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  • The art of book reviewing

    I've been reading on the job this week--not current fiction of my choice, alas, but dozens and dozens of book reviews. Distilling a useful critique into a brief paragraph represents such an admirable skill set; I rarely tire of scanning those little gems. Some phrases seem particularly useful for...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 08-20-2009
  • Everything in moderation, especially cats

    You can spot library staffers by their official City of Round Rock badges. Otherwise, we're not easily identifiable for anyone expecting a crew of cardigan and sensible shoe-clad ladies of a certain age. Some library folks are male, many are young, and no one wears a bun (you're more likely to...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 08-15-2009
  • When nothing but second best will do

    We're frequently asked for reading advice--which author to try if you've finished everything by your favorite writer, which book comes first in a series (and whether that matters)--but almost never queried for listening suggestions. Most readers have assessed their needs in this case, whether...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 08-11-2009
  • Relatively cheap thrills

    With regard to personal book collections, librarians fall into two camps: the "Need to own because I love them" faction and the "I work at a library , for heaven's sake!" cadre--that's my group. A veteran of numerous relocations, I mentally calculate weight and space requirements...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 08-06-2009
  • Random acts of foolishness

    Does this happen to you? You choose a book or movie on a whim, then right away you encounter another one with oddly similar characteristics. Suddenly, you're theme-reading when you just meant to be spontaneous. I pounced on Christopher Moore's Fool as soon as it hit the library, because the premise...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 07-31-2009
  • My fitness partner is a prizewinner

    The digital age offers so many tempting reasons to hunker down in front of the computer. Blogging and updating one's Facebook profile don't burn many calories, however, and neither does that equally fun and sedentary activity--reading. Enter the MP3 player with downloadable audiobooks, proof...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 07-27-2009
  • Movies better than books? Not inconceivable

    A couple of expert movie watchers have shared their views (see comments for If Film Viewing is Wrong... ), even raising this question: Are we allowed to believe that some movies are better than books? I hope so, because a couple instantly came to mind. Surpassing the quality of an excellent book is a...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 07-23-2009
  • If film viewing is wrong, I don't wanna be right

    Shannon's question (who is the better on-screen Sherlock Holmes: Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett?) may prove controversial, but here's my vote: Jeremy Brett. Rathbone's portrayal is intriguing and suggestive of hidden depths, but Brett's depiction offers even more of the arbitrariness...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 07-22-2009
  • In praise of Watson, Bess & George, and the ghost of Elvis

    Kimberly's July 17 comment reminds me what I can miss by not reading mysteries more frequently. Well-crafted mystery novels are not just plot-driven; they also exhibit great character studies. These stories portray the main character facing romantic upheaval/potential financial ruin/family issue...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 07-18-2009
  • Dynamic Duos

    I'm not a mystery aficionado and in fact seldom read more than one or two books in any kind of series. J. K. Rowling and Anthony Trollope are notable exceptions. So, the best explanation for my extensive reading of Arthur Conan Doyle must be the Sherlock Holmes-Dr. Watson relationship dynamic. Anticipating...
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Weblog) by Linda Sappenfield on 07-16-2009
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