Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon by David West Reynolds

I am a space dork.

I have always been fascinated by the heady rush for the moon of the 1960s, and wish I could have lived during those exciting years. This book is right up my alley...filled with beautiful photographs, diagrams, and engaging prose about the space race of the 1960s. I thought it would just be a book to flip through, but I found myself reading every page, every caption, and lingering over the photos.

I am a space dork, and I loved this book. :-)

After seeing a post from I Love a Good Mystery, I decided to compile my own (fairly short) list of authors of whom I've read 10 or more books. And the nominees are...

  • Nevada Barr
  • Enid Blyton
  • Meg Cabot
  • Michael Crichton
  • Janet Evanovich
  • Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Robert Jordan
  • Nora Roberts
  • Danielle Steel
In my own defense, I went through a Danielle Steel phase whilst in high school. Haven't read her for years. I promise.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head...maybe more to come...

Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot

As you are all now very aware, I love all things Meg Cabot. This was one of her YA novels I had not yet read, and decided to grab as a quick read.

This novel is set in Regency times (with the obligatory headstrong heiress and scoundrel earl), a true departure for Cabot. I must admit, though I love Meg, this is probably my least favorite of her novels. Though cute and well written, it just didn't have the same humor and spunk as her other novels, and I found it more "forced" than her other titles.

If you like YA and Regency times, this will be up your alley, but it wasn't among my favorites.

But still, I love Meg. :-)

Prey by Michael Crichton

I haven't read any Crichton in a long time, but I was desperate for a new audiobook, since I knew I was going to be in the car a lot this month - so I grabbed Prey.

What an interesting novel! Crichton really is great at grabbing your attention and pacing it throughout the novel. The only shortcoming is the same as in every novel he writes...he starts off with a bang, hooks you, then launches into a too-complicated science lesson. You nod off, half understanding, until he grabs you again.

This is doubly so with an audiobook!

Still, it was a suspenseful read, and I really enjoyed it!

Note: I listened to the audio edition, narrated by George Wilson. Wilson's pitch and tone were perfect, and he injected a lot of punch, even into the science lesson. A great reader!

Callgirl by Jeannette Angell

Angell's book is exactly what you expect from the title and the cover...the story of her double life. After an ex-boyfriend wiped out her savings,she became a college lecturer by day and callgirl by night.

Angell makes the point over and over that she was highly educated, dispassionate about her "work", and needed the money. The book discusses her work (with all the expected lurid details), drug usage, sad stories of other girls, and her ultimate decision to quit.

The book was like a car wreck - you just couldn't look away. I found myself really disliking Angell, which made it hard to sympathize or really reach out to her as the main "character". The subject matter is always shocking and controversial, but this is certainly a new look at the typical "hooker".

Received today, in the form of a Christmas card, in my library mail stack.

Thanks for the article in Indiana Libraries!

This was sent by an ILF member who lives in North Carolina.

I got all warm and fuzzy-like. Yay for helpful bibliographies! :-)

Memories of Summer by Ruth White

This is one of those YA novels I picked up just based on the watercolory cover.

This short novel begins, continues and ends exactly as you would predict, making it a less than enthralling tale. However, White's writing is pleasant enough, and she did try to tackle the difficult topic of schizophrenia in the 1950s.

I give it a rating of "eh"...

How cool is it that the DNC has a blog, complete with RSS feeds?

How cool is it that Howard Dean is the new Chairman of the DNC?

How not cool is it that according to a calculator created by Senate Democrats, I'm totally screwed by Bush's new Social Security plan?

I've been the sole contributor to the APL blog since its inception (also led by yours truly), and I really have a good time deciding what to post for our patrons. Some of it is serious, some of it is silly, and some of it is pretty straightforward. Just for kicks (and to prove that I'm not just wasting time at work by updating), I decided to do the "Google for Your Ego" thing on our blog.

(You know, where you search for yourself on Google. Admit it, you've done it too.)

I got some really nice hits that made my day!

Alexandrian Public Library. One of the dozen blogging librarians at Saint Joseph County Public Library, South Bend, Indiana, told me today of good weblog from a smallish library, Alexandrian Public Library, in Mount Vernon, Indiana. Dig the cool background, but most of all dig the way the writers are trying out ways to serve their community. Complete with an Atom feed! --Weblogs in Higher Education

Thanks, you cool kids at SJCPL!

Blogs are a great way to get information out to your users. Many public libraries are using blogs as news sites, introduce new books for readers advisory, patron events and information, etc. For example Bensenville Public Library -Readers Advisory for New Fiction is a blog guiding readers to new books. The Alexandrian Public Library - What's happening at their library, is more than just about news at the library it has general information that patrons might want to know, such as recent blog entry on voter registration and links to sites regarding the various issues. --The Krafty Librarian

Hey! Thanks, Krafty!

We were even cited in a presentation about blogs given at the Michigan Library Association fall conference! Nice!

You may not be an APL patron, but you should subscribe to our feed. It would make my day to see more subscribers in Bloglines!

In the words of the delightful Maire, I have become a feed whore.

I live for looking at the latest in my Bloglines. I surf for feeds to add all the time. I love the immediacy of RSS, and I'm forever trying to explain to other folks about this cool technology and how they should hop on the bandwagon.

I am a feed whore.

So what has this blog been so woefully neglected for so long?

No more!

I don't know what the criteria will be for me to post things here...might be fun links, might be librarian drivel, might be political screaming or author gushing. I'll be sure to post every book review here that I post at belletristic, that I know for sure. Other than that, there's no telling what might pop up here. I'll try and minimize the "day in the life" entries of Marissa's world, as I have another corner of the web for that. We'll see what shakes out.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that NASCAR will probably pop up as a topic here from time to time. ;-)

Let's get this blog goin', y'all!

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

This really isn't a book with a beginning, a middle and an end. Instead it's more of a stream of consciousness tale from seventeen year old Nomi Nickel.

Nomi, born into a society of Mennonites, spends this novel trying to figure out why her mother and sister left, trying to find herself, trying to stay stoned or numb for as long as possible, and just trying to figure it all out.

It really took some getting used to in reading this novel, but ultimately, I enjoyed it.

< excerpt >

Anyway, said Travis. We did this thing where I lie on my back in the grass and he stands at my feet really rigidly with his arms straight out like he's on a cross and then he falls forward and I scream quietly and he puts his hands down at the last second, mere inches away from crushing my body. After that we just sat around sniffing purple gas for a while, lighting matches and flicking them off into the dark, and I asked him if he wanted to go halfers with me on "Wish You Were Here". He said what if we break up which made me kind of sulk a bit and made him act tough like he'd have four thousand girlfriends in his life and I stopped talking except to answer his questions.

< /excerpt >

The whole book is written just.like.that.