BEFORE I FALL

9780062656322_25b35Lauren Oliver‘s BEFORE I FALL, was one of the first Young Adult novels I ever read (after TWILIGHT and THE HUNGER GAMES, of course), and I’m excited that the movie version now has a trailer!

The book has a really unique premise…about a teen who dies in a car crash, but relives that last day seven more times, each time changing just enough to (hopefully) learn something. It had such a unique voice, and interesting character development, that I hope the movie will do it justice.

You can watch a little teaser right here, starring up and comer Zoey Deutch as Samantha Kingston.

Let me just say the book bloggers of the internet are already losing their minds. 2017 can’t come fast enough!

Have You Read a Picture Book?

blue2As someone who sees a lot of picture books come through the library, I can tell you—there are good picture book authors, and those who haven’t quite figured it out yet. While most of the picture books out there that get published have fantastic stories, or amazing illustrations, it’s often the language that gets overlooked. And language is everything, especially when a book is geared toward small children who have attention spans of about three seconds.

So, when I came across an amazing post by Tracy Marchini, who is a literary agent, an editor, and a picture book author herself, I knew that she “got” it. Her post, “How Can You Tell If You’re Using Picture Book Language?” hits all the high points. Seriously, I think this should be required reading for anyone out there who is considering writing a picture book. It’s one of the MOST difficult things to do, even though it seems like it would be easy. The concepts not only have to be large and exciting, the language must cover no more than the anticipated reader can handle. With 40+ listeners all under the age of five at our library each week, I can tell you that a book must grab the child from word one, or you’ll lose them. And while a sleepy child on your lap might sit through a long drawn out descriptive book, most kids want to get in and get out. Tell them the story, make it entertaining, and sneak in a lesson if you can. That’s it.

So, what are some of the great concepts Marchini discusses in her post? Minimal dialog, minimal descriptions…basically, minimal everything. While it’s fine to write a book that you think will suit Kindergarten to Grade 2…keep in mind that most kids reading picture books are heading out of that age group. They’ll be wanting to read books on their own, and heading into chapter books. Your prime audience, then, is age 4 and under.

If you’ve ever contemplated writing a picture book, you’ll be wise to read the article. Not only will it save you the heartache of rejection when it comes time to try to publish, but you will set yourself apart from all of the other would-be authors out there who haven’t figured out the concept yet. And maybe I’ll end up reading your book at storytime one day!

Iraq in 2103? Imagine it!

downloadWe’re often so focused on the news that we can’t see beyond the present. But when award-winning Iraqi writer Hassan Blasim and Bristish publisher Ra Page asked Iraqi writers what they thought their country would look like one hundred years from now, the results were part sci-fi, fantasy, fairy tale and even satire.

The resulting anthology of stories was published in the UK, entitled IRAQ + 100, and sounds like a fascinating mix. It is hard to imagine how people in country so embroiled in warfare right now could be anything else, but leave it to the people with imaginations to see a different view.

You can read the article on the BBC website about the concept, and what the authors came up with right here. Maybe we could all take a page out of this book and open our minds to a different world.

Goodreads Choice Awards!

choiceIt’s that time of year again...the Goodreads Choice Awards! The lists are up, and you’re encouraged to vote for your favourite books in twenty different categories! If you’re a reader, hopefully you’ve been through the books from 2016 in your favourite genre and have a good sense of what’s out there. And now you can have your say in what you think are the best books of the year.

I’ll admit, I only voted in one category this year, although a lot of the books in other categories were ones that I wanted to read. Where did the time go? November 1-6 is the opening round, so you only have a few days to vote. Sign in, and make your vote count! It’ll be a lot easier picking a winner here than in the U.S. election next week!

We’re Writing Again!

Write a Novelin 30 days!Libraries are all about books, and what better place to write a book than at the library!

Did you know the Carleton Place Public Library has a writers’ group? We’ve been meeting for over two years now, and many of our writers have written books, been published, and are looking to help others in our community join in the fun

If you want to know more about our project to write books in November as part of National Novel Writing Month, join us on Tuesday, October 18 from 6-7pm to find out more. Meet members of the CP Library Writers Group, find out about our website, and learn all about writing a book in 30 days. It’s possible…and a lot of fun!

https://cplibrarywritersgroup.wordpress.com/

Please call to register, or drop by the library to pick up your writing kit if you can’t make it to the Kick Off meeting. We’d love to have new members!

BORN TO RUN

9781501141515_b00fcOf course, if you’re a diehard Springsteen fan, you’ll probably already know about (and have on pre-order) a copy of the much anticipated BORN TO RUN by Bruce Springsteen. While there have been a number of biographies about the singer over the years, this is the first one penned by the Boss himself, and fans are clamoring to get their hands on it for some inside info about his career and personal life.

While I’m not an original Springsteen fan, I’m a fan by association, and have attended two amazing concerts, including his latest tour of “The River” album. The man knows how to entertain, and his songs have always been thought provoking and original. If you’ve ever watched him in an interview, he’s VERY guarded about most everything, so I’m sure fans are wondering just how “vocal” he’s going to be in this book. But, you can watch him read from the book here to get a taste.

If you’d like to read this, drop by the library to see if it’s available or place a hold. You can check for availability on our website at http://carletonplacelibrary.ca

Man Booker Prize 2016 Shortlist

It’s that time of year….literary award book lists are out, and this year’s Man Booker Prize Shortlist has just been announced as well. Six authors–three men and three women–are up for the very prestigious award, and all are very deserving. It is also very evenly split between countries, with two Canadians, two US, and two British authors making the grade.

shortlist-website-imageThe jury was under a great deal of pressure to pick the best from the best, and finally decided on these entries for their short list:

016 Man Booker Shortlist

The 2016 shortlist of six novels is:

Author (nationality) – Title (imprint)

Paul Beatty (US) – The Sellout (Oneworld)

Deborah Levy (UK) – Hot Milk (Hamish Hamilton)

Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK) – His Bloody Project (Contraband)

Ottessa Moshfegh (US) – Eileen (Jonathan Cape)

David Szalay (Canada-UK) – All That Man Is (Jonathan Cape)

Madeleine Thien (Canada) – Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Granta Books)

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 25th. You can read more about the short list books and the prize right here.