Monday, June 28, 2010

Exploring Zenhabits Blog

I found Zenhabits in Time magazine online as one of the Best Blogs for 2010. I have not finished browsing but I thought this list of 10 Books that Shaped My Life, and 40 Others I Love was worth passing on.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stieg Larsson's Second novel

This novel, The Girl who Played with Fire, is not holding my interest as much as the first one did. It's still a good novel now; it's not bad. What I can tell so far is that it is more sexual than the first and the violence is not as brutal as the first. I am still reading. I have just reached page 217.

I see real irony as I read this book. One of Stieg's characters is a journalist who is writing a controversial novel but he dies before the novel has been published. This is exactly what happened to Stieg who was a journalist in real life and died before his trilogy of successful books were published. How coincidental is that?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tips From a Frugal Librarian

I am compiling a list of frugal library tips to put on bookmarks and distribute to students. I intend to put some or all of these tips in Crossties and The Bay Leaf, a student newspaper and a library newsletter to which I contribute.

This list is likely to be helpful to Georgia academic library patrons. Galileo, which is mentioned on the list a few times, is a collection of databases for Georgia library patrons. Also, note that a list of frugal tips for public library users would probably be longer than this since it would include more diverse services such as free story telling events for children.

1) Borrow from the library; don’t overspend on novels, DVDs, magazines and newspapers.
2) Read Newspapers for free on Galileo databases.
3) Borrow books not available in your library (Interlibrary Loan, Gil Express).
4) Borrow Children’s books for storytelling at home.
5) Renew books online and return books on time; don’t incur library fines.
6) Trace your family tree for free on Galileo. Select Ancestry Library Edition Database.
7) Save paper; print more than 1 PowerPoint slide on a page.
· Go to File
· Print
· Properties
· Finishing tab
· Select a number under “Pages per sheet”, OK.
8) Remember to conserve on paper. Use paper wisely.
9) Use Computers for free. All computers have Microsoft Office Applications. Some have Sonic Digital Media software. (This applies to the specific library that I am targetting).
10) Scan pictures and documents for free at the library. (Print for a fee).
11) Create online flashcards at
12) Get free research assistance. Ask a reference librarian.

Calculate the value of your library use.

Free Ebooks

Look what I found! More free books for your reading pleasure under the heading "Forgotten Books". You can purchase any from the list on

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chick Lit video

Came across this recently; a book chat on the relevance of chick lit during a period of recession. Chick Lit not as popular anymore? I really can't imagine that is true.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stieg Larsson's Trilogy: Book 2

I am reading The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second book in Stieg Larsson's trilogy. I just read that the writer had plans to write 10 books but only submitted three to his publisher before his untimely dead.

I am on page 61 of the novel and just like the first book, I feel like I am reading three stories in one. There is the Story of the Kidnapped Teenager at an unknown location, Bjurman's Revenge set in Sweden, and The Case of the Faux Businessman/Presbyterian Minister/wife beater set in Grenada in the Caribbean. These are not titles used in the novel, of course, they are my own invention. I can't wait to see how the stories develop and mesh together.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Success Tips

Read about the Success Type Personality in the really interesting New Psycho-cybernetics:

Sense of Direction
Charity (Compassion)

This book makes you think about your personal values and attitudes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Success Secrets

I was reading The New Psycho-cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz; edited and updated by Dan S. Kennedy and The Psycho-cybernetic Foundation. However, I put it aside because it was not an easy read. I have to read it slowly. I borrowed the book from the library so I can not highlight some of the interesting concepts. Since I have been reading Outliers: the Story of Success, I picked up Maltz's book again today to see what he said about success.

Maltz said we all have a powerful built-in computer-like success machine or goal-striving mechanism. The brain and the nervous system make up this goal-striving mechanism that operates like a guidance system to steer us in the right direction, help us achieve our goals, give us answers, and provide us with ideas and inspiration. We have to use self-image to program the success mechanism. The book is supposed to help us communicate confidently with and through the self-image to control the success/goal-striving mechanism. One example given is about writers and speakers who give their subconscious instructions about a writing or speech task. They nap and awake with useful material that they may not have received through conscious thought or worry. Another example given is Thomas Edison who believed he got some of his ideas from a source outside of himself.

I liked the exercise on page 41 that suggests that success comes by making a detailed mental image of our target, consistently, for ten - 15 minutes. I am willing to give it a try.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Book Club Selection

We met today to discuss our book, Sarah's Key, set in 1942 and 2002. Everyone loved it; not everyone had enjoyed our last book, the dystopic fiction, The Year of the Flood. I personally would have rated both books 41/2 stars. I loved them both.

Our book next month will be a light read, Thin Woman , a humorous mystery by Dorothy Cannell. I hope everyone enjoys the light mystery because I will be proposing The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo for August which is so not light.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Story of Success

I am reading Outliers: the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. He says he wants to convince us that successful people are beneficiaries of hidden advantages and cultural legacies that allow them to make sense of the world. The best and the brightest do not simply rise t the top. He thinks there is a pattern for success.

I also read the writer's previous book, Tipping Point. This was all about how little things can lead to big changes. I remembered that book when I came across this quote by Chip and Dan Heath in Switch, "Small targets lead to small victories, and small victories can often trigger a positive spiral of behavior".

I think Malcom has encountered a pattern to successfully writing bestsellers. Interestingly, his cultural legacy is Jamaican and I am looking forward to reading that part of his legacy in the last chapter. Just by chance, I read a fascinating article yesterday about the very successful Paula Madison from NBC Universal in the July issue of Ebony magazine. Her cultural legacy is Jamaican Chinese.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book 1: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Wow! This was a great psychological thriller with a message about sexual assault of women in Sweden and sexual abuse of charges in the care of the state through legal guardianship. There is also a message about journalistic ethics. Search for reviews of this book on; I have my own comments there.

I have a few criticisms but these did not detract from the main story. I did not mention them all in The rape scene was too brutal but clearly well written since it evoked horror from readers. Some of the translation into English was a little unnatural. Who says they are going to the toilet in English? We would use the euphemistic "bathroom". Some words were not translated at all Advokat instead of lawyer but maybe the translator did not think lawyer was an adequate translation. The language was clearly British English and I noticed at least one amazon book reviewer had issues with the use of the word gaol; a variant of jail.

I am looking forward to the other two books and I wonder what the fourth book by Stieg Larsson is like. The fourth book is still on his laptop held by his long time love, Eva Gabrielssson, after his death.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stieg Larsson's Trilogy: Book 1

I finally bought Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Swedish wrier Stieg Larsson at Walmart. I feel as if I am reading three or four stories. First, there is the unsolved mystery of the Rare Pressed Flowers that arrive every year for thirty years by post from anywhere in Europe for a now 82 year old man on his birthday. Then, we move on to the story of financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist. There is the mystery of the Faulty Information that landed him in court for libel and defamation. By page 36, we meet the myterious Lisbeth Salander who works for a security firm. The story of Lisbeth has a link to Blomkvist because her job was to investigate him; find out his whole life story. The person who hired the firm is a rich retired businessman named Herr Vanger. By the time I got to page 92 he reveals that he wants to hire Blomquist for the Case of the Missing Grandniece, Henrietta. The mystery cases written in italics are all mine; they are not given those names in the book.

I am really enjoying the novel so far and as I mentioned in another post, the writer's real life is just as interesting as his fiction.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Free Books Online for Literature Studetns

What a great link for students of literature! Check it out here. Moby Dick is available but there are also books by Agatha Christie; so the target audience is actually wider than just literature students.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Business Life Books

I am looking at various library blogs and came across interesting book reviews on a book for people who work, Linchpin by Seth Godwin.

Here also is a freebie titled, What Matters Now, that is in pd format as well as powerpoint. There is an article by Seth Godwin on Generosity. Other interesting topics include: Fear, Excellence, and Vision.

Save New Jersey Libraries

People in New Jersey are rallying around their libraries in these difficult times according to these pics on Flickr. State funds are to be cut 74%. Yikes! What can everyday advocates do? Well, there is a To Do list which includes a facebook page. I like number 10 on the list. You can join your own library Friends group, not the facebook kind, and be an advocate for your own public library.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Mothers in Fiction

I know we are approaching Father's day but I found these book titles about motherhood interesting. Link here on NPR. One of the books, Family Man, is actually written from a Dad's point of view.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Forgotten Mystery Books.

They Died in Vain: Overlooked, Underappreciated and Forgotten Mystery Books. That, dear readers, is the title of a book. I found out about this book on a blog called Neglected Books.

Twenty Writers Under Forty

Getting information for this blog has become so much easier for me lately because there is just so much news about books and writers these days. The problem now is that I can hardly keep up.

Read this article in the New York Times online about twenty young gifted fiction writers from all over the world. I am familiar with only one; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie age 32.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Book Suggestions for the Month of June

Summer reading suggestions from Oprah's website.

Salem Press: Blogosphere Excellence

Who said libraries were boring? I could spend all day looking at these award winning library blogs. The names of the blogs alone were fascinating. Take a look!

General Library Blogs
First place: Libraries and Transliteracy
Second place: Centered Librarian
Third place:

Quirky Library Blogs
First place: Awful Library Books
Second place: Library History Buff
Third place: Going Green At Your Library
Another Third place: Judge a Book by its Cover

Academic Library Blogs
First place: No Shelf Required
Second place: ResourceShelf
Third place: The Kept-Up Academic Librarian

Public Library Blogs
First place: Agnostic, Maybe
Second place: Blogging for a Good Book

There is more on Salem Press' page. The only one I was familiar with was, The Kept -Up Academic Librarian.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Destiny and Shadows

Some people like to think that there is just one person out there destined to be their life long spouse. Well, here is an article that will confirm that way of thinking. It's the story of two people born the same day in the same hospital who will be getting married on June 12 this year.

Just last night I was reading TJ Francis' book where he says that we are literally connected to each other. And get this, on page 97 he writes that, "We, the soul decide all that we will encounter, with whom our relationships will be closely linked, what family we will be born into ....". Did those two souls getting married on June 12 choose each other from some other spirtual sphere? Were they meant to be? Hmmm.

Today I was browsing through a new book at my library by Deepak Chopra et al titled, The Shadow Effect. Chopra writes that we have a shared unconscious (Jung's collective unconscious) meaning that we have a shared self; a coaliton of I and we. The concept reminded me of all the World War 11 books I have been reading lately with the bookclub where the collective self (the Nazis and supporters of the Nazis) shows up its dark side; its shadow side. It reminded me of the connectedness that TJ Francis says we have. Of course, TJ also has something to say about our good side and our dark side.

The Year of the Flood

Plague? Blue people? This article certainly reminded me of our book club selection in May, The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.

I first read about Craig Venter, maverick geneticist, in The Week magazine dated June 4, 2010 in an article titled, " 'Synthia': And then there was life."

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

TJ Francis' Ageless Wisdom

I have finished Sarah's Key. Great read. Stirred up a lot of emotions.

I have moved on to the metaphysical Trained By the Great White Lodge Book 1 published by inner circle publishing and available on various online bookstores such as amazon. As you will read in the extract, the writer is a self confessed meticulous, demanding, and fussy individual with an interesting background. (OK I confess, I know the writer).

The point of the book is for the writer to share with us the truths that he has learned from his years with an esoteric (private or secret) group. This is the first of a trilogy by TJ Francis.

I am on page 51 and I think I just read what is possibly the essence of his message which some will consider controversial. It is that we are misinterpreting the will of God. There are no requirements to meet to get to Heaven and no physical Hell if we fail to meet them. On page 50, the writer advises readers to release their fear of God, their negative thoughts and beliefs and replace them with universal Love.