Posts Tagged With: Lauren Bjorkman

Librarian Superheroes: Ellen Bosman

Welcome to LIBRARIAN SUPERHEROES–the unsung defenders of books. Ellen Bosman is a librarian at the University of New Mexico. I caught up with her in the middle of a challenging mission, cataloguing books by New Mexico Authors. Her cape made quite the impression. Lucky for us, she took time from her dangerous mission to answer a few questions from a pesky reporter.
Ellen reading in 2008

Ellen reading in 2008

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

The ability to be in more than one place at a time. I would be simultaneously kayaking, bird watching, and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.

What is the best thing about your job?

Helping people with their research questions. I love the combination of detective work needed to find an answer and knowing

I helped the user. Plus I learn about many subjects along the way.

What is the worst?

Being in administration, I wish I had more opportunities to work directly with users on their research needs.

What are you reading now, and what do you think about it?

I am on the Stonewall Book Awards committee so read a lot of gay/lesbian books. Unfortunately I can’t comment on those books

until the awards are announced, but I can comment on a few I enjoyed last year.

Very cool! Tell us more…

One my favorite genres is young adult fiction. I really enjoyed Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie, by S. J. Adams. I read the book in one day. The fast pace, breathless nature of the writing/story was engaging and reminiscent of the headiness of being in high school, feeling like everything is earth-shattering and must be taken care of NOW. The rush and confusion of first love, the risk-taking, the cliques, the clunker cars with not enough gas or enough money for gas, the realization of religious hypocrisy–it all felt very realistic. I just had to keep reading to find out what happened. I found the plot unpredictable and the characters engaging. I think everything about the book was fun, from the cover art and title, to the writing style and characters.

Art on Fire by Hilary Sloin is a somewhat unusual work of fiction. It is a pseudo-biography, complete with fake footnotes and art reviews, of lesbian artist Francesa desilva. Tomboy Fran lives in the shadow of her genius sister Bella in their otherwise typically dysfunctional family circa late 1970s–early 1980s. Fran meets Lisa, also a genius, at one of her sister’s parties for the socially inept. Thus begins Fran’s only love, an on again-off-again relationship burdened by Lisa’s internalized homophobia, her own familial baggage, and Fran’s belief that she can never really, truly love. Fran runs away from home, begging Lisa to join her. Ultimately, Fran ends up living a life of artistic deprivation. The isolation suits her and, through a serious of coincidences, she becomes a famous artist, eclipsing her sister’s success.

There are several layers of mystery in the story and the reader is invited to read between the lines–and footnotes– looking for the truth but the mystery is only a subtle part of an otherwise tragic story, filled with broken people, thwarted desire, unfilled dreams. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the scholarly art analysis of Fran’s work with the rest of the story. The reader almost has to laugh at the art reviews, as each attempts to decipher the meaning in Fran’s art within the context of feminism and lesbianism while the reader knows how each piece came about and why. A story of contradictions and sadness.

My TBR pile just grew. Tell us a story about yourself or about a librarian you know that runs counter to the myth of librarians as retiring, spinster-ish, bookworms.

At my last job I was working with a colleague on the reference desk and another librarian came by. We were carrying on some discussion when a patron asked us to be quiet. Clearly we were a chatty bunch, social to a fault—literally. The image of librarians as quiet, etc. has become a trope, media’s code for communicating precisely that someone is quiet, retiring, and book-ish. However the advent of the Internet, e-books, and other technologies in the library has mitigated the image to some extent. Librarians are now portrayed as tech savvy.

Is there a librarian in your past that influenced you?

I don’t recall the names of my local, branch librarian in NJ and my school librarian. I’ve always been drawn to libraries and have a very vivid memory of my first library visit. I had just learned to write my name and my mom took me to the branch library. I was in heaven and asked the librarian how many books I could take home and she said “as many as you can carry.” That response wowed me. Plus, I wanted to play with all the stamps on the librarian’s desk. Alas, by the time I became a librarian stamps were virtually non-existent.

Are there topics you feel writers need to write about more?

There is always more room for stories with characters of diverse ethnic backgrounds.  I would like to see a greater variety of religious fiction based on faiths other than Christianity; the latter has pretty much cornered the market.  The growing visibility of transgendered individuals indicates the need for more serious fiction featuring transgender individuals and bisexuals could also be included in that category.

What do you have to say to readers?

Read as many books as you carry. Read outside your favorite genres to broaden your horizons.

Great advice! That’s why I belong to a book club. It forces me to read books I never would’ve picked up on my own.

Thank you for stopping by, Ellen. Have fun snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef!

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The Winner!!!

Congratulations to Mary Catherine Miller for winning the Be an Advice Columnist for a Day contest. She’s a doctoral student at Ohio State University working in Literature for Children and Young Adults. Check out her excellent blog, Travels with Mary.

And read her pithy and fun advice below:

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

I’m not short, but my girlfriend is taller than me. My friends laugh about it. They call me stumpy and pat me on the head. I don’t want to go to school anymore. Should I just break up with her already?

Taller Than Average

 
Dear Taller than Average,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Long legs let the heron see more than the duck.

Don’t your friends know that the average height of a model is 5’11”? Tell them there’s no way you’re going to set them up with her friends if they keep patting you on the head.

Miss Fortune Cookie
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Chatting it up on World Talk Radio

Cynthia Brian will interview me tomorrow for her program StarStyle on World Talk Radio.

You can catch us live at 3 pm Pacific Standard Time (California) and  6pm EST ( East Coast). Just click on the link at the bottom.

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Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman is an uplifting story about the struggle between being true to yourself, fitting in, and considering the needs and desires of the people you love, told through a teen’s funny observations as a secret advice columnist. It deals with the moment all young people must face: choosing the kind of adult they will become.

When the Saudi royal family vacationed in Los Angeles, they hired Jayne Amelia Larson, an actress struggling to make ends meet, to be their personal chauffeur. Her book, Driving the Saudis is a story about the corruption that nearly infinite wealth causes, and about what we all do for money.

The Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the Oscars, and Emmys? What do they all have in common besides glamour, glitz, and garb? They influence the movies and TV shows we watch, support, and mimic. SAG-AFTRA members Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany go behind the scenes to bring you the gab.

Be sure to tune into Be the Star You Are with Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany every Thur 3 PM PT on World Talk RadioLog on to Listen:
http://www.worldtalkradio.com

 If you miss us, you can catch the podcast later.

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Miss Fortune Cookie in Hawaii

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My friend Erica and her daughter, Isabelle in Hawaii. Mele Kalikimaka!

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Spotlight on Yellow Mini, a novel in verse

yellow miniMark, Mr. Popularity, tools around town in the yellow mini left to him by his recently deceased father; his new girlfriend Stacey can’t believe her luck, but doesn’t understand Mark’s odd need to disappear into the woods from time to time; her former friends Mary and Annabelle try to find their place in the world – shy Mary transforms into a concert pianist and Annabelle into an world-changing activist with the idealistic and adoring Christopher by her side. In the background, the teens’ parents struggle with their desire to protect their children, yet give them room to grow into the adults they must become. Each voice tells his or her story in powerful free verse.

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I read this book in a single day, very unusual for me. With few words, Lori Weber paints a picture of changing friendships, and how reality can be ever so different than the fantasy. I particularly enjoyed the plot twists.  The characters are beautifully drawn, each one lovable despite his or her flaws. This is a powerful and uplifting story.

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Nominated for the QWF Literary Award!

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My mega-giveaway includes a Kindle Fire. Seriously!

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Jessica of Crossroads Tours has organized a three week tour

AND A MEGA-GIVEAWAY to celebrate the release of MISS FORTUNE COOKIE.

You can win a signed copy of the book, lovely bracelets, blue sparkly nail polish,

and other goodies.

But best of all you can win a $50 AMAZON GIFT CERTIFICATE OR A KINDLE FIRE HD.

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I’m not joking. Just click on the link below, and enter at the end of the post.

May good fortune shine on you!

The Cover Contessa Rafflecopter

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Miss Fortune Cookies goes to Washington

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Miss Fortune Cookie is in the building!

A new book is as sweet as a newborn baby. I talk to mine in a funny voice and pat its soft head.

Every morning.

 It rarely cries. It already sleeps through the night.

Best of all is its innocence.

It has never thrown a tantrum, told me it hates me, or left its socks on the floor.

I know that day will come, of course. Until then, I will sing lullabies.

 You can win a copy through Goodreads. The giveaway ends the 15th at midnight.

You can also enter at Jelly Loves Books. Win a copy of the book plus some cool swag.  Entries will close on November 20.

For a peek at the first page, plus one more chance to win a copy, visit First Page Panda.

If you don’t win (sad face) , buy a copy, borrow it from your library, or steal one (from you best friend, not a bookstore).

Then curl up under the covers and enjoy.

Categories: Book Launch, Miss Fortune Cookie, Real Life, the love of writing | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Following advice vs. falling in love

Jelly Loves Books is hosting a giveaway of Miss Fortune Cookie plus some cool swag.

Go here to enter!

You can also read my guest post about how falling in love and following advice don’t mix.

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Dad asks too many questions

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

My dad is driving me crazy. Whenever I bring a boy over, he asks a ton of embarrassing questions. Can you do your own laundry? When was the last time you changed the oil in your car? What’s your gpa? How fast can you run a mile? And if he doesn’t like the answers, he says we can’t go out. What should I do to keep myself from strangling him?

Sneaking Around

Dear Sneaking Around,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: A girl with one chopstick will go hungry.

Think of you and your dad as a team. He’s looking out for you, making sure you don’t end up with a loser—a slob that will expect you to do his laundry.

Start a conversation with your dad about what to look for in a partner. And—if you don’t care about how fast your boyfriend can run—share your feelings on the matter.

Good luck!
Miss Fortune Cookie

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