Monday, April 30, 2007

Reading Lists for Summer 2007?

There's a new book coming called Summer Reading, a novel. Does it belong on your list?

We'll do our best to let you know of some good new books throughout the summer. But how about suggesting other titles and authors you've liked so that others may have good choices from which to draw? Both old and new books, fiction and nonfiction, even plays, anthologies, and collections are welcome.

Readers and list makers, let's make some Summer reading lists:

1 - What book did you most enjoy reading? Why?

2 - Which book did you enjoy least? Why?

3 - Which book that hasn't been written yet would you like to read?

4 - Who is your favorite author? Why?

5 - In your favorite, or guity pleasure, genre (i.e., mystery, romance, fantasy, sci-fi, literary, etc) whose book would you give to someone else for the best summer read?

Click on Comments and post your answers to share with all the other readers and book club members out there. Join or start a book club today. Share what you read, offer what you know.

Also, as we've said, The Glendale Public Library is happy to provide our community of readers with a new and exciting service—a customized reading list, tailored to your personal reading tastes and interests called "Looking for a Good Book?". You can stop in and pick up a form and drop it off at any of the Glendale Public Library branches.

This Week in Reading April 29 - May 5

What kind of society is it to be, not just this one, but any one? And how are we all going to get along as we figure that out? Are the answers sometimes absurd, reasonable, or poltically necessary? Those questions were on a few minds of this week's authors and event participants, from social philosophy to personal behavior, but at least there is some foolery, follies, and food, too.

Also occurring this week is an article in Huffington Post about the lessening number of stand alone book review sections in American newspapers. Be thankful you can read reviews here.

This week's question: Who wrote The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas?

Answer to last week's question: Harper Lee grew up to next door neighbor, Truman Capote. She accompanied him in his research and interviews with the killers of In Cold Blood.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Branch Hours Are Here!

Dear readers, I want to alert you to the fact that the branches of the Glendale Public Library will now be open more hours starting April 30th.

Yes, MORE hours!

What does that mean? Well, for one thing, it means that you will soon have MORE hours to check out the books and other materials that you love. That's right, MORE hours to come in and grab the new Lisa Scottoline thriller, check out the new cookbook by Rachael Ray, or perhaps place a hold on that just published Tolkein epic you've been clamoring for.

Whatever you are dying to read, the Glendale Public Library just made it easier for you to get the books you desire into your hot little hands and devouring mind. In addition, we will be flinging open our doors to provide you with a comfortable, welcoming environment in which to read that book.

Please check our website or come into any of our library branches and grab a copy of the latest Events brochure for exact hours and days each branch will be open.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Book review: The Silence of the Rational Center

I really wanted to like this book, whose subtitle is "Why American Foreign Policy is Failing". The notion that there is a group of people in the actual political center whose voice is going unheard is an appealing one to those of us interested in the future of this country. Unfortunately, the authors are never quite able to define the "Rational Center" to my satisfaction, and some of their conclusions about what "silences" those whom they claim are in the center are muddled.

The authors first describe how "cable news" has failed to provide a home for rational discourse, which is true enough. But their criticism of the medium focuses on shows such as "Hannity and Colmes", the "Bill O'Reilly Show", and "The McLaughlin Group", and they argue that it is these shows' formats that are to blame--there simply isn't enough time devoted to any particular issue to provide in-depth analysis. A more complete analysis of these shows, however, proves only that it is unlikely that any such analysis would be welcome. That all of the shows in question are hosted by well-known figures on the right of the political spectrum, and their guest lists are dominated by those who are similarly minded goes noticeably and damagingly unmentioned. (Heck, "The McLaughlin Group" isn't even on cable.) The authors then go on to excoriate think tanks, of all things, for forgetting their primary mission of education and study, for similar reasons. Once again, however, the authors fail to point out that the funding and missions for almost all of the organizations that they mention are on the right wing.

The authors betray this apparent slant when they cover three public speakers on the left in a chapter inflammatorily titled "An Unreliable Elite". While cable news and think tanks silence the center due merely to their structure and format, people like Noam Chomsky and Paul Krugman do so due to "bias", "prejudice", and "relentless hostility" (all quotes from page 141 in reference to Krugman). This hypocritical attitude makes one question the authors actual intention in writing the book; are they trying to discern an actual movement to stifle rational thought after all? I found it hard to accept their arguments . . .

For a much better analysis of the media and its part in suppressing political awareness, read Eric Alterman's What Liberal Media? instead.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bart Edelman - Sunday, April 29, 2 pm

Award winning poet and Glendale College professor Bart Edelman reads from his newest collection of poems, The Last Mojito.

"Weaving passionate portraits into a cohesive enthralling collection these poems represent an astonishing range of vision and connect to the tradition of American literature." -- Ryan Van Cleave, editor, The Longman Anthology of Poetry

"Bart Edelman is one of my favorite poets--spare and smart, lyrical but never sentimental about the mechanics of love. In this new collection, The Last Mojito, he invokes figures both public and private to get at the long drawn out sorrow of our silent hearts. Edelman is an elegist, writing laments for our daily losses and capitulations, yet seeing hope where, by all rights, it should not exist. In the process, he continually exposes the difficult dynamics of what it means to be human." -- David L. Ulin, Book Editor, Los Angeles Times

Bart Edelman is a professor of English at Glendale College where he edits Eclipse, a literary journal. He is the author of five volumes of poetry and his poems have appeared in many anthologies. He has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships, and has been published in newspapers and literary journals. Edelman frequently appears at many Los Angeles-area poetry venues and at conferences across the country.

Theories of Everything

I just finished perusing the new collected works of cartoonist Roz Chast, called Theories of Everything. This is a brilliant collection of the cartoonist's work from 1978-2006, full of the kind of deadpan observations and self deprecating humor that has infused and informed her work for the last (almost) three decades. It's a huge coffee table style book, chock full of eccentric humor and triumphs of the mundane.

I was first exposed to Chast's cartoons in the New Yorker and I have looked forward to them in almost every issue since. The nervous, shaky style of the drawings are paired with astute and clever observations about the human condition, with much of the humor coming from quirky, awkward characters placed in recognizable, everyday situations. One of my favorites shows a person sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen. The caption reads: The guy who took a wrong turn off the electronic superhighway and wound up in a microwave oven in Davenport, Iowa. (Man’s computer screen tells him, ‘Defrost Wingettes 4:15 PM.’)

This book tickled me. I hope you will take a look as well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

Photographer Abby Mason’s life is turned upside-down when her fiancĂ©’s young daughter Emma disappears at the beach. Her fiancĂ© Jake is convinced that his daughter drowned that day but Abby believes she was kidnapped and is determined to find the little girl . While the novel chronicles Abby’s search for the missing girl, it also reveals insight into her life, her past, and her passions.

The gripping plot and smooth writing-style will keep you quickly turning the pages up to the end. The Year of Fog is no doubt a satisfying read.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

David Halberstam 1934 - 2007

Pulitzer Prizewinning author David Halberstam was killed yesterday in a car crash in Northern California. He was the author of numerous books on politics, sports, and other issues of American life. His major work The Best and the Brightest, took the Kennedy and Johnson administrations to task for the Vietnam War and in The Powers That Be he chastised major media (as Bill Moyers will do tomorrow night) for helping to sell the war. As well as many of his books various biographical accounts of Halberstam's works can be found in the Glendale Public Library database Biography Resource Center.

Monday, April 23, 2007

This Week in Reading April 22 - 28

Shakespeare, Sue Grafton, O Henry, the Library of Congress, Earth Day, Michael Moore, Shirley McLaine, and one of the most disturbing events ever to occur. There's plenty of big name book choices in the library from the lists of events to read about and authors to read this week. We hope our new two column format makes it easier to scan. Click on the event description or author name to see what the library has and click on a book image to see where that book is in the library and then place a request to put it in your hands.

This week's question: Who was Harper Lee's next door neighbor as she grew up?

Answer to last week's question: Clarence Darrow the iconic legal defender of the powerless against the powerful, who with his adversary, William Jennings Bryan, were portrayed in the play and movie, Inherit the Wind, about the Scopes trial for teaching evolution.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tempting Titles: New Nonfiction 800 - 999, Biographies

We get to the end of the Dewey Decimal system and we add the 92s, biographies. Hope you're tempted to read some of them. Tell our book selectors what new books you're reading and who and what you'd like to read about if we don't have it.

800 Literature

The Triumph of the Thriller: how cops, crooks, and cannibals captured popular fiction by Patrick Anderson.

The reviews laud his thesis, but point out that he may not like your favorite thriller writer. It's “for the reader who isn’t a thriller fan but is curious about this enormously popular genre ..” Publishers Weekly.

Waltzing Again: new and collected conversations with Margaret Atwood edited by Earl G. Ingersoll and poet Margaret Atwood, on interviewing: "I don't mind 'being interviewed' any more than I mind Viennese waltzing-that is, my response will depend on the agility and grace and attitude and intelligence of the other person." Atwood fills her dance card with these 21 interviews, dropping nimble observations on her interviewers (Joyce Carol Oates among them) regarding the nature of writing. Publishers Weekly

Thomas Hardy by Claire Tomalin

“ … touching biography of the mild-mannered provincial architect from Dorchester who created seething novels about inequity and thwarted ambition. Kirkus, starred review.

900 History, Travel

The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family by: Martha Raddatz

The personal stories of U.S. soldiers caught in a deadly 2004 ambush in Sadr City that the author believes marked a turning point, when the war’s mission shifted from peacekeeping and nation-building to battling an insurgency. ABC News Chief White House correspondent Raddatz, who has reported frequently from Iraq, displays a compassionate heart in her first book, which is also notable for its cinematic narrative structure. .... She tells their backstories, describes their experiences in high school, their marriages, their parents …. Two-thirds of the way through, a surprise—the story of the death of Casey Sheehan, son of antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan. Kirkus 2007

The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America’s Deadliest Avalanche by: Gary Krist

In February of 1910, two trains set out to cross the Cascade Mountains of Washington state, steaming from Spokane to Seattle through the remote Stevens Pass. That the Great Northern Railway could build and maintain such a route was heralded as an example of man's triumph over nature—but nature had not yet begun to fight. Within hours, both trains would become trapped in the middle of the stark and desolate pass, caught by a snowstorm greater than any recorded to that day. By the time the ordeal was over, both trains lay crushed by a massive avalanche, and nearly 100 passengers, crew and railroad workers lay dead under the snow. … tells their story and the story of those few who survived, as well as that of the railroad men who struggled to free the trains only to have their efforts thwarted—and their wisest choice turned into the worst mistake of all. BookPage Reviews.

92 Biographies

Woman of Uncertain Character: The Amorous And Radical Adventures of My Mother Jennie (Who Always Wanted to Be a Respectable Jewish Mom) by Her Bastard Son
by Sigal, Clancy

Gritty prose worthy of any classic noir film propels this engaging, often tender memoir of a larger-than-life woman and her self-deprecating but accomplished son, who still misses their shared adventures. PW Reviews 2006 March

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery
by Metaxas, Eric

Metaxas tells Wilberforce's story with a charm and energy reminiscent of a favorite history professor, painting a captivating picture of this era of social reform that revolutionized the world. BookPage Reviews March

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tempting Titles: New Nonfiction 600 - 799

Our trip through the Dewey Decimal system continues with the 600s and 700s. More tomorrow.

600 Health, Technology, Business

The brilliance of this fun-to-read munching manifesto is its ability to adapt itself to the vagaries of real-world eating; the writer-editor authors understand the temptations of workaday life and lazy weekends and provide practical tips that allow even dieting dropouts a bit of the leeway they crave. PW Annex Reviews

Numerous articles and books have shown that many physicians do not know how to treat terminally ill patients appropriately and humanely. Some physicians, in fact, use extreme and futile medical interventions to treat dying patients, with little regard to their costs, the pain and suffering they cause, or even the patients' own wishes. Chen, a young Asian American transplant surgeon, further addresses this profound paradox of medicine—a profession premised on caring for the ill that systematically depersonalizes the dying—by compiling her own experiences dealing with death and dying. Library Journal 9/1/06.

Unstrange Minds: remapping the world of autism by Roy Richard Grinker

... a book that ranks with Uta Frith's Autism: Explaining the Enigma as one of the great general books on autism. Library Journal, January 2007 #1.

The boy who was raised as a dog: and other stories from a child psychiatrist’s notebook: what traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz

In beautifully written, fascinating accounts of experiences working with emotionally stunted and traumatized children, child psychiatrist Perry educates readers about how early-life stress and violence affects the developing brain. He learns that to facilitate recovery, the loss of control and powerlessness felt by a child during a traumatic experience must be counteracted. Publishers Weekly, January

A Twist of the Wrist: quick flavorful meals with ingredients from jars, cans, bags, and boxes by Nancy Silverton.

Silverton was one of the first of the new generation of artisan bakers, and her La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles has a national reputation. She…began to discover the range of high-quality prepared products increasingly available even in supermarkets, and she embarked on a mission to develop sophisticated but quick and easy recipes that take advantage of them. Highly recommended. Library Journal, February 2007

“They Call Me Naughty Lola”: personal ads from the London Review of Books edited by David Rose

See how other book lovers describe themselves. From the summary in the catalog: "this collection of personal ads from the young, old, fat, bald, healthy, ill, rich, and poor hoping they can find true love, or at the very least, someone to call them Naughty Lola." Like many recent books in the library online catalog, there are first chapter excerpts. Don't miss them.

Founder and president of Green Daisy Inc., she tells how she converted a comfy pillow she invented into a successful company, sharing poignant insights about her challenges and growth. Lavine seamlessly weaves her journey of discovery with checklists, links, resources and how-tos drawn from her experience. Starred Review Publishers Weekly, December 2006)

700 - Art, architecture, entertainment, sports

The Taj Mahal (1631), one of the Seven Wonders of the World, has been beautifully exalted in the hands of the Prestons. a reliable source for readers wanting to understand the splendor of the Taj Mahal in historical context. Library Journal

Boyar, (who co-wrote with his wife, Jane, three autobiographies with Davis), now offers these beautiful archival snapshots that Davis took of his friends, family and acquaintances. The photos… are rare shots of his father dancing onstage as part of the Will Mastin Trio; fun, candid snapshots as only a close friend can take of Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, James Dean, Nat "King" Cole and Marilyn Monroe; of politicians he associated with, like Robert Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr.; and photos of his one-time wife May Britt and their three children, Tracey, Jeff and Mark. Publishers Weekly, February

An entertaining and equitable examination of Jackie Robinson’s groundbreaking rookie season. Baseball fans will delight in a detailed account of the ’47 Dodgers-Yankees World Series and revel in the portraits of some of baseball’s more interesting characters

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tempting Titles - New Nonfiction 300 - 599

Today’s Tempting Titles include the 300s, 400s, and 500s. More tomorrow.
Click on a title or a picture to find it in the catalog. On order if not already in GPL.

300 Social Sciences

Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More, Argue Less, and Communicate Better as Your Family Grows by Cockrell, Stacie / O'Neill, Cathy / Stone, Julia / Martin, Larry (ILT)

Though their admittedly 'pseudo-scientific' research seems to have come mainly from interviewing friends, family and people on the street, they arrive at some reasonable solutions to how couples can keep their marriages fresh and stimulating amid armloads of dirty diapers and screeching babies. Publishers Weekly (Dec. 2006)

Harris's case for an eco-friendly burial is also an argument for a graceful and productive afterlife...this practical, powerful and affirming book succeeds as a survey of burial methods, a collection of true stories and a resource guide. Publishers Weekly (Jan. 2007)

Excuse Me, but I Was Next: how to handle 100 manners dilemmas by Peggy Post
Here are solutions for the art of small talk, retorts to the top ten nosy questions, ways of finessing 'name amnesia,' and adoption etiquette, in concise Q&A format...the focus on universal real-life situations makes this book a classic. Library Journal (November 2006)

Taz, the blog dog, says: It comes down to this: If you don’t think someone can sniff out the meaning in a sentence then don’t bark it out. If you want to spend all that time figuring out how to make a diagram of what that nun’s dog was trying to say without knowing what the dog was really communicating then why call "Hawrf! Hawrf!" just “barking”? (See Emotional Lives of Animals below.)

And, this from Florey's essay of the same title in Harper’s, December, 2004, available with a library card through the Glendale Public Library database, Infotrac: "Mostly we diagrammed sentences out of a grammar book, but sometimes we were assigned the task of making up our own, taking pleasure in coming up with wild Proustian wanderings that--kicking and screaming--had to be corralled, harnessed, and made to trot into the barn in neat rows."

So you see then, diagramming sentences is a lot like herding. Reading how to do either is fun if you’re a working, herding reader or writer. Good book. You liked Eats, Shoots, and Leaves? You may also like this charming work of a former copy editor and novelist. The title doesn’t say it all. It’s even funnier than you’d expect

500 Science

The Emotional Lives of Animals: a leading scientist explores animal joy, sorrow, and empathy – and why they matter by Marc Bekoff and Jane Goodall.

Demonstrating the far-reaching implications for readers’ relationships with any number of living beings, Bekoff’s book is profound, thought-provoking and even touching. Publisher's Weekly.

Taz, the blog dog says: What I’ve been telling you. Hawrf! Hawrf!

Plutonium: a history of the world's most dangerous element, by Jeremy Bernstein

Running through a spectrum of Nobel prize winners, [Bernstein] grippingly portrays the race to develop the first nuclear weapon during World War II as well as the interplay among the global personalities involved. Library Journal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tempting Titles: New Nonfiction 000 - 299

Here, in Dewey Decimal order as they would be on the shelves, are recent titles new to the collection, highlighted by the librarians who selected them.

000 – Computers, Generalities

Microsoft Windows Vista simplified by Paul McFedries

This updated version of one of the bestselling Visual books of all time…serves as a gentle introduction to Windows Vista that caters to readers whose learning style makes them more comfortable being shown rather than told. (catalog summary)

MySpace unraveled : a parent's guide to teen social networking from the directors of by Larry Magid and Anne Collier.

To help you understand MySpace, the authors step you through how to set up and personalize a MySpace account and how to manage an online social life. Then they look at how young people are changing the Internet and how to guide them as they navigate the social Web. (Back cover)

100 Philosophy, Psychology

Everything I need to know, I learned from a chick flick by Kimberly Potts

In this quick, absorbing tongue-in-cheek reference, Potts draws important life lessons ("family is where the heart is," "living well is the only revenge") from more than 60 Hollywood "chick flicks," a term she uses loosely enough to include Clueless, Coal Miner's Daughter and Carrie. PW Annex Reviews, 2007.

200 Religion

The Dalai Lama: man, monk mystic by Mayank, Chhaya

This… authorized biography by an Indian journalist who did his research homework and had access to the Dalai Lama…provides valuable information about a man whose human character is not nearly as well known as his exotic spiritual image. Publishers Weekly Reviews, November 2006, #2

The Talking Book: African Americans and the Bible by Allen Dwight Callahan

…this informative …volume… examines how the music and literature of black Americans are shot through with biblical images. [The author] also traces the theme of exile through the plays of August Wilson and the novels of James Baldwin, and he considers the central place of the name of Jesus in black folklore, belles lettres, and hip-hop. From W. E. B. Du Bois to Toni Morrison, black writers have invoked Jesus to signify "the suffering of black people." Callahan's investigations will doubtless interest students of African-American religion. PW Annex Reviews
Tomorrow 300-599, the next day 600 – 799, and finally 800 – 999 and Biographies.

The Private Lives of the Impressionists

Did you ever wonder which famous artist drank too much champagne in the lively cabaret clubs of the Montmartre district, or which artist’s family went to elaborate efforts to hide the existence of his illegitimate son? If yes, then The Private Lives of the Impressionists is for you!

British author Sue Roe’s intimate, colorful, and superbly researched account takes us into the homes and studios of Monet, Cezanne, Degas, Renoir, Morisot and others, describing their unconventional, volatile and precarious lives, as well as the stories behind the paintings we know and love.

This title is both educational and a pleasure to read and will be of interest to Francophiles, art lovers, history buffs, and just about anyone else.

If you like this book, visit us at the Brand Library; with hundreds of titles about French Impressionism we are your source for material on this topic!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

2007 Pulitzer Prizes Announced

Special Citation to Ray Bradbury for "his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy."

Fiction - Cormac McCarthy for The Road.

Drama - David Lindsay-Abaire for The Rabbit Hole. (To be ordered.)

Poetry - Natasha Trethewey for Native Guard (To be ordered.)

General Nonfiction - Lawrence Wright for The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the road to 9/11

Monday, April 16, 2007

This Week in Reading April 15 - 21

This is National Library Week and the reading is pleasing. We can celebrate the birthdays of the creators of some of the most conflicted women in literature, Jane Eyre and Isabel Archer. There are also remarkable women among the authors this week, along with a couple of important Midwestern voices who spoke to and for their peers.

This Week's Question: Which of this week's authors said, "As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever"?

Answer to Last Week's Question: The War of Jenkins' Ear lasted nine years between Britain and Spain, 1739 - 1748, and resulted in not much more than a horrific drain on the economy and manpower of both sides. The drumbeat for the war between the two sea powers received its loudest boom when Robert Jenkins, a sailor, exhibited in Parliament what he claimed to be his own ear which he said had been cut off by Spanish coast guarders seven years previous when they boarded his British ship. Like many such reasons for unnecessary wars, its legitimacy has been long disputed.

Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born

After finishing Birth: The Surprising History of How We are Born, I feel disturbed, facinated, nauseated and in wonder. This book, by Tina Cassidy, gives the reader a tour de force ride through the history of the human birth process, and more specifically, women's unique experience of giving birth.

Starting with some anthropology and decriptions of the female human body and how it has adapted through time to accomodate a human child, the book goes on to highlight birth customs and fads throughout Western culture. There are many cringe-worthy passages that give the reader insight into the often horrific ways women were treated as they labored to give birth. From shackles and stirrups to c-sections without anesthesia to poor hygienic conditions and forcep mishaps, the author provides many examples of a process that has evolved greatly over time.

There are also many uplifting and gratifying tales of women who have had stress and pain free births, depending on the doctor, doula, midwife or birth partner present. Ultimately, the more women come to believe that birth is a natural process that is only hindered by fear, the more problems and complications seem to diminish. Some women, in such a comfortable state, report having orgasms during vaginal birth--a most interesting fact indeed!

I highly recommend this book to both women and the men who care about them, to check this book out. You'll never look at birth the same way again.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Strange Book Titles R Us

What's the strangest book title you've ever seen? Let us know and we'll post them on Book Talk! Here are a few titles from the library catalog to whet your appetite and perhaps pique your interest in these curious titles. Thanks to the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library blog Papercuts for giving me this idea!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Attention Book Lovers! Start planning now and get your tickets to the upcoming Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 28-29. The tickets are FREE but you must obtain them in advance.

What is it? The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The Festival was an immediate success and has become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting more than 130,000 book lovers and quite a few authors each year. It is held on the UCLA campus.

Want to learn more?

Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard

At age twelve Ronnie Swan witnesses the brutal killing of her younger sisters in the backyard of their rural Utah home. Strong faith provides Ronnie’s parents with the strength to forgive the killer of these two girls, but Ronnie cannot. Years pass and eventually she discovers that her sisters’ killer has moved with his family to San Diego. Still angry, Ronnie follows him there and begins a new life, determined to get revenge on this man.

The compelling plot, realistic characters and comfortable writing style make Mitchard's latest book a worthy read.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Taz, the Library Blog Dog, Recommends:

Herding Dogs: progressive training by Virgil S. Holland

As a proud owner of a pair of humans, I can tell you I love it when my parents take me to do something fun. My dad often takes me hiking in nearby Griffith Park, and my mom regularly takes me to herd sheep out in Shadow Hills on her day off. This book really helped Mom understand skills that I (a born-to-run, pre-human educated herding dog) already understand instinctually. One of these things is, work is fun. Just like it is for Mom in the library. Now we can work better as a team when we head pastureside to play with what Mom calls those "adorable woolies!" I don't care what you call them, just so long as they move where and when I tell 'em. Harwf, harwf!

Vonnegut on Libraries

From A Man Without a Country: A Memoir of Life in George W Bush's America

"I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength, who, all over this country (the United States), have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and destroyed records rather than have to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, or the media. The America I loved still exists at the front desks of our public libraries."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut 1922 - 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, called in his Los Angeles Times three page obituary, an "American cultural hero," and "one of the last of a generation of great American novelists of World War Two" died yesterday at the age of eighty-four.

Author Tom Wolfe, quoted in the obituary, said "... he was the closest thing we had to a Voltaire." Novelist Jay McInerny called him "a satirist with a heart, a moralist with a whoopee cushion."

Most, if not all, of his books can be found in Glendale Public Library shelves, as well as books about him and some he wrote about himself like The Man Without a Country.

A list of the best of Vonnegut must begin with the first novel he wrote, Player Piano, however the story of man mechanized by the oppressions of corporate 'efficiency' was not well known until his later books became popular. You may also enjoy the satire of Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five, based on his own experiences witnessing the horrors of "useless bombing," The Sirens of Titan, Mother Night, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, and Welcome to the Monkey House, a collection of short works.

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