Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Rhythm Of The Road by Albyn Leah Hall

This is one of those books that I am going to have to sit on for a while to decide if I want to nominate it or not. Superbly written and full of twists and turns, it is an engrossing and thought provoking novel.

This is a very British, very modern, edgy tale of a young woman trying to escape from the grim reality of her life, only to find that ultimately she cannot escape. Jo, the daughter of a trucker, becomes obsessed with a young singer and her band. When her father disappears, her obsession spirals out of control and she finds herself becoming more and more desperate. Eventually her desperation leads her to drugs and violence.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The New Job: An Update

I spent a very large part of today unpacking, answering email and tying up loose ends from my old job so I can't report on much about my new job except to say that everyone seems happy I am there. Toward the end of the day I got the worlds worst headache probably as a result of all the tension (and weather fluctuations). Apart from that it was a very good day. This morning my old job sent me another huge flower arrangement at work to celebrate. Then tonight I had the celebratory wine tasting event with some old friends and a couple of new ones. One friend may be scoring KU basketball tickets for Saturday so I may get to go. Woo Hoo!

Another friend and I call him our back up date. His girlfriend is on the east coast doing a medical rotation and he likes doing everything from wine tastings to concerts so she and I are always dragging him off to something or other. Next month he and I are off to the My Chemical Romance concert and he told me to send him my concert wish list and he would pick out some more to go to. Sadly he is thinking of taking a job on the East coast this summer for 2 years. Every time I find a good concert buddy they move to places like Switzerland and Philadelphia.

New Job

Today is my first day at my new job as branch manager. I thought I would post a picture so you will know where I spend most of my non-reading hours.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Favorite music of the year...

My top ten albums of 2006, plus one. Not always the most artistic that I listened to but these are the ones I played over and over. Of course, there were tons from other years but I will just stick with this year's list for now.

A.F.I. - Decemberunderground
Anna Nalick - Wreck Of The Day
Aqualung - Strange and Beautiful
The Black Keys - Chulahoma: The Songs Of Junior Kimbrough
The Format - Dog Problems
Goo Goo Dolls - Let Love In
Hoobastank - Every Man For Himself
Keb Mo - Suitcase
Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
Three Days Grace - One X
Train - For Me, It's You
My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
Amos Lee - Supply and Demand

House of Meetings by Martin Amis

My, what a pretty, pretty book.

When I refer to House of Meetings as a pretty book I am not referring to the subject matter, plot or style of the book. I am instead referring to the lovely way that Martin Amis can string words together to make beautiful lyrical sentences, succinct and inventive turns of phrase and amazing descriptive passages.

Now on to the plot, which is one of the oldest, about two brothers and their love (or lust) of the same woman. Set in a Russian prison, both brothers are sent there, for being enemies of the state. Although their crimes are the same, each has a very different viewpoint about what it is to be human and how life is to be lived in an utterly bleak and unforgiving environment.

In the end, the plot loosens a bit too much for my taste and the ending is anticlimactic. If you love to wallow in language this is a book for you, if you read for a tightly plotted novel you may want to pass on this one.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Start of the New Award Season

Here is my first list of suggestions for our final list for the Notable Book Award. As always, things will be added and drop off throughout the year. We should end up with approximately 25 books for the final list.

Abulhawa, Susan - Scar of David
Aciman, Andre - Call Me By Your Name
Allende, Isabel - Ines of My Soul
Amis, Martin - House of Meetings
Armstrong, Jon - Grey
Auster, Paul - Travels in the Scriptorium
Bass, Rick - Lives of Rocks
Begley, Louis - Matters of Honor
Benni, Stefano - Margherita Dolce Vita
Bock, Dennis - The Communist's Daughter
Bohjalian, Chris - The Double Bind
Chandra, Vikram - Sacred Games
Cheever, Susan - American Bloomsbury
Chen, Pauline - Final Exam
Clinch, John - Finn: a novel
Crane, Robert - Scott of the Antarctic
Crosby, Molly - American Plague
Cusk, Rachael - Arlington Park
Dietrich, William - Napoleon's Pyramids
Doyle, Roddy - Paula Spencer
Drake, Monica - Clown Girl
Drennan, William R. - Death in a Prairie House
Dyson, Freeman J. – The Scientist as Rebel
Ehrenreich, Barbara - Dancing in the Streets
Giovanni, Nikki - Acolytes
Glendinning, Victoria - Leonard Woolf: A Biography
Gregory, Jill - The Book of Names
Haig, Matt - The Dead Fathers Club
Hall, Akbyn - The Rhythm of the Road
Holmes, Rachel - African Queen
Igo, Sarah E. - The Averaged American
Kadare, Ismail - Agamemnon's Daughter
Kehlmann, Daniel - Measuring the World
Lear, Linda J. - Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature
Lowenthal, Michael -Charity Girls
MacMillan, Margaret - Nixon and Mao
Mailer, Norman - Castle in the Forest
Manning, Sean - The Show I'll Never Forget
Margonelli, Lisa - Oil on the Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline
Matar, Hisham - In the Country of Men
McCann, Colum - Zoli
Moore, Christopher - You Suck : A Love Story
Nadeau, Jean-Benoit - The Story of French
Norman, Michael - The Commission
Posner, Richard A - Little Book of Plagiarism
Raban, Johnathan - Surveillance
Schaap, Jeremy - Triumph
Shakfa, Elif - The Bastard of Istanbul
Shawn, Allen - Wish I Could Be There
Sheffield, Rob - Love is a Mix Tape
Smardz Frost, Karolyn - I've Got a Home in Glory Land : The True Story of Two Runaway Slaves Whose Flight to Freedom Changed History
Smiley, Jane - Ten Days In The Hills
Stewart, Amy - Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful In the Business of Flowers
Stone, Robert - Prime Green
Tammet, Daniel - Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
Teltscher, Kate - The High Road to China
Teo, Hsu-Ming - Behind the Moon
Thomas, Michael - A Man Gone Down
Todd, Kim - Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis
Toibin, Colm - - Mothers and Sons: Stories
Tomalin, Claire - Thomas Hardy
Tyson, Neil - Death by Black Hole
Vida, Vendela - Let the Northern Lights
Washington, Harriet - Medical Apartheid

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Staff Day Assignment

As a staff day assignment I had to go create a Runescape account and play the game. I know you are wondering why this should be a staff mandated activity. Luckily I am here to tell you. It is because 1) it is a popular computer game, 2) the library has computers and therefore staff are called upon to help solve computer related issues such as how to find the game.

Sadly, I ended up doing this from home because I couldn't carve out enough time during the day to get it done. Anyway, I created my character (she is very purple) and proceeded to play the game. I lasted about 20 minutes or so. I don't tend to get addicted to games because once I get the general idea I get bored. I like the idea of role playing and world building, after all, on my myspace account I go by the title Princess of the Universe, but somehow it all takes to long. I want to have a game that I just think the commands and it happens. Then I could have some fun. I just can't make my fingers move as fast as my brain wants to go. Someday I am sure it will all be possible:)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Notable Book Council meetings

All of the pictures from the Notable Book Council meetings came out really dark but this gives you an idea of where I spent three days straight, eight hours a day to debate, discuss and lobby for the best books of the year.