Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Great Presidential Photos

This week's ALA e-newsletter included a link to this great blog post on photos of presidents. The post includes 22 funny, interesting, and/or awkward photos from presidential libraries. It's nice to see that heads of state can appear in just as strange of photos as the rest of us.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy birthday, Jane!

Today, in honor of Jane Austen's 234th birthday, I am sharing a short poem from the authoress's juvenilia:

At Eastbourne Mr. Gell

At Eastbourne Mr. Gell, From being perfectly well,
Became dreadfully ill, For love of Miss Gill.
So he said, with some sighs, I'm the slave of your iis;
Oh, restore, if you please, By accepting my ees.

In reading this poem, it is interesting to note that Mr. Gell and Miss Gill were in fact real people; the young Miss Austen read a newspaper announcement of the marriage of Mr. Gell to Miss Gill of Eastbourne and, being so tickled by the similarity of their names, wrote this little ditty. Talent, indeed, I think.

Take fifteen minutes or so today and reread your favorite Jane Austen passages; or, if it better suits you, watch your favorite scenes in whichever film versions you prefer. Whatever you do, take a moment to celebrate the birthday of a literary genius like Jane!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Remember when I was talking about Jane Austen sequels? And how they kind of don't live up to the real thing? At all? Not even close?

Well, way before the uber-expansion of the Austen sequel genre, there was Scarlett. I remember picking it up in the bookstore one day after I had read Gone With the Wind. It starts something like "Mrs. Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler..." That's a lot of names. And quite a way to start a sequel, right?

I never read that book, but I recently watched the (EXTREMELY LONG) miniseries version of it with my best friend. We sat through the whole thing over the course of two weekend visits. And let me tell you, it was a lot of overly-dramatic nonsense to sit through.

And then, the end.

Now, do you remember how GWTW ends? "After all, tomorrow is another day!" That's epic, completely epic.

But then you have the end of Scarlett: "That's a lot of property." ** I'm not kidding you. Those are the last words. THE LAST WORDS. Doesn't that just make you mad? And I just sat through the whole darn 7 hour movie, I didn't even read the big honkin' book.

I really think there should be some kind of sequels police. Scarlett, go straight to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

**In case you think I'm joking, watch the video clip from about the 8:45 mark. Then, around the 9:25 mark, go ahead and get mad.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009