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Oh my god, a free copy of 84, Charing Cross Road. Good on you for that score! What a great "store." Evidently I've going to have to put Baltimore on the (long) list of American cities I must visit.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2015 on the book thing of baltimore at Nonsuch Book
1 reply
Dearest Bybee, Well, sometimes I think my mission in life is to give people permission to dislike the books everyone else loves. Perhaps this is why phrases like "sure bets" and "crowd pleasers," when applied to books, make me nutty bar. Not every book can please every reader...and that is the way it should be!
Toggle Commented May 23, 2014 on The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. at Citizen Reader
Melanie, Yes, we book people are suckers for books about books and book people, aren't we? How can we help it? Can you think of a "meatier" book about books/bookstores that you could recommend to me? Kim, Oh, a girl after my own heart. I was a little bit proud of that sentence, although it's actually kind of clunky. Thank you. Oh, Jodi Picoult. Picoult doesn't even use a sledgehammer, she uses a jackhammer. Picoult and subtlety have never, ever been in the same room (or house, frankly).
Toggle Commented May 18, 2014 on The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. at Citizen Reader
Storey, Oh, I agree with both of those. Oprah also doesn't offer much in the way of nonfiction (or slightly more subtle fiction) and every year I play "How many titles HAVEN'T I read?" with the New York Times Notable list. Bleah! Was it just a few weeks back when there was a story about someone managing to buy their way onto the NY Times list outright? I should go track that down.
Lynne, Yes, some of the names were familiar to me as well. Although I certainly don't mean this as a personal gripe--I respect what they're trying to do with this list; I just wish it was more exciting! But you're right--most books that get any of the ALA's "stamps of approval" leave me pretty cold. I also find it a bit disingenuous that for years RA librarians have been barking at me that "it's all about the reader" and that librarians aren't supposed to have opinions about good books or books they (personally) love. Now, I've always disagreed with that, so I suppose I should be glad that this list is being made so librarians CAN share some of their "favorites." But I get the feeling that once again, on-the-front-lines librarians aren't supposed to have opinions, but the "tastemakers" in the ALA can. Pick one way or the other, kids--either no librarians should get to suggest favorites, or we all should.
Bybee, I really enjoyed that as well. Often when out driving around town, whenever Mr. CR or I see a boneheaded or selfish driving maneuver, we always look for the Jesus fish on the car's bumper (and disappointingly often, we find one). I know. We're terrible people.
Oh, Care, I knew you were a kindred spirit. Ah, The Commitments. Time for a re-watch. Happy BSPD yourself!
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2014 on Happy St. Patrick's Day! at Citizen Reader
Biblomano, I'm glad you liked this one too, and you gave a much better description than I did. I got a real kick out of the Oklahoma kid. My favorite was when she went back to her high school, still didn't feel like she was learning much there or enjoying it, so enrolled in online school. Someone asked her if she wouldn't feel isolated that way, she pointed out she wouldn't feel any more isolated than she did in her actual high school. That was both heartbreaking and beautifully honest of the dear girl.
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2014 on The smartest kids in the world... at Citizen Reader
Robin, Fellow Jolly Child Rancher-- Tee hee--just hoping we get some sunshine/above freezing weather sometime soon for our children plants. :) Yes, I vastly preferred this one to Bootstrapper. Melanie, Goodness, farm wife. The only harder job than farmer. Thanks for the "Sous Chef" suggestion--sounds like what I need!
Melanie, Bestseller "stuff." Tee hee. We all know what you mean. Yes, I read more business books than most, but they are not real exciting, on the whole. I'm glad to be able to provide info on some other types of nonfiction for you! Lesbrarian, Good points all. And I realize that the subject headings for fiction do not do it justice the way they often work for nonfiction. That said, the subject headings don't always work for nonfiction either--who'da thunk a book on "causality" (Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point") would be one of the most popular NF titles ever? Please do come back and share more, I very much appreciate the collection development (and YOUR) viewpoint. Laura, Don't feel guilty. Plenty of nonfiction buyers are reading nothing but fiction. Ugh, Jodi Picoult. You know how I feel about her. So sad that that's what flies off the shelves. I think I'd honestly feel better steering readers toward the Patterson!
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2014 on Do librarians read nonfiction? at Citizen Reader
Susan, Well, I'm not usually a huge believer in tests of any kind, myself, as a diagnostic tool, but I found the other things in this book sufficiently interesting to make it worthwhile (particularly when learning about how much less other countries spend per child, and how much less they spend on technology in the classroom). This author did not present the South Korean system as one to emulate, and I can't say it really sounded like a lot of fun for anyone involved. I very much appreciate your firsthand viewpoint. That said, I think cheating is probably way more widespread in the U.S. than we realize, too.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2014 on The smartest kids in the world... at Citizen Reader
Weirdly enough, Thomas, I'd like to go to an indexing conference too! I am an indexer, after all, but not one who makes enough money to pay for conferences! Yes, I'm nerdy. Thanks for the Pym suggestion. I've never read her and would like to--so perhaps I will start there!
Laura: That is SO vexing (re: the non-reading woman). I got that a lot too, as well as a lot of parents who just wanted me to hand them stuff for them to check out, that they didn't look at at all. I always wondered WHY they wanted their kids to read anything, if it wasn't something they did or cared about. I suppose: for homework. Although I was always annoyed by the parents doing their kids' homework assignments too. Perhaps I was just easily annoyed. :)
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2014 on The smartest kids in the world... at Citizen Reader
Ruthiella, Well, I got the gist of who Moss Hart was (and Wikipedia always helps with that kind of thing), so no, I can't say "Noel Coward" would have appreciably changed the reading experience. I'm so glad you loved 84CCR. I'm so glad if I've introduced it to anyone! If I can make some Hanff Converts, well, then I'll feel I've really done something with this old life. (My next job is to convert more people to Stacy Horn! I think she's such a great writer and also a good soul. C'mon--you gotta love someone who posts a Hanff-centered NYC walking tour.)
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2014 on Another Helene Hanff stunner. at Citizen Reader
Lynne! Thanks for the tip. I'll check out the blog and the book--I don't mind "darker"! If anyone else wants to see the blog, it's at
Hapax, Fascinating! And so glad to know others have enjoyed "Stick and Rudder" (and describe it as "something trashy"). Has your husband seen the book "The X-15 Rocket Plane" by Michelle Evans? A fabo history of the plane that immediately preceded space flight. I indexed it last year, and although it's not really my subject area, I really enjoyed it. Can't help you with police procedurals, though, I don't know those very well. Funny and nice that he trusts you to bring him something, whatever, though. That's got to be one of the marks of a great marriage. :)
Thomas, Thank you for the interesting suggestion--I'm going to look into it! That's VERY interesting about cake mixes. I use them, but have never found them all that much easier than just doing a cake from scratch. Once I've pulled together the mix, the egg, and the oil, after all, I'm not that far off having all the necessary ingredients for a cake. I wish they'd just gone for broke and made the mix that didn't require the other stuff!
Hapax, Actually, now I'm kind of interested in The Cave and the Light book you mention. Although I suspect it might also be beyond me at this point in my reading life. Fascinating premise, though. What DOES your spouse, the Real Live Working Scientist, like to read, if I might be so nosy?
Savvy! Glad you liked the article; I know I did. Hilariously, I once reviewed "Does This Make My Assets..." for Library Journal, and I liked it! I thought the author actually did a good job of explaining some basic financial/investing terms. Although I think I did say she should have skipped the premise of comparing getting one's fiscal business in order with weight loss--it was unnecessary. That's another thing I love about negative reviews. We all have different ideas of what makes a book "bad," so how can any one reader/reviewer assume their opinion (e.g., that a book is bad and therefore should not even be reviewed) will be exactly shared by everyone?
Hapax, I love a good negative review too, and luckily have never really read one where the attack on the author was personal (unless you count Dale Peck's "Rick Moody is the worst writer of his generation," which yes, I'm sure could be taken personally). And thank you for the Dick Cheney article. I'm going to have to find some strength before I tackle it, though. I don't know if I even want to think about Dick Cheney for as long as it will take me to read that. Not because of his politics but more because he has always seemed to me to be just such a mean old man.
Care, Well, sometimes I like to be mysterious too. :) I most likely will not see the movie--Josh Brolin gives me the heebies for some reason, although I like Kate Winslet--and I'll admit, this book is not my usual cuppa. But good old Joyce Maynard. I read her YA book "The Cloud Chamber" a few years back and liked that too. Let me know sometime what you think of this novel!
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2014 on Thinking about Joyce Maynard. at Citizen Reader
Katharine, Yes, I've been meaning to read some more Atkinson...perhaps I should make "Life after Life" the one. Thanks for the suggestion on that, and for the Fox book...even with the Brit stamp of approval, perfect! Pamela, So glad someone out there has read many more of these! I do like Donna Tartt but oof, her books are so big and meaty. Hard to find the time--but I will try. (And thanks for saving me time on the Leopards book; if it was forgettable I'll definitely give it a miss.)
CR Fan, Hapax, I so can't wait for the boys to start school so I can learn all about the wonders of AR. Sigh. Good for you, Hapax, for making its inclusion in schools a deal-breaker. It really comes down to interesting subjects and good writing, I suppose. To me a good book by Roald Dahl, even if it's a "kid's book," will be more complex and interesting than any adult fiction written by someone like Sue Monk Kidd or Jodi Picoult (I just have an axe to grind about those two authors--I really dislike them!). So I don't worry about grade levels and all that (and I told my friend of course her son should just read whatever he wants, especially in his "down time"). Plenty of time for the schools to make me worry about all that in the future when CRjr and CR3 have to go. Ugh.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2014 on Reading beneath my grade level. at Citizen Reader
Care, I'm so glad I asked this question, I never would have thought of some of things you and Ruthiella mentioned. Including the primary setting is a fabulous idea, as is how many times you've read the author. Here's to a great year of reading!
Ruthiella, I hate spreadsheets AND math! You can see why I'm destined to not be successful in life. :) I use this blog to track my reading, but lately time gets away from me. I often have to return overdue books to the library before I get a chance to blog about them! So I thought if I dumped some info in a spreadsheet, I could use that to blog and still get my books back on time. I'm sure everyone at the library would appreciate that. Good info on what you track--I hadn't thought of gender/nationality of author stuff. I also want to track where I heard about a book--although I'll probably forget where I heard about it by the time I get it read and entered into a spreadsheet!