Monday, June 30, 2008

Raved-About Book List

Raved-About Book List

The Age of Gold by H. W. Brands
At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester
A Death in the Family by James Agee
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead edited by Jeffrey Eugenides
Native Son by Richard Wright
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Once and Future King by T. H. White
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Praying for Sheetrock by Melissa Fay Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer
Sundays in America by Suzanne Strempek Shea
Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Final Read-a-Thon Read: Underground

You know how Hakuri Murakami is wacky and zany and nutso? Well, not in Underground. He's a Serious Journalist. I was like a third grader in the last hour of the day; I could hardly keep my seat.

But plug away I did, as Murakami interviewed victim after victim. And so on and so on.

Good news: I'm finished with one more dusty BookCrossing book.

Post-Event Questions

Look Familiar?

Here are the post-event survey questions:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Surprisingly, it was about five this morning.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Books that meet the requirements for a personal challenge

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?Everything was wonderful

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
It seemed to flow like clockwork.

5. How many books did you read?8!

6. What were the names of the books you read?
The Archivist, The Mammy, Rascal, Five Little Peppers, Underground, Never Cry Wolf, Beasts, Pippa Passes

7. Which book did you enjoy most? Definitely Never Cry Wolf

8. Which did you enjoy least? Underground

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? n/a

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?I would love to participate again!

One More

But it's a big boy---364 pages---nonfiction---Haruki Murakami---Underground.

I need to get this book read. Another slacker that's been hanging around my shelves for over five years.

One more time: "I think I can...I think I can..."

Reading Update: Hour 21

Rascal by Sterling North

I'd anticipated spending the full twenty-four hours reading Newbery Honor books, but somehow this is the only one I have managed to finish today.

Rascal is a raccoon who befriends a young Sterling North. Together with Sterling's indulgent father, the raccoon and boy traverse the wilds of Wisconsin, camp near lakes, and watch wild deer and mink. It's a small book that draws beautiful pictures of life in America during the latter part of World War I.

Reading Update: The Mammy

The Mammy has sat here on my bookshelf for almost four years. I finally picked it up and read it tonight.

What a crazy story! Agnes Browne and her heap of seven children. Her husband dead. Agnes never quite getting it.

A hoot!

Up Next: Rascal by Sterling North

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 16

Never Cry Wolf Haiku

Marauding killers
Vicious cruel predators
Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong

Reading Update: Now I'm off to try The Mammy.

Reading Update: Never Cry Wolf

I just finished my fifth book, Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. My favorite book of the Read-a-thon. So far.

Farley Mowat heads off into the Canadian wilderness in search of wolves. He knows everything people have learned about wolves and everything he knows is wrong.

I wasn't expecting this to be such a clever and funny book. Highly recommended.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 13

Poetry! Dear poetry!
Oh, how I love thee,
Poetry, sweet poetry!
---Debbie Nance, written rather spontaneously at 11 pm during 24-hour Read-a-Thon

Here's one that seems appropriate for this evening:
First Fig
MY CANDLE burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light!
---Edna St. Vincent Milay

Another favorite:
Invitation by Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

And, finally, a poem that I love to read again and again:

God Says Yes To Me by Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 12

1. What are you reading right now? Never Cry Wolf

2. How many books have you read so far? Four

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? One of the Newbery Honor books

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? I posted my husband as guard and instructed him to tell all callers, "She is not available right now."

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? DH was admirably effective on guard duty.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I'm not reading as much as I'm browsing around blogs. :-)

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I would have done better if I'd started earlier in the day.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? A few more short books?

9. Are you getting tired yet? Who, me? Tired? Me who usually goes to bed at 8 pm?

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Knocking off my BookCrossing TBR is very motivating.

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 11

A new button for Read-a-Thon.

Reading update: I'm just starting Never Cry Wolf.

Read-a-Thon: Hours: 8, 9, and 10

Fourth book of the read-a-thon completed: Pippa Passes by Rumer Godden

Pippa is startled to find herself chosen to dance with her ballet company on an international tour. While in Venice, she is selected to dance a special part designed with her in mind. She meets a handsome gondolier who hears her beautiful voice and decides she is perfect for his band.

A delightful lark of a story.

I'll try Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat next.

Read-a-Thon: Hours 6 and 7

I finished my third book of the read-a-thon, Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates. The book arrived in the mail four years ago, a surprise gift of a fellow BookCrosser.

What can I say about Beasts? If it were a movie, it would be rated R, R for raunchy and revealing and reviling and revengeful. The story centers on a young college student who falls in love with her writing professor and his wife. The professor reads poetry from D. H. Lawrence and exorts his students to go for the jugular, seducing every girl in the class with his voice and his eyes. Gillian, like the others, falls for his charms. When the professor and his wife head off to Europe for Christmas break, Gillian discovers photographs that reveal the identities of others the two have used and discarded. The professor and his wife have wielded the power of their bohemian lifestyle on the innocents of the college to suit their own purposes. Gillian responds with fury and gets her revenge.

Next up: Pippa Passes by Rumer Godden. I need a cold, clear glass of spring water after Beasts.

Read-a-Thon: Hour 5

Here I am, ready for the read-a-thon!

Update: I'm finished with Five Little Peppers. The Peppers are horribly poor, too poor for the children to go to school, too poor to celebrate Christmas, too poor to even buy an envelope to mail a letter in. Then the Peppers meet Jasper and their lives do a complete turnaround.

Five years I've had the Five Little Peppers. I've finally completed it!

Next up: Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates. This one I've only had four years!

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 4

"I think if we are going to reform the world, and make it a better place to live in, the way to do it is not with talk about relationships of a political nature, which are inevitably dualistic, full of subjects and objects and their relationship to one another; or with programs full of things for other people to do....The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there. Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has more lasting value."

---from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

Read-a-Thon: Hour 3

Book completed: The Archivist by Martha Cooley

I'm participating in a twenty-four hour read-a-thon. I chose this as my first read (or half-read, as I was already up to page 175 when I started the read-a-thon).

Thoughts about the book: This book reminds me in many ways of one of my all-time favorite reads, Possession. The novel has several storylines: Matt and Judith, Roberta and her boyfriend, Roberta's parents, Judith's parents, and Eliot and his wife and Emily Hale.

As a librarian, I was intrigued with the idea of saving or not saving written work. In some fashion, Matt blamed Judith's fall into insanity on his destruction of her survivor files and her poems. Judith had relied on Matt to keep these, but he felt their presence was exacerbating her illness. The saving of Eliot's letters to Emily went against Eliot's wishes, and the novel concludes with Matt's thoughtful destruction of the letters.

The other theme of the book was Judaism vs. Christianity. All the characters of the novel wrestled with religion. Several converted from Judaism to Christianity. Christianity was a refuge for those who had suffered as Jews. However, it caused great suffering for those who later learned of the conversions.

I've had this book for over three and a half years. I'm happy to have finished it.

Now on to Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, a book I've had sitting on my shelf for over five years.

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 2

Curiosity made me put down The Archivist and head to Unshelved Book Club.

I've never heard of a webcomic.

I subscribe to Unshelved. Unfortunately, when I subscribed, I listed my school e-mail. Unshelved is blocked at my school. Life is ironic.

Now and then, I go to Unshelved's website and look at the comics. (Excuse me, webcomics).

And now I've visited the Unshelved Book Club. Fun.

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 1

Where are you reading from today?

I'm in what my sons call my Meditation Room. It has everything I need for the Read-a-Thon: comfortable chair, day bed, meditation fountain, meditation candles, two laptops, and stacks and stacks of books.

3 facts about me:

1. I've been reading since I was two years old.
2. I am a librarian, so I even get to read at work.
3. I usually fall asleep reading. It will be tough for me to stay awake from 10 pm to 6 am on Sunday.

How many books do you have in your TBR for the next 24 hours?
34 BookCrossing books I've been meaning to read and pass on....

39 books under my day bed I've been meaning to read

2 library books

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon?

I'd love to finish some of my BookCrossing TBR, especially the Newbery Honor BookCrossing books.

I'd love to stay awake all twenty-four hours.

Any advice for people doing this for the first time?

I am doing this for the first time!

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon

Today is Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon. It will be my first time to participate in a read-a-thon. Can I do it? Can I read for twenty-four straight hours?

(My husband says that if I can walk for twelve straight hours at Relay for Life, then I can read for twenty-four hours.)

Tasks at hand: (1) Gather books
(2) Comfortable clothes
(3) Coffee ready to go

Here goes nothing! Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Classics (EW)

The New Classics: Books (according to Entertainment Weekly)

The 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008

Key: * A book I've read
*** A book I've read and loved

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
***2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3.Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
*4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
***7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
*9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
***10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
*11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
*12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
*15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
*16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
*19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
*20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
*21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
***24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
*25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
***27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
*28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
*29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
*30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
*33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
*34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
*36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
*37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
*38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
*39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
*40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
***41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
*46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
*50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
*52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
*53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
*55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
*60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
***65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
*67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
*68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
***69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
***71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
*72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
*73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
*77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
*78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
*79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
*82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
*83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
***84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
***85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
*88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
*90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
*91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
*94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

I've read 50 out of 100.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

23 Things (Thing 23)

After a long voyage, I'm just about ready to bring my boat back on shore.

The boat is quite a bit heavier than when I started out. It's now filled with memberships to blogs and wikis and Ning and Flickr and rollyo and live mocha and Alltop and You Tube and Blinkx and SurveyMonkey and lots of other great sites.

I'm sad to be at the end of the journey.

I don't want to end the trip.

I will get back in the boat. I will try out these new tools for the rest of the summer. I will see which of these tools are not blocked at my school. I'll see which might be fun to try with kids in the library. I'll share some with teachers and see if they might like to use them with their classes.

Ning (Thing 22)

I joined the Nings for school librarians and teacher librarians. I'm trying to change my schedule for next year so that it will be more flexible. It helped me a lot to read through comments about flexible scheduling and ways to make it work well.

On the other hand, I feel I've wandered far in the social networks. How would I ever keep up with these next year, when I am working every day?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bluebonnet PhotoStory (Thing 21)

I loved the podcast I viewed about How to Steal a Dog. I decided to do mine on all the Bluebonnet books. The first time I went on and on (like I tend to do at times!). It ran for over six minutes! That doesn't sound like a long time, but, believe me, it seemed like an eternity when I was listening to it. So I started over and managed to squeeze everything into a two minute spiel.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How to Find a Book (Thing 20)

Meebo (Thing 19)

How I got to Meebo is unclear. I know I started at the Web 2.0 winners page. After browsing through this year's winners, I looked back at older winners. I ended up at pbwiki. Pbwiki sent me to an online podcast about wikis. Meebo was mentioned somewhere along this circuitous path.

I also joined and added to my favorites: hairmixer, One Sentence, One Million Masterpiece, 43 Things, Reader2, doggdot, odeo....probably there are others....

Now to find out how I can connect this computer to my bloodstream....then I would never have to set it down or turn it off.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Google Docs (Thing 18)

Right now I'm feeling pretty kindly toward Google Docs. I just got a new computer and I'm only able to run a trial version of Office.

I can not see myself posting my book-in-progress online. It just seems too risky.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rollyo (Thing 17)

A personalized search engine is now created at Rollyo for kids' books.

Google allows you to do much the same thing. I made one at Google for library lessons, but I never used it all last year. (I'm seeing a pattern with me...learn about the new with the new the new technologies...time passes and I forget the new technologies...Question: How can I keep these fresh in my mind and remember to try them out with kids??!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Technorati (Thing 14)

Technorati Profile

Tagging...great if you can figure out the right tags....and if you can remember what you used as tags a year earlier... (Thing 13)

Did someone say this was eighteen hours of credit? Is that for each thing? Cause that's what I'm spending! :-)

An observation: When I go to these various sites, like Flickr and and Librarything, and I try to register as debnance, I find that I am already registered. I vaguely remember signing up for these various Web 2.0 tools after attending TLA and IRA last year. I seem to have left them to fester and rot. I must find a way to stick with these.

Writing Comments (Thing 12)

Well, writing comments has to be the most difficult thing I've done so far.

I feel intrusive.

Yet I must admit I also like the feeling of connection.

Perhaps it will get easier as I do it more often....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Library Thing (Thing 11)

I like Library Thing. I will add more of my favorite reads.

Playing with Images (Thing 10)

Blog Searches (Thing 9)

Nothing, none, all, not much, all unusual, and none. (Answers to questions below) I wasn't wild about using blog searches. I felt like I was reading through piles and piles of unpublished (and mostly unpublishable) manuscripts.

I'm sticking to Google Alerts.

Questions posed: Which method of finding feeds did you find easiest to use?
Which Search tool was the easiest for you?
Which was more confusing?
What kind of useful feeds did you find in your travels? Or what kind of unusual ones did you find?
What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?

RSS (Thing 8)

I subscribed to Google Reader last year. I haven't been to it since I subscribed. I have 619 new feeds.

I think I like Google Alerts better. It combs through blogs and news sources and sends me the most relevant in an e-mail each day.

I'm not sure how we could use RSS in my library. I sent a link to Alltop for Education to the teachers last year, but I got no feedback. Alltop seems to be a type of daily RSS for selected topics.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Picasa Slideshow (Thing 7)

Favorite Author Picture Cube (Thing 6)

Flickr (Thing 5)

Mom forgot her camera at Sarah's graduation party.

"Did you bring yours?" she asked. "Would you take pictures for me?"

I did. I brought them home and uploaded them to Flickr. Then I sent Mom and Dad and Sarah and Cathy and Randy and Nancy to the site.

I called Mom later. She printed out all the pictures from the party.

Later I searched for pictures of San Francisco. We're going to SF in July for our 30th wedding anniversary. I downloaded my favorite SF pictures and made them into a collage for my desktop.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Done! (Thing 4)

Blog is created.

All systems are go.

The Lady Who Was Beautiful Inside (Thing 3)

The family who gave me this book at the end of school sees my love for learning. It makes me happy and that makes me feel beautiful.

All the 7 1/2 habits of lifelong learners are a part of me. I don't have trouble with any of these. Playing is my favorite habit.