A Jane Austen Road Trip Across England

IMG_4009Jane Austen‘s Pride & Prejudice was the first classic novel that I truly fell in love with. I have seen all six film adaptations multiple times, and read it more times than I can count. Reading her novels has been a comfort to me through good times and bad, and I can honestly say I have grown a kinship with the author. Promo Jane Austen – Editorial BarenhausBy reading her works I feel as if I know her, as if she is a dear friend and I am reading her letters. It is a dream of mine to see England through her eyes, visiting all the places she loved (as well as some of the locations featured in the films). I am not sure when, but someday I really want to go. Keep reading to see my ultra-secret Jane Austen themed English road-trip vacation plans!

jane austen map

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My Top Picks For The Great American Read

Image result for the great american readThe Great American Read is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). All of the books that made the list are truly great, but only one can be named The Great American Read.

Read our last post to see which 40 Books are leading the race, and find a list of my favorites listed below. If you don’t see your book, there is still time to change that. You can vote for your favorites each day until Thursday, October 18, 2018 at midnight PT, when voting closes. Click here to vote now.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

The 1984 book explores the issues of womens rights, religion, and individual liberties. Atwood conceived the novel as ‘speculative fiction,’ (similar to Louis Lowry’s The Giver), works that imagine a future that could conceivably happen without any advances in technology from the present. In other words, she said, “Science fiction has monsters and spaceships; speculative fiction could really happen.” Every aspect of the book was inspired by social and political events of the early 1980s, but remains poignant because we can imagine this happening today.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is a classic choice for The Great American Read because it is an archetypal representation of The American Dream: if you work hard enough, you can succeed. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his passionate obsession with a married Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.

The Help, Kathryn Stockett

People should read The Help because it is real. Though it is a work of fiction, it is based on true events. The story is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s. Kathryn was born in 1969 in Jackson and grew up in a household with a black housekeeper.  The story was based on her experiences growing up and it was just adjusted to occur in the 1960s in the midst of the civil rights movement.  A beautifully written but painful story steeped in American history.  It tells the story of black household workers in the South in the early 1960s—domestic helpers who take great risks by sharing stories about what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes. Their tales not only reveal the great sense of empowerment that comes from sharing and having your voice heard, but also remind us of the greatness of the real women who do this work today under sometimes terrible conditions. It is a novel about empowered, heroic women taking a stand for human rights during the civil rights era. It was also adapted into a movie in 2011.

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The Great American Read

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The Great American Read is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (*as chosen in a national survey).  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience. The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books. Continue reading

Library Thing: TLAPD Literary Treasure Hunt

*EDIT: Answers have been revealed (IN CAPS).

LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books, while connecting them to a community of like-minded book lovers. LibraryThing (known by users as LT) is a great resource for new book suggestions, bookish news, or learning about literature. Similar to Goodreads, LT functions as a virtual library, and connects you to the libraries of others. (Find our Goodreads profile here; Our LibraryThing profile here.)

LibraryThing offers powerful tools for cataloging and tracking your books, music, AND movies. LT has access to the Library of Congress, six national Amazon sites, and more than 1,000 libraries worldwide — making LT a highly extensive database. Users can search, sort, and “tag” books, or use various classification systems (including the Library of Congress, Dewey Decimal, or other custom systems) to organize their collections. LibraryThing is also a great social networking space, allowing users to see other peoples’ libraries, including libraries similar to yours, making it easy to swap reading suggestions and make recommendations. Users are encourages to sign up to win free books through our Early Reviewers and Member Giveaways programs.

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Support Local San Diego Bookshops

UntitledBibliophiles fear the day when brick-and-mortar stores are phased out and e-books rule the market. Those of us addicted to collecting paper books and maintaining our bookshelves know that the age of the book is not dying; rather, books are fast moving to the digital sphere. And we don’t like it. Regardless of the benefits offered by technology, our nostalgic hearts yearn for the smell of worn pages and the sensation of flipping through a thick volume – neither of which can be fulfilled by e-readers.

I am not alone in that I still prefer a printed, paper book to the now popular e-book devices (Kindles, iPads, or Amazon Readers). Though the industry is quickly shifting from paper to electronically based products and transactions, the book is not dying. Continue reading

Little Free Library Project

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.

Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Each ‘library’ is free and open to the public. Each offers a selection of books for passersby to take, and will have space for the community to participate by leaving or exchanging books of their own at each little free library.

Little Free Libraries play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books (and encouraging a love of reading!) in areas where books are scarce.

Every Little Free Library is uniquely crafted and filled with an exclusive array of books, different every time. Read about the history behind the LittleFreeLibrary here, and enjoy our selection of some of the most recently shared LittleFreeLibraries on Instagram below:

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Beautiful Public California Libraries

California, the gorgeous Golden State, is not only home to The Wanderers, but to more than a thousand (1,146) public libraries alone!

SD Dirk  

Public libraries provide free access to information and educational opportunities all, regardless of their socio-economic status. Offered by libraries across the county, ALA’s Let’s Talk about It programs are wonderful examples of scholar-facilitated learning opportunities in libraries. In addition, many libraries present classes and discussion programs, and some even provide online continuing education courses such as the Universal Class database. Libraries typically offer free tutoring, homework help programs, and summer reading programs for kids and teens help bridge the economic divide that impacts students’ academic performance. Not only kids and teens benefit from public libraries: libraries have become a sanctuary for Immigrants and the LGBTQ community, providing a permanent safe-space that welcomes any and all. 

The California Library Association  provides leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library services, librarianship and the library community.  The CLA is governed by a Board of Directors and ran by Committees, who ultimately oversee the public libraries across the state (laws vary state-to-state; always check the rules and regulations for your area). Find a directory listing the address and phone of all the public libraries in California here.

We wanted to take a moment to highlight just a few of the most beautiful libraries in our home state:
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Digital Humanities: A Conversation with DHC

The student committee for Digital Humanities held an event addressing the idea of “What is Digital Humanities?: A Conversation” in Love Library last Thursday. The student branch is a network of DH scholars, researchers, teachers, and students at SDSU and in the region that seeks to study digital technologies, employ conceptual practices in research, and reflect upon the impact of the digital. Dr. Pam Lach, Dr. Adam Hammond and Dr. Nathan Rodriguez comprised a panel of experts on Digital Humanities here at SDSU and their presentations shed some light on the growing field of Digital Humanities. This was the first in a series of events the Digital Humanities Collaborative (DHC) plans to hold over the course of this school year.

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