Friday, December 31, 2010

Quotation of the day #9

Rather appropriate for NYE:

“We must always face finite disappointment, but with infinite hope.”

Top 10 of 2010

Well, this year was not the *most* eventful of my life (so far, that would be 2006, a year I would mostly like to wipe from my memory), nor was it a year for banishing ghosts of the past (2009, year of The Return To Ancestral Homelands For The First Time Since 1991) but it had its moments. The most wonderful Caroline convinced me to make this list for Facebook, and actually, I am so glad that I did, and so I am re-posting it here.

I am not really the type of person who is reflective on New Year's Eve, nor am I frankly the type of person to see the glass as half-full, but putting this list together made me appreciative of all the wonderful experiences I have been fortunate to have this year.

Below, a list of things that made 2010 truly memorable and amazing for me, in no particular order.

  1. Coming back to Rideau Branch in a new, supervisory role, and nurturing new partnerships in the community with groups serving marginalised populations, including the homeless.
  2. Running my first half-marathon.
  3. Discovering that a post on my blog was picked up by an Ottawa Citizen blogger (sorry, can't resist the linkage), and being mentioned in OttawaStart's Ottawa Blog Guide.
  4. Attending the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute. A truly transformative experience which taught me a great deal about myself, and has blessed me with an entire network of remarkable librarians.
  5. Celebrating turning 30 twice: once with good friends over dinner at one of my favourite restaurants, and again with my rezlings in Niagara on the lake, the first of (hopefully) many rezling vacations!
  6. Going to the beach for the first time in my life (don't mock!)
  7. Speaking to a packed room of enthusiastic library technicians at the OALT conference in Hamilton, Ontario, capping off a round of speaking engagements about online RA tools (OLA and CLA talks were in 2009). Now, for the next chapter...
  8. Being present for milestones in the lives of people I love: Meeting the first rezling offspring (miraculous) and attending my high school best friend's wedding (moving).
  9. Starting the Digestive Librarians' Digest with Lora and Laura, blessing me with another (overlapping!) network of remarkable librarians ... who love to eat!
  10. Bearing witness to magnificent works of art: hearing Kathleen Battle at the NAC, and watching Richard III at Hart House Theatre.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quotation of the day #8

Part of a larger farming metaphor: “There are things you just have to plough under before they stink up and die!”

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quotation of the day #7

With respect to recognizing employee achievement: “You can never over-recognise.”

Just a thought

If we want people to know what a librarian does, and we want people to be aware of our profession (and we're not ashamed of the word "librarian," which I know some of us are), why don't we include it in our titles? Most senior managers are just "Manager;" why not, "Managing librarian" or "Librarian Manager"?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quotation of the day #6

“There is no such thing as a bibliographic emergency!” (so slow down!)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Quotation of the day #5

“Do something you believe in… Otherwise, for sure, you will get called on it at some point.”

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quotation of the day #4

“Don’t assume that an increase in satisfaction among employees will result in a decrease in dissatisfaction.”

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quotation of the day #3

“Leadership hurts … but it should hurt.”

Favourite children's books of 2010

Picture books:

Over at the castle by Boni Ashburn - I'm quite fond of the song "Over in the meadow" and so when I saw this title released, I had to check it out. Not only is it an inventive, original variation on the tune, but it is genuinely very funny and has an excellent cast of characters to diversify a child's vocabulary. For instance (sing along with me now!) "Sauté," says the chef; "Flambé," said the six...or "Plan," says the prisoner, "We plan," said the five... (rats, that is, of course!). There is the requisite dragon in the tale, too, playing a very important role (and he is, if I am correct, the dragon from Ashburn's previous Hush, little dragon). Great for early grades still willing to listen to a story but old enough to begin to understand the setting. Wonderful illustrations.

Art & Max by David Wiesner - I love me some good art books for kids. This one is brilliant, and postmodern, and just plain strange. Serious artist Arthur is plagued with "beginner student" Max: a creative idea by the latter takes both lizards, um, artists, on a topsy-turvy journey through artistic influences such as surrealism and Pointillism. Dude won three Caldecotts. Not to be messed with.

The heart and the bottle by Oliver Jeffers - 52% of all children's books published in a given year involve a dead parent. Or at least it seems that way. This book is about the love between a little girl and her father: her father shares his wonder at the secrets of the world with her.
He always answers her questions. When we observe his chair empty one day, we know that he has died; we watch the girl be so bewildered by her grief that she takes out her heart and puts it in a bottle to keep it safe from further damage. Carrying it around, she is insulated from hurt, but also from seeing any real colour in the world; besides, it's really heavy (see right)! And so she decides to take it back out, .... but can't figure out how. *Warning: just reading the reviews of this book makes me cry.

Brontorina by James Howe - .. because how could you resist a brontosaurus who wants to be a ballerina? Gravity just isn't on her side. I love how the book manages to convey Brontorina's sheer size: on only several pages is she fully shown. Most pages just have half of her, or her neck or feet, displayed, with tiny ballerinas surrounding her, perplexed. Of course, the problem, you see, is not that Brontorina is too big; it's that the dance studio is simply too small.

My Dog is As Smelly As Dirty Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits by Hanoch Piven - Shout-out to Rideau patrons: this was "seen via patron hold." In other words, I was keepin' it real, as my uncle says, helping out shelving the holds, when I came across this title and reserved it for myself. It was a total hit with a local Grade 1 class. Using a children's drawing of his family as a starting point, the book explores what is *not* shown by the drawing: the child's mum, for instance, is "as soft as the softest FLUFF and as bright as the brightest LIGHT." The close-up of the mother is then transformed to include some fluff and a light bulb. Piven uses real household items to embellish the art in the book, and half the fun is in figuring out what he's used, and figuring out what *you* would use and what it would "say" about the person you atre illustrating. Talk about an underhanded way to introduce the concept of a simile to students! This book would also make a great starting point for a craft project... and of course an enterprising team of librarians has already beat me to it!

Middle grades:

Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo - I blogged at length about this title back in October. It's a great early reader, because the text is simple and many nuances are conveyed in the rich illustrations. When I first used it for a booktalk, [kids, don't do this at home!] I was doing my prep last-minute and needed extra copies STAT, so I called a few branches to ask them to pop their copies in the inter-office mail to me. One of my favourite children's programmers answered the phone at one of the branches answered, and she had just finished using Bink and Gollie for one of her classes... Sure sign that we have a winner! A great story about friendship, differences, and compromise.

Layla, Queen of Hearts by Glenda Millard - File under: Books that make you cry at work. Third-grader Layla wants to take someone to "Senior Citizens Day" at school (seriously, where are these schools?) but her grandmother died awhile ago. Her best friend Elliot's wise grandmother suggests her friend Miss Amelie, an elderly woman in dire need of a friend. Elliot's grandmother explains that Miss Amelie has some trouble remembering things, but that isn't something to be afraid of. Layla and Elliot befriend Miss Amelie, and Layla especially becomes quite sensitive to both Miss Amelie's sorrows and her moments of real joy. A very light treatment of the perils of Alzheimer disease, in which Layla seems to intuitively understand how certain sticky situations can be sorted out, with the wisdom that children sometimes have.

The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz - Fairies are vicious, and conniving, and pointy. This book delivers (finally, world!) a realistic fairy. Wait, did I just say, "a realistic fairy?" Oh well.... This book hearkens back to the classics of children's literature, those fairy tales and folk stories with devious little people battling real dangers. I was always a sucker for The Tale of Two Bad Mice and Thumbelina - tiny things fascinated me immensely. Our fairy heroine here is Flory, a young night fairy "no taller than an acorn" who is a little bit, let's face it, cocky; out flying one night, her wings are torn and she finds herself no longer able to fly. Awake, and stranded, during the day, Flory is forced to learn about the daytime world and its dangers (new to her): People! Different animals! Flory's resourcefulness and ferocity is admirable, but she is also pushy: she befriends a (truthfully, rather dull) squirrel named Skuggle, and essentially bosses him around to get her way. A delightful adventure story.


The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger - Thanks for the recommendation, Jess! 6th grader Dwight is essentially a loser, and frankly rather odd, until he crafts a Yoda figure out of origami and perches it on his finger. Origami Yoda spouts words of real wisdom, and soon students who once mocked or ignored Dwight are seeking Yoda's wisdom. How can Yoda be Yoda when Dwight is so ... strange? How is it that Yoda can even offer sound advice about Dwight's problems, advice which Dwight then ignores? Is the paper Jedi Grand Master for real? Dwight's classmate Tommy writes down Yoda's story in this book, gathering testimony from other students, to attempt to establish whether Origami Yoda is the genuine article.
*Want to make your own? Get folding instructions from the author here.

The Dark Deeps (Book 2 in the steampunk series, "The Hunchback Assignments") by Arthur Slade - This series is just great fun: adventure, with a dash each of history, science, romance, and espionage. Fourteen-year old Modo (yes, a hunchback), a British secret agent who was adopted by his boss, Mr. Socrates, at a young age, continues to pursue the agents of the evil Clockwork Guild. This time, his mission leads him on a submarine voyage to unravel the underwater mystery of something called the Ictíneo.

Watching Jimmy by Nancy Hartry - Watching Jimmy is the job of his best friend, Carolyn, even before Jimmy had a mysterious accident that left him with brain damage. What Carolyn knows about this "accident," and the implications for both Jimmy and his family, is revealed over the course of this deeply moving historical novel set in Canada in 1958. This is a story about single mothers, about war, peace, regret, loyalty, and health care (yes, Tommy Douglas makes a brief appearance). Winner of the 2010 CLA Book of the Year for Children Award (BOYCA), for which I am a judge.

Previous lists: 2009, 2008.

Felt Friday: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

A Felt Friday bonus: an entirely felt Christmas tree, seen in a department store in Toronto recently. This was a full-scale tree, by the way ... perhaps an ambitious project for me for 2011? Maybe a smaller version!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Favourite teen books of 2010

So, funny story. I have sort of been reading fewer teen books this year. I was worried I was using them as an emotional crutch in life, a kind of lazy bibliotherapy. I actually didn't realise how much I had cut back until I ran a list in LibraryThing for YA2010 tags, and there were a pitiful 10 titles. Well, that makes a Top 10 list hard to write! So here's my top, um, 5.

Heist society by Ally Carter - Slight guilty pleasure. Carter is a pretty good writer, but she airs on the side of repetetive, sometimes. That being said, don't let the cover put you off this book: while it looks chick lit-y, it does have some serious art history in it. Katarina Bishop is tired of being involved in her father's art heist schemes, and enrolls herself in a private school; alas, her "vacation" from the family is short-lived, as her father ends up the prime suspect in a major heist that, ironically, he claims he didn't pull off. In an attempt to clear his name, Kat assembles a team of teen accomplices to retrieve the stolen art (which ends up being stolen Nazi art). Great descriptions of exotic locales, fancy espionage techniques... I really stick with Carter for the humour, though.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - Captain Obvious, I know. The Hunger Games Trilogy was, in my mind, absolutely brilliant, and one of the most complex, disturbing teen titles to come out in a long time. I previously wrote about my anticipation of Mockingjay, the third and final book in the trilogy; in that post, I quoted an interview with Collins in which she described how her father told her stories about the war growing up. She said that "if the whole concept of war were introduced to kids at an earlier age, we would have better dialogues going on about it, and we would have a fuller understanding." Well, I think Mockingjay does that; the novel covers topics such as PTSD, child soldiers, media, and propaganda in an action-packed drama with real appeal to teens. Many meaningful links are drawn in all three books between Katniss' society, the ancient Romans (the candy-coloured buildings, the Latin phrase panem et circenses, or bread and circuses) and our modern age (media embedded with soldiers, the meld of performance, politics and battle - hey, we live in a world in which Stephen Colbert testifies - in character - in front of the Senate). Katniss is a tough girl to like, all right, but then so is any child soldier: she is selfish, and her relationships with those close to her (especially her mother) are forever marred by her experiences, and the choices she has had to make. Lots to chew on.

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland - Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove is a (mostly) respectable Victorian girl, with some not-very-respectable ambitions: she wishes to be a doctor, like her father. After her father's unexpected death, her somewhat unorthodox interests, which had been tolerated by her mother and brother until then, are promptly dismissed. When Louisa objects, her family has her committed to Wildthorn Hall, a home for lunatic women, under an assumed name. Deprived of her very identity, and faced with inhumane treatment by nurses and doctors, Louisa tries to hang on to her sanity, and forge bonds of trust with other residents of the Hall. Wildthorn is inpsired by true stories of women who were incarcerated in asylums in the nineteenth century.

The secret fiend by Shane Peacock ("The Boy Sherlock," #4) - This series works for kids 10+, but I'm putting it here anyway. There is a lot of darkness in Peacock's Sherlock, and I think Sherlock's growing self-awareness, and control over his emotions, is better appreciated by a more mature audience. I've been a fan of the boy Sherlock since Book 1, which blew me away. Peacock has mastered a truly remarkable, unique voice in these books: they are taut, gritty, realistic, historically authentic, and also, at times, touching and tender. Future classics.

Red: A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas - What is Haida manga, you ask? Haida manga is a hybrid art form that com­bines clas­sic Haida design and sto­ry­telling techniques with manga. I enjoyed this book a lot because it was so utterly unique. I don't read a lot of folk tales anymore, but the art in this book drew me in. I read a review in Quill and Quire, and was fascinated by the fact that Red was constructed as a single giant mural; in other words, if you put every page together, they compose a single artwork. Each double-page spread also has its own image (see this for an example). The story itself comes from the oral tradition of the Haida Gwaii, and features a young man, the titular Red, seeking revenge. A more eloquent review of the book, with more spectacular scans of the art, and a video, is here.

Previous "Favourite teen books" of the year on this blog: 2009, 2008.

Quotation of the day #2

“There is no freedom without boundaries.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quotation of the day #1

“Discover what you don’t like doing and stop doing it!”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Favourite adult books of 2010

Why have I never done an adult top 10 list here? Who knows! Anyway, high time to start, I think!

(Children's and teens lists for 2010 are forthcoming)

The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart - Beefeater Balthazar Jones and his wife mourn the death of their young son while Balthazar struggles to keep in line the new menagerie of animals at the Tower of London, and his wife seeks to re-unite items lost on the Tube with their owners. Some reviewers criticised this book for being too "cute;" I disagree. Maybe I feel things too keenly, but the Jones' grief was palpable throughout the novel, undercutting any cuteness with a sense of loss and emptiness. Really, lost things, people and animals was the main theme of this work for me: the human characters wrestle with isolation or hidden passions, the animals are lonely, needy or cantankerous, and objects devise a life of their own, independent of their owners. An utterly unique, complex novel.

Room by Emma Donoghue - So much has been written about Donoghue's novel this year. It's cutesy / it's creepy; it's sensationalist / it's subtle. I'm exhausted from the media coverage. I am a fan of Donoghue's other work (especially Slammerkin and the magnificent Life Mask), and I thought Room was an interesting departure for her. I was concerned I wouldn't be able to get through the book, or wouldn't enjoy it, because it covers such a horrible topic: the imprisonment of a young woman and her son in a single room, held there by an abusive man. I find I am much more inclined to "inhabit" a character in a novel, rather than a character seen on TV, so this is a far cry from watching Law and Order, say. The voice of 5-year old Jack, the narrator of the novel, did, however, ring true to me, and caught me from page 1. I couldn't put the book down, and I could hardly take a breath. I actually also quite liked the second part of the book, which happens outside of Room, as Jack calls their home; I thought it raised an interesting discussion about re-integration into society, and what makes humans social beings.

Three Junes by Julia Glass - Disclaimer: I am sort of cheating since this book was originally published in 2003. Previously briefly blogged about here; read based on recommendation by Caitlin. Maybe you'd be surprised to learn that I worry a lot about legacies: what we leave behind, who we leave it to. This book reassured me a lot: it's all about the friendships and connections we forge with other people, whether family or friends. Set during three summers, years apart, the novel follows three siblings (Fenno and his twin brothers) and their aging Scottish parents. Fenno, a gay man living in New York in the 1980s, provides the central perspective in the novel: he feels himself an outsider (in his own family and as a Scot in the United States): the non-twin, the homosexual, seemingly at odds with his father. Throughout the novel, Fenno learns secrets about his parents and brothers that help shape and change his opinions about them, and he begins to find his place in the world, and understand the contributions he can make to his family's lives.

The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn - I am a total closet architecture geek. This novel will perhaps always remain remarkable to me, in that it made me temper my hatred of Brutalism. Frank Allcroft, the novel's main character, is in the middle: he is a middle-aged television reporter for "Heart Of England Reports," a middle-England regional (not local, not national) news program. He is caught in the middle of a possible secret regarding the death of a former colleague, and is also caught in the middle between his daughter (reaching out for the future with both hands) and his mother (seemingly unable to move forward from a past filled with regret and depression). Meanwhile, the buildings his father, a brilliant but under-appreciated Brutalist architect, built, are being demolished; only one remains standing, as his city makes way for new construction and turns its collective back on the past.

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith - Oh, Zadie. I do love you. I wish we were friends. I think we have a lot in common. A love of E. M. Forster, for instance. Smith writes about Forster in this collection of essays, literary criticism, and reviews. The Guardian called Changing My Mind "sparkling," the New York Times called it "quirky," the Globe and Mail called Smith a "maestro," and even said the essays "come together like a patchwork quilt." Changing My Mind is divided into five sections: the first, "Reading," is composed of critical essays about the writings of Zora Neale Hurston, Joseph O'Neill, Tom McCarthy, E. M. Forster, Vladimir Nabokov and Roland Barthes. "Being" covers everything from Obama's oratorial style to the craft of writing; "Seeing" delves into film reviews, ranging from Spencer and Tracy classics to the more tepid rom-coms of the current day; "Remembering" focuses on the late author, David Foster Wallace. My favourite section, and I freely admit I am a sentimentalist, was "Feeling," a collection of three largely personal essays about Smith's family, especially her father. In the "Feeling" essays, she discusses family holidays, her father's wartime experiences (on D-Day: “So much experience that should be parceled out, tenderly, over years, came to my father that day, concertinaed into twenty-four hours”), and his love of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. Full disclosure: I skipped the 40-page essay about David Foster Wallace. I know, I know. He is on my to-read list; I just figured the essay would be more meaningful after I have read his work.

My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares - This book is the wildcard in the list; I confess I simply cracked it open because of Brashares' popularity. The premise of this novel is that we have past lives, and there are some people (not many!) who can remember some or all of these lives, either in part or in full. What these people do with this information, and how it affects their current life and experiences, varies. I'm surprised this book didn't get picked up a bit more for reviews; it's certainly a popular, melodramatic romance, but it has some thoughtful moments, also, including an examination of the controls we try to exert on our environment and our own personalities, what makes us ourselves, and what makes us human.

The Way Things Look to Me by Roopa Farooki - 23 year old Asif Murphy's life hasn't turned out the way he intended it to....His mother's death leaves him in charge of his younger sister, Yasmin, who has Asperger's. That being said, Yasmin's life hasn't turned out the way she intended it to, either.... Asif, Yasmin and their other sister Lila each have secrets things about them that they think the other two will never understand. A surprising, touching novel.

The Book of William: How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World by Paul Collins - Previously blogged about here. Just go and read that, already, so you too can learn about Japan's love of Shakespeare in puppet form, and the people who devote their lives to creating spreadsheets of every copy of the First Folio. I am secretly kind of in love with Paul Collins. He just can't write a bad book. What's up with that?

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - I know, over-discussed book of 2010... but actually very good. The New York Times review accused it of pushing readers' buttons, and indeed it does that, but not just that. This is certainly not the first book about racism I have ever read, nor the first about the African-American experience in the Southern U.S., but the fact that the action of this novel is set at a turning point in American history (1962) lends it a certain danger and urgency. It's astounding, all over again, how women were treated (white or black); it's incredible to witness the bravery of individuals in the face of collective ignorance, hatred and the mob mentality; it's powerful to hear about women bonding together in the face of adversity, and despite numerous barriers.

Practical Jean by Trevor Cole - A wickedly funny story about an entirely impractical woman who decides on one practical and meaningful act in her life: unfortunately, it's a series of homicides. Nominated for the Writers' Trust Award and recently reviewed in the Ottawa Citizen.

As mentioned above, there are no previous adult reads lists from this blog, but check out these Top 10 lists from my BiblioCommons account: Favourite adult novels of 2009, Favourite adult novels of 2008.

"All we can do is stand up for what we think is right"

Children's book author and library campaigner Alan Gibbons is proposing a day of protest against cuts to libraries in the UK. The Guardian reports the day of protest and "read-ins" would be in February 2011, the month when local councils finalise their spending decisions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

NELI reflections

I promised myself I would tell you all a bit more about NELI, and so now that I have (mostly) recovered, and re-integrated into society, here it goes.

I was at Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park, B.C. from December 2-7 for the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute, “an institute by and for Canada's library leaders,” a six-day program to which librarians can apply within 2-7 years of receiving their MLIS degree. 24 librarians exhibiting leadership potential are normally chosen; 36 attended this year’s Institute. NELI’s founder, Ernie Ingles, indicated this increased number of participants reflected the Institute’s response to the current crisis in library leadership, as baby boomers retire and there are not enough people to step into leadership roles.

NELI’s mission is “to motivate professional librarians in order to assist them in developing, strengthening and exercising their individual leadership abilities so that they are better prepared to create, articulate and achieve organizational visions for the benefit of library service, initially, and society at large, ultimately.” The Institute offers an “experiential and theoretical learning situation.” In order not to detract from the experience of future candidates, participants are asked to keep confidential the specific details of the Institute.

2010 NELI faculty included staff of the University of Alberta and a former ALA president (among others,) and 2010 NELI mentors included at least four university librarians, five current or former public library CEOs, and several managers, partners or vice presidents of vendor and associate organisations. NELI sponsors included OCLC, Coutts Information Services, YBP and EBSCO Canada Ltd.

Components of the 2010 NELI program included sessions focusing on networking, teamwork, active listening, leadership, management, giving/receiving feedback, visioning, change management, conflict resolution, and influencing. We also developed our own individual career development plans, in consultation with our group mentors and any other mentors from whom we wished to seek advice or input.

NELI was a transformative experience for me. I learned about my own capability and potential. The connections I made with 36 similarly dedicated and passionate new librarians will support me throughout my career. The wealth of knowledge I was exposed to via the mentors, sponsors and faculty have informed my professional path. Perhaps most critically, the program’s experiential learning approach not only enhanced skills I already had but also helped me develop new skills that will serve me in my entire life.

I cannot even begin to share everything I learned at NELI in a report, in part because the experience is so rich, and also because the experience is so personal. Over the holidays, I will post ten quotes from the sessions and from conversations that took place at NELI. Hopefully, these will begin to capture the NELI experience for outsiders without violating the confidentiality of the participants.

If you are within 2-7 years of receiving your MLIS degree, I would highly recommend considering NELI.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dear Ottawa,

I am growing to love you, really. Sometimes you even make me proud.

In the meantime, some advice when attending concerts, plays, and operas etc. at the National Arts Centre: standing ovations are for special occasions, not every night. A standing ovation is appropriate when an artist has exceeded all expectations, when a performance is extraordinary, or when you have a very, very special guest. Or perhaps for the wonderful evening (I hope to be there) when the carpet on the NAC staircase stops smelling permanently of mould.

Witness the magnificent a capella encore ("Were you there when they crucified my Lord") given by the American soprano Kathleen Battle at her NAC performance this year. That, my friends, was well worth a standing ovation. In my dozen or so trips to the NAC in the past four years, that is the only performance I have truly felt was worth a standing ovation (but then, I missed the Kirov's performance of Swan Lake; I'll hazard a guess that that was probably worth a standing ovation, also).

If you give a standing ovation at every performance, you risk the following, in my opinion:
  • Devaluing an excellent performance
  • Forcing the tired musicians back on the stage for a third encore (oh yes, it's happened. And it makes us seem greedy and cheap!)
  • Looking like hicks
Please look before you leap, so to speak, next time. Those of us with significant scar tissue on our wristbones who find clapping painful for more than, say, 5 minutes straight, will also thank you.

P.S. It's kind of not your fault. Standing ovations in general seem to be devalued these days, from the political sphere down to the professional conference setting.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Trailers again

Jeesh. I turn my back for one week, and they're all over the news.

The Huffington Post has "Book Videos: 19 Of The Best And The Worst."

Way to go, Alexandra

Not me!

Just catching up on the book awards.... In this case, the 2010 Guardian First Book Award.

American Libraries covers book trailers

"Their effects, however, are debated. The Wall Street Journal (“Watch This Book,” June 7, 2008) contrasted online promotions viewed to sales figures for a handful of popular titles, suggesting that trailers did not necessarily prompt purchases, while Publishers Weekly (“Way Cool: Marketing and the Internet,” Feb. 19, 2007) quoted publishers’ marketing staff, who believe that there is a positive correlation."

Complete article here.

Back home again

I am back from the wilds of B.C., where I was kidnapped for a 7-day leadership institute.

I have a million e-mails to wade through, and piles of notes of ideas from the institute to implement, and, oh, I've also returned to some bad habits and have had to go to the bathroom for about 1 hour now. I am also suffering from sensory overload, Team Sparkle Motion withdrawal, and a condition I am calling LOM - lack of mountains.

I will return shortly with more meaningful observations, but for now, feast on this:

More here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

See you in 7-ish days!

I'm taking a blog break for a week, mostly because I will be in the Rockies, in a hotel with no wireless or cell reception.

While I'm off the grid, don't do anything newsworthy, 'k?

If you're really lucky, I might tell you some stories when I get back. At I've scheduled at least one post so you won't forget I exist.