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Monday Tally: Cakes on Sticks, Cats on Computers

monday-tag-150px Monday Tally is a weekly link round-up of some of my favorite posts discovered over the week. If you have suggestions for Monday Tally, please e-mail sophisticated [dot] dorkiness [at] gmail [dot] com. Enjoy!

Things I Look Forward To

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is coming up in two weeks, exciting! I get to participate for part of it, and with a special guest – my sister! I’ll be in Iowa that weekend, so Jenny and I have plans to hunker down and read for part of the day on Saturday. Woo!

Awesomeness with No Explanation Required

Book Debates and Discussion

Author Maureen Johnson did a stellar post laying out the faulty logic behind the argument that the solution to problems with boys’ reading is to have more male authors and “boy books.” She points out that girls have survived just fine reading books written by the opposite gender for a long time.

I didn’t know that having a book come out in as a paperback original (rather than first in hardcover) was a bad thing. Not so, suggests an article from the Wall Street Journal about the changing impressions of this type of book. I prefer paperbacks myself – both for price and for ease of reading – and would much, much rather buy books that way. Thoughts?

The Daily Beast Book Beast highlighted 20 of the biggest books of the fall. Some that look particularly good to me include:

WCCO, a news organization in the Twin Cities, profiled the 10 best independent bookstores in the Cities. I’ve been to a couple, but would love to see all of them!

The Book Blogger’s Toolkit

The Big Bad Book Blog posted a useful how-to post about commenting on blogs. Although their audience is authors, the advice is relevant to just about any new blogger trying to build traffic.

How do writers review their critics? In a world where authors are increasingly called on to be reviewers, what do we make of the reviewing landscape? In The Guardian, author/critic Lesley McDowell defends the critic, saying:

Critics, by and large, (there will always be the odd exception) say what they think of a book. If they say they don’t like it, that usually means they don’t like it, not that they really spend their time waiting for the chance to hit back at a bestselling author for the luxury Tuscan villa he owns and they’ll never have, or because their homes are filled with ceiling-high rejection slips from publishers for their own hopeless literary efforts.

Thoughts on E-Reading

Kate (The Parchment Girl) did an extensive post looking at some of the environmental issues that come up when comparing e-readers and paper books. It’s a well-researched and informative post. Also, if you’re curious about the issue of electronics manufacturing and mineral resources in electronics – which Kate touches on – check out this TIME video on the subject.

This article on e-reading trends has some stats that I found interesting:

“Those who have e-readers do, in fact, read more,” said Regina A. Corso, director of the Harris Poll, in a statement. “Overall, two in five Americans (40%) read 11 or more books a year with one in five reading 21 or more books in a year (19%). But among those who have an e-reader, over one-third read 11-20 books a year (36%) and over one-quarter read 21 or more books in an average year (26%).”


Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post writes a eulogy to the English language.

Research from UC Berkeley shows that kids “fed a steady curriculum of gardening, cooking and nutrition have significantly better eating habits than children who don’t get the same instruction.” It’s sort of a “duh” conclusion, but important data in the growing fight to give kids healthier school food options.

For my weekly “OMG I wish I were as smart as Linda Holmes” link, I suggest her Guide to the Thursday Night Comedy Battle, which highlights why you should watch Community, as well as calls out CBS for being jerks that don’t put their shows online.

Books for My TBR

  • The Secret History of M16 by Keith Jeffery because I love spy stuff. Thanks to Tara (BookSexyReview) and @globebooks for tweeting about it.
  • Nothing Left to Burn by Jay Varner, thanks to an enthusiastic review from The Book Lady’s Blog.
  • The Straight State by Margot Canaday because Amy at Amy reads gave it such an enthusiastic review.
  • Poorly Made in China by Paul Midler because of a review at Savvy Working Gal

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Trisha September 27, 2010, 8:19 am

    I’m a paperback girl myself. I won’t buy the book until it comes out in paperback. Hardcovers are just to hard to curl up and read with.

    • Kim September 27, 2010, 5:00 pm

      Trisha: I rarely buy hardcover. I did with the Hunger Games trilogy and Harry Potter, but that’s about it. Paperbacks are easier to carry, and, as you say, easier to just curl up with.

  • Kate {The Parchment Girl} September 27, 2010, 9:07 am

    Thanks for mentioning my post, Kim! = )

    • Kim September 27, 2010, 5:00 pm

      Kate: Absolutely – it was a really informative post, and I hope more people will read it.

  • Steph September 27, 2010, 9:43 am

    I would definitely say Community is the smartest comedy on tv right now – it’s the only one I will be making sure I catch every week. I have to admit, as much as the world loves The Big Bang Theory, it is made by the dude who does Two and a Half Men… which I find painfully obvious by the fact that I find neither show funny at all. Sigh.

    • Kim September 27, 2010, 5:02 pm

      Steph: I think Modern Family is also pretty smart, but in a different way than Community. I love both, though. I started mid-way through last season and really look forward to it now. I don’t find either of the other shows you mentioned funny, but don’t watch them very often, either.

  • Jenny September 27, 2010, 11:15 am

    Aaa, I love Community. It took me a while to appreciate it, so I didn’t start watching until halfway through last season. Silly Jenny. Now I have learned better.

    • Kim September 27, 2010, 5:02 pm

      Jenny: Same here – it took a little bit, but now I love it. The last few episodes last season were awesome 🙂 Paintball!

  • Andi September 27, 2010, 12:05 pm

    Great lists, as always. I’m especially looking forward to the post on environmental issues and e-reading. Right up my alley!

    • Kim September 27, 2010, 5:03 pm

      Andi: That’s a great post – highly recommended.

  • Iris September 27, 2010, 12:32 pm

    Hm.. I wonder about those ereader stats, do they say anything? I’d say that people who own an e-reader read more books in general because if you don’t read a certain number of books a year, why would you buy one?

    • Kim September 27, 2010, 5:04 pm

      Iris: I’m skeptical about the e-reader stats too. I don’t think e-readers are common enough to make any generalizations about reading habits just yet. I imagine part of what you say is true – people who have it want to use it and make a point to invest.

  • Maphead September 27, 2010, 9:09 pm

    I can’t wait to get my hands on Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From ! His earlier book The Ghost Map might be the best book I’ve read this year.
    I will read anything by Bryson. Love that guy !
    Lastly, considering what she went through for six long years, how could Batencourt’s book NOT be interesting ?!!

    • Kim September 28, 2010, 7:28 pm

      Maphead: I can’t wait for the new Steven Johnson book too. I should put myself on the library hold list right now; I’m not sure why I’m not there already.

      I’m excited to try Bryson as not a travelogue. I haven’t loved his travel writing, but I want to like him as an author. This one sounds like it could be my style.

  • Gwen September 27, 2010, 9:11 pm

    I have At Home sitting on the shelf and can’t wait to read Colonel Roosevelt.

    I find the stats on e-readers sort of leave me thinking, no duh. Of course the people that have gone out of their way to buy an e-reader read more. I bet that people that buy iPods also listen to more music.

    • Kim September 28, 2010, 7:29 pm

      Gwen: Ha ha, that’s a perfect stats analogy. I wish I’d thought of a way to explain my skepticism so succinctly 🙂

  • Jeanne September 28, 2010, 7:15 am

    I didn’t think Maureen Johnson’s post was so stellar and said why over at Bookgazing.

    • Kim September 28, 2010, 7:29 pm

      Jeanne: I went and found that post – lots of good points. I’m going to link to it in the Tally next week.

  • Amy September 28, 2010, 11:02 am

    Believe me, you won’t be disappointed by The Straight State! And I love paperbacks over hardcover as well. And don’t stats about the number of books ppl read on average scare you? I always think… well crap, I’m on my 200th of the year, so if ppl average 5 a year, that is 39 people not reading to make that average work! Yikes!

    • Kim September 28, 2010, 7:30 pm

      Amy: That’s exactly what I thought. I just finished book 80 and feel like I don’t read enough. That’s a little ridiculous 🙂

  • Savvy working Gal October 3, 2010, 7:49 pm

    Thanks for the shout out. I hope you enjoy the book.

    • Kim October 4, 2010, 4:21 pm

      Savvy Working Gal: Thanks, me too!

  • nomadreader (Carrie) October 11, 2010, 1:23 pm

    (Sorry for the late comment, I’ve been so behind on blog reading!) As a reader, I prefer paperbacks, but as a librarian, I know the longevity of paperbacks is problematic. Truthfully, I prefer reading everything on my Kindle now, but when I used to buy print books, I would only buy paperbacks.

    • Kim October 11, 2010, 6:57 pm

      Carrie: Yeah, I can see the point of hardcovers for the library. I hadn’t thought of that before. I pretty much only buy paperbacks now.