Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ingrid Seward: Grief and Taking control

Here is a writer who expresses her grief and her feelings as a result of personal trauma and drama.  Ingrid Seward is a London writer who focuses on the personal and minute details of  British Royal Family.  In fact I just read that she was the last journalist to have interviewed Princess Diana before her death. Here now is her personal story in the Mail Online of an unfaithful husband and how she took control of her life after his death.  One lesson must be to pay attention to details in relationships.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Louise Bagshawe, Chick-Lit Author

Sometimes the things you do in youth come back to haunt you.  Although frankly, this Chick-lit author and Tory MP does not seem overly concerned about her drug past.  She brilliantly removed the focus from the drugs to her bad dancing.  Her pen name is Louise Bagshawe. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Books On Tape

Books on Tape newsletter promoting, Read with Your Ears.  That works for me if I am traveling a far distance. Personally I like to hold a book.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Are you a Blogger? JoinToastmasters

Toastmasters Club

Readers, I have three interests: reading, writing, and speaking. Found this very interesting article titled Five Reasons Why Bloggers Should Join Toastmasters. The purpose of the article is to persuade you to join this international public speaking club. Look at number 4, your communication skills learned at Toastmasters plus your expertise on a particular subject can put you on the Professional presenter track.

If you are in Waycross or its environs, the Okefenokee Toastmasters Club meets at Quality Inn every Wednesday at 7:00am.   August 20th there will be a Toastmasters Humorous Speech and a Speech Evaluation contest at First Christian Church Fellowship Hall at 10:00am, McDonald Street in Waycross.  Free to the public.

Book club Selection

I started my book club August selection: The Passage. Started off with a lot of action but already the pace has slowed down.  I will post my impressions as I read further on.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I just finished reading Fall of Giants, Book one of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett.  I finished reading in the wee hours of the morning.  This historical fiction followed five families from USA, England and Wales, Germany, and Russia before World War 1, through the war, and just after the war.  The most likeable characters were the Welsh family Ethel and Billy Williams specifically, and the Russian Grigori.  When Billy defended himself against charges of treason, you feel like cheering for him.  The reader follows Billy from a 13 year old boy working in the mines for rich unethical mine mangaers until he and his sister win seats as Members of Parliament in post war Britain. It is clear that somehow all their lives will intersect. I can't wait to read the other two books.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book club meeting at Matt's Italian & Pizzeria

We met for the second time at Matt's.   There were 8 of us; the first in a long time we have had such a good turn out.  It was difficult to talk so that everyone could hear at once.  We need round tables in restaurants for large groups. Once again I ordered spinach & mushroom pizza just added tomatoes and shared it with Linda.  Next time I'll try the calzone with spinach with the 2 cheeses; I know one was ricotta.  

Yes, we want to meet at Matt's again.  We have changed our meeting place for the fourth time.  We like good books and we like good food.

As usual, very little discussion of the book itself.  We all loved the Young Adult book,  Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock dealing with the first Sherlock Holmes mystery.  We all thought the writer's obvious tribute to  Arthur  C. Doyle, where one of the characters was a Andrew C. Doyle, was a good touch.  The description of London during that period and the tension in the storyline were very well done.  Most of the chatter was about Christine relocating to California and Carol who will be joining our group. 

Linda wanted us to know that she was enjoying Carlos Ruiz Zafon series of Young Adult books.  The club loved Shadow of the Wind by this author. It was magical, gothic, and suspenseful.  She said he had four books  for Young Adults.  I found the first two in the series, The Prince of Mist    and The Midnight Palace  in English on amazon. The other two listed on amazon are in Spanish, Las Luces de Septiembre and Marina.

Our next book for August is The Passage by Justin Cronin.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thing 7 of CPD 23 Things

Thing 7 is again about networking but it differs from Thing 6 in that it is specifically about face to face networking and professional organizations.  As a new librarian, I was a member of the Jamaica Library Association (JLA) and a paying member of the American Association of School Libraries.    

I had an active role in the Executive of the JLA now known as the Library and Information Association of Jamaica and went to conferences and meetings all over the island. My job encouraged active involvement.  When I lived in the Bahamas, I attended an ACURIL annual conference.  I think that was in 2000.  Several librarians that I knew from Jamaica attended that conference.  Membership in ACURIL is open to Caribbean libraries, archives, organizations, and individuals.  It started in the 1960s and is affiliated with IFLA.  The most recent conference was held this year in Tampa, Fl in May/June.  Disaster Preparedness, Response and Research was the theme.

Here in the USA I eagerly joined the American Library Association and went to a conference in Atlanta.  Networking and keeping up with new trends are very important.  However, the economy has directly affected my ability to continue face to face networking.  I have had to reduce expenses and unfortunately face to face meetings has been cut from my budget. It is costly to travel from a rural community to meetings in a big city and to pay annual membership fees.

The last library conference I attended was Georgia COMO held at Jekyll Island in 2007 and I blogged about a very interesting presentation on Chick Lit by Claire Matturo.  I see on the web that Georgia COMO will be held in Athens, Georgia this year.

My library subscribes to only one professional journal now,  The Library Journal , and I make the time to read the hard copy and I also receive their free e-newsletter.  I also check out the free online classes and participate to learn as much as I can.  My job also requires that I join professional ListServs such as the Galileo ListServ.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Spotlight on Audio Books

Take a listen to audiobooks on this website.   Also, take a sneak peak at this You Tube link to The Night Circus  as read by Jim Dale.

I also found a link to the movie trailer for The Help on an email from Books on Tape.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wendi's Right Hook May Save Movie

Just  a day or so ago I read that the movie Snow flower and the Secret Fan co-produced by Wendi Murdoch would get a big blow at the box office because it debuted around the same time as the popular Harry Potter movie and in the midst of Rupert Murdoch's News Corps scandal.  Today I read that it is anticipated that Wendi's right hook thrown to protect her husband will probably save the movie.  Wow!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book into Movie: Sarah's Key

Yeah, I saw this on The Piers Morgan show.  Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay is now available in movie format.    It's a historical fiction about a Jewish family that was rounded up by the French police and put into a concentration camp in France in 1942.  This was another one of my favorite book club selections.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thing 6 of 23 Things

Thing 6 is about online or social networks. I am hooked on Facebook.  Facebook may well be "the backyard BBQ and LinkedIn, the office".  Personally, I love BBQ. I check in everyday to see what my family and friends, including my former classmates, are doing.  Today, by the way, several family members and friends reminded me with their postings that today is Nelson Mandela's birthday.  

I also connect to causes and network with librarians on Facebook. I raised funds for the American Cancer Society via Facebook, for example.  I have an interest in educating girls and am against child brides therefore I have "friended" The Girl Effect, a non-profit orgaznization. Libraries and Transliteracy is my personal favorite library networking link. In fact, I just saw some information worth passing along: Free Storyworld webinar click here to register. I will certainly check out the LISNPN  with which I am not familiar.

Book into Movie: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Oh oh, new movie based on the book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan has a connection to Rupert Murdoch.  Read this.  Will that link affect the success of the movie? I doubt that.

I found a preview of the movie on this link.  The book was written by Lisa See and the movie was released July 10.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thing 5: 23 Things Professional Development

The Thing 5 CPD23 assignment is about engaging in reflective practice in relation to my participation in the 23 Things program.

Blogging was Thing 1. When I first started blogging in 2005,  it was for my book club, a group of informal book lovers.  I thought that all of us would be writing the blog posts and posting comments but then I noticed I was the only one writing. Six years later, I am still writing and this has become my personal blog.  My mission has not changed.  The blog is about books, writers, book blogs and includes my personal book reviews. Occasionally I write about libraries and about money saving ideas. I decided not to start a new blog but to piggy back on this existing blog to participate in CPD23.

Thing 2 was a challenge.  I love to view blogs but I rarely post a comment.  One of the blogs I commented on was The London Librarian and it is still active. Now I am at Thing 5 and I am still browsing other blogs related to 23 Things and posting comments.

I explored Thing 3, considering my personal brand. I want to maintain some privacy so I limit personal pictures and personal information in the blogosphere.  My blog, my twitter, personal facebook page do not have my picture.  I am satisfied with the brand out there. 

I joined twitter on behalf of one of the social organizations I belong to so I did not open another account for Thing 4.  I did not register with Pushnote. I found another hesitant participant,  the Neon Librarian,  
who posted interesting (and greatly appreciated) comments on Pushnote.
What did I learn?
Even before this project, I had explored other blogs to see what librarians were doing.  I must confess I find some librarian blogs intimidating.  They are so wonderful that I feel so inadequate.  I have learned that the social media landscape is getting wider and wider and I need to learn more and more.

What did I enjoy?
I enjoyed learning from the blogs and the tweets. It takes up much of my time to connect and post but I am learning.  I want to make note of Wendy's Blog for Learn with CDLC & 23 Things . It led me to reflect on CDLC's 10 Things.  Thing 10 is about Future Trends.

What (potential) impact could participation in CPD23 have on my job? I will be more ready and more competent in the work place when it comes to navigating social media.

Application: This is the What Next part of the reflection. I want to combine action and learning.  I have been applying my knowledge of social media in my community activities.  I want members of the organizations, to which I belong, to see me as the go-to-member, who happens to be an Information specialist, when it comes to communication as well as navigation of the social media. I am putting much more thought in how to apply new thinking about libraries into library orientation sessions at work.

Thing 4: 23 Things for Professional Development

I am still following 23 Things for Professional Development .  Thing 4 was about setting up a Twitter account, RSS feed and Pushnote. I use blogline and google reader. I confess that I need to check in with them more often. Pushnote was new to me but I am not ready to register for one more thing.

I started my tweets some months ago and did the 3 essential things suggested by the wikiman to start: Posted a pic, posted what I thought was an interesting bio, and just started tweeting.

My tweets are about communication and leadership: #oketoast. I check in on #libraries and #CPD23 from time to time.  Here are 3 tweeters I have found interesting:

1.  @Dmguion led me to this copyright link.    Libraries uphold the public interest. Also, he led me to this link on the librarian's job.   It's to be a data hound, guide, evaluator of information, person who checks out meeting rooms and equipment to patrons.

2.  @aavigorito led me to libraries are essential.  Libraries help people improve their lives.

3.  @buffyjhamilton, The Unquiet Librarian, led me to her powerpoint Media 21  According to this post,
learning is now about creating connections and developing networks. Boundaries are vanishing.  The future is about digital media and learning; digital writing and publishing; deeper idea storming, independence, inquiry and ownership.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Meet Julie Garwood, Kansas City, August 9th

The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood will be released on August 9th. To celebrate the release, Rainy Day Books will host a book signing in Kansas City on August 9th. 

If you are in Kansas City find out how to get your tickets here.   If you are out of state or even out of the country and would like an autographed book, check out the Rainy Day Books website for  a signed copy.

International fans email for a shipping quote.

You can follow the author on Twitter and Facebook.

The Help

I loved the coverage of the best selling novel and soon-to-be-released movie, The Help, on 20/20 yesterday.  See clip here.  Imagine Kathryn Stockett's manuscript was rejected 60 times.  Reminded me of Steve Berry who had his first book rejected over 80 times before it finally attracted the attention of a publisher.  Each of these two writers persisted and made his/her manuscript better and better. There is a lesson right there.

The Help of course was one of our book club's favorite picks. The movie is to be released early August.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Boy Sherlock Holmes Series

We will meet on the fourth Friday this month to discuss the first of four books in The Boy Sherlock Holmes series.   So far all the book-clubbers have enjoyed Eye of the Crow, the first case, and some have moved on to Death in the Air.  We do not exclude the Young Adult category from our list of books to discuss. Read an excerpt of Eye of the Crow here

Saturday, July 09, 2011

RITA 2011

The award winning novel for category of "Novel with Strong Romantic Elements" is: Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas (Berkley: Penguin Group [USA]).  It sounds like a novel I would actually like to read.  This was rated 4 and 5 stars by amazon readers.  It's part of a trilogy, the Harmony series, which includes  "Welcome to Harmony"  and the sequel, "Somewhere Along the Way."  Jodi has won several other awards for the novels in the series.  If you're a romance novel lover, this is the series to check out.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Romance Writers Awards

I am not a big  fan of romance novels but some of you may be interested in knowing which ones were the best romance award winning books for 2010.  As you probably know, the Romance genre comes in different subgenres.  Well, there were 12 categories for these RITA awards which included.... (drumroll) .... "Novel with Strong Romantic Elements".

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Full Circle with Kei Miller

Finished The Last Warner Woman by Kei Miller on Sunday.  Wonderful story ... 41/2 star rating in my opinion.  This was actually a story about several variations of the same story. It was a story about storytelling. Made me sad. Made me laugh.

Loved how the story came full circle.  Original Pearline Portious gave birth in a home for lepers.  Her daughter, Adamine,  in turn gave birth in a home for the mentally disturbed.  Loved the characters.  Mother Lazarus turned out not to be a composite of the nuns who cared for the lepers in the real life leprosarium in Jamaica. She was an atheist who ironically tried to pray life into Pearline.

There were so many themes in the story: time, truth, madness, power of the spoken word, physical abuse.  Loved the theme of "time"; that  everything had a season.  The sentence, "It is time" was repeated frequently. Loved the theme of truth telling. Liked that the writer made Adamine whisper her truth to the universe, the wind, and told the universe to hush; shhhhh. Everyone had a different version of the truth but readers finally get to it in the end.  As the writer says, "In the end every story is edited, brought down to some essence...."

Some readers won't like the repetition, the constant flashbacks with the different outcomes but I loved it.  Then again I liked those movies that have flash forwards with different outcomes such as Deja Vu with Denzel Washington. Something about the twists and turns of the story reminded me of the wonderful, mystical world portrayed in Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Eva's Memoir

Eva Gabrielsson, Stieg Larsson's partner, finally wrote her own book. It's a memoir of her life with him.  Link here to read a review of the memoir.  Stieg, you may remember, is the Swedish writer of the exciting Millennium trilogy of thrillers.  Those books also inspired Swedish and American movies.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Movies Inspired by Books

Books that inspired Movies were featured on Oprah's website.

The Help we read for our book club discussion but I have not read the other books on the list, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan or One Day or the Harry Potter book.

Right now I am still reading and enjoying The Last Warner Woman by Kei Miller.  I think this would make an interesting movie.  Instead of the flash forward genre of movies with different outcomes.  This would be a flash backward with different outcomes.  Adamine's story and Mr. Writer Man's story are two different versions of the same story.  Fascinating!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Leprosarium in Jamaica

I thought the setting of The Last Warner Woman by Kei Miller was fictional.  A quick google search revealed that there really was a leprosarium in Jamaica. There is an autobiographical book on amazon called, Once Over and Lightly, and the co-writer was sister Mary Augustine who was stationed at the leprosarium in Spanish Town, Jamaica. "Two Hearts, One Fire", another book, is actually about Sister Mary Augustine's experience in Jamaica. I found a Sister Judith who was stationed in 1965 at the leprosarium in Jamaica called Hansen Home. Mother Lazarus could be based on a composite of the nuns who were assigned to the Home. Actually, now that I have written the name Hansen Home, I do have a vague recollection of its existence.  It closed in the 1980s since there was no more need for it.

FYI:  Hansen's disease is another name for leprosy.

I am reading The Last Warner Woman

I have just started reading this novel by Jamaican writer and poet Kei Miller It was recommended to me by friend via Facbook.  The setting of the story, up to the point that I have read, is Jamaica in 1941.

I know what a warner woman is.  I used to take the bus in Kingston, Jamaica way back when.  From time to time, someone would come on with the warning to repent or else.  It was annoying to be going home from school and to be forced to listen to the loud warnings.  I think most of us passengers would lump all these clap-hand-jump-up-shout-out Christians as a little crazy prior to the dawn of the charismatic movement in the "regular" churches.   Once middle class people, including myself, in "regular" churches embraced "clap-hand-jump-up-shout-out", the warners didn't sound so crazy.

I am only on page 30 and so far there is a little craziness going on in this story.  I have met these characters: the original Pearline Portious, Monsignor Dennis and Mother Lazarus. 

Pearline likes to crochet using colored yarn and is having difficulty selling the colored crochet doilies yet refuses to crochet white doilies. Sixty-five year old Monsignor Dennis is in charge of a leprosarium and  finally buys a purple crochet doily from Pearline plus he orders additional crocheted items; still not clear what the items are or for what they are used. Agatha, over 85years old known as Mother Lazarus, works and lives at the leprosarium; she gives the injections to the patients and rubs their skin with chaulmoogra oil.  She is recruiting the "sweet- spirited"  Pearline to live and work with the lepers. By page 18, I am introduced briefly to another Pearline Portious who is known as Adamine Bustamante.  Adamine was born at the lepreosarium. She reveals in pages 18 to 22 that the story I read in the first seventeen pages is Mr. Writer Man's version of Adamine's story. Stay with me now. Parts of the story told were inaccurate. Have I lost you yet?  The location of the leprosarium, for example, is Writer Man's invention. This is a story within a story.

I like the flow of the language so far.  This would be by dream job: to read this book for the audio-book version.  Let me put it out in the universe.