25 February 2009

Jeanie Welch on Jeopardy!

Let's hear it for the retired librarian from the University of North Carolina who did so well on Jeopardy! this week.
I wonder how old she is? She only looked to be about 50. I wonder if she retired as soon as she could with the NC state PERS system.

11 February 2009

Nuns versus Librarians

Maybe you have heard of the nuns versus librarians spelling bee.

Today a library patron told me I looked like a nun (FYI: I was wearing a blue J. C. Penney's dress, Kmart sneakers, and my hair in a bun, but not wearing a crucifix or veil. I was also wearing my wedding ring).

I replied that I did have a nun in my family (the truth).

07 February 2009

What's on My Desk February 2009

Book of Happy Endings by Elise Valmorbida. Adult nonfiction. DONE.
I checked this one out because of the title. I thought I needed to read a happy book - not a murder, rape, etc. book.
I recommend this book. If it has been a while since you have read a Chicken Soup for the Soul kind of book, then it is time to pick this one up. The author has interviewed a large number of people and asked them to tell of their romantic happy ending. These are realistic romantic endings, where one dies of old age and the other carries on, or they are parted by war, then years later reunite, etc.
She has added some photographs which don't seem to have anything to do with the book, except that maybe they are sort of romantic.
The author says she is an Italian who grew up in Australia and lives in London. Her stories are from all over the world. I think I caught some inaccuracies in regional spelling and speech, such as the American writing Mr Jones instead of Mr. Jones (with the period), and saying she retired to bed (what American talks like this? I think the British do, though) but these are forgivable.
This is a clean book that can be shared with a teenage daughter or elderly relative. There is one story of homosexual love (just to warn you) and not every couple marry, but, again, this is not meant to be a Christian book but a contemporary love book.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Adult fiction. DONE.
Another thumbs up for a good title. This isn't one of those ambiguous Ghost or Cars - type titles.
The author uses a series of (fictional) letters to relate how residents of occupied Guernsey island lived during World War II. It is at times comedic and romantic, but not heavy on the romance. I don't even think the romantic characters ever kiss.
In our book discussion we discussed that some of the story line doesn't go anywhere. We suspect that this is because the author died while writing it and it was finished by her niece.
Maybe there will be a sequel where we find out more about the memorable characters that were created in this book.
I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole and Maxie Chambliss.
Welcome to Your World, Baby by Brooke Shields and Cori Doerrfeld.
Children's fiction ages 3-6.
Both of these books are about the positive changes that come when a baby is added to a family that already has one girl. They tell the big sister that she can help by doing things like entertaining the baby and teaching the baby the ABC's and 123's.
When You Were Inside Mommy by Joanna Cole and Maxie Chambliss. Children's Nonfiction, ages 3-6. DONE.
This is a straightforward book about pregnancy and birth. They use the word "womb" but not vagina, which will probably lead children to still wonder how the baby gets out unless they are somehow otherwise informed.
Love the Baby by Steven Layne and Ard Hoyt. Children's Fiction, ages 3-5.
Everyone tells the bunny to "love the baby" but the bunny has to make up his own mind whether to love the baby or not. It is kind of presumptuous to TELL somebody to love another. I wouldn't think that a parent who thought this out would do this to his or her child, but some probably do.
Disney the Little Mermaid Ariel's Beginning. Children's Fiction, ages 5-7.
This is an okay book, but it makes more sense if you have seen the movie. DONE.
Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing! by Patricia Hubbell, Megan Halsey, and Sean Addy Children's Fiction, ages 4-6. DONE.
Classic advertising images and stereotypical thoughts about trains blend together in these collage pages about different kinds of trains through the years.
Blue's Sniffly Day. Children's Fiction ages 3-5.
Blue from Blue's Clues has a cold and her friends make her soup and a get well card. Cute.
Disney Pixar Wall-E Smash Trash! Children's Fiction ages 4-6.
The lettering and words are very simple, making this a good read-on-your-own book for a young reader.
The author drones on about how his family is like Lewis and Clark and how they are NOT like Lewis and Clark, but does not make it very interesting. I get the impression I wouldn't want to be stuck in the car with him for miles on end. Read Bill Bryson or Tom Bodett instead. Even better, listen to their books on tape.