Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

SMILE! You’re on Bibliophile Camera!

June 11, 2008

I just had an experience that made me smile.

I was just sitting here at my desk when a high school kid walked by.  I’m guessing he had just been to the library about a block away because he had a book in his hand.  He wasn’t just carrying it, though, he had his nose pressed into it like there was nothing in the world but him and the book.

This is the first time I’ve seen any evidence of the kids from this high school reading, they’re usually much more interesting in SCREAMING! cuss words at each other or throwing a hackey sack back and forth across a crowded street.  Seeing this kid reading as if his life depended on it made me happy.
It must be an epidemic!  Another group of kids just walked past me that included two girls huddled together pointing things out to each other in a book.  I may have to see if this library is brainwashing kids or something, and then volunteer to help.

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Tuesday Thingers – Tagging

June 10, 2008

Today’s question is about tags- do you tag? How do you tag? How do you feel about tagging- do you think it would be better to have standardized tags, like libraries have standardized subject headings, or do you like the individualized nature of tagging? What are your top 5 tags and what do they say about your collection or your reading habits?

My tagging methods have changed somewhat over my year at LT.  When I first joined, I used my tags as a basis for organizing my physical library.  Basically I was using hierarchical tags, but I was not calling them that.  A set of tags for a book might be historical fiction, Europe, England, 16th century.  Books were organized alphabetically by each successive tag.  Historical fiction was after just fiction, but before history.  Historical fiction from England came right before historical fiction based in France.  It was a somewhat cumbersome process and was sort of annoying to have to think through every time I added a new book to my library.
After having to pack and unpack all of my books, I decided to abandon my tagging organization – mostly because I didn’t want to have to meticulously order all of my books again.  Besides that, I think tagging is more interesting when there is some content tagging, as opposed to mere genre/subject tagging, like I was doing before.  This helps me see the cross-genre connections between my books.  All my books dealing with immigration, for instance, books that wouldn’t necessarily be shelved together.

This subject-based tagging is definitely a work in progress, but it is made so much easier by LibraryThing’s new tag page, which easily lets me tweak my tagging so that I don’t have two similar tags.

Unexpected Bookmark

June 9, 2008

Last night, as I was getting ready to go out and run an errand, I asked Brian if he could please feed our cats because I had noticed their food bowl was low (but not empty). He grunted in a noncommittal way that led me to assume that he would do it.

When I got back from my errand, he struck up a conversation.

“What book are you reading now,” he asked.

“Dolphins Under My Bed.”

“Did I see that one? That sounds like something I would remember.”

So of course I had to go off to get my book to show him the cover, all along explaining that this was one of the books I was reviewing for ReaderViews. After showing him the cover and getting a sort of “oh, okay,” from him, I of COURSE flipped the book open. What I saw was this:

I guess he didn’t want to feed them after all!

What odd things have you found in your book? Notes people have left you, strange things left in used or library books.
Or, what odd things do you use for bookmarks?

Sunday Salon – Printer’s Row, Part 2

June 8, 2008

Well, my day at the Printer’s Row Book Fair got cancelled due to weather.  I left church and it was pouring, but the wind was too strong to use an umbrella.  It was like jumping into the shower with all of my clothes on.  We have strong thunderstorm warnings for the rest of the day.

I do have a fair amount of work to get done today, but I think I’ll spend at least some of the time that I would have been down there reading.  I’m working on “Dolphins Under My Bed” by Sandra Clayton.  It is interesting, but I don’t think it is something I can spend hours at a time reading.  It seems to work best reading just 2-3 chapters at a time.  I just can’t figure out what I want to read with it…

Oh, and by the way, here’s a copy of the business cards we made up.  Too bad I can’t use them today.

Search Terms

June 6, 2008

Here is ANOTHER fun idea I am stealing from Natasha over at Maw Books. For a couple of months now she’s been listing the search terms people used to find her blog. Fyrefly did this recently as well. I’ve been saying I want to do it for awhile, then a search term leading to me this last week made me decide I definitely needed to do this as soon as possible. See if you can guess what it was…

devourer of books – This is the #1 most-searched thing for people to find my blog. I guess that means people are actually looking for me.

librarything top 106 unread – Not only did I do that meme here, but TheLiterateHousewife and I are planning to create a challenge based off of this meme this fall. Check back!

andrew davidson gargoyle – An amazing book that I couldn’t put down. See my review here.

“doug dorst” necropolis – Another great first novel that I just reviewed. The full title is “Alive in Necropolis”

“beatrice colin” glimmer palace – I have this book, a review is coming sometime this summer before it is released.

npr summer reading – I posted about this, listing the choices that most interested me as well linking to the actual list.

“pagan kennedy” “dangerous joy” – Another one that I have and that will be reviewed soonish.

jennifer cardwell book blog – Yup, you’re at the right place!

three cups of tea movie – Not according to IMDB, but that would be pretty cool. The book was my very first review here!

the last queen by cw gortner – Good choice, that was my #1 pick in April!

jurassic park book and movies difference – No idea. I hope that you found something else interesting here, because I have definitely not posted about that.  My sister wants me to add that I DID post about Jurassic Park, both the movie and the book, in a Booking Through Thursday post.  I didn’t talk about the difference between them, though, just that I preferred the movie because I saw it before I read the book.

the illegitimate children of henry viii – Really, does NOBODY use capitals when searching? Henry had a few illegitimate children, if you believe that he really fathered Mary Boleyn’s two kids. Here’s some research that suggests he did.

Books – Yes, I DO like books! I can’t believe you noticed!

“dangerous joy of dr sex” – This book gets a fair amount of searches. I may have to move it up my TBR pile, because it seems like lots of people are interested.

people devourer – Twice this was searched and people ended up here. I’m slightly afraid.

devourer of book – Don’t forget the ‘s’! Honestly, I think maybe some people need to be using their bookmarks on their browser or google reader a little more.

mary boleyn tudor period – What other period would she have lived in? She was younger than Henry, so she wouldn’t have been born before his father took the throne, and she certainly didn’t outlive her sister’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I.

devourer – Again. Bookmark/google reader.

book blogs – This is one, and there are other good ones in my blogroll (which needs badly to be updated) and on my May Thank Yous list.

how many kings and queens have there been – In the whole WORLD? I’ve got no clue. Lots and lots, I would imagine. I need a country to be able to answer that question. It looks like 46 in France before they started losing their heads, and 40 in England starting with William the Conqueror and not counting Oliver Cromwell et. al. I did read a good book about the Kings and Queens of England which, I suspect, is how you ended up here.

mary boylyn – You aren’t going to get too far misspelling her name like that…

sara boleyn sister of anne Boleyn – Yah, no such person. You are thinking of MARY.

mary carey nee rochford – No, she wasn’t born Rochford. She was born Boleyn. Rochford is a town in England and it was the site of one of the Boleyn family’s estates. Mary and Anne’s brother George was Viscount Rochford.

mary boleyn movies – Philippa Gregory’s “The Other Boleyn Girl” was made into a movie. I reviewed it here.

movie historical inaccuracies BoleynTons of them!

read the book two brothers – If you mean “Two Brothers: One North, One South,” I honestly wouldn’t if I were you.

what the bible says about devourer – I have no words and no idea. I found these two passages. Pretty much not at all related to anything on this site. Hope you eventually found what you were looking for!

Author Meme and Catch Up

June 6, 2008

Towards the end of my contest, I was essentially rationing my posts.  I didn’t want the contest to end too soon, and I didn’t want to get stuck where I COULDN’T do Sunday Salon or Tuesday Thingers because that would be the 100th post.  Because of that, I put off doing the memes I was tagged for.  Both Lisa from “Alive on the Shelves” and Carey from “The Tome Traveller” tagged me for the author meme.  I cannot find the comment, but someone also tagged me for the 6 random things meme.  Since I’ve already done that, here’s a link if you want to see it again.

Author Meme:
1. Who’s your all-time favorite author, and why?

John Steinbeck.  No question.  He is the author of two out of the five books on the “Read These or Never Talk to Me Again” (opens a word document) portion of my book list (opens as a Word document).  The books are “East of Eden” and “Grapes of Wrath,” by the way.

2. Who was your first favorite author, and why?

Again, there is no question.  It was definitely Dr. Seuss.  “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Cat in the Hat,” and my all time favorite (which nobody has ever heard of)….”The Butter Battle Book.”  Imagine my surprise as a history- and politics-loving high schooler when I picked up “The Butter Battle Book” again and realized it was thinly disguised commentary on the Cold War and the arms race, dressed up with fun rhymes!  Talk about a book that works at a lot of levels!

3. Who’s the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?

Margaret Atwood and Margaret George.  I’ve only read one of Atwood’s books, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but I LOVED it.  I’ve read two by George at this point (including “Memoirs of Cleopatra“)

4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Are there any you’d add on a moment of further reflection?
Steinbeck, Atwood, Jean Plaidy.

Andrew Davidson and Doug Dorst may be there if they can keep up their good work.  Perhaps Jeffrey Eugenides too, because I really loved Middlesex.

I’m not going to tag anyone, because I think that most people already did it while I was procrastinating.  If you haven’t and you want to, though, feel free!

BTT – Reading Trends

June 5, 2008

Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?

My reading tastes have changed a fair amount, although I don’t always realize it as it tends to happen gradually.  One major change is that I have cut out those ultra-prolific writers who churn out the same story over and over with slight variations.  In high school I was a huge fan of both John Grisham and Mary Higgins Clark.  I read everything that both of them wrote.  Now, though, I’m not sure you could induce me to return.  There are so many fantastic authors telling fantastic stories that are not simply variations on the same theme.

Having this blog has also helped me even out my reading.  For a couple of years there I was reading almost exclusively historical fiction, primarily set in England and largely dealing with the Tudors.  Lots of Jean Plaidy and Philippa Gregory.  I didn’t want my blog to be pigeon-holed as just an historical fiction blog, though, so I’ve re-broadened my horizons a bit.  Lots more memoirs than before, I’m finally getting into short stories.  Plus, I have been trying to read more books realistically set around the world for my Read Around the World challenge to myself.  This, in addition with LibraryThing recommendations, has made me a more well-rounded reader.

This Blog Goes to 11(th grade)

June 4, 2008

blog readability test

Excuse the terrible, terrible, headline, but I’m tired and punchy while writing this post. This is something I found while checking out Heather’s blog: Age 30 – A Year of Books. Basically the site calculates the readability of your blog, determining the requisite level of education for comprehension. I had a great deal of fun sticking everyone’s urls in to see what everyone else’s readability level is. Unfortunately the site doesn’t give any information on how they calculate, average readabilities, or anything else that is fun. Based on the fact that many of the blogs I checked were listed as being ‘Elementary School’ or ‘Junior High’ I’ve come to two conclusions:

  1. There are some stinkin’ smart grade school kids out there!
  2. I’m probably a bit pretentious in my writing, as I certainly wouldn’t label as ‘juvenile’ the blogs that came up “Elementary’ or ‘Junior High.’ In fact, those are some of my favorite blogs!

What is YOUR blog’s readability, and what conclusions did you draw from that?

May Thank Yous

June 2, 2008

I saw a huge increase in traffic in May over April (one week in particular had more views than the entire month of April!), so I wanted to thank everyone has visited. Of course, I don’t know who you are if you don’t comment, so thanks to the following people (in no particular order):

Thank you all! Come back and let me know it in June!

May Reading Wrap-Up

May 30, 2008

I read 14 books in May. I likely would have read more, had it not been for the reading ennui I experienced near the beginning of the month and the resulting theme read of some long books. If I hadn’t had two four-hour plane rides and a fair amount of time in airports and on public transit, I probably wouldn’t have attained 14. It didn’t hurt that both “Monique and the Mango Rains” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” were so engaging that I read them each in basically one sitting.

Of these books, two were read for ReaderViews, three (well, 2.5) for a theme read on Dracula/vampires, one was provided by Literary Ventures Fund, one was read for book club, one for LibraryThing Early Reviewers, one for a LibraryThing group read, two ‘just because,’ and three were sent to me for review.

Note: The titles of the books link to my reviews.

My Reading Wrap-Up for May

Fiction (Novels)

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – Buy on Amazon

Dracula by Bram Stoker – Buy on Amazon

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Buy on Amazon

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (review to follow later today) – Preorder on Amazon

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (review to follow after book club) – Buy on Amazon

Fiction (Short Stories)

Politics Noir edited by Gary Phillips – Buy on Amazon

Historical Fiction

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff – Preorder on Amazon

The Aviary Gate by Katie Hickman – Buy on Amazon

Memoir

Someday My Prince Will Come by Jerramy Fine – Buy on Amazon

Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway – Buy on Amazon

Have I Got A Guy for You! edited by Alix Strauss (review coming) – Buy on Amazon

Storm Over Morocco by Frank Romano – Buy on Amazon

Nonfiction

Kings and Queens of England: A Tourist Guide by Jane Murray

Vlad the Impaler by M.J. Trow – Buy on Amazon

Top Pick for the Month

Monique and the Mango Rains cover

“Monique and the Mango Rains,” by Kris Holloway, is the story of Kris’ time in the Peace Corps in Mali, particularly her interaction with Monique Dembele, Kris’ host and the village midwife. Monique was an amazing woman and this is a well written, amazing story. David Ebershoff’s “The 19th Wife,” Andrew Davidson’s “The Gargoyle,” and Jerramy Fine’s “Someday My Prince Will Come” were in a close three-way tie for second place with “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Middlesex” not far behind (man, I read some fantastic books this month!), but there was such power in Holloway’s story, that I was compelled to choose it for the top honor. The only thing that could have made this book better was if it was three times as long.

Reminder: There is still time to get in on the contest! All of these books (and any others I have reviewed) are up for grabs!