Autumn de Wilde’s Emma.

Autumn de Wilde’s Emma is a delight and a joy, which is an odd way to start what is not-exactly-a-review. But it is so beautifully shot, so beautifully staged, so exquisitely acted and directed, that for me there’s not really another launch point into this exploration of cinematography and class and the female gaze. Emma is beautiful, from its hushed beginnings in a greenhouse as … Continue reading Autumn de Wilde’s Emma.

Cook County, Queens County, & Raw Numbers as Obfuscation

Everyone has a different reaction to stress, and I am well aware that one of mine—getting pickier (and more prickly) about information accuracy—is not a normal one. Because I know and accept that my responses are in no way normal, and that I get colder as I get more stressed, I try to be understanding of more normal responses—which often irritate me beyond all measure. … Continue reading Cook County, Queens County, & Raw Numbers as Obfuscation

KidLit & Other Children’s Lived Experiences

I love youth literature, from board books to young adult novels (and nonfiction)—I don’t think that’s any secret. I’ve also been rather legitimized in my love since becoming liaison to an education department, and working closely with faculty to build lists (and collections) that can help support multiple different curriculum standards. It’s great! I truly love it! It’s also pushed me to think, a whole … Continue reading KidLit & Other Children’s Lived Experiences

Asian American Voices: Fiction & Poetry

Content Note I think it goes without saying that the works listed here are all #OwnVoices, either written or illustrated (or both) by members of the Asian American community. I’m going wide, in this community: by “American,” I mean of the Americas, the continents, not the country. I’m going to throw in some movies here, as long as they fit under that #OwnVoices representation. Also … Continue reading Asian American Voices: Fiction & Poetry

Performers in Our Quarantined World

It’s May Day in a year of pandemic, and there are (socially distant) protests and strikes to mark the day. We have begun, in the litter of eugenicist and genocidal commentaries accompanying this pandemic, to see discussions of workers’ rights and worker safety as well. I’m going to talk, today, about a very different set of workers, some whose lives hang in an eternal, precarious … Continue reading Performers in Our Quarantined World

On the Job Hunt: Library Edition

Originally posted on Essentially a Nerd:
http://giphygifs.s3.amazonaws.com/media/F3OSOodTeuPok/giphy.gif super relatable after your hundredth interview. via Giphy So you’ve got that Master of Science in Library and Information Science (that’s mine), or maybe you’ve got the Master of Library Science, and you’re on the job market. (If you’re not yet in school, consider all sides of that degree before you apply.) Now what? Well, like, now you… Continue reading On the Job Hunt: Library Edition

Greta Gerwig’s Little Women

I’ll start this with a confession: while I read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women—I read it a lot, actually—it never spoke to me as much as Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series. (I think that the urban element of Betsy-Tacy made it perfect for me, an urban child.) I’m a white woman who read Little Women, perforce, but am not Little Women‘s ideal audience: that would … Continue reading Greta Gerwig’s Little Women

a litany on eugenics, population control, and virus rhetoric

There’s not a lot to be said about the virus bearing down on us. Some of us live in states or regions with governors or local governments that care. As an Illinoisan, I know not only that my governor cares but that each death weighs on him: I can see it in his face when he speaks. I also know the current president of this … Continue reading a litany on eugenics, population control, and virus rhetoric

Asian American Voices: Young Adult Novels and Memoirs

Content Note I think it goes without saying that the works listed here are all #OwnVoices, either written or illustrated (or both) by members of the Asian American community. I’m going wide, in this community: by “American,” I mean of the Americas, the continents, not the country. I’m going to throw in some movies here, as long as they fit under that #OwnVoices representation. Also … Continue reading Asian American Voices: Young Adult Novels and Memoirs

Asian American Voices: Elementary and Middle Grade Novels

Content Note I think it goes without saying that the works listed here are all #OwnVoices, either written or illustrated (or both) by members of the Asian American community. I’m going wide, in this community: by “American,” I mean of the Americas, the continents, not the country. I’m going to throw in some movies here, as long as they fit under that #OwnVoices representation. Also … Continue reading Asian American Voices: Elementary and Middle Grade Novels

Asian American Voices: Picture Books and Easy Readers

Content Note I think it goes without saying that the works listed here are all #OwnVoices, either written or illustrated (or both) by members of the Asian American community. I’m going wide, in this community: by “American,” I mean of the Americas, the continents, not the country. Also remember, of course, that Asia is a huge continent—and I’m including authors from across the continent. I’m … Continue reading Asian American Voices: Picture Books and Easy Readers

1919

Eve Ewing’s 1919 is poetry, or maybe it’s history dressed as poetry—with the emphasis on story, usually untold. It is a hard, sad history—a bleak corner of Chicago that we’ve often tried to forget, though it was brought to our collective attention thanks to the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project and its affiliates—and Ewing’s intense 1919 carries with it the weight of injustice … Continue reading 1919

world poetry day 2020: poetry during the pandemic lockdown

It’s been hard, this month, to feel as though our celebratory days were really celebratory. Saint Patrick’s Day means a lot to me, as an Irish American: it passed, and I wore green, and every one of us at home wore green,1 and it didn’t feel as though it was our saint’s day. (I mean, I’d cleave more to Brigid, the fire goddess who became … Continue reading world poetry day 2020: poetry during the pandemic lockdown

Pi Day 2020

Happy Pi Day in this strange and frightful year! I hope you’ve had pie and also pi, if that’s your thing. Whether or not you think of yourself as a pi person, and as as a former collector of 500s (otherwise known, outside Dewey-ified libraries, as hard math and science), I’m here with some books about pi (and math!), because, I mean, happy pi day, … Continue reading Pi Day 2020

Accurate Information in a Time of Covid-19

We are in the midst of a pandemic, and false or misleading information is flying fast and furious. I’ve written before about reading critically, but I’m going to write about it again, now. Remember, of course, that I am not a medical librarian, nor, for that matter, a scientist, nurse, nurse practitioner, or doctor; I am, however, a librarian, a trained information professional with underlying … Continue reading Accurate Information in a Time of Covid-19

Prime Meridian

The dystopia of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s bleak Prime Meridian is eerily close to the world we inhabit, from its cataclysmic wealth gaps1 and grinding, hopeless poverty to its environment toppling over the edge of complete disaster. It’s short, bleak, and rich, and it feels almost more like a trip through the world I inhabit than a fleeting visit to a science-fiction dystopia. Our heroine—or maybe main … Continue reading Prime Meridian

Judicial Elections in Cook County, March 2020

I am, emphatically, not here to tell you which judges to vote for in our March election here in Cook County. But I am here, as an information professional, to offer information to help you make your decisions. Vote for Judges presents, for each judicial candidate, the rankings of 13 separate bar associations and groups. More information on the evaluation process and the bar associations … Continue reading Judicial Elections in Cook County, March 2020

a very few books for this Black History Month

It’s Leap Day, and, perforce, the last day of Black History Month 2020. I wasn’t sure quite what, or how, to mark this day, in a year already tainted by fire and blood and illness, under the finger of a despot, but here it is Leap Day, and I’m going to do a booklist to carry out this Black History Month—because these books are good … Continue reading a very few books for this Black History Month

On Reading Critically

Originally posted on Essentially a Nerd:
via Giphy I’ve noticed some interesting misinformation going the rounds, of late. Some of it is built around daylight savings time, which seems random. I mean, I hate daylight savings time with the fire of a thousand dying suns, which is also my general thought on time changes, but it’s a time change. Who cares? Except that the misinformation—which… Continue reading On Reading Critically

Queen of Spades at Lyric Opera of Chicago

The Queen of Spades is pure Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky: there are periodically five million people on stage (full women’s choir! full men’s choir! full children’s choir! assorted principals! everybody’s doing something!), and pretty much all the characters totally suck, while putting on one hell of a show. I knew I had to see it, as soon as I saw that it would be at Lyric—let’s … Continue reading Queen of Spades at Lyric Opera of Chicago

independent vs. self-interested and Rahm’s new book

I spend a lot of time, at my day job and then randomly throughout my days, harping on the importance of reading critically. We’re going to consume a hell of a lot of information, often whether we want to or not, and the best thing we can do (beyond seeking out reputable sources) is to consume it critically. To read with a chary eye; to … Continue reading independent vs. self-interested and Rahm’s new book

voices of immigration: selected works for adults

I’m going to start this with a disclaimer, and a content note. The disclaimer is, of course, that I’m white (northern European extraction) and not an immigrant: my ancestors were immigrants and refugees, some of them, and some of them were colonizers. They came, all of them, long enough ago that they even missed Ellis Island. The content note is this: I’ve done booklists before … Continue reading voices of immigration: selected works for adults

after valentine’s 2020

I’m a voracious romance reader. I’m also not a particularly romantic person (nothing quite like instalove to make me hysterical!), and when I tried to put together a list of books for today, figuring I could (I mean, I read romance, for crying out loud!), I realized it just wasn’t going to happen. Last year’s booklist was for Galentine‘s; today, the day after Valentine’s, I’m … Continue reading after valentine’s 2020

The Scar: Graphic Reportage from the U.S.-Mexico Border

Borders are arbitrary, violent things, things that bring out both the worst and the best of humanity. It’s a point driven home throughout Andrea Ferraris and Renato Chiocca’s The Scar: Graphic Reportage from the U.S.-Mexico Border, published originally in Italian and translated here into English by Jamie Richards. It is very short, very beautiful, and intensely powerful. The Scar starts with a basketball game, a … Continue reading The Scar: Graphic Reportage from the U.S.-Mexico Border

2019 & the coming twenties

New Year’s Eve always brings with it the ghosts of the past, the might-have-beens and should-have-dones and if-onlys. Sometimes they’re tempered with hope—it’s a new year coming, a new slate, a chance for something better! Sometimes they aren’t. Either way, I tend to try not to look back, lest I get lost in those if onlys. I’m feeling this even more in 2019, another rough … Continue reading 2019 & the coming twenties

representative holiday books 2019

Christmas is coming (or it’s here!), the world’s a mess, and I guess that makes it time for a moderately representative holiday booklist! But, because I am a librarian, I’m going to start this list out with, first, a content note, and second, a disclaimer. The content note is fairly simple: this is in no way exhaustive; it is, however, a list that includes representative … Continue reading representative holiday books 2019

the shortest day, the longest night

Halloween has come and gone—snowy, this year, in Chicago, while Christmas promises to be warm—and now, we sit on the precipice of the solstice, this longest night and shortest day that marks the start of winter and the slow return of the light. The gods of the dark are vanquished, my ancestors would have said, though they will return come June. A few days later, … Continue reading the shortest day, the longest night

a different kind of Advent calendar

Every year, ’round December, the holiday racket ratchets up. Every year, it feels like it’s a little louder, a little more aggressive. Every year—every single holiday, really—there are rushes of memes praising those who work holidays—and, every single holiday, those memes suggest a far more exclusive club than really exists. Christmas is coming, this year, and the plague that took me out is finally abating … Continue reading a different kind of Advent calendar

On the Job Hunt: Library Edition

So you’ve got that Master of Science in Library and Information Science (that’s mine), or maybe you’ve got the Master of Library Science, and you’re on the job market. (If you’re not yet in school, consider all sides of that degree before you apply.) Now what? Well, like, now you hunt for jobs. My job hunt was really miserable, I’m not gonna lie. And it … Continue reading On the Job Hunt: Library Edition