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Tag: Music

December Playlist

Curating the ultimate playlist is a common theme within some beloved young adult novels. Think of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn or consider Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Since the all-important soundtrack to life is an evolving creative process, below is a list of newer songs to start you off your own December playlist.

“The Neverending Sigh” by: Foo Fighters from the album Saint Cecilia EP

Released in November as part of a special EP, this song proves that rock can be fun, too.

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Fandom 101: K-pop and K-drama

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask a question of the group and others will provide feedback. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

Staying up with trends and interests of teen patrons is crucial to providing up-to-date collections and developing programs that will capture the attention of a teen audience. While teens are a great resources and will likely be happy to discuss their latest obsession at length, it’s also helpful to consult other resources to get a primer on a trend. Here at The Hub, we want to make it easier, so we’re introducing our Fandom 101 series.

Fandom 101 at The HubA recent request on the YALSA-bk listserv caught my attention because it was asking for resources that would serve as an introduction to K-pop and K-drama for library staff who were unfamiliar with the culture and genre surrounding Korean music and movies but had teens in their library who were enthusiastic fans and wanted to start a club devoted to all things K-pop. These are some resources helpful members of the YA and library communities suggested as places to begin. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

Kpop CC image via Flickr User Republic of Korea
Kpop CC image via Flickr User Republic of Korea


Recently, The New York Times reported on the wild popularity of South Korean culture, known as hallyu, or the “Korean wave.” So this isn’t an isolated phenomenon. For more information in K-pop and K-drama, check out:


Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before

phot source: horla varlanI love books and I love music. That being said, it should not be a surprise to learn that I am a big fan of crossovers between the two.

The Hub is no stranger to this fantastic pairing, either: every Wednesday Diane Colson shares with us a book-and-song match in her Jukebooks series, Jennifer Rummel recently used country music as the basis for a booklist, and I referenced my love of book-themed playlists in a previous post.

While scanning through a list of new YA releases recently, I couldn’t help noticing that many of the titles seemed awfully familiar: quite a few of them share (or are very similar to) titles of songs. They may not be similar topically as the pairings in Diane’s posts, but there is no denying that some of these will have you humming the second you see the covers:

Since You've Been GoneSince You’ve Been Gone

When you hear the title of this contemporary story of best friends, summer vacation, and list completion from author Morgan Matson, you may immediately think of Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 chart-topper, “Since U Been Gone.”


Don't You Forget About Me(Don’t You) Forget About Me

This new release from Kate Karyus Quinn is a near-match for the Simple Minds classic “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” but that is where the similarities end between this suspense-filled mystery and The Breakfast Club’s theme. Additionally, Quinn’s debut Another Little Piece immediately resulted in Janis Joplin singing “Piece of My Heart” in my head.


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Browsable Nonfiction for Teens

With the Common Core and it’s emphasis on nonfiction throughout all subjects being adopted across much of the country, nonfiction seems to be on everyone’s mind. In a lot of ways, I think it’s a great opportunity for libraries and schools to more robustly and interestingly use nonfiction. I’ve recently begun to really enjoy nonfiction – especially history, exploration, and stories of true survival – and I’m glad that we are making strides to promote nonfiction to teens.

Just a handful of titles the teens at my library have looked at recently.
Just a handful of titles the teens at my library have looked at recently.

This is not really the type of nonfiction I’m going to talk about today. The books I’m talking about may not check out the most often from the library, or they may not be the ones you’d necessarily pick up in the subject sections of your favorite bookstore. They may also be unlikely to win a Sibert medal. But this doesn’t mean that they aren’t great books, it just means that they are a different kind of book.

I’m talking about browsable, high-interest nonfiction. These are the type of books that you can page through for a few minutes, show a funny picture to your friends, and then go on  with your day. You may check it out, or you may just look at it when you go to the library.

At my library, some nonfiction subjects that seem to get used a lot – that aren’t Common Core material – are Minecraft books (these definitely get checked out), music, cosplay, fandom related books like Doctor Who or Hunger Games materials, and crafts. Some teens also like to look through the books about music and dating. Here are some titles used by teens recently and I think are definitely work a look.

Rookie Yearbook One and TwoThese editions collect some of the content from Tavi Gevinson’s brilliant rookie website. Focused on girls, indie, DIY, and alternative cultures there are some great essays, photoshoots, and songs lists in here. Plus, some of the books have goodies like stickers or tear out Tarot cards!

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die : The title says it all really, but this books is really a primer of popular music history from the 1950s on. Definitely an interesting page turner and might help a teen find a new band or type of music!

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Books to Remember Musicians Who Were Gone Too Soon

History is ripe with stories of artists, musicians, performers, and other gifted geniuses whose lives were cut short.  Nowhere is this more common than when we talk about great musicians. There are countless stories of talented musicians where we always wonder, what could they have achieved had their lives not ended in tragedy?

Music has always been important to me, but never so much as when I was in high school. Unlike a lot of my peers, I was not discovering new artists and musicians.  Instead I delved back to times before I was even born and scoured my local library for CDs and books about musicians from the past.  I used the expansive library collection of music, books, and movies about classic rock and pop musicians and bands to learn as much as I could. Unfortunately, a common theme with many of my favorite musicians from the past was their tragic life stories.

However, these life stories were always ones that made me more aware of the impact of our life choices.  These stories also moved me to appreciate the talent of others when I see it, since you never know what turns life will bring.  If you are interested in reading about musicians who were gone too soon, check out the list I have put together:

Janis JoplinjacoBuddy Hollyjeff tim buckley

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel (2011 Nonfiction Award winner)

Ann Angel examines the life and music of Janis Joplin, a rock singer who rose to fame in the sixties.  Angel takes the reader through the ups and downs of Joplin’s life and gives an intimate look at her personality and the self destructive behavior that led to an early death due to heroin overdose at 27 years old.

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How your iPod can be used as a Book Sorting Hat

headphones by kashirin nickolaiHave you ever just felt in the mood for certain types of books? Like after reading something dark and mysterious, you suddenly have this strong desire to read something light and funny? This happens to me all of the time. There have definitely been certain books that I have ended up greatly disliking mostly because I read them at the wrong time. And I’m not talking about the text being too difficult or the themes too mature, but more along the lines of my psyche just not being completely there. Jane Eyre was one of those books for me. I haven’t met too many people, let alone other book lovers like myself, who disliked that book as much as me. I read it in college while studying abroad in London, so really who would’ve thought that would be bad timing given it’s an English classic?! Well it was, and I suppose we’ll leave it at that. Perhaps if I had read Jane Eyre at another time, I would actually see why my most of my friends on Goodreads gave it four or five stars.

Since my Jane Eyre conundrum, I’ve become more mindful of my finicky psyche when choosing books. At times, just the act of deciding which book would be next up to bat was a cumbersome process. Then one day while I was listening to my iPod and reading, I had an epiphany about how best to select my next book based on my mood: music! If you think about it, your musical playlist is a great mood ring and can help narrow down what genre should be up next in your reading queue. With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of songs and the books that best remind me of those songs. So if you catch yourself playing one of these tunes on repeat over the next few weeks, I suggest you pick up its book read-alike.

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