Review: This Book is Overdue!

This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians can Save Us All

Marilyn Johnson

283 pages

Publication Year: 2010

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Source: Publisher

 

Publisher’s Description: Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that, in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us-expert and hopelessly baffled alike-can get along without human help. And not just any help: we need librarians, the only ones who can save us from being buried by the digital age. This Book is Overdue! Is a romp through the ranks of information professionals-from the blunt and obscenely funny bloggers to the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI. These are the pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need.

I don’t often use the publisher’s description in my reviews but I had to use in this time. This Book is Overdue! is jam-packed with information about how librarians are shaping our world for the better along with how this profession is constantly evolving to fit the needs of patrons.

With our country going through a recession, libraries across the country are being hit hard with budget cuts. Many libraries have had to reduce their hours, laid off staff, cut services, and even closed. Though they are facing many challenges, libraries are needed more now than ever before in these dark times. People think just because technology, especially the internet, is becoming more ingrained into our everyday lives, librarians don’t have a role in our lives and that’s not true. Libraries everywhere are helping those who don’t have access to computers or the internet at home by offering internet classes and time on libraries computers.

Marilyn Johnson profiles just what it is that makes this profession so special. I learned about the librarians of St. John’s University in New York who travel to Rome twice a year to train graduate students from around the world on how to help their own communities while using technology to document and investigate any injustices. These are graduate students who come to Rome with no idea how to use a computer and leave weeks later, learning how to use the internet and every technological tool they will ever need.

While reading this fantastic book, I learned about the Radical Reference librarians, a group that started taking to the streets of New York City during the Republican National Convention in 2003 to make sure demonstrators and activists had information they could trust. The group is called radical because they believe in providing services to all without any regard to political leaning. I hadn’t thought of librarians taking their skills and information out to events to help people.

There’s so much I could still talk about like the importance of archival librarians saving important but forgotten history and keeping it safe for all of us or how libraries are evolving to service not just those in their physical communities but also anyone who needs help in their digital ones.

It doesn’t matter if you visit your library often or not at all, I think it’s important for everyone to read this celebration of librarians and all that they do for our world. As Johnson herself wrote,

Librarian’s values are as sound as Girl Scout’s: truth, free speech, and universal literacy. And, like Scouts, they possess a quality that I think makes librarians invaluable and indispensable: they want to help. They want to help us. They want to be of service. And they’re not trying to sell us anything. But as one librarian put it, “The wold is always at the door.” In tight economic times, with libraries sliding farther and farther down the list of priorities, we risk the loss of their ideals, intelligence, and knowledge, not to mention their commitment to access for all— librarians consider free access to information the foundations of democracy, and they’re right. Librarians are essential players in the information revolution because they level that field. They enable those without money or education to read and learn the same things as the billionaire and the Ph.D. . . They are the little “d” democrats of the computer age who keep the rest of us wired.

In tough times, a librarian is a terrible thing to waste.

If you haven’t read this book yet, it’s time that you do.

My question for you today: What is your favorite library? It can be the library of your childhood or one that you’ve only visited once. What makes that library so special to you?

Sunday Salon 7: February’s TBR pile

Remember that really ambitious pile of books that I posted earlier this month? I only read three books out of that pile. Three: The Lotus Eaters, The Weird Sisters, and Changing my Mind. The first two were read for blog tours while the last one was for a read-along. The other twenty-nine books I read in January were based on mood and curiosity.  Once again I’m forced to admit that I’m a moody reader. That’s not a bad thing though I was hoping to add a little more structure to my reading.

Some of the best books I read this month were:

  • I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly
  • Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm. It’s a middle grade book with a memorable character. Review to come.
  • The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
  • We are in a book by Mo Willems (children’s book)
  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  • Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri
  • Foster by Claire Keegan
  • Here by Wislawa Szymborska (poetry)
  • Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco (children’s book)
  • The Unsinkable Walter Bean by Aaron Renier. It’s one of the most perfect graphic novels that I have ever read. Review to come.

So I had a pretty good reading month. It was so good that I made a pile of books to read in February. One of my goals for next month is to mostly from my tbr pile. As much as I love checking out books from the library, I need to read some of the books I own. The February stack:

 

 

 

 

 


  • Waiting for Superman edited by Karl Weber
  • Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Stop-Time by Frank Conroy
  • Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob
  • Reading is my Window: Books and the Art of Reading in Women’s Prisons edited by Megan Sweeney
  • Someone Else’s Garden by Dipika Rai
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Lonely by Emily White
  • Tourquai by Tim Davys
  • The Flat World and Education by Linda Darling-Hammond
  • Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters by Donald Bogle
  • Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong
  • Hair Story by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps
  • Blankets by Craig Thompson (re-read)
  • Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
  • Soul Kiss by Shay Youngblood
  • A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot
  • Big Machine by Victor LaSalle
  • The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
  • Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman
  • Satchel by Larry Tye
  • A Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat

Not pictured:

  • Palm Sunday by Kurt Vonnegut
  • No Surrender by Ai (poetry)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (I’m almost halfway through it.)

Am I going to read all of these books? Of course not but it’s nice to have a pile of books to choose from. Sometimes owning so many unread books can feel a little overwhelming but making an effort to read more off my shelves makes me feel better at times. I’m hoping to read more than three books off the pile this time around. What I don’t read, I’ll probably just return to the library or giveaway.

So here’s my question for you: Have you read any of the books in my pile? Is there some you think I should place at the top of my pile? Do you have any reading plans for February?

Weekend Cooking: Thoughts on Jane Yolen’s Fairy Tale Breakfasts

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


Fairy Tale Breakfasts: A Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters

Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, and Philipe Beha

Pages: 32

Publisher: Windmill Books

Publication Year: 2010

Source: Library

Every year my daughter decides she wants to try a new hobby. When she was seven, she wanted to become a fashion designer. So I bought her fabric, needle and thread, and plenty of books. For most of the year she made clothes for her dolls, drew outfits for hours in her sketchbook, and put on fashion shows.

When she was eight, she decided to that she was tired of designing clothes and wanted to become a scientist. So once again I bought books about different areas of science, gave her my old biology textbooks, and searched for science-y things online. The whole family participated in the various experiments she tried.

I call my daughter’s interests expensive. Her fourth-grade teacher calls them part of my daughter’s schema.

Now that Pip (pronounced Pipe), is nine, cooking is her newest interest. For the past six months or so, we’ve checked out dozens of cookbooks from the library, coping some of our favorite recipes. We’re making our own personal cookbook and one of the things we’re doing is cooking one new recipe every week. Some weeks have been better than others. With most of the family suffering from colds, we haven’t been cooking much.

I wanted to share with you all, one of the books we’ve checked out a few weeks ago: Jane Yolen’s Fairy Tale Breakfast. The book is the perfect combination of fairy tales and recipes. It contains four fairy tales such as “The Runaway Pancake” and “The Magic Pot of Porridge”, followed by a recipe that relates to the story. Each story is entertaining and each recipe is simple enough for a young child to understand and try with an adult’s help.

We haven’t tried the recipes in the book yet but the fairy tales have kept us entertained enough that I would definitely recommend this book.

Also written by Yolen and company:

  • Fairy Tale Lunches
  • Fairy Tale Dinners
  • Fairy Tale Desserts
  • Fairy Tale Feasts

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by the lovely Sheila over at Book Journey.

 

Last week I read:

  • Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri
  • The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  • Foster by Claire Keegan
  • Not pictured: Here by Wislawa Szymborska

 

This week’s stack:

  • Changing my Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Best 100 African American Poems by Nikki Giovanni

  • This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson
  • Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

  • The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier
  • Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
  • Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto by Maile Chapman

It’s a pretty ambitious stack but I think I can handle it. What are you reading today?

 

 

Sunday Salon: What I’m learning from using my e-reader

Good morning! Right now the sun is rising and I’m at my desk with a cup of coffee and music playing in the background. The kids are awake but in their bedrooms somewhere, so I have the front of the house to myself. *sigh* Paradise.

A little more than a week ago, I bought a Kobo e-reader. Borders had it on sale for less than $100 and I couldn’t pass it up. I wasn’t a huge fan of e-readers before I bought it but being able to read e-galleys from NetGalley on something else besides my desktop pushed me to do it. Yes, you just heard right. I bought an e-reader to read free books. NetGalley offers a ton of great e-galleys for bloggers and sitting at my desktop to read them when the last thing I want to be is a slave to my computer, made me look into an e-reader.

I love Edison. (I may change its name later.) Having an e-reader made me realize that in the past week some of my reading and buying habits are starting to change.  Here’s what I’ve noticed:

  1. I’m still a cheapskate. Being a college student and a single mom with a house filled with unread books, I know I don’t need to buy any more books. I try my best to buy only books I know I’ll read in the next month or want to add to my permanent collection. With Edison, I’m able to buy slightly more books since e-books are cheaper and there are no shipping costs. So far I’ve bought the short story “Foster” by Claire Keegan, Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff, and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.
  2. I’m almost tricked into thinking that having an e-reader is more convenient than a physical book. It’s nice not to haul around the printed version of The Warmth of Other Suns, which is almost 600 pages, wherever I go. But because Edison doesn’t have a highlighting feature, wherever I take it, I also have to take my journal to take notes. With a physical book I can easily mark a passage with a pen or post-it.
  3. I’m reading more short stories, essays, poetry, and non-fiction. Last year I rarely read anything that wasn’t fiction. I’m finding that e-readers are very friendly to these genres. Instead of hauling around a collection, I have it on my e-reader. When I’m in the mood to read something in a small amount of time, short pieces are perfect for just that. Non-fiction books are so expensive nowadays and my library can’t buy everything that I want to read. Plus I can’t afford to buy everything that they can’t buy. Instead of spending $17-30 on a non-fiction book, I can spend $9-12 on the e-reader version. If I were able to buy short stories and essays in printed singles instead of in a collection, I think I would read them more.
  4. Having an e-reader hasn’t stopped me from buying physical books. Yesterday when my small order of books arrived through the mail, I dropped everything to look at them. There’s nothing like the smell or sight of a new book. There’s one medium that e-readers will never be helpful for: graphic novels. As a huge graphic novel reader, e-readers aren’t right for this formatting of books. There’s something about being able to look at an illustration up close that you can’t do on e-readers right now.
  5. Wanting the printed version of a book. Even though I’m reading The Warmth of Other Suns on my e-reader, I’m enjoying so much that I already know I’ll probably buy the printed version of it once it’s in paperback. What does that mean that certain books are okay as e-books but not as printed ones?
  6. E-readers are fragile. I’m pretty rough on electronics. I’ve been known to drop mp3 players on sidewalks or in bath tubs. An iPod wouldn’t last a week in my possession. So I’m well aware how easy it is for me to damage my e-reader. Already I’ve had a few close calls when I leaned on it with my elbow. With a book I don’t worry about getting it dirty or dropping it in the bathtub. It’s still okay.

My package of books

So that’s some of the things I’ve noticed. If you own an e-reader,  have you noticed a change in your reading or purchasing habits?

It’s Time for Bloggiesta!

Time is flying by so fast that it’s now time for Bloggiesta once again. For those who don’t know, Bloggiesta is hosted by Natasha over at Maw Books. It’s an event where bloggers of all kinds participate in an effort to improve their blog. Bloggers come up with ways to improve their blog and try to accomplish as many items as possible on their to-do list. The event is all weekend long and a great way to catch up on blogging chores. Here’s my to-do list:

  1. Write four reviews
  2. Read two books
  3. Write at least two bookish posts
  4. Clean up tags
  5. Update nightstand widget
  6. Work on future projects
  7. Brainstorm future blog posts
  8. Comment on at least 20 blogs and I’m still going strong!

My list is pretty small but I think it’ll keep me busy all weekend. Good luck to everyone doing Bloggiesta!

Thoughts: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

The Weird Sisters

Eleanor Brown

318 pages

Publication Date: January 20, 2011

Publisher: Amy Einhorn

Source: Publisher

 

We came home because we were failures. We wouldn’t admit that, of course, not at first, not to ourselves, and certainly not to anyone else. We said we came home because our mother was ill, because we needed a break, a momentary pause before setting off for the Next Big Thing. But the truth was, we had failed, and rather than let anyone else know, we crafted careful excuses and alibis, and wrapped them around ourselves like a cloak to keep out the cold truth. The first stage: denial.

When I first read this paragraph from Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters, I had to stop and read it again. After reading it the second time, I knew I was in for something different. I was right.

The Weird Sisters is the tale of Cordelia, Bianca, and Rosalind Andreas also known as Cordy, Bean, and Rose. The three sisters grew up in the small college town of Barnwell with their father, a professor of Shakespeare and their mother whose recent diagnosis of breast cancer is the perfect excuse for the girls to tuck in their tails and come back home.

As the oldest sister Rose has never left Barnwell, choosing to stick around in hopes of becoming a tenured professor at the local university though better opportunities are probably awaiting her aboard with her fiancé. Bean, the middle sister, prefers the thrill of New York but after losing her job as well as her dignity, her fantasy has disappeared along with her identity. Youngest sister, Cordy, is their father’s favorite. She’s spent the past ten years traveling around the country, working at dead-end jobs to escape from having to grow up. But something unexpected makes her return home to figure out her life.

The Weird Sisters is about being around the people who know you the best. The people who have seen you at your worst and want you to succeed against all odds even when they doubt you will. Brown has given readers a family that is so authentic that I forgot that they weren’t real. It was a pleasure reading this book, becoming lost in the story of the Andreas sisters and their failures, loves, and triumphs.

This book is the second perfect debut novel that I’ve read this year. If you’re looking for a great light read, The Weird Sisters is the book to pick up. I won’t hesitate to read anything else by Eleanor Brown and you shouldn’t either.

Thoughts: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry

Written by: Simone Elkeles

Narrators: Roxanne Hernandez and Blas Kisic

Publication Date: December 23, 2008

Length: 9 hrs, 44 minutes.

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Source: Library

Earlier this week  I was in a small reading slump. After starting the year with books like The Lotus Eaters, I Kill Giants, and Turtle in Paradise, I almost completely stopped reading except to read children’s books to my kids. Most of my classes start in a few weeks and when they do, much of my reading time will be lost. Unable to find a book that would keep my interest, I decided to try something different and checked out a few audio books from my library. It was a great idea.

Brittany Ellis is the most popular girl at Fairfield High School in Chicago. She has it all: beauty, wealth, and the captain of the football team as her boyfriend. Or does she? Alejandro “Alex” Rodriguez is a gang member from the wrong side of town. Pegged as a drug dealer, drug user and all-around bad guy, he’s none of those things and his secret wish is to graduate high school and go to college. When Brittany and Alex are grouped together for a chemistry project, the two have to put aside their hostile feelings for each other if they want to get a good grade. Told in alternative points of view, Perfect Chemistry is about Brittany and Alex’s budding romance, class, racism, and being yourself even if it means losing everything.

I thought this was an excellent book to listen to. The narrators, Hernandez and Kisic, are great as Brittany and Alex. The romance between the two teenagers who talked about their lives, family, and feelings for each other felt authentic. I listened to this book as I did chores around the house, showered, and picked up my kids. The book is nine hours long and usually it would take me a few days to finish an audio book, but I listened to this book in less than a day. It was that engaging and I have to recommend it as the perfect light read. My only problem with the story is the amount of times that Alex called Brittany “mamacita”. I know guys who call their girls “Mama” but it was starting to get to the point where hearing mamacita so often, would take me out of the story. Other than that, Perfect Chemistry is a great book to listen to. I highly recommend it.

TSS and Weekly Geeks: My favorite reading place

This week, for a Geeky assignment, how about a picture? A self portrait of sorts. I think it would be fun if you all took a picture of yourself (or have someone help you most likely) reading your current book (so we can see what it is) in your favorite reading spot. Then post it! It can be a Wordless Weekly Geek if you want! Or explanations included if you want that.

My kitchen table with my cup of coffee and books. Notice that a piece of notebook paper is my bookmark for Zadie Smith’s Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays. It’s my favorite reading place because it’s free of distractions.

What’s your favorite reading place?

Review: The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

The Night Bookmobile

Audrey Niffenegger

40 pages

Publication Date: September 1, 2010

Publisher: Abrams ComicArt

Source: Library copy

After a fight with her boyfriend, Alexandria is walking the streets of Chicago when she finds a bookmobile and Mr. Openshaw. Mr. Openshaw is the librarian of this particular bookmobile which is housed in an old ratty Winnebago. During her first visit, Alexandria realizes that what’s so special about the bookmobile is that it exclusively houses everything she has ever read: from Pat the Bunny which she read as a child to The Complete Stories of H.G. Wells. Over the years, the bookmobile changes with each visit just as Alexandria changes. Now she’s single and a librarian herself but the real job that she desires is to be a librarian for the bookmobile.

I really enjoyed reading this. The Night Bookmobile contains some beautiful passages about reading and being readers.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

After reading this book I wondered how my own bookmobile would look like, what books would fill the shelves. Just the thought of it makes me want to read more, to fill those shelves with more books. I love the imagery that Niffenegger uses and also the questions she ask. In the afterword the author asks “what is it we desire from the hours, weeks, lifetimes we devote to books? ” Alexandria gave up human companionship for books, looking for something that could only be found between pages. I think for each reader the answer is different.

Review: The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli

The Lotus Eaters

Tatjana Soli

389 pages

Publication Year: 2010

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Source: Publisher

When readers first met American photographer Helen Adams, it’s Vietnam 1975. Adams and her lover, Linh are fleeing Saigon. As they make their way through the city to the American embassy, chaos is all around them. They’re not the only ones fleeing. After making it to the embassy, Helen makes a sudden decision though it may be one that kills her. Before readers can find out what happens, we need to understand Helen’s decision.

Readers are transported twelve years before when Helen arrives in Vietnam as an amateur photographer. Haunted by the death of her younger brother Michael who died the year before in Vietnam, Helen wants to know what the country is like and why are Americans there. She wants to become famous, proving something to herself and those she left behind back home. In her words, “failure is not an option”. Placed in combat zones, Helen thrives with her photos making the cover of magazines all over the world. Falling in love with famed photographer Sam Durrow changes things.

The Lotus Eaters is the debut novel from writer Tatjana Soli but once you read it, you wouldn’t think it was. The characters are believable, there’s a ton of passages you are going to want to underline or note for their beauty, and the setting. . . The setting is so realistic you’ll think you were in Vietnam.

Helen is a great character to follow. She’s filled with doubts about whether or not her photography can help change things, whether she’s becoming the person she wants to be, and her relationship with Darrow then Linh.

Looking around, she wondered how she had gotten there, why she needed this. Such a cliché to expose the war, or even wanting to test oneself against it. Whatever else, the place was a magnet for evil, or had they, Americans, brought it with them, like European colonists brought pox in their blankets to the New World? Nothing she would do, including photographs, could have any effect on it. Such a nunnish urge to find purpose or clarity or even to bring ease. Since she had arrived, she had merely been running from illusion to illusion-by turns obsessed, deluded, needy, full of herself, thinking she had achieved some small understand. . . but not she was simply lonely and tired and confused.

There’s so much that’s explored in this 300+ paged book. Our treatment of one another, the psychological, emotionally, and physical cost of war of those affected by it, cultural differences, grief, and obsession.

The Lotus Eaters is a book that I highly recommend.

Dare to Disconnect Challenge

It’s that time of the year where people everywhere look at the new year as a fresh start.

Earlier last week I was on Twitter having a great discussion with Wallace from Unputdownables. We were discussing our reading goals for 2010. I confessed that I read more books in 2008 than I did in 2009 so one of my resolutions for 2010 is to read at least 235 books this year while Wallace wants to read at least 100 books in 2010.

We both admitted that if we are going to accomplish our goals, we need to disconnect from time-suckers like TV and the internet. Though it’s great to catch up on our favorite shows or read interesting posts or whatever online, there’s so much time being taken away from reading. We decided to start a personal challenge where we replace one bad habit with a good one. It is that time of the year, right? Wallace is replacing TV with more reading while I’m replacing spending hours online with reading.

We’re calling our challenge, Dare to Disconnect. The plan is to post an update on how we’re doing at the beginning of each month throughout 2011. We’re also giving each other encouragement through email, posts, and Twitter. If this sounds like something you would like to do, feel free to join us. Just leave a comment here or on Wallace’s blog.

To help me achieve my goal, I plan to limit the amount of time I’m online. No more losing hours to different articles or website. No more playing games online. Instead I’ll write my posts offline instead of online, pick out my homework ahead of time for my online classes and check my email only once a day instead of the millions of time I check now. I think being specific and having some kind of plan of action is going to help. We’ll see how I’m doing in February.

So what about you? Do you have any resolutions for the new year?

Sunday Salon: January’s TBR Pile

Click to enlarge picture.

You see those piles of books? That is this month’s TBR pile. It’s a combination of library and review books along with a few of my own books sprinkled in. I’ve never put aside the books I plan on reading a month in advance but thought that if I make a note of the books I need to read this month, it might just help my reading go a little more smoothly than in earlier years.

At the top:

  • Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

Left side:

  • The Last Daughter by Elena Ferrante
  • Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
  • We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  • Soul Kiss by Shay Youngblood
  • Spilling Ink by Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer
  • Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
  • The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  • Ugly Beauty by Ruth Brandon
  • Waiting for Columbus by Thomas

Right side:

  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
  • Love Poems by Pedro Salinas
  • The Flat World and Education by Linda Darling-Hammond
  • Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith
  • The Plot by Will Eisner
  • Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco
  • The Decorated Page by Gwen Diehn
  • How to Be a Genius by DK Publishing

Not pictured:

  • The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard
  • The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli

One of my literary resolutions for this year is to read 235-240 books, so 20 is the magic monthly number to hit. It’s also the number of books in my pile.

I think what surprises me about this list is the number of non-fiction titles that appears. Non-fiction is a genre that I neglected last year, so I’m probably reading the same number of non-fiction this month that I read in all of 2010. So that’s my pile.

Do you plan your reading in advance? What’s in your stack for January?