My friend Heather Gruenthal is the president of CSLA (California School Library Association) for this year, and she asked me to do the logo for the conference. It was her idea to have it be an homage to Hamilton, which I think is very clever.

     I did isolated versions of the male and female silhouettes, to make it easier to use them as incidental images here and there and everywhere. I'll probably use them in my high school library somehow. 


     Look, it's Bertina! your favorite library demon from SMELLS LIKE LIBRARY (the comic)!

You can get this delightful image on a coffee mug HERE,

-or as a quality art print HERE!

     This is one of Bertina's darker moods. She actually loves her job, and feels passionate about books and reading. But she's also an overachiever, and sometimes that can wear you down, especially at a time when libraries are under-funded and under-appreciated.

     Other products available in my Society6 store HERE.

T-SHIRT : Cheshire Cat With Dewey Decimal Hat

     Did you know you can buy a t-shirt with my version of the Cheshire Cat from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland on it? Only with Library Dewey Decimal Number 636.8 on the hat? Well, you CAN! It's amazing, right? Click the image below to see the product page on Amazon. It's available in sizes for Men, Women, and Youth, just lick on which one you want. (I mean "click.") Also color options.
     Shirts run a little small, so order a size or two larger than you think you'll need. 

Imagine this with "In This Style 10/6" replaced with "636.8" Because that's the Dewey Decimal classification for cats, you know!


     A recent and furiously popular book in my library is Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed In Blood. The sequel, Girl of Nightmares, was released in August this year.
     The student who first urged me to get these books was in the library this morning, and said doubtfully, "We don't have Girl of Nightmares, yet, do we?"
     I said, "Why, yes, we DO! It just came in a few days ago."
     "REALLY?! 'Cause I will borrow the shit out of that!"
     I didn't even bother to say anything about the language, since it was used in such elated library context.

NOTE: We still have no actual book budget from the district, these new books I manage to get are all purchased through the "Amazon Associates Program," which is an ongoing fundraiser in which the school gets 4% of anything purchased through a specific link.


#1 in the "Song of Ice & Fire" series
          I have a weakness for epic fantasy of the Medieval kind.  Kingdoms at war, court intrigue, all of that.  Of course I LOVE George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice & Fire, but since the next book in that series is taking FOREVER to be completed, I've been on the hunt for other big honkin' door-stopper dark Medieval fantasy novels.
#1 in "Kingdoms of Thorn & Bone" series
          Gregory Keyes' Kingdoms of Thorn & Bone had me on the edge of my seat.  I read all 4 books in the series one after the other.  Then I discovered Tad Williams' Shadowmarch, and read the first 2 books, now waiting eagerly for the 3rd in paperback.
#1 in "Shadowmarch" series
          I'm such a sucker for stories that begin with brutal royal assassinations, followed by the heirs of the kingdom having to go on the run as fugitives.  All the better if one of the princesses, not some douchebag prince, reveals herself to be tough as nails and most fit to eventually rule the kingdom.  The antithesis of the Disney Princess syndrome.  And I like magic in SMALL doses, thank you.  Nothing crass or hokey, please.
#1 in the "Acacia" trilogy
          Which brings me to Anthony Durham's Acacia trilogy.  Probably the closest thing I've found to Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, and I don't mean that it's a rip-off.  It's epic and masterful and I can't wait to get my hands on the 2nd book, The Other Lands.  By the way, each of the books I'm talking about here average 800 pages, which is a requirement for me when it comes to dark fantasy epics. 
#2 in the "Eyes of God" series, but the BEST cover illustration ever, right?
          Now I'm totally engrossed in John Marco's trilogy: The Eyes of God, The Devil's Armor, and The Sword of Angels.  I've finished the first two, and will have to obtain the last one soon.  I know it's super nerdy, but I find it really awesome that the focal point of the kingdom in Marco's series is a giant LIBRARY.  Wars are fought over it, partially because of what a library stands for, and partially because of a mysterious and revolutionary "cataloging machine" built by the Librarian.  (It just figures that even in fantasy fiction people only get pro-active about the library when technology is involved.)  Plus there's a magic city across the desert where the crippled and deformed obtain miraculous powers from long-dead spirits with the help of a midget called The Witch of Grimhold.  How cool is that?  Well, I mean it's cool if you're a fantasy nerd like me.
          Toward the end of the second book in the series I ran across the following line that sells the whole thing, as far as I'm concerned.
          "I think you've brought poison into my library, Baron Glass."
          That one line is all I need to be totally hooked.  And I wish MY name was "Baron Glass."


          Because of our lack of any book budget I try to get my coworkers to donate their books to our library.  A teacher friend of mine just brought in two giant bags full of science fiction, all hardback.  Some of it was totally awesome vintage stuff, which I immediately covered with those nice mylar book jackets. 
          My favorite is Science Fiction of the 30's, compiled by Damon Knight, copyright 1975 Bobbs-Merrill. 

          It collects stories and illustrations originally published in the 1930's.  A lot of the illos are lame and/or too dark, but I found one that's a keeper.  It's from a story called "The Mad Moon," by Stanley G. Weinbaum.  Here 'tis:
The captions read: (L) "Get Out! Beat it! Scram!" he shouted at the giggling, gibbering creatures--
(R) The great, idiotic heads, the silly grins, and giggles--those giggles would drive him crazy.

          I'm keeping that one for myself.  It's too fragile and cool.