2007 Year in Review: Favorite Books


Every year since 1996 I’ve made a list of the ten favorite books I read that year (here is my 2006 list). Rarely are the book actually published in that year, the only common factor is that I read them in the same year (The six books I read that were actually published in 2007…

Movie Review: The Triplets of Belleville


The Triplets of Belleville (2003) has it all. It’s an animated feast for the eyes featuring a bicyclist named Champion, his heroic grandmother Madame Souza, his dog Bruno who barks at trains, the mafia, grotesquely fat people, three swingin’ old ladies, and some groovin’ music. And it has hardly any dialog (yet is about 10,000…

Links of the Day (week, actually) for 30 December 2007


Is the Supreme Court going to define “well regulated militia”? by Brooks Jackson (Annenberg Political Fact Check) Subways: The New Urban Status Symbol by Jennifer Fishbein (BusinessWeek, 12/5/07) Society on Steroids: A Bill Moyers Essay (Bill Moyers Journal, 12/20/07) – cheating and cutting corners are endemic in American culture, not just Major League Baseball Best…

Book Review: Catapult: Harry and I Build a Siege Weapon by Jim Paul


One day Jim Paul decides that he wants to launch rocks into the ocean with a catapult and so he convinces his friend Harry to colloborate with him in building one, a process described in Catapult: Harry and I Build a Siege Weapon (1991). Paul manages to convince National Park Service to allow him to…

Extreme Napping


Today we received more boxes in the mail with gifts for Peter.  I opened the boxes with scissors and read one of the gift books to Peter.  Afterwards I decided I would take a power nap on the couch.  At that point I realized I still had the scissors in my hand. Susan said, “It…

2007 Beer in Review


My friend Brian recently observed that I’ve been reviewing more books and fewer beers since becoming a parent. Indeed, one of my goals for this blog was to sample and review new beers, but I didn’t get too many reviews up (although I did drink the beer). Nor did I accomplish my goal of putting…

Movie Review: The Longest Day


Once again inspired by watching Ken Burns’ The War, we watched The Longest Day (1962) a dramatization of the D-Day invasion.  Its a long film with a mammoth cast that appears to be trying to tell the entire story of D-Day from every angle all at once.  Despite some typical Hollywood hokiness, The Longest Day…

Library Links of the Day for 27 December 2007


I’m on holiday break thanks to my union so I’m not thinking too much about library work right now, but here are three interesting stories I’ve culled just for you! Ten Stories that Shaped 2007 from LISNews (12/20/2007). Here are my contributions to four of the stories: 10. Movie Review of The Hollywood Librarian &…

Links of the Day for Christmas


Merry Christmas to all.  I’ve had a wonderful day celebrating with my family and friends.  I hope it was a happy, hopeful day for everyone. Here are some Christmassy stories for the day: National Geographic features an essay about Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus: “Bethlehem, 2007 A.D.” by Michael Finkel (December 2007). Snopes has…

Mattapan Trolley Returns


Good news from the MBTA.  The Mattapan High-Speed Trolley reopens tomorrow after 18 months of renovation.  I’m a big fan of trolleys and streetcars but I’ve never ridden on this branch of the Red Line.  Based on the MBTA’s history with the Arborway Line suspension of service, I was worried the Mattapan line would never…

2007 Year in Review: First Sentences


Some blog memes are hard to resist. I’ve seen a lot of librarians doing this on their blogs and apparently it started in Western Australian at Ruminations. This is a list of the first sentences of the first post of each month of the year from Panorama of the Mountains: January: “The blood of martyrs…

Books to Read in 2008


I’m such a compulsive reader that I need to keep lists of all the books I want to read. This is something I’ve been doing for at least 15 years. At first, I wrote down the book titles on scraps of paper which I inevitably lost. Then a friend told me she kept her book…

Book Review: Language Visible by David Sacks


Language visible : unraveling the mystery of the alphabet from A to Z (2003) by David Sacks is a lively history of each letter in our modern alphabet (called the “Roman alphabet” which is explained in the book). For each letter Sacks traces the history of its shape from the ancient Semitic carvings in the…

Movie Review: The Saddest Music in the World


Sometimes I really don’t know enough about a movie before I start to watch it (but that’s not always a bad thing). Before watching The Saddest Music in the World (2004), I knew that it was about a legless brewery proprietress in Winnipeg* during the Great Depression who decides to host a contest to see…

Links of the Day for 17 December 2007


Before we get to the links, I just want to mention a couple of things: I’ve added a del.icio.us widget to the sidebar on the right which will show you the last 5 links of the day I’ve posted. I’m not sure what this does yet other than create redundancy but it’s a start. Again,…

Library Links of the Day for 17 December 2007


Striving to be “container neutral” as a Librarian by Laurie (Laurie the Librarian, 11/22/2007) via Librarian in Black – “Container Neutral is defined as choosing the best format for the information source based upon needs not upon a goal to collect resources in a particular format.” A Treatise on the Black Market of Holds by…

Movie Review: Children of Men


If I’ve seen a bleaker, more depressing film than Children of Men (2006) I can’t remember it. The basic concept of this film is that 20 years in the future, women are infertile and the world has gone to hell-in-a-handbasket (whether the infertility and the worldwide anarchy are cause and effect remains unclear). Only Britain…

Movie Review: The Nightmare Before Christmas


I’ve been meaning to see Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) for about 15 years and finally saw it this weekend thanks to Netflix. Generally, I either love or hate Tim Burton films and this one is on the love side. It has a lot going for it. Visually it is stunning and I…

Movie Review: Barry Lyndon


Barry Lyndon (1975) is an historical epic directed by Stanley Kubrick famed for painstakingly recreating historical details and using innovative lenses to film in natural light. Barry Lyndon – née Redmond Barry – is also the film’s protagonist and he’s kind of dick. Ryan O’Neal (whatever happened to him?) portrays Barry well as a brooding…