Thursday, March 11, 2010

524-Secret Shopper

For my Secret Shopper assignment, I went to a Indy suburb branch.  When I walked up to the desk, the Reference Librarian looked up and smiled and asked what she could help me with.  I told her that I was looking for book to read but was tired of what I have been reading (white lie) and that I wanted to read something new.  She continued to look at me which I took to mean keep talking so I said I had been reading a lot of historical fiction about WWII.  She immediately lit up like a Christmas tree and asked if I had read any of W.E.B Griffin's books.  I said no, and she grabbed a reference book of the shelf, "What's Next," or something like that.  She looked up his name and showed me the series he writes.  She told me she absolutely loves his books and if you are going to read one you need to read them in order since the paragraphs at the end of one book lead right into the first paragraphs of the next book.  She told me the topics of his series.  One was about cops, one about post WWII, during WWII, presidents.  She also told me that if I was going to read one to also check out the second because I wouldn't want to wait to come to the library to get it.  I decided to try the post WWII because she said it was written more from the war strategy perspective rather than the survivor stories I usually read.  She was so excited walking me over to the paperback sections and actually told me that I had made her day because Reader Advisory is her favorite part of her job.  I just smiled and told her I was happy to help.  I was thinking "Great, now I have to actually read this book because she is going to tackle me at the door the next time I come in to ask how I liked it."

So now here I sit writing this with yet another book on my to do list! :)  I was glad that she was very friendly and excited about helping me.  However, I wish she had asked me some questions other than if I had read that author.  I would have liked her to ask me what I have read in the past and what I liked or didn't like to read.  Overall, though, it sounds like I had a better experience than most. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

524-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Authors: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Genre: Gentle Reads

I loved this book!  But hated that I bought it and a week later my mother says "Oh Christ gave me this book for you to read, she thought you could use it for your class."  What do you know, same book!  ug!  There goes $14!!!

This is set in the aftermath of WWII in London and Guernsey which is an island in the channel.  The author begins to write letters back and forth with a man who had read her book and wanted to see if she had information on another book.  Through their correspondence, she realizes she could write an article about thier lives during the war.  She then begins to write to other islanders and learn about thier stories during the war.

She also writes to her editor and his sister whom she met while in boarding school.  After falling in love with her friends on the island she decides to visit them and falls in love with island.  Through the book her friends learn that girl, Elizabeth, who started the society on a whim when being questioned by the Nazis as to why they were out after curfew, died in the concentration camp she was sent to for harboring a worker.  Her daughter was being raised by the other members of the society and after Juilet (the author) comes to the island she stays with her in her mother's cottage.

Juliet stays on the island for a few months and realizes she does not want to leave and would be content living there and adopting Kit.  She also realizes she has fallen in love with Dawsey who was the man who originally wrote to her.

Through reading all the letters written amongst them, you learn so much about each of their lives and about how life was during the war.

I was originally worried about the format of the book since it was written completely in letters.  After a while you don't even notice the letters and just get caught up in the story.  It is a smooth quick read and very enjoyable.  I feel like it ended too quickly, however.  We never knew if Juliet was able to adopt Kit.  Even so, it gets 5 stars from me!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

General classes....

I know I have mentioned to some readers of this blog how frustrating this online I am taking is.  It has officially reached a new level of frustration....If I am in tears over an assignment, I would say that it is too hard.  Actually, let me rephrase.  The assignment itself is not hard.  Write a lesson plan....I do that every day.  Its nothing like my lesson plans....way too complicated and teachers never write or use this detailed of plans, but I get that she wants us to "think" it completely through.  That's fine.  But we have to use Wikispace to display our work.  I can only handle so much "new technology" at a time.  I have figured out this "blog" thing, why can't we just keep using that???  Why torture me with a wiki that isn't even our Oncourse wiki???  I could do that.  Maybe.  I just hate being made to feel stupid and to the point of tears.  My anxiety attacks have lessened quite a bit since leaving my previous school.  So far this year has been great....however, this online class is killing me.  I finally get something mastered and then let's just throw me for a loop.  Part of this is my own fault.  I am a perfectionist and I don't like not knowing something.  I don't do this well.  The over achiever in me is screaming and scared that I may fail.  Will I?  Ofcourse not, that has never been an option or even allowed to be in my vocabulary throughout my life.  I have 3 weeks to figure this thing out.  Can I just write in Word and copy and paste to this Wiki thing?  I don't want to have to design or create a website which is what I am feeling like this thing is.  Ofcourse it would be easier to just write the thing in word and post it in Oncourse in a forum.  Everyone would still be able to read it and comment on it which is what we have to do with this Wiki thing.

UUUUGGGGG!!!!!!!  I don't know which is harder: being the newbie in Step Areobics this morning or figuring out this Wiki thing.  I am feeling like a fish out of water in both.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

524-Fake Memoirs??? Really???

When doing the readings for class last week, I hadn't had the chance to read about the individual fake memoirs, just about the general topic.  When Andrea mentioned the one about the child walking across Europe and living with the wolves, I had to go back and read about it in detail.  Reading about the Holocaust is a big interest of mine, especially about the children who survived the Nazis.  Even though this is not  real story, I want to read it.  I don't understand why an author would want to write an untruth.  Why not just write a Historical Fiction???  I guess it wouldn't have the same "wow" or "shock" factor but to lie?  I don't get it!

I pasted the link for the book that caught my attention.  I am going to try and find a copy of this book to read as fiction since that is obviously what it is.

I wonder if authors get punished for writing something and claiming it to be true?  I mean in education it is called cheating and they are reprimanded.  

This article is also about fake memoirs.  I found it to be interesting and thought I would share.  He proposes answers to the questions I have already asked. 

As for legal ramifications, I did a search to see if it is illegal to write something and pose it as truth when in reality it isn't.  I found the answers on this site to be interesting. 

Regardless, I think it is very shifty to write something and claim for it to be real.  This is not fair to those who have had things happen to them that is worthy to write about, but if too many people write about fake real things, then people will begin to doubt the actual real stories about there.  We don't want to lessen or cheapen their experiences. 

524-Smart Girls Think Twice

Title: Smart Girls Think Twice
Author: Cathie Linz
Genre: Romance

I think for genre we should really call this "Hot Romance" since it isn't for the those who like sex to be a "behind closed doors, private thing that nobody talks about thing."  Linz does a good job of making us wish we were Emma being seduced by Jake in this story.  Emma is the "smart sister" as the people in her hometown refer to her.  She is a sociologist who teaches and works at a university in Boston.  She has come back home to her very small town for the summer to attend her sisters's weddings and to do research on what attracts outsiders to her hometown.  She is teased by her family for being boringly dressed and not into snatching up a man.  Emma walks into a bar to interview a newcomer to town and finds herself distracted by the hot bartender (who is the newcomer.)

Jake is an extreme sports athlete who left the sport after a tragic accident on a mountain that he barely survived and which unfortunatly killed his best friend.  He is on a personal journey to find his birth mother who is from this very small town he has found himself tending bar in.  Jake is used to being with "ski bunny" model type women and never thought a sociologist would bring him to his knees.

Even though this is a very hot and steamy romance, I enjoyed the story itself as well.  The characters in the book were entertaining and brought a lot to the story.

To spare anyone any uncomfortable reading, I won't go into detail about the "hot" parts, but if you need to get your engines revved up be sure to read this one!  (Be sure to warn your man first since you will be liable to jump him after you have finished the book!)