How are you celebrating New Zealand Sign Language Week this year?
Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Auckland LibrariesConversation w/customer went from Dr Who to awesomeness of @neilhimself to graphic novels to Supernatural to conventions & back to to Dr Who 3 days ago via HootSuite · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto
The other day I worked at Tupu Library on Dawson Road. Long story made simple: they were a little short staffed for the day and desperate, so they asked me to work. (Yes, I am your last call when you are desperate). And I had such fun! I haven't worked a front counter like that since before we became Auckland Libraries, and I hadn't realised how much I had truly missed it. I was fortunate enough to meet a very lovely customer, Rebecca, while I was at Tupu Library whose love of reading and all things geeky made for the best conversation that day. Rebecca was returning a Doctor Who book (which makes up a part of today's list) and, me being the horridly nosey person I am, asked her for her opinion of it which, in turn, led to this post: 5 random parts of a customer conversation that are eminently requestable. All beginning and ending with Doctor Who, I might add. Because everything leads back to Doctor Who.
Friday, April 27, 2012
- Big Questions by Anders Nilsen
Big questions, or, Asomatognosia : whose hand is it anyway [graphic novel]
Author: Anders Brekhus Nilsen
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Summary: A haunting postmodern fable, Big Questions is the magnum opus of Anders Nilsen, one of the brightest and most talented young cartoonists working today. This beautiful minimalist story, collected here for the first time, is the culmination of ten years and more than six hundred pages of work that details the metaphysical quandaries of the occupants of an endless plain, existing somewhere between a dream and a Russian steppe. A downed plane is thought to be a bird and the unexploded bomb that came from it is mistaken for a giant egg by the group of birds whose lives the story follows. The indifferent, stranded pilot is of great interest to the birds—some doggedly seek his approval, while others do quite the opposite, leading to tensions in the group. Nilsen seamlessly moves from humor to heartbreak. His distinctive, detailed line work is paired with plentiful white space and large, often frameless panels, conveying an ineffable sense of vulnerability and openness. Big Questions has roots in classic fables—the birds and snakes have more to say than their human counterparts.
As bus books go, this has to be one of my strangest choices. For books on the run I usually (although not always) choose something that I can easily pop into a bag or a pocket and yank out as needed. (Like some weird version of a bookish Houdini who performs magical tricks by yanking them out of thin air - or out of rabbits?) Or I carry my iPhone so I can grab a few minutes to read some paragraphs/pages/chapters in whatever Supernatural epic fanfic I'm partway through. At something approaching 600 pages, though, Nilsen's book is definitely not of the 'smallish' variety. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Does that mean you should avoid it? Heck, no. Perhaps I'm biased, though. After all, I like big books and I cannot lie. (You other brothers can't deny). Sorry. I couldn't resist doing that. (Although I do admit that I didn't try very hard). It is well worth the workout you'll get carting it around, though. It's one of those stories that sneaks up on you. It's subtle, and tricky like that. Your fellow bus co-passengers will thank you for it. Seriously, those sitting around me were chuckling and smiling at the illustrations and dialogue. I've been catching buses and trains since I was 10 and I'm still not used to communal reading on this scale. It's nice. It's just creepyweird nice. It makes me want to clutch my books closer to my chest as if it were MY PRECIOUS. For some reason, people feel that they can comment on my reading choices on public transport. And more power to them that do so. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself sitting somewhere strange while you, and your co-passengers, contemplate the meaning of life. If you're anything like me, these are the reactions that you'll have. Although, to be honest, all y'all are tonnes smarter than me and won't spend points 5, 4 and 3 just trying to get past the characters :)
Have you read Big Questions?
Friday, April 20, 2012
5 picture books about families with two dads, two mums, and two uncles that I believe Mr 8 should know about
"Oh, my, it's a little girl from the jungle!" said the Queen.
"You're the child we've always wanted," said King and King.
- King & King & family by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland
Earlier this year a sibling and I were discussing the book And Tango makes three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. For those of you who don't know Richardson's book, it's a true story about a penguin that was raised by two male penguins. We were discussing picture books, this one in particular, when Mr. 8 walked in partway through the conversation. When he realised we were talking about a penguin family with two daddies, he looked puzzled, and somewhat confused. (Much later we'd find out that he'd gone to our mother, a counsellor, with all of his questions about why two mums or two dads couldn't marry each other, which is more or less how this post came about). It was then that I realised we'd never really talked about how some families have two mums/two dads. Not deliberately. It was more that we'd all assumed the boys would grow up seeing all sorts of different versions of families all around us and not see same-sex parenting as a curiosity. After all, Mr. 8 knows firsthand about single-parent families (his mum) and how extended families provide help and support and babysitting detail (his mum's siblings and parents), but zero about same-sex families. In fact, other than my dad's late brother, I couldn't even think of extended family members (such as aunts, uncles, etc.) in same-sex relationships. I couldn't come up with anyone in my family whose whanau resembled And Tango makes three. Is that important? Yes, I believe it is. I don't want him to believe that the idea of 'family' is about numbers (i.e. how many people make up a 'family') or sexuality. I don't want him to think that his way of being parented is the only way. I don't want him to think it's the 'right' way, because I don't think that it is. It's only *one* way. Nor do I want him to grow up 'tolerating' or 'putting up with' people. I want Kalani (Mr. 8) to enjoy people as they are, where they are. I want him to value people and never, not at any time, think that anybody's whanau is less in his eyes because they have two mums or two dads or even two uncles. If I want him to grow up with that way of thinking, though, it has to begin with us, in the home, and I'm going to start with these picture books.
Note: I had kinda noticed that we don't have a whole lot of recently published picture books on this topic so I've got a list of recommended/reviewed titles that I'm going to suggest the library purchase for our collections. Comments, as ever, are always welcome.
Monday, April 16, 2012
5 romance book taglines that'd work just as well for movies (if maybe a couple of cheesy ones at that)
- Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis
YES! I have a Team Chest romance novel cover as the intro image for this post, however this is NOT a Team Chest post. (I know! I'm gutted, too!). So why do I have a Katie MacAlister novel listed here, then? So glad you asked and, as usual, I'm going to take the scenic route as a form of an explanation, and drag you along for the ride. Every morning I shuffle through my various piles of library books to decide which ones I have to take back immediately. For some reason what is meant to be a simple task turns into me sitting there for about a half an hour while I flip through and re-read various passages (I have no idea why I do this, I just know that I do, and it invariably has me running late for work and skipping along like a dork to catch my bus. Aahh, good times). When I got to MacAlister's novel and read the book's tagline - "He'll need to bare more than his soul to get a mate" - I snorted. Out loud. And then guffawed. Most heartily. I couldn't help it. Don't get me wrong. I genuinely enjoy MacAlister's books. They're funny on purpose. But that tagline? It has about as much cheese as a seventies fondue party. Maybe even more. Which made me wonder...out of all the romance novels I currently have out, which ones have taglines that would work just as well for movies? Et voilà - this list :) (Good grief, I do believe this is a short post. What is the world coming to?). Happy Monday, people, and enjoy today's Top 5!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
'I like to think that if you eat food with gratitude then you somehow won't put on weight. It's all about your attitude.'
~ Kim Evans
There's a neat story on the front page of Friday 13th's North Shore Times (read it here on Stuff), about single mum/baker/businesswoman Kim Evans, who went from selling homemade goodies at the Takapuna markets to running not one but two wildly successful Auckland bakeries (Little and Friday), after working her way through something like 18 hour days when her first bakery was getting going. She's just put out her first cookbook, Treats from Little and Friday - which we have!!! yay libraries - so I thought I'd see what else is new in the way of recent Kiwi cookbooks. We've got some gems coming out in 2012, an eclectic mix that runs from fancy restaurant fare to rural recipes for seasonal fruit and veg, with a couple of Masterchef NZ spin-offs thrown in for good measure. Plenty to get your tastebuds going and give you something new to try on anyone kind enough to play guinea-pig for you!
Title: The book of awesome : snow days, bakery air, finding money in your pocket, and other simple, brilliant things
Author: Neil Pasricha
Summary: Based on the blog 1000awesomethings.com, The Book of Awesome is a high five for humanity and a big celebration of life's little moments: popping bubble wrap; wearing underwear just out of the dryer; fixing electronics by smacking them; getting called up to the dinner buffet first at a wedding; watching The Price Is Right when you're home sick; hitting a bunch of green lights in a row; waking up and realizing it's Saturday. Sometimes it's easy to forget the things that make us smile. With a 24/7 news cycle reporting that the polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes are swirling in the seas, wars are heating up around the world, and the job market is in a deep freeze, it's tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But awesome things are all around us-sometimes we just need someone to point them out. The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free (yes, your grandma was right). With laugh-out-loud observations from comedy writer Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome is filled with smile-inducing moments on every page that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time. Read it and you'll remember all the things there are to feel good about.
I like the idea of this book which, I have to quickly add, was recommended to me by Jolene. Yay Jolene :) A lot of the items listed (either by Pasricha or by others) have a nostalgic feel about them and took me back to my childhood. Specifically, back to a time when life was simple, anything seemed possible and, best of all, you felt protected and loved always. Gosh, adult life can be such a rude shock, can't it? In this post I do little more than recount five examples of what Pasricha considered 'awesome,' and give my reasons for believing so.
Reasons just as good:
Reasons I would love to have added to the list but I'm not quite at that point yet:
What simple things do you consider awesome?
Friday, April 13, 2012
- Edward Gorey, Boston Globe article, 1998, as quoted in Salon
The librarian's book of lists
Editor: George M. Eberhart
Summary: Eberhart (American Library Association editor), who admits to compulsive listmaking, applies his hobby to all aspects of the librarian's world, listing, for example, the top 10 things to do when you're a library director, top 10 blogs in six different subject areas, 10 reasons to be a librarian, 10 reasons not to, top 10 library music videos, and top 12 silly reasons to ban a book. Filled with library trivia, history, and information, this is an enjoyable read for anyone who loves libraries.
Librarians are funny people. Both funny haha and funny weird. I know this to be true because it has been my greatest pleasure to have worked side by side with so many over the last 11 years or so. (Why yes, thank you, I do look good for my age). So I was pretty sure I was on to a good thing when I accidentally came across Eberhart's book which is exactly what the title suggests: a list of serious/humorous lists put together by Eberhart himself (a list-maker extraordinaire which is something I admire because I heart lists - we control what we can to the nth degree, and for me that's lists) and a number of librarians from around the world. Short post for today that is, simply, 5 librarian's lists that scream READ ME in this book :)Runner-up lists:
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
'People like to believe there are mysteries yet to be discovered, loves to be lived.'
~ From 'Daytrippers' by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
I moved house about a month ago, so now that the school holidays are in full swing, I'm taking a look around me for the holiday essentials... parks, beaches, playgrounds, and of course my local libraries. Last holidays we were treated to Lucy and the team's fun and hugely energetic Dare to Explore programme at my then-local, Panmure, the highlight of which was a treasure hunt that saw us solving maths, Dewey and alphabet clues as we ran in and out of the library and surrounds. This week we clocked the way the weather was changing and took ourselves to Northcote for a unicorn story and craft session.
If you've got young kids at home, I really recommend our Mythical Creature holiday programme as a way to unwind while picking up some new books and DVDs. While the 3 year old and I checked out the picture books, graphic novels and cookbooks - and played a game of hide-and-seek in the cute little garden courtyard - my 5 year old daughter got to listen to stories and show off at question-and-answer time, as well as making a very cool unicorn collage - painted in part with her foot! The librarians were really friendly and helpful, and we took home a great stash of books on top of our 2 hours of free entertainment.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
The librarian's book of lists by George M. Eberhart at the moment (which I'll blog about on Saturday), and Eberhart is, truly, a man after my own heart. Not because he's the senior editor of the American Library magazine (although that's pretty darn special on its own), but because he hearts lists. He doesn't just heart them, HE MAKES THEM. And as anyone who reads this blog knows, I LIVE FOR LISTS. (What is this whole blog about but making lists?). I use them for everything from deciding what groceries to pick up to picking my least favourite tv shows to choosing my third most favourite toothpaste brands. Maybe I use them a little too obsessively because I remember my boss making fun of me for attending all of our meetings - for two years straight - with a huge list of things I'd done and wanted to do still. Eberhart's book is a compilation of all kinds of lists written by himself and other librarians and they cover all kinds of things, such as blogs in different subject areas, reasons to be/not be a librarian, trivia and more. One list I really liked featured 10 library music videos, which made me wonder what variety of clips YouTube offered that was about librarians. I wasn't particularly interested in clips set in libraries, although some of the ones I selected are, but about the people who work in them. You wouldn't believe how many I've watched. SO MANY. Too many to count. And here is my list of the five I liked the most. Maybe next week I'll put together a list of well-known songs set IN libraries. For today, though, 5 YouTube songs about librarians!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
5 books to help you prepare for zombiegeddon...or to help you get along with them if that's the only option left
Title I would love to have included somehow but the book is missing :(
Every zombie eats somebody sometime : a book of zombie love songs by Michael P. Spradlin
Another zombie title I couldn't quite fit in this post:
Zombies vs. Nazis : a lost history of the walking dead by Scott Kenemore
Are you prepared for zombiegeddon?