Monday, March 23, 2009

25 Classic Albums Teens Still Love

The decades may be gone, but many of today's teens still have an affinity for the albums that for generations have carried a cult following in America's high schools. Here are 25 time-tested albums that teens at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh have decided. Click the title to find it (or at least a "best of") in the catalog!

The Beatles
Abbey Road (1969)

You can't pick just one, but The Beatles' last album to be recorded vies for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the most iconic cover. It also contains a nice array of songwriting contributions from all four members of the band, whether in Lennon and McCartney's moody "Come Together" or George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun." Mak Delaney's Pepperland is a touching teen novel you can use to follow up with any Beatles-loving teen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nice to meet you!

Hey folks,

You may have noticed a new face behind the teen desk these last couple weeks--in case we haven't gotten a chance to meet yet, my name's Tara, and I'm pretty new to both the library and Pittsburgh. I recently moved here from Portland, Oregon, and am still getting used to the city (and snow! and crazy-awesome football fans!)

Some things I'm into: records, comics, BAKING, community art projects, biking n' hiking, crafting, sewing, old movies, sarcasm, lazy sundays, vacation. Also, I'm trying to learn to play the banjo. I have a chubby tabby-cat named Miss Fridders, and hope to have a dog sometime very soon.

I'll be here most weekdays, so please feel free to say "hi" or introduce yourself if you see me around. I like to talk about comics and movies and music too, so if you need help finding something please, please come and ask me. I look forward to getting to know y'all!!!

Happy Thursday,

The largest cake I've ever baked:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Opportunities (and Books) for LGBTQ* Teens in Pittsburgh!

Local LGBTQ* organizations are working overtime to provide you with fun new programs and services. Here's what's on their calendar, including a lot of exciting FREE opportunities!

*** *** **** **** **** **** ***** **** ****

Queer Youth Connection Event in March !

FREE Bowling @ Arsenal Lanes

212 44th Street
THIS Sunday: March 22
1pm to 4pm
Snacks and Drinks provided.

*** *** **** **** **** **** ***** **** ****



Thursday April 16 th, 7:30 show
There are a limited number of tickets; please call

Contact Melissa Perkins, at (412) 441-9786 x233 or to reserve yours today

*** *** **** **** **** **** ***** **** ****

Persad Youth Services AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM is Starting TUESDAY APRIL 14th!

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3pm to 7pm
At the GLCC, (5808 Forward Ave, Second Floor. Sq. Hill)

Come Drop In, use the laptops, play a game, get homework help, hang out with your friends!

For additional information, please call Melissa at 412-441-9786 x233 or Lyndsey at 412-441-9786 x220

*** *** **** **** **** **** ***** **** ****

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has recently gotten a handful of new and exciting titles with queer content. Take a look!

Bach, Tamara
The Girl from Mars

Miriam dreams of escaping from her boring small-town life and going to the big city to start her own life, especially when she develops romantic feelings for a girl named Laura and forms a new outlook after a weekend in the city.

Ryan, P.E.
In Mike We Trust

When Garth's uncle Mike comes to visit, he's like a breath of very needed fresh air. But before long, Garth is helping Mike with some mysterious things.

Hegamin, Tonya
M+O 4evr

In parallel stories, Hannah, a slave, finds love while fleeing a Maryland plantation in 1842, and in the present, Opal watches her life-long best friend, Marianne, pull away and eventually lose her life in the same Pennsylvania ravine where Hannah died.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beware the Ides of March Weirdness!!

According to Oxford Reference Online, an Ide is a "day falling roughly in the middle of each month (the 15th day of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th of other months) from which other dates were calculated." So the Ides of March seem to have been only bad luck for Julius Ceasar, but we like to warn ourselves every year anyway, which is weird.

If you'd like to indulge your curiousity for the weird during this Ides of March, the library has plenty of oddities, whether books about weird things or books that are just weird (in no particular order):

Bat Boy Lives! : The Weekly World News Guide to Politics, Culture, Celebrities, Alien Abductions, and the Mutant Freaks that Shape Our World, by David Perel and the editors of the Weekly World News.

Now you don't have to hide your urge to pick up Weekly World News in the grocery check-out. All the absurdity that's fit to print is here in this handy volume.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Encyclopedia of the Bizarre, Amazing, Strange, Inexplicable, Weird, and All True!, by Julie Mooney and the editors of Ripley's Believe It or Not!.

This is the 'real' version of Bat Boy, with stories like that of Randel Wise, who designed contact lenses for chickens.

Rear Ends : Found Photos from the Collection of Roger Handy, edited by Roger Handy & Karin Elsener.

Butts, no further explanation needed.

Odd Jobs: Portraits of Unusual Occupations, by Nancy Rica Schiff

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a golf ball diver, body piercer, or a video game tester? This is the book for you.

Elephants on Acid : and Other Bizarre Experiments, by Alex Boese

Have scientists ever really tested animal resurrection? You bet, and you can read all about that and other odd experiments here.

The Hypochondriac's Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have, by Dennis DiClaudio

A hypochondriac's dream come true and worst nightmare - odd and frightening diseases.

The Book of Bunny Suicides, by Andy Riley

A classic of weirdness - learn all the ways that bunnies could die.

Read any weird books lately? Please share them in the comments section.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Top 10 Most Annoying Teen Fiction Trends, by Katie

  1. If I read one more book where a character is “oh my god so diffrerent” because they dress in black-and-hot-pink outfits and thinks that nobody understands them because they listen to Panic at the Disco and are just sooo alternative, I will scream. This does not make you (insert sparkles here) TOTALLY UNIQUE. It just makes you look like you know nothing about pop culture – look, this may have been a fresh and new idea for a protagonist, like, twenty years ago, but right now emo kids are right up there with the common cold. (Top offenders: most books involving vampires; Scarlett in Ghost Girl. Averted in: Sucks to Be Me – as well as subverted with Raven, the vampire wanna-be who thinks she’s qualified just because she shops at Hot Topic.)

  2. Conversely, wearing polo shirts and lots of pink does not make you a shallow, vapid idiot who looks down your nose at everyone. Sorry, but people just don’t fit into perfect little boxes just like that. (Top offenders: any book about “elite” cliques ever; most books involving vampires. Averted in: Just Listen; Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks; most likely Frankie in The Disreputable History of Frankie Laundau-Banks. Absolutely subverted in The Squad – FBI-backed cheerleaders!)

  3. Chosen ones suck. I personally don’t believe in destiny – “you make your own dream,” as John Lennon might say. I’m sorry, but when a character MUST SUCCEED BECAUSE THEY ARE CHOSEN BY A GREAT PROPHECY (okay, I’ll quit it with the caps lock) it takes all the fun out of it. (Top offenders: Harry Potter – because it was (sparkle) PROPHECISED!; most YA fantasy. Averted in: the Young Wizards series – Nita and Kit chose to become wizards of their own free will. Completely, 110% subverted in: Un Lun Dun – never underestimate the power of the Plucky Comic Relief.)

  4. If I see the words “Manolo Blahnik” in a book about middle school students one more time… (Top offenders: that horrible Clique series (shudder!); Gossip Girl imitations for kids too young to watch the show.)

  5. “Oh, look, a book by a fifteen-year-old author! We’ll publish it because that’s a cool gimmick, despite that there’s no editorial work done whatsoever and it’s a blatant Lord of the Rings rip-off!” (Top offenders: do I even need to tell you?)

  6. Books trying to ride the wave of Twilight’s success bug me more than Twilight does, and that’s saying a lot. The local Barnes and Noble is clogged with vampire/human romances… and let’s not even get into fairy/human, werewolf/human, pixie/human, vampire/vampire, vampire/werewolf… the sheer uncreativity of the teen market is mind-boggling. (Top offenders: Marked; Wicked Lovely; Need.)

  7. Unrealistic books where the main character wins a competition and is thrown into the (sparkle) WILD WORLD OF SHOW BUSINESS! Which is dramatic and full of beautiful people! Like the heroine! Only she’s normal! Even though she really isn’t and these books are just made to have us raise our hopes of stardom, only to be crushed when we realize that LIFE ISN’T LITERATURE! Gag me. (Top offenders: Starlet; almost any book on this subject. Subverted, though still not successfully, in Secrets of my Hollywood Life, about a teen actress who decides to live as a “normal” high school student.)

  8. Authors trying to write in Meg Cabot’s style. She’s got the gift of making her books both semi-cheesy and yet ridiculously fun (especially The Princess Diaries) – her imitators are just cheesy. Louise Rennison wanna-bes are pretty bad too. (Top offenders: British teen chick lit; LBD -worst. Book. Ever. Averted in: um, Meg Cabot and Louise Rennison.)

  9. And since it seems I can’t go a blog post without going on a manga-related rant: the spells, oh my god, the long, awkwardly translated, always-seeming-to-include-the-word-dragon spells. Can’t they just, I dunno, snap their fingers or something? (That’s why flame alchemy is useful, you know – you don’t need to talk, so you can maintain your dark-tall-and-brooding character trope!)

  10. One word: Twilight.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Becca's Book Review: Brisingr

In the elven language, brisingr means fire. It makes it the perfect title for Christopher Paolini’s third book in the Inheritence Series. With only one book left, Brisingr does an amazing job of getting you ready for the final battle between Eragon and Galbatorix. Let me first suggest that you read Eragon, and Eldest first. They provide a great foundation for this captivating work, but this review may spoil just a teensy bit if you haven’t yet read them.

We first find our hero Eragon, with his cousin Roran, pursuing their goal of rescuing Roran’s love, Katrina. Most everybody is familiar with Twilight, the teen romance with a little bit of action, well, Brisingr is an action tale, with a tiny bit of romance. And I mean tiny. We’re talking 3 chapters tops, in a 700+ page book.

Another huge deal is Eragon and Saphira (can’t forget the total bamf dragon) begin to fulfill their oaths, while making more, and more. Since the previous king was betrayed and killed by Murtagh, Eragon’s own brother (omigoodness!) a new dwarf king is elected, leading Eragon to plenty of danger in the underground kingdom.

Did you ever have to work with somebody you completely despised for your entire life? Well the humans of the Varden did. The ugly mofo Urgals joined up with the Varden in Eldest, and now we get to see how this combo plays out. *Hint, it involves bulky manly Roran vs big horned ugly guy. AHHHH!

Another important race is the elves. They have joined in the fight too, slicing and dicing through Galbatorix’s oath slaves. When Eragon returns to the Weldenvarden, the Cripple that is Whole, teaches him many things, like how Galbatorix gets his power (you’ll never guess hahaha) and how Eragon came into this world (not the gorey details). Saphira and Eragon battle the entire elven forest (bad idea) and Eragon visited a man he provided the most unthinkable punishment for (it’s so cool). Plus, reading this book will teach you, step by step how to make a Dragon Rider sword (not kidding).

If you haven’t already guessed, I think this book is AWESOME. All those sci-fi freaks and battle lovers will love this too. You may even love it if you’re neither, because it’s just that good.

~Becca C.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Free tickets to see Walter Dean Myers!

Yes,it's true! Walter Dean Myers is visiting the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh THIS SATURDAY. Teens can win 2 tickets by stopping by the Teen space at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main (in Oakland) and answering our in-house trivia question. We only have two sets of tickets to give away, so stop by today!!!!