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4th quarter books read [Jan. 8th, 2012|11:47 pm]
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non fiction:
1) The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific by Paul Theroux
I started this literally years ago (before we went to Fiji in 2009) and finally finished it. I liked it but it wasn't always compelling enough for me to read it instead of other stuff. Anyway, travelog about the South Pacific by famous travel writer upon the breakup of his marriage. Good, but dry at times.

2) Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (audio)
Awesome, but REALLY graphic at times. The takeaway is if you donate a loved one's body to science, you probably DON'T want to find out what it's being used for, since only a fraction go to med school dissection and others go to things like car crash tests, plastic surgery face lift practice heads, etc.

3) Free for all: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library- Don Borchert (2007)
Fast read, full of "yeah, I've been there" anecdotes from a dude who stumbles into library work via the call of a stable civil service job. Only real gripe is that the book jacket calls him a "librarian" when he is clearly a library paraprofessional and not someone who went to grad school and made a career choice to do this. Might not be very compelling for non library folk.

Fiction
1) 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks
Good idea, good execution, so-so wrap-up. Plot: Cancer cured, old people live well into their 90's, bleed out social security, bankrupt the nation, young people revolt, China controls us economically, America basically doomed. I wanted the ending to wrap up more of the intriguing premises that were introduced, but I mostly liked it.

2) Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart
Another near-future dystopian story. Sorta predicts the Occupy protests, so interesting to read now. May/December romance told through electronic posts and unreliable narrator. Good, but I found all the characters unlikable.

3) The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta (audio)
Something like the Rapture that isn't the Rapture happens- atheists, Hindus and Vladimir Putin disappear as well as millions of Christians. Story picks up 3 years later and focuses on how people deal with sudden inexplicable loss. Some join crazy cults, some are mired in depression, etc. Darkly humorous, and you never find out exactly what caused the not-Rapture. Recommended.

4) The Wishbones by Tom Perrotta
Read this because I liked the Leftovers so much, plus I liked his "The Abstinence Teacher" and the movies of two of his books that I have yet to read (Election and Little Children). Story of a man in his 30's who plays in a wedding band- okay money, but no cred. Typical "coming of middle age" story. Lightweight and I liked it, but most people (other than frustrated musicians) can skip it.

5) Citizen Vince by Jess Walter (audio)
Crime/political novel set in 1980 Spokane. Witness protection program guy relocates to Spokane, muses about crime and the upcoming Reagan/Carter election, which will be his first time ever voting since his old self had a criminal record and was prohibited from voting as a felon. Kind of an interesting mix hearing a low-level con man musing about civic duty. I liked it.

6) Absurdistan: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart
I liked this less than Super Sad True Love Story. Really unpleasant wealthy Russian lead character gets trapped in unstable former Soviet republic of Absurdistan during a sectarian uprising. I finished it and laughed at a few parts but I found the characters too unlikable to really enjoy.
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On the death of Vaclav Havel [Dec. 19th, 2011|01:18 am]
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Czech president Vaclav Havel was indirectly responsible for me getting into a romantic relationship that would last over 3 years and would result in cohabitation and a sorta marriage proposal. This was back in 1989 or 1990, and the relationship broke up around 1993 due to the usual post-college growing apart.

I thought about this time in my life when I heard Havel had died, and then Alex, the guy I'm talking about in the above paragraph, posted a FB link to something he wrote in January 2008 about Havel that also touches upon the circumstances of our getting together:
http://alexvcook.blogspot.com/2008/01/plastic-people-of-universe.html

Alex's writing has improved greatly since he wrote this, and now he's kinda a big deal in the music crit world. I continue to be unfamous, so it's a bit weird to read the above and think OH JEEZ THAT'S ME HE'S TALKING ABOUT. His recollections are accurate and not unflattering to me, but still it's weird to read something about yourself where even if you aren't named, you know it's you. For the record, I am the gal who smoked (briefly, it was a college thing) and loved Joy Division. I am NOT the actress who loved the Doors.

FB tells me Alex and I became FB friends in March 2009, so at the time he wrote the above, we probably hadn't corresponded in at least 5 years. We had been LJ friends at some point in the early 2000s, but I think he unfriended me when I said something churlish about children running wild at doctor's offices, and as a new father he had no need to hear the grousing of child-free cynics. I'm sure he's smart enough to know that even though I'd never see that in 2008, there was a good chance I'd see it one day, so keep it vague, non libelous, and allow plausible deniablity for the persons involved if needed.

So it's weird to read that, but a good weird, not a bad weird. In the last decade, most of the time I've been written about by friends is in blogs they know I'll read within a few days of their posts, so those posts are likely not as honest as Alex's trip down memory lane from 2008.

I actually saw Alex briefly at his workplace last month when I visited my hometown. He's got a book coming out in a few months from a reputable academic press, has a steady job at the university and seems to have all the pieces of the puzzle in place (good job, good marriage, good kid, good hobby that provides some level of artistic satisfaction). At the time I was unemployed and feeling angsty, so while I was happy for him, I was a wee bit jealous that someone who was a parent had a more carefree-seeming life than me, newlywed Burner in the big city.

One of the things that visiting your hometown always yields is weird nostalgia. Seeing Alex's Havel article today after seeing Alex last month for the first time in 10+ years really brought out all the changes I've experienced in the last decade. Though I'm pretty sure I still have one Joy Division poster in that roll that I haven't unfurled in 5 years.
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3rd quarter books [Oct. 16th, 2011|09:19 pm]
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Fiction:

1. Freedom - Jonathan Franzen (audio)
Okay to pretty good. Same sort of barely likeable characters as The Corrections. I liked the punk rock musician character the best and couldn't understand why everyone liked Patty so much.

2. Santa Clawed - Rita Mae Brown
Dumb cat mystery series. Not sure why I still read these.

3. The Zero - Jess Walter (audio)
Surreal satirical story about NYC cop with amnesia working with a post 9/11 bureaucracy to recover business documents from Ground Zero. Unsettling and the ending wasn't very satisfying.

4. The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff (audio)
Polygamous separatist Mormons in modern times interwoven with the based-on-reality story of one of Brigham Young's wives who rebelled. Really good.

5. The Intuitionist - Colson Whitehead
Sorta SciFi-ish novel about elevator inspectors from competing philosophical schools, the Empiricists and the Intuitionists, the latter who do some sort of "communicating with the elevator-ness" of the equipment to detect defects. The protagonist is the first ever female black inspector, who faces racial discrimination and the possible sabotage of an elevator she'd recently inspected amid a turf war and search for the missing plans for a fabled Intuitionist-designed elevator. Recommended.

non fiction

6. A Vagabond in Fiji - Harry La Tourette Foster
Odd 1927 book I found at SPL. Travel writing from the days when you had to sail for a month to get to the South Pacific. Nice little slice of life of what Fiji was like under British rule between the wars, but probably of interest to no one on my friends list.

7.Best American crime writing 2003
8. Best American crime writing 2004 - Still good. Enjoying these immensely.

9. At Home: a Short History of Private Life - Bill Bryson, Bill (audio)
Bill takes you through a typical English country house to describe the evolution of domestic architecture and how we use the various rooms in our homes. Lots of great trivia about servants, class, and vicars. Excellent!

10. Best American crime writing 2005- Only have 2 of this series that I haven't read now. boo.

11. Secret Historian: The Life and times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade- Justin Spring
I actually read Steward's "Bad boys and tough tattoos" in the early 1990s and really liked it. I had no idea his own life was so interesting.
Failed literary career, hanging out in France with Gertrude Stein and Alice, contributing material to Kinsey, sleeping with Thornton Wilder, writing gay pulp fiction- all that on top of going from being a Literature professor to a Skid-Row tattooist. Excellent biography of someone you've never heard of. Nice slice of pre-Stonewall gay life as well.

12. Into Thin Air : a Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster -Jon Krakauer (audio)
Had never read this but was interested in the topic when all those photos of dead bodies on Everest began making the rounds a few months ago. Fails to really answer the question of why people feel the need to climb deadly mountains, but a nice disaster tale otherwise.

13. Cleaving : a story of marriage, meat, and obsession -Julie Powell (audio)
Sequel to "Julie and Julia" which I liked. This one not so good. Julie apprentices as a butcher, has an affair and can't stop texting her lover. We hear very little about her aggrieved husband who was so supportive during the Julie and Julia project, except when they're fighting about her affair. Also, she talks about Buffy the Vampire Slayer way too much for a foodie memoir. Meh.
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This month's actor crush: [Sep. 20th, 2011|10:09 pm]
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Between being the caring boyfriend/husband on Big Love, the screwup Jesse on Breaking Bad, and now this, which I finally saw in between songs at the Weird Al concert:
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3231da28bb/weird-the-al-yankovic-story

Aaron Paul is my new favorite actor.
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2nd quarter books read [Jul. 15th, 2011|01:38 am]
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 Non Fiction

1) My Year of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep into the Heart of Cinematic Failure by Nathan Rabin and A.V. Club
A spin off from the beloved (by me, at least) Onion feature. Not too many films I hadn't heard of, but for the most part I agree with his assessments, and he's very funny. Plus anyone who writes "I think everyone in the world should see 'The Apple'" and sorta means it is my kinda critic. Recommend: yes

2)You're A Horrible Person, but I like You: The Believer Book of Advice
Famous McSweeney's type celebrities answer fake advice questions. Good for bathrrom reading but ultimately fluffy and not all that funny. Recommend: meh.

3) I'm Down: A Memoir by Mishna Wolff (audio)
Funny memoir of growing up "black" in Seattle's Rainier Valley despite having two white parents. Great glimpse of growing up poor and culturally confused in the 80s. Read by the author, who does a serviceable job and funny impressions of her dad. Recommend: yes

4) Bossypants by Tina Fey (audio)
Funny at the time but unmemorable a few months later. Half autobiography and half comedy bits. Recommend: meh.

5) The Best American Crime Reporting, 2008
I love this series. Collection of magazine pieces from the types of magazines I used to read at the dentist's: GQ, Vanity Fair, Esquire, etc.

6) Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell (audio)
History of Hawaii, read by the author. Audio has weird multi voice cast of men and women reading single lines from missionary diaries in between Vowell's narration, which was sorta distracting and not really necessary. Book overall was interesting; you'll know if it's the kind of thing you'll like if you've read her before. Recommend: yes

7) What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio
Coffee table book showing people from around the world and a day's worth of food. I liked their "material world" photos of people with all their material goods but I think their concepts are played out. Recommend: no

8) Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide by Bob Harris
2007 title wrapping up all the regional conflicts you wish you knew more about. Each country/region is discussed for about 7 pages and snarky but concise. good bathroom reading as well. Recommend: yes

9) The Best American Crime Reporting, 2007
See #5. good stuff.

Fiction
1) Black Hole by Charles Burns
Graphic novel about teenagers spreading an STD that gives them extra mouths and/or other deformities that they try to hide from others. Creepy but great. Will scare you away from sex for a few days after finishing it.

2) All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 7) by Charlaine Harris
no comment.

3) Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
autobiographical (I think) fiction about upper middle class black kids summering in the Hamptons in the 80s. I read this after "I'm Down" which was a nice contrast. Recommend: yes

4) From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse Book 8) (audio) by Charlaine Harris
5) Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse Book 9) (audio) by Charlaine Harris
6) Dead in the Family (#10) by Charlaine Harris (audio)
7) Dead Reckoning (#11) by Charlaine Harris (audio)

Now I'm caught up on this series. Spoiler Alert: By book 11 she's been with Eric for way longer than she ever was with Bill. which is fine by me.

8) For the Win by Cory Doctorow (audio)
Ugh. Barely finished this. I liked "little brother" okay and I liked the concept of this one (Chinese gold farmers spark a revolution) but this had more "fail" than "win". Too long, and diverges into didactic discussions of pyramid schemes, labor theory that don't move the plot along. Additionally, the author fails to make his point about worker exploitation: gold farming in China is probably a better job than 90% of other unskilled/factory labor, and the Indian boss seems reasonable until the author suddenly tells us that he is evil and must be stopped. The whole idea that a gamers union would fly in the third world (unless workers were chained to a pc and not allowed bathroom breaks or were regularly beaten or something like that) didn't work for me. Not gonna read anything else by this guy.

Currently reading: Jonathan Franzen's Freedom. on disc 8 of 19, but it moves fairly quickly. I like it so far but it hits a little close to home since I'm the same age as the lead character.
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Books read, 1st quarter [Apr. 12th, 2011|11:53 pm]
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 FIC:
1) Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
3rd in a series, really phoned in. disappointing.

2) Dead to the World : A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris
My guilty pleasure. Shut up.

3) Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris (audio)
An interesting experiment but not as compelling as his autobiographical stuff. Fun on audio, though.

4) Dead as a Doornail : A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris
See #2.

5) The Lace Reader: A Novel by Brunonia Barry (audio)
multigenerational fortunetellers in Salem, murder mystery. I remember this book had book club buzz a few years ago but I didn't see it. B-.

6) Puss 'n Cahoots (A Mrs. Murphy Mystery) by Rita Mae Brown
My other guilty pleasure. Not aging well but whatever.

7) Catching Fire (#2, Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins
see #10

8) Chew Volume 1: Taster's Choice by John Layman
Dark graphic novel about a guy who can eat things and see their history who becomes a sort of spy. Amusing. Will read sequels.

9) 13 reasons why Jay Asher - (audio)
Teen novel about suicide. Dead girl leaves cassettes for friends and enemies explaining her logic for offing herself. Melodramatic but compelling. good on audio.

10) Mockingjay (#3, Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins
I enjoyed this series, though the 2nd and 3rd books really moved the story in a different direction than I expected. Recommended.

11) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (audio)
Fiction book about terrorism and innocent kids being detained for acting suspicious. The cool part is that real world hacks (how to defeat RFIDs, etc) are woven into the narrative so it's the Anarchist's Cookbook disguised as a novel. The not cool part is that the 17 year old protagonist's father is a librarian who quickly caves in to the "it's okay to give up civil liberties for safety" stance. Doctorow really ought to have known better and made the dad a realtor or a hotel manager or something less fraught with cognitive dissonance. C+

12) purrfect murder (A Mrs. Murphy Mystery) by Rita Mae Brown (Audio)
13) Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 6) by Charlaine Harris
no comment.

Non Fiction:
1) The Best American Crime Reporting 2010
Assorted pieces from magazines on crimes from murder to fraud. Worthwhile if you like these kinds of compilations, which I do.

2) The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes (audio)
A little dry, but nice contrarian look at FDR and his cabinet. Made me appreciate Hoover more than I had previously.

3)The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment by A. J. Jacobs (audio)
Collection of assorted magazine pieces by the author of "The know-it-all" and "the year of living Biblically". Okay, but nothing amazing. Read by the author, which is seldom a good idea but was bearable here.

4) I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley (Audio)
Humorous essays by a less-bitchy Chelsea Handler type. read by the author, but it worked here. A little too NYC 20 something hip literary scene for me, but would recommend.

5) The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8. Lee
A+. I knew chop suey was a US invention and that what we call Chinese food is nothing like what folks in China eat, but this book goes into so much more detail and keeps it interesting. If you ever wanted to know who pioneered the idea of Chinese food delivery and littering your apt lobby with takeout menus, here ya go.

6) Driving Like Crazy: Thirty Years of Vehicular Hell-Bending Celebrating America the Way It's Supposed to Be - with an Oil Well in Every Backyard, a Cadillac Escalade in Every Carport, and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Mowing Our Lawn by P. J. O'Rourke (audio)

Collection of PJ's car journalism, which is not nearly as interesting as his international/foreign policy stuff. Includes the infamous "How to drive fast while on drugs while getting your wing-wang squeezed and not spill your drink" piece. Loses a letter grade for 1) announcing a different subtitle on the audiobook than appears on the hardcover 2) leaving off the last chapter/afterword from the hardcover on the audio. I suspect the reading was done from the galleys, which is NOT COOL. C-.

7)The Best American Crime Reporting 2009
See #1. Fun fact learned from the piece on retail shoplifting: Target has it's own CSI-type crime lab for fingerprint evidence to expedite prosecutions of organized crime shoplifting rings. The lab collects fingerprint evidence according to federal standards and chain of evidence rules since cops are too busy to deal with shoplifting cases, even ones in the several thousand dollar range.

8) This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson (audio)
I'd read this author's book on obituaries "The Dead Beat" before this book was even released, so naturally I had to read this. a little fangirlish but had no real errors to speak of. She seems to think Second Life is the future of reference outreach (I don't) but her vignettes are interesting. Nice coverage of special collections/archives issues. Not sure how interesting it would be to non library lovers.
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I have a job again, at least for a while. [Feb. 14th, 2011|10:34 pm]
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 I'm finally working again,  at a stand-alone suburban public library, full time, on a temporary nebulous appointment. I'm guessing I'll be there 6 to 9 months. I really like it so far, and the staff and patrons are great.

However, jumping back into public library work during tax time, especially during the Great Booklet Drought of '11, has been challenging. The patrons mostly understand that the library isn't responsible for the delays, but everyone's frustrated and anxious that the booklets didn't arrive until February. Every other phone call is about tax forms.

Welcome back!
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I am a scientist, for reals. Here is my research. [Jan. 10th, 2011|02:00 pm]
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I have two FB friends with an autistic kid who are refusing to accept the whole "Wakefield faked his data and we can stop talking about vaccines causing autism now" news. One of them is even posting poison pen comments to Paul Offit and posting "vaccines in fact do cause autism, and attacking Dr. Wakefield is never gonna change that".

So now that I understand that discredited data is still good enough to convince people who want to believe something badly enough, I would like to share some of the causal relationships my lifetime research has discovered. This research was peer-reviewed by people at the office water cooler, who said, "Yeah, that sounds about right."

1) The decline in the American education system is related to sneakers being considered acceptable everyday shoes for non-athletic pursuits.

It used to be athletic shoes were only seen in a gym, a playing field, or as part of an athletic uniform. When we as a nation decided it was not an egregious lack of class and decorum to wear them everyday to school and work, we see a correlation between sneakers and poor academic performance. This is because the difference in shoe tightness between loafers/wingtips and tennis shoes causes the brain to lose focus and be easily distracted. A graph showing the footwear market share of Nike/Converse/Reebok  over the last 4 decades and the decline in high school standardized test scores since 1972 is available upon request.

A follow-up study on wearing sweatpants to the grocery store causing poor parking skills is in progress.

2) Peanut allergies are caused by having access to more channels on cable television.

According to infallible source wikipedia, "The number of young children affected (by peanut allergies) doubled between 1997 and 2002". In 1997, my cable subscription gave me about 20 channels. By 2002, I had over 50 channels for the same basic cable plan. COINCIDENCE?!? Parents who want to avoid raising a child with nut allergies are advised to cancel their cable subscriptions immediately.

3) People who own more than 30 hardcover books* take better care of their cats than non-readers.

Scoff all you want, but data proves that people with substantial book collections are 60% less likely to bring their cats to the vet for emergencies than people who only have magazines and paperbacks in their homes. In multiple studies,  librarians have both the most impressive book collections and the healthiest cats, possibly meaning that organizing one's books in a logical classification on the shelf causes a positive immune response in cats who sleep near the bookshelves.

*excluding cookbooks or technical manuals

I've forwarded my research to the MacArthur folks and will be expecting my Genius Grant any day now, but I wanted my LJ friends to know about it first.



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Books read, 4th quarter 2010 [Jan. 5th, 2011|01:41 pm]
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 Fiction:

1) Dexter by Design - Jeffry Lindsay
2) Dexter is Delicious - Jeffry Lindsay

Books 4 and 5 in the series, and now I'm caught up. The variance between who got killed off in the TV series and who's killed in the books varies wildly, and the whole "Barrel girls" plot of last season doesn't even appear here. Enjoyable but the TV show is better, believe it or not.

3) Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris
4) Club Dead - Charlaine Harris

Books 2 and 3 in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I swear I didn't mean to read so many novels that spawned cable shows, but that's the way the library hold list worked out. These are enjoyable despite knowing they're fiction junk food, kinda like when you really crave Mcdonald's fries, eat them, and then feel guilty for eating them. Not really liking this whole werewolf subplot in the the books or the TV show.

5) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Steig Larsson
Almost as good as the hype, but overly long. I saw the movie before I finished this, which I thought did a better job in telling the story by cutting out the sub-plots about labor history and Swedish magazine publishing. Would recommend, and certainly a better written "book even non-readers are reading" book than the Da Vinci Code was.

6) The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
YA dystopian novel about a televised Survivor type game featuring 24 children killing each other, with the last kid standing winning riches and comfort. Think Battle Royale, but American. Also a fair amount of rebel alliance/class warfare plot elements. Anyway, very compelling and I literally read it all in one sitting. Now in line for part 2 of the trilogy.

Graphic novels: (used to list these in NF as per Dewey classification, but I think they need a separate section)

7) Embroideries  - Marjane Satrapi
Meh. Bunch of Iranian ladies sitting around talking about marriage, husbands, female oppression and lady parts. Might have been compelling as part of a longer narrative, but read more like walking in on a coffee klatsch where you don't know anyone or their background stories.

8) Persepolis 2 -Marjane Satrapi
Better than the above, but not as good as Persepolis. Still, a compelling insight into what it was like to live in Iran during the revolution and the Iran/Iraq war.

9) James Kochalka's Magic Boy & Robot Elf - James Kochalka
Gift from my mom. Didn't really care for it. Simultaneously weird and precious, which didn't work for me.

10) A.D: New Orleans after the Deluge - Josh Neufeld
Katrina narrative. Not as good as I'd hoped, but compelling.

Non fiction:

11) National Lampoon Road Trip USA: All the Places your Dad Never Stopped at - Harmon Leon
Travelogue to crappy or uncomfortable places, such as towns with Klan heritage or boar hunting ranches. Funny, but funny in the way that makes you want to wash your hands.

12) Role Models - John Waters
Essays about people who John Waters admires, including artists, amateur pornographers, and repentant Manson girl Leslie van Houten, and Johnny Mathis (really). Great fun if you're a fan of his films.

13) Getting into Guinness: One Man's Longest, Fastest, Highest Journey inside the World's Most Famous Record Book- Larry Olmsted
History of the record book and profiles of people who set out to get into the book multiple times (including the author, who set a "playing golf in multiple countries in one day" record and a marathon poker record. Fun but forgettable.

14) Gastroanomalies: Questionable Culinary Creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery - James Lileks
Like the Gallery of Regrettable Food - same idea, still funny.

15) Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice - James Lileks
Probably funnier if you've actually read parenting books, but I enjoyed it. It's amazing that there was once controversy about giving babies laudanum to stop their crying (spoiler alert: you shouldn't)

16) Earth (the Book) A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race
Daily Show humor book, like "America (the book)". I liked it though 2 weeks later I can't remember any of the jokes in it that made me laugh.
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Status report [Nov. 11th, 2010|12:11 am]
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 Still unemployed. Still not really happy about it, but whatever. I'm applying for (at least) my requisite 3 jobs a week but I haven't seen anything yet that screams "Pick me!"

Went to two meetups this week in an effort to network and be social. Mostly succeeded in the social part but left feeling a little doomed. As much as I'm trying to retool my library and writing skills into a career in private industry, I fear I'm tainted by being labeled A Librarian. In some fields the MLIS degree is an asset and people know what it generally means as far as skills possessed, but I often feel like despite 2 years of cataloguing experience, private industry employers look at me and think storytime and circulation, despite the fact that I've done almost none of either.

3 weeks into book research. I've told a few people what the topic is but for now I want to keep it on the down low. Suffice to say its non fiction, NOT a memoir, confessional, or triumphant story of my battle with (foo), and requires a bunch of book and web research and a tiny amount of talking to people. Luckily, the book isn't time sensitive, so if I can't finish it for 2 years, it will still be relevant, assuming no one else poaches the topic in the meantime. To really do it right, there are some research libraries on the West Coast I'd like to visit, which I of course have the time to do, but need to figure out the logistics/ road trip schedule for. If you're in the Bay area and hankerin' for me to visit for two to three days, lemme know, because having a place to stay and someone to dish with will basically be the deciding factor to get me on the road and into the sweet, sweet arms of Special Collections.

Still painting the basement. Could conceivably be finished before the year is up, but really, what's my hurry? not like there's anywhere I have to be anytime soon. sigh.
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