Aug 26 11:35


Sittenfeld, Curtis

It's a testament to good writing when I enjoy a book despite not caring for its main characters. Identical twins Kate and Violet are an anxious stay-at-home-mom and a thoughtless free spirit, respectively. In addition to looking alike, they also share what they call "senses" or ESP. Married sister Kate has renounced hers, but Violet has gone pro with her gift and publicly predicts an earthquake will hit St. Louis (where they live).

Aug 21 2013
Aug 18 15:28

LCSH & SACO Month 6: North Korean refugees need not apply, but CAT RESCUE

Highlights from the June 2013 SACO editorial meeting and new LCSH from June 2013.

fyi, There are hectographs, nuns and Vegemite involved.

Aug 17 19:18

Lost Synagogues of Manhattan, Including Shuls from Staten Island and Governors Island, the

Levitt, Ellen

The third in Ms. Levitt's series of "lost" synagogues of New York's five boroughs focuses quite a bit on buildings in my neighborhood that formerly housed Jewish congregations. I've lived in three Manhattan zip codes (and one in Brooklyn, if you're curious, 11222). My current 10002 has 22, the one I lived in the longest, 10009 has 14, and the other, 10003 has 4. Levitt covers 32 others, as well, but to me, the book is primarily a Lower East Side party. Most of the buildings she describes in my neighborhoods are familiar, though I wouldn't have guessed that many of them had once been shuls.

Aug 16 2013
Aug 16 19:58

Among Others

Walton, Jo

Though it starts off a little slowly, I eventually became entranced in this story of adolescence. There's magic and a love of literature, especially science fiction, but mostly what compels is the lonely, isolated, grief-stricken narrator. Mori has recently lost her twin sister in some sort of battle with their witchy mother.

Aug 13 2013
Aug 11 21:39

Life of Objects, the

Moore, Susanna

A young Irish woman takes an opportunity to get out of her dead-end life and parents she doesn't feel supported by. Trouble is that opportunity takes her to 1939 Germany, where the plan is for her to make lace for a wealthy couple, one of whom may be of Jewish ancestry.

Aug 11 2013
Aug 11 21:30


Perkins-Valdez, Dolen

White masters bring their slaves to an Ohio resort for the summer. The story is mostly about Lizzie a house slave who is even more deeply enslaved to her owner because she loves him and has two children with/for him. Lizzie's story is deep and complex, as is that of her friends.

Aug 8 2013
Aug 08 14:12

SBSH: four new/renewed suggestions

In trying to clear stuff off my desk, I excavated a few old Sandy Berman petitions to the Library of Congress and have a couple of new ones to share, as well, from today's mail.

Sandy Berman is calling for LC to add headings for:
Ethical fashion
Robin Hood Tax

Aug 04 14:47

Diverse Energies

Bucknell, Tobias S.
Monti, Joe

Bucknell and Monti collect mixed-race themed science fiction/dystopic stories, some of which also feature queer characters. Sounds good, right?

Aug 2 2013
Aug 04 14:37

Glass Houses

Caine, Rachel

Somehow I didn't realize at first that this book has two novels in one volume. I was relieved when I got to the end of Glass Houses halfway through the thick book. As far as teen paranormal fiction goes, GH is less compelling and believable (you know what I mean, that the unbelievable has a logic to it that makes sense) than some others of its genre. It's also different from many others of its ilk in that the vampires are all for-real bad guys.

Jul 30 2013
Jul 28 10:43

Orphan Train

Kline, Christina Baker

Thank goodness this was a compelling read because I had only a few days to finish it before it was due back at NYPL. I came home from the Zine Librarians unConference to five books ready to be picked up, three of them two-week loans. Now I have just over a week to finish the other two. Never mind, they were both renewable. Phew!

So yeah, Orphan Train shares parallel stories of two quasi-orphans making their way through harsh adoption/foster conditions about eighty years apart. The elder, an Irish immigrant at a time when the Irish were viewed with open hostility in the US, is taken to the Midwest via orphan train in the 1920s after a fire claims her family. In the name of Christian goodness, children were given away, often to be used as servants. Flash forward to the early 21st century and you get foster parents paid to "care" for a child they seem to hate.

Jul 27 2013