I recently succumbed to the temptation to subscribe to Amazon Instant Video (it’s not my fault, my friend made me watch Veronica Mars!) and have started going through the back catalog of television shows I’ve been meaning pick up but never got around to.  My latest obsession is with The Good Wife. Normally, I’m not big on courtroom dramas (sorry, Law & Order fans!) but this one appeals to me.  I am in love with the characters, with all of the recurring judges and lawyers we get to see on a regular basis.  Since I’m done with season 4 (and am waiting for season 5 to be available for free streaming) I thought I’d make some recommendations for some read-alikes featuring a female lawyer who manages to come out on top.



She-Hulk (2014- )

I was not a comics reader until recently, but I also used to prefer movies to TV. She-Hulk is the adventures of Jennifer Walters, a green giantess lawyer whose series Marvel recently re-launched.  I just started reading this title and it is absolutely wonderful, previous incarnation She-Hulk fans let me know in the comments which of her previous incarnations I should be reading.

The colors are vibrant and the illustrations, particularly the character’s expressions do much to move the story along.  Jennifer’s larger than life clients and adversaries are met and countered with a good natured sense of justice.  You won’t regret giving this one a try!



Chambermaid coverChambermaid by Saira Rao

Sheila Raj is a recent law school graduate who lands a clerkship with esteemed judge Helga Friedman.  Think of this as the Devil Wears Prada in the courtroom.  Sheila admirably navigates her complex work environment maintaining a sense of humor and a grip on reality.  It’s a great summer read and provides a memorable look at how it feels to discover that our professional idols are only human with their own shortcomings and foibles.




Three parts dead by Max Gladstone

Tara Abernathy is a first-year associate with an international necromantic firm investigating the death of the fire god Kos.  With the assistance of Abeldard, an acolyte of the dead god’s and some occasional intersession by her new boss Tara must go up against her former mentor in court.  Only in Alt-Columb court does not depend on impassioned speeches made before juries, the power Tara holds as a craftswoman may hold the key to survival of the city and the gods.

If you read and like this one, there are two more books waiting for you in the wings!


For some reason this year, I felt like revisiting a book I had read ages ago.  For my 14th or 15th birthday, a friend of mine got me an autographed copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes.  Living in Southern California, we had access to Ray Bradbury for many years at the LA Times Festival of Books, and this felt like a great time to revisit a fall book, now that the temperature has actually started dropping.

Cover - Something Wicked This Way ComesSomething Wicked This Way Comes is the story of two boys, caught between being boys and young men – anxious to be older and yet not ready to grow up.  The carnival comes to town and offers an escape from their daily lives, but for a price.  While the ride on the carousel could fulfill a deeply held wish, there is danger lurking in striking bargains with beings you don’t fully understand.  Bradbury’s approach to fantasy is wonderful because of how much he’s willing to leave unexplained and letting the reader gather her own conclusions.


Cover -Carnie PunkCarnie Punk is a collection of short stories by a variety of authors.  With a little bit of everything, these stories are as varied as attractions at a carnival.  Short story collections are always high on my to-read list, particularly when life gets busy.  Each story will whisky you away to the midway for a short while.  If you want to try a story without checking out the whole volume – Jennifer Estep’s Parlor Tricks is available for free on Amazon as of 10/31.

Celebrated the Saturday before Labor Day, International Bacon Day!  Bacon Day has been celebrated since 2000.  Below are some great books I recommend taking a look at to celebrate today.  Enjoy, I’m off to make a BLT for lunch.


The Bacon Cookbook by James Villas cbaconontains more than 100 recipes for using and making bacon.  This collection includes options for breakfast, soup, appetizers, pasta, main courses and even desserts.  The short introduction covers the history of bacon, explain what bacon technically is (apparently turkey bacon is not considered bacon), and touches on international styles of this versatile meat.




pork a history

Pork: a global history by Katharine M. Rogers follows the history of the most widely eaten meat in the world.  From the Roman Empire to pioneers – the use of all parts of the pig make it a mainstay of many different types of cuisine.   The book is divided into the history of pork in different geographic locations and ends with the mass-production of pork in current society.  This is part of a series called “Edible” if you are interested in the history of other foodstuffs.







Cleaving by Julie Powell is a follow up Julie and Julia.  After finishing her year-long project of cooking every recipe in

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Powell takes up a new passion, butchery.  Not strictly pork-related, but a good addition to this book-list.

With the Oz the Great and Powerful movie out in theaters, it’s not surprising that there are a number of tie-ins and a great deal of interest in Oz over the past weeks.  Due to being on top of some of my media and behind in others, I happened to have a week full of stories of both Oz of the books and Oz of the movies.  Below are links to the pieces that helped my past week fill to the brim with Oz.

historychicks The History Chicks covered L. Frank Baum and the Wizard of Oz in their podcast and they also did a minicast on the Women of Oz, providing a brief overview of the women of the movie version of the Wizard of Oz – focusing on Judy Garland, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton.  After listening to their podcasts, see their show notes for excellent supplemental information – beautiful photos, illustrations from the book and recaps of the information provided in in their conversation style podcast.  Beckett and Susan are always entertaining and cover a variety of women in their regular podcasts.  I highly recommend going through their archive after you’ve finished their two Oz related podcasts.

geeksguideThe Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy had a wonderful interview with Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked as well as writing an introduction to a new Oz anthology.   The remainder of the podcast was a discussion about the host’s memories of the Oz books, the writing of the new Oz anthology and memories of the 1939 movie.

reimaginedLast but not least, I just finished Oz Reimagined edited by John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen.  Oz Reimagined is a wonderful collection of short stories by a variety of authors, each taking his or her own take on the original Wizard of Oz book.  Some of the stories took Oz into a science fiction realm, one into a reality TV show, multiple detective stories and one took Dorothy from Shanghai into a parallel Oz.  My favorites were Emeralds to Emeralds, Dust to Dust by Seanan McGuire, A Tornado of Dorothys by Kat Howard and The Cobbler of Oz by Jonathan Maberry and Beyond the naked eye by Rachel Swirsky.  All of the stories were wonderful and an imaginative reimagining of Baum’s Oz but these four stood out for me.  The anthology is worth reading in its entirety or each individual story is available for sale individually.

emeraldsEmeralds to Emeralds, Dust to Dust follows an adult Dorothy as she investigates the mysterious death of a Munchkin in Emerald City.  Ozma and Dorothy do not get along as they did in their youth and there is unrest between the Ozites and immigrants like Dorothy who have decided to make Oz their home.  In addition to her short story, McGuire has written and sung at least two songs that mention Dorothy, Wicked Girls (2012) and Dorothy (2007) the lyrics to both of which are available on her website.  

tornadoA Tornado of Dorothys by Kat Howard shows us what happens when a place needs its story told at all cost.  Oz needs a Dorothy, a Glinda and a witch of the East and someone must always be conscripted to play the roles.



Cover- The Cobbler of Oz

The Cobbler of Oz by Jonathan Maberry gives the back story behind Dorothy’s silver slippers, from their creation, to their fall into disrepair and the adventures of a brave and generous winged monkey, Nyla, to restore them to their former glory.



wishIn Beyond the Naked Eye Swirsky turns the adventures of Dorothy and her friends into a reality show – one where she is one group among several competing to have a wish granted by the great and terrible Oz.  However, political unrest in the Emerald City cannot be completely eclipsed by the drama on screen.

All of the original Oz books are available in the public domain at Project Guttenberg if you want to reacquaint yourself with some of the original stories before diving into the later incarnations of the wonderful world.

Sorry for the unannounced absence but I wanted to take advantage of my last days without classes for the summer and I resolved not to go on the computer at home after work.  Now that the school year has started again I’m basically on the computer all the time, at work and at home so I can post again but it’s made me thankful for the break.  I was able to catch up on some of my reading and I have some partial posts that I hope to get up later this week once I’ve had a chance to edit them and make them fit for publication.

It’s going to be a wonderfully busy semester.  I’m taking Digital Curation, which so far has been interesting.  We’re basically going over the history of digital curation and looking at the arguments to centralize information or use a repository and at some different types of digital databases.  It’s always fun when the samples are ones I work with, and we started looking at the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae as one of our examples.  I’ve helped them order books through ILL but haven’t had much reason to really poke into their site prior to this and I have a deeper understanding of what they do now compared to my general ideas from before.

My other class is Knowledge Management in Libraries.  I’m still warming up to this class.  The three articles from this week are nearly ten years old and I’m going to have to do some digging on my own to see of the ideas proposed in these articles held up or if they’ve changed with newer technologies and work habits.  It would also be interesting to see how these companies may have changed after layoffs and other restrictions of the last few years, if they are still emphasizing personal networks or if they’ve begun looking at a new codified approach to managing their internal information.  Or if the companies that use a personalization network of sharing have lost information when people had to leave either through layoffs or retirement.

I am doing some volunteer work with I Need a Library Job starting tomorrow, I’ll be helping with the digests.  I don’ t have my own state but it’s going to be good to see what libraries are looking for in job postings so I can start getting my skills up to par before I start applying when I finish in May.  I’m continuing on with RASL and with SCARLA.  There was a call for officers from the RUSLA (special libraries) but I think I’m stretched thin already as much as part of me wants to volunteer for everything.  I need to hold some energy in reserve if I’m chosen to help with the ALA groups I’ve volunteered for.

I’m back!  I had a wonderful time presenting our poster at the Social Sciences section.  I was a little over ambitious, I came with 100 handouts and could have gotten by with 50 but I met many wonderful people and even ran into a librarian from Rutgers, so nice to see someone connected to my program.  My sister went with me to Chicago and we had a great time sight seeing before the conference began.  If you’re interested feel free to look through some photos of the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum (natural history), Adler Planetarium, and the Art Institute.   It was my first visit to Chicago and while the humidity was killing me, we were in a very walk-able part of the city.  The walk from the hotel to the convention center was about 2 miles, which is nice in the morning but in midday it could be problematic.  I also caught a terrible cold that would not go away!  I thought I was nearly immune to everything, but apparently that’s only for California bugs, Illinois bugs see me as fair game.  Add to that, when I came back to work our catalog and entire system were down and the ILL system was running slowly because of the file migration.  So I need to travel more to become immune to everything but I can’t travel because work will fall apart without me. 😀  I have finished typing up my notes and finally distributed them to my co-workers, which is how I have time to (finally) post this afternoon).

After going to both ALA and SLA, I’m not sure which one I prefer, they are very different.  I liked the size of SLA it felt much more intimate, there weren’t as many vendors and it was a little more formal.  I participated in the Twitter feeds more (look for the #SLAChicago  tweets for an idea of the conversation) which were either more lively or felt so to me because I’m still getting the hang of Twitter.  ALA has ARCs which are nice (review should be up for another book next week) and a greater variety of panels to attend.  However, I preferred the round table discussions at SLA to the ones at ALA.   Although both ALA and SLA have librarians coming from a highly diverse background I think many of the SLA attendees are in similar situations to each other – eg. many special libraries tend to be smaller so the librarian has to wear more hats and be highly specialized at the same time.   ALA was a little more difficult for me to navigate and network despite the fact that I had a mentor, but I think part of that may be that it was my first national professional conference.

Now that I’m getting a feel for professional development beyond coursework, I look forward to attending both conferences again next year.  I’m applying for the ALA’s Emerging Leader’s program, so please send good thoughts my way and cross your fingers.  SLA is going to be in San Diego.  I should be able to keep up with multiple conferences a year if they keep hosting things in California, but I suppose that wouldn’t be fair.  I am also writing up a presentation proposal for a small seminar in the fall.  I have signed up for a Coursea class on Internet Technology (I was going to take SiFi and Fantasy Lit and Listening to World music as well but I think I may just audit those since my MLIS classes start up again at the start of September and I want to enjoy my last month).  I’ve heard from the Generation Why Librarian that she will be submitting a poster proposal for ASIST and I’ll be helping with that since we’re happy with how our SLA poster turned out.  I spoke with several people about perhaps publishing an article at the poster session so I’ll start on abstracts for that as well.

Thanks for reading and waiting for me to recover.  Next week posts should resume as usual.  I have some great online tools from ALA to cover for you and a book review from one of the advanced readers.  I’ve also recently started chain listening to the History Chicks podcasts so I may have to do another quick picks review on podcasts as well.

I just learned that there’s now an easier way to try to help patrons find books by color. They’d still need to know a little bit about the book but did you know that you can do a Google Images search and then sort the results by color?  I was vaguely aware of this feature but it never occurred to me to try to do it for a cover search.  Take a look at my screencast  for a quick demo on how it works.  My sample isn’t the most elegant so I’ve embedded the the actual Power Searching lesson below.

I found out about this through a free course distributed through the SLA listserv.  Power Searching with Google starts today and will run through July 23.  Classes are released at regular intervals and the course is self paced (and seems to come with a certificate of completion, I’ll post that on the blog somewhere later).  The first class covers some basic tips such as using ctrl + F to find text on a page and keyword strategy but it also included the color sort for images.  I recommend signing up the activities are painless and it looks like it will be useful!