Jan's 2024 Reading Journal

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Jan's 2024 Reading Journal

Jan 21, 4:19 pm

I am new to the Club Read Group, but have been on LibraryThing since 2006, in fact, I worked in a library when I first joined. I've had a couple of different careers since then and now work as a cyber threat analyst for a large corporation. Librarians are very flexible. I've read through other people's posts to get an idea for how I want to approach this journal. I like the idea of posting about articles and longer reads i read online. I think part of the reason my "official" reading last year was so skimpy is because I read so many things online, and so I'm giving myself permission to keep track of that reading in this journal.

I have a lot of my reading for this year planned out already, which is another new thing for me. Normally, I read whatever I feel like next. I consider books read on my Kindle, and eBooks in general, to be books, as well as audio books. I get a lot of inspiration for what to read next from book reviews and also from other people's list on Medium and Substack.

I've sketched out categories for my reading/attention this year:
- Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
- Online articles and Long Reads
- Visual -- movies, courses, longer videos

Editado: Abr 17, 9:30 pm

Here is what is in my TBR pile so far for this year:


1. Duty and Desire* by Pamela Aidan (Completed 5 Feb 24)
2. These Three Remain* by Pamela Aidan (Completed 22 Mar 24)
3. The Lost Cause by Corey Doctorow
4. The Hunt for Red October* by Tom Clancy
5. The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Currently Reading)
6. The Bicentennial Man by Isaac Asimov
7. Fahrenheit 451* by Ray Bradbury
8. Dune* by Frank Herbert
9. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
10. Firedrake's Eye by Patricia Finney
11. The Song of Roland - composed in the 10-11th century (Completed 31 Jan 24)
12. Race of Scorpions* by Dorothy Dunnett
13. Eversion by Alastair Reynolds (Completed 2 Mar 24)
14. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate Audio (Completed 15 Apr 24)
15. Slay Ride by Dick Francis (Currently Reading)
16. Dolly and the Singing Bird* by Dorothy Dunnett
17. The Game of Kings* by Dorothy Dunnett
18. The Warden by Anthony Trollope


1. How to Write a Thesis by Umberto Eco
2. Cybersecurity Myths and Misconceptions by Eugene Spafford
3. Intelligence-Driven Incident Response by Scott J. Roberts (Completed 8 Mar 2024)
4. The Great Ideas Today 1993 (Completed 1 Apr 24)
5. Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers by Valerie Lawson
6. Spice: The History of a Temptation by Jack Turner
7. Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell by Tim Miller
8. The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan
9. The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family by Ron Chernow (Completed 27 Mar 2024)
10. Organizing Information: Principles of Data Base and Retrieval Systems* by Dagobert Soergel (Currently Reading)
11. Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin
12. Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
13. William Morris Needlepoint by Beth Russell
14. Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels
15. Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis by Randolph Pherson and Richards J. Heuer, Jr (Currently Reading)

Books with an asterisk are re-reads.

Editado: Jan 21, 5:37 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Editado: Jan 21, 5:36 pm

This will be a quick post of books I've already finished this year. I'll start trying to include longer descriptions from here on out:

2023 was an abysmal year for my reading. I started a new job and started too many long, boring books, so I only finished 26 books for the year. I've gotten off to a great start this year though!

1/7/24 - Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta, 3 stars, Kindle. I started reading it right after watching the movie. Some relation to the movie, but not much.

1/15/24 - The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith, 4 stars, Kindle. I could not put this down, and consider it the best of her Cormoran Strike novels so far.

1/15/24 - The Library Book by Susan Orlean, 4.5 stars, Personal Library. I started this in 2023. It's a fascinating book about the 1986 Los Angeles Public Library fire - but also about libraries in general.

1/18/24 - Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella, 3.5 stars, Audible. It would only be three stars if not for the audio book narrators being decent. Overly long, drawn out story about a woman and her sister and the "unfortunate choices" they make in their lives. It's a little funny, but too long.

Editado: Jan 21, 5:41 pm

1/20/24 - An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Novel, 246 pages
Original Language: English
Original Publication: 2003 (2006 for this edition)
Series: Fitzwilliam Darcy - Gentleman
Genre: Romance
Format: Trade paperback
Publisher: Touchstone
Reading dates: 10/23/2023 - 1/20/2024
4.5 stars originally, 4.0 stars now

This is the second reading of this book. It's a re-imagining of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of Fitzwilliam Darcy. When I first read it in around 2008, I gave it 4.5 stars, and this time around I'm downgrading it a little, but it's still an excellent and pleasurable look at Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's point of view. There are three in the series and I've already started re-reading the second one.

The reason I began this second reading was because I read Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer last year and thought it was so awful (2.5 stars), I had to re-read a similar fan-fiction I remembered being so good.

In this book, Darcy is introduced to the reader through his visit to Netherfield Hall with his friend Charles Bingley. We see the Hertfordshire countryside and it's inhabitants through Darcy's critical eyes, and he is truly insufferable at times, though always kind to those he likes, including his servants.

Aidan not only imagines what Darcy would have been like, she throws in details about the political and historical details one doesn't get from reading Jane Austen's novels, but she manages to do it without modernizing the book's point of view.

Darcy's feelings for Elizabeth Bennet grow throughout the short novel, but this first of the series never shows him revealing his feelings to anyone. Instead, he keeps his thoughts and musings to himself while he surreptitiously attempts to undermine Bingley's feelings for Jane Bennet.

Jan 21, 6:55 pm

>5 janoorani24: Pride and Prejudice was the second of my "themes" after Moby Dick. Still collect P&P titles whenever I see a new one. I have had this trilogy on my list, but haven't read them yet. I secretly loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...but yes, there is a lot of really bad fan fiction out there.

Jan 21, 8:01 pm

Sorry that I posted before you were done setting up. I hate when that happens. Mea culpa.

This is what I had posted:

I'm glad you've joined us here in Club Read and that you decided to create a thread. I look forward to following along. It's an interesting mix of books in your planned reading lists.

Like you I've had a number of different careers, or at least job titles, they almost always had to do with information management and/or academia in some form or other, and I started in libraries. Cyber threat analyst is an interesting one. What exactly do you do on a day to day basis, if you don't mind my asking?

I wish I still lived in the Seattle area, we could meet up at Third Place Books, my favorite bookish hangout.

Jan 22, 8:11 am

Wonderful to see your thread. I enjoyed P&P, but I need to read a lot more Austen before i try any fan fiction. Still, i enjoyed your review.

Editado: Mar 22, 7:01 pm

>7 labfs39: Thank you for your kind welcome! For most of my careers, I've been an intelligence analyst of one kind or another. Cyber threat analysis is a little more technical since I need to understand at least a little about networks and the internet. For me, it mostly involves studying the tactics and techniques of various cyber criminals -- how they attack networks, what their motives are, what defenses do we need to keep them out, etc. I like it because it's a different problem everyday and I work with a great team.

I love Third Place Books, especially the one on Lake City Way! I used to belong to a book group there. We called ourselves The Third Place Thingers, since we were all LibraryThing members.

Jan 22, 8:57 am

>8 dchaikin: It can take awhile to get through all of Jane Austen, and I'll admit I haven't read them all. Of the ones I have read P&P is my favorite, but I think Emma is her best book.

Jan 22, 12:51 pm

>9 janoorani24: How interesting, Janiece. It sounds like you have found a good match for your interests and skillset.

Yes, the Bothell TPB was excellent and my favorite. It didn't hurt that there was a chocolate shop downstairs and a Wild Birds Unlimited around the corner. How fun that you connected with so many local LT members. I only knew a few, Deborah/arubabookwoman, whom you met on the introductions thread, Ellen/EBT1002, who is a 75 books member and worked at the U, and Stephanie/DieFledermaus, who hasn't been around much recently and whom I never met in person.

Jan 22, 2:38 pm

Yes the Lake City Way Third Place Books was my favorite book hangout. I would usually have lunch at the Honey Bear (??) Bakery. (My memory is not what it once was.) Besides Lisa and Ellen I met up with another former LT member who is no longer active, Bonniebooks. And I believe we met a couple of times with an LT member whose name is escaping me at the moment and who is no longer active, but I know she was a member of Third Place Thingers, so you probably know/knew her. She is an older woman who lived in a senior living community in Bellvue in which members have their own homes, and they all look after one another.
I especially have good memories about the time Lisa, Ellen and I drove to Portland for a big LT meetup at Powells!

Jan 23, 8:34 am

>12 arubabookwoman: The older woman would have been Maggie (her real name was Karen). She was the one who started the group. She used to be very active on the Green Dragon group. Sadly, I lost touch with her a while back.

Jan 23, 2:29 pm

>13 janoorani24: Indeed that is who I was remembering. I got together with her several times at TPB, and at one point she asked me to join the book club there, but I was unable to. She used to have a thread on the 75 group, but hasn't participated for a couple of years.

Jan 26, 12:02 am

"Book" 6.
1/24/24 - Jokester by Isaac Asimov
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Short Story, 14 pages
Original Language: English
Original Publication: 1956 (unknown for this edition)
Series: Multivac Stories
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Facsimile - read on Kindle - saved to Kindle from Internet Archive
Publisher: Infinity Science Fiction Magazine
Reading dates: 1/22/24 - 1/24/2024
Rating: 2.5 stars

Interesting concept, but primitive writing. It could even be considered an early version of an artificial intelligence story. The ending seemed dumb, especially given Asimov's disbelief in intelligent alien life.

Jan 26, 9:49 am

Pardon my ironic senses, but I’m amused at the primitive writing of future technology. 🙂

Jan 30, 8:57 am

I see what you mean -- I do like reading books published earlier in the 20th century. They can be so amusing. In this case though, I was talking about his style. It read more like something he might have written in high school, or even junior high.

Jan 30, 9:44 am

>17 janoorani24: ... as did much of his writing, from my point of view. The man desperately needed an assertive editor. Some of his ideas are so good I can get past the writing, but I haven't read him in years now.

BTW, welcome, nice to meet you, I'm Jim, worked for a while in network management, which didn't have as big a security component as it does now.

Fev 1, 9:49 am

>18 Jim53: Nice to meet you Jim! I agree with you about Asimov. I enjoyed his books so much when I read them when I was in high school and college. For some reason I set myself a goal to read all of his Foundation novels in the order he intended and not the order in which he'd written them. For me, that meant reading the Robot books and short stories too. I've managed to make it through Second Foundation, but some of the books have been disappointing the second time through and many decades later.

I work in cyber threat intelligence, so I've had to learn about network management, but I'm much better at just warning network managers about what could happen than I am at managing the actual systems.

Fev 1, 10:25 am

"Book" 7.
1/31/24 - The Song of Roland translated by Dorothy L. Sayers
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Saga, 55 pages (excerpt in World Masterpieces)
Original Language: Medieval French
Original Publication: Composed sometime between the 9th and early 11th century, possibly by the poet Taillefer
Series: Chansons de geste
Genre: Poetry/Saga
Format: Paper
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 1973
Reading dates: 1/01/24 - 1/31/2024
Rating: 3.5 stars

The actual events of the poem took place 300 years before its composition, but the poem is written as if it were a contemporary event with knights in armor and enormous Saracen armies. I was intrigued to find this version was translated by Dorothy L. Sayers, the creator of the Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane mysteries. I don't have another translation to judge it by, and I wish this version had more footnotes. The version in this anthology is an excerpt and only goes up to the death of Roland. For background, the poem tells the story of Roland, one of Charlemagne's warriors and his epic defeat in the battle fought in Spain at Roncesvalles. The battle would make a good, though bloody, movie. I was astonished by the extreme gore of the battle description.

Fev 1, 11:25 am

>20 janoorani24: how cool! I’ve wanted to read about Roland (aka Orlando)

Fev 1, 9:40 pm

>21 dchaikin: I was surprised at the gore, but enjoyed it overall. I might try to find the entire poem and read it sometime. Apparently the Italians fell in love with the story and several versions exist in the Italian language, hence the alternative name Orlando. I think Orlando is a much more romantic name than Roland.

Fev 1, 10:15 pm

>22 janoorani24: I brought a translation of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso with me when we took a family trip to Italy last summer. And I read a short bit while there, but quickly felt i was in the wrong state of mind for such a prolonged renaissance epic. So, maybe another (bolder?) time. 🙂

Fev 2, 9:17 am

>22 janoorani24: I have read the Barbara Reynolds translation :

Fev 2, 10:38 am

>24 baswood: Oh that looks good!

Fev 2, 11:16 am

A very belated welcome! I like your reading scope, and will come back with something more intelligent to say (I hope) at some point.

Fev 3, 6:27 pm

>26 lisapeet: Thank you!

Fev 4, 5:12 am

Hi, just dropping to say hello, and that I've enjoyed catching up on your thread and reading your reviews.

Fev 5, 9:44 am

I read a translation of the Song of Roland a long time. Somewhere around 15 years ago, my wife and I visited the French Pyranees and went through the pass where the battle depicted supposedly took place. I think it's now pretty strongly believed that the actual attackers were Basques. The road, as I remember it these years later, is basically carved out of the mountain. In that region of the Pyrenees there are two-way roads that are only one lane. You have to honk before going around blind curves to be sure you don't have a head-on collision, and there are carefully constructed procedures around who has to back up if cars going in opposite directions meet on the road. At any rate, I would not want to be standing on that road with angry troops shooting arrows down at me.

Editado: Fev 13, 9:10 am

Book 8:
2/5/24 - Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Book, 280 pages
Original Language: English
Original Publication: Wytherngate Press, 2004
Series: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentle an
Genre: Romance, Fan Fiction
Format: Paper
Publisher: Touchstone, Simon and Schuster, 2006
Reading dates: 1/20/24 - 2/5/2024
Rating: 4 stars

I finished Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan a few days ago, and immediately began the last book in the trilogy, These Three Remain. Duty and Desire, while officially a Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice fan fiction, only features Elizabeth Bennet as a day dream in Darcy's mind. He attempts to fulfill his duty by traveling to a country house gathering to find a wife suitable for his station, and overcome his desire for Elizabeth. The novel contains gothic elements and new characters outside the Jane Austen universe. I enjoyed it a lot and give it four stars.

Fev 10, 3:41 pm

'Book' 9:
2/9/24 - The Jilting of Granny Weatherall by Katherine Anne Porter
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Short Story, 9 pages
Original Language: English
Original Publication: Flowering Judas and Other Stories, 1935
As read publication: Fiction: A Pocket Anthology, Fourth Edition, 2005
Series: N/A
Genre: Short Story
Format: Paper
Publisher: Penguin Academics, Pearson Education, Inc.
Reading dates: 2/9/2024
Rating: 3.5 stars

Uses the 'stream of consciousness' technique to describe the thoughts of an elderly woman on her death bed.

A couple of phrases that I liked, "...a person could spread out the plan of life and tuck in the edges orderly," and, "While she was rummaging around she found death in her mind..." Her last thought brings tears to my eyes, "Oh no, there's nothing more cruel than this--I'll never forgive it," as she thinks back on the man who jilted her, or possibly, that she receives no sign from God.

So much sorrow in nine short pages.

Fev 23, 9:30 pm

Book 10:
2/23/24 - Black Plumes by Margery Allingham
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Paperback, 180 pages
Original Language: English
Original Publication: Double Day edition, 1940
As read publication: Bantam, 1983
Series: N/A
Genre: Mystery
Format: Paper
Publisher: Bantam Books
Reading dates: 2/14/2024 - 2/23/2024
Rating: 4.5 stars

I've read this book multiple times. I was thinking of Margery Allingham for some reason last week and picked this book off the shelf and started browsing through it, and then couldn't stop. For some reason, this is my favorite Allingham mystery -- maybe because it's the first one I read. I bought it new when I was living in Alaska in the early 80's. Now my copy is quite worn and the binding is falling apart.

The plot isn't why I like this book so much, it's the way Allingham writes about the wind in the book. The wind is almost a character. Here's one example, "The October wind, which had promised rain all day, hesitated in its reckless flight down the moist pavements to hurl a handful of fine drops at the windows of the drawing room...The sound was sharp and spiteful, so that the silence between the two women within became momentarily shocked, as if it had received some gratuitous if trivial insult."

Fev 24, 2:57 pm

>32 janoorani24: Almost like prose poetry

Fev 25, 6:28 pm

>33 labfs39: Agree! Obviously, after reading it so many times, I know the ending, but I love reading the words over again.

Editado: Fev 27, 11:38 am

'Book' 11:
2/24/24 - Obasute by Yasushi Inoue
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Short Story, 23 pages
Original Language: Japanese
Translator: Leon Picon
Original Publication: Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc., 1965
As read publication: Included in the collection The Izu Dancer and Other Stories published by Tuttle, 1974
Series: N/A
Genre: Short Story
Format: Paper
Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont & Tokyo, Japan
Reading dates: 2/23-24/2024
Rating: 2 stars

I read one of the stories, Obasute, by Yasushi Inoue on 24 Feb 24. The writing is spare, stripped of excessive description. I suppose it could be a story about people who want out of their lives, and includes a couple of examples from the narrator's family who have left what would be considered successful lives for new lives that aren't really successful, but where they have more freedom to be themselves. On the surface, it's about a man's obsession with an ancient Japanese legend where people who reach the age of 70 are taken to a mountain, Obasute, and abandoned. Overall, the story evokes a feeling of loneliness and abandonment.

I would have originally read this story in 1974. I was living in Japan, spoke barely any Japanese, and read even less. I devoured anything written in English, but I have no memory of reading this story. I know I did, because there is a hair from my head stuck in one of the pages, from back when it was brown and not white.

Mar 3, 10:54 pm

'Book' 12:
3/1/24 - Mama, Rimma, and Alla by Isaac Babel
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Short Story, 9 pages
Original Language: Russian
Translator: Peter Constantine
Original Publication: Letopis, 1916
As read publication: Included in the collection The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel published by W. W. Norton & Company, 2002
Series: N/A
Genre: Short Story
Format: Paper
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, New York
Reading dates: 3/1/2024
Rating: 3 stars

A day in the life of a mother and her two daughters in Moscow. It's hard to be precise as to the time of the story, but it was first published in a Russian literary journal in 1916, and three of the characters are students, and no mention of the war is made, so I think it may be set sometime shortly before the start of the World War One. Hardly anything happens in this one short day, but there is still a lot of detail. The maid "had begun putting on airs and walked out." The electric bill came...two of three student borders announce they are leaving and want their rent money returned, the father is a magistrate in faraway Kamchatka and powerless to assist. The two daughters have their own difficulties, the youngest is seventeen and loves someone who doesn't love her, and the oldest wants her freedom from her mother.

Mar 3, 11:28 pm

Book 13:
3/2/24 - Eversion by Alastair Reynolds
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Audio, 10 hrs, 3 mins (352 pages equivalent)
Narrator: Harry Myers
Language: English
Original Publication: Gollancz, May 2022
As read publication: Audible, 2022
Series: N/A
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Digital
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Reading dates: 1/19/2024 - 3/2/2024
Rating: 3.5 stars

The narration was excellent - great voices for all the characters. The story is an interesting concept -- on the surface it's a sequence of scenes on different types of ships, from sailing through air through space. All the sequences feature the same characters -- the main character is Dr. Silas Coade, and other primary characters are the security person (a Mexican with various backgrounds such as a member of Santa Ana's army at the Alamo, a fighter in the Mexican revolution, etc), the ships captain, a Russian with ulterior motives for financing the expeditions, a mysterious woman passenger, and a young mathematician. Other crew members feature in all the sequences. All the stories center around an expedition to find and explore an 'edifice' previously discovered during an expedition only the Russian financier knows about. As each sequence ends, a little more is known about the true nature not only of the expedition, but of Dr. Coade himself.

Mar 4, 7:32 am

>36 janoorani24: Babel is an author I haven't read, but feel I should. Have you read anything else by him?

Mar 5, 12:42 pm

Hi Lisa, No I hadn't read anything else by Babel. The collected volume of his short stories came up in my random sort of a short story for reading last week. I'm trying to read more short works this year, and so far, it's really broadened my reading and moved me out of my comfort zones. I feel I need to pay more attention when I read a shorter work, and that most of the stories I have read so far this year are such a small slice of the life of the characters, I need to fill in the blanks myself.

According to the introduction to the collection, this was one of Babel's earlier works. Also, Babel was from Odessa, which I find interesting, since it means he was Ukrainian, although that is my modern interpretation. I'm sure he considered himself Russian.

Editado: Mar 22, 8:30 pm

Book 14:
3/8/24 - Intelligence-Driven Incident Response: Outwitting the Adversary by Scott J. Roberts
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Paperback 260 pages
Language: English
Original Publication: N/A
As read publication: O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2017, First edition.
Series: N/A
Genre: Non-fiction, Technical
Format: Paper
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Reading dates: 7/6/2023 - 3/8/2024
Rating: 4 stars

This is the first book I've read dedicated solely to cyber threat intelligence. What makes this so valuable to me is that it covers how analysts assist the cyber incident response teams in responding to a cyber incident such as a hack or ransomware attack. The book is organized into sections covering the fundamentals of intelligence, the fundamentals of incident response and how they work together. Then the book covers the analytical process in some detail, to include the writing and dissemination of reports. There are a lot of references to check out, and I filled a small notebook with notes. This will be a constant reference for me going forward.

Editado: Mar 22, 8:31 pm

'Book' 15:
3/8/24 & 3/22/24 - On Being an American from Prejudices, Fourth (sic) Series by H. L. Mencken
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Excerpt, 4 pages (64 pages in read version on the Internet Archive)
Original Language: English
Translator: N/A
Original Publication: Prejudices, Third Series, Alfred A. Knopf, 1922
As read publication: Included in A Patriot's Handbook edited by Caroline Kennedy
Series: N/A
Genre: Essay
Format: Paper & Digital
Publisher: Hyperion, New York
Reading dates: 3/8/2024
Rating: 2 stars

This was a satirical look about being an American. I did a little research, the author, H. L. Mencken was a journalist, and this is an excerpt from a longer work he wrote for a series of essays he compiled in 1922, which were published by Alfred A. Knopf. I found the complete text in the Internet Archive, and am going to read that and edit this entry then.

I read this today as part of my goal to read more selections from my collection of short stories and other collections, such as this volume of writings, which was "selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy." First of all, I don't know why she selected this excerpt to put in the book's section on Portraits of Americans. Mencken was born and raised in the U.S., but he was very German in his attitudes, greatly admired Nietzche, and disliked the idea of representative democracy.

Two quibbles: First of all, Kennedy starts the excerpt in the middle of a thought. "...it is my contention that, if this definition be accepted," -- there is no indication of what the definition is that he is talking about. Here is the prelude to the thought (from the Internet Archive's version), "To be happy (reducing things to its elementals) I must be:
a. Well-fed, unhounded by sordid cares, at ease in Zion.
b. Full of a comfortable feeling of superiority to the masses of my fellow-men.
c. Delicately and unceasingly amused according to my taste."
Mencken then goes on later in the excerpt about the stupidity of the vast majority of Americans, "all of which may be boiled down to this: that the United States is essentially a commonwealth of third-rate men -- that distinction is easy here because the general level of culture, of information, of taste and judgment, or ordinary competence is so low." I don't have a problem with reading satire like this, but I don't understand why Kennedy included this excerpt in a book celebrating patriotism -- it's not at all flattering to Americans.

The second quibble is that Kennedy cites this excerpt being from Mencken's Prejudices, Fourth Series, when it is from his Prejudices, Third Series.

Update on 22 March:

I found the entire book on the Internet Archive and read the essay there. It's the first essay in a longer work called Prejudices, Third Series and is 64 pages long. The essay is very hard on the United States, saying it, "to my eye, is incomparably the greatest show on earth. It is a show which avoids diligently all the kinds of clowning which tire me most quickly—for example, royal ceremonials, the tedious hocus-pocus of haut politique, the taking of politics seriously—and lays chief stress upon the kinds which delight me unceasingly—for example, the ribald combats of demagogues, the exquisitely ingenious operations of master rogues, the pursuit of witches and heretics, the desperate struggles of inferior men to claw their way into Heaven."

The essay reminds me of our political climate today and some of the commentary. Amusing how little has changed in 100 years.

Editado: Mar 9, 1:46 pm

>41 janoorani24: well, I’m entertained by the opening sentence.

ETA : Richard Wright raved about Mencken as an inspiration on how to fight with words.

Mar 11, 9:15 am

>42 dchaikin: Agree with Richard Wright - he punches with his words.

Mar 25, 4:03 pm

Book 16:
3/22/24 - These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Paperback, 437 pages
Original Language: English
Original Publication: Wytherngate Press, 2005
As read publication: Touchstone, 2007
Series: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Paper
Publisher: Touchstone (imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Reading dates: 2/05/2024 - 3/22/2024
Rating: 4.5 stars

This is the final volume of the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series by Pamela Aidan. It is a re-read, but I read it for the first time around 2008, so it felt fresh. Since it is a Pride and Prejudice fan fiction, the ending is known, but the story is told from Darcy's point of view, and I think it's very well done. One thing that adds to the story is Aidan's use of other characters not in the original Austen novels, and her fleshing out of some of the characters who are; all without detracting from or modifying the original masterpiece. This series is my favorite example of Jane Austen fan fiction -- if you at all enjoy Pride and Prejudice, this is the alternative viewpoint/story I recommend.

Editado: Abr 3, 5:12 pm

I'm going to begin keeping a record of the books I've acquired in 2024.

January 2024:
1. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
2. The Haters by Jesse Andrews
3. Benet's Readers Encyclopedia, 5th edition
4. Robot Dreams by Isaac Asimov
5. Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta - Digital - Completed 1/7/2024)
6. Mary Poppins, She Wrote by Valerie Lawson - Digital
7. The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook - Digital
8. Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune by Anderson Cooper - Audio

Books Acquired in February 2024:
1. Matilda by Roald Dahl
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
3. A Boy at the Hogarth Press by Richard Kennedy
4. The Pound Era by Hugh Kenner
5. Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto
6. Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
7. Stories of Books and Libraries by Jane Holloway
8. The Tragic Mind by Robert Kaplan

Books Acquired in March 2024:
1. Six Men: Charles Chaplin: The One and Only; Edward III: The Golden Boy; H. L. Mencken: The Public and the Private Face; Humphrey Bogart: Epitaph for a Saint; Bertrand Russell: The Lord of Reason by Alistair Cooke
2. Prejudices: Third Series by H. L. Mencken
3. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
4. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
5. Mapping America by Neal Asbury and Jean-Pierre Isbouts
6. The Wingmen: The Unlikely, Unusual, and Unbreakable Friendship Between John Glenn and Ted Williams by Adam Lazarus
7. Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2024
8. The Original Peter Rabbit Presentation Box by Beatrix Potter
9. The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Editado: Abr 17, 8:57 pm

Book 17:
3/27/24 - The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family by Ron Chernow
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: eBook, 880 pages
Language: English
Original Publication: Chatto and Windus, 1993
As read publication: Penguin Random House, Apple eBook, 2012
Series: N/A
Genre: Non-fiction, Biography
Format: Digital
Publisher: Apple eBook, 2012
Reading dates: unknown - 3/27/2024
Rating: 3.5 stars
World War One reading challenge book

This is a detailed and well written history of the German Warburg banking family. It follows their evolution from a small German Jewish banking enterprise in the late 1700s into major banking firms by the 1990s -- affecting US, British and German politics and financial policy.

I have no idea when I began this, but it was several years ago. I finally began making a concerted effort to finish it in February when I was only about 30% done with it. It was good enough that I didn't want to abandon it, but reading very long books on an e-reader is a slog -- Apple books more so than Kindle for some reason.

I also have no idea why I bought the book to begin with. I like biographies, but this isn't the type I usually choose. It is heavy on banking history in general, and extremely detailed about each member of the family. My favorite parts were the sections covering World War One and it's aftermath. For that reason, even though I began it before my personal challenge to read all of the books I have about World War One, I added it to my World War One reading history.

The 3.5 stars are only because the book isn't really my style, but Chernow did a fantastic job with this family biography.

Mar 28, 2:03 pm

>46 janoorani24: Great review, though probably not a book I'll pick up anytime soon.

Mar 28, 5:09 pm

>47 labfs39: I don't blame you. I'm so glad to be done with it. I dislike abandoning books, and this one came very, very close to being dropped and never picked up again. It won awards and a lot of people liked it, but it was dry and boring for most of the journey. It probably would only truly appeal to people who like banking history.

Mar 29, 6:20 pm

'Book' 18:
3/29/24 - The Red-Headed League by Arthur Conan Doyle
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts, Abridged
Type: Abridged, 24 pages, pp. 224-248 (15 pages in original Strand Magazine story)
Original Language: English
Translator: N/A
Original Publication: The Strand Magazine, No. 8. August 1891.
As read publication: Included in Challenges, Book 8. 1967.
Series: N/A
Genre: Short Story
Format: Paper
Publisher: Scott, Foresman and Company, Glenview, IL
Reading date: 3/29/2024
Rating: 3 stars (2.5 stars for the abridgement, 3 stars for the original in The Strand Magazine (as found on the Internet Archive - mostly because of the illustrations by Sidney Paget)

I have only read a couple of Sherlock Holmes stories many years ago (in my copy of the Folio Society Crime Stories from the Strand, and don't really care for them, but this came up through my convoluted and impossible to explain system of choosing a short work to read on Fridays. My pleasure in Sherlock Holmes comes from the character's portrayal by different actors (especially Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey, Jr.). The particular book I chose to read from today is in an old textbook I've had since I was in the 6th grade at Capistrano Intermediate School in San Juan Capistrano, CA in 1969. The school only existed for a couple of years. It was opened in 1969 in an old administration building for the Capistrano Unified School District to accommodate the overabundance of sixth graders the district had as a result of the end of the Baby Boom years (children born in 1958-59). The abridged version was dumbed down for 6th grade readers, and is a little boring. It is contained in the section of the book called 'Imagination.'

The story tells the tale of a red-headed man who comes to Holmes for help finding the reason he was employed for a couple of months as a member of the League of Red-Headed men. The man (Jabez Wilson) had been hired after he answered a newspaper ad a few months before for a red-headed man to fill a vacancy in the Red-Headed League - his job was to copy out the Encyclopedia Britannica for 4 pounds a week for four hours a day. He'd been happily employed doing this when he showed up for work one morning to find that the League had been dissolved without notice. When Wilson tried to find out what had happened, he discovered that the forwarding address for the League did not exist. So, naturally he went to Sherlock Holmes (sarcasm). Anyway, through his powers of deduction, Holmes figures out in less than a day that this employment of Mr Wilson was set up as a cover up to get Wilson out of the way (he owns a pawn shop in London) so his shop can be used to conduct a crime.

For me, the best part of reading this story was tracking down the original source on the Internet Archive and discovering the amazing Strand, No 8 (https://archive.org/details/StrandMagazine8/page/n45/mode/2up). I can hardly wait to read the rest of the issue -- there is an article with illustrations of 'celebrities' from when they were younger, an article of bird songs with musical notation, etc.

Mar 31, 4:43 am

>49 janoorani24: The Strand magazine sounds fascinating! I downloaded it. And while on archive.org I came across this extremely intriguing book, which I also downloaded: The Man of Pleasure’s Illustrated Pocketbook for 1850.

Mar 31, 8:21 am

>49 janoorani24: I read my first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet shortly after becoming enamored with Cumberbatch's portrayal. It was one of the few times when I preferred the adaptation to the original.

Mar 31, 11:59 pm

>50 FlorenceArt: Your discovery on the archive looks so interesting!

Abr 1, 12:01 am

>51 labfs39: The screen writers for Sherlock Holmes movies are much better writers than Doyle for the most part, I think, and of course having superior actors play the part helps!

Editado: Abr 2, 9:44 am

'Book' 19:
4/1/24 - Space and Dimensionality by Thomas K. Simpson
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts, Essays
Type: Essay, 48 pages
Original Language: English
Translator: N/A
Original Publication: The Great Ideas Today 1993, Part One: Current Developments in the Arts and Sciences, pp. 2-49
As read publication: N/A
Series: The Great Ideas Today
Genre: Philosophy
Format: Paper
Publisher: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., Chicago
Reading dates: 1/1/24 - 4/1/24
Rating: 5 stars

This is a philosophical essay about space and its dimensions in both philosophical and mathematical terms. While only covering 49 pages, the essay is dense with ideas and took me a long time to absorb, and I'm still far from being able to completely understand it. According to Simpson, nothing in principle prevents consistent intuitions of non-Euclidean geometry, including thoughts that there are more than three dimensions. There is nothing in the nature of our minds that requires there to be only three dimensions, or makes us incapable of perceiving that it isn't so. Why can't our sense of reality be enlarged to conceive of four dimensions, or even more than that? He uses Euclid's theories, a detailed discussion of Edwin Abbot's Flatland, Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, Platos's Parmenides, Maxwell's color theories and experiments, and a brief discussion of DNA to make the point that the Many and the One are connected, the same, and yet separate. "He writes, "...I believe in the ultimate coherence of all things, a single source of all possibilities. One might say that this is to take the term "space" primarily in its sense as "cosmos," even if that cosmos seems at times to be nothing more than the arbitrary construction of the purest of formal mathematicians."

I seldom give five stars to anything, since to get five stars, a work has to move me to somehow change how I look at the world. Even though this work was short, it did effect a change in my perceptions.

Abr 2, 12:59 am

>54 janoorani24: This sounds very interesting. I'll have to figure out how to scare up a copy.

Abr 2, 6:42 am

This is a VERY interesting subject, which does sound like an original concept which could broaden one's thinking.

Editado: Abr 2, 10:27 am

>55 Jim53: Jim, I searched the Internet Archive, and that particular year isn't there. I inherited all of the original set of the Encyclopedia Britannica's Great Books of the Western World volumes, and then found the Great Ideas Today on eBay, so I have all of those too (I had to buy two bookcases to hold all of them). I don't think Simpson was that well known outside of his academic circle since he doesn't have his own Wikipedia page, but his son maintains a fairly good web page with a few of his articles: https://www.thomasksimpson.com/ Perhaps you will have more luck than I did finding the 1993 volume. Here is the WorldCat link so you can see if it's available in a library near you: https://search.worldcat.org/title/30382395

Abr 3, 4:22 pm

I began re-reading a very old textbook from my University of Maryland Library Science program, Organizing Information: Principles of Data Base and Retrieval Systems by Dagobert Soergel. One way you can tell it's old is the fact that database is two words, sort of like Internet used to be capitalized. I've been needing to study databases so much lately as part of my work in cybersecurity, that I felt I needed to get back to some more basic concepts. I used to tell analysts I worked with that if they didn't put their reports in a storage system without a plan for finding it again, they might as well not have written it. In library science terms, this would be an Information Storage and Retrieval System or ISAR. Nowadays, everything is just called a database and for the more complicated ones, you need to know a particular language such as SQL or Splunk to use them. But all information storage systems rely on the system used to put entities there to begin with. If something is misfiled in a filing cabinet or mis-shelved in a library, the best retrieval system in the world won't help you find it. You may find it with luck, but the case may be that you won't find it, and then, you might as well not have created it at all. At least with digital databases, you should be able to find what you are looking for with full-text searches, but that won't help you discover relationships like you can with a good relational database. Just rambling here -- trying to pound into my head what I'm reading to justify reading what is essentially a dry tome, but which I think is important to my job. Maybe I should just retire so I can read nothing but scintillating, unnecessary books.

Editado: Abr 3, 6:01 pm

Book Talley for First Quarter 2024:

Book Talley for January:

Real Books Acquired: 4 (0 read)
Real Books Read: 3 (Pages: 618)
Digital Books Acquired: 2 (1 read)
Digital Books Read: 3 (Pages: 1376)
Audio Books Acquired: 1 (0 heard)
Audio Books Heard: 1 (13 1/4 hours)

Total Read:
4 books, 2 short stories (1994 pages) and 1 audio book = 7 books
6 fiction; 1 nonfiction

Genre Summary:

History: 1

Short Story - Science Fiction: 1
Short Story - Epic Poem: 1
Mystery: 2
Romance: 2

Best in January:

Fiction: The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
Nonfiction: The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Short Work: The Song of Roland

Book Talley for February:

Real Books Acquired: 7 (0 read)
Real Books Read: 4 (Pages: 492)
Digital Books Acquired: 1 (0 read)
Digital Books Read: 0 (Pages: 0)
Audio Books Acquired: 0
Audio Books Heard: 0 (0 hours)

2 books, 2 short stories, 492 pages = 4 books
4 fiction; 0 nonfiction

Genre Summary:

Nonfiction: 0

Short Story - Japanese: 1
Short Story - American Classic: 1
Mystery: 1
Romance: 1

Best in February:

Fiction: Black Plumes by Margery Allingham
Nonfiction: N/A
Short Work: The Jilting of Granny Weatherall by Katherine Anne Porter

Book Talley for March:

Real Books Acquired: 9 (0 read)
Real Books Read: 6 (Pages: 843)
Digital Books Acquired: 1 (0 read)
Digital Books Read: 1 (Pages: 880)
Audio Acquired: 1 (0 heard)
Audio Books Heard: 1 (10 hours)

3 books, 4 short works (1723 pages), and 1 audio book = 8
4 fiction; 4 nonfiction

Genre Summary:

Technical: 1
Essay: 2
History/Biography: 1

Short Story - Russian: 1
Short Story - British Mystery: 1
Science Fiction: 1
Romance: 1

Best in March:

Fiction: These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan
Nonfiction: Intelligence-Driven Incident Response by Scott J Roberts
Short Work: Space and Dimensionality by Thomas K. Simpson

Best for Quarter:

Fiction: The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
Non-Fiction: The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Short Work: Space and Dimensionality by Thomas K. Simpson

Abr 6, 8:21 pm

>58 janoorani24: Reminds me of the days when I used to read things like Text information retrieval systems and Database management systems. Fun times!

Abr 6, 9:15 pm

>58 janoorani24: >60 labfs39: Reminds me of when I used to write things such as IBM Websphere Transcoding Publisher V1.1: Extending Web Applications to the Pervasive World, which unsurprisingly is in my you-and-nobody-else list.

Abr 7, 3:42 am

4/6/24 - The Tea-Leaf by Edgar Jepson and Robert Eustace
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts, Essays
Type: Short Story, 13 pages
Original Language: English
Translator: N/A
Original Publication: The Strand Magazine, October 1925, pp.409-418
As read publication: Crime Stories from the 'Strand'
Series: N/A
Genre: Mystery
Format: Paper
Publisher: The Folio Society, 1991
Reading dates: 1/1/24 - 4/1/24
Rating: 3.5 stars

This is a short story contained within an anthology of crime stories published in The Strand Magazine between 1891 and 1942. It's a classic 'locked-room' mystery where the story revolves around the fact that a man has apparently been murdered in a Turkish Bath and the supposed murder weapon is never found, but the suspected murderer could only be the man who was in the 'hot room' with the victim just previous to his death. It's simplistic by today's standards, but I'm sure it was of great interest to readers in 1925. The story itself is mentioned in several other anthologies and crime story histories.

Below are two short paragraphs from Wikipedia about the two authors:

Edgar Alfred Jepson (28 November 1863 – 12 April 1938) was an English author. He largely wrote mainstream adventure and detective fiction, but also supernatural and fantasy stories. He sometimes used the pseudonym R. Edison Page.

Robert Eustace was the pen name of Eustace Robert Barton (1869–1943), an English doctor and author of mystery and crime fiction with a theme of scientific innovation. He also wrote as Eustace Robert Rawlings. Eustace often collaborated with other writers, producing a number of works with the author L. T. Meade and others. He is credited as co-author with Dorothy L. Sayers of the novel The Documents in the Case, for which he supplied the main plot idea and supporting medical and scientific details.

Abr 7, 3:55 am

>60 labfs39: >61 Jim53: When I began my program in Library and Information Science at the University of Maryland in 1998, Dr. Soergel's class was the first class student's had to take. It was mandatory to finish with a grade of B or better in order to get the Master's Degree. A lot of students in the class had failed before, and were re-taking it. Dr. Soergel had a heavy German accent and his tests were difficult. I thought my best chance of passing was to concentrate on the book, and write down everything he wrote on the board, and ignore what he said. I have several other books about databases and organizing information, but I still think this is one of the best.

Jim, I'm so impressed that you wrote that book!

Abr 17, 10:08 pm

Book 21:
4/15/24 - Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Category: Books, Magazines, Short Stories, Excerpts
Type: Audio, 14 hrs, 29 mins (352 pages equivalent)
Narrators: Emily Rankin & Catherine Taber
Language: English
Original Publication: Ballantine, June 2017
As read publication: Audible, 2017
Series: N/A
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Digital
Publisher: Random House Audio
Reading dates: 3/15/24 - 4/15/2024
Rating: 4 stars

This was a heartbreaking book, even though some things are resolved in the end.

The story is read by two narrators who each voice a character telling the tale of the real-life Tennessee Children's Home Society, an adoption agency in Memphis, which notoriously used kidnapping and lies to steal poor children from their parents and essentially sell them to wealthy parents from the 1920's to 1950.

The earlier timeline relates the story of fictional twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings who live aboard their family’s Mississippi River shanty boat. In 1939, their father must rush their mother to the hospital, and Rill is left in charge. The next morning, Memphis police (the director of the orphanage paid police to round up children for her) arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are told they will soon be returned to their parents, but it doesn't take long for the two older children, Rill and ten-year-old Camellia, to realize the awful truth -- there is no getting out of what is essentially a prison. The children are slowly broken apart and given up for adoption to wealthy families in other parts of the country.

The later story tells the tale of Avery Stafford, a successful prosecutor who has recently returned to Aiken, SC to help out her ill father and his Senate campaign. While visiting a nursing home with her father, she stumbles upon a mystery involving a woman who claims to know her grandmother. Avery's story isn't as interesting and her part of the narration drags in places. But it serves to bring the story of the Foss children up to the present day, while also telling the dark history of the Tennessee Children's Home Society.

The narrator who voiced Rill was fantastic -- I felt the story was greatly improved by her narration. Avery's narrator wasn't as good, but she told Avery's story well. I sometimes wished I could have read those parts, since I read faster to myself than she could narrate, and I wanted to get back to Rill's story as fast as I could.

All in all, a good book and I give it 4 stars in LibraryThing, though I gave it 5 stars on Audible.

Abr 17, 10:56 pm

>64 janoorani24: A terrific review on a subject that certainly hits one of my real regrets about the way children are mistreated. It reminds me very much about the book This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. A similar story and one of my all-time favorites.

Abr 17, 11:12 pm

>58 janoorani24: I’ve not popped in to your thread before; don’t know how I missed it. But I noticed this database post. My area. Used to teach it at university in Australia. It’s not “dry” to me, but you do need to interact and set up databases to maintain interest.

I’ll check your whole thread. Thanks and I don’t know how come I didn’t find you before.

Abr 18, 10:08 am

>65 JoeB1934: Thanks for the comment Joe, and I'll check out the book by Krueger. Thank you for the suggestion.

Abr 18, 10:36 am

>66 kjuliff: Welcome, Kate! I've only become active again on LT since January. I used to be very active about ten years ago, but then spent many years just adding books and curating my catalog. I've really enjoyed the Club Reads group, and have made some friends here.

My interest in databases goes back a long way. I love the idea of storing information so it can be found again in the future. Dr. Soergel's book about organizing information is a treasure trove, and I'm actually enjoying re-reading it at a leisurely pace and not having to rush through it for his class.

I discovered something interesting, and not at all related to databases - he cites an example of an entry in a brief description of analyzing reference tools from Chamber's Biographical Dictionary for HANSOM, Joseph Aloysius who invented the 'Patent Safety (Hansom) Cab' in 1834. This intrigued me since I read a lot of Georgette Heyer and other similar historical romance novelists, whose stories are set in a slightly earlier era, and I'm sure I've seen the term Hansom cab in those stories. I may be wrong, but I know going forward, I'll notice the term 'Hansom cab' in novels when I read them and it will annoy me if it's in a book set earlier than about 1830.

All of this led me down the rabbit hole of checking out the biographical dictionary on the Internet Archive (an amazingly rich database), and discovering a mystery published in 1886, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume, which is called Australia's original blockbuster. Now I have yet another book to add to my bottomless TBR pile.

Abr 18, 10:41 am

>68 janoorani24: What do you and kjuliff mean by a "database"? I use the term a lot but usually it is a database that I maintain that no one else knows exists. You and Kate seem to talk about a different database than a personal one.

Abr 18, 11:28 am

>69 JoeB1934: We are talking about large scale databases used in information technology. These hold very large amount of information in digital form that can be accessed in many ways. For example, LT’s library database of books and users. You can look up books by title, member usernames, date entered, keyword etc.

Database were usually structured in hierarchical fashion. In the 1980’s the movement was toward the relational model, though human thought tends to be hierarchical in nature.

Now with the advent of AI knowledge is stored and accessed in a different way. Even the people developing AI are unsure of how it works and therein lies the problems. The computers are now writing their own programs and using their own databases - if that is even an applicable concept in its earlier meaning.

Peter Juliff’s Program Design is a good start to see how conventional computer programmming started accessing data, though it is of course now outdated.

Abr 18, 11:35 am

>70 kjuliff: How do I get directly to the LT library database?

Editado: Abr 18, 12:13 pm

>71 JoeB1934: You are using it all the time already when you make queries, add books, use touchstones. You used it when you saved your last message. Only programmers can access it directly as it holds sensitive information about members, and there have given us tools to access it, which are sufficient.

Abr 18, 12:15 pm

>72 kjuliff: That is what I have assumed was true, but the way you mentioned discovering janoorani24 in a database I became confused.

Abr 18, 12:28 pm

>73 JoeB1934: I didn’t notice her in a database. I discovered her in her database post. I saw her post about databases >58 janoorani24: and I replied I noticed this database post.. - >66 kjuliff:

Abr 19, 11:48 am

Interesting discussion about databases. I come at the study of databases from an organization-of information-background, and information systems used for organization whether digital or non-digital.

When I began my career as an intelligence analyst in the 1980s, I was intrigued by the problem of losing older intelligence information because of not storing it in a way in which it could be found again. Organizations (including the military) used to have file clerks and records managers, and an excellent file clerk once showed me how to build a file system to keep track of the intelligence reports and supporting documentation I created. This was essentially a database - files (records) were stored in file cabinets and cross-referenced to other records so relationships were maintained and retrievable.

When I began my career transition to librarianship as a second career after I retired from the Air Force, I discovered that library catalogs are also databases. I started my career at the cusp of the transition of card catalogs transitioning to digital library catalogs.

Librarians used to call databases Information Storage and Retrieval Systems (ISARs) and perhaps some still do, but these days everything that stores information seems to be called a database. Information systems deal with many types of information entities -- events, persons, documents, business transactions, research projects etc. Among the purposes they serve are to inform the public, support managers, researchers, and engineers, and to provide a knowledge base for an artificial intelligence program.

I could go on and on... I love this stuff.

Abr 19, 2:29 pm

>75 janoorani24: To date all information is stored digitally in binary form.

Abr 19, 8:57 pm

>76 kjuliff: What an interesting comment. I don't believe all information is stored digitally yet, unless you mean that all digitized information is stored in binary form? That's true, however, not all information has been digitized. And I don't believe that should be the goal. I worked at the National Archives in the early 2000s, and at time, the Archives were trying to come to terms with digitizing all of their records. The argument for it to all be digitized was countered by the argument against, which was that digitized records are ephemeral, and paper lasts longer. The problem was, paper took up a lot of room. Of course, this was twenty years ago, and I'm sure things have changed, and the internet has changed the problem of digitized information being available across multiple platforms and devices, but as I frequently remind the people who come to me to find things or people online, not everything is online. Sometimes you must get up and go find the physical record or entity.

Abr 19, 10:09 pm

>77 janoorani24: But it’s a fact. All information stored in computers is digital - binary. Until there’s a development in quantum physics, everything is either on, 1 - or 0 off. We do not have an in between.