Sunday, February 14, 2010

Daily Thoughts 2/14/2010

Photo of Jaron Lanier performing at the Garden of Memory Solstice Concert June, 2009 taken by Allan J. Cronin. Original uploader, Gnu Free Documentation License, found on Wikimedia.

This morning, I finished reading You Are Not A Gadget by Jaron Lanier. The writing is very iconoclastic and original. Pieces of it are a little strange and philosophical. For example, he writes about cephalopods and virtual reality as well as computer programming concepts. It is a book worth reading. I will probably write a review of it later today or tomorrow.

I read some more of The Talented Miss Highsmith by Joan Schenkar this afternoon. A colleague recommended it to me. It is a bit of a different experience reading about the authors life. The book is quite different from what I usually read. Taking in reading that is different opens ones horizons a bit. Right now, I am reading about Patricia Highsmith's stay at the Yaddo artists colony. Truman Capote recommended her for the colony. She is writing her novel, Strangers on a Train. The book describes her drinking heavily and reading the bible every day in addition to writing.

Some of the biography is quite hard to read. What lightens it up is Patricia Highsmith's quirkiness; keeping pet snails, her love of cats, reflections on writing, and the constant social climbing and parties in the literary scene of Manhattan. The biography is quite revealing. It writes frankly about Patricia Highsmith's lesbianism and her struggles with the social mores of the 1940s and 1950s.

Right now, I am about half way through reading the book. There is a map of Manhattan which shows where Patricia Highsmith was as well as a year by year summary of her life as appendixes at the back of the book. I still have quite a bit more to read.

I've also been looking at the community of users at my library as part of my Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management course online. It is a bit different doing this. It makes me think hard about what each thing we do at the library serves what population. It is rather interesting.

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