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review 2017-11-14 17:53
Man's Search for Meaning / Viktor E. Frankl
Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor E. Frankl,Harold S. Kushner

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

 

If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.

This seemed like a fitting book to read on the Remembrance Day weekend, especially since I recently read Anne Frank’s Diaries. It is a harrowing reading experience, but also strangely comforting. Frankl details his concentration camp history in order to show us the how and why of survival.

I think it was Frankel’s even-handedness that impressed me the most. He sees evil when it presents itself, in the form of sadistic guards and other prisoners who lord it over their peers, but he also acknowledges the presence of good people in difficult situations—the server in the food line who always scoops from the bottom of the soup pot, giving everyone a chance at one of those longed-for peas, the guard who nudges the weaker prisoner towards lighter duties, the fellow marcher who offers a hand.

Survival is often a matter of luck—choosing the right work assignment or choosing a favourable move to another camp, but each person was also responsible for their own luck by paying attention and helping others when they were able or stroking the ego of a guard when the chance arose. Frankl points out that most of those who survived had a bigger goal—a loved one to be reunited with or a project to be finished. He credits his half-finished book with getting him through a bout of typhus during his imprisonment.

A tale of grim survival, leading to a sympathetic psychiatric theory. Have you identified your purpose?

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text 2017-11-01 16:55
Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search for Love and Art
Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search for Love and Art - Gene Wilder

When people think of Gene Wilder or see the face of the man on the cover, the most common association they get is that brilliant actor they have all seen to act alongside another brilliant actor in one of their hit comedy movies.

 

That's also the first thing that came to my mind when I have read the name and have seen the face of the man on the cover. But Jerome Silberman was a lot more than just a brilliant actor who knew his craft.

 

He was also a very kind, very generous, very humble, and very brave human being who really loved his family and friends and wasn't afraid to show it to people who surrounded him or to the world.

 

Yet of course as an actor and as a man, he had to suffer through many ordeals in his life, and face quite a large number of demons that surrounded him. I have this feeling that he has written this book so he could get rid of the most powerful ones who wouldn't leave him alone,  leave him be, so he could go on and on with his life.

 

But if we leave that small feeling of mine aside, this book was written by a very wise man with a wonderful insight and wonderful foresight, who wanted the world to know the truth about his precious life and all the love he felt for his family and brilliant art he was producing with his God-given humorous talent .

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text 2017-10-12 13:08
BookLikes How to: book search tips

 

Searching books isn't always a piece of cake, especially with a never-ending virtual bookshelf and a catalog with multiple editions. Jenn, to the rescue with some handy tips for all BookLikers! 

 

-- A guest post by Jenn, Murder by Death

 

The first and best way to find a title in the book database is to search by ISBN (or ASIN).  There are a couple of benefits to using ISBN for searching:  it will find the edition you have in your hand, and if it isn’t in the database, searching by ISBN/ASIN will kick off an import of the book, saving you all the work of having to either add it yourself, or asking a librarian to add it for you.

 

(Tip:  If you search by ISBN and multiple entries of the same title come up, let a librarian know by filing a book report.  That way they can merge the multiple records into one correct edition.)

 

Sometimes you don’t have the ISBN/ASIN handy, or the book is too old to have one.  Then it’s helpful to know a few tips about how to get the most out of BookLikes search.

 

Note: there are two search fields covered in today’s tips:  the BookLikes database, which is the field at the top right corner of the BookLikes pages, and the search field on your shelf page, which only searches the books you’ve shelved and has a different set of rules.

 

 

Searching the BookLikes book database

 

Generally, searching by title is very straightforward, especially for unusual titles, like The Maul and the Pear Tree, but the infinite variety of titles guarantees that some will work better than others without having to tweak how you search. 

 

Partial titles work. If they’re unusual enough.  So using The Maul and the Pear Tree, I can get away with searching The Maul and, although just searching The Maul is not enough: 

 

 

 

Articles A / An / The are optional:  UNLESS it’s a really common title.  So while The Wychford Poisoning Case and Wychford Poisoning Case will both return the book I’m looking for, if I try to search for A Shock to the System by Simon Brett, I’m better off including that A. 

 

 

 

 

Special characters:  The book database search is pretty forgiving overall (see note below) when it comes to &, apostrophes, commas, non-english alpha characters etc.  So searching for Mr. Pottermack’s Oversight will work as well as Mr Pottermacks Oversight, although the number of results returned might vary.    

 

 

 

Likewise, searching Jo Nesbø will return results for Jo Nesbo and vice versa.

 

(Note: there are some exceptions for non-english characters; when in doubt, try both.  This also holds true for the ampersand [&]; while I generally find it is interchangeable with ‘and’ there have been exceptions, so it’s always good to try both.)

 

 

When you’re getting too many results and none of them are the book you’re looking for.

 

Let’s say I’m looking for Ten by Gretchen McNeil. This is like searching ‘cats’ on google.  It’s too common a word and I’m going to get results that look like this:

 

 

 

Of course searching Ten Gretchen McNeil works, but generally the less typing, the better.  With that in mind, I tweak the search so that it says Ten Gretchen. Now I get:

 

 

Ten McNeil also works, but gives us two results. It’s always better to use the least common words when you have the choice to do so.  So if you’re trying to find a title that’s likely to return a lot of results, using part or all of the author’s name too will find your book faster.

 

 

Omnibuses are omnipresent

Because the BL database searches for all records that match the words you searched for, omnibus editions, if they exist, will appear in the results.  So searching for Murder on the Orient Express will return the single title edition as well as any omnibuses that include it as part of the title.   Most of the time the single edition title will appear at the top, but sometimes the omnibuses will overtake them and you’ll have to do a bit of scrolling.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE:  At the time of this writing, books that have been published under different titles in different countries and tied/combined together in the system can only be found by one of the titles (the ‘main’ one).  For example, Agatha Christie’s book Lord Edgware Dies was published in the US as Thirteen at Dinner.  As it’s the same book, they’re combined under Lord Edgware Dies.  This means that, at present, a search for Thirteen at Dinner only turns up omnibuses that contain that story.  This is a bug and it has been reported to BookLikes.  In the meantime, if you can’t find your book and you know of an alternate title, try searching by that title.

 

 

 

Searching your shelves

 

The search function for your shelves (the field that sits atop your shelves instead of at the top right of the page) is an entirely different beast from the book database search and can be summed up briefly:  This is an EXACT MATCH search function.  If a title has apostrophes, commas or any other special characters and you don’t include them, the search won’t find your books.

 

This means if I’m trying to find The Devil’s Novice by Ellis Peters on my shelves and I type in The Devils Novice (no apostrophe), it’s going to return zero results. 

 

How to get around this:  I either have to include all the punctuation in the title OR just search for a part of the title.  So searching Novice (or novice - it’s not case sensitive) will bring up my shelved book.  Other searches that will work include:  Devil (because it will search partial words), and Ellis Peters although these will return multiple results.

 

Note: you cannot use partial words combined with additional terms:  Devil Ellis or Devil Ellis Peters does NOT work; partial words must be used alone.

 

The best rule of thumb for searching your shelves is, unless you know the EXACT name of the book, stick to a few words of the title: Miss Peregrine instead of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  The shorter the search terms (while still keeping them effective) the smaller the margin of error.

 

Still not finding your book?

  1. Is it spelled right? It’s always worth double checking, as BL doesn’t have “did you mean” functionality.  If the book has been published under an alternate title and you know it, try searching by that title instead and then looking under “other editions” on the book page.
  2. Search by ISBN/ASIN: if it’s not in the system, it will be by the time the search finishes.
  3. If there’s no ISBN/ASIN on the book, try searching by author; sometimes a record will have the wrong language setting, keeping it from appearing in the results.
  4. Add the book. If it’s still nowhere to be found, please consider taking the time to add the book to the database so that it will be there when the next reader comes looking.

 

 

Have you had a particularly challenging time trying to find a book?  If so, please share it in the comments below; sometimes a title needs some special love from the librarians (bad imports leaving languages out, etc), or someone else might have a tip to make those searches work better.

 

Happy BookLiking!

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review 2017-09-23 22:30
A Disney Treasure Trove About Lost Cartoons
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for ... Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons (Disney Editions Deluxe (Film)) - David A. Bossert

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons presents a history of the origins of the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio and the hit they had in 1927 with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, whose history has, surprisingly, been 'lost' until now.

 

Basically, if it weren't for Oswald, Disney may not have evolved to become the powerhouse it is today - but that journey was anything but linear. It involved Oswald's initial rejection, his eventual acceptance, and how Disney lost the contract to their first major character; only regaining the twenty-six Walt Disney created Oswald cartoons (and returning Oswald to his proper place in Disney history) six decades later.

Oswald's happy-go-lucky demeanor and his clever ability to come out on top of any situation predated Mickey's evolution and reflected creator Walt Disney's approach to life itself.

So how did Walt's first major animated success result not only in losing the contract, but in Oswald's journey into animation obscurity for so many years? Disney fans will quickly come to realize this story isn't just about Oswald's evolutionary process, but about Walt Disney's own evolution as he furthered his animation efforts and created the foundations of what was to become his more famous Mickey Mouse character.

 

From legends and realities to common animation practices of the day and how cartoons are 'lost' over time, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit packs in visual embellishments, from animation frames to vintage photos, in its efforts to trace Oswald's history through copyright synopsis, surviving film documents, and episode reviews.

 

Packed with illustration as it is, readers almost don't need the rare vintage Oswald film in order to enjoy this recreation of historical record that offers such in-depth discussion about Oswald's adventures and evolution.

 

Recommended for Disney fans, prior Oswald enthusiasts, and animation history readers alike, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons fills in many blanks and offers specifics about animation processes, legalese, and the process of researching and recapturing lost cartoons, and is a 'must' for any collection strong in Disney characters and history.

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