Thursday, July 15, 2010

An American Childhood

by Annie Dillard

I finally finished this book!!

I have had a very long love/hate relationship with this book, and I am glad it is over.
"What would you do if you had fifteen minutes to live before the bomb went off? Quick: What would you read?" - Annie Dillard
Not this book!

It's dull.

I imagine this book being dictated by an adorable elderly grandmother from her old wooden rocking chair, with a self-knitted blanket on her lap and a cup of tea by her side.

This book is lovely. It is well written, sweet, and poetic, very Wordsworthian. But it's just too precious for me.

First of all, all the talk about the interior and exterior life, it's nice, but no eight year old is contemplating it in such metaphoric language. Either narrate this book in the present looking back, or as your young self, don't flip-flop and make yourself out to have been the most insightful, melancholic, intelligent eight-year-old there has ever been. I'm not buying it. She idealizes her young self and her childhood so much, it's really off putting. Everyone in her past was sweet and intelligent and funny and bold. Where's the conflict? Oh, you were a moody teenager. That's not enough. That's not real.

There are some amusing little stories about Dillard's childhood which are cute and well written, but, again, she uses high, poetic language to analyze these cute moments which ruin them. Children do not think in those terms.

Typically I like reading memoirs, but not this one. To make a good memoir, I either have to have an interest in the person or an interest in their exotic/traumatic/chaotic life. This book has none of that, and worse, it's dull.

This is our July book discussion book, and I have no idea what we're going to talk about. Maybe I missed some insightful moments, but I doubt it since Dillard really leads her reader by the hand every step of the way.

At least the book was short.

Monday, July 12, 2010

This Book is Overdue!

How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All
by Marilyn Johnson

This book made me want to stand up and cheer, "Yes! Librarians are important!" "Librarians are cool!" We provide information and assistance to the public AND we stand up for things like privacy and free speech.

I'm tempted pursue library/information science, but I'm not convinced it's the route for me.

I do love the idea of blogging librarians, and I've certainly collected my fair share of stories to impart...

All the information about Second Life and cyber librarians was intriguing and sounds like a lot of fun.

I must have skimmed the bits about international, information science programs for students who live in developing nations who cannot afford internet connections or computers, let alone books...Maybe I missed the mark on that part, but I don't exactly see the good in that or why people are so excited about it...

The Darien, Ct library sounds pretty incredible, and I may need to make a pilgrimage there.

All in all, this is an interesting book with a lot of information about all those sides of librarians you never knew about. However, I'm not sure how much this book will excite non-librarians. At times it does feel dense and like you're trudging through a lot of words, but it's still interesting. If the spirit moves you, read This Book is Overdue, if not, that's ok too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti

by Giulia Melucci

First of all, to "A. J. Jacobs, bestselling author of The Year of living Biblically and The Know-It-All," this book is nothing like Eat Pray Love and is decidedly better. The two books are only similar in the sense that they are both memoirs and both women are searching for something in their lives. I'd say that is he extent of the similarities.

Mario Batali got it correct, calling it "a foodie's dream version of Sex and the City."

I love memoirs (a statement to be refuted in a later post if I ever finish the freaking book...). I especially love food memoirs. In my mind, all the moments, the emotions, all the complications become so much clearer and stronger and tangible when paired with food.

This is a great book and a fast read. Her tales of love are honest and endearing, and her recipes are wonderfully simple and sound infinitely delicious. My one complaint is that I wish she could have worked some of the recipes into her stories more seamlessly. For the most part, she incorporates them successfully, but occasionally they pop out of nowhere. But, nonetheless this is an extremely enjoyable book which will make you hungry and full in one bite.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I had to share this

This is a post from Stuff No One Told Me: Fun