Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Libraries -- I Remember When They Came in Buildings

You know, when I read this article about the Occupy Wall Street Library, I wondered, "What kind of librarian carts books outside and leaves them for days weeks months at a time under a tent? Seriously?"

So ... the article says (and I quote): 

The NYPD raided the Occupy Wall Street camp in Zuccotti Park last night, tossing tents, tarps, pallets, sleeping bags and 5,554 books into dump trucks. This afternoon, the Mayor’s Offices released the photograph embedded above with some welcome news: “Property from #Zuccotti, incl #OWS library, safely stored @ 57th St Sanit Garage; can be picked up Weds.” However, activists reported that books were damaged or lost.

The OWS Library posted this response: “We’re glad to see some books are OK. Now, where are the rest of the books and our shelter and our boxes? Nice try guys, but we won’t be convinced until we actually have all our undamaged property returned to us.”

Hey, stupid. Try not storing things made out of paper outside. Are you real librarians? Didn't they teach you anything about book preservation when you got your library science degrees? The whole idea is to protect books from the elements not expose them to same!

And it's not the cops' job to look after these books. Duh! It's yours. You're the librarians. Dumbass librarians. Apparently.

Tonight ReOccupy Writers will help rebuild the library in a rally in Foley Square. Even though the New York City camp has been cleared, these People’s Libraries are popping up around the country. We are building a list of Digital People’s Libraries, if you want to contribute.

Yeah, I'll get right on that. Dumbasses. 

The Occupy Wall Street librarians tweeted the eviction all night:

“NYPD destroying american cultural history, they’re destroying the documents, the books, the artwork of an event in our nation’s history … 

Right now, the NYPD are throwing over 5,000 books from our library into a dumpster. Will they burn them?”

No, no, no ... cops don't burn books. Firemen burn books, right?

Of course, I also thought librarians protected books from the elements. But, hey, what do I know ...?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Please, Tell Me This is a Big Joke

That's exactly what I thought when I saw an article with the headline Should YouTube Add a Literature Category?

I was like ... seriously?

Fortunately, it wasn't. Maybe.

The article featured a video called 50 Book Spoilers in 4 Minutes.

The video looked, for all the world, like a big joke.

But then, I read the article.

And here's what it said, word for freaking word (parts bolded by me for emphasis): 

Fiction Circus has launched a movement to create a “literature” category on YouTube, hoping to build a new space for authors and readers on the video sharing site. For instance, the 50 Books Spoilers in 4 Minutes video embedded above was put in the “Entertainment” category, despite the fact that it deals with 50 great works of literature.

Check it out: “You will note that while Google has made serious, extremely well-organized attempts to purchase and control all out-of-print literature and create a massive online digital library, they have not bothered to create a ‘literature’ category for YouTube, revealing once again that they would be terrible shepherds for the human inheritance of written knowledge. Perhaps it can be argued that literature is ‘entertainment.’ But aligning literature with ‘entertainment’ is disingenuous. Literature is never merely ‘entertainment.’”

Disingenuous? Hmm ... the last time I checked, that word meant "lacking in candor; also : giving a false appearance of simple, etc., etc. ..." In short, I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In 'Stirred', Jack Daniels Takes the Highway to Hell

Review: STIRRED (Thomas & Mercer 2011)
Authors: Blake Crouch and J.A. Konrath

STIRRED finds (retired) Lieutenant Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels (formerly) of the Chicago Police Department seated not-so-comfortably in the ER with her significant other, Phin, a bank robber-turned-nice guy. Apparently. Jack is, not to put too fine a point on it, preggers out to here. Eight and half months into pregnancy and suffering from preeclampsia. As in pre-eclampsia. Eclampsia being a condition that could kill her and/or her unborn child. So. Not. Cool.

Mid-examination, Jack learns that a sociopath named Luther Kite -- a man she both hates and fears more than anyone else on earth -- has killed someone in the most spectacular way.

Well, what's a little eclampsia when a maniac is out there, maybe after your ass? Jack hops off the table, pulls her clothes on (maybe), runs out the freaking door and catches a ride with her reluctant chauffeur/business partner Harry McGlade straight to the crime scene.

And learns that Luther left a message inside the body for Jack.

Turns out this message is a clue to the next murder. Because there is a next murder.

It's all part of huge game (involving Dante's Divine Comedy and the nine circles of hell) that Luther's devised for Jack, who's so stubborn/determined/scared/idiotic/take your pick that she just has to be the one to apprehend this man. Even though eclampsia is nothing to sneeze at. It's a freaking serious condition that requires bed rest or you could seriously kill yourself. Honest!

Thing about thrillers is that they are big concept stories. And one concept here is the amazing, sometimes awful capacity for people to survive ordeals.

So as I read this story, I could buy its premise despite its over-the-top quality. I am not a stranger to the concept of ordeals.

In addition, Jack isn't just confronting Luther. She's trying to come to grips with a proposal from Phin. To marry, that is. Jack has all these issues. Control issues. Commitment issues. Independence issues. "Hey, guy. You're not the boss of me." Blah, blah ...

Anyway, Jack's got this alien life form growing inside her and she feels weird about that. At the same time, she feels protective of the unborn child. Plus she loves Phin and doesn't want to lose him. These plotlines create more layers of tension within the story and support the good vs. evil theme of the book.

Besides, Jack is so freaking funny. And she and Harry McGlade get to trade some of the book's best banter.

To put it in a nutshell, Jack must defend herself, her unborn child and her closest friends from her worst nemesis, a man determined to take her straight to hell. Smart, snappy and darkly humorous, STIRRED is a thriller that moves faster than a rifle shot, deftly combining the absurd with the grotesque.

Oh, and did I forget to mention Lucy and Donaldson? Two crippled and mutilated sociopaths bound by the desire to avenge themselves against Jack. They end up insinuating themselves into the story and, inadvertently, into Luther's plans. They're a match truly made in hell. But can two sociopaths find true love?

Is it really a spoiler to say Jack prevails? Even so, the book ends with a twist I never saw coming.

PS: If ebooks came with soundtracks, this song would be most appropriate.

PPS: Harry McGlade wins the award for having the funniest lines ever during a torture scene!

PPPS: Um ... falling down stairs while attached to bar stools and only suffering bumps and bruises? Seriously? :)

PPPPS: This story has a familiar ring. No, er, pun intended.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Parnassus Books Opens in Nashville

In keeping with my ever-continuing fixation with indie bookstores, here's a post about another one that just opened in Nashville, Tenn.

Parnassus Books already has a website (just click on that link right back there, okay?). And it has a Facebook page. Which I've liked, BTW. Nice going, guys. But I don't see nothing about a blog. What up with that, huh?

Oh, look, here's a New York Times article about the store. Awesome.

And it says:

After a beloved local bookstore closed here last December and another store was lost to the Borders bankruptcy, this city once known as the Athens of the South, ...

rich in cultural tradition and home to Vanderbilt University, ...

became nearly barren of bookstores.

A collective panic set in among Nashville’s reading faithful. But they have found a savior in Ann Patchett, the best-selling novelist who grew up here. On Wednesday, Ms. Patchett, the acclaimed author of “Bel Canto” and “Truth and Beauty,” will open Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore that is the product of six months of breakneck planning and a healthy infusion of cash from its owner.

“I have no interest in retail; I have no interest in opening a bookstore,” Ms. Patchett said, serenely sipping tea during a recent interview at her spacious pink brick house here. “But I also have no interest in living in a city without a bookstore.”

Awesome. Congratulations, Ms. Patchett. For someone with no interest in retail or opening a bookstore, you've taken on quite a commitment. And based on reading the article, you've put a whole sh*tload of work into this.

Plus that must be a quite a "healthy infusion of cash" you've got on hand, but it won't last forever if you spend your time in your pink brick house sipping tea serenely. Consider the example of St. Mark's Bookshop cited within the New York Times article. Getting a rent break is nice, but it won't solve the problem in the long run, will it?

May I make a friendly suggestion? Start a blog to market your bookstore. And try not to take yourself too seriously, okay? :)

As a gimpy self-published author, that's been my approach and it seems to have worked.

Finally, I strongly suggest you take a look at this post and think about it. Because while I agree that it's important for bookstores to serve unique community interests, if you're going to compete with a giant online retailer, you should get your online act together, am I right?

Josh Anderson for The New York Times

Ahh ... that's where you belong. Standing proud in your store. Be a retailer, Ms. Patchett. You can do it. Booksellers are awesome. Go for it!

PS: Did you know that Vanderbilt is one of the world's most expensive universities? I didn't until now. Yikes!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

50 Best Books for Journalism Students

Here's another one of those awesome articles I get now and then. This one is called The 50 Best Books for Journalism Students. Voila!

Hold it. Haven't I blogged about this before?


That's right. I blogged about it here. Except it was only 25 novels and they were terrifying terrific.

Do you suppose they're hurting for journalism students?

Can't imagine why ...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Enjoy With Music Wall Art Decor | Enjoy Music Indoors

Constructing a music room inside the house has become a popular choice for modern home owners. Even if you are not a true musician, you can still enjoy the pleasure of having a place where you can unwind and listen to your favorite music.
Enjoy With Music Wall Art Decor

Image Upoud From: guitarwallhangerhanger.com

Enjoy With Music Wall Art Decor

Though music rooms serve a lot of purpose, one particular reason of building it is to exhibit your passion for good music and a chance to showcase your skills to decorate using various music wall decor. Get Full Article in ezinearticles.com
Article Source

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Book Frog: Life After Borders

Hi there. As part of my continuing quest to show support for bookstores, I thought I'd post about a new indie bookstore that has, in point of fact, risen from the ashes of Borders' destruction. So to speak.

The bookstore is called The Book Frog. As I understand it, the store was founded by a couple of ex-Borders refugees employees. You can find it on Facebook. I like it there. :)

I'm in Maryland and the store is in Harbor City, CA. So I'm pretty much limited to liking it online.

I really do like it, though. Enough to blog about it.

And try to find out some stuff about Harbor City so this post wouldn't be totally boring would be a little bit more lively.

So, I tried to learn something ... anything ... about Harbor City on Google. But all I could find was Chamber of Commerce type stuff. BOH-ring!

Well, I'm way too gimpy lazy busy a blogger to do a lot of work on this, so I turned to Google images. I typed in "Harbor City" and look what I found.

Okay. I think this may actually be a photo of the harbor at Crescent City, CA. But it looked so awesome, I decided, "What the hell. Slap it up there. Maybe they're the same place." Who knows, right?

Then, I found this.

Now, according to Google, this is an actual Harbor City home. So ... if you lived in Harbor City, this could be your home. Or something. Maybe.

But wait! It gets even better. And I swear this actually did come up in my Google images search on Harbor City ...

BTW, did you know that Jennifer Tilly is from Harbor City, CA? That probably explains a lot.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day is Dec. 3

In my continuing quest to show support for bookstores, I'd like to point out that December 3 is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.

If you have a Web site or blog, please click the link. You can save one or more of the images there and help spread the word about this, too.

Also, if you have kids, please mark that date on your calendar and take them to the bookstore of your choice.

Try to keep in mind that indie bookstores can use the business right now. More than ever.

Yeah, I know. The sound quality stinks. But the message is clear, right?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Decorate Your Home With Wondrous Wall Art Decor

Make the walls more beautiful and stylish by hanging wall art and decor. Choose decorative pieces, add the theme of the room. For example, the choice of the metal wall sculpture, if your home is a contemporary style; tropical wall art, if your home's style is tropical.

Wondrous Wall Art Decor
Some of the Great Wall tips to wonderful art of the Great Wall of mind.

1. Spick and Span
2. A Splash of Color
3. Wallpaper, Anyone?
4. Wondrous Wall Decor
5. Memorable Memorabilia

Wondrous Wall Art Decor

This is for you to add navigation on the wall, so wonderful Wall Art Decoration ideas:

1. Nautical theme room

One obvious place to hang the tapestry nautical theme in the navigation room. Use a rich tapestry of the sea and adding texture in this room is especially nice, since most other sea smooth or metallic nature of the project. You nautical tapestry fabric, will be well with the paddle, model aircraft, telescope, and the framed map of contrast. Or maybe you want your map or model of your precious boat made tapestries. Become a collector's room, one of a class project tapestries can be visual impact, can become a family heirloom.

Wondrous Wall Art Decor

2. Home office or study

Other rooms in your home is particularly beautiful, with miles of tapestries, as well. Your learning, library, or home office, you can benefit from the tapestry can provide warmth and texture. Nautical tapestries also add elegance to your lounge or bar area. A rustic appearance, an ancient tapestry maps for navigation. Nautical tapestry, it will be good, the older children's room, their interests do not include sports figures or rock stars wallpaper his room. Beach sunset tapestry might be a good choice to his room.

Wondrous Wall Art Decor

3. The whole family

You can also decorate the whole tapestry of the sea home. Remember, today's tapestries tapestry manufacturers will customize almost any size and color palate. If you want nautical tapestries hanging in your living room wall, taking into account the sunset schooner sailing. If your room's color palate is purple and yellow accents. If you are elegantly decorated library or study, a simple line drawing of a ship has entered the tapestry. Also consider sailing ship in the port of tapestries. If you are a world traveler (or just want), tapestry showing a different port, anonymous fishing village famous city, is striking, red when your entire family.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mystery Loves Company (Updated)

Last week, I wrote a post about booksellers, in which I suggested bookstores use blogs creatively to sell books and other items in order to compete more effectively with big online retailers.

Well, today I appeared at a SinC event with 18 authors (one couldn't make it) at the Howard County Public Library, East Columbia Branch.

And guess who was selling books? That's right. An indie bookseller, Mystery Loves Company.

Now, Mystery Loves Company used to be located in Baltimore (the city) in the Fells Point section -- you've heard of it, right?

Well, times changed and the store decided the city was too expensive filthy crime-ridden it needed a change of scenery.

So, now it's located here.

Pretty awesome, huh?

PS: The store's blog is called Mystery Salon.

UPDATE: Guess what? I got a comment from Kathy Harig, one of the owners of Mystery Loves Company. She wants to kill me make sure I understand the real reasons her husband and she moved the store.

And the real reason is that they decided to move the store to Oxford when they took up residence on the Eastern Shore in 2005 and it became too difficult to keep two stores open. And that's the real reason, okay? And Kathy doesn't want to kill me at all. :)

And the store in Oxford is doing very well and has gotten great support. Awesome!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

10 Free Spooky eBook Classics

Even though Halloween has come and gone, this list of 10 Free eBooks For Halloween is still well worth reading.

First, all the books are available for free download on Project Gutenberg. Sweet!

Second, they're classics. So, they're great stories no matter when you read them.

Here's the excerpt from Fall Of The House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe: "During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher."


PS: This particular book was made into a movie.

PPS: Today is All Saints Day, for those who believe in that sort of thing. :)

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