Tag Archives: book lists

It’s Still the Giving Season

7 Jan

Yes, yes… the official holiday season is a little bit behind us now, but my ChristmasChristmas tree is still up and I celebrate as long as possible, i.e. until said tree becomes a fire hazard, so in the spirit of giving, here are a few goodies I’ve discovered over the past couple of weeks. Enjoy!

Reading Lists! Oh how I love them and this time of year is always ripe with such. The folks at TED Talks produced a nice one – 58 books recommended by TED speakers – and my favorite independent bookstore, Powell’s (Portland, OR)  offered up a selection of their favorite nonfiction books of 2015.  Here’s a list from Austin Kleon, who I mention here often – his reading list from the past year. And finally, if you missed reading along with Facebook’s chief, Mark Zuckerberg during his A Year of Books group, it’s not too late to see all of the books he read and discussed. BTW, if you’d like to run with Mark this year, you can join his new Facebook group, A Year of Running. 365 days = 365 miles. Go for it!

And while we’re on lists, I did my favorite music list in my last post, but afterward came across NPR’s poll results of their listeners favorite albums of 2015. More for your listening pleasure.

Switching gears… did you make a New Year’s Resolution to learn something new? I did. I’m taking banjo lessons. Hot dog! But I’m taking them in person because I’ve tried in vain to learn via online classes and Youtube videos. That said, there’s plenty of subjects well suited for the virtual world and the post on Medium, The 37 Best Websites to Learn Something New, will point you in the right direction.

Sadly, one thing that always gets me a little down when I think about and/or pursue learning something new is that I’m getting older. Older every day. I fear that I’ve missed out on ever becoming really good at something that I might want to do or be. I’m sure we all might feel that life crisis from time to time. In the midst of such anxiety last week, my daily email from The New Yorker arrived with a link to a great piece by Malcolm Gladwell, Why Do We Equate Genius with Precocity? I liked it a lot and found hope in the thought that maybe I’m just a late bloomer.

Just for fun – “The lyrebirds of Australia were highly mysterious and rarely seen until one fell in love with an elderly widow in 1930.” Surely you will want to listen. How could you not?

 And finally, perhaps one of the coolest things that crossed my radar this week is this wonderful collection of infographics from the folks at Wait But Why. Could you imagine looking at 90 years of living in a more creative way? Great stuff.

That’s all for this week. Here’s to a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful, and Curious Creative-filled 2016 for all!

Summertime, and the Readin’ is Easy

30 Jun

I have a half-dozen more substantive and/or reflective, work-related blog posts partially written in my drafts box, but it’s summertime and the warm weather, the slower pace, the better parking at work… well it just seems I can’t finish any one of those. So, as I looked at the pile of books on my coffee table this morning, I sent myself a note to make this week’s post another reading list – my summer reading. Here are some things I’m enjoying. Feel free to add yours in the comments section.

How Music Work_Byrne

I was in high school in the 1970s and college in the 1980s, the perfect timing to become a HUGE fan of The Talking Heads. While they stopped making music together many years ago now <sniff>, I’ve remained a fan of each of the members as they’ve struck out on all sorts of other artistic endeavors. Former lead singer, David Byrne, has kept me well-entertained with music and writing since those band days. I picked up a copy of his book, How Music Works, back in the spring and absorbed myself in the first third of it, but then put it down for awhile – not because it isn’t a good book at all, but because it’s so interesting, well-written, and thought-provoking that I needed some time to mull over all that I’d read. Then, as things go in my reading life, I found something else and then something else and then… well, it’s on the top of the pile for completion this summer.


A few weeks ago, my family took a day trip to explore Concord, MA. We hiked the trails of Minuteman Park and enjoyed the quaint shops of the small, New England downtown. One of these shops happened to be The Concord Bookshop, a terrific independent bookstore. As we browsed the shelves, we noticed that the staff were setting up for an evening event. When we inquired who was speaking, we couldn’t believe the answer! Philippe Petit – THE Philippe Petit of “Man on Wire” fame – was in town. What luck! Both Lynn and I are fans of the documentary about his 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers of  New York World Trade Center. Circus act, daredevil, pickpocket, magician, artist… we were thrilled to get the chance to see and hear him talk about his new book, Creativity, the Perfect Crime. Of course, I picked up an autographed copy. Part instruction book, part autobiography; this is a great book to help get your creative juices flowing. What could be a better summer activity?

W is for Wasted_Grafton     Ghosts of Belfest_Neville

No summer reading list of mine is complete without a mystery! This summer, I have a couple in my pile. I have no idea what I’m going to do when Sue Grafton reaches “Z” and Kinsey Milhone rides off into the sunset of literary characters, but for now, I’ve still got 4 titles to look forward to, including W is for Wasted that came out this past winter. I’ve been waiting for the lazy months of summer to catch up on my favorite detective. Now’s the time.

Going from a very familiar author to the debut work of Stuart Neville, the very well-received, The Ghosts of Belfast. Guilt, redemption, political drama… I’m ready for it.



My friend, Suzy Becker, has a new book out for younger readers, Kate the Great. I am young at heart and Suzy is my hero, so I’ll be reading Kate. Best part… it’s the first in a series! I won’t have to say goodbye to Kate as soon as I meet her. Hey! Maybe I can convince Suzy to turn Kate into a detective so that she can fill the Kinsey Milhone hole when it inevitably appears.


And okay, okay… I do have a couple of work-related titles on my list.

Hot off the presses, this updated, revamped, wholly new edition of Health Sciences Librarianship will become required reading for those studying to become medical librarians and/or work in the information world of the health sciences. I have several friends and/or colleagues who authored chapters in this book, so that’s reason alone to read it. If you’re looking for the staff copy, I have it.



Finally, the Friends of the Worcester Public Library always have a cart of freebies at the entrance to the WPL. I’m forever finding real gems there, the latest being, Rosalind Frankin & DNA by Anne Sayre. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

Rosalind Franklin’s research was central to the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA. She never received the credit she was due during her lifetime. In this classic work Anne Sayre, a journalist and close friend of Franklin, puts the record straight. 

I look forward to learning the whole story.

Enjoy your summer, everyone.

I sure hope you’ve got a good book!