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June 2009

» This week's installment of summer reading lists. Remember, you can always access the full list by clicking the link on the right.

For Adults:
WSJ: A Book Lover's Summer
NPR: Suggestions For Summer Reading Debut novels by Minnesota authors make great summer reading
Globe and Mail: The Canadian Forces reading list
Lexgo: Here's a stack of summer reading
Summer releases from Canadian publishers
Computerworld: Summertime Survival Reading
Beaumont Enterprise: Dip into the summer reading pool with these hot book picks
Film Misery: 2009 Summer Reading List books that will be film awards contenders this fall
The Lesser of Two Equals: Reading List for Summer 2009
Ethnosnacker: Ethnographic Reading List
Green Space: Summer Reading List sustainability/self-sufficiency titles
Global Health Blog: Best readings in global health
Execupundit: Summer Reading Summer books: Paperbooks for sizzling, mesmerizing reading
Cultural Offering: Summer Reading List

For Children and Young Adults:
Kansas City Star: Summer reading: Reviews of new kids books
Summer reading: Caldecott Medal recipients were winners with these kids

 [ 06.01.09 ]

» Jamie Oliver is bringing his campaign to transform the way people eat to the US. In his upcoming reality show, he plans to take on the eating habits of Americans at work, school, and home in an as-yet unnamed city or cities.  [ 06.01.09 ]

» I'm not really sure what to say about this, but I think it might be "Awesome". Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Queen.  [ 06.02.09 ]

» I remember my first grappa. It tasted like kerosene. Apparently, I was cheated: a good grappa should be lovely and complex. And with a little knowledge, you, too, can cull the good grappa from the bad.  [ 06.03.09 ]

» A new venture will offer on-demand books printed from a book ATM. I expect much of their offering will be for books that are out of copyright. (Goodbye, Dover!) I envisioned a business much like this in the early 90s, but in my version, the customer could choose cover, binding, artwork and the like to make a custom edition to their own specification.  [ 06.04.09 ]

» Just a goth? Not so, my vanilla friend. Here, for your edification, is a list of goth types.  [ 06.05.09 ]

» So far this year, sales of canning equipment is up nearly 50%, but there is a new movement among home gardeners and gourmet cooks: artisan canning. I really, really love the idea of community canning kitchens.  [ 06.05.09 ]

» This week's installment of summer reading suggestions. Click the link in the right sidebar for the entire list.

For Adults:
NPR: Celebrating Summer By Opening The Books
NPR: Books Reveal Theater's Behind-The-Scenes Secrets
NYT: Summer Cookbooks
NYT: Gardening Books
NYT: Travel Books
NYT: Visuals: Cover to Cover
NY Magazine: What to read this summer
NYT Magazine: A Summer Reading List for Parents
Boston Herald: Hub notables share their summer reading picks
What's On Your Summer Reading List? Lists of children's and young adult authors and illustrators
Salon: Summer reading: Killer thrillers
Salon: Authors recommend great summer reading Neil Gaiman and others, although the recs are annoyingly in video, not text
Salon: Chick lit
Salon: True confessions
Finding pleasure in summer reading with fiction, fun Corvallis booksellers' recommendations
Musical Cheers A music-themed summer reading list
Superstar librarian Nancy Pearl's 2009 Summer reading list
Lake County News-Sun: Summer reading preview
Early Summer Cocktail Book Reading List books about bartending
Bill O'Reilly: More summer reading choices
Cal State San Marcos' Creative Writing Community: Summer reading list
Amazon: Summer Reading List
AskMen: Top 5: 2009 Summer Reading Picks For Guys
Charlie Gibson's Summer Reading Recommendations
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Summer books: Paperbooks for sizzling, mesmerizing reading
Relevant: Summer Reading Guide
USA Today: 2009 Summer Books
Ottawa Citizen: Great summer reading Alice Munro goes kinky, Canada's youngest multiple killer, and much more
Daily Herald: Summer reading: Feeds your soul, sparks a laugh, or maybe tears
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Hot summer of reading
U.S. Army Center of Military History Recommended Professional Reading List
QSR: Summer Reading List suggestions for restaurant operators
The New Criterion: Summer reading
Zenpundit: Summer Reading List
Examiner: Summer reading
OMG Girl: Summer reading list
Between Two Worlds: Mohler's Summer Reading Recommendations
Apologetics 315: 3 Apologetics Books for Summer Reading
Oncofertility Consortium: Summer Reading List: Global Perspectives on Reproduction

For Children and Young adults:
Examiner: Baltimore County summer reading lists for high schoolers
The Herald Bulletin: At the Library: Summer reading for children
Florida Department of Education Summer Reading List for Families
Tri-Cities Prep: High School Summer Reading List
 [ 06.08.09 ]

» I really love this Underparenting column on the ways in which child car safety seats have ruined family life. Well, for one thing, it's very well written. And he has a good point. (via anil)  [ 06.09.09 ]

» If you're interested in the future of news and newspapers, read Craig Stolz's article Washington Post's Masterful Failure of Online Journalism. It gives no prescription for creating revenue streams online -- it's simply one of the smartest pieces I've seen about journalism on the Web. The key question is this: what does the Web do best, and how can I exploit that to create compelling stories? (thanks, jjg!)  [ 06.10.09 ]

» Are you a dyer? You probably already know about Dharma Trading Company. Here is a new-to-me supplier, Pro Chemical and Dye, and their stock includes dyes for polyester, nylon, acrylic, acetate rayon & ingeo (a corn-based biopolymer produced by a subsidiary of Cargill).  [ 06.11.09 ]

» When faced with a child who was being bullied at school, pediatrician Perri Klass advised his patient's mother to complain to the teacher and encouraged his patient to continue pursuing his dreams. However, new research shows that involving the entire school - including other children - would have been much more effective.

[H]ere are three things I now know I should have done: I didn't tell the mother that bullying can be prevented, and that it's up to the school. I didn't call the principal or suggest that the mother do so. And I didn't give even a moment's thought to the bullies, and what their lifetime prognosis might be.
[...] Dr. Robert Sege, chief of ambulatory pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and a lead author of the [American Academy of Pediatrics] new policy statement, says the Olweus approach focuses attention on the largest group of children, the bystanders. "Olweus's genius," he said, "is that he manages to turn the school situation around so the other kids realize that the bully is someone who has a problem managing his or her behavior, and the victim is someone they can protect."

 [ 06.12.09 ]

» In case you didn't see it: America's Sea of Red Ink Was Years in the Making

There are two basic truths about the enormous deficits that the federal government will run in the coming years.
The first is that President Obama's agenda, ambitious as it may be, is responsible for only a sliver of the deficits, despite what many of his Republican critics are saying. The second is that Mr. Obama does not have a realistic plan for eliminating the deficit, despite what his advisers have suggested.
The New York Times analyzed Congressional Budget Office reports going back almost a decade, with the aim of understanding how the federal government came to be far deeper in debt than it has been since the years just after World War II. This debt will constrain the country's choices for years and could end up doing serious economic damage if foreign lenders become unwilling to finance it.

The accompanying chart is a nice visualization of the situation and how we got here.  [ 06.12.09 ]

» A Little Weekend Reading: The Atlantic, What Makes Us Happy? Not the things you might think.  [ 06.12.09 ]

» This week's installment of summer reading lists is long and diverse, including everything from Oprah's recommendations, several library lists, books on design, current events, African-American religious history, barbequeing, and more.

For Adults:
NPR: Independent Booksellers Pick Summer's Best Reads
NYT: The Girls of Summer

When a woman writes a book that has anything to do with feelings or relationships, it's either called chick lit or women's fiction, right? But look at Updike, or Irving. Imagine if they'd been women. Just imagine. Someone would have slapped a pink cover onto 'Rabbit at Rest,' and poof, there goes the ... Pulitzer." - The Commencement

British Fantasy Awards Shortlist
Australian Book Industry Awards 2009 Shortlists
Oprah's 2009 Summer Reading List: 25 Books You Can't Put Down
The Daily Camera: Your summer reading list
Salon: Summer Reading: True Confessions
LA Times 60 New Books to Read This Summer
The Providence Journal: Cool titles for some hot summer reading Hot summer reading: New barbecue books
Fort Worth Star Telegram: Read it: Cool books for a hot Lone Star summer
Chicago Tribune: 33 hot reads for the summer
Houston Chronicle: Hot titles available for summer reading
The Wichita Eagle: Summer reading list Stay cool and delve into a good book this summer>
Foreign Affairs: What to Read on Pakistani Politics
KBUR: Summer Reads '09
Seattle Public Library: Summer reading suggestions
Seattle Public Library: Viewing History through a New Lens history from a fresh angle
Reader's Advisor: The Date's the Thing: Histories of Time Periods I might add A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century and perhaps The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914, both by Barbara W. Tuchman, (and neither of which I have read)
Nonfiction for your summer reading list Book recommendations from the Beaufort County Public Library
The Sister Project: Sister-themed summer reading
Sisterpedia: Sister-themed fiction
Sisterpedia: Sister-themed nonfiction
Claiming Sisterhood: Women's rights and feminism summer reading list
Author Jen Lancaster's Summer Beach Reading List
East of Midnight: The Long, Hot Summer Reading List African-American religious history and writing
Daily Beast: 5 Hot Summer Thrillers
Design Observer: Books Received: Summer 2009
The Chicago Blog: A Frank Lloyd Wright Reading List, On the Occasion of His Birthday My summer reading list for Barack Obama
Clastic Detritus: Summer Reading List
Reporting on a Revolution: Summer Reading List
Kenneth C. Davis: Summer Reading List With a Twist a historian's summer reading list with: a "water" theme
Flux Publisher Christian Valentiner's summer reading list

Children and Young Adults:
Simple Kids: The List - Children's Literature We Love! Babies & Toddlers through Upper Elementary and Beyond Recommended Reading Lists for All Ages (2 - 18)
Traverse City Area Public Schools: Elementary and High School reading and activity lists
Great green reads for kids: co-books to help your kids understand and care about the environment

 [ 06.15.09 ]

» Robert Reich: The healthcare war has officially begun

The last president to successfully take on the giant healthcare lobbies was LBJ. He got Medicare and Medicaid enacted because he weighed into the details, twisted congressional arms, threatened and cajoled, drew lines in the sand, and went to war against the AMA and the other giant lobbyists standing in the way. The question now is how much LBJ is in Barack Obama.

Read this piece if only to see the unbelievable amount of money that has been spent by the AMA, Big Insurance, and Big Pharma to influence this debate. For me, it's the most compelling argument that our healthcare system is driven by Big Profit - and that healthcare costs can and should come down. For more, try this column which argues that US citizens need a healthcare option that is national in scale.  [ 06.15.09 ]

» Here's a Summer reading challenge for those of you who are enthusiastically making your way through my summer reading lists:

Read 10 books by Sept. 21.
Of the 10, I suggest: 1 classic you've never read but always meant to
1 book you've read and always wanted to reread but haven't yet
at least 1 book featured on AuthorsNow!
1 book outside the genres you usually read
1 "impulse" book that catches your eye during the summer
5 others of your choosing

Kids can join the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge - only 4 books to win!  [ 06.15.09 ]

» In an unfortunate consequence to the continued recession, fashionistas have discovered my secret weapon: shopping at second-hand stores for high-end items. Even worse, the stores have discovered it, too.  [ 06.16.09 ]

» NYT Bitten: Paula Crossfield provides a list of recommended sustainable food blogs.  [ 06.16.09 ]

» I wasn't very interested in Food, Inc when I saw the trailer. It looked., well, obvious and self-righteous. (Sort of the same reason I no longer see Michael Moore films, And you can imagine that attitude turned up to "11" in the middle of a San Francisco cinema. Not a critical thinker to be found in the entire crowd.) But after reading this review/interview with filmmaker Robert Kenner, I'm planning to see it.

You told me earlier that some foodies and environmentalists are disappointed with the film, because they say it's stuff they already know. But you're aiming at a wider and more general audience here, aren't you?
I'm really trying to reach out and bring as many people into this movement, which is an incredibly expanding, fast-growing movement. You don't have to be a Democrat or a Republican to not want to eat meat with fecal matter on it. We all want to feed our children healthy food. So it's not about ideology at that point. There are some right-wing religious groups who are very active on the matters of food. It's an issue that can unite people. At the same time, we're up against very powerful corporations, and we've grown to love very cheap food. It's wonderful how little it costs, but we're starting to see the real damage it does. [...]
You know, I told my mother-in-law about this film, and that I really thought she should see it. She lives in the South and she's a Republican. She was like, "Is it just going to make me feel bad?" Which strikes me as a good question. I said, "Actually, no, I don't think it will."
[...]I hope this is a very empowering film. One of the messages is that we as consumers have a lot more power than we think we do. Ultimately these corporations are scared of us. And ultimately, if there's a movement, the government wants to follow us. So there are a number of empowering points that we try to make, even though it's a difficult subject.
 [ 06.17.09 ]

» When Congress recently passed a law that will reclassify FedEx workers in such a way that it will be easier for workers to unionize, FedEx responded by launching a multimillion-dollar campaign to convince consumers that UPS is receiving a government bailout.

"That piece of legislation only helps one company while hurting a main competitor - if that's not a bailout, we're going to have to redefine the word," [Maury Lane, director of communications at FedEx] said.
"There's clearly no way we're seeking a bailout. In fact, what we're doing is working to eliminate an earmark that has been given to FedEx for some years," [Malcolm Berkley, a U.P.S. spokesman] said.

It's all about the framing. I think Mr. Lane has a promising career as a politician, if he wants one.  [ 06.17.09 ]

» The ACLU's executive director joins with a military officer to ask for a special prosecutor for torture.

There are some who might find it surprising to be hearing from the two of us together -- a civil libertarian and an Army officer. But to us, the fit is quite natural. While having taken different paths, we have both sought the same destination: the preservation of American values, the rule of law and human rights. Without accountability, we cannot preserve those ideals. Without holding ourselves to the standards we wish to impose on others, we cannot move forward and we cannot hold ourselves out as a nation that adheres to a legal and moral code of conduct.

 [ 06.18.09 ]

» This week's compilation of Summer Reading Lists includes more from Nancy Pearl, two lists for Christians and Theologians, all-ages Manga, and recommendations for brides-to-be.
For Adults:
NPR: Librarian Nancy Pearl Picks Summer's Best Books
The Boston Globe: The books of summer
Asheville Citizen Times: Summer, and the reading is easy: From worldly to local, new books are bountiful
Seattle Public Library: Staff Favorites: Three more novels for your summer reading
UC Davis: Smart Summer Reading
TheoSource: Summer Reading: What's in Your Stack booklists by Christians and theologians
Unashamed Workman: 100 Recommended Reads divided into parts: For Unbelievers, For New Christians, Defending Your Faith, Bible Studies, The Church, Evangelism, Theology, The Cross of Christ, Baptism, Prayer, For Singles and those Dating, On Marriage, Pastoral Issues, Eldership, The Pastor's Role, For Women, For Men, and Biographies
Examiner: Top 10 + 1 intriguing science books to take on vacation
Read Street: Summer reading: more dirty books
Buzz Sugar: Summer Reading: 12 New Books to Check Out
Women's Enews: Women's Writing Fires Up Summer Reading Lists
Chicago Boyz: Summer Book Recommendations for a Friend
Weddings in Vieques: Excellent Summer Reading Recommendations for Brides-to-Be

Children and Young Adults:
Kansas City Star: Summer reading for tweens Great All-Ages Manga for Young Readers: Kid-Friendly Graphic Novels Full of Fun, Fantasy and Pocket Monsters
Publisher's Weekly: ShelfTalker's Summer Reading List for young adults (annotated shortlist)
School Library Journal: Searching for the Perfect Summer Reading List? The Coretta Scott King Committee offers some terrific choices

 [ 06.22.09 ]

» Maki has been posting a series of her mother's recipes using Japanese Ume plums: Umeboshi (Japanese salty pickled plums) and Homemade Umeshu (plum wine) and Ume Hachimitsu Sour (ume honey-vinegar drink). I'll bet I can get some ume plums in Japantown, but when will I be home long enough to do this?  [ 06.23.09 ]

» Last weekend I found myself in a big-chain bookstore and was fascinated by the number of vampire and straight-up fantasy and historical fiction on the "Summer Teen Reading" display. So, when I encountered Buffy fans: read this, I expected an article on the teen-girl Twilight-inspired vampire craze, or perhaps one about publishers' bestseller-driven bandwagon-jumping and backlist-repackaging.

Instead, Laura Miller has written a very smart article on urban fantasy - an adult genre which is entirely new to me - exploring its significance as a cultural marker and the unease of some male authors in being identified with a genre they (incorrectly) perceive as a close cousin to the romance novel.  [ 06.23.09 ]

» A delightful journey through the realm of invented languages and its cast of dreamers, weirdos and obsessives.

There are scant similarities between Esperanto and Invented Language No. 2 on Okrent's list, but here's the biggie: People who speak either of them are seen as hopeless weirdos by the outside world. Language No. 2 is only 25 years old and was definitely not created to serve the cause of universal brotherhood. It is not the uncopyrighted property of all humanity, but rather the trademarked invention of a major corporation. It is maddeningly and indeed deliberately difficult to learn, and doing so has no practical or theoretical usefulness, either now or in some contemplated future utopia. "Hamlet" has been published in that language too, and here's how the soliloquy starts: "taH pagh taHbe'. DaH mu'tlheghvam vIqelnIS."

(both via mamr)  [ 06.24.09 ]

» On the vigor and poetry of Science Fiction.

It's perhaps natural that a genre that deals so specifically with science and technology should have come up with so many new terms. Science, after all, is the single biggest contemporary fattener of dictionaries. But these words also bespeak active imaginations and that curious form of literary finesse that enables writers to label an object, and readers to understand that label, even though both label and object have never before been encountered.

 [ 06.24.09 ]

» Kevin Kelly has written another brilliant exploration of the interplay between technology and culture, this one on the Triumph of the Default. How should defaults work, what do they really affect, and most importantly, what are their cultural consequences? If that sounds dull or over your head, blame my description. Like so much of Mr. Kelly's work, this is a smart, accessible, and important piece.

[T]he privilege of establishing what value the default is set at is an act of power and influence. Defaults are a tool not only for individuals to tame choices, but for systems designers -- those who set the presets -- to steer the system. The architecture of these choices can profoundly shape the culture of that system's use. Even the sequences of defaults and choices make a difference too. Retail merchandisers know this well. They stage stores and websites to channel decisions in a particular order to maximize sales. If you let hungry students make their desert choice first rather than last, this default order has an impact on their nutrition.

 [ 06.25.09 ]

» Here's an interesting project: News from 1930, a daily summary of the 1930 Wall Street Journal published on the day it happened. (via rte)  [ 06.25.09 ]

» Moscow Cat Theater! (via br)  [ 06.26.09 ]

» Can you get fit in 6 minutes a week? Um, actually, maybe you can. But it has to hurt. (via gs)  [ 06.26.09 ]

» This week's summer reading lists include Manga for Grownups, the best in Zombie Lit, the 2009 ALA Youth Media Awards, and the 1st Annual Summer Islamic Reading Challenge
For Adults:
NPR: Summer Nonfiction: True Tales Enlighten, Delight Local authors offer a peek at their summer reading lists
Comment Magazine: A summer feast of books "Accessible starters for those who haven't quite learned to swim in the deeper waters of academia and the formation of the Christian mindset"
Poets and Writers magazine: Summer Reading List Poetry, Novels and Novellas, Classics, Short Stories, Nonfiction, and Memoir
Sacramento Bee: Summer reading list points the way to mystery, action and romance Summer reading: Melissa Katsoulis revisits the books that have most impressed our critics this year and compiles a list - from thrillers to biographies - to see readers through the summer
The News Star: Include these titles on summer reading list business titles 12 Great Manga for Grownups
Angels On Your Shoulder: Ah, it's the weekend and summer reading books about angels, miracles and grace
Grimoire of the Hour: Zombie Lit Hit List
GreetQ: Summer Reading

Children and Young Adults:
2009 ALA Youth Media Awards Everything from the Newbery to the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
NPR: Great review of Peter Abrahams' Reality Check, with excerpt
Tacoma Public Library: 100 Books Your Child Should Hear before Kindergarten
Smithsonian: Our Story recommended books on American history

Bonus link: 1st Annual Summer Islamic Reading Challenge To encourage Muslim children (and interested non-Muslims) to read and review Islamic children and adult books
 [ 06.29.09 ]

» NYT: Bringing Flavor Back to the Ham, Harold McGee. Artisanal ham curers are rediscovering old techniques - and livestock breeds - to create American ham that rivals that of Spain and Italy.

European research found that the primeval fall diet of acorns and wild greens provided the ideal mix of fats and antioxidants for dry-cured hams, with the fat approaching the healthful composition of olive oil. Skeptical, Mr. Eckhouse compared hams from pigs fed on acorns, and on corn and soybeans. "It wasn't an instrumental analysis," he said. "I ate them. The differences were much bigger than I expected, especially in texture. The acorn-fed ham was creamy."

(via mamr)  [ 06.30.09 ]



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