Saturday, April 7, 2007

"I don't know about you, but I'm kind of fed up with realism. After all, there's enough reality already; why make more of it? Why not leave realism for the memoirs of drug addicts, the histories of salt, the biographies of porn stars? Why must we continue to read about the travails of divorced people or mildly depressed Canadians when we could be contemplating the shopping habits of zombies, or the difficulties that ensue when living and dead people marry each other? We should be demanding more stories about faery handbags and pyjamas inscribed with the diaries of strange women. We should not rest until someone writes about a television show that features the Free People's World-Tree Library, with its elaborate waterfalls and Forbidden Books and Pirate-Magicians. We should be pining for a house haunted by rabbits." - Audrey Niffenegger

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Scaredy Squirrel: Short & Sweet Review

I just read a great book: Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watts.

It's about a very anxious squirrel and what happens when he (accidentally) leaves the safety of his tree-home and routine.

Read it!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pimp My Bookcart

You know you can't go wrong with a title like that.

The Overdue Media blog hosted a contect called "Pimp My Bookcart" and got quite a response - over 100 entries!

Go here to see the winners (and look at the subsequent post for runners-up).

I love the Support Glitteracy hippie bus!

BoLS: Week #1

I am a bit behind in posting about Betting on Library Science, because we actually started this part week (The BoLS week starts Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning.)

This week's number was 497 and that means the topic was "North American Native Languages."

For this week's Betting on Library Science topic (North American Native Languages), I decided to read some articles and bits. I picked the Lenape language, since that was a native one in the area where we live.

Here's an excerpt:

"Lenapé or Unami Delaware is an Algonquian language originally spoken in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. There are no fully fluent speakers of Lenape Delaware anymore, but the younger generation of Lenapes has undergone a resurgence of interest in reviving the Delaware language. Southern Delaware or Nanticoke, last spoken in the mid-1800's, and Munsee Delaware, still spoken by elders in Ontario, are considered distinct languages by most linguists because the different groups of Delawares could not easily understand each other. Today, however, some Lenape language activists are trying to combine the Unami and Munsee languages into a single Delaware language to improve its chances of survival."

Here are some words. If you click on the Lenape word, it'll take you to a page where you can hear it spoken! Neat.

English Lenape
sun kishux
night piskewëni
moon piskewëni kishux
I sing* ntasuwi

*According to my understanding, Lenape does not have a separate infinitive (like "to sing") the way English does.

Here's another note about the language.

Categories of Words in Lenape:

"In some languages, words are put into categories according to sex or gender, so that some words are masculine, and some are feminine. Lenape also uses categories, but they are not based on gender.
The two categories in Lenape are ANIMATE and INANIMATE. The terms animate" and "inanimate" are simply convenient labels that reflect the Lenape division of everything in the world. Nearly all living things are Animate."

Go here if you want to read some more.

OK - that was really interesting and fun! I love BoLS.

Betting on Library Science

My creative and fantastic partner came up with an idea I love. In his words:

I have an idea for an exciting and interesting reading project, for any and all (or none, to be fair: I'm not the boss of you) of us to do. It is called "Betting on Library Science." The idea is, every Tuesday evening we all check to see what is the winning PA Lottery Daily Number. Taking that number, we then consult the venerable and awesome Dewey Decimal System, to find what the topic is of our book, and then we read a book from that topic (you could also just go to the library and browse the section, which would add a lovely tactile element and get you out of the house).

Example: If the winning number were 681, we would be reading about "Precision Instruments and Other Devices." Or if it were 799, we would be forced to find something readable in "fishing, hunting, and shooting." It's an exercise in expanding our horizons!

Just one note, though: some numbers are "Not assigned or no longer used." Should the winning lottery number be one of these, simply count upwards until you hit an active Dewey Decimal Number (i.e., if the number was 776, you would count up to 778, "Fields and kinds of photography."

Have fun!

I think this idea is just stellar. There are lots of options: reading a whole book, just reading part, simply browsing that section of the library, or reading an article on the topic.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

BTT: Short

I'm going to start doing the weekly Booking Through Thursday memes.!

1. Short Stories? Or full-length novels?

I want to read short stories. I really do. But I almost never like them. Or at least - I don't like them as much as novels, so I just go with a full-length book instead.

What is is about short stories that so often disappoints me? Maybe I just need more time to get involved with a story.

2. And, what's your favorite source for short stories? (You know, if you read them.)

Well, I never really read them. But I like the idea of short story collections from all different authors. Collections with a theme or the 'best' stories of the year are appealing, but they just never work out for me.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Reader's Bill of Rights

1. The right to not read.
2. The right to skip pages.
3. The right to not finish.
4. The right to reread.
5. The right to read anything.
6. The right to escapism.
7. The right to read anywhere.
8. The right to browse.
9. The right to read out loud.
10. The right not to defend your tastes.

~ Better Than Life by Daniel Pennac

I like this. Don't you find yourself imposing weird rules on your reading sometimes? There are no rules!