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Friday, February 27, 2009

Poetry Friday--Ashley Bryan--Poetry Promoter

Last month I was swept away by Ashley Bryan's keynote speech at the Kindling Words retreat.

It was so much more than a speech, it was a celebration of poetry as an oral tradition. Bryan had the audience of adults actively participating in a call and response rendition of Langston Hughes' short little poem, "Baby." "Baby" can be found in The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes [811 HUG].

The video below, is of a little girl who very likely had also seen Ashley Bryan!

My good friend, Andy, was so taken by Bryan's use of poetry, that she has now incorporated "Baby" into her kindergarten curriculum!

We recently added to our collection, Words to My Life's Song, a children's autobiography of Ashley Bryan [J B BRY].
Told through drawings and photographs, the author's autobiography demonstrates his love for art and drawing which always sustained him even though he was turned away from art school because of his color.

You can listen to Bryan on this audio collection: I, Too, Sing America: Three Centuries of African American Poetry [J AB/CD 811 I]. Enjoy!

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Mommy's Favorite Children's Books.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oddly Named

Last fall I wrote about the oddest named books of the past 30 years. This year's entries for the title "Oddest Book Title of the Year" have been narrowed down to six, as reported by the British paper, The Telegraph.

My favorite from the shortlist is, Curbside Consultation of the Colon with it's delightful alliteration!

You, too, can vote, by going to this site. The poll is on the right-hand side of the page.

I haven't noticed any particularly odd titles come through here, but, I have made note of the several cleverly titled series. For instance, there are these titles in the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison [all F HAR]:

A Fistful of Charms.

Every Which Way But Dead.

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead.

The Outlaw Demon Wails

Remind you of something?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

At Your Wit's End?

Here it is Wednesday, right in the middle of school vacation week. Are you about ready to send your little darlings off to Antarctica? You, know, there are other options! Bring them to the library for some great story books and for scads of activity ideas.

Keep your kids entertained, and maybe even throw in a little education at the same time! Look for these, which are currently being displayed on the wooden unit opposite the check-out desk:

Blakey, Nancy. Lotions, Potions, and Slime Mudpies and More! [J 745.5 BLA]

Gryski, Camilla. Super String Games. [J 793 GRY]

Maguire, Jack. Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot Potato, & Ha, Ha, Ha: A Rulebook of Children's Games. [793 MAG]

Penrose, Gordon. Magic Mud and Other Great Experiments. [J 507 PEN]

Rhatigan, Joe. Paper Fantastic: 50 Creative Projects to Fold, Cut, Glue, Paint and Weave. [J 745.54 RHA]

VanCleave, Janice. Janice VanCleave's Play and Find Out about the Human Body: Easy Experiments for Young Children. [J 612 VAN]

Walker, Lester. Block Building for Children. [790.1 WAL]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday

For many cultures, the start of Lent (tomorrow) signals a period of fasting. So, in an effort to use up many of the items that are eliminated during the Lenten season (eggs, butter, lard, sugar, etc.), special treats are made. In England it's pancakes and the holiday is called Shrove Tuesday (the word shrove relates to a penance). In the Pennsylvania Dutch area of the U.S., it's donuts on Fasnachts (fasten = fast nacht = night) is. Poles eat donut-like cakes, too--jelly filled ones called paczki. Poles in America celebrate Paczki Day. (Paczki is pronounced "Pooch-key," "Punch-key," or even "Poonch-key." I think it may be from the word for parcel--a jelly filled cake is like a little parcel? Do any of my readers know?) A recipe for paczki is found in Polish Cooking by Marianna Heberle [641.59468 HEB]. NPR's Day to Day did a story on Paczki Day that you can listen to here.

We're all familiar with the New Orleans celebration of Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday). For their celebration, the people of New Orleans eat King Cake, which, since it is made with yeast, has qualities of both cake and bread. Paula Deen has a recipe for King Cake in Paula Deen Celebrates! [641.568 DEE], and there's yet another in Holidays of the World Cookbook for Students by Lois Webb [641.568 WEB].

Eat, drink, and be merry today, for tomorrow you may die(t)!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Last night I stayed up until midnight to watch the Academy Awards. Isn't this typical--the last award is being announced--the award for best picture--"And the Oscar goes to..." and zap, my electricity flickers off! We had awful winds, cold, and snow last night and the power stayed on until the most important award is given out! The lights flickered several times, and came back up fairly quickly. When they did, I could see a stage full of people, mostly from India, and I knew that Slumdog Millionaire had won.

I've seen very few movies over the past year, but in December, I traveled down to Woburn to see Slumdog Millionaire. This was before the nomination was announced and for some reason the film wasn't being shown widely. I loved it! Even though the scenes of cruelty were hard to watch, its message of love and hope were powerful.

At last night's ceremony, one of the highlights for me was when the "Best Song" award was announced and the winner, A.R. Rahman, stated this about himself (I'm paraphrasing), "I had a choice between love and hate, and I chose love. Look where I am now!"

Slumdog Millionaire
truly is a best picture and I recommend it highly. We will order it when it is finally released in DVD. In the meantime, you may want to read the book that the film is based upon, Q & A by Vikas Swarup [F SWA].

Here are two of last night's winners that are already in DVD and on our shelves:

"Best Animated Feature" Wall-E. [J DVD WAL]

"Best Documentary Feature" Man on Wire. [DVD MAN]

These winners have been ordered, but may not be found on our shelves for a while, so keep checking back.

"Best Actress in a Supporting Role" Penelope Cruz in Vicky Christina Barcelona.

"Best Actor in a Supporting Role" Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. (This film also received "Best Sound Editing.")

"Best Writing-Original Screenplay" Milk. (Due to be released on March 10)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Poetry Friday--Mail

On this date in 1792, President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act which created the U.S. Post Office. Perhaps he was hoping to receive a birthday card? The Post Office has remained in operation 217 years thus far, and I guess we shouldn't complain about the cost of postage stamps going up again in May!

Today, I'd like to share part of Dana Gioia's "The Letter":
And in the end, all that is really left
Is a feeling—strong and unavoidable—
That somehow we deserved something better.
That somewhere along the line things
Got fouled up. And that letter from whoever’s
In charge, which certainly would have set
Everything straight between us and the world,
Never reached us. Got lost somewhere.
Read the rest here.

Who can't relate to this? We're always looking for the letter, or the phone call, or the corrected invoice, or whatever, to set things straight!

Gioia, besides being a poet, was a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, is an anthologist, a translator, an essayist, and, he writes librettos for operas! You can read more of his work in Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry [811 POE].

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at The Holly and the Ivy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Openings

American Book Review recently listed it's choice for "100 Best First Lines from Novels."

Here are their top ten:
1. "Call me Ishmael." —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)

2. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

3. "A screaming comes across the sky." —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973)

4. "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice." —Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)

5. "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins." —Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)

6. "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." —Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)

7. "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs." —James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (1939)

8. "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." —George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

9. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

10. "I am an invisible man." —Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)

I'm happy to say we have all 10 books in our collection in the fiction [F] section. If any of those lines grabbed your attention (I must admit, not too many grabbed mine), you may be interested in reading the whole book. I loved One Hundred Years of Solitude when I first read it, so maybe it's time for me to take another look!

To read the other 90 opening lines, click here.

I found it interesting that number 22 was "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness." from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's Paul Clifford. Bulwer-Lytton made quite a reputation for himself with his now cliched, "It was a dark and stormy night."

A yearly contest is now held to find openings that rival Bulwer-Lytton's.
Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


About 6 months ago, at a library meeting, I heard mention of Twitter, a new online social networking source. I dismissed it as I'm not generally an early adopter of new technologies. Prior to November, a political junkie friend almost dropped out of our email correspondence, because, she was spending time on Twitter keeping up on the latest political changes in the weather.

Now, it seems that Twitter has exploded into general consciousness, as evidenced by a recent article in the New York Times. The author of the article, David Pogue, ends this way,
It may be powerful, useful, addictive and fascinating--but in the end, it’s still an Internet time drain.

Still, it looks like Twitter may be here to stay, so I thought I'd see about ordering a book for the library that might explain the ins and outs of Twitter. I went to our book vendor's site and typed in "Twitter" and got 10 hits. Two of those were for a book that came out in 1989, so, obviously that one wouldn't do. Two others were for children's books, Twitter and Tweet, and Mrs. Twitter the Animal Sitter, again, not what I was looking for. Still, that left 6 other titles. One came out in October '08, but it is already out of stock! The focus of that book is using Twitter for business and marketing. Two more books with a focus on business and marketing came out in November, with an additional one due out this month. One on programming for Twitter comes out in March. Here's the killer--Twitter for Dummies, the book we really need, won't be out until June 09!

A few days ago, a "with-it" librarian mentioned twhirl, yet another online thingy that enables you to keep track of your Twitter, laconi.ca, Friendfeed and Seesmic accounts! Seesmic? Friendfeed? Oh, my head hurts...

Which reminds me, we have bunches of stress relief materials on our shelves!

Jaffe, Marjorie. The Bathtub Yoga and Relaxation Book: Yoga in the Bath for Energy, Vitality and Pleasure. [613.7 JAF]

Qi Gong for Stress. [DVD 613.7148 QI]

Walker, C. Eugene. Learn to Relax: Proven Techniques for Reducing Stress, Tension, and Anxiety--and Promoting Peak Performance. [155.9 WAL]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Swear This Is Nothing Personal!

But, you must check out this website, if I haven't already inflicted it upon you. Click here:

I'm not going to criticize anyone else's eating habits, but wow, anyone who actually eats stuff like that, sure is in need of a few of these recently published items from our shelves! (Please note: listing the following items in no way counts as a recommendation or endorsement!)

Agatston, Arthur. The South Beach Diet Supercharged: Faster Weight Loss and Better Health For Life. [613.25 AGA]

Brantley, Timothy. The Cure: Heal Your Body, Save Your Life. [613 BRA]

Cunningham, Tricia. The reverse diet : lose 20, 50, 100 pounds or more by eating dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. [613.25 CUN]

DeLuz, Roni. 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox. [613 DEL]

Hobbs, Chantel. Never Say Diet: Make Five Decisions and Break the Fat Habit For Good. [613.25 HOB]

Karas, Jim. The Cardio-Free Diet. [613.2 KAR]

Somers, Suzanne. Breakthrough: 8 Steps to Wellness: Life-Altering Secrets from Today's Cutting-Edge Doctors. [613 SOM]

Zinczenko, David. Eat This, Not That!: Thousands of Simple Food Swaps That Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds--Or More! [613.2 ZIN]

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Presidents' Day!

The Library is closed today in celebration of Presidents' Day. President Richard Nixon, in 1971, eliminated the separate Lincoln and Washington birthday holidays, and created one holiday to be observed on the third Monday of February each year.

Here's a book with a tie to Presidents' Day--Abe Lincoln for Class President! by Todd Strasser [J STR]. The main character, Max, has neglected to do his President's Day assignment in a timely manner. Max's encounter with a time machine ends up bringing the young Abe Lincoln into the late 20th century. Will the course of history change if Abe does not go back?

Read Abe Lincoln for Class President! to find out!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Poetry Friday--Spoken Word Artists

Last weekend I became totally engaged in a live performance by two spoken word artists, Sekou tha Misfit and Steve Connell. This team performed several pieces and had the audience on its feet! Here's a sample of their work:

If you like what you see, and not everyone will since their work is highly politically charged, you can look them up on YouTube for more. Or, you can see the two of them, and other spoken word artists, on HBO's Def Poetry.

In our collection we have The Spoken Word Revolution: (Slam, Hip Hop, & the Poetry of a New Generation) edited by Mark Eleveld [811.508 SPO], which is a book and CD combination. We also have some spoken word artists represented in our children's collection with a new book/CD, Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat edited by Nikki Giovanni [J 811.54 HIP].

Listening to poetry performed is an experience not to be missed.

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted at Big A little a.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln!

"Abraham Lincoln, Born Feb. 12, 1809"

To-day, from each and all, a breath of prayer—a pulse of thought,
To memory of Him—to birth of Him.

~ Walt Whitman ~

Over the past few years, there has been a surfeit of Abraham Lincoln books published. Most, however, are not the standard birth to date biographies, but are, instead, a look at Lincoln from a limited point of view, for example, Doris Kearns Goodwin's A Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln [973.7092 GOO] explores the president's choice of advisors.

Stealing Lincoln's Body by Thomas J. Craughwell [973.7092 CRA] explores the plot to actually steal the dead president's body, and what was done to thwart the perps.

Writer Tom Wheeler looks at Lincoln's use of telegrams in Mr. Lincoln's T-mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War [973.7092 WHE].

Charles Lachman writes about Lincoln and the family he left behind in The Last Lincolns: The Rise and Fall of a Great American Family [973.709 LAC].

Our children's room also, has many new Lincoln books such as Candace Fleming's The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary [J B LIN] and Mr. Lincoln's Boys: Being the Mostly True Adventures of Abraham Lincoln's Trouble-making Sons, Tad and Willie [J B LIN].

These books and many more are on display in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Interesting Information for NH Residents

Today, there's a public hearing taking place in Concord on HB675-FN, an act requiring a refundable deposit on beverage containers.

My purpose in mentioning this particular bill is that I was directed to a research report on the subject, "Managing Municipal Waste in New Hampshire." The report was prepared by the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College. The Rockefeller Center is
committed to providing accurate research that responds to the needs of elected policymakers and their legislative staff throughout the year...Our goal is to provide useful information in a clear format and to deliver these products in a timely manner so that they are useful during legislative deliberation.

Our researchers examine emerging issues of concern that are relevant to legislative discussions in both New Hampshire and Vermont.

The "Managing Municipal Waste" report is extremely interesting, as is another titled, "New Hampshire Transportation Funding Plan." There are several other equally interesting and thought provoking reports to look at, and since many of them refer to life in our great state, reading through will help you to become a better informed citizen!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Charles Darwin, Part 2

I was a young man with uninformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them. ~ Charles Darwin

Yesterday I briefly covered items in our collection that deal with Charles Darwin's voyage aboard the H.M.S. Beagle. Today, I'm going to tell you what we have that covers the aftermath of the work that was inspired by Darwin's voyage--On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: Or, The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life [575 DAR]. The book was published 150 years ago this year, and the theory of evolution that it expounded has been a source of controversy, here in America, ever since.

For an overview of the controversy, look for Evolution: The History of A Scientific Theory by Edward J. Larson [576.8 LAR]. Other books dealing with the controversy are:

Numbers, Ronald L. The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism. [231.7 NUM]

Ruse, Michael. Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?: The Relationship Between Science and Religion. [231.7 RUS]

Witham, Larry A. Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists In America. [231.7652 WIT]

In 1925, the "Monkey Trial," otherwise known as Tennessee vs. John Scopes, dealt with the legality of teaching evolution in Tennessee's public schools. The two most famous lawyers of the time, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryant, took the case. The trial has been the subject of many books, both nonfiction and fiction, plays, films, television programs, etc. Perhaps the most well-known is Inherit the Wind [DVD INH], which was directed by Stanley Kramer and starred Spencer Tracy.

I doubt if Darwin ever envisioned that 150 years later, people would still be heatedly debating the theory of evolution!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Charles Darwin

Although the heavily bearded Charles Robert Darwin looked like a figure from the Bible, some considered him to be a representative of the devil as a result of his theories of evolution. His 200th birthday will be celebrated this coming Thursday, along with Abraham Lincoln.

Darwin wrote about the 5-year expedition aboard the H.M.S. Beagle that took place between 1831 and 1836. An abridged version of the Journal of Researches Into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by H.M.S. Beagle is on our shelves under the title, The Voyage of the Beagle [574.9 DAR]. Darwin and the Beagle by Alan Moorehead [910.41 MOO] also tells the story of Darwin's voyage of discovery.

It is interesting to note that besides being a naturalist, Darwin had also been studying to become an Anglican clergyman (although this may have been in fulfillment of his father's wishes for him). His original intent in taking the voyage was not to question the Biblical writings about creation. Still, before Darwin set off on the journey, he was full of enthusiasm and expectation, and as the departure date drew nearer, he wrote to the captain of the Beagle, Robert FitzRoy, "My second life will then commence, and it shall be as a birthday for the rest of my life."

The voyage of the Beagle will be re-created starting this year, by the H.M.S. Beagle Project, which has as its goal to
inspire global audiences through unique public engagement and learning programmes, and original scientific research in evolutionary biology, biodiversity and climate change.

For a timeline of Darwin's life click here, and check back tomorrow for "Charles Darwin, Part 2."

Friday, February 06, 2009

Poetry Friday--Mr. Lincoln

Next week, February 12th, marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is one of the most written about individuals in history, and with the upcoming 200th anniversary, many more books have been released. (I'll highlight a few next Thursday.)

Lincoln has been commemorated in poetry ever since his death. Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain," written immediately after the assassination, came back to haunt Whitman. The poem, not typical of Whitman, was obviously a heartfelt release for him.
O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

The complete poem can be found in Complete Poetry and Collected Prose [811.3 WHI], where you will also find several other Lincoln poems including the also famous, "When Lilacs Last In The Door-Yard Bloom’d."

Whitman was frequently requested to recite "O Captain! My Captain!" and the poem was anthologized many times within his lifetime. Whitman later said, "I'm almost sorry I ever wrote [it]," though it had "certain emotional immediate reasons for being." (The quotation is from a Library of Congress webpage.)

A volume from 1929, titled, Our Holidays in Poetry [808 HAR], has 34 Lincoln poems listed! (Washington only has 24!)

Here's one by Vachel Lindsay:

Would I might rouse the Lincoln in you all,
That which is gendered in the wilderness
From lonely prairies and God's tenderness.
Imperial soul, star of a weedy stream,
Born where the ghosts of buffaloes still dream,
Whose spirit hoof-beats storm above his grave,
Above that breast of earth and prairie-fire--
Fire that freed the slave.

Our children's room collection has a narrative poem by Myra Cohn Livingston, Abraham Lincoln: A Man for All the People: A ballad [J 811 LIV], which deftly weaves Lincoln quotes throughout.

I'll conclude with a little poem by Old Abe himself:

Abraham Lincoln
his hand and pen
he will be good but
god knows When

Wild Rose Reader: The Poetry Friday Roundup Is Here!

Addendum: I just found a notice from the Library of Congress that has a link to a page titled, "Abraham Lincoln and Poetry"! Click here.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

What the Boss is Reading

I came across a blog post about the books on Bruce Springsteen's shelves.

Now that Bruce is releasing Working on a Dream [CD ROCK SPR, currently being processed], RollingStone magazine [YA MAG ROL] has a cover story on the Boss and features a double-page spread in full color of his "writing room." The person who writes the blog referenced above, took the time to examine the photo carefully to figure out the titles on the shelves and tables in the room. The photo, by Albert Watson, may be seen on RollingStone's website and is not as large as the photo in the magazine, but you get the idea that Bruce is a real reader, since the books displayed are not collectibles as are sometimes seen on the shelves of people with money.

You can tackle these books from Bruce's collection that are also on our shelves:

DeLillo, Don. White Noise. [F DEL]

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. [302 GLA]

Greene, Brian. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. [539.7 GRE]

Pollack, William. Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons From the Myth of Boyhood. [305.23 POL]

Roth, Philip. American Pastoral. [F ROT]

Tenet, George J. At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. [973.931 TEN]

While you're reading you can listen to one of the many Bruce Springsteen CDs we also own, including his early albums, Born to Run [CD ROCK SPR] and Born in the USA [CD ROCK SPR], and his more recent Magic [CD ROCK SPR].

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I was so busy today that I didn't get a chance to write something new, so I'm borrowing a post from the blog that I write with my friends, The Write Sisters. The post deals with our progressive state legislature and the large number of women legislators we have. Check it out!

You and your daughters may want to learn more about some dedicated women and their struggle to exercise their right to vote. Look for these titles in our children's room:

Krull, Kathleen. A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull. [JP KRU]

McCully, Emily Arnold. The Ballot Box Battle. [J B STA]

Somervill, Barbara A. Votes for Women!: The Story of Carrie Chapman Catt. [J B CAT]

Stone, Tanya Lee. Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote. [J B STA]

White, Linda Arms. I Could Do That: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote. [J B MOR]

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Super Bowl

I did not watch the Super Bowl. I know it's un-American, but I don't like football. A friend was aghast that I wasn't going to watch for the commercials. But, why sit through all the boring stuff just to get a few mildly amusing ads? Especially when we live in the age of instantaneous replay on the web. Here's a whole website devoted to Super Bowl commercials.

I watched the commercials last night, without the fuss and muss of colliding behemoth players and interminable time-outs.

Below are my favorites. None of them feature sex, violence, or mean-spiritedness.

This one is a wee bit mean-spirited, but it made me laugh:

To get an ad man's review of the commercials visit the advertising industry magazine, Advertising Age.

Here's the library tie-in: 20 Ads That Shook the World: The Century's Most Groundbreaking Advertising and How It Changed Us All by James B. Twitchell [659.1 TWI]. I don't think any of Super Bowl 2009 ads will be found in the next volume of 20 Ads That Shook the World.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Move Out of Your Comfort Zone

I spent the weekend at a retreat for children's writers and illustrators called Kindling Words. The organizers set up a little exercise for participants to take us out of our comfort zone. It also helped us to meet new individuals, and, to work together. The group was broken up into smaller groups. Group 1 got drums and were instructed in hand drumming. Group 2 wrote a poem together. Group 3 was given a canvas upon which everyone worked with acrylic paints. After about 30 minutes, the groups switched activities, and then switched again after another half-hour. At the end, all three groups gathered and the art was unveiled, the poems read, and drumming demos took place. IT WAS AWESOME!

It's good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Relax and try something new!

Find something to drum on. Listen to classical music if you're a rock fan. Plant seeds if you're a basketball player. Fly a paper airplane. Mix up an exotic drink. Communicate without speaking. You get the idea! Here are a few items that might take you out of your comfort zone:

Alberts, David. Talking About Mime: An Illustrated Guide. [792.3 ALB]

Haasarud, Kim. 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks. [641.874 HAA]

Hart, Mickey. Planet Drum: A Celebration of Percussion and Rhythm. [786.9 HAR]

Pogue, David. Classical Music for Dummies. [781.1 POG]

Robinson, Nick. Super Simple Paper Airplanes. [745.592 ROB]

Squire, David. Houseplant Basics. [635.965 SQU]