Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Instead of birthday presents...

My birthday is coming up and I thought it might be fun to do something different and get arrested this year. Ok, maybe not really arrested but hopefully raise a little money for charity. Don't worry, I will still have Birthday Month so save January 6th for dinner out and/or January 10th for something fun and different (I hope).

See below to find out how to donate and thanks for your support.

I'm proud to tell you that I'm being locked up...that's right, I'm going behind bars to help Jerry's Kids
© and MDA. To be released on good behavior I have to raise bail and I need your help!

All you have to do is click here to make a secure, online donation before
01/14/09. Your donation will help families living in our community and help guarantee me an early release. I can't wait to add you to my list of contributors.

Thanks in advance for your help.

If the link above does not work, please cut and paste the address below into the address bar of your Internet browser.
https://www.joinmda.org/2009southkclu/aliciaahlvers/

Monday, December 29, 2008

Typos and other errors

I usually save each blog post for a day so that I can go in and proofread it before publishing it. Unfortunately, I sometimes hit the "publish post" button instead of the "save as draft" button instead.

If it wouldn't cause the post to be published in everyone's blog reader multiple times I would be tempted to go in and fix a few errors in that last post.....and maybe finish it:)

Twittering

When I first started blogging couple of years ago various friends asked why on earth I would bother. I answered that my motivation was primarily to keep track of this monstrous pile of books I needed to read and, more importantly, so my out-of-town friends (most notably a good friend who moved to Switzerland) could keep up with my life and get to see a quirky side of me that my introvert side doesn't tend to let loose in public. The response at the time was that blogging sounded like a self-indulgent and narcissistic way of blathering on about myself.

Lately, I have been seeing the same kinds of arguments come up when bloggers talk about twittering. My point two years ago was, you don't have to have a blog or even read mine. Just accept that it makes me happy and gives a few friends (and my mother) pleasure.

Twitter is the same for me. I have met so many awesome Kansas City people who are not bloggers or who don't participate in the local blogger community on twitter. Unlike many of my new friends who are in the media fields, I don't treat it as a micro-blogging or marketing tool but tend to think of it as being able to text all my friends at one time with the random tidbits that pop into my mind and once again (hopefully) allow my old and new friends to get a glimpse of my quirkier side.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Books for the family

It should come as no surprise I give books as gifts. Shocking, isn't it. Luckily, the people on my gift list also like to read.

See, my whole family consists of bookworms. In case you are interested, Dad is reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin and my Nephew is reading 1984 by George Orwell.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to list the books I gave to different family members this year. This will also serve as a reminder so that I don't get them the same book again next year. Not that I would ever do that.....

Dad likes American history best but I can never resist an autographed novel:
Escape by Robert K Tanenbaum (autographed)
Bob Schieffer's America by Bob Schieffer

Mom likes a little bit of everything:
Remembrance of Murders Past by Noreen Wald - mystery paperback stocking stuffer
Shifting Calder Wind by Janet Dailey - romance paperback stocking stuffer
Captive by Joan Johnston - romance paperback stocking stuffer
Dark Angel by Karen Harper - romantic suspense paperback stocking stuffer
Intern: A Doctor's Initiation by Sandeep Jauhar - because Mom used to work in the medical field
So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger (autographed)
How The States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein - this one may get filched by Dad
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski - hot literary fiction of the year
Stealing Athena by Karen Essex - historical fiction
The Soloist by Steve Lopez - uplifting and about music...both appreciated by Mom

My Sister is a mystery buff but I threw in a couple of "hot literary novels" as well:
The Turnaround by George Pelecanos
The Given Day: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld
The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff

Grandma:
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
Red Bird: Poems by Mary Oliver
Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris

Brother-in-Law:
Planet Google: One Company's Audacious Plan To Organize Everything We Know by Randall Stross

Nephew:
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Amory Wars Volume 1: The Second Stage Turbine Blade (v. 1) by Claudio Sanchez
1984 by George Orwell
An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories: Volume 2 (Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, & True Stories) by Ivan Brunetti
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Top Ten for 2008

All of my favorite books from 2008 (so far) are now listed at Present Magazine. And be sure to look at my friend Kaite Stover's recommendations as well.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

This novel is inspired by an actual event during the 1992 siege of Sarajevo, a cellist watches as 22 of his neighbors are gunned down. His decision to play the cello in the square every day for 22 days to honor the dead profoundly impacts the lives of four ordinary citizens struggling not only to survive but retain their humanity.

This was the novel (so far) this year, that has most profoundly impacted me. It was an enormously touching novel and it brought back the horror of a time that I can still remember. I still remember being stunned and horrified that the entire world was sitting back and doing nothing. Sadly, most governments have not changed, as events in Darfur so vividly illustrate.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Road by Cormic McCarthy

I am a firm believer that the books people love reflect their "story". That part of their life that they need told and retold in a variety of ways, not as an instant therapy tool but just as something intimate and recognizable to them at the deepest levels. This is why being able to effectively recommend books to people will always be more of an art than a science.

What I have noticed lately is that my story has changed. Until a few years ago, the stories I loved, that touched me, all revolved about building family, not always biological, but family all the same, the quirkier the better. Lately though, the stories that have blindsided me aren't about that. Some still have elements of family but most are about solitude. The main character is learning self-reliance and self-knowledge. Consider last years favorite (and if I might brag, picked before Oprah and the Pulitzer committee discovered it) The Road. It is about family but also about endurance, solitude and ultimately, hope.

Monday, December 15, 2008

From last year...

I had to laugh. When I went to my library conference a few weeks ago, I went to a readers advisory workshop (how to help people find "the right" book) on the Gen X, Gen Y readers and how to help them find books. When I go to these they always give out a big list of authors that are proven winners with this crowd. I was at a concert a few days ago and the friend I went with started asking me if I had read any of the "new, cutting edge" authors. Right down my booklist we went. Every single author that he was named was on my list. (He did miss Dostoevsky though.)

Yesterday, I had a new staff member (who reads a lot) start. She is in her early 30's. As I listened to her recommend books to an 80-year-old, she was also recommending right off the list.

Here is the list...
Arthur Rimbaud
Bret Easton Ellis
Charles Bukowski
Chuck Palahniuk
Dave Eggers
David Foster Wallace
David Mitchell
David Sedaris
Douglas Coupland
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Haruki Murakami
Hunter S. Thompson
Kelly Link
Linda Barry
Mark Danielewski
Michelle Tea
Nick Flynn
William Burroughs

And some "Street fiction" to go along with it...
Donald Goines
Iceberg Slim
Roy Glenn
Sister Souljah
T.N. Baker
Vickie M Stringer

Friday, December 12, 2008

Naomi Novik

We are now reading nominations for the Notable Book Award (we were nominating book prior to December 1st) and I can no longer talk about what I am reading. These award committees like everything to be a "surprise". Anyway, I have pulled an older book review off of my other blog and dusted it off to keep you entertained.

I am currently up-to-date on the Naomi Novik series and I have to say, I really becoming a fan. The story, set during the Napoleonic Wars, is about a ship's captain who defeats a French ship in battle, takes possession of the ship and discovers a dragon egg on board. Since dragons will go feral if not convinced to "take the harness" early in life and the dragons are an essential part of the war arsenal, it is imperative that the dragon choose it's handler. Of course, this dragon chooses the captain of the ship, who liked his life the way it was, but who embarks on this new path for the good of the Empire.

What I like most about this series is the affection that develops between the gentleman Navel captain and an incredibly intelligent and strong willed male dragon. FYI: It is a series that works equally well for men or women readers (at least so far) and is one of the "hot" fantasy series for adults at the moment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Plenty of Fish

I want to take this test. Not because I have any intention of online dating again but because I like taking tests about me. I wonder if I can do that without signing up?

I could do a really long, profound explanation of why I like taking personality tests but does it really matter? After all, anything that keeps me busy and out-of-trouble can't be a bad thing.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Descartes' Loneliness by Allen Grossman

(Meditation Three)

Toward evening, the natural light becomes
Intelligent and answers, without demur:
“Be assured! You are not alone. . . .”
But in fact, toward evening, I am not
Convinced there is any other except myself
To whom existence necessarily pertains.
I also interrogate myself to discover
Whether I myself possess any power
By which I can bring it about that I,
Who now am, shall exist another moment.

Because I am mostly a thinking thing
And because this precise question is
Only from that thoughtful part of myself,
If such a power did reside within me
I should, I am sure, be conscious of it. . . .
But I am conscious of no such power.
And yet, if I myself cannot be
The cause of that assurance, surely
It is necessary to conclude that
I am not alone in the world. There is

some other who is the cause of that idea.
But if, at last, no such other can be
found toward evening, do I really have
sufficient assurance of the existence
or of any other being at all? For,
after a most careful search, I have been
unable to discover the ground of that
conviction – unless it be imagined a lonely
workman on a dizzy scaffold unfolds
a sign at evening and puts his mark to it.

from http://www.bathsheba.com/ag/

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Major: A Black Athlete, A White Era,and the Fight to be the World's Fastest Human Being by Todd Balf

Marshall Major Taylor was one of the United States most unlikely heroes. During an era of Jim Crow laws and lynching, Taylor managed to rise to the top of America’s favorite new sport to become the “fastest man alive”. Despite racial injustice and setbacks, he never lost his dignity, moral virtue or his love for the sport of bicycle racing. This is a classic underdog story detailing the life of a little known American hero.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow: A Novel of Shanghai by Wang Anyi

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow: A Novel of Shanghai by Wang Anyi opens with exquisite descriptions of Shanghai and its distinct and mysterious longtang - neighborhoods that are as much a character as Wang Qiyao, a former beauty queen whose life has gone sadly awry. Wang Oiyao, comes together with people, only to drive them away in the end, unaware of her impact on others as her country is on its people.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Birthday Month

Birthday month is on its way and it has been pointed out to me that planning is essential for a good birthday month. Since my birthday is on a Tuesday night (January 6th) I will be having the usual birthday dinner somewhere tasty but I will also need to start planning the Birthday extravaganza night out. Therefore, please mark your calender for January 10, 2009 to join me in my birthday celebration.

P.S. If you can't make that, I am open to more parties/dinners/cakes...throughout the month of January.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cats





My friend needs to find a home for her two cats. Ideally she would like them to stay together but realizes that may not be possible. They will be five years old in April 2009 - up to date on all their shots and are declawed. She will provide new litter boxes and first supply of food and litter. If interested, please email me at notablereading@hotmail.com .



Sunday, November 16, 2008

November KC Blogger Meetup

I am not sure I will be able to make it but...the next blogger meetup is next week. All blogger types are welcome.

Tuesday, November 18th anytime after 5:00 p.m.
Harry's Country Club in the River Market area
112 Missouri Avenue
Kansas City, MO

RSVP on Spyder's post

Friday, November 14, 2008

Motivational DNA Type is CSI (Connection-Stability-Internal): The Supporter

I am having a stressful day and I find personality tests to be soothing. Thank you, Bea for giving me something to do to regain my balance.

Supporters are practical, dependable and loyal. They are both people-oriented and detail-oriented. Supporters are natural supervisors. They thrive on helping others excel in their positions and will fight for the underdog. Methodical in their methodology, they like to have the facts before they act. They respect authority and organizational structure. Caring and careful with people and projects, Supporters are skillful at implementing procedures. They possess a strong work ethic. Having a clearly defined goal to work toward is important to them and they follow through on objectives with steady conscientiousness. Psychological pay is of primary importance to them. They need to feel good about what they are doing and sense that their work makes a positive contribution.

CSI Motivators: Facts and information, peer respect, sincere appreciation, private recognition, specific positive feedback, an inspiring work environment, co-workers they enjoy, clearly defined objectives, a sense of accomplishment, and time to reflect and plan.

CSI De-Motivators: Hype and hyperbole, infringement on personal or family time, perceived inequity and demands for rapid change.

Quick-Start Tips for Goal Achievement.

From Bea's Blog

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Life and Death are Wearing Me Out: A Novel by Mo Yan

Alternating between funny and horrifying, this satire sends executed landowner Ximen Nao through the second half of 20th century China in a variety of reincarnated forms, starting as a donkey and finally ending as a child. In each form, he witnesses the results of the Land Reform Movement and Great Leap Forward into present day China. In spite of the light tone, this is a profoundly disturbing and enlightening look at the impact each change had on the Chinese people.

Well...I do have a few ideas...




You Should Be a Politician



Confident, assertive, and dedicated - you know what you want in life and how to get it.

Stubborn and opinionated, you can stand your ground... even if it's unpopular.

And while you have strong views, you never overwhelm people with your opinions.

A true charmer, you subtly influence people into seeing things your way.



You do best when you:



- Work according to your own rules

- Can change the world with what you do



You would also be a good lawyer or talk show host.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Meme




You Should Be a Geisha for Halloween



According to our quiz, you'd make an ideal geisha.

Your runner up costume: Fairy

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku

In Physics of the Impossible, author Michio Kaku explores the fantastical world of science fiction and tells us exactly which of these “impossible” inventions are actually possible, at least according to our understanding of the current laws of physics. While most of these will not be seen in our lifetime, this intensely readable text makes it fun to imagine the possibilities that await future generations. Kaku does an outstanding job of making physics understandable and enjoyable, a remarkable feat for a science writer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Free e-book Friday

Ok, not actually e-books, but if you like classical music the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is offering 10 symphonies as free downloads. This will be available through November 24th.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Books & Books Meme

Name a book you have read MORE than once: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it? Every book changes the way I see life. I don't reacognize the effects but they all do.

How do you choose a book? By the pretty cover, the review, because I like the author, because a friend who has similar taste in books liked it, because it is assigned reading, because I am on a book award committee and must read or die...Take your pick.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction? Depends on the subject. I tend to gravitate toward fiction but love anything to do with Victorian woman explorers, archeology, brain research....

What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot? The books that stay with me are the ones with "beautiful" writing or at least the most memorable descriptions.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book) I have always been fond of Amelia Peabody from the mystery series by Elizabeth Peters. The author has her PhD in Egyptology and has patterned her character after Amelia Edwards, Victorian Archeologist.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment? Life and Death are Wearing Me Out: A Novel by Mo Yan

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it? Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku

Have you ever given up on a book half way in? Sure. Many. Reading is not a test or an endurance activity. Reading should be a joy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Free E-Book Friday

For a limited time, read all of Wicked, the book that started it all, including the smash Broadway musical that is celebrating its 5th anniversary this month, online, for free!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Kathleen Sibelius

Instead of watching the Vice-Presidential debates last Thursday, I went to Knuckleheads to listen to Tab Benoit. While we were there, one of my friends spotted Kathleen Sibelius in the crowd and shanghaied her for a picture.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Door by Margaret Atwood

I love Margaret Atwood. Two of her fiction novels are on my Favorite Books of All Time list. In fact, I have met her and stammered like an idiot while she signed my books. What a joy to discover that her poetry hits me the same way.

From "Owl and Pussycat, Some Years Later", a witty retelling of the well-known nursery rhyme, to the darker poem "The Hurt Child", Margaret Atwood revisits familiar themes and explores new territory in The Door. In this collection, she highlights the dark side of personal, environmental and political landscapes in taut, spare verse proving once again her virtuosity with words.


Variation on the Word Sleep
by Margaret Atwood

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

From poets.org

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Biannual Mowing Blog

I just thought I would share the fact that this is a very happy time of year for me. Why, you ask?

Because there is no more mowing! Now some of you might be thinking "mowing isn't so bad". In fact, I kinda like it. Yeah, well, you would be crazy people. I know the rest of you are doing the happy dance with me. No more dragging out the heavy mower every weekend (I am a delicate flower after all), no more environmental damage that is killing the planet causing me to be a bad, bad person (next year, I'm going electric) and best of all, no more no more mowing over dead animals causing me to being traumatized for weeks.

Now, it's time to rake! Ummm....Whoo Hooo?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Banned Book Week!



Video produced in recognition of Banned Books Week, September 27-October 4, 2008, and in cooperation with ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Free E-Book Friday

Download a freebie of A Season for the Dead, the first in David Hewson’s series featuring his detective Nic Costa.

Go to the Scribd site. Formats are PDF and TXT.

This free gift is to promote the seventh book in the series, Dante’s Numbers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Slacker Uprising

Michael Moore’s new documentary, “Slacker Uprising,” is available for viewing (and download) for free as of today at slackeruprising.com.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day, second only to my birthday and tied with National Pie day.
Arrrrrrrrrrrrr.



My pirate name is:


Captain Bess Flint



Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

And for more pirate fun...http://www.talklikeapirateday.com/wordpress/

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Alaskan Librarian

One of my fellow librarians has come up with something so brilliant that only, well, a librarian could have thought of it. He has taken all of the results from people doing Google searches and has started to put together posts answering the question that had somehow led them to his site. I have been endlessly entertained and impressed with his ability to take bizarre sets of search terms and provide clear, well thought out answers (in case that person ever comes back). He is a librarian in Alaska so I have a feeling his stats have gone through the roof lately which hopefully means that people's odd searches will provide endless blog posts for him and endless information for his readers (or at least for his geeky librarian readers).

I would do this too but 90% of the stats on my site come from authors looking for reviews of their books or people looking for reviews of those same books. Imagine that.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Watchmen Meme

YOU ARE SILK SPECTRE...

You're law enforcement material! Whether it's working vice or for the CIA, you have all the tools. You're brash, tough, and resilient. You could go far!

You'd do well on the "other side" of the law too. Consider organized crime, pornography, politics, or the tobacco industry.


WATCHMEN Profile Inventory (WPI)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Librarian's Plea

Before discussing candidates or issues, please double check to make sure facts can be verified by reputable sources. The rumors getting thrown around about Sarah Palin (or any candidate) don't end up hurting her, they hurt the Obama campaign (even if he didn't start the rumor) and makes Democrats look unreasonable and vindictive. Check out the rumor on http://www.snopes.com/politics/politics.asp or, if not covered there, look at the reputable new sources for confirmation.

Also, I would like to make a case for researching the candidates and voting based on the issues, not the personality of the candidate. Voting because we like them hasn't done us much good in the past, now has it?

Your public library is an excellent place to go to find out more. Each website has a list of REPUTABLE web resources for you to access. Please take advantage of all of the hard work your library has done to help you stay informed. http://www.kclibrary.org/elections-politics

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Elections

It is going to be tough getting my reading done for my book award committee with the election going on. I am now indulging in behavior similar to Under The Ginko. Maybe sleep isn't as necessarily as everyone seems to believe?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine

The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine is a Scheherazade of a story layering stories within stories within stories in a complex pattern that blends fantasy and reality together in one brilliant package. Osama, now an engineer in Los Angeles, travels home to Lebanon to be with his father during his final days. During his visit with his family, he remembers stories of his grandfather, a hakawati, or storyteller. Weaving in and out of his family story are the fantastical stories of Fatima, a slave girl and Baybars, a slave prince which pull together the threads of past and present reflect the modern day Beirut.

This is one of the best novels I have read this year.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Blog Day

Happy Blog Day!

BlogDay posting instructions:

  1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting
  2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending them as part of BlogDay 2008
  3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a link to the recommended Blogs
  4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and
  5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link: http://technorati.com/tag/BlogDay2008and a link to the BlogDay web site at http://www.blogday.org/

Since I read hundreds of blogs I thought I would pick one blog from a couple of my major categories.

Music Blogs - Covert Curiosity is a great blog with lots of new music to discover as well as free downloads of the recommended music. I follow a lot of music blogs but this is the only one I read religiously.

Book Blogs - Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is always a good choice for feeding my inner snark and the fact that I always find some good romance novels to recommend to customers is just a nice side benefit.

Odds and Ends - Crazy Aunt Purl - I don't knit but I love her voice. She isn't afraid to be silly or to laugh at herself, a totally endearing quality the blogosphere.

Social Networking and Tech blogs - Mashable is the blog I would follow if I could only pick one. I always find something interesting to talk about and I particularly loved that Facebook vs. Myspace evaluations.

Professional Development - Stephen's Lighthouse - Stephen is great at repackaging library and technology news for the library crowd.

Make sure you link back to Blogday.org with your post, and share your five new blog picks for this year.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Free E-Book Friday

The shortage the world will soon face won't be oil but water. Blue Planet Run shows stunning examples of this in Blue_Planet_Run.pdf (38 MB)

For ways to get involved http://blueplanetrun.org/

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Free E-Book Friday

Rare and acclaimed Doctor Who novels available to read for free!

All feature brand new artwork and extensive notes by the original authors.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hometown Hostesses

Fred Harvey reinvigorated his restaurant chain by hiring women servers in 1883 because "they don’t get drunk and get in knife fights like men." Tom Taylor leads this historical examination of the iconic waitresses and their patron, paired with a fashion show demonstrating their flair with fabrics led by Bonnie Hansen.

The Harvey Girls takes place on Tuesday, July 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St. RSVP: http://www.kclibrary.org/rsvp/2008/orderup/

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday 7/18/08

I forgot to keep track last Friday so I am doing this Friday instead so ignore the date in the title:)

Fridays are usually spent working the desk, doing paperwork and other assorted librarian type things that pretty much mirror the rest of the week. I spent most of my morning working on another incident report and spent most of the lunch hour covering staff breaks. The one big difference this week was that I didn’t have to work from 8:15 – 6. I had a branch manager meeting about security issues that met at 4 p.m. so after that I headed home and changed into theater in the park clothing. Packed a bunch of snacky foods and am heading out shortly to see my friend Amy sing in Annie Get Your Gun with my UMKC friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday 7/17/2008

  • Slept in until 9 am.
  • Ran on the treadmill while watching Lars and the Real Girl and checking Twitter/reading blog posts on my mobile Google Reader (on my phone).
  • Noticed a lovely toilet bowl leak and put out an SOS to local bloggers and friends, myspyderweb and her hubby, Kanga (aka: my wonderful, new handy-person)
  • On the way to work I stopped to buy soda and paper goods for upcoming programs.
  • At work, I checked in with the morning supervisor and talked with last night’s supervisor about training issues for the newly hired security guards.
  • Checked work email.
  • Proofread next month’s branch calendar.
  • Talked with owner of the security company about security guard issues.
  • Worked on letters, email’s and faxes for publisher letters requested review copies for the Notable Award.
  • Ate dinner and browsed the blogs.
  • Went out and worked the desk for the 5-6 pm rush.
  • Continued working on contacting publishers.
  • I always try to work the desk for the last hour we are open on my late night.
  • Went home.
Added later: Completely forgot about the girls night out event I was supposed to attend after work.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday 7/16/2008

Welcome to hell day...otherwise known as the day I work my regular job and then go work a reference desk at a university for my part-time job.

At 8:15 a staff person called in sick. It's a little late to get a substitute so I spent the morning working the desk. Most of the time I actually enjoy working the desk and would like to spend more time out there and less sitting at a desk on the phone or staring at a computer screen. We check books in and out, help people with computer problems, help people find the book they need 0r want (my favorite thing to do) and help people find information/answer questions.

When additional staff appeared I ran off to our neighborhood business association meeting. Since this is a lunch meeting it basically consists of eating lunch, socializing with my community and then listening to a presentation. Today's was about the green building going up in the neighborhood with a environmentally friendly design and a roof planted with native grasses. Very cool and when it is finished I will need to schedule a trip to my local neighborhood bar (conveniently located in the new building).

When I got back from schmoozing at the meeting I checked email (both personal and professional) and chatted with a staff person about the value of the workshop she just attended on urban literature. Since I was feeling a little tired from my late night last night I grabbed the "missing list" again so I would be up and moving around.

Finishing up my day I ate another lovely apple, yogurt dinner and headed off to the part-time job. This time of year is challenging because students have settled in, asked many of their questions and are now in the paper writing part of the process. That means that I spend this time reading blogs, investigating social networking sites, catching up on answering email for both jobs and reading professional journals while I wait for the occasional question.

One question answered all night (apart from the occasional "can you sign me on to a computer as a guest" questions).

I am now heading home where I will do a couple loads of laundry, put on my pj's, spend a little quality time with the cats, read a little and then get to sleep a little on the early side tonight. Tomorrow is my late day so I will also get to sleep in and catch up on my sleep from last night's awesome concert.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday 7/15/2008


  • Started to listen to The Dybbuk on Book on Tape to prepare for the Jewish Literature program
  • Arrived at work at 8:15 and talked with the assistant branch manager about upcoming employee time off requests, discussed repair issues with facilities staff and worked on the hold list before opening the branch at 9 a.m.

  • Read Librarian by Day’s post and realized that I no longer remember the password for the branch library Flickr account and have no idea what random birthday I used. Now I can’t re-request the password.

  • Worked the circulation desk for a while. It's a good day when I can talk to a customer about books.

  • Met with the Public Affairs department to look at meeting room space and discuss layout and event issues.

  • Ate lunch and started a new (to me) series… His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik. Apparently this series is hot. How did I not know that?

  • Talked with administration and co-workers about the bike theft issue and a plan for checking out bike locks is in the works. I also asked Human Resources for some advice about a staffing issue.

  • Every once in a while a person needs a soothing no-brain task so I grabbed a list of books that had been marked missing and spent some time checking the library shelves for them.

  • Went through a couple of book review journals and marked books that were suitable for the branch, the reading award....and a few just for me. This is one of the most dangerous tasks I undertake because it often results in a flood of personal book orders for me.

  • Talked with a staff person about personnel "issues".

  • Went home, changed and joined friends at a much needed Dropkick Murphys concert.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday 7/14/2008

  • Got up and got ready for work.
  • Checked work, Twitter and personal email accounts on my Trio.
  • Marked email that needed attention.
  • 15 minute drive to work.
  • Got the deposit ready to go to the bank.
  • Worked on the list of customer holds that needed to be pulled.
  • Opened the branch.
  • Answered a customer email.
  • Sent out a message to staff about the importance of collecting accurate statistics.
  • Sent out self-evaluation questions to staff person to complete for upcoming evaluation.
  • Investigated an online book club management system and created an account, inviting a few of the current book club participants to join.
  • Worked on a staff evaluation.
  • Called downtown to get clarification on new statistics gathering system.
  • Worked the customer service desk for about an hour where I got to answer a Reader's Advisory question (yippy!) I also checked in and out books, answered a couple of basic reference questions.
  • Dealt with a customer disturbance issue and filed an incident report.
  • Worked on Notable Award list.
  • Ate a rather boring but nutritious lunch…hummus, carrots, peach…awhile skimming KC blogs, library and book blogs for interesting tidbits..
  • Worked on finding a second leader for the newly expanded Jewish Literature program, found and invited second book discussion leader.
  • Talked with staff about the proper way to structure an incident report.
  • Talked to an upset customer about overdue fines.
  • Had a staff "birthday cupcake" and a little social time.
  • Cleaned up a portion of the “Missing Book” printout.
  • Worked the customer service desk.
  • Wrote a blog post about the Jewish American Literature program.
  • Talked with Public Affairs about various promotional details for the program.
  • Dealt with three bike theft issues and wrote another incident report
  • Stopped at the grocery store, ran home and then headed downtown for a library program.
  • Listened to my smart librarian friend do a presentation and cheered wildly.
  • Got home at 9'ish, read a bit of a notable read and then went to bed.
I took these notes last Monday as part of The Day in the Life project first seen on the Librarian By Day blog.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Food For Fines

For those of you who may have incurred a library fine or two this year (and you know who you are), you will be happy to know that our semi-annual Food For Fines program will start on Monday, August 18th and run through Sunday the 24th. Each can of food reduces your fine by $1 and all of the food goes to Harvesters. I thought I would give you a little extra advance warning this year since a few of you complained that I didn't give you enough time last year.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another free ebook

Periodically I crave a good vampire book (preferably romance) to cleanse the palette between more literary books. Sherrilyn Kenyon is always a good choice:)

If you want to try one for free, you get a free copy of the "Seize the Night" ebook. It's
also available in a free Kindle edition on Amazon. Use this link:
http://www.yearofac heron.com/ ebook.html

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blogger Meet-Up

I won't be there for this one but anyone who blogs is invited:)


Tuesday July 22nd at 5 pm

Fred Garcia Tarahumara Mexican

10001 W 87th St

Overland Park, Ks

913-403-9211


Come for the food, come for the drink, come for the conversation. Just come!Please let Spyder know if you are planning on being there so that she can warn them

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Going off the Notable Grid

I will be spending quite a bit of my blogging energy on a blog for the Jewish Literature program so I may not be posting as often (at least for a while). If any of you have something significant to say about the authors, history, trivia or books on the Jewish Literature program be sure to let me know. I can use the creative help and inspiration.

And now for my ALA fun reads!

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow - I finally finished reading my free downloaded copy of this book and then promptly went out and bought a hard copy for my 18 year old nephew. This young adult novel has a lot to say about the 9/11 America, homeland security and personal freedom. It is fast paced, has engaging characters and is suitable (and recommended) for adults as well as teens.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - This fantasy novel was named "best fantasy novel of 2007" by the American Library Association "The Reading List" Award committee. It follows the life of Kvothe, living incognito, after his larger than life heroism goes horribly wrong. There are daring rescues, evil villains and enough magic to satisfy the most demanding of readers.

Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge - If you like hard science SF, this is an author you will want to try. Rainbows End is set in 2025 and the main character has been "cured" of Alzheimers. Starting over, he must learn to use the new technology close enough to what he remembers to be familiar but difficult to navigate and learn. His granddaughter is determined to teach him in spite of his curmudgeonly way. In the meantime he stumbles into a secret plot to take over the world....or maybe not? I really enjoyed it and I do want to try more of his Hugo award winning novels.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Outstanding Nonfiction

Well, I have read a whole lot of books in the past three weeks and I have a few that I thought I would highlight. Of course, the three non-fiction titles I am still thinking about are ones in which I learned that a) the pharmaceutical industry is evil, b) the nutrition/food industry, while not evil, is confused and misguided and c) we are throwing away huge amounts of money on humanitarian AIDS relief that pretty much guarantees that it will be used in the least effective way possible. Sigh.....

The first book was Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs by Melody Petersen. This was an absolutely riveting, yet very disturbing look at how drugs get approved, marketed and prescribed and I ended up going home and analyzing every drug I take and reassessing my medical and prescription options.

Book number two was In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan and although it can be read by itself, I think of it as a companion piece to last year's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. If you have been with me for a while you might remember me talking about how this book has made me start looking at my food purchasing choices in terms of how far they have travelled and to start making a conscious effort to buy local whenever possible. In Defense is the book that is getting me to look at all of the low-fat, prepackaged foods I purchase (all of which are supposedly "good for me"). His basic premise (and yes, you still need to all go out and read the book!) is: "Eat food. Not too much, mostly plants and don't eat anything your great, great Grandparents wouldn't recognize as food." I am now toying with shopping at farmer's markets unless I have no other choice, starting a garden and making everything from scratch including my own yogurt.

And finally, The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS by Elizabeth Pisani. The author started life as a journalist and later, became an an epidemiologist researching AIDS. She has worked for a variety of NGO's and has seen the programs around the world that have worked and those that have not. Again she has more to say but the important point I took from this book is that until the US (and other countries) stop putting restrictions on this money, especially in not allowing a program to give out condoms and needles, the battle to stop the HIV virus will be a losing one. Our programs are failing because we as a nation cannot be realistic about what prevents AIDS. AIDS prevention does not work when we focus on stopping premarital, extra-marital sex and drug use. It works when we focus on preventing UNSAFE sex and the sharing of needles!

All three of these were eyeopening and fascinating books that I highly recommend reading.

Tomorrow....the fun titles I read on the flight home.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Kansas City Public Library to Host: Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature Reading and Discussion Series

The Kansas City Public Library will host the first of five monthly discussions in a series titled “Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature – Identity and Imagination” at the Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St., on Thursday, August 21.

Designed to explore Jewish literature and culture through scholar-led discussions of contemporary and classic books, the Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature program at the Kansas City Public Library will explore the theme of Demons, Golems, and Dybbuks: Monsters of the Jewish Imagination over the course of five sessions scheduled for the third Thursday of every month.

Each 60-90 minute session begins at 7 p.m. and will be led by Dr. Ben Furnish, author of Nostalgia in Jewish-American Theatre and Film, 1979-2004. Furnish is also managing editor of BkMk Press and a lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. All sessions will be limited to 30 attendees. To register for one or more of these sessions call 816.701.3407 or you may RSVP online.

The Kansas City Public Library is one of 83 libraries across the country that received competitively-awarded grants to host the Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature program that was developed by Nextbook and the American Library Association (ALA). The majority of the funding will be used to provide program participants with free paperback copies of the five books that will be discussed in the series – Satan in Goray by Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Dybbuk and Other Writings by S. Ansky, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick, and Angels in America by Tony Kushner.

“We are delighted that the ALA has selected us to host this unique book discussion series,” noted Henry Fortunato, director of public affairs at the Kansas City Public Library and lead grant writer for the project. “These five sessions at the Waldo Branch led by Ben Furnish will further our mission of encouraging public dialogue by enabling community members to engage in deep discussion on major themes in Jewish literature.”

“Monster theory is a hot area of literary research now,” added Furnish. “Monster theorists say that these supernatural literary beings can reveal a great deal about evolving cultural identity and difference. Just as medieval England’s Beowulf gives us Grendel and a dragon, so modern Jewish literature gives readers unforgettable figures like Gregor Samsa and a dybbuk, which speak powerfully to audiences making sense of their lives amid the turbulent cultural changes of the 20th century and beyond.”

The first program in the five-part series, scheduled for Thursday, August 21, 2008, will explore Satan in Goray by Isaac Bashevis Singer. An epic story of desperation and religious fervor, this first novel by the Nobel Prize-winning Singer was originally published in Poland in 1935. A dark, chilling tale that clearly reflects the anxieties of its era, Satan in Goray concerns the survivors of a 1648 massacre in an isolated Polish village who become convinced that the Messiah will arrive at any moment. Their high hopes lead to disastrous results.

Registrants for this first program in the series will be able to pick up their free paperback copy of Satan in Goray after July 15, 2008, at the Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St.

The remaining dates and books in the Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature series at the Waldo Branch include: Thursday, September 18, 2008, The Dybbuk and Other Writings by S. Ansky; Thursday, October 16, 2008, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka; Thursday, November 20, 2008, The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick; and Thursday, December 18, 2008, Angels in America by Tony Kushner.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Book Cart Drill Team Championship

I don't know exactly how to explain the Book Cart Drill Team Championship to a non-librarian so I won't even try. My only regret is that no one has posted a video of the winning teams routine yet. Below is the second place team.



I didn't see the performance so you will have to rely on another blogger to get the general idea. From the Anaheim en Mass blog:

"The crowd favorite was a team from CA who came out as mad scientists, complete with wild wigs, lab coats and a complete chemistry set on each bookcart. They danced their way through a musical number where they poured a drink in their beakers (which began to bubble merrily) and drank it. They writhed and shrank beneath their carts, stripped their outfits and became zombies - complete with ripped clothing and ashen/bloody faces.

Suddenly Michael Jackson's "Thriller" began to play and they stepped their way, zombielike, through the song w/ their bookcarts - just like the famous video but with the carts for added flair. They brought the house down, and wound up taking home the first place Gold Cart."

Friday, July 04, 2008

Meme

I found this meme on The Goblin in the Library blog, and since it is a holiday and I don't feel like posting a review and it looked pretty I decided to try it. So, I grabbed my current book off the virtual shelf and plugged it into Wordle.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Copyright and Free Books

One of the programs I attended while at the ALA conference was on copyright and online piracy. During the program, writer and editor, Eric Flint, mentioned that the Baen publishing response to this is to offer selected titles for free download and the rest of their library at reasonable (lower than paperback) prices. You can read their whole position statement about this and I tend to agree with it but the part that excited me was that FREE books are available, which is the equivalent of librarian crack. Best of all, with no DRM attached to the downloads you can share with others who might like the books. Of course, supporting your favorite authors by buying the books or asking your local library buy copies is encouraged as well.

For all intents and purposes Eric Flint's portion of the panel discussion is on the Baen website. I do wish I had written down a couple of "quotables" from Vernor Vinge and Cory Doctorow as well but I was too busy listening.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm Back!!!

In the exhibit hall at ALA....AKA: Librarian Nirvana

I have to admit, I had a fabulous time at the American Library Association. Apart from stalking Cory Doctorow, I finished my to-be-read pile (leaving books scattered throughout the country), met with my committee, attended publisher events, went to interesting programs, met cool people like Vernor Vinge (I am currently reading Rainbows End) and drank a little too much good California wine. I did forgot my business cards so I didn't do a good job with the whole networking thing and blithely told Vernor Vinge that I would email him my contact info, never dreaming that a computer scientist/author wouldn't have an online fan email address.

Oh, and I gathered up approximately 40 pounds of books to drag home with me even though I have a basement full of books that has been growing and growing and growing....but really, who can resist an advance copy of the Neal Stephenson book, Anathem even if it does weigh 30 of the 40 pounds? FYI: If you are very nice to me, maybe I will let you borrow it before the rest of the world gets to read it.

Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. – Vinge, 1993

Saturday, June 28, 2008

At ALA

I am at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim. In the past week I have read 14 books and yesterday I attended my committee meeting to discuss them all. I will give a full report when I get back but for now just know this. I am shmoozing with authors and talking about books. My life really is cooler than most people's. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Entertainment Weekly Best Books

The New Classics: Books
The 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008


Well, I have read about 2/3 of these and some I loved, some I was underwhelmed by and a couple I didn't finish. All-in-all not a bad list. I loved The Road, preferred Murakami's Kafka on the Shore and couldn't get through The Stone Diaries to save my life so always remember, everything is subjective. Never feel bad when you don't agree with the "experts".

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Meme

This explains a lot about my life.






18


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)


Take the test!







108


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior


Take the test!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Waldo Crawldo

I will not be able to attend but what could be better than drinking heavily for a good cause:)

Annual Spring Waldo Crawldo

Saturday, PM-Midnight

This annual spring pub crawl includes seven establishments all within walking distance: 75th St. Brewery, Kennedy's, Waldo Bar, Bobby Baker's, Tanner's, Waldo Pizza, and Lew's Grill and Bar. Tickets on sale now at each location. Visit all 7 the evening of the crawl and you will be in a drawing for great prizes.

Admission: $5 in advance, $10 at the door.

Waldo Shopping District
75th & Wornall
http://www.waldokc.org/

Memes of boredom

Instead of writing profound and wonderful reviews of books I posted myspace bulletins all evening at the part-time job. Since I spent so much time on them, I thought I would share them with you.

Survey #1

Who were you with last night around 9:00pm?
On a grassy knoll

Where is your sister right now?
Ummm….Colorado or India. It's hard to keep track.

What is one thing you would love to happen tomorrow?
For a knight in shining armor to swoop down and rescue me from the evil dentist.

Is your phone a flip, slide or neither?
It is actually a super secret spy phone imbedded in my arm

Do you bite your fingernails?
Not unless I am REALLY stressed out. Something that you never want to see. Trust me.

Do you like Mexican food?
Absolutely.

Did anyone see you kiss the last person you kissed?
Yes. I try to gather a large audience for these moments in life.

Do you watch a lot of TV?
TV is the opiate of the masses.

Are you hungry?
No. I had a yummy yogurt and carrot dinner in the car on the way to the part-time job. And yes, before you ask, I AM living the life.

Do you like your mom?
She's ok. I think I will keep her.

Are you tan?
Nope. Pasty white.

Do you have unlimited texting?
Super secret spy phones come with all the options.

Where were you at 9pm Sunday night?
What is this obsession with 9 pm? You got the wrong man, I tell you. I'm innocent. You'll never pin it on me.

What happened at 10:00 am today?
A stranger handed me a mysterious package with instructions to deliver it to the Russian or I would die a horrible death.

Have you kissed a boy in the last three days?
You all are just full of noisy questions today, aren't you?

How many hours did you sleep last night?
42 minutes.

What was the last text message you received?
From XO wanting to "entertain" me.

Does anyone call you babe?
Not if they want to live a full and happy life with all their parts intact.

What was the highlight of this week?
Well, the Russian was pretty cool.

Did you kiss or hug anyone today?
I took the world in a love embrace.

What was the last reason you went to the Doctor for?
To get a thorn out of my finger.
Seriously!

Do you have any birth marks?
Yes. I have the mark of "The Chosen One". All bow down and worship me. Ummm…. now people!

Who will you see the most this weekend besides family?
All my freaky friends.

Do you think you will be in a relationship 3 months from now?
Define relationship? I like to think that I have relationships with many people.

Do you drink tea?
Love it. It makes me feel very British.

Have you ever wanted something you couldn't have?
Not since becoming "The Chosen One"

What's the number one thing you want in life right now?
A super secret spy car.

Are you taken?
Where? If it is somewhere good, then yes.

Survey #2

1. What do you think happens after you die? I will be reincarnated as a superior being…no wait, that was last time.

2. What are you supposed to be doing right now? Whatever I want! I am a god at sea!

3. What do you wish you could be doing right now? The Twist

4. Would you marry for money? Depends? Is this someone who is hot, worships the ground I walk on, is uber-good in bed and follows me around buying me shoes? Then absolutely!

5. How long do you spend in the shower? Nuh uh. You aren't going to catch me with that one.
I've seen Psycho!

6. What are you wearing right now? I am naked in my skin.

7. What's the first thing you think about in the morning? Me :D Oh come on, like you don't?

8. And the last thing at night? Wow. It is dark behind my eyelids.

9. What type of toothpaste do you use? The kind with little bubbles….because EVERYTHING is better with bubbles.

10. Have you ever made out with a stranger? Define strange.

11. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? I like to think I am an optimist but sometimes I am very pessimistic about that choice.

12. Dominant or submissive? I am submissively dominant or dominantly submissive…take your pick.

13. Do you have psychic powers? Of course. I AM "The Chosen One"

14. If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be? Wouldn't that be cool if you could morph into an animal? But why just one? I want to be a panther and then maybe a dolphin and horse and ooooooh….a dinosaur. Definitely a dinosaur.

15. How often do you work out? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.

16. If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and you could only take 3 things, what would you take? My laptop, a solar battery and a wifi tower.

17. What superhero do you most identify with? I'm thinking I am like The Hulk but that is probably because of the green feet.

18. What is the greatest challenge you have ever faced? I laugh in the face of challenge….
Hah!

19. What is the best book you've ever read? That is like picking my favorite family member! Can't be done.

20. What person have you known the longest? Me

21. Would you have sex with someone for a million dollars? What??? I'm thinking!

22. What are you addicted to? You, baby!

23. Do you believe in love at first sight? Well, with all of the men throwing themselves at me declaring their undying love, how could I not?

24. What are your thoughts on true love? It makes the world go round.

25. What magazines do you read most often? Mad Magazine

26. What's the wildest thing you've ever done? I stood in the middle of Central Park naked.

27. Would you rather divulge your deepest, darkest secret or stand naked in the middle of Central Park? I think we have covered this.

28. What is the biggest problem in your life right now? Usually it is boys….or lack thereof.

29. What is your greatest fear? I fear giant spiders attacking the general population and me getting superhero powers and having to fight them.

30. What is your greatest hope? I hope that the Space Shuttle doesn't crash on my house cause that would be a bummer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch



FYI: This is really long but very good so set aside some time to watch the whole thing if you can.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Free e-Books

In celebration of the publication of I SHALL NOT WANT, St. Martin’s Minotaur is offering the first two ebooks of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s A Clare Fergusson / Russ Van Alstyne Mystery series:

IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER and A FOUNTAIN FILLED WITH BLOOD.
Click here to sign up to receive.
Promotion ends June 12, 2008, 11:59 p.m. ET.

Book Meme

I was thinking of doing Bea's Meme because it is all about books but then I looked at the questions. In true INFJ fashion, I ended up writing paragraphs with all of the additions, exceptions and variables that could be included in each answer. This made it absolutely impossible to match to different pictures so you will just have to use your imagination.

1. Favourite author: In which genre? Which day? Which mood? This is like trying to figure out your favorite family member...impossible!

2. Favourite book: See question #1

3. Favourite poem: "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

4. Favourite genre: I like everything but have never been able to embrace Horror.

5. Favourite non-fiction category: Egyptian archaeology

6. Favourite book as a child: Preschool: Green Eggs and Ham Grade School: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Black Beauty Tween: Swiss Family Robinson and The Witch of Blackbird Pond Teen: No one favorite but I seem to remember reading a lot of Danielle Steel and Zane Gray during those years.

7. What book are you reading now: A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932 by John Richardson and Beautiful Children by Charles Bock

8. Favourite fictional character: I still like Ramona (of Ramona the Brave fame). I wish I was still that fearless.

9. Worst book you’ve read: Define "read". Do you mean books I have finished or books I have thrown across the room and refused to finish? Do you only mean published books? What about book manuscripts that authors asked for opinions on? Define "worst". Most poorly written? Not to my taste? Most repugnant hero/heroine? Worst editing?

10. A book that changed your life: Every book I have read has changed my life in large and small ways. I developed sympathy and empathy, respect for other cultures and religions, depth and breadth of knowledge, my ability to think critically, my questioning nature...from reading.

11. A movie that is better than the book: Every James Patterson.

12. Most disappointing adaption from a book: Every other movie from a book.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cory Doctorow update

Cory Doctorow has just released comic adaptations of his award-winning science fiction stories — Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now. Download here for free or pick up a copy at your local library. Also, his recent young adult fiction novel, Little Brother, is the talk of the young adult librarian world.

And for those of you who think you are too old of YA Fiction...I have met you....remember?

Friday, June 06, 2008

My creation2


My creation2
Originally uploaded by A Librarian.


The concept:

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.

2. Using only the first page of results, and pick one image.

3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab's Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

The questions:

1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food? right now?

3. What high school did you go to?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. What is your favorite drink?

7. What is your dream vacation?

8. What is your favorite dessert?

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. What is one word that describes you?

12. What is your flickr name?

First seen on Average Jane's page.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Robert Asprin

I had been meaning to post about this a couple of weeks ago but have been so busy trying to read my ever expanding list of nominees/suggestions that I haven't had a spare moment to blog. I am still a Twittering fool in part because I can do that on my phone while standing in line at the grocery store and in part, because it is addictive. Right now I am reading a 811 page book about the Mitfords. Next up, the positively tiny 500 pager about Picasso.

Anyway, when I am not reading literary fiction and non-fiction for a book award, I am reading a mixture of mystery, romance, westerns and anything else you can think of, including Science Fiction. My favorite SF are space operas and humorous SF and fantasy. One of my favorite humorous authors was Robert Asprin, who passed away on May 22, 2008. This means that there will be no more Myth Adventures which makes me very sad indeed.

This is a light frothy fun series with a wanna be magician/thief named Skeeve, a demon from Perv named Aahz. Now, anything with a character named Perv is bound to be good but truthfully, the main attraction for me was the clever banter and lord knows, I am a sucker for clever banter. After the June award meeting I may have to take a little break and finish off the last few (or possibly re-read the entire series) to cleanse the palette for my next round of weighty tomes.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Evilness incarnate


How evil are you?


Read em and weep XO baby!

The Translator by Daoud Hari

For those of you who have been with me a while, you know that I have been participating in a group that is trying to stop the genocide in the Darfur region. www.savedarfur.com

The Translator is about a young man who, after losing a number of family members in Darfur, risks his life to become a translator and guide for reporters so that the world would know about what was happening in his home. Eventually, he was caught, tortured and eventually rescued by friends. You can tell that English is not Daoud's first language because the book is a little choppy in places and could have used some polishing by a skilled editor. Still, it is a worthwhile read that gives a first-hand account of the atrocities being committed and that tugs the heart-strings and would hopefully radicalize others to get involved.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Last Week's Reads

I have been on a bit of a vacation from blogging this month but I have been reading. I thought I would at the very least, give you a list of titles that I enjoyed. How long this post is depends on how long it takes me to recover from mowing half the yard. I really don't want to go back out there so this may be very long indeed:)

Last Week's Reads:

Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin - An attempt to weave together the astonishingly complex history of the Byzantium Empire. It is brilliant but perhaps not as accessible to the non-scholar as the author intended. To be fair, I am not sure how one makes such a complicated subject accessible but she gave it a darn good try.

Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Movement by Sally McMillen - excellent look at the powerhouse women who started and guided the women's rights movement in America. I wish I could have met a couple of them or at the very least, heard them speak. They sounded like amazing women.

Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton by Jonah Goldberg - This was interesting in an odd way. I found the historical study of fascism fascinating but I am not sure the author really offers convincing evidence that modern liberals are fascists. I do like books that offer a look an opposing viewpoint of my beliefs because it does force me to take a look at the not-so-pretty aspects of "my side" and try to avoid those qualities in my own life.

*Small Favor by Jim Butcher - Number 10 in the Dresden Files series does not disappoint. I'm not sure how much of a mystery was attached to this one but I really enjoy the SF elements of this series and he has managed to keep from getting silly and trite in the series. I like the characters, I enjoy the pyrotechnics and I am always satisfied with Harry and the good guys saving the day.

*not a notable possibility but a just-for-fun break from the serious scholarly work.

I have also joined a couple of new social networking sites and am currently exploring them.

Toluu - http://www.toluu.com/
Bright Kite - http://brightkite.com/
Friend Feed - http://www.friendfeed.com
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/ (actually I have been on this one for a while but a bunch of my friends have now joined so it has moved from a pleasant diversion to a serious addiction.)

Ok, time to go finish mowing.