April 8, 2008

Never Eat Alone

Posted in Careers, Literature at 9:15 pm by Katelyn

I wanted to let everyone know that over the next few weeks Lindsay and I will be reading and discussing the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.  Our conversations will take place in our weekend posts.  So if you’d like to grab a copy and join in the reading and/or discussion we’ll be making our first post this weekend.

Happy Reading and Happy Networking!

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March 24, 2008

Honoring Hen: Louisa May Alcott

Posted in Literature, Uncategorized tagged , , at 9:02 pm by Katelyn

Louisa May Alcott, known best as the author of Little Women, was a popular femaleLittle Women author of the late 1800s. Long before her literary career, Alcott was an army nurse in the Civil War where she broke the ban on admitting single women. After the war and a trip to Europe, Alcott returned to America to find her family once again in debt. She resolved to change that with the publication of Little Women. This book has never been out of print and has been published in some 50 different languages. Some say that Alcott felt she sacrificed her artistic and personal wishes for her family’s monetary needs with Little Women. Whether or not that is true, she continued to try to make change in the world by petitioning for women’s suffrage, funded a home for orphaned boys, and visited the State Reformatory to tell stories to the prisoners.

So not only did she give us great literature like Little Women, Jo’s Boys, Eight Cousins, and many others, but she contributed to making her world a little better.

January 3, 2008

Marian the Librarian

Posted in Life, Literature tagged , , at 10:53 pm by Katelyn

When I was younger, the Music Man was one of my favorite musicals, and the song about Marian the Librarian was near the top of the list. Since that time, my love of libraries has not diminished. Here I am 23 years old, a full-time professional living on my own, and I still love the library as much as if I were headed there for story-time.

Here are just 10 of my favorite reasons to love the library:

1. Sound of constantly clicking keys on the computer keyboards, because no matter when you go, there are always dozens of people using the free internet.

2. Self-checkout – you no longer have to explain your book selection when the librarian is giving you quizzical looks about the self-help non-fiction you’ve been dying to read.

3. The amazing magazine selection. Enough said.

4. The heat setting set to a super-warm temperature in the winter as if they want you to fall asleep rather than actually finish the chapter you’re trying to read.

5. The somewhat quirky CD collection where you always end up with something you’ve never heard of before.

6. The magic of the online catalog: where dreams can be both realized and squashed.

7. The overly zealous librarian ready to assist in your every need.

8. The children’s section, where kids can’t seem to get enough of reading and learning.

9. The sight of someone standing in an aisle completely lost in a book they intended to only read the back of.

10. As much reading as you want – for FREE!

What other place is as cool as the library??

~Dorky DC

December 13, 2007

Exposure

Posted in Life, Literature tagged , , , at 4:14 pm by Katelyn

I found one of my new favorite quotes last night from a novel I can’t seem to put down, no matter how hard I try. I thought it would serve well as the basis for my post today. It comes from the novel The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud and is inThe Emperor’s Children reference to reading on all topics, including those you do not like.

“You expose yourself to as much as possible, you absorb it, you forget most of it, but along the way it’s changed you.”

 

The words are simple, but the message is dead on. I think one of the main points is that you will forget much of what you read, and that that is okay. The point is to be changed; to be a different person than you were before you read it.

By reading, and reading on all types of topics, are we not more knowledgeable, understanding, and cultured? In our society where so much of our information is filtered to us through media giants and in non-traditional forms such as television and the Internet, how many people still are changed by the material they read?

I, for one, always gravitate toward novels – a mixture of classic literature and modern “fun” stories, but does that stretch my mind? Now that I am no longer in school where I am forced by professors to read material that I would never choose for myself at the library or local bookstore, I find this quote to have even more meaning.  It is almost a call to action for me to read a book on history, philosophy, or any other non-fiction and it will prove worthy of my time. Force yourself to read and understand books on topics that aren’t your primary interest. Pick up a newspaper or magazine to read in cycle with your normal blogs and other websites.

Don’t ever stop stretching yourself. Be your own professor.

Read, forget – that’s fine, but be changed!

~DC

November 6, 2007

Dodging the Classics

Posted in Literature at 2:21 am by Lindsay

I’m in the habit of reading msn’s Slate Magazine (www.slate.com) almost every single day.  Last week, they celebrated “Fall Book Week” and featured a story that asked modern writers about their “gravest literary omissions: the most important books they’ve never read”.  To read that article: http://www.slate.com/id/2176907/

Granted, I’m only 22 years old, and there’s a lot I haven’t read, but I have time to make up for that.  So while there are many important books I haven’t yet read, I’ll just comment upon the author that I should have read by now but haven’t. 

 Introducing Mr. Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain.  I have visited the house where he entered this world in Hannibal, Missouri, but my eyes have never read the exploits of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, a Connecticut Yankee, or any other concoction of who Faulkner calls “the father of American literature”. 

This omission was never deliberate until recently, when I read that Twain was quoted as saying “any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen.  Even if it contains no other book.”  The nerve.  Being an Austen fan myself, I don’t think this bodes fairly on my chances of liking Mr. Twain, but I suppose that such a reaction does not warrant my unwillingness to give it a chance.  I only stumbled upon this quote a few months ago, so I don’t know how I was able to manage to avoid his work all through school. 

So that’s my grave omission in literature.  I’m working on repairing that, but for now, I’ll ask the question of you and anyone else who might like to respond.  We love comments!!

 ~LA