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review 2018-03-12 14:27
The Librarian of Auschwitz / Antonio Iturbe
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.


I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but I must admit that I was hoping for more. The story itself is fascinating and that’s what kept me reading. The writing was pedestrian, which was a disappointment. Still, I would recommend the book to those looking for an inspirational story concerning Auschwitz.

The narrative closely follows Dita Kraus, a 14 year old girl in the Auschwitz family camp and her experiences as the keeper and protector of eight forbidden books. I was interested that one of them was a history text by H.G. Wells, as I have been cataloguing a large collection of Wells’ writing during my work hours. I was also glad to see that they had several people that they designated as “living books” because they could tell certain stories (one woman could recount The Count of Monte Cristo). The concept of living books has recently been used at our city’s public library, so I was thrilled to see an example of the history of the practice.

If this time period and setting are interests of yours, I would recommend this book.

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text 2018-02-04 21:03
OMG Free books. I Love HEB.

I was following up on this post from Reading Is My Escape From Reality, which was reblogged from Leah's Bookish Obsession, and discovered that the Houston Public Library's e-card is free to all Texas residents, sponsored by the local grocery store chain HEB. Took me 5 minutes to sign up with my drivers license number, and now I have access to all their audiobooks on Overdrive!  Wooooohoooooo!



Seriously, HEB, when are you coming to North Texas so I can show you some love? 

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url 2018-01-27 04:59
"How a Library Handles a Rare and Deadly Book of Wallpaper Samples" by Alexander J. Zawacki

A little bit of info about a rare book of arsenic-saturated wallpaper samples and how the few libraries that have a copy have dealt with  it. This is both cool and horrifying.

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text 2018-01-23 20:52
Libraries Rock! Week of January 22, 2018
We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True - Gabrielle Union
Secrets in Death - J.D. Robb

I went and put a ton of books on hold. I always forget about physical books since I got on an ebook borrow binge last year. My librarian was nice enough to remind me we have all the books (seriously) I would just need to do holds. I feel like a moron.


I started having issues with images/pics so could not put all holds in this post. 


Borrows (Physical):



Borrows (E-Books):


Cover image for We're Going to Need More WineCover image for Secrets in Death


Holds (Physical) I technically put 8 books on hold but the images are jacked up:


[More detail about this title is available][More detail about this title is available]

Holds (E-Books):


Cover image for Where the Past BeginsCover image for Faithful Place

Cover image for Men Explain Things to Me

Cover image for Pet Sematary

Cover image for The Drawing of the Three

Cover image for Renegades

Cover image for Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Cover image for The Darkest Minds


Total TBR: 18 books!


Sorry for the messed up images, but BL is not doing great right now. 


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review 2018-01-18 01:44
Special Libraries: A Survival Guide - Toby Pearlstein,James M Matarazzo


I have like 90% of my reading for one class done.   Not gonna worry about the rest for now.   Onto my seven hundred page monster for my next class - and by that I mean the class that comes next chronologically in the week. 


Monday/online only with a face-to-face next Monday?   Done.


Programming is Tuesday in the morning and then archives Tuesday afternoon.   I'm going to sleep in a half hour but should have more of starting out with Python done by then.   I'm also going to turn some skeins into balls while I do this. 


Onto the actual book.   


Boring.   So dry.   


And yet, the actual ways that special libraries work is fascinating.   Sometimes there's no way to go 'hey, statistics, and holy cheeseballs we need more statistics stat' without being dry - or 'hey, lol, so many less special libraries now so good luck getting those jobs!!!!1!!!' without being a bit alarmist.   


Necessary work, but comparing it to the archives reading on how James Joyce estate liked suing the shit out of everyone, or how Pinochet was a complete bastard and archives helped, or how the US government was a complete bastard about surveillance and Puerto Rico and how archives helped, or how Iraq's archival material was stolen, and hey, can they have that shit back so it can help them?   It was just a matter of taking a deep breath, going, 'hey, guess what, you need to know this,' and forcing myself to finish.   Yes, forcing myself, and this is a four star.   Because as boring as this might have been, it was eye opening, necessary, and incredibly well written.   Could this have been, say, funnier?   Sure.   It could have, but it would have undercut a lot of the importance.   And the authors did go for humor, when it proved their point, when it was necessary, and when it didn't undercut their point.  


I honestly can't see anyone writing this and balancing the needs and doing it better.   So knocking off one star, because I didn't connect with the material as much as I'd hoped, and giving it four stars for being the necessary book it had to be. 


And hey, I'm almost 100% sure that I'm not supposed to be on a special libraries track based on this book - but that's not a dig at special libraries or librarians.   They do essential work.  I'm just not suited to a corporate library, which says more about the fact that they have needs, I have a certain personality and, hey, their needs and my personality have conflicts.   Other people have different personalities - not better, or worse, just different - that would make them go 'oh, hells yes, this is for me'.  


But I'm also almost 100% sure that I will get vital knowledge from this class, based on this book, and I'm going to put that to good use when I end up where I need to be!

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