Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sometimes comics are really fun. Try making your own at

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


It has been calculated that each copy of the Gutenburg Bible ... required the skins of 300 sheep.

--from an article on printing

I can see them squeezed into the holding pen
behind the stone building
where the printing press is housed,

all of them squirming around
to find a little room
and looking so much alike

it would be nearly impossible
to count them,
and there is no telling

which one will carry the news
that the Lord is a shepherd,
one of the few things they already know.

Billy Collins

Billy Collins was Poet Laureate from 2001-2003. The Monrovia Public Library has his books Sailing Alone Around the Room, Nine Horses, Daddy's Little Boy, and The Trouble with Poetry.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Two people meet. The sky turns winter,
quells whatever they would say.
Then, a periphery glance into danger--
and an avalanche already on its way.

They have been honest all of their lives;
careful, calm, never in haste;
they didn't know what it is to meet.
Now they have met: the world is waste.

They find they are riding an avalanche
feeling at rest, all danger gone.
The present looks out of their eyes; they stand
calm and still on a speeding stone.

William Stafford

William Stafford was Poet Laureate in 1970. The Monrovia Public Library has his books Allegiances, A Glass Face in the Rain, Oregon Message, Passwords, The Rescued Year, and Stories That Could Be True.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Any body can die, evidently. Few
Go happily, irradiating joy,

Knowledge, love. Many
Need oblivion, painkillers,
Quickest respite.

Sweet time unafflicted,
Various world:

X = your zenith.

Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky was Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000. The Monrovia Public Library has his books Jersey Rain, History of My Heart, and the book he edited while Poet Laureate, Americans' Favorite Poems : The Favorite Poem Project Anthology.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Did you know...?

...that Bookseller magazine awards The Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year? And recently awarded the Diagram of Diagrams for the oddest book title in the last 30 years?

The oddest book title in the last 30 years is:

Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers

Other noteworthy winners and nominations are:

The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History and Its Role in the World Today
Versailles: The View From Sweden
People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It
How to Avoid Huge Ships
Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice
Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service
Bombproof Your Horse
The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification
The Joy of Sex: Pocket Edition
The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling
I Was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen
How to Write a How to Write Book
Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues
Cheese Problems Solved
Drawing and Painting the Undead

...and you can see more at

Unfortunately, the Monrovia Public Library doesn't seem to have any of these books. Whether there's a deeper meaning in these gaps in our collection could be a subject for much discussion...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Looking for a good book? Of course you are, and of course you know the library is the place to go, but how do you choose? There are a million ways, but here are some books about books that might point you in an interesting direction:

You’ve got to read this book! : 55 people tell the story of the book that changed their life / compiled by Jack Canfield, Gay Henricks, with Carol Kline

The Harvard guide to influential books : 113 distinguished Harvard professors discuss the books that have helped to shape their thinking / edited by C. Maury Devine, Claudia M. Dissel, Kim D. Parrish

The new lifetime reading plan / Clifton Fadiman and John Major

Every book its reader : the power of the printed word to stir the world / Nicholas A. Basbanes

The book that changed my life : 71 remarkable writers celebrate the books that matter most to them / edited by Roxanne J. Coady and Joy Johannessen

Book lust AND More book lust : recommended reading for every mood, moment, and reason / Nancy Pearl

Books that changed America / Robert B. Downs

Books that changed the world / Robert B. Downs

Good books : a book lover’s companion / Steven Gilbar

Now read this AND Now read this II : a guide to mainstream fiction / Nancy Pearl

What to read : the essential guide for reading group members and other book lovers / Mickey Pearlman

The 101 best graphic novels / by Stephen Weiner