Archive for September, 2010


Posted September 24, 2010 By Jandy

My web site slogan is “So many books, So little time”. To that end, I really should quit talking about books to people, reading friend’s blogs, staying away from my online reading group at The Reader’s Place (since this post the site has closed down), avoiding my real life book club, and even my coworkers.

In my home Mt. Bookpile keeps growing. (I volunteer weekly at a used bookstore – one more place I should avoid.) I keep putting books on hold at the library. Favorite writers release another book (you Connie Willis, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Jim Butcher each have one coming out in the next few weeks and Sherri Tepper‘s came out a few weeks ago).

This morning I was talking with my fellow librarian about our fiction reading (never mind we’re medical librarians). I walked away from that conversation with more books to read. Recently at The Reader’s Place someone mentioned getting ready to read a book that sounded good so I put it on hold at the library. Then there was the review on NPR yesterday – another book put on hold. There were four more added to my mental list this morning (three are a trilogy). No question – I’m a bookaholic.

No wonder Mt. Bookpile doesn’t shrink.

Library Video

Posted September 21, 2010 By Jandy

This video came to my attention today. It’s cute and fun. Like everyone in these days of budget cuts, libraries learn to adjust as well.

There’s a longer version of the video that has a “typical day in today’s library” scene before the song. You can find it at:

John Adams

Posted September 6, 2010 By Jandy

In case you’re wondering, I finished the second half of John Adams by David McCullough. I read the first half about five years ago. I now have to go back and go over the first half before I write a review or report to my RL book club. So it stays on my “still reading” list.

Reading Oddities

Posted September 6, 2010 By Jandy

Murder in the Marais by Cara BlackRecently I was doing some mundane task at work and decided to download an audio book to keep me company. I ran across Cara Black‘s Murder in the Marais and decided that sounded interesting. It was. (I’ll have to read more of the series.)

Murder in the Marais takes place in Paris in the early 1990’s but connects with Paris under German Occupation in 1943. The current Jewish victims were somehow tied up in some incidents at that time. Most of the Jews were being shipped to the concentration camps then, but some made it through. Fifty years later, the past returns to haunt them. The book is well written and I liked the native viewpoint of how the French survived the Occupation and handled things afterwords.

The Shanghai Moon by S.J. RozanOne of my goals this year is to finally catch up on a couple mystery series I’ve been reading through. One series is the Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series by S.J. Rozan. If you haven’t read these and like well-written detective mysteries, I highly suggest these. I’m up to the last one published, Shanghai Moon. (Although the next one is due out in a few weeks.) How does this relate?

Shanghai Moon is about the Jewish refugees who went to Shanghai in the late 1930’s. Shanghai was one of the few places that still had an open port to refugees without quota restrictions. I’ve had the basic American history studies about World War II. I never heard of the Jewish people escaping to the Far East. It seems Shanghai had a large population of refugees from Europe at that time even though it was under Japanese occupation. Sixty years later there are still children survivors from that time. There are still artifacts that appear to be reclaimed. Shanghai Moon starts with some uncovered jewelry that belonged to a Jewish woman in the city. While trying to return it to her heirs, the jewelry is stolen. Lydia Chin is brought in to see if the jewelry shows up in Chinatown and see if the Chinese administrator who stole them appears.

Lydia is able to find personal letters and diaries from some of the people involved in the 1930’s and 1940’s Asian portion of World War II. I (as the reader) was again given a glimpse of the warfare and welfare of the real lives (OK fictional lives) of every day people trying to survive and pass on a legacy for their children.

While I knew going into Murder in the Marais I would be harking back to the war, I didn’t know that going into Shanghai Moon. These two books complement each other in handling the subject – giving two very different perspectives of the happenings of the times.

Thoughts About John Adams

Posted September 2, 2010 By Jandy

Right now I’m reading David McCullough’s biography John Adams.John Adams by David McCullough

Did you realize he was 40 years old when he headed off to the Continental Congress? Who says you have to be successful in your career by the time you’re 30?

These days we have lots of discussions about mudslinging and negative ads during election campaigns. One of the worst journalism, mudslinging campaigning fiascos in our history was for the presidential election of 1800 between Adams, Jefferson, Aaron Burr (who actually tied Jefferson in popular votes), and Charles Pickering. Talk about yellow journalism!