Tag Archives: reading

Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2014

I’ve been on a big non-fiction kick lately. I’m mostly interested in history right now. As well as all things European or British. (We can thank the BBC Sherlock for this obsession). I think my obsession with England is overtaking my obsession with France. In my rather insane desire to learn about all things Europe, I’ve been scouring the websites for quality nonfiction books. I want to learn something when I read. Actual facts and figures, not just opinion pieces or funny anecdotes. I feel ready to step away from fiction from a while and really give my brain a challenge. Hence, the Nonfiction Reading Challenge, someone reminiscent of my Dewey Decimal Reading Challenge I attempted a few years back. I’m quite tardy in signing up, but better late than never. Here’s hoping I find some interesting titles to add to my list in the meantime.

There are 4 levels for the challenge. We’ll see where I wind up by the end of the year.

Dilettante–Read 1-5 non-fiction books

Explorer–Read 6-10

Seeker–Read 11-15

Master–Read 16-20

Being A Better Online Reader

July 16, 2014
Being a Better Online Reader
By Maria Konnikova
 

The contrast of pixels, the layout of the words, the concept of scrolling versus turning a page, the physicality of a book versus the ephemerality of a screen, the ability to hyperlink and move from source to source within seconds online—all these variables translate into a different reading experience.

Maria Konnikova lays out a wonderful description and explanation of the differences between online reading and reading a tangible book. Although she doesn’t really delve into how to be a better online reader. She does cite a number of different studies and report that discuss the negative impacts of digital reading and the loss of overall reading comprehension and deep reading.

When Ziming Liu, a professor at San Jose State University whose research centers on digital reading and the use of e-books, conducted a review of studies that compared print and digital reading experiences, supplementing their conclusions with his own research, he found that several things had changed. On screen, people tended to browse and scan, to look for keywords, and to read in a less linear, more selective fashion. On the page, they tended to concentrate more on following the text. Skimming, Liu concluded, had become the new reading: the more we read online, the more likely we were to move quickly, without stopping to ponder any one thought.

Skimming is the new reading. But I wonder if it’s really knew? In high school, 15 years ago, well before the Internet was the juggernaut of information it is today, I was taught to skim on reading throughout my textbooks. Read the headline, read the first sentence and there ya go. Look at the highlighted text and glossary and that should give you a preview, or a rough idea of the content of the text. Is this very different from how we read online today? I think the biggest difference is that its much easier to get distracted and jump from hyperlink to hyperlink when online, losing that traction and concentration that you can’t avoid when you have an actual book right in front of you.

We see the studies and reports almost weekly know. The number of people reading is steadily dropping. The number of people reading online is steadily increasing. We, as librarians, need to be aware of these shifts and be ready to help with the transfer, but still trying to figure out how to bridge the gap on comprehension levels between the two methods. Libraries are investing more and more into ebooks, which is what the community wants. We should be aware of the repercussions of supporting this movement.

This post was originally published on The Novel World on Monday 08/18/2014 at 10:00am

My Wish List by Gregoire Delacourt

Jocelyn lives in a small town in France, neither happy nor unhappy with her life. She lives a life half in the past and half in the present, afraid to think about the future until she one day wins the jackpot lottery of 18 million euros. Then, she faces the tough decisions of what to do with her life now that the possibilities are endless.

The book is very melancholy, but easy to relate to. Jocelyn is the every day woman, devoted to her family, maintained by small tokens of happiness from friends, a blog, and small gestures from family. What I really appreciate is the genuine dilemma she faces having won the lottery. Questioning the motives of those around her, trying to decide if she really needs it or not, her wish list expanding & becoming more intricate as time passes. It’s a well written short novel that will have the reader asking what they would do in her shoes, or maybe realizing that money doesn’t always equate to happiness.

Find this book at your local library

*This entry was originally posted on www.thenovelworld.com on Friday June 6th, 2014*

Back to School Basics – Books

For librarians, teachers and parents, the new year doesn’t necessarily start in January. It starts in September when summer draws to a close and the new school year is on the horizon.

As a new mom & librarian,  I am getting more and more excited for the days when I can take my little guy shopping for back to school supplies (my favorite part as a kid…dorkily enough), as well as taking him to school in general and watching him learn and grow with the world around him.

Lori at Reading Confetti has put together a wonderful collection of books with which to ring in each month. I can see many uses for this for library story times, for themed activities after school and on the weekends to reinforce the concepts in a fun way. This is a very thorough list and a great resource for parents and librarians in search of books to recommend or read to children.

Themed preschool books and activities for each month of the year

The Global Bookshelf

Weekly Recap + Loads of Links!

This guy reads.cafeparaacordarosmortos:Homem lê o jornal, sentado num candeeiro público, enquanto uma revolução acontece debaixo dele.Lisboa, 25 de Abril de 1974 Carlos GilAwesome People Reading

This has been a fairly active week on the blog. One of my favorite book blogging events is going to be starting in a couple short weeks, Paris in July. I don’t have anything planned as of yet, but I do still have a number of books that take place in France waiting to be read on my bookshelf. As for events, we shall see. I might not get farther than baking a batch of madeleine cookies.

Reading is going well, I’m making progress in all of my books. It helps to have books stashed all over the house, so that no matter where I sit down to breastfeed the little bookworm, I can just pick up the closest book and start reading.

I received an incredibly amount of books in the mail this week as well. Its nice to be back on the publishing radar after a brief hiatus.

Books I received in the mail

  1. The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (Score *does the Snoopy dance*)
  2. The Wet & The Dry by Lawrence Osborne
  3. The Big Disconnect by Catherine Steiner-Adair, Edd
  4. Along with 6 picture books from Reading Rockets as part of their Start With A Book giveaway.

I also started a new page on the blog to discreetly track the picture books we have been reading to the little one. I won’t backtrack to what we read in the past. It will start fresh as of this weekend. Don’t expect to see too many of those reviews on the main page though. This will stay mostly a blog for adult works.

Books I reviewed:

  1. All My Friends by Marie N’Diaye

Non-Review Posts:

  1. Start with a book (or 6)
  2. Its Coming…My Favorite Time of the Year

Upcoming Reviews:

  1. The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  2. The Log on the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

What I’m currently reading:

  1. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  2. The Fountain of St. James Court or The Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman – Sena Jeter Naslund

The Links!

Literacy Love Sundays – Put your face in a book

Thanks to the Milwaukee Public Library for this great message.

Reading with the Stars (Leonard Kniffel) – Review

Reading with the stars : why they love librariesReading with the Stars: A Celebration of Books and Libraries by Leonard Kniffel
Age: Kids +
Genre: Nonfiction/Reading & Libraries
Source: SkyHorse Publishing
ISBN: 9781616082772
158 pages

Leonard Kniffel, former editor in chief of American Libraries, the national publication of the American Library Association, brings us a collection of interviews, essays, and speech transcripts from celebrated figures of American pop culture, politics, sports and media. Each chapter is devoted a different celebrity: Cokie Roberts, Garrison Keilor, Ken Burns, Laura Bush, Ralph Nader, Ron Reagan, Jamie Lee Curtis, David Mamet, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julie Andrews, Bill Gates, Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, and Barack Obama.

This book arrives at an opportune time as libraries are facing some of the worst and severe budget cuts across the nation. This collection, heralding the value of literacy, books and libraries as an integral part of everyday life. Each chapter offers a list of books read by the celebrity, a list of books written by that celebrity, and a quote highlighting the theme of that chapter. This book is a great for libraries, and will be a great inspiration for kids who look up to these celebrities and want to emulate them. It is a quick read, great for bibliophiles. Although each chapter has a different story for how literacy helped change a life, the book is  probably better read in portions since the I Love Books/Libraries theme can get repetitive after a few chapters.

Book 31 of 2011

Find this book at your local library

Feb Recap

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February royally sucked in regards to challenges. I failed my reading challenge (it doesn’t help when awesomely awesome publishers send unsolicited books in the mail, and it certainly doesn’t help that multiple Borders within a ten mile radius are going out of business and having massive clearance sales).

That being said, I’ve been pretty good about only reading books off my bookshelf, regardless of the number of additional books I’ve been bringing into the house.  The only exception has been Almost Moon, which is the current mandatory bookclub selection.

Books read in February

Paris Was Ours – Penelope Rowlands &

Pygmalion – Bernard Shaw &

What The Dickens – Gregory MaGuire

Almost Moon – Alice Sebold

Paris was ours : thirty-two writers reflect on the city of light by Penelope Rowlands http://var.pulist.net/what-the-dickens-library-edition_small.jpg

http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/h0/h1129.jpg The almost moon : a novel

The Yarn Diet is going okay….I’m not knitting much, mostly because the yarn I have is yarn I inherited when a friend moved away, and thus I have no project concepts for any of it, other than a king size scrap blanket.

I did finish a shrug, a vest and a beanie that I am particularly proud of:

February did bestow the Stitches West Knitting Convention in Santa Clara, CA. I did keep in mind the option of 5 anytime yarn puchases loophole with the Yarn Diet. I only made 2 purchases (of a TON of yarn), so I have 3 extra yarn purchases, and I think I added another 50 skeins to my stash. =/

Lets hope March is a more successful month.

The Night Bookmobile – Review

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The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

Age: Adult


The Night Bookmobile is a graphic short story that tells the story of a young woman who encounters a mysterious, disappearing Winnebego that carries the most valued elements of her past on the streets of Chicago. The night bookmobile is run by Mr. Openshaw and its hours run from Dusk to Dawn. Exploring through the stacks and stacks of books, Alexandra discovers that the bookmobile houses every single book she has every read, or attempted to read in her life. This chance encounter draws Alexandra into an almost obsessive cycle of reading, and trying to find the bookmobile once again, even going so far as to become a librarian to one day work for the bookmobile and The Library.

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. – Jorge Luis Borges, “Poema de los Dones”

This is the quote that kept running through my head while I read this graphic novel. Alexandra’s chance encounters with the bookmobile are sporadic, but timely.  She always comes across the bookmobile at a major turning point in her life, three major turning points to be exact. This book reads more like a cautionary tale against having too much love of reading and books (something unheard of among bibliophiles). Seeing the path Alexandra is drawn down is somewhat disturbing, but maybe because I see myself in her place. Who wouldn’t want their heaven to be full of books, read and unread? Audrey Niffenegger made an interesting point in the afterword:

As I worked it also became a story about the claims that books place on their readers, the imbalance between our inner and outer lives, a cautionary tale of the seductions of the written word. … What is it we desire from the hours, weeks, lifetimes we devote to books? What would you sacrifice to sit in that comfy chair with perfect light for an afternoon in eternity, reading the perfect book, forever?

It is a very haunting story, very much in step with Niffenegger’s style. I love my books, I love the stories, the characters and the lives I can spyon  in any book I pick up and read. But I’m not sure what I would sacrifice for that perfect book in that comfy chair with the perfect lighting. This book brings up many thoughts on life and death, being anti-social and the difference between living for a dream and living in reality. I think any reader who comes across this book should take a pause and really understand why they read and just where books fall in line with their priorities.

The Night Bookmobile
by Audrey Niffenegger
Abrams, 2010
ISBN 9780810996175
33 pages

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Find this book at your local library

The night bookmobile