Monday, November 29, 2010

Finished reading: The Master Switch, by Tim Wu. Superb historical analysis on why net neutrality matters, and why Apple is actually evil.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

National Book Award winner announced

And it's Patti Smith. Sweet! I haven't read her new book yet, the autobiography Just Kids, but as a totally unrelated coincidence, I've been listening to her Radio Ethiopia album all week.

Once me and my little sister Siobhan went to get Patti Smith's autograph on (my) copy of her album Horses, and bickered over who she should sign it to, and Patti Smith yelled at us for fighting and signed it to both of us, which is a Solomonic compromise that somehow never occurred to either of us. True story.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Call Me a Dork, But...

So We have a new adventure in the bookstore and I'm running it... we get in a lot of packages from all over the world and I enjoy viewing the postage. So far, no one has been able to beat China in package display.

They've been stamped everywhere and I enjoy viewing it. Since I'm an art history major, to me, this package is an art in its own way. I thought I would share it with you, whether you have seen it before or not.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hello, Daisy Buchanan.

I am rereading The Great Gatsby, full of appreciation for Fitzgerald. Just this morning, I was turning over who could possibly play Daisy.

And now we know.

PHOTO CREDIT: Carey Mulligan photographed auditioning for the role of Daisy Buchanan. New York City, November 2, 2010. Photo: Baz Luhrmann. Copyright: Bazmark

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How did I miss this?

Happy belated birthday, Neil Gaiman.

[Photograph by Kyle Cassidy, generously licensed under Creative Commons.]

Today is Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day, which always makes me want to start re-reading Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End. But barring that, one thing I've always been keen on is donating reading material to our boys and girls in uniform, and have always been frustrated and flummoxed by the difficulties in just finding places to donate your stuff (for whatever purpose) in an intelligent fashion. MediaBistro's book blog GalleyCat has already scooped us on that one, though, with their post today: Sharing Books with Our Troops, which lists various resources and ways to donate books to our troops. Mostly e-books it seems, which I guess makes sense. When you're humping a 75-pound pack through the roughlands of Afghanistan, it's easier to carry the complete works of Charles Dickens on a thumb drive than in a giant shopping bag of dead trees.

Of these resources, probably my favorite is Operation Warrior Library (can't have any military operation without a snappy acronym). What about you folks, does anyone have a favorite book, military, or book/military charity they like to give to?

[Image of WWI veteran holding the flag of his son who died in the Korean War by Magnus Manske, generously licensed under Creative Commons.]

Monday, November 8, 2010

After Claude, Iris Owens

The end of this affair is an emotional bloodbath.

Hilariously brutal, a fair amount of your enjoyment of After Claude depends on ever having been or known a Harriet. If you are her, she is possibly a straight-shooting truth teller, looking for love in the absolute worst places. And if you only ever had her as a terrifying acquaintance in high school, then this serves as the barbed window into any savage, selfish relationship she ever went on to have. Either way, it quickly becomes an addictive, prickly pear of a read.

Harriet, in her idiosyncratic way, either drives the unworthy Claude away or leaves on her own, then cleaves to him as he tries to remove her from his life. In between alienating her equally terrible friends, she finds time to revisit the sequence of events that deposited her on Claude's doorstep in the first place. And that's all before going completely insane. Without giving too much away, this is the story of how Harriet outdoes herself, crashing not just in the same car but every car, over and over again.

Monday, November 1, 2010