Friday, February 21, 2014

A Quote

Several years ago I came across this while reading.  I liked it so much that I used it for a while as a signature quote in email.  I no longer do  that but I frequently pull it up and re-read it.

      Fagerlien said,..."Every adventure results in a whole shipload of
     books, a whole library...."
        "And every library results in a new adventure," came Mazzini's
     modest attempt at rousing himself from silent and nodding
     agreement.  But Fagerlien maintained his demeanor and had the last
     word: "Or in a tourist."

                    Christoph Ransmayr--
                       _The Terrors of Ice and Darkness, a novel_
                       translated by John E. Woods from the German
                       _Schtecken des Eises und der Finsternis_

I like it for three reasons:  I am a reader, I am a librarian, and I am a tourist. When I travel I always seek out libraries and  bookstores.  If there are none, I always manage to find someplace to browse books--flea markets, street vendors, gift shops, tourist bureaus, hotel lobbies, variety stores, gas stations--all sorts of places have books.                                                                                                                                            

Monday, February 17, 2014


                                                    OR are you reading at all?

Yesterday I finished the amazing (as in 5 * amazing) An Unnecessary Woman. This got so deep in my head that I couldn't start another book, nor could I finish any that I had laid aside. A quote from the book says it all:

      “I thought I’d be reading a new book today, but it doesn’t feel right, or I don’t feel like it. Some days are not new-book days.”

I did some online housekeeping and watched a NCAA basketball game.

So what about today?  Another quote  (this book is full of great quotes and quotations):

    “Reading a fine book for the first time is as sumptuous as the first sip of orange juice that breaks the fast in Ramadan….I adjust myself in the reading chair, pull  my legs up. It’s going to be a long, voluptuous ride. The problem is to find a "fine book." 

 The protagonist in the book is surrounded by stacks of unread books and she usually takes the one on the top of a stack. It's usually the most recently acquired.

I am also surrounded by stacks of TBRs.  My stacks have a few added dimensions:  Library books, review copies, and the Kindle.  Library books are stacked by date due, ARCs by date of publication. If it's already been published and has tons of reviews, it's apt to sift to the bottom since I'm not good at writing reviews.  The Kindle has books I own, library books, and a dreaded ARC or two.  I love the Kindle but I don't like electronic ARCs.

So what do I do today?  I've already scooped the snow off the back steps and tossed down the ice melt, prepared a grocery list, and I'm in the comfy chair. 

Best option for today is probably non-fiction or short stories or may re-read some of the classics that are mentioned in An Unnecessary Woman.  Is Spinoza my answer? Project Gutenberg here I come!  Or not.

Maybe the Bill Gates recommended The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger. Sounds easier than Spinoza.

Sigh, maybe I'll go to and start another grocery list.      

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Net Reading

Back when I set my reading goals for 2012 I set this one:
Net Reading:  Read some things that are not about books!
By this I meant something other than book reviews, new release announcements, publisher sites, book news (Shelf Awareness, the Millions, and such), author sites, etc.
So what have I been reading?  The following is just a sampling.
  • Some interesting articles:
A history of the first Americans in 9½ sites   by Colin Barras
That's archeological sites, not web sites.

Largest Solar System Moon Detailed in Geologic Map by Jia-Rui Cook, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
Spotlight on  Jupiter's moon Ganymede.

Soursop by Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL
Someone put a can of Goya brand  Soursop (Guanabana) nectar in my Christmas stocking.  Of course I was curious and now I know what I'm drinking.  (I dilute it about half an half with seltzer over plenty of ice.)
This is from her book Fruits of Warm Climates which is fully (and freely) available on a Purdue University web site.   Some good stuff.

  •  Some non-book things I follow:  

The Travelzine by Don and Linda Freedman
Some really great travelogs and travel tips from experienced travelers.  Not a commercial site. (Discloser: I know these people)

Lots of foodie info: restaurant news, food trends, chef gossip, and other delicious stuff (and occasional--shh--book reviews)

Ptak Science Books   by  John Ptak
OK, OK, I know "Books" is in the title, but this is more about the science than the books.  And it is wonderful science, off-beat, usually understandable, and entertainingly educational.  I also follow him on Twitter.

The Curated Object 
"Sometimes whispering and other times shouting, objects have their own time and cadence. The Curated Object is interested in the exhibition of objects and those who find our engagement with them compelling. Objects act out all the time and revolt against us. Listening carefully is our quest."  Site has listings of exhibitions (worldwide in scope) and beautiful images from selected exhibitions.  I love this. 

@Matthias Rascher 
"On Twitter to share my interests: linguistics, literature, history, archaeology, art, design, photography, science, technology, music, Los Angeles, travel." He is in Northern Bavaria (Germany).  His tweets lead to a lot of interesting reading.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blind Date with a Book

On Sunday (Feb 9) I posted about this from our local library
And here is the reveal
                                                            Ta! Dah!

This is super!  I really like Christopher Moore but I haven't read this one--Perfect!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Stocking up on Snow Supplies

Snow was predicted for today.  So on Friday and Saturday we decided  we'd better lay in a few essential supplies.

My daughter had picked up a few books at the library earlier in the week and realized she'd checked out books 1 and 3 of a trilogy.  Only one nearby library had book 2 and it wasn't the library where I had a book waiting on the holds shelf.  So there were two chores that had to be done before we were snowed in.

I decided to go with her to pick up her book.  Oh boy, a library I haven't been to in several months!  Whee... I checked out 16 books.  She checked out 20.

Then on to the other library to pick up my hold.  She asked if I was going to browse.  I said I would if there was a line at check-out so she went in with me.
Need I say it?  We browsed.  We went easy on the browsing--only 4 books each.

      The neat thing was
              we each got a
                      Blind Date with a Book
                              I haven't opened it yet.
                                       I shall reveal it soon.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Give a Book

Time to think about what to do with those books you no longer want.   Give them a spot on some other bookshelf.