Archive for March, 2008

Welcome Back Again, Israel Armstrong
By March 20, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Welcome Back Again, Israel Armstrong

I like lots of librarians, but my favorite librarian doesn’t actually exist. (Which certainly makes it less politically awkward than if I were to choose a favorite librarian who did exist.) Welcome back again, Israel Armstrong. “We’re librarians actually,” said Israel. “Come again?” “Librarians.” Israel thought that Barry’s face coloured slightly at the mention of […]

Posted in: Libraries
A Free Lunch–and You're Buying
By March 20, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

A Free Lunch–and You're Buying

Tax Increment Financing sounds like a guaranteed sleep aid–but once most taxpayers learn what it is, they’re likely to be awake all night, burning with rage at both ends. (It’s a particularly contentious topic here in Chicago.) In an interview on Fresh Air, Free Lunch author David Cay Johnson explains “How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense […]

Posted in: Book News
What We Never Discuss: the Physicality of Books, Part 2

What We Never Discuss: the Physicality of Books, Part 2

A well-made book is a work of art in itself, which has an undeniable effect on the reader reading it. You can’t pretend it doesn’t matter. David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green is a perfect example of doing things wrong. Its physicality was inappropriate – for a book by a master stylist where every single word […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Conquering Genrephobia

Conquering Genrephobia

If you’ve been in a book group for long, you know what I mean: a title suggested from outside the group’s usual boundaries, especially if that title comes from the ghetto of genres that some view as “lesser” reading, may cause genrephobes in the group to react as if someone replaced the wine and cheese with rotgut and Velveeta. […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Let’s try this at home

Let’s try this at home

I’m verklempt. On 12 marrt Boekenweek 2008 began in Amsterdam and I’m not there. This annual book festival celebrates reading in all its glory. Readers are first-class citizens in this world class city. This year the theme celebrates senior citizens. The kick off event was a piano concert in the Amsterdam City Theatre presented by […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
Arthur C. Clarke, R.I.P.
By March 19, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Arthur C. Clarke, R.I.P.

Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote nearly 100 books in 90 years (and let’s not forget 2001) is dead. From the New York Times (“Arthur C. Clarke, 90, Fiction Writer, Dies,” by Gerald Jonas): Mr. Clarke’s reputation as a prophet of the space age rests on more than a few accurate predictions. His visions helped bring about the […]

Books find a home, homeless find books

Books find a home, homeless find books

I want to be surprised by the following news story, but I’m not. I say that because it just seems so obvious, creating a book discussion group for some of a library’s most faithful and widely read patrons, the homeless. This project is the sort of low maintenance, low cost program almost any library can host. […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
10 Innovative Ways to Recharge Your Book Club

10 Innovative Ways to Recharge Your Book Club

Is your book club in a well-worn rut?  Are you satisfied but not stimulated?  Has your book club become as predictable as the ending to Pride and Prejudice? Well, in the spirit of spring renewal, here are 10 field-tested tips to help revitalize your book club and encourage your members to reengage!  Photo by Gallebee […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Chairman Ted’s Little Brown Book

Chairman Ted’s Little Brown Book

  It is an honor to be on the same team with one of my mentors, Ted Balcom. Let’s step into the Wayback Machine (for the young:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayback_Machine). Way back in the early nineties, four Milwaukee-area librarians attended the same Public Library Association event in Chicago.  These were seminars held in the years that the […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
Love It
By March 17, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Love It

Say hello to The Long Goodbye, Chicago (“Crime thriller ‘The Long Goodbye’ selected for ‘One Book, One Chicago,’ by Deanese Williams-Harris, Chicago Tribune): “The Long Goodbye” by crime-genre master Raymond Chandler is the 14th and latest book selected for the Chicago Public Library’s “One Book, One Chicago” program. Twice a year, in the spring and […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News