Thursday, November 3, 2011

Finally! Kindle has a library!

It's here! It's free! (not really)

Almost since the day the Kindle was released, buyers/readers have been asking about a lending library for Kindle users. Naturally the idea of giving away new or recent releases for free would not appeal to a corporate giant, so Amazon's response was always:

"Yeah... about that..."

Now Amazon has found a way to make us e-readers sorta happy by announcing the start of the Kindle User's Lending Library. The idea: you borrow one book a month with due dates, and therefore- no late fees. The catch(es)?

1) You need an Amazon Prime Membership, which is $79/year. Right now you can sign up for a free 1 month trial to check out the service. I did my trial during September to see how Amazon's streaming movies and tv shows stacked up against Netflix in the midst of the tragic/hilarious Qwikster debacle, and found the comparison unfavorable. The free two day shipping is pretty handy though, especially as the gift-giving season approaches.

2) As of right now there are a limited number of "big name" books available. Amazon trumpets news of "over 100 bestsellers" as if that's a massive incentive- but when you realize that about 15 of those could be books from Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin, you calm down a bit.

Overall- I'm not jumping at it right now. I'm on a fantasy kick at the moment (it started with George R.R. Martin's books over the summer, went through the Dragonlance series, and I'm now getting through as many of Jordan (and friends) Wheel of Time books as possible.

Will you be checking out Kindle's Lending Library?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Redwall, Kickstarter, and you


If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, it's basically awesome. People who are creative and entrepreneurial and stuff pitch you their ideas, and you choose whether or not to give them money. And a lot of times, they give you things! YAY THINGS! And if their project isn't fully funded, you still have your money! They don't get your money unless lots of other people also give them enough money to make their project happen.

But this thing...oh man...Brian Jacques is awesome. Redwall is a classic. I loved how much backstory there was to that book, before we ever read Martin the Warrior. Jacques has a lot of formula to his work, as I think over his books, but there's always a depth to many of his characters, and his world is so well imagined. The stereotypes are clear, but I think back to Mossflower, and how Gingivere is the good fox. (Jeebus, just look at his name! "-vere" = true! And his sister the evil fox? Her name means fortune or fate! HIYA!) Characters waffle and change and run the "D&D" character alignment spectrum

Oh, hey, is my nerd showing?

So, this project is currently fully funded. However, you can still give them money, and get paper mice! And make your own live action Redwall without making your Dad read lines off a sheet of paper and without trying to teach your dog to hiss!


/Megs over

Sunday, May 22, 2011

All the single Kindles!

I got a new Kindle for Christmas (along with this awesome lighted kindle cover) and while it was a catalyst for my own increased literacy and the inspiration for recording The Library with my friends- I'm beginning to realize I've overlooked a lot of it's features.

Whenever I notice something awesome about my e-reader, I'll post about it here. This isn't a ploy to sell everyone on Nooks, Kindles, iPads, smartphones or whatever knock offs are sitting on the Walmart shelves these days- it's just a way to alert others to (usually free) awesomeness that comes with owning one of these devices.

This time?

I'll admit it. When I first noticed the section of the Kindle Store menu, I thought it was an online dating service for book lovers everywhere-- and that's why I clicked (there's an idea for a dating site in this) on the link.

The site didn't lead me to pictures of well-read, employed, mature, and handsome men who also love spending time in libraries smelling old print and binding- but it did send me to a place where you can browse and buy short stories, essays, articles, or even memoirs, like "Project Runway" ringmaster Tim Gunn's Shaken, Not Stirred (Kindle Single). For some reason, Clancy Martin and Hank Chilton's Scalper: Inside the World of a Professional Ticket Broker appealed, and I plunked down 1.99 for the pleasure of a short read.

The story itself was interesting, but even more compelling was the excellent business opportunity for essayists and short story writers. I can imagine joyfully paying 2 bucks to read a new essay by David Sedaris as soon as it is complete. If popular fanfic writers are looking to expand their reach, this could be a great tool as well.

As a consumer, the Amazon Singles are just plain convenient. Like the books, while some Singles are free, most are not- but when I don't have time to devour a whole book, and just want a light snack, I'll definitely tab over to the Singles.

Singles Serving Suggestion:

Oxford Girl (Kindle Single) by Plum Sykes- the author of Bergdorf Blondes writes a short story about her fun college years at Oxford. It's gossipy and posh, but that's kind of Sykes' thing- so go with it. Reviews say the 25 page e-book is a bit too short (but fun) for the $1.99 pricetag, so buyer beware.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Episode 5: Anna and the French Kiss

We prefer this French Kiss.

Kim, Quinn, Rose and Megs chat about our favorite, well, most memorable romantic encounters in Young Adult Literature ahead of our discussion on Stephanie Perkins' first book,Anna and the French Kiss. We stuff ourselves with baguettes and nutella, and chat about life, love, and the ever difficult transition from the land of high school to the great world beyond.

Our Celebrity Scribes book is somewhat less stimulating as Megs and Kim somehow made their way through A Shore Thing by Nicole "Snookie" Polizzi.    How to sum it up? 

 GTL, baby. G-T-L.   

 New feature: Literary trivia! Question: Name the book that contains this opening line: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. "

Put the correct answer in the comments!

Last week's winner: Tarp!  Congratulations!

We also tell you how to get a free audio book from (hint: (Note: we repeatedly gave the wrong address on the show- this is the correct one)

Upcoming books are The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Unbalanced by Cindy Lynn Speer.

Vote for the show on Podcast Alley!  Click here: VOTE.

Call (646) 926-READ and leave us a voicemail with your reactions to the books, some feedback about the this show, or (as always) suggestions for books to read in the future!

Follow us on Twitter for updates! We're @thelibraryshow.

Music Credits: Alex East, The Twelves, Paul Johnson

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rock the Drop! Support Teen Lit Today!

Many of my friends blanche when I mention the Twilight series (I inwardly barf a bit myself), but I can't help but love it for its ability to get younger "non-readers" to respect the written word.

So thanks, Meyer. Thanks for that. It doesn't make up for the plethora of middle aged women wearing fangs and glitter painted "Team Edward" shirts though. Not by a long shot.

Now that we have the people hooked, it's time to trick them into reading MORE. What better way than by literally dropping a book in their path? In my previous post about ways to get free books, I mentioned some cool and innovative ways to share and recieve books. The idea of spreading the book love is also in this latest effort from Readergirlz, a literacy project:

Readergirlz and Figment are going to ROCK THE DROP in honor of Support Teen Lit Day on Thursday, April 14th. We can't wait!

Here's how you can get involved:* Snag the banner, created by the uber-talented David Ostow (who blogs hilarious cartoons here), and add it to your website, linking back to thi

s post to share the love, and proclaiming that you will indeed ROCK THE DROP!
* Print a copy of the bookplate below and insert it into a book (or 10!) that you'll drop on April 14th. Drop a book in a public spot (park bench, bus seat, restaurant counter?) and you're done. Lucky finders will see that the book is part of ROCK THE DROP!
* Snap a photo of your drop and email readergirlz AT gmail DOT com with the pic -- we'll be posting lots of pictures of drops happening all over the world at the readergirlz blog, and our friends at Figment will also be featuring the event!

Imagine people around the globe finding copies of amazing books in unexpected places, gifted out of love for YA lit. Everyone can participate to raise awareness of the day!

I'll post a pic of my own book drop later! Get out there and (passively) recruit more readers!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Disgruntled Review: Candace Bushnell's FOUR BLONDES

Whilst searching Atlanta's Freecycle listings for office furniture (sprucing up my home studio with a bit of luck and inspiration from DesignSponge), I found this gem:

Offer: Candace Bushnell's 'Four Blondes'

Message #48745 of 48751 |
From the author of Sex in the City comes this incredibly vain and superficial,
nonsensical story of four women with too much money and too few morals. It's
yours, if you want it. I'll leave on front porch. Reply with pick up time.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed

I have to ask: What the hell was this person expecting?

Had she only watched the heavily santized episodes of "Sex and the City" that aired on TBS (and now the Oxygen network)? Also, having read 4 Blondes back in my "fabulous" college days (undoubtedly with a cosmo in hand, and eyeing a firefighter over the top of the book cover), I found it less racy, less interesting, and a lot more depressing than the HBO series it spawned.

Ah well. If someone goes to pick up the book, they should leave a 4 Non Blondes cd/cassette behind.

As least we can be sure Bushnell will never respond to this woman's review. Or if she does- it won't be like this.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Episode 4: The John with the Dragon Tattoo

John Lennon and Cynthia

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In this show we discuss the "F-Word".

That's right: FEMINISM.

Kim, Rose and Megs discuss what feminism means to us, what it may mean to others, and what it means for the books we read this week: John by Cynthia Lennon and The Girl with the Dragon Tattooby Stieg Larsson. We shake our heads at John Lennon's antics and gasp aloud at a revelation about Lisbeth Salander. We also announce which of the hosts is going to Africa!

 New feature: Literary trivia! Question: Agatha Christie wrote some books under a different name.  What is the name?  

Put the correct answer in the comments!

We also tell you how to get a free audio book from (hint:

Upcoming books are Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and A Shore Thing
by Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi for the Celebrity Scribes Review.

Vote for the show on Podcast Alley!  Click here: VOTE.

Call (646) 926-READ and leave us a voicemail with your reactions to the books, some feedback about the this show, or (as always) suggestions for books to read in the future!

Follow us on Twitter for updates! We're @thelibraryshow.

Music Credits: Alex East, Toto, John Lennon (dubstep remix), Paul Johnson

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

8 Ways to Get Free Books

You're fabulous, you're literate, and you're poor.

So how do you get your book fix without being chased out of the Barnes and Noble cafe in the middle of the novel you've been "browsing"?

Free books. Free NEW Books.

I don't in any way condone stealing copyrighted works, so we're not going down that path- but I've compiled a list of ways anyone can read for free (or "cheap as free").

-First Reads: Free book giveaways: This combines the joy of reading the unknown with the adrenaline that comes from entering the lottery. That's right, you can join, and then enter to win a pre-release book that's been listed by an author or publisher. The variety of books is extensive, and there's a big reading/discussion community on the site as well.

-BookCrossing: An awesome and incredibly unique book sharing experience that I can't wait to try! Step 1: Label a book from your collection with one of the special bookcrossing barcode. Step 2: "Share" the book by either giving it away to a stranger or friend, leaving it on the table at a coffee shop or on the train, or any other way you wish to release it into the wild. Step 3: Follow the book online to see where it's going and where it has been. According to the website, over 850k people registered nearly seven million books which are traveling around 130 countries. That's awesome, free, and fun. Try it!

-Kindle eBook Lending: For 14 days you can lend an ebook to another friend who has a Kindle, or has the Kindle app for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, or Android. Sounds awesome, yeah? Only drawback? Not all books are lendable, AND the lender can't read the book during the loan period. This leads us to... If your friends don't have e-readers yet, or you're just looking for a wider variety of choices, is the place for all e-reading people to come together and loan out their books. The site matches borrowers with lenders at no cost. It's the posting place for a lot of indie authors who just want to get their work out there, or booksellers who want to provide samples. You can read on your computer, iPad or iPhone.

-BooksFree: Despite the name, it isn't entirely free, but it is very inexpensive. For about $11 USD per month, you can check out two books at a time. The price is low, but the selection may not be the best if you're looking for mainstream, popular novels. I'll also point you to... It bills itself as "The Netflix for Books", and that's a pretty accurate title. The selection is good, but the pricing plans start at $23.95 a month for 3 books at a time OR 1-book-a-month for $9.95+3.99 shipping fee. Yeah, it's cheap-as-free over time, but there's always the totally free option, like...

-The Library: this is a big "duh" for some, but I've come across many people who don't realize their local library has an extensive New Release section. Most library systems in the US allow you to browse their catalog online, and reserve a book- so you can get in and out of the quickly. As long as you return the book on time and keep up with your library card-- it's the free-est and easiest option available.

Have other links or suggestions? Comment below, or send the cast an email at!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Library #3: Meta Moments with the Kardashians

In this episode, we're welcoming a new cohost, Megs, who faces a trial by fire by getting through Kardashian Konfidential, this week's "Celebrity Scribes" book.  We received feedback from you concerning our regularly scheduled read, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and we listened!  You said you needed more time to finish the book (and so did we!) so we'll be talking about it on the next show.  In the mean time, Jen, Rose, and Megs discussion vacation reading, knitting while jogging, and all and sundry.  It's a proper book club discussion!  . 

Upcoming books are The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson for our Top Shelf Review and John by Cynthia Lennon for the Celebrity Scribes Review.

Call (646) 926-READ and leave us a voicemail with your reactions to Kardashian Konfidential , The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, some feedback about the this show, or (as always) suggestions for books to read in the future!

Follow us on Twitter for updates! We're @thelibraryshow.

Music Credits: Alex East, and The Twelves  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Entertain your idle thumbs today!

Your mission: 

1. Click here. (will open our podcast page in iTunes)
2. Give our podcast a five star rating.
3. Leave a comment.
4. Listen to the next show to hear a shout to you from The Library book club!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The "Real" Culver Creek

I just had to share this video of John's for those of you that do not follow the vlogbrothers, John and Hank Green's YouTube channel. In this video John visits his old high school boarding school, which is the school that Culver Creek (the setting for Looking for Alaska, of course) was very closely patterned after.

This is perhaps my favorite vlogbrothers video. If I could ever put my thoughts into words as elegantly and articulately as John Green does - well, I'd be able to capture a little bit of my understanding of the world and share it with others. Maybe someday.


Controversies regarding Looking for Alaska

Hello Library friends!

On the last episode of The Library Show we discussed Looking for Alaska, by John Green. We touched briefly on the fact that this book is often considered controversial. I wanted to give us some space here to discuss such controvery.

The website frames Looking for Alaska as pornographic, supposedly alerting parents to the dangers within its pages. It counts the number of times inappropriate words are used within the book, not distinguishing any sort of gradient for the level of inappropriateness – so words like “hell” and “fuck” are counted as the same. Thus has calculated that Looking for Alaska has 1.3 inappropriate words per page. (Of course personally, that just makes me proud of this book) The website then goes on to list a few passages from the book – the two sex scenes that it contains. Of course these scenes (just like the inappropriate word list) are given no context at all. Out of context, I can see why these scenes might scare some parents… sex seems to be treated so flippantly.

However! Anyone who has read the book knows that these scenes are quite different from each other – one is decidedly unsexy (that is the whole point) and the other, while being significantly less explicit, is quite a bit sexier. This brings me to my entire point of this post – context matters. All of the pages and words surrounding these passages and the words listed in the inappropriate word list make it so that we can see, and understand, why these elements are in this book. We can see why it is necessary to tell this story with these words – why it matters that Pudge’s friends at Culver Creek drink, smoke and talk about sex all the time. We can see how a book that uses the word sex 28 times, apparently, is not actually about sex at all, but about emotional relationships and coming to grips with love and loss. Without these elements the story, and the wonderful themes that we can draw from it, would not be possible.

With that said, were you surprised at the content of this book? Did it ever make you feel uncomfortable that a “Young Adult” novel would contain characters that drink and smoke and talk about sex? Or rather did you feel as though these things grounded these characters and made them more real for you?

Also, for your viewing pleasure, I feel like it is appropriate to share John Green’s video blog regarding this subject. Personally, I feel he is well spoken and inspiring as ever:

Soooo, what do you think?


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Machine of Death

I wanted to pass along a book recommendation that doesn't really fit well for our book club discussions on the show, but is more than worth your trip to your local library(yay!):

Machine of Death: A collection of stories about people who know how they will die
(sounds morbid, right? It's good. Read on.)
The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. No dates, no details. Just a slip of paper with a few words spelling out your ultimate fate -- at once all-too specific and maddeningly vague.

A top ten Amazon Customer Favorite in Science Fiction & Fantasy for 2010, The Machine of Death is an anthology of original stories bound together by a central premise. From the humorous to the adventurous to the mind-bending to the touching, the writers explore what the world would be like if a blood test could predict your death. description

It's a collection of crowdsourced short stories edited by Ryan North, David Malki, and Matthew Bennardo.

The idea: The guys solicited short stories from people online for four months, they chose the manuscripts they liked from the nearly 700 submissions, paid the writers of the submissions, and put everything together in a book.

Thanks to a clever internet campaign, the book jumped to #1 on Amazon, and beat out Glenn Beck's latest book for the top spot, prompting a wonderfully ill-informed tantrum from the right-wing pundit on his radio show.

If that's not a reason to read it, I don't know what could convince you, really.

I bought the book for my Kindle the other day, and it's been an incredibly fun, and rather refreshing read thus far. If you're reading Episode 3's book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you'll probably need a breather about halfway through... I recommend this for a small palette cleanser.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Library #2: Looking for Alaska

In this episode, we're reading and reviewing Looking for Alaska by John Green, and LA Candy by Lauren Conrad. 

Episode spoiler alert: we loved one book, and felt violated by the other.  Points for any correct guesses as to the titles.

Upcoming books are The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and Kardashian Konfidential by um... the Kardashians.  

Call (646) 926-READ and leave us a voicemail with your reactions to Looking for Alaska, some feedback about the this show, or (as always) suggestions for books to read in the future!

Follow us on Twitter for updates! We're @thelibraryshow.

Music Credits: Alex EastThe Twelves, and a very camp version of Carmina Burana

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Candle Cove Fandomonia

In Episode 1, we talked about "Candle Cove", and some of the interesting fan-made projects and tributes that have sprung up in various places. Here are some of the ones we mentioned specifically:

-Google search results for Candle Cove (love all of the "is Candle Cove really REAL??" questions)



PS- we're taping a new episode of The Library on Wednesday night! Hope you're reading through Looking for Alaska and LA Candy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Get thee to iTunes!

Good news everyone!

You can now subscribe to the show.  This is especially important since we are a bi-weekly show, and we don't want you to miss out on any book talk banter.

Subscribe with iTunes
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Thanks a million to those of you who have provided feedback for our first show!  Keep sending it in! thelibraryshow(at) 

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Library #1: Puppets, and Seuss, and Snooki, oh my!

New York Times Best Selling Author

So it begins.

It's the first episode of The Library, your portable, virtual, wonderful book club podcast! We (Kim, Jen, Rose, and Quinn) will be reading only the best and the worst books available and bringing our comments straight from our heads to your ears.

The idea of this show is simple.  Twice a month we'll read a new book, and then get together to discuss it in depth and/or make fun of it.  Each show we'll assign a new book to read, and then we'll discuss it on the following show. You don't HAVE to read along with us... but just know that every show is going to be full of two things that may get your goat: spoilers and opinions.  We won't apologize for either of these things, but we will try to always entertain you, and also give you a chance to rant to us via voicemail, blog comments or email.

Celebrity Scribes

"Everyone who has been on television for two weeks in a row has a book deal."
"...WHO is buying these books?"

We introduce our first, and possibly the best segment, devoted to celebrities and their sometimes terrible, sometimes incredible literary offerings.  Each show at least one member of the cast will be reading a book penned by one of the beautiful people*, and explain their journey to the center of a reality show star's thoughts and feelings.  

This week, we talked about Snooki's successful book launch, and preview the upcoming book.  Want to read along?  Kim, Rose, and Jen have agreed to read Lauren Conrad's L.A.Candy.  

The Top Shelf : "Candle Cove" by Kris Straub
"It gave me nightmares..."

For this week, being the first show, it felt silly to review a book that there was no chance you would have read before, so we decided to do a short story that you may have heard of-- or you may not!  It's called "Candle Cove".   

Read it here:

Kim sent the link to the hosts this week, with absolutely no explanation, and asked for their opinions.  Of course, they were more than happy to share.


Nothing this week, because it's our first show- but we expect to hear from you by episode two!  

Call (646) 926-READ and leave us a voicemail with your reactions to "Candle Cove", some feedback about the first show, or (muy importante) suggestions for books to read in the future!

Follow us on Twitter for updates! We're @thelibraryshow.

Music Credits: Alex East, The Twelves, and The Blue Mitchell Sextet

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*in the eye of the beholder

Oh, hai.

Welcome to The Library, your portable, bi-weekly, book club podcast!

Have you always wanted to join a book club, but haven't had the time, energy, or desire to interact with the shifty guy who's always hanging around the Alternative Medicine section at the bookstore?  The Library is the podcast for you.  We're always looking for new titles to explore, no matter the genre, so head over to our Reading List and give us a suggestion!

We'd also like general show comments, so do send an email to thelibraryshow(at)
Voicemails are wonderful treasures.  Let us hear your voice on our next show! Call (646) 926-READ.
You can also find us on Twitter.  Follow @thelibraryshow asap, lolk? omg. bbq. niner.