Friday, May 25, 2012

What I'm Reading: Laughing Without An Accent

Laughing Without An Accent
by Firoozeh Dumas
Random House, 2008

Summary in a Sentence:

The author describes her experiences being an Iranian American in both the United States and abroad, and explains cross-cultural issues she has faced, as well as her experiences with motherhood. 

Read it if...

you too used to be embarrassed by how crazy your parents were but now simply find their insanity endearing. 4 stars.

Read the Reviews:

CaribousmomS. Krishna's Books | The Novel World


 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Books by Theme: Traveling With Friends

Friendship with oneself is all-important because without it
one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
 ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner

If you're a 20-something working and living in New York City, you're living the dream -- right? Not if you're Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, or Amanda Pressner. The trio of friends -- wondering if the paths they were on were the right ones -- left their apartments, jobs, and boyfriends behind to embark on a year-long adventure around the world, visiting four continents and more than ten countries, including Peru, Kenya, Vietnam, India, and Australia. Though there are difficulties (could you hang out with your two besties for a year without getting on each other's nerves a bit?), there are also a lot of amazing experiences, such as traveling down the Amazon and volunteering at a girls' orphanage in Kenya.


by Bill Bryson

Bestselling American travel writer Bill Bryson thought hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) with his friend and former college roommate would be a great idea. After all, he'd been living in England for 20 years, so it'd be nice to reconnect with his native land and an old buddy...but he had no idea what he was getting himself into. The two out-of-shape 40-somethings set off from Georgia in March with plans to walk the entire 2,100 miles to Maine before winter -- but they only made it to Tennessee before they realized that their original plan might be too ambitious. Combined with the pair's amusing adventures and encounters with other hikers are descriptions of nature and a history of the storied AT. 


by Susan Jane Gilman

Some ideas that seem great at 4 a.m. in a pancake house after a night of drinking turn into a nightmare once implemented. For example, in 1986, two soon-to-be Brown University grads who hadn't traveled very much decided to explore the world...starting in newly opened communist China! Just a few months later, Susan Jane Gilman and Claire Van Houten (a pseudonym) were in Mao country armed with the collected works of Nietzsche, an astrology book, and their wits. Before long, they're losing their wits and facing culture shock, illness, military police, and a severe strain on their friendship.

by Danny Wallace

British humorist and TV host Danny Wallace had a bit of a crisis as his 30th birthday approached. He realized that he'd become something of an adult (i.e. he ate healthily and had throw pillows on his couch) -- and was shocked by the idea. At the same time, Danny's parents sent him a box of his childhood things, including an old address book. The aging Danny then had a brilliantly quirky idea: he'd track down long-ago childhood friends, no matter where on earth they were, and hang out with them. Though this isn't your traditional travelogue, armchair travelers -- especially those approaching a milestone birthday, such as 30 or 40 -- will enjoy this trip around the world and into the 1980s (like, totally!).

 

Monday, May 21, 2012

What I'm Reading: You Know When The Men Are Gone

You Know When The Men Are Gone
by Siobhan Fallon
Amy Einhorn Books, 2011

Summary in a Sentence:

A collection of loosely-connected short stories that describe the lives of military wives at Fort Hood, Texas, and relate their experiences of life when the men are deployed.

Read it if...

you are not usually a fan of short stories (like me), or if you want to read about the Iraq war and its effects on the homefront from an unsentimental perspective. 4.5 stars.

Read the Reviews:

Everyday I Write the Book | Devourer of Books | The Book Lady's Blog


 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Libraries in the News

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
 -Albert Einstein



 10 ways Maurice Sendak defined your childhood
Josh Wolk writes: “The brilliant and hauntingly mischievous works of Maurice Sendak, who died May 8 at 83, are as universal a staple of early childhood as a pacifier or a tantrum. One of our great intergenerational commonalities is the sense memory of sitting either on a parent’s lap or paging through the illustrations on a bedroom floor, both mesmerized and giddily unnerved by Sendak’s naughty protagonists. Herewith, our tribute to a man who never patronized children with worlds with sanded-off corners or reductively callow lessons.”...
Vulture, May 8


D.C. officials feel the heat over school library cuts
A spring proposal by District of Columbia officials to eliminate more than 50 school librarian jobs for the next academic year has triggered a public relations nightmare for the city council, where the proposal originated. Members of the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization are determined to fight a spring decision by schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson to defund school librarian posts at schools with less than 300 students and let principals of larger schools decide whether to reallocate their librarians’ salaries. “If this situation were to remain unchanged, 58 schools would have no librarian,” grassroots activist Peter MacPherson said....

American Libraries news, May 4


Petition seeks return of Dirty Cowboy
More than 230 people have signed an online petition that seeks to have the children’s book The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake returned to the shelves of the Annville-Cleona (Pa.) School District. The school board voted unanimously in April to remove the book based on the objection of one student’s parents. Illustrator Adam Rex uses various items, such as birds, a boot, and a cloud of dust, to cover the cowboy’s private parts while he is bathing and then while he is attempting to put his clothes back on....
Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News, May 7