Friday, May 28, 2010

And the winner is...

First, I have to apologize for not announcing the winner sooner - I got caught up in some craziness!! And now...

Dawn M!!!

I've sent you an email to shoot me your snail mail address!!

Thanks to everyone who entered! Keep checking back for more contests!!!

Winner chosen using Sequence Generator.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review: Life After Yes by Aidan Donnelley Rowley

Quite a while ago, I was asked to read a book called Life After Yes by Aidan Donnelley Rowley. As you can see from my 2010 Book List, it was the first thing I read this year. I was asked to wait a while to post my review about it, though, since it wasn’t scheduled out until May. Well, it’s May, and I am SO EXCITED to finally tell y’all about this book!!!

Quinn (born Prudence Quinn O’Malley) is a young lawyer living in NYC. At the beginning of the novel, she goes on a magical vacation to Paris, where he proposes. Though she accepts, she almost immediately starts having doubts.

This isn’t your typical chick-lit book. Sure it has some of the makings, but there were also some deeper issues going on. Quinn is living in Post-9/11 New York. Her father is one of the casualties of that tragic day, and this comes into play a lot in the book. She seems to have everything under control, a job as an associate in a top law firm, a loving and devoted fiancĂ©, and good friends, but suddenly she doubts everything in her life.

It is always a great feeling to become connected with the characters in the book you are reading. The storyline seemed so real, like it could have been a true story. The characters all seemed like people I knew, or friends I have had. When Quinn was struggling with decisions, I wanted to be there for her and help her through. While I didn’t always agree with the things she was doing, I could understand where she was coming from.

Seriously, you have to check this one out. Life After Yes is one of the best books I have read all year!! Also, check out Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s website Ivy League Insecurities.

Dear Library Patron

Dear Library Patron,

Thank you for coming to the library today.

However, I do not wish to touch your library card that you just whipped out of your cleavage. Gross.

Next time, either use a wallet, or use the self check machine.

Thank you,

Your friendly neighborhood librarian

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I've done a terrible thing. I said something to a customer at the store that I probably shouldn't have said. See, I am usually quite the customer service girl. I totally understand that if you are working in customer service, in certain unpleasant situations, one has to slap a smile on ones face and take it up the ass. I KNOW that. And I am usually all about that (because I can tell y'all about it later - ha!) But, I snapped, and said something that I know I shouldn't have... *sigh*

Woman with Return: Yeah, well, I don't know what you usually do about this, but can I return something I've worn?

Real Librarian: Oh, was there something wrong with it?

WR: Well, I wore it and I just HATED it.

RL: *sigh* Well, yes, we can do the return for you.

So, then, I realize that I've started to get that "tone." You know the one that when you actually SAY the words "yes, we can do the return for you" but the tone says "Seriously?! Just because you HATED it?! WTF is wrong with you?!?!?!" I actively try to get back into my upbeat customer service voice.

RL: Can I get your phone number? Is this information correct? Blah blah blah?

WR: Well, your attitude seems to have changed. At first you sounded upset about this.

This is where I accidentally said...

RL: Well, to be perfectly honest with you, I wouldn't return something I had worn just because I hated it.

WR: *makes that "uh!" noise one makes when offended* Well, I wore it and it totally stretched out!!

RL: Oh, well, that's different. If it's defective or stretched out or isn't up to quality standards, that's another story!

WR: Are you the store manager?

RL: No, but I am a manager here. But here's our number, her name and my name and she'll be in during these times the rest of the week. Feel free to call her anytime.

Oops. Well, seriously, don't tell me you are returning it because you hated it. Tell me it's defective!!! I know it was wrong, and I know I shouldn't have said it. And I felt really guilty later for making her feel bad, but still. Come on. I've talked to my manager, and so far no phone call from this woman.

I'm going to chalk it up to working 3 jobs and not having a day off since April 19. That's a good excuse, right? The end is in sight, though - my next day off is May 21!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!

Have you ever said anything to a patron or customer that you probably shouldn't have? Tell me your stories!!!

Hey, don't forget to enter my latest giveaway!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review and Giveaway: Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin

Summary: In the turbulent southern summer of 1963, Millwood's white population steers clear of "Shake Rag," the black section of town. Young Florence Forrest is one of the few who crosses the line. The daughter of a burial insurance salesman with dark secrets and the town's "cake lady," whose backcountry bootleg runs lead further and further away from a brutal marriage, Florence attaches herself to her grandparents' longtime maid, Zenie Johnson. Named for Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, Zenie treats the unwanted girl as just another chore, while telling her stories of the legendary queen's courage and cunning.

The more time Florence spends in Shake Rag, the more she recognizes how completely race divides her town, and her story, far from ordinary, bears witness to the truth and brutality of her times—a truth brought to a shattering conclusion when Zenie's vibrant college-student niece, Eva Greene, arrives that fateful Mississippi summer.

Minrose Gwin's The Queen of Palmyra is an unforgettable evocation of a time and a place in America—a nuanced, gripping story of race and identity.-- Harper Perennial

I was really excited to start The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin because of the buzz I had heard about it. I had recently finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett and loved it, and had heard this was a comparable tale. What I wasn't expecting was this story to really grab me, and throw some gritty, hard to take subjects my way.

Of course, as you expect from a novel based in Mississippi in the 1960's, there were some deep racial issues going on, and there is some serious tension in this part of the country and between the characters. Florence Forrest, an 11 year old girl, is caught in the middle - her mother who has grown up respecting the black people who work for her family, and a radically racist father who would like nothing more than to purify his town.
This book not only deals with the racial issues, but also issues of abuse. You should definitely be prepared for a strong novel that will probably stir some strong feelings. These issues are powerful and aren't always easy to swallow, but they are important to remember. This tale stirred some deep feelings for me, even though I have no first hand experience dealing with these issues. Which is what a good novel does, right?

I also really enjoyed Minrose Gwin's writing style. Her words seemed to flow beautifully, even with the harshness of her topics. Her characters were amazingly developed, each with their own personalities, views, strengths and weaknesses. I hated putting the book down, and when I did, I found myself thinking about the characters and their struggles.

I highly recommend The Queen of Palmyra. Not only is it a great novel, but I definitely think that it would make a really interesting book club selection. I think that this book will definitely stir up some emotions and people will be affected by this novel.

I am happy to host a giveaway of my own gently read ARC of The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin!! Just leave a comment on this post, and be sure to leave your email address so I can get a hold of you! No way to contact entry (sorry - dems the breaks)!! Last day to enter will be Monday, May 24th, and I'll announce a winner on Tuesday, May 25th.

Good luck everyone!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


It's been a while since I told a good patron story, so I thought I'd share one.

A woman comes in to the library with her three kids. She asks me to look up her library card number so she can get onto the computer. Once I see her ID and look up her name, I see that she's been billed for about 12 children's books to a tune of over $200. YIKES!!

Real Librarian: Um, actually, did you know that there is a fine on your card? You are being billed for a number of items that were due back in February.

Disgruntled Mom: (Instantly defensive and ticked off) No, this is NOT right. I KNOW I returned those books. There might be ONE that is missing, but I KNOW I returned the rest of them.

RL: Had you talked to someone before? Did we do a shelf check for you?

DM: No, I haven't talked to anyone. I just KNOW they came back.

RL: Ok, well, I can definitely check the shelves for you. Why don't you take a quick look at home and see if you can find the one that you think you might still have. We'll get back to you once we check our shelves.

Well, the DM left, but you could tell she was not happy with me. She totally made it seem like it was all MY fault that the books hadn't been checked in. Well, I went to the shelves and checked for all 12 of the books. Now, I can see not finding one or two - but I couldn't find ANY of them! Makes me wonder...

Anyway, I gave all the details to my supervisor and decided to let her deal with it.

I came in to work 2 days later, and since we were a little backed up in the shelving department, I decided to work on shelving some picture books... That's when I came across some VERY familiar titles...

Turns out she went home and found them. All but three. Yup. But I have to tell you, I'm not really surprised. I get the "I KNOW I returned them" line quite often. Then, she came back in today with the rest of the books she KNEW she returned.

DM: Can you believe we found all those books?! I just KNEW I returned them! I hope I wasn't too crabby with you.

RL: Oh, no, it happens!!

Well, it does happen. I promise not to be crabby with you, if you promise not to be crabby with me!!