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1. Home Again and New Books

sun and sea

We drove up the coast this weekend to move Jane back into school. My parents held down the fort here at home. Scott and I stayed in Pismo Beach and I was swooning every minute. California’s Central Coast is as lovely as it gets.

Now home, and the house seems so quiet with only five kids. Only, heh. Tomorrow we’ll be back to our regular routine. I have a stack of books awaiting me at the library, which is closed on Mondays. I was itchy all day for it to open. :)

Speaking of new books: two launches today made my heart go pittypat. One is Sarah Elwell’s latest, this one delivered in an innovative serialized-ebook fashion. Each week for three months you get a new installment. Sarah’s work is haunting and lovely, and I can’t wait to read this. A novel in weekly installments might just suit my jam-packed Cybils season schedule.

deepinthefaraway

Deep in the Far Away by Sarah Elwell

And the other is Scott’s latest! A YA novel available on Kindle. For readers of his UNCIVIL WAR series, this is NOT the next volume of that (but it too is coming out as soon as possible).

Game Over by Scott PetersonGame Over by Scott Peterson

What are you reading right now?

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2. Chip of the Flying U

Jenn recommended Chip of the Flying U, by B.M. Bower, about a year ago, and that’s probably how long it’s been sitting on my Kindle. I don’t know why I picked it up this weekend, except that the internet in my apartment wasn’t working and I wasn’t feeling enthusiastic about anything I was more familiar with, but I’m glad I did. It’s almost entirely delightful, one of those books that does enough right that you don’t care that much about the stuff it doesn’t. And if you have to be content with a kind of ham-fisted ending, well, everything before that is so much fun that the book has kind of earned the right to fall apart in the last chapter.

The Flying U is a Montana ranch owned by James G. Whitmore, and Chip is a sensitive, artistic cow-puncher. Don’t laugh; it’s awesome. He’s got a square chin and long eyelashes and a horse he loves a lot, and it’s kind of over the top, but in a cute way. Della Whitmore is cute, too. She’s the younger sister of James G., paying an extended visit after graduation from medical school, and she’s got grey eyes and dimples to go with Chip’s chin and eyelashes.

She makes a positive first impression when she shoots a coyote with Chip’s rifle on the way back from the train station, the day of her arrival. The rest of the book is about him being in denial about being in love with her, basically. There’s no reason he should deny it, except that Della writes frequently to a Dr. Cecil Granthum. So Chip mopes, and “the Little Doctor” flirts with him and displays a fair amount of unreasonable behavior. I worry this is meant to make her seem more feminine. But more importantly, she’s good at her job, and he’s good at his, and there’s humor and artistic triumphs and a tiny bit of adventure besides. It’s a funny book and a sweet one, and while I found Della inconsistent, and Chip almost unrecognizable in the final scene, it his enough of the right buttons at the right times that I smiled my way through the entire book.


Tagged: 1900s, bmbower, montana, romance, western

1 Comments on Chip of the Flying U, last added: 9/22/2014
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3. Light the Way for the Underserved

Do you have an innovative new program or service that requires funding? Are you looking to serve an underserved part of your community more fully?  The ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant is a great opportunity for your library!

The Light the Way Grant was formed in honor of Newbery Medalist and Geisel Honoree author Kate DiCamillo. The spirit of the award honors the themes represented in her books.  The award itself consists of a $3,000 grant to assist a library in conducting exemplary outreach to underserved populations through a new program or an expansion of work already being done. So, whether yours is a new idea or one that has already been put into place, your library would be eligible.

The  ALSC Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee has the honor of selecting the winner. Special population children may include those who have learning or physical differences, those who speak English as a second language, those who are in a non-traditional school environment, those who live in foster care settings, those who are in the juvenile justice system, those who live in gay and lesbian families, those who have teen parents, and those who need accommodation service to meet their needs.

Be inspired by the impact and the work of the 2014 ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way” current grant winner. Don’t forget to check back on the ALSC website for the most current grant application to be available soon!

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4. The martial and literary arts have more in common than you might think

My kung fu school now offically offers Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Today I spent my lunch hour doing BJJ with one guy who weighs 225 and has a green belt in judo and our sifu, who weighs less but knows more.

2014-09-21 12.17.55So far, these have been my stages in doing BJJ:


  • I don’t know what this guy is doing and it might hurt. Better tap.

  • I know what this guy is doing and it hurts. Better tap.

  • I know what this guy is doing and I try to get away. But he just cinches in tighter. I tap.

  • I know what this guy is doing and I try to get away. But he gets me in a different position. I end up tapping.

  • I know what this guy is doing but I have a game of my own. I try something. He gets away. He tries something. I get away. But eventually I can't escape, and I tap.

  • Just like the above, only sometimes I get the other guy to tap!

As in kung fu, sometimes the best thing seems like the worst idea. Like getting closer to the guy holding the knife can be the best thing, or rolling toward the person who was just behind you choking you.

After class, Sifu asked me how many books I had written and how the process has changed over time. The answer was 17 published + 2 done but not yet published + 1 half-done + the 3 I wrote before I got published + the 3 I wrote after I got published but that never found a home.

That equals 26 books! Which explains why I can now write a book in a compressed timeline and without a super-clear idea of where it's going and still pull it off. So the more you write, the more you know about writing. And the more you grapple or do kung fu, the more you know about grappling or kung fu down in your marrow, deep down past thought. The more you trust the process.

Like in my current WIP, The Girl I Used to Be, I needed this character Jason to be a tweaked-out trucker.  And I could write him tweaked out and paranoid or I could write him talking to his ex-wife about who might have killed their old friends years ago, but I couldn't write both parts of the chapter. They refused to go together, even though it said in my outline that that should happen.2014-09-20 10.37.02  And I realized I had to listen to my characters. Like there was no way if Jason acted that crazy that Heather was going to give him the kids for the week, no matter what their custody agreement called for. Also, they wouldn't have discussed anything. They would have been at each other's throats. And once I trusted my gut and stopped thinking and stopped insisting the book had to follow my outline and just wrote, it worked itself out. Just like going into grappling and thinking I am going to do this one cool thing I want to do and missing plenty of opporutnities to other great things and never even doing your butterfuly choke.

Every day or at least every month, I'm getting to be better at kung fu/BJJ/writing.  But I don't think I'll ever be this good:

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6. Confessions review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Minato Kanae's Japanese bestseller (and basis for a popular film), Confessions, now out in English.
       This was translated by Stephen Snyder; disappointingly, however: "Translation copyright © 2014 by Little, Brown and Company". (Not okay, guys.)

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7. Alison Bechdel is a Genius, but We Already Knew That

Just a quick post today--but I wanted to make sure you all knew that cartoonist/graphic novelist Alison Bechdel has won one of those nifty MacArthur Genius Grant thingies. Yes, of COURSE we knew she was a genius way back when we first heard of the... Read the rest of this post

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8. Forward

If I receive a forward
That’s political or, worse,
Pertaining to religion
My response is rather terse:

By sending me such messages
(In case you couldn’t tell),
You’re reaffirming that you do not
Know me very well.

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9. Kathy Reichs Preview

We hope to see you next Monday, September 26 at the Columbus Museum of Art for an Evening with Kathy ReichsKathy Reichs web! Beginning at 7:30 p.m., Reichs will be discussing her bestselling crime series that acts as the inspiration for the hit T.V. show, Bones. Dr. Temperance Brennan (also known as Bones) is the heroine for this 17 novel series that works to solve seemingly unsolvable cases. In her newest novel, Reichs takes Dr. Temperance on a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to find the connection between two murders on opposite sides of the country.

While general admission tickets for this event are sold out, we do have limited availability in an overflow seating area at a discounted rate. Please call 614-464-1032 x.11 for more information and ticket availability.

As a gesture of respect to our authors and guests, the event will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. with no admission allowed past 7:45 p.m. We thank you for your understanding on this matter.


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10. Trip to Romania: Part I

Red line shows our itinerary...
I just got back from a 2 week trip to Romania with my friend Ioana who is working on a plant field guide to the country. So much fun touring the country and seeing castles, churches, villages and fortresses.

It was a whirlwind! We were on the road a lot so we could see as much as possible. But, in the short time, it was just tastes of different regions. 

We first went to Romania in 1998 to be in George and Ioana's wedding. The country has done a 180 since then and is growing in leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, the guys could not join us this visit.

We did not get to revisit the seaside town of Constanta or the Dacian ruins, but next time...

Our first stop was Brasov and OF COURSE Castle Bran in Transylvania. We did not see Bran last time since I had to pick one castle to visit and that was Peles. So this time, we made sure to cover it.

Brasov is an amazing town. I hope to go back and sketch more! We only got a little taste of the city.

The Brasov town square

While I sketched this, they were giving a free opera concert. It seemed to cover a lot of the greatest hits and was a bit of a sampler platter of songs.

A peacock is a good image in Brasov. It is a proud and beautiful city.


Did you think I would not sketch it?

Queen Marie's Chapel we thought... Gorgeous with all the moss...
Me, walking up to the castle...
If you are curious and want to know more, watch this amazing series about Romania called Wild Carpathia. They go to a lot of the places Ioana and I went to and talks about how they are trying to conserve the largest areas of virgin forest in Europe.

http://youtu.be/jvDIpOPlWJ8

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11. Kunjungi Cagar Alam, Patel Tewas Diterkan Beruang

Seorang pelintas alam bernama Darsh Patel (22) tewas diterkam beruang hitam ketika sedang berjalan-jalan di Cagar Alam Apshawa, West Milford, New Jersey, Senin (22/9/2014). Patel pergi ke cagar alam tersebut bersama empat temannya.

patel tewas diterkam beruang
Beruang Hitam : google images


Di tengah perjalanan, kelima sekawan tersebut bertemu seekor beruang hitam, yang langsung mengejar mereka. Dalam ketakutan, mereka berlima sudah berupaya menyelamatkan diri dan mencari jalan secepatnya keluar dari hutan.


"Dalam keadaan kacau itulah, mereka terpisah. Mereka lari ke arah yang berbeda-beda," kata polisi setempat. Saat situasi dianggap sudah cukup aman, rombongan itu bisa berkumpul lagi tetapi Patel tak kunjung datang.

Empat kawan Patel lalu menghubungi kepolisian setelah tak bisa menemukan Patel. Mereka melaporkan kejadian yang baru saja mereka alami. Pencarian oleh kepolisian mendapati jasad Patel, dua jam kemudian.

"Bukti di lokasi menunjukkan korban diserang oleh seekor beruang. Beruang itu ada di sekitar lokasi kejadian," kata polisi, sebagaimana dikutip Tribunnews dari AFP.

Pernyataan dari juru bicara Departemen Perlindungan Lingkungan mengatakan, kejadian yang menimpa Patel tersebut merupakan serangan fatal beruang yang pertama di New Jersey sejak 1852.

Cagar alam seluas 576 acre, setara sekitar 233 hektare, tersebut memang populer di kalangan pelancong, pesepeda, penunggang kuda, dan penikmat burung. Beruang hitam sudah umum dijumpai di New Jersey, di 21 kabupaten di wilayah itu.

Namun para pakar menyebut serangan semacam itu merupakan peristiwa yang sangat jarang terjadi. "Benar-benar langka," kata Lawrence Hajna, juru bicara Departemen Pelindungan Hutan seperti dikutip Reuters.

Reuters mengutip pula data bahwa pada 2010 ada sekitar 3.000 beruang di New Jersey, menempatkan negara bagian di Amerika Serikat itu sebagai pemilik populasi beruang terbesar di Amerika.

Negara bagian ini rutin menggelar kegiatan berburu beruang setiap Desember untuk program pengendalian populasi.

Meski demikian, seekor beruang diketahui telah membunuh bocah perempuan berumur 5 tahun pada 2002. Bocah itu diambil dari kereta dorongnya dan sempat diseret ke dalam hutan di kedalaman Catskills Mountains.

Empat tahun yang lalu, beruang di barat laut New Jersey menyerang seorang pria dan mengambil sandwich-nya, meninggalkan lelaki itu terluka memar dan sendi yang lepas. Saat itu, polisi menyebut kejadian itu sebagai insiden pertama di Vernon.

Pada umumnya beruang hitam tak bersikap agresif dan cenderung lari menghindari manusia bila tak sengaja berjumpa, berdasarkan data dari laman New Jersey DEP.

Situs itu menjelaskan bahwa beruang cenderung aktif mencari makan setiap musim gugur untuk mengumpulkan bekal hidup pada musim dingin. Cagar alam ini berisi tanaman ek dan maple yang populer bagi para penjelajah dan pengamat burung.

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12. The Art Director Chooses...


I have a hard time understanding sometimes why art directors choose the art they do. And sometimes I submit several versions just because I like a different look, and then offer them the choice. 
I almost always know what will be chosen, but I keep on sending different things just because. I have my own ideas of what looks best, but then, it' isn't up to me, at least for now. 
Which of these would you choose? 



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13. READERGIRLZ ROAR FOR BANNED BOOKS WEEK

Adult/Teen Librarian Danielle Dreger-Babbitt from Mill Creek Library WA is here to Roar with readergirlz for Banned Books Week
Welcome Danielle.


Tell us about Banned Books Week
Banned Book Week was started 32 years ago to celebrate the freedom to read after more and more books were being challenged in libraries and schools. According to the American Librarian Association, over 11,000 books have been challenged since 1982. Over 200 of them happened in 2013! You can learn more about Banned Book Week on the ALA website.


What do you do to spread the word about Banned Books Week and Intellectual Freedom Issues?
I do a banned book display each year.  My favorite displays are the ones I did in 2011 when library patrons wrote about their favorite banned books and the 2012 display that took up a whole shelving unit. I love being able to showcase these banned and challenged books.

 
Along with each year’s display, I include Banned Book lists and pamphlets as well as bookmarks and buttons for library customers to take home. We’ve had essay contests where readers write about their favorite challenged or banned books and win copies of banned books. When I visit the middle schools to talk about books in the fall I often bring along books that have been challenged from other parts of the country and have the students guess why they might be banned or challenged.


Readers Roar: (Let’s hear what teens have to say about banned books)
“If people read the books before they banned them, they might have a better understanding of why the book is important. If you ban a book, it only makes me want to read it more.”- Jessica, Grade 11

 
Any Banned Books you would like to highlight?
Some of my favorite banned and challenged books include Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Shine and TTYL by Lauren Myracle, and 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  And my absolute favorite banned/ challenged book is Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Most teens are amazed to hear that it has been taken out of some schools and libraries!
What can readergirlz do to celebrate Banned Books Week?
Check out the activities on the BannedBooksSite . Readergirlz can celebrate their freedom to read by reading one or two banned or challenged books during Banned Book Week. Bonus points for reading these all year long, not just in September and for sharing these titles with their friends and family.
 
More ideas from readergirlz diva Janet Lee Carey: Grab your favorite Banned Book and RIP = Read in Public. Do a selfie while reading your favorite banned book and post it on your favorite social networks. Use twitter hashtag #BannedBooksWeek and @readergirlz when you post on twitter.
Use the site Support Banned Books Week  to add a temporary banner below your profile photo. Divas Janet Lee Carey and Justina Chen's photos:  

 

ONE LAST BIG ROAR from guest poster, Danielle
The best way to support libraries is to use them! Check out books and DVDs and CDs, use the databases to find information, and attend as many library programs and events as your schedule allows. By doing these, you are showing us that you think libraries are important. There are many ways to give back to your library. Consider becoming a volunteer or join the library board or Friend’s Group.  Teens can join the library’s Teen Advisory Board and help make decisions about future library programs and purchases. You can also donate books to the library for the Friends of Library Book Sale. The money from these sales supports library programs and special events!
About Danielle Dreger-Babbitt
I’ve been a teen librarian for over 10 years and have worked in libraries in Massachusetts and Washington. I’ve been an Adult/ Teen Librarian at the Mill Creek Library for over 5 ½ years. I’ve been active in ALA’s YALSA  (Young Adult Library Services Association) for the last decade and have served on committees including Outreach to Teens With Special Needs, The Schneider Family Book Award, and most recently The Alex Awards, for which I was the 2014 committee chair.

In my spare time I write for children and teens. I love to read YA and MG fiction and cooking memoirs/ cookbooks. I own two cats and two badly behaved (but adorable) dogs. I also love to travel and recently visited Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina.

Let’s Link:
Sno-Isle Teen Blog 

Thanks again for the terrific Banned Books post for readergirlz, Danielle!

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14. Excavation

Involved in a secret five-year relationship with her middle-school teacher, Ortiz focuses on the emotional toll experienced at the hands of "Mr. Ivers." It is pretty satisfying to watch as Ortiz slowly becomes aware of the inequalities of this relationship, yet at the same time, it's entirely heartbreaking to watch this child (because, let's be [...]

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15. The utter delight found in "Where My Wellies Take Me..."


Where My Wellies Take Me...
by Clare & Michael Murpurgo is one of those books that is so pretty and smart that I hesitate to do much of any kind of review because it's too hard not to lump the superlatives and make it sound impossible. I want to tell you it functions remarkably well as a poetry anthology, that Pippa's story of gentle outdoor adventure will appeal to kids and parents who enjoy a good jaunt and that Olivia Lomenech Gill's scrapbook style design and artwork is classic in all the best ways.

Oh heck. I love this book and I'm not afraid to just say tell you so.

The basic story is simple: Pippa sets off from her kind Aunt Peggy's on a trek through the countryside (hence the need to wear her wellies). She visits a local farmer, takes a ride on his horse, has a lunch, considers some birds, pigs and dandelions, plays Pooh sticks, spies a fisherman (and dwells on the end of life for a fish) and makes it back to the village in time to be crowned the unexpected victor of a race.

What elevates the book is the accompaniment of so many impressive poems from the likes of Ted Hughes, Rudyard Kipling, Yeats, Rossetti and more. The poems are often short, easy to understand and directly applicable to the text. The combination, with the great scrapbook pages and Pippa's story, makes this a lovely read and also a book to pore over for hours while studying the art.

Some books are treasures and Where My Wellies Take Me... certainly fits that standard. The very young will like Pippa a lot but I think it actually might reach best for the 6 & up crowd - 8 -10 year olds could be the best age of all. Really, though, it depends on the child. You'll know when you look at it if it fits for the explorer in your life. I hope it does.

Here are a couple of spreads from the Olivia Lomenech Gill's website:


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16. Is Bezos’ Super-Secret Campfire Cooling?

6629205_563906a381_zDid they stay or did they go? You might never know if your fave authors were feted at Jeff Bezos’ annual super-secret Campfire this past weekend. Word is the elite attendees are cautioned that what plays at Campfire, stays at Campfire.

In 2011, Bezos “flew in Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Alice Walker, Neil Gaiman, and Khaled Hosseini, among others, to a think tanky event he called ‘Amazon Campfire,’” Dennis Johnson noted in his Melville House blog. Since then, radio silence.

The Renaissance Weekend-like event of fabulous meals, fascinating formal talks led by folks like Neil Armstrong, horseback riding and skeet shooting, and sweet swag (down vests, fleeces) continued for the most part under the radar, until The New York Times reported Sunday on the fifth autumn weekend soiree under the headline, “A Writerly Chill at Bezos’ Fire.”

Seems a bit of the bonhomie has been siphoned off the warm, cozy atmosphere by the it’s-not-personal-it’s-business Amazon/Hachette dispute. The Times’ David Streitfeld wrote: “Some repeat Campfire attendees who have supported Hachette in the dispute say they were not invited this year…The event has become as divisive as the fight.” (more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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17. DOES IT MATTER WHAT WE DO?



The question is pretty simple. Does it matter what we do?

Some say no. The climate isn't changing. (Hey-–it wasn't that hot today.) Or they say, the climate is always changing. (Remember the ice age?) Or they say, other countries pollute more than we do. Why should our country be the only ones to take action? 

Some people say no, even though they believe that climate change is happening. They say, it's too late to stop the inevitable. They say, corporations are inherently evil. They say, I'm just one person out of seven billion. What can I do? I tried already. It didn't help.

The ice caps are melting. The sea level is rising. The change in the climate has already displaced species and destroyed the habitats of butterflies, bees, birds, bears––and yes, humans.

But luckily there are lots of people who don't say NO.

Who ride a bike to work. Who recycle. Who plant trees. Who live with a little less. Who turn off a light. Who conserve water. Who bring a canvas bag to the grocery store.

Who marched in New York City on September 21, 2014.






I'm proud to have marched with them.

It's always better to take a positive step. To do whatever you can. To believe that you can make a difference. To keep trying.

Because YES, it does matter what we do.
 

http://www.50waystohelp.com/

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18. EIGA Design

EIGA Design on grainedit.com

Beautiful work from EIGA, a multidisciplinary design studio based in Hamburg, Germany.

 

EIGA Design on grainedit.com

EIGA Design on grainedit.com

EIGA Design on grainedit.com

EIGA Design on grainedit.com

EIGA Design on grainedit.com

 

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19. The Tale Behind the “Greatest Love Story” Ever Told is Coming to Print

Time announced it in 2013 as “the best news you’ll read all day.” It still is.

The tale behind the “greatest love story” ever told, of a rhyming giant kind and fencing Spaniard bold, of Westley, handsome farm boy, and Buttercup, a beauty coy — is coming to print. Our Westley, Cary Elwes, will lead a romp to “have fun stormin’ da castle” in his memoir As You Wish (October 14; Touchstone) on the making of the well-loved hit film, “The Princess Bride.”

The iconic swashbuckling rom-com introduced Robin Wright (wait, sweet Buttercup turned into Claire Underwood?), and starred Billy Crystal, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, (I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!”) Carol Kane, Christopher Guest, Chris Sarandon, Peter Falk, and a young Fred Savage. It is applauded as one of the Writers Guild of America’s “101 Greatest Screenplays” and the American Film Institute’s “100 Greatest Love Stories.”

Elwes told the Hollywood Reporter that he was inspired to share “inconceivable” behind-the-scenes stories of making the hit during a cast reunion celebrating the film’s 25th anniversary at the 2012 New York Film Festival. (more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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20. Prix littéraire de la Mamounia

       The Prix littéraire de la Mamounia, awarded for francophone Moroccan writing, has announced its fifth winner, and, as reported at, for example, Aujourd'hui, Prix Littéraire de la Mamounia: Le Job de Réda Dalil consacré -- apparently the big favorite. See also, for example, the Le Fennec publicity page

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21. A Little Laugh

Because even a book on climate change needs a little humor:

Not surprisingly, the Kochs [siblings David and Charles, inheritors of the second largest privately owned company in the US, Tea Party supporters, and opposed to action on climate change] are the number-one hate figures of the progressive left and environmentalists alike, and the grinning brothers are often portrayed in activist literature as the twin heads of the “Kochtopus,” surrounded by the spreading tentacles of their gas, oil, and chemical interests. This is the latest in a long cartoon history of rampaging corporate cephalopods, which have included railroad monopolies, ice monopolies, Tammany Hall crooks, [and] Standard Oil.

Heh, rampaging corporate cephalopods. Makes me laugh every time I read it.

I have a few writing and reading commitments I must attend to this week so posts might be skimpy. If only there were enough time in the day to fit everything in! I’ll try, but, well, we’ll see.


Filed under: Books, In Progress

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22. Explaining Piketty's success

       Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century continues to be one of this year's unlikely publishing success-stories -- a university press-publication, a work in translation (indeed, I wonder how many have sold more copies this year), and, well, on some level, a pretty scholarly-dry tome (though it is, in fact, a pretty good read). In The Guardian they ask now four "star economists and finance experts" (and no literary experts, oddly enough) Why is Thomas Piketty's 700-page book a bestseller ?
       (I've been impressed by the book, but the surfeit of reactions and reviews has kept me from posting review-coverage for now; meanwhile, see the Harvard University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.)

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23. he had a dream. we heard him sing it. season 8 (the Voice)


Saturday, at the Reading Market, this young man serenaded the lunchtime crowds. "I'm going to LA to sing for Usher," he told us. "Season 8. The Voice." He was best at Adele. He loved Marvin Gaye. He gave us some Beatles.

I don't know the facts. I just know the moment. He beguiled us with the possibility. He said he had a dream. We fed his open suitcase. We took his picture. We wished him well.

I was besotted with the romance of it all.

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24. HAPPY AUTUMNAL EQUINOX!

(DEEP BREATH)

Ahhhhh. 

Fall has officially arrived. 

Summer seems like (literally) only yesterday, and yet here we are, on the brink of my favorite time of the year. 

The summer was lovely and part of me is sad to see it go. But I am comforted in knowing that I spent a good deal of time reading outside and soaking up the sun from the comfort of my favorite reading chair. I think I made the most of the warm days---I've certainly read a lot. And thought a lot. (And watched a lot of CrashCourse). While I haven't made much direct progress on the story development front, I have made a constant effort to absorb everything I'm reading (or watching), be it comics, novels, non-fiction ,television, movies, or even YouTubeVideos. 

After all, it's all funneling toward my creativity. 
It's what I call the percolating phase...I never know when or how inspiration will bubble back up and out and into the writing.  I'm just hopeful that it does.

In other news:

I will be participating in the Fall RISD Alumni Sale taking place on Benefit Street in Providence on October 11th. In anticipation of the day, I've gone back to the doodle board to finish up some new pieces. It's been nice to return to my beloved circles, cells, and stones after a few months away. 

Here are my two newest pieces. 

Ascension



Daydream


That's all for now. There's more work to be done and the night is young!

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25. Creating Life-Long Library Advocates

I was on Facebook the other day and many of my library friends were posting an article from the Atlantic Monthly called, “Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations.” Interested, I read the article and was excited to see that the millennial generation loves reading. The article shares the results of a Pew research report that studied the role of the influence of libraries on young readers, ages 16-29. “Eighty-eight percent of Americans under age 30, read a book in the past year, compared with 79% of those age 30 and older” and they also used the library slightly more than older adults. For a split second, I was ecstatic. I now, finally had proof that all my hard work as well as the hard work and tireless efforts of all my friends and fellow librarians who put in long days planning programs, recommending books, and advocating to parents and politicians, actually worked.

Then I read the following sentence: “At the same time, American readers’ relationship with public libraries is changing – with younger readers less likely to see public libraries as essential in their communities.” Only 19% of Millennials say that their local library’s closing would impact them, even though they are using the library as much as older patrons.

Before we throw our hands in the air and call in sick tomorrow, let’s take another look at the facts. We have created a generation of readers who use the library and are reading and utilizing the library more than the generation before them. Unfortunately, they just don’t understand the importance of the library to themselves and to their community.

As everyday advocates, we can fix that. Children do not have political power. They have limited say in decisions affecting their lives, but as we can see with this study, they are the future politicians, community partners, and parents with whom we will be advocating to justify our budget and staff. Instead of trying to convince adults to become library advocates, let’s focus on the youth to create life-long library advocates! As Children’s librarians, we have the unique ability to advocate from birth. The next time you are talking to caregivers about the importance of storytime, be certain to include the children in the discussion. When you find that perfect book for a child, remind them how the library is important to them. Sometimes, we focus so much on the political parts of advocacy, that we forget that it as simple as talking to a child. Who is with me?

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Gloria Repolesk is a Children’s Librarian at the Emmet O’Neal Public Library. She is writing this blog post on behalf of the Advocacy and Legislation Committee.

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