Thursday, January 31, 2008

New committee members appointed

Next year's list of book award committee members has been announced and Nancy Pearl (the closest thing librarians have to a celebrity) is one of the newly appointed committee members. Until I was cautioned that I "shouldn't feel intimidated by her" it hadn't occurred to me to be intimidated. Anyway, for those of you non-librarian readers (which would be most of you), Nancy Pearl has written several books and more importantly, is the model for the librarian action figure. Yes, there is a librarian action figure and yes, I own one.

I just wish that the shushing action didn't make the action figure look quite so much like she was picking her nose.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Saying No

I am working at my part-time university reference librarian job tonight and am finding it very depressing everytime an international student comes up to the desk. Every one of them asks me the same question "Do you have _____(fill in the blank) textbook."

In India and China (from what I have been told), academic libraries carry enough copies of textbooks so the entire class can check them out to use for the semester, unlike the U.S., where we make everyone buy copies of textbooks that cost hundreds of dollars and then can't be sold back at the end of the semester because a newer version is coming out.

So every time someone comes up to the information desk my heart sinks because I get to say to each of them, "No, the library doesn't usually carry textbooks." Oh, I do a search to make sure that one lone copy hasn't been donated by the professor but usually I have to say no. Believe it or not, I didn't become a librarian so that I could NOT help people find the information/book they need.

I hate this time of year:(

Monday, January 28, 2008


Originally uploaded by A Librarian.
I was tagged by Bea, so I've quickly thrown together a photograph taken with my cell phone. I can't seem to find my real camera anywhere so you will all just have to suffer.

1. Choose a pangram of your liking.
2. Write it on a piece of paper and sign it with your blog name or online handle.
3. Take a picture and post it to the flickr group, your blog, myspace, facebook or all of them.
4. Link back or trackback to Logtar’s post.
5. Tag five people.
You will notice that no one is tagged. That is because I procrastinated and everyone picked their teams before I could. Anyone reading this who has not been're it.

Chapter-A-Day Book Club

My uncle's funeral was this weekend so I didn't get a chance to get any reading done but there are two almost finished books on the stack that I will be talking about soon. Since I didn't have a book review for you today I thought I would share a fun book link with you.

Chapter-A-Day Book Club - "Sign up for any of the email book clubs and every day you will be sent a 5-minute sample from a book. By the end of the week, you'll have read 2-3 chapters." Then, if you loved it, visit your local library to check out the book. This has everything from Classics to Romance so there is a little something for everyone.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Author Visit - M.T. Anderson

Author M.T. Anderson discusses his latest book for young adults, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, on Monday, January 28, at 7 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

Set against the disquiet of Revolutionary Boston, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing takes place at a time when American patriots rioted and battled to win liberty while African slaves were entreated to risk their lives for a freedom they never would claim.

Anderson says the idea for the book came while he was watching a Revolutionary War reenactment at the Battle of Old North Bridge, near his childhood home. He began to wonder what it would have been like to be forced to choose a side without knowing which side would be victorious.

Octavian Nothing won the 2006 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Anderson’s first young adult novel, Feed, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Anderson’s appearance is cosponsored by Reading Reptile and the Kansas City Public Library. Copies of Anderson’s books will be available courtesy of Reading Reptile, and the author will sign copies purchased during the event.

A 6:30 p.m. reception precedes the event. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. Call 816.701.3407 or RSVP online.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

I have been reading lots of "fun" books during my little break from the ALA Notable Book Council book award committee. Next on the list is a book that a friend of mine has been raving about.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is a Young Adult novel based on the author's own experiences and according to the reviews, is a heart-breaking, funny and beautifully written novel. It was also on the Best Books for Young Adults award list this year. (If you aren't a librarian, you might not know this but this award is a VERY big deal in Young Adult book award circles). I attended a dinner last year in which he was a guest author. He was absolutely charming and his newest novel is sitting on my shelf at home, nicely signed and even decorated with some author artwork.

If you haven't read any Young Adult literature in a while, ask your friendly librarian for a recommendation. There are some wonderful YA novels out there.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More book awards....

The Edgar Award Nominees - were announced by the Mystery Writers of America. And the nominees are:

Best Novel
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (Henry Holt and Company)
Priest by Ken Bruen (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins)
Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House Books)
Down River by John Hart (St. Martin’s Minotaur)

Best First Novel By An American Author
Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell (HarperCollins - William Morrow)
In the Woods by Tana French (Penguin Group - Viking)
Snitch Jacket by Christopher Goffard (The Rookery Press)
Head Games by Craig McDonald (Bleak House Books)
Pyres by Derek Nikitas (St. Martin’s Minotaur)

Best Paperback Original
Queenpin by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
Blood of Paradise by David Corbett (Random House - Mortalis)
Cruel Poetry by Vicki Hendricks (Serpent’s Tail)
Robbie’s Wife by Russell Hill (Hard Case Crime)
Who is Conrad Hirst? by Kevin Wignall (Simon & Schuster)

Best Critical/Biographical
The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction by Patrick Anderson (Random House)
A Counter-History of Crime Fiction: Supernatural, Gothic, Sensational by Maurizio Ascari (Palgrave Macmillan)
Deviance in Contemporary Crime Fiction by Christiana Gregoriou (Palgrave Macmillan)
Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower and Charles Foley (The Penguin Press)
Chester Gould: A Daughter’s Biography of the Creator of Dick Tracy by Jean Gould O’Connell (McFarland & Company)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


From the Notable book, In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New and Selected Poems, 1955 - 2007

Silent Cell Phones

In airport waiting rooms, owners of cell phones
Look wisful when their phones lie silent, millstones
That no stream turns. Mindful of their high stations,
They squirm and fidget their exasperations,

To find out the end of the poem, you have to read the book...

Don't you hate it when people do that?

To find out more about the author, visit

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

If I hadn't come down with the plague here is what I would have been doing this evening.

The Blue Room

Tonight’s traditional jam session will be led by local legendary B-3 Hammond organist Everette Devan. Aside from opening for acts like B.B. King and Count Basie to sharing the bill with Herbie Hancock, he has been a staple in the Kansas City music community for over 25 years. Come down, sign up, and jam with some of Kansas City’s finest musicians – or just sit back and take in the sounds of some classic Kansas City jazz.

Monday January 21st, 2008
7:00pm to 11:00pm
In the Blue Room
Admission is Free

Sunday, January 20, 2008


It's been a couple of days since Spyder tagged me but I finally have time to work on it so here is my quirk list...

The Rules:
a. list seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself
b. tag seven people to do the same
c. do not tag the person who tagged you or say that you tag "whoever wants to do it"

My Quirks:
1. I owned and showed American Quarter Horses when I was younger. I have been bucked off, kicked, stepped on and bitten by horses and I still unconditionally love them, which I guess is proof that love is not rational.
2. I haven't watched TV in over two years although I still watch movies.
3. Every year when the Oscar nominees are announced I try to watch them all, even the documentary shorts. Some of my friends have pointed out that I am a wee bit obsessive about this.
4. I own two tiara's and I wear them at least once a year.
5. I have been to more than one shoe museum in my lifetime. What can I say, I really like shoes.
6. I keep my top friend list on myspace alphabetized and it makes me a little crazy when they change their name.
7. I like all kinds of music but I will love hard rock and metal forever.

And my tags are: Expat-Experience, Average Jane, Bea and her charming husband, Logtar, Kansas City Daily Photo, Well Hell Michelle and Keith (since Janet didn't post her's fast enough.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Fun

You Are An INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

In love, you truly see relationships as an opportunity to connect and grow.
You enjoy relationships as long as they are improving and changing. You can't stand stagnation.

At work, you stay motivated and happy... as long as you are working toward a dream you support.
You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

How you see yourself: Hardworking, ethical, and helpful

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Manipulative, weak, and unstable

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How I spent my non-Librarian time in Philadelphia - Reposted from my other Blog

This weekend I went to Philadelphia. Most of my time was spent in meeting with my book award committee but I thought I would entertain you with my touristy pictures. Most of them were taken on my phone at night but I got a couple good ones for ya.

No trip to Philadephia would be complete without a picture of the Liberty Bell. Apparently this is considered a very big terrorist target because there were security guards everywhere (at 11 at night) and when my friend stood on the wall I thought they were going to drag her away in chains.

This was the last stop after a wine and cheese reception at the Mutter Museum of College Physicians of Philadelphia. I loved this place.

The sign says "Why would you want a dried hand?"

If I remember right this was a "cutaway of the human body". Cool, huh? Sadly my syphilitic head and the wall of skulls would not download tonight but if asked nicely I might put them up in a future blog.

Interesting note: Before I went to the museum I was telling my book award committee members about my plans for the evening and three of them had gone the night before. They said that the museum had reminded them of me.

The Winners of the American Library Association Notable Book Council Award List


Bloom, Amy - Away, Random House
Carlson, Ron - Five Skies, Penguin-Viking
Chabon.Michael -The Yiddish Policemen's Union, HarperCollins
Clarke, Brock - An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England, Algonquin
Clinch, John - Finn: a novel, Random House
Crace, Jim - The Pesthouse, Doubleday/Nan A. Talese
*Englander, Nathan - The Ministry of Special Cases, Knopf
Holthe, Tess Uriza - The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes, Crown
Jones, Lloyd - Mister Pip, Dell
*McEwan, Ian - On Chesil Beach, Doubleday/Nan A. Talese
Malouf, David - The Complete Stories, Pantheon
Pettersen, Per - Out Stealing Horses, Graywolf
Trevor, William - Cheating at Canasta, Penguin/Viking


Ackerman, Diane - The Zookeeper's Wife: a war story, W.W. Norton
Angier, Natalie - The Canon, Houghton Mifflin
Ayres, Ian - Super Crunchers, Bantam Books
Godwin, Peter - When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, Little Brown
Groopman, Jerome - How Doctors Think, Houghton Mifflin Company
*Howell, Georgina - Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Isaacson, Walter - Einstein: His Life and Universe, Simon & Schuster
Kingsolver, Barbara - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, HarperCollins
Margonelli, Lisa - Oil on the Brain, Doubleday-Nan Talese
Weisman, Alan - The World Without Us, St. Martins


*Bosselaar, Laure-Anne - A New Hunger, Ausable Press
Kennedy, X.J. - In a Prominent Bar in Seacaucus, Johns Hopkins University Press

*my favorite from each list

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Back from ALA

I am back from ALA and the part-time job will be starting soon. Therefore, I will have a full report for you tomorrow night on the book award, the committee, Philly, the wine....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I am on my way

I am on my way to Philadelphia to meet with my book award committee. Not quite finished with the books yet but getting closer.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Today's Count

Book Countdown: 36 ½

My favorite thing to do every morning is to get out my list of books and check another one off the list. Next Friday and Saturday, the Notable Award committee will meet all day to decide the best books (in our opinion) of the past year. I think I can get them all finished...don't you?

Friday, January 04, 2008

My Birthday

For all my friends, old and new, please join me for my birthday.

Saturday Night - Jan 5th - 9 pm - Bar Natasha - $5 cover starting at 8 pm
Sunday Night - Jan 6th - 6:30 pm - Lidia's Italian (please let me know if you are coming so I can make reservations for a big enough table)

No presents: The pleasure of your company is enough to make it a great birthday!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My Birthday

I am attempting to plan my birthday a little further ahead than my New Year's this year but need some help. If anyone has a good suggestion for Saturday night festivities, please let me know.

Saturday night, Jan. 5th – 9 pm – undetermined location (so far suggestions include The Levee and Missy B’s)

Sunday night, Jan. 6th – 6:30 pm – Dinner at Lidia’s

I will be making the mandatory appearance at our work "Winterfest" Saturday night but will make sure all interested parties know where we will be later on that night.

The Book Club

For your enjoyment, the comic stylings of Variety Shac

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My New Year's Goals

I had a whole different post planned for today but, as I was reading a book a question came up that has been circling around in my brain for years. My book is about the Holocaust and of course, I always wonder how people can come up with such horrific ways to brutalize each other.

But the real question I ask myself is, "What would I do if presented with the same situation?" Would I be the one featured in a book as a heroine that hid, smuggled, friends and neighbors? Would I freeze in fear and do nothing? Would I pretend not to see what was going on around me in order to protect my comfortable life? Would I actively participate in the persecution? Of course we all like to think we would do the just thing, the kind thing, the right thing but without being in that situation, will we ever know?

I bring this up because I think about this a lot and also because there are atrocities around the world that I can impact (even from my comfy house). So my question for the new year is: Am I doing enough? If I am honest with myself the answer would be no, I am not.

So, this year for my international effort I am going to more actively support efforts to end the violence in Darfur - and, at home, spend my money and my donations on The Bridge Home For Children - They always need money, groceries and books (my biggest contributions). FYI: If you ever want to donate, I will be happy to provide delivery services. And last but not least, I am going to become much more vocal with my opinion on this "war on terror" and our shameful treatment of our "detainees".