Book Review: From the Pews in the Back edited by Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens


Author: Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens Title: From the Pews in the Back Publication Info:  Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, c2009. ISBN: 9780814632581 Summary/Review: This excellent collection of essays allows young women to focus on their lives and identity in the Catholic faith (Full disclosure: I know Jen Owens from when we both part of…

Book Review: Catholic Does Not Equal the Vatican by Rosemary Radford Ruether


Author: Rosemary Radford Ruether Title: Catholic Does Not Equal the Vatican Publication Info: New York : New Press, c2008 ISBN: 978-1-59558-406-9 Summary/Review: This short “manifesto-style” book is a call for a more authentic experience of church in the Catholic tradition.  The author  – a scholar, activist, and feminist theologian – compiles a half-dozen essays that…

Book Review: The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong


Author: Karen Armstrong Title: The Battle for God Publication Info: HarperAudio (2004), Edition: Abridged, Audio CD ISBN: 0060591870 Summary/Review: Karen Armstrong explores fundamentalism in the three monotheistic churches – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Some of the material covers the same ground as her later book (which I read earlier) The Case for God and follows…

Ten Years @ The Library


Ten years ago today I began work at Baker Library at Harvard Business School, my first library job.  Ten years later I still work in the same building albeit I have had three different jobs (officially), survived a two-year renovation working in a windowless warehouse-like interim building, and find myself 21 out 53 staff members…

New England Archivists Spring 2010 Meeting


Last week I attended the New England Archivists (NEA) Spring 2010 Meeting at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  I’m a brand new member of NEA and this was my first Meeting (and only my second professional conference after the 2007 ALA Annual Conference). I drove out on Saturday morning (later than intended due to…

Book Review: The Inimitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse


Author: P. G. Wodehouse Title: The Inimitable Jeeves Publication Info: Blackstone Audiobooks (2000), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD ISBN: 0786199032 Summary/Review: Two things marred my enjoyment of this otherwise fine collection of Wodehouse stories.  First, the audiobook narrator employed an obnoxiously high-pitched voice in his characterizations of Wooster and Jeeves and with little nuance or finesse…

Book Review: The Gardner Heist by Ulrish Boser


Author: Ulrich Boser Title: The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft Publication Info: Smithsonian (2009) ISBN: 0061451835 Summary/Review: For the 20th anniversary of the theft of 13 priceless art works from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, I read this book detailing the heist. The first chapter gives…

Book Review: Young Children and Spirituality by Barbara Kimes Myers


Author: Barbara Kimes Myers Title: Young Children and Spirituality Publication Info: New York : Routledge, 1997. ISBN: 0415916550 Summary/Review: This book disappointed me mostly because it was not what I expected – namely a book that would help me as a parent understand my child’s spiritual needs.  This book is more of a psychology and…

New Tumblr Blog


My social networking presence continues to grow as I introduce my new Tumblr blog Portals of Discovery. Why another blog?  I think it’s going to fill a few needs I’ve not been able fulfill elsewhere: I use Twitter mainly for networking and trends in archives, records management and libraries but sometimes I want to post…

March Madness?


I’ve read on several blogs and new sites about a recent study that apparently links research behavior at American universities with the NCAA Basketball Tournament. According to this study by Charles Clotfelter, after Selection Sunday when the tournament teams are announced, the number of articles viewed on JSTOR drop.  What is really frustrating me about…

Top Ten Irish Books


Today’s Christian Science Monitor lists the Ten Best Books About Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ve read three of these (Ulysses, How the Irish Saved Civilization, and The Commitments) and am very intrigued by The Last of the Donkey Pilgrims which I’ve never heard of before.  Here’s my own top ten list of my favorite…

Worst Night of the Year…Redux


Daylight Savings Time begins today meaning that we will have a greater risk of on-the-job injuries according to Scientific American.  And The Christian Science Monitor reports that changing our clocks will cost us money.  The Monitor rightly asks why is that we spring forward again? Ugh!  Join me in hoping that this silly — and…

Tour of Symphony Hall


On the second Saturday of the month, the Boston Symphony Orchestra offers free public tours of Symphony Hall.  I’m working on a walking tour of the Avenue of the Arts for Boston By Foot and have never been inside Symphony Hall (although I have been to Tanglewood), so my co-lead Megan & I took the…

Crazy Dream


I had a dream the other morning in which I attended a performance of the musical Grease.  Except: It was just the songs from Grease, none of the dialogue, performed as an oratorio, and It had been re-scored by the by band Yo La Tengo, and The music  was performed in Renaissance style, and The…

Book Review: The Case For God by Karen Armstrong


Author: Karen Armstrong Title: The Case for God Publication Info: Random House Audio (2009), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD ISBN: 0307702375 Summary/Review: From the title this book appears to be an apologetic approach to theism.  Close but not quite.  Karen Armstrong in fact writes an history of religious belief and practice (and the parallel growth of…

Left Ahead Podcasts on Transportation


One of the local blogs I read regularly – Marry in Massachusetts – is written by a man who also participates in the Left Ahead podcast.  I don’t listen to this podcast regularly but I did download the latest two episodes since they deal with an issue near and dear to my heart: public transportation. …

Book Review: Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby


Author: Nick Hornby Title: Juliet, Naked Publication Info: Riverhead Hardcover (2009) ISBN: 1594488878 Summary/Review: This novel is about three people: Duncan an English man-child obsessed with an American singer/songwriter who abruptly quit show business in the 1980s, his long-suffering girlfriend Annie who is realizing that she may never have children, and the retired musician himself…

Book Review: Netherland by Joseph O’Neill


Author:Joseph O’Neill Title: Netherland Publication Info: Pantheon (2008) ISBN: 0307377040 Summary/Review: This is a novel written by a Dutch man Hans who marries a English woman Rachel and together move to New York for business.  There they have a child and their marriage begins to crumble.  The September 11th attacks prove to be a catalyst…

Book Review: Where? On Huntington Avenue by Rudolph M. Morris


Author: Rudolph M. Morris Title: Where? On Huntington Avenue : a narrative of Northeastern Publication Info: North Quincy, Mass. : Christopher Pub. House, c1977. ISBN: 0815803575 Summary/Review: More research for my walking tour.  This book offers a chatty, irreverent and detailed history of Northeastern University.  It details the growth of the school from an evening…