Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Librarians at the Lit Crawl!

Lit Crawl LA/NoHo is TOMORROW NIGHT (Wednesday, Oct. 22), and here is where your Burbank Public Librarians can be found at the event:

ARSINE (children's librarian at the Northwest Branch)

Round 1 (announcing) at 7 p.m.: The Eclectic (Map 12)
Round 2 at 8 p.m.: The NoHo Arts Center (Map 14)

CAREY (head of Reference at the Central Library)

Round 1 at 7 p.m.: Antaeus Company Library (Map 8)
Round 3 (announcing) at 9 p.m.: Literary Lane Breezeway (Map 24)

MELISSA (teen librarian at the Central Library)

Round 2 (announcing) at 8 p.m.: Republic of Pie (Map 16)
Round 3 at 9 p.m.Literary Lane Breezeway (Map 24)

If you click on each location link, it will tell you what's happening there. The "Map" references tell you where the venues are on the route, which is along Lankershim Blvd., between Camarillo and Chandler (and a few on Magnolia). If you want to see the full array of events (and also the map), click here.

We hope to see you tomorrow night for literary mayhem!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Teen review: realistic fiction

Girlfriend Material
by Melissa Kantor
251 pages
Realistic fiction, not part of a series
Middle-High school level
Reviewed by Kayla, 10th grade

Kate's summer went from fabulous to flat. She was going to hang out with her best friend and continue going to her writing class. However, all of her plans changed when her mom announced that they were going to Cape Cod to visit Tina, an old college buddy of hers. Cape Cod is gorgeous, but Kate doesn't know anyone there, and the only girl she does know (Tina's daughter, Sarah) is bent on pretending that Kate isn't even there. In spite of her boredom, Kate decides to go to the cool club in town, where she meets some nice teens including a super hot guy named Adam. Things start to get complicated fast, and Kate isn't sure what is going to happen. Will Sarah befriend her? Will Adam fall madly in love with her?

This book started out a little slow for me, but after the first chapter or so, I started really enjoying it. I got quickly attached to the characters, as they were very relatable because our ages are close. I also think most teens will be able to relate to these characters, because this type of situation happens often. I would recommend this book to my friends as a fun book and an easy read. I wished that it was longer or that there was a sequel, because I want to read more about Kate and Adam and the sticky situations they get into.

When I was in the library, I noticed this book because I thought the name was kind of interesting. However, when I pulled it out, the cover was kind of plain. I really like the picture of the two people drawing hearts in the sand and there is an element of mystery because you can't see their faces. I disliked the simplicity of the cover, though. I think that teens want to see really cool intricate covers. As they say, never judge a book by its cover, though, because this was a great book that I would gladly read again.

I rate this book as a 5.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Zombies! Max Brooks!

Woodbury University is having a “One Book, One Community” program with a ZOMBIE theme.


Join in a Zombie Panel Discussion, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Library on the Woodbury University Campus. It features:

Amy Converse on Zombies + Avant Garde
Rossen Ventzislavov on Zombies + Philosophy
Phil Pack on Zombies + Biology


Max Brooks, author of World War Z, will be the featured guest at Woodbury University's “One Book, One Community” program, Thursday, Oct. 23, from 5:30-8 p.m., at the Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium on the Burbank campus of Woodbury University. The event is free, and open to the public.

Mr. Brooks will speak for approximately 45 minutes, then allow about 15 minutes for questions and another 15 minutes for book signings.

At 7 p.m., there will be small group discussions or activities related to the book.

Max Brooks is the bestselling author of World War Z, The Harlem Hellfighters, The Zombie Survival Guide, and its graphic companion, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Writing your Time Travel Story

Still contemplating how to write a time travel story for our October contest? Don't worry--you still have two weeks, and we have HELP for you!

Tamara Ireland Stone, author of Time Between Us and Time After Time, who taught our Time Travel Writing Workshop on October 9, has now kindly provided us with her powerpoint with thought process, ideas, examples, and tips! We are so lucky to have this. You can access it here. With a learning aid like this, you can't miss!

We look forward to reading all your stories! Remember they are DUE on OCTOBER 31st, by 5:00 p.m.! (The Witching Hour.)

Also, I know a lot of you wonder how they come up with covers for your books--Tamara has posted a step-by-step of the creation of this cover, if you want to satisfy your curiosity.

Local authors this Saturday

On Saturday, October 18, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Buena Vista branch...


More than 50 authors of books on a variety of topics will meet you! Discover new books! Connect with new authors! What do you like to read? Mysteries or science fiction? Fantasy or romance? Fiction or nonfiction? Children's books or Young Adult?

Two Young Adult authors will be in attendance:

Nancy Lorenz, author of The Strength of Ballerinas

Julie Musil, author of The Boy Who Loved Fire

Stop by and help us celebrate the written word!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


For all of you who have "aged out" of high school book club, we now have a club for YOU! The slogan is, "Not your mother's book club," and the club demographic is aimed at "new adults"--Millennials and GenXers. The name of the club is Genre X Book Club, and it meets TONIGHT, October 16, at 6:30, at the Central Library in the auditorium. The club discussions will be led by librarians Jeff Whalen (some of you will remember him from one of our Open Mic nights when he played his guitar) and Laura McMahon.

The discussion tonight will be about Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk, but if you're just seeing this notice now and haven't read it, come anyway! Express your interest, hang with your reading peeps, eat some refreshments, and get pumped for next month's meeting! November's book is the National Book Award-winner Just Kids, by Patti Smith, and in December the club will read the graphic novel Black Hole, by Charles Burns. After that, the members will join in choosing future selections!

Book Club Report

There were 15 present at 6+7 Book Club on Tuesday night to discuss Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud. Everyone had a lot to say about the story, the characters, the ghosts, the crime, the time period, the anomalies…and almost everyone was a fan—the book received a rating of 7.5 out of 10. Next month’s book is Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and the following month we will read House of Secrets, by Christopher Columbus and Ned Vizzini. Other books we considered included:

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, by Trenton Lee Stewart
The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani
The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner

Wednesday night’s 8+9 Book Club was fairly well attended (10 of 11 members made it), and we had a low-key but interesting discussion of I Am the Weapon, by Allen Zadoff. Although there was a lot of criticism of certain aspects, it ended up being highly rated: The club awarded it a score of 7.75 out of 10, and one person rushed to the stacks to check out the sequel. Next month’s book is The Naturals, by Jennifer Lynne Barnes, and in December we will read Unspoken, by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Due to an ordering problem, we didn't have copies of The Naturals to pass out Wednesday night, but the book should be in by Friday or Monday--we'll email you when it's ready to be picked up.

Other books we considered (in no particular order):

The Rules of Disappearing, by Ashley Ellston
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
Every Soul A Star, by Wendy Maas
Switched, by Amanda Hocking
Also Known as Rowan Pohi, by Ralph Fletcher
Enchanted, by Alethea Kontis

What we're reading: Stephanie Perkins

Last year in 8+9 Book Club, one of our favorite books was Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins. Romance, angst, and set in Paris--how could it miss? I subsequently read the sequel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and while I enjoyed it and thought it was cute, I definitely missed the grand Parisian setting. So I was happy to learn that the third book, Isla and the Happily Ever After, took us back to boarding school in France.

We didn't get quite the scenic glory in this book that we received in Anna. There was a lot more about events that took place in Isla's dorm room than there was about the streets of Paris! But the protagonists--Isla, who makes a brief appearance in Book One, and Josh, the moody class-cutting artist who was a vital part of the group around Anna and St. Clair--are interesting, and I lived vicariously through their eventual joint revelation that each liked the other but was deterred by assumptions that the other didn't like them. (Haven't we all been there?) Josh, of course, had an all-too-visible girlfriend in Book One, and in this book we discover that Josh thought Isla was also romantically involved, with her life-long BFF, Kurt.

Casa Battlo, Barcelona
Kurt was one of the twists I liked the best in this book--he is a high-functioning autistic boy, and his sometimes awkward honesty is refreshing! One of my other favorite elements was the description of Josh's drawings--Perkins "pictured" them beautifully and made me want to rush to the closest comic book store to see if Josh's graphic novel had been published yet! (Hint: Stephanie, make friends with a cartoonist and do a graphic spin-off!) I also loved the descriptions of Gaudi's works in Barcelona, and I even liked the (slightly cheesy) cameo appearances of Anna, Etienne, Lola, and Cricket.

I did feel that the story was a little contrived in places--a bit too black and white without enough grays. I occasionally felt manipulated, and I found some of the things that were done and said by the characters too hard to believe. But I will say that perhaps I just didn't sink far enough into my 17-year-old self when I read this one, and my middle-aged mind is being picky. I did enjoy the book quite a bit, and would recommend it without reservation! Well, with one reservation--this book is definitely for high school and up, due to mature content.

Four stars out of five from me.