Random Bits on New Year’s Eve

As winter break comes to a close, I’m spending these last few days spending time with family, lesson planning for next semester’s classes, and writing.  The new book is going well, though it’s no longer called the 100 Year-Old Bookclub, in fact there isn’t  book club to be found (though the hundred years still has some significance).  The working title is currently, The Last Explorer.  Not nearly as cool, but there it is.

One of the things we have been doing over this break is a cleaning of the bookshelves for our (mostly)annual book donation to Housing Works.  This serves a dual purpose of going to a very good cause as well as keeping our smallish New York apartment from being overtaken by books.  Keeping the corners free of stacks and stacks of books has become extra-important now that Will is getting ready to walk.

So which books do you keep?  Which do you give away?  At times like this I always try to impose some kind of rule, such as “If it’s been on my shelf for more than two years unread then it goes.”  or “All previously read paperbacks must go”.  I know, nice try.  What about that well-worn Henning Mankell  collection that a friend gave me several years ago?  I haven’t worked my way through all of them yet, and they look so nice together on the shelf . . .  and what about the battered paperback of A Game of Thrones?  I’ve read it twice and some day might go back for a third.  I might.

So in the end there is no rhyme or reason.  But today I will be braving the cold and the snow to deliver bags of books downtown, some of which are bound to be well-loved, earmarked and creased, others will be like-new.  You decide which are the better finds.

Since I already did the 2008 reflective post, so here are some random links of interest to me, some of which are long overdue:

Christopher Barzak has some interesting thoughts about the book recession and its effect (or lack thereof) on the YA market.  I think he’s on to something with the price issue.

Forget Jurassic Park, a scientist has discovered a 140 million year-old spider web encased in amber.  How creepy would that movie have been?

An old friend of mine recently brought the blog/review site Guy’s Lit Wire to my attention and I’m really enjoying it.  (The fact that her husband is a contributor did not sway me a bit.  Not a bit.)

This post by fellow Fantastic Salooner Justin Howe made me spit coffee through my nose.  Christmas in Tokyo and Atrocity Meat.

Have a Happy New Year’s Everyone!



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