Rainey’s Tidbits

Random pieces of nonsense

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat

Cover art

Cover art

I’m currently reading Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron. I hope to finish it tonight. This is an adorable biography of Dewey Readmore Books, the cat-in-resident at the Spencer Public Library in Iowa. (The poor little thing had been dropped in a bookdrop on a cold January night.) His official portrait, as shown on the cover art, simply makes me melt.

It’s a touching story, focusing not on only on Dewey but also on Vicki Myron herself and the community of Spencer. Myron demonstrates a deep love for Dewey and passionate attachment to her town. It’s a wonderful biography and recommended to librarians and cat-people everywhere.

Halting State

Halting State cover art

Halting State cover art

I’m currently reading a science fiction novel for a book club and although I haven’t finished it, I would like to recommend it. Charles Stross’s Halting State is a near-future story centered around a bank robbery in a virtual shared-world (à la World of Warcraft or SecondLife). I’m enjoying the story (which reminds me favorably of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash but without the linguistic theory or Sumerian mythology), but it’s Stross’s turn of phrase that really grabs me. He writes of one character,

“he turns the charm on you with a nod and a great white smile that reveals about two hundred dollars’ worth of American dental prostheses that he probably wears because it’s the only way to stop the bairns from screaming and running away before he can eat them.”

(It also says a lot about how immersive Stross’s style is that my best friend got half way through the book without noticing that it was voiced entirely in the second-person.)

Anyway, go read it: you’ll enjoy it!

Cardio and Other Happy-Making Things

Earlier this evening, I was feeling down, so I went to the gym for a cardio workout. I find that works pretty darn good as a pick-me-up. It worked! When I first signed up for a year’s membership, that was what I was looking for. It was funny: during the orientation, the trainer asked what I wanted out of the experience: weight loss, strength training … Do you know, she had to enter “stress relief” as a write in? That amazed me 🙂

Other things work well as pick-me-ups, too:

  • Apples, especially Royal Gala apples
  • Ginger chews from The Ginger People (I’d love to try their new coffee flavor, but I haven’t seen those locally yet.)
  • Great Big Sea‘s Walk on the Moon, as loud as possible:

Don’t you think their hands were shaking as that rocket ship touched down?
I’m sure they shivered when they finally touched the ground.
And the giant leap so fragile that it hardly made a sound…
But it must have been amazing what a world they got to see.
So I don’t care, my foolish fear won’t get the best of me now

I’m alive, I’ve got one shot and I’m taking it to you.
I’m alive, I’ve come to realize not a moment too soon
That this is my one small step, this is my walk on the moon.
This is my walk on the moon.

Happiness is …

Feeding Little Goat at the FREX

Feeding Little Goat at the FREX

I ♥ LibraryThing

Is it a sign that I have too many books … or not enough? I realized all over again why I love and need social cataloguing site LibraryThing.

I read a fanfic set in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga last week and consequentially have been re-reading the original books. I was shuffling through my bookcases the last couple of days trying to find my copy of Diplomatic Immunity. After having no luck, it finally occurred to me to wonder: do I even have a copy of Diplomatic Immunity? After checking LibraryThing, it turns out that, in fact, I don’t. At least LibraryThing has saved me from digging through the rest of my bookshelves 🙂

[Edit: I’m not crazy after all: I do have Diplomatic Immunity, but as a WebScription, not in print. Maybe I should add those to my LibraryThing account …]

Downloadable Software

I had a hard drive malfunction this weekend, so I’ve been reinstalling my favorite downloadable software.

Want to know what they are?

I’ll come back and edit this list as I remember the absolutely most essential things I’ve forgotten 🙂

Anne at Project Gutenberg

Since reading Before Green Gables last weekend, I’ve been wanting to re-read the original Anne books, but didn’t have any copies at hand. It only occurred to me today that, of course, the books are in the public domain and would be available online in Project Gutenberg. (It should have sprung into my head sooner, since I have one of our cataloguers working on a project to add PG links in our library catalogue when the book is available electronically online.)

Should you be in a similar boat, why not go have a read, or download the books in audio format?

  1. Anne of Green Gables (audio)
  2. Anne of Avonlea (audio)
  3. Anne of the Island (audio)
  4. Anne of Windy Poplars*
  5. Anne’s House of Dreams
  6. Anne of Ingleside*
  7. Rainbow Valley
  8. Rilla of Ingleside

(*These two are still under copyright in the U.S., but in the public domain in Canada and Australia.)