Monthly Archives: December 2016

Nicola Yoon Author Event

 

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe

Carl Sagan (via The Sun is Also a Star)

Nicola Yoon visited R.J. Julia, an independent bookstore in Madison, on Thursday, December 1 to promote her latest book The Sun is Also a Star. Yoon gained notoriety when John Green re-tweeted Yoon’s #weneeddiversebooks campagin photo. This exposed her first novel, Everything, Everything, to a wider reading audience. By the time The Sun is Also a Star was named a National Book Award finalist for the Young People’s Literature category, Yoon was already a popular figure in the YA reading community.

All of this, in addition to simply loving her books, led to a very excited librarian walking into R.J. Julia a few minutes before the free event began. I was elated to find the room packed with teens, and Yoon must have felt similar excitement. Instead of a traditional reading, Yoon decided to use a Q&A format, allowing several readers to ask insightful, funny, and interesting questions. Although most audience members had clearly read The Sun is Also a Star, Yoon was careful to refrain from any plot spoilers. Instead, she discussed the inspiration for writing a book about a scientifically-minded Jamaican American girl meeting a poetry-loving Korean American boy and connecting over the course of a single day in New York City. Yoon explained why she used the specific title (Carl Sagan), what inspired the Natasha character’s worldview (Carl Sagan), and some of the “aside” chapters that delve into cultural, scientific, or moral concepts (Carl Sagan).  Finally, Yoon was more than happy to answer any questions about her previous novel, Everything, Everything.

Yoon then held a book signing for which, of course, this librarian stood in line. Overall, Yoon was funny, engaging, and open to all kinds of questions. From a timid question about the cover art to complex questions about being Jamaican-American, Yoon was a hit with all the adults and teens in the room. This librarian gives two thumbs up.

To hear and read more about Yoon and The Sun is Also a Star, watch this reading and read this interview.

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Reading for Fun in 2016

Hello readers,

As Winter Break quickly approaches (4 days!), we’re taking a look back at the most popular books of 2016. These are the fiction and graphic novels you grabbed off the shelf over the past year. The numbers are a little unorthodox – no “Top Ten” here – but hey, 16 for 2016 works out pretty well.

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Fantasy continues to be a favorite genre, although sci-fi, historical, and realistic fiction also make appearances. Aristotle and Dante continues to be popular four years after its release; the sweet story of two boys coming of age in Texas is proving to be a lasting favorite. Three Dark Crowns deserves special mention: we got it at the end of September, so it’s only had three months to rack up its five checkouts. As for graphic novels, maybe Saga is cheating by having so many volumes – but each one would have had enough checkouts on its own to make the list.

No matter whether you’ve read most of these books or none of them, thank you for reading and for visiting the library! See you in 2017!