Sunday, October 31, 2010

interesting stuff.....

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
- Walter Cronkite

I get behind in my podcasts and forget to stream from my NPR affiliate all the time so I missed Bob Edwards multi-part piece on libraries.  The first week, Bob took on the issues of  change in libraries and the history of libraries.  Next Bob looked at  prison libraries and then tackled alternative sentencing involving libraries. Week three Bob talked to Colorado's own Keith Curry Lance  about school libraries and took a look at  Murray Hill Middle School library. The final episode deals with outsourcing libraries and then censorship in libraries . Bob finished the series by talking with Stephen Chbosky about the censorship of his book  "The perks of being a wallflower". I personally think that one of the greatest things about the good ole USA is free PUBLIC libraries

Sunday, October 10, 2010

End of 24 hour

Final Tally

Completed Reading 4 books with a total of 626 pages :^(  short of my goal of 1,000 pages but then I did take a two hour nap

Ate:  6 bonbons; 1 bag of potato snacks; 1 cheeseburger ; 3 snack cakes ' cinnamon oatmeal with craisins ; 1 hershey's kiss ; 2 grapes ; 3 strips of bacon ; 2 scrambled eggs; fried potatoes with onions

Drank 3 cups of coffee ; 6 cups of Lipton tea ; 2 cups of Tazo Passion tea ; 1 large glass of raspberry iced tea

time for magnetic poetry

End of Hour 23

sooo..... I finished the Pirate book and it was quite can read more about the author and his other pirate books here

So there is a mini-challenge that requires taking the letters in at least half the title of a book that I read, rearrange them into a new word and write a definition for it

So I will use "The pirates in an adventure with Ahab"
let me see... I think my new word will be whavenstraperated which means the complete and utter exhaustion one feels after reading for 24 hours

Hourly tally

Pages read: 30
Ate: cheeseburger ... mmmm.......

End of Hour 22

I got wrapped up in the mini-challenge and prepping for my class so I didn't read as much as I had hoped to from the book.  On the Other hand I did read 15 pages for my class

Hourly Tally
Pages read: 25
Ate: Two grapes and 1 snack cake
Drank: 1 cup of tea


So the mini-challenge this hour was to take a photo of something in your house that represents what you are reading.  I'm reading "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab" by Gideon Defoe right now.

Sooooooo..... here is Pirate Nancy Pearl doing battle with the great white whale Moby Dick

End of Hour 21

So the silly pirates bombed in Vegas due to the treachery of Black Bellamy and his competing pirate show.  The Captain meets his old friend Captain Ahab while trying to raise money by boarding the Pequod in search of treasure.  Ahab posts a bounty on the whale and our intrepid band of pirates goes in search of Moby Dick...dressed as krill.....

Pages read: 30
Drank: 2 cups of tea

End of Hour 20

Well the Pirate Captain has been forced into purchasing a new ship and obviously overextends himself so as not to appear weak to both Cutlass Liz, pirate boat dealer, and his dreaded nemesis Black Bellamy.  After coming up short in the buried treasure hunt, the crew sets sail for Las Vegas where they hope to make enough money to pay off their debt to Cutlas Lizz by telling pirate tales and perhaps gambling just a little.  Lighthearted enough for this late into the readathon

Pages read: 41
Ate: 1 snack cake
Drank: 1 cup of tea


End of Hour 19

Finished the first Pirate book and took a quick trip to the store to get more provisions.  Now I have to turn the book over and read about their set of adventures - this time with the mysterious Captain Ahab who is in search of a certain whale.

Pages read: 20

End of Hour 18

still reading about pirates - think a bit more Monty Python than Pirates of the Caribbean and you will get the drift - lots of clever dialogue and puns not to mention Darwin with a totally wrong theory and a Bishop who is somewhat nefarious!

Pages read: 40

End of Hour 17

finished with the first 6chapters of the Pirate book.  It is somewhat clever and they have already encountered Darwin.  Defoe has obviously done some research about the minutiae of daily seafaring life and it moves pretty quickly but I'm not in love with it yet.

Hourly tally:
Pages read: 40

Poetry mini-challenge

Five stories up
Two books down
dragonflies attack the balcony

Pages read
Treats consumed
statistics don't tell the whole story

Sunny day
Gentle breeze
Ready for tales of pirate glory

End of Hour 16

FINISHED Troost! What fun...I won't tell you how it ends but obviously he survives to write the book!

I managed to complete the hourly challenge and create a wordle based on my blog. I also managed to have my customary artery clogging Sunday brunch. Time for my next book "The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists" by Gideon Defoe


Pages Read: 40
Ate: 3 strips of bacon, fried potatoes and scrambled eggs
Drank: Tazo Passion Tea - 2 cups


Ok - here is my wordle for the challenge

End of Hour 15

well I had intended to finish the Troost this past hour but he kept describing food and I suddenly realized that the meager bowl of oatmeal that I had consumed a couple of hours ago would not suffice.  So I cooked up my Sunday morning artery clogging special - bacon, fried potatoes and onions with scrambled eggs.  I made a small pot of Tazo Passion tea and I'm ready to eat and finish this book.

Hourly tally:  Pages read: 23 (aarrgghh....)
CONSUMED: nothing (ok . I cheated and half a slice of bacon)

End of Hour 14

So Troost has made it through Lhasa and much of Tibet and makes it sound so much more appealing than the rest of China. He manages to catch a train, read some Dan Brown, and end up in the most polluted city in the world, Lanzhou.  He journey is dwindling down but he still thinks he would like to raise his children in China, if only for a while.

This hour's mini-challenege has to do with books not living up to their blurbs or covers and since I rely more on book reviews than covers to sell me a book, I can't think of one (yet) that has disappointed me in this way.  Besides, I would rather finish reading Troost's adventures in China

Pages read: 46
Ate: 1 Hershey's kiss

End of Hour 13

So Troost has decided to take his friend to the outer  reaches of China - away from the polluted cities, towards the Himalayas.  They stop in Dali where they notice an unusually large number of hippie Westerners and learn about reefer madness in China thanks to a Lonely Planet mention. After declining to partake, Troost observes "One thing I will not do is smoke weed in a country with mobile execution trucks".   And this is why I love his writing, just the hint of humor encased in a dark truth as he goes on to explain the efficiency with which capital punishment is now administered in China.

I'm passing on the hour's mini-challenge because I had never heard of any of the books whose titles I bothered to unscramble

Hourly tally:
Pages read: 46
Ate: Cinnamon oatmeal with a handful of craisins

End of Hour 12 (for me)

Halfway through the readathon and I'm enjoying myself. Troost has managed to make the eating of live squid seem possible and delicious (note to self: do not eat the live squid in Yeongdeok)  He has now joined up with a longtime friend and is getting an economics lesson in Guangzhou.  This trip was made in 2007 when China was recovering from the SARS scare and apparently he and his friend visited the ground zero of SARS, a market in Guangzhou.  If anyone can make a trip to SARS Ground Zero be both funny and interesting, Troost can.

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?  Lost on Planet China
2. How many books have you read so far? Finished 1, halfway through 2
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? The Pirates!
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? No - just need to remember to prepare for my class
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Err.. other than that two hour nap?
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  Just how tired I was at the beginning - note to self: take a nap before the next one
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope - this is always a great activity
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Get my sleep in advance and not have a class scheduled at the end
9. Are you getting tired yet? Yeah, but my nap took care of that
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?  I just went up on the roof of my building for an early morning stretch - getting in a little exercise is always good


Pages read: 57
Ate: 2 more bon bons (time for breakfast)
Drank: 1 cup of coffee

End of Hour 11

well I slept - I can't help it since the readathon starts so late for me

Here is my total tally at the end of hour 11


PAGES READ: 259 (UH OH better get reading)

ATE:  6 bon bons, 1 bag potato snacks , 1 snack cake

DRANK: 2 cups coffee, 2 cups tea, 1 glass of raspberry iced tea


End of Hour 8

I managed a few pages and then felt the pull of sleep

Read 25 pages

End of hour 7

Definitely bleary-eyed and I may need an intense nap (it's 3am here) I have managed to only read 36 pages in the last hour.  I'm loving the Troost book but also thinking mightily that a nice snooze would be in order.

I'm too tired to try the book puzzle challenge although it combines some of my favorite things together

Pages read 36
Ate: 1 snack cake (chocolate of course!)
Drank: another cup of instant coffee (I'm out of milk so tea is out until I can get to the store)

End of hour 6 (I think)

so my nap was spread across hours 5 and 6 but I am somewhat refreshed.  I've made it through the first 7 chapters of "Lost on Planet China" and every time I think Troost should come to South Korea, he describes something in China which could have been written while visiting my charming little town.

This hours challenge is to create a puzzle based on a book title but honestly, it's now 2am here and I don't think I have the brain power


Pages read: 28
Drank: 1 cup of Lipton Yellow Label tea

Napping time: ?????????

End of hour 5

time for a short nap and a stretch ...

the challenge for this hour is show our books

32 pages read

I should add that I have at one time had as many as 50,000 books in storage...

End of Hour 4

I am the slowest reader in the universe but I did manage to read 36 more pages in "Lost on Planet China" - I just love it although it doesn't have as much of zaniness that I found in Troost's earlier works.

The mini-challenge for this hour is to post a pic of a book that was published by an independent publisher.  Next in my pile is Rick Steve's "Travel as a Political Act" and since it was published by Nation Books, it counts. 


Pages read: 36
Ate: 3 more bonbons
Drank: 1 cup of lovely Lipton Yellow Label tea

Saturday, October 09, 2010

End of Hour 3

So I finished up "Cheap" and I have to say it opened my eyes.  I can't say that I will ever look at Ikea in the same light.  I also gained some new insight into what is going on in China.  This is the perfect lead-in to Book number 2, J. Maarten Troost's "Lost on Planet China".  Troost is a most delightful writer and I have already devoured the first chapter.  I highly recommend all of his books and hope that this one is as entertaining and informative as "Sex Lives of Cannibals" and "Getting Stoned with Savages"

The Third hour mini-challenge is a six word celebration of Dewey's Readathon so here goes:  fulfilling Dewey's book-elicious legacy of reading!  (sorry, I made up a word)

TALLY for the last hour
Pages read: 67
Consumed: last of the E-mart Potato Snacks (really quite disgusting but addictive)

End of Hour 2

so I got distracted by the good news from Chile and the fascinating stuff going on for Oct 10 and only read 10 pages - still working on "Cheap" and reading about the fabulous work going on at Wegmans grocery stores.

This hours mini-challenge was to take a stroll down childhood reading memory lane.  My favorites were "Wind in the Willows" and "Alice in Wonderland".  How about you?

Pages read this hour : 10
Ate: nothing
Drank: Lipton Raspberry Iced Tea

End of Hour 1

Now down to the business of first hour traditions:

I am reading from the comfort of my lovely apartment overlooking the rice paddies and pepper plants of lovely Yeongyang, South Korea.  If it warms up later in the morning I will either got up to the roof or sit out on my little balcony and watch the sun come up.

Three facts about me:
1) Prior to re-inventing myself as an English teacher in South Korea a little over a year ago, I was primarily a librarian or used book dealer in the US.  Along the way I've also worked as a college instructor, pizza delivery expert, actor, management consultant, organic lawn care provider, professional test grader and probably a lot of other things that I have forgotten.

2)While I thoroughly enjoy many types of music and completely non-musical and considered truly tone-deaf

3)I make the best damn cheesecake in the world

I have a great many books available to me to read over the next 24 hours but I plan on finishing "Cheap"  and then I have two travel books to read - J. Maarten Troost's "Lost on Planet China" (should be good after reading Cheap) and Rick Steves' "Travel as a Political Act".  For fiction I have 3 novels to choose from: Michael Chabon's "Gentlemen of the Road", Paul Auster's "Timbuktu" and Gideon Defoe's "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab/In an Adventure with Scientists"  which I picked up last weekend on my visit to Daegu and Buy the Book

My only goal is to complete the readathon - .I am shooting for 1000 pages but who knows - it depends on whether or not I can actually stay awake (it's 9:20pm right now)

My advice for newbies - keep it light and varied - drink lots of water or tea and make sure you have fun - this is about the joy of reading!


Read: 25 pages (late start into the hour)
Ate: 3 Garoto Many bonbons (gotta eat bonbons and they are the closest thing to Reese's Peanut Butter cups that I could find)
Drank: 1 cup of lovely Korean instant coffee mocha

Readathon - early start

Well my plans to go to Ulsan fell through for oh so many reasons and after a brief nap I am ready to start the readathon. This is my third readathon and I am ready with copious amounts of junk food supplemented with some more nutritious intake and complimented with a lots of tea, coffee and juice. I am starting an hour earlier because the last hour of the readathon conflicts with an English class that I host in my apartment.  I know, I know, I must be crazy for committing to reading for 24 hours and then teach a class at the end of it but it should be ok and I can always sign off early and take another nap.  Anyway to kick things off I am finishing up Ellen Ruppel Shell's "Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture"  which my friend Robert graciously loaned to me a couple of weeks ago.  Let the reading begin!


It's time for the semi-annual Dewey's Read-a-thon and I am on the horns of a dilemma.  Friends want to go to Ulsan for the World Music Festival although that is uncertain as of this writing.  I've been meaning to get over there ever since I got to Korea and at the last minute (welcome to Korea) our regularly schedules Saturday classes have been canceled. 

Unfortunately Alycia (group organizer par excellance) found out at the last minute (once again, welcome to Korea) that she has to work on Saturday at her school for one hour.  Since getting anywhere from here is a major expedition and the weather for today indicates probable rain, I'm debating whether to trek on my own or stay home and read for 24 hours.  Decisions, decisions.....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Final Tally

This is the end of my third readathon and here are my stats
READ - Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante  515 pages
              Waking up in Eden by Lucinda Fleeson 308 pages
               TOTAL 2 Books 823 pages - I think I need to set a goal of 1000 pages next time
               both books were from the pile that I won in last Fall's readathon

CONSUMED:  5 cups of tea
                         1 CapriSun Orange Mango drink
                         1 bowl homemade rice pudding
                      *  2 bowls of homemade chili
                          1 bowl of Korean Special K cereal with milk
                          3 large sugar cookies
                      *  1 package Lemon Plank cookies
                          1 small container of strawberry yogurt
                       * 1 package of sour jelly beans
                          1 container of pizza flavored Pringles chips

                        * from Mallie's care package

celebrating with a fresh strawberry shake - yum  - cheers and happy reading folks

Hour 24

Lots of questions to answer for the final hour
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  that would have been around Hour 7 when I apparently fell asleep
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I'm reading "Waking Up In Eden" which is non-fiction with fairly short chapters - I think books with small chunks of information are good for the readathon
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I think it's great with the cheerleaders and the challenges
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?  the mini-challeneges were really fun and quite do-able
5. How many books did you read? 2
6. What were the names of the books you read? "Silent Scream" and "Waking Up In Eden"
7. Which book did you enjoy most? one was a novel and the other a memoir - really too hard to compare them
8. Which did you enjoy least?  see number 7
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?  n/a
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? As long as it works in my schedule, I will be there

Hour 23

Lucinda Fleeson has included a fitting quote from Isabella Bird  in her book "Waking Up in Eden"
I still vote civilization a nuisance, society a humbug and all conventionality a crime

guess I'm in good company

only one a half hours to go - should be able to finish this book

Hour 22

I'm up to Part 4 of  "Waking Up In Eden" and just love it - Fleeson is a wonderful writer and I can so identify with her stage in life.  If only I were somewhere a little more exotic than South Korea

Oh well on to Part 4 which is entitled "Living Well Is The Best Revenge".....hmmmmm...I can't wait

Hour 21

I reached part three of "Waking Up in Eden" which seemed like a good point to take a break.  I was streaming old episodes of Bob Edwards Weekend and I got engrossed in his interview with singer/songwriter Joe Pug.  I was enthralled.  How often do you hear of young people who truly have an epiphany and follow their heart?  Visit his website, listen to his tunes, think a little harder about life.......

back to the book......

Hour 20

this hour the mini-challenge is to talk about the food that gets us through the readathon - well here is my gallery - thanks goodness that a care package from my friend Mallie arrived at the last minute - everyone needs a friend like that!

Pringles are considered somewhat exotic here and I don't really like them but I knew I would need a yummy salty snack to get me through
homemade chili that used up the last of my sour cream
lots of tea to drink

Special K for breakfast - Korea-style!

yummy cookies from the local bakery

and Easter candy from my care package

Hour 19

Well I have read another 7 chapters of  "Waking Up in Eden" and just love it.  A whole chapter devoted to Isabella Bird (is she following me everywhere?) and a delightful account of renovating an old plantation cottage while uncovering the delights of Hawaiian botany.  Having worked for while at the Missouri Botanical Garden I am fascinated with her accounts of attempts to save native species of plants, particularly the Brighamia. All in all, quite a satisfying read especially if you are interested in middle-aged single women spreading their wings just a little.

must be time for tea

Hour 18

Well I just started "Waking Up In Eden" which is one of the books that I won in the last readathon.  So far it is a story close to my heart.  It is the non-fiction account of a middle-aged reporter from Philadelphia who leaves behind her tidy little life to become the chief fundraiser for a botanical garden in Hawaii.  Gee, I wonder why I am drawn to a book like this?  Here is a great passage about her preparations to leave Philadelphia
It may be good for the soul to disposses every few years, but it takes fortitude to dismantle a house and confront your unfilled hopes and intentions, assigning them destinations: Put into storage on the East Coast; pack for Hawaii; discard
just finished chapter 5 and the first 56 pages while consuming the last of the Pringles and some really yummy Orange-Mango Capri-Sun

Hour 17

One mini-challenge for this hour asks us to tell about the first book that we really loved.  That's an easy one for me - Alice in Wonderland.  I received a copy when I was about 8 and as I recall it was a Penguin paperback edition.  I recall reading it in one sitting and being absolutely fascinated with the awkward girl in the strange land dealing with the strange logic of an crazy group of characters.  Somehow or another I think this awkward girl identified with Alice in oh so many ways.

the second mini-challenege asks us to answer the following questions
  1. What steps did you take to ensure you’d be able to read as much as possible today? that was too easy -I got the laundry done on Friday and  I didn't have to work on Sunday - I don't have anyone at home to bother me - the only difficulty was trying to be rested enough to start as our start time was 9pm on Saturday and I had to work that day
  2. Of those steps,  which proved to be the most beneficial to your day? Getting in a two hour nap after work helped but I still fell asleep around 3am
  3. Is there anything you might do differently next time? make sure I don't have to work on the day that the readathon starts because I really needed more sleep.
 Chili is cooking on the stove now!

Hour 16

just finished "Silent Scream" - quite satisfying in the end

think I'll fix some lunch before diving into "Waking Up in Eden"

read : finished 1 book 515 pages
consumed: last of the jelly beans

14th hour

The mini-challenge this hour is to come up with a favorite book that has never been filmed and cast it.   An another outstanding challenge has to do with blogging about a book where a boy and girl are friends and end up realizing they are in love.  Well my book meets both challenges.

One of my favorite tales is an old one, "Parnassus on Wheels" by Christopher Morley.  It is the quaint tale of a book peddlar who roams the New England countryside and a tough-minded independent middle-aged woman who wants to buy his business.  Needless to say love ensues. So who would I pick to play these two middle-aged book-loving compatriots?  Johnny Depp is finally old enough to play Roger Mifflin and he already has on-camera experience as the book scout Dean Corso in "The Ninth Gate" which is very loosely based on a portion of another great read, "The Club Dumas".  I think Renee Zellweger might be right to be cast as Helen McGill.  Of course this was once dramatized for the Philco tv series but it has never received big screen treatment.

SUMMARY: read 45 pages
consumed: homemade rice pudding, 1 cup of tea and another large cookie

13th hour

just finished another 80 pages of LaPlante's "Silent Scream" - it's getting better but I'm not sure I can keep up with all of the little twists

time fore tea!

Hour 12 Challenge

1. What are you reading right now?  LyndaaPlante's "Silent Scream"
2. How many books have you read so far? just this one - almost done
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? "Waking Up In Eden"
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? nope - it is my only free day this week
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Oh yeah - I fell asleep for a couple of hours - the start time for me was 9pm and I had a really long day at work
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  How diverse the challenges are
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No - you guys continue to delight me
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?  I would definitely arrange to not work on the day that the readathon starts so I could get a could chunk of sleep in before it starts
9. Are you getting tired yet? no now (see #5 above)
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I need more ideas to get me up and moving - it seems to help between the long stretches of reading

read 125 pages (just finished Chapter 16)
consumed: one cup of tea and a large cookie

Book Cover Challenge

For this challenge we have to show book covers that embody certain adjectives such as





Reading Is Fundamental Reading Challenge

for this challenge we needed to post pictures of children reading and add a link to the Reading Is Fundamental site.  I have a bunch of photos that I took at my school's book festival and finally have the time to find them and get them posted here.

oh..... I managed to consume a big bowl of Special K but didn't read a thing this hour


I was a lot more tired than I thought - looks I fell asleep for a couple of hours just like last year.  It doesn't really matter because the whole idea is to just have some fun.  Looks like I need tog et reading and make up for lost time.  Apparently I read 17 pages since my last checkin and I ate a small thing of strawberry yogurt -  Time to get some breakfast (it's 6am here) and get going on the day

Hour 7

Well I managed to drift off to sleep after finishing anther chapter (it is after 3am here right now)  so I didn't get much done last hour
Read: 18 pages (through Chapter 12)
Consumed: nothing but some sweet dreams

Hour 6

Starting the sixth hour of the readathon and not too much to report - ready to start Chapter Twelve of "Silent Scream" and feeling a little sluggish.  I will need a pick-me-up sometime soon.  I like the idea of one of the mini-challenges which requires creating a slideshow from pictures of you reading - I'll see if I can muster up the energy for that one.
Read: 44 pages (through Chapter 11)
Consumed: half a bag of sour neon jelly beans (thanks for the care package Mallie!)

Hour 5

Wowo - where did the time go?  One of the mini-challeneges was to try and make a sentence from the book titles in your stack.  Here is the result

"In a perfect world, the Puzzle King, waking up in Eden, silent scream"

so much for that here are my stats
Read: 56 pages (through Chapter 8 f Silent Scream)
Consumed: finished my second cup of tea

Hour 4

I was busy doing mini-challenges last hour so I didn't get too much reading  done.  Think I will get serious this hour so I can feel like I have accomplished something
Read: 20 pages (finished Chapter 5 of "Silent Scream"
Consumed: started second cup of tea
Background: Streaming NPR - might need to switch to music

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hour 3????

Wow Hour three is just starting which I really can't believe.  I finished another couple of chapters and am thoroughly enjoying the read.  Our challenge for hour 2 was to post about how we settle in and those things that make us comfortable for the readathon. I'm basically reading on my bed because I have so little furniture.  My life in South Korea is a little Spartan but if I get bored with the bed I will move to my floor mat or later on when the sun comes up I will sit out on my porch.  One of my most important companions is the mug from which I drink my tea and it happens to be sitting on the bookcase next to my bed in this picture.  I just noticed that my Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure is carefully posed with her shushing finger to her lips
Pages read 48
CONSUMED: 1 cup of tea and a package of  Lemon Planks courtesy of my newly arrived care package from Mallie

Hour 2

Just finished the first hour of the readathon.  For my first selection I'm reading Lynda LaPlante's "Silent Scream".  I have to confess this is the first book of hers that I have read and I'm hooked.  I managed to finish the first two chapters of this thriller which is set against the backdrop of a movie set. This is one of the books that I won in the last readathon.
Read 48 pages
Consumed: too many pizza-flavored Pringles and a glass of apple juice

back to the book....

Hour 1

Well the readathon has started.  My stack is full of the books that I won in the last readathon so I'm guessing by now if you are a new reader that I have done this before.  In fact this is my third readathon.  It's 9pm on Saturday (I'm in South Korea) and I have just woken up from a nap so I feel somewhat refreshed and ready to go.  My advice to newbies is to pace yourself.  Alternate very easy reads with something as little more challenging.  Get up and walk around every hour.  Keep track of your liquid refreshment because it is easy to become dehydrated.  Three quick facts about me and then I am off to read
1) I'm a former librarian turned English teacher in South Korea
2) I used to own a bookstore
3) I'm hoping to finally get that novel written this year

cheers and happy reading


Well the readathon is starting in a few hours and I just got home from work. I managed to stop by the store on my way home and stocked up on milk and junk food and as I arrived home the third and final box from my good friend Mallie arrived so now I have enough food to take care of the Korean army.  I have my stack of books ready to go and think I will start with a short nap. Reading starts at 9pm here

Friday, April 09, 2010

Is it really April?

Where did the time go?  I've been so busy with the new school year and making a quick trip back to the States at the end of January that I have totally neglected my book blog.  Since I last posted anything, Apple introduced their new I-Pad which may well do for books what the Ipod did for music - kill the sales of physical media.  But what do I know?  I bought a Sony reader for my son who is in the Peace Corps in Africa but I haven't settled on what e-reader will be the best for me.  The Ipod is quite expensive and would cost what a decent new laptop would cost.  Besides that it places too many restrictions on its users in terms of ownership of purchased texts.  I don't like the Kindle either for the same reasons.  If I only want to read a text and not own it, I can easily download them from my public library.  But if I spend money on my books, I expect to be able to keep them, trade them, sell them or lend them to a friend.

So here is a quick roundup on articles that caught my eye recently:

Craigmod has an interesting perspective on the transition in the book world that is taking place right now.  As a book designer he lauds the passing of the disposable book

We’re losing the dregs of the publishing world: disposable books. The book printed without consideration of form or sustainability or longevity. The book produced to be consumed once and then tossed. The book you bin when you’re moving and you need to clean out the closet.
What I appreciate is that he thinks that this is the time to start talking about what books really should be
I want to look at where printed books stand in respect to digital publishing, why we historically haven't read long-form text on screens and how the iPad is wedging itself in the middle of everything. In doing so I think we can find the line in the sand to define when content should be printed or digitized.
Speaking of the Ipad, I have seen a brilliant idea for an Ipad stand that doubles as a bookend - now why didn't I think of that!

If you want to calculate the relative "greenness" of an Ipad over a printed book, check out this piece in the New York Times. After some fancy ciphering it turns out that
 the impact of one e-reader payback equals roughly 40 to 50 books. When it comes to global warming, though, it’s 100 books; with human health consequences, it’s somewhere in between.
And last but not least, how about this great story about President Obama stopping by his favorite bookstore - been a while since we could talk about the President and bookstore in the same sentence!

Time to get my reading stack ready because tomorrow night (9pm for me) Dewey's 24 hour Readathon starts and I want to be ready! Perhaps I can finally start on the big pile that I won during the last readathon!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Last summer after I ran away from home, I traveled around the UK for six weeks.  On my last night there, before heading to South Korea, I finally visited 221b Baker Street, one of my lifetime ambitions.  It was late and I had spent the day running around London trying to get the last of things on my checklist.  I remembered passing the pub on the coach trip into town so I grabbed my handy bus timetable and soon found myself in front of the one of the most famous addresses in literary history, if not the world!. 

Imagine my surprise when a strange man offered to take my picture in front of the building and then offered to buy me a pint at the Sherlock Holmes Pub next door.

He claimed to be the night caretaker at a local mental institution (I swear this is true) and wanted to work on his technique for picking up women.  I figured it was a public space with lots of witnesses and I wasn't foolish enough to follow him anywhere and I helped him introduce himself to a bevy of young ladies at the bar (My god - where do I find these people?)  Anyway he was charming, paid for the beer and showed me where to catch the fastest bus back to the hostel where I was staying.  And that is my silly Sherlock Holmes London adventure!

Happy birthday Mr. Holmes - we are in good company!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

I have a birthday this week and instead of gifts and silly cards I want all of my friends to lend money via Kiva. In particular I found a lady in Nigeria who is a bookseller. I just made a loan to an entrepreneur named Angela Ugdeze in Nigeria. She still needs another $950.00 to complete her loan request of $1,000.00 (you can loan as little as $25.00!). Help me get this entrepreneur off the ground by clicking on this link to make a loan to Angela Ugdeze too.

It's finally easy to actually do something about poverty - using Kiva I know exactly who my money is loaned to and what they're using it for. And most of all, I know that I'm helping them build a sustainable business that will provide income to feed, clothe, house and educate their family long after my loan is paid back.

Join me in changing the world - one loan at a time.

Brushing off the dust

I'll see how long this lasts...ok.. I'm going to try and keep this as my book news and interesting stuff posting locale because I see great things that I only seem to post on either twitter or facebook and I want to keep my posts in a more organized manner

NPR - I'm an NPR junkie - can't help it but I've been listening so long that now that I am in South Korea I am thankful for the fabulous broadband connection that this country is known for - NPR streams whenever I am at home and at school when I don't have to teach - my bloglines account is full of feeds from favorite shows and I download the podcasts to listen to on bus trips - and best of all, NPR loves books, so expect to see lots of links like today's gem
"Is it possible to love books too much? Writer Allison Hoover Bartlett thinks so, given the reaction she often gets to her new book, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much." "I can't tell you how many people have picked up the book and read the title and said, 'Huh! That's me,' " Bartlett says. "Some people care so deeply about books," she adds, "they're willing to do just about anything to get their hands on the books that they love."

Bartlett has written a fascinating account of rare books dealer Ken Sanders and his interactions with book thief John Gilkey. It reminds of the time I worked on the Stephen Blumberg case with the FBI which was captured in the video "The Omaha Project - A Rare Book Adventure"- as I like to say interesting stuff!!!

I read a lot of other blogs and one of my favorites is "Words and Pictures From Old Books" which is exactly what it says. I will probably use lots of clips (like this lovely T) to illuminate my postings.

If you are planning on beginning the New Year with a little house-cleaning, here is an article about how to weed your books. I found it easier to run away from home when I found homes for my books.

I just chatted online with one of my longtime book-reading buddies from the old Gorpies group and she recommended reading J. Maarten Troost's "Sex Lives of Cannibals" and I remembered that he was on my list of must-reads so now I need to track down all three of his books.

This year I plan on actually doing a lot more reading and keeping a better log of my reading habits. I got this idea from one of my favorite blogs "Naked Without Books" and heartily recommend following one avid bookreader as she devours the printed word in South Korea!