Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We've Moved!

Finally! An address that makes sense. Please update your links, bookmarks, and feeds to this address:


See you over there!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Gifts and Musings

Things have been crazy. I didn't realize my last update was in October. My thought was the last update was in November sometime. A lot happened in November.

What has happened since that last update? Well, in the whirlwind that was the end of October I made a professional move from teen services to all youth services, changed libraries, changed counties, got an apartment with the Philosopher Musician, moved (am still moving stuff over), and found myself basically being an adult. All in the span of about two weeks. It was impressive. It has been a great move.

Now, according to last week or so, I finished grad school. Yes, I'm done (with a few exceptions). I can focus on my life again, whatever that is. One thing I've discovered as of late is that I'm a gamer. Yes, a video gamer. I purchased a Red Nintendo Wii (anytime I can get a red electronic, I do) which came with the awesome Super Mario Bros Wii. We lucked into a cheap, working Xbox and picked up a few games for that. I was getting into Steam again until my old computer tower (at least 10 years old) decided it wasn't going to see the Slave Drive. SimCity 4 was just on sale (I "have" it, but can't play it). The Netbook is just not good for gaming.

That's where I'm at and what I've been up to. The Philosopher Musician is coming on as a full partner here when we can get focus.
For the goodies! For Christmas, The Philosopher Musician got me...COMICS! (I had figured out one of these things because he said he looked at my comic collection! HA!)

Ruse Issue 16, which I may or may not have all ready. Catwoman Issue 2 since I have number 1!

Catwoman Issues 25 and 34. Filling in some story arcs. Very well done.
YES YES YES YES. The store, he says, was surprised they even had this one! One of the few that I willingly own the Issues AND the book. :)
My apologies for the bad pictures. My camera took a dive a few weeks ago (it rattles) so these were taken with a cheaper camera.

I got him Axe Cop vol. 1 for Christmas which we're both pretty excited for.

Life is good.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Machine of Death: a book (or [oh, see in the post])

(Or what to do when customers asks if you bought the book yet or they donate a copy...or five).

It all started last week (maybe before then, but last week it was on my radar) on Twitter when David Malki ! (of Wondermark fame who gave away books to LIBRARIES a while back) and Ryan North challenged the Twitter-verse and web comic fans alike to make their upcoming compilation book the number 1 seller on Amazon for at least one day, which was yesterday. Well, you can see here, here, and here (not sure that link will hold) that it happened, and it has gone into today. Impressive. Many, many kudos to the fact it is an Indie Book and it topped.

Well, today, the story just got a little more interesting. According to David Malki !'s Twitter here and continued here, Glenn Beck (of this book fame [I do not endorse this book, I just know that you may only know who he is by his book*]) called the book "an example of our 'culture of death.'" The Twitter-verse is just RUNNING with this and challenging the fans to buy MORE copies or convince more people to buy copies.

So, as a librarian do I purchase this book for my collection or not?

Non-librarians, here is the dilemma: there are no professional reviews backing this up (that I've seen) and it hasn't reached the NYTimes Best Seller list. These are two factors in most libraries when determining whether or not to purchase a book. While it is a talked about book, I find that the audience for this book will be small. The concept is different, but sight unseen, this is one of the few books I honestly can't say I'd pick up for my Library Collection. I'd be likely to pick it up if I knew that there was a huge Glenn Beck fan base in the area (Banned Book, anyone?), but a quick search of the county I work in** shows me this is not necessarily the case. A search of Worldcat also shows me that no one has purchased Machine of Death yet, and judging by what it is, libraries won't even start getting it until a month from now (if they do).

So, non-librarians, you now know why it might not be in your libraries and librarians, you are prepared if you should decide to purchase this book (due to all the suggestions) or know why you might suddenly end up with 1-5 copies of the book (guys, if you do donate, PLEASE don't donate more than 1, also, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check with your librarians about their donation policy before donating).

I'm willing to review Machine of Death for this here blog, but I just want to warn you, I'm in a state of upheaval considering I'm hoping to move next week and am starting a new adventure shortly thereafter. If you want me to review before the end of next week, please annoy me (comment below or e-mail me at ReadsRantsRaves [at] gmail [dot] com or @me on Twitter.com/readsrantsraves) and I will get a copy one way or another.

For an added bonus, I challenge everyone to get this thing on the NYTimes Best Sellers list because then EVERYONE will be talking about it. :)
*In fact, I'd like to go to DC this weekend for the Daily Show/Colbert Report March.

**Not for much longer. It's bittersweet.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So Farmville is a country!

This is probably old news by now, but I just couldn't help linking to this.

XKCD has made a map of the Internet as countries (at least that's how I see it). Either way, it is a nifty representation of web sites from Facebook to blogging and how "popular" one site is from another. It is pretty wicked cool. Although, book blogs don't rank anywhere...

In other news, I'm going to do some blog cleanup one of these days and move the blog to a better (more logical) address (I have it! I'm squatting!). I've got a small vacation (translation: lots of time at grandmom's house) coming up and hope that I can put some "blog" stuff on the agenda. My time has been eaten up by little things such as my job (yay school visits) and school work. Here's hoping I get a better handle by the end of next weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Manga Moveable Feast: Yotsuba&! - Discussion

In my head Saturday: YES! I finally did it! I can finally participate in the Manga Movable Feast! Good Comics for Kids (at School Library Journal, many kudos to Robing Brenner on this one) this time is the host it and it doesn't start until August 30, and I have read the title and...oh drat, I've posted the review all ready... 

PS: I haven't read any of the other discussions this week, so be prepared for an addendum.

Little Librarian:
I am surprised to think about Yotsuba&! as a kid's title. Honestly, I would not suggest to put it in my children's collection at the library I work at and I almost always find it in the teen and adult collections at libraries. Why? I'm not exactly sure. Considering the creator behind the work (he wrote Azumanga Diaoh), I'd suspect that somewhere along the way, the creator would sneak something "questionable" in, but I haven't read past volume 1.

When I think of Yotsuba&! I don't think of kids reading the title, I think of adults reading the title. I learned about Yotsuba&! in college, from my college friends. Those in the web comic community know that a particular artist really loves reading Yotsuba&! so I link all of those things up to a teen and adult readership. In fact, if this is to be billed as a children's story, then why does it say in this post that Yotsuba&! is "seralized in Dengeki Daioh (Japanese website here), a magazine aimed at adult men[.]" I'm sorry, but that does not help the cause that this should/could be a kids' title. I honestly did not know that "While Yotsuba! is not officially a children’s series, as noted above, it has been embraced by young readers here in the United States as well as older readers." (Same post as above). I'm not one to go recommending this title to children. That's despite, if I remember rightly, the All Ages stamp on the back of the book by ADV.

Now don't get me wrong. I loved Yotsuba&! and think it is fantastically funny, adorable comic. I enjoyed her sense of wonder and her abandonment of her safety in the name of exploration, but some of the situations  make me feel it is better suited for a teen and adult audience (although, that's not to say kids won't discover it).

This is a place I'm willing to hear your thoughts. Why kids? Do you picture it or is it located in your library's children collection? If it is not, why do you think that? Why are kids picking this up (I'm pretty sure I know why...) Please discuss. I'm willing to be convinced.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Manga Movable Feast: Yotsuba&! and Chi's Sweet Home (Review Part)

SWEET! I'm excited to finally join in on a Manga Movable Feast. This time around it is the adorable comic: Yotsuba&! which I actually reviewed Volume 1 of way back in May. Basically, I loved the title and highly recommend it as a different title that will give your manga collection something fun to read. I enjoyed the first volume because of Yotsuba&s wild and crazy antics and that she is such a child and everything is new to her. Although, I wonder why I haven't picked the rest up...too many comics really.

As part of the Manga Movable Feast, people were asked to include a kids manga pick and seriously, what better title than my new all time favorite: Chi's Sweet Home volume 1. Enjoy!

Title: Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 1
Author: Konami Kanata
Illustrator: Konami Kanata
Publisher: Vertical
Copyright: 2010
Price: $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-934287-81-1
Summary and Quick Thoughts: It all starts with a bird and a little kitten. Chi, the kitten,  grew interested in a bird and forgot to follow her mother and siblings back home from a day out walking. As Chi struggles to find her way home, she discovers a world full of scary things. Just as she gives up, luck would have it that a child falls in front of her and both have an understanding the other is unhappy. Chi is taken in by the Yamada family, despite the apartment complex rule that no pets are allowed. In quick, short and colorful chapters, it tells the story of Chi’s development and eventual adoption by the Yamada family. For any cat lover, or anyone who has raised a kitten who strayed from its family, this story will remind the reader of those days and elicit laughter and “awwws!”
Will Teens Like It? This is a great all ages title!
Things to be aware of: Nothing.
Further Thoughts:  Chi’s story covers everything from her attempts to get home, to settling, to her first bath (with lots of growling), to her litter training, to discovery of bouncy balls (one of many favorite cat toys), to her first vet trip (which reminds me of the story of a cat I know) and many other firsts and developments with the Yamada family. In this book, instead of just having the cat go “meow” or “miu” the reader also sees what Chi is thinking or saying with those meows and it is spot on with those thoughts.

The artwork is what really makes this particular work special. Chi’s fear, frustration, anger, excitement, and other expressions are clear and mimic a real cat in a cartoony way. Combined with the words, this is one of the few titles that I often found myself laughing out loud or grabbing one of my family members to show and say “isn’t that like a cat?”

Chi’s story also sometimes parallels Yohei’s (the son), story as he learns to use “the potty” and when he has a growth spurt. Many times I thought, this would be a perfect book for a child who is growing up and needs positive stories about how “this child could do it, so can you.”

Overall, I’d highly recommend this title as it is feel good story about a cat and her family as she grows and explores a little. Cat owners everywhere should be able to relate to many of these stories and fondly remember times with their own cats (or chuckle at moments such as the cat clawing the couch). It almost makes you want to have a kitten again…almost…(please do not offer me kittens. We have 2 cats who are entering the “senior” years plus a temperamental cat that lives with the dog on the main floor with my mum).
Bonus: This title is pricy, but you’re getting color which is a rarity in manga. If and when I get funds for myself, I’m getting this for my personal collection. And I might get a stuffed Chi too if I find one…oh dear, I've reached fan girl status....

Source:  Library copy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Things Librairans Should Unlearn: Comic Book Edition!

[This week's review will be posted in a few days so I can join in on the Manga Movable Feast! YAY!]

I was inspired by Joyce Valenza's post (which was inspired by this post) earlier this week about what Teacher Librarians Should Unlearn and her challenge to create a meme based off of this was almost impossible to resist.

So I present to you, Things Librarians Should Unlearn: Comic Book Edition. This collaborative effort by me, The Philosopher Musician, and Sir Shanley hope to enlighten you about some common misconceptions about comics and the library.

Things Librarians Should Unlearn: Comic Book Edition
  1. Graphic novels are not literature
  2. Graphic novels and comic books do not belong in the library
  3. All graphic novels should only be shelved in the [adult, teen, or children's] collection.
  4. The ALA Great Graphic Novel Lists, professional titles, and professional journals are the best and, in fact, only graphic novel collection development tools out there.
  5. Book to graphic novel adaptations are usually awesome and a must have. Especially classic books and authors.
  6. Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and DragonBall Z are the best examples of manga.
  7. Anime and manga titles we don't recognize are probably dirty, violent, and pornographic.
  8. Only social outcasts and reluctant readers read graphic novels.
  9. Only children read comics.
  10. Librarians don't read comics.