Friday, February 14, 2020

Fiction For Valentine's Day

50 States of Love 
From sea to shining sea, the NY Times created a tour of unforgettable fiction that explores matters of the heart.

Chosen for Washington is...
David Guterson, “Snow Falling on Cedars

On an island in Puget Sound in 1954, the body of a fisherman is pulled out of the sea, trapped in his own net. ​A Japanese-American man is charged with his murder, and the ensuing trial leads the town’s newspaper editor to reflect on his long repressed love for the accused man’s wife. The novel, which became a best seller and was adapted into a 1999 feature film, explores the sometimes porous line between unrequited love and resentment, and how deep-seated animosity and fear can erode a community.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Read Woke

Mississippi School librarian Cicely Lewis created the Read Woke School Reading Challenge

Woke? It’s a feeling. A form of education. A call to action, and our right as lifelong learners. It means arming yourself with knowledge to better protect your rights. Learning about others so you treat people with respect and dignity, no matter their religion, race, creed, or color.

Cicely Lewis concluded that a Woke Book must:
• Challenge a social norm
• Give voice to the voiceless
• Provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised
• Seek to challenge the status quo
• Have a protagonist from an underrepresented or oppressed group
Get a little more woke with these fiction and nonfiction titles from Ms. Lewis' #ReadWoke book list.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Hooray For Libraries, Cuz That's Entertainment!

In 2019, more Americans went to the library than to the movies. Yes, really. 
According to a recent Gallup poll (the first such survey since 2001), visiting the local library remains by far the most common cultural activity Americans engage in. As reported earlier today by Justin McCarthy: “Visiting the library remains the most common cultural activity Americans engage in, by far. The average 10.5 trips to the library U.S. adults report taking in 2019 exceeds their participation in eight other common leisure activities. Literary Hub

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Book Murderer?

A single tweet about slicing books in half to make them more portable has split Twitter in two.

Alex Christofi, a senior editor at Oneworld Publications, tweeted an image of several large books cut in half, saying he does this in order to make it easier to carry the books around.

He added that because of this habit, a colleague had deemed him a "book murderer."

As of Tuesday afternoon, Christofi's tweet had been responded to more than 7,000 times, and Twitter created a moment around the tweet.

In a matter of hours, Twitter users began a rabid debate about whether the methodology was an acceptable way to read. NBC News
Do you have strong feelings about cutting books in half? Add a comment!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The NY Public Library Has Calculated Its Most Checked-Out Books

The New York Public Library Through the Years slide show
The New York Public Library has been loaning books for a long time — the institution turns 125 this year. To celebrate, the library dug into its records and calculated a list of the 10 books that have been checked out the most in its history. The most-wanted book? The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. NPR
The list also includes a surprising addendum: One of the most beloved children’s books of all time didn’t make the list because for 25 years it was essentially banned from the New York Public Library. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, would have made the Top 10 list and might have topped it, the library notes, but for the fact that “influential New York Public Library children’s librarian Anne Carroll Moore disliked the story so much when it was published in 1947 that the Library didn’t carry it … until 1972.” Who was Anne Carroll Moore, and what was her problem with the great Goodnight Moon? Slate

Friday, January 10, 2020

Transformed School Hallway

Students of Mundelein High returned from break to find six floor-to-ceiling book covers lining the corridor of the school's English department.

The vinyl prints, which wrap around sections of wall like the jackets of giant books, flank the doorways of three of the school's English classrooms. (learn how it happened)

The project has proven popular on social media, where it was greeted with cheers of "awesome", "fantastic" and "amazing". BBC

The images of the large book covers also moved other teachers to share examples of similar projects designed to inspire students at their own schools.

Nate Djupstrom, a teacher from Michigan, shared a photograph of lockers painted to look like the books of the Harry Potter series.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

"Untitled (Iraq Book Project)"

Installation view of Rachel Khedoori’s “Untitled (Iraq Book Project),” 2008-2010. Matthew Septimus.
“Untitled (Iraq Book Project)” (2008-10), by the Australian Rachel Khedoori, who is of Iraqi-Jewish descent, fills a large room with long tables that bear seventy large books, each of about seven hundred pages, which are jammed with run-on text in a nine-point, typewriter-like Courier font. I estimate the over-all word count to be well north of a hundred million. What’s printed is every article Khedoori could find online, starting in March of 2003, that contains the word “Iraq,” “Iraqi,” or “Baghdad.” All were written in—or have been translated into—English: globalization’s lingua franca. Dip in. Stools that can be wheeled around, from table to table, are provided, and you may turn pages. You will encounter passages of perfectly fine journalistic prose that is taut with the urgency of breaking news—some of which, inevitably, you read once and, after some hours of searching the chronological sequence, might read again. The work made me feel, strongly, two things: helpless and serene. With a disarming tranquillity, it materializes the maddening torrent of news and views that can’t be adequately comprehended, any more than a teacup can collect a waterfall. The room is evenly lit and quiet. Nothing glows or clicks or hums. So much art in the show importunes. Khedoori’s left me in peace, with the welcoming, chaste beauty of the open books in an afternoon that felt spacious and unhurried. I almost felt like setting up a cot and moving in. New Yorker Review: THE ART OF WAR IN “THEATER OF OPERATIONS”