How American Cities Got Their Libraries – CityLab

A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

Source: How American Cities Got Their Libraries – CityLab


Book Review: Verses for the Dead

Verses for the Dead (Pendergast, #18)Verses for the Dead by Douglas Preston

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Some *spoilers* here: be warned:

I looked forward to another Pendergast novel, having read them all, and all the standalone novels by the authors, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. But, parts seemed roughly written, digressions to stretch things out rather than deepen and enhance the actual story.

The things behind the killer seemed vague, and never really understood “Action,” or “Journey” or whatever. It would have been useful and interesting to see one of those in flashback, to clarify some of that. I don’t see the hearts on graves as explained, nor the name, Mr. Lonelyhearts. Pieces seem not to fit together very well in the backstory, at least to me.

Some seemed to enjoy the taxi ride, but I found it not fitting any important part of the story –long, a digression, didn’t see the point. Unless I missed it, no reason why Pendergast didn’t talk with Constance during this story; it was setup he would, but no payoff.

The ending to me, was difficult to follow, how the agent shot and under muck, mud, and water survived during the gunfight and escape for Pendergast who then gets to him “just in time.”

I found the narration frustrating –who is telling the story? I know they avoid 1st person (from Pendergast’s POV), but I find him the most interesting part of the series, and yet he’s always observed from the outside. I imagine the new agent and Smithback will reappear to handle POV from that distance, outside view of Pendergast.

I guess I was hoping for more, and was overall disappointed at the end.

View all my reviews

The Endurance of ‘A Christmas Carol’

“Four years later, Dickens had written something that possessed still more “astonishing capabilities.” A Christmas Carol in Prose: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas was first published just before Christmas in 1843, and since then it has never been out of print. Originally written as a tract for the times, this cautionary tale about the ongoing tussle between greed and goodness has been thought of as timely whenever it has been read. Enjoyed by its first readers as a modern expression of the spirit of Christmas—as modern as Christmas cards, which were sent for the first time in the same year as the Carol’s publication—it has since become popular for quite different reasons: the sense of tradition it is thought to embody, a reminder of the simple pleasures that seem to have been lost sight of in the seasonal scrum of shoppers, an annual invitation to the pleasures of nostalgia.”

Source: The Endurance of ‘A Christmas Carol’

Listen and create ambient sounds easily

A World Made of Ambient Sounds

Listen to relaxing music, ambient atmospheres and astonishing sound effects. Just click on an image below to start chilling. If you want, you can even create your own atmospheric sound mix, online and for free. Every audio template can be easily edited for your own needs. Here is a short video explaining some of our features.

Source: Listen and create ambient sounds easily

Palaces for the People: How to Build a More Equal and United Society by Eric Klinenberg – review | Books | The Guardian

“For the sociologist Eric Klinenberg, a vision of the good city begins in the local library. It’s a place where a huge amount of knowledge is available permanently, free of charge. It’s a computer centre; it’s a place where everyone goes, including the marginalised young and elderly. Security is light-touch – “you rarely see a police officer in the library”.

“It is adaptable in a crisis. During Hurricane Sandy, a branch library in Staten Island became the place where local people sheltered and where relief was coordinated. In north-west Bangladesh, libraries float on moored boats in flood-prone areas. All this passes almost unnoticed. Libraries are closing across the UK and the US at a scarily rapid rate (nearly 130 have closed in the past year, it was recently revealed). The public library is not, and inherently never can be, a market, and so, Klinenberg writes, “If it didn’t already exist, it’s hard to imagine our society’s leaders inventing it.”

Source: Palaces for the People: How to Build a More Equal and United Society by Eric Klinenberg – review | Books | The Guardian

Library of Congress National Film Registry Turns 30 | Library of Congress

#Movie #Poster Jurassic Park (1993) 667x1000

“Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today the annual selection of 25 of America’s most influential motion pictures to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress because of their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage. These films range from Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and Paul Newman’s unforgettable “Hud” to the opulent musical “My Fair Lady” and the rocking sounds of “Monterey Pop.” Selection to the registry will help ensure that these films will be preserved for all time.”

Source: Library of Congress National Film Registry Turns 30 | Library of Congress