The Unclassifiable Library Remix

Friday, June 29, 2007

SRP 2007 - Sixth Book Review

Murder at the God's Gate
Lynda S. Robinson
280 pages

The dead bodies just kept coming with this book with a plot based around political intrigue. The Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh (Lord Meren's soubriquet in the novels) was hard at work with all of the political backstabbing in this book. However, it has me well-prepared for the upcoming presidential elections. =) I found this story a bit more predictable than the last, and still with many historical inaccuracies, but I still really enjoyed the story. I already have ordered the rest of the series through ILL, since the books are so good they only take me about a day to read.

Books: 6
Pages: 1453

SRP 2007 - Fifth Book Review

Murder in the Place of Anubis
Lynda S. Robinson
224 pages

This series immediately sucked me right in. It combines a lot of the elements I like in fiction - a historical setting in the court of King Tut (though the historical details are not all accurate), murders to resolve, interesting (though not deep) characters, and a lot of intrigue. As I anticipated, it was very similar to the Amelia Peabody series, only with the events actually occurring in antiquity instead of just an archaeological view. The mystery was very suspenseful, keeping me guessing until the end, though regular mystery readers may find it more predicatible. I kept thinking I had it figured out, then another plot twist would prove me wrong. Can't wait to read the next one.

Books: 6
Pages: 1173

Friday, June 22, 2007

SRP 2007 - Fourth Book Review

Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook
Scott Adams
192 pages

I wanted to hone my management skills over the summer, and since I was so empowered by The Dilbert Principle during library school that I thought I would revisit the genius that is Scott Adams. Chapters like "Forced Interaction with Unpleasant People," "Artificial Compliance," and "Identifying Suck-ups" made me laugh while helping me to understand the mystery that is management. An incredibly fun read.

Books: 5
Pages: 949

Friday, June 15, 2007

SRP 2007 - Third Book Review

All Together Dead
Charlaine Harris
323 pages

I was eagerly awaiting this next installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I love vampire stories and other stories of the supernatural, and the humor, action, and great characters of this series is just my type of good fiction. This story, in which the telepathic Sookie accompanies some of her vampire cronies to a vamp conference, was just as riveting as the previous books in the series.

However, just like Pirates of the Caribbean 2, I felt let down by the end - as if this installment just couldn't stand on it's own and has a big to be continued implied. I mean, I understand it's a series, and loose ends are necessary in order to keep the ball rolling. However, I felt this story just stopped, leaving me completely hanging. I'd like a little bit of resolution here please. Alas, the next book in the series will not be out until May 2008, so I'll be hanging until then to see where the drama will lead to next.

Books: 4
Pages: 757

SRP 2007 - First Book Non-Review

Empowering Your Library: A Guide to Improving Service, Productivity, & Participation
Connie Christopher
71 pages

I attempted to read this book, I really did. I was hoping it would give me some practical ideas for improving customer service and motivating my staff. I was sorely disappointed to find it dry as toast - sort of like a really long reserve article for a library management class based solely on theory. After flipping through a couple of sections and reading bits and pieces, I gave up, feeling less than empowered.

Books: 3
Pages: 434

Friday, June 08, 2007

SRP 2007 - Second Book Review

The Truth About Catalogers and The Truth About Reference Librarians

By Will Manley with illustrations by Richard Lee

129 and 152 pages respectively

I was trolling our library's collection of books about ourselves to see if I could find any that might be of professional interest to read. These books were exactly what I was looking for - a bit of light, comic reading perfect for advancing me down the road to tenure. OK, maybe that last bit was a stretch. These books are really only good for a laugh, and I read them in brief bits, since they are a mix of book and comic. It was nice to just read a few pages and not have to really invest in a plot, like while I had a moment waiting for a meeting to start. I have a toddler, and the smaller sections like "Theories on the Origin of Catalogers" and "Passages: Ten Stages in the Life of a Reference Librarian" enabled me to enjoy the books even if I got interrupted twenty times while reading it. I had quite a few laugh out loud moments while reading, so be careful not to drink milk while reading these books or the results could be problematic. =) If you are a librarian, or know one they'll make for good take to the beach reading.

Books: 3
Pages: 434

Friday, June 01, 2007

SRP 2007 - First Book Review

Moccasin Thunder
Edited by Lori Marie Carlson
153 pages

I found this book on the shelves of our American Indian Studies department, while looking for books I could review for American Indian Quarterly, something the librarians have assisted in doing at this historically Native American institution. I picked this book because it was a series of short stories, which I felt would be a nice introduction for my summer reading, and also because it would be easier to read during the hubbub surrounding the end of the semester.

Ten well known Native American authors offer stories not of the history of native peoples, but stories of young adult Native Americans with modern topics such as alcoholism, poverty, divorce, and the continued importance of family. These stories were a much welcome alternative to the usual portrayal of stereotypical images forever marooned in yesteryear. A grocery store checkout, a freezing rowboad ride, a drunken gym dance, and a public-access TV fiasco serve to remind us that the story of Native Americans is not one of the past, but is on-going. Written in styles from serious to humorous to sarcastic, the stories are fresh and engaging.

The stories include:
  1. How to Get to the Planet Venus
  2. Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock
  3. A Real-Live Blond Cherokee and His Equally Annoyed Soul Mat
  4. The Last Snow of the Virgin MAry
  5. Crow
  6. Ice
  7. Wild Geese
  8. The Magic Pony
  9. Summer Wind
  10. Drum Kiss
My favorite was Drum Kiss by Susan Power, and the story of Fawn who checks Grandma's closet every night to see if she can find the magical world of Narnia in an attempt to escape the poverty surrounding her. It was incredibly touching and I would definitely recommend it.

Books: 1
Pages: 153