Friday, September 12, 2008

Round Up

I am in the process of reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. What a delightful, vivid and charming novel. It is written in an espistolary format and the authors didn't shy away from some of the darker subject matter like the lack of food and other amenities on the island after the Nazis occupation of Guernsey, both the the terrible treatment of the people by the Nazi soldiers and also some of the kindesses displayed by the Nazis.

What makes this novel even more poignant is that Mary Ann Shaffer worked on this book for years, and when she became to ill to finish the novel she asked her niece, author Annie Barrows to finish the book. Annie Barrows is the author of the Ivy and Bean series for children. Unfortunately, I just read that Ms. Shaffer passed away earlier in February of this year. This book is sure to win your heart. How the islanders not only exist, but grow to depend on each other and love each other during this horrible time is told from the viewpoint of approximately 20 characters. I borrowed it from the library, but I must have my own copy. If you are a fan of 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, I think you will love this novel as well. You can listen to some excerpts from the book here.

Author groupie-that's me. I have a friend who is a politician groupie, but it's writers all the way for me. I like reading about their process, how long it took them to get published, and even very personal tidbits like where their average day and where they write. I guess other folks are interested in these things too. The Guardian has a series on Writer's Rooms.

Oops, I forgot to get the some of the new 42 cents Latin Jazz Stamps.

The universe sure is purdy!!! We should not muck it up the way we do.

The Benedictine monks of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota.University, and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML, or “himmel”) are the monks who are working on the St. John’s Bible, a project commissioning the first handwritten, illuminated Bible since the printing press made its appearance in the 15th century. Watch this video and see some of the other manuscripts at the library.

Follow the journey of a USGS specialist as she writes about her time spent in the Arctic with scientists who are mapping the sea floor-Arctic Chronicles.

Walt Crawford, who really should be called Mr. Library, has compiled a list of over 600 library-related blogs.

My beloved tartans are in the news. The Jewish people who live in Scotland now have their very own tartan. The tartan was certified by the Scottish Tartans Authority.

I didn't always have a fear of heights. In fact I was always quite the daredevil. The higher up the better. I will never forget the day that I realized a new fear had taken over my body. I was walking across the Key Bridge from Rosslyn to Georgetown. I happened to get close to the rail and was looking down into the Potomac River and bam. It was like the river was coming up to me and I was getting very dizzy. I can't even watch a commercial or program where someone is up high without my knees feeling weak. It's terrible. I'm better if I'm sitting down, but standing forget it. I will never, ever be dining here.

Shakespeare's Den, the home of very cool gifts.

A publishing primer.

Cool Halloween doormat. More of Frontgates Halloween decorations.

Have a good weekend.

"Why are not more gems from our great authors scattered over the country . . . .Let every bookworm, when in any fragrant, scarce, old tome he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it. " Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834)

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