April Reads

Wow, the end of April rolled around quickly! I can’t believe it’s already time to do a little recap of my reading for the last 30 days!

Nothing of much interest happened in my personal life in the last month — just the usual stress of being a last semester senior in college — so I’ll get right to the books! Continue reading

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Read More/Blog More Poetry, April: Emily Dickinson

read more/blog more poetry

Welcome to the April installment of Read More/Blog More Poetry, a monthly blogging event held by Regular Rumination!

I’ve been very slowly making my way through Barnes & Noble’s The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson, skipping around through the different sections and marking my favorite poems with those little colored, sticky, page markers. I would like to do a more in-depth post about Dickinson’s poetry when I finish reading the collection, so today I would just like to share one poem I have particularly enjoyed so far:

He ate and drank the precious words,
His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book. What liberty
A loosened spirit brings!

I love the theme of this poem even more than the way it is written, although I do adore the lilting rhythm her poems tend to have — and the characteristic break in rhythm in the last few lines! I am a huge believer in the importance of literacy and its ability to liberate and empower readers (just look at Dreiser, Wright, and I’m sure many other authors I don’t know of), and I love so many things about this poem; how perfect is it that the words filled him like food and drink, nourished his spirit, and gave him wings? And I can’t get over the line “he danced along the dingy days.” I have a huge weakness for alliteration, and this one is stunning.

What’s your favorite Emily Dickinson poem? Do you know any other great poems that extoll the power of reading?

In Which I Play Catch-Up: Blogger awards

Last month, The Dandy Lion over at Free Page Numbers nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! I am really grateful and excited, although I have been super lazy about officially accepting it. I am probably a terrible person for not immediately posting a message of thanks and passing on the award. But I will try to remedy that now!

And then yesterday Shannon from Isleofbooks nominated me for the ABC Award, and I figured I should really get on this! (Making timely posts is really something I need to work on.)

I would really like to thank both of you for nominating me. I feel so honored (and a little stunned) that you like my blog, especially considering the very short time I have been blogging. You both have fantastic blogs yourselves! Continue reading

Special Boxed Set for 1Q84 Paperback

Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, published last year, will be released in a special paperback boxed set May 15. The novel will be broken into three volumes (presumably where it was split for its original three-part release in Japan) that fit together to make one image and are housed in a translucent sleeve. Is it pretty or what?! I’m glad I didn’t buy the hardback; the set is lovely, and the single volumes will be much easier to lug around!

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami boxed set

The list price is $29.95, but the set can be purchased for $15.98 on Amazon. The novel will eventually be released in paperback in a single volume.

What do you think of the design?

Book Review: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Book Review: Swamplandia by Karen RussellSWAMPLANDIA!
by Karen Russell

Fiction
Vintage, February 2011
Paperback, 397 pages

Karen Russell’s debut novel welcomes the reader to Swamplandia!, the premier gator-themed amusement park in the Florida Everglades, where tourists flock from around the world to watch alligator wrestling and to witness Hilola Bigtree’s famous “Swimming with the Seths” routine (all of the alligators are named Seth).

That is, until Hilola tragically dies, leaving her husband and three children to pick up the pieces. Without the park’s main attraction, Swamplandia! begins to fail as the family struggles to keep afloat on their secluded island home. Hilola’s husband, Chief Bigtree, withdraws from his children and moves to the mainland to find work, and Kiwi, the eldest child and the only son, defects to a new, rival park on the mainland in the hope of raising money to help pay his family’s ever-mounting debts. The two daughters, Osceola (aka Ossie) and Ava are left to their own devices on the island. Continue reading

New J.K. Rowling Title Announced!

J.K. Rowling

That’s right, Little, Brown announced today that J.K. Rowling’s next book (and first novel for adults) will be called The Casual Vacancy and be released Sept. 27!

The novel takes place in Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English town complete with cobbled streets and an ancient cathedral. However, Pagford is not what it seems.

Beneath its charming surface, the town is at war — rich against poor, husbands against wives, children against parents. Add in the unexpected death of middle-aged Barry Fairweather, and tensions rise even more as residents battle to fill his seat on the parish council. Rife with duplicity, passion, and unexpected revelations, Little, Brown describes the novel as “blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising.” Continue reading

College Humor Takes on “READ Posters”

Has anyone else noticed College Humor isn’t quite as funny when you’re actually in college? But anyway, I discovered (via Pinterest, of course — I’m becoming obsessed) that last week they posted a series of “READ Posters for Adults, for people who don’t have the “time” or “desire” to go to the library.”

They might not be laugh-out-loud hilarious, but they’re funny and worth a quick look. Click the picture below to see the rest!

college humor read

National Bookmobile Day

Bookmobile in Japan

Bookmobile in Japan (click for source)

Today is the third annual National Bookmobile Day, as part of National Library Week!

Bookmobiles are basically mobile libraries that transport resources throughout their communities. They are totally in the spirit of this year’s National Library Week theme, “You belong @ your library.” Libraries are for everyone, but not everyone may be able to get to them. Solution? Put the library on wheels, so truly anyone can have access to library materials! Bookmobiles can travel to suburban and rural locations to serve children, disabled adults, people with health problems, the elderly, and those who do not have or can’t afford transportation to the library. Patrons can use bookmobiles to search the Web, get research assistance from a librarian, participate in resume workshops, and check out books and DVDs.

To celebrate these libraries-on-wheels, the American Library Association (ALA) asked libraries and library agencies to share what makes their bookmobiles so special by submitting videos to the “Why We Love Our Bookmobile” YouTube contest. You can head over to their YouTube channel to view the submissions, which are really fantastic! I’ve posted my favorites below 🙂 Continue reading

National Library Week

national library weekI’m a few days late with this (aren’t I always?), but National Library Week started Sunday, April 8! Through April 14, libraries across the country are celebrating… being awesome, I suppose. This year’s theme is “You belong @ your library,” to remind people that a library is a place where everyone belongs!

That’s really the great thing about libraries — that they are for anyone. Old, young, rich, poor, gay, straight, handsome, ugly, the library doesn’t care! It’s there for anyone who wants to learn, and that is really wonderful. I’ve had a library card since I was nine, and it has served me well the last 12 years! I’ve read dozens of fantastic books, done research for school assignments, and even looked at some great art in my public library. Continue reading

March Reads

March was kind of a crazy month! What with a family emergency, picking up an extra shift at work each week, and having just as much coursework as ever, I haven’t had a ton of time for reading, but I did manage to read some good books!

I’m also getting more into blogging, and traffic to this little site really grew this month. I really want to thank everyone who reads my posts, and especially those who comment! I love reading your feedback, and I have learned some really interesting things and gained some great perspectives. I have been so surprised by the sense of community in the blogosphere; I love that everyone seems to support each other, and I’m amazed at how it brings people together. Through this blog, I have talked to people as far away as India and Australia, and that is just so cool to me! I was even nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, which is a huge honor that I plan to post more formally about in the next few days. So thank you, everyone, for taking the time out of your day to read this little blog 🙂 Continue reading