Saturday, October 12, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up: I (Finally) Finish The Goldfinch; What Readers Want in Their Characters; and How Much Coffee Do Librarians Really Drink?



After reading The Goldfinch for a month, I finally finished it. Did I like it as much as I hoped? More, I think. Here's my review:

Donna Tartt takes us deep into the life of a boy who suddenly, tragically, loses his mother in an art museum bombing. It's a decisive moment in Theo's ...more




What am I reading now? Picture books, picture books, and more picture books. So far, I've read 40 Cybils Award nominees. It's a huge process of requesting books from the library and picking them up and reading and reviewing them. 



But sometimes I need a break from all those furry animals and rhyming text. I picked up "Challenge Yourself" A.J. Jacobs' latest book, Thanks a Thousand. His snarky voice grounds me again in the grownup world. Jacobs did a TED Talk about his journey to thank everyone who had a hand in his morning cup of coffee.







What do readers want in their characters? I answered that question for myself on my blog last week in this post, Character Traits I Love. As I visited others' blogs, I became curious about what most readers want in their book characters. As usual, I got carried away with this idea, visiting every blog that participated in the prompt, tallying character traits, and graphing the results. Here's what I came up with. The graph shows the twenty most common preferred traits of characters by their readers.






Library Journal asked the question we all want to know:  How many cups of coffee do you need per day to reach peak productivity in your job at the library? Over 60% of library staff, it turns out, drink at least one cup of coffee per day. Twenty-eight percent of this group drink 3-4 cups a day, while 7% admit to drinking more than four cups a day. Library Journal went further: Of the 39% who do not drink coffee, 46% of these drink tea, 20% soda, 3% chocolate, while a full 31% rely on their superpowers.





As you may know, I became a Texas Master Naturalist last year. I learned recently that a neighbor Master Naturalist group, the Galveston Bay Area Chapter, holds monthly book club meetings, so a couple of us from our group visited the book club last week. The group was discussing Half-Earth by E. O. Wilson, and I was pleased to hear the thoughtful discussion and see so many master naturalists many attending. I think I will continue to attend the club during the next few months, and I may help with the formation of a similar naturalist book club in our Cradle of Texas chapter. I took a picture of the book selections for next year (above) and you can see a list of the past club selections here.





I look forward to the Austin Kleon (Steal Like An Artist) newsletter that arrives in my inbox every Friday. This Friday, Kleon links to a post he wrote called The Right Book in which he explains why, for him, the stack of books pictured above, are the right books. It is quite simple really. And it is completely true for me, too. Well, with different books, of course.





Oh my goodness! You are almost out of time! Nominations from the general public end on October 15. To nominate your favorite children's and YA books published from Oct. 16, 2018 to October 15, 2019 for the Cybils, go here.






I went antiquing the last two weekends, but I will be spending this weekend closer to home. I'll be holding alligators and snakes at KBR Day in Houston on Saturday and I'll spend Sunday afternoon at our Alvin Museum Society general membership meeting. 





What was your week like?

Did you read any good books? Tell us about them.

What other bookish things did you do? What else is going on in your life?

We'd love to have you to link up here and/or at the Sunday Salon page on Facebook each weekend (Saturday-Sunday-Monday) and let us know what you have been doing. I hope you will visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

If you have other blogging friends, it would be wonderful if you'd tell others about our salon and encourage them to join us.

Other places where you may like to link up are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below. 


58 comments:

  1. That Character trait - chart is so cool. Sounds like you put a lot of work in it!

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  2. Your book club discovery sounds really exciting. It's great to find like-minded people who want to read and discuss the same books.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. It will be fun to read nature books together with this group.

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  3. I love looking at the character traits people like and notice they're all basically good. I guess no one likes villians.

    Thanks a Thousand sounds thought provoking.

    I'm a non coffee drinker and pretty much only drink water in the morning.

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    1. There were lots of negative character traits, too, but the percentage who chose them were small. I was surprised at how many people chose these negative character traits!

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  4. Congratulations on finishing the Goldfinch. My wife really enjoyed it when she read it. Snarky voice? I'm there. I'll have to look for that one. Looks like I'm not the only one, though, who likes snark. :) Huh. I usually do drink a cup of coffee a day However, I don't know how productive I am at the library...alligators and snakes, oh, my! Enjoy your weekend.

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  5. I am going to go off right now and check out the CYBILS nominations in my category!

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  6. I'm on a Margaret Atwood kick at the moment. I read many of them when I was in my teens but they have a different meaning to me now. That was when the world was a more pleasant innocent place.

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  7. I've read many good things about the Goldfinch. I'm definitely intriqued by that one, but it's so different from my 'normal' reads!
    Have a great week and happy reading!

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    1. I was completely wrapped up in this book. It's really not my normal sort of read either.

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  8. What interesting results, I like snark myself.
    It seems like the bookclub is a great fit for you
    I don’t drink coffee or tea, just water or Pepsi Max... all the caffeine, none of the sugar :)

    Wishing you a great reading week, watch your fingers at KBR day

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    1. I was fascinated with the results. We seem to all (pretty much) like the snark.

      And I ended up not having to watch my fingers...I ended up in the butterfly tent!

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  9. I saw the Goldfinch movie, loved it!

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  10. I liked studying the chart about characters' traits we like. I tend to prefer smart and snarky characters...but sometimes I am drawn to the vulnerable ones, if I think they can be "saved." LOL

    Enjoy your week!

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  11. I am not a coffee drinker which is hard to believe with all the fancy ways to prepare it. My caffeine comes from my 1 can of diet Mountain Dew each day, LOL

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    1. I'm shocked to see readers who are not coffee drinkers. The two seem to go so well together.

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  12. What an amazing amount you manage to pack into your life, Deb:). Though I'm happy to allow you to handle the snakes and lizards all on your own. I'm not a fan...

    I'm glad you enjoyed The Goldfinch, which is one of those books I keep promising myself I'll get around to when I'm in the mood. Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to collate those characteristics most favoured by readers. I have carefully studied it, because as I writer it's of great interest. I hope you have another busy week packed all sorts of enjoyable activities.

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    1. The snakes and lizards grow on you....

      Yes, the data about what readers want in their characters was fascinating to me.

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  13. Couldn't link up to your review of the Goldfinch. The link sent me to your Goodreads list of books instead. Hope you liked it as much as I did!

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  14. interesting and just reading about your week has made me tired. lol
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. My father warned me not to retire. He said he has never worked as hard as he has since he did so.

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  15. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed The Goldfinch as well! I love Donna Tartt!

    Have a wonderful week and happy reading!

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  16. I recently bought The Goldfinch but just spent like 5 weeks with It and I don't have another long-ass book in me right now. I've been reading more children's books lately. I love them. Happy reading!

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  17. Ha ha! After that chart, I think we should move Nerdy/Geeky as a favorite blogger trait to the top!

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  18. I love the character traits graph! It's interesting seeing what other people value in a character and even more interesting seeing how many of my favourite traits are near the top!

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  19. Congratulations on finishing The Goldfinch! I keep putting it off, mostly because of the length, but WILL get to it eventually. So interesting that the Master Naturalists have a book club (thanks for sharing the link to their book list)... would love it if you keep us posted on your experience!

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  20. Congratulations on The Goldfinch! I keep thinking of picking it up but am too intimidated by its size! That's fascinating to see the character trait graph. I think several of my favorite were at the top of the list!

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  21. I love your graph.
    The book club sounds really good, an the book list looks interesting.

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  22. When my husband had to give up coffee for health reasons, I pretty much did too. I do sometimes drink a soda or have a cup of instant coffee. A lot of times, though, I'm drinking decaf with him..

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    1. Nothing could make me give up my coffee. Though I did stop drinking coffee while I was pregnant...

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  23. I would LOVE to join a naturalist book club! How cool is that!!!

    I love Donna Tartt but I have never read that one. Congrats and I am glad you loved it!

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  24. Oh my! You are so busy, doing so many different things. I'm envious. Long books can be a slog, but I also loved The Goldfinch. Have a great week.

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  25. Love the idea of an outdoor book club. Very cool. I need to explore the book list.

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  26. This week I will also be reading picture books. I went to a locally owned bookshop and bought several "for my grandchildren"...ahem....Naturally I must preview them! :) You seem to be living a very full and active life - good for you! Thank you for sharing the graph as well as the bits and pieces of your life!

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    1. Yes, that gives you a good excuse—-ahem—-reason to buy picture books.

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  27. What an interesting variety of books and activities. I haven't read a picture book since I retired. I should go spend an afternoon at my public library and read a few. I'm sure my man Mo Willems has some for me to catch up on. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Yes, Mo has at least two new picture books this year—-The Pigeon HAS to Go to School and Because.

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  28. Love the character traits, I always smile at myself because I expect them to be way better than me! Hmm I was not a librarian but as a teacher I had to just before class began fortify myself with my one cup of coffee a day!

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  29. I love that graph! Very interesting to peruse the results. And ooh antiquing- I've really become a fan of that the last few years.

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  30. I appreciated The Goldfinch until the last 100 pages and then I fell in love with it. It's definitely a slow build type of story.

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