My first American Library Association Conference: there are no words, but I’m gonna try

This post is totally going to be like a Dear Diary entry from my writing days of old in which I literally just talk about everything that happened to me in the last 2 days. This should help my brain process the awesome and be a good memento when I read back years later. Plus, I kinda just want to brag about how great my new profession is….we throw pretty great conferences.

So I actually had an exhibitor pass to ALA this year because I worked the Harry Potter Alliance booth, which is an organization I volunteer with (and have explained on this blog enough that I will not do so again here). So I only had access to the exhibit hall, but the word “only” in this sentence is like saying I “only” won a million dollars. The exhibit hall is amazing and not only has all the exhibitors, but also tons of stages where different talks and panels take place. I only had one specific plan on day 1 I wanted to hit for the exhibit hall, and the rest I left up to fate (because how many plans really go through when you go to cons?). This was a great decision. I got there before the floor opened (the perks of being an exhibitor) to get the lay of the land before the crowds descended and find my booth in the massive sprawl that is McCormick Place West.

PUMPED for my first #ALA! #alaac17

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Printer’s Row Lit Fest 2017

It’s that time again! Summer has arrived, and with it, books! Printer’s Row Lit Fest is the largest outdoor literary festival in the Midwest, and it takes place each summer in the Printer’s Row neighborhood of Chicago. This year was my 4th year attending the fest, and I am yet to be disappointed. The author line-up was also great this year: David Levithan, Cory Doctorow, Gillian Flynn, Jonathan Safran Foer, and many, many more. The top-billed guests were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Al Franken. I did not actually see any of these people… but that’s ok, cause that wasn’t the plan for me anyway.

The plan was to wander the fest (a.k.a. shop) and have brunch with a friend to catch up on life. It was lovely. But also very hot. Luckily we ducked in and out of air-conditioned shops along the way so we didn’t completely melt. I never get tired of wandering this neighborhood for its bookish roots.

❤ #PRLF17

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“Mirror in the Sky” Review: or, what happens when you force something into YA

Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana. Razorbill: 2016.

Mirror in the Sky book coverI read a book! It’s called Mirror in the Sky, and it was written by Aditi Khorana. (I couldn’t figure out an intro to this post – could you tell??)

I heard about his book from Kristina Horner, a YouTuber who does a lot of BookTube stuff. She read it as part of her book club a while back, and I decided to read it, too, but didn’t get to it till now. I’m just gonna be upfront: it was not great.

The book takes place in contemporary times, and it has a science fiction-y twist: the basic premise is that a mirror version of Earth is discovered by scientists which is pretty much an exact copy of our Earth, except with small differences. For example, an image is transmitted from the mirror Earth (called Terra Nova) of a woman standing in a marketplace wearing a red coat. The same exact photo from Earth is identical in every way, except the woman is wearing a blue coat. It is assumed that there are mirror versions of every person on Earth, but the Terra Nova versions are alternate versions of us – versions that may have made different life decisions, from small things like buying a different color coat, to big things like, highlight for spoiler, their version of Virginia Woolf deciding not to commit suicide. This makes the people on Earth go a little bit crazy.

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Book blogger survey conclusions

Hey hey hey! I’m alive!

But I totally just failed my 4-post-a-month goal. F-you, May.

I just started summer classes like 3 weeks ago (with literally no break between the end of spring semester), and the workload took some adjusting to. Then I took a brief little trip. So no blog action except for the 17 drafts I keep working on without actually posting. But I’m back with something cool!

So remember that time when I conducted a book blogger survey for one of my grad school classes? A HUGE thank-you to those who participated; I’m really proud of how my project and paper turned out, and I literally could not have done it without you!

I stated on the survey post that I would not be using the data for anything other than my project and that my professor, TA, and I would be the only ones looking at it. But I did get a lot of interest from people wanting to know what I found, so I decided to write up an overview of my observations from the survey without using any specific response information. I came up with a list of conclusions I made from the data and am happy to share them with you! I’ll go ahead and list my conclusions and then do a bit of musing about what these responses implicate.

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“Difficult Women” Review: not what I expected

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. Grove Press, 2017.

Difficult WomenLook at me cranking out blog posts! It’s time for another review of a book I read for the Resist Readathon I’m running as part of an online book club I co-manage. This was our feminist pick. Difficult Women is a collection of short stories by Roxane Gay, a well-known author whose work I had never read before. We decided to go with this book because it’s a different genre than the others in the readathon, and I knew Gay was a feminist writer who is well-respected.

Cutting to the chase here, this book was not what I expected. It was simply way more literary than I thought it was going to be. I feel a bit foolish and embarrassed for not knowing this beforehand. I guess I thought it was going to be lighter than it was, in more ways than one. But looking back, I have no idea why I expected lighter fare from a book of short stories called Difficult Women by a literary author…

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Intensive VS extensive reading: what’s the difference… and which is better?

Ohemgee, a new discussion post! Yaaaaaaaay!

So I just finished up what is now one of my favorite classes I’ve taken in my educational career: Literacy, Reading, and Readers. It is exactly what is sounds like. We discussed a wide range of topics about literacy, including the history of reading, cultural and socioeconomic aspects of reading, reading technologies, etc., etc., you name it. As you may know, I did my final project on book blogging (thanks to all who participated in my survey and helped me out with that!). One of the concepts that struck me that came up across several of our course readings was the idea of intensive vs. extensive reading. First, a few very fancy and scientific definitions I made up:

Intensive reading: reading a small number of books, but deeply

Extensive reading: reading a f— ton of books.

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