Literary Kittie has decided to explore what librarians call the “Mind Body Spirit” titles for the New Year. So in order to improve herself she’s stolen these web sites from Library Journal.
For the best in mind, body, spirit and self help try out, Beyond Words. One book I see that they are highlighting is by Nawang Khechog, and recommended by the Dalai Lama! How can you go wrong with a book called Awakening Kindness. We could all do with a little more kindness.
Then off to Inner Traditions/Bear & Co. Inner Traditions is a leading publisher of books on indigenous cultures, perennial philosophy, visionary art, ancient mysteries, spiritual traditions of the East and West, sexuality, holistic health and healing, self-development, as well as recordings of ethnic music and accompaniments for meditation.
I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for a lot of people looking at a different way to look at the world these titles are both enlightening and enjoyable. And of course those people standing in line to see another Vampire movie will enjoy Secret History of Vampires from them.
For a different bent on the Mind, Body, Spirit publishers try New World Library. I think their authors have a very gentle mindset in changing us for the better, but check out their author pages yourself. I’m a big fan of Joseph Campbell, so finding a book about his lectures was convincing enough for me to take a chance on this publisher.
Last but not least of Kittie’s finds is Tarcher/Penguin. Their sub-title for the website is Great Lives begin with Great Ideas. That could work for a New Years pep talk. And tell me who couldn’t overcome a problem with procrastination. Here’s a video by Renowned psychologist Dr. Neil Fiore, author of the Now Habit.
So whatever your pleasure this New Year, let’s all try to improve ourselves, become better people and make an effort to explore new ideas and learn tolerance of each other. Literary Kittie wishes you the Best New Year ever.
I’m having problems getting my ebooks into the Nook when I download them from the Barnes and Noble website. I know it’s supposed to take awhile but it all seems to be on some mysterious timetable. And when you go back and try to download again, it says it’s already in your library (uh, no not really). I seem to have made books come and go at random. Not going to try to order and pay for anything until I can get the free stuff down.
And trying to sync my Adobe Digital Edition with my Nook is a nightmare. Obviously all the kinks are not worked out yet, or it may just be user error. I’m a tenacious person so I’m not defeated yet, but I can see this may be one of those toys that takes some work to get all the parts assembled.
Can you believe this, Ms. “I’m not going to read ebooks” got a Barnes and Noble Nook for Christmas! And she also gave one to her Sis-in-Law! Have I just lost it. Well I got the Adobe Digital Edition loaded on my computer (part of the process to get books into the Nook) then my husband wants us to head for the country, so I try to activate the laptop because believe me there’s no wifi in the Logan county hinterlands. Well the B&N servers must not have been expecting all of us wanting to fire up Santa’s presents. I couldn’t get my Digital Edition Adobe ID to activate. Bummer…
If I knew it wouldn’t take long to get it all powered up and ready. I would have had it loaded from my PC and been on my way. The Nook didn’t take very long, it suggests in the instructions to give it 3 hours, well mine was charged in about 30 minutes or less. So tonight I plugged it in to my computer and presto chango, I dragged and dropped books into the Nook.
Ta da…. I did it. I’ve got some Adobe Digital free books loaded, going to try Gutenburg.org for more (this may make us all read the Classics that our English teachers tried so long ago to convince us were good) and I’m good to go. This is the new frontier and I’m ready to pack this little book size thing full and next time I head for the hills I’ve got my book bag packed.
P.S. B&N have the whole marketing thing down, you’ve got to put in your Credit Card before you get the free stuff, but business is business, and even free has a price.
Over the Christmas break, I read the novel Room.
If you’ve heard about Room in the press, or happened across some “best of” lists with brief reviews, you can probably understand why a few of my friends questioned the wisdom of diving into this new work by Emma Donoghue—especially during the “most wonderful time of the year.”
On the surface, the book sounds dark and depressing; obviously, Donoghue had to go to a dark place to write this. But our world is full of darkness, and one job of art is to illuminate this darkness in order to discover what it might say about our world and the human condition.
Five-year-old Jack is the protagonist, hero and narrator of the tale. The reader discovers very early that this intelligent and imaginative young boy is confined to a small room along with his mother, Ma. In fact, Jack was born in this 12-foot-square room, and he has never seen the outside world, since the only “window” is a high skylight. Ma has made a decision to make Jack’s whole world this room, telling him the people, animals and things he sees on television or reads about in books are not real—they’re just “pretend” things. Other than Ma and himself, the only other real things are Old Nick, the sinister man who occasionally visits in the night, and the food and other items Old Nick brings into the room.
When Jack makes a discovery soon after his fifth birthday, Ma decides to tell Jack the truth about their predicament, the truth about this fortified prison, and the truth about the outside world—truths Jack finds hard to believe. She also solicits Jack’s help in a do-or-die plan of escape, for Old Nick is suffering from the recession. He’s lost his job and is having trouble paying bills. Ma knows she and her son will never be left to live if Old Nick’s home reaches foreclosure.
I won’t give any other particulars away—there’s so much more to discover in this book—but I will tell you that Room is ultimately a life-affirming work. It’s a celebration of the love between mother and child, and a celebration of the resiliency of the human spirit—especially the spirit of a child who has been given the love, support, and nourishment every child needs.
While there are many tears in Room, this can be a funny book at times, and it is often a wise one. Jack’s observations of his world can make the reader chuckle, but they can also be oddly revealing, casting a new view on this tired and cruel old world.
If you decide to tackle Donoghue’s amazing book, know that Jack and Ma may linger with you long after you shut the door on this room.
A library for Ma and Jack by Emma Donoghue.
After you’ve read the book, visit What Jack Didn’t Know by Wendy Smith.
Room is packed with themes about parent/child relationships, child development, the concept of home, and so much more. It’s ideal for a book club discussion.
Kitty, Young Bill, and Literary Kittie are off for the holidays. So pick up your copy of the Christmas Carol, drink some eggnog, have some cheeseball or just be glad you got off work. Of course, unless you work for some crazy retail store that never closes no matter what and opens at 6:00 in the morning and will be open all day on Christmas Day.
I hope however you spend the next few days its in the company of family and friends, or if you’re happy with your own company that’s ok too. We’ll see you in a few days, Be well and thanks for reading OkieReads.
Did you know that Oklahoma has eight official Literary Landmarks, with more to come in the future? Literary Cat does, and he says you need to visit the link above to find out more.
The Sooner State has proved to be fertile ground for writers, and Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO) has joined with the national library friends organization (FOLUSA–Friends of Libraries USA), and state and local partners to pay tribute to our great writers.
The Literary Landmark project designates an historic or community site related to an individual writer’s life. In Woody Guthrie’s case, the whole town of Okemah is the landmark, since Woody’s boyhood home no longer exists. Ralph Ellison’s Oklahoma City home is also gone, so the Ralph Ellison Library has been dedicated in his honor. Angie Debo received two plaques: one for her home in Marshall, and one for the Angie Debo Collection at Oklahoma State University’s Edmon Low Library.
Read about Oklahoma’s Literary Landmarks, and then take a trek soon to a landmark near you!
(By the way, the link for writer John Joseph Mathews wasn’t working on the site, but you can read about this talented gentleman here.)
We came across a variety of book news this weekend that we simply have to share with Okie Reads visitors…
Now this is a book!! John James Audubon’s Birds of America sold at auction in London earlier this month for $11.5 million, making it the world’s most expensive monograph. The book is more than three feet tall and two feet wide and has 435 illustrations by the master naturalist. Wow!
Judging a Book by it’s Cover. CBS Sunday Morning ran a great piece on the importance of cover art in marketing books. Read more and watch the video.
Google’s amazing and not-so-amazing Ngram Viewer. Google has digitized more than 5 million books since 2004. This new product from Google Labs lets you trace the usage of a word or phrase during the past five centuries. But, before you get too excited I’ll share an experience with you. I typed in the word “Email” and saw that it had been used as early as the mid 1800′s. Say what?! Clicking on the time period, I received a link to an actual page that included the word “email.” Except it wasn’t the word “email.” It was the word “small.” (Looks like human sentience beat stupid software robot this time.) Actually, we think Ngram Viewer has a great future and will provide some wonderful research assistance in the future; especially if the software giant employs actual thinking beings to check the scans.
DADT Comic Book?! The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was all over the news this weekend, but this article was a real find. Seems a department of the U.S. Army published a comic book to explain the policy to our men and women in uniform. You can read the whole comic by clicking here. (Bet our U.S. Government Information librarians knew about this strange little document all along!)
Looks like a new tradition has been born on the OU Campus! The First Flash Silent Rave was held in Bizzell Memorial Library and it’s been preserved on YouTube for future generations.
There’s an expletive at the beginning, but don’t let that stop you. (Really!) The guy “trying” to check out a book is a hoot! Also fall-down-funny: “I dropped a contact!”
I just realized we didn’t have a copy of Voice of Bedlam , the new sports book about Bob Barry and will soon fix that oversight, and you should do the same. Who doesn’t know Bob Barry? If you’ve lived in Oklahoma for more than one sports season then you must have heard of him. The book is written by Oklahoma native, Bob Burke, another well known name in Oklahoma for his many, many books about Oklahoma people and places. To get a feel for just how prolific Bob is Voice of Bedlam is his 101st book . Michael Dean is co-author of the book. Published by the Oklahoma Heritage Association.
This book highlights Bob Barry’s life and work as a television and broadcasting icon for Oklahoma’s sports community. It also gives a history of football and basketball at Oklahoma’s two largest universities, OU and OSU.
I know the three have been appearing at various bookstores throughout the state, but here’s one more that you can catch….
Appearing at Steve’s Sundry in Tulsa, Thursday, Dec.16
Voice of Bedlam: The Life of Bob Barry
Come out on a Thursday night and meet Bob Barry,
co-authors, Bob Burke and Michael Dean.
This time of year we get all the great top ten lists. Young Bill reminded me with his top cookbook lists, yum. NPR has started holiday book buying with their Best Books of 2010. They have great categories like Otherworldly: The Year’s Most Transporting Books, my personal favorite. My Sister in Law desperately needs Book Club Picks: Give ‘Em Something To Talk About, as her book club has floundered with some less than stunning contributions. There’s best Teen Reads, Great Gift choices and for the grand finale, Best Books of 2010: The Complete List.
I’ve got to thank one of my colleagues for turning me on to these great end of the year book lists, hope you like them too.