Dinosaurs Didn’t Read …. And Look What Happened to Them

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September 14th: Harvesting the Crop

I gained a new-found appreciation for the teaching profession during our remote experiment. I was thrilled to attend classes with students who were struggling … and equally frustrated when they didn’t show up. And, oh!, the apathy! That brick-walled moat of malaise that I couldn’t seem trick, get over or tunnel under. So to watch, first-hand, teachers showing up every day with vim and vigor … it was awe-inspiring.

Likewise, my grandiose plan to recategorize thousands of books … it sounded great in my head, but I had zero idea if it would make sense to anyone else. I struggled, too, with weeding a collection that had already been halved. Small joys though: finding books, again and again, that were simply in the wrong place. And hanging on to books for no reason except that they were pretty or unique. (I found so many unique books, in fact, that I now have a “Unicorn” shelf. Blue labels, under the flag on the south wall.)

There was a gorgeous coffee table book on the posters of World War I. It was printed by a U.K. museum in 1974, had brittle pages, a bent back cover and had never, ever been checked out. It should have been sent to book heaven. But I just couldn’t part with it.

Then, there’s Mein Kampf. First off, Mein Kampf was in the biography section, next to Jimmy Hendrix. <shudder> So I relocated it to the WWII section. But still feel like it should be wrapped in some kind of padding  so it won’t infect its shelf neighbors.

The first day of school, a student asks if the library has a war section. Yes! Look for the (blood) red labels. He comes to me hugging the WWI poster book, astonished that he can take it home. “It’s the most amazing book I’ve ever seen.”

The second day of school, a student checks out a gothic vampire romance book. And holds up another old book. “Can I really check this out?” Ooof. She’s holding up. Mein Kampf. “If we don’t understand how it happened, we can’t prevent it from happening again,” she says. Amen! Clearly the educating seeds have a strong toehold.

One year later, I’m glad that my genre plan worked. Finally seeing the seedlings lay down roots.

Thankfully, I am still knee-deep in hundreds of fiction titles from last year, to keep our collection relevant and interesting. And color coded. 🙂


As a slight nod to the 20th anniversary of September 11th, I’d highly recommend Humans of New York: Stories. A glorious offshoot if Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York blog.

Summer jobs can be tricky to find, but  The Hot Dog Girl chronicles landing a job as … the dancing hot dog at the Magic Castle Playland. Coming-of-age queer romance, teens finding love in unforgettable places.

I totally judged this book by its cover. The House in the Cerulean Sea sports a cover by Chris Sickels; I adore everything he does. The text dazzles, too. A caseworker for the department of Magical Youth is sent to an orphanage on a magical island to investigate six dangerous magical children and uncover burning secret.

The Night Diary takes us into the mind of a teenager in India in 1947 as the country is divided into India and Pakistan. Winner of the Newberry award.

A new memoir penned by Indie musician known as Japanese Breakfast, Crying in H Mart gives us a powerful story of family, food, grief and love.

And if you need a gripping page-turner, check out Stephen King’s new novel, Billy Summers. He’s a sniper with a heart of gold, looking to pull off one final job. A master of disguise and planning, his escape plan is thwarted by the sudden arrival of a drunk college girl. A drunk gal in need of some kindness.


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