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Banned/Frequently Challenged: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Classic by an Author of Color: Go Tell it on a Mountain by James Baldwin

Superhero Comic with Female Lead: Faith: Hollywood and Vine by Jody Houser

Character of Color goes on a Spiritual Journey: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

LGBTQ+ Romance: Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by  Sara Farizan

Published by a Micropress: Game World by C. J. Farley

Collection of Stories by a Woman: Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro

Collection of Poetry in Translation on a Theme Other than Love:       Neruda at Isla Negra by Pablo Neruda

All Point-of-View Characters are People of Color: Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

I already printed out the 2018 Challenge. I can’t wait to do it again!

 

Catch-up Time

I’ve established I won’t be one of those book bloggers who posts at least once a week, gets cool swag from publishers, and has a ton of followers and I’m OK with that. It has been a very long time since I last posted, so here’s a catch-up of what I’ve read since then.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy                                                                          What can I say about this book that so many people haven’t already? Ramona is stuck. She lives in a trailer with her dad and her

Crash Override by Zoe Quinn                                                                      Her account of what happened to her is terrifying and disturbing. What was done to her was completely awful. That was able to overcome it and speak out is a testament to her strength. Now she helps others in her shoes.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera                                                My only quibble about this book is that it took too long for the two characters to get together, especially considering the plot of the book. I loved both boys and everything else about the book.

Black Beauty by Anna Seawald                                                                        I’ve never read this classic before. I liked the horse’s point of view. It’s definitely pro-animal and about being a good person and being virtuous, but I see nothing wrong with that. It made me love horses even more.

Game World by CJ Farley                                                                                   I wanted to love this book. A diverse cast of kids gets sucks into the world of a video game. The plot was a little slow, some of the dialogue was really stilted, and the grammar and wording needed some help. It’s a good story. I just wanted it to be great.

Lazarus vol. 1-3 by Greg Rucka                                                                    Dystopian world. Powerful families rule the sections of the globe. Each has a Lazarus who can’t be killed. Forever wants nothing more than her family’s love and approval. She will do anything for them, believe anything they tell her. I can’t wait to see how this progresses

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park                                                                    I want to take Tree-Ear home and feed him, clothe hi, and house him. His relationship with Crane-Man is so beautiful and so special. This was a sweet and wonderful look into historic Korea.

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green                                                This was a heart-wrenching read of her life. It is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve dealt with eating disorders or sexual abuse, be careful reading this, it can definitely trigger a lot of things. I could not put it down.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds                                                  Another gorgeous book by Jason Reynolds. This one is his first book in verse and it takes place in one elevator ride. The power behind the words, short are they are, are unbelievable.

Spining by Tillie Walden                                                                                    A graphic memoir of a girl’s life of ice skating. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t speak to me as much as I thought I would.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng                                                            I love love love Pearl. Her relationship with the Richardson family is a great one. Elena Richardson is quite the characters. I wasn’t her biggest fan, but she was written in a way that the reader shouldn’t like her. I do want to read the other book by this author.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer                                                                             A retelling of the Queen of Hearts origin story. It’s a great fractured fairy tale and a feel good version of a character that ends up evil at the end. I love Marissa Meyer and I was not disappointed by this title.