Friday, February 9, 2018

The Book was Better February 2018: Me Before You by JoJo Moyers

I recently started a new book club at my library called The Book was Better! The goal of the club is to read a book then watch a movie & discuss which one was better liked & why. So I'm going to talk about similarities & differences I noticed & then include some of the things that the group said. I had 3 people attend our first meeting last night, I'm hoping for a bigger group in the future.  
These are some of the major things I noticed that were different between the book & the movie...

One of the biggest differences that I noticed right away was that the movie feels more like a love story than the book. In the book Lou doesn't even accept that she loves Will until almost 300 pages in. The build up to the end is different in the movie because you know pretty early on that she is in love with him.

In the movie Lou is let go from her job with only a months worth of pay instead of 3 months as in the book. This makes her need for a job even more urgent. 

In the movie Lou starts her job the same day as the interview. This doesn't have a big barring on the story overall.

Lou overhears the conversation about Will wanting to commit suicide medically between his mother & father. In the movie Will doesn't have a sister. His sister not being present in the movie doesn't really add or take away anything. She didn't have a big role in the book.

Lou doesn't threaten to quit her job to the Traynor's before she creates Will's bucket list. In the book Will's mother begs her to stay & help them. There is much less pressure on her from them in the movie.

Not much is known about Lou's life before she starts working will the Traynor's. In the book we see quite a bit of back story. This makes the connection between Will & Lou in the book seem closer & they overcome things together, where as in the movie they are separated from each others lives unless they share details.

In the book for Lou's birthday her boyfriend Patrick gives her a little star necklace. It's not very personal to Lou & she feels like Patrick really isn't paying attention to her. In the movie he gives her a giant necklace that says his name inside a heart. That makes his jealousy of her relationship with Will seem even worse. Patrick was a jerk in both settings but less so in the movie.

Another part of the book missing from the movie is the online community Lou is apart of. There she talks with other caregivers & quads about problems with Will. This isn't something that happens in the movie although we do see her doing research at the library for trips & activities they can do.
These are some of the things that the people attending the book club thought made the most difference...

Lou is much more selfish in the book

Will's dad isn't having an affair in the movie. This makes him more likable & enduring in the movie. He also doesn't make weird comments towards Lou.

Since Lou's past isn't talked about much in the movie the mention of the night in the maze isn't there. Will & Lou have a significant outing & moment at the maze in the book. This means that moment is gone from the movie.

Lou has significantly less family problems in the movie. This causes less drama between her & Will & also with Patrick.

There is no media coverage about medical suicide in the movie. In the book it is actually a crime & it is featured a lot in the news. There is even an investigation at the end of the book. That sheds a softer light on the situation.

Lou decides to go to Dignitas on her own to be with Will when he dies. Mrs. Traynor doesn't talk her into it or pay for it. Will's parents have less of a role in Will & Lou;s relationship in the movie.

Patrick is still a jerk in the movie but since there is less family drama his role is smaller than in the book.
Overall the book was picked as the favorite between the 2 mediums because it included more details & event into the story more. But the attendees did say they liked the movie because it was more of a love story & there was less drama.
Next month we will be reading:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Me Before You by JoJo Moyers

Me Before You

Author: JoJo Moyers
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2012
Genre: Romance/Adult Fiction
Age: 18+
I decided to read this book for the first book of my new book club at the library. I'm going to be doing a post about that after we meet tomorrow night. I'm hoping to get a good turn out. I did wait until the last minute to read it which wasn't my original intention. I'm going to try & do better in the future.
This is book #1 of a trilogy, book #3 just came out this year.

Louisa "Lou" Clark is not your average girl. She is fun & spunky, dresses in her own unique way, & leads a pretty normal life.

William "Will" Traynor is a hard working bureaucratic man who gets what he wants. Women, travel, money, anything!

That is until one morning in 2007 when his entire life comes to a screeching halt.

Will is hit by a motorcycle one morning in London on his way to work when it is raining cats & dogs. This leaves him with a C 5-6 spinal cord injury, making him a quadriplegic. He used to travel the world, go on crazy adventures, & rendezvous with beautiful women. Now he can't move below the neck other than slight movement in one hand. He is forced to give up his life & move back home.

Lou is hired by Will's family to be his caregiver  & keep him company 2 years into his injury. Will also has a male nurse that looks after his physical needs named Nathan. Will's parents are still together despite their differences.

Lou lives at home with her mother, father, grandad, sister, & nephew. Her boyfriend is a guy named Patrick who does physical therapy for a living & competes in triathlons & biking events in his spare time. Needless to say despite being stuck in a wheelchair Will is much more interesting than Patrick.

A few months into her employment Lou figures out what the real situation is & she decides to try & change it for the betterment of everyone. She starts taking Will on outing to concerts, lunch, horse racing, etc. He seems to be enjoying these trips which is encouraging for Lou. Meanwhile Lou's family life is falling apart as her & Will grow closer. They finally come to the realization they both need eachother, but will love be enough to save them both?
Likes: I read this book pretty fast because of my timing but I still understood & enjoyed the story

The characters bring a lot to the table

I have seen the movie so I knew what was gonna happen & I'm grateful for that

It was sad but in a good way. I'm going to read the next one which says a lot despite the ending

Seeing their relationship grow was beautiful

I'm so happy Lou dumps Patrick! He was a giant a**hole!

The book was surprisingly funny

Dislikes: The ending...obviously!


Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Library

I don't normally post things like this on my blog but I have a lot of thoughts about this in my head & I need to share it with someone! I think most of my readers will find this interesting.

I've been volunteering & working in libraries for about 15 years now. I started volunteering at my local public library when I was in middle school for National Junior Honor Society. Then continued to volunteer through high school for National Honor Society & also on the Teen Advisory Board. That was until we moved away my junior year. From there after I graduated high school I went onto college & got a student job working part time in the library at the circulation desk. Once I graduated I pretty quickly got a job as a school librarian on accident when I interviewed to be the front office secretary. Then I left that job after 3 years moved to where I am now & have worked at 2 libraries in this area. At the first library I was in the back doing cataloging as a Technical Assistant, & currently I am the Circulation Supervisor of a different library. But before I worked in a library I was there all the time checking things out, going to programs, & I have loved libraries & reading my whole life. When I was little I always wanted to be a teacher because I loved school & learning. Then when I started college & took some teaching classes I realized I couldn't work for free to become a teacher & the education system wasn't all it's cracked up to be. Also now that I've worked at a school I know most schools (at least where I live) don't care about libraries or librarians so I would never work at a school again.

Through all of that I have learned a lot, seen a lot, experienced a lot, & am still doing those things every day. Recently on Facebook I saw a post in a group I am apart of that is for readers & nerds etc. The post said something to the effect of if you had to work & you couldn't sit & read all day as a job what would you be doing, whats your dream job? I was shocked to see how many people put Librarian as their dream job. The reason this shocked me is because I think most of our society is confused by libraries as a whole. 

In my experience there are 5 different types of people (in reference to them & how they relate to the library).

1. The Library Worker: This is the person that works in the library in any capacity. There are many different jobs in the library. Some people like me always knew they were going to have a job in a library. Some people go to school to become "real librarians". Others fall into it on accident or just apply for the job because they need one. This category also includes volunteers & friends members. Either way no matter how you got the job you are now a library worker instead of a patron. 

2. The Patron: This is the person that you see in the library all the time. They are a loyal library user. They may even donate money to the library or pay a larger part than just checking out items & using the computer. There are many subcategories in this group. (That might be a fun post "Types of Library Patrons"). These people care about the library & what it has to offer to them & their community. Patrons can be new to the library as well but they are different from the next category.

3.The Convenience or Accidental Library User: I don't count this person in the same category as the actual patrons because this person is only using the library out of convenience or by accident. I'll give you 2 examples. The accidental library user is the person who is passing through town & needs to use the wifi. Or they can also be the type of person we never want to see who is drunk or intoxicated in some way & they stumble into the library (literally) & end up being kicked out. The convenience library user is someone who has never been to the library in their life or maybe just not the library in their town. They know it's there but they have no reason to be there until they do. This person is looking for tax forms or their printer broke at home or they heard from a friend that the library was offering something for free. They use the library once & they leave...never to be seen or heard from again. 

4. The Non-Library Person: These are the types of people that drive librarians (including me) nuts! They verbally tell you or write into the paper or are on social media poisoning the minds of others. They are the people that say well we have the internet so we don't need libraries. Or I shop on Amazon because the library could never have what I need & I have to wait anyway. And my personal favorite...libraries are dying! You could give every stat or argument in the book to these people & they don't care.

5. The Library Idealist: This person means well & they do make things better in some ways. These are the people in that post on social media who say their dream job is to be a librarian, or they say when I get old I'm going to retire & work in a library or maybe volunteer & do some good. Now about 25% of the time the things they say are true. Volunteers do make a big difference in a library & we as workers cherish them. But this group of people also think being a librarian means reading all day or interacting with no one in a big empty building full of books. They have a very unrealistic view of what a library is & what librarians do. 

In the end we need all of these people in our society to create a balance.
When I applied for the most recent job I have I was asked to answer a questionnaire & the first question was to share why its important to serve all age groups in a public library setting, this was my answer:

The Library as an institution has always catered to different needs for different people. Because of its multifaceted uses and meanings, the Library can accomplish a lot of different goals at once through its resources and programs.

For example, the Library’s most basic use is a source for information that can take many forms such as materials (books, movies, etc.), reference (questions & research), and entertainment (programs). But the Library also serves as a meeting space, gathering place, knowledge center, creativity hub, and, most importantly, the heart of its community. In order to become and stay as the heart of the community, librarians and library staff must use their knowledge and skills to help their community in every way possible.

In a single day as a library worker/librarian, you have to answer reference questions over the phone, help a student do a project on the computer, teach an older person how to use the digital card catalog, perform a storytime activity for families, and quiet the teens in the teen area while keeping their interest. Most importantly you help maintain and grow a love for the library in every person that walks through the door. 

WOW, right? That was just beautiful & poetic & idealistic. Now I didn't just write that because I was trying to impress someone for a job. I wrote all of that because I really, truly, deep down believe that. It's hard to become jaded when you have to deal with certain things on a daily basis over & over for years. But at the core that's what libraries are (in my opinion anyways).
What do librarians actually do?

 That is a very interesting question I'm glad you asked. Let me break it down for you by giving some examples from things that have actually happened to me over the years. This does not mean every librarian in every library does the same things or has experienced the same things as me.

As a library volunteer you are asked to do a variety of jobs. You can pretty much do anything a normal library worker can do as long as you are covered under the insurance & you don't have access to sensitive info like names & addresses. Depending on how much training you are given & what is allowed by your library job duties can vary. It's everything from shelving to handing out summer reading prizes to teaching classes. I would never ask a volunteer to do something I wouldn't or couldn't do.

Student Worker:
Student workers can either be paid or unpaid it depends on where they are. I was a student worker in college so I got paid, but when I was a school librarian I had student workers who got credit instead of money. Student workers are basically library workers. I was answering phones, making copies, shelving, at the circulation desk helping, etc. Then when I had workers they were mostly shelving & cleaning because those were things I had no time to do. When I was a student worker at the college it was a pretty typical college setting but we did allow the public to use the computers. This meant I had to deal with angry people who didn't want to pay for copies & gross stuff like people bypassing the security system & watching porn. 

School Librarian: 
The job I had at the school would have been my last if they had paid me more & gotten me some assistance. I was seeing 10 classes a day with 30+ kids in each class. I was helping with homework, checking books in & out, making the budgets, creating displays, doing storytimes, teaching basic librarianship, proctoring AR tests, giving readers advisory, running a book club, facilitating meetings & trainings, doing book repair, supervising students, going on field trips, working with the after school program, etc. I could go on all day with my duties at the school. I was pretty much running the entire library alone. I loved it at first but it became clear to me pretty quick that I was alone & that the school wasn't going to help me maintain the level I was offering. I was really disappointed to leave but I made it clear to them this is what I needed, this is what I'm doing (or trying to do) & to continue that this is what I need. They didn't want to provide so I left, plain & simple. We all see the news etc so I don't need to explain how much education is lacking in our society. While at the school you also have some "mom" moments with kids. They poop on the floor, puke on you, need bandaids, say weird things like weiner to you, have to be disciplined, & more! One of my main goals as a school librarian was to teach the kids responsibility, library skills, & manners in a fun setting.

Technical Assistant:
After leaving my school job I was ready for a change & boy did I get one. Moving into a public library setting was something I thought I knew what was going on but I didn't really. My job as a Technical Assistant was catalogging books, doing book repairs, & ILL's & helping at the front desk. I had ordered & catalogged everything at the school so that was nothing new. I enjoyed doing ILL (Inter Library Loans) it was interesting to see what other people wanted that we didn't have. The most interesting part was being at the front desk. When I first started I wasn't at the desk much but that time increased as things started changing at my library. Let me tell you that you see everything imaginable when you work with the public. Kids unattended, drunks, people watching porn, drugged up people peeing on the floor, people screaming that they pay taxes so they shouldn't have to pay fines. But you also get to help people with projects, hold fun programs, & hopefully make a difference to someone or your community in a small way. 

Circulation Supervisor:
This is my latest job & the library I work at is a little better in the sense of the patrons. The community is mostly families & older people so there is less drunks & rude patrons. Our library primarily focuses on programs. I'm in charge of adult programs, among other things. So I get to do fun things like Harry Potter Book Night, Adult DIY, & book clubs. This library is also the biggest I've ever worked at so there is lots of books (the best part right?)
So why are I writing this long & thought provoking post? Well I'm hoping that someone will read it & get a better understanding of what it means to work in a library. That way the next time you go into your local library you are more grateful & appreciative of their efforts. Or at least you don't act like a jerk on social media.  

In conclusion I'd like to say that I have enjoyed working in libraries & I'm hoping to continue for many years to come. There are ups & downs, good days & bad, but that is true with any job. At the end of the day I'm hoping I made a small impact in someone's life either by suggesting a books to them, sharing an experience with them, or doing something fun.
To all my fellow readers & library workers THANK YOU for all that you do on a daily basis to make the world a better place!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The 100 by Kass Morgan

The 100

Author: Kass Morgan
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Age: YA 13+
I started watching the show The 100 on Netflix in the last few months & I've made it t season 3 so far. Overall it's a good show so when I found out it was a book series I went for it naturally. I'm going to do a little comparison at the end of this review.
This is book #1 of 4 in a series. I listened to it on audio & read it between that. I've been doing that recently. I really like audiobooks but on a daily basis I don't get to listen much. So if I listen when I can then read when I can't I finish books fairly quickly. This audiobook was interesting because there were 2 readers. One reader was doing the female voices, & one was doing the male voices. I'm hoping to continue listening on audio if I can get them so I hope that pattern continues.
This book has 4 different points of view: Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, & Glass.

Clarke is the daughter of 2 important scientists. They are killed & she is confined all for the same crime.

Wells is the Chancellor' s son. He did something really bad so he could be on Earth with the girl he loves (one guess as to who it is LOL).

Bellamy wasn't supposed to go to Earth because he's not a prisoner. But he wanted to go with his younger sister Octavia. (They are unique because The Colony has a strict rule about having more than 1 child).

Glass was on the ship to Earth for also breaking an important rule of The Colony & she jumped ship when Bellamy got on. She wants to stay in space with the boy she loves.
It's been 300 years since the entire human race had to leave Earth because of nuclear winter. All of humanity lives in space on a set of ships known as The Colony. The Colon is broken down into 3 main ships Phoenix, Walden, & Arcadia. Phoenix is home to the rich & Walden is home to the poor.

On The Colony if you commit a crime before your 18th birthday you are confined. If you are an adult already you are executed on orders by the council (most of the time). The ships of the Colony are running out of oxygen so they need to find a solution fast. There is 100 juvenile criminals that are about to become guinea pigs. The Colony is sending them to Earth to find out if it's inhabitable.

Once they reach Earth the 100 can't believe how beautiful it is. But surviving on a planet that has been left behind for 3 centuries is difficult, especially with 100 teenagers. They have to help each other stay alive at all costs. But it's not long before they realize they are not alone on Earth!
Likes: The book is slightly different than the TV show which I think is a good thing. I kinda like the book better for now.

You get to see multiple view points in the book. Not only between different characters but also between the Colony & Earth.

The book is a much slower pace than the show. In the show time goes by quick. In the book it has only been a few days since they got to Earth.

The story is both realistic in the sense that 100 teens have to survive on Earth based on what little info they have learned in the last 300 years & its futuristic because this might actually be a situation we find ourselves in one day.

There are flashbacks in every chapter so we get to find out how some of the teens ended up in confinement.

Dislikes: This is something I have seen in books a handful of times & it doesn't make me dislike the book overall but I always feel like I should put it in my review. There is a scene in this book where a girl is almost raped.

This book also has sex in it.The sex isn't described but it is obvious that it happened. Again this doesn't make me dislike it but I'm telling you as the reader.

There is also a scene where a mother is trying to kill her child & also trying to commit suicide.


Book & TV Show Comparison:
I have seen almost through season 3 so I can't speak for all the books or all the TV show but thee are some of the major differences that I have seen so far...

In the TV show The Colony is called The ARC.

In the book both of Clarke's parents are dead but in the TV show her mother is still alive & plays a pretty important role.

There are some characters in each that are not there in the other. For example a boy named Finn is in the TV show but not in the book (yet) & in the book there is a girl named Glass that is not in the TV show (yet).

On the TV show not as much time has passed since humanity left Earth.

The show moves much quicker than the books. In the show they figure out there are others on Earth within the first few episodes. But in the book they don't know until the very end.

Friday, February 2, 2018

February 2018 TBR

This month I have to read the book for the February book club that is starting, I didn't get to it in January & I'm hoping to also read the March one because it is short. 

The 100 by Kass Morgan
I am very close to being done with this book. I'm hoping to finish it today/tonight.

Me Before You by JoJo Moyers
The book/movie review discussion for this book is February 8th so I have to read the book this weekend!

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle  
This is the book club book for March so I have some time to read this one & it is short. 

If I finish all of those then I will read these...

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Everless by Sara Holland

January 2018 Wrap-Up

I brought in the new year with a book & by the end of this first month I've read 3, almost 4! I think that's a pretty good way to start off the new year. Below is the info on the books I read along with a link to my review. Stay tuned for February's TBR soon. 

Little House In the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
My review is here.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas 
My review is here.

The Sleeper & the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
My review is here.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods

Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year: 1932
Genre: Autobiographical
Age: JUV 8+
I've never read any of the Little House books. Laura Ingalls Wilder is the author of the month at the Library right now so I thought I'd give it a try. Overall it was a good book. I think I'd like it more if I had read it when I was a kid.
This is the first book of nine in the Little House series. Our story begins with Laura & her sisters Mary & baby Carrie, their Ma & Pa, a dog named Jack, & a cat named Black Susan. They all live in the big woods of Wisconsin. The book details their life and the things necessary to survive in the big woods in 1871. As the reader we get to see the family helping with daily tasks like taking care of animals, baking, hunting, & much more.
Likes: This book is short, less than 200 pages.

There are illustrations to go along with the story. We get to see the family, the animals, & their adventures.

It was interesting to see how things were done back then.

Dislikes: This book was a little slow paced. The wording & structure of the story is simple. When I was a kid I probably would have gravitated towards a book like this. As an adult I did enjoy it but it wasn't as exciting as most of the other books I read.