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Despite being tired it has been an excellent day. Someday I will grow up and realize that I should not stay up till all hours reading.
However! I got to make up my listening session with our interim City Librarian. There were only 3 of us there this morning, and her, and I really felt heard. I have high hopes that there will be things happening soon. Things that should make us all a little happier. We should hear more next week.
And! I got my funding! For my advisory group! I am so excited! Can you tell!?! Pizza for everybody!
And I moved all my new books to shelving where there is more room, because there are too many of them. It seems like every month I have more new books than the last. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing, but where to put them all? Next I am going to have to read fiction again. I have been enlisting the help of my awesome LAIV to help me do dusty shelf lists–it makes it easier to let them go if I just read over the titles after he’s pulled them. If I handle them all, I want to keep them. We have more of a connection.
What am I reading? I have been super lazy about updating goodreads and netgalley. I hope they will forgive me for another week or so. But I have been reading. When don’t I?
I am trying to finish Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin because it is due tomorrow. I heard about it from a friend who wrote a blog post for the library. It intrigued me enough to use one of my precious 25 hold spots for it, although the library didn’t have very many copies so it took a while to get it. In the mean time, I totally forgot why I put it on hold. I finally remembered today when I was talking about it with my manager. This series was first published in the late 70’s and details life in that time in San Francisco. As you can imagine, there is a lot of love going on, love of all kinds. It is San Francisco after all. I think one of the reasons why the description of this book was so appealing was because my uncle ran away to San Francisco when he was young, in the 70’s. I hoped to see a little of what his life might have been like then. He came back later, with a life partner and aids. I loved him very much, even though I didn’t spend time with him until his return. There was one visit to see them in San Fran when I was a kid, but I really only remember stuffing chicken in my cheeks. I was going through a phase where I didn’t want to swallow food.
I can’t know if this book gives a window into what he experienced. He’s been gone for a while now, and his partner several years later. There’s no one left to ask. I hope he enjoyed it. Tales of the City makes it sound like it could have been fun, and if not, then seriously interesting. The characters are deep, although you don’t realize it at first, and Maupin has a crazy way of making all of them interconnected. Toward the end of the book, where I am now, you come to realize there is a mystery. I don’t know what it is yet, but I think I will very soon. It might be another late night.
I am occasionally… well… silly? And I don’t mind saying so, yes I am sure there are more pertinent words. Sometimes my mind doesn’t make word associations, or I can’t think of the word that I want. Luckily I work and live in places where I can look things up constantly. In fact, that is about 50% of my job.
So, I was out with family last night after my dad’s choir performance and the boys were talking about Starcraft. That is a foreign language to me (I seriously didn’t know most of the nouns and verbs they were using). My sister and I just found other things to talk about, between throwing napkins at them, until I brought up the subject of BFD. I was explaining to her about why I called the place where my son lives that acronym and she said “yeah, or you could mean BFD.” I was lost, and she explained and I was flabbergasted.
You all probably thought of that right away and thought “she sure is going a long way to make this stuff up.” But really, honestly in all the years I’ve been blogging never thought of Big F*ing Deal. Never did. Until now. My reference is ruined. I will have to think of a new moniker. Any ideas? Something that won’t give the actual place away?
What am I reading? Well, my sound recording of the newest Bloody Jack book has let me down. Somehow it ended at the end of chapter 53 (yes, there are a lot of chapters) and it wasn’t over yet. I have to find out what happened to my missing chapters. However, I have heard enough to be cautionary to younger readers. These books get a bit promiscuous. This one has a whole ship of prostitutes and the captain has some interesting views. I still love it, but will be more careful about recommending the series to young readers.
Nothing to Envy is still holding my interest. It takes me longer to read real adult books, but I am 2/3’s of the way through, so will have a report for you soon.
I am rewatching rab ne bana di Jodi. It is the first real bollywood movie I saw after Slumdog Millionaire. I forgot how much I liked it. The dream dance sequence is sublime. Forgive the ad.
I have a cold. I haven’t been sick for a while, except for a brief stomach ailment, but this cold is going to make up for it. My neck hurts–not just my throat, the whole thing–, I have a terrible headache and my back hurts like crazy. My chest feels like someone filled it up with cotton. I slept most of today and was really happy to do it.
Unfortunately that meant I missed work and my listening session with our interim City Librarian. I am mostly sad that I didn’t get to hear from the other people at the session. I know how I feel, but I want to hear from others. I know I would have had something to say as well, but I’ve been living with my thoughts for months. I’d like a fresh perspective. I hear there will be more scheduled, so I will try to get into one of those.
Oh, and I did get my 4th program for summer, but only by saying that gaming is a regular program. Others won’t be as lucky and I did lose the promised funding that would have gone with a gaming program. It wasn’t a lot, but it would have paid for some popcorn. I am very happy to have the program though so I’ll stop complaining.
What am I reading? Currently Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick–the title says it all. I am learning a lot about the history of Korea and the lives of ordinary people there and I am still in the first 40 pages. Sometimes non-fiction can make me turn away, but this one stands the test and I am so curious about the subject. This book was another recommendation from Librarian of the Teenagers and she got it from TBTL, a podcast I used to listen to when I made time for podcasts in my life.
I read Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin, and while the story was good I had a hard time getting past all the Pacific Northwest references. It would probably be fine for anyone who hasn’t lived here, but if that book inspires someone to move here, they will be disappointed that there are no spawning salmon in the back yards of Seattle. Also, there is no Walmart in Seattle, especially not close to Seattle University. There was more, but I’ll leave you a bit to discover for yourself.
I did like the contrast between Charlotte and Amanda. The first is the protagonist and she idolizes Amanda, who is the darling of her school, both the gifted progam and the ‘normal’ side. Charlotte has been remanded to the ‘normal’ side because of a math learning disability. Her father pushes her to be an over achiever, never feeling able to live up to his expectations. This roadblock makes her start to realize how much she is just living for him and she begins to live for herself with a few hiccups along the way.
It wasn’t a misunderstanding. Only the alloted amount of programs will be allowed for the summer, so if I want to do my own, I have to forgo one of the others. This seems a little strange since the centrally funded programs don’t require any participation from me besides an introduction. I decided to keep the duct tape program and let the gaming program go. While gaming gets a bigger turn out, I don’t get to interact with the kids as much. Sitting down over duct tape and imparting my knowledge on how not to get all your fingers stuck together is a great opportunity to get to know more of the teens in my neighborhood.
I am disappointed in this decision. It makes me feel like this great new strategic plan is just a front. A placater for our library board. It takes away our decision making powers and leaves us feeling like cogs in a machine; don’t deviate from the path or the whole thing might fall apart. This is the second time my manager has approved something, only to have to come back and say no. That must be frustrating to her as well. Sigh.
What am I reading? I stayed up late finishing The Luxe last night and it ended just as I thought. The author threw in a few doubts along the way, but I basically knew what was going to happen from the prologue. Otherwise, it is a good book with lots of detail from the time and the characters, while not fully formed, are complex and compelling. Not everyone is likable and even the main “perfect” character has flaws (which is a plus in my mind).
I am definitely enjoying The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson, even if it did start a bit too conveniently. I think the set up could have been more in the background to avoid that. However, Maureen has a knack for making her characters well rounded and interesting, as well as taking us to another part of the world in unbelievable circumstances and making them believable. If this one started a bit rough, it recovered quickly.
Edit: Cover for book 1
Cover for book 2:
It’s not very often that I get to combine two of my loves, books and cycling. Except when I ride to work, I suppose, but one might argue that work, while book related, is not always a “love”. But now I have a real reason to get excited. Bike Snob is coming to Seattle during the Seattle Bike Expo for what he calls a BRA–book related appearance.
Bike Snob is the kind of blogger who cannot offend me, despite all his attempts. He has a masterful grasp of sarcasm and satire and constantly makes me laugh. I have read his blog faithfully since I stumbled upon it last year. Unfortunately, I have not yet read his book. Guess I’d better get crackin’. Or even better, I can buy a copy there and get it signed. Maybe I was just looking for the right moment.
In libraryland we are planning Summer Reading programs–or I should say we just got done. There always seems to be some controversy over interpretation of policy in these situations. We were told we could have 3 system generated programs–things planned by our programming coordinator and paid for through central programming funds–which we would schedule with the performers. The directions also said that any branch generated programs would have to be paid for and supported by the branch. This would lead one to believe that those programs are possible, yes? Some took that as a no. So now we are fighting to have our couple of branch programs as well, where we librarians have ownership and get to interact with our patrons. I will say that my manager was one who interpreted the policy the way I did and I am sure this is all a minor misunderstanding. All I want is a duct tape program! It won’t even cost anything because we already have kits ready.
What am I reading? I think I have too many things on my plate right now.
I have set aside No God but God and picked up The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, which is interesting historical fiction from around1900. Right now it is seriously too predictable, but I am enjoying that the author has included both the rich elite of New York and the lives of their servants. Usually a book will settle on one or the other, with the other half in the peripheral. It is a bit like Gossip Girl during the horse and buggy days, with all the intrigue and backstabbing that you expect.
And I finished reading The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter. Three siblings have lost their mother under mysterious circumstances, and it has affected them in many ways. Their father goes away a few times a year and leaves them with an abhorrent neighbor, until one time late in the school year when he decides they can go visit their aunt Angela in London instead. It turns out there is a misunderstanding and Aunt Angela is away on a trip, leaving the kids stranded and alone. This is the leaping off point for all kinds of adventure.
And isn’t the cover great?
Some of you may have heard about the new debacle between Harper Collins (one of the larger publishing houses) and Libraries this week, with Overdrive standing like a child between two fighting parents (#hcod). First there was news that OD sent out a memo to employees that HC would be putting a cap on check outs of ebooks for libraries. Now, this might make sense if you model ebooks after physical books, where they eventually wear out, get damaged or just disappear over time. However, you’ll notice that neither HC or OD were discussing this with libraries, their clients whom the new policy would affect. Also, they set the magic number to 26 check outs, which is a little arbitrary.
There was a second part of the policy, which would be that HC wanted closer oversight over who was allowed to borrow library materials. That’s just not going to happen. Libraries are already pretty strict about lending policies and who qualifies for a card. Those policies are almost always available on the libraries website. If HC wants to go take a look at each and every one and see if they agree with them, they should go ahead and do so. It might take a while.
So librarians found out about this new policy coming down the pipes in a FEW DAYS, and they put up a fuss (as you can see from the linked twitter feed above). Here are a couple of examples. Then HC replied and OD replied. The first was what you would expect–our current policies are old and we need to update them and stay relevant. Well, publishers do need to stay relevant if they want to survive the digital age, More restrictions are not the way to go. Libraries are already trying to figure out how to have enough electronic copies of a book to satisfy their patrons.
You may ask–but they are electronic, can’t more than one person download it at a time? No no, can’t work that way. How would the authors and publishers make any money if we only had to buy one copy for many people? We buy, essentially, licenses for the book and one person can use one license at a time. Like software can only be put on a limited number of computers. This is copyright (and DRM) and protects the author from giving their book away. Some authors, like Cory Doctorow, give their books away on their own, and that works for them (with rules, of course). Others don’t use a publisher or agent, they publish electronically on Amazon, and have the potential to sell plenty.
The digital age is going through growing pains. We have seen the same problem happening with CDs, MP3s, DVDs and torrents. The question I think it comes down to is will the publishers and producers adapt? We can’t apply print media rules to digital materials. It is a different kettle of fish.
To press my point, here is a message from a Harper Collins author, Marilyn Johnson. At the bottom she gives information on how to give feedback to HC on this issue. Full disclosure, Marilyn Johnson is a library advocate and wrote This Book is Overdue.