Archive for November, 2008

National Book Award Readings

Posted November 25, 2008 By Jandy

The National Book Awards (in the U.S.) have been awarded in 2008. You can learn more about them and hear the authors reading their work in the NPR Book Tour section. You can check it out at:

Moving Books

Posted November 11, 2008 By Jandy

Three weeks ago I started packing books. They stayed organized. They were well labeled. I didn’t have enough boxes, so it was slow. More boxes; more books. Shelves emptied. I even organized Mt. Bookpile some (put all the science fiction paperback together separated from the mystery paperbacks separated from the classics…). There’s one shelf I can’t get to until tomorrow until after my brother moves some stuff. I knew that.

Last night I thought I had all the other ones packed. The last, large box is, of course, miscellaneous. All the shelves that I ran out of box before books. It’s still fairly well labeled although not as well organized. I have a box just for borrowed books (from friends and family and a couple library books. I just packed it last night and will move it myself so I don’t lose it before the library books are due.) I kept out the two I’m reading (Anathem and a new Dorothy Garlock novel) and the one I have to read for book club next week (Call of the Wild).

Then I was looking for the errant knick knacks that I had missed. I didn’t find many of those. Instead I found…(of course) more books. There’s the group of oversized paperbacks from Mt. Bookpile that didn’t fit in the other box. Oh, and there’s The Monster of Florence. I forgot it didn’t fit into the nonfiction box. And there are a couple of my library school reference textbooks that I kept. And… you get the idea. Sigh…

(Check out the box labels.)

Reading Challenges

Posted November 6, 2008 By Jandy

Over the past ten years or so I’ve given myself different reading challenges. Some I’ve met, some I haven’t. But they’ve been simple challenges – read one pre-20th century classic a month for one year, read ### of books in a year (I’m trying for 200 this year and will come close, although Anathem is not a quick read, but then neither was Middlemarch or Dr. Zhivago), finish a mystery series in one year, read the newest In Death book within a couple weeks of publication, etc.

I reading my friend Shree’s blog today and discovered her self challenges. I followed her links to

Becky’s Challenges

If you feel like setting a specific reading goal, Becky may have a new one for you. She finds them and adds them to her site. I haven’t looked real far, but she may create new ones, too. The ones she highlights are challenging enough. The newest one is to read all of Edgar Allen Poe’s 73 short stories. Although I find her header annoying (it’s hard for me to read the name of the blog), if you’re a reader, you should check the blog out.

(My therapist tells me I bury myself in books and ignore the real world too much. Some of these enticing challenges wouldn’t help that, would it?)

(And if I’d wanted to learn about reading challenges, I should have started reading Shree’s blog earlier, shouldn’t have I?)

21st Century Dictionary

Posted November 2, 2008 By Jandy

We’ve all been raised with Webster’s, Merriam Riverside, the Oxford English Dictionary, and many, many other English dictionaries. Here’s an audio visual dictionary.