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!