Friday, January 30, 2009

Washington Post Written Review: Closing Down

Another one bites the dust. This is a sign of our times unfortunately.
If it means everything is going digitally because of our economic times.
It is just too bad.

It is good news for us, as book bloggers because author's and their book publicist's need us even more as newspapers are folding. They still need us to review their client's next best sellers. The next one to fold is The Washington Post's Book World starting in February. The only one left that will still be around is The New York Times.

How unfortunate I am not ready to go digital, and I don't think I ever will. I love to read a old fashioned book and relax. Not from a computer.

I don't like those downloadable books either and I don't think I ever will. There is a problem when you read from those anyway how to save your spot.
I would assume you call it a bookmark. Here is the link to read here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amazing: The Human Cell

This is so amazing I just had to post this on my blog. I usually don't post anything but books. But take this as a learning experience.
I am taking A/P in class we are talking about cell division. You would have to understand my excitement about this class. If you believe in G-d than you would understand how I feel. Life is so intricate and amazing how life begins, granted this is cell division not development of a fetus. But it is still amazing. One little mistake with the genetic makeup... How we are dividing everyday is a miracle. The intricacy and the science is just wonderful.. To watch this short flick is amazing, the human body is amazing....Don't mean to get on my soap box but I can't help it. The short animation is from youtube.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Say Adios to The 38th Ave. Diva Readers Book Club

I am in the need for a new book club.
Unfortunately all the work and sweat to keep the book club running has come to a end.
I knew we were loosing members but nothing gave any of us the idea that it would end.
I asked one member to run the book club next month in February. Unfortunately her husband is ill and would not be able to do it.

I then sent a email thinking someone would come to the rescue. Unfortunately no one did. The thing of it is, I always felt there is always a reason for something to come to a end. So maybe this is it. I am too busy with school to discuss the book, The Reader. My friend is already doing two in a row in March and April.
There is almost every person dealing with health issue in our book club. Except two people. Everyone else either has health issue or has someone that is ill

I have killed my self too many times. It hurts like heck, because I started this baby. But unfortunately, no one cares. How sad it was a good run. But as the saying goes. "The End Is Near, BUT I DID IT MY Way"-Frank Sinatra.
Maybe by chance someone will come forward and spark interest and say let's try again. That would be nice because I am going to miss this little club. I am going to be so sad. I am in mourning, isn't it coincidence it would be four years next month.Se La Vie!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Giveaway: People of the Book

I am having a book giveaway contest for People of the book.
To enter you must leave a comment here and at Jewish Rantings, my other blog. to have one entry and for a additional entry leave a comment on Jewish Rantings and for additional information.
The books are courtesy of Julie at FSB Associates.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Community of Online Book Club @ Facebook

A new online book club community is at facebook if you always wanted to join a book club, and just could not find the time or a cetain time did not work, or not one in your area. Or there unfortunately were personal conflicts that just happen in book clubs you might want to check it out. Here is the place to get information.
Literate Housewife has posted about it on her blog. You can join her's or see others that are existing that might interest you. You can also check out her new blog it is wonderful.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bibliophile's Paradise

I just had to share this story. This has to be a bibliophile's dream come true. But at least this would be my book fantasy get-away. Wouldn't you love to be surrounded by books like this. I sure would. Now, let me see what book to choose. I don't think I would even know which one. This is like letting me go to the penny candy store when I was a little kid. I think it would take me a year to just catalog them all. Read on....

Tech Biz : People RSS
Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker's Library
By Steven Levy Email 09.22.08
From King James to James Bond, Chaucer to Sputnik, a personal library like no other.
Photo: Andrew Moore

The View From Above Looming over the library is an original Sputnik 1 satellite, one of several backups the Soviets built. At far left is a model of NASA's experimental X-29 jet, with forward-swept wings. "It's the first plane that a pilot can't fly—only computers can handle it," Walker says. On the top of the center shelves are "scholar's rocks," natural formations believed by the Chinese to spur contemplation. Behind the rocks is a 15-foot-long model of the Saturn V rocket.

Nothing quite prepares you for the culture shock of Jay Walker's library. You exit the austere parlor of his New England home and pass through a hallway into the bibliographic equivalent of a Disney ride. Stuffed with landmark tomes and eye-grabbing historical objects—on the walls, on tables, standing on the floor—the room occupies about 3,600 square feet on three mazelike levels. Is that a Sputnik? (Yes.) Hey, those books appear to be bound in rubies. (They are.) That edition of Chaucer ... is it a Kelmscott? (Natch.) Gee, that chandelier looks like the one in the James Bond flick Die Another Day. (Because it is.) No matter where you turn in this ziggurat, another treasure beckons you—a 1665 Bills of Mortality chronicle of London (you can track plague fatalities by week), the instruction manual for the Saturn V rocket (which launched the Apollo 11 capsule to the moon), a framed napkin from 1943 on which Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his plan to win World War II. In no time, your mind is stretched like hot taffy.

Jay's Anatomy "What's so wonderful about our knowledge of the human body is how remarkably constrained it has been over time," Walker says. In the center of the table sits the Anatomia universa, an early-19th-century medical masterwork by the Italian illustrator Paolo Mascagni. At front right is a field tool kit for Civil War surgeons. Grasping the box of prosthetic eyeballs at left is the original "Thing" hand from the TV show The Addams Family, signed by the cast. In front of the 19th-century phrenological bust is a book, from about 1500, containing the first published illustrations of surgery on humans. "Pre-anesthesia, of course" Walker says. At the rear are a 300 million-year-old trilobite fossil, a raptor skeleton, and a clutch of fossilized dinosaur eggs.

Wearing a huge can-you-believe-it grin is the collection's impresario, the 52-year-old Internet entrepreneur and founder of Walker Digital — a think tank churning out ideas and patents, it's best-known for its lucrative "I started an R&D lab and have been an entrepreneur. So I have a big affinity for the human imagination," he says. "About a dozen years ago, my collection got so big that I said, 'It's time to build a room, a library, that would be about human imagination.'"

Walker's house was constructed specifically to accommodate his massive library. To create the space, which was constructed in 2002, Walker and architect Mark Finlay first built a 7-foot-long model. Then they used miniature cameras to help visualize what it would be like to move around inside. In a conscious nod to M. C. Escher (whose graphics are echoed in the wood tiling), the labyrinthine platforms seem to float in space, an illusion amplified by the glass-paneled bridges connecting the platforms. Walker commissioned decorative etched glass, dynamic lighting, and even a custom soundtrack that sets the tone for the cerebral adventures hidden in this cabinet of curiosities. "I said to the architect, 'Think of it as a theater, from a lighting and engineering standpoint,'" Walker says. "But it's not a performance space. It's an engagement space."

Planetarium The massive "book" by the window is a specially commissioned, internally lit 2.5-ton Clyde Lynds sculpture. It's meant to embody the spirit of the library: the mind on the right page, the universe on the left. Pointing out to that universe is a powerful Questar 7 telescope. On the rear of the table (from left) are a globe of the moon signed by nine of the 12 astronauts who walked on it, a rare 19th-century sky atlas with white stars against a black sky, and a fragment from the Sikhote-Alin meteorite that fell in Russia in 1947—it's tiny but weighs 15 pounds. In the foreground is Andrea Cellarius' hand-painted celestial atlas from 1660. "It has the first published maps where Earth was not the center of the solar system," Walker says. "It divides the age of faith from the age of reason."

Inspiration Point Walker frequently meets with the Walker Digital brain trust in the seating area of the library, hoping to draw inspiration from the surroundings. Artist Clyde Lynds (known for integrating fiber optics into his work) created the intricate illuminated glass panels and many other visual elements. Walker himself designed the Escher-like tile floor, modeled after a tumbling block pattern from the Victorian age. He bought the chandelier (seen in the Bond film Die Another Day) at an auction and rewired it with 6,000 LEDs. The open book on the table features watercolor illustrations for an 18th-century papal palace that was never built. The globe has special meaning for Walker: "It was a wedding gift Eileen and I received in 1982."

Reading Room In the foreground are several early-20th-century volumes with jeweled bindings—gold, rubies, and diamonds—crafted by the legendary firm Sangorski & Sutcliffe. On the table (first row, from left) is a 16th-century book of jousting, a Dickens novel decorated with the author's portrait, and (open, with Post-it flags) an original copy of the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle, the first illustrated history book. Second row: the 1535 Coverdale Bible (the first completely translated into modern English), a medieval tome with intricate illustrations of dwarfs, a collection of portraits commissioned at a 17th-century German festival ("Facebook in 1610!"), a tree-bark Indonesian guide to cannibalism, and a Middle Eastern mother goddess icon from around 5000 BC.

Walker shuns the sort of bibliomania that covets first editions for their own sake—many of the volumes that decorate the library's walls are leather-bound Franklin Press reprints. What gets him excited are things that changed the way people think, like Robert Hooke's Micrographia. Published in 1665, it was the first book to contain illustrations made possible by the microscope. He's also drawn to objects that embody a revelatory (or just plain weird) train of thought. "I get offered things that collectors don't," he says. "Nobody else would want a book on dwarfs, with pages beautifully hand-painted in silver and gold, but for me that makes perfect sense."

What excites him even more is using his treasures to make mind-expanding connections. He loves juxtapositions, like placing a 16th-century map that combines experience and guesswork—"the first one showing North and South America," he says—next to a modern map carried by astronauts to the moon. "If this is what can happen in 500 years, nothing is impossible."

Gadget Lab A brand-new One Laptop per Child XO, far left, sits next to a relatively ancient RadioShack TRS-80 Model 100. In back, a 1911 typewriting machine and a 1909 Kent radio. The large contraption at center is the Nazis' supposedly unbreakable Enigma code machine. The book to its left is a copy of Johannes Trithemius' 1518 Polygraphiae, a cryptographic landmark. On the right is an Apple II motherboard signed by Woz. An Edison kinetoscope sits beside an 1890 Edison phonograph (along with three of the wax cylinders it uses for recording). Nearby is a faithful copy of Edison's lightbulb. The gadget with the tubes is an IBM processor circa 1960. In front of it stands a truly ancient storage device, a Sumerian clay cone used to record surplus grain.

Walker struggles to balance privacy with his impulse to share his finds with the outside world. Schoolchildren often visit by invitation, as do executives, politicians, and scholars. Last February, the organizers of the TED conference persuaded him to decorate their stage with some of his treasures. But he's never invited any press in to see the collection—until now.

Senior writer Steven Levy ( profiled sci-fi author Neal Stephenson in issue 16.09.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mailbox Monday

I am blogging the first time for Mailbox Monday it is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. If I forgot something please don't be shy and let me know.

The books that arrived this week by my friendly mailman/ mailwoman and UPS person was:

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
The Illumination by Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori
Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
Realible Wife By Robert Goolrick
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

My pile is starting to fill up again.. I can't wait to read the few I listed above.
But I still have a few more pages to People of The Book which will be finished today.
Then off to read Sima's Undergarments for Women

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oprah's Done it Again

Oprah has done it again. I usually don't like to publicize pulp but because it has to do with a book I have been wanting to read, and of course book clubs. I just had to let everyone know. Oprah is inviting book clubs to participate with another first, via webcast on youtube. She has sent a email to book clubs to participate. They will be discussing The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski And your book club might be featured.

Information about the book and background information can be found at Oprah's website.
It is full of background information and other fun things to know about the book.

This sounds very interesting. I would have loved our book club to participate.
But this is too short notice for our group. If it is a hit we may be able to participate the next time. But if you are a follower, you may be interested.
Here are the links to set up the webcast.
Here is the preview to the link
Sounds like fun but I will be working. But all of you Guys and Dolls that can be make it sounds like it will be a great time for all of us bibliophiles, book hounds, and book clubbers.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I wanted to share this article I found about about book clubs and finding the right fit. It is something to think about.

Finding a well-fitting book group is no easy assignment.

By Melanie Cox McCluskey

For The Inquirer

Kristen Bellamy has tasted the sweet success of a well-read, well-run book club - and she misses it desperately.

Bellamy, a physician liaison for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, tried out a couple of book clubs in Boston before moving to Philadelphia in June.

The first club, made up of strangers pulled together via Craigslist, struggled to decide on book choices. Then she struck gold with her second group - in fact, she still asks the members what they're reading.

Now living in Fishtown, she tried a book club she found on, but she said it felt awkward, and the discussion of the novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics was "very cursory, very surface."

For bookworms who are social butterflies, a book club is the perfect excuse to dig into a much-hyped novel or a juicy memoir and then to toast or roast its pages with like-minded individuals. But for many book lovers like Bellamy, finding the right fit is harder than it looks.

Like literature's magical formula of setting, character development and plot, the chemistry of a successful book club involves a delicate balance of spoken and unspoken rules. The size of the group, the members' commitment to reading the assigned book, and the leadership style all shape a club's success.

For Bellamy, 29, the top priority is a group that gets along well but can stay focused; book clubs, she notes, often take too quick a turn for the personal. "A lot of times it's talk about the book for five minutes but then, 'What's going on with you?' " Bellamy says.

Kym Silvasy-Neale of South Philadelphia also dabbled in book clubs that were less than perfect matches. She remembers one especially large group, diverse in viewpoint, gender and age.

"The older crowd felt they had the right to put you down because you didn't live in a certain time or you didn't understand feminism," Silvasy-Neale says, adding that she often felt stifled amid the strong personalities. "There were lots of heated arguments and yelling."

Silvasy-Neale, now 39, attended four or five meetings before dropping out. Determined to develop a fair, democratic and civilized environment, she started her own local book club within a Yahoo online group. A college textbook sales representative for W.W. Norton & Co., Silvasy-Neale said she started the club for the camaraderie she felt she was missing by not having a typical office job.

Four years later, her Philly Book Lover's Group has evolved into the club she always dreamed of. A core group of about 12 women ages 25 to 40 not only meet once a month to discuss what they're reading, but also nurture new friendships that extend to outside social activities. They invite one another to Christmas parties, socialize at fund-raising events, and vacation in Las Vegas together.

But having a strong, cohesive core didn't happen overnight, Silvasy-Neale says.

"It's like dating. You're constantly going on blind dates. It's taken a lot of members to come in and out of the group to find members who are like us."

Silvasy-Neale says her group places a high value on respect for others' opinions, which can lead to self-censorship.

During the October discussion of Loving Frank: A Novel, Silvasy-Neale says she and others held back some of their feminist comments out of respect for a member's mother, who identified herself as a conservative Republican. Hearing that, Silvasy-Neale conjured up stereotypes of a traditional stay-at-home mother from a previous generation.

That meant it took longer than usual for members to warm up to the discussion of a character who abandons her husband and children to live with her lover in Europe. "A lot of members were pulling back so as not to offend this woman."

Kathy Volk Miller, an English professor at Drexel University and coeditor of the Painted Bride Quarterly literary magazine, underscores the importance of finding like-minded people in organizing or joining a book club. But more important than worldview is agreement on what members hope to get out of the club.

"If you need an excuse to socialize, that is different than people who really want to discuss literature," Volk Miller says. "Everybody has to be on the same page."

Readers belonging to more formalized groups are likely to take the reading more seriously and treat the meeting like a literature class, Volk Miller says, while more social groups risk falling apart from lack of structure and a mix of attitudes ranging from utterly devoted to not serious at all.

Bellamy is among those committed readers frustrated by uninvolved club members.

"Less than half the time does everyone read the book, which is my pet peeve," Bellamy says. "I'm such a nerd - as soon as I find out what the book is, I go and get it."

Volk Miller also sees value in appointing a leader who can create rules, structure the discussion, defuse any potentially volatile discussions, and choose the books. Because literature is so subjective, Volk Miller says, assigning a book can feel too personal.

For groups having a hard time deciding on a book, Volk Miller suggests using an arbitrary source, like the New York Times Best-Sellers list.

"You have to have an intellectual center or anarchy will reign," Volk Miller says.

Joyce Homan organizes the monthly women's reading group at Giovanni's Room, a gay-friendly bookstore at 12th and Pine Streets. When she first began leading the discussions, she said she used online literature guides. Now, she says, the questions come easily and often lead to controversial discussions that manage to remain respectful.

Homan says the group comprises as few as seven and as many as 19 women depending on the monthly book choice, is mostly gay or bisexual, and has a mix of ages and ethnicities.

"It definitely broadens your viewpoints," Homan says of the controversy that sometimes develops from the discussions of women's literature. "Your dearly held beliefs aren't necessarily held by the people in your group.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Here my post on Sima's Undergarments for Women. Just recieved the ARC. I have read some good reviews. You can check out my post here.

How Was Your Day??

We had our book club business meeting today. I did not know if I was going to be able to have it or call it off. Last night we had our monthly Rosh Hodesh meetings.

I came home I promised my son that I would take him to McDonalds. I drove into their parking lot, and heard a thump. ugh oh! David I think we got a flat. Sure enough we did it was 11 PM. Luckily it was warm in SC last night. We walked home. Waited till 8 in the morning and was ready to call a tow truck.

Because the tire was ruined I had to be towed. I could not find the phone book. My book club would be meeting in three hours. And I could not even remember who did I use last time when I got a flat. I had called my girlfriend Gayle. She started reading down the list of car repairs till she got to Hussy. Both of us said that name sounds familiar.

I called and told me it would be taken care of right away. I went with them to have the car towed. He gave me some more bad news. I needed another tire for the other front tire. I would rather him tell me now. Rather then get into a car accident with a flat. He had to get me two new tires. With towing and two new tire $240.00. Well that was the worst of it.

I did get home but my house looked like a bomb hit. I did not even have time to take a shower. I looked terribly sloppy. I looked like a mess. And even after the book club we were going to Olive Garden of a group of six of us. You want to talk about stress. To top it all off only two of my friends showed up for the book club.

These are the people that showed up: Amy and Carrol.
It turns out Lisa was not feeling well. And Teasa told me she was coming and her husband told me she came but no one was there. That was impossible it turned out she went to the temple not to my house.

I had a brain storm I called Lisa and Teasa for their imput. And that was that.
I was so hurt and angry because some people did not even bother to come. Their answer I am not giving up my Wednesday for a book club. If they really were dedicated they would have came. The three of us sat down and decided on a few things. We decided on the time of the book club. I sent a email over a month ago. This gave them enough ample time to decide on a few books and if they wanted to bring anything up. Some members did make a point letting me know what book they wanted and if they wanted to hostess the book club.

Well the three of us at my house, and the two on the phone decided what books we wanted to read. We decided we wanted to read some Native Indian literature, memoirs, just not contemporary women's fiction. I wanted to slip in a classic. But I just could not think of anyone my friend Carrol had mentioned Little Women. Not sure if that would be appropriate. Did any of you read Little Women when you are older? Let me know what you all think. Well we finally got on a roll but by the time we came to the end of the year, I think we were just picking out of the sky. Since the other members did not show up or call and let me know if they wanted to have some input they don't have a right to criticize. But I am sure they will.

Listed above is the information going into the temple bulletin. You can hover over the picture to enlarge the picture to read the flyers.
I hope all these ladies will be happy with the decisions we make. Come on, who am I kidding. Well they should have been there and they would be able to get their say.

Here is the list of Books we decided:

February- The Reader by Bernard Schlink
March- Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
April- Matrimony by Joshua Henkin- conference call with book giveaway
May- My Father's Paradise by Ariel Saber
June- Who By Fire by Diana Spechler
July- Don't let the Dogs Out Tonight by Alesander Fuller
August-Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover
September-Mistress in the Art of Death- Adriana Franklin
October- Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
November- Strong Medicine by Louise Erdridge
December-The Bad Bad Pig by Cy Montgomery

I got some picks that I wanted that were in my pile of books. That will decrease the pile. A few books that I was hoping to get on our list that I was hoping to get there. I quesss I was not a good ssales person. Some of my friends don't trust my blogging friends. They think they just want to sell books.

What do you think of the choices we made?? Have any of you ever had these kind of problems in book clubs?? What did you do to fix it?? Let me know. What is your worst thing that happened in your book club???

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wish Me Luck

Thank y'all that responded to my post, "Help Wanted".
Most of you picked the same books I had thought about. That tells you, that we are all on the same page.

Wish me luck at our book club business meeting. We always have some hacklers and complainer that don't bother to show up. Then they wonder why we picked them. I have given every one the opportunity to send me books they would like to nominate for the meetings for the year. Oh well not my fault!!

I want to try to sneak a contemporary classic, possibly Hemingway or someone mentioned Gone with the Wind, or Little Women. I also would like to see a few memoirs this year. Maybe even Historical Fiction. I want to try Who By Fire.
One of our snowbirds is going to moderate next month the Reader and in April The Madonnas of Leningrad which I loved. The Time Traveler's Wife possibly for a book club favorite or Bean Tree by Kingslover.

I want to start something different. The only problem many a time we have a few fuddy duddys. I would like to see if one of the month there is not a title, but pick a book by such and such author and discuss his works. Or pick a certain theme and each member pick one and then we will all discuss it a certain month. Not sure how this would work.
Has anyone ever tried this. I would like to hear your input or suggestions.

Our book club will be meeting Wednesday. Last year we picked books for the year. But when we were getting further on in the year it seemed that they were just picking through the air. So what happened by Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec. we had to pick all over again. I hope that doesn't happen.

What we have been doing who ever picks the book is the moderator/hostess for that month. But there are a few complainers. A few have said we all should pick by majority. So this year I told each member to bring a list of three books and we will discuss it. Aren't you glad you don't belong to a book club. Sometimes I want to pull my hair out. I guess you can tell by my tone I am a bit frustrated. Wish me luck!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Help Wanted

Our book club is meeting this week for our annual business meeting to discuss what books to read for the year. If any of my blogger readers, and the blogging community, have ideas what books are good for discussion please leave a comment. I was thinking of Testimony which I just finished. But I wanted a couple more that really stand out.
It would be most appreciated, Thanks...

Lilac Girls: Book Review

Lilac Girls By Martha Hall Kelly Review copy from Ballantine Books You may not want to read my review. I am very critical of ...