Archive for September, 2007

Skyline Drive

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Two Sundays ago, we were having unseasonably glorious cool weather, and I was meeting my husband to bring my son back home.  They had been exploring the Shenandoah Valley–so I arranged to meet them and come back by way of Skyline Drive.  After meeting, I was running late, so we only did one segment of the drive.  But it was so beautiful, and wonderfully peaceful, with very few other travelers, and the leaves just beginning to turn.  Here are some pictures:

Mom, just drive on!

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Many panoramic vistas:

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We even saw a flock of wild turkeys!

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Hiking at Great Falls

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

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After looking at the waterfalls, my son and I went for a short hike along the river.

There’s something about hiking that refreshes my spirit, no matter how hot the day.  I love it that such a beautiful place is so close to the big city.

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Setting off on the hike.

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The sky was so blue that day.

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Unfortunately, the bridge didn’t work for Poohsticks.

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A peaceful spot by the canal around the falls

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In a tunnel of trees

Throwing rocks into the Potomac:

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Thing #14

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

The 14th “Thing” in our library’s program to do 23 Web 2.0 activities is to explore www.technorati.com.  It’s a site where you can search blogs.

I had some fun with it, searching for my own posts.  I did not find the Great Falls post I posted most recently, but I did find my goodreads post.  It was fun to look for authors I have recently quoted on Sonderquotes and find other people quoting the same authors.

Then I looked up a title of a book I just checked out, Keturah and Lord Death.  It came highly recommended on the YALSA-Book Listserv, and I thought it would be interesting to find bloggers reading YA literature.

Sure enough, I really like the sound of one of the first blogs I looked at–“Jane on Books,” (http://janeonbooks.edublogs.org/)  with the subtitle–“I Love Kids’ Books.”  I’m going to have to start following that blog….

But wait, there’s more!

The Librarian Soul: http://sonjjjah.wordpress.com/

Talking Teen Books: http://talkingteenbooks.blogspot.com/

Everything Under the Sun: http://everythingunderthesun-booklady.blogspot.com/

The Book Blog: http://anderson8th.blogspot.com/

Book Trail: http://booktrail.blogspot.com/

Pell Mel:  http://melindamorley.com/blog/

So Many Books, So Little Time: http://tannergirl.livejournal.com/

Liz’s Book Buzz: http://lizsbookbuzz.blogspot.com/

Wow!  I was only getting started!  I think I like this method of finding blogs I will enjoy following.  Probably too much.  It’s not like I need more blogs to follow!  But I did want to add to the Blogroll on my site, and I think I’ve hit on a good method.

Oh, by the way, everyone enjoyed the book!

Great Falls

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

My son and I went to Great Falls, on the Potomac, the Saturday before last.  It was hot, it was crowded — but there’s something about the outdoors, and there’s something about waterfalls.  I’ll include some pictures.

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Kayakers out on the river.

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The water’s very low, so more rocks are showing than usual.

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I saw this bird — An egret? — on a rock in the river.

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Here’s the bird flying away.

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The Falls from another outlook point.

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Better than LibraryThing?

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

I just found another site for cataloging your books–www.goodreads.com.  It is positioned as social networking for readers.

It seems very similar to LibraryThing.com.  However–and this is a big however–it doesn’t seem to charge you after you’ve entered 200 books.  It does allow you to post reviews and rate your books and all that good stuff.

I’m curious–Do people out there have an opinion on www.goodreads.com as opposed to www.librarything.com?  I’m thinking perhaps I should make a goodreads account and post my reviews to that site as well…  But I will probably only go with one of those two sites, and I already know of a few friends who use librarything.  What do you all think?

Thing #13

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Our 13th of 23 Things for my library’s “Learning 2.0” program is to explore http://del.icio.us and tagging.

However, they didn’t want us to install del.icio.us buttons on our work computers, so it seemed to me that kind of defeated the purpose.  The idea is to tag your bookmarks–the more easily to find them later.  I’ll have to try it on my computer at home.  I do like the idea.

I was interested in the articles I read about tagging.  Especially so because next week, I’m starting a graduate class called “Content Representation.”  It’s about indexing.  I’ve already started doing a little bit of the reading.  It seems to me that tagging on websites is like a grand indexing project done by laypeople.  You won’t have standard terms used, but the sheer power of hundreds of thousands of people doing it will create some useful links.

It’s going to be interesting to see if my Content Representation class talks about how wildly popular tagging has become.

One of the articles–I can’t seem to find it now–said that the strength of Google’s gmail is that they allow you to tag e-mails rather than assign them to only one folder.

When an item can only be in one folder, that’s hierarchal organization.  But with tags, you don’t have to stick to a hierarchy.  You can assign multiple tags to each file.

I’m loving this aspect of tags with my book reviews.  I still have my main site, www.sonderbooks.com, organized in a hierarchy.  I have reviews divided into groups:  Nonfiction, Fiction, Teen Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Children’s Nonfiction, and Picture Books.  Within those categories, I have the books divided by genre.  But I can only put each book into one genre.  What do I do with the Thursday Next books, which are part Science Fiction, part Fantasy, part Humor, part Mystery, and part Literary Farce?  I think I chose Science Fiction, but it was a tough choice.

Enter tags.  Now I have a blog alongside my site, at www.sonderbooks.com/blog/.  In the blog, I post the reviews as well–but now I can tag them according to multiple characteristics.  Lovely!

In Memory of Madeleine L’Engle

Friday, September 7th, 2007

I was saddened to read, a few moments ago, that Madeleine L’Engle has died, at the age of 88.

I’m not sad for her.  I’m sure she’s gone on to a glorious adventure in heaven.  I’m selfishly sad that there will be no more wonderful books coming from her pen.  And sad that I never got to meet her–someone who has affected my life deeply with her wonderful words.

Children’s Writers

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

I’ve decided that people who write for children and young adults are an extremely intelligent bunch.

I’m reading my new issue of The Horn Book Magazine, and this month it’s got many short essays by children’s writers on gender issues.  I’m struck afresh by how brilliant these people are.

There was an interview with Jon Scieszka.  The man is wonderfully funny, and his books are full of boyish pranks (no surprise to learn he’s from a family of all boys).  But how amazingly insightful he is as well.  Part of why I love reading Horn Book Magazine is that big issues are dealt with in a thought-provoking, powerful way.

Then I realize it’s not the first time I’ve heard wisdom from children’s writers.  Susan Patron’s Newbery Acceptance Speech.  David Wiesner’s Caldecott Acceptance Speech.  Okay, every single author I heard speak at ALA–and for the Printz Awards, even the Honor winners had to speak.  Then there’s John and Hank Green’s Brotherhood 2.0 site–full of tremendously clever, tremendously funny, nerdy humor.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people who can express profound truths through fiction also turn out to be deep thinkers.

Thing # 12

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Okay, I just did the 12th “Thing” for my work’s 23 Things program:  Create your own Search Roll.

I made two.  One searches yarn shops.  After all, if there’s a specific yarn I’m looking for, I like to see who has it (or the equivalent) for the lowest price.  That’s at: 

http://rollyo.com/sondysue/my_yarn_shops/
I also did a search for several blogs that cover children’s books.  That search roll is: http://rollyo.com/sondysue/my_childrens_lit_blogs/

Could be useful, but usually I’ll just search the sites individually….