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Showing posts from March, 2013

Fun Friday: One Shade

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Poetry Wednesday Meeting and Passing

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National Poetry Month is right around the corner. Do you have a poem you can't wait to read? Share it with me — you could win a book of poetry for your efforts...

Meeting and Passing

As I went down the hill along the wall
There was a gate I had leaned at for the view
And had just turned from when I first saw you
As you came up the hill. We met. But all
We did that day was mingle great and small
Footprints in summer dust as if we drew
The figure of our being less than two
But more than one as yet. Your parasol

Pointed the decimal off with one deep thrust.
And all the time we talked you seemed to see
Something down there to smile at in the dust.
(Oh, it was without prejudice to me!)
Afterward I went past what you had passed
Before we met and you what I had passed.

by Robert Frost
courtesy poets.org

Fun Friday: One Book?

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Thanks to Book Riot for introducing me to this great comedian!

Poetry Wednesday: Fiction

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Fiction Going south, we watched spring
unroll like a proper novel:
forsythia, dogwood, rose;
bare trees, green lace, full shade.
By the time we arrived in Georgia
the complications were deep.

When we drove back, we read
from back to front. Maroon went wild,
went scarlet, burned once more
and then withdrew into pink,
tentative, still in bud.
I thought if only we could go on
and meet again, shy as strangers. 

by Lisel Mueller
from Alive Together. © Louisiana State University Press, 1996. 
Courtesy The Writer's Almanac

Happy Spring! Celebrate by sharing a poem with me in honor of National Poetry Month, which is right around the corner. You could earn yourself a free book of poetry!

E-Readers: An Imbalance of Power

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I love having a Kindle e-reader because I'm never without a book. I can pull into any sandwich shop or doctor's office and have something to read in an instant — something good, something I enjoy.

However, I understand the imbalance of power: I don't own the material on it. This is a small but very important point with me: I am "borrowing" the material for a price, and the very convenience of the current setup could be its greatest undoing.

I don't own the book. Or music. Or magazine. Even if I paid the agreed-upon price and downloaded it to my device, the distributor can remove it as easily as it was WhisperSync'ed on it. As a result, I often purchase books I already own in print: free classics in the public domain, cheap copies of my favorites on the shelf. I also plan to purchase the books I want to keep in perpetuity.

There are other drawbacks, too. Not all publishers have all books available in Kindle format. True, newer books are being published …

Notorious Success is Followed by — What?

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You know when you must read a particular type of book and you grab one like it, but it's not right? I went through that this week. It took a few books, but I persevered.

I wanted Fluff 'n Trash™— but a certain kind. I wanted Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich. I wanted it bad. Alas, I didn't have it.

After stopping reading nearly everything on my nightstand, I took action: I went for Plum. I looked in two libraries and three thrift shops. I even went to Barnes and Noble. No Nineteen to be found. I was Stephanie Plum-less. I have two other Evanoviches of the Wicked kind, but I didn't want those. I wanted Stephanie.

I put my name on the "hold" list at the library for both the printed and e-versions of the book. I was somewhere around number 521 on the list of one or either. Seems this is a popular book. Who knew?

I could have ordered it on the Web, had it delivered to me. And yet... I didn't want to keep it. I have one copy of her books, a signed hardba…

Fun Friday: Celebrate the Joy of Reading

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What if you could thank the person who taught you the joy of reading? These people did.

Hey, Poetry Lover: Share!

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Hey, Poetry Lover!

Yes, I mean you. 

Just the other day, you came across that poem that surprised you, touched you, made you think. You might not have even meant to read poetry, but there it was, and there you were — moved.

You wanted to remember it, share it, make sure others could feel that same way. 
Maybe you clipped it out to stick in your wallet, used it as a bookmark, stuck it on the fridge, pinned it to Pinterest.

Maybe it was a song lyric, and you've bookmarked that video so you can watch it over and over.

Now do one more thing with that wonderful poem: share it with me.

I am always looking for great poems to share (and not just for National Poetry Month in April!). Yours could be the one that changes a life, changes a mind, changes an attitude — like it did with you.

I don't have to tell people the poem came from you, especially if you have a rep you want to uphold. (We all do.) 

Plus, you never know if your poem donation will come with a reward.I've been known to share p…

Poetry Wednesday: Barter

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Barter Life has loveliness to sell, All beautiful and splendid things, Blue waves whitened on a cliff, Soaring fire that sways and sings, And children's faces looking up, Holding wonder like a cup. Life has loveliness to sell, Music like a curve of gold, Scent of pine trees in the rain, Eyes that love you, arms that hold, And for your spirit's still delight, Holy thoughts that star the night. Spend all you have for loveliness, Buy it and never count the cost; For one white singing hour of peace Count many a year of strife well lost, And for a breath of ecstasy, Give all you have been, or could be.

by Sara Teasdale

Thanks to Karen for sharing!

Library Loot: Oprah, Washington, Tiny Things — all E!

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Lately my e-book borrowing has exploded. I blame it on Cracked.

Remember when Oprah Winfrey gave away cars on her TV show? So do and , who wrote the article "5 Depressing Realities Behind Reality Shows." They link to the page in Kitty Kelley's biography Oprah in which Oprah is quoted.

That got me thinking: when was the last time I read unadulterated junk food? Kitty Kelley counted. So I borrowed.

I managed to read about 20 percent of the book before I had to stop. I didn't think it was very good; I've read better Kitty Kelley. Also, a little Oprah goes a long way.


I also found the most recent edition of one of my favorite tourism books: Washington on Foot. I love walking, and walking tours are fun and leisurely.

Kitty didn't quell my Fluff 'n Trash™ craving. I still was cruising libraries and used book stores for Notorious Nineteen. I missed it at the nearby regional library yet again before I realized I co…

Fun Friday: Edgar Allan Poda

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Poetry Wednesday: Cat

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Failing 'A Month of Letters'

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I have come to terms with my failure.

Which is a lie — because if I was okay with it, I wouldn't mention it. Still whistling past the graveyard on this one.

Look, I knew A Month of Letters was going to be a challenge. I knew at least a week of my time was going to be spoken for. However, I though, "Self, how hard is it to dash off an extra note or two every couple of days?"

Well, that would have been great if work hadn't exploded.

Okay, that was in part my own doing. A couple of weeks off work backs up the system. In this world, we seem to have no redundancy: if I don't [fill in the blank], then it doesn't get done. I can live with that at home; I have enough socks and underwear for a coon's age for that very reason. (The "dregs" may be dicey, but I always drive more carefully when I don those.) (Kudos if you got that reference.) But work? At work, I have only the socks and underwear I have on me. I know, everyone is in the same sad …

Review: A Visit From the Goon Squad

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I have a poster about writing that reads: Make Me Care. And that was the thing missing in A Visit From the Goon Squad: for all of the story, the intricate plots, the interweaving of characters and storylines, I simply didn't care. (I also needed a cheat sheet, there were so many changing characters, especially Bennie's wives.)  Jennifer Egan's book was similar to another Pulitzer Prize-winner, Olive Kitteridge: a series of interconnected short stories — but I did not find it as enjoyable.
Egan gave us some interesting, even endearing, characters. And yet: I didn't care. Rob floated into the East River and I wasn't anxious about him. Dolly and Lulu wound up in the home of a crazy dictator and I didn't worry about them. Jules — what exactly was up with that dude? Benny, the Olive of this collection, was a mixed bag: likeable at times, but a weak intersection in this Venn diagram.
The story timeline begins, as best as I can tell, starting in the late 197…

Fun Friday: Being Careful With the Cat

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