Monday, June 30, 2008

Non-Fiction Five Challenge: Book 4

Maxwell, Nancy Kalikow. Sacred Stacks: The Higher Purpose of Libraries and Librarianship. Chicago: American Library Association, 2006.

3 stars. The author draws an analogy between religious calling and the calling of librarianship. There were parts of this book with which I could nod my head in agreement; however, the author takes an analogy and consistently stretches it too far throughout most of the book. I had to force myself to continue throughout most of the early chapters, but the later chapters were written in a more engaging style. I struggled as to whether or not I should rate this as a 2.5 or 3. I decided to err with the more generous rating although I'm not sure that it's quite at that level.

Morristown Power Outage

Last Friday night, 2/3 of Morristown was without power. I was driving back from Knoxville and had noticed the outage as I got into town. I was very grateful that those of us who lived in the county had power, but it's pretty bad when your grocery store is pitch black. Morristown's paper does not publish on Saturday, but on Sunday morning we discovered what the cause of the outage was. It's one of those things that is too good to give away so I'll let you read all about it in the Citizen Tribune.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nanny's Diary

I rediscovered my maternal grandmother's diary recently. It had been in a box that hadn't been opened in awhile. I pulled it out to read. One of the things that amazed me is that she would often mention events that occurred on that day in history.

For example, on Dec. 7, 1976, she stated:

This is Pearl Harbor day. Seems so long ago.
So many changes have taken place in my life since then & in the world also.

On April 25, 1977, she wrote:

On April 25, 1910 we had snow. It killed some of my father's young cotton and he had [to] plant over in some places.

Most of her entries talked about the weather or who had phoned or came to visit. However, these (and several other entries) offered so many insights.

I wish she'd gone on and on about how things were before and after Pearl Harbor so we could know a little more about the changes she had witnessed.

I wonder how she could so clearly remember the date of a snow 67 years before when I can't remember them from one year to the next!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hazle Boss Neet (1921-2008)

Many persons doing genealogical research in northeast Mississippi will recognize the name of Hazle Boss Neet who published a book of records on Pontotoc County records. She died last Saturday and will be buried this coming Sunday. Her obituary appears in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why I've Been So Quiet This Week

You may notice that I've not really been blogging much this week. It's because I've been spending a lot of time working on the church library. We are in the process of reorganizing it. We basically emptied the library and once we had it emptied for a fresh coat of paint and a little new furniture, we started selecting the books we wanted to keep. Several of us have spent most Saturday mornings this year going through the books. We finally made it through the 7000 or so books that were in there by the end of April or first week of May. I've begun the process of cataloging those that we are keeping on our new automation system. We will eventually mount the catalog for searching on the church's web site. I've trained several of the other volunteers in book processing. (Believe it or not, I'm way ahead of them. At my real library job, I struggle to stay ahead of our student workers who do the processing.) This week has been a bit of a challenge. The church's server crashed last week. While most of the offices are back online (and the server was being replaced today), the church library and things on that side of the building are still offline. I've not been able to import books from the Internet so I've been going through books to see which ones we are keeping lack ISBNs which is the field on which all imports are done on this system. I've listed those books with enough information in Excel spreadsheets that I can go home and do authority work and determine subject headings and call numbers for the items. I then take that back to the library so that I can plug away at it the next day in the church library. While I've made some progress this week, I've been able to do probably 25% of what I could have done if the Internet connection had been live. I've been spending the time I would normally spend blogging or synthesizing and inputting information from my recent New England trip trying to make my next day profitable. I got far enough ahead of myself last night that I didn't have to bring "homework" tonight!

So . . . what are we doing with all those books that we aren't keeping? I'm so glad you asked. We're having a book sale, of course! It's this Saturday at First Baptist Church, Morristown, Tennessee. We will be open for church members only in the morning; however, we are open to the public from noon to 3 p.m. All items are 50 cents. Besides books, there are records, audiocassettes, and videocassettes. Most of the books are duplicates or items that don't fit our new collection scope. (We had a lot of classic children's books but our new collection development policy limits what we are collecting to mostly Christian materials.) In other words, we have some good stuff available. The church is located at 504 W. Main. You may enter the book sale from the Jackson Avenue entrance near 1st North.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

This is the first time I've participated in this meme. I saw it today at Boston Bibliophile.

Last week I asked what was the most popular book in your library- this week I'm going to ask about the most unpopular books you own. Do you have any unique books in your library- books only you have on LT? How many? Did you find cataloging information on your unique books, or did you hand-enter them? Do they fall into a particular category or categories, or are they a mix of different things? Have you ever looked at the "You and none other" feature on your statistics page, which shows books owned by only you and one other user? Ever made an LT friend by seeing what you share with only one other user?

I found 302 of my 1411 titles in LibraryThing were unique to my library. Many of my unique titles are from my genealogical books (especially surname-specific or locality-specific ones) or from my cookbook collection. (Most of those which were unique were locally published titles.) I have manually entered 222 titles; however, I often think creatively about which libraries might have a title before giving up! I have occasionally looked at the you and one other user page. In fact, I did tonight and discovered that my best friend and I share a book that we probably both purchased on a trip to San Diego a few years ago. I will have to say that I'm going to have to communicate with one of the others that I spotted on there who obviously shares an interest in Monroe County, Mississippi history and genealogy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Done Travelling for Awhile

I'm back home in Tennessee now, and I should be home for awhile. I was fortunate to find gas for $3.819 on the way back home so I didn't have to pay the national average which is over $4 per gallon.

We are supposed to have thunderstorms tonight, but I'm glad they held off while I was driving. Brumley was happy to be with me although I think he misses his grandparents. He hasn't fussed at me though for bringing him home.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Book Review: The Richest Season

I received this title through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.

4.5 stars.

The Richest Season is a very enjoyable read. Joanna has lived the life of a corporate wife for years. When the prospect of another move due to her husband's promotion to Vice President confronts her, she just can't take it any more and moves out. A corporate merger means Paul is out of a job. Both of them come to terms with what is really important. The ending was not a surprise for me as I could see how the story line was building. I was also very satisfied with the outcome. This book would make an excellent beach read. I look forward to McFadden's next novel.

I'd love to say more, but I don't want to give away the plot!

Update (6/20): Replaced advanced review copy jacket with jacket that will be used on book.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I am now reunited with my cat. I drove to Mississippi today to pick him up from his visit with his grandparents. I brought him a lobster (not a live one - one that was filled with catnip). I have never seen him so enthusiastic over something as he has been that lobster. I promise a picture later, but I'm too tired to download the pictures from the camera and then upload it here tonight.

When I arrived, I discovered that there was a leak in the air conditioning unit in the house. I had to deal with a little water on the floor and under the carpet in a closet. I just happened to hear the drip. The air-conditioning man who came out to find the cause of the problem found that something had been connected wrong for a long time and said that they were lucky they hadn't had more problems than they had. I tried to find someone with a shop vac, but I was unsuccessful. I ended up using a mop and towels for the cement floor under the a/c. I ran to Wal-Mart and got a wet/dry hand-held dust buster type appliance and a fan for the closet.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I'm a cat person. I've had a few dogs over the years, but my true passion has always been for the feline companion.

My first cat was E.R.M. I was quite small and my older brothers were teaching me to spell at the time I named him. The story goes that I was asked by my paternal grandfather how to spell cat, and I proudly declared "E.R.M." E.R.M. had a favorite place to sit -- on a little shelf that was on the bar between the kitchen and dining room. Apparently one of the neighborhood boys tried to scare me that my cat had gotten out of the house, and I told him "No, he's not. He's inside on the shelf." Apparently I was correct in that instance.

Cats didn't fare too well in my neighborhood while I was growing up because of a mean chihuahua that lived across the street (and probably a few other neighborhood dogs too). That's probably why I have an indoor cat now!

The next cat that I really remember was a little black kitten that I got when my brother Gary was stationed in Wichita, Kansas with the air force. Their cat had kittens, and I brought one home with me which I named "Wichita." I loved that kitten, but he didn't survive in our neighborhood long.

I remember a yellow tabby with whom my nephew Derek had fun playing under the Christmas tree when he was small. I believe that is that cat that one of the neighbors witnessed being killed by "Tramp Baker" (the mean chihuahua).

After that I mostly had dogs. Floppy lived a long life and died on the same day that Elvis died. I was much sadder over Floppy's death than Elvis'. Floppy had "floppy ears." That's how he got his name. There was a dog named Cindy that I believe was Floppy's mother that I owned for awhile. We took care of my nephew's dogs Honey and Priscilla for awhile when they moved into a rental house and couldn't have dogs. I vaguely remember a dog named Sam from my preschool years.

Today, I'm Brumley's pet human. Here is Brumley enjoying a camping trip. He was very sad when his "Granny" and "PawPaw" got rid of the motor home. He loved to sit and sniff out the screen door! Brumley does not want any brothers or sisters. He's made that very clear.

Boston Diary - June 14

Departure Day! My plane didn't depart until almost 4:30 p.m., but I knew that I'd need to allow time to get to the T and to transfer to the silver line (bus) to get to the airport. I spent the morning in the hotel until it was time to leave. I didn't want to run around Boston because there was a big parade in town. I just didn't think I wanted to be in the crowds with what was left of my luggage.

I ate a chicken caesar wrap when I got to the airport. My plane was leaving from a small gate that was in "terminal E" but was separated from most of the other gates. All that was close was Hudson News and one food place. Rather than going up two floors to the other gates and food court, I decided the wrap would be okay. I had a book with me, and I just sat down, ate, and read until time to board the plane. I finished the one book in the airport and started another when I got on the plane. That plane was really large (one of those with 6 seats across) but there were so few of us that the crew told us we could move to empty seats. Many of us ended up having a row all to ourselves!

We actually got to Detroit ten or fifteen minutes early. I decided to eat at A & W since we don't have those in East Tennessee. I continued to read. I will say that I'm surprised that I had no gate changes all day. The track and field team from Western Carolina University was on the plane returning to Asheville. They had been to a meet in Iowa and told us all about the flooding they'd seen while driving around and while on the plane. I finished the second book before I landed in Asheville. We arrived 20 minutes early. There was no one to open the door from the breezeway into the airport. We had to open it ourselves, and we all wondered if we'd set off an alarm. We saw no airport or airline employees in the terminal except for the TSA folks at the security checkpoint. That's really strange! I got home (to my house) at 12:40 a.m.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Boston Diary - June 13, Part 2

The waterfront with Bunker Hill Monument (on Breeds Hill, of course) in the background.
This bird was posing for me!
"Old Ironsides," the U.S.S. Constitution. I did go aboard today.
I walked back across the bridge to Hanover Street. I decided to try a different Italian restaurant, but I picked the wrong one. I chose the Florentine Cafe because it was charming with the window boxes of flowers. Inside the Italians were all watching the soccer game on ESPN. Somehow the sports atmosphere ruined the charm of the flowers.
I wanted something with a marinara sauce. Since the only thing on the menu I saw with this type of sauce was spaghetti and meatballs, that's what I ordered. This is after I cut up the meatballs. I wish that I'd gone back to Giacomo's. I'd rate Giacomo's 5/5 and I'd rate the Florentine 3/5 on taste. Not to despair though. Mike's Pastry was nearby so I had my final cannoli of this trip. I wonder if they'd like to put in a branch in East Tennessee? I'm really going to miss Mike's!
The produce looked good!
I also went to King's Chapel Burial Ground.

Gov. Winthrop is one of its most famous burials!
Overview of cemetery.
My last stop (because my feet were too tired to go on much longer) was the Brattle Book Shop, a renowned antiquarian book dealer. I browsed the local history and genealogy sections, but I didn't purchase anything because I don't have room in the luggage for more books! (I'd already found some nice books on the burying grounds in the book section of a gift shop early. Those were the only ones I could make fit!)
Since my feet were "dropping," I decided it was time to take the T back to Quincy and call the hotel for the shuttle. I came back and was saddened to hear of Tim Russert's death. Someone in the NBC news family will have big shoes to fill.

Boston Diary - June 13, Part 1

Today I decided to start the day with a ride on the T to the North End so that I could visit sites on the Freedom Trail. I was greeted by Samuel Adams at Faneuil Hall before I headed to Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a Boston creme donut.
Quincy Market has gotten in the Celtics fever that is everywhere in the city.
I didn't know that Christopher Columbus came this far north, but he was standing in Christopher Columbus Park along the waterfront.
I thought that the "Kahlua" delivery truck would never leave so that I could get a good shot of Paul Revere's home. (I saw him riding his horse nearby.)
More of the street where Paul lived.
One of the neat things outside the Old North Church was the memorial to soldiers who have lost their lives in the war on terror. The dog tags were impressive!
St. Francis of Assisi was looking over an adjacent garden.
The spire of the Old North Church. "One if by land, two if by sea . . ."
I was getting hot, and the gelato across the street was too tempting. This was the watermelon variety. I detected the taste of grapefruit in it.
I remember Copp's Hill Burying Ground from my last trip to Boston. It's one of my favorite Boston cemeteries.

Interesting markers.

Plaque for Increase and Cotton Mather, well-known preachers.
Their tomb.
Another interesting tombstone.
An interesting monment!

Boston Diary - June 12, Part 2

Here was our ship for the cruise. We joked all day because it was a "three hour cruise." We're just glad the ship wasn't named the S.S. Minnow!
Boston Harbor Light.
Sailboat. There's a plane approaching Logan in the background!
Sunset - with a plane and sailboat!
A lovely masted sailboat in the sunset.
From the other side! You can see Logan Airport behind the sailboat.
The city.
The U.S.S. Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument.
City by moonlight.
Boston. You can see the steeple of the Old North Church.
Bridge at sunset. (I didn't take time to crop the edge of our ship.)