It’s hard to believe it has been almost fifteen years since my first Librarina post went live, but I guess it makes sense when I consider the fact that my son, who was a baby at the time, is now closing in on sixteen! It’s amazing to look back on my journey — from working very part-time to working full time, then attempting to be a “mostly stay at home mom,” only to end up working part-time again.
Along the way, I transitioned from doing one tween book group per month at my “old” library, to being fully responsible for their YA collection development and teen programming. For the decade that I was there, it only made sense to pour myself into a blog dedicated to YA literature. Over the last five years, nevertheless, I have shifted gears entirely to focus on toddler and preschool storytimes, while occasionally subbing at the reference desk, at my “new” library.
Now that I am no longer working directly with tweens and teens, and I am not performing any YA collection development, I have found that the Librarina spark is gone. Rather than being excited about the endless possibilities of YA books to read and review, I have found myself becoming more and more anxious about simply keeping up with my blog. As difficult as it is to think about writing the final chapter in this book of my life, I have a lot of other books I would like to write — both literally and figuratively.
So I am moving forward with a plan to keep reading and listening to audiobooks whenever the spirit moves me, and I will no longer hold myself accountable for keeping up with the depth and breadth of the YA literature universe. I will simply follow my reading/listening interests, wherever they may take me, for the purposes of personal enrichment and entertainment. And while I will do my best to keep tabs on my reading progress via my Goodreads account, I will no longer feel compelled to write in-depth reviews as I have done on this blog.
Although I know I don’t necessarily *need* to explain myself, I feel like y’all deserve to know that (1) I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet and (2) all is well with me. I am simply moving on and using my time for other personal and professional adventures…
So… I have been feeling guilty about falling behind on both my reading and my book reviews on this blog, but I have decided I need to let go of that guilt. I made a New Year’s Resolution to be “more selfish” (i.e. focus on myself a bit more) so that I don’t get burned out, and I need to follow through. In addition to working part-time in two local libraries, volunteering with a few organizations, and running a household, I have some other pretty awesome [yet time-intensive] stuff going on in my life — like planning the 2021 NYLA YSS Spring Conference!
So, I just need to accept that I am only one person, that there are only 24 hours in a day, and that I deserve some time to straight-up relax and do nothing every now and again. Though I have been struggling to accept these truths, based on my Type-A personality, I *am* trying… So, hopefully y’all won’t mind that this blog will likely only be updated 1 or 2 times a month for a while.
I swear I am still alive… I just haven’t posted a book review in a few weeks because the beginning of #SummerReading has been insane! I hope to have another review up again later this week, though. Thanks for your patience! 😊
Hopefully you aren’t too terribly disappointed in my lack of activity over the past couple of weeks, but I’ve been crazy busy… I have several books that I have finished and need to review, but I thought it was slightly more important to (1) prepare for/participate in the 2016 NYLA Annual Conference and Trade Show, (2) spend some extra time with my kids immediately before and after the conference, and (3) update my blog with a new new bio and the sweet new header my hubby created for me! (Do you love it or what?!?) I figured it would be a good idea to update everything since a lot has changed in the last year. Who knew that being a “mostly-stay-at-home-mom” would make me so darn busy?!? I hope to sign on by the end of the week to actually review a book, but please forgive me if I just can’t fit it in.
One of the reasons I chose to be a “work at home mom” was so that I would have the opportunity to volunteer more at my kids’ schools and with community organizations to which we belong. This year, I am the fundraising chair for our local recreational soccer league, and I have been up to my eyeballs in candles all week. I promise to come back with a review next week, but I’m about to leave town for a family wedding and simply need to admit to myself that it’s not gonna happen this week…
It appears that, while I fully intended to post a quick little something last week, I merely *thought* about posting something. Long story short, I was in Lake Placid, NY, for the 125th Anniversary NYLA Annual Conference! Since I was presenting a continuing education workshop about VolunTeens and overseeing the rest of the YSS lineup, my brain got away from me. Sorry to anyone who has become so accustomed to my OCD and “mandatory” weekly posts. Though I am sure the people who follow me on Twitter figured out that something was up! 😉
I am about to start writing a book review, but I don’t have long until my kids get off the bus and might end up distracted/waylaid until tomorrow morning. Rather than leaving y’all wondering what the heck happened, I figured I owed you a quick explanation. But, yeah… I need to get going on that book review so I can (hopefully) get it up in the next little bit.
How awesome is it that a librarian/book nerd like me was born on International Literacy Day?!? In order to help spread the word about the importance of literacy/problems associated with illiteracy, I thought it would be a good idea to share this infographic [below] from Grammarly’s blog post about International Literacy Day:
There are a lot of organizations out there to help combat illiteracy. To find out more about how you can help or how some of those organizations work to help people in need of literacy assistance, please check out:
So, I feel kinda bad about not posting a book review this week, but I just don’t have it in me. I’ve been busier this week than I have been in a very long time. Because I’m home with my kids, soccer is in full swing, and I’m getting everything prepared for both back to school and our Labor Day camping trip, I feel like my head is going to start spinning soon. Rest assured, though, the kids will be starting school next week and I will begin to have some semblance of order in my life once again. Until then…
I don’t usually do “guest posts” or participate in blog tours because I often find it difficult enough to find the time to keep up with my blog. When I was contacted by BooksEndependent, though, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and help out a small press — especially considering the fact that I was being asked to participate during Banned Books Week. I don’t have a problem with any of the large publishing houses, per se, and I don’t think of them as censors, but something about an independent/small press publishing house just brings to mind a sense of freedom. If you are interested, you can check out the BooksEndependent website or their Rafflecopter giveaway… But, first, you should check out the excerpt [below] from Under the Shadow!
I find it rather amusing that my 9-year-old son can’t handle seeing tiny hairballs on the floor from his beloved pet cat but that he was completely enthralled by the FOUR POUND tiger hairball (picture on pg. 9) that was the size of a basketball! Looking through these books with my son, I always alternate between fascination and disgust. And even though my own disgust sometimes outweighs my fascination, there’s something magical about bringing home a book that makes your child jump up and down with excitement and beg for just a few more pages before he has to go to bed.
Some of the most fascinating items in this issue were:
the skateboarding mice who can even jump through a ring of fire (pp. 14-15)
a woman named Barbie Thomas who, despite losing both of her arms at 2 years of age, has gone on to compete in fitness contests (pg. 97)
the man who took a picture of himself every single day for 12 years — a total of 4,514 photos! (pg. 152)
the Canadian base jumper who, after becoming paralyzed in a 2004 BASE-jumping accident, now jumps in his wheelchair (pg. 175)
the pumpkin artists (pp. 208-209) who are capable of turning pumpkins into sculptures of ghouls, goblins, and monsters
And some of the more disgusting items were:
the bedside table made from an actual, stuffed sheep (pg. 29)
the Sufi holy man who used a sharp stick to practically gouge out his own eye during the Urs religious festival in Ajmer, India (pg. 41)
the short-horned lizards that quirt blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism to scare of predators (pg. 90)
the “snot shots” (pg. 201) from artist Ulf Lundin’s Bless You project, in which people sneezed at a camera without covering their mouth/nose… ack!
If you’re looking for a conversation-starting/engrossing book to share with a tween, the Ripley’s books are a pretty sure bet.