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Reality TV/Non-Fiction Book Display

December 8, 2011

I love creating book displays.

While at a meeting a few weeks ago, Cielo (the assistant librarian at my internship) and I were talking about how difficult it was to generate interest in our non-fiction collection. We had thrown around some ideas for a display revolving around non-fiction, and likening it to reality TV. This is what I came up with, and what went up on display today.

The title of the display is “Before Reality TV, There Was Non-Fiction.” The idea is, that every book (or grouping of books) is labeled with a list of TV shows (some reality, some not…I wanted to try and catch as many TV viewers as possible). All students have to do is find a show they like, and check out one of the books that corresponds to the TV show list.

This was one of my favorite groupings, since it took me an embarrassingly long time to come up with TV shows to link to Reviving Ophelia and Girl, Interrupted. Once I realized 16 and Pregnant would work, I had no problem coming up with other related shows.

Here’s another example of a category, involving mostly adventure writings.

I created the banner in Microsoft Word, making each word 1/2 of a page in landscape mode. I trimmed the stack of pages, and Cielo taped them together for me. The TV show listings are written on a blank TV outline. I think there could be a better way of putting the TV show listings near the books, but this was the best I could come up with given the space and materials.

I really liked the idea of having a non-fiction display right before the holiday break…what better time to check out an interesting (and long) book? Plus, it shakes things up a little from a display of winter and holiday themed books.

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Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

October 7, 2011

First line: Before she became the Girl from Nowhere – the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years – she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy.

When I first started reading reviews of this book, I was a little turned off by the insistence of several reviewers that this was a “vampire novel for adults.” I’ve never been a huge fan of vampires (I hate Dracula and let’s not even start on Twilight). But then I heard that this was less, shall we say, mythological, and more government conspiracy and I was much more interested.

Justin Cronin starts with a world that is reminiscent of movies like 28 Days Later and I Am Legend. Overzealous government experiment gone wrong, conflicted government agents, innocent bystanders. But he took the familiar story into new territory, weaving in elements of philosophy and fate, and the many possible futures of a humanity split by horrible events.

The narration changes depending on the time being described, but the story held my attention between multiple times and people. Justin Crownin managed to put a new spin on an old story with great characters and an interesting twist.

While this book is definitely adult fiction, and the writing style (and length) make it feel more literary than sci-fi, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to an advanced high school reader, especially if they had enjoyed some of Orson Scott Card’s Ender books, or Nick Sagan’s trilogy.