Friday, September 30, 2005

scott pilgrim!!!

preview of volume 3!!!

music library book of the week

i guess it's been a while since i put one of these up, but this book is worth it! man, this is the history of rock and roll, featuring tons of photos of everyone from cbgb's regulars the ramones to crappy dave matthews and oc-theme-song band phantom planet (who, at least in the photos, looks just like crappy also-featured-on-the-oc band rooney). but most of the photos are great--fuzzed out wild black and white pictures of rock gods. i don't think this was meant to be a tribute to cbgb's, since i imagine the place was still open when they worked on it, but it's a fitting one.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


well, i will say this for myself: i make some pretty damned good mix cds!

2005 book 128

louise erdrich's the painted drum
erdrich is a reliably entertaining and engrossing writer, and this book is no exception. it's the story of several families in two different states all connected by one drum. some of the characters from erdrich's other books make brief appearances (notably the ubiquitous fleur pillager), which is always a nice touch.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

veronica mars season 2!

hey, i think season 2 is going to be totally awesome! season one is out on dvd on october 11th!

yay for classy and sassy tv heroines.

did all you ANTM fans stay tuned in? i decided that show is a good prelude to veronica mars and so now i will be watching that every week, too. man, that lisa girl is annoying. and as someone who also has a rosemary's baby-haircut and loooves it, that one little whiny girl was making me nuts. i like the big-haired girl though!

hey, as long as i'm blogging about tv, i'll throw this out there: i can't figure out if some tv characters are badly written, or if they're supposed to be unlikable. i'm mainly thinking about rory from the gilmore girls, who is an unsufferable snot these days, and jack and kate from lost, who are self-righteous and obnoxious (and although that show has plenty of excellent cast members, i'm totally watching veronica mars in that time slot. thank goodness for reruns, dvds, and twop to keep me up to date!). am i the only person who wishes these characters would either a) have smaller parts (in the case of lost), or b) go back to being endearing nerds (that one is rory)?

2005 book 127

robert pinsky's the life of david
this is the first in the jewish encounters series that nextbook is putting out, and i really hate to say this, but i found it pretty disappointing. i can't at all figure out who the audience was meant to be--it's too quasi-academic and dry for the general person, and nowhere near informed enough for a scholar of the field (pinsky's primary text--and he does some textual analysis from it--was the king james translation). i'm not sure how david, one of the most interesting characters of the bible, suddenly became so boring in pinsky's hands, but that's what happened. maybe this book is at the perfect level for grad students with a mild interest in the bible, instead of former religion grad students, but i was actually expecting sort of a fast-paced retelling of the david stories, and this definitely wasn't that.

on the plus side, some of the upcoming books in the series look pretty cool--and i don't know that much about maimonides, so i may pick that one up soon and have far fewer expectations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

the rabbi's cat

yay, chapel hill comics got this book back in stock last week! besides being lushly illustrated (i loved all the little details in each panel), the story was profound and compelling and full of interesting and arcane philosophical discussions of judaism between the rabbi and his cat, who gains the ability to talk after eating a parrot. the relationships between the rabbi, the cat, and the rabbi's daughter are all really touching too--sfar (perhaps best known in american for the little vampire books) has really created something awesome here!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

another amazing library link

a high school librarian is the newest staff writer on veronica mars!

2005 book 126

sydney taylor's all-of-a-kind family
one of my childhood favorites (because it reminds me of my family stories and my own childhood!) has recently been reissued with an intro by francine prose--it's a really nice hardcover edition and i hope they follow suit with the rest of the series! ah, those irrepressible little lower east side jewish girls. i wonder if librarians have always been a major part of the books i've read, and i'm only just noticing it now that i'm in library school? i could go off onto a long tangent here about my own childhood library trips and whatnot, but i'm still in these dang splints. another time. :)

awesome library-related link of the day

jason shiga's bookhunter is freakin' hilarious--and is about a thousand times better than the rex libris comic book, which is stupid, not to mention text-heavy.

plus, shiga's story is pretty accurate--yay for mentioning tattle-tape! :)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

2005 book 125

julie powell's julie & julia
i'm all a-flutter trying to think of how to explain how great this book is. as if the story of a new york temp (and buffy fan!) determined to cook all 524 recipes in julia child's mastering the art of french cooking--and blog about it--isn't inspiring enough, powell injects a large amount of humor into her quest. and for those who have read the blog, no worries--it's hardly a rehash of her entries; it's really the story of what went on behind the scenes and she--and her husband--struggled with her mission and with her about-to-turn-30 angst. i think even people who aren't into food writing would enjoy this book, b/c powell does seem like such a likable person--we're all rooting for her to succeed. this is probably my favorite food-writing-cum-memoir i've ever read--she totally trumps ruth reichl and amanda hesser! go julie! i hope you continue to parlay your project into a lucrative and fulfilling career.

2005 book 124

jill soloway's tiny ladies in shiny pants
despite my earlier annoyance at the obviously unedited intro to this book, i read it anyway--hey, i bought it in hardback, you know? and although there are a few funny bits, and a few bits i related to as a jewish girl, the majority of this book was soloway ranting about stuff--complete with caps lock! maybe her rants would be funny in (much) smaller doses, but a whole book-full? no. no, no, no. she's a very talented screen writer, but these autobiographical vignettes fall far short of the mark.

Friday, September 23, 2005

corpse bride

oh yay, it looks like this movie is opening here this weekend! the movie, of course, is based on an old jewish story--i've read a version in this book, which (if i recall correctly) focuses primarily on the role of rabbi isaac luria in determining whether a man can be married to a dead woman. this tim burton page also gives a version of the story--although apparently the movie has taken out all the jewish content in a bid at inclusivity (i read an article faturing a comment from the screenwriter the other day about this--i think here).

anyway, the point is that i am excited to see this mvoie, jewish content or no.

also, i never mentioned this, but i saw junebug on tuesday and liked it a lot. amy adams definitely deserves an oscar nomination for that one!


why is my next-door neighbor hammering at 6:20 am? (don't worry, i was already awake.)

also, apparently it is tiny frog season. besides the one lisa saw, and the one on my door a few weeks ago, one landed onto my windshield the other night as i was driving home from durham. i lingered at stop signs, hoping he would jump off safely, but he just stayed there, hunkered down, little throat gulping. i was trying to imagine a life for him with the carrboro frogs--would they accept him??--when he sort of flew off the window as i approached 15-501. i hope he's ok . . .

Thursday, September 22, 2005

2005 book 123

tony diterlizzi and holly black's the spiderwick chronicles (books 1 and 2)
um, ok. this series wants to be, like, lemony snicket meets edward eager (and/or e. nesbit). maybe it's because they're aimed at a slightly younger audience than either of those series, but i was really unimpressed. part of the problem is, like, nothing HAPPENS in these books. in the first one, one of the characters find a book about faeries! in the second, another is kidnapped by goblins! there's not much dramatic tension or character development or anything really. on the plus side, the illustrations are cute, and i can read one of these books in about 20-25 minutes. don't think i'm going to spend the hour reading the other three books in the series though; i'd rather reread edward eager.

(to be fair, jon raises the point that sometimes the books we love as children and still love as adults seem so good b/c of childhood nostalgia, etc, but i really think eager is a much better writer than these two--and of course, i didn't read the lemony snicket books as a kid, since they didn't exist then, and i really like that series a lot.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

2005 book 122

neil gaiman's anansi boys
hey, did you know this book finally came out today? (and i've been dying to read it since i got the first chapter at ALA!) well, it did, so you should all go read it, 'cause it's really good.

Monday, September 19, 2005

exciting announcement!

it looks like as of this week, i'll be djing thursday afternoons at wxdu, from 2-4 pm. as long-time superfans know, you can listen at 88.7 fm or at good times.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

songs about carrboro

tongiht eric bachmann (crooked fingers) played a new song called "carrboro woman"--and schooner also has a new song about carrboro. audubon park's song about register has a line that dges something like "with a ferocity seldom seen in carrboro" (feel free to correct me, david). those are the only ones i can thnk of right now and my hands hurt too much for researchin', so who else knows a song about carrboro?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

2005 book 121

kazuo ishiguro's never let me go
i'd sort of put off reading this, since what i thought was the big plot twist had been revealed in a review i'd read, but it turns out not to really be a big surprise--it's more of a gradual discovery. anyway, booker nominee, excellent novel, etc. if i could type more i'd go into the sudden spate of this sort of story in movies and books, but alas.

Friday, September 16, 2005


hey, authors: if you want to be taken seriously, get a friggin' copy editor. publishers: same thing.

i just started jill soloway's tiny ladies in shiny pants (soloway was a producer/writer of six feet under, and this interview made me want to read her book) and dude, do you know how many typos/instances of bad grammar i have caught? at least seven. and i'm only on page 18. when "it's" was used as a possessive for the second time in two pages, i had to put the book down. i'm not sure i can read it without being exasperated when there's an egregious misspelling or apostrophe abuse on every other page. at least not when i'm all cranky and ouchy, for sure.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

2005 book 120

zadie smith's on beauty
hey, this book was good. it's very much set in the now, lots of post 9/11 stuff, pop culture references, etc. third book about a mixed-race family i've read in a month, but this also has all the good new england college town crapola mixed in. familes falling apart at the seams, love and death and sex--it all makes for a good story. not sure i'd give it a booker though.
thus ends my typing limit/pain threshold.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

the verdict!

i have severe carpal tunnel syndrome! my dr said it was "classic carpal tunnel" and she wsihed there was a med student there to see it. hee.

no knitting, limited typing, etc for the near future. and lots of advil!

dying of cuteness

comics = love.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

2005 book 119

wesley stace's misfortune
special note for the music nerds out there: wesley stace is john wesley harding.
so, this is going to be brief, owing to my extreme continuing arm pain: here is a decidedly modern take on the great novels of the 1800s (think brontes), about a little orphaned baby raised by a rich lord as his daughter--only she's actually a boy. reminiscent of eugenides' middlesex with the gender confusion and all, it wraps up neatly a la dickens and has a humorous appendix at the end. as seems to happen often with the books i read, a librarian features prominently. it's a very entertaining book, especially when read as a homage to various great works.

next up is the new zadie smith, which just came out today! sept. is a good month for books.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
I MADE THIS! hand-dyed, spun, and plied! it's my first really real yarn!!!

happy birthday christina!

Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
today a bunch of us went to carolina beach for christina's birthday--unfortunately, we were all misinformed about how close hurricane ophelia was to the north carolina coast, and the winds were 30-40 mph--meaning there were lots of wild waves and a very strong wind whipping sand at us. after our mostly-failed morning at the beach, we did have a very lovely afternoon sitting on the deck admiring the ocean and eating hot dogs (or tofu dogs, in my case). :)

Friday, September 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
this is the shirt i wore today!

(handscreened by kelly w.)


Thursday, September 08, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
i'm messing around with plying yarn right now--this is spun from the copper moose merino top i dyed with kool-aid over labor day weekend.

2005 book 118

diana evans' 26a
at the end of the year, when i list my ten favorite books of 2005, this book will be on that list. it's about a family with a pair of twin girls at its center, growing up in the 80s and 90s in england (and nigeria), and i'll tell you right now that i haven't cried this hard over a book in a while. this apparently won the orange prize (awarded to best first novel) and deservedly so--the characters in this book were beautifully written, and the story of the twins taking two separate paths is a heartbreaking one. for those who maybe could use some catharsis in these crappy times, this might be a book to check out. but for now i'll just reiterate: this book was really, really excellent. and now it's time to rinse the tearstains off of my glasses.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

harry potter ipod

in craptastic times like these, awesome shit like this somehow makes me smile again. wow, that's awesome.


so the daily tar heel today has an article on roberts' confirmation hearings, and accompanying thie article is a little sidebar (whihc unfortunately I can't find online) with bullet points like "the last time a supreme court chief justice was appointed without having served on the bench was warren burger, appointed in 1969." the last point on this little infographic is "there are only two justices of minority descent: clarence thomas and antonin scalia." um, what? scalia is italian, right? if italians are a minority, what about the jews? hello, there's a nice jewish girl on the bench! wtf, DTH editors! not that ginsberg is even mentioned by name in the bullet point about there only being one female member now that o'connor's retired, but whatever.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

2005 book 117

tash aw's the harmony silk factory
currently longlisted for both the booker and the guardian first book awards, aw's novel takes place in malaysia mostly in the 1940s. the first third of the book is narrated by the son of a powerful and corrupt man, johnny lim, as the son attempts to decipher the local legends and figure out the facts of his father's rise to power. the second part of the book is the diary of lim's deceased wife, and the third is told by lim's friend, an englishman in malaysia for unknown reasons. the meat of the story takes place on the cusp of the japanese invasion of malaysia, making for some high drama, intrigue, and betrayal. interestingly, the jacket flap makes some comment about all conrad and maugham and all the other dudes who have written about malaysia, and now we have an "authentic malaysian voice" telling this story--but the novel itself is all about the shifting perspectives of different storytellers. each portion presents a different view of johnny lim, although his true character remains mysterious. this was a riveting story and is well-deserving of any awards it may win.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

2005 book 116

binnie kirshenbaum's an almost perfect moment
i remember reading a book of stories by kirshenbaum last year, and thinking some were excellent and some were sort of blah. it turns out that kirshenbaum is a much better novelist than a story-writer, because this book was somehow momentous. it's the story of a jewish girl named valentine growing up in brooklyn in the 70s--a jewish girl who looks just like the virgin mary. it's also the story of her mother, longing for the husband who left her many years ago, her mother's three best friends, and some of valentine's classmates and teachers. valentine, the hub for the book's activity, is somehow a cipher--the narrator of this book is not quite omniscient and seems as mystified by valentine (and teenagers in general) as the reader. and lest you think it's odd not to have much insight into the main character's thought process, go back and reread my second sentence, because this is an excellent book. plus i really like its cover (as seen here, although the colors aren't quite right).


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
long weekends are the perfect opportunity to be crafty! i can't wait till all the fiber i dyed today is dry so i can spin it!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

2005 book 115/spiral-bound/bpal

diana abu-jaber's the language of baklava
this was a moving, witty, and mouth-watering memoir, akin to ruth reichl's books, but with a cross-cultural component (abu-jaber's father, a jordanian immigrant, periodically took the family to live in jordan throughout her childhood). she really has a knack for describing her relatives--they're all what some might call characters--and her own growing-up-in-america story, with food drifting into and out of each chapter. now i'm hungry!

i also finally read spiral-bound today--it was an adorable and compelling story of a bunch of little animal kids finding themselves and trying to discover whether the pond monster really exists. eek! cute! be sure to check out the blurb from lemony snicket in that link.

also today was the bpal sniff-fest, as described by sarah. we'll be getting together again in november to compare halloween scents! awesome.

ETA: whoa, jsut discovered in another window whilst waiting for this to post that rehnquist died. wurg. [not that any supreme court nominees could be more conservative than rehnquist, but who wants to deal with even thinking about the supreme court when we should still be trying to save new orleans?]

Friday, September 02, 2005

katrina donations

for those interested in donating to the victims of the hurricane, bookslut has some links, including ones to donate to help out libraries that were destroyed (full disclosure--i emailed those links in, and got them from various library listservs). also, here is the fema page with information on donating to regonized charity/relieg organizations.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
my newest toy! and i even got it half-off.

who can guess what album i'm listening to? :)

carrboro gas prices this week

saturday: 2.51
tuesday: 2.70
wednesday: 2.99
thursday: 3.29

the last jump happened while i was out running errands. it will be a while before i go run errands again . . .

(i hope this doesn't sound like i'm making light of what's happened in new orleans--i'm just shocked by these large jumps, since the price of gas doesn't usually rise quite so dramatically so quickly.)


sometimes it must be fun to be the librarian of congress (link via bookslut).