Thursday, July 21, 2016

Helpful Hint!

If you work in a library (or public service in general) the phrase "I need help," is code for do it for me.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Passive Programming: Book in a Jar

My new passive programming display is up and running! my boss had heard about book in a jar, and after a quick google search I totally agreed that it would be something super cool that we could do.
And after three days slicing up a book, I really like how it turned out.

To make all of this work, I had to cut up a few of the pages myself because our shredder does a really good job and all that was really left of each shred fit one or two words on it. And since I wanted people to be able guess I put a few of the key pages to the side.

I know a few people already entered the correct answer, and at least one of my coworkers got it as well, can you guess the book? If not, here's the answer

I would also just like to add that I had to work on this project at the reference desk and cannot truly describe the odd looks I got putting all this together. I can say that no one freaked out even as I was literally tearing the pages out of the book. I had to tell people what I was doing fairly often, and luckily they all seemed pretty excited about it. Although I did have one person attempt to through a piece of trash in the jar as I was filling it. 
Either way, this project was definitely worth all the work. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Book Review: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

It was a book I could not put down. I started it on a Saturday evening and was finished the following Tuesday. It has been years since I finished a book that quickly.

The book starts out during Mr. Bennet’s recovery from a heart attack. Elizabeth and Jane have returned from NYC to help with the recovery. But what they return home to is more than just a sick father: the entire household is in disarray. On top of that, Mrs. Bennet’s only concern to get her daughters married before they turn forty. To Mrs. Bennet’s utter delight, two doctors just moved into the neighborhood, a Chip Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy; and better yet, Chip is immediately attracted to Jane.

I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice especially. I have read many modern retellings that I usually end up putting to the side, because it isn’t what I wanted. This retelling, however, was almost exactly what I wanted. I have never read a more accurate retelling than this book. The pacing, and the writing style (even with a modern language), even the book’s chapter layout, it is all eerily spot on. I think that all of the characters were modernized seamlessly. In a way that better lets a modern reader understand their flaws, strengths, and personality.
We can better see Elizabeth’s pride in this retelling. She is presented, only seeing what she wants to see and we get to observe the progress she makes of slowly understanding and then seeing what is actually there. Good examples of this are the state of her parents house, or her relationship with Jasper.
I also totally loved that she is kind of a stereotypical white upper-class feminist. She believes she is a great “Activist!” and an “Ally!” When she doesn't actually know as much on the subject as she thinks she does. Which shows when an event calls her home abruptly, and she struggles to react appropriately.
I think the other characters were just as well channeled. How they talk to one another, and their chosen professions, or lack thereof, were all excellently written.

My one problem with this book, was that I was not completely sold on the reality T.V. element of this book. While I absolutely loved reading this book, I was left with a bitter after taste. I think using reality television to portray Chip Bingley as flaky, was an easy way out. It almost read as if the author was desperately trying to show just how modern and up-to-date this book really is. It didn’t sit well with me, and I don’t think it tied in all that well to the rest of the book. Although, I’m sure to be in the minority with that opinion.

Ultimately, I would absolutely recommend this book to any Austen fan and to all Pride and Prejudice fans.