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


Sep 3 2010

ShareReads: The Last List

by Lesley B

ShareReads appears on the DCPLive blog on Fridays. Each week, a different person will share a little about what they’re currently reading, and why they like or don’t like it. The heart of ShareReads will be responses from blog readers, and the window of opportunity here is wide. Feel free to respond and discuss the book or author being mentioned, ask or answer a question, or even take the conversation in a different direction: mention what you are currently reading, and how you feel about it. The point of ShareReads is to have an ongoing discussion about books and reading. Remember: posting a response also counts as an activity for the Summer Reading for Adults program.

Fellow readers, we’ve come to the end of ShareReads and the 2010 Adult Summer Reading Program. You’ve got until Monday, September 6, to turn in your entry and be eligible for the prize drawing – but you’ve got the rest of your life to read one or some or all of the books that were shared here this summer. That’s not one of those ‘before you die’ tasks. Let us not look at a list of books and think despairingly, “So many books! I’ll never have time!” Let us look at our list (or our Library) and think, in awe and delight,  “So many books! I’ll never run out!”

From all of us at Share Reads, our thanks and appreciation to everyone who shared a book this summer.  See you next year!

All the Books:

June 4 – Welcome to Share Reads!

  • Facing the Music, Harold Schonberg
  • Just Like Us, Helen Thorpe
  • Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb
  • Check the Technique, Brian Coleman
  • Slonimsky’s Book of Musical Anecdotes, Nicolas Slonimsky
  • The New York Times Essential Library: Classical Music, Allan Kozinn
  • 1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die, Matthew Rye
  • The Good NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Opera, William Berger
  • Puccini Without Excuses, William Berger
  • The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
  • Singin’ in the Come Back Choir, Bebe Campbell Moore
  • Joplin’s Ghost, Tanarive Due

June 11 – Beat The Reaper

  • Beat The Reaper, Josh Bazell
  • The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
  • A Short History of the Long Ball, Justin Cronin
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein
  • If Men Are Like Buses, Then How Do I Catch One?, Michelle McKinney Hammond
  • Left to Tell, Immaculee Illibagzia
  • A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah
  • In the Landof Invisible Women, Qanta Ahmed

June 18 – Try a Local Author

  • Lost Laughs of 50s and 60s Television: 30 Sitcoms That Faded Off Screen, David Tucker
  • The Women Who Made Television Funny, David Tucker
  • Shirley Booth: a Biography and Career Record, David Tucker
  • Fifteen Years, Kendra Norman-Bellamy
  • Now I Sea!: Spiritual Life Lessons from the Sea, Jenny L. Cotes
  • Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, Brad Gooch
  • Crackers, Roy Blount Jr.
  • Thunderland, Brandon Massey
  • Get Your Crochet On!, Afya Ibomu
  • Homeplace, Anne River Siddons
  • The Malignant Heart, Celestine Sibley

June 25 – Oldies But Goodies . . .

  • As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
  • The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
  • Jennie Gerhardt, Theodore Dreiser
  • Dodsworth, Sinclair Lewis
  • Hatter’s Castle, A.J. Cronin

July 2 – Slightly Strange

  • The City & The City, China Mieville
  • The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead
  • The Stolen Child, Keith Donohue
  • Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges
  • Labyrinths, Jorge Luis Borges
  • Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, Cory Doctorow
  • Tales from Outer Suburbia, Shaun Tan
  • Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde

July 9 – Find a New Favorite!

  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
  • The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
  • Gourmet Rhapsody, Muriel Barbery
  • Edisto, Padgett Powell
  • The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
  • Wonder When You’ll Miss Me, Amanda Davis
  • Stay A Little Longer, Dorothy Garlock

July 16 – Chemical Concerns

  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck, Rick Smith
  • Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
  • An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore
  • Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
  • The World Without Us, Alan Weisman

July 23 – A Vote for Arthur and George

  • Arthur and George, Julian Barnes
  • The Skinner, Neal Asher
  • The Reader, Bernhard Schlink
  • Discovery!, Brian Fagan

July 30 – Try It, You’ll Like It

  • The Help, Kathryn Stockett
  • A Sudden, Fearful Death, Anne Perry
  • Love the One You’re With, Emily Giffin
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

August 6 – Yum!

  • My Life in France, Julia Child
  • Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child

August 13 – Disturbingly Good

  • Geek Love, Katharine Dunn
  • Train, Pete Dexter
  • The Shining, Stephen King
  • World War Z, Max Brooks
  • 2666, Roberto Bolano

August 20 – Bugged Out

  • Broadsides from the Other Orders: A Book of Bugs, Sue Hubbell
  • A Book of Bees . . . And How to Keep Them, Sue Hubbell
  • A Country Year: Living the Questions, Sue Hubbell
  • Waiting for Aphrodite: Journeys Into the Time Before Bones, Sue Hubbell
  • Rolling Homes: Handmade Houses on Wheels, Jane Lidz
  • The Earth Moved, Amy Stewart
  • Wicked Plants, Amy Stewart

August 27 – You Will Totally Love This Book! NOT!!

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  • Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
  • A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
  • Absurdistan, Gary Shytengart
  • Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy
  • Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
  • The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
  • Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
  • The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold


Jun 9 2010

2010 Summer Reading List of Lists

by Jesse M

Looking for something good to read this summer but don’t know where to start?  For several years now the website Rebecca’s Pocket has compiled a comprehensive list of the many disparate summer reading lists published by various periodicals and institutions. You can check out this year’s reading list here. There are already dozens of lists to choose from, and more are added on a weekly basis.

Some of the more interesting lists include one from New York Magazine featuring six writers each recommending favorite books from their chosen genre, a Los Angeles Times article describing the placement and influence of literature in the recently concluded television series “Lost“, and another compiled by NPR that features picks made by a trio of independent booksellers.

There are also over a dozen lists targeted towards children and teens, just scroll to the bottom of the page.

And once you’ve acquired some reading material, don’t forget to sign up and participate in one of our summer reading programs for kids, teens, and adults!

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May 3 2010

Read, Georgia, Read!

by Patricia D

We are beyond lucky in DeKalb County to be the host site for the Georgia Center for the Book.  The GCB’s mission is to provide support to libraries, literary programs and, whaddaya know, literature.  They do it in fine style and though the mission is to serve the entire state many of the programs are based in the metro area.  Over the years I have attended many GCB events at the Decatur Library and the Carter Center.  I missed Christopher Moore discussing Fool and Paula Deen sharing her story in Paula Deen: It Ain’t All About the Cookin’ because I had to work, but I also had the great pleasure of meeting  Annette Gordon Reed when she was here discussing her amazing, Pulitzer prize winning  The Hemingses of Monticello.  Many of the GCB Author Talks are also available on the website as downloadable podcasts.  As a children’s librarian I have a tough time keeping up with adult literature and have to work hard to find things I might like.  Thanks to GCB programs I have read many books I would otherwise have skipped (Finn by Jon Clinch and Martha Washington: An America Life by Patricia Brady) which is why I’m so pleased to see the “25 Books All Georgian’s Should Read” list.  I probably won’t  get to read everything on it in 2010 but I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into this list.  You should try it out too.  See the completed list here.


Jan 8 2010

Read, Record, Remember

by Jesse M

Happy new year, and welcome to 2010!  In addition to making resolutions that I’m unlikely to keep, there is another new year’s tradition I’ve been observing the past few years; creating and updating a reading list.

Working in libraries, something I hear regularly from patrons is that they have trouble recalling whether or not they have read a certain title.  This problem is particularly common with patrons who enjoy reading the output of prolific authors such as James Patterson or Nora Roberts (for instance, Nora Roberts has just short of 200 published full-length works under her belt). I advise these patrons to do what I do, and start a list of works read, perhaps with a brief summary and review of the book so that they can recall not only having read the book, but whether they enjoyed it or not (if you are really motivated, you might even include information such as genre, author’s gender, and any other variables you might like to keep track of and compare later). This process is rewarding not only in the sense that it acts to bolster your memory of books completed, but also in the way it gives you a tangible view of the amount of reading you have accomplished throughout the year. I typically set a goal for myself of 52 books per year (that is, one book completed per week, on average), an objective I have yet to achieve but enjoy striving for. Once you have collected more than one year’s worth of data, you can begin manipulating the numbers to get a very detailed picture of your reading habits and proclivities.

For an example of the sort of information that can be generated from such a list, take a gander at the breakdown from the reading list of Jessamyn West of Librarian.net. Just at a glance, we can see that she read more at the beginning of the year than at the end, that she read slightly more fiction than non-fiction, that the majority of books she read were produced by male authors, and that, for the most part, she enjoys the books she picks (if you are interested in following Jessamyn as she logs and reviews her book conquests, visit her booklist here). The more information you include when recording the completed book in your log, the more data you will have to work with when doing future analysis of your reading patterns.

[read the rest of this post…]


Jul 8 2009

Feeling Listless?

by Nancy M

I think it’s safe to say that we are in the midst of the dog days of summer, so what better way to escape the heat and wile away the days than with a new book? While I do like to wander the stacks of the library looking for my next read, I have to say that I am more of a list girl. I love finding and perusing various book lists (and there are many out there) for something interesting to read. And yes, I like creating lists as well. If your child is in need of a new book, try checking this list of lists for his/her next great read.

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), put out by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has an extensive list of bibliographies for children and young adults with many different themes, including books to share with babies, recommended mysteries for kids and teens, and books for beginning readers, to name a few.

The American Library Association’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) puts out an annual notables list. Check out 2009’s list; there are many great books to be found. They also put out the list of current and past children’s award winners, including the Newbery and Caldecott Awards.

Check out New York Public Library’s list of 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know. Do you know all of them?

YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association has award winners and booklists, including the best in young adult books and books for reluctant readers.

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Dec 30 2008

What’s In A Name?

by Jnai W

Ahhh…it’s the last week of December; the time for reflecting upon the passing year and anticipating the one to come. This time of year is also a writer or a blogger’s dream as we compile those wonderful, snarky and slightly judgmental End-Of-Year lists. You know the ones–the Best and Worst Albums, Movies or Political Moments of 2008, etc. I love reading those things!

One list that I’ve found is one that ranks the worst Celebrity Baby Names of 2008. I know, I know–it’s silly. But this intrigued me for a couple of reasons. Reason 1: I love names. As someone with an unusual name I’ve developed a fascination for all things name-related. Where do our names originate? What do they mean? How do they strike the ear or roll off of the tongue? It’s something to think about. Reason 2: Rampant Celebrity Baby-Naming produced some, um, colorful choices.  To be fair, it’s not my place to judge what some rock star names her kid. But I think someone’s gonna owe poor little Bronx Mowgli Wentz an explanation…and a hefty trust fund as consolation. This whole thing has me considering a move to Hollywood to become a professional Celebrity Baby-Namer. It’ll be the easiest money I’ll ever make! Here’s a list of name-related books that I’d take with me:

Classic Biblical Baby Names: Timeless Names For Modern Parents by Judith Tropea (Bantam): For those of us who’d rather stick to tried-and-true (read: good ol’ fashioned sensible) this is a great reminder that the classics never die. Most of us know a Mary or a David or a Michael but this is also a good source for namers with a yen for more exotic monikers like, say, Delaiah or Cozbi.

A Book About Names by Milton Meltzer (Thomas Y. Crowell):  Author Meltzer provides great insight into the history and cultural significance of names throughout the world. This little book also examines the impact of naming on American culture. Does your family still bear the same surname that your Great-Great Granddad left The Old Country with? If not, this book gives a concise explanation to this and other surname-related queries. This is juvenile non-fiction, which means it’s very reader-friendly…and it has illustrations.

The Best Baby Names In The World From Around The World (Facts on File, Inc.): Here’s a great example of your standard, expansive dictionary of names. As a kid I liked to refer to big baby names books like these when christening my baby dolls.  This one is pretty good as it classifies names by gender and nationality while also providing meanings and derivation. One minor quip: I searched that book from cover to cover and found no J’nai (or Jenay or Jenee…)

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Dec 25 2008

Happy Holidays! Don’t Be Listless!

by Jimmy L

‘Tis the season for the library to be closed in observance of Christmas! So if you’re bundling yourself up to head out to the library, take heed: our doors are closed today. But fear not, here are some year-end book, movie, and music lists to tide you over.

Book Lists

Movie Lists

Music Lists

What are some of your favorite books, movies, and music of 2008? Please share in the comments section.

Note (12/29/2008): These links are meant as resources only.  The library owns many (but not all) of the books, CDs, and DVDs mentioned in these lists.


Dec 23 2008

Making a list, checking it twice

by Heather S

If you have procrastinated in shopping for your holiday gifts, as I have, then my list of last minute book purchases might help as you frantically dash through your local mall.

For my friends, K, who reads everything, and R, who doesn’t read anything: Water for elephants

For my cousin, S, who loves Twilight: Wicked lovely

For my cousin, M, who loves the Harry Potter series: The lightning thief, the first book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

For my sister, who hates reading: Babymouse, queen of the world

For my dad, who is a history buff: The Hemingses of Monticello

For my mom, who is a small town librarian and a crazy cat lady (I love you): Dewey: A small town library cat who touched the world

What are you hoping to unwrap during your holiday celebrations? I still have a few people that I’m shopping for, so any help with great books will be much appreciated! And, to those listed above, if you happen to stumble upon this post, I am sorry that it ruined the surprise. Happy holidays to our readers; may you and your family and friends have a warm and happy holiday season!

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