Imagine a world where books are black market. Where the written word on printed paper is so illegal you could be killed for owning or sharing it. Sure, you can have eBooks delivered to you freely, but the chance that you are reading the author's original words are slim. For the Great Library, in order to make information available to many people and to protect the printed books themselves, controls the dissemmination of every last word.
I'm a librarian with a confession to make. I have not read The Grapes of Wrath nor The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I find Dickens depressing. The Catcher in the Rye? I put it down after the first two chapers. After you finish gasping, I will explain. I have read hundreds (likely thousands) of books in my life, many classics and many hugely popular. I have read verse, poetry, graphic novels, biographies, comics, fantasies, dystopians, long books, short ones, and those in between. But there is still a long list of classic and popular books that, up until recently, I have been ashamed to admit I have yet to read .
Mila and Julian were supposed to enter the Isles together. Julian was her mentor, her support. But when he plummeted from the thin cable stretching across the waters, she knew it was now up to her. To follow his instructions and get inside the Isle, no matter what. But being captured, labelled as as terrorist, and having a phone implanted in her head—even if everyone else has one—is a little more than she bargained for. The phone’s video feature works like everyone else’s in the Isles, capturing her every move so the detectives can watch her.
Like many teens her age, Kamala isn't quite sure who she is or who she wants to be. Like others, she chafes at the boundaries her strict parents set. But most teens are not imbued with superpowers and turned into a replica of the legendary Ms. Marvel overnight. All Kamala Khan wanted to do was sneak out to a party and get back in one piece, but on the way back she is caught in a mysterious fog where a vision of The Avengers (her comic-book heroes!) bestow upon her the powers to fight evil villains—or at first, in her case, a guy trying to rob the neighborhood bodega.
Every year, as the hubbub from the winter holidays dies down and the year approaches its close, I am not saddened by the taking down of the tinsel but excited at the next holiday to come. New Year's, of course! Yet it's not the late-night partying and champagne that I look forward to. It's the resolutions. You see, I am one of those crazy people who actually loves reflecting on the year and improving my life. But, wait! Don't stop reading yet! If you're one of those people so jaded by past experiences with un-met resolutions that you've actually resolved only to "not make a resolution at all," I promise there's a way you can set a goal for the new year and actually make progress towards completing it.
For many people, the day after Halloween is the official kick-off of the holiday season. Lights are out in front of the mall, the stores put their holiday wares front and center, cookie recipes are dusted off, and children pull out a fresh sheets of paper for their wish lists. The season heats up even more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as people start stressing out over gift lists, school events, and merry-making to-do lists.
For many other people, however, the holiday season is one of a different kind of stress. There is worry about the colder months and the heating bill, about not having enough money for gifts, or getting through the season without a loved one. This season, instead of perusing the “Hot Toys of 2015” lists, why not set a personal or family goal to make it truly a season of giving, rather than receiving?
When I was fresh out of college and a first year teacher, I was very interested in applying all my knowledge, both practical and book-learned. The paraprofessional who worked with me in my classroom once joked, “When you have kids of your own, you’re going to read every book about raising kids and then find out that they can’t really tell you anything!!” Well, many years later, her words have come true . . . but just partially. With the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, I have access to hundreds of books on child-rearing—all I have to do is place a hold.