I've been a bit swamped here: planning summer programs, hosting author visits (one down, 2 to go, including local author Paul Glennon!) and LANCR events, arranging stuff to do during our library's system downtime during migration to a new version of our ILS, doing class visits and storytimes, working Sunday overtime, helping my mum buy a new PC, training for an upcoming running event, and more.
Meanwhile, I just finished Savage lands by Clare Clark (on the Orange longlist; shortlist announced yesterday) - I liked it, but definitely didn't love it. It was certainly steeped in its setting, and a solid historical novel, but nothing, to me, especially remarkable.
I'm now on to No fixed address by Aritha van Herk (based on a recommendation from fellow blogger, Maylin), which I am quite enjoying even though it is somewhat different from the type of thing I usually read (more illuminating thoughts forthcoming). My lunchtime book is Straight Man, by Richard Russo, which is also somewhat different in tone from my usual pick, but interesting.
Anyway, news. That's what I started out talking about, didn't I? With no futher ado:
- Britain's best independent bookshops: Bath, London, Much Wenlock, Alnwick, Ely (shout out to ancestral homelands!), Wigtown, Liverpool, and Hay-on-Wye (of course).
- Penguin Launches Digital Initiative to Provide Free Books to Kids: says Mark Nieker, Pearson Foundation president, "For each book read online at www.wegivebooks.org, the Pearson Foundation--working together with a growing list of great non-profit organizations--will donate a brand new hardcover or paperback book to a child in need."
- Performance reviews demoralise your staff, apparently - so says a new book. Huh. You know what demoralised me more? Working somewhere for 8 yrs and not having a single performance review. I think it's more about how they are done; the above article says that they are commonly used to intimidate employees.... Ours actually are a dialogue, which is what the author of the book recommends.