Nonfiction Ways to Enjoy National Hobby Month

The Hub, as you know, is your connection to teen reads. And we tend to focus on fiction. But since January is National Hobby Month, we couldn’t let the month go by without sharing some terrific nonfiction books, magazines, and websites that may encourage you to take part in various hobbies.

WreckThisJournalcoverFor journaling, scrapbooking, and generally awakening one’s creativity, it’s hard to beat Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. Not generally found in libraries (for obvious reasons), this book shows you that it’s OK to write in, tear pages of, and generally mutilate a book…as long as it is this book, and it belongs to you! Smith’s cheerful instructions will lead readers to get over the preciousness of their pristine journals, and to unleash the wild side of their brains by spilling coffee on pages, making art from found objects, and thoroughly engaging their creative process. Here are some great Wreck This Journal images found on Tumblr. And if you’re an app addict, catch the review of “Wreck This App,” an app based on the book, over at the YALSAblog.

WeekendKnittingCoverKnitting is eternal. Our great grandmothers knit, and now, there people are knitting (and crocheting) amigurumi animals, Doctor Who scarves, and cell phone cases. Weekend Knitting: 50 Unique Projects by Melanie Falick and Ericka McConnell is not for the novice knitter, but if you enjoy knitting and can read patterns, this title offers inspiration, gorgeous photos, and fun projects to tackle. From mittens to washcloths to sweaters to handbags, this is not your great grandmother’s knitting book.
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Maker spaces are sprouting up all over the world and encouraging people of all ages to do some DYI and make stuff. While there are plenty of DYI books in the world, you might want to consider looking at MAKE magazine for inspiration. MAKE has been around for ten years and they offer ideas, instructions, and encouragement to people who want to mess around and geek out. While 3D printing and electronic components such as the Arduino microcontroller and Raspberry Pi computer get a lot of press, MAKE doesn’t neglect more “traditional” crafts such as woodworking, papercraft, sewing, photography, and gardening. They really do have something to interest everyone.

RaspberryPibookCover Continue reading Nonfiction Ways to Enjoy National Hobby Month

Say It with a GIF: A Discussion on Animated Book Reviews

Last November, Salon.com published an article by Laura Miller entitled GIFs, memes and liveblogs; the controversial new language of book reviewing.  Miller explores the customer review phenomena as it applies to books on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com. Although both web sites have reviewer guidelines, amateur book reviewers have a considerable amount of freedom to express their opinions to an international audience. Hub bloggers Carla Land, Becky O’Neil, and I share our reactions to the brave and sometimes brutal new world of customer book reviews.

What is it that drew you to this topic?

Carla: What drew me to this topic was that I think, as a blogger, that it takes a certain creative element to be able to combine words and pictures together to convey an idea. I know as librarians and educators we all love the written word, but there’s something about Jean-Luc Picard with his head in his hands that says to me, “This is an epic fail” better than actually saying “This is an epic fail.”It isn’t always flippant- sometimes it can be a very sweet or poignant image that says more than words can. The whole concept intrigues me!

Diane: Agreed! Images are so effective at capturing attention, and technology has made them increasingly available. In her Salon article, Miller writes, “Perhaps, though, what’s unsettling about even the most inventive use of GIFs and images is the way they evoke emotion and subjectivity rather than ideas and analysis.” One might argue that emotion and subjectivity have always been a part of reader response, and that words traditionally limit such responses.

Becky: I was drawn to the topic because I find visual culture very interesting, and have definitely noticed the use of GIFs on Goodreads especially, but would never expect that kind of review to become the way books are reviewed. Maybe I’m old-school that way! I see GIFs used to great comedic effect in a “picture is worth a thousand words” kind of way (the Capt. Picard facepalm is a perfect example).

 

Continue reading Say It with a GIF: A Discussion on Animated Book Reviews

The Hub Celebrates Thesaurus Day

Portrait from Medical Portrait Gallery by Thomas Pettigrew
Portrait from Medical Portrait Gallery by Thomas Pettigrew

Happy Thesaurus Day!

While not necessarily a well-known holiday, Thesaurus Day is celebrated on January 18, the birthday of Peter Mark Roget, creator of Roget’s Thesaurus.

The original version of Roget’s thesaurus, created in 1805 and released in 1852, contained 15,000 words. Over the years, the thesaurus has grown, adding thousands of additional words and synonyms. These days, in addition to print versions of the thesaurus, wordsmiths are able to access the Roget’s thesaurus online through Thesaurus.com. If you are interested in a historical perspective, a 1911 version has been cataloged as part of the ARTFL Project through the University of Chicago.

We’re celebrating a day early here on The Hub by using the thesaurus to swap words in some popular YA titles. See if you can figure out the original titles and then scroll down to check!

  1. The Tome Bandit
  2. The Bonus of Being a Loner
  3. Papyrus Municipalities
  4. An Excellent and Dreadful Virtue
  5. The Insanity Below
  6. Swivel Spot
  7. The Examining
  8. Faithful
  9. Break Me
  10. The Choice
  11. Vocalize
  12. A Chain of Ill-fated Happenings.
  13. Gorgeous Critters
  14. Audrey, Halt!
  15. The Commander of the Loops
  16. Thirteen Rationales of Cause
  17. The Categorically Bona Fide Journal of a Part-Time Native American
  18. The Sorority of the Roving Trousers
  19. Always…
  20. 13 Slight Azure Pockets
  21. The Starvation Sports
  22. The Accuracy Referring to Always
  23. The Labyrinth Sprinter
  24. Granted That I Stick Around
  25. Paired

Continue reading The Hub Celebrates Thesaurus Day