Sepia sadness and strength…

Day 30!!!!

Hi all!

What a goody gumdrop I have for you today!!! I’m always amazed at how I pick these titles through a lottery system and they are drop dead interesting 97.789% of the time!  What’s the moral? Books mostly rock.

Confession time. I ran today’s lottery twice.  The first book had a bare naked lady’s hiney on the front cover so  I chose another.  Didn’t want to scandalize my prudent little blog. But if it’s full frontal you want, head here.  She’s whip smart with a small side order of bawdy. Anyway.  On with the show!

Bibliographic information:

Hidden witness : African-American images from the birth of photography to the Civil War

Wilson, Jackie Napolean

St. Martin’s Press, 1999

How powerful is that picture?!

Summary (Booklist Review):

Photographs can provide a documentary glimpse at history. Wilson is a collector of early photographs of African and African American slaves and free black people in the U.S. In partnership with the J. Paul Getty Museum, Wilson afforded such a historical view into the lives of black Americans first in an exhibition, which took place in 1995, and now with this book. Most of the photographs–daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes–are part of his collection.

My Reaction:

The photos in this book are at once beautiful and haunting.  They stir up an interesting mix of feelings—pride in the endurance and resilience of these people, rage that they were not treated as the valuable members of society that they obviously were.   I’m mean if we’re honest with ourselves, these people were that societies MVP’s!  And yet they were treated as non-entities…

The subjects portrayed are African-American individuals;  ‘mammies’, field hands, ‘freed negroes’, etc.  One daguerreotype shows a ‘mammy’ holding a white child who is clearly the true subject of the photo and the woman’s face is trained away from the camera as “her face is not essential to the portrait” (pg. 6).  She is but a frame, a tool to hold the child in position for the picture…

Picture after picture, the subject’s eyes reflect an anguish for their station in life but also a pride…  It’s hard to explain.  Talking about this collection of powerful, all-too-real photographs is truly like dancing about architecture. Just do yourself a favor and get your hands on this book.


Quattro Libri, not to be confused with Nacho Libre

Days 14,15,16,and 17. What can I say? I’ve been a slacker 😦


The librarian’s guide to homeschooling resources

Scheps, Susan G.

Chicago, IL : American Library Association, c1998

Librarians. They can rock you world if you let em.

Summary (Library website):

As the number of homeschooled children in this country rises, the public library can be an excellent resource for parents who prefer to educate their children at home. In this new guide, Scheps (Homeschoolers and the Public Library: A Resource Guide for Libraries Serving Homeschoolers, Public Library Assn., 1993) gives librarians tips on serving the homeschool population and information on existing programs. Part 1 presents problems librarians face when serving homeschoolers, background details on what a homeschooler wants from a public library, homeschooling laws, and eight sample programs from libraries in the United States

My Reaction:

Pretty good listing of resources.  A tad dated but still applicable.



Dupré, Judith

New York : Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers : Distributed by Workman Publishing Co., c1997

Love a picture book.

Summary (Booklist Review):

The unusual size of this album–a foot and a half long by a half-foot high–evokes the elongated structures that it extols. To illustrate the dozens of bridges Dupre selects, she uses two-page spreads, featuring a beautiful black-and-white photo, often a vintage nineteenth-century image, and pairs it with a page of inset pictures and text summarizing essential facts of design, construction, and history. Eye-catching book design is the essence here, and although bridge enthusiasts have more detailed sources of knowledge, such as Henry Petroski’s Engineers of Dreams (1995), they will demand a visual feast at some point. Dupre serves up the celebrity spans, naturally, but she also displays bridges that don’t loudly brag about themselves, for instance the humble iron-truss bridges one sees in rural America. Because of its shape, this book will be hard to shelve so displaying it seems to be the best option–and the cover of the Brooklyn Bridge in its cathedral-like magnificence ensures that many patrons will stop in their tracks and look.

My Reaction:

What a beaut this book is!  Beautiful photography. Its a big-un too.  Bridges fascinate and frighten me.


Wiring 101 : 25 projects you really can do yourself

 Carter, Jodie

Chanhassen, Minn. : Creative Pub. International, 2006

For me the terms 'do it yourself' and 'wiring' don't feel right together.

Summary (Library website):

Black & Decker? Wiring 101 takes the mystery (and nervousness) out of routine home wiring repairs and projects. It includes 25 of the most common projects and repairs and gives readers everything they need to know to finish each project safely, quickly, and with perfect results. Projects are arranged in order of complexity to help readers build confidence, from removing a broken light bulb to adding track lighting to installing a ceiling fan.Presuming no experience or expertise, Black & Decker? Wiring 101 will guide the would-be DIYer step-by-step with clear, jargon-free text and detailed color photos. Readers will learn exactly how to turn the power off safely and how to assemble and use a basic collection of wiring tools. This book will remove the intimidation factor from household wiring projects and allow readers to save money and make satisfying improvements.

My Reaction:

Just because there’s a DIY book for it, doesn’t mean you should DIY. I’m gonna leave the wiring to the pros.


Italian made simple

Jackson, Eugene

Doubleday, 1960

If you get this book you can go to the Jersey Shore try out your Italian on Paulie, Snooki et al. Yeah right.

Summary (Library website):

For almost four decades, Made Simple books have set the standard for continuing education and home study.

My Reaction:

The book cover makes me want pizza for lunch. Mama Rosa’s here I come!

The portal to the rabbit hole is in my purse

Anchal*, this really old Indian woman who works in my building gave me this “special breed” tangerine.  We we’re on the elevator .  “Happy Holidays” she said with (was it? yes it was) an almost imperceptible conspiratorial nod and a mirthful twinkle in her eye.   She also gave me a mini Hershey bar.  I ate the Hershey right away.  Who doesn’t eat a Hershey’s right away?

The orange, on the other hand,  gave me pause; which is why it’s still in the vast wasteland otherwise known as my purse.  I mean what kinda trip was Anchal tryina send me on with this “special” orange?  While I pondered whether I should enjoy the pulpy holiday gift I did a photo shoot of it.  It was a a slow day at work and I have lots of construction paper at my job.  I’m a Librarian. Construction paper is par for the course in La vie en Bibliotheque.

it really is a lovely orange...

but I see your 'true' colors too. mmm hmm.

*Names have been changed to protect the enchanted Indian woman who’s been working at the Library for centuries.