Read Harder Challenge 2017

rhc_cover_pinterestI’ve decided to take part in the Book Riot reading challenge this year. I came to it rather late but I’d already finished several books that met various challenges so it’s achievable I think.

For the rest, I’ve been scouring my bookshelves and Kindle lists for items to fit the bill. I love that it’s encouraging me to read things which have been literally gathering dust until now. I’ve looked out books which have been languishing, for years in many cases, and added them to the ‘Book Riot Challenge pile’.

However, this is my personal reading and I have my own reasons for taking the challenge. Therefore, I may not stick stringently to the requirements in every case. For example, my pick for the ‘Central or South America’ challenge is likely to be a book about the Caribbean by a Cuban author – but it looks interesting and it’s already in my possession (also, there was some debate on the challenge forum about whether the Caribbean was or was not part of ‘Central America’. I have chosen to embrace that grey area). And, of course, there’s always going to be a Scottish slant to my choices whenever possible.

For those remaining challenges my current bookstock just can’t meet I’ll be utilising local libraries and the Scottish branch of Better World Books. A few of the challenges have me seeking books I wouldn’t normally consider reading at all – which is, of course, the whole point… But enough writing, I have reading to do! I just finished “an all-ages comic” so I’m off to pick my next read now. Which one to choose? Maybe that Caribbean one?… Or a banned book? So many choices!

FYI, here’s my list so far:

  1. Read a debut novelThe Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  2. Read an all-ages comicLobey’s the Wee Boy!: Collected Lobey Dosser by Bud Neill
  3. Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your locationSaltire Invasion by John Ferguson
  4. Read a travel memoir – The Desert and the Sown: Travels in Palestine and Syria by Gertrude Bell
  5. Read a book you’ve read before – The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey
  6. Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your locationA Splendid Isolation: Lessons of Happiness from the Kingdom of Bhutan by Madeline Drexler
  7. Read a fantasy novel – The Obsidian Throne by James Oswald
  8. Read a superhero comic with a female leadThe Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua
  9. Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey –Warrior of Peace: The Life of the Buddha by Jinananda
  10. Read a collection of stories by a woman – Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland
  11. Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color – Little Green by Walter Mosley
  12. Read a book about booksThe Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane
  13. Read a book published by a micropressThe Birlinn of Clanranald by Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair (Alexander MacDonald), translated by Alan Riach, (published by Kettillonia)
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New logo – new look

I’ve been working on a new look for the SWOP Forum site (and experimenting with polling)

SWOP Forum

The Business Committee has decided, for a number of reasons, to change the SWOP logo to something simpler and cleaner. Due to the relative starkness of the new logo I felt it necessary to change the theme of this website at the same time.

The theme I originally chose was called, aptly enough, ‘Plane’:

SWOP - Plane theme blog theme – Plane

At Wednesday’s meeting I received some useful feedback on this theme. The two main points were: the banner is far too large (which is true – the screen is really just made of banner); and the menu bar is almost unnoticeable up at the top of the screen. Following this I’ve been investigating new themes today. I tried out a few before settling on this one. It’s called Sequential:

SWOP - Sequential theme blog theme – Sequential

I really like this. It’s clean and unfussy, elegant and professional. It echoes the simplicity of the new logo but has a…

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A Very Fine Library is now on Tumblr…

… if you’re into that sort of thing…

I’m liking the vintage paperback stylee I chose for the page. And there are certainly many pretty pics to look at over there.

Does anyone else use Tumblr regularly? What are your thoughts on the platform?

Storify at #swop25th

…and now I’ve gone and done one for the SWOP 25th anniversary AGM as well!

Storifying #elisaForum 2014

I wanted to try Storify for a while but never had the opportunity. – it seems odd (in a bad way) to just Storify your own life.

ELISA’s Open Forum 2014 offered the perfect opportunity to give it a go, especially since we were encouraging folk to live tweet the event. Twitter is such a transitory medium, tweets are so quickly washed away by the twitter-tide. Storify helps solidify and store this digital ephemera.

I posted my first draft on #elisaForum day itself but I’ve just done a bit of editing and re-ordering and I’ve added some newer content to beef it up a little.

I’m not totally blown away by the Storify concept (or the site’s functionality) but for the purposes of documenting events like this one, it does the job:

elisa-open-forum-2014 – Storify

Celebrating #RLSDay with James Robertson, @AndrewOHagan …and @VeryFineLibrary !

…So, remember that video I mentioned?…

 

Thanks again to  for inviting me to contribute. It was much fun.

Happy  !

New ELISA website

I launched the new, updated and re-vamped ELISA website the other day. The new logo was agreed, slightly edited, and uploaded. The structure has been altered, the content checked and up-dated and a big old invitation email has been sent out encouraging folk to sign up. Now comes the hard part – getting folk to post – and other folk to read those posts. Building a blog is easy. Keeping it alive is tough.

I’ve already posted a before picture of ELISA’s site. Here’s what it looks like now:

elisa new site

I’m pretty pleased with this one. I love the colours! Fingers crossed the intended audience will like it too!

At least my ‘clients’ are happy with the work. I’ve had some nice feedback already. And this seems like a fairly active group. I’m hopeful (as always) that they will engage with the site.

Something new – although I’m the chief admin, I actually have some volunteer help this time. Nice as this is, it’s been a challenge to my blog-territoriality – and my techno-control freakery – to share one of my babies with someone else. Luckily, I can ease into it since my helpers are new to the ways of the blog. They are happy for me to be the boss of them… so far. We’ll see how it goes once I’ve got them trained up and brimming with confidence and ideas…   🙂