Monthly Archives: April 2011

Noteworthy Links #18

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  • Via Bella Sugar – Among Karl Lagerfeld’s interests, fashion being key, books seem to be inching towards the top. Lagerfeld, along with publisher Steidl, will be introducing a new perfume like based and inspired by the smell of books. The perfume called Paper Passion will be sold in hollowed out hardcover books.
  • Via Martha Stewart – First comes marriage (check) then comes the baby carriage (unchecked). When it is time to check the mommy box, I’ll be sure to implement Martha Stewart’s book-themed baby shower.

A Book-Themed Baby Shower

  • Via Chicago Sun-Times -  A beautiful entry, Does Anyone Want to be “Well-Read”, written by Roger Ebert about the difference between books read and unread, and just how limitless the universe of print really is. In a way, this makes keeping track of all the books I read some of futile. The unread list is infinite, while my read list is dismally low in the ranks in comparison.
  • Via SF Gate – In the same vein, SF Gate writer Stephen K. Tollefson, write a wonderful piece about how the light we read with effects how we read. I prefer to read in a fully lit room, with the dim noise of TV in the background. I can’t read in pure silence, its too distracting.

Noteworthy Links #17

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  • Piles of books were burned in the Colorado City, Az, the polygamous community that borders Utah. These books were meant for a new library, and instead found themselves turned to ash.
  • Three Cups of Fraud – Author Greg Mortensen is facing accusations of making up most of his highly acclaimed memoir, Three Cups of Tea. Watch the 60 minute segment with the author as he tries to defend himself against the allegations.
  • What could be the missing element of my life…the happiest and most wonderful book I ever stumbled upon… Bear With Me by John Pollack, the 1995 O. Henry Pun-off World Championship Winner.
  • My best friend since high school was one of my bridesmaids at my wedding this past weekend. She has always been a great support system for me, as well as my primary source for new and interesting authors to read. She is the one who introduced me to Neil Gaiman, and I felt it was only fitting that she read Neil Gaiman’s Wedding Poem during the ceremony. Here is a print of the poem that Mr. Gaiman wrote on the fly in the guest book of his friend’s wedding.

This for you, for both of you,

a small poem of happiness
filled with small glories and little triumphs
a fragile, short cheerful song
filled with hope and all sorts of futures

Because at weddings we imagine the future
Because it’s all about “what happened next?”
all the work and negotiation and building and talk
that makes even the tiniest happily ever after
something to be proud of for a wee forever

This is a small thought for both of you
like a feather or a prayer,
a wish of trust and love and hope
and fine brave hearts and true.

Like a tower, or a house made all of bones and dreams
and tomorrows and tomorrows and tomorrows

Top library blogs you should be following

Librarians fresh out of college, or not so fresh out of college (2008 graduation for me) are learning that the best way to climb the ropes of the library ladder is to improve technology skills and know-how. As more and more children are growing up in front of computers and with cell-phones clutched in their palms, librarians need to learn how to promote literacy through new means. An ebook, is still a book. Whether you are reading from a screen or from a paper page, you are still reading.

This post is to highlight some of my favorite library websites & blogs that focus on the growing trends in the field, as well as news from around the nation and around the world. These sites are key in helping bridge the gap between technology and literacy.

Library News
  1. Library Stuff – http://www.librarystuff.net/
  2. LIS News – http://lisnews.org/
  3. Library Juice – http://libraryjuicepress.com/blog/
Librarian Blogs
  1. Lore Librarian – http://lorelibrarian.wordpress.com/
  2. Librarian in Black – http://librarianinblack.net/librarianinblack/
  3. Mel’s Desk – http://melissa.depperfamily.net/blog/
  4. Speak Quietly – http://www.speakquietly.blogspot.com/
  5. Abby the Librarian – http://www.abbythelibrarian.com/
  6. Swiss Army Librarian – www.swissarmylibrarian.net
Library Fun
  1. A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette – http://libetiquette.blogspot.com/
  2. Awful Library Books – http://awfullibrarybooks.net
  3. Unshelved Comic Strip – www.unshelved.com
Library Tools
  1. Google Librarian Central – http://librariancentral.blogspot.com/
  2. iLibrarian – http://oedb.org/blogs/ilibrarian/
  3. Infopeople – http://infopeople.org/
  4. Webjunction – http://www.webjunction.org/1

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Noteworthy Links #16

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Its National Library Week! Everybody celebrate by going to your local library and checking out the maximum number of items humanely possible to show your support.

This is a fantastic article on CNN about how libraries and librarians are the most awesome elements of education, information and pop culture ever. Read it, believe it, and acccept it. Librarians are cool.

  • What does your favorite childhood book say about you now? via Flavorwire Some of my favorite predictions:   
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Every house you live in must be outfitted with a walk in closet. Just in case.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
No matter what, you’re always the only one at the office at 9am on the dot. Then you annoy everyone all day with all your clever puns.
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
You’re the guy who finds a way to ruin every party.
  • What I consider to be a “Well, Duh” op-ed article via NPR’s Monkey See blog, in which writer Linda Holmes walks into a library and finds out that its a really cool place to be. What did Linda ever imagine a library to be if she’s so amused and amazed at what libraries offer today?
  • The Geek Alphabet via Geeks Are Sexy

M is for MMORPGs, it’s a magical place (i eated a cookie)
N is for NASA, and the beauty of space (nasa1fan)
O is for Occipital Lobe, we love using our brains (illuminaut)

  

 

A Reliable Wife – Review

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A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Age: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Location: Chicago

I normally try to write my own synopsis of the books I review, but the back cover summary is pretty much the most concise version of what I would want to say about this book.

He placed a notice in a Chicago paper, an advertisement for a “reliable wife.” She responded, saying that she was  “a simple, honest woman.” She was, of course, anything but honest, and the only simple thing about her was her single-minded determination to marry this man and then kill him, slowly and carefully, leaving herself a wealthy widow. What Catherine Land did not realize was that the enigmatic and lonely Ralph Truitt had a plan of his own.

What I enjoyed about this book was the heavy set atmosphere of mistrust, paranoia, and isolation set in the early 1900s Chicago. The weather,  the city and the environment directly reflects the moods of the characters as well as their developments throughout the story. I felt that the primary characters; Ralph and Catherine, were well developed. Each went on a personal journey of self discovery although the journey wasn’t easy being paved with regrets and misfortune.  Catherine’s journey and transformation was particularly very subtle, simple and honest.

What bothered me about the book was the crazed, hyper libidos and obsession with sex that filled needless pages of the book. The characters seemed more driven by their physical needs than emotional all the time. It really set a strange mood to the novel. I also found Catherine’s involvement with Antonio to be annoying, particularly her dependence on his approval. Antonio himself is a character that stayed stagnant throughout the entire novel and I really could have done without being introduced to a character such as his.

It took me a while to get into the book (the beginning really reminded me of the movie Original Sin with Angelina Jolie & Antonio Banderas). In the movie, Antonio brings a woman to his city to be his wife, your basic mail-order bride situation, based on a series of correspondence with a stranger. Upon Angelina’s arrival, he figures out that the woman in the photo is not the woman getting off the ship…there are a few more similarities between the storylines, more in character personalities than in plot.

A Reliable Wife is a good rainy day book, and is a relatively quick read.

A Reliable Wife
by Robert Goolrick
Algonquin Books, 2009
ISBN 9781565129771
291 pages
Source: Pubisher
Book 16 of 2011
***********************
Find this book at your local library
A reliable wife : a novel

Noteworthy Links #15

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  • A wonderful and insightful segment about the discussion of e-books and their effect on libraries by NPR in the wake of the controversial HarperCollins 26 check-out limit on e-books for libraries.
  • Agree or disagree? Tom Keane of The Boston Globe discusses how the book is dead and bookstores are a dying enterprise in his op-ed The Last Chapter.
  • In this week’s things that are cute and small:

worlds smallest postal service The Worlds Smallest Post Service Kit from Chronicle BooksSend letters in envelopes that are no larger than the width and length of your thumb! (via Chronicle Books, release date April 27th, 2011) The kit is based on the World’s Smallest Postal Service project by Lea Redmond, who offers a tiny transcription service through her roaming “post offices” in the Bay Area. You can pre-order now @ the Chronicle Books site and get 30% off your order.

  • The art of rejection:

 

 

 

 

  • This masterpiece, a copy of UVL, is created by a University of Virginia law student, built entirely out of law firm rejection letters.

In which Chronicle Books showers me with gifts

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March has been quite the Chronicle Books month for me. First I won the very awesome Button Factory, which produced such wonders and whimsies such as these buttons. I love buttons and now I love making buttons. =)

 

On Saturday I received The Baseball Scorekeeper; Introduction by Zack Hample,  text by Stuart Miller,  that I won from a Chronicle Books Twitter contest (follow them @chroniclebooks). This book is full of awesome, and it will rightfully go to my baseball fan fiance as a wedding present. he did go to Spring Training in Arizona for his bachelor party. Even though I won both items in giveaways,  I still consider all these lovelies from Chronicle Books as early wedding presents, since they are probably the best matches for our respective interests and hobbies, mine being old-lady crafts and his being baseball.

Here are some shots of the Baseball Scorekeeper:

The cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

The inside scoresheets – Visitor and Home Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cheatsheet in the back of the book so that we can learn how to accurately fill out the pages!!

March Recap

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Books Read / Reviewed in March

I’ve been really good about reading books off my bookshelf. So far, I’ve only strayed a little bit to read The Girl in the Green Raincoat, but I think I’ve earned it. I did buy some new books adding to my book pile already reaching epic proportions in my tiny apartment. I also brought home a sizable stack of books I had left at my mom’s house. Luckily, those books are read, so now I just need to find a place to store them. =/

1. A soft place to land

2. French kissing

3. Old school : a novel

4. Not buying it : my year without shopping
5. A reliable wife : a novel

1. A Soft Place to Land – Susan Rebecca White

2. French Kissing – Catherine Sanderson

3. Old School – Tobias Wolff

4. Not Buying It – Judith Levine

5. A Reliable Wife – Robert Goolrick

Knitting has been slow for me this month. I spent a lot of time working on a puppy sweater for my friend’s little girl, Penny. This was my first ever dog sweater and it really gave me some trouble. I haven’t bought any new yarn since the Knitting Convention in Feb, but I haven’t really used any of my current yarn either.

My other crafting sessions have been making buttons. Thanks to the wonderful Chronicle Books, I won the Button Factory from a giveaway on their blog last week.

<——– The Button Factory

Comes with buttons, fabric, and the handle button presser.

The buttons! This is a great way to use up scrap fabrics (or fat quarter pieces). I plan on adding these buttons to my knitting projects. My favorite button is the baseball one. I think it deserves its own close-up. =)

How perfect is that?

You can find The Button Factory available on The Chronicle Books site, at Urban Outfitters, and at Barnes & Noble,

Not Buying It – Review

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Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine
Age: Adult

In an experiment sparked by a particularly arduous Black Friday shopping trip, author Judith Levine and her husband Paul impose a year-long moratorium on extraneous shopping and try to live off just the basic necessities.

I have so many issues with this book, I don’t even know how to articulate them. I will use bullet points to illustrate what I did and did not like about this book.

  • During this year of “no-shopping” Levine and her husband underwent $25,000.oo in renovations to one of their 2 houses. (One in Vermont, and an apartment in New York.)
  • $7.oo per pound of coffee is a necessity, yet socks and q-tips are not?
  • Written as a diary, with each chapter dedicated to a month: Levine’s rants were boring, long-winded and particularly whiny. Why impose such strict sanctions if you’re going to complain about the entire ordeal or look for loopholes by mooching off of generous friends?
  • There were many, many filler entries about local and nationwide politics that felt unnecessary and took away from the consumerism aspects of the book. I would have preferred a shorter book without the political preaching.
  • Levine spent more time discussing economic policy and consumerism’s effects on society than she did discussing her own experiences with the no-shopping experiments. I still have no idea what she considers a basic necessity and what is a luxury. All I gathered is that she hated every minute of her experiment.

Although I appreciate the concept of the experiment, and think its always good for everyone to be more conscientious of what they are buying and whether or not it is a needed purchase, Levine’s writing really turned me off. I found myself skimming through a majority of the book. I didn’t connect to her as a reader, and I certainly didn’t feel any pity for her plight at being unable to go to the movies or the theater.

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping
by Judith Levine
Free Press (imprint of Simon & Schuster), 2006
ISBN 0743269365
257 pages
Book 15 of 2011
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Find this book at your local library
Not buying it : my year without shopping