Books and More Books

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Color Coordinated Library

When I saw this picture I had to laugh.  That’s because when I was working in a library we were often asked where the red book of such and such size was shelved.  No title, no author, just a color.  I guess if we had organized the books like this, finding them would have been much easier…..  Well maybe not.

Can you imagine the amount of time it took to do this?  Amazing.

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August 31, 2008 Posted by | Books | Leave a comment

Abundance: a novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund

I read a variety of genres and I like historical fiction if it is well done.  This is one of those books that is rich in detail, well researched, and brings Versailles and Marie Antoinette to life.  This book presents both sides of Marie Antoinette and the court of Louis XVI and shows her excesses and well as her humanity.  Once you’ve read this book I think you’ll come away with a different perspective on Marie Antoinette.

Read this book for yourself and see what you think.

August 30, 2008 Posted by | Books | , , , | Leave a comment

The Book Inscriptions Project

When I worked at the library I often attended the Friends of the Library’s semiannual book sales looking for like new books we could use as incentives for the summer reading program.  I was always saddened just a bit to find books with heartfelt inscriptions in the sale.  They spoke to me because someone had purchased a gift with the recipient’s interests in mind, and the next thing you know, the gift has been tossed away.

The Book Inscriptions Project is collecting such books I suspect for the very same reason.  The originator of the project found a book with a personal and intimate inscription and couldn’t help but wonder about the people involved and the circumstances surrounding the gift and its subsequent rejection.

I normally don’t mix politics with this blog, but this was too funny not to include.

August 30, 2008 Posted by | Books | Leave a comment

American Shaolin by Matthew Polly

The subtitle to this book, “Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China” says much about this book.

The author, Matthew Polly, decides one day he’s going to turn his somewhat nerdy self into a fighting monk.  In many ways this is a coming of age story that will have you rooting for the underdog.  You don’t necessarily have to be a fan of martial arts, China, or Buddhism, but you will most certainly learn something of the history of the ancient Shaolin Temple and the very amazing fighting monks who train and live there.  In addition you will gain a bit of knowledge of Chinese culture.

I’m drawn to stories of people who take big leaps of faith and attempt things others deem impossible.  So this story was perfect for me and I think it would a wonderful, inspiring book for teens and young adults who are struggling to find their place in the world.  This is a solid A book.

August 29, 2008 Posted by | Books | , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Birdhouses

What a clever idea!  Take a book with great illustrations, photocopy the cover and a couple of those illustrations, and make a birdhouse from them.  Besides the Tom Sawyer  birdhouse shown, you can also get Winnie the Pooh, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Wizard of Oz.  Notice the unusual perches such as a corn cob pipe, honey dipper and witch’s broom.  My husband has half a garage full of woodworking equipment so I’d love to see him try something like this.  I do think the price tag is a bit high at $120.

August 29, 2008 Posted by | Books, Gifts for Bibliophiles | , | 1 Comment

Love in a Torn Land by Jean Sasson

I think much can be learned by reading about other cultures and this book goes a long way toward dispelling some of the myths you might hold about Iraqis.  You won’t have to read too many pages of this book before you realize we are so much more alike than we are different and you’ll be able to feel the horror of living through bombs and war.

This is the story of Joanna Al-Askari Hussain, an Iraqi Kurdish woman, who falls in love with and marries a freedom fighter.  Joanna grows up in a life of privilege in Baghdad and without hesitation, leaves it all behind to live the life of a freedom fighter.

I highly recommend this book because I think it helps to see behind the rhetoric of our government when it talks about our being in Iraq.

August 28, 2008 Posted by | Books | , , | 2 Comments

Igloo Bookcase

If you lived in a studio apartment, this would be such a cool way to have privacy as well as have tons of space for all your books.  It’s a bit hard to see, but the bed is inside the igloo.  Freshome has the details.

August 28, 2008 Posted by | Books | Leave a comment

Talk, Talk by T.C. Boyle

I’ve been reading T.C. Boyle since I discovered The Road to Wellness which was published in 1993, and never laughed so hard in my life.  Boyle is one of those authors, that when I see his books on the remainder table, I cringe.  I love him that much.

This book isn’t funny one bit but the theme is one we can all relate to and often fear.  What would you do if you were a bit distracted one morning and ran a stop sign only to be stopped by the police?  Although Dana Halter is a bit irritated by her carelessness, she’s shocked when a quick search by the officer turns up multiple outstanding felony charges and she’s thrown into the criminal justice system.

Seems her identity has been stolen and since the police refuse to take her problem seriously, she and her boyfriend decide to hunt down the criminals themselves.

Oh, and to add a bit of additional color to the book, I forgot to mention that Dana is deaf.  This is a great book so I give it an A.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Books | , , | 1 Comment

Bill Clinton Library Spoof

For those of you who are politically inclined, this is in honor of Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency and the speech she gave last night at the Democratic National Convention.

I voted for Clinton twice and thought he was a good president.  I even took a vacation, by myself, to Little Rock, Arkansas, to see his library for myself. 

I think Bill would laugh at this attempt to poke fun at him.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Libraries | , | Leave a comment

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland

I don’t know all that much about art, so when I find a book that captures my imagination while it teaches me something, well, that’s heaven!

I can’t tell you how many times I referred to the cover while reading this book.  You see, the author cleverly tells the story of Pierre-August Renoir through this particular painting, Luncheon of the Boating Party.

All of the people in this painting are friends or acquaintances of Renoir including one woman whom he later marries. 

I love the idea that artists are compelled to do what they do at all costs.  They do it for the love of it, not to make themselves famous, to make a bunch of money, or do live a comfortable life.  Renoir sold a few of his paintings while living, but like most artists, became better known long after his death.

This is a very engaging, easy-to-read book and when all is said and done, you’ll know a fair amount about not only France, but Impressionism as well.  This is an A- book.

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Books | , , , , | Leave a comment