Books I read in 2017

Covers of books I read in 2017

Books read 2017 ticker

So above is an image of the covers of all the books I read in 2017, minus American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

The Best:

  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – This graphic novel is as great as I’ve been hearing. I’m glad I finally had a chance to read it. Highly recommend.
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab- Second book in a rare duology. It’s just as good as the first. Partially a dystopia, partially paranormal. If this sort of thing interests you, check it out.
  • Up From the Sea by Leza Lowitz – I loved the prose this book was written in. I want to find more books with plots written this way. The book is about the March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.

The Okay or Meh:

  • The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan – I love the world of Ranger’s Apprentice. I love Halt. I had high hopes for this prequel and it fell short for me. Halt already seemed pretty accomplished and I wanted to see him grow. Repetition of the clothing color used by Morgarath’s soldiers. Seriously I started wondering why the characters were repeating it over and over as if they forgot along the way. It’s a bit too much.
  • Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith – Predictable on how things were going to go plot-wise. Sighs.
  • Bloodline by Claudia Gray – I wanted a good book about Princess Leia. This was not it. Since it’s about her as a senator there are tons of political things going on with the plot. Eh.

The Bottom:

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman – This was my second attempt at reading this book. Once again I just could not finish it. I did get farther than last time, but it just became too boring for me. Once as Shadow is away from the gods, the plot just dragged for me. This book just wasn’t for me. I may try one of his other books sometime, but this is now a permanent did not finish. I will not be picking up this book again.

Obviously, there’s a lot of interesting things about the other books I read, but those are the highlights.

Banned Books Week is coming

Banned Books Week 2017

Banned Books Week is almost here. This year it takes place from Sunday, September 24th until Saturday, September 30th. Banned Books Week is a time to celebrate your right to read whatever materials you choose.

Challenged or Banned

I highly encourage people to find a challenged or banned book to read for Banned Books Week. The American Library Association (ALA) has a list of challenged or banned books right here. If you click on ALA’s challenged books by year (2015-2016 back to 2004-2005), you’ll get a PDF which tells you why each book was challenged. You can even search online to find news articles about books that have been challenged recently and pick a book to read that way. Find something interesting, find something new, find something different, and read.

Decatur Book Festival 2017

So as is now seemingly becoming my annual tradition, I went to the Decatur Book Festival. It’s an outdoor festival that takes place in downtown Decatur right on top of the Decatur MARTA station. (MARTA is Georgia’s/Atlanta’s transit system – bus and train.) There are local authors as well as some famous authors that come to the festival. There are book readings, discussions, selling and signing. Since I sunburn very easily I get there early on Saturday just to do book shopping. This is my time to check out anything new and take a chance with a new author or a self-published author. I also check out the used book sellers. At this point, there is one used book seller tent I have come to love above the others because I have the best luck in finding something I want. So here’s this year’s stash.

Read moreDecatur Book Festival 2017

LibraryThing. My latest addiction.

How does one lure in a library catalog worker and make them want to use their web site and service? By creating a social networking site where you can catalog books and talk about them. And this folks has been the latest bug to bite me.

Presenting LibraryThing: www.librarything.com

As I said before you can catalog your book collection and add tags to each book. You have a variety of researches (web sites) to use to search for your book. There’s Library of Congress, Amazon, Amazon Japan, many academic libraries, etc. There are also lots of message board groups to chat it up about books.

Here’s a video of a presentation that one of the creators of LibraryThing (Tim Spalding) did about Social Cataloging and LibraryThing. www.vimeo.com/7953189 This video presentation was geared to librarians, but it shows a lot of the features of LibraryThing. The whole video is under 52 minutes long, so watch it when you have the time.

You can catalog up to 200 books, I believe, for free. After that you can pay to become a monthly or lifetime member. The amount is basically up to you.

The advantage of cataloging your collection is that if you have a phone with internet access you can check your collection as you shop at bookstores. No more wondering if you already have something.

Also the site gives you both automatic and member recommendations for books. So you’ll have some ideas on what to check out next. And if that doesn’t help, search for tags that interest you and see what book titles come up.

You’ll find my profile here: https://www.librarything.com/profile/ccooney and my library here https://www.librarything.com/catalog/ccooney . Of course cataloging of my books will always be ongoing.

So if you’re interested, please check it out. Maybe the social cataloging bug will bite you too. Just don’t stay up cataloging and tagging books and lose sleep, especially on a night where you have to get up early to go to work the next day.