Epidermaography

It’s sweeps week here at librarian enterprises, so here’s some links about anthropodermic bindings.

For those of you who were asleep during The History of Books and Printing, that’s books bound in human skin. Because if you intellectualize it, it’s not icky. (from boing boing)

Speaking of books bound in human skin, have you seen Peter Greenway’s film The Pillow Book? It’s one of my favorites. It’s about a woman’s obsession with writing on the human body, and understandably also, her obsession with Ewan McGregor’s schlong. Don’t watch during dinner, in spite of or perhaps because of Ewan McGregor’s schlong. Special collections librarians: Play this movie at your next SLA meeting!

Maysan Haydar is Cool

My friend Maysan Haydar has always been cool. She introduced me to Bratmobile and Swing dancing back when such things were hip. She got a tongue ring before everyone else. She was the first person I knew to dye her hair purple.

She escaped from Flint, majored in Linguistics and moved to NYC to write for The Nation. Now she’s a social worker. Oh. And she wears the hijab. Here’s an excerpt from an article she wrote for the book Body Outlaws about why she wears the veil, and what it’s been like.

One sentence movie review – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This movie, with its fantastic effects, original cinematography, and great directing has convinced me to forgive the franchise completely for all of those spiders in the second film.

Ok, I can’t restrain myself to one sentence. Believe it or not, I liked the latest Harry Potter movie even more than the book. For me, these days, the sign of a good action-adventure film is one with absolutely no Grab-my-hand scene, and very little Escape-in-front-of-the-fireball. There was one minor Escape-in-front-of-the-fireball incident, but since Harry’s butt caught fire in an amusing way, I choose to overlook it. There was lots of great, original stuff in this movie, and very little of the cliched crud that littered up the last few films.

Books, Life

strangenorrell.jpg

The worst part about this post is that I pretty much just lifted it from an email to a friend. Don’t tell, ok? Bad blogger.

I’m running around with alligators hanging from my ankles this week. The work-related travel starts Saturday, so Things Must Be Prepared. Stuff Must Get Done. The NSDL waits for no man.

I have this fantasy where I sit in a hip London sushi joint upgrading this site whilst eavesdropping on conversations in a variety of awesome UK dialects. That’s my idea of a good time. It could happen.

We cleaned our gutters this weekend. I made bread and soup. I created a JSP interface for tying item-level records to their associated subassets. I brushed the cat. I tried to teach my friends’ daughter to say "mop" like the trashcan droid in star wars.

Life in Ithaca is domestic and lovely.

I’m also reading a Great Long Book  Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
My favorite quote, which reminds me of the much-mentioned view outside my window:
"In winter the barren trees shall be a black writing but they shall not understand it"

Two Sentence book review: The Wisdom of Crowds

wisdcrowds.jpg

You, sir, are no Malcolm Gladwell, and thus I fell asleep several times as I waded through your social-studies-report caliber prose. Still, kinda cool how you dig up research vindicating diversity as a factor in successful decision-making and how you stomp all over the idea of group consensus.

Literary tag

Argh! I’ve been tagged. Kevin Smokler has tagged me in Literary Tag and I am now compelled to answer the following questions:

1. How many books do I own?
Too damn many. We bought this huge bookcase and painted it red, and now it stands in the living room looming at us.

2. Last Book I Bought:
Y: The Last Man Vol. 5: Ring of Truth – Brian K. Vaughan
This is one of the most exciting comics being created right now. The premise is, what would happen if all the men in the world died…except one. Great writing, great art, bow-and-arrow wielding amazons, good times.

3. Last Book I Read:
I just finished up Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud, and am halfway through Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Controversial Times by Geoffrey Nunberg – the linguist from NPR. I liked his last book too.

4. Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:
The Tidewater Tales by John Barth
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Laws of Evening by Mary Yukari Waters
Fool on the hill by Matt Ruff
Grassroots : A Field Guide for Feminist Activism by Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards

5. Tag Five More:
Kara at Infogirl
The Well Dressed Librarian
Jessamyn at Librarian.net
Jessica at AndStillShe
Sumana 

The good the bad and the furry: Choosing the Dog That’s Right for You

book coverMy ever lovin’ dog lovin’ friend Lizz brought this book over and we spend a happy hour snarfing at the clever illustrations and the Extremely Accurate descriptions of life with various dog breeds.

For example, this book suggests that if you are uncomfortable with the idea of a grown man going to the bathroom in your backyard, then the St. Bernard may not be the dog for you. Natch.

The Lost Boys Of Sudan: An American Story Of The Refugee Experience


I picked this up at the Tompkins County public library this weekend (shoutout to the reference staff!) and spent the next ten hours reading it, to the detriment of housework, gardening, exercise, and other weekend tasks. This is the story of a group of boys from Sudan who suffered unimaginable hardships during their country’s ongoing civil war, and were brought to cities across the United States as refugees. After three months of governmental support, these “Lost Boys” were required to support themselves in a world where everything was new: stairs, cleaning products, packaged food, the concept of pets. Despite an almost religious desire for education, these young men were introduced to a new form of poverty as members of the American Working Poor. The book follows the lives of four Lost Boys as they travel from war-torn Sudan to Atlanta, Georgia and learn to survive in their new home. Lions no longer lurk in the bushes, but after 9/11, drunk locals pulled a knife on a refugee and called him a terrorist.