2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #17

Not signed up yet for YALSA’s 2016 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since the awards were announced counts, and the challenge runs until 11:59pm EST on June 23 (that’s still a solid month of reading and listening time), so sign up now!

the hub 2016 reading challengeI’m currently on an audiobook kick. I just finished Randall Munroe’s What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, read to great effect by Wil Wheaton, and I’m partway through Libba Bray’s Lair of Dreams, in which January LaVoy creates a stunning auditory landscape with approximately one million different character voices. What If? frequently had me laughing out loud (on the treadmill, so I was that person in the gym). Randall Munroe is probably most famous for his (beloved) xkcd webcomic, so I was expecting to laugh, and Wheaton’s energetic narration was a lot of fun. For me, it took awhile to get through simply because the content felt more digestible in small-ish doses; I personally wouldn’t have wanted to listen to so many thought experiments for hours on end (for instance, on a road trip), but taken in twenty minute chunks I found them completely delightful. I don’t listen to a ton of audiobooks normally (my listening time tends to go to podcasts and radio), but I love to be read to (file under: things we carry with us from childhood; thanks Dad!), so I’ve been really enjoying the change of format.

Continue reading 2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #17

2016 Hub Challenge Check-In #8

Not signed up yet for YALSA’s 2016 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since the awards were announced counts, and the challenge runs until 11:59pm EST on June 23, so sign up now!

I can’t believe how this winter flew by! Today is officially the first day of spring and, at least here, it has been feeling more like spring every day. If winter has had you feeling cooped up and not in the mood to read, now is the perfect time to grab one of the Challenge books and take it outside to read in the fresh spring air!

the hub 2016 reading challenge

Recently, I’ve been rereading another favorite from last year that made more than one of the lists, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. This graphic novel not only made the 2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Top Ten but also found its way onto the 2016 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Top Ten. And, to top it off, it was also a Newbery Honor Award winner. The story follows 12-year old Astrid as she signs up for a roller derby summer camp and comes to terms with changes in her friendship with her closest friend as their interests and passions start to diverge. This book has the potential to appeal to a wide range of age groups and reading styles. Best of all, it has great tie-in potential with the fitness/sports theme that many summer reading programs are adopting this year. I highly recommend reading this book; not only am I sure that you will enjoy it, but I am guessing that you will end up recommending it to friends and patrons alike. Continue reading 2016 Hub Challenge Check-In #8

How to Nerd: Nonfiction Titles for This Quest We Call Life

Source: commons.wikipedia.org
Source: commons.wikipedia.org

Perhaps the ever-fabulous John Green said it best in a vlogbrothers video from 2009 when he summed up a nerd as someone who is “unironically enthusiastic about stuff.” For bigger-picture context, John had just seen the latest Harry Potter movie and was thrilled not only by the movie itself, but also by the sense of community and camaraderie he experienced in the theater while waiting for the movie to begin. And while this post isn’t about Harry Potter, the quote (and video) did make me think about exactly what it is to be a nerd.

For me, being a nerd is something I am immensely proud of. It’s come to be a defining factor in my life, something I embrace openly and enthusiastically. Tuesday nights find me at my local tabletop game store playing Carcassonne or Dominion with friends. Weekends are for sci-fi movies and 8-hour video game marathons. I own a Batman backpack, TARDIS lamp, and Master Sword/Shield of Hyrule/Ocarina combo. I pride myself on loving my fandoms passionately, even obsessively.

But what I’ve learned is that just because I read a lot of Batman comics, that doesn’t necessarily make me an expert on the universe. What I love about nerd culture and fandoms is that there is always something new to learn, to obtain, to work toward. But even for someone who already has a base-level knowledge, it can be daunting to jump into a fandom without some guidance. It’s dangerous to go alone, dear readers, take these resources to guide you on your journey! Continue reading How to Nerd: Nonfiction Titles for This Quest We Call Life