Do Nothing But Read: The Podcast Book Club, Episode 14

In this volume, Brandon and I talk at length about short stories. Enjoy!

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Authors I Love: Bruce Coville

The other night, I went to a bonfire. My friends and I were talking about favorite books from childhood, when one of them said, “I got to meet the author of My Teacher is an Alien once.”

That, intrepid readers, would be Bruce Coville, an author I have never met, but whose books shaped my childhood and my brain.

Bruce Coville is from Syracuse, New York, and he once worked as a gravedigger. I remember reading that on the back of one of his books when I was younger and thinking, “This guy is so cool.” Coville’s writing style is humorous, friendly, and well-crafted. He is prolific, but he doesn’t sacrifice quality for quantity.

I’m also constantly impressed at authors who can write as a different gender and get it right. Bruce Coville’s female characters don’t feel like caricatures, which is refreshing.

The first Bruce Coville book I ever read was The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed, which is a Nina Tanleven book. Nina Tanleven is a spunky sixth-grader with a tendency for solving ghostly mysteries; her dad makes cookies and says goofy things, and her best friend is a girl named Chris. When my mom bought me my copy of The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed, she also made a rule: I was not allowed to read it after dinner, because I would have nightmares. I think she made this rule because I had a big brass bed. Guess what: I read it after dinner (sorry, Mom) and I didn’t have nightmares. Instead, my Goosebumps-loving brain wanted to know more and more about ghosts, and I wanted to read more and more Bruce Coville. Continue Reading »

Do Nothing But Read: The Podcast Book Club Episode 13

For Episode 13, Brandon and I talk about R.L. Stine, the Goosebumps series, and why you should always try to scare children. Enjoy!

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The Reading Life: Textbooks Worth Keeping

I went to three different universities in three different states to get a four-year bachelor’s degree. (And it actually only took four years!) After that, I went to graduate school for two years. I’ve taken quite a few classes, purchased many textbooks*, and often neglected to sell them back at the end of the semester. Most of these books ended up being sold on Craiglist or eBay, but there are a few that I still have.

Why do I keep these textbooks around? Well, first of all, I’m a nerd. My BA is in Anthropology (with a focus on the Cultural side of things), and I still get excited by various social theories and all that. Second of all, I’m new to the post-school world. My MA is in Library and Information Studies, so keeping my library school books is actually a good idea for my professional development.

However, I think the biggest reason I keep these books is the simplest: they are interesting, well-written/-edited, and useful. I like useful things.

Without further ado, here are some textbooks that are worth keeping.

Intellectual Freedom Manual, Eighth Edition

This is a working book; if you are a librarian, you need this on your desk atall times. It contains the Library Bill of Rights and explanations of each article in that bill. Not pleasure reading, per se, but certainly useful for people in the library field. The updated Eighth Edition has a section about online social networks and patrons’ rights regarding social media. I used this book for my Intellectual Freedom class in library school. Continue Reading »

Do Nothing But Read: The Podcast Book Club Episode 12

In this volume, Brandon and I discuss cookbooks that make good readin’ and eatin’. We also talk about making meatloaf for the boy next door, cathedrals, and Comic-Con. Enjoy!

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