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July 2010

Norah McClintock's "Taken" + General Ramblings About Teen Thrillers

July 30, 2010 | Alan H.

Comments (44)

Norah McClintock's Taken is a fusion of two genres I read a lot of in my teen years, the teen mystery/thriller + the teen survival story. 


Part of the appeal of these stories is the unfolding plot (and plot twists), so I won't go into too much detail beyond my original summary for our booklist:

When Stephanie Rawls is drugged and kidnapped, she must escape alone from deep in the wilderness. Both an intense survival story and a murder mystery, McClintock’s novel should appeal to fans of both these genres.

So along with the obvious audience of mystery/thriller enthusiasts (especially those who enjoy any of McClintock's other books) I'd recommend this one to fans of wilderness survival stories like Gary Paulsen's Hatchet or Gordon Korman's Island series.

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Week 3 Prizes Drawn

July 28, 2010 | Alan H.

Comments (34)

Check your email--winners for the week of July 19-25 have been drawn and contacted (and I even remembered to post about it on the day I did it this time).

Alan H. is a web librarian at Toronto Public Library.  He is growing forgetful in his old age, apparently.

Writer's Block Really Sucks...

July 26, 2010 | Tatted Librarian

Comments (52)

I’m suffering from writer’s block.  I don’t know what I want to write my Mercury about.  I’ll just use my old stand “blogger starter.”  I just write out the topic and see where this leads me…

I have to write a blog about Mercury by Hope Larson, and I struggling on how I can start this out… I liked the story, but really I got caught up in the artwork more.  I would stare at a panel and think about the different ways in which I could re-interpret it, and wondered if I was “reading” the story right. Was the Mom too paranoid?  Was she right on about her suspicions about the wanderer?  I love graphic novels, and I’m so amazed at the level of care and thought that goes into a Graphic Novel.  I remember pouring over one of the panels in the Graphic Novel and was amazed at how a little change of an eyebrow could alter the entire expression of a face.

In a nutshell, that’s why I love graphic novels.  The beauty is in the simple details of the drawings.  I can pour over a graphic novel and find something new the next time around that could completely change my opinion of the storyline.  It is really hard for me to get passed this road block, but it passed my bench mark for a good read.  Like Alan H., I have a long --- commute to and from work, and I spent the majority of that time reading. 

I know a book is good in the following ways

1. If I miss my subway stop.

2. When I look up from the book, I realize that I’m already at Kennedy and I wondered where exactly did that time go.
 3.  If I want to prolong my journey so that I can finish the book.

Just to finish up the story, I took the subway to Kipling to finish the story.

Hmmm.. what do you know?  I did bang out a blog entry without entirely knowing what I was going to write about… I rule!!!!

How do you guys judge a good book?

An autobiography as episodes ...

July 26, 2010 | ED

Comments (15)

One cannot talk about Episodes: My Life As I See It, without first mentioning something about the format of the book. The format of the book is unique and adds to the appeal of the book. Blaze presents his autobiography as a series of television episodes. Each series has a release date and cast list. The series are further divided into episodes which have summaries, quotes, trivia and soundtracks. For those familiar with the Internet Movie Database, the book reads like an entry right out of the database.

In Episodes: My Life As I See It, Blaze provides an autobiography of his life as a high-functioning autistic teenager. He recounts various episodes in his life starting in freshman year of high school going into the early college years. Some of the episodes are ongoing, such as Thanksgiving Dinner, other are syndications and some have come to an end, such as his crush on Hillary Duff. Reading the book it is easy to relate to Blaze; after all he share many of the same concerns that any other person does, such as friendships, crushes on celebrities, going to classes and trying to find a girlfriend.

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What Did We Read Last Week : Part 4 - The Readening

July 26, 2010 | Alan H.

Comments (45)

Last week I read:

  • Scott Pilgrim Volume 6!  Yay!  TPL already has copies available to borrow / place holds on--I got mine at the midnight release party at The Beguiling, where I had the same thought I usually do going to these kind of events these days: "My gosh, almost everyone else here is younger than me." (IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU TOO).  Anyway, I've read it through twice now and am still making up my mind about how I feel, but in general I thought it was a wonderful ending.  No more spoilers than that!
  • A ton of Hellboy and B.P.R.D graphic novels.  I haven't kept up with this series in the last couple of years, but man is it good.
  • Soulless by Gail Carriger.  Recommended to me by staff members at the Merril Collection, who've never steered me wrong--this is a fun mix of steampunk, supernatural and Jane Austen-ish romance.  Looking forward to reading the others in the series!

What did everyone else read last week?

Alan H. is a web librarian at Toronto Public Library.  He is getting a little too old to stay up past midnight, even for Scott Pilgrim Volume 6.

Week 2 Prize Winners Drawn & Contacted

July 25, 2010 | Alan H.

Comments (45)

Check your email--we've drawn the prize winners for the July 12 - 18 period and contacted them (I actually did this two days ago on Friday, but forgot to make a post).

Author Participation Page Now Available

July 22, 2010 | Alan H.

Comments (11)

Just a quick note to say we now have a page listing our participating authors for this year.  They make us more awesome.  Thanks participating authors!

Who is “Friend”?

July 22, 2010 | Kennis

Comments (41)


Manga has always been my all time favourite. Written by the three-time recipient of the prestigious “Japan Shogakukan Manga Award” Naoki Urasawa, who also wrote another popular title, Monster, introduced us to a world filled with adventure, mystery and the unknown.

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Speaking of Avatars...

July 22, 2010 | Elsa

Comments (20)

Not sure if you guys know about this but we have created some Word Out avatars for you to use on your Facebook as profile pic, Instant Messaging ID or even for your cell phones as photo ID! :)

You can find them in our Flickr gallery

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Summer Chills

July 20, 2010 | Margaret

Comments (40)

Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night by a noise that can't be explained?  Ever caught a glimpse of someone out of the corner of your eye, then find they have vanished into thin air?  You are alone in your house, suddenly things start to move on their own, the phone rings and no one is there, the TV turns off, the lights flicker and go out.  You feel the hair on your neck stand on end, your spine shivers and you just know that someone else is there with you.  Could it be a ghost...or something else?

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