A few years ago, a young reader came up and handed me Brian Selznick’s WONDERSTRUCK, saying it had changed her life. She wasn’t even going to pick it up…at 640 pages, it’s a HUGE book. But mostly pictures, it tells the story through art and text of two teenagers from two totally different eras…1927 and 1977. Both characters are deaf, and they communicate their stories of love and loss and pain through time, each in their own unique way.

Now, they’ve made it into a film–Selznick wrote the screenplay–and I can’t wait to see how they incorporate both ideas into something all of us can see. (I read somewhere that Rose’s part of the book, which was told in pictures, is going to be shot as a silent film. Isn’t that unique?) It promises to remain as creative and engaging as the book. I hope it lives up to my young reader’s expectations.

You can see the first official trailer below.


I remember reading Andy Weir’s THE MARTIAN about a year before everyone started talking about it, and I was so excited about this book! Not only was it set on Mars, but it was sci-fi without all the aliens. What could be better than an astronaut book? I loved the way Weir incorporated great science into this book, and eventually, it made it’s way into the spotlight. (If you haven’t seen the movie, read the book instead. It’s WAY better!)

So, I’m not alone in saying where is the next book? Apparently, we won’t have to wait much longer. ARTEMIS is set to be released in November of this year, and it’s being lauded as a crime novel set on the moon, because, of course.

If you’re a library patron, start watching that catalog and get ready to place a hold. This one is going to be a heavy-holds book, I’m predicting!

An Ex-President and an Author

It is going to be a combination of publishers, editors, and authors, but one that you probably won’t want to miss. This week, publishing houses Knopf and Little, Brown & Co., announced that they are going to work together to publish a book by former President Bill Clinton, and author James Patterson.

The novel, tentatively titled THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING, is slated to be released on June 11, 2018. Right now, the book is just in the early stages, so no one is saying whether it will be in Patterson’s trademark style, or a different type of thriller, but the idea revolves around a sitting President in the White House, and is bound to have lots of juicy insider ideas.

Little, Brown & Co., will take care of publishing and distribution of all of the books, while Knopf will cover the advertising and tour dates, with input from both sides. This should be interesting.

While it’s not the first novel to be published by a former President (Jimmy Carter was the first), it is the first novel collaboration. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes, but this is sure to be a very interesting and desired book. Maybe we should start a waiting list now.

Can Neil deGrasse Tyson do any wrong?

If you know anything about the Universe, you probably learned some of it from Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s hard to search for any information online and not find one of his books or videos there to help explain. His style is always so smooth and easy to understand, and if more of school had been taught this way, we might have had billions of kids dying to get into the sciences.

In his latest book, ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY, Tyson promises to provide a basic understanding of an incredibly huge topic. And he’ll probably make it interesting, too!

If you know someone who is interested in the Universe, you might want to pick this one up as a gift. It released this week on May 2, 2017.

It’s a Mystery!

It was supposed to be a typical awards ceremony for the Mystery Writers of America. Incoming president and author Jeffery Deaver gave an entertaining speech, and began the presentation of Edgar awards for this years best mysteries, when he suddenly passed out in the middle of an announcement. EMS arrived, and Deaver was able to walk out of the ceremony on his own (he was later cleared of all health issues), it certainly made for a dramatic pause.

But the show must go on, and several books were awarded the prestigious Edgar, including BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley, for best novel overall.

For best first novel, Flynn Berry won for UNDER THE HARROW.

And the winner in the Best Fact Crime this year was THE WICKED BOY by Kate Summerscale.

If you’re a mystery fan, did you read any of these great titles? If you did, would you have picked them as winners?

Voice Choice Workshop

The last in our spring writing series for 2017 will be VOICE CHOICE, on Tuesday, May 16th from 6-7pm at the Carleton Place Public Library. We welcome writers from past workshops, and anyone who might be interested in finding out how to find your own writing style.

We’ll cover a broad range of ideas revolving around writing style and choices that you make. Even if you haven’t written much before, but are interested in starting, this workshop will help you discover exactly how to get started.

Registration is open now, so please call 257-2702 for more information, or to sign up. It’s going to be an interesting session.


James Patterson has done it again. No, I don’t mean that he’s written another book, although the man just has to sneeze and out comes another best-seller. But this time, it’s all about what he’s giving back, and it’s amazing.

This year, Patterson has promised $1.75 million to school libraries in the United States. Specifically, he wants to give $500 to 3500 teachers. While many school libraries have seen cutbacks (and this isn’t just an issue in the US), teachers often bear the brunt of the problem, having to supplement their meager classroom libraries with current books that will provide reading material for their students. Patterson knows it’s just a drop in the bucket, but that $500 will go a long way, especially in schools where they don’t even have libraries anymore.

This isn’t the first time James Patterson has donated money to schools. He launched the program in 2015 along with the Scholastic Reading Club as a way to bolster reading in schools. So far, he’s donated $3.5 million, and has no plans to stop now.

It’s nice to hear about people giving back to their communities, especially when they have plenty. Good on you, James Patterson! Let’s hope he starts a trend!