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For some reason, the books I have put on hold at the library recently haven't been quick to appear.

It wasn't a big deal, since I was struggling through Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III, which came perilously close making me invoke my "i don't have time to be this bored" rule. The story itself was interesting enough - too bad the writing didn't support that. I would rather have read about some of the incidents that were skipped over (I think because they were too gossipy) instead of seeing what seemed like every single letter they wrote as children. I did finish it, but if I had it to do over, I'd look for a different biography.

I am almost finished with Just My Type which I am not only enjoying so much more, I can't help but think it seems even better following the last book.

So I added a bunch of various things to my list the other night, and I was pleased when I got an email that The Emperor and the Wolf: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune was at the desk for me.

Jim stopped to pick it up on his way home, and staggered in with an entire cloth shopping bag of books - apparently, my ship has come in.!
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I am currently reading Just My Type.

I would like to go on the record here, and say that i don't get the nearly universal hate for Comic Sans. Comic Sans is perfectly fine if used correctly. It's what people DO with comic sans that gives me the horrors.

Courier, on the other hand, is simply the ugliest typeface on the planet in its own right. For me, it has no redeeming features whatsoever.

So far, the font I am most interested in finding out more about is Barry Deck's canicopulous - a font done in homage to Gill Sans, and named for Eric Gill's reputed experiments with .... well, canis is for "dog", and copulous is for..... yeah.

The letter forms are described as having horny extensions that look like wagging tails that reach out to touch each other.
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available here

In collaboration with artist Lee Moyer, Worldbuilders is proud to present our first calendar. Each month showcases one of history's great novelists with a classic pin-up referencing his or her work.

*Holiday Special* Order three calendars and get free US shipping! (Or $8 off your international shipping cost.)

Just enter the code: LITERACY when you check out.

Art by Lee Moyer:
All proceeds go to Worldbuilders.

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The web site is here

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2011 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 24 through October 1. Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,000 books have been challenged since 1982.

According to the American Library Association, there were 348 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2010, and many more go unreported.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2010 were:

And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language, racism, religious viewpoint, sex education, sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group

Lush, by Natasha Friend
Reasons: drugs, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint

Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit

Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence, unsuited to age group

I was reminded by a post by [ profile] aimmyarrowshighon book_icons, which went on to say:

The claim that any of these novels is "unsuited to age group" is ridiculous and dangerous. My personal favorite response to these spurious, fearmongering claims comes from an anonymous mother and librarian on a Banned Books Week blog entry from several years ago: " What may be unsuitable for a lucky child at age ten or twelve or thirteen may have already happened to an unlucky child. Books are the most salient way to make sure that they understand that they are not "unsuitable." What happened to them was."

Make sure that kids and teens, both lucky and unlucky, retain their right to read in your city, school district, and life. Support Banned Books Week.
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Interview with Benjamin Harff, upcoming Tolkien illustrator and creator of the Edel-Silmarillion

Benjamin Harff, a German art student, spent a year creating a copy of The Silmarillion in the tradition of medieval European illuminated manuscripts. Most of the text itself is typed, but the elaborate calligraphy is Harff’s own work.


Aug. 6th, 2011 03:46 pm
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My FarmVille farm is afflicted with the glitch that makes my sheep pen grow to an enormous size. Whenever it does this, I find myself thinking:

Grey lay the land, oh.
Grey grass from sky to sky.
Not near the weir, dear.
Not a mountain, low or high — only hills and grey grey.
Watch the dappled dimpled twinkles blooming on the star bar.

That's from Norstrilia, by Cordwainer Smith. Giant sheep feature heavily into the story. Now I have my own.

At least it isn't Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittons....
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Well, you all know I re-read Tolkien all the time, so I thought I would tell you something new -
I like to re-read, so I have a number of favorites, but I read: The Dark Is Rising almost every year at winter solstice (though I seldom go on to re-read the rest of the series)

Though not as frequently, I do re-read Rosemary Sutcliff, especially the Roman Britain books (which I first read in about the 7th grade)

And I have a great love for the 2 biographical books by S. T. Haymon, Opposite the Cross Keys and The Quivering Tree
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A small set of books and words:

a few more )
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I have a Dresden Files question/speculation - one of the sort that comes to me just as I wake. Possibly, I am the last person on the planet to have it occur to them, but...

just one silly speculation, but cut for a book spoiler for those who haven't read the last few... )
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This is the Science Fiction Book Club's list of the fifty most significant science fiction/fantasy novels published between 1953 and 2002. (I was born in 1952, so this really covers me) Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished (you won't find much of that here - I only learned to learn do it in the last 15 years or so) and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

(If I have multiple asterisks, you know what I mean - I'm trying not to fill up my friends list with punctuation) )


Aug. 2nd, 2006 06:41 pm
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I just finished reading To See Every Bird on Earth: A Father, a Son, and a Lifelong Obsession by Dan Koeppel

It sounded like a good bet for me, but it turned out to be ... I'm almost embarrassed to say this ... neither fish nor fowl.

While it was interesting enough, it was not what I expected or hoped for. The book is not so much about the travel, adventure or obsession of big list birding as a biography of his father and a dry history of modern birding with the occasional bird sighting used to anchor the the chapters.

His understanding of his father's need to build a giant life list eventually served as a means of father and son coming to - well, actually I hesitate to say understand each other, but to find some common ground to rebuild their connection. Perhaps if there had been any indication that either father or son actually *liked* the birds, I would have liked it better.

There is one incident that I thought some of you would find interesting. In a section about how difficult it is to have some sightings verified, they talk about a young birder who reported seeing the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (round about 2000.) This led to various recordings being made in the area, one of which seemed to verify that distinct tok-tok call. The expert dismissed this as distant gunfire, and the consensus was basically that the sighting was a well intentioned mistake as you can't see an extinct bird in it's old range. I'm wondering how they feel about that now!
fileg: (bookworm)
We are doing everything backwards this year - we are celebrating the holiday by making a mess instead of cleaning. The living room looks like someone blew up a library.

It's great, really, though keeping us busy.

tonight we got through one shelf from the office, ruthlessly culling fiction (first step in the eventual hope of reorganizing the space). That does't sound like much, does it? but the shelf is 8 linear feet, shelved four rows deep with paperback. I'd say we managed to part with almost half (though this is probably going to be the easiest shelf). We have three big boxes to go to the used book store.

We are also transferring video to dvd, and throwing away the old tapes. We played through about 10 tapes today, and managed to throw about 8 away. There was much less stopping to watch things than I was afraid there would be (But OMG! Ed Feldman and Joe L'Erario!!! How I miss you!! I know that won't mean anything to people who were not watching Philadelphia PBS about 10 years ago, but they are the Furniture Guys. I am still hoping to find that I might not have taped over the episode where they dressed up as Alice B Toklas and Gertrude Stein and showed us how to snake a drain)

I feel like I have about 3 inches of dust adhered to my skin now.... mmmm... bath.....

book meme

Oct. 19th, 2005 01:40 am
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Book survey - I saw it with [ profile] nutmeg610

Hardback or Paperback?
paperback - because they take up less space. When you have been a compulsive reader for 50 years, it becomes important - though not a deal breaker, because I also love instant gratification.

my real answer is library - I live very close to a good one, and I am buying fewer things that I know I could get anytime.

the rest... )
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this thought grew out of a related discussion in [ profile] mrkinch's journal -

I had an old college friend who thought I read too much genera fiction and I couldn't see what appealed to her about contemporary mainstream fiction. Years back, we agreed to pick out a book for each other to see what the deal was, or if either of us would change our opinion. I gave her Silverlock, (which I thought would appeal to a literature major) and she gave me The World According To Garp.

I have read things I didn't enjoy, and things I actively disliked, but once I was through them it was over. To this day, Garp is the single book I have ever read that I would go back and unread if I could.

It turned out that my friend never read it either, nor did she read the one I sent her.

That's as close to fisticuffs as I have ever come over fiction.

Do you have a book that you'd unread if you could?


Nov. 6th, 2003 06:23 pm
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Words and Blood are the double helix that connect us to our past. - Tony Earley

I just read Tony Earley's book "Somehow Form a Family" for my memoir class. I cannot say I recommend it - quite the opposite. Those thirteen words were the only ones in the book that moved me -- but they may have been worth it.


Nov. 4th, 2003 11:35 pm
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Chris cajoled me out at some ungodly hour (it was daylight! Arrrgh!) and we traveled companionably along beside the Delaware River. Everything was gold, the light, the leaves, the contentment. We were in search of images, but we found few. We did have a great time, managed not to get lost following a detour (an achievement of epic proportions - generally Jim and Chris can both manage to miss a well known exit if I'm in the car - apparently it has something to do with the fact that I never shut up)

In and out of over-warmed little shops, a surfeit of incense and candles, Chris smelling warm and deliciously of grapefruit and vanilla, me developing a desire for a carving of harvest mice in late wheat...

We found ourselves in the children's section of the bookstore, looking for Yulies (christmas presents). In a bookstore, Chris and I are song with a chorus that goes: "Look! I love that book!" And while Chris selected a volume of traditional fairytales for her niece, I found a section of reprints of Rosemary Sutcliff. I replaced all my Roman Britain volumes a few years back, but I can never resist picking them up and holding them in my hands. Sutcliff was one of the writers I loved as a kid, but I had not realized just how much her actual writing style affected me -- there it was, the elusive tone and voice I hear in my head when I am trying to capture words in a net made of paper. I found out today that Chris had never read her, So I opened Dragon Slayer, (her retelling of Beowulf) at random and read a random line aloud:

She was of the same kind as Grendel, monstrous, evil, a Death-Shadow-In-The-Dark; but she had possessed the power to love, and she had loved her son, and was therefore more terrible than he had ever been.

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Samhain night, and I was curled up reaching hard to connect with an avatar of my own heart; reading ‘Crow and Weasel’ by Barry Lopez.

“I would ask you to remember only this one thing,” said Badger. “The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each others memory. This is how people care for themselves."

I was also reduced to tears when Mouse tells them “Without a dream, people do not know what to do with their lives.”

Look Chris – both parts of my myth structure in the same place!


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