August 26, 2005

Rotten Fruit

A library patron wishes to pass this information along:
SF LIKE A bowl of fruit, a whale in the woods by Russel Like
is awful. Don't bother.

He is not alone, other readers have really disliked it (example).

We ordered it on the basis of a favorable pre-publication review in Booklist, January 2004. But that bit about the squids and eggplant should have warned us "... the mind-control devices have spread throughout most human-populated worlds and have followed Greg and company to a world on which giant squids compete over the best eggplant recipe. Full of spectacularly odd worlds; frantic, bumbling adventure; and triumphant world-saving"


Posted by library at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2005

Antigone without pain

822.914 HEANEY The burial at Thebes : a version of Sophocles' Antigone / Seamus Heaney.

This book has merit.

You can feel virtuous without much effort. 79 pages with vast amounts of white space.
"What have you been reading lately?"
"Well, I just finished the new Heaney translation of Antigone."

It is also a pleasure, so you can actually enjoy yourself while assuaging your genre-reader guilt. Here is a bit of Creon:
When discipline goes self-discipline goes as well
And once that happens cities, homes and armies
Collapse, inevitably. Failure of rule
Is the most destructive thing. Obedience
And respect must be instilled. And that is why
No woman here is going to be allowed
To walk all over us. Otherwise, as men
We'd be disgraced. We won't deserve the name.

A bit more. And if you like this, we also have
829.3 BEOWULF Beowulf : a new verse translation / Seamus Heaney.

Who is Heaney? The 1995 Nobel prize winner in literature.

Posted by library at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2005


The 2nd or 3rd definition of potpourri is usually something like "miscellaneous collection" and one can get desperate for alternate words for "diversity". So here is a potpourri of somewhat recent books.

792.93 THOMSON The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood (the business of making movies)
629.892 MALONE Ultimate Robot (from Fritz Lang's Maria to GoBots)
813.54 LE GUIN The Wave in the Mind: talks and essays on the writer, the reader, and the imagination (essays)
781.64 SANTORO Highway 61 Revisited: The Tangled Roots of American Jazz, Blues, Rock and Country Music

Painful to read but fascinating:
974.71 DWYER 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

And here is a quick way to get definitions/rhymes/homophones/consonant matches etc. Please note - this is not a good way. For far better definitions click on the Merriam-Webster link at the bottom of the definitions results page, use the Ask Oxford and Merriam-Webster extensions in your Firefox search bar, or best of all - come into the library and use the searchable DVD version of the complete OED.


Organize results by: SyllablesLetters   
Include phrasesYes No

Posted by library at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2005

A triad of histories

973.709 FURGURS Freedom Rising: Washington in the Civil War
940.542 HORNFIS The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors (Amazing naval history, Philippines, October 44)
966.404 JACKSON In Sierra Leone

Posted by library at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2005


791.43 HAWN A lotus grows in the mud

Goldie Hawn's autobiography is still on the New York Times bestseller list, now at position 22 for hardcover nonfiction almost three months after it was published. You may want to think about whether you like blue ink on pink and blue paper.

Variety had an interesting review. For the full text go to MasterFILE Select and search for "Goldie" by Beatrice Williams-Rude, Variety, 5/23/2005.

Jim Buie wrote a blog entry about the book at his etakoma site and there were two interesting items in the Washington Post in May. Both discussed Hawn's continued attachment to the house in Takoma Park where she grew up. You can retrieve them for free from the Electric Library. Just use goldie hawn in the search field and washington post in the publication field, then go back to the top of the page and click on the blue search button. Donna Britt's column of May 20th and Hannah Rosin's article of May 14th should pop to the top of your results list.

From the Rosin article:

"Every year or two Goldie Hawn drives back to the brick duplex on the dead-end street in Takoma Park where she grew up. Sometimes she comes alone and sometimes with her sister Patti, or her old friend from childhood Jean Lynn, or her partner of 20 years, Kurt Russell. If there's no one home she finds a neighbor to let her in; once there was no neighbor around, so she sneaked in through a front window the owner had left unlocked, and then wandered around, through the kitchen where the family used to hang out, down to the basement, up to her old bedroom."

On the whole, celebrity biography and autobiography is not a popular genre among users at this library (though the library staff members love to leaf through the picture sections). This means that people will tend to miss the occasional excellent one. Examples include:
Fay Wray's 791.43 W942 On the other hand : a life story (which also has one of the great titles)
Louis Kaufman's 796.357 K21 Moe Berg : athlete, scholar, spy
and no doubt many others.

Posted by library at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2005

Penguin Poetry

I have penguins on my mind. (See the previous two postings.) Today a patron returned an old favorite of mine, Ursula LeGuin's book of short stories called Compass Rose. (A compass rose is fascinating in its own right.) I began re-reading "The Author of the Acacia Seeds and other Extracts from the Journal of the Association of Therolinguistics" and suddenly recalled that the story touches on the poetry of the emperor penguin, "the most difficult, the most remote, of all the dialects of Penguin!"

A note from the reference librarian: Tux the Penguin is used as a symbol of Linux. If you see little penguin logos on web pages you may be looking at information for Linux users. On the packaging for an object such as a flash drive, it probably means you can use the drive with a Linux machine. Our public computers are Linux-based, and so if you have never used Linux please come in and try it.

Posted by at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2005

More Penguins!

A day after reading And Tango Makes Three (see previous post) I saw the film March of the Penguins about the emperor penguins of Antarctica. Everyone I know either thought the film was terrifically inspiring or else incredibly harrowing, but without exception everyone seems to have been deeply affected by this dazzling movie.
The children's collection has a number of books to help me answer some of the questions I have about penguins now. Most of them are classified J 598.47.I have learned that there are 17 different kinds of penguins, most of whom do NOT live in snow and ice. (Brrrrrrrr. I am thinking about those poor emperor penguins huddling together before a muderous gale of ice and snow at the same time Takoma Parkians were dying of the 100 degree heat around here.) According to one of the penguin books, their chicks should be around two weeks old by now. Awwwww ... so sweet!

Posted by at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)
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