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Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.

 

Books

I accidentally deleted the Book Expo report that I just spent the last hour writing up and hyper-linking. Since I didn't get to bed last night until after 3am (damn delayed flight out of San Francisco!) I'm simply too exhausted to recreate it all from scratch right now.

Instead I will say that I brought back very few books for myself but I did let myself go a little crazy picking up titles for the marvelous Miss Kate (who promptly took one of them with her to school and read it in the car...). Since I can't bring myself to report anything else at this hour, let me just tell you what titles made the cut to be carried home:

Fruits Basket Ultimate Edition Volume 1

Amelia Rules! Vol 3: Superheroes, autographed for Kate.

Two books from this series by Rachel Roberts, autographed for Kate.

Firefly Rain by Rich Dansky (since I managed to miss seeing him in person for the whole show)

Finland at War: 1939-45

Magic in the Mirrorstone (autographed by Cecil for Kate)

The Ghosts of Kerfol which I've just started but find intriguing.

The Ghost's Child by Sonya Hartnett

Falling Hard a collection of teen love poems edited by Cecil's favorite poet.

Black God's Kiss

Emiko Superstar

Water Baby

My pile of books demanding to be read just got a lot bigger, but now I need sleep most of all.

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Finished

Read it. Will begin reading it to Kate tomorrow. Must say I'm a tad disappointed; my feelings reading the center portion of the book were very similar to the feelings Chris describes feeling when reading Robert Jordan. Too much with the characters whining and speculating and feeling sorry for themselves, and a lot of "Man, girls sure are strange, unknowable creatures." Then again, I had the same sort of response to Luke Skywalker's character in Star Wars (good god what a whiner he was!). Still, after being kept waiting for two years, I guess I had hoped for a somewhat tighter story. She sticks closely to the forumula of all the other books, but packs about 400 extra pages into it.

Must also admit that the author's whole pre-release revelation that a major character is killed off (moving herself to tears with that one) and that several characters suffer *near* fatal injuries leading up to the actual event in the book struck me as deliberate cock-tease, trying to artificially add suspense and excitement to the story. I really dislike that kind of marketing-driven hype.

But it was good enough for a kid's book.

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Harry Potter

We nearly had a disaster with our Harry Potter outing! I called the Barnes & Noble closest to my house at about 9:15 to see if they were open for Harry Potter. Of course they were, but I hadn't been able to find any confirmation about it.

They asked if I'd reserved a book, and when I said no, they told me they had some small number of books available for people who didn't think to reserve, but it was first come first served and there were people lining up for the books already. If we missed out, their next shipment of books wouldn't be until Tuesday.

Eek! I'd already told Kate we'd try to get the book before we flew to Ohio Tuesday! I explained the situation to Kate and checked with her about what she wanted to do. Made clear that we might not be able to get a book, that we might get down there and be too late. Her response, "That would be a disappointment. I might cry, because I've been waiting sooooo long. But I want to try it."

So we did! We showed up to the store at about 9:40. Every parking space in the lot (which normally serves 5 big stores) was full. The store was *crawling* with people, lots of people in costumes, activities for the kids (trivia, wand-making, guess how many Bertie Botts Beans are in the jar, face painting, get your picture taken in a wizard hat with the Harry Potter standee, etc). Each check-stand was one "house" and color coded to a ticket, each person that reserved a copy got a ticket for their house with a number on it. The walk-ins were all in Gryffindor; we got ticket number 122. At midnight they started calling people to the front in groups of 10. At 1:25am we finally made it to the front!

We got home at 1:45am and I stayed up reading until 3:00am... -pre-screening the book for Kate, you understand.

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Freedom to Read

Do you like to read? If you do, perhaps you are as disturbed as I am by the far-reaching effects of The USA Patriot Act, particularly Section 215.

While much of The USA Patriot Act concerns itself with foreign nationals, Section 215 in particular has given the FBI power to search ANYONE'S library and book buying records without a warrant, without probable cause of any crime or intent to commit a crime. Furthermore, librarians and booksellers are not allowed to report that searches have taken place or that records were turned over to the government or they can be prosecuted. Carleton College, in my "other hometown" of Northfield, Minnesota, has put upthis interesting FAQ for their library patrons.

Amazingly, there actually appears to be some slight movement in Congress to put a stop to some of this insanity: Representative Bernie Sanders of Vermont has introduced legislation into the House called The Freedom to Read Protection Act, HR 1157. Senator Barbara Boxer of California has introduced a similar bill in the Senate, The Librarian Bookseller Protection Act, Senate 1158.

If you like to read, support the Freedom To Read Protection Act! I spent the morning contacting my representatives and urging their support on these bills. In a letter that's making the rounds through teachers' groups, librarians, and writers, another woman suggests the following ways to show support and help move things forward:

1. Contact Representative Sanders and Senator Boxer to voice your support.

2. Get HR 1157 out of its subcommittee, into the House Judiciary Committee and then onto the House floor for debate.
HR 1157 is now in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. The members of that subcommittee are Tom Feeney (R, Florida), Bob Goodlatte (R, Virginia), Steve Chalbot (R, Ohio), Mark Green (R, Wisconsin), Ric Keller (R, Florida), Mike Pence (R, Indiana), J. Randy Forbes (R, Virginia), Robert Scott (D, Virginia), Adam Schiff (D, California), Sheila Jackson Lee (D, Texas), Maxine Waters (D. California), and Martin Meehan (D, Massachusetts). The chair is Howard Coble (R, North Carolina).
The phone number for the subcommitee is (202) 225-3926. If you know someone who lives in the states of these Representatives, it will be especially meaningful for them to hear from a constituent.

3. Contact the chair of the Judiciary House Committtee, F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R, Wisconsin) to tell him you want HR 1157 brought to the floor of the House. Representative Sensenbrenner is a Republican who has berated the administration for its policies of secrecy. Again, if you know people in Wisconsin, get them to contact Representative Sensenbrenner.

4. Contact your own Representative or Senator to ask if he or she is a co-sponsor of HR 1157 or S 1158 and stress that you strongly support co-sponsorship.

5. Contact those who have co-sponsored HR 1157. Call Bernie Sanderís office to get their names and contact information. Sandersí office number is (202) 225-4115, if you want to ask for an updated list.

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Pamie

When word hit that the Oakland Public Library lost its funding, and couldn't afford to buy new books this funny, literate blogger wrote up an entry and really started something.

Her current blog entry, where she describes her chance encounter with Michael Moore is extremely cool and funny.

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