Ah books. They're a love, a hobby, a fixation. We love 'em. And they beat the heck out of the Corn Flakes box over breakfast!
This section just used to be about reading and writing, but now I've tucked media links into it. Why? Aw heck, it's all just turning into one big soup. Might as well stop being such a purist. (No, that doesn't mean I like TV or movies for small children, thank you very much.) Links are to the left. The text is about reading.
Favorite online book trackers
A couple of years ago I found (and fell in love with) Librarything.com. In these days of hodgepodge data collection, Librarything is pretty much everything that I, as a reader, could ask for. At this point, in 2009, it advertises over 35 million books on members' bookshelves. Here is their Zeitgeist page, which slices and dices their book information - just for fun.
I know that there are other online book trackers out there - including some for Facebook and so forth, but I can't even then of them right now.By the way, Librarything even has a group called "I see dead people's books," which collectively catalogues the libraries of dead people - just for fun.
Links, periodicals, and online stuff
This is a kick. Everybody likes the Amazon book suggestion service, and I'm convinced that their "lists" function is sheer, unadulterated marketing brilliance. But it's fun to leave the rut and go alternative.
Check out Gnod's literature section, called Gnooks. Awesome. I love their literature map, which aims to contain all writers in the world (hey, everybody needs a goal.) If you go to literature map and type in a writer's name, the map will show you who is similar to or associated with your writer. You can continue clicking for amusement or for suggestions. (Although for a referral service, nothing I've seen beats Librarything.) Gnod also offers something called Gnod's suggestions, and sections on music, the web, and movies. Have you heard ot Abacci Books? This is from their website: "At Abacci Books we've taken two of the great literary resources on the net: Project Gutenberg and Amazon, to produce a unique combination - contemporary reviews alongside the world's best free literature" Here's more of a description of what they do. Abacci also has a wonderful links page. Many digital libraries, many literature sites. And finally, here is the Abacci search page,where you can search history, atlas, bazaar, books, music, or chess! I just found the coolest site. for the Loganberry Books bookstore in Ohio. Check out their book club. But the thing that really tickled my interest is something called Stump the Bookseller, where you can look for books that you desire, even if you can't remember the title. Registering a stumper costs a reasonable $2, which can eventually be used toward the purchase of a book. And it's great fun to just read the site. Project Gutenberg is the Internet's oldest producer of free electronic books. You should visit it at least once. Ibiblio calls itself "the public's internet and digital archive." Here's their collection index. Along those lines (but really not limited to literature) is the DMOZ open directory project.
Have you heard of Orion, the magazine of culture, creativity, and change? Short Stories at East of the Web has some pretty excellent short stories that look as though they're rated by readers.
Have you heard about the Alchemy website? I just found it. What to do with all of those large copper pots... And there's the Sacred Science Institute, which is a "mysticoMagical Comegological Portal" (who knew?) I was pointed there from the
Pseudoliterate and literate places to write and talk
You can join The Well, which has always been a lively and deep-thinking bunch. It was one of the original online communities, based in Marin County. Literary kicks has literary discussions, boards, and so forth. Well-written comments.
I didn't really anticipate putting blogs in here, since I hadn't found that many that I liked, but I like these:
Josh has the postmodernist essay generator linked to his site. Check it out. He also has links describing the Social Text Affair, where NYU Physics Professor Alan Sokal's brilliant(ly meaningless) hoax article was accepted by a cultural criticism publication.
How do you get your news?
I personally use refdesk as my home page. Noncommercial and the best info links around (that I've found.) Have you heard of Crayon? It lets you create your own newspaper. I'm not exactly sure what this means, but it sounds intriguing.
Would you like to help Project Gutenberg?
Consider helping a bit by becoming a digital proofreader. You don't have to commit to anything, just help a bit.
Here is the Internet Library's Literary Criticism page, with pointers to ...oh, about five billion things. The Green Man Review bills itself as "roots and branches of arts and culture." It looks very interesting and has music, book, film, and gig reviews. Richard Gehr is an interesting writer. A little esoteric, perhaps. His site contains interviews with writers, a Zappa obit, and an article about Yosi Piamenta, the Hasidic Hendrix.
Books on tape
If you're interested in books on tape, the audio books site has a good search page, which then describes each book.
People and their book lists
Myk has an interesting bunch of books in his book list.
I keep running into bookstores on the web. Finally I decided to put them all in one place so that I can find them, since retrieving them from my memory on the fly was so obviously not working.
If you're looking for Amazon alternatives, Abebooks.com is a good one. I just found Loganberry books.com on the web. They look WONDERFUL. Check them out. They have a kid's book club, they have a most requested list, they have lists of recommendations from all sorts of very interesting people. Have you ever heard of the teeny weenies? Apparently an old book. This place makes me want to visit Ohio - and THAT is an achievement!
Bookstores for healing and the mental health professional
Hey, I live in California. We have entire city blocks devoted to this stuff. But I'm not really walking down the wacky path here (too far). Some of these resources have interesting, niche-type things that can help you when you need it. Although you know what they say: too many mental health books make Jane a dull girl!
Sterns is really for mental health professionals. Among other things, they have a section of books for kids, helping them deal with emotions.
Somewhat alternative bookstores (from a Steiner point of view)
I really like the Hawthorn Press books. And they are different than other books that I've seen, which is also exciting. I just found a really neat bookstore called Immortal Books. Here is their link to really neat books for teaching kids. Check these books out! The good news is that it contains really neat books. The bad news is that you'll probably buy 'em from Amazon, since this bookstore is in Australia! The Housatonic Press (can't you just see a Saturday Night Live skit calling it the Hystrionic Press? Ah, don't get it? Well read the site, then you'll get it.) is a unique publisher. Here's an excerpt from their latest release. I'm not sure what I make of it. And what is a book 'in the grail tradition," anyway? Convoluted and hidden mystical Christianity? One wonders.
Books to Read
These are book suggestions that have been floating around in my email:
Sites with book lists
Probably the coolest book list site that I've seen is called Book Spot. It has lists for everything. And it's put out by librarians. Very neat. Book Browser is a book search engine. Recently purchased by Barnes and Noble to help them compete with Amazon's awesome book marketing scheme, it doesn't blow me away, but is good for scrolling through large amounts of books. Amazon has a pretty good system. I like the lists, because it's a double-layer of possibilities. Title of the list, by someone who is interested in something, but then they can put whatever they want on the list, and people have interesting brains, you know? Now this is a cool list! It's called World History Hub.com, and it contains history book recommendations.
Book Recommendations for adults
Education and parenting
This section doesn't pretend to be anything at all except for the scribbled names of a few books that I'd like to read. Sorry. See the book lists for comprehensive referrels, or look in specific discussion areas.
I was just referred to a book called Real Boys by a set of teachers and a pediatrician in Palo Alto (during a panel discussion.) Written by William S. Pollack Ph.D.
David Elkind, author of "The Hurried Child,"
"Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk," "All Grown Up and No Place to Go." He will be speaking about "No Time for Play: The Over Programmed Child."
Martha Heineman Pieper and Dr. William Pieper (authors
of Smart Love -- a wonderful parenting book) have written a book called "Becoming the parent that you want to be."
from Spike Magazine..."does not have a place in the consciousness of genre readers in the same way as, say, Moorcock's Elric series or Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun, nor is it an obviously genre-defining book, like Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros or Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter (all of which are also included in the series)."
I'm not an incredible science fiction fan, but my husband has all of the books from the 60's and 70's (sigh), stacked double in some of the tons of bookcases in our home. It's fun to read some of it (exceptionally good writing, in some cases), but frankly, I just don't have the genre knowledge to appreciate much of it. I just treat it like literature (ooooh! scifi validation alert!) and enjoy it.
Millennium books has a series called SF masterworks. Here they are reviewed by a reader. The SF Site has a list of what they call SF masterworks. Not sure if they're the same as Millennium's (aka Orion's).
Cool Rumi site, if you're interested in his poetry. Research links Representative Poetry Online is put out by the University of Toronto. From its website: "Representative Poetry Online, version 3.0, includes about 2,900 English poems by over 400 poets from Caedmon, in the Old English period, to the work of living poets today. It is based on Representative Poetry, established by Professor W. J. Alexander of University College, University of Toronto, in 1912 (one of the first books published by the University of Toronto Press), and used in the English Department at the University until the late 1960s. " Apparently Abacci partners with elibrary, which is a subscription research tool with an archive of more than 17 million documents. And the Association of American Geographers has something called Places Online, which is a project to map everywhere and include data on everywhere, online. Search Gov searches the entire government. Everything online. I'm not exactly sure exactly which ones this searches, but search ebooks.com is right on the site with search.gov.
Esoteric links and magazines
Search engines and tools
This is a strange place to send you (a professional resume service) but I really liked their description and list of search sites. Very helpful. I am not typing it over. Here it is. OK, I have to put Ask Scott in here. He's a virtual reference librarian and very helpful! Here's his page about foreign search engines, directories, and lists.
Books on Tape
Age 6 or so
Hopefully you will never need thise, but here are books about children protecting themselves from being touched, etc. Some are pretty heavy, but some seem as though they might help a parent talk about setting boundaries for touching, etc. Ugh.
One of my all-time favorite books is Jonathan Crowley's novel, Little Big. Here's what Greenman review has to say about it. Here's another quote from Spike Magazine: "Little, Big, first published in 1981 and winner of that year's World Fantasy Award, has recently been re-issued by Orbit as part of its Fantasy Masterworks series...Little, Big is regularly cited by writers of fantasy fiction as the most influential book of the last twenty years. Crowley is - that wonderful phrase - a writer's writer and the man who has done more to blur the boundaries between genre fiction and the literary mainstream that any other contemporary writer of fantasy.