Classic Book Friday – Fright Edition

Every year when October rolls around, I have a visceral urge to read scary stories. I’m currently in the middle of a book whose review claimed that the last 30-pages of the book are some of the scariest every written.

And with the Halloween sleepover tonight, I thought it would be a good time to remind you all of one of the most classic scary books.

scaryI know full-grown adults who still have nightmares over these stories.

Solar Eclipse!!


There’s going to be a partial solar eclipse this afternoon. I think this is so cool, and it may help make up for the fact that I kinda missed the lunar eclipse a week or so ago. (Actually, I did see it when I went out for a run that morning, I just didn’t know that there was going to be an eclipse, so I was confused because I thought the moon was supposed to be full. What can I say? Running makes you stupid.)

Anyway, if the skies clear up (I’m an optimist), it will be visible between 5.50 and 6.10 this evening.

You should never look directly at a sun during an eclipse (unless it’s a full solar eclipse, then you can look at it when it’s fully eclipsed). But this website has info on how to safely view it.

I love reading stuff by Phil Plait. And it was his article where I first learned of the eclipse. At the end of the article, he has a list of places that will be live streaming the eclipse in case the sun doesn’t come out this afternoon. So, go to this article and then scroll to the bottom. And it turns out that there’s a monster sunspot that’s supposed to make the eclipse that much more awesome!!

New Book Wednesday – Judging a Book by Its Cover Edition

100100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith is proof that I am not a smart woman.
I read another book by Smith a few years ago that everyone was raving about. And I hated it. Not just hated it, but “hated, loathed, despised, abhorred, and abominated” it, to paraphrase my American History teacher.

But when I saw this in a list of review copies, I was so taken with the bizarre cover, that I didn’t notice the author was my imagination’s nemisis and I downloaded it. And that’s a good thing.

Finn, the main character of this book, tells time not in minutes, hours, or days, but in miles – that is, how many miles the earth has travelled in its orbit around the sun. He suffers from seizures that mess with his everyday life. His dad’s a famous sci-fi author whose incredibly well known character is based on Finn, which doesn’t always help with Finn’s reality. His best friend, Cade, is a little crazy. And then Finn meets Julia, who happens to be a fan of his father’s work and who finds him passed out after a seizure. Despite these two perceived strikes, Finn and Julia hit it off.

The book ends as a road trip story with Finn and Cade heading off for a college visit that ends up taking a very big turn.

The cover and the title come from an event in Finn’s childhood that has shaped his life, for better or worse. I won’t give it away, because it’s definitely a unique plot point.

App of the Week – Jetpack Joyride

The App of the Week is back. And to make up for the Mondays I wasn’t here, I decided to go with a fun one. So this week’s app is courtesy of Matt W.jetWhen I started App of the Week, Matt came to me with a few suggestions. This one looks like a  lot of fun. According to Matt, if you like Temple Run or Minion Rush, you’ll like Jetpack Joyride. In this game, you’re battling evil scientists and need to collect coins and avoid death. So far, I’ve died three horrible deaths and collected no coins, but it takes me a while to figure these things out.

The game is free (although there are in app purchases) and available for both iOS and Android.

If you have a suggestion for App of the Week, share it with me!

Bookish Events – Wimpy Edition

For all you Wimpy Kid fans out there (and I know who you are…even you high school students), Jeff Kinney is coming to the area to promote his latest book. He will be appearing on November 4th, courtesy of Children’s Book World in Haverford (my favorite book store). But because they are expecting a lot of Wimpy fans, 1) you must buy a ticket in advance for the event and 2) the event is going to be held at The Horticultural Center, located at 100 N Horticultural Drive Philadelphia, PA 19131.

Tickets will be available starting at 9.30 tomorrow (Saturday, 10/18) morning. They are $16 each and include a copy of The Long Haul.

All the information is on the bookstore’s website.

Classic New Book Friday – Nobel Prize Edition

So, this book has been in the library since last year, but I never got a chance to talk it up. And then, last Friday, the author became the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

malalaSo, the book is I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. She is the young woman who was shot by the Taliban for going to school and for speaking about the importance of education for girls. The book gives an easy to understand history of the politics of Pakistan. She also talks a lot about her family history which factors into her story because her father was the one who instilled in her the importance of education. He celebrated her birth the same as he celebrated his son’s. He started schools and invited girls to attend.

Last Friday, the Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly to Malala and Kailash Satyarthi for their work in making sure children have access to education and are not exploited. Possibly the best press release ever given regarding a Nobel Prize winner was, “Malala will make her first statement after school.

I also highly recommend watching her interview with Jon Stewart. I’m a huge fan of The Daily Show and I have rarely seen Stewart as in awe of a guest as he is while speaking with her. And she has some really amazing things to say.

Classic Book Friday – Newish Edition

There are so many new books in the library right now! I want to tell you all about the new books, but don’t want to neglect the old ones. So I’m compromising. Today’s book is an older book that’s new to our library.

grimmA Tale Dark and Grimm is the first book in Adam Gidwitz’s trilogy that features classic fairy tales with a twist. In this one, Hansel and Gretel enter into eight other fairy tales with some dark and scary results.

I haven’t had a chance to read these books yet (although I did give my niece the whole series for her birthday) and if no one checks this out, it’s going to be my weekend reading. From what I understand it’s really dark and at times really scary, so it should be a great way to get into the Halloween spirit.