Monday, November 30, 2009

an author's perspective

The Paris Review is an excellent source of interviews with different authors.The one I chose was not a podcast but a PDF file interview from 1968 with Jack Kerouac.While I have read different books on the life of Kerouac it was interesting to read an interview with him. I learnt that after his first book where he was edited without his consent, he took complete control of his writing. From then on all his writing was published exactly as it was submitted by him. The Paris Review has a great archive of interviews with many different writers and is worth looking at.
Nick Cave, from the Australian band Bad Seeds, has written a second book called The Death of Bunny Munro. I listened to a podcast interview on the Guardian Book Club. He speaks well and draws you into a story that would not necessarily be one I would choose to read. However, he talked about the difference between writing a novel and a song; saying the novel was easier as often a line in a song painstakingly written could, when set to music in the studio, sound ridiculous. The book has also come out in audio form which the author particularly wanted. He has written music for the audio book. The cover looks cute but the topic is not!

readers and booklovers

After looking through some of the book groups Shelfari was the one that I decided to search my latest reads. The two titles were The Book of Unholy Mischief, which I read a few months ago and enjoyed. The other book was The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - the final in a trilogy. Happy to be able to recommend as I loved the first book, a little disillusioned in the second( although still good) but the 3rd was excellent. Shelfari gave me some new future reads by using their tags which I found good. For both books I went on to the Top 200 tags connected to each book. In both cases I chose the country, clicked on Venice and Sweden which gave me lots of books to track down and hopefully read over Xmas.
The other site I really liked and have subscribed to in my Bloglines account was Bibliotravel( started by 2 librarians) - there you can search for non fiction and fiction through country and then more specific areas in that country. A good site for people who enjoy travel books or fiction set in exotic countries!

file convertors

It's been a long time since I tried this and it was good to be reminded of how to do it. The process is simple but very handy to know how - when I first received the attachment and clicked on the 'open as a Google document' there was a cheerful yellow smiley person but when I saved it to my desktop and then uploaded, the smiley face had gone. However, the rest of the document was basically the same.
A good exercise and will keep the file convertor notes in a safe place so that I can play with it later and try some more.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

specialist search engines

Google Book search is fantastic and it is something that would be great to use - especially when looking for material from older books. The magazine search is really useful although limited obviously to what they have there. I searched Old House Interiors and looked through a 2005 issue. How handy to be able to find articles or photos from a magazine that is out of print or withdrawn from the library. A great information tool for finding material related to hobbies or more general topics.
I have never looked at Blinx before and really liked it. While I often search on youtube it is messy with lots of added bits that are not related. On youtube I looked for the TV programme 'The Wire'. It came up with 77,500 hits, many of which had nothing to do with the programme. The pages on youtube have so much on them that you need to hunt around to find the right links. Blinx, on the other hand is really clear and straightforward. When I repeated my search for 'The Wire' immediately there came an overview of the programme with clear links to the different episodes.

discovering search engines

Had a look at Google, Yahoo, Bing and Exalead. The first search I did was for the topic 'Maori archives' and Google gave me the best results, particularly in the timeline. It gave an excellent overview starting from the Treaty of Waitangi showing how Maori archives began to evolve. The initial results from Yahoo were not as good( they seemed to be more commercial) but when you clicked on to their 'related concepts' a list of good search options came up. This also happened in Yahoo with my other search for information about manuka honey. However, Google gave the most accessible results and for manuka honey I used the wonder wheel which gave good search alternatives. I'm not mentioning Exalead because I didn't really enjoy using it.
I found the site a bit messy and uninviting.

being alert

I created 2 alerts - one for Xmas recipes and the other for daily horoscopes. The Xmas recipes worked out really well, exactly what I wanted; but not too many. Through one of the alerts I also found a link to a site that personally really appeals called the ' shabby chic cottage' which is a site( American) dedicated to lots of vintage finds.
The other alert for daily horoscopes didn't work out quite so well. It was too general and I ended up getting articles about the idea of horoscopes etc without the specific so will either change or delete that. The idea of creating alerts is a good one although one or two at a time would be enough otherwise it could be quite time consuming.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Enjoyed searching through AccessScience -looked at 'clouds' and found some beautiful images which I saved. Saving the images and creating a search history is very easy. It is a good student resource - easy for them to retrace their research.
Proquest was interesting and I searched for articles on writing web content. There was lots of interesting articles and it would have been fun to add them to my Bloglines account which I've been using regularly since 23 things - unfortunately the copied link wouldn't work, even after deleting suggested parts. Tried a few times and even did a different search but it wouldn't go through. However, the process of doing it is quite simple - if only it had worked!
Realised I could save it as an alert instead of an RSS feed. It would have succeeded but it was taking so long and it was nearly midnight so left it for now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

public libraries and twitter

twittering libraries

Tararua District Library had some good tweets. They have a really good user friendly blog with the blog and the tweets covering a range of topics. I also had a look at Library Secrets(College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn) and their bio reads:" The library is full of secrets - Are you listening?"
Making the library a place of intrigue and discovery, a place to reveal and uncover hidden mysteries - great idea! some interesting links to follow as well.
Free Family Entertainment - you can get 20 books 10 magazines 5 dvds - where from? your local library - and the icing on the cake JOIN for FREE! bring ID & proof of address.

Tweets could be fun to use in the Reading Experience. You could send out a tweet with an intriguing line from a new popular fiction and then add the title or some of it and let the reader guess the rest!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

search and compare

Decided to search my favourite flower on twitter search -I searched 'paeonies' and one tweet came up; with 'peonies' there were tweets galore - obviously a flower loved by many. The comments were mainly thoughts and feelings to do with peonies (especially pale pink ones ) and a few short 'how to grow' hints. Looked at Bingtweets and twoogle which are both good - think I preferred twoogle - the search was easier to read. Tweetgrid was interesting. It gave more information and links to sites about peonies - along with fantastic images and paintings.

Monday, November 16, 2009

tweet tweet

Had a look at whose tweeting - I liked the grabaseat - useful and honest - a great way to keep an eye on cheap seats. Looked at some of the media tweets but mainly general bites of information that people would know anyway or discussions on what they ate! however, in saying there is the choice not to read them so we can't lay any blame..