Thursday, October 28, 2010

20 Heroic Librarians Who Save the World

I love superheroes.  My favorite female superhero has always been Wonder Woman.  But now I'm thinking, Superman's biological Mother might have been pretty cool too.  Heroic Librarians

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

I love this quote by Neil Gaiman about Audrey Niffenegger's first graphic novel, so I intend to get a copy for my personal bookshelf:

"The Night Bookmobile is a love letter, both elegiac and heartbreaking, to the things we have read, and to the readers that we are. It says that what we read makes us who we are. It's a graphic short story, beautifully drawn and perfectly told, a cautionary fantasia for anyone who has ever loved books, and I hope the story of the library, of Alexandra, finds its place on the night bookmobiles of all of who'd care. It's a treasure." —Neil Gaiman

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney by Howard Sounes

Howard Sounes is the author of Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan.  In this recently published biography of Paul McCartney, former Quarryman, Beatle, Wing, Poet, Father, Front man, Producer, Business Mogul, Painter, and Knight, he presents two years of investigation into every aspect of Macca's life and work.  He covers it all; early life, life as a Beatle, and even Paul's disastrous second marriage to Heather Mills.  To those who are well acquainted with McCartney, there won't be much new in this offering, but to the casual reader it's a pretty good summation of Paul's life up to this point.  There are quite a few Source Notes, a bibliography, an extensive index, and the requisite sprinkling of pictures.

McCartney is the most successful Beatle, not only musically, but financially.  This treatment of his life and times is another interesting piece of the puzzle.

Friends of Libraries

Find a friends group and join it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Literary Sandwich

Well this was just cute:  "The Nora Roberts sandwich:  all cheese."  Hee...Hee!

Little Librarian

Awww.  Wish they would have had this when I was a kid.

Chicago's Best Used Book Stores

After spending years in the Chicago area, I couldn't help but pay attention to The Huffington Post's recent listing of "Chicago's Best Used Book Stores".  I worked at the University of Chicago in the Hyde Park neighborhood, and one of my favorite lunch time activities was to peruse the Used Book Stores, which seemed to be on every other corner.  It was one of the things I really missed when I moved here to Kentucky and found the town I lived in did not have one bookstore, much less a used one.

One of my favorites from the University/Hyde Park community was the Seminary Co-Op.  The lovely thing about this place was its quirky layout and its emphasis on the Books.  You really felt like you were Alice going down the rabbit hole.  It was a total experience.  I understand they are moving now, to a place bigger, and only a block away from the original store, but I do hope they manage to hang on to the unique character that the old place provided. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

While We've Still Got Feet by David Budbill

Inspired by classical Chinese hermit-poets, David Budbill has spent 35 years on the side of a mountain in Vermont writing about his wilderness home, loneliness, and mortality, with great humor and insight.  If you listen to The Writer's Almanac, you may have heard Garrison Keillor reading some of David's poetry.  For a time he was a commentator on NPR's "All Things Considered".  He also has a website where he edits and publishes "The Judevine Mountain Emailite: An On-line and On-going Journal of Politics and Opinion" (see ).  You may want to check out some of his poetry books, or essays and plays, or one of his children's books, or Young Adult books.

This slim volumeof poetry is a delight.  David's poems are funny, self deprecating, and contain a lot of wisdow.

A couple of examples:

we are
bones and ash,
the roots of weeds
poking through
our skulls.

simple clothes,
empty mind,
full stomach,
alive, aware,
right here,
right now.

Drunk on music,
who needs wine?

Come on,
let's go dancing
while we've still
got feet.

Ryokan Says
With what can I
compare this life?
     Weeds floating on water.

And there you are with your
dreams of immortality
     through poetry.

Pretty pompous--
don't you think?--for a
     weed floating on water?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

15 Amazing Literary Tattoos from Diehard Bookworms

The Huffington Post featured a slide show of literary tattoos that are pretty cool.  Check it out.

But my favorite perhaps is one that a fan of children's author Brian Lies had done from his book Bats at the Library.  Her entire left arm from elbow to shoulder displays the book jacket.

Literature's 10 Best-Dressed Authors

Sartorial splendor is not usually associated with authors, but there are a few who are recognized for their style as well as their literary skill.  Check out flavorwire for a list of authors with distinctive personal styles.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Resolution by Robert B. Parker

This book is the October selection for our local Book Club, the Porch Page Turners.  We have a woman in our group who loves westerns, so we try to include one every year for her.

I must admit that I like westerns too, as well as biographies, fiction, non-fiction, juvenile, young name it.  If it's a good book, I'll read it.

Parker is the same author who writes about the street-smart Boston private-eye, Spenser, and he is known as the dean of American crime fiction.

He published his first western in 2001, Gunman's Rhapsody.

The two main characters in this book are Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole.  After a bloody confrontation in Appaloosa, Hitch winds up in Resolution.  He takes a job as a lookout at Amos Wolfson's Blackfoot Saloon and becomes the protector of the ladies who work the backrooms.  He is a man who is not afraid to stand up to people when it's required.  He manages to make short work of a hired gun, and tensions begin to mount.  Hitch is relieved when his old friend Virgil Cole arrives on the scene.  But soon they find themselves in the middle of a war between the two businessmen who want to own the town, the local ranchers who are just trying to hold on and make a hardscrabble living, and the miners who work the copper mine.

This was a fast and easy read.  The dialogue is sparse, but they manage to communicate quite a lot in just a few words.  The action is fast paced and justice is meted out usually on the need for a trial or long incarceration first.  I think this may be the appeal of westerns in today's fast paced complicated society.  It harkens back to a simpler time when men and women on the frontier didn't have any kind of governmental backup and often had to make split second decisions involving life and death and live with the consequences.  Most people probably think of gunslingers as a pretty uneducated lot, but the charm of a Parker western is the fact that Everett Hitch is a former West Point man who is well acquainted with books and reading and philosophy.

If you like westerns, this one should suit you...and even if you don't usually read them, this one would be an enjoyable diversion.
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