Tuesday, March 27, 2007

En Route to the Library-on-a-Camel's-Back

The Paideia Library's donation to the Camel Bookmobile is on its way. You can see below some of the wonderful books that went in the box.

I learned that indeed, there is a special rate for sending books overseas, in an M-bag. The box of books goes into a special canvas bag with destination labels inside and outside, and 11 lbs. goes for only $11.55! (it probably goes over by trans-Atlantic turtle, but it does get there eventually). Not all countries accept M-bags (Kenya does), so check before you box up books for overseas shipping. This is a great discovery -- I'm very pleased to have found a home for extra copies of books that the Padeia community has enjoyed.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Nom de Plume for March 17

Should you feel a burning need to write under another name next Saturday (or do anything else incognito), find your very own "little people" moniker with this Leprechaun Name generator.

Leprechaun Name

Your Leprechaun Name is
Sneaky O'Grady
Get Your Leprechaun Name at Quizopolis.com

Sincerely yours,
Cabbage Lips O'Grady

Reading Across Borders Book #4:
The Shadow of the Wind

I bought this title for our library a couple of years ago, though I don't remember why (except that it sounded good, and it was on the New York Times bestseller list for a while, deservedly so). Browsing the shelves for a Reader's Advisory consultation with a student last week, I saw it again and decided to give it a go.

The Shadow of the Wind is the first novel by Carlos Ruis Zafón, originally published in Spain (in Spanish, naturally) in 2001, and was a word-of-mouth bestseller. It is a literary mystery, set in post-Civil War Barcelona. Unlike the "mystery and detective" genre that I race through for plot and entertainment, this novel uses the unknowns at the center of the story as a device to pursue character study, civilization, the role of literature, the nature of writing as an art, family secrets and post-war societal changes. And the Barcelona details are rich and colorful. The cartoon at right is a pretty good plot summary.

About halfway through I had figured out "who dunnit," and was a little disappointed that it had been so obvious. But, whodunnit isn't the point at all, in fact, it becomes irrelevant in the context of why, the characters' lives, what happened before, and what will happen in their futures. This is a gorgeous read, and beautifully translated. Whether you are a fan of mysteries, or shun them in preference to "literature," you will find The Shadow of the Wind to be a satisfying excursion.

Find this book in the Paideia Library, at your local public library or bookstore.
Thanks to Unshelved for the cartoon (published yesterday, March 11. How's that for synchronicity?).

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

No More Snakes . . .

From time to time, out of curiosity, I check the stats on this site, and I feel really guilty about all the people who get here via a Google search, hoping for information on the care and keeping of python reticulatus.

So, I've changed the URL of this site to The Reticulated Pi-Thon (http://reticulatedpithon.blogspot.com). It loses the wordplay a bit, however, before we cheered "Go Pythons!" we cheered "Go 3.14159 26535 89793 . . ."

Anybody out there who may have subscribed to or bookmarked the site, adjust your information.

And thanks for reading.