Travel to Familiar Places

Lonely Planet has put together the 10 Places that bring Children’s Books to life. You can now visit those familiar locations you’ve read about in books, from the rainforests of THE JUNGLE BOOK, to PIPPI LONGSTOCKING’s Swedish roots. What a fun thing to start planning!

#OPLW

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Manipulative Purchases?

A just released YA debut novel by Lani Sarem called HANDBOOK FOR MORTALS has thrown up some red flags around the publishing world and bestseller lists. Until its release on August 15, 2017, there hadn’t been much press related to the book or the author. It’s the first book published by GeekNation, and it hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list in the first week of sales.  And while reviews on Goodreads, Twitter followers, and Facebook likes reached a fever, it started to be a little suspicious when each social media site had the same number of followers…all people without previous book reviews or posts.

So, how exactly does an unknown author, published by an unknown publisher, with very little prior advertising, rise to the top spot on the NYT list overnight? No one could quite comprehend it…until they started doing some background checks.

It seems that there were many large pre-orders and first week sales placed for the book at companies like Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. But none of the orders were large enough to raise any suspicions from the booksellers. In fact, it only made them consider ordering more copies for their stores in order to cover the possible demand for the book. Once the book reached number one, however, the New York Times had to stop and look into allegations that something was up.

As it turns out, it was something called “manipulative purchasing”. Geek Nation was behind the mass-purchasing, the reviews, and the social media frenzy. They knew just how many books to order so as not to arouse too much suspicion, and claimed they were only trying to drum up excitement for a book that was actually written as a result of a film already in development, not the other way around. While it is normal for an author to purchase large orders of their own book in preparation for an upcoming book tour or conference, Sarem’s claim that she needed the books for a ComicCon event seemed slightly defensive.

The New York Times eventually pulled the book from its Bestseller list, saying it “did not meet their criterion for inclusion”. After the somewhat devious promotion, the book actually increased in sales, which may eventually make it eligible once again for ranking on the list, but now with a slightly tarnished cap.

Would the book have reached such success on its own? We’ll never know, and it’s sad that the author didn’t really get the chance to try. Here is a summary of the book:

Zade Holder has always been a free-spirited young woman, from a long dynasty of tarot-card readers, fortunetellers, and practitioners of magick. Growing up in a small town and never quite fitting in, Zade is determined to forge her own path. She leaves her home in Tennessee to break free from her overprotective mother Dela, the local resident spellcaster and fortuneteller. Zade travels to Las Vegas and uses supernatural powers to become part of a premiere magic show led by the infamous magician Charles Spellman. Zade fits right in with his troupe of artists and misfits. After all, when everyone is slightly eccentric, appearing “normal” is much less important. Behind the scenes of this multimillion-dollar production, Zade finds herself caught in a love triangle with Mac, the show’s good-looking but rough-around-the-edges technical director and Jackson, the tall, dark, handsome and charming bandleader.

Hopefully fans of YA fantasy will draw their own conclusions.

What Books Are We Buying?

CBC has an interesting list of Canadian books that we’re buying this month. And it’s not surprising to see that Madeleine Thien’s DO NOT SAY WE HAVE NOTHING is top of the list. Giller Prize winners are always a favourite!

CANADIAN FICTION:

  1. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
  2. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
  3. The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood​
  5. By Gaslight by Steven Price
  6. The Only Café by Linden MacIntyre
  7. Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
  8. A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
  9. ​The Handmaid’s Tale (TV Tie-in Edition) by Margaret Atwood​
  10. One Brother Shy by Terry Fallis

CANADIAN NON-FICTION:

  1. No Is Not Enough by Naomi Klein
  2. Embers by Richard Wagamese
  3. The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King
  4. The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant
  5. The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew
  6. On Trails by Robert Moor
  7. You Might Be from Canada If… by Michael de Adder
  8. The Right to Be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
  9. Unsettling Canada by Arthur Manuel & Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson
  10. Secret Path by Gord Downie & Jeff Lemir

CANADIAN KIDS:

  1. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw
  2. Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Kass Reich
  3. Canada ABC by Paul Covello
  4. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko
  5. Heartwood Hotel by Kallie George, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
  6. Narwhal by Ben Clanton
  7. The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield, illustrated by Terry Fan & Eric Fan
  8. ​Good Morning Canada by Andrea Lynn Beck
  9. Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland
  10. The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands

Book Fairy

It all started with Emma Watson. She started leaving books from her feminist book club on the London Underground subway system for people to take home. A free book prompts discussion, and the actress thought it would be an interesting way to find a broader audience for her book club.

Now, Montreal has its own book fairy in Audree Archambault. She’s been leaving books in Montreal Metro stations in hopes that they’ll read the books, and then pay it forward by leaving the books for someone else. Archambault is a YouTuber and books lover, and for International Women’s Day this year, she received a box of books from publishers, each containing a book with a hand-written note from Emma Watson herself, to distribute for her project.

Each book that Archambault leaves contains a sticker explaining why it was left there and instructions on how to pass it on. You might even find her peering around a corner to see who takes her books–and it’s often a struggle for people to take something with them for free, even with the note.

You can read more about the project by clicking on the link here.

I’m sure most library users would appreciate finding a book that they could take home, regardless of where it was left. Would you participate?

What did they wear?

It surprises me to know that authors actually wear something other than sweats and slippers. Or maybe it’s when they go out in public. (I’m totally teasing here, but if you follow any active author on Instagram or Facebook, you’d be hard-pressed to find one who isn’t participating in a sock-Sunday event as the biggest thing of their week). So, this book totally intrigues me.

What do you think? Is there an audience out there for what librarians wear?

Summer Reading Toolkit

The wonderful people who put together the TD Summer Reading Club have put together a fun toolkit to help parents, teachers, and librarians prep for summer reading. If you’re looking for ways to keep (or get) your kids interested in summer reading, this is a great place to start. There is a fun quiz to start, which will help determine what type of summer reading club your child might be interested in, and then a download with tons of suggestions province-wide. Even if you happen to be leaving the area for the summer, most libraries do participate in the TD Summer Reading Club, in some way, shape, or form. While we all do something a little bit different, everyone will have access to the stickers and booklets as motivation.

If you’re in Carleton Place this summer, don’t forget, we have our Library Lemonade Stand Summer Reading Kick-Off on Thursday, June 29th from 1:30 – 3:30pm. We’ll be handing out information for summer reading, giving out invitations, and answering all your questions about the program. We have some fun things planned for our readers…so stay tuned!

THIS IS THAT: TRAVEL GUIDE TO CANADA

51ea22ep3zl-_sx326_bo1204203200_If you follow “This is That” on CBC Radio, you know that the comedy team of Pat Kelly, Chris Kelly, and Peter Oldring, often make fun of things, and this time, it includes their home country, Canada. Recently, they released THIS IS THAT : TRAVEL GUIDE TO CANADA, a book which looks every bit the informative travel guide, but which pokes fun at the whole genre. There are useful tips on finding bathrooms in Canada, navigating Ontario (aka The Home of Toronto), and portaging….because we have to do that so much in Canada.

But the best part about this is the accompanying video by Harold Dalhousie, Canada’s Best Bookseller. Who knew all it took to sell a book was a sticker in the corner?