Lower East Side librarian

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Updated: 3 years 10 weeks ago

Moving over to Tumblr

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 7:08pm

I'm giving Tumblr a whirl for a while, so please follow me over there to see my book reviews, LCSH analysis and whatever else I bother to post on.

Categories: Radreffies' blogs

LCSH & SACO Month 11: LC goes glocal

Sat, 12/28/2013 - 3:15pm

Highlights from the November 2013 SACO editorial meeting and LCSH monthly list.


From Ashton Salazar blog

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion, the

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 4:36pm
author:  Flagg, Fannie

Fannie Flagg novels always go down easy and are southern charming as all get-out. All-Girl centers on a 60-year-old woman who finds out she's not southern, at least not in the southern way of knowing who your people are a few generations back. It's also about Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). Unless you're a real crankypants, you should be moved by protagonist Sookie Poole's evolution, the WASPs accomplishments, or both. I sniffled quite a bit reading about the titular event while riding a New Jersey transit train home from Jewish Christmas.

reviewdate:  Dec 25 2013 isn:  978-0-8129-9463-6

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Teatime for the Firefly

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 9:10pm
author:  Patel, Shona

The publisher is Harlequin MIRA, but it didn't occur to me when I originally read a review of this book that it was a romance. I'm still not sure if that was the intent, because, finding the protagonist and her love interest annoying, I put the book down 200 or so pages in. The MIRA imprint is meant to encompass literary and genres aside from romance, for women.

reviewdate:  Dec 23 2013 isn:  978-0-7783-1547-6

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Sun, 12/22/2013 - 3:25pm
author:  Knisley, Lucy

I'm not much of a foodie, but I do love graphic memoirs, so I was happy to receive Knisley's book from my homie C-Dog as a solstice (or whatever) gift. I found myself envying how Knisley's love of food and cooking shored up her relationships with parents and friends. As you may know, I also have a soft spot for anything period related, so I loved this passage:

A woman's body craved protein and iron.

< copyrighted image I can't reproduce >

I grew into my mother's cravings - the demands of my inherited body chemistry.

< copyrighted image where Lucy says, "Once a month I need spinach." and "Like a were-rabbit." >

reviewdate:  Dec 21 2013 isn:  978-1-59643-623-7

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Behind the Mountains

Sun, 12/22/2013 - 3:02pm
author:  Danticat, Edwidge

Danticat tells a story similar to her own, but set about twenty years later and with plenty of other elements to differentiate it from a fictionalized memoir, about a Haitian girl, Celiane, moving to the US and reuniting her family.

reviewdate:  Dec 19 2013 isn:  0-439-37299-2

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Bone Season

Sun, 12/22/2013 - 2:35pm
author:  Shannon, Samantha

In an alternate history clairvoyance is unnatural and a crime. Clairvoyants have to hide their power or risk being consigned to The Tower. It turns out there's something even worse than The Tower, an alternate government in Oxford, run by Rephaim, which Wikipedia and other sources define as giant spirits from the netherworld.

reviewdate:  Dec 17 2013 isn:  978-1-62040-140-8

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Early Decision: Based on a True Frenzy

Sun, 12/15/2013 - 7:45pm
author:  Crawford, Lacy

She was already the daughter of a celebrity; an alumni connection could help only so much more. Why on earth hire an independent consultant, too? But then, there were Anne's clients: the parents who left nothing to chance. They refused to play with a deck that wasn't stacked. They'd raise a child unvaccinated before they'd consider letting him apply to college unaided.

Anne helps privileged (and one unprivileged) students get into college, mostly by working with them on their applications essays, but also a little bit by handling their families.

reviewdate:  Dec 11 2013 isn:  978-0-06-224061-3

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Zines

Sun, 12/15/2013 - 1:26pm

This is a listing of my zines, made and distributed by me.

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Dark Currents

Sun, 12/08/2013 - 5:01pm
author:  Carey, Jacqueline

Carey's new paranormal series has a wide variety of magical creatures, including mermaids, norns (?) and your run-of-the-mill vampires and werewolves. The protagonist is a halfie, herself, a hell-spawn doing her best to not invoke her birthright and thereby destroying the world. She's also a file clerk at the local PD, doing supernatural detective work on the QT.

reviewdate:  Dec 6 2013 isn:  978-0-451-46478-1

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Unbearable Lightness: a Story of Loss and Gain

Sun, 12/01/2013 - 1:54pm
author:  de Rossi, Portia

If you want to know what it's like inside an eating disorder, this is your chance. It's hardcore, but reading it, you understand how it happens. At least I could see it.

De Rossi (not remotely her real/given name) is a serious overachiever from childhood, the kind of kid who goes undefeated in classroom times tables challenges for years because she's drilled them so hard, even though she's not especially adept at math.

Quotations: 

Also, I was scared of lesbians. In fact, I would cross the street if I saw one coming toward me. One time I didn't cross the street and I ended up sleeping with a lesbian because I felt sorry for her.

reviewdate:  Nov 30 2013 isn:  978-1-4391-7778-5

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

If You Could Be Mine

Sun, 12/01/2013 - 1:22pm
author:  Farizan, Sara

Did you know it's easier to be transsexual in Iran than homosexual? According to the novel and Wikipedia, the only country in the world that does more sex reassigngment surgeries than Iran is Thailand, and many of the surgeries are subsidized by the government. Being born the wrong gender is an ailment, being queer is a sinful aberration. So that's what our heroine Sahar is dealing with as her best friend, who she has wanted to marry since the girls were six years old, gets engaged to a dude.

reviewdate:  Nov 28 2013 isn:  978-1-61620-251-4

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Night's Edge: Dancers in the Dark, Her Best Enemy, Someone Else's Shadow

Sun, 12/01/2013 - 12:47pm
author:  Harris, Charlaine Shayne, Maggie Hambly, Barbara

I plugged the word "dance" into a search of ebooks available for checkout from NYPL, and this was the first result. Charlaine Harris's story, about a survivor of a brutal sexual assault trying to distance herself from her past is readable (as in fuckable). It's set in the same universe, or at least with the same rules about vampires as the Sookie Stackhouse novels. The protagonist is similar to Sookie, personality-wise, but doesn't have her mind-reading ability. Her vampire dance partner is a still-waters-run-deep Irishman.

Quotations: 

Special thanks got to Doris Ann Norris, reference librarian to the stars, who can look up the inner dimensions of a sarcophagus faster than I can whistle "Dixie." (Charlaine Harris)

reviewdate:  Nov 27 2013 isn:  978-1-4603-0265-1

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Not My Small Diary #17

Sun, 12/01/2013 - 12:26pm
author:  Green, Delaine Derry

Cartoonists who are not Delaine depict their miserable high school years that were miserable. There's angst about popularity, getting beaten up, horrible teachers, bad hair, and more than I expected about boys' libidos. I mean, as a woman, I understand from pop culture that adolescent boys are sex-obsessed, but I didn't fully grasp that the arty nerdy guys are just as strung out as meathead future frat boys.

reviewdate:  Nov 25 2013

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Attitude!: Eight Young Dancers Come of Age at The Ailey School

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 7:52pm
author:  Fishman, Katharine Davis

Fishman follows eight high school dancers studying at The Ailey School, trying to discern what exactly talent is and what makes it go. She doesn't separately profile each student. Instead it's one narrative with themes (like eating disorders and weight, sexuality, race and friendship) explored by chapter. Although you can tell Fishman cares about her subjects, she manages not to get too sucked in. I like her researched but relatively casual approach.

reviewdate:  Nov 24 2013 isn:  1-58542-355-6

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs

My Life as a Silent Movie

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 6:06pm
author:  Kercheval, Jesse Lee

A three-years-orphaned college professor loses her husband and daughter in a car accident, finds out she was adopted and goes off to find her roots. I don't want to give anything away, but I should warn you, everything in this novel takes forever. And if you're sensitive to misspellings and typos, stop being petty, but in case you can't, brace yourself. (What's up with the lax proofreading Indiana University Press?)

reviewdate:  Nov 18 2013 isn:  978-0-253-01024-7
Categories: Radreffies' blogs

Bats or Swallows

Sun, 11/17/2013 - 5:58pm
author:  Vlassopoulos, Teri

Canadian zine maker Teri's short stories are so good, and I don't even like short stories. (I can call her Teri because we're social media friends, and I've read most of her zines.) Her protagonists come from a variety of backgrounds. Most are young, but there's also a mother (of a stripper in his 20s), and one of them is male. I found all of narrators relatable and real.

reviewdate:  Nov 15 2013 isn:  978-1-926743-07-3

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Categories: Radreffies' blogs