Libraries are the New Bookstore. Visit Your Local Library & Dream.

A Public Book Blog for Teens & Adults
Last Updated: 2/20/10
Started for Materials for Young Adults, LIBR 265-10, Professor Wrenn-Estes
San Jose State University
School of Library & Information Studies, Spring 2009
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The Starry-Eyed Librarian is Courtney Rogness.
The Starry-Eyed Librarian does not reflect the views of the BHPL or SJSU.

Friday, June 29, 2018

New Peeps Cover & A Sensational Website Overhaul

Now we all love Scott Westerfeld to pieces, but it gets better. Check out the new peeps cover and his newly made-up steampunk website. Two great reasons to pick up Leviathan & Peeps over your Christmas break if you haven't already done so...

Check out the book trailer for Leviathan on his website too!

Westerfeld on Peeps:

Maybe there are too many vampire novels, I thought. But that was part of the challenge, to see if I could do something that felt new and interesting, while still being full of bitey goodness. (Unsurprising confession: I am a Buffy fan.) So the book had to be original, but also icky, scary, funny, tragic, and (ahem) not sucky.

Besides getting a new take on the sunlight-impaired, my other big concern was that my vampires should actually make some sense as far as science goes. So I started doing some vampire research, reading a bunch of books about rats, parasites, bites and stings, and biology.
After consuming all there was to know on these subjects, I came up with the four important features that any vampire novel (of mine) had to include:
natural selection,
sexual attraction,
parasitic infection,
and Elvis memorabilia.

Okay, I can’t tell you much more without giving the whole thing away. But I’m very happy with the results. And the cover is certainly cool.

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439023491

The Hunger Games
Book 1: The Hunger Games
Book 2: Catching Fire
Book 3: TBA
WARNING: SPOILERS ahead. Do not read on if you have not finished the first installment.
Reader's Annotation: The long awaited sequel to the stunning Hunger Games, Catching Fires takes off where Katniss has won the Hunger Games against all odds.
Now, she and Peeta should be happy.
But the Capitol isn't happy with what's happened at all, and they may not let it go.
From School Library Journal: Starred Review. Gr 7 Up--Every year in Panem, the dystopic nation that exists where the U.S. used to
be, the Capitol holds a televised tournament in which two teen "tributes" from each of the surrounding districts fight a gruesome
battle to the death. In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the tributes from impoverished
District Twelve, thwarted the Gamemakers, forcing them to let both teens survive. In this rabidly anticipated sequel, Katniss, again the
narrator, returns home to find herself more the center of attention than ever. The sinister President Snow surprises her with a visit, and
Katniss’s fear when Snow meets with her alone is both palpable and justified. Catching Fire is divided into three parts: Katniss
and Peeta’s mandatory Victory Tour through the districts, preparations for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, and a truncated version of the Games
themselves. Slower paced than its predecessor, this sequel explores the nation of Panem: its power structure, rumors of a secret district, and
a spreading rebellion, ignited by Katniss and Peeta’s subversive victory. Katniss also deepens as a character. Though initially
bewildered by the attention paid to her, she comes almost to embrace her status as the rebels’ symbolic leader. Though more of the story
takes place outside the arena than within, this sequel has enough action to please Hunger Games fans and leaves enough questions tantalizingly
unanswered for readers to be desperate for the next installment. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Official Website:

Official Trailer:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Hunger Games, By Suzanne Collins

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (September 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439023483

Reader's Annotation: In a dystopian future where a reigning government reminds the people of their place in society (and discouraging uprisings) by hosting a reality based TV show meets roman gladiator ring where two tributes (one boy and one girl) from each of the 12 districts are chosen by lottery to fight to the death on camera. Katniss, a black market hunter in district 12, volunteers for the games to replace her young sister. But, will her game hunting background really be enough to keep her alive in the ring?

Summary: "In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old KatnissÆs young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining districts female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. CollinsÆs characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like Survivor and American Gladiator. Book one of a planned trilogy." ~Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK 

UnLibrarian's Opinion: I absolutely loved loved this novel. I would go so far as to say it is one of the finest YA novels out there. I can't wait to read the next installment. Evoking the classical lust for blood in a roman arena while feeding off the current state of the iraqi war, 24-hours news coverage, and reality TV, Ms. Collins pulls out all the stops with this pertinent roller coaster ride that is both relatable and fantastic. A MUST READ. 

Extras: Official Trilogy Website
Suzanne Collins Official Website:
Interview via Borders Media with Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games/Catching Fire)! Part One Below. Visit Link for the Continuation.
Lionsgate acquires rights to the film adaptation due out in 2011! 
Via Wikipedia: Lionsgate Entertainmenthas acquired worldwide distribution rights to a film adaptation of The Hunger Games, which will be produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force production company. Collins will adapt the novel for film herself. IMDb:

Awards- Via Wikipedia The Hunger Games has also received a number of awards and honors, including being a USA Today and New York Times Best Seller, and being named one of Publishers Weekly's "Best Books of the Year" in 2008 and a New York Times "Notable Children's Book of 2008".

Other authors speak out on why they love the Hunger Games: 
"[The Hunger Games] is a violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense...I couldn't stop reading."
--Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly Review

"I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading. The story kept me up for several nights in a row, because even after I was finished, I just lay in bed wide awake thinking about it...The Hunger Games is amazing."
--Stephenie Meyer, author of The Twilight Saga

"The Hunger Games is as close to perfect an adventure novel as I've ever read. I could not put it down. Collins has transformed the ancient Labyrinth myth into a terrifyingly believable tale of future America. Readers will be hungry for more."
--Rick Riordan, author of The Percy Jackson Series and The 39 Clues


Fan Made and Incredible!  


The Sweet Far Thing, By Libba Bray

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440237777
Series Title: Gemma Doyle Trilogy
Book 1: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Book 2: Rebel Angels
Book 3: A Sweet Far Thing

Reader's Annotation: The Third book in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, the adventures of Miss Doyle culminate. She faces Circe while at the same time she faces her own history and the people in her life now. The battle must take place and Miss Doyle is forced to lead the way and save the day.

UnLibrarian Opinion: The final book in the trilogy is both "sweet" and a "far thing" in terms of what I expected. The ending left my wanting another tale and and a time machine. The book will not disappoint hardcore Gemma Fans...maybe. But let's face it guys, sometimes the book is better for not taking the easy way out. The same lush, magical details of the first and second book persist and the conflict between class, sexism, and the glorious victorian era are spot on! I loved all three of these books! This book is over 800 pages long so it's details can drag on not so fierce readers. Those who want the magic get bored with the balls and those wanting Victorian England get stuck in the realms for too long. But, for the most part, I felt that the fact that Ms. Bray didn't cut up her story to make it more accessible gives it an edge that not all YA books have and does the scope of the turn-of-the-century project justice. Anything less would have seemed to 21st Century to me even if at times we want some magic of our own to get through almost a thousand pages! ;)

Product Description via Amazon
“A huge work of massive ambition.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred

It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father alaudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.

The Order—the mysterious group her mother was once part of—is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A #1 Book Sense Bestseller
New York Times Bestseller
Publishers Weekly Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
A 2008 New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

FINALIST 2007 - Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of the Year
WINNER 2008 - Amazon Best of the Year

Extras: Film for first book,A Great and Terrible Beauty, set to be released 2010.

Official Trilogy Website:

Official Trailer:
One of My Favorite Fan Trailers:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kiss Me, Judas by Will Christopher Baer

Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: MacAdam/Cage (June 20, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596921862
ISBN-13: 978-1596921863
Age Level: Adult
Book Series: Phineas Poe: Kiss Me, Judas, Penny Dreadful, Hell's Half-Acre

Reader's Annotation: After being released from a psychiatric institution, Phineas Poe, an ex-cop, awakens on a bed of ice after a steamy night with a woman that he might very well have left with his heart as well as his kidney.

After being released from a psychiatric institution, Phineas meets a woman who charges for her services of love. As it turns out, money wasn't the only Jude, the surrealy beautiful woman takes from Phineas. After a stay in the hospital, and a run in with his old buddies from his cop days, Phineas sets off to do either of two things: get revenge or find the woman who stole his kidney and his heart. In this dark, thriller, the reader who loves noir, edgy writing, and quality dark humor, Baer delivers a wild ride that sucks you in and reminds you of your days hanging out with Palanuick or Tarantino. I think this book is not to be missed, so long as you have the stomach for the violence, sex, drugs, and an occasional kidney surgery.

Notes: Detailed sex, drugs, and violence make up the core of this book. Parental discretion is a must. If the bizarre is your taste, but in the style of pulp noir splashed and decorated with the drug induced haze of writers such as Hunter Thompson and Chuck Palahnuik, then you have found your next read! You will love it! Others: good luck. Ha Ha.


Friday, August 14, 2009

New UnLibrarian Pathfinder: Til Depp do us Part

UnLibrarian Pathfinders:
Great tools for Librarians and Patrons!

What is a pathfinder? Pathfinders can be approached in many ways. The basic idea is to lead a patron in the right direction and give them resources on a single topic. They are generally pretty basic and they expect you (the user) to need no prior knowledge of a topic. In the UnLibrarian's case a pathfinder is meant not only to give you resources but it is meant as entertainment as much as it is an infophile's feast! So dig in and ENJOY!

A Clockwork Pathfinder: Have a thing for a time way back when that never existed? Wanna invent new gadgets like something out of an H.G. Wells book? Hoping to run out into Victorian London in your petticoat and goggles and jump into your steampower vessel in a time that never existed? Wondering what the heck I am talking about?

Visit The Escape Artist a pathfinder into all things steam:


Johnny Depp & Tim Burton

Who are two people we can't seem to get enough of? From Edward Scissorhands to Alice in Wonderland this pathfinder is the perfect tool to the set you off in the right direction into the truly magical and bizarre world of Tim Burton & his films in collaboration with Johnny Depp.

Til Depp do us Part

More surely to come, so keep checking back on the UnLibrarian Blog!

Friday, July 10, 2009

World War Z: A Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks

World War Z: A Oral History of the Zombie War
Max Brooks
352 page

Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Publishing Date: October 16, 2007
ISBN-10: 0307346617

Reader's Annotation: Over a decade after the zombies war (a.k.a World War Z) raged across the planet a reporter writes a book using interviews collected by survivors.

Synopsis & Review:
11 years after a zombie plague rages throughout the world a reporter tells the story of the war through the people the survived it. From China, to India, from Africa to America the stories in this book are terrorizing, thought provoking, and yes, sometimes sadistically funny. For the keen mind the oral histories will play out like an echo of todays tragedies for the zombie lover alone no one will be disappointed.The beauty of Max Brooks is he not only writes social commentary here but he does it against a horrific, zombified backdrop that everybody has been before, however, his skill makes it raw, palpable, and frankly...scarily familiar. If you haven't gotten around to reading this book, it's time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as well as the audio and should note the if you are taking a road trip or at the very least stuck in Los Angeles traffic, the audio is a role call of famous personalities and voices playing out the different the stories within. I would go so far as to reccommend the audio for readers who have already read the book!
Audio CD
Random House Audio; Abridged edition (2007)

Notes: Adult Content, Parental Suggestion Suggested.

Author/Publisher Website

  • "I've no desire to become the next king of Jewish immigrant comics, but I am so proud of my old man" - About his father, Mel Brooks.
  • View a video from the publisher's website (of the graphic novel) here.

A brief FAN MADE Book Trailer with splices/preview from the fantastic AUDIOBOOK (This is not licensed).

Two of my favorite
Fan Made trailers made by a fan (Srsly guys, this is pretty good stuff!):

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Feed, by M.T. Anderson, (Guest Review)

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (February 23, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0763622591

Reader's Annotation: "In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble." ~via Barnes & Noble

Summary & Review:
Feeding on Feed! In the twisted and somewhat dark realm that "Feed" takes place in, the readers are introduced to a character named Titus and his pack of friends lacking grammar and any insight into the real world due to the chip implanted into the back of their heads as infants. Habits including going "mal" (electronically getting high), flying in upcars, and contracting lesions, it is obvious their state of mind is anything but ordinary. But when Titus meets a girl named Violet, she introduces him to a whole new world outside of Feed! A world where reality is not just a download away... ~By Caleb Sims, Age 16, Washington State

Finalist 2002 National Book Award for Young People's Literature
Winner 2003 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction
Winner 2003 Golden Duck Awards Hal Clement Award for Young Adults
Nominee 2005–2006 Green Mountain Book Award

Extras: Wikipedia for M.T. Anderson

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lost Constellations: The Art of Tara McPherson, by Tara McPherson

  • Title: Lost Constellations: The Art of Tara McPherson
  • Author: Tara McPherson
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595822224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595822222
  • Reader's Annotation:   "Lost Constellations: The Art of Tara McPherson Volume 2 is the compelling road map to the artist's most recent and ambitious journeys in paint, pencil, and sculpture." ~Via Dark Horse 
  • Features line drawings next to paintings and illustrations (especially cool for the aspiring artist) Lost Constellations explores the Art of Tara Mcpherson as well as includes some of her FAMOUS art rock posters!
Synopsis: McPherson's Vol. II (second to Lonely at Heart), Mcpherson delivers a collection of artwork that has taken the looky-loos by storm. Like most of her characters suspended in either water or space, the reader will quickly find themselves staring at their own loss and gut-lost past, present, and future while suspended in their own space-like intoxication of Tara McPherson. I dare you to get enough. It's impossible. This is a book to own. 
Notes: Parental suggestion for the young ones. Otherwise, subtley dark & delicious for everyone!
Extras: Want MORE Tara Stuff? Or maybe you just want to look at more McPherson art? Visit
or to buy artwork:
Having trouble filling your whole'd out middle? Revisit your childhood with Tara's coloring book/backpack ensemble. And in the meantime go here to color online. Viva la Tara.

Another UnLibrarian Book Trailer! The Forest of Hands and Teeth


Book Trailer by the Unlibrarian!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, By Carrie Ryan

  • Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
  • Author: Carrie Ryan
  • Publishing Date:  March 10, 2009
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385736819
  • Reader's Annotation: In an apocalyptic world Mary lives in a village surrounded by a fence that keeps The Unconsecrated out. Constantly surrounded by death, she is driven by the need to know more. But can Mary survive when she is forced to go down the paths she always dreamed of, and is there really anything other then death waiting for her?
  • Synopsis:  As a child Mary's mother tells her of an immense ocean. This place is beyond the Forest of Hands and Teeth and has water as far as the eye can see. But, in Mary's village the sisterhood preaches there is nothing outside the Forest of the Hands and Teeth. The only safe place is that of of the village and it is the people's duty to keep the human race from being expelled forever. It is Mary's duty to watch her mother who longs for her lost love (Mary's Father) who has been taken by The Unconsecrated. Mary knows that her mother longs to be with him and she fears she will give herself to The Forest and The Sickness. Meanwhile, the spring vows and binding ceremonies are coming and men in the village are speaking for the women. Mary has only ever longed for one boy, but it is another that seeks her hand. Mary's duty is fast upon her it may not be anything she ever expected. 
  • The beauty of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan's first book, lies within it's stark voice that never wavers from it's bleak tone that alludes to that small voice of hope at something more that lives in the back of all our minds. The book doesn't pander to the sugar coated, everything will turn out ok devices that are so inherent in YA lit today. It is refreshing despite it's topic of zombies (a genre being penned at a rate to rival the vampire literary epidemic). The zombie or vampire fan will devour this easy read but not be left without provoking thoughts and conversation. I have the slightest feeling the popularity of this book will spread like the disease of the Unconsecrated. 
  • Extras: Seven Star Pictures have already bought the rights to the book for a film. It is slated for release in 2010. 
  • Medium levels of blood and violence may leave the timid reader uncomfortable, but for the most part warnings for parents and readers are mild. 
  • Author's Website:
  • The book trailer was a Teen Book Video Award 2008 Finalist.  It is one of the best I've seen! If you are thinking of reading this book you must watch the trailer! 

  • The UnLibrarian is currently working on a fan "casting" book trailer! Stay Tuned!  

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem

By: By Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith
Publish Date: 2009
ISBN: 1594743347
Page #: 320 pages
Classification: Fiction
Genre: Fiction, Horror
Age Level: Adult, Older Teen
Series Titles: n/a
Subjects: Zombies, Regency Romance, Classics, Satire

Reader's Annotation: Jane Austen's beloved classic Pride and Prejudice now has zombies! After coming out of copyright, Graham-Smith brilliantly adds his own twist by transforming this literary classic with a few choice words here and there (and what a difference)!

Synopsis & Review: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins the literary transformation of the famous first line of one of the worlds most beloved works of fiction of all time. But if you are like me and so many others, you wouldn’t read Austen to save your life. Unless of course, your life was being threatened by Zombies! I adore a great deal of classics, but in the case of Austen I was particularly inclined to stay away. Now, with open arms, I am taking in my Austen as I never thought I could. Seth Grahame-Smith delivers a hilarious mash-up of Austen romance, Austen dresses, & Austen manners, and now Austen style zombies. (Note the zombie woman who wastes such a fine wedding gown while praying on brains. ‘Tis a shame.) Readers with a taste for Austen, a taste for zombies, or any variation of the two will revel in the satiric re-telling that aptly plays on the original heroine (Elizabeth Bennet) by keeping her as the spirited and determined central character she always was, but now she carries a Katana and martial arts training! Ms. Bennet, who holds a singular talent to slice and dice the demon dead that has been unleashed upon English countryside. Enter Mr. Darcy an arrogant zombie fighter who is drawn to Ms. Bennet and her skill to kill. Their love affaire de couer takes them through all the woes and wins of the original work but turns them into a cutting edge dance with “unmentionables” (a more Austen-esque term then undead I think) at the core. For those of you who abhor romance this is the romance for you. And for those of you who abhor violence, well, dare I say: this is the horror story for you! On a personal Level, I could not recommend a book more! IN fact, this is a Darcy that I can really sink my teeth into! Or shall I say in spirit, I am in want of more! It must be noted that Grahame-Smith does an excellent job at seamless transitions from Austen to zombie moments. Fans of Austen will get a kick out of it! 

Notes: Obviously violence should be taken into parental consideration for younger readers, however comedy and romance tempers the real threat of offensive material (I often laughed at loud). A great choice for reluctant readers of classical literature.

Not surprisingly, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is already being optioned for a movie.

Stars: 5

Extras: Seth Grahame-Smith: A "polite" Q & A

How did the book come about?
SETH GRAHAME-SMITH: I'm an aspiring screenwriter living in L.A. At the moment, I'm executive producing a pilot for MTV that I wrote which is a sort of updatedWonder Years-meets-Superbad. But I also wrote a book called How to Survive a Horror Movie and another called Pardon My President, which was letters of apology from George Bush to all the people that he had wronged. My editor at Quirk had wanted to do a mash-up of some type for a long time. He had all these lists of public domain titles and lists of modern literary devices. The robot phenomenon. The vampire phenomenon. And zombies. And we arrived at Pride and Prejudice and Zombies because, when you take a look at the original book, it's almost as if, subconsciously, Jane Austen is laying out the perfect groundwork for an ultraviolent bone-crushing zombie massacre to take place. For instance, there's a regiment of soldiers camped out near the Bennett household. In the book, they're just there for characters to flirt with. But it's not that big a leap to say, Okay, they're there because the countryside has been overrun with what they call the "unmentionable menace."

The what, now?

SETH GRAHAME-SMITH:"The unmentionable menace." They call zombies "unmentionables" because it's a very polite society and the word "zombie" is kind of like a curse word. These aristocrats are trying to get on with their lives as best they can, despite the fact that the country is being devoured around them. They still have their balls and their teas and their manners. It was terrific fun to write, in the style of Jane Austen, describing horrific deaths and entire villages being slaughtered and burned to the ground.