Sunday, July 30, 2017

What I Read This Week: July 30, 2017

This was one of those weeks that just sorta fluttered by. I know I did stuff but none of it was remarkable. The Husband and I started watching random episodes of Top Gear and now we're both excited for The Grand Tour to return. Aside from that, we hosted a pretty awesome dinner with some of our friends last night. Now if only it would stop raining...

  • Work
    • College and Research Libraries News, July/August 2017 - Firstly, what is up with the cover pictures. It's a bit odd. Moving on. While I skimmed the majority of this issue, I did like the piece discussing the new roles and strengths of teaching librarians.
  • Magazines
    • Washingtonian, August 2017 - From the cover, I thought this would be an issue I skimmed through quickly. Surprisingly, I read the majority of the issue. The spread on weekend getaways was very well done. It was organized by kind of getaway and each category had drive times, options, and recommendations. There is now a tree house in Virginia I want
      to spend the night in. The short piece on local ice cream places made my mouth water. Finally, there was a short review by a reporter who spent the night in an upscale pet hotel. I thought that was hilarious.
    • National Geographic, August 2017 - I might have squeed a little bit when this issue arrived in the mailbox. I absolutely love when Nat Geo covers space cause the articles are always great and pictures are pretty. This was true for this issue but in a slightly different way. The article was great  - but the pictures highlighted future moon probes which are still earth-bound. The article on Astronaut Scott Kelly was also good but, again, more earth-bound like pictures. Finally, the article on open defecation around the world surprised me. This is a topic that most people in the developed world don't think about which is exactly why Nat Geo included the article. Definitely worth the read.
  • Books
    • I'm about halfway through Before the Fall. It's really good and somehow seems relevant for the times... I just keep falling asleep after five pages. Damn my ability to fall asleep easily! I want to read more!
  • Other
    • The New York Times posted a rather good piece on the Cambridges and sartorial diplomacy.
    • The Washington Post sent out an email alert this week about a long but utterly fascinating story about how modern DNA testing is uncovering lost stories and family trees.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Friday Find: Game of Travel

The Husband and I have slowly been working our way through the Game of Thrones HBO series. George R.R. Martin has created such an interesting world that I (almost) want to travel to it. I think, however, it would be safer for me to just hang these posters in our hallway.
You can find these (and others) in TheSeventhArtShop on Etsy.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Variations on a Theme: Maps

At work, I am creating an exhibit on the art of the book. Part of this project has me traipsing through the stacks looking for pretty bindings and end papers. Some of my favorite end papers happen to be maps. This spurred an idea for this month's Variations on a Themes. Here's a list of books on maps and map-making.

Jerry Brotton

Throughout history, maps have been fundamental in shaping our view of the world, and our place in it. But far from being purely scientific objects, maps of the world are unavoidably ideological and subjective, intimately bound up with the systems of power and authority of particular times and places. Mapmakers do not simply represent the world, they construct it out of the ideas of their age. In this scintillating book, Jerry Brotton examines the significance of 12 maps - from the almost mystical representations of ancient history to the satellite-derived imagery of today. He vividly recreates the environments and circumstances in which each of the maps was made, showing how each conveys a highly individual view of the world. Brotton shows how each of his maps both influenced and reflected contemporary events and how, by considering it in all its nuances and omissions, we can better understand the world that produced it. Although the way we map our surroundings is more precise than ever before, Brotton argues that maps today are no more definitive or objective than they have ever been. Readers of this beautifully illustrated and masterfully argued book will never look at a map in quite the same way again.

Simon Garfield

Imagine a world without maps. How would we travel? Could we own land? What would men and women argue about in cars? Scientists have even suggested that mapping—not language—is what elevated our prehistoric ancestors from ape-dom. Follow the history of maps from the early explorers’ maps and the awe-inspiring medieval Mappa Mundi to Google Maps and the satellite renderings on our smartphones, Garfield explores the unique way that maps relate and realign our history—and reflect the best and worst of what makes us human. Featuring a foreword by Dava Sobel and packed with fascinating tales of cartographic intrigue, outsize personalities, and amusing “pocket maps” on an array of subjects from how to fold a map to the strangest maps on the Internet, On the Map is a rich historical tapestry infused with Garfield’s signature narrative flair. Map-obsessives and everyone who loved Just My Type will be lining up to join Garfield on his audacious journey through time and around the globe.

Ken Jennings

It comes as no surprise that, as a kid, Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings slept with a bulky Hammond world atlas by his pillow every night. Maphead recounts his lifelong love affair with geography and explores why maps have always been so fascinating to him and to fellow enthusiasts everywhere. Jennings takes readers on a world tour of geogeeks from the London Map Fair to the bowels of the Library of Congress, from the prepubescent geniuses at the National Geographic Bee to the computer programmers at Google Earth. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the “unreal estate” charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy. He also considers the ways in which cartography has shaped our history, suggesting that the impulse to make and read maps is as relevant today as it has ever been. From the “Here be dragons” parchment maps of the Age of Discovery to the spinning globes of grade school to the postmodern revolution of digital maps and GPS, Maphead is filled with intriguing details, engaging anecdotes, and enlightening analysis. If you’re an inveterate map lover yourself—or even if you’re among the cartographically clueless who can get lost in a supermarket—let Ken Jennings be your guide to the strange world of mapheads.

Tim Marshall

Maps have a mysterious hold over us. Whether ancient, crumbling parchments or generated by Google, maps tell us things we want to know, not only about our current location or where we are going but about the world in general. And yet, when it comes to geo-politics, much of what we are told is generated by analysts and other experts who have neglected to refer to a map of the place in question. All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. In “one of the best books about geopolitics” (The Evening Standard), now updated to include 2016 geopolitical developments, journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the US, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic—their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders—to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders. Offering “a fresh way of looking at maps” (The New York Times Book Review), Marshall explains the complex geo-political strategies that shape the globe. Why is Putin so obsessed with Crimea? Why was the US destined to become a global superpower? Why does China’s power base continue to expand? Why is Tibet destined to lose its autonomy? Why will Europe never be united? The answers are geographical. “In an ever more complex, chaotic, and interlinked world, Prisoners of Geography is a concise and useful primer on geopolitics” (Newsweek) and a critical guide to one of the major determining factors in world affairs.

Phaidon Editors

Map: Exploring the World brings together more than 300 fascinating maps from the birth of cartography to cutting-edge digital maps of the twenty-fist century. The book's unique arrangement, with the maps organized in complimentary or contrasting pairs, reveals how the history of our attempts to make flat representations of the world has been full of beauty, ingenuity and innovation. Selected by an international panel of curators, academics and collectors, the maps reflect the many reasons people make maps, such as to find their way, to assert ownership, to record human activity, to establish control, to encourage settlement, to plan military campaigns or to show political power. The selection includes the greatest names in cartography, such as James Cook, Gerard Mercator, Matthew Fontaine Maury and Phyllis Pearsall, as well as maps from indigenous cultures around the world, rarely seen maps from lesser'known cartographers, and maps of outstanding beauty and surprising individuality from the current generation of map makers.

Ashley Baynton-Williams

Since that ancient day when the first human drew a line connecting Point A to Point B, maps have been understood as one of the most essential tools of communication. Despite differences in language, appearance, or culture, maps are universal touchstones in human civilization. Over the centuries, maps have served many varied purposes; far from mere guides for reaching a destination, they are unique artistic forms, aides in planning commercial routes, literary devices for illuminating a story. Accuracy—or inaccuracy—of maps has been the make-or-break factor in countless military battles throughout history. They have graced the walls of homes, bringing prestige and elegance to their owners. They track the mountains, oceans, and stars of our existence. Maps help us make sense of our worlds both real and imaginary—they bring order to the seeming chaos of our surroundings. With The Curious Map Book, Ashley Baynton-Williams gathers an amazing, chronologically ordered variety of cartographic gems, mainly from the vast collection of the British Library. He has unearthed a wide array of the whimsical and fantastic, from maps of board games to political ones, maps of the Holy Land to maps of the human soul. In his illuminating introduction, Baynton-Williams also identifies and expounds upon key themes of map production, peculiar styles, and the commerce and collection of unique maps. This incredible volume offers a wealth of gorgeous illustrations for anyone who is cartographically curious.

Other Map Books:
Atlas of Cursed Places - Olivier Le Carrer
Cartographia - Vincent Virga 
Flattening the Earth - John P. Snyder
Maps and Civilization - Norman J.W. Thrower
Maps: Finding Our Place in the World - James R. Akerman, Robert W. Karrow Jr., and John McCarter
Maps that Changed the World - John O.E. Clark
Maps: Their Untold Stories - Rose Mitchell and Andrew Jones

Links and Stuff: July 27, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Book 16: The Little Book of Hygge

TITLE: The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living
AUTHOR: Meik Wiking
STARTED: July 3, 2017
FINISHED: July 12, 2017
PAGES: 225
GENRE: Non-Fiction


SUMMARY: [From Amazon] Get consciously cozy. The Danes are famously the happiest people in the world, and hygge is a cornerstone of their way of life. Hygge (pro-nounced Hoo-ga) loosely translates as a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right. It is about gratitude and savoring the simple pleasures in life. In short, it is the pursuit of everyday happiness. Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life and what makes people happy. From bringing out the candles and spending time with your tribe to giving yourself a break from the demands of healthy living (cake is most definitely hygge), Meik’s beautiful, inspiring book will help you to be more hygge.

THOUGHTS: If you liked Marie Kondo's book, I think you'll like this one. It's basically a manual to finding what sparks joy in life. Wiking has crafted a quick book (backed with science and survives) to find what makes people happy. He's focused on Denmark, but the whole point of the book is to focus on relationships (including the one with yourself) and finding your happy place. I am a homebody, so this book basically validated my desires to sit in a snuggly area and read or watch a movie with The Husband.

I like how Wiking incorporated various ways of presenting his information. Some chapters were stories, some lists, some diagrams and pictures, and some were just straight paragraphs of factual information. While I enjoyed the information in this book, the organization was a bit scattered. I think a few of the chapters should have been reordered to better develop Wiking's argument. But that's a nitpink.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What I Read This Week: July 23, 2017

This was my annual birthday staycation week. I like to take a week off around my birthday every year for two reasons. First, I usually have a long list of to do items that I want to devote my attention to. This list includes weeding things, cleaning things, and generally getting stuff done to get my life in order. Second, I like to have one me day on my birthday day. I usually just indulge in food items and home spa stuff. It's incredibly relaxing.

  • Magazines
    • Cooking Light, August 2017 - This issue was focused on fast recipes and it was full of delicious and fresh looking meals. I actually said, "Ooo! Ooo!" outloud when I say the recipe for skillet ratatouille. I've already asked The Husband if he's game for me trying it as one of our meals this week. I skimmed over the feature articles in this issue because they were kind of blah, but the recipes were definitely worth my attention.
    • Real Simple, August 2017 - This was kind of a lackluster issue for this magazine. Most of the feature articles were just there for me and the tips/tricks/food all seemed like repeats. The one article I did like was about how to be kind in a rude world. I always think it's best to spread a little bit of kindness every day. You never know what people are going through, so it's best to approach the world with a smile and a helping hand. 
  • Books
    • I'm making a decent dent in Before the Fall. So far, the book is mainly a mystery with evolving backstories. I like it. It's also a great summer read. There is enough drama and characters to make me pay attention, but it's also easy to read. It does, however, make me never want to fly on a private plane...

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Friday Find: Caddy

Yesterday was my birthday and I indulged myself with a home spa day. There was an assortment of facial products, hair products, and a fluffy white bathrobe. There was also a long, hot bath with a bath bomb. The only thing that was missing was a bathtub caddy to take my luxuriating to another level.

You can find this at Pottery Barn.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Links and Stuff: July 20, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Why I Love... Letting Go

Today, I completed my biannual weeding of the things in our apartment. This included another pass of my books. I let go of four more today. That was on top of the random pass I did last week where I let go of ten. Our bookshelves are now looking rather empty.

But that's okay.

These books went to the community bookcase in our building's laundry room. I've noticed that many of the titles have already been scooped up by our neighbors. These books, almost all of them unread, had no more meaning to me - they've have gone to someone else who found them to be of interest.

That is why I love letting go.

These books will live on for someone else. They will give joy to someone else. They will inform or entertain or provoke feelings in someone else. They no longer did that for me. I want to read other books. I want to get those feelings from other titles and other stories.

Letting go does not mean trashing something. Letting go means living on.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What I Read This Week: July 16, 2017

This is the first weekend of my staycation. Huzzah! I plan on spending most of my time cleaning, getting stuff done around the apartment, and generally knocking things off my personal to do list, but I have some fun stuff planned. The Husband and I played some rousing Mario Kart at Lady B and her SO's apartment last night. I am not a good driver, but I can eat tasty pizza with the best of them! It was like we were back in high school.

DC also muddled through it's first solid heat-wave of the summer. Every year I forget how melty it can get here. I actually found myself craving icy lemonade. Even now it sounds tasty. Drinking lemonade while reading in a swinging hammock in the shade sounds like a most excellent way to spend the day.
  • Magazines
    • The Atlantic, July/August 2017 - Well this was a scarily prescient issue. The cover story (by my favorite non-fiction author Mark Bowden) was all about our options to deal with a nuclear North Korea. It was scary to read this right after the North Koreans tested an ICBM. Scary... but important. This was a great article laying out all the tough and complex decisions surrounding this area of geopolitics. In addition to the cover story, I really liked the two medical feature stories. The first was about using smartphone and app technology to help diagnose and treat mental illness. The second was about the quest to find new bacteria to counter the threat of antibiotic Resistance. The usual supporting articles in this issue were good, but none of them were outstanding must-reads.
  • Books
    • I finished reading The Little Book of Hygge. It was just as delightful as I hoped it would be. I love how it basically says my homebodiness is a good thing.
    • The book I'm reading now is Before The Fall by Noah Hawley. It's a mystery/thriller which is not my usual genre, but I've read some rave reviews. So far, I'm very intrigued by both the story and the writing style.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Friday Find: From The Library Of

At work this week, I can across a small trove of books that had book plates inside the front cover. I don't put bookplates in my books because I usually don't hang on to them once I finish reading them, but if I did, I would use these lovely peacock versions.

You can find this in the SunshineandRavioli2 Etsy store.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Book 15: Digital Preservation

TITLE: Digital Preservation
AUTHOR: Marilyn Deegan and Simon Tanner, eds.
STARTED: April 4, 2017
FINISHED: July 6, 2017
PAGES: 260
GENRE: Library Science

FIRST SENTENCE: [From the introduction] This third volume in the Digital Futures series has been some time in gestation, and is intended as a contribution to the urgent debate about issues around the preservation of culture in digital form.

SUMMARY: [From ALA Editions] The rise of the Internet and the rapid expansion of electronic information present new challenges for librarians who must acquire, store, organize, preserve, and disseminate this information to their users. How can you locate the electronic resources most relevant to the needs of your users, integrate those resources into the infrastructure of your institutions, manage the necessary technology, and anticipate future trends? Deegan and Tanner suggest both the “why” and the “how” in this meticulous and completely practical examination of the strategic issues we face in a digital future. Chapters like: “Digital Futures in Current Contexts”; “Why Digitize?”; “Developing Collections in the Digital World”; “Economic Implications of Digital Collections”; “Resource Recovery”; “Structures and Services: Mechanisms for End-User Access”; “Digital Preservation”; “The Changing Profession of Librarianship”; and “Digital Futures” encapsulate the themes, concepts, and critical issues facing every librarian.

THOUGHTS: I grabbed this book because I am now on our consortium's digital preservation task force. While the book offered a nice summary of the issues and possibilities around digital preservation, it was published in 2006. Many of the examples are out of date and major strides have been made in the area since then. Even with that, it's still a good summary of the concepts and needs of the subject.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Monday, July 10, 2017

Book 14: This Place Has No Atmosphere

TITLE: This Place Has No Atmosphere
AUTHOR: Paula Danziger
STARTED: June 27, 2017
FINISHED: July 3, 2017
PAGES: 207
GENRE: Young Adult

FIRST SENTENCE: "I think he likes you," Juan whispers, as Matthew sits down at the other end of the table and smiles at me.

SUMMARY: [From BN] In the year 2057 people live in malls, take classes in ESP, and get detention from robots. Fifteen-year-old Aurora loves everything about her life. She’s part of the coolest group of kids at school and has just started dating the best-looking guy in her grade. Then her parents make the announcement that she’s sure will ruin her life—the family’s moving to the moon! What with water rationing, no privacy, and freeze-dried ham­burgers, how will Aurora ever feel like she’s home again?

THOUGHTS: When I was in elementary school, I read this book at least 14 times. Something about it spoke to me and I decided I needed to reread it for the nostalgia factor.

As a way to relive my childhood, this book was awesome. It brought me back to all the days I spent reading nestled in my bed or on a patio chair. It reminded me of how excited I was about traveling to the moon as a teenager. It reminded me that this book felt new, fresh, and full of adventure. The nostalgia of my reread put a HUGE smile on my face for days.

As for the book itself, as an adult, the magic is not the same. Aurora feels selfish and juvenile. She insults and judges people for inane reasons. She is downright mean in many instances. The plot is also oddly paced giving a lot of time to earth and not to the moon. The secondary characters also fall a bit flat. I was disappointed that my adult side sees less good in this book, but that's what happens when you grow up. At least the idea of the story still feels innovative. I've not come across another YA book like this.

That said, I still this book because it reminds me of my younger days when I could read and read and read without any other care in the world.

RATING: For the Nostalgia - 8/10 [Terrific]; For the Book - 6/10 [Good]

Sunday, July 09, 2017

What I Read This Week: July 9, 2017

Holidays that arrive mid-week always throw my mental schedule out of whack. Tuesday felt like a Saturday. Wednesday felt like a Monday. Thursday felt like a Friday. Weirdness. On the Fourth, The Husband and I got to enjoy DC's fireworks on the rooftop of one of friend's buildings. The rain managed to miss us so we had a blast grilling and seeing the sparkles. I know they're illegal, but I love how people all over DC set off fireworks. It's a 360 show!
  • Work
    • I was able to get back to reading Digital Preservation.... and I finished it! That is a good thing because, now that we are done moving our campus libraries, digital preservation and digitization are the new main focus of my job.
  • Magazines
    • Food Network, July/August 2017 - For the first time in a long time, I did not save one recipe from this magazine. This issue had plenty of BBQ and picnic foods, which I love, but most of them are grill based. Since we no longer have a grill, I skimmed right through them. The foil packet dinners were intriguing but, again, grill based. 
    • Washingtonian, July 2017 - When I sat down to read this issue earlier this week, I didn't think I'd end up finishing it in one sitting. Normally it takes me a few days to get through each issue. I have a feeling my speed was due to the bulk of this issue being about food. The cheap eats cover story gave
      me a great list of new places to try. I also liked the story about the guy behind the Instagram account DCFoodPorn. I've followed that account for a few months so it was cool to get the behind the scenes story. In non-food news, the article about moving the Capital out of DC was intriguing... and a little scary since I live here. The one downside to this issue was the HUGE ad section featuring Best Of relators, doctors, etc. I always flip past those.
  • Books
    • I finished off This Place Has No Atmosphere early in the week. It's a very nostalgic book for me to read (I loved it as a kid), but I can see now that the book itself is not the best. I'll have a full review up soon.
    • I started reading The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets of Happy Living by Meik Wiking. So far it's a slightly denser version of The Live Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The books have the same sort of structure. They even feel the same in the hand. I'm almost halfway done already and I can't wait to add more hygge to my daily life.

Friday, July 07, 2017

The Friday Find: Shh

Zits is one of my favorite parts of the Sunday comics. I love the whole strip but I adore it when they involve books and reading in the story. This particular strip might be one of my favorites of all time.

You can read more Zits here.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Why I Love... Finishing Books Unexpectedly

It doesn't happen often, but I love it when I sit down to read a book and it turns out I only had five or so pages left to read.

Many books these days seem to have a lot of extra pages after the end of the main text. These pages are either appendices, bibliographies, author interviews, or previews of other books. When you don't know those features are there, it can appear like there is a lot more story left to read.

So, I love it when those pages throw off my mental timing. It means I'm not "reading" ahead trying to figure out what is next for the characters in a book. When I'm in to a story, my mind can wander about to try to think of where the plot is heading. The longer the book, the more like I am to come up with plot trajectories in my head. It can be distracting. Books ending sooner than planned stops that mind wandering.

It also means the unexpected endings gives me a rare moment to pause and think, "Hmmm? What am I in the mood for now." I often plan on what I'm reading next when I know a book is ending. When I don't get the chance to do that, my mind runs wile with possibilities. Abrupt endings give my brain a break and allow for transition time from one book to the next.

These moments are rare, but it means I love it even more when they happen.

Monday, July 03, 2017

In the News: Above and Beyond

Last week, I read a CNN story about a young librarian who has saved six people from drug overdoses. I can guarantee you that this woman did not get her master's degree to do this. She did not learn in school how to save dying people with Narcan. She did not know that her job would entail checking bathrooms to make sure no one was shooting up. She did not know that people would look to her to save people slumped over and turning blue on benches outside of her library building. She did not get the training needed to handle emotional aftermath.

She, like thousands of other librarians, never expected to or were trained to handle these situations... but they do it anyway.

So often librarians are seen as shushers and book pushers. Instead, they are often social workers, counselors, and medics. Libraries and librarians are pillars of their community and people look to us to fulfill needs as they arise. Libraries are open to everyone from the soccer mom and small business owner to the homeless who come in every day seeking access to social services and a safe place to spend their day. Libraries are central hubs of activity because they allow access for all to books, magazines, the internet, and tools to help people grow.

Libraries seek to help people find what they need and, because of that, librarians often go above and beyond their written job duties to fulfill those requests. This includes reviving overdosed drug users, handling vocal and physical disputes among their users, and acting as counselors to children and teens who are dropped off my parents heading to work. As community budgets are cut, libraries often remain the last bastion of service. Librarians end up connecting their users with government services like TANF and SNAP. They serve as social workers and connect those with mental illness to services that can with counseling and treatment. They connect the homeless to groups that can provide temporary or permanent shelter. And, despite policies saying otherwise, they end up being daycare services for children who have no place else to go.

The interactions can be highly emotional and most librarians come to these situations untrained in these areas. Some patrons can become agitated and abusive. I don't know of a single librarian who has not been yelled at by a patron. You're there to help and when you can't, no matter how are you try, the responses you get can be upsetting. Some patrons accept your answer and go away, head hanging. Others yell and scream at you in their frustration. Some people become violent. And, at the end of the day, when you go home, their emotions can stay with you.

But there are high points as well. Some children spend all day in the library because that is their only option. These kids have a world of information at their fingers and many show their appreciation through smiles, thank you notes, and small presents. They read piles of books and participate in story-time or craft classes. They take coding sessions offered in the computer lab or build robots in the Makerspace. And, they leave the day smiling and waving goodbye.

Recent immigrants can use the library to find ESL classes or other programs to help them learn about American culture. I shadowed a reference desk once where a recent immigrant from Africa asked how she should could become a licensed mid-wife. She had delivered babies in her home country of Ghana and wanted to continue her work in her new home. The librarian I was shadowing was able to connect her to a program run through a local medical school. She left the desk with a stack of information beaming at the prospect that she could find her future here.

These positive interactions are what the majority of people think about. They don't think about librarians having to clean up bodily fluids in the bathroom or stacks. They don't think about the homeless trying to hide in a back room so they can spend the night indoors. They don't think about all the manner of things that find their way in to the book drops (dirty needles, trash, and weapons among included).  They don't think about librarians comforting sobbing college students during finals week. They don't think about librarians providing a safe space and information for the gay middle school student from a conservative household.

Everyone in the community can use the library. That means librarians encounter all the kinds of people that live in that community. The good and the bad. The well-off and the needy.

As a librarian, you help the person in front of you. You help every individual with the information and service they require no matter who they are. It just so happens that when the economy takes a downturn and community needs are great, those needs can be heartbreaking.

But librarians don't turn people away. They help in whatever way they can.

They go above and beyond.

Book 13: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

TITLE: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
AUTHOR: Robert Louis Stevenson
STARTED: June 12, 2017
FINISHED: June 26, 2017
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable.

SUMMARY: [From BN] When Edward Hyde tramples an innocent girl, two bystanders catch the fellow and force him to pay reparations to the girl's family. A respected lawyer, Utterson, hears this story and begins to unravel the seemingly manic behavior of his best friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and his connection with Hyde. Utterson probes into both Jekyll and his unlikely protégé, increasingly unnerved at each new revelation. In a forerunner of psychological dramas to come, Robert Louis Stevenson uses Hyde to show that we are both repulsed and attracted to the darker side of life, particularly when we can experience it in anonymity.

THOUGHTS: For some reason, I thought this novella would involve a lot more violence, mayhem, and murder. Popular culture has given me the impression that this book was way more dramatic than it turned out to be. Once I got over how the images in my head did not meat the actual plot, I was able to get into this story. This story is more eerie and tense than it is violent. I liked that. The personality split and mystery were at the forefront of the writing. There is a lot of philosophy and dense imagery in this book which is fine, but it does leave me surprised that this story is generally shelved in the Young Adult section of the library.

All-in-all this is a good book that popular culture has, unfortunately, turned in to an necessarily violent story. RLS work is far more thought-provoking and deserves better.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

Sunday, July 02, 2017

What I Read This Week: July 2, 2017

Hoorah! We finished relocating our last branch library earlier this week. I celebrated by having a beer and sleeping the deepest sleep of the year. We still have clean-up work to do, but the hardest part is over. All the material is in the building! *dances*

In other news, I tried something new this week. I slipped $10 Starbucks gift cards into envelopes with notes and left them in various public locations. I called them #luckydayenvelopes and I hope that the unexpected gifts brings a smile to someone's face. I have no idea who found them or what they thought, but I just wanted to do a nice little gesture for someone.
  • Magazines
    • Washingtonian, June 2017 - This is the annual Best of Issue. I like this one better than the past issues because it highlighted things that were outside the usual for me. I now have a short list of things I want to try and places I want to eat. In addition to the round-up, I liked the article on one woman's late term abortion. I know the subject is touchy, but it's an important piece because it details a personal experience without judging the other side. Finally, the story about the Breitbart reporter was rather interesting. I thought the subject's drive was impressive, but it does a better job of showing why we need strong reporting and even strong information literacy skills.
    • Real Simple, July 2017 - I am determined to stay on top my
      magazine reading now so I read this issue the same weekend it came in. (Go me!) This was one of the blahest Real Simple issues I've read this year, but I did love the article on how to have a family of readers through the summer. The productivity and summer vacation tips weren't too bad either. But that was about it.
  • Books
    • I finished the last pages of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on Monday. I always had this mental image of the story (thanks popular culture) but the book is quite different from what I thought it would be.
    • Ah, nostalgia. This week, I picked up a childhood favorite, This Place Has No Atmosphere, and I've been transported back to my elementary school self. I LOVED this book as a kid and, so far, my reread has reminded me of why. 
  • Other