Enter John Ambrose

Late this last week, Netflix made the announcement of who would be playing John Ambrose McClaren in the second To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie. Spoiler: It isn’t the guy from the end of the last movie. How would it feel to be that guy? Geez. I wasn’t a huge fan of that guy’s look in the first place, but I still feel bad for him.

Anyway, John Ambrose will be played by…drumroll…Jordan Fisher!

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So there we go. I’ve been a fan of Jordan Fisher since his Teen Beach Movie days, but especially after Grease Live. I’m actually super excited about this casting and I continue to be, as ever, #teamJohnAmbrose. We welcome any and all new recruits.

How do you guys feel about this casting announcement? Are there any other actors you had in mind for John Ambrose?
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Bemused vs Amused: Do you know the difference?

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This is such a huge pet peeve of mine. Authors use the word “bemused” when they really mean “amused” all. the. TIME. Let’s review definitions, shall we?

amused definition

bemused definition

 

 

 

 

I read a book recently where the author used the word bemused TWICE. Now, I’ll say giving the author the benefit of the doubt, bemused could hypothetically have fit the situation. However, in the context of the story, amused would have made much more sense. And here I am, as a reader, wondering how nobody knows the difference between these two words! Not the author, not the editor, not anyone else who read this book before it got published.

But to be completely transparent with you, when I looked up bemused on Dictionary.com, this is something else that popped up:

The verb bemuse (usually as the adjective bemused)is similar in sound to amuse, and has in fact taken on the meaning “to cause to be mildly amused.” Many usage experts and traditionalists consider this a misuse of bemuse, pointing out that its proper meaning is “to bewilder or confuse.” However, the history and use of bemuse has shown that is meaning is often ambiguous. It’s often the case that one’s feelings are a combination of bewilderment and amusement: Their customs bemuse most Americans. Even when it clearly means “to bewilder or confuse,” bemuse usually retains a lighthearted tone: one would not typically say: I was bemused by his motive for the murder.

So apparently, because everyone keeps using this word wrong, it’s starting to mean what everyone has been using it to mean. Isn’t that weird? It’s just so…frustrating to me, because it’s wrong! Just because people keep getting a math answer wrong doesn’t change what the answer actually is, right?

I was telling my husband about this strange phenomenon and he told me that the same thing happens with travesty vs tragedy. A lot of people use the word travesty to mean an even bigger tragedy, when in reality it means: “a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something.”

Anyway, there’s my rant for the day. Are there any words that you’ve noticed authors (or other people) consistently get wrong? Why do you think editors don’t catch that kind of thing?

DISCUSSION: Is the term “clean” harmful?

I read an article from Book Riot the other day discussing why the term “clean” is harmful. The author explains that sex, underage drinking, and swearing are not “dirty” things and so calling books that don’t contain those things “clean” is harmful.

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I understand the author’s point completely and, to an extent, I agree. My main issue with the article is that she ends with this paragraph:

Publishers and authors are in the business of words. I trust they can find a better, less holier-than-thou way to say what they mean. Unless, of course, this is exactly what they mean.

Honestly, this paragraph feels a little “holier-than-thou” to me, but that’s beside the point. My problem is that she never offers an alternative to the term currently being used. I live in a super religious and conservative community. We have patrons coming into the library EVERY DAY looking for “clean” reads. That’s just the term they understand and we have to call these books something. I’d love to use another term, but…what other descriptors are there? This is not a rhetorical question, I’d really like to know. I discussed this very thing with one of my fellow librarians and we were pretty stumped.

In library school, it was very heavily emphasized that a librarian’s job is to be discreet and that no patron should feel judged in any way for what they choose or choose not to read. With that being said, obviously no self-respecting librarian wants a patron to feel dirty or less-than if they choose not to read “clean” books. Because of this, I almost feel like if a better word were out there, then librarians would have found it already?

Another point where I kind of disagree with the author is where she says how all books that aren’t considered “clean” must, in fact, be dirty.

And the word “clean” when applied to books is a clear value judgement against books that aren’t clean. Not “clean” = dirty. “Those books” are deemed less-than, worthless, like a used tissue.

I don’t really think it’s that black and white and I don’t think that the existence of “clean” books necessarily implies that not “clean” books = worthless. The way I see it, the term “clean” is more a descriptor of what the book is than what other books aren’t. However, I can see the point that labeling a book “clean” may imply that the acts of sex, drug/alcohol-use, and swearing are “unclean” or “dirty” (which, again, is not how we want patrons to feel).

In the end, I agree that “clean” isn’t the best term, but I don’t agree that it’s the worst. Sometimes I feel like we’re in a world that is so sensitive about the littlest things (and this is coming from a POC who has lived for the last seven years in a very white community). I’m not saying we shouldn’t be sensitive to things, and I’m not saying that this specific example should be something we ignore. But I feel like every alternative to the word “clean” that I’ve come up with, could be argued as insensitive to someone, somewhere. And thinking about that makes me so very exhausted.

What do you think? Should we move away from the “clean” label? What would you use as an alternative?

6 WORST things about working at a library!

Some of you may remember that I started working at my local library towards the end of last year. I’m an Adult/Teen Services and Reference Librarian. I LOVE my job. It’s basically my dream job, but no job is perfect, right? (Related, if you know of any perfect jobs, hmu in the comments). Now that I’ve been there for about 6 months, I’ve noticed some things that are…not so fun about being a librarian.

1. You get sick more often

Just working with the public means that you’re coming into contact with a lot of different people and a lot of different germs. We have these huge bottles of hand sanitizer at the reference desk which I utilize often, but still. Since I’ve started, I’ve probably had like 4 minor colds and 1 major one. I made sure to get my flu shot, but it’s still a little worrisome since I’ve got a baby at home and I’m trying not to bring home any extra germs if I can help it. I always sanitize right before I leave work and wash my hands first thing when I get home.

2. Being surrounded by books all the time

This may not sound like a big deal–it might even sound like the best thing in the world! (Who am I kidding? It kind of is). But, being surrounded by books all day means that my TBR just grows and grows and grows. All the time, I find myself coming home with books that I wasn’t planning on picking up and adding them to my already enormous stack of library books.

3. Having to remind patrons of library policies

Oof. This is the hardest one for me. I do not like confrontation at all but there are times when we do have to approach a patron and ask them to follow our library rules. An example: our second floor is our quiet floor (there are signs posted literally EVERYWHERE) and you’re asked not to talk above a whisper or answer your phones on that floor, but you can totally do those things on our first floor. Well, despite our plethora of signs, people routinely break that rule and I have to shush them. 75% of the time, they’re really good about it, but some people get so grumpy! I’ve also had experiences with other, more concerning behaviors and it is NOT fun. I envy Circulation, because they don’t have to deal with this.

4. Maintaining a balanced collection even if you don’t personally agree with materials

The other day I was looking through a list of books from my collection that have gone “missing”. One of the titles is clearly on the racist end of the spectrum, but when I looked it up, I saw that it’s circulation numbers were pretty good (which is…alarming). If this were any other book, I would immediately replace it. As it is, I’m struggling hardcore with feeling strongly that I don’t want to add it to my collection, but also feeling like I probably should. But that’s what being a library is about–having a balanced collection despite personal beliefs. Obviously there are lines and I’m trying to decide which side of the line this particular book falls on.

5. Not always getting to attend events

My library has a ton of author visits (six this month alone!) but they’re often at night. Unfortunately, I work nights and weekends so I’m usually working the desk while these events are happening so I don’t get to go 😦

6. Writing book summaries

This might seem super trivial to some, but writing book summaries is HARD! At least, for me it is. And as a librarian, I’ve had to write A LOT of book summaries. Book lists, reviews, etc. It gets exhausting.

Fellow librarians/library workers: what’s your least favorite part of the job? Non-library workers: what do you think your favorite part of working at a library would be?

How my reading life has changed post-baby

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Those of you who have been following me for a while might remember that I had a baby last April (he’s amazing and the best thing to ever happen to me). Shortly after having the baby, my husband and I moved in with my parents for a summer internship. For whatever reason, I barely read anything that summer. I was adjusting to being a mom, I was adjusting to being back at my parent’s house, I didn’t have my bookshelves, I started playing the new Zelda game, etc., etc. A million excuses could be made. It wasn’t until we came back home after the summer that I really got back into reading.

My best year of reading to date was 2015 when I managed to read 175 (!!!) books. I know, it’s crazy. I had just graduated with my undergrad and was only working part-time while my husband was still going to school/also working. I had a lot of time by myself to read and that’s actually when I decided to start this blog. Then, that Fall, I decided to get my Master’s in Library Science and I read even MORE books for my classes. So that’s how I got to 175. Last year, I squeaked by with 62 books–about a third of what I’d read in 2015.

So that’s the short answer to how my reading life has changed post-baby: I’m reading less. But that’s not really the whole answer. I don’t have as much time to read during the day because I’m watching my baby (and he must always come over to supervise as soon as I pull out a book) and also because I’m working part-time at the library. I have about a three-hour window after he goes down for bed and before I should go to bed. These three hours have to be allocated between watching shows/hanging out with my husband, reading, blogging, and any other hobbies I want to pursue. It’s been tough to figure out when to do what and I constantly feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do.

With that being said, because I work at the library, I am constantly surrounded by books! I’ve noticed that I’ve been reading a lot more broadly than I used to. I used to just stick with YA, but I’ve started reading non-fiction, adult fiction, and graphic novels as well. That is definitely a change that I welcome. I’m still planning/trying to get more into audio books–I think that’s something that I could easily do while playing with my son–I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Also, podcasts.

Overall, I (obviously) don’t regret having my baby, but it has changed A LOT about my life. I know everyone says that, but it’s so true! In the end, I’ve found that I really need to adjust my expectations and to not try to do so much. There are a couple of hobbies that I’ve decided to let go for the time being. I’m prioritizing reading and spending time with my husband at night over other things and I’m trying to squeeze in the blog whenever I can (aka nap times). I’ve set a tentative reading goal of 70 books this year and so far I’ve read 11, which Goodreads tells me means I’m on track.

I’ll just leave you with this picture of my baby pretending that he likes to read when he’s really just licking books.

D reading

Have you had any changes in your reading life lately? And to other moms, how did your reading life change when you had kids?

Why I Don’t Listen to Audiobooks

I’ve seen many people talk about how they love audiobooks and it helps them to read more throughout the month. Yeah, that’s great and all, but that only works for people who aren’t already using their time listening to something else like I am. I’m talking about PODCASTS.

Confession: I’m kind of addicted to podcasts? I can’t seem to stop subscribing. Even though my commute to work is literally like…less than five minutes, I turn on a podcast as soon as I get in the car. This is why I don’t have time to listen to audiobooks. I’m too busy using my 10 minutes of driving time and my 20 minutes of getting ready time a day listening to my podcasts.

What are these podcasts that are keeping me from being more productive in my daily reading? I’m so glad you asked. Here are the 8 podcasts that I listen to regularly along with a few that are more seasonal or I’m just getting into.

Podcasts That I Listen to Every Week

This American LifeI’m basic. Sue me.

Planet Money – I was an Econ undergrad, but you don’t have to be to listen to this podcast! Honestly, this is probably my fave. They have a few episodes a week that are 25 min max and they’re always SO GOOD. Super interesting/educational and also super easy to follow.

Criminal – I like true crime as long as it’s not TOO graphic and the thing I love about this podcast is that it focuses on all kinds of “crimes”. They have typical murdery type episodes, but they also had one on a streaker and the last one I listened to was about Sarah Winchester. Super interesting!

This is Love – This podcast is done by the same people and host as Criminal. I don’t like it quite as much, but I still find it pretty enjoyable.

Bookish Podcasts because I’m A Librarian

The Public Libraries Podcast – This podcast is great because it talks about various topics that public libraries deal with all the time (how to best serve the homeless population, how to get teenage boy of color interested in reading, how to teach teen parents about reading to their babies).

What Should I Read Next? – I really like this podcast because Anne Bogel (the host) is really engaging when she talks about books. Some book podcasts (like the two following this one) have hosts that tend to…fangirl over books for lack of a better term. That’s a bit of a turnoff to me. I want to listen to people talk about books, but I want to listen to them talk seriously about books. I don’t want to hear, “Ugh, you just have to read this book because it’s so great and…and the main characters are just so…ugh. You just have to read it.” Anne is super articulate when describing books and I appreciate that.

All the Books! – I listen to this podcast because I just want to be aware of what books are coming out and what might be popular.

Hey YA – Same as above except this one focuses on YA.

Podcasts That Are a Tad More Seasonal

Invisibilia – This podcast talks about the invisible forces that shape us. It’s a super interesting premise and I like that they kind of go all over the map. It’s not one that I would want to listen to always, though, so it’s good that it’s a little more seasonal.

Serial – If you haven’t heard of Serial, then you’ve been living under a rock for the last three years. Obviously, I thought the first season was super engaging. I only got like…2.5 episodes into season 2, though, before I got bored. Season 3 came back with a vengeance and I really liked following stories from the one court.

Found – This is a podcast based on found objects–letters, notes, flyers, receipts. Sometimes they’re actually able to track down the origins of the found objects, but other times they just discuss a broader theme based on the object. It’s made me a lot more aware of the “trash” that I might find laying around.

Revisionist History – This is Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast. I think I’ve read almost if not all of his books by now and I really enjoy them. His hosting skills are quite good as well.

New Podcasts That I’m Trying

Household Name – These guys teamed up with Planet Money for an episode on Panera Cares and I really enjoyed it. It talks about brands. I’m only a couple of episodes in, but I think this could be one that I add to my weekly rotation.

Endless Thread – Last Seen (below) played a preview of one of their episodes and I thought it was really well done. I think the premise is that it explores a different Reddit thread each episode? But I’ve only listened to the one, so I’m not sure about this one yet.

Podcasts That I’ve Finished

Last Seen – This podcast is about an art heist that occurred almost 30 years ago at the Gardner Museum in Boston. The art still hasn’t been recovered and the hosts detail the multiple theories that have crept up over the years.

Dirty John – This is now a television series and the story is CRAZY. It’s about this guy who cons a lady into falling in love with him and it doesn’t end well.

Dr. Death – This podcast is about a doctor who was operating in Texas but was causing all these problems and some of his patients even died. He clearly should not have been operating, but proper protocol wasn’t followed so he ended up operating on like…a ton more people than he should have.

S Town – This is by the same people who do This American Life and Serial so obvi I listened to it. You think the podcast’s going to be about one thing, but then it takes a turn and you think it’s going to be about something else, but then it takes another turn and ends up being about something else entirely.

Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones? Let me know what other podcasts I should be listening to instead of audiobooks!

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6 Books Coming to a Screen Near You

On-screen adaptations of books have been doing really well lately and I think studios and streaming platforms are all excited to get their hands on the next big thing. There are a number of books being turned into movies or TV shows as we speak, but here are the 6 I’m most excited for. Titles link to their IMDB page.

1) The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (2020)

Chaos Walking movie

I liked the book quite a bit, but I don’t plan on continuing with the series for various reasons. It’ll be interesting to see how this movie comes across as so much of the book is in the main character’s head. And also, the movie is going to be called “Chaos Walking” instead of “The Knife of Never Letting Go” so does that mean the movie is covering the whole series? Looks like a great cast though.

Starring: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Nick Jonas

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

2) The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (May 17, 2019)

The Sun is Also a Star movie

This is one I haven’t read yet, but I’ve only heard good things and I think it’s amazing that Yoon has come out with two books and gotten two movies deals (that actually came to fruition). She is rocking it!

Starring: Yara Shahidi, Charles Melton

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

3) Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (August 9, 2019)

Artemis Fowl movie

I loved Artemis Fowl as a kid! Was I the only one who was obsessed with decoding the symbols on every page? Even though it was a repeating message, I did the whole thing because I was sure there might be a difference or something new later haha. Anyway, I think it’s interesting that they’re finally coming out with the movie now. I have almost no recollection of the storyline, so I might have to pick this back up as a refresher before the movie comes out.

Starring: Ferdia Shaw, Judi Dench, Josh Gad

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

4) The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (October 4, 2019)

The Woman in the Window movie

This book has made quite a splash and especially with this article coming out about the author, I’m a little more wary of supporting this author (he kind of creeps me out now, and that transfers over to his book). But, it’s got a great cast and I’d be interested to see if they follow the book exactly or if they throw in some new twists.

Starring: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, Anthony Mackie

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

5) Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (2019)

Stargirl

Another one of my childhood favorites! I’ve reread “Stargirl” a few times over the years and it’s always so good. It’s magical and emotional and I hope, hope, HOPE that they don’t ruin it with the movie!

Starring: Grace VanderWaal

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

6) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (TV Series, 2019)

Good Omens tv show

Another one that I haven’t read yet, but I love Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and David Tennant seems like the PERFECT person for them to team up with. This book has definitely moved a few places up my TBR so I can be ready for this show. Honestly though…Pratchett and Gaiman…what a pairing.

Starring: David Tennant, Michael Sheen

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books and are anything like me, you should consider making that purchase now before the only cover that exists are the dumb movie tie-in covers.

Which of these movies are you most excited about? What other books are you excited to see on the big screen soon?
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