Here’s our next tip for help in finding your next great read!
EarlyWord is the place to go to keep up with the latest in book news – what’s moving up the bestseller lists, award nominees and winners, forthcoming books with buzz, what book is being made into a movie. The emphasis is on connecting libraries to the publishing world, so you’ll also find reports on books that are showing a lot of reserves at a cross-section of libraries across the country, but this blog is packed with interesting and helpful information for any book lover.
The co-founders of EarlyWord – Nora Rawlinson and Fred Ciporen – each have strong ties to both the publishing and library worlds, but the tone of this blog is far from stuffy or academic. There’s a lot of humor and opinions but no snobbishness. Frequent postings – often 2 to 3 a day – keep things lively and current. With the end of the year approaching there has been a lot of information on award winners and “best of the year” lists with links to reviews for the big winners.
There are also links galore to all things book-related – publisher catalogs, book awards of all kinds, lists of “best” books from various publications, best seller lists, coming soon and previews, movies based on books (both finished films and those in various stages of production) including links to trailers for these movies. The “Consumer Media, Book Coverage” section will point you to that book you heard about on NPR last night, or the author Jon Stewart talked to last week.
Count on EarlyWord to entertain and inform – and to steer you to some great new books.
Maybe its the element of risk or the fear of commitment, but I’m still skittish about buying shoes online.
There is definitely a larger selection and you can sometimes save a few dollars — especially now as they blow out old stock in the fall to make way for new styles. As far as getting a gander at them, all the online merchants seem to have them mandatorily photographed from a half dozen angles. But what if the dang things make you feel like one of Cinderella’s ugly sisters when they arrive by mail?
Major player Zappos tries to assuage that fear by offering free and unlimited returns. You’re not supposed to notice that they build about 5 bucks back into the item cost.
Take this one for example. Looks like something I could abuse, cover in winter rock salt and be too lazy to polish for the next 4-5 years. But what’s a Stonefly Milano?
After straw polling my peers, I’ve been told an excellent way is to know how a certain brand fits and count on that manufacturer’s internal controls to be consistent. In other words, once a size 11 New Balance, always a size 11 New Balance. In that event, it might not be a bad idea to go to a shoe store with a notepad and number two pencil to build an extensive brand dossier for your feet.
Comment with your shoe tips and favorite merchants, as well as any woeful tales of goofing on a size and getting stuck with $6.95 return shipping each way. Hey, sometimes you roll the dice and lose. That’s life.
It’s that time again – Davenport puts on it’s party hat (and running shoes) and hosts the annual Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival and the world-renowned Bix 7 Road Race. There’s plenty for everyone – music, shopping, running (or walking) so get out there and soak up some of the great atmosphere that helps define the city of Davenport.
Because of the crowds and chaos in the downtown, the Main Library will be closed all day on Saturday, July 24. However, both the Fairmount Branch Library and the Eastern Avenue Branch library will be open their regular hours, 9:30am to 5:30pm. Main will reopen on Monday at usual.
And be sure to check the blog next week and find out how our own Bill did in his first Bix 7 race!
Have a great holiday weekend!
Are you on your way to a dinner party where you know people will be dropping the names of hot new authors? And you barely have time to skim the newspaper, let alone devour big, fat sagas the way you used to do?
Well, look no further than www.earlyword.com. It’ll give you quick reviews of popular and notorious books, movies based on books, books featured on Oprah, Comedy Central, etc. It even forecasts “Major Titles on Sale in the Coming Week,” (no one can blame you for not reading what hasn’t even hit the shelves yet!)
A favorite of librarians, Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust reviews are featured prominently.
In the Book Group link, you’ll find information about authors available for book group discussions by phone.
Can’t remember the book everyone is suddenly talking about? You can quickly check the New York Times Bestsller lists.
*Motto of Newsweek’s book reviewer. “You love reading newsy nonfiction, but you just don’t have the time. We get it, and we’re here to help. Give us five minutes, and we’ll give you the whole book—the big ideas, the best bits, the buzziest details. And you’ll get hours of your life back…”
Planning a trip to a National Park this summer? or Want to enjoy some of the natural beauty from afar? Check out University of Iowa Digital Library’s collection of thousands of images of U.S. National Parks taken by University of Iowa Geosciences Department (http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/geoscience/). You can browse the entire collection or search for a specific park, landmark, or natural formation. Here are a few of my favorites I found by searching for flowers and lake respectively:
Avalanche Lilies at Olympic National Park (Wash.); The University of Iowa Department of Geoscience
Fishing from Trail Creek dock, Southeast Arm, Yellowstone Lake, at sunset; Photograph taken by Richard G. Baker of The University of Iowa Department of Geoscience
While reading an article on the current trend of “Serious Games,” I came across a game called Ayiti: The Cost of Life (www.costoflife.org) where a player is given the task of trying to create a better life for an impoverished family in Haiti. Here is the introduction to the game:
The Guinard family of five is struggling to get by in rural Haiti (“Ayiti” in Haitian Creole). The father, Jean, and mother, Marie are doing their best to give their teenage son and daughter, Patrick and Jacquline, and their little boy, Yves, the best life possible.
The family has a simple home and a farm that earns them a little money. Jean and Marie have very little education, but they’re working to help their kids get an education and improve their chances for a comfortable life.
There are a few international NGOs (non-government organizations) trying to help members of the impoverished community, but they need volunteers to get any major project off the ground.
The Guinard family faces some difficult challenges resulting from poverty, severe weather, and even potential violence. But if they’re careful and lucky, they may have a chance at a better life.
You have four years to help the Guinard family as they confront the “cost of life.” Good luck!
So far I have yet to survive four years (my average is about two), and this game was created BEFORE the current environment resulting from the tragic earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. This all-ages online experience is both heart-breaking and hopeful–I recommend you play!
What’s a modern-day Olympics without mascots?
Well, definitely still exciting but perhaps a little less fun. If you were able to watch any of the opening ceremony for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the emphasis on the traditional “First Nations” was obvious. The media and marketing moguls have carried it a bit further by designing some cute, cuddly little mascots inspired by native creatures. Here’s a few to look for:
- Sumi — (the mascot for the paralympic games) is an animal spirit with the hat of a whale, Thunderbird wings and the furry legs of a black bear.
- Quatchi — a friendly, if rather shy, young sasquatch, who wisely wears boots and earmuffs
- Miga — a mythical sea bear, who’s part orca and part Kermode bear
If you go to the official website you and your kids can play games with Quatchi and the other mascots. I don’t know about you, but it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to competing in the Olympics!
Hey, if its the kind of swill this rugged devil slugs back after a hard day at the ol’ salt mine, it must be good enough brew for a roughneck like myself. Just discovered this neat link, Vintage Ad Browser. Naturally I gravitated to an old favorite.
However, if you’d like to peer into the marketing of over the last 100 years (some of which quite politically incorrect) in a number of industries (food, clothing, automotive) give it a l00k. It will make you smile.
I really should watch that show Mad Men everyone is talking about (seasons 1 and 2 available at the library!)
“Could someone just tell me what I need to know without trying to convince me that I need the latest gadget, assuming I have all the time in the world to trudge through geek speak, and wasting my time with a lengthy explanation of how it all works?” Christina Tynan-Wood, a female geek, could hear these subliminal pleas for help whenever a friend asked her a question about technology–a question they usually chased with a “I’m sorry to be so clueless (page xviii).” GIRLS! YOU ARE NOT CLUELESS! You had the brains to ask the question, right? Well now Christina has made it easy to find the answer–Ta da! How to be a Geek Goddess: Practical Advice for Using Computers with Smarts and Style.
Finally everything a girl needs to know to feel technologically confident in ONE BOOK! Christina explains what you should know before buying a computer, how to set up wireless, how to organize your desktop, what security software you might need, how to shop online, and so much more! Her writing is fun, conversational, and full of illustrations and screenshots. Only downfall is that the book is very PC-heavy (which she admits up front), so some of the very useful topics, such as installing software, will not apply to Macs. Despite that, How to be a Geek Goddess is must-read for all women who want (or need) to be in control of their technological life. You may also want to check out Christina’s website at www.geekgirlfriends.com.
Okay, lets get our geek on!
Christmas Card by Frederick Hammersley; Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Need some ideas for your Christmas Cards this year? May I suggest checking out the Archives of American Art’s current exhibits on Holiday Cards by Artists–Don’t worry, you don’t need to go to New York or Washington, D.C. to see the magic! You can view highlights from the exhibits at both the Archives of American Art’s website and at the Smithsonian Magazine’s website.
I have very recently become obsessed with Christmas cards created by Artists for their personal cheer-sending needs (my two ephemeral obsessions previous were bookplates and dance cards). It began this summer while I was reading Jim Henson’s Designs and Doodles: a Muppet Sketchbook by Alison Inches and the book included several images of Henson’s homemade and company Christmas cards featuring the likes of Kermit, the Fraggles and Big Bird. Later in the summer I practically squealed in delight while watching Julia and Paul Child create their notorious holiday cards in the movie Julie and Julia. These artist-made cards fascinate me for multiple reasons: 1. We get to see how artists focus their creativity into specific parameters and who will disregard those boundaries (think Project Runway) 2. We can compare how an artist creates for the market and posterity vs. private and immediate and 3. I just love Christmas cards!
But Artists with a capital A are not the only people who make creative Christmas cards! Check out this great book titled Merry Christmas From…150 Christmas cards you wish you’d received by Karen Robert. This book features real families’ portrait Christmas cards–most of which are silly and adorable. My favorite is a photo of three little babies in gingerbread costumes that have been photoshopped onto a cookie sheet and spatula. Season’s Greetings!