DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!


Nov 20 2008

Dear Diary

by Ginny C

J’nai’s post on Tuesday about journaling got me thinking about books for children and teens that are written in a diary format.  Its popularity as a format has grown recently due to several factors – they’re easy to read, they bring an immediacy to the characters and setting, etc.  Probably most important is that kids and young adults like them.  One of the most popular books to come out recently is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffly’s Journal and its sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, both by Jeff Kinney.  Both books have waiting lists and are a big hit with middle school age kids, especially boys who enjoy the humor and the cartoons that appear throughout the books.  Listing all the books the library owns would make for a very long list, so I’ll just list a few of my favorites.

Diary of a Worm by Dorren Cronin:  A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not so good things about being a worm in this great big world.

Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee: In a series of journal entries, eleven-year-old child prodigy Millicent Min records her struggles to learn to play volleyball, tutor her enemy, deal with her grandmother’s departure, and make friends over the course of a tumultuous summer.

Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman:  The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.

And here are a couple for teens:

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flynn: Sent to counseling for hitting his girlfriend, Caitlin, and ordered to keep a journal, sixteen-year-old Nick recounts his relationship with Caitlin, examines his controlling behavior and anger, and describes living with his abusive father.

Planet Janet by Dyan Sheldon: Sixteen-year-old Janet Bandry keeps a diary as she deals with an annoying family, school, a quirky best friend, and trying to find herself through vegetarianism, literature, romance, and her “Dark Phase.”

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Nov 18 2008

Your Life’s Journal

by Jnai W

I was at a loss for ideas to blog about so I decided to turn to my journal for inspiration. That’s when it occurred to me that journaling–good, old fashioned, pen-to-paper journaling–might be a good topic. Keeping a journal can be very therapeutic and invigorating. It can help you gain perspective about any situation or event. Writing is also an incredible outlet for your emotions, your joys, your frustrations or triumphs.

Journaling has helped me to navigate through the momentous and challenging year that was and is 2008, from its historic Presidential election down to the economic crisis, journal keeping is quite a rewarding practice and simple to begin. A small (or several small, in my case), inexpensive notebook and a nice free-flowing ink pen are all you need. In my opinion, you needn’t fret over skipping a day here and there, even though writing just a little everyday is quite habit-forming. And don’t worry about addressing the pages of your new pastime as “Dear Diary”: your notebook won’t hold it against you.

Here is some suggested reading here at DCPL that may carry you along the path of your life’s journal:

Note To Self: On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits by  Samara O’Shea (Collins Living)

The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx (VH1 Books): This book actually got me into the habit of journaling. If the Motley Crue bassist can use his journals to gain perspective on life why can’t anyone else?

With Pen in Hand: The Healing Power of Writing by Henriette Anne Klauser (Perseus Publishing)

The Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke by Angela Nissel (Villard Books) : Author Nissel journals her way through her cash-strapped college years…and gets a book deal out of it.  Perhaps you’ve got literary gold between the pages of your diary.


Jan 17 2008

Atlanta Literary Journal Launches Off

by Jimmy L

A new literary journal based in Atlanta, The Open Face Sandwich, is having their first issue release event tonight (Thursday, January 17). The event will feature readings and performances of the short fiction and nonfiction that appear in the first issue. Come out, hear some literature, and support a new Atlanta based journal. The event will be held at Eyedrum Gallery (290 MLK Jr Drive) at 8 PM. A $5 donation is suggested. For more information, visit The Open Face Sandwich website.