Archive for August, 2008

That’s me.

Yesterday I posted gloating about how easy I have it this fall (grad school), how I only have five books to read for YA literature and that’ll be a breeze. Well, friends, I took another look at that email from my professor. Turns out the five books are just the first installment of 21 required YA novels, plus a textbook.

Twenty. One. Novels.

I love reading. I swear to you I do. But that’s not all I’ll have on my plate this semester. My Intellectual Freedom course has five required textbooks. Fortunately, my reference course has only one. Oh, but that course has a practicum. A 40-hour-during-the-semester practicum.

I need a library that will let me look over the shoulder of a reference librarian and be nicey-nice to your patrons for 40 hours this fall. Anyone?

Don’t make me go begging.


Grad School, Fall 2008

Posted: August 27, 2008 in Uncategorized

I hate when I write a long-winded blog post and accidentally delete it. You would have been regaled with the details of my fall semester had this not happened. Now you’ll only have the short form. I’m so sorry. I hope in time the wound will heal.

I’m taking three courses this fall: Intellectual Freedom & the Library, Young Adult Literature and my third course in Reference Services. Three courses sound like a little much, I know. But I took that many last spring and lived to tell the tale. Granted, I still have the dark circles under my eyes. The things I do for my career.

Online courses are easier than classes in a proper classroom. My first semester in the distance learning program of the U of Wisconsin – Madison SLIS required me to travel an hour each way to the satellite location for my classes. Between travel time and actual classroom time that ate up about ten hours a week. Ten hours! With online courses I have most of that time back; commuting time now being moot, I have more time to work on actual coursework. Plus, my children have the joy of my presence at dinner. They’re slowly coming to recognize me again, using photos from before I started grad school to jog their memories. One day maybe they’ll call me Mom again, instead of “that lady who sits where Mom used to sit.”

This fall I’m looking forward to my courses in Intellectual Freedom and Young Adult Literature. For the young adult course I’ll be reading these books:

Catcher in the Rye (the only re-read for me, and I can’t wait to see if I enjoy it as an adult)

Seventeenth Summer

The Outsiders

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret

Chocolate War

Weetzie Bat

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Courses requiring reading aren’t a chore for me. Neither are courses requiring writing. A lot of people moan in agony at the prospect of writing papers. Not me. Though it’s a pain having to write so formally, citing sources and keeping track of little details, I’ll take that over tests any day. I think I’m in the minority on that.

This fall, my children – my middle son especially – will have a lot of homework. I have a son in elementary school (5th grade), a son in middle school (7th grade) and a daughter starting high school (9th grade). Three children, three different schools, spread out all over town. I’m breathing into a paper bag already.

Grad school. Work. Writing and occasionally reviewing. Living life. It’ll be tight, but when you enjoy everything you do it makes things easier. Someday I’ll look back on this and wonder how on earth I did it all, but right now it’s just a big blur. The MLS degree will give me a true feeling of accomplishment. And that’s worth all the chaos.

Then maybe I can get some sleep. I sure hope so. I’m exhausted already.

One of the co-authors of 100 Places to See Before You Die dies from a fall at age 47.

From The Daily Mail online UK:

” The man who co-wrote the best-selling adventure travel guide 100 Things To Do Before You Die has died at the age of 47.

Dave Freeman had visited half the places mentioned in his book whose recommendations included a voodoo pilgrimage to Haiti and running with bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

He died after falling over at his home in Venice, California, and hitting his head. ”

Read more …

The Kindle, and Ebooks in General, are Only Selling More Like Lukewarmcakes Than Hotcakes: Lisa Breathes a Sigh of Relief.

From The Register:

” The humble paper-based book isn’t burnt just yet. Amazon is keeping schtum as to how many e-books it has sold, but evidence is mounting that predictions of iPod-grade sales and billion-dollar revenues were a smidge optimistic.

Earlier this month CitiGroup predicted that Amazon would shift 380,000 electronic books during 2008, and would see annual revenue of over a billion by 2010. But it’s worth taking a moment to see where those figures came from as Amazon won’t release any official figures. ”

Read more …

Salman Rushdie May Soon Have Company on the List of Authors Threatened by a Fatwah: Censorship is Alive and Well.


” A Danish publisher is in negotiations to buy Sherry Jones’s novel about the child bride of Muhammad, which was dropped by Random House in America and pulled from bookshops in Serbia.

The Jewel of Medina tells the story of Aisha, one of Muhammad’s wives, from the age of six to 18 when Muhammad dies. It was bought by Random House US for a reported advance of $100,000, but then dropped after the publisher was told by academics and security experts that publication was potentially more risky than Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and the Danish publication of cartoons of Muhammad.

Last week, Serbian publisher BeoBook withdrew 1,000 copies of the book from shops across Serbia, following protests from an Islamic pressure group. BeoBook also apologised for publishing the novel. ”

Read more …

Speaking of Salman Rushdie.


” For many high-profile public figures, a visit to the libel courts has become something akin to a trip to the casino: victory triggers a large windfall and a substantially enhanced reputation.

Yesterday, Sir Salman Rushdie achieved the latter, but notably turned his back on the chance of a big payday as his legal team forced an apology from a former policeman who had painted a disparaging picture of the author in a sensationalist book. ”

Read more …

Amazon’s big prediction for the “Kindle”

From The Register UK:

” Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader will sell more than 380,000 in 2008, according to analysts at CitiGroup. UK retailer Waterstones agrees that e-books are the future and is putting Sony Readers into its high street stores. ”

Read more …

The Shame of Book Abuse …

From The Guardian blog:

” If you have a book, you have a purpose and a shield. This is fine to an extent, but usually belittling to the books you’re escaping into. When I’m abusing a book, I lapse into a kind of ravenous trance, reading too fast, remembering too little. When you can study a book review from start to finish without realising you’ve already read the novel in question, you can be pretty sure you’ve been perpetrating abuse. ”

Read more …


Judging a book by its cover

From the New York Times:

Most authors have no control over their book covers. Roth, Palahniuk and Murakami are exceptions to the rule.

Read more …