a little bit more about me

My name is Beth and I accidentally have found myself living in Arizona but I'm originally from Tennessee. My education is in history and anthropology, which means that I know a little about a lot of things and can hold my own at a cocktail party in mixed company. I work in museums, doing all sorts of things ranging from researching and writing exhibits to cataloguing absolute wickety wak. I love comedy, baking, photography, my daughter, dogs, and above all else, napping.*

* 2013 edit: Oh yeah, and my new son too.

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    Entries in books (3)

    Thursday
    Sep292011

    Decision Made

    I belong to an audiobook club, where I get one download a month, and I couldn't find anything to use my latest credit on...until I read the following review for Stephen Colbert's I Am America (and So Can You!)

    "Now, I have to admit that I was a fan of his TV show, but it soon became apparent after listening to this book that it is not much more than a 3 hour homophobic diatribe. He starts out by saying that "baby carrots are trying to turn me gay" which, I also admit, caused me to chuckle a bit. But this guy is a racist, homophobic Republican who thinks the world should return to the good old days of the 50s. It's not 1955 anymore...deal with it."

    Clearly, this reviewer is *not* a fan of his TV show, because that would imply they understand satire. That review alone cinched it. Book selected, and it has been a good selection. Maybe I should base more of my decisions on people's poor reviews, rather than the positive ones. Because people are idiots.

     

    Saturday
    Sep102011

    Album Art App for Kids Books

    After last night's trip to the children's section at the library, I have been thinking about what could make it easier to search among a sea of 1/16" thick spines for a good children's book at the library, so you're not crouched over, duck walking forward, yanking out tiny spine after tiny spine looking for something remotely interesting. Someone needs to make an app that lets you type in a call number (or start at A and work your way forward) that displays your library's collection in album art format so you can flip through the covers on your iPhone Droid and get a visual idea of what's in front of you (and maybe even descriptions and reviews, too!) so you can avoid picking out such sh*t as Goodnight Moon and instead discover kids' books worth reading and illustrations worthy of your discerning eye.

    Someone get on that, would you?

    Friday
    Sep092011

    Goodnight Moon Sucks

    I went to the library after work tonight to get some children's books to read to baby. She loves being read to, and my personal arsenal of stories is thin. One of the things you quickly realize when you have your first baby is how few nursery rhymes and silly tales you remember from your youth, so you basically end up either narrating whatever is happening or just tell the baby your own stories but in a silly baby tone. However, I'm starting to think that stories about hookers and blow probably aren't appropriate for her anyway. (Not until she's 6 or 7, anyway). 

    So I headed off to the library to get books to read to her. This has a couple advantages. Right now she's too young to be able to hold on to or chew on a book, so library books are fine until then, at which point, we'll let those germ-covered previously slimed-upon tomes stay put and head to the bookstore. Second, it gives me a chance to get reacquainted, or largely, acquainted with kids' books and disocover what's worth buying. 

    Having never been to the kids' level at the library, I didn't realize what I was in for. The kids' books, which are all less than 1/4" thick are all shelved by author with their spines out, because displaying all the covers would take up way too much room. So you either have to know an author or be prepared to spend a whole lotta time pulling out book after book. And since much of the appeal of these books is in the illustrations, and I'm a visual person, I wanted to see the books I'd be checking out. The only children's book I could recall off the top of my head in the 16 minutes before the library closed was Goodnight Moon. So I got that and grabbed a couple of the books they had displayed on top of the shelves, figuring those were as good a place as any to start.

    Good thing I grabbed books other than that piece of shit classic, because, man, Goodnight Moon sucks. Plot wise, it's just trippy and disjointed. "In the great green room there was a telephone and a red balloon." Um, oh kay. It lists the cak in the room, with my fave being: "...and a comb and a brush and bowl full of mush." A bow full of MUSH? EWWWW! Get that crap to the dishwasher stat! Then it offers a goodnight to each item. "Goodnight air"? LAME! "Goodnight clock"? Who has a clock? Isn't that what cellphones are for? And telephone? Mommy, what's a telephone? And the illustrations? Sucktastic. The "kittens" look like dustbunny squirrels. Just all-around old-fashioned. Not at all modern. 

    I'm glad I picked up this, this, and this. They, on the other hand were all excellent, and the illustrations were adorable and colorful. Ok, fine, so one of them isn't a children's book, but I think she still enjoyed Gossie.