Archive for the 'Writing' Category

A Carnival of Losses. Notes nearing ninety. Donald Hall.

A Carnival of Losses. Notes nearing ninety. Donald Hall. 2018.  Hall is considered a notable US poet, author,  editor and critic. The book is exactly as noted,. He goes through his life and comments on various way points in it as well as poets/poetry he has known.  The prose is clear, lucid  plus he states it now takes him a long time to write anything at 89.  A very good introduction to decades of poets ( US mostly) plus he has written notable stories. His self deprecating approach is quite appealing as are his stories about his younger late wife.  I confess poetry has never taken with me and despite this interesting book, I feel I am a lost cause.

Bossypants. Tina Fey

English: Tina Fey at the Union Square Barnes &...

Bossypants. Tina Fey 2011. ISBN 9780316175869.  A tongue in cheek, index finger in the air autobiography. Tina Fey is a comedy writer and comedian. This book “takes the mickey out” of just about everything in her life.  It would be  easy and fast to read, except you burst our laughing every page or so which slows you down.  You learn her approach to life , which is not like Sheryl Sandburgh’s.   Well worth the read, if not the cost of the book.

WordPress Made Super Simple. How anyone can build a professional looking website from scratch: Even a total beginner. Jack Davies & Sarah Wiley

English: WordPress Logo

WordPress Made Super Simple.  How anyone can build a professional looking website from scratch: Even a total beginner. Jack Davies & Sarah Wiley 2014.   This book does exactly what it proposes to do.  I have looked a few of these books this year and can not recommend this one too highly.  Like Jack  “just the facts ma’am”  Palance , the author does not stray very far from the essentials.  The first book to read on the subject IMHO.

Thomas Nast. Political cartoonist. Lynda Pflueger.

English: Thomas H. Nast, Photograped by Sarony...

Thomas Nast. Political cartoonist. Lynda Pflueger. 2014. ISBN  The life of a very influential cartoonist during the time of Tammany Hall, President Grant and many others. Thomas Nast was extremely popular and influential in his day. As most people could not read, cartoons made a huge impact. I learned that he rally stood his ground on principles to create a better place and rid public life of the corrupt influences endemic in his times.  AN east quick read, It is non the less informative and illustrative of the times.  I think  democracies still need people like Nast to point out the human foibles as fewer people read for substance and mostly get drowned in information.  Hopefully there are people like Nast able to work in countries like China, Myanamar, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq as well as the US.

Don’t Be Such a Scientist. Talking substance in an age of style

Cover of "Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talk...

Don’t Be Such a Scientist. Talking substance in an age of style. Randy Olsen. 2009. ISBN  The author, a PhD in marine biology , left his professorship after 20 years to learn to be a filmmaker. In doing so he discovered the gulf between what scientists did wrto communication and what the public needed in order to understand science. Unfortunately, there are very few Carl Sagans. If you are analytical and literal minded you might enjoy this book as you experience the vast gulf between story and science.  This book is very important as the antiscience , gut feeling decisions are being made by what you would expect to be educated people .   Its an easy read that does the job quite well.

 

How to Be a Rockstar WordPress Designer. Chris Garrett & Leo Babauta.

Leo Babauta

How to Be a Rockstar WordPress Designer. Chris Garrett & Leo Babauta.  2008.   A soup to nuts guide for those freelancers who wish to develop their own WordPress themes as well as how to use WordPress in a multitude of ways ( eg RSS aggregator, Music site, Design gallery, Podcasting , Social Network, Job Board, Video portal, Twitter clone, News aggregator, magazine site, and more.  For the serious web developer who wishes to really dig into the tool.

WordPress. Pushing the Limits

WordPress dashboard interface

WordPress. Pushing the Limits.  Rachel McCollin  2013. ISBN  978 1118 597194.  For the experienced WordPress developer a guide to becoming better.  Not for the faint at heart or the rank beginner, this book is very useful in helping you develop your WordPress chops.

Made in America. An informal history of the english language in the United States. Bill Bryson

English: Bill Bryson in 2005. Bill Bryson Amer...

Made in America. An informal history of the english language in the United States. Bill Bryson. 1994/2001. ISBN 0380713810.  A funny yet very insightful book as only Bryson can  write it. Well researched with copious annotations this is book for historians, writers,  political scientists and students of all ages.  I learned so much from this book such as

  • The Pilgims were incredibly stupid  and unprepared for their settling of America
  • American angst over public sex, visual and written owes much to the Puritan influence
  • Current ideas about political correctness are seriously flawed.
  • Many Americanisms came from England – but the Brits could no longer recognize them.
  • America is an incredibly funny and diverse place.

Have ago if you can find this book (Its on Amazon) , it is well worth the read.

This Book is Overdue. How librarians and cyberlibrarians can save us all. Marilyn Johnson.

Librarian Costume

This Book is Overdue. How librarians and cyber librarians can save us all. Marilyn Johnson. 2010. ISBN 9780061962103. A surprising book in that it covers quite a bit of ground . Topics range form protecting civil liberties, copy write, freedom of the press, Second Life by Linden Labs, cyber librarians , physical libraries and what is happening to them, collections, archiving , referencing  and what to do with Henry Millers archives (among others) . Not badly written I can not say I loped through this. Lots of food for thought and it gives me ideas on how libraries are remaining relevant. and continue to do so. Plus lots of insight into many personalities among librarians.

Too much Happiness. Alice Munro.

Cover of "Too Much Happiness"

Cover of Too Much Happiness

Too much Happiness. Alice Munro. 2009. ISBN 9780307273239. In respect of our newest Nobel prize winner I decided I  needed to read at least one of her books. The title called out to me.  I guess I was looking for a happy book.  From the first short story on, you quickly find out that it is not happiness but something dark that lurks in every tale.  I listened to a Peter Gzowski interview with her on CBC radio and found the author to be a perfectly delightful humble Canadian. Despite my illogical antipathy to short stories ( if this was so good , why not make a real story out of it), I have to say I read this book with relish, being able to put my latent misogyny well away, replacing it with a delight in skillful prose.