Friday, September 28, 2012

LitSoup: Banned Books Week

This month's LitSoup isn't a question, but instead a focus on Banned Books Week, which is celebrating its 30th year next week.

Below, I've embedded a YouTube playlist that features videos of authors speaking on banned books and celebrities participating in a Virtual Read-Out.

Want to do your own Virtual Read-Out? Check out this information from
Are you looking for a way to celebrate your freedom to read during Banned Books Week? Consider participating in the Banned Books Virtual Read-out!
Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs—a continuous reading of banned/challenged books—as part of their activities. For the second year in a row, readers from around the world can participate in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out by creating videos proclaiming the virtues of the freedom to read that will be featured on a dedicated YouTube channel.
If you do a Virtual Read-Out, let me know. I'll post them on the blog. (If you'd like to do a Virtual Read-Out but don't have a camera or YouTube account, email me and we can schedule a time for you to stop by the office.) For now, check out this playlist of other readers conducting a Virtual Read-Out:

If you're looking for a way to celebrated Banned Books Week that doesn't involve recording and publishing a video of yourself, I recommend reading a book from the American Library Association's Top Ten List of Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011. Maybe I'll finally get around to reading "The Hunger Games" to celebrate ...

What is your favorite book that you've found on a banned or challenged list?

— Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mentor Public Library to dedicate Read House

Mentor Public Library will dedicate its Read House at 6 p.m. today (Sept. 19).

According to Barbara Vendeville of the MPL: 
The public is invited to attend a party at the Read House stage for the official dedication and be the first to tour the renovated Lake County Historical Society Heritage Home. 

The celebration will feature a performance by the Sunset Country Band, children activities, ice-cream and cake, as well as a prize drawing for gift baskets.

Maribeth Joeright/
Kandi Brooks, president of Friends of the Mentor Public Library, displays books on the mantel in preparation for the grand opening of the Read House.

See you in the stacks!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Bouchercon World Mystery Convention

I came across this event listing on our Calendar page and had to share:
The Bouchercon World Mystery Convention
Event Date: October 4th, 2012 -
Event Time: TBA - TBA
Location: Marriott Renaissance Hotel
Contact: Marjory Mogg -
Event Details: The oldest and largest annual mystery books conference will bring $1 million to $2 million to Cleveland in October. The Bouchercon World Mystery Convention has been held annually in various cities since 1970, but has never been hosted in the state of Ohio. Downtown restaurants and clubs can expect to entertain over 1,500 mystery fans, authors, and publishers with plenty of time to explore the city. The conference will be held at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel on October 4 – 7, 2012.
The Bouchercon itself, and the Anthony Awards, which are announced at the conference, are named in honor of the renowned author, editor and mystery devotee, Anthony Boucher (rhymes with voucher). The theme of the 2012 conference will be “Crime Fiction Rocks,” with the opening ceremonies to be held at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Guests of honor for 2012 include authors Elizabeth George, Robin Cook, John Connolly, and Cleveland’s own Les Roberts. Mary Higgins Clark will be recognized with an award for lifetime achievement.
Details and registration information can be found at .
The chair of the conference is Cleveland area librarian, Marjory Mogg.
Contact: Marjory Mogg,

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Friday, September 14, 2012

September is Library Card Sign-up Month

What bad book bloggers we are for letting two weeks pass before telling you that September is Library Card Sign-up Month:
Library Card Sign-up Month is a celebration held at the beginning of the new school year during which librarians across the country remind parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply of all.
Not sure what your library card is good for? Check out the slideshow below for 60 ways to use your library card:

Visit the Library Card Sign-up Month page on for more fun with library cards, including a photo album of people and their library cards (some in strange places — the people, not the library cards [well, also the library cards]) and learn how you can add your own photos.

Be sure to check out @ your library for more information on Library Card Sign-up Month, what you can do at the library and why you should go to the library.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Read It Maybe

Chicago's Open Books has jumped on the bandwagon of of making "Call Me Maybe" videos with this parody "Read It Maybe." The singing is pretty bad, but the sentiment is pretty good.

In defense of e-reading, I looooove my Nook for several reasons — one of them is that people in public can't see what I'm reading. (Sometimes I like reading bad/trashy books, but I don't always want others to know about it. And it's much less embarassing to check out a trashy e-book through CLEVNET's emedia site than to have the cute guy at the library counter scan it for you after seeing your name on your library card.)

Any reading is good reading — whether it's a hardcover classic novel or a trashy pink paperback, The New Yorker or The Onion, on an e-reader or on a hard copy.

(Hat tip to Poynter for blogging about this video, where I found out about it.)

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Exploring the family dynamic with Sue Miller

My love affair with book sale finds continues ... this time it's "Family Pictures" by Sue Miller.

Back in 1990 when it was first published, I was in the midst of a reading drought. My free time was focused on moving and getting married, not checking out best-seller lists and browsing library shelves. So I missed this work the first go round.

That's why used book sales, those library- or store-staff recommendation shelves, and blogs are so invaluable. There's lots of places to get info about new releases and upcoming releases, but finding a 20-some-year-old gem, not so much.

Miller's name may be familiar to avid readers - especially Oprah fans. Her "While I Was Gone" was an Oprah's Book Club selection in 2000.

"Family Pictures" tells the story of the Eberhardts, a Chicago family of seven circa the late 1960s, early 1970s. Middle son Randall is autistic, a fact that reshapes everyone else.

The story is not about Randall's autism, rather it focuses on what it means to his siblings and his parents. Miller's is a study in the family dynamic, with all its complications.

As daughter Nina reflects:
"... I'd never heard Lainey speak of forgiving or not forgiving my father before this night. That through all he'd done to her with his passionate belief in one particular version of Randall's illness, she'd never let on that she saw herself as injured or damaged by him.... Maybe, when life has bent you, has changed you in the cruel ways it bent and changed Lainey, it's too much to ask that you ever move beyond it."

 Miller does not introduce us to "good" or "bad" people. She crafts husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, parents and children who are a little of both.

I'll be happy to let you have a read. Just drop me a note.

Check out other works by Sue Miller.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

When reading isn't enough

What to do when reading a book isn't enough?

Saw this post from Katerina Ortakova on Retreat by Random House about Wearing your Books and had to share.

Check out all the cool ways to "wear" your books. I was especially intrigued by the high heels covered in comic strips. (I mean how can I not love something that combines my two favorite things!?!) Then I noticed that Kat said it was a DIY project. A quick google search and I found several sites that will walk me through the process of decoupage-ing some shoes.

Stay tuned...

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Notre Dame offers Books That Changed the World

Sharing this info posted on The News-Herald's calendar of events. It's not exactly cheap, but sure sounds interesting.

Notre Dame College is proud to present its fifth annual “Books That Changed the World” seminar series this fall, offering anyone with a passion for great books and lifelong learning the opportunity to meet and discuss a common theme for the year. This year’s seminar will study “School-Day Classics Revisited.”

Seminars anchored in the “great books tradition” that draw readers into thought-provoking analyses of contemporary issues through classic literature are among the most eagerly sought-after personal enrichment and professional development experiences. The ideas, concepts, and situations these works present are as fresh and relevant to today’s challenges and opportunities as when they were first created.

This year’s series will meet nine times at Notre Dame College, once each month from September through May.  With its focus on School-Day Classics Revisited, it will reacquaint participants with the classics they first encountered during their school days and challenge them to rethink old assumptions and experience new insights and understandings.

The Schedule: Participants will meet monthly to discuss a great literary work during a 90-minute session. They can choose between three sessions each month, as the seminar will meet the on the second Wednesday morning; the third Tuesday evening; and the third Thursday morning, beginning in September 2012 and ending in May 2013.  During each session, participants will explore and discuss a different great work.

Wednesday and Thursday sessions begin at 7:30 a.m. with refreshments followed by the discussion from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments followed by the discussion from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Note: The only January session (on the 23rd) will be An Evening of Film: Death of A Salesman (1949 Pulitzer Prize winner for Best Play) featuring viewing and discussing the film discussion

The Presenters: Notre Dame College President Dr. Andrew Roth and Professor Ken Palko will return as seminar leaders along with Sr. Eileen Quinlan, SND, and other faculty members, all of whom have years of experience in leadership theory, philosophy, theology and communication studies.

The Reading List:
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (September)
The Canterbury Tales: “The Knight’s Tale” and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” by Geoffrey Chaucer (October)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (November)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (December)
Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller (January Film Evening)
Poetry by Poe, Whitman, Dickinson and Frost (February)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (March)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (April)
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (May).

Enrollment is $375 per person and includes all nine sessions, books and materials, and light refreshments. For additional information, go to or contact Karen Poelking, vice president for board and community relations, at 216.373.5239 or

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chocolate at the library? I'm soooo in

I just came across this post from the Middlefield Library on Facebook and had to share because it sounds
“Everyone Needs a Little Chocolate”
Wednesday, September 12, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Are you a chocolate lover? The Middlefield Library is proud to host “Everyone Needs a Little Chocolate” on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 pm. Ken Butler from White House Chocolates will give us a taste of what it is like to make and sell those scrumptious chocolate candies. Space is limited so stop by or call 440.632.1961 to register for this scrumptious program.
I don't know if there could be much better than chocolate and a good book — or a library full of them!

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Just who is to 'Blame,' Huneven's novel asks

Library book sales are a great place to make discoveries. I don't have to tell you that.
At just 50 cents or a dollar, with no due date, these books are hard to resist. And don't even get me started on bag days! Heaven minus the smell of new leather shoes.

And so it was that I discovered Michelle Huneven's "Blame." Though it is her third work and was published in 2009, I was unfamiliar. (I will be keeping my eyes peeled for her "Round Rock" and "Jamesland.")

"Blame" tells the story of Patsy MacLemoore, a young history professor who wakes up hungover and in jail. She's stunned to learn that she's being accused of running over a mother and daughter in her driveway and killing them. Overcome with guilt, despite her lack of recollection, or maybe because of it, Patsy prepares to face the rest of her life in prison.

Over time, she comes to terms with the events of that night, at least as much as she is able. Life on the inside is not all bad for Patsy. She does find sobriety, she does make a difference in the lives of some fellow inmates, and she does gain a new perspective on the world.

As she says when on release for a funeral:
And how badly people behaved out in the free world. They stood and talked right in the entrance to the sanctuary while other people were trying to get inside. They blocked the aisle, called out to each other. They shuffled into pews in no particular order, squeezing past people, making others squeeze past them. They shoved. In prison, you'd get cited.
Haven't you made a similiar observation?

What sets this tale apart is Patsy's relationship with the husband and father of her victims, with her family, with her new husband and his family.

Just when you think she's finally at peace with her past, an unexpected bit of information turns up that raises questions about the events of that night and about just what it means to accept blame for your actions.

Is the only one to blame, the one whose actions directly result in the tragedy? Or do others bear responsibility? What do you think?

Take a listen to Huneven reading an excerpt.

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