Are you participating in the Big Library Read? With so many patrons of your library simultaneously reading the featured eBook “The Four Corners of the Sky” by Michael Malone, now is a great time to spark conversation. Whether you host book club meetings or use social networking for these discussions, get the conversation started with this Reading Group Discussion Guide, provided by our Big Library Read partner, Sourcebooks. Encourage users to think of their own questions to prepare for the Facebook chat with the author tomorrow (May 23rd) at 8 p.m. ET.
To save you some time, we’ve posted the discussion guide questions below:
1. Do you think Annie and her father are at all alike?
2. Raffy said, “That’s Jack’s gift. To make you feel it. He was an artist…He did it for art.” Do you agree or disagree? Could Jack be considered an artist? Do you think that was why he did what he did?
3. Who does Jack love? How does he show it? How do other characters in the book demonstrate love in different ways? How do the important people in your life demonstrate love? How do you show that you care about someone?
4. When Annie is 17, her father comes to visit and wants her to come and meet him the night before she leaves for Paris, but she refuses. Why doesn’t she go? Would you have gone in that situation?
5. How does forgiveness play a role in Annie’s relationship with her father? How does forgiveness play a role in all relationships? Which of your relationships requires the most forgiveness?
6. Jack is famous for telling stories. Is there a difference between the stories Jack tells to Annie and the ones he tells to the people he’s conning? Are stories necessarily lies?
7. Jack promises to leave Annie a million dollars. Of all the promises he made and broke, he keeps this one. Why does he keep this particular promise? Is this the one promise Annie would have chosen for him to keep? Which promise that Jack broke do you think Annie would have traded for this one?
8. Like the puzzle at Pilgrim’s rest, there are many different pieces of Annie’s life that have to come together before she feels fulfilled. In the end, it was Dan who put the final pieces together, who helped her make her life complete. What do you believe it takes to make a life complete and fulfilling?
9. Annie said of her father: “He’s a crook. That’s a fact.” to which Raffy replied: “Facts have nothing to do with this.” Is Jack really just a criminal, or is there more to him than Annie wants to admit? What kind of person do you think Jack really is?
10. Look at the family history, as told by Kim in chapter 6. From “The Boss” to Annie, what traits do all the Peringrine’s have in common? Are there any exceptions? What traits are shared by your family? Are there any exceptions in your family?
11. Sam tells Clark that she wants Annie to be happy. “Fall in love and be happy,” she says. Does falling in love necessarily make people happy? Did it make Annie happy?
12. Annie spends much of the novel wondering about her father and her ‘real’ mother, even though she has Sam and Clark. Who is Annie’s family? How do you define family? Who makes up the family that you have chosen for yourself?
13. What’s your opinion of Brad? Does the manner of his death affect your view of him?
14. Sitting at La Loca, Annie goes through her father’s old business cards and admits that she loved him just as much as everybody else who had fallen for his schemes, and that “love was the biggest con there was.” Did Jack con Annie and the rest of his family? Do you agree that love is a con? When have you felt conned by love?
15. Look at Clark and D.K.’s reaction to Annie joining the Navy. Both of them are veterans of the Vietnam War, with vastly different experiences and feelings toward the military. How has that affected their views of world? If you know anyone who was or is in the military, how has that service affected their world view?
16. When Jack covered up his father’s murder with the fake suicide note, was he really protecting Sam? Or was it about protecting his mother or himself? What would you have done in the same situation? In what situations would you consider it acceptable to evade or lie to the authorities?
17. Our history can shape who we are as people. Jack and Sam came through a very sad and abusive childhood to grow into very different people. How has your childhood shaped your present? Do you have siblings that grew up with you, but turned out to be very different from yourself? Why do you think that is?
18. Annie had been searching for her mother all her life, while Ruth never knew she had a daughter. What do you think Ruth and Annie were feeling as they sat across from each other at that table in Cuba? How do you imagine you would have felt in Annie’s shoes? In Ruth’s?
19. Annie, Sam, Clark, and Jack all face death or abandonment at some point in their lives. Sam takes comfort in movies, Annie in speed. How has death affected each character’s approach to his or her own life? Have you experienced a traumatic loss that drastically affected your approach to your life? In what ways did your behavior change after that loss?
20. Look at the different ways Sam and Annie respond to the news that Jack might be dying. Compare them to the family of Coach Ronny Buschstabe, whose funereal Annie accidentally attended. Which family do you relate more closely with? Is there a “normal” way to grieve?
21. Annie started this story at 90 mph in her Porsche and ended it walking down the aisle and then standing at a grave. What happened to make Annie slow down in life? What events have occurred in your life to encourage you to take things a little slower? Did you always recognize those events or people at the time?
Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.
I became acquainted with the nomadic Cullen family and the small unassuming town of Forks, Washington, a few summers ago. I’ll admit I was not originally a fan of ‘Twilight’. Several close friends had tried convincing me of the merits of the four title series by Stephanie Meyer. However, I didn’t believe that any adult could enjoy a world of teen vampires who fall in love against the backdrop of the gloomy Pacific Northwest. Eventually, I agreed to try the first book and to my surprise I became immersed in the story. I stayed awake at night devouring the tale of Bella, Edward, and Jacob. The series became an international phenomenon, and like ‘Harry Potter’, the story was so inviting that many who read it (including me) wished they could be a part of this magical story. And that is the beautiful thing about reading! While turning those pages, you ARE a part of the story.
The Hot Reads:
Each summer, I create a “hot reads” list; titles that are causing a stir within the book world and first title on the list is the National Bestseller ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ by Trenton Lee Stewart is a magical series with elements of Charlie and his Chocolate Factory as well as the escapades of our old friend, Harry. When a peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. But in the end, only four very special and gifted children will succeed and be invited to attend the prestigious Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened.
A juvenile title that has been quietly gaining popularity is ‘Where the Mountain Meets the Moon’, a Newberry Award Winner by Grace Lin. This story infuses the myth of dragons, folklore of China and the quest of a very brave young girl named Minli. This simple story is reminiscent of ‘The Wizard of OZ’, with its whimsy and adventure.
I have a feeling that ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio is going to be the book everyone is talking about this summer. The story chronicles the fifth grade year of Auggie Pullman who was born with a facial deformity. It starts “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” I think I might select this one as the summer’s first “hot read”. It will be a good one to begin with, a new season and a new perspective. What will you read this summer?
These titles and many more great summer reads are available for purchase in Content Reserve in the Summer 2012 YA/Juvenile Read-A-likes list.
Renee Lienhard is an Analyst for the Collection Development team at Overdrive
OverDrive Media Console v2.6.5 is coming to iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch) and Android on May 28th.
This release is all about bug-fixes to improve the end user experience. Here is what’s coming out in v2.6.5:
- Enhancements made to improve the speed of the in-app browser (iOS)
- Fixed a bug that causes the app to crash when working from a proxy server (iOS)
- Improved bad SSL certificate error messaging (iOS)
- Fixed a bug that prevents page turns beyond page 161 on some devices (Android)
- Various minor bug fixes and performance improvements on both iOS and Android
Due to a change in Apple’s privacy policies, we’ve had to make changes to the way we handle licensing of EPUB eBooks and MP3 audiobooks. As a result, the OMC for iOS v2.6.5 update will de-authorize every users’ Adobe ID. Upon opening OMC for the first time after the update, users will be prompted to re-authorize.
Audiobook users that have only partially downloaded an audiobook prior to the update will need to return to the library bookshelf to download any missing parts. If users try downloading missing parts directly without first reactivating the download from their library website bookshelf, they will receive a ‘downloadManagerErrorDomain:403’ error.
Note: The Adobe authorization and audiobook download issues will only impact iOS users.
We’ve created two help articles to help end users through both Adobe authorization and audiobook download:
If you have any questions, please contact support through Content Reserve under the Support tab.
Here at OverDrive, one of the most common requests we get is for recommendations of young adult titles that can attract the interests of today’s savvy, gadget-equipped, imaginative youths. Although we can suggest titles that are circulating well, it is often hard to satisfy the interests of every love-drunk teen, junior detective, adolescent explorer, and future novelist that has access to a library card. Sure, kids have their summer reads, book reports, and class projects, but what about the titles that can take their imagination beyond the classroom?
Fortunately, the folks at TeenReads.com have compiled a list of titles that they have dubbed the ‘Ultimate Teen Reading List’. With over 400 titles, this smorgasbord of young adult books contains something for just about every kind of reader. They tout, “One of our goals each month is to inspire you to read — and to keep reading. We have found that required reading lists for school — especially summer reading lists — are not exactly inspiring. Thus we have created what we think is the Ultimate Teen Reading List — over 400 titles that we believe are perfect choices for reading and discussing. Our dream is that schools will use this list to help them make their own for summer reading or, even better, suggest that students just read what they want from this list. How did we create our list? We compiled entries from Teenreads.com readers who weighed in with their selections, and we also asked our staffers for suggestions.”
Interested in seeing what they picked? You can find the list by visiting teenreads.com.
With special thanks to OverDrive’s extensive catalog of over one million titles, we were able to recreate nearly the entire Ultimate Teen Reading List with our own collection of eBooks and audiobooks. We have made this list available to you in Content Reserve, and would like to invite you to log in and check it out. With such an amazing plethora of visionary, infamous titles to choose from, you’ll find it hard not to get inspired to buy them!
(Their imaginations will thank you.)
Rob Mooney is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive
Summer is just around the corner. Time for road trips, the beach, vacations, and lazy summer days! I can think of nothing I’d rather do today (one of the first days above 70 degrees here in Cleveland) than read library eBooks on my NOOK outside in the sun!
To help you promote your digital collection inside the library, we’ve created a Summer Marketing Kit. You can help your community cool off by getting crafty with these promotional materials. We’ve designed the smart guides with plenty of empty space at the bottom – perfect for gluing a popsicle stick to and creating an instant fan. There are also summer posters you can display around your library.
Don’t forget about reaching out to your community with ways other than inside your library doors. Post status updates of new titles via Facebook or Twitter, start a Summer Reading Digital Book Club, and be sure to promote at any festivals or community events your library attends.
Check out the Marketing & Outreach section of the Partner Portal or reach out to your Account Specialist for more great marketing ideas.
Cassie Renner is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive
Through their incredible generosity, author Michael Malone and his publisher, Sourcebooks, have invited millions of readers around the world to simultaneously enjoy ‘The Four Corners of the Sky’ through June 1st as part of the Big Library Read event. This week, readers will have the chance to chat with Michael about his critically-acclaimed novel.
On Thursday, May 23rd, at 8 p.m. ET (here’s a converter for different time zones), Sourcebooks and OverDrive will host a Facebook chat with Michael Malone, giving readers from across the globe the opportunity to ask questions about Michael’s book, his life, or anything else! The chat is open to everyone, so please feel free to share this link with your patrons.
We’re expecting a large crowd, so please submit your questions for Michael in the comments section of this blog and we’ll make sure they’re asked during the chat! Also, keep sharing your thoughts on Twitter by using #BigLibraryRead and be sure to follow Michael’s Twitter and Facebook page for updates from the author.
We’re looking forward to your questions for Michael and chatting with you this Thursday!
Adam Sockel is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive
Deal watchers, coupon clippers, and savings sleuths, listen up! HarperAudio is offering a deal that cannot be ignored. For the next two weeks, over 100 of their brand new May and June MP3 releases are on sale for a whopping 30% off. MP3 titles are compatible on Mac, iPhone, iPod and Android devices in addition to PCs, smartphones and tablets which makes listening on any device even easier.
Here’s the lo-down on some of the hottest new MP3s now on sale until May 31:
Swoon over the all three titles in the teen hearthrob romance “Crash” trilogy (“Crash,” “Clash,” “Crush“), a modern day racy Romeo-and-Juliet that follows bad boy Jude and determined Lucy, two young lovers deeply tangled in a hot and spicy love affair. Adults will eat up the steamy series as well as older teens.
Twitter sensation Kelly Oxford reads her memoir “Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar” with her trademark humor and wit. The hilariously blunt musings on life and motherhood will have even the toughest critics laughing out loud. This time, luckily for listeners, she’s not limited to 140 characters.
Fans of Kiera Cass’ “The Selection” will flip for recently released Book 2, “The Elite.” The story continues with the elite vying to win the prince’s love. Described best as YA dystopian fiction, this title is Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” meets the TV show “The Bachelor.”
Summer’s the perfect time to start listening to literary gems, series that suck you in, or nonfiction and biographies to bulk up on the facts of life. Vacation travelers will want to fill their devices with “road trip reads” perfect for long car rides while pool-goers will be popping in their ear buds while relaxing and soaking up the sun’s rays. So many reasons to love and listen to audiobooks this summer and all year round.
As they’ve always been, HarperAudio titles operate on the one copy/one user lending model. Grab the titles you had planned to buy anyways and save for summer! Visit Content Reserve for a full list of titles.
Annie Suhy is a Merchandising Specialist for OverDrive.
Are you an armchair traveler? While I do enjoy traveling to a new city or exploring a new place, I cannot always find the time or the budget to fulfill my every whim. Instead of feeling gloomy, I choose to put a positive spin on things and become an armchair traveler. When I am an armchair traveler, I hike to exotic locales and hob nob with fascinating people. When I am an armchair traveler, I am invited to be a member of prestigious social circles and hear the latest gossip. When I am an armchair traveler, I can experience a time and a place that is no longer.
For those who can explore Ireland in person, a Lonely Planet travel guide eBook can help lead the way. For my fellow armchair travelers, here are five of my favorite titles which will whisk you away to the Emerald Isle from the comfort of your home. If you have dreamed of visiting Ireland or enjoy reminiscing about your Irish experience then consider these titles as the ultimate tour of Ireland’s history and people.
“Dubliners” by James Joyce
“Ah, there’s no friends like the old friends” wrote James Joyce in Dubliners. This classic features fifteen short stories told through the eyes of common Irish citizens in beloved Dublin. A must read for anyone who enjoys stories with about Ireland and its’ people in the early 20th century.
“Winterwood” by Patrick McCabe
This book earned the distinguished title “Irish Novel of the Year” in 2007. McCabe’s suspense novel is an original work which immerses the folklore of Ireland with the story of Redmond Hatch and his family’s new life in Winterwood. If you like fiction titles with suspense than give this one a try.
“Just Mary: A Memoir” by Mary O’Rourke
This political memoir written by Mary O’Rourke earned the prestigious Irish Book Award “Listener’s Choice” in 2012. As the description says, “The book is like the woman herself: open, warm, and frank.”
“The Last Storyteller: A Novel of Ireland” by Frank Delaney
The Last Storyteller is the latest addition (2012) to Frank Delaney’s Novels of Ireland Series. Each historical fiction novel explores the beauty and intrigue of Ireland. This latest installment describes “Ireland of the 1950’s, its fully realized inhabitants, and the dynamic political and personal relationships that make for a remarkable story.”
“The Year of the French” by Thomas Flanagan
The National Book Critics Circle named it “the most distinguished work of fiction” in 1979. A work of historical fiction The Year of the French describes the efforts of the Irish patriots and the French troops who in 1798, triumphed against English rule and inspired peasants and landlords to unite and believe in freedom.
To find these titles* and more, visit Content Reserve or contact your Collection Development Specialist.
*Please note that title availability may vary by geographic region.
Renee Lienhard is an Analyst on the Collection Development team at OverDrive.
You probably know that on May 8th, thousands of popular front-list eBook titles from Hachette Book Group were added to Content Reserve. Featured Hachette authors include David Sedaris, James Patterson, Malcolm Gladwell and the list goes on. Just one week later, we have more good news – additional Hachette titles are now available! Newly added content includes:
“Art Girls Are Easy” by Julie Klausner – This newly released YA comedy chronicles the life of prodigious art student Indigo Hamlisch and the crazy events during her last summer at Silver Springs, an all-girls Performing Arts Academy. Listed as a mature and edgy YA read for all readers looking for a little inspiration, Art Girls will please all of your patrons.
“We Are Anonymous” by Parmy Olson – If you’re more interested in an exposé on high-level hacking than the travails of a gifted teenybopper, this is the book for you. Parmy Olsen takes a respite from her gig at Forbes to present an account of the intricate scheme pulled off by hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec, and their ultimate downfall. With glowing reviews the world around, Olsen will keep you on the edge of your seat.
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple– Looking for intrigue that’s a little less intense? Look no further than this novel, which follows the search of a 15-year-old girl for her mother, Bernadette, who has suddenly vanished. This inventive and endearing book will appeal to a wide variety of your readers.
Bernadette, a humorous literature title, is set in Washington, which could be why it was recently named the feature title for a program called Spokane is Reading, sponsored largely by OverDrive partners Spokane County Library and Spokane Public Library. Debra Park, Adult Collection Development Librarian at SCLD was thrilled to hear about its availability as an eBook.
“SCLD just added copies of the EPUB now available from OverDrive in anticipation of Maria Semple speaking at our October ‘Spokane is Reading’ activities. Providing digital copies greatly extends the opportunities for library members through the county to read before meeting the author.” – Debra Park
Bee may have trouble finding Bernadette in the novel, but you’ll have no trouble finding these titles and many more in Content Reserve. We are creating a cart of these titles and will put it into your Content Reserve account in the next two days. For additional customized shopping carts, contact us today at email@example.com.
Hachette eBooks follow a one-copy/one-user lending model, and there is no checkout or term limit. U.S. and Canadian standalone library systems, schools, colleges and members of consortia that have an OverDrive Advantage account are eligible to add Hachette eBook titles to their digital collections.
Jason Sockel is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.
Fort Smith School District (AR) launched their digital collection a few short months ago and they are already seeing widespread adaptation from their student body. This great success comes from early marketing and keeping their students, staff and parents up to date, educated and excited about their services. Library Media Specialist Rebecca Howe agreed to share their story to help other schools see the same results!
What did you do to prepare your students/staff for your service?
We trained all of our Library Media Specialists on the basics of OverDrive. Then, the LMS trained their staff and students at each school. We have also allowed parents and students to bring personal devices and have helped them to get started. We also recommended that they go to the public library for help. Our public library has used OverDrive for quite some time and has someone on staff to help assist patrons with their devices and issues they might have.
Have you done any special marketing promotions since your launch?
A lot of the schools provided a parent night and introduced the OverDrive platform and BYOD program (Bring Your Own Device) to parents. We also sent out the promotional flyers that OverDrive provided for us
We have an OverDrive link on every school website and our district website as well. We also have links to the software, Device Resource Center, and the How-to guides that OverDrive provides.
We plan on sending out a district wide phone call that goes to the entire staff and student body reminding them that OverDrive is available during the summer months. A lot of the elementary library media specialists plan on revisiting how to use OverDrive during the last week of classes.
What has contributed to your early successes?
We have started allowing all students to participate in BYOD and log into Wi-Fi. They are allowed to use their personal devices to read and listen to books they have checked out and/or downloaded from OverDrive. We made our BYOD user names and passwords the same as the OverDrive user names and passwords.
Since we have such a large number of netbooks issued to students for classroom use, I created a flyer that contained screen shots of how to download Adobe Digital Editions and OverDrive Media Console. I also provided one with screen shots on how to create an Adobe ID and why you create one.
Some schools made posters for each classroom that explained the different ways you can read and listen to e-books/audiobooks on desktops and netbooks using OverDrive Read and Disney Digital Books to enjoy immediately or to download the e-books/audiobooks to Adobe Digital Editions or OverDrive Media Console. We gave our elementary students very explicit but simple instructions on how to get started. We also highly recommended checking out OverDrive Read and Disney Online titles while at school on the netbooks and desktops. We have found that these are the simplest for the elementary students to use.
What has the student reaction been?
Our students have loved using OverDrive! They have also loved being able to bring their own devices and reading and listening to books from those as well.
Rebecca Howe is a Library Media Specialist for Barling Elementary, part of the Fort Smith School District.