Tag Archives: library

Book Review: Beta

Book: Beta
Author: Rachel Cohn
Recommend: Interesting read..

I have a routine when I go to the library. If I can’t bring myself just to go grab my book(s) on the hold shelf, I walk through and collect books I think I might be interested in based on the synopsis and cover and pop them into my Disney Villains bag. When I’ve got somewhere between 7 and 12 books, I find a seat, hopefully in the back of the library where there aren’t a lot of people around and pull the books out one by one. If they are book I placed a hold on, they stay in the bag but the rest come out and are placed in a stack in front of me. Then I pull the top one and start to read a bit to see if I think the book is worth taking home with me. When I get a substantial way into a book without realizing it, like I did with this one, it usually means it will be the first one I read when I get home. Went to the library today. I’m already done with the book.

Beta tells the story of one of the first teenage clones on an island paradise. The story follows Elysia as she tries to cope with life as a test clone, sold into a life of futuristic slavery. While some of the book is frankly completely unbelievable, this beauty of this book is the obvious parallel to slavery before the civil war. It would be a great book study to introduce this concept in a high school classroom (not that teachers have time for that kind of thing).

I really liked the fact that the author maintains the same view about the sanctity of human life throughout the book. It would have been so easy to simply parrot the popular ideas of today but this author follows her idea to its logical conclusion. I also like that while she doesn’t shy away from some of the more difficult aspects of the life of a slave, she does handle them delicately.

However, this book had one HUGE flaw. The ending. Everything was great until the bizarre ending the author gave her book. I was fine until the very last couple of pages. Then I felt like the author completely phoned it in to set up for the next book in an obvious series. She was fine without her little revelation on the last page. She really could have left things where they were and given us that in more detail at the beginning of book two.

Overall, this was an enjoyable and memorable read minus a couple of flaws. Worth picking up.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Filed under political thriller, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review

Dear ebook retailers (an open letter type rant)

EBooks. One of the most wonderful things to come out since sliced bread. No longer must I lug an extra bag for my books on vacation. I have instant access to a large library of books that I own. If nothing in my library suits me at the moment, I can always buy something new. It’s wonderful! I love eBooks. Really.

I personally own the B&N nook because of the one simple idea that I can go into a physical store and read for an hour a day for free. Sometimes this means I can get a shorter book done in one sitting (no, I’m not kidding). This feature alone made me pick up the nook over the kindle. It helps that there is store about a mile from my house.

I said that this was going to be a rant and it is. I just wanted to be fair before I ripped them a new one. I have one very big issue with eBooks and eBook retailers. I’m sure if you use eBooks at all you’ve discovered this one as well. When the cost of an eBook is more than the price of a real book without all the cost of production behind it! I’m tired of seeing eBooks for 12.99, 14.99 or even 24.99 each! I wouldn’t pay that for a book period, let alone one that I don’t physically own. What is going to happen when these companies go out of business or change hands or the technology becomes obsolete? Are we all going to get physical copies of these digital books? Of course not! Is there going to be some kind a refund for the fact that we no longer have access to them? Nope. Ebooks have become the long-term library where we don’t know the due date and we have to pay for the books.

Personally, I have no problem paying 4.99 or less for an eBook. However, if I really want to read something there is this amazing free resource called the library where you can borrow eBooks for free or get physical books for an extended period of time for free. Then if you must have a book in your library you can buy a physical copy of it from the same place that is selling those eBooks, often for much much less.

My current policy has become that I will buy the book or eBook depending on whichever is cheaper if I must own a book. There are a few essentials in my library that I own both a physical and electronic copy of simply for the convenience factor.

I love how convenient eBooks make a reader’s life but I hate the cost connected with them. While I feel like authors should get paid for their hard work and the retailers should make money, I don’t think that the cost of an eBook should be similar to the cost of a physical copy. You know what I would love to see? I would love to see what the movies have done with ultraviolet. You get a digital copy along with your purchase of a physical copy.  Maybe eBooks should work the same way. Only new books are entitled to the download, used books would lose that privilege.

Something needs to change but until the industry realizes there is a problem, I have a feeling we are going to deal with the ‘it’s not broke so don’t fix it’ issue.

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Filed under Book Worm Rant

Short Kid’s Book Review: What Body Part is That?

Book: What Body Part is that?
Author: Andy Griffiths
Recommend: Umm.. not really.

I got this as as ARC. As a teacher I thought this would be a great addition to my classroom library. A funny book about the body. Awesome. I needed more non-fiction text in my collection anyway. After reading this book, it won’t be joining my classroom library. This book has little to no factual information. In fact, it is filled with disinformation. I really just don’t get the point of it! This one is not going to end up in my classroom library. Instead it is going directly into the “I-don’t-care-how-I-get-rid-of-it-I-just-want-it-gone” pile. Avoid this one if you can.

Final Rating:

TRASH IT!!

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Filed under Children's book review, non fiction, Review

Life in a library

Book: Dispatches from a Public Librarian

Author: Scott Douglas

Recommend: Entertaining and light-hearted read…

I am a sucker for the library. I’ve been hanging out in them all my life. One of my favorite things to do growing up was to go to work with my mom. Not because her office was cool or because the ladies would dote on me incessantly but because I was allowed to spend my whole day in the library while mom worked in the next building. I would spend days during the summer holed up in the teen corner of the children’s section of the library reading as many books as I could get through in a day. I also spent a good deal of my time watching people, especially as I got old enough to venture into the adult part of the library.

Spending so much time in the library growing up, I found Scott’s book about the life of  a librarian hilarious because I had made some of the same observations growing up. Scott has an amusing way to look at the patrons and events that happen in his Orange County California library nestled right near Disneyland. Some of the things he says just crack me up completely. I am very tempted to start following his blog. It also makes me want to start writing a blog about the crazy things I see and hear at my job. I think I might be able to give Scott a run for his money.

Final Rating:

Get it used…

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Filed under non fiction, Review