Two Books and a CD

I’m just writing down my list of things to review. There are six, which is a lot. I’m sure not all of them will make it up at once. Hadn’t realized I was so far behind, but I guess that’s what happens when I both listen in the car and read fast books.

The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau. Read by Wendy Dillon “The City of Ember is the only point of light in a dark world” say the ancient texts, and this is literally true, since the only light in Ember’s sky comes from huge floodlights, and no one has been able to navigate the darkness of the Unknown Regions to see if there are other cities. On Assignment Day, all 12-year-olds in the City of Ember are randomly assigned jobs. On this day in the year 241, Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow trade jobs. She will become a Messenger, carrying messages between the citizens of Ember, and he, a Pipeworker, repairing the ancient plumbing that takes water from the underground river and sends it to the people of Ember. Once there was plenty of everything – food, supplies, and light. Now supplies are running short, the greenhouses are beginning to fail and blackouts are becoming longer and more frequent. As Doon tries to repair the crumbling underside of the city, Lina finds cryptic, half-destroyed Instructions for Egress. Together they work to find the hidden way out before the generator stops for good. Wendy Dillon, as the narrator, made all the characters sound somewhat uncertain and cartoon-like, but did an excellent job of distinguishing all the characters and building suspense through the story.

I always feel that some spiritual reflection is in order during Lent, and with Anne Lamott, I know for sure I’m not going to find the “God and the Republicans will keep America a Christian nation and save it from the gays if we pray hard enough” kind of thinking or even the “God wants your life to be perfect – all you have to do is pray just right” kind of thinking, both of which I find really abhorrent.

Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott This is a journal of Lamott’s son’s first year, not really religious book. Lamott decides to keep an unplanned pregnancy, even though the father wants nothing to do with a baby, and even though she has been clean for only three years and couldn’t take care of a cat in her previous life. Despite differences in parenting and life styles, baby Sam’s story was instantly recognizable. If you’re a parent, you’ll remember being there yourself, and if you’re not, you’ll have a much better idea by the time you’re done (though I’d advise you not to expect a baby to sleep through the night at three months). Lamott’s wrestling with her faith and the difficulties of being a single parent and the sorrow as Lamott’s best friend and partner in parenting is diagnosed with terminal cancer are all described with merciless and irreverent humor. This is one to be careful about reading in public, as you are likely to need tissues and help to keep from falling out of your seat with laughter.

Another entry in my occasional series Kids Music That Won’t Require an Insulin Shot.

Mother Goose Rocks from Boffomedia This is just what it sounds like, classic Mother Goose rhymes set to rock music. This CD (first in a series of four or so) features “Rub-a-Dub-Dub” done to a tune that sounds suspiciously like the Spice Girls’ “Wanna” and “Pat-a-Cake” ala Alanis Morissette. It might be a little too close to the originals for the liner notes not to credit them, but that means more fun for you figuring out which artist they’re mimicking. I was rolling with laughter at the spoofs, and Mr. Froggie Pants was just rocking along with the music.

I sent a patron to get something at another library with just half an hour to go before that library’s closing time, before they actually knew the item was on the shelf for them. Now the Mission Impossible theme is stuck in my head.

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About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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