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<<May 2015>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Books, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 13,661
26. BLACKOUT update


about someone

but I won’t say yet

don’t tell me

I bet I’m right


It’s a good theory


Also: this morning I figured out how to manage my Definitive LMM list

the post is underway

but sorry I can only think about Blackout right now

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27. Breaking: Breaking Cat News is coming to print!


We’ve been big fans of Georgia Dunn’s Breaking Cat News for quite a while, laughing with the boys’ in depth reporting on stupid human tricks, and shedding a tear over Elvis’s holiday adventure. You may have gotten tired of cat humor, but frmaing it in terms of cable news tropes gives everything a fresh spin. The strip has been running on GoComics for a while, and now Universal has done the smart thing and ordered a print collection. Cats+comics = the 21st century.

Dunn has been on maternity leave for the last few weeks, an event sure to inspire many more investigations. You can listen to an interview with Dunn here at Publishers Weekly’s More To Come podcast

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28. The most exciting advances in intensive and acute cardiac care

Things move fast at the acute end of medicine – and nowhere is this more apparent than in the field of intensive and acute cardiovascular care. This important field has been somewhat neglected at the expense of super-subspecialisation in cardiology. But times are changing.

The post The most exciting advances in intensive and acute cardiac care appeared first on OUPblog.

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29. All gone to look for America: Mad Men‘s treatment of nostalgia

The popularity of Mad Men has been variously attributed to its highly stylized look, its explication of antiquated gender and racial norms, and nostalgia for a time when drinking and smoking were not sequestered to designated zones but instead celebrated in the workplace as necessary ingredients for a proper professional life. But much of Mad Men’s lasting appeal lay in its complicated relationship with nostalgia.

The post All gone to look for America: Mad Men‘s treatment of nostalgia appeared first on OUPblog.

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30. Thursday reading notes (plus happy anniversary to us)

It’s our 21st wedding anniversary (though we begin our official count from our first date, five years earlier) and San Diego celebrated with RAIN, which you know is a huge big deal here these days. Glorious.

I can’t find our copy of Winnie the Pooh. Where is it hiding? So after Pooh Corner (sans final chapter) I had to (eventually) give up the search and pick something else. I’ll get Pooh from the library, I guess. IT’S JUST I KNOW IT’S RIGHT HERE UNDER MY NOSE SOMEWHERE. I bought a boxed set of Milne way back before we got married (we’d been an item for three years, though, so you know I was envisioning a house full of rugrats by then…Ingleside, to be precise) because my part-time job during grad school was at a children’s bookstore and I felt compelled to take full advantage of the employee discount. Hmm, someday I should comb our shelves for all the books I bought that year. Dear Mr. Blueberry, I remember that for sure, and every single L.M. Montgomery title I didn’t already own. I had Anne and Emily but not Pat, Jane (Jane!!), The Story Girl, or Valancy. (Valancy!!!!) Nor any of the short story collections, and I recall deciding it would be worth living on ramen for a while in order to procure every last morsel of LMM. I was right.

(Total digression: one of these days I need to do a post on LMM books in order of perfection. It might kill me to pick a #1, though. The bottom of the list is a piece of cake. Sorry, Kilmeny.)

ANYHOO. Back to the temporarily abandoned Pooh Search. In lieu of the silly old bear, I reached for McBroom. I wanted something fast-moving and full of laughs. Plus we’ve been reading Tall Tales this spring (I love the Mary Pope Osborne collection) and was in the mood for more wild yarns. Let’s see, in three days I think we’ve devoured five McBroom books. Started with McBroom Tells the Truth, of course, and then (in order of whatever the kids picked next) McBroom and the Big Wind, McBroom the Rainmaker, McBroom Tells the Truth, and McBrooms Ear. I hope they pick McBroom’s Zoo next–that’s my favorite. Our copy is the one I had when I was a kid, with the sturdy Scholastic book club binding.

Sid Fleischman’s language–his rich, hilarious, colorful turn of phrase–is simply unbeatable. And every whopper McBroom tells is funnier than the last. Oh, such good stuff.


As for my own reading, I’m halfway through Blackout and am FINALLY keeping all the dates and locations straight (more or less). And things are beginning to go crackerbots for Polly, Mary, Eileen, and Mike…You know, one of my favorite things in life is when I’m enjoying a book so much I can’t wait for bedtime (the only time of day I can count on a chunk of dedicated reading time…all the other minutes must be stolen, snatched, and squoze-in).


I meant to fill this post with throwback pictures in honor of our anniversary, but Scott just got home with a celebratory pizza. Photos, schmotos.

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31. How to Feel Like a Tree

While I am in a fiction slump, the nonfiction is as good as ever. I just have to share a marvelous quote from Roger Deakin’s Notes from Walnut Tree Farm:

If you want to know what it’s like to be a tree, sleep with a cat on your bed and feel it manoeuvring and exploring your curves and hollows for the most comfortable nest.

Waldo and Dickens both sleep on me at night, they each have their place and should one or the other be in the wrong place a fight ensues. I’m not sure I feel like a tree though unless trees get woken up at 2 in the morning with tickling whiskers to the face because it is imperative that someone’s belly be scratched right now.

Still, it’s a nice sentiment.

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32. Gill Lewis Wins the 2015 Little Rebels Book Award

Scarlety Ibis, by Gill Lewis (OUP, 2014) - winner of the Little Rebels Book Award 2015

Gill Lewis has won this year’s Little Rebels Book Award for her book Scarlet Ibis (OUP, 2014). The announcement was made at the London Radical Bookfair last … Continue reading ...

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33. Four steps to singing like a winner

Singing like a winner is what every emerging professional aspires to do. Yet there are so many hardships and obstacles; so much competition and heartache; so many bills to pay that more people sing like whiners than winners.

The post Four steps to singing like a winner appeared first on OUPblog.

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34. How does food affect your mood?

Considerable evidence has linked an unhealthy diet to obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cancer. We now understand how chronic obesity ages us and then underlies the foundation of our death. Furthermore, obesity leads to body-wide chronic inflammation that predisposes us to depression and dementia. However, these are all the long-term consequences of our diet upon our body and brain.

The post How does food affect your mood? appeared first on OUPblog.

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35. Sex, cars, and the power of testosterone

A red open car blasts past you, exhaust and radio blaring, going at least 10 miles faster than the speed limit. Want to take a bet on the driver? Well, you won’t get odds. Everyone knows the answer. All that exhibitionism shouts out the commonplace, if not always welcome, features of young males. Just rampant testosterone, you might say. And that’s right. It is testosterone. The young man may be driving the car but testosterone is what’s driving him.

The post Sex, cars, and the power of testosterone appeared first on OUPblog.

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36. The Reading Blahs

It’s not a reading slump, only that there isn’t much in my reading that is sparking my interest lately. I loved Ongoingness and I am reading Notes from Walnut Tree Farm and loving that too. But the fiction, it’s not doing it for me lately. It’s not that any of the novels I am in the middle of are especially bad, I’m just not interested in them. It’s me, not them. Mostly. I have about eighty pages of Dance with Dragons (book five in the Game of Thrones series) left and thank goodness for that because between it and the TV show of it airing right now I am burnt out on it and finding it increasingly difficult to care what might happen next.

Also, I have so many other things to occupy my time right now that anything less than stellar feels precariously close to a waste of time. Why read something mediocre when I could be out working in my garden? Why read a novel with a plodding pace when I could be zipping down a bike path on Astrid? Maybe I am just grumpy this evening because it is windy out and my allergies are bothering me and as a result I am not going on my first real group bike ride and will have to wait until next Wednesday to join.

Whatever the reason, I have the reading blahs. It is the second time this year, the first time was in January/February. I’ve gone two or three years without having the blahs and then it’s happened twice already in one year. What’s up with that?

Maybe if I’m having trouble with fiction I should just stick with nonfiction and not worry about it, just wait for my fiction slump to pass, which it will eventually. Maybe I just need to start a different novel to add something fresh to the mix? I dunno.

I got an email from the library that Lumberjanes is waiting for me to pick up. It is a graphic novel that has gotten lots of raves and looks like fun. Perhaps that will help me over the slump hump and get me back on the fiction trail? I just have to get myself to the library tomorrow or Friday. And then, well, I hope it’s as good as people have been saying it is. I’ll let you know! Until then, I suppose I will just keep going with what I’m in the middle of however unenthusiastic I am about it at the moment (wow is that ever and Eeyore thing to say!).

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37. Keeping a Green Tree in your Heart: A Selection of Tree Poetry Books

Tree-Themed Multicultural Children's Poetry Books

To give the Chinese proverb in its entirety, ‘Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come’ – and to extend the metaphor (or revert it … Continue reading ...

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38. Ongoingness

cover artOngoingness: The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso is a book-length meditative essay in which Manguso explores her twenty-five years of obsessive diary keeping. The diary was a way to remember and forget. It also provided proof that she was paying attention to her life, that she was living. Except it became something she had to to every day:

If I allowed myself to drift through nondocumented time for more than a day, I feared, I’d be swept up, no longer able to remember the purpose of continuing.

But Manguso admits that she doesn’t want to remember everything, she wants to remember what she can bare and pretend that is all there is. By controlling her memory, she felt that she was in control of her life. She even goes so far as to regularly revise her diary:

Everyone I’ve told finds the idea of my revisions perverse, but if I didn’t get things down right, the diary would have been a piece of waste instead of an authentic record of my life. I wrote it to stand for me utterly.

Of course I found myself wondering how authentic a record can it really be if you are revising the narrative of your life to include only the things you want it to and “erasing” the things you don’t want to remember. Manguso understands the that things cannot be erased, that

Nothing’s gone, not really. Everything that’s ever happened has left its little wound.

When she had a baby her diary entries began to change. They became shorter, more a recording of facts, what was eaten, health, medication. The contemplation disappeared. Instead of Manguso living “against the continuity of time,” she became a “background of ongoing time” for her baby to live against.

Manguso begins to understand the ongoingness of things, of time of life of history. The past cannot be fixed in her diary. Change cannot be stopped. Always looking at what has happened prevents one from seeing what is happening. She thinks

Perhaps all anxiety might derive from a fixation on moments — an inability to accept life as ongoing.

By the end of the book/essay, Manguso has moved from wanting to remember everything to wanting to forget it all:

And now I’m forgetting everything. My goal now is to forget it all so that I am clean for death. Just the vaguest memory of love, of participation in the great unity.

Ongoingness is a marvelous little book about the things we do to create the illusion of control in our lives. Manguso created that illusion with her diary. Others have different methods. But no matter what we do, life is ongoing. Time is ongoing. There is nothing we can do to stop it.

The book is not written as a continuous narrative but in short little paragraphs grouped into thought packages (I just made that up, do you like it?). A thought package can be as short as a sentence or as long as a page. The thought packages build upon one another but they also spiral around, first going one direction, then looping back and moving out in another direction. They give a feeling of movement and together they create a sense of wholeness without being something fixed and conclusive but ongoing.

One other thing I love about the book, it was published by Graywolf, a local independent publisher. In the front of the book is this:

This publication is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and culture heritage fund.

I’m one of those voters. Read the book. You’re welcome.

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39. Review: World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

I have to admit I was a little thrown by Dennis Lehane’s last book in the Coughlin series, Live By Night. The Given Day is Lehane’s best book and when he wrote it  he said it was the first in a series which would follow multi-generations of a police family through Boston in the 20th […]

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40. What the professor saw on YouTube

The pervasiveness of digital media in contemporary, moving-image culture is transforming the way we make connections of all kinds. The recent rediscovery of the 1903 film Cheese Mites is a perfect example, as the way the film came to light could only have taken place in the last decade. Cheese Mites is a landmark of early cinema, one of the first films ever made for general audiences about a scientific topic. It belonged to a series of films called “The Unseen World” and was made for the Charles Urban Company by F. Martin Duncan, a pioneer of microcinematography. It was a sensation in its day, capitalizing on the creepy fascination with microscopic creatures inhabiting our food and drink.

The post What the professor saw on YouTube appeared first on OUPblog.

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41. How to write a great graduation speech

It’s graduation time at many of the nation’s schools and colleges. The commencement ceremony is a great exhalation for all involved and an annual rite of passage celebrating academic achievements. Commencement ceremonies typically feature a visiting dignitary who offers a few thousand inspirational words. Over the years, I’ve heard more of these speeches than I care to admit and have made my own checklist of suggestions for speakers. For those of you giving commencement speeches or listening to them, here’s my advice.

The post How to write a great graduation speech appeared first on OUPblog.

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42. Neverending nightmares: who has the power in international policy?

Late last year, North Korea grabbed headlines after government-sponsored hackers infiltrated Sony and exposed the private correspondence of its executives. The more significant news that many may have missed, however, was the symbolic and long overdue UN resolution condemning the crimes against humanity North Korean committed against its own people.

The post Neverending nightmares: who has the power in international policy? appeared first on OUPblog.

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43. Stonewall Jackson’s “Pleuro-Pneumonia”

On this day in 1863, General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, one of the wiliest military commanders this country ever produced, died eight days after being shot by his own men. He had lost a massive amount of blood before having his left arm amputated by Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire, arguably the most celebrated Civil War surgeon of either side.

The post Stonewall Jackson’s “Pleuro-Pneumonia” appeared first on OUPblog.

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44. Body weight and osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition of the synovial joint. The disease develops over time and most commonly affects the knees, hips and hands, and less commonly the shoulder, spine, ankles and feet. It’s a prevalent, disabling disease, and consequently has a formidable individual and social impact.

The post Body weight and osteoarthritis appeared first on OUPblog.

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45. How complex is net neutrality?

Thanks to the recent release of consultation paper titled <“Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services," for the first time in India's telecom history close to a million petitions in favour of net neutrality were sent; comparable to millions who responded to Federal Communications Commission’s position paper on net neutrality last year.

The post How complex is net neutrality? appeared first on OUPblog.

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46. Hillary Clinton and voter disgust

Hillary Clinton declared that she is running for the Democratic Party nomination in a Tweet that was sent out Sunday, April 12. This ended pundit conjecture that she might not run, either because of poor health, lack of energy at her age, or maybe she was too tarnished with scandal. Yet, such speculation was just idle chatter used to fill media space. Now that Clinton has declared her candidacy, the media and political pundits have something real to discuss.

The post Hillary Clinton and voter disgust appeared first on OUPblog.

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47. What if printed books went by ebook rules?

I love ebooks. Despite their unimaginative page design, monotonous fonts, curious approach to hyphenation, and clunky annotation utilities, they’re convenient and easy on my aging eyes. But I wish they didn’t come wrapped in legalese. Whenever I read a book on my iPad, for example, I have tacitly agreed to the 15,000-word statement of terms and conditions for the iTunes store. It’s written by lawyers in language so dense and tedious it seems designed not to be read, except by other lawyers, and that’s odd, since these Terms of Service agreements (TOS) concern the use of books that are designed to be read.

The post What if printed books went by ebook rules? appeared first on OUPblog.

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48. Literary fates (according to Google)

Where would old literature professors be without energetic postgraduates? A recent human acquisition, working on the literary sociology of pulp science fiction, has introduced me to the intellectual equivalent of catnip: Google Ngrams. Anyone reading this blog must be tech-savvy by definition; you probably contrive Ngrams over your muesli. But for a woefully challenged person like myself they are the easiest way to waste an entire morning since God invented snooker.

The post Literary fates (according to Google) appeared first on OUPblog.

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49. Why Lincoln’s last speech matters

Lincoln’s last speech, delivered on 11 April 1865, seldom receives the attention it deserves. The prose is not poetic, but then it was not meant to inspire but to persuade. He had written the bulk of the speech weeks earlier in an attempt to convince Congress to readmit Louisiana to the Union.

The post Why Lincoln’s last speech matters appeared first on OUPblog.

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50. What can we learn from Buddhist moral psychology?

Buddhist moral psychology represents a distinctive contribution to contemporary moral discourses. Most Western ethicists neglect to problematize perception at all, and few suggest that ethical engagement begins with perception. But this is a central idea in Buddhist moral theory. Human perception is always perception-as. We see someone as a friend or as an enemy; as a stranger or as an acquaintance. We see objects as desirable or as repulsive. We see ourselves as helpers or as competitors, and our cognitive and action sets follow in train.

The post What can we learn from Buddhist moral psychology? appeared first on OUPblog.

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