Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This is eBook Universe

This is eBook Universe and we are just passing through it:

Reading Devices
·         Barnes and Noble
o   Nook Simple Touch -$99  
·         Amazon
o   Kindle (Fire- $79, Touch- $99)
·         Sony
o   Reader Pocket- $100, Reader Touch - $150

Other Mobile Devices
·         iPhone, iPod, iPad, Tablet, Android
o   Mobile apps
§  Iceberg, Course Smart, Kindle,  Nook,Kobo, iBooks

Benefits of these devices: light, small, paperless, instant delivery of eBooks, read eBooks anywhere

Free eBooks on the internet

The Big Six Publishers have got to be feeling threatened by Amazon's new projects: Kindle Lending Library 
and the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select which seeks to win over self-publishers.

Here is an interesting article about KDP Select  Amazon is very enticing for those new writers who want to reach a wide audience.   Other than the Big Six and other independent publishers, KDP is competing with Barnes and Noble's PubIt

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Manley Memoirs

Stayed up late reading The Manley Memoirs by Beverley Manley until 3:00am this morning.  I was caught up in Mrs. Manley's life. that is, her rise from humble background, as people would say, to First Lady of Jamaica rubbing shoulders with Fidel as in Castro; Jimmy Carter and the usual expected political dignitaries; then to divorcee struggling to find a job; and then co-host of the very popular radio program, Breakfast Club.

I liked the humor. The anecdote about the dinner disaster involving the escargots was not only hilarious it was very revealing about the lifestyle of well-to-do Jamaicans. I liked the honesty but what made me squeamish were the bits that I thought belonged in the category of "Too Much Information". I am not accustomed to Jamaicans washing their dirty linen in public so I found some of the details of her parent's marriage distasteful. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book. She told the reader exactly who she was and how she became who she is. There was some repetition but it helped to remind me of how the various persons connected. There were occasions when I got a little confused about the timing of an event. There were some gaps in the information.  For example, she presented the charismatic Prime Minister Michael Manley as a distant father with his first three children by three ex-wives but the relationship with her own children was not clear to me.  Everyone in Jamaica knew he was a playboy and knew of his reputation of having relationships with his friends' wives so that confirmation in the book was not shocking to me.

I would have liked the more recent photographs to be in color.  The black and white photos in the book were not as sharp as those in Condoleeza Rice's book.  Yes, I checked.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Three Pines Mystery series

I am hooked on the Three Pines Mystery series by Louise Penny set in the village of Three Pines in French-speaking Canada.  I have read Still Life (book club selection in October) and Fatal Grace and am waiting for the arrival of The Cruelest Month from a library.

In Fatal Grace, the author tells us in the very first sentence who was going to be murdered.  I believe the same thing happened in Still Life, I remember for sure that the reader knew who the victim was from the first page. The characters in the series are all quirky which I love.  Three older women were introduced in this novel; Bea, Em, and Kaye. Grumpy Ruth the poet, Clara and Peter the artists, and Myrna the black retired Psychologist who owns a book store seem to be constant characters.  There is some trouble stirring with Inspector Gamache and there seems to be a traitor in his entourage so I am continuing with the series to find out more.   I am eager to know if someone is going to die in Three Pines.  I don't think this little village can stand another murder in its midst.

On another genre, I just heard about this new Sci-Fi book  on kindle by first time author, Jennifer Fales.  I am not a big Sci-Fi fan but I did enjoy  The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. I started Oryx and Crake by the same writer but could not get into it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What do we read next? Historical Fiction?

We will not meet next month. We will not choose a book for January. We are using this time to catch up on individual reading choices. Kathy wants us to consider a historical romance, Scaramouche, by Rafael Sabatini set just before the French Revolution. Sabatini's own life sounds like a novel.  Divorced from his wife, Ruth, after their son died tragically, he later married Ruth's sister-in-law, Christine.  Christine had a son that was as personable as his own son had been. He too died tragically in a plane crash right in front of Rafael's and Christine's eyes. If we choose Scaramouche, I'd like us to do A Tale of Two Cities , an historical and classic novel by Charles Dickens, set during the French Revolution. Michelle is reading The Paris Wife about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, the woman who loved him before he became a famous writer, set in the 1920s in Chicago and France.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Club Discussion - November 18th

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is our book choice this month. The setting is Afghanistan, first in the town of Herat and then Kabul. It's a love story but it's also about the harsh family life that Afghan women endure. I read it such a long time ago that I decided to read this summary to refresh my memory before our meeting next Friday. This link gives the background of the writer, who was the son of a diplomat, and also has a discussion guide.

Take a look at the very exciting movie trailer. Hosseini is also well-known for his first book, The Kite Runner. Here is that movie trailer.

Our pizzeria location closed so we are headed for Michael's Deli.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Check these links

I've been getting some really interesting links from social networking: bloggers, and twitter and facebook friends.

For those of you who dream of writing a novel, today is 11/1/11 and it's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I found a list of book bloggers, on Joy's Book Blog, who will be participating by writing a 50,000 word novel

Here is a link I found on twitter: Infographics on reading habits, check it out. One in six readers use an e-reader or is likely to purchase one in the next 6 months. Interesting response to the question, What type of books have you read in the past year?

I got this very interesting TED Talk link from facebook featuring David Brooks, writer of The Social Animal:the Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement. Watch the video clip.

Word Cloud for My Twitter

While I am at it, I may as well do my word cloud for my twitter account. Loving Tagxedo.com.

My Word Cloud for This Blog

I found this librarian's blog, and she mentioned using Tagxedo. I am liking it. Thanks my fellow CPD23 participant.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marketing New Books

Take a look at the video trailers to market new books that I found on writer,  Stacy Eaton's blog.   The books are Come Back to Me, which will be available November 1st; My Blood Runs Blue, by Stacy Eaton herself; Sounds of Murder, In Leah's Wake, and Black: Beast: A Clan of MacAulay, all now available on amazon.

You may be interested in this book review of an authorized biography titled simply, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson which covers the good, the bad, and the ugly about Jobs.

Here is one more link that I found interesting.  It's a link to a new children's book, Island Princess, by Diane Browne, one of the best geography teachers I ever had in high school. (I remember her being short and dainty walking in her extremely high heeled shoes.)  I liked her insight about book covers to market children's books.  Her comments are true; most Jamaicans do have family who live abroad or know someone who has family abroad.  I have family members who emigrated to the United States in 1919.  I also liked the most recent post on book covers and Caribbean culture.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Okefenokee Book Club Selections 2011

January 21
The Ape House by Sara Gruen

February 18
Tidewater Blood by William Hoffman

March 18
The Confession by John Grisham

April 15
Vivaldi’s Virgins by Barbara Quick

May 20
A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh

June 17
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

July 15
Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock

August 26
The Passage by Justin Cronin

September 16
East of the Sun by Julia Gregson. Follow her on Twitter

October 21
Still Life by Louise Penny.  Check this author's Facebook page.

November  18
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Monday, October 24, 2011

Unusual Libraries:Tent , Phone Booth, Jail

Who knew that  Occupy Boston had a tent library?  No due date; no library fines. And, who knew that Occupy Wall Street and other "Occupy" venues had libraries?  This is called taking the library to the people. Interestingly,  Boston is the home of the United States' first major public library

People’s History of the United States  by Howard Zinn (2003) is the most requested book by the Occupiers. According to the product description, this book is telling the history from the points of view of America's women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers.

After reading about the tent library, I recalled a story about an old, bright red, London telephone booth that had been converted into a library. This gives new meaning to the word "recycling".  The library is filled with a collection of over 100 books, DVDs, and CDs.

Here is another unusual library; this one is in the Caribbean. I used to visit frequently this octagonal-shaped public library and museum located in Nassau, Bahamas. It was a former jail built in the 18th century. Do you know of any other unusual libraries/

Sunday, October 23, 2011

212 Degrees: The Extra Degree

 I am reading a very inspirational book titled, 212 Degrees by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson.  Water is hot at 211 degrees.  If you raise the temperature of water to one more degree then the water will boil and turn to steam. Steam can power a locomotive. That is an analogy that shows that one extra degree of effort can yield exponential results. 

This book calls for persistent and additional action and commitment.  There are subsections titled 212 degrees thought and commitment.  For example, there is a 212 degrees thought impressing on readers the importance of one more act of kindness with a 212 degrees commitment to doing good, a 212 degrees approach to stop complaining plus a 212 degree commitment to put that thought into action, a 212 degrees approach urging readers to pause, reflect, and act plus a 212 degrees commitment to do so twice weekly.  There are many readers, including myself, who need the challenge to step out of our comfort zone at least once each week to create more opportunities and more possibilities.

It's time to turn up the heat! say Parker and Anderson.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Meet the Author Event at Waycross College November 8th

The Waycross College Library will host author and environmental activist Janisse Ray on Tuesday, November 8th at 11:30 a.m. at the Waycross College auditorium.  Ray will be reading excerpts from her new book, Drifting into Darien: A Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River, followed by a book signing at 12:15 p.m.

She has been to at least one Meet the Author event in Waycross before. I remember going to the Okefenokee Regional library in Waycross some years ago when she was promoting her book, Pinhook: Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land (2005).  Other books by this author, available at the Waycross College library, are the award winning Ecology of a Cracker Childhood (1999) and Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home (2003).  Ray has also written a collection of nature poetry, A House of Branches, published in 2010.

She is originally from South Georgia, Baxley if I remember correctly, and lives now in Reidsville, Ga.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Waycross College Library at (912) 449-7515.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Famine is the Real Obscenity

Today I am focusing on books about food. I have blogged about Books and Food before; however, today   I am blogging about food with hundreds of bloggers from 80 countries around the world.  I will have a few things to say about hunger and famine.  Here is the story behind the title of  this post.

Blog Action Day
I found this link on twitter, two days ago, declaring Blog Action Day (BAD) to be October 16 and that the topic was food.  Well I decided to find out more about BAD.  I clicked another link that took me to  a registration form. I discovered that BAD has existed since 2007.  The BAD plan has been to  get bloggers around the world to blog about one important global topic on the same day.  This year BAD happens to coincide with World Food Day.  Hence the 2011 theme is anything related to food.  

Books about Food
First, some books with food themes that I have read and enjoyed:

In Defense of Food and Food Rules by Michael Pollan
Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel; our book club selection in July 2004.
Letter to My Daughter  and Hallelujah! The Welcome Table by Maya Angelou.   The chapter on Morocco in Letter to My Daughter had an interesting coffee drinking story.
Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews.  
Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth 

Book Club Cookbook
In a previous post, I mentioned this blog called The Book Club Cookbook which linked books with food.  Check it out.   One of our past book club picks is listed on the blog, The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  It is linked to a recipe for  Demetrie's Chocolate Pie.  Also, here are some popular books about food that I would really love to read:
Julie and  Julia by Julie Powell 
My Life in France by Julia Child
Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl 

Hunger and Famine 
For this World Food Day, please check out  this F word video that brings attention to famine.  Famine is indeed an obscenity. Remember those who are hungry in the United States of America. Click to see where the hunger crisis is located in the rest of the world.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

CPD 23: Thing 1 to Thing 23

I took a moment to re-read my Thing 1 comments and my Thing 23 comments.
I can't believe I have been blogging about CPD23 from June to October.  I wrote, in June, that I wanted to be an Awesome 2.0 Librarian so my intention was to learn everything I needed to know about the web 2.0 world.  I looked at three different blogs when I started Thing 1.  Only one of the three is still blogging; The London Librarian who is now on Thing 19. The London Librarian has an interesting reflection of how CPD23 has inspired her behavior.

Played around with Google calendar (Thing 8) and I think I will be using it often; tired of the paper calendar. I registered with Evernote (Thing 9) and read their blog but did not download and explore it.

What next ? I think I am becoming an activist blogger and tweeter.  Tomorrow I'll be combining my love of books with my fight against hunger and famine. I am joining bloggers around the world and our theme is food.  In the days to come I am sure there will be an opportunity to be an advocate for libraries, books, and reading.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Storyteller Martha Donaldson

It's October, Halloween month. Storyteller Martha Donaldson will be returning to the Okefenokee Regional library on Lee Avenue, courtesy of the Friends of the Library, to tell the story of the "Pea Patch Murders" that took placein Waresboro in 1930. Here is your chance to hear it if you missed it the last time. It will be Thursday, October 27th at 7:00pm.  I had fun listening to this fascinating story three years ago at this venue.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Finally, Thing 23 of CPD23

This is the end of my online professional development training. I did not get around to exploring Evernote or Pushnote. I found Prezi interesting but challenging. I am more engaged with social media than ever before; I have stopped lurking and have started adding more comments on other people's blogs and tweets. I learned how to make a podcast and for that I am pleased. I enjoyed the section on Advocacy, Mendeley, and screen capturing tools. The periodic reflection was useful. Reading other people's routes and roots was worthwhile and interesting.

How do I feel about CPD23 in six words?  My first response was: Current and more aware than ever. After reading Nobul Librarian's blog, this sentence came to me: Tinkered with Things, learned some Things. Can you tell I am a fan of six word memoirs at Smith Magazine? I look forward to reading how creative everyone will be with this six word challenge.
Task 2: Professional Development SWOT Analysis

1. I like to learn new things.
2. I learn quickly. 
1. I am slow to get on the tech track. Gosh, I just bought my first Ipod this year.
2. Location. Few libraries and museums in the area where I live; few opportunities to network through volunteering. Chances a library conference will be held in this area is small..
1. Online Courses. I can look for free professional development courses,similar to CPD23, where I learn at my own pace.
2.  Non-Library Organizations. If I don't use all the CPD23 Things on the job, I belong to/volunteer with non-library organizations where I can practice much of what I have learned.
3. Time. I have a four day work week so there is time to volunteer, learn some new skill, research and write.
1. The economy is a threat right now as it creates uncertainties in the work place and affects budgeting for F2F conferences.
2. Fear of the unknown.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

CPD23: Thing 20, Thing 21, and Thing 22

Thing 20 is all about library careers and is related to Thing 10.  Here is what I did for Thing 20. I organized my thoughts a little better, using sub-headings Roots and Routes, and  revised my Thing 10 post on the Library Routes Project. My path is typical. Many librarians, and Nikki is one, moved from teaching into librarianship.

Thing 21 is about Promoting yourself in Job Applications and at Interviews. The Hobbit Hole has a post with some useful links that I intend to check out later. I agree with all the bloggers that emphasized proofreading one's application and resume as a very important tip.

One task for Thing 21 is for me to outline my activities and interests and explain how I can use them  in my working life.

Interests: Watching television, listening to music, reading, and communicating (orally and in writing), cooking and baking.  I watch The Voice, American Idol, America's Got talent.  I listen to Beyonce, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and a host of young British singers including Adele. I love reading books, hence this book-club blog, but I also read pop culture, news, health, and food related magazines: People magazine, Prevention magazine, First magazine, The Week. My knowledge of pop culture helps me to relate to the young people I serve. 

Strengths: Communication skills, ability to get along with people, research skills, ability to work independently as well as with a team.

Job Enjoyment: I enjoy using my research skills  to help students find information. Like all librarians, I love it when I connect students to the right information as they need it. I especially like when a novel I recommended was enjoyed by a patron.

Thing 22 is about volunteering to get library experience. I like this post by Laura. Volunteering in a museum led her to a library career. The emphasis of Thing 22 is that volunteering should be mutually beneficial. My only voluntary library experience involves working as a part of a Library Advisory Committee at a technical college. We meet once per semester and it has been a good opportunity to offer guidance, receive ideas, and liaise with other librarians in the area.

I know for a fact that volunteering can lead to a career path. My voluntary experience, believe it or not, has been with the local Rape Crisis Center.  I used to be on call to go to the hospital to provide information and comfort to the families of rape survivors and the survivors themselves. I used to help the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner with the colposcope.  My buddy, who was a volunteer with me, ended up pursing a career as a Social Worker because of her experience with the center.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Girl Effect

I have been following The Girl Effect on Facebook and Twitter.  I know that we have a situation on our hands.  The clock is ticking.  I want to help.  Why? I attended an all girls school in a developing country.  Our school motto was "Life More Abundant." I support the education of girls.  I support the abundant life for all girls. I am against child marriage.

On this day October 4, I am joining The Girl Effect and blogging in support of  investing in the education and safety of  girls in the developing world.  I don't understand why investment in female education as an effective solution to global poverty is considered such a radical idea.  After all, it is a fact that educated girls grow up to be women who send their own children to school and pull their family as well as their village out of poverty. Imagine what all educated women joining together could do for the world. 

Take a look at this video about an 18 year old Ethiopian girl.

Yeah! Girl Effect!  Learn more. See what you can do to help. Tick tock.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Some Political Book Titles 2011

A tweet made me aware of this political book by Dick Morris, Condi vs. Hilary, published in 2005. The comments on amazon for this book are hilarious especially in light of what happened in real life.

After reading the amazon reviews I did a search on political books in 2011.  I found this link to the Washington Post that highlighted these books: Known and Unknown by Donald Rumsfeld, My Father at 100  by Ron Reagan, Inside Wikileaks by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Our Last Best Chance. There are also other titles written by Scott Brown, Tim Pawlenty, and Mike Huckabee.

The Huffington Post has a list of 25 Overlooked Political Books of 2011.  On this list are titles such as
The End of the West:: The Once and Future Europe by David Marquand, Crossing Borders: Migration and Citzenship in the Twentieth-Centruy United States by Dorothea Schneider.

I found a link to an article dated April 1, 2011 in the New York Times.  That list includes Revolt again by Dick Morris with Eileen McGann, Endgame by John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper,Then Everything Changed:Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan
by Jeff Greenfield and more.

After looking at reviews of Then Everything Changed, it appears that Dick Morris' book, Condi vs Hilary, falls in the category of historical speculation. I see what my next post is going to be. It'll be about speculative fiction.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

From Social Media Skills into Career Track

I am reading The Digital Mom Handbook by Audrey McClelland of momgenerations.com and Colleen Padilla of classymommy.com.  This is an eye-opener.  I had no idea that there were so many opportunities to channel social media skills into a career track. I recall food blogger Julie Powell transitioning from blog to book and then the book was turned into a movie; The Julie/Julia Project.  This handbook made me aware that there were paid and unpaid career opportunities from social media:blogs, vlogs, tweeter, and Facebook. I am learning that companies pay for travel and hotel expenses for bloggers so the bloggers can see their products and write posts about them. Also, companies ask bloggers with large readerships to co-host parties and blog about the event.  The writers of this Handbook have been invited to write about products and got paid for their services. Compensation is in the range of $10 to $500 per post.  Some bloggers become brand ambassadors, advertisers, spokespersons.  This book shows you how to sell yourself, trademark your business name, create a limited liability company and more.

Well this is a book club blog but let me say a word to Naked Juice.  I love your juices and I especially love your Naked 100% Coconut water.  Take it from this blogger with Caribbean roots, your product tastes like the real thing.  Can I be your ambassador? Only thing is, it is more expensive than VitaCoco and that brand has Rihanna as one of its spokesperson.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Cure for Online Addiction

Do you have an online addiction? Are you playing too many online games and checking in on social media all the time? It's time to read a book, says Randy Murray.  He advises that you should have at least 6 books in your queue.  What is he reading?  A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare:1599. 

I am reading this article on online addiction the same day that I am reading about the new cheaper Kindle Fire that's here to compete with the IPad and the Nook: $199.00 for the Kindle Fire, $139 for Nook Touch.

By the way, other ways listed to fight online addiction are gardening and cleaning.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Prezi & Slideshare

I have been looking forward to Thing 17 The Medium is the message: Prezi and Slideshare.  I did a test Prezi on public speaking but I found the video instructions a little difficult to follow. I like that Prezi is free.  I like that I can upload an existing powerpoint and upload videos so I played with that. I find it time consuming right now but I would imagine with practice I would be able to use my time wisely.   When done properly, Prezi's zooming ability really is impressive to me, for example, this brief presentation by wikiman about blogging. Apart from one spelling error the presentation is awesome.

I have learned a lot from the repository that is slideshare but have never created a powerpoint and  posted on it. I had no idea people used visual resumes like this very creative yet simple one here.  I still have not tested slideshare but if I ever have anything worth sharing this is a useful tool.

Still Life: Who dun it?

I came across some Criminal Justice students last week who had to find a book, fiction or non-fiction, and relate it to Criminal Justice. I recommended, to one student, a book club selection from April 2006, Blind Obedience by Bill Boyd, about real life murders that took place in Valdosta, Georgia.  Another student chose The Hollow by Agatha Christie.   She said Hercule Poirot is on the periphery in this story.

If I were doing the assignment, Still Life by Louise Penny, the book I am reading now would be a good choice.  I'd write about the setting of the mystery, Three Pines in the French speaking area of Quebec, and write about the main characters, Jane Neal the deceased,  her best friend Clara Morrow, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. I would write about investigative strategy as the Inspector explains it to his protege, Yvette Nichol.  He says listening to the villagers, to the suspects to the gossip, to one's instincts and to one's colleagues are keys. He pointed out three of four things that would lead to wisdom if said sincerely: "I don't know. I need help. I'm sorry."  He forgot the fourth but to add humor to the story, the writer makes Nichol literally thinks it's, "I forget".  I am looking forward to hearing what the fourth element really is. I would give examples of Gamache practicing these three or four elements if I were in the CJ class.

I am on page 156.  So far the investigation is leaning towards Jane Neal's death being a murder made to look like a hunting accident. Timmer Hadley, a hateful, needy, manipulative woman,  who died just a few months before Jane, supposedly died of kidney cancer but her name comes up so often I am beginning to think this was also a murder. I'll read on and find out but I won't tell, just in case you want to read this book too.  Interestingly, Timmer's son is the one that found Jane.

Personally, I think Jane's murder has something to do with her art work.  She did her art while Timmer was dying and everyone was at the Fair. Despite her stick figure drawings people recognized themselves in the drawing.  Is there someone who should have been at the fair and wasn't? When I find out, I am still not telling. . 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Award Winning Book: Still Life

Still Life by Louise Penny is our book selected for discussion next month.  Has anyone read this book?  This award winning book is a murder mystery set in the village of Three Pines, Canada.  It starts off with a dead woman in the first sentence,  "Miss Jane Neal met her maker in the early morning mist of Thanksgiving Sunday."  What an intriguing first sentence! Jane was 76 years old.  We are introduced on page 1 to Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, a French Canadian in his mid-fifties, who is investigating the case.  Page 2 flashes back to just before Jane was murdered and introduces us to her friends.  Her dearest friend is Clara Morrow.

So far I am not finding it as interesting as the first in the series of Young Sherlock Holmes by Shane Peacock. I am pressing along because I am curious to find out why this lady described as a wonderful and gentle woman is a murder victim. I am also curious about what is inside her house.  No one, not even her dearest friend Clara, had ever been inside.

This is the first in a series by Louise Penny. It has won all these awards:

2006 New Blood Dagger
2006 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
2007 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

2007 Barry Award for Best First Novel
2007 Dilys Award
Finalist 2010 Barry Award for Best Novel of the Decade.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Award Winning Books

Winning! I just found out through Facebook that my former Geography teacher, Diane Browne, won a Commonwealth award for her short story for children, The Happiness Dress.  The Overall winner was Philip Nash with his book, Rejoinder . Barbara Nash from Trinidad was the Caribbean winner with Head Not Made for Hat Alone.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

UK World Book Night - Aprl 23, 2012

This blog about CPD23 Thing 16 led me to a list of top 100 books posted by a UK campaign promoting libraries and reading, World Book Night April 23, 2012   The logo says, A million reasons to read a book.

This list will certainly be of interest to my book club.  Many on the list are books that the club read already such as The Book Thief, Shadow of the Wind, and The Help. Over 250 persons across the UK chose those books as their personal top 10 favorite books. My other favorite book, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was selected by 237 persons. Yet another favorite, Lovely Bones, was selected by only 184 persons.

Friday, September 16, 2011

East of the Sun by Julia Gregson

We meet today to discuss East of the Sun, by Julia Gregson.  This book won the UK Romantic Novel of the Year prize and Le Prince Maurice Award 2010 for literary love stories.

I read this historical fiction some time ago and I will have to check out amazon reviews before this evening's meeting to remind myself  how the story unfolded.  I remember it was about a "Fishing Fleet" a derogatory term for British women who sailed off to India "to fish" for husbands from among the British soldiers.

Read how the writer came up with the idea for her book.  I am actually the one who recommended this book because I liked the storyline about three naive women sailing off to India; one to get married, one to find a husband, and one to chaperone the others and find out more about her deceased family.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thing 19: CPD23 Reflection

Thing 19 is similar to Thing 5. It's all about reflection.

Recall:  I am happy that 23 Things started off early with Social Media encouraging blogging, tweeting, Facebook and so on. Pursuing 23 Things with CPD23 has encouraged me to comment on other librarian's blogs rather than just lurk.  I joined twitter as a PR tool for my Toastmasters club a few months ago.  Thanks to CPD23 I started a separate personal twitter account.
What did I learn?  The three things that stand out for me are Mendeley, Screen Capturing using Jing, and  Podcasting.
What did I enjoy? I have enjoyed learning from other bloggers.  I particularly enjoyed reading how other persons entered the profession.
What worked well? CPD23 has made me think.  I am thinking about library advocacy vs.activism. I don't think I will be presenting at conferences any time soon but I will be looking for opportunities to present to a non-librarian audience. I have done this before; I spoke about some of the issues involved in renovating a college library to the Kiwanis Club last year.
Application: Right now I am satisfied with Camtasia.  I am not sure Jing or podcasts will be applied on the job but the knowledge will be useful. I would like to be more active as an advocate for libraries generally. What library issues am I (should I be) concerned about?  I found this link useful. My answer would be reduced hours, staff, services at public libraries, eBooks and the digital divide, Literacy. These are some links that I am going to look at some more to get ideas: Hobbit Hole, this newspaper article on Andy Woodworth, and the use of Change.org

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thing 18: CPD23 - Screen Capture & Podcasts

Note: You can hear my voice for 30 days.

Thing 18 is what I have been waiting for. I have heard about Jing, that it is easy to use, and will download it to my computer today.  Camtasia is available at my library so I am more familiar with it.  I have used Camtasia to instruct users on how to get a password to access the online collection of databases from their home computer. Also, I have used Camtasia  to create a virtual library tour.   Some changes have taken place in the library recently so I am in the process of updating the virtual tour: taking new pictures for the PowerPoint and updating my script. 

One advice given to me when I first started with Camtasia was to not let the message/the lesson go beyond 3 minutes.  Students' attention span is limited. As Jamaicans would say,"So I get it, so I give it".

As a result of Thing 18 I created my first test podcast using Audacity.  I am excited.  The link to Podwhating was very helpful to me.  I did not know I had to download the MP3 encoder, LAME, to use in conjunction with Audacity.   For weeks I have been trying to figure out how to create a podcast.  I had the podcatching software, i-tunes, and the sound recorder, Audacity, then I was stuck.

My task this week is to check out how other libraries are using podcasts.  I noticed one Librarian blogger said that her students were not interested in non-visuals and were not keen on putting their book reviews in audio format.

On a personal note, I need to buy a more sophisticated mic for my home computer.  On this cheap mic I can hear all the emphasis on my 's' sounds.

Using these instructions I have signed up with a podcast host, archive.org. Since this is a test, this podcast will be for 30 days. I am excited!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Stop You're Killing Me"

Here is a site site to die for(pun very much intended) which I got from my FB friend.  It's called Stop You're Killing Me. It's a good source for titles of favorite mystery book writers and series characters.  The site covers Agatha Awards, Anthony Award Nominees, Dagger Award Nominees, and more.

More on Mini-Books

I should have posted, for those of you interested, the link to Kindle Singles.  According to the link, the Singles "offer a vast spectrum of reporting, essays, memoirs, narratives, and short stories presented to educate, entertain, excite, and inform."

If you don't own a kindle, you can download free amazon app to read Kindle books on your PC. I just did.  I bought a really interesting and easy read titled, Social Media by David Mullings for $2.99

eBooks: Mini-Books, Chunkable Books

Never heard of mini-books or chunkable books?  Well I'm just learning that Apple has launched "Quick Reads" and Amazon has "Singles" which allows readers access to portions or chunks of an eBook.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Bookstores, Librarians, and Book Bloggers

How are librarians and bookstores working with book bloggers?  Read Book Blog Basics.  Read how booksellers are "getting in bed" with book bloggers.   Check out the Book Lady's Blog.  

Staying true to Thing 15, here is a Librarian preparing to present on the topic, The World of Book Blogs.     This made me search Google for a list of Book Blogs. This is what I found, a top 10 best book blogs list.

Note to self: Think of, write about, speak about a topic relating to book blogs that has not already been covered.  

Monday, September 05, 2011

CPD23 - Thing 16 Advocacy

Note to CPD23: All right CPD23 I see where this is going.  You want me to be proactive.  You want me to be a real librarian joining professional organizations, speaking at and organizing library conferences, and publishing in library publications.  I just wanted to learn a little more about the technology, people.

Thing 16 is about Advocacy and Getting Published and I am to discuss the following:
  • Importance of Advocacy and Examples of advocacy on my part:  Yes, advocacy is important for job security my own and others.  It is important to me because I believe in equity of access.  I personally advocate for public libraries on this blog.  I still have the Geek the Library campaign on my blog.  I promote frugal library tips on this blog and at my job.  Library Advocacy is part of my job. The purpose of writing for my library's newsletter and the student newspaper where I work, is to promote library use.  Also, I am a Toastmaster. I get the opportunity to speak about my passions at least once per month. Books and libraries just happen to be a few of my passions.  I believe my fellow Toastmasters, who come from all areas of work, have a better understanding of what I do. Now that I am taking this adventure with CPD23, I will check out other ways to get involved as an "activist' and still keep my job ;). 
  •  I just checked out the hashtag #savelibraries on Twitter and will follow @Save_Libraries to see what others are doing. 
  • Thing 16 had a Publication challenge! A prize for anyone who gets a piece of library advocacy published. I must add that I am thankful the section dealing with publishing also mentions publishing outside of library publications -blogs. That is something I know about. 

Thing 15: All about Conferences - CPD23

Thing 7 was about F2F networking and conferences and  I wrote about conferences I remembered attending.  Thing 15 is encouraging librarians to attend, present and organize conferences.  My Thing 15 task is to discuss using these questions as guides:

  • What worked and what didn’t work? I remember that the AUCRIL conference I attended covered topics that were way above my level of understanding. On the other hand, The Georgia COMO conference with the theme: Beaches, Blogs, and Books, was very interesting to me.  It related more to my every day job. I learned to look at things differently and I enjoyed having a real live author as a presenter.   I have also attended conferences for libraries in the University System where I work.  Those have been useful.  Generally what did not work is the information overload; giving too much information in too little time. Also, I am a Toastmaster.  I automatically listen for distracting filler words and tend to be turned off if the presenter is disorganized or speaks in a monotone. 
  • The Future:
    • Are there conferences you’d like to attend?  The past two years I attended conferences in my state online.  I prefer F2F contact for conferences but in lieu of that I would love to attend Georgia COMO  online but so far this is not an option.
    • If you have a burning idea for a great event, now would probably be a good time to talk about it!  Since the technology is constantly changing, some of these very topics covered in CPD23 would be good:  Reference Management Tools, Collaboration Tools, Social Networking for Librarians.

Things 13 & 14: Online Collaboration & Reference Management Tools - CPD23

I have not written anything before on Things 13 and 14 but I have been experimenting with the projects. I see my fellow learners have left me behind and moved on to Thing 18. 

Thing 13 is about Online Collaboration using Google Docs, Wikis, and DropBox.  Accessing Google docs was easy since I have a google account. 

Everyone is familiar with wikipedia so I have an idea about how wikis are used and I have explored library wikis prior to this adventure into CPD23.  I have never tried to edit or add to a wiki prior to this. I took on the task of registering with the Library Routes wiki, a wiki set up since 2009, and posted my blog link to Thing 10 about how I got into librarianship.  I am not sure if I was successful in posting but I will check later.   I browsed and found out that other librarians added their Thing 10 blog link to this wiki.

If I ever want to start my own wiki or ask students to do group work by preparing a wiki, I know now that I can simply go to or recommend these links: Mediawiki.org and PBWorks.   This information was useful to me.

I registered with DropBox but I can see I will not be using that much.

Thing 14 is all about Reference Management Tools: Zotero, Mendeley, and CiteULike.  Last week  I attended an online class : Mendeley for Librarians.  I liked the academic social networking aspect, that it does not require a special browser,and that it can be downloaded for free.  I will experiment some more with Mendeley.

This blog about Thing 14: Managing the Sea of Information by Rebecca in Indiana who is a fan of Zotero was very useful feedback for me. 

Sunday, September 04, 2011

What Should Our Book Club Read Next?

Our book club is trying to decide what to read next.  These books listed below are suggestions we have so far.  You will notice that they are mostly Young Adult fiction:
How Angel Peterson Got His Name   is Kathy's pick.

Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is Linda's pick but it has many 3 star reviews on amazon.

Death in the Air, Young Sherlock Holmes 2nd mystery is my pick because I enjoyed the first one.

This one is not Young Adult; the setting is Japan,Wind Up Bird Chronicle, but it is over 600 pages long.

We will decide at our next meeting.

Friday, September 02, 2011

World Champs in Daegu, South Korea

Let me congratulate Caribbean athletes for their fantastic performance in Daegu:

Yohan Blake gold medalist from Jamaica 100m men.
Veronica Campbell Brown gold medalist from Jamaica 200m women, silver medalist in the 100m.
Kirani James, 18 year old gold medalist from the island of Grenada 400m men

Others have won medals but these three were fantastic so far.  There is more to come. I have been truly entertained.  Great job y'all.

What's in Cheney's Book?

Former VP of USA, Dick Cheney, has a book out, In My Time: a Personal and Political Memoir. OK that's no longer news because already there is controversy with Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. 

Read what Rice has reportedly said about the content of the book.  Also, here is Former Secretary of State Powell's feedback.  

This morning I found this interesting link that gave a little more information about what is in the book.   Read if you intend to add this memoir to your collection.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sad News about Pat Summitt

The first book we ever read as a club in February 2002 was the motivational book, Reach for the Summit, by basketball coach Pat Summitt.  I just read that she's been diagnosed with dementia.  The book was recommended by our book club member who was a coach at Waycross College at the time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Club Meeting at Matt's Italian Postponed

We'll meet next week Friday at Matt's Italian Restaurant instead of today.  Some members did not like The Passage.  I like dystopian fiction so I am not completely turned off this book.  I can say however that I preferred Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

I am on the last few pages. The group from the Colony led by Peter with Amy are featured in Part X1.  Alicia was infected and saved from turning into a viral but now has Superwoman qualities. I am getting some understanding of the virals in this section.

The original 12 persons in the Noah Project, former death row inmates, were infected with a virus and morphed into vampire-like creatures that have bee-like qualities.  The original 12 are like the Queen bees.  They infect hosts.   They travel in swarms and send out scouts to check out new hives.  The Haven, with the zombie-like people that reminded me of  the fictional characters called The Others in the TV show Lost, was one big hive.  There should be 11 more similar hives.   At this point in the story the group has a theory that when the Queen dies, the hive dies.  Since I am close to the end and this book is the first of a trilogy, I am guessing that killing the "Queens" will be the focus of the next book.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dystopian Fiction

I found another dystopian fiction, on a blog called bookasm.com, where some states have left the union to from independent republics. It's Flashback by Dan Simmons.  So this idea in The Passage of California seceding from the union is not that unique. 

For other interesting Science Fiction books found on this blog, link here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Links to The Passage

I love these links to The Passage on Scribd.

Book Club Selection: The Passage

I found an interesting book trailer and a Reader's Guide for discussing The Passage by Justin Cronin.  Of all the questions on the list, I would say the key questions are the following: 

  • What do you feel were the main themes Cronin was wrestling with in this novel?  Survival must be one. At the end, I will think about this again. 
  • Did you think the national response to the crisis was realistic (ex. California seceding from the U.S.)?  Yes.  If Governor Perry of Texas in this day and age can allegedly suggest the secession of Texas because of taxes and/or a stimulus plan, I would imagine in a viral disaster such as this, secession of California is believable
  •  Did you have a hard time transitioning from the first third of the book to the last two-thirds? Why or why not?   I ceratinlydid. I had to get to know a whole new cast of characters.
  • Was there any point in the story where you felt you couldn’t read anymore? Oh yes, especially the part when Amy was not included in the story.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thing 12: Putting the Social into Social Media

Found a link this morning that related to Thing 3 of the list of 23 Things. It is about being visible on Twitter.  One suggestion was improving the profile.
Moving on to Thing 12.  I am to consider the role of social media in building up networks and a sense of community.
  • are there any other advantages to social networking in the context of professional development than outlined below?:  
  1. Better communication between individuals who may or may not have the chance to meet otherwise
  2. Collaborative working space.
  3. Easy access to other fields of the profession.
For me personally, numbers 1 and 3 have been key.  I get to see what other librarians are doing in their libraries, see how they are thinking, and get ideas.

  • Can I think of any disadvantages to social networking? I would say I spend too much time going from link to link.  Social networking is addictive.
  • Has CPD23 helped me to make contact with others that I would not have had contact with normally? Definitely. I have made contact with librarians outside of the USA and their experiences have been worth reading. Very interesting reading about other people's journey into this profession.
  • Did I already use social media for career development before starting CPD23? Will I keep using it after the program has finished? I made minimal use of Twitter for career development.  I never had a personal account until I started the program.  I only had an account for my Toastmasters Club. I intend to continue using Twitter after completing the 23 Things.
  • Does social networking really help to foster a sense of community? It certainly helps. The need to belong is very strong in us human beings.  Social networking of like minded persons facilitates that feeling of belonging.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fiction Therapy

Seen in September 2011 issue of Prevention magazine: Research proves that relating to fictional characters creates a sense of belonging.  What does this mean? Pick up a novel and read to avoid loneliness! Or, I would suggest that you join a book club.

Still reading The Passage.  I don't feel a sense of belonging. I feel as if I am in a scene in Lost, the TV show.  A Colorado bound group consisting of Amy, Peter, Alicia, Sara, Michael and about three other characters whose names I've forgotten are with a group of strange people that I could call The Others as in Lost.  These Others seem nice and helpful but there are few children among them, most of the women are pregnant, and they seem to be administering a drug to Michael that keeps him in their sick bay.  They have taken away the weapons from the group presumably for safe keeping and have invited the group to stay with them in their Haven.  What will happen if the group wants to leave and continue their journey to Colorado where they think they may find the answers to their questions such as why is Amy over 100 years old and looks like 15 and what is her link to the virals.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Thing 11 - CPD23

Thing 11 is mentoring - learning by association with a relevant role model. I have never had a formal mentor for librarianship.  I have learned many things from reading library literature, from my more experienced Library Directors, and from library ListServs.  I read the article on how to find a mentor. It made reference to finding a local group such as Rotary Club or Kiwanis to see their structured mentoring program.   Well, I have been both mentoree and mentor in the Toastmasters Club so I have some idea of mentoring.  The article also said that finding a mentor is about taking opportunities as they present themselves.  This is what I'll do with Thing 11: look for opportunities.  Here's a question that I have: If mentoring encourages reflective practice and CPD23 encourages reflective practice, can I consider CPD23 as my mentor, friend, and colleague?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Dystopian Fiction

Are you still reading with me people? I am in a strange world in this dystopian fiction titled, The Passage.    I am in a new post Project Noah world with virals which are vampire-like with glossy teeth and new characters who work in their Colony of 94 souls as Builders, Watchers, and Runners. They work to protect themselves from the virals who travel in threes.  In this world there are also Walkers. I believe these are the survivors; the ones on the run from the virals. Mysterious Amy has not been the focus of the story for quite a while. I'm on page 291, a group is about to step through a hatch and this reminded me of the fictional universe in the TV show Lost.  The station crew that was supposed to be working in the hatch is missing.

I am not enjoying this part of the book but I am hanging in there.  I'm hoping Amy will turn up soon.

A Brave New World and  Ape and Essence, both by Aldous Huxley, and We , are some other Dystopian fiction my Facebook friends have recommended that I put on my Must Read list.