Why I Avoid Book Talking

Confession: I avoid book talking at the weekly chat as often as I can.

The reason being that not a single book, movie, or TV show I’ve ever recommended was taken by the regular group of patrons who visit. My preferences are so far from theirs that I get polite nods and walk away with my arms full of the carefully selected items I had brought with me. I try to enliven my book talking with charming stories about how this book relates to my life, current events, etc. No dice!

With this bit of disappointment in mind, here are today’s selections:
The Rosie Project
BBC’s Sherlock
Spirited Away
O’ Brother Where Art Thou
The Arrangement by Mary Balogh
Remains of the Day
A Farewell to Arms
The Red Tent
Lost Cat: A Story of…
A Street Cat Named Bob
The Autobiography of Mark Twain

I then showed off the book journey bookmarks and explained the reasoning behind them: 3 books which share a theme tied together with a fun title and public domain artwork.

Sadly, I carried off all my books and movies again.

Lazy Sunday Movies

I woke up about 8 am today and decided that I’d relax today. I finished The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam before drifting off to sleep for another hour. Aside from the book’s extremely creative presentation of text smashing into words and posters, it made me sad to realize how even super famous people can disappear so quickly.

When I awoke, I then settled in to watch Summer Wars and Knowing. My roommate mentioned Summer Wars to me. The plot itself was weak, but the heroine’s extended family was awesome even if the two main characters were flat. Knowing was better than I thought it’d be, but I still paused it for an hour to do other things before coming back to finish it. The CGI was amazing with the plane crash. Both movies involved numbers which kinda weirded me out.

I then went to the Goodwill and picked up an amazing green dress and a 3 piece suit. The suit fits me to a T and makes me feel like a sexy lady librarian/adventurer. I can’t wait to get the proper stockings and shoes for it!

Then I returned to watch Atonement. I knew it was sad but I didn’t expect it to be gut-wrenching/let me cut my own heart out sad.

Finally a bit about yesterday’s shooting in Arizona: the violent political rhetoric in this country needs to stop. A staffer died trying to protect his boss, a husband died trying to protect his wife, a federal judge, an adult woman, as well as a 9 year old girl that was interested in politics. It’s amazing that the representative survived a gunshot to the temple. Blessings to all and Godspeed.

NaNoWriMo Day 4

I’m only 786 words short of being caught up from yesterday’s failure to write! I’m feeling pretty accomplished since I had a plot bunny snag me in between my writing sessions. It’s a plot twist that will take Eiffel by storm!

I made some major changes (AKA procrastinated) in the way I’m doing things. I researched using a few other writing software tools like Write Now 3 and Writer’s Cafe 2. Finally I hit on using OneNote which I swear by for keeping track of my school, webinars, and presentation notes. Unfortunately, I did not save links to any of the articles I was reading about using OneNote for NaNoWriMo, but if you’re interested, you can now ask me about how I’m using it! Actually, I think I’ll include a screenshot later when I’ve fleshed out my system some more.

Also I looked up some writing books but we’ll see if I have any time to squeeze reading any of them in while I write this month. Some books recommended to me include:

I can vouch for Stephen King because that was a requirement of my undergrad creative writing class. However, the only things I remember are: don’t use adverbs and his wife is the one who influences the directions of his stories because she reads them and makes comments. Over the summer I was also looking at the Plot & Structure book from the Write Greater Fiction series. It was amazing but alas, I had to build two websites…

While these books might not be of any use for me at the current time, if this novella is not too terrible, maybe I can use these books to whip it up into shape later. Now for the snippet:

“And how is she doing, little one?” She removed her gardening gloves with care and placed them inside her apron pocket.

Eiffel tried to sound light hearted about it as he replied, “She’s been busy. We only spoke twice last week though she seemed to be very excited and cheerful about things.”

“Do you think that means you’ll be an uncle soon?”

Eiffel had just taken his first sexual behaviors class last semester but the topic made his skin crawl at the idea that his sister could be doing anything like that. He resisted the urge to blush and instead cast his eyes upwards and said, “No, she said she is not going to have any kids soon.”

“They’ll be some pretty babies when they do though.”

He did reddened now and muttered that he thought that might be true.

“Of course it will be! You were a pretty baby too, you know. So it only makes sense that Ari’s babies will be just as pretty. That Vincenzo is a fine boy as well.”

Word Count: 5882

Lost My Books

My amazing boyfriend put together my Ikea Expedit bookcase on Saturday while I made cupcakes. Today I removed my manga (Japanese comics) from storage to finally put them on display only to discover that at least eight volumes are missing. Cue an overwhelming crushed feeling as I felt/feel like a failure for being unable to keep up with my most treasured books.

To add salt into this gaping wound, while price checking the cost of replacing the books, a complete mint condition set of the 1st edition Sailor Moon graphic novels is worth something like $500. My books were of course, mint condition. I’m feeling blind sighted here since I have looked in every single box, filing cabinet, dresser drawer, bookshelf, and all over the closet and am coming up empty handed. I BREATHED Sailor Moon for three years (1998 – 2001) so this is very personal to have lost these books.

My friends did their damnest to cheer me up tonight at the cook out before we walked downtown to the fireworks show, but the feeling came crushingly back on the way home. The books are replaceable (with many shiny pennies!) but just…dammit.

Good News For People Who Love News

I got word today that we’ve been given a green light to go ahead and obtain the new web server for work. With the progress I’ve made on the Drupal website, I’m hoping we can go into Beta by this weekend! Yesterday, I put in 8 hours to finish getting the international translations working, sprucing up the forums, and getting some of the kinks out of the ICL Classes Database. I even got personal contact forms working. So, needless to say, I’m feeling very positive about how this project is going now.

Today, I started my digitalization internship. I was fangirling the Espon ridiculously awesome scanner (price tag: $2,866.49) as I scanned in some theater happenings catalogs from 1969, 1977, and 2006 to turn into PDFs. I’m not 100% certain I did it absolutely right, but this isn’t archival quality so it didn’t matter as much if I was 110% or not. Tomorrow I’m bringing in my own mouse and a pillow since their mouse is too big and the chair is hard as a rock.

I also picked up some more library books so I’m excited all the way around. I’ll be getting offline in a few minutes to go read some books since I’m worn out of looking at a computer screen.

50 Years of The Elements of Style

While I’m a fan of this little book by Strunk and White, this writer harps on about how this book has damaged the writing of generations of Americans.

So I won’t be spending the month of April toasting 50 years of the overopinionated and underinformed little book that put so many people in this unhappy state of grammatical angst. I’ve spent too much of my scholarly life studying English grammar in a serious way. English syntax is a deep and interesting subject. It is much too important to be reduced to a bunch of trivial don’t-do-this prescriptions by a pair of idiosyncratic bumblers who can’t even tell when they’ve broken their own misbegotten rules.

I have half a shelf of grammar and writing books (I know, I know. I should be reading them!) and The Elements of Style is amongst my reference books. I enjoyed reading it in the car. My favorite grammar book though is Sin and Syntax.

My Favorite Books

  • Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery
    • I first received a 50 cent copy of Anne of Green Gables as a 5th grade Christmas present. I took to reading it the next November and it changed my life. It was also the only time my mom ever took me into a book store and bought me an entire series.
    • Read online here.
    • An article about the displacement of Anne in literature canon.
  • The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    • I had seen other kids carrying these books around but was determined not to read it since I always had a popularity contest in my reading selection. Then in 4th grade, we were forced to read Little House in the Big Woods and my heart was stolen away. Who can resist that opening line about “Long time before even today’s grandparents were born…”? A note about the readings is that they’re told out of order and a whole section of Laura’s life was not documented since it involved her family living over a saloon and the birth and death of the only male child of Ma and Pa Ingalls.
    • Read online here.
  • His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
    • A renowned atheist, Phillip Pullman brings together his great mockery in the most delicious package that ended up hurting and ultimately killing the success of The Golden Compass movie when the religious undertones were ripped out in order to appeal to a wider audience (it’s still amazingly stunning. The child playing Lyra was spot on; I wish we could have seen Will in movie form too). Don’t let the religious undertones turn you away, since this is an amazing series which still leaves you feeling unsatisfied at the end, though you know it had to end that way at the end.
  • The Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix
    • In high school, the first book, Sabriel, was making the rounds of my friends. My friend asked a few of us to read a passage to ourselves and then once we were all done, he asked us to describe how we had imagined that particular scene. It was unnerving how differently we could interpret the exact same words! These books are a bit gruesome as they deal with death and demons, but the flawed characters and swiftly moving storyline draws you in till the bitter end.
    • Personally I listened to the series through the magic of Tim Curry’s reading voice. If you’ve got a lot of driving to do, this is the way I recommend it since he does a beautiful job with the unfamiliar names.
  • The Song of the Lioness Quartet: Alanna series by Tamora Pierce
    • Introduced to me in middle school, I was scandalized by the final two books. Here is a heroine gone undercover to become a knight who also has a healthy sexual appetite. How many female heroines can claim that? Tamora Pierce continues to dabble in Alanna’s world through several series, so it’s fun to get occasional peeks at what Alanna continues to be doing in her life.
  • The Dragonlord series by Joanne Bertin

Google lets you custom-print out of copyright books

Looks like Google has found a way to get out of copyright books available for readers to print on the cheap.

Neller said the deal was clearly about the long tail of books, a reference to Wired magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson’s theory that hits become less important when distribution costs drop. One of the main benefits, according to Neller, is letting local book stores compete with Amazon.com by reducing their need to have expensive inventory.

For librarians this means that older books can be obtainable for much cheaper prices than trying to secure the books expensively online. Or that older copies of books won’t be damaged since copies can be printed out and sold that leaves the authentic original copies intact.