Aug 28 2009

Once Dead, Twice Shy

Harrison, Kim

I was soooo excited to see this new Kim Harrison book listed in the NYPL catalog. I didn't realize when I placed my hold it was YA, which is normally even more appealing to me. Once Dead, Twice Shy is more or less a dead girl coming of age story.

Aug 27 2009
Aug 26 2009

Sandy Berman scorecard August 2009: my picks

My Radical Reference bud James Jacobs was good enough to post Sandy Berman's latest Personal LCSH Scorecard (meaning subject heading's he has proposed to the Library of Congress) to the Rad Ref site. The first part of the scorecard identifies headings that LC has adopted, and the second part lists headings yet to be accepted. I thought I'd second my favorites from the latter list...

Aug 26 2009

Sirens of Titan, the

Vonnegut, Kurt

I run hot and cold with Kurt Vonnegut, sometimes thinking he's a genius and other times silly and simplistic. My response to this tale of the effect of God's utter indifference on the creatures of our solar system is one of moderate disinterest, though I do generally enjoy clever irreligiousness.

Aug 25 2009
Aug 25 2009

LCSH Week 31: of latex garments, stainless steel, and tariff on beef

This week on LCSH Watch

  • Alaska Natives
  • Latex garments—Erotic aspects
  • Stainless steel
  • Tariff on beef

Aug 23 2009

Shanghai Girls

See, Lisa

I was so psyched to read Lisa See's new historical novel that I snatched it off the cataloging truck to get at it faster. With that kind of build up, it would have been surprising if I liked it as much as I expected to, so maybe it's not Shanghai Girls's fault that I didn't love it.

Aug 22 2009
Aug 20 2009

Welfare Brat

Childers, Mary

I read a lot of autobiographies, but seldom does it occur to me to consider what a feat of memory and bravery it is to get down a rich portrait of one's life. Mary Childers does an admirable job of recalling her impoverished childhood and adolescence in the Bronx, and is pretty out there about what she endured, including her own shaming behaviors. I wonder if her telling the story in the present tense helped her with that? It kind of confused me, so I wish that even if the device helped her memory, that she'd switched it to past tense after the first draft.


He had always been a cruel and violent drunk, but when he dangled Lacey out of a window because she wasn't his kid, Mom ditched him. At least that's what she tells us. I'm glad to have a standard for where to draw the line on the kind of abuse to take from men. p.17

I wish my social studies teacher would verify what the old Irish guy told me and Paula about these crowded hills belonging to the Appalachian Mountains. But during the geography unit we only memorized and pierced with pushpins the map locations of natural resources and capitals in Africa, Asia and Central and South America, as if preparing for lifetimes of exile or plunder. p.127

Aug 16 2009
Aug 19 2009

You'll miss the Post Office

Sandy Berman sent me this news service article about the decline of the US Postal Service printed from his local paper. I agree with it when it comes to the USPS, but also think you could substitute the word "library" for "post office" and have it be equally true.

Aug 18 2009

LCSH Week 30: in which I date myself with a Little Darlings reference

This week on LCSH Watch, List 30 (July 29, 2009), we explore

  • Childlessness
  • Divorced men (also Divorced people and Divorced women)
  • Goths
  • Historic house museums—Interpretive programs
  • Irony in music
  • Right to water

One of these subject headings inspired a memory of the Kristy McNichol/Tatum O'Neal rite of passage film Little Darlings!

Aug 17 2009

Internship at Marvel Library

Apparently they haven't received any applications from library and information science students yet. So if you're in an LIS program and looking for a for credit internship, and you want to work with comics (How could you not?), please get in touch with these nice people!

Aug 16 2009

Dead as a Doornail

Harris, Charlaine

Regarding the last vampire book I read, my cousin asked me, "Isn't that trash?" I don't think that particular book, a graphic novel, is trash, even though I didn't like it very much. I did like Dead as a Doornail pretty well, but I do more or less regard it as trash. But I also don't say trash in an entirely pejorative way. I guess what I mean is that it isn't literature. It goes down quickly and leaves you feeling sated, even if hungry for more. I don't think that's a bad thing, although I do prefer to balance paranormal series like these with materials that are edifying. If I had a better diet, I'd probably make analogies to protein and carbohydrates. If I had a worse diet, I might compare genre fiction to fast food, but since I haven't been inside a McDonald's since the turn of the century, I can't bring myself to liken tasty paranormal tales to something that in addition to having bad politics makes you feel sick when you're done consuming it.

Aug 13 2009