in which i recover from graduate school

…and learn that it is possible to enjoy reading again and yet to still be able to have thoughts about books. It’s neat. It’s really difficult, being on that thin line between total crit mode and complete pleasure reading land. I know it’s fine to sometimes be in one and sometimes be in the other, but I think the best people are somewhere in between. Book reviewers are, at least. And I review books here? Kind of? I think thoughts about them and try to write them, and I also try to avoid plot because you should be able to learn that for yourself. Also, because that’s me in crit mode, where I am really not interested in giving you a recap. Anyway. Reviewers actually are different, at least in traditional review places, because they don’t really talk about the experience of reading the particular book. I’m trying to reconcile experience with objective quality with subjective quality with concepts and themes explored in the book.

No, I guess that is a review. Or an essay. Are those different? It is definitely a thing of some sort. It is a way of writing things about books. A thoughts and compliments and criticisms and analysis and a bit of squee. A thing. I don’t know.

So, with all that in mind, by which I mean you can ignore all of the nothing I just said, here are some thoughts about books I have read lately. Continue reading

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june nick hornby copycat

Books Bought This Month
The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales
T*Witches #01: The Power Of Two by Randi Reisfeld and HB Gilmour

Books Acquired/Received This Month
What the Spell by Brittany Geragotelis (from publisher, not for public review)
How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (from publisher, not for public review)
The Murmurings by Carly Anne West (from publisher, not for public review)
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans (from publisher, not for public review)
The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher (from publisher, not for public review)
Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland (from publisher, not for public review)
The Whole Stupid Way We Are by N. Griffin (from publisher, not for public review)
Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves & Other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple
Valentine Be Mine by Jacqueline Farmer Continue reading

quick review of my weekend in minneapolis

Quickie observations, insights, discoveries, and revelations.

1. The Midwest doesn’t suck. Oops for thinking it did. It has pretty nature, clean streets, good food, and friendly people. Also, does it have an obsession with aioli?

2. Keynote opening speaker: Stephen Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. Excellent talk, must read his book. Neuroplasticity is like neural mapping–it’s that part of neuroscience that I understand conceptually without having to remember without drawing a cell, so I love it. Also, I wonder if the current tendency towards multitasking and multimedia extravaganzas is linked to what I see as a rise in more of my peers choosing multiple college majors in disparate fields or going towards interdisciplinary studies. Hyperlinking gives us access to so many new ideas, and I know in my experience, it has made me more interested in investigating other areas of study. Could be interesting to look into…

3. At the YALSA/ALA booth in the vendor exhibits, I got to meet a lot of the people I’ve been meeting via the Internet who work for or with the wonderful organization that is giving me money to go to school and get all kinds of extras like stipends for conferences. Not only are these people pretty awesome, but they way pumped up my ego by implying that I am already kind of famous in their circles, and that they want me to present at conferences and volunteer for committees and stuff. Sweet. Continue reading