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Librarian Blog

Best books?

What's the best work of fiction published this year?

The Goodreads Choice Awards were announced today, and the award for best work of fiction goes to "And the Mountains Echoed."

Several patrons who have read the Husseini book were not very high on it, frankly. And no one has come in yahooing and yodeling about it.

But, then, I haven't gotten a lot of feedback on many works of fiction produced in 2013.

As I have mentioned before, though, the most popular books so far this year are by Grisham and Balducci.

Goodreads' top nonfiction? "The Autistic Brain."

Best Young Adult Fiction? "Allegiant."

Best memoir/biography? "I Am Malala."

I don't think Goodreads Choice Awards are the same things as best-sellers.

Ebook website makeover

Check out the new Central Texas Digital Consortium website.

Just click on the Go button by the search slot, and you will be taken to our online catalog. Scroll down to "Overdrive" and click (after logging in with your library account and phone numbers).

Overdrive is the company the consortium contracts with to provide ebooks, both the "print" kind and the "audio" kind, as well as musical offerings.

The new site is better organized and more user friendly than the older, out-of-date one.

Plus, it gives you some information about what people are downloading the most.


Lincoln sells

A new graphic posted by Library Journal shows the number of books written about presidents over the years.

Abe Lincoln is at the top of the list, with 3,584 titles. He's followed by George Washington with 1,909. Then, John Kennedy is third with 1,500.

The list ends with Jimmy Carter, who is the subject of only 292 books.

People publish books for all kinds of reasons, and making money is close to the No. 1 reason. So, Abe's popularity among publishers probably reflects his sellability, among other things.

Not many books on Polk, I guess. Or Taft. Or Taylor. Or even Tyler. What's to say about Arthur? Or Cleveland? Or Fillmore?

Heck, I probably wouldn't even remember those names if it weren't for the fact that I had to navigate the streets of Amarillo back when I was growing up there, and the main ones were named after the presidents -- in order of election.

Any new novels out there?

We're not sure what happened, but after a promising start our budding writers of books didn't come in today to celebrate the end of National Novel Writing Month.

About a half-dozen hopefuls showed up at the kickoff to the month back in early November. But at our event scheduled today to celebrate their accomplishments, we had no one show up.

Maybe that means they didn't meet their 50,000-word-in-a-month goal. Writing more than 1,000 words a day is a pretty daunting goal.

Or maybe they are still writing!

We hope it's the latter.


iPads for all

Students in Wimberley High School will soon have iPads on a loaner basis.

Seniors will get them first, according to a Q&A posted at the school district website. Distribution begins next week.

Given the profile of the Wimberley area, my guess is that this will not be a major transition for the majority, many of whom already have smart phones and perhaps even iPads or laptops.

But for those who don't have these devices, this will be a great tool for them to use to get plugged in like everyone else.

The Q&A says that for now the district is looking at which textbooks might be accessed in electronic versions, but will still be using paper texts for the time being.

From my point of view, the transition to electronic texts cannot happen fast enough. They will be cheaper and they will be more easily updated.

Government and history texts, in particular, should be in electronic form, because the world is so rapidly changing.

Congratulations to WISD for taking this step forward.