Author Archives: NightBaker

About NightBaker

I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, & when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls. ~ Anaïs Nin

A Tale Dark and Grimm

Fairy tale adaptations are a great love of mine, and though there have been a slew of new adaptations for all ages in recent years, few have gotten it so very right as Adam Gidwitz. His Tale Dark and Grimm is a rich, delightful, humorous, multilayered remix of several tales, with Hansel and Gretel at the core. There are currently two copies circulating in my school library, and I can’t keep it on the shelf. It’s been returned with post-it note critiques from several students — aged 9 to 18 — stuck inside the back cover, and all are raves. One copy is currently in the hands of a very picky fourth grader, who has already rated it “better than The Graveyard Book,” which is high praise indeed.

I made a book trailer for a class assignment after first reading it last fall. It’s a bit on the long side (to meet the requirements of the assignment, and also to match the song I set it to, Alasdair Roberts‘ gorgeous “Under No Enchantment But My Own”), but I liked the result well enough to send it to the author. Much to my great surprise and pleasure, Mr. Gidwitz enjoyed enough to send me a signed copy of the book (and signed bookplates to put in the copy I had previously purchased, and which I subsequently donated to the school library in his name). Enjoy my trailer, and the (much shorter) official book trailer, then get your hands on a copy immediately — you won’t regret it.

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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in New books


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What can you do with an RSS feed?

There are a number of interesting and funny library- and book-related blogs, comics, and other links available via RSS feed. Here are a few of my favorites:

Unshelved is the gold standard for library comics, alternating librarian humor with book reviews and weekly illustrated booktalks.

A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette is a delightfully wry, short blog turning the frustrations — and stereotypes — of librarianship into humor. A recent sample, posted under the heading “Popular, Being”: “Librarians should make pop culture references in library instruction classes to connect with younger audiences.  Today’s youth are all about the Lady Gogga, Justin Bibber, and New Jersey Shore, so pretend that you are too.”

PhD Comics isn’t about librarianship, but about graduate school — and for those of us in graduate school, it can strike some painfully familiar notes.

Dispatches from a Public Librarian Scott Douglas’s periodic contribution to McSweeney’s humor site. Douglas promises — and delivers — “stories about strange patrons, strange patrons, strange tales, and otherwise just strange things.”
My private email account is through Gmail, as is my university account. The school where I work as the library assistant is a K-12 laboratory school on the university campus. Many of my students and all of my coworkers have Gmail accounts, either through the school or privately.

I have been using Google Reader to subscribe to blogs and webcomics via RSS feed for some time. More recently, with the advent of Google Buzz, I have taken to using that technology to share posts from my RSS with friends on my contacts list. It seems that this could be an advantageous tool for librarians as well: if students are using Buzz, they can access posts made there via the library email account.

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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Links


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Zombies vs. Unicorns

9_24_10 by powerpuffkay
9_24_10, a photo by powerpuffkay on Flickr.

I’ve been reading a new anthology of short stories, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, exploring the universal question: which is better, zombies, or unicorns? Explore the question for yourself by checking out Zombies vs. Unicorns — and check back here for a review when I finish the book.

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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in New books


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Welcome to Reader Advisory

It’s a big world with an awful lot of books in it. How are we to know what might be worth reading, what might be a good match for each of us as readers? Where do we look? Who do we ask?

This, to my mind, is the bottom line of librarianship: librarians are matchmakers, who are here to help books and readers find each other. It’s an important function, more difficult that one might imagine, not having tried to do it, and a delightful challenge to those of us who love books, and love to see them find their way into the right hands.

That is what I hope to do here.

This blog is being created as part of an assignment for the final course leading to my school library degree. The assignment is in accordance with CSLA’s School Library Learning 2.0 program. After the assignment ends, however, I intend to continue posting about books, resources, librarianship, and more.

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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


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