The madness of March has ended, and with it so did Teen Booketology. Harry Potter reigned supreme, but I can’t say I was entirely surprised. That being said, I was fascinated to see the results every week. Who won their match by a landslide, and who tied (it happened twice!)? I thought you might find it interesting too. Here’s a breakdown of each week’s results.
The biggest victory was in horror novels with MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (86%) against SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (14%). The closest match was between the graphic novels NIMONA and IN REAL LIFE, which ended in a tie. I didn’t anticipate that happening when Booketology started! Only one could progress, so in the end I referred to the ratings on GoodReads and Amazon, both which pushed NIMONA onto Round 2.
For most rounds, clear winners became apparent halfway through the matches, but this week there were several turnovers that lasted right up until the midnight voting deadline. The biggest victory was HEIST SOCIETY (82%) against THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB (18%). There were no ties this round, but it came close with the classics LITTLE WOMEN (52%) versus FAHRENHEIT 451 (48%), and romances THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (53%) versus ELEANOR & PARK (47%).
When favorites are up against each other, how do you choose? It was heartbreaking this round to see some of my favorites lose, even though other favorites won. The biggest win this round actually had the biggest win from all rounds. CINDER (89%) beat out THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (11%). By Friday, HEIST SOCIETY was beating LITTLE WOMEN by a single vote, but everything got tied up once again by the voting deadline. GoodReads and Amazon served as the tie breaker, and LITTLE WOMEN snuck by HEIST SOCIETY by a hair, making its way to the Final Four.
Ahh, the Final Four. HARRY POTTER (83%) easily beat LITTLE WOMEN (17%), and HUNGER GAMES (66%) had a comfortable lead above CINDER (34%), but only after the Teen Minecraft Club cast their votes. Until that point, CINDER barely had the upper hand.
The championship! HARRY POTTER (68%) had a pretty solid victory over HUNGER GAMES (32%), which didn’t entirely surprise me. Both are pretty iconic teen series, so I expected to see them against each other in the end, but HARRY POTTER has been around longer and had more time to ingrain itself into our lives. Personally, HARRY POTTER is the series that taught me to love reading.
Thanks to everyone who voted in Teen Booketology! As a librarian, I love to see what the favorite books in our community are. I must say, you have great taste!
Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you.
We're celebrating Shakespeare this week (it's his birthday, after all!), and you might surprised with how easy it was to connect him to some of our favorite stars of THE OFFICE.
This novel is a portrait of a marriage with the various secrets and deceptions of the husband and wife unfolding as the story progresses. The first half focuses on the husband, Lotto, a struggling actor who achieves considerable success writing plays instead. The second half focuses on Matilde as she grapples with tragic loss and her own dark past.
Arthur and his sister Dana are presented with a play, purportedly written by William Shakespeare, by their dying father, still serving prison time for fraud. Their father’s dying wish is for his children to publish this never before seen work.
This book explores the rise of William Shakespeare from his humble background to become the most famous and influential English playwright in the world. The author paints this portrait within the context of the Elizabethan world in which he grew up and which shaped his theatrical works.
Starting with her upbringing in Iowa, Kate Mulgrew tells her story of moving to New York to study theater, getting her first television role in the soap opera RYAN’S HOPE and later, her most famous role as Captain Janeway in STAR TREK: VOYAGER. However, she places more emphasis on her personal life, relationship challenges and her attempts to reconnect with the daughter she gave up for adoption.
Mindy Kaling, television writer and actor best known for her work in THE OFFICE, offers an array of humorous observations about her work, family, relationship challenges and her struggles with body image issues.
Well known for his writing and acting in the television series THE OFFICE, this is a collection of short stories varied and brilliant. The titular story is about a young boy who wins a sweepstakes contest only to discover that collecting the winning may prove more harmful than good for him and his family.
If you enjoy fantasy, historical fiction, romance, and intrigue, you may be unaware but you’re likely a Gaslamp Fantasy fan, also known as Gaslight Fantasy (but not to be confused with “gaslighting” which means to purposefully alter a person’s surroundings to make said person believe they are going crazy). Gaslamp Fantasy instead refers to stories that take place in Britain (or its former colonies) during the Regency, Victorian, or Edwardian time periods (just as gas lamp posts were being introduced to the seedy streets of London). Though similar to its Science Fiction cousin, Steampunk, Gaslamp lacks the science and machinery elements and has a firmer connection to a real time and place.
Why would you want to read a Gaslamp Fantasy? Britain in the early 19th century combines well with fantasy elements as people still clung to their traditional beliefs at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. By using a historical setting, Gaslamp Fantasy also engenders a sense of emotional nostalgia. Add into that, witty dialogue, spirited heroes and heroines, and a bit of intrigue, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a book you can’t put down.
So without further ado, here are some of my favorite Gaslamp Fantasy novels.
Set during the Napoleonic Wars, this is the delightful story of stuffy yet true-hearted British Naval Captain, Will Laurence and precocious Temeraire, the dragon. While patrolling the seas, Captain Laurence and his crew take over a French frigate on its way back from the Orient and discover in the cargo an unhatched dragon egg. However, before the ship can make it back to land, the dragon hatches. Dragons must agree to be harnessed shortly after hatching or they become feral beasts. So when Temeraire agrees to take the harness from Laurence it means that he must give up the command of his ship and join His Majesty’s Aerial Corps to become the dragon’s aviator.
Set in the Regency Era and told from two characters’ perspectives, the book begins with Zacharias Wythe, a freed slave who has managed to become England’s Sorcerer Royal where he stands as Britain’s most influential magician. However, a national shortage of magic, tense relations with other magical world leaders, racial prejudice, and rumors that Zacharias murdered the previous Sorcerer Royal combine to endanger his position. The novel then switches to the perspective of Prunella Gentleman, the daughter of an English magician and an unknown Indian woman. She lives at a school where well-bred young ladies learn to subdue their magical abilities. Convention forbids these “gentlewitches” from practicing magic, as their weak frames could never withstand sustained magical effort. When Zacharias visits the school and witnesses both Prunella’s immense talent and the dangerous methods of suppression used there, he begins to question the longstanding ban.
Practicing English magicians have all but disappeared as the 19th century begins to unfold. Replacing practicing magicians are an aristocratic breed of theoretical magicians who dedicate their lives to studying magic but would never dream of sullying their family names by actually participating in a spell. Unbeknownst to these magicians, one lone man, Mr. Norrell, has decided to serve his country by bringing magic back to England. He is soon joined by Jonathan Strange, a young man who seems to have a natural gift for magic. Together, these two magicians set events in motion that could spell doom to the entire British Empire.
Jane and Melody are two sisters hoping to make advantageous marriages. A notable young lady in Regency England must not only be beautiful and carry herself with deportment but be accomplished in music, art, and magic by being able to weave the subtlest of glamours into her home and personage. It must not be anything too garish, just simple things like making the fire glow a little brighter or swaying trees in a painting. So how do two sisters find advantageous matches when Jane has all the talent and Melody has all the beauty?
Not ready to take the full plunge into the Gaslamp Fantasy sub-genre? Check out this anthology of short stories to explore a wide range of settings, characters, and themes by both newcomers and experts in the Gaslamp Fantasy realm.
The world is becoming a bit of a scary place. New disasters are reported every day and I would like it to stop. So, I’ve decided to invent a time machine and go pack to Provo in…say the late 1870s. I think I would enjoy a slower pace and a simpler time.
In preparation, I’ve been perusing our copy of the city ordinances from 1877, just in case the laws have changed over the years, because nothing spoils a time-traveling vacation quite like getting thrown in jail. Here is a list of some of the ordinances I may need to know about:
You better get hitched! If you own a hotel, store, shop, or private residence, fronting on any street of the city, you must supply a hitching post and maintain it. And if you have an animal outside a residence or business, you must use said hitching post. (Title 7, Chapter 4, Sec. 128 & 130)
Lock it up, or it’s fair game. Between November 1st and the April 1st anyone with a stack of hay or grain in any area without a lawful fence cannot complain if any animal trespasses on or consumes any of it. (Title 9, Chapter 3, Sec. 164)
Please play responsibly. Obstruction of the sidewalk or street could result in a fine up to ten dollars. This includes activities like playing ball, quoits, marbles, jumping, rolling of hoops, flying of kites, or other games that “annoy”. (Title 9, Chapter 4, Sec. 174)
Enforcing your day of rest. Do not fish, hunt or indulge in “secular out-door amusements, or conspicuous or noisy secular labor” on Sunday. (Title 9, Chapter 8, Sec. 185)
Approved skinny dipping hours. Do not bathe “nudely” in the Provo River or any canals or streams in view of a house or road between the hours of 4:00 am and 8:00 pm. (Title 9, Chapter 8, Sec. 187)
Tone it down a little. Be sure not to disturb the peace by the “ringing of bells, blowing of horns, or other instruments”. (Title 9, Chapter 6, Sec. 181)
Freedom for fowls. Keep your chickens contained between October 1st and April 1st or they can legally become your neighbor’s dinner. (Title 7, Chapter 2, Sec. 124)
Polling your weight. All men between the age of 21 and 50 are required to pay a poll tax in the form of up to two day’s labor for the Supervisor of Streets. Or you can just pay $1.50 in lieu of each day of work. (Title 6, Chapter 2, Sec. 87)
Interested in performing your own investigation into the matter? Stop by our Special Collections to find these or other historic Provo documents.
Provo City. Provo City Council. Revised Ordinances Of Provo City. Provo, UT, Utah: Provo City, 1877. Print.