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New York Times: Her Calling
Read the Booklist starred review on Amazon. First line of review - There is more food for thought in one of Robinson’s well-turned paragraphs than in entire books.
The issue includes three essays, each also available as HTML separates from http://citesandinsights.info (or, if you're reading this on or from a blog, via the title headings below):
Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-13): Commentary, Part 1 (pp. 1-22)
Casual commentary on a few of the interesting items in Chapters 2-19 of Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-13). You may have seem slightly different versions of some of this commentary on Walt at Random; that will continue for some time to come...
The CD-ROM Project (pp. 22-24)
Seeing whether six first-rate Dorling-Kindersley explorational CD-ROM titles will work in a current operating environment. I wish I had good news here...
The Back (pp. 24-32)
Hi-fi fun and other nonsense: Seventeen little rants. See if you can spot which one was added at the last minute for copyfitting reasons...
Ted Kooser has been writing and publishing poetry for more than forty years. In the pages of The Poetry Home Repair Manual, Kooser brings those decades of experience to bear. Here are tools and insights, the instructions (and warnings against instructions) that poets—aspiring or practicing—can use to hone their craft, perhaps into art. Using examples from his own rich literary oeuvre and from the work of a number of successful contemporary poets, the author schools us in the critical relationship between poet and reader, which is fundamental to what Kooser believes is poetry’s ultimate purpose: to reach other people and touch their hearts.
Much more than a guidebook to writing and revising poems, this manual has all the comforts and merits of a long and enlightening conversation with a wise and patient old friend—a friend who is willing to share everything he’s learned about the art he’s spent a lifetime learning to execute so well.
Note: Kooser was U. S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006
I'm currently reading "iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon". It is a lively and fascinating read, and plenty of Steve Wozniak's comments are worth repeating, but this one about the that he and the other Steve:) spent at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) Library is superb, especially to a hang-out at libraries geek such as myself. Reminds me of spending some time at Mizzou's Engineering Library. :)
...It had a great technical library, just tremendous. It had the kind of technical books and computer books and magazines you wouldn't encounter in normal libraries (emphasis added) or any other place I knew. If there were any place that had a phone manual that listed tone frequencies -- the manual the phone company was trying to pull out of circulation -- this would be it.
From Princeton University Press:
See video trailer for book.
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren't a special breed--they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself--revealing previously hidden opportunities. -- Read More
(Oxford University Press)
One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.
In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have. -- Read More
Some five star reviews on Amazon are worth more than others.
The books have five star reviews from many people. One review stands out. There is a five star review by Al Worden. Alfred Worden was the pilot of Endeavour, the command-module for the Apollo 15 mission in 1971. Some five star reviews are worth more than others.
American mothers are household CFOs, in charge of an estimated $2.45 trillion in direct spending. They are also an important influence on other family members' buying habits. Many organizations have identified moms as an important customer group, but the broad, age-based definitions these companies work with mask an array of different consumer behaviors. Written by two leading marketers, this book provides a new approach to understanding the American Mom market, examining the mom's influence on (or control of) the purchasing habits of children of all ages, from infants and toddlers to young adults, and bring focus to the frequently overlooked purchase influence of moms on teenagers. The authors combine large-scale quantitative research of more than 4,700 mothers with qualitative case studies from individual participants. Highly recommended for practitioners in retailing and product development, this book will also be a valuable supplemental text for college courses in consumer behavior and marketing strategy.
A new revolution in homeownership and living has been sweeping the booming cities of China. This time the main actors on the social stage are not peasants, migrants, or working-class proletariats but middle-class professionals and entrepreneurs in search of a private paradise in a society now dominated by consumerism. No longer seeking happiness and fulfillment through collective sacrifice and socialist ideals, they hope to find material comfort and social distinction in newly constructed gated communities. This quest for the good life is profoundly transforming the physical and social landscapes of urban China.
Li Zhang, who is from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, turns a keen ethnographic eye on her hometown. She combines her analysis of larger political and social issues with fine-grained details about the profound spatial, cultural, and political effects of the shift in the way Chinese urban residents live their lives and think about themselves. In Search of Paradise is a deeply informed account of how the rise of private homeownership is reconfiguring urban space, class subjects, gender selfhood, and ways of life in the reform era. -- Read More
In 1851 Olive Oatman was a thirteen-year-old pioneer traveling west toward Zion with her Mormon family. Within a decade, she was a white Indian with a chin tattoo, caught between cultures. The Blue Tattoo tells the harrowing story of this forgotten heroine of frontier America. Orphaned when her family was brutally killed by Yavapai Indians, Oatman lived as a slave to her captors for a year before being traded to the Mohaves, who tattooed her face and raised her as their own. She was fully assimilated and perfectly happy when, at nineteen, she was ransomed back to white society. She became an instant celebrity, but the price of fame was high and the pain of her ruptured childhood lasted a lifetime.
Based on historical records, including letters and diaries of Oatman’s friends and relatives, The Blue Tattoo is the first book to examine her life from her childhood in Illinois, through the massacre, her captivity, and her return to white society, to her later years as a wealthy banker’s wife in Texas. This Bison Books edition features a postscript by the author with a newly discovered letter from Oatman.
From Harvard University Press
For seven years, Paul Lockhart’s A Mathematician’s Lament enjoyed a samizdat-style popularity in the mathematics underground, before demand prompted its 2009 publication to even wider applause and debate. An impassioned critique of K–12 mathematics education, it outlined how we shortchange students by introducing them to math the wrong way. Here Lockhart offers the positive side of the math education story by showing us how math should be done. Measurement offers a permanent solution to math phobia by introducing us to mathematics as an artful way of thinking and living.
In conversational prose that conveys his passion for the subject, Lockhart makes mathematics accessible without oversimplifying. He makes no more attempt to hide the challenge of mathematics than he does to shield us from its beautiful intensity. Favoring plain English and pictures over jargon and formulas, he succeeds in making complex ideas about the mathematics of shape and motion intuitive and graspable. His elegant discussion of mathematical reasoning and themes in classical geometry offers proof of his conviction that mathematics illuminates art as much as science. -- Read More
From Harvard University Press
Between 1961 and 1967 the United States Air Force buried 1,000 Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles in pastures across the Great Plains. The Missile Next Door tells the story of how rural Americans of all political stripes were drafted to fight the Cold War by living with nuclear missiles in their backyards—and what that story tells us about enduring political divides and the persistence of defense spending.
By scattering the missiles in out-of-the-way places, the Defense Department kept the chilling calculus of Cold War nuclear strategy out of view. This subterfuge was necessary, Gretchen Heefner argues, in order for Americans to accept a costly nuclear buildup and the resulting threat of Armageddon. As for the ranchers, farmers, and other civilians in the Plains states who were first seduced by the economics of war and then forced to live in the Soviet crosshairs, their sense of citizenship was forever changed. Some were stirred to dissent. Others consented but found their proud Plains individualism giving way to a growing dependence on the military-industrial complex. Even today, some communities express reluctance to let the Minutemen go, though the Air Force no longer wants them buried in the heartland.
Complicating a red state/blue state reading of American politics, Heefner’s account helps to explain the deep distrust of government found in many western regions, and also an addiction to defense spending which, for many local economies, seems inescapable.
A friend of mine is an artist and designer who created a children's book character, "Coach Gator the Motivator," to teach children good habits. A coloring book is already available for sale, but he is looking for financial assistance in getting other projects for this character off the ground. This is a guy who loves kids and is an excellent artist, so please consider donating to this campaign.
Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, author Dave Eggers asks the TED community to personally, creatively engage with local public schools. With spellbinding eagerness, he talks about how his 826 Valencia tutoring center inspired others around the world to open.
Libraries might not be able to duplicate what Eggers has done but I think there are seeds of ideas that could be used from what Eggers has done.
The issue is 24 pages long. A single-column 6x9" version, designed for online reading (and optimized for online display rather than printing), 46 pages long, is at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i9on.pdf (It's a much smaller file than the two-column version, if that's an issue.)
The issue contains the following essays, available as HTML separates through the links below (if you're viewing a web page) or from http://citesandinsights.info:
Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-2013) pp. 1-4
Information on my new book, designed to be a tool for public libraries aiming to improve or retain funding, including its availability as an $11.99 PDF, $21.95 paperback or $31.50 hardcover. While it's a tool, it's also an interesting set of detailed tables on the activities of public libraries--if you're numerate, since the tables deliberately lack textual commentary.
Lovers of Proust, get out your headphones: Naxos AudioBooks, a British division of the classical music label, has recorded all seven volumes of “Remembrance of Things Past” on CD — 120 discs, which will take 153 hours to get through. The last one comes out on Oct. 29.
Nicolas Soames, the publisher, said in an interview that the new version replaces an earlier, abridged edition — just 36 CDs — that the company recorded between 1996 and 2000. He believes the 120-disc edition (also available for download), which will cost £380 (about $600), to be the longest audiobook in existence.
Interesting piece at Teleread
Konrath and Crouch on Libraries
Leading up to the probable announcement next week of a new Kindle Fire and Kindle e-reader, Amazon is teasing us with some never before released information about their products and services. The company, who says their Kindle Fire tablet is sold out, claims their small tab is responsible for 22% of U.S. tablet sales. This translates to an estimated 6.1 million devices flying off of the shelves since it's debut last November. Amazon has also released some information on their Amazon Prime service, including the top four items ordered with Prime, the most watched movie and TV show in the Prime Instant Video Catalog, and the number of books in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.