Learning Commons lunch- full house again before exams

Another very busy production, completion and study day again before term exams. Not a quiet place to study in the learning commons if quiet is what you need. That concerns me. Our building has no other space for reflection, reading or silence either. ” A world that won’t stop talking ” – Susan Cain.

iPhone message…
Al Smith

the KSS Learning Commons

open_culture_white_normal.jpg Open Culture (@openculture)
2013-01-21 6:27 PM
James Franco writes poem for the inauguration. Read “Obama in Asheville,” cultr.me/VlDOgP

James Franco is an actor and writer. He is the author of the poetry chapbook “Strongest of the Litter” and the short story collection “Palo Alto.” His poetry collection, “Directing Herbert White,” is scheduled to be published next year. He received a Best Actor nomination in 2011 for his role in “127 Hours.”

Obama in Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina, is the birthplace of Thomas
Wolfe and the sometime residence of F. Scott Fitzgerald
When he visited Zelda at her institution;
He stayed at the Grove Park Inn, a grand stone edifice.
On the phone once, Cormac McCarthy lamented
The two added wings and the spa, and marveled
At the original structure, They pulled the stones
From the mountains and brought them down on mules.

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Wintergirls a sad tale but nothing new here

AVIDREADERS YA BOOK CLUB : January 2013. Kelowna Secondary School

Synopsis: The New York Times bestselling story of a friendship frozen between life and death

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss-her life-and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend’s memory and racked with guilt for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all: hope.

20130121-102954.jpgI would not naturally have chosen Wintergirls except for being part of our school’s YA club selection. oath rolled or despised, the opinion of a book is not the value in a book club but the expansion of experience and community. My horizon was indeed expanded with Andersobook recent book but I droid not enjoy it. I just read Columbine by Dave Cullen, story story assessment of the high school killing in Colorado. I was disturbed and didn’t ‘enjoy’ the book but would rate it 5 of 5.

I’m very interested to hear what students say about it next month at our luncheon because I was rather unmoved throughout despite the very sad and grippy topic. Maybe it was the author’s intermittent attempts at poetic structures that distracted me.

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

The big typography trick that just ruined it for me- the strike text was so freakin annoying I had an issue because it was really hideous and unnecessary irritating and distractingand served no purpose whatsoever and FAILED to symbolize the madness of her mind but rather makes me think Anderson was the nutty one. What about the trivial? Those calorie counting chapter pages in the footer? The re-occurring integers (0.001, 0.002, 0.003), weigh scales, seemed a little gratuitous to me but perhaps I’m being a cynic and unfairly picky.

Despite wanting to bond with Lia and wishing to befriend her trial, I found her just too shallow. The author failed, in my opinion to develop her humanity choosing to over emphasize her self-absorbed behaviours. Those behaviours are critical to the tragic narrative but the protagonist ( if she is to be one) must be represented by more. Perhaps that is the point of the disease but I felt the author never develops the character enough for my sensibility. I struggled to acquire any honest sympathy or compassion for Lia. I didn’t find an explanation for her self-hatred and never was illuminated into why she dangerously needed to express control over her life. If Anderson is an advocate fir eating disorders shouldn’t some hope and education be layered into her story?

I suppose I just don’t connect with Halse Anderson? I’m a fervent fighter against rape but I also did not like Speak. I would much rather an author take on these topics front on with non-fiction writing or write fiction with a less self-absorbed theatrics. Maybe that’s just the nature of the genre or perhaps the perspective of the reader. This book obviously reads differently through the lens of a middle-aged male’s world view. That is my argument for book clubs and literature in general- to widen opportunities of world view.

I’m sure it’s a ‘guy thing’ but this man battled with her anguish over obsessive thinness. Showcasing thin in everything (wanting to crawl into the warm space between the plate and saucer in dishwasher) I understand that is the point of the illness, like the alcoholic who cannot see beyond the next sip, but I found the narrative and metaphors just too obvious to be engrossing as a read. This could have a good short story and not a novel.

It seems the author writes well enough considering this treacherous topic and is careful not to embellish trigger behaviours that might harm girls(boys) in a vulnerable state but I don’t understand eating disorders enough to comment.

Wintergirls may be a creative effort to highlight a tragic social illness but apparently she is claiming she also suffered from an I eating disorder. If so, I’m less sympathetic to an effort that doesn’t provide enough insight or solutions and focuses more on the very obsession that manifests it.

If you appreciated Wintergirls you might like LibraryThing > or Novelist >

– Mr. a. sMith

Follow me at @literateowl or Follow KSSLIBRARY at @kssreads

Also you may enjoy reviews by our KSS Contributor https://kssreads.wordpress.com/author/dharmaayla/

Tragic waste of a gifted man- Aaron Swartz, Coder and Activist, Dead at 26 |l | Wired.com


We often say, upon the passing of a friend or loved one, that the world is a poorer place for the loss. But with the untimely death of programmer and activist Aaron Swartz, this isn’t just a sentiment; it’s literally true. Worthy, important causes will surface without a champion equal to their measure. Technological problems will go unsolved, or be solved a little less brilliantly than they might have been. And that’s just what we know. The world is robbed of a half-century of all the things we can’t even imagine Aaron would have accomplished with the remainder of his life.

Aaron Swartz committed suicide Friday in New York. He was 26 years old.

When he was 14 years old, Aaron helped develop the RSS standard; he went on to found Infogami, which became part of Reddit. But more than anything Aaron was a coder with a conscience: a tireless and talented hacker who poured his energy into issues like network neutrality, copyright reform and information freedom. Among countless causes, he worked with Larry Lessig at the launch of the Creative Commons, architected the Internet Archive’s free public catalog of books, OpenLibrary.org, and in 2010 founded Demand Progress, a non-profit group that helped drive successful grassroots opposition to SOPA last year.

“Aaron was steadfast in his dedication to building a better and open world,” writes Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle. “He is among the best spirits of the Internet generation. I am crushed by his loss, but will continue to be enlightened by his work and dedication.”

In 2006 Aaron was part of a small team that sold Reddit to Condé Nast , Wired’s parent company. For a few months he worked in our office here in San Francisco. I knew Aaron then and since, and I liked him a lot — honestly, I loved him. He was funny, smart, sweet and selfless. In the vanishingly small community of socially and politically active coders, Aaron stood out not just for his talent and passion, but for floating above infighting and reputational cannibalism. His death is a tragedy.(Wired)

Sent from my iCloud Al Smith

Amy Bright: About the author



My name is Amy Bright and I am the author of Before We Go, my first (!!!) book for young adults.

I was born in Alberta, grew up in California and Florida, went to university in New Brunswick and British Columbia, lived in Boston, and now, at twenty-four, I’m back in Alberta again.

iPhone message…Al Smith

BPLibrary. YA-Series Sequels Genres Index


Hello and welcome to Bettendorf Public Library’s Young Adult Books In Series and Sequels Wiki! If you like the page please click on the +1 above or give us a tweet.

To find what the author or series you are looking for just click on the letters below to browse alphabetical lists of authors or series names. Or use the search boxes at right to find authors, series names or individual book titles. Dates following titles are date of publication as near as we can determine.