12 book challenge, 2011

I’ve been trying to hit the 50 book challenge for the past few years, which basically requires me to read at least one book a week. Not happening. My average is around 25 in a year, and that’s often the result of reading a bunch while on break or vacation, and not paced throughout the year.

This year, I’m going to try something different. In addition to reading as many books as I can, I’m making a list of the twelve books that I want to try to read this year that are currently sitting on my shelves or wishlist. In no particular order, here they are:

i can’t change the laws of physics!

Talk of the Nation honored the passing of Jimmy Doohan today. Robert Justman and Wil Wheaton were guests on the program.

Talk of the Nation honored the passing of Jimmy Doohan today. Robert Justman and Wil Wheaton were guests on the program.

love songs

Only those who are confident that their sweethearts would not dump them for this chanteuse should pick up a copy of this CD.

My first introduction to Marlene Dietrich occurred a few weeks ago when I picked up a copy of the movie Witness for the Prosecution. As an Agatha Christie fan, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see yet one more dramatized version of her writing. I had heard of Dietrich before watching the movie, but it wasn’t until I saw her that I began to understand the attraction so many had (and still have) for her. Needless to say, I was eager to give the new Sony Legacy release Love Songs a spin.

The CD is a collection of songs recorded by Dietrich mainly in the 1950’s, with the first three tracks recorded in 1930 and 1931. A handful of the tracks are available on other recordings, but many have been languishing in vaults or private record collections until Sony picked up the masters and dusted them off. The sound quality is most impressive. Harry Coster did the digital sound restoration, and did it so well that one can hardly tell that the originals were 78s. The three tracks recorded in the 30’s do have that canned sound of recordings from the time, but without much of the hiss and pops of the old records. The rest of the recordings are fuller and warmer, a tribute to not only the re-mastering, but also the improvements in recording technology in the intervening twenty years.

Dietrich’s vocal technique is less than perfect, but her alto voice drips with a seductive quality that makes up for whatever may be lacking. As the liner states, when she sings, she transforms “strong men into masochists and beautiful women into groveling slaves worshipping at the alter [sic] of Sappho.” The CD will be released just in time for lovers shopping for Valentines Day gifts, but only those who are confident that their sweethearts would not dump them for this chanteuse should consider picking up a copy.

Article first published as Marlene Dietrich – Love Songs on Blogcritics.org

West v. Ranganathan

Jessamyn West has more links in her Google/dmoz directory than Ranganathan himself. Is this sick and wrong?

Jessamyn West pointed out today that she has her own Google/dmoz category. Not only that, but she has more links in her category than Ranganathan. There’s something seriously wrong with the world when one innovative, blogging, rarin’ librarian can have more links in a web directory than one of the most important theorists on classification and indexing.

Incidentally, two of the Ranganathan links are duplicates and at least one is a 404. I think I might volunteer to edit that category just to clean up the mess that is in there at the moment.

wil wheaton dot net

Wil Wheaton has a weblog. He started it a few years ago after creating his first website to remind the world that he does still exist and isn’t just a washed-up former child actor. He’s 30 years old, married, and has some kids. Most importantly, he wants the world to know that he’s more than … Continue reading “wil wheaton dot net”

Wil Wheaton has a weblog. He started it a few years ago after creating his first website to remind the world that he does still exist and isn’t just a washed-up former child actor. He’s 30 years old, married, and has some kids. Most importantly, he wants the world to know that he’s more than just some “space-suited, enterprising young ensign” or a “sweet, vulnerable little dead body seeker.” Right now, I’m reading it just because I can’t believe he would actually learn web design and coding and create his own website, and it is kind of fascinating.

political librarians

A great deal of today’s entry comes from the recent issue of Library Juice. I am posting here the links that I found most interesting and have some relevance to non-librarians. Hey, there’s a federal agent in my book! Jessamyn West, the author of the fabulous librarian.net weblog, has written an informative article for the … Continue reading “political librarians”

A great deal of today’s entry comes from the recent issue of Library Juice. I am posting here the links that I found most interesting and have some relevance to non-librarians.

Hey, there’s a federal agent in my book! Jessamyn West, the author of the fabulous librarian.net weblog, has written an informative article for the average American on the Patriot Act.

Before Gulf War II started, there was an online petition to prevent the war from starting created by Librarians for Peace. Now they have created a petition calling for a halt to the war. Feel free to sign it if you are a librarian and feel so lead.

I believe global peace starts with children growing up in safe environments and not being taught to hate the “other”. Here is a list of children’s books that are anti-war put out by Weapons of Mass Instruction.

Shellac, the Sound of the Future. I missed this on Tuesday. Bummer.

I have been amused by Andrei Codrescu’s commentaries on NPR for many years. His essay on libraries and book jackets is yet another ironic piece of refined humor. Oh, and if you’re wondering, we take them off because they are easily damaged and look quite ugly after a short period of time.

Also from Tuesday: The Capitol Steps 2003 “Politics Takes a Holiday” radio show was great fun to hear. If you missed it (or missed part of it, like I did), you can download and listen to it on your RealAudio player.

truth from the shrubbery

I refused to watch or listen to further lies coming from the mouth of the Shrubbery last night, so I put on a favorite old CD and snacked on some Thin Mints instead. I’m so frustrated with this impending war and the current administration’s ineptitude in being unable to solve their problems without being gun … Continue reading “truth from the shrubbery”

I refused to watch or listen to further lies coming from the mouth of the Shrubbery last night, so I put on a favorite old CD and snacked on some Thin Mints instead. I’m so frustrated with this impending war and the current administration’s ineptitude in being unable to solve their problems without being gun slinging cowboys itching for a fight to take the American public’s minds off of the real problems. Thank God for Michael Moore! But, enough of my soap box.

Rep. Bernie Sanders has introduced a bill to the House that would exempt libraries and bookstores from the parts of the Patriot Act that allow government agencies to monitor what you are reading without your knowledge.

I recently re-connected with an old friend over email. You should check her out – she’s a wonderful up-and-coming musician from the DC area. You can listen to some sound clips of her music at CDBaby.com (the best online music store for independent musicians, btw).

If you are looking for a great read, I recommend Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. I’m still reading it, but so far I’ve been very impressed.

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