Some Web food...

Tonight we are going to kill a few birds with one stone. Tonight it's all about some wonderful new sites that I've explored on this great World Wide Web. Enjoy!

I actually found this to be very interesting to me personally. I have been on the hunt for a good Blog search site. I'd found Google Reader to be difficult to use. So here's a site that is easy to use, thanks to tags, and can lead me to what I'm interested in. However, I see the library application is slim to none. Again a lot is dependent on key word search, which can lead you through a maze of blogs that are far far away from where you started. Two hours later you are reading someones opinion about Marion Cotillard's dress at the Oscars (which I thought was fabulous BTW!) and not an explanation of the country's current sub-prime mortgage crisis.

LibraryThing, Goodreads, Shelfari
Well this site basically eliminates the idea of keeping a book journal or filling out 3 X 10 cards. Each site has a very easy interface and the visuals of the covers is marvelously appealing. However lets not forget that this is another version of social connectivity where we don't even need to ask you face to face about what books you are reading/have read. I'll just look you up on LibraryThing and there it is. All fears of our society's move towards an inability toward human contact aside, I will say that these sites are a lot of fun. I joined with LibraryThing because I like the library credibility of it. (It's there in the title!) And I did link it to this blog here. Although I will only be listing the titles I talk about here in Reviews. I also found it very savvy that by clicking on the covers you will instantly be sent to Amazon.com. Those crafty buggers at Amazon! Of course for library usage this can be incorporated into Reader's Advisory. It is so much better than What to Read Next.

Well there you are folks some web food for thought. Have a good week! Book Slave.


A Marvelous Weekend

Hello blog-o-sphere,
I actually had a pretty awesome fun-filled weekend. As a film nerd this weekend was like heaven. Academy Awards! Anyway I did manage to fit in some reading like I promised you all.

Like Kingdom Come, this original graphic novel is a deconstruction of comics, comics readers, and how we react to superheroes. Ross and Busiek show major events of the Marvel Universe through the eyes of photographer Phil Sheldon. Sheldon, and through him us, has a front-hand seat from the emergence of the Human Torch (who later became Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four) to the death of Gwen Stacy. Sheldon laments that even though "the Marvels" are continuously heroic they are always hated by the humans they save. This is an amazing metaphor for how our society builds up heroes only to tear them down. Ross's art is iconic and amazing. It blows you away in panel after panel. I also love the Spider-Man cover. Do not miss this book.

Runaways #29
Finally a new Runaways comic! It has been so long since the last new book that I had completely forgot what was going on. I also think that Whedon has too. I will say that I was completely lost. However I did love the scenes involving the torture of Sister Grimm. I am convinced that she is the strongest member of the group and is meant to be their leader. Her grim determination as she told the Witchbreaker to bring it on was awesome. Otherwise I am so ready for this arc to be over. Whedon get them back to present!

Thor #1
I have never been a Thor fan, however I had heard that this new series was great. So I decided to check it out and it was pretty awesome. I have had major problems with JMS lately but he was spot on perfect here. Surprisingly half of the issue is a heavy discussion between Thor and Donald Blake that was very well written and interesting. Favorite line:"It is not for the gods to decide whether or not Man exists--It is for Man to decide whether or not the gods exist." I'll be checking out this series.

Reading List
Coast of Utopia Vol. 2

Countdown to Final Crisis #11

Entertainment Weekly

Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Checkout Count: 48

Have a great week! Book Slave.


I tag you, you tag me

When I say tagging I'm not referring to graphitti folks. I'm talking about a new way to organize web searches and bookmarking. After searching through sites such as Delicious I am actively jealous. If only this had been around when I was in school! In those dark ages before wireless and my own MacBook I remember having to painstakingly note down my URLs for any future reference. Now here's a place where I can organize based on any category I want. How convenient!
I also notice that this idea is a result of the new technological mindset involving information portability. With our Ipods, flashdrives, and google accounts it now is easier to make technology work for us, rather than vice versa. I think this is very cool.
In terms of library research I also see this as a positive step. As we move more towards a web search world, rather then book search, it becomes crucial to use any tool that will help our patrons. I remember the dark ages of web searching when one would have to search through a thousand hits to find anything useful. Tagging IMHO is a way to make these searches easier as long as one uses the right keywords. Again this is not perfect yet, but I see it as a step in the right direction.
Start tagging, I mean technologically not with spray paint, Later, Book Slave.


Mea Culpa

Hey Blog-o-sphere,
A mea culpa this week I beg of you. This week I found myself bouncing from book to book and finishing none. So this means no reviews this week. Again mea culpa. However, in its place this week I am going to share another obsession of mine: podcasts.
What is a podcast? Podcasting started about 5 years ago where individuals started using recording equipment, hi and low-tech, to create their own mp3s. These podcasts are generally just normal people talking about a subject they love. Some are more professional than others. The best, IMHO, are podcasts that are just a couple of friends getting together and just shooting the bull about a subject they are passionate about.

So here's a list of book podcasts that I listen to/recommend:
NPR: Books
Booklust with Nancy Pearl
New York Times Book Review

These can all be found on Itunes. If you know of any other ones please let me know.

Reading List
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Coast of Utopia Vol. 2 Shipwreck

Countdown #12


Checkout Count: 51

Next week I will have reviews. Have a great reading week! Book Slave.


I Myspace therefore I am

As I have indicated in an earlier post when it comes to technology I am a member of the wait-and-see tribe. My tribe generally keeps an eye out for the new electronic whosits and thingamajigs. However, instead of running out and buying into the latest gold knob, I wait to see if it will significant change life as we know for the better. I also wait till it's cheaper, because I'm a lowly library assistant/book store slave.
In this regard I now must admit that I have kept my eye on the development of social interconnectivity sites on the world wide web. It has become obvious to me that Myspace and Facebook are here to stay. While I still favor face-to-face interactions, it is clear that young adults, or first-time adopters, are using this resource for good and ill.
Due to this fact, this resource needs to be harnessed and used by the library for good. I was impressed most by the Denver Public Libraries Myspace page. This page includes information about programs, patron interaction, blogs, and a direct connection to the catalog. It is an informative and useful site for any patron, but especially for young adults. This is a good example for SLCPL to emulate IMHO.
Of course their are harmful social implications. But as someone who has seen technology evolve continuously I know this to be a fact: The moment that capitalistic interests collide with cultural phenomenons is the beginning of the end. Remember when everyone was doing web pages, message boards, and Mudd gaming? Yeah so do I. Just wait, the next new thing will come along and replace Myspace/Facebook like sites. I'm right. You'll see.
Until then continue on in Virtual Life. Book Slave


Is it May? Cause it feels like May...

How awesome is the weather this week? Here in SLC it is beautiful and awesome reading weather as well.

Fables #61
This is a continuation of the Good Prince series. In this issue Flycatcher heads up to the Farm and has a talk with Boy Blue. Cheers to Willingham for combining an anti-war message with awesome new insights into characters, like Boy Blue here, that add new layers. I was also impressed with the writing of the interrogation scenes. Granny is quite a clever woman.

Wonder Woman: Love and Murder
Popular writer Jodi Picoult wrote this 6 issue arc last summer. Here I was finally able to pick it up in trade and found it fairly interesting. I confess that I am not really a Wonder Woman fan but Picoult's name got me to pick this up. The first issue was kindof rough, I found it hard to believe that Wonder Woman was unaware of credit cards. I also found some of the meta-jokes somewhat annoying. However by the third issue of the arc the action really picked up. The latter half, especially the last two issues, revealed a great examination of the Wonder Woman mythos. I found this especially true in the confrontation between Wonder Woman and her mother Hypolita. Which would you choose love or duty? Wonder Woman realizes that's not really the choice she needs to make. She can have both.

Civil War: Amazing Spider-Man
I picked up this collection of issues #532-538 because I wanted to read about the unmasking a Spider-Man. With hindsight these issues were clearly meant to lay the foundation for the reboot of the Brand New Day Storyline (which I commented on in my review of #545 in my January 30, 2008 post). I've always dug the emotional personal side of the Peter Parker saga. These issues showcase the tug-of-war that Peter suffers during the Civil War over Superhero Registration. I thought this was very well written and I actually felt sorry for him. Especially in his confrontation scene with Capt. America. This also contained a great discussion of the meaning of inalienable rights in the US today.

Reading List
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Arsonist's Guide to Writer's Homes in New England

Comic Books
Fables #62

Entertainment Weekly

Check Out Count: 54 (!)

Have a great week! Book Slave


Wikis...Cool and Helpful or Dangerous and Harmful...

(Psst...As I've alluded to, this is the start of some changes that I'm making. Occasionally I will post on some issues involving the internet and it's usage regarding librarianship. If this rambling bores you, don't worry I'll still be posting the regular reviews and reading lists. Just look at the post below. Otherwise enjoy!)

As with all technological advances their are always pros and cons. I'm sure 2 minutes after the World Wide Web became public someone found a way to subvert its usage to evil purposes...cough porn cough.

Pros of Wikis
Community Building
Allows for easy dispersal of information
Stores alot of information in an easy to search format
Feeling of self-ownership

Cons of Wikis
Lack of regulation
lack of commitment to updating
fact vs. opinion-need for objectivity

I use wikipedia often, however I know to take a look at the citation section to see if the source information is credible. Again they are always dependent on who is contributing to the wiki. Any wiki about professional procedures need to have an administrator to oversee what is posted there. Who is this administrator going to be? Message Boards are often plagued by this issue. However I find opinion-oriented wikis to be fun, such as some book review links, that I think would allow for patrons /librarians to collaborate.

So I think I'll sit back and be a part of the "wait and see" tribe. I hope you've enjoyed this rambling entry. Have a good day! Book Slave


Super Tuesday is here! Let's Read!

Hello Blog-o-sphere,
I'm so happy that Super Tuesday is finally here! Yes I voted today and wore my "I voted" sticker with pride. Anyway I do have some reviews for you this week. I also want to announce that you will be seeing some changes, some new features, but don't worry the focus will still be on books. Just because perhaps I may actually may have some readers (BTW hello and welcome!) doesn't mean I'll go changing on yeah.

Mouseguard Volume 1: Fall 1152
Excellent new original comic series. This original graphic novel is sortof a cross between Redwall and 300. This series focuses on a trio of mice warriors who thwart an attack on their land. Petersen richly deserves all the hype and accolades.

Scott Pilgrim Volume 2: Scott Pilgrim Versus the World
Highly enjoyable sequel. I think it's actually an improvement on Vol. 1. We follow slacker/action hero Scott Pilgrim as he continues to date Ramona the delivery girl and do battle with her evil ex-boyfriends. However I actually really enjoyed the chapters involving dumped ex-girlfriend Knives Chau as she deals with Scott's rejection/plots her revenge. It was pretty hilarious but also bittersweet. Again I found myself able to read this in one sitting. Definitely more mature storytelling then Vol. 1.

Fables #60
I thought I would reread "The Good Prince" story arc that begins with this issue and runs through issue #70. Fables is an amazing series, however I felt that it had dropped off a bit during the "Wolves" storylines. By finally telling the story of Fly Catcher, the Fabletown janitor, Willingham has recaptured my interest. Fly Catcher's reversal in character as well as his scenes with Little Red Riding Hood were great. This series is well known for it's revisionist premise, however this issue brings us back to the great characterizations that keeps me reading.

Reading List
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Graphic Novel
Civil War: Amazing Spider-Man


Fables #61

Current Check Out Count: 45

Enjoy! Go read! Book Slave.