Archive for the ‘Other Events and Places’ Category

I worked in a library for two years, in college, and so I always find the discussions about secure information and privacy very interesting. Personally, the only reason I wouldn’t want someone to have my reading/book buying history is because I’d have to be embarrassed about how many romance and kids books I read. But I understand, and support, the principle – there is no way, without strong evidence of CRIMINAL activity, that anyone has a right to anyone else’s reading records.

That’s why I was glad to see that Amazon is not lightly handing over purchasing histories to North Carolina(in this article). I can understand wanting Amazon’s financial data for tax reasons, but knowing the individual books for each person? There’s no reason for that. And while the library’s policy about not giving out any patron information is a little more comprehensible, as they are a public institution, Amazon seems to understand their duty to their customers too.

Amazon is suing North Carolina to insure that North Carolina cannot get those purchasing histories of individuals. While Amazon is a large company, that does not mean that the same principles of privacy shouldn’t occur at some level. In fact, I would argue, it’s even more important – those histories show the books that people found important enough to buy, not just borrow. I borrow books from the library all the time that I only read a few pages of, but I BUY books I usually already know I like (books that mean something more to me than a causal read). I expect that a lot of other people do the same.

Usually, the scope and expanse of the Amazon realm scares me (they have so much power over book buying!), but in this case, I’m supporting Amazon. Go AMAZON!


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Remember during the Renaissance when people would hold amazing salons and discuss topics from the arts to sciences to philosophy? Me neither, but, man, I would have loved to live during that period. I would, of course, have been beautiful and rich and brilliant. And the most amazing painters of the day would have been my retainers.

Well, I just read Sage Cohen’s Tip of the Day (for yesterday) and he suggested hosting a salon to allow friends to share their poetry. Honestly, I can’t write poetry and I often finding hearing my friends read their poetry to be torture. BUT! I think my next party will be a salon where I will invite all my friends to come and read creative essays that they have written instead.

Creative non-fiction is one of my favorite forms of writing, probably because I was a journalist for my undergrad newspaper and it was always the creative pieces that stumped me. I mean, churning out another piece about an event or new faculty or reviews can all be pretty formulaic. But an opinion piece, or a features story, had the potential to be so funny or moving or whatever.

Anyway, I shall now go plan my salon. I need the following:

Lots of French hors d’oeuvres (think caviar and escagot)
One artist, probably drunk, to paint my friends
A big, fancy dress with pink lace and cranberry stripes as wide as I am tall
Small, spindly chairs that look like they will break when people sit on them
At least forty men in white wigs, with tights (We’re men in tights, TIGHT tights!)

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Books feature heavily in all my decorating. Which really means that I have no decorating expertise or ideas at all, but instead tend to pile books everywhere and hope it looks okay. I have books filling my bookcase, obviously, but I also have them stacked on top of and underneath the coffee table, with bog coffee table books actually on a side table  and all my library books on the other side table.

I wouldn’t suggest you follow my example. Not everyone appreciates the value of books in interior decoration. But if you decided you wanted to get this “look,” you don’t have to actually invest in books – you can now buy book wallpaper. I actually think it’s a little cartoony for my taste (apparently I really do prefer the real things), but it’s cute and I would totally paper a kid’s room with this paper:

I found this wallpaper on Book Patrol: A Haven for Book Culture.

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So, I wasn’t really planning to post an event, but I had to post about this one – the Seattle Edible Book Festival. This weekend, food and books will combine when “artists” (really, book nerds and foodies) make their own renditions of books from edible items.

The categories are:

  • Most Pun-derful     –       Susan Hildreth, City Librarian
  • Most Drop-dead Gorgeous    –      Jay Friedman, Gastrolust & Seattlest.com
  • Most Delectably Appetizing    –    Cynthia Lair, cookus INTERRUPTUS
  • Best Young Edible Artist (K-12)    –    Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times, Book Editor
  • Best in Show – voted on by the hungry horde and presented by Edible MC Nancy Guppy

These are awesome categories, and I really wish I could afford to go up there and see the contestants, especially for the Pun-derful category. What an awesome idea for an event!

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I love science-fiction and fantasy, so I was really excited to hear that the Hugo Award nominees have been announced.

I was disappointed, however, to see that I have read almost none of the nominated titles! SO, I have decided to give my own award for best novel, best graphic novel, best movie, and best TV show.

The best novel for 2010: Graceling by Kristin Cashore (technically a YA novel, but awesome!!)

Best graphic novel: Here I agree with one of the nominations, and I think Fables Vol. 12: The Dark Ages should win. Fables and Y the Last Man are probably my favorite graphic novel series.

Best movie: Again, I agree with one nominee and think that Star Trek should win. I also really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but I guess if you grow up with a series like that there’s always going to be a little bias in your heart.

Best TV show: I really like Doctor Who but I think I actually want to award Supernatural. I think this show is so fun! X-Files is still probably my favorite sci-fi show, but Supernatural has partly filled the gap.

So there you go. Debate as you will.

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I love fantasy and science-fiction, so of course I’m excited about NorWesCon, “The Northwest’s Premier Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention,” according to their website.

Norwescon 33 Flier

It’s next weekend, in WA, and it’s a little expensive for a girl like me, but I really want to see the Philip K. Dick Award given. Plus, there’s a section called Fantasy Footwear. I can’t tell you which one I’m looking forward to more 🙂

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