Penguin Librarian's Den

"I ransack public libraries, and find them full of sunk treasure." — Virginia Woolf

muspeccoll:

Doctor Whoot
Image from: Nests and Eggs of Birds of the United States by Thomas G. Gentry, 1882.
- Karen Witt

muspeccoll:

Doctor Whoot

Image from: Nests and Eggs of Birds of the United States by Thomas G. Gentry, 1882.

- Karen Witt

Songs, Musical

iworkatapubliclibrary:

A regular patron was having trouble with her computer’s headphones.

Me: “Do me a favor and go to YouTube.com. Just click on the first video you see, it doesn’t matter what it is.”

She navigated to YouTube and hesitated before clicking on an Eminem music video.

Me: “Go ahead and click it—it doesn’t matter what it is, I just want to see if the volume will work.”

As the music video played, I adjusted the volume controls on the computer as well as on the headphones themselves.

Me: “Hrm…it does seem a bit quiet even when it’s turned up all the way, but I think it might be loud enough to hear what’s going on.”

Woman: “Can we try a Whitney Houston song?”

Me: “Um…sure!” 

She searched and selected a Whitney Houston music video.

Me [handing her the headphones]: “Yep, same problem. But see if you think it’s loud enough.”

Woman [holding it up to her ears]: “Oh yeah, that’s not loud enough. Should we try Aretha?”

vikingbooks:

More writing advice from Steven Pinker’s upcoming The Sense of Style

vikingbooks:

More writing advice from Steven Pinker’s upcoming The Sense of Style

superbooked:

I mean yeah, I have tons of unread books on my shelf, but do you think that’ll stop me from buying more?
image

(via luluthelibrarian)

thepenguinpress:

Washington Post op-ed
LET YOUR CHILDREN PLAY FOOTBALL by Mark Edmundson
“My father wasn’t what anyone might call an over-involved parent. He was a Fifties Dad, committed to cigarettes, beer, cards, the ponies and a demanding job that kept the roof tight over our heads and food piled high on our plates. Out driving one evening, he gestured toward a formidable brick building and asked what it was. I told him it was my school. He quickly made up for this parental lapse by asking me what grade I was in.
But on things that really mattered, my father knew what he was doing. When I told him I was going out for the high school football team, he said it might be good for me. Yet he insisted on one thing: He wanted to see my helmet. This was 1968, long before anyone worried about concussions. Still, my father knew that if I planned to bash my head into other guys time after time, I’d better have a solid helmet to protect me.
He also knew — and let me know — that he thought football could do a lot for me.  Don’t other games teach determination, too? Sure they do: You can learn to come back again and again in soccer and tennis and baseball. But in football more than others, the knockdown is physical. There’s nothing abstract about it. You go down, you get a taste of the turf, and then, often aching, often a touch humiliated, you have to get back up.”
Mark Edmundson teaches English at the University of Virginia. His new book, “Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game,” comes out next month.

thepenguinpress:

Washington Post op-ed

LET YOUR CHILDREN PLAY FOOTBALL by Mark Edmundson

“My father wasn’t what anyone might call an over-involved parent. He was a Fifties Dad, committed to cigarettes, beer, cards, the ponies and a demanding job that kept the roof tight over our heads and food piled high on our plates. Out driving one evening, he gestured toward a formidable brick building and asked what it was. I told him it was my school. He quickly made up for this parental lapse by asking me what grade I was in.

But on things that really mattered, my father knew what he was doing. When I told him I was going out for the high school football team, he said it might be good for me. Yet he insisted on one thing: He wanted to see my helmet. This was 1968, long before anyone worried about concussions. Still, my father knew that if I planned to bash my head into other guys time after time, I’d better have a solid helmet to protect me.

He also knew — and let me know — that he thought football could do a lot for me.  Don’t other games teach determination, too? Sure they do: You can learn to come back again and again in soccer and tennis and baseball. But in football more than others, the knockdown is physical. There’s nothing abstract about it. You go down, you get a taste of the turf, and then, often aching, often a touch humiliated, you have to get back up.

Mark Edmundson teaches English at the University of Virginia. His new book, “Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game,” comes out next month.

They starred in the movie…

(Source: jacquesdemys, via bookporn)

flavorpill:

“Problem,” “Royals,” and Other Pop Songs Transformed into Flowery Sonnets

bookriot:

A look at the new books hitting bookshelves in hardcover and in paperback in this week’s Fresh Ink.

Some fantastic picks this week including Clive Thompson’s Smarter Than You Think and Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge!

Enter the Librarian, a review by Josh Hanagarne

     I visited a book club recently. During some Q & A, one of the readers said “You mentioned that when you were a kid you had a crush on Fern from Charlotte’s Web. Did you, or do you, have any other literary crushes?”
     Yes. As an adult, nothing has ever revved me up quite like the possibly imaginary woman from the early pages of The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. But that is a tale for another column. As a kid, Fern’s most serious competition was a bad girl. And a strong one.
     The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren, made me nervous. Ever since I read The Adventures of  Tom Sawyer, I always wanted to have the courage to misbehave, but I was too nervous and polite. I tried to play along when I found myself in the company of more rambunctious children because I was a people-pleasing weenie, but I usually just wanted to do what I was told.
     Pippi, however, did whatever she wanted. She was such a free spirit that it made me squirm, both with envy and with agitation. Pippi lived alone in Villa Villekula. She had her own horse (it only took one hand for her to lift it.) Her monkey’s name is Mr. Nillson. She was rich, and rich in gold coins, no less. Her father was a cannibal king. She quickly made friends with the slightly stuffy and timid Tommy and Annika, her next door neighbors. I identified with them more than with her, but I wanted to be Pippi.
     When I asked my mom what a cannibal was, she said, “What are you reading?”
     When she asked why my feet were on my pillow, while my head was at the foot of my bed, I couldn’t tell her that that was how Pippi slept.
     When I asked her if she had ever fought a circus strongman, or if she’d ever walked all over the furniture just to see how long she could go without touching the ground, she said “no,” and then told me to stay off of her coffee tables.
     When I asked if I could grow my hair out into red pigtails, she said “Your hair is blond.” Then she sat down and read Pippi with me and said “Oh I remember this!”
     My mom would say that Pippi kind of reminded her of a female Peter Pan. She didn’t remind me of anyone, and that remains the appeal for me. I recently checked out a big, beautiful, illustrated copy of all the Pippi stories, and laughed myself sick. I was so charmed by the artwork and the storytelling that I contemplated calling in sick just to keep reading. And it’s a kid’s book! My six year old son has been reading it with me, but it’s more for me than for him.
     Pippi Longstocking, both the book and the character, are impossibly fun, irresistible, and generous. If you’re a fan of Roald Dahl, The Wind in the Willows, Narnia, and/or Lewis Carroll, there’s a very good chance that you’ll love Pippi.
     Now that I’ve overcome my fear of mischief, the book almost makes me want to climb up onto my furniture and try not to touch the ground for an hour. But I’m far too clumsy.