Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Woman I Was Born to Be by Susan Boyle

Everybody knows her story.  A couple of years ago, if you weren't from Blackburn, a village in West Lothian, Scotland, you would never have heard of her.  In April, 2009, she was catapulted to global fame when the YouTube video of her audition for Britain's Got Talent touched the hearts of millions all over the world.

To this day, when I watch that video, it makes me cry.  That audience and those judges had prejudged Susan before she even opened her mouth...based solely on her looks.  But she wasn't there to be a model.  She was there to sing.  And when she opened her mouth and sang, she blew them all out of the water.  She showed them exactly what she was made of, and in the process held a mirror up to their snide judgmental attitude that showed them just how "ugly" they were.

This book tells the story of her life, how she was born to sing, the challenges she has struggled to overcome, and the astonishing transformation from humble village woman to international superstar.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Story Book Gown

This is just too cool not to share.

Bookpocalypse Now!

Among the many things Japanese people are mourning after the earthquake are their libraries.  Japanese people have been uploading hundreds of images of stripped library shelves and piles of unorganized books.  It is a good visual of the power of the quake.  The Book Bench's Macy Halford has an interesting theory why.  Read about it here.

John Green Loves Librarians

John Green, the author of "Looking for Alaska" and other extremely popular books was at the recent ALA Conference in Anaheim, California.  I'm planning on attending the ALA Conference in New Orleans this year, and I hope I run into a few folks just like John while I'm there.  Gotta love that enthusiasm!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Library Haunting

This article from Utne Reader has so many statements that so captures the feelings I have when I'm in a library.  Here's one of them:  "...enter a library, and we lose our hard surfaces and become porous, like paper waiting for ink. We breathe in the smell, that sweet intermingling of must and glue, and our troubles melt away. Our despair at the desk when the words wouldn’t come; our irritation at an imagined slight or a telephone that rang and rang; our sore back—all forgotten. Here, in the hush of the stacks, we can forget the day’s indignities; here, we can recover our curiosity and hope."  This spirited defense of public libraries is a must read.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

In 1993, Greg Mortenson failed to climb K2 and was nursed back to health in an impoverished Pakistan village.  To repay their kindness, he promised to return and build a school.  This book is the story of that promise and the extraordinary lengths Mortenson went to to fulfill his promise.  Over the next ten years, Mortenson built not just one but 55 schools, especially for girls, in the forbidding terrain that birthed the Taliban.  It is an amazing story of grit, determination, and courage.  This is one man's riveting adventure that spawned a great humanitarian effort.

Read this book.  But, better than that, follow your heart, and hopefully this book will be a catalyst to bring the gift of literacy to children who deserve a chance to go to school.  If the book inspires you to do more, here are suggestions for how you can help:

1.  Visit the web site for more information.  If you purchase your copy of the book online through this web site, 7% of the book purchase will go toward a girls' education scholarship fund in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

2.  Suggest Three Cups of Tea to a friend, colleague, book club, women's group, church, civic group, etc.

3.  Check to see if Three Cups of Tea is in your locall library.  If not, consider donating the book.

4.  Pennies for Peace,, is designed for school-children.  Get your local school involved to make a difference.

5.  Make a tax-deductible contribution to the Central Asia Institute, P O Box 7209, Bozeman, MT 59771.  It costs $1 per month for one child's education in Pakistan or Afghanistan, a penny to buy a pencil, and a teacher's salary averages $1 per day.

A nice list of bloggers for you to check out

Never Growing Old: Over 40 Bloggers!!

What's the next chapter for book shelves?

Home builders are still putting in bookshelves, but this article in the Star Tribune discusses the current trend in what goes on those shelves.  And though I'm not against putting other things on my shelves besides books, and do, the majority of the space on my shelves will still be dedicated to books.
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