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Showing posts from June, 2017

[Book Review] Bitch Planet (Volume 2)

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Bitch Planet (Volume 2) / Kelly Sue DeConnick & Valentine De Landro

Also reviewed:
Bitch Planet, Volume 1 Look, I'm going to be honest,  if you've read Volume 1 you should already be interested in reading Volume 2 (that or you're offended by it's strong feminist agenda and therefore have no interest at all).  If you haven't read Volume 1, why are you looking for a review and not reading Volume 1?

Volume 2 continues the story that started in Volume 1, while also expanding on the histories that led to the current regime and imprisonments.  Not all of the women are imprisoned for simply spurious crimes.  Some of their pasts tie directly into the present.  And things on Auxiliary Compliance Outpost #2 are coming to a very explosive head.

Strongly recommend.

Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Image Comics; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

[Book Review] Wired

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Wired (Buchanan/FBI #1) / Julie Garwood

FBI Agent Liam Scott knows there's a security leak, and he's sure it's from inside the agency.  Enter the gorgeous and too smart to be believed Allison Trent, a brilliant programmer who takes refuge from her manipulative family in code.  Scott learns enough about Trent to know that she is in a class of her own when it comes to coding and hacking skills, and believes that they need someone from the outside to find the leak.  Trent is a little less enthusiastic, she knows she can do it, but regardless of intent she's done quite a bit of illegal hacking that could get her into serious trouble.  Even if that hacking has resulted in the return of millions of dollars and the apprehension of scammers by the FBI and other agencies.  But there's more to the crimes she faces down than just lines of code, and things start hitting close to home, while Scott and Trent struggle with keeping things if not professional, at least casual betwe…

5 in 15 - All Tied Up

So, my second 5 in 15 Reader's Advisory video I went a little scandelous... and even with an attempt to restrain the word play, I had way too much fun with the puns.  Video recorded in February, and released on June 15th.  I'm both proud of and incredibly self-conscious about this one because I went with a touchy subject.

Please excuse my over-enunciation of acronyms, I figured it was better to over- rather than under-enunciate.  I also butcher the pronunciation of at least one author's name.  :/

I probably should also invest in a slightly better microphone...
All Tied Up: Alternatives to 50 Shades of Grey

Script Slide 1 Welcome to this Massachusetts Library System 5-in-15: Member Edition!
Slide 2 Hello, my name is Tegan.  I'm a librarian, reviewer, and technology consultant, and am most often found these days at the Monson Free Library.

I'm always in the middle of far too many books, but to name two, I'm reading Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and list…

Lord of the Rings : The Return of the Read - Appendix E. Writing and Spelling

This section... is not very useful for me, except when linked to specific examples.  Translating a word I've only ever read to something I say is often a painful and awkward process.  I add vowels, consonants, and sometimes even whole syllable... and there's no guarantee I'm even saying the parts of the word in the right order.  I'm assuming this is all tied into my dyslexia, and sadly most of this chapter becomes little more than a jumble to me as it focuses on letter sounds and combinations.

However, I cannot help but respect the work Tolkien put into the languages and scripts of his world.

Some pieces here are taken out of the history of writing and printing in our world, such as "double" consonants, something anyone who studies ancient manuscripts will ultimately experience.  These would have their own letters, so a long/double consonant would be it's own piece instead of using the same letter twice.  Of course, predating this, we see it in script, whe…

Lord of the Rings : The Return of the Read - Appendix D. Calendars

Look, just a little bit more of this and we'll be on to narrative again.  I promise.  We have Bilbo's Last Song scheduled for 7/16, and then my partner in crime and I go on to... *gulp* The Silmarillion.  I have read it before, so I know what I'm getting into and I'm looking forward to tackling it with analysis in mind.

In the mean time, we have Calendars... which is not completely trivial since Tolkien uses and refers to multiple different calendars throughout the story.  I personally appreciate the "every month has the same number of days" with holidays filling in the gaps.  The fact that Tolkien included different cultural calendars is also significant, especially with largely segregated cultures that have their own relationships with the world, time, and even lifespans.  From a comprehensive world building stand point, it would probably be stranger if the elves, men, hobbits, and dwarves all had the same calendar, but often in fiction that's exactly w…

Lord of the Rings : The Return of the Read - Appendix C. Family Trees

Here's a bit for you visual folks out there who'd like to know a bit more about Hobbit family trees.  An enjoyable bit is the genealogies are presented as written by hobbits, rather than by Tolkien himself, though this is not exactly unusual for him.  Not much to say about this besides I find it far more useful than a written list of "begats."

[Book Review] The Quantum Thief

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The Quantum Thief (Jean le Flambeur #1) / Hannu Rajaniemi

At it's core, The Quantum Thief is a heist story, but within its post-human setting the object of the heist is nothing so simple as something like the Hope Diamond or a Casino vault.  Instead we journey through theft and reclaiming of time and memory.

All-in-all, it makes for a blistering smart and layered hard sci-fi adventure.

This book had a little less specific discussion questions for me to draw out, but it was a fantastic and fascinating read.  Should I actually sit down with other people who've read it, there's definitely a lot to knock about, but the questions and discussion prompts themselves are harder for me to quantify.

Discussion Fodder:
Let's talk about the Prisoner's Dilemma.  What is it, and in what ways is it used in this story?  What do you think of the Dilemma Prison?What are the different ways humanity and cultures manifest in the story?  How are they shaped by technology (or vice versa)?A…

[Book Review] Believe Me

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Believe Me : a memoir of love, death, and jazz chickens / Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard's comedy is like a cultural language in itself.  You can identify people by their jokes and quips. 

"Cake or death?" 

"I was on the moon, with Steve!" 

"Obviously, Hitler never played Risk as a child." 

Et al.  There's a joy in discovering another fan and playing with the shared joy of Izzard's humor, and I've adored him since I discovered him and his embodiment of genderfuck while in my early teens.



Believe Me is like a conversation with Izzard.  The voice is so unmistakable that reading the book one cannot but help hear Izzard narrating in one's head.  The memoir is poignant and touching, with a deft seasoning of Izzard's humor, and a careful handling of painful and difficult subjects.

I also highly recommend the audiobook, read by Izzard, and enriched with "live footnotes" as Izzard makes on-the-fly additions to the text and existing foo…

LibraryReads List - June 2017

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So, I couldn't mention this before, but the list is out so I'm in the clear!

My (edited down) review for Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire was featured in the June 2017 LibraryReads list!  (And there's a pretty print out of it all here).


My full review can be read here.

Lord of the Rings : The Return of the Read - Appendix B. The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands)

You're not going to get a whole lot from me here, because this whole section is basically a summary of Middle Earth history.  Appendix B is largely made up of a timeline with some summary paragraphs.  But you know what?  It's fantastic for me in terms of getting a grip on the major points of Middle Earth history and when they fall.  History has never been my strong suit.  I love the narrative passages, but in terms of time scale and actual image of history, I can't structure it from the narrative text alone.

Most relevant to The Lord of the Rings are "The Great Years", starting some 8 years after Bilbo's farewell feast, and gives a timeline broken down by month instead of simply years of notable events.  This goes into "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-Dur to the end of the Third Age" and "Later events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring," giving us an extended epilogue.  The Later Years were good to our hobbits and t…

Disability on the Shelf - MLA 2017

I had the opportunity to present at the 2017 Mass Library Association with two other librarians, looking at disability representation in library collections and libraries themselves.  I originally put out a call for co-panelists mid-206 looking for others interested in the same topic to the statewide mailing list and got very little response.   Fortunately, the two that replied were fantastic and I took their areas of interest and experience, combined them with my own, and was able to construct a proposal to submit.
Disability on the Shelf: Going beyond Large Print
When providing library services how often do we think about accessibility beyond the physical?  When looking at our collections with an eye to diversity do we remember disability?  Let's explore the challenges and opportunities in finding positive representation, and take a look at tropes and stereotypes, controversy over lauded titles, ableism in the library, and helping patrons of all ages and abilities find characters …